What did I learn from this episode? So much, really. For one thing, Game of Thrones is not afraid to sacrifice a penis here and there for the sake of a storyline. For another, "Come fight death with me," is a great way of asking someone to bone. And, for a third, there is nothing hotter than a man who sneaks into your tent while bearing gifts. Especially when those gifts are the severed heads of your enemies. Nicely done, Daario. I think I like you. But! Let's start from the very beginning.
We open on Arya's eye. Well, we open on Arya eying a rock. It's a big rock. It could do some damage. But, oh, Arya. Don't be stupid. You're not stupid, Arya! And, yet, despite me thinking she's not stupid, Arya—a young girl—creeps over to where the Hound—a HUGE and terrifying man—lies sleeping. She looks prepared to bash his brains in.
But, of course, he wakes up. He says, "I'll give you one try, girl. Kill me and you're free. But if I live, I'll break both your hands."
Arya, naturally, is frozen. But because she's not stupid, she does nothing and they ride off together. She lets the Hound know, "There's no one worse than you." Which, I mean, Arya knows that's not entirely true. She's met that little piece of shit Joffrey. But it's understandable that she would think the Hound is no better than Joffrey.
The Hound sets her straight though, saying, "There's many worse than me. Men who like to beat little girls. Men who like to rape them. Saved your sister from some of them."
This gives Arya pause. Not just because it seems that the Hound helped her sister, but also because just the mention of her sister reminds Arya of her whole family and how much she wants to be reunited with them. Arya and the Hound reach a river, which Arya confuses for the Blackwater near King's Landing. But it's really the Red Fork, and Arya learns that it's not all black or white. She wonders why the Hound isn't taking her back to the Lannisters.
He spits out, "Fuck Joffrey. Fuck the Queen. I'm taking you to the Twins, because your mother and brother will be there and they'll pay for you." So, yay! This means a happy ending, right? Right? I guess the old saying still counts, "if you think there's going to be a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." Ah. But, I guess, we'll see.
And so now we're in Yunkai, where Daenerys, Ser Barristan, and Ser Jorah inspect the camp of the Second Sons, a group of sell-swords who have come to fight against Daenerys. She decides to try to woo her over to her side, but the Captains of the Second Sons, led by Mero, also known as the Titan's Bastard, is a terrible asshole. Just terrible. There's lots of jokes about rape. Boring. Awful. After Mero leaves, Dany says, "Ser Barristan, when it comes to battle, kill that one first." And Ser Barristan is all, "Gladly your grace." Because, obviously.
However! Mero was not alone when he visited Dany. He had two compatriots with him, including a very handsome man who carries a Dothraki-style sword (hot!), named Daario Noharis. What's the deal with Daario? It's not exactly clear yet, although he does seem to like beautiful things. Which, who doesn't? But Daario really, REALLY likes beautiful things, and he especially likes Daenerys. He likes her so much that, even though Mero and the other guy (whose name doesn't matter as you'll soon realize) determine that they ought to kill Dany and that Daario ought to do it, he decides not to kill the lovely Daenerys, but instead to decapitate his buddies and bring Dany their heads. It's a slick move. One that seems to make Daenerys pretty happy. You can tell because she was in the bath when Daario came in and dropped the heads on the floor and she totally gets out of the bath so that he can see her in all her naked glory. Daario is pretty into it. He tells her, "The Second Sons are yours, and so is Daario Naharis. My sword is yours, my life is yours, my heart is yours."
Something else tells me another part of him will be hers soon too. And, really, FINALLY. I don't know how Dany has lasted so long. For a show with an awful lot of sex in it, it's very disproportionally handed out. Daenerys needs to go and get some. Good for you, Dany. Go get it.
In another part of the world, Gendry and Melisandre arrive at Storm's End. Gendry seems pretty impressed by everything, which makes sense, seeing as how he used to live in a place called Flea Bottom and eat rat stew. Stannis, though, looks none too happy to see him and is downright rude to Gendry, who is, after all, his nephew. Gendry is sent away to get a bath and a nice meal and this promise from Melisandre: "I'll come visit you soon."
