This episode included a scene wherein our hero, Jaime Lannister (oh, he's not your hero? just because he almost killed a child in order to protect the sister he was fucking? good for you that your morals are so on point—feel proud), rescues Brienne from A BEAR in a heart-stopping scene that had me feeling actively nervous for their safety and their lives, but still that wasn't even close to being the most traumatic part of the episode, because, you know what? THEON GOT CASTRATED. A lot of other stuff also happened. But castration? That's a pretty big deal. Bigger than a bear? Maybe, yeah.
But, we'll start at the beginning, I guess. Here we are with the wildlings and Jon Snow. They've safely made their way down the wall, which couldn't have been easy, but they did it. Now they just have to get to Castle Black, which, Jon believes will take about a week via the roads.
Ygritte basically snorts in his face and says, "You and your roads. That's how you fight? You march down the roads, banging drums and waving banners?"
"Mostly, yes," says Jon. He realizes it sounds kind of stupid. But it's honest. And he's basically always honest when he's not totally lying about where his loyalties lie.
"How do the men with banners fight?" asks Ygritte.
"They don't really. It's a great honor to carry your house sigil." Luckily, Jon doesn't need to explain what a sigil is to Ygritte. The point of this whole conversation is: war is stupid. Ceremony is stupid. All of it is stupid when it is in the service of rich men who want to get richer and more powerful and don't care how many of the little men die. Honor means nothing—sigils mean nothing—when you're dead.
Ah, and speaking of honor meaning nothing. Here's Robb, the wedding oathbreaker, delayed on the way to the Frey castle for Edmure Tully's wedding. Catelyn is worried that this additional delay will upset Walder Frey even further, but Robb only seems to care about boning his wife. Which he then proceeds to do. And while he nominally seems to want to think about the war he's still fighting, he really just wants to get back into bed with Talisa for a little more boning. And guess what else? She's pregnant. With a little prince or princess of the North. A new heir! This could be interesting.
And now it's time for a little girl talk. Sansa and Margery are discussing Sansa's impending nuptials. Sansa feels pretty down about the whole thing. Partly because Tyrion is a Lannister and she would never want to marry a Lannister, but mostly because Tyrion is a dwarf. Margaery, being awesome, points out that, "Women in our position must make the best of our circumstances." And also that Tyrion really is, "rather good-looking even with the scar. Especially with the scar."
Sansa doesn't seem convinced, but Margaery also tries to persuade her by reminding Sansa that any son she has with Tyrion will be the Lord of Casterly Rock and heir to the North. Also, Margaery has heard that Tyrion is quite the lay. Not, I guess, at the level of recently devirginized Pod, but not far off. Sansa seems quite scandalized and we are once again reminded that Tyrell women are the absolute best.
Tyrion has his own fears about marrying Sansa, telling Bronn, "She's a child. A tall child."
Bronn will have none of it, pointing out to Tyrion that girls not much older than Sansa have warmed his bed before and that Tyrion can still sleep with Shae and marry Sansa and retain a good deal of power. It all sounds pretty convincing, but later, when Tyrion tries to explain everything to Shae, she flips out. Shae does not really feel like being relegated to whore-status once again.
Tyrion tries to explain, "I did not have a choice...my father..."
Shae finishes his sentence: "Does not rule the world."
Well, except that Tywin Lannister kind of does rule the world. We see Tywin talking to that little piece of shit Joffrey, and he basically schools that little piece of shit Joffrey in everything from the fact that if Joffrey wants to attend small council meetings he can, but he will have to go to Tywin's turf to do so, to the fact that they have enough problems at home to start worrying about the Targaryen girl and her dragons.
On that last point, I think Tywin might finally have proven fallible, since he seems to think that there is no way Daenerys and her dragons can pose any threat. Tywin doubts that the dragons even have skulls bigger than an apple. Even if that skull size was accurate? I'd still be pretty worried about the whole fire and destruction thing. Plus, these dragons are only getting bigger. I guess what Tywin doesn't know, can't hurt him. For now anyway.