Stannis is disgusted, saying, "If it needs to be done, do it. Don't torture the boy." Which, well. It seems like Arya was right and that Melisandre intends to kill Gendry. Stannis seems honestly conflicted about this, but then Melisandre gets all calm and creepy, saying, "Have you ever slaughtered a lamb, my king? If the lamb sees the knife, she panics, her panic seeps into her meat and darkens it, fouls the flavor."
Stannis asks, "You've slaughtered many lambs?"
"And none have seen the blade," Melisandre replies. Well, then!
Meanwhile, in the dungeons at Storm's End, Davos is making some real progress with his reading. Good for you, Davos. Stannis visits him and finally, with his usual amount of gruffness, pays his respects to Davos for the loss of his son. Also, Stannis confides in Davos about Melisandre's plan to sacrifice Gendry. Clearly, Stannis sees Davos as a kind of external conscious, but Stannis is still trying to rationalize that sacrificing Gendry is worth it for the greater good, saying, "We do not choose our destiny, but we must do our duty, no? What's one bastard boy compared to a kingdom."
Of course, Davos disagrees, claiming that there are no gods, not even the Lord of Light. Despite all this, Stannis decides to free Davos. I'm happy about this for several reasons, but one of them is definitely that I want to see Davos and Stannis' daughter Shireen hanging out more. She was awesome.
Later, Gendry gets a visit from Melisandre. They're in quite the fancy bedchamber, lots of red velvet and candles. George Costanza would like it, because being in that room would quite literally be like being draped in velvet. Gendry seems to be enjoying it. At first he's hesitant, but Melisandre knows how to make a man relax. By which I mean, she takes her clothes off. Melisandre, who is not necessarily one of my favorite characters, then utters the BEST EVER pick-up line that I will now be using should I ever wish to lure someone into my bed. She practically purrs, "Come fight death with me." I love that so much. And so Gendry lies on his back like a good boy. But his pleasure doesn't last for long, because Melisandre ties him up at the wrists and ankles (which, might not necessarily be the worst thing in the world, but only if it's consensual, kids, only then) and then puts LEECHES ON HIS BODY INCLUDING HIS PENIS.
Leeches! Melisandre says to Gendry, "There's power in the blood of kings and you have so much blood." It's after she says that last part that she puts a leech right on his dick. Ah! That's so twisted. I love that. And then, who should walk in but Stannis and Davos. Melisandre plucks off the leeches, and has Stannis place them in a fire whilst saying three names: "The usurper Robb Stark. The usurper Balon Greyjoy. The usurper Joffrey Baratheon." All three leaches sputter and spark and explode in the flames. I'd be feeling pretty unsafe if I was one of those usurpers.
And now for the wedding of the century! Well, no. But, it is the wedding of Tyrion and Sansa who meet up before the ceremony. They're all dressed up. Sansa is still talking to Tyrion like she's his captive.
He tells her, "You don't have to speak to me like a prisoner anymore. After today you won't be a prisoner anymore. You'll be my wife. I suppose that's a different kind of prison." Which, yes. Very true. Marriage is a prison.
Moving on to the ceremony, Cersei and Margaery are standing in the chapel and Margaery calls Cersei "sister" and tells her, "You look radiant!" Cersei takes this as an insult. Which, sure, it probably is, but it also might not be. However, Cersei decides to take this opportunity to remind Margaery of a little Westerosi history—namely the truth behind the song "The Rains of Castamere."
Cersei begins, "The House Reyne was a powerful family. They were very wealthy; the second wealthiest house in Westeros. Aren't the Tyrells the second wealthiest house in Westeros now? Of course, ambitious climbers don't want to stop on the second highest rung. If only you could take that final step, you'd see further than all the rest, you'd be alone with nothing but blue sky above you. So Lord Reyne built a castle, larger than Casterly Rock. He gave his wife diamonds, larger than any my mother ever wore. Finally one day he rebelled against my father. Do you know where House Reyne is now?"
"Gone," says Margaery.