But those dragons can certainly hurt others! Especially evil slaveholders. Daenerys and her army are now outside the walls of Yunkai, another slave-holding city. One of the wise masters of Yunkai is trying to bribe Dany to leave. He has brought her gold and a ship as a gift. But she is on a mission now. She wants every slave released from Yunkai. She tells the Yunkish man that her gift to him is his life, and that he will get that gift if he frees his slaves. He curses her and tells her that it will never happen and that she will fail. Then he goes to retrieve his gold. Big mistake. Huge. The dragons move to attack him, and he backs away. He yells some more at Dany about some promises she made, and she replies, "My dragons made no promises and you threatened their mother."
Happy Mother's Day, Daenerys! You are one badass mother of dragons.
So, meanwhile, Melisandre and Gendry are on a boat, sailing through the wreckage of the Battle of Blackwater, sailing past King's Landing. Melisandre reveals to Gendry that he is not just any bastard, he was the son of King Robert Baratheon and that he is therefore powerful because he has king's blood. We also learn that Melisandre was of even lower birth than Gendry—she was a slave, and also the daughter of a slave—but that she was saved by the Lord of Light. So, no wonder she feels so indebted to him.
Someone who is not so indebted to the Lord of Light is Arya. She is still angry at Beric Dondarrion for letting Gendry go with that Red Witch and she doesn't care if the Lord of Light does things like resurrecting the dead on the regs. She tells Ser Beric, "Hes not my one true god."
"No?" Beric asks. "Who's yours?"
"Death." Whoa. Ok, then.
This conversation is followed by the news that a Lannister party is nearby in the woods and so the Brotherhood wants to set off to attack the Lions. Arya knows this means she'll be even further delayed in seeing her family, and runs off into the woods by herself. It's hard to say if she would have been able to escape completely, because who should she run right into but The Hound. He scoops her up and that is the last we see of Arya this episode.
We are now at Harrenhal and we see Brienne in her dress, her awful, ill-fitting pink dress. Jaime enters her room to say goodbye. He is leaving the following day, as is Roose Bolton, who is going to Edmure Tully's wedding instead of to King's Landing with Jaime. Brienne will be staying with Locke. You know, Locke, the guy who CUT OFF JAIME'S HAND. This doesn't sound promising. Neither Jaime nor Brienne seem to think it is going to end well either, and talk as if they will never see each other again. Brienne reminds Jaime that her one duty to Catelyn Stark was to make sure Jaime got to King's Landing and, since it looks like he will get there, she can feel that her mission has been accomplished. However, she asks Jaime if he will do what he promised to Catelyn. He answers quite sincerely, "I will return the Stark girls to their mother. I swear it."
"Goodbye, Ser Jaime," Brienne says.
Jaime rides out of Harrenhal, and Locke sneers at him, "Don't you worry about your friend, we'll take good care of her." Jaime is definitely worried, but keeps moving.
But before the craziness of Harrenhal, we will experience just a fraction of the true lunacy that Theon is dealing with. And, you know, Theon is definitely one of the least sympathetic characters, but watching Theon get tortured like this is like actually being tortured yourself. Well, or not. Because we're not actually getting parts of our bodies cut right off. But so anyway, after a tracking shot that shows the flayed skin on Theon's extremities, we see that Theon is now being cared for now by two beautiful women. His skin is really a mess though. It has been flayed in many, many places. But not all the places! Oh, no. There seems to be one more place left. But first, as tends to happen in torture pits, both women get naked and start to have sex with Theon. There is a lot of sexy talk about how Theon is "famous for his cock" and that everyone talks about it. Which, really? Is that all part of the mind game? It's so weird.
It gets weirder though because, out of nowhere, a horn blows. And, no, that's not a euphemism. It's Theon's captor, who disrupts everything with his trumpet and then whacks Theon in the face with it. Then, the guy pulls out his flaying knife and says, "Your famous cock must be so precious to you. Would you say it's your most precious part?"
"Mercy. Mercy, please." Theon is scrambling around on the floor, trying to get away. But he can't. He will never escape this hellhole.
His tormenter explains, "This is mercy. I'm not killing you, I'm just making a few alterations." Goodbye, Theon's famous cock. Goodbye.
And, so, up north, the wildlings continue to make their way to Castle Black and Orell the Warg tells Ygritte that he loves her, which, weird. Orell, dude, YOU JUST CUT HER ROPE AND ALMOST KILLED HER ON THE WALL. If that's your kind of foreplay, you're screwed here. Jon Snow likes to give Ygritte oral and he does cool things with his tongue. No contest, really.
But now, Ygritte and Jon are alone and Ygritte is amazed by the beautiful architecture of a windmill, thinking it's a palace. This naïveté reminds Jon Snow that the wildlings don't really know what they're in for. He tells her, "If you attack the Wall, you'll die. All of you."
"All of us," she reminds him. He's one of them now. Jon Snow reluctantly agrees. And Ygritte goes further, saying, "You're mine because I'm yours. And if we die, we die. But first we'll live." They make out. It's pretty hot. I really don't want anything bad happening to either one of them.
Also on the road are Jaime and Qyburn, who are having a little tête-à-tête over Jaime's wounded stump, which is healing quite nicely because Qyburn successfully "stymied the corruption." We also learn that Qyburn had his maester's chain taken away because he was performing experiments on living men, or as Qyburn puts it, "dying men." Jaime is contemptuous and so Qyburn asks him, "How many men did you kill?" They agree that the number is probably "countless," so Qyburn self-righteously follows up with, "And how many men did you save?"
Ugh, don't be so fucking smug, Qyburn. You were the Mengele of Westeros.
But Qyburn doesn't even have much of a chance to be a dick because Jaime quickly says, "Half a million, the population of King's Landing." That's right, Jaime, you awesome, awesome man.
Jaime wonders about what will happen to Brienne, if her father has tried to ransom her. It turns out he has, but that Locke turned the offer down because it wasn't enough money. Because Jaime had once convinced Locke that Brienne came from a place rich in sapphires, Locke now expects a ransom of jewels instead of just three hundred gold pieces. Oops. Qyburn tells Jaime, "She'll be their entertainment tonight. Beyond tonight they won't really care very much."
Jaime doesn't hesitate: they're returning to Harrenhal. One of his escorts balks but Jaime tells him that they are going, and if there's any argument, when the time comes, Jaime will tell Tywin Lannister that this escort was responsible for Jaime's missing hand. So off they go!
And just in time! Because Brienne is in a pit fighting a bear with a wooden sword. A WOODEN SWORD. A BEAR.
Poor Brienne looks small. So small. The bear destroys her sword and swipes at her neck. Jaime jumps right into the pit. "Get behind me!" he shouts. "I will not." she answers. But she does. The escort that Jaime threatened shoots an arrow into the bear, which helps, but only momentarily. Jaime helps Brienne climb out and finally manages to clamber out himself. There's a few tense moments with that jackass Locke who says, "The bitch stays." But Jaime insists, "We're taking her to King's Landing." He also tells Locke that Roose Bolton would much rather keep Tywin Lannister happy than anything else. Which seems to imply that Jaime is starting to figure out a thing or two about Roose Bolton.
They leave Harrenhal, but not before Jaime can get in one last word, "Well, we must be on our way. Sorry about the sapphires." This time, there's nothing Locke can do about it. Suck it, Locke.
Oh, well. This was easy. In fact, there are no other losers this episode. It's just Theon. He has lost everything. And yet he continues to lose more. He is slowly being destroyed by a fucked-up, still anonymous torturer who makes JOFFREY look like a mentally balanced person. I can't even choose a winner this episode with Theon's sad story fresh in my head. He might have deserved a terrible fate, but this? This is worse than what I would have imagined. Sorry, Theon, that you lost your cock. Next time, maybe you'll think twice before killing and mutilating the corpses of two innocent boys. Karma is a bitch.
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