"Gone. A gentle word. Why not say slaughtered? Every man, woman, and child, put to the sword. I remember seeing their bodies, hanging high above the gates of Casterly Rock. My father let them rot there all summer. It was a long summer. If you ever call me sister again, I'll have you strangled in your sleep."
And that's why you don't fuck with Cersei. She grew up with Tywin Lannister as a father and dead bodies of men, women, and children dangling overhead. Cersei might not be as smart as she thinks she is, but she's still dangerous as all hell.
And so, the wedding. That little piece of shit Joffrey is giving Sansa away, replacing her father whom Joffrey MURDERED. Joffrey is just being the biggest little piece of shit ever and even removes Tyrion's little stool from the alter. That little piece of shit Joffrey did that so his uncle Tyrion would have trouble "cloaking the bride and bringing her under his protection." Basically, Tyrion couldn't reach Sansa's shoulders to put the cloak on. People in the audience laugh. People are jerks.
Anyway, based on that and the fact that Tyrion was forced into this wedding, ol' Tyrion's getting pretty damn drunk. Tywin thinks so too, and is not too happy about it, reminding Tyrion, "Your wife needs a child. A Lannister child as soon as possible." Sexy times ahead? I guess they'd better be.
But not quite yet, because that little piece of shit Joffrey continues to be a total little piece of shit and starts to make a big ruckus about undressing Sansa and preparing her for the marital bed. Tyrion becomes enraged and flat-out threatens Joffrey, saying that if Joffrey touches Sansa, "Then you'll be fucking your own bride with a wooden cock."
So, yikes. That little piece of shit Joffrey is incensed, but Tywin defuses the situation and Tyrion and Sansa head up to bed where they don't sleep together. In fact, Tyrion passes out on a chaise longue and Sansa sleeps alone and when Shae comes in to changes the bedsheets the next morning she is pleasantly surprised not to find virginal blood everywhere, which, cool. I too am glad we didn't have to see that.
Hey! Look! It's Sam and Gilly and the baby with no name who will definitely not be named after Sam's dickhead father even though "Randall," says Gilly, is "a great name." Anyway, they've made it as far as one of those trees that looks like it bleeds. They're going to rest for the night. A crow flies by. As does another. Sam and Gilly and the baby are inside a little hut and all they hear from the outside is that the crows are going crazy. Until they're not anymore. Suddenly, the crows are silent. Which, of course, is even spookier. So, Sam goes out to investigate and sees a White Walker.
"It's come for the baby," says Gilly.
She's right. Sam tries to get in between the baby and the White Walker with his sword, but that doesn't work. What does work, though, is the dagger made of dragonglass that Sam found at the Fist of the First Men. Dragonglass is White Walker kryptonite! No time to celebrate, however, because it's still a terrifying encounter, so Sam and Gilly and the baby go running off through the woods, crows flying right behind them. Which, in case you didn't know, a flock of crows is called a murder of crows. Because, of course it is. Ahhhh!
Sure, I mean, why not? Dany has thousands more fighters on her side and a super-hot new lieutenant, Daario. Seems like she's winning to me.
Melisandre might be completely terrifying, but there's no denying she gets stuff done. And whatever magic she used on those leeches is probably pretty effective considering that the woman knows her shit. I mean, she once birthed a homicidal smoke baby. I feel awful for Gendry, but can't wait to see what comes next.
Even though Cersei's "Rains of Castamere" speech was way over the top, it was a good reminder of who still holds all the power. Plus, there wasn't enough Queen of Thorns in this episode. Was she hilarious in describing the weird familial relationships that will result from the upcoming weddings? Of course she was! She's amazing. But I want more! Less Loras, more Olenna!
So, yes, they've got Tywin. But he's the only thing holding this mess together. Cersei is outright threatening everyone, Tyrion is drunk and unhappily married, and Joffrey is a little piece of shit. Sure, Jaime is a golden god, but he hasn't come back yet, and we don't know what will happen when/if he does. I'd say House Lannister was just an outright disaster, but I'd be afraid they'd sing "The Rains of Castamere" to me, so I just won't say anything at all.
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