What up Gamers! Things are finally starting to get funny/sexy/crazy on ye olde "Games of Thrones." Blood 'n boobs, that's why we're here, that's what we were promised, and that's what we're going to get. This episode finally hits the gas on this season, and off we go. Thankfully, we get a bit of humor and levity to offset the gore and blood, which always helps.
In The North
We open on the Viking funeral of Catelyn Stark's (Michelle Fairley) father, Robb Stark's (Richard Madden) grandfather, Lord Hoster Tully. Catelyn’s brother, Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies), tries in vain to hit his father's coffin boat with a flaming arrow and fails miserably at least three times, until his uncle, Brynden Tully 'the Blackfish' (Clive Russell), takes over and puts him out of his misery, ably hitting the corpse canoe and dropping his bow, Chappelle-style.
Edmure's humiliation continues after the funeral, while he tries to boast to an unimpressed Robb about his taking of an old stone mill in the ongoing war with the Lannisters. The mission was a bust since he lost 208 men and only managed to capture William and Martyn Lannister (Dean-Charles Chapman), Tywin Lannister's (Charles Dance) grand nephews, who won’t be much for leveraging the release of the Stark girls. Later, Catelyn reminisces about her father with her uncle Blackfish, and cries about abandoning her youngest sons Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson). Talisa (Oona Chaplin), Robb’s not-so-secret wife administers to Martyn Lannister, who believes that Robb is a werewolf. Talisa yanks their chain saying it’s true only during a full moon. AWOOOO.
Also, somewhere in the area (possibly? The show doesn't make it clear), traitor Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) gets released from his torture crucifix by a helper/spy sent by his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan), who plops him on a horse and sends him on his way. He also tells Theon they aren’t in the Iron Islands, because Theon is as confused as I am about his location.
Theon thinks he's in the clear until hooded riders wielding maces chase him down, knock him off his horse and threaten to "fuck him into the dirt." Thankfully, though, the would-be penetrator becomes the penetrated when an arrow bursts through his chest and his fellow attackers are themselves quickly dispatched in the barrage of arrows loosed by Theon’s savior, the helper/spy again. Who is this guy?!
It's a veritable laugh riot in King's Landing this week, as Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) seems to be in a better, and more impish, mood. At a meeting with Tywin, Cersei (Lena Headey) and the advisors to the Hand of the King, Lord Baelish/Mayor Carcetti (Aiden Gillen), Varys/The Spider (Conleth Hill), and Pycelle (Julian Glover), Cersei and Tyrion behave like the squabbling siblings they are, dragging their chairs around the table in symbolic grab of power. Cersei is at the head of the table with Tywin, with Tyrion opposite them; a perfect visual rendering of their power struggle and alliances. After some discussion about Jaime's unknown whereabouts and Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) holding Harrenhal, Tywin announces that Baelish is to marry Lady Arryn (Kate Dickie), Catelyn’s incredibly creepy sister, in a power move. Tyrion complains about the Master of Coin being out of town and unable to manage the finances for the royal wedding, and Tywin promptly makes Tyrion the new Master of Coin.
Tyrion retrieves Baelish’s ledgers from the whorehouse, where his squire Podrick (Daniel Portman) takes the opportunity to ogle the remarkable cleavage of enterprising prosti/Baelish assistant Ros (Esme Bianco), prompting Littlefinger to remind Tyrion that he owes Pod big time for saving his life during the Battle of Blackwater. But Tyrion's got this covered, and he and trusty knight Bronn (Jerome Flynn) lead Pod into a room full of nubile lasses willing to make all of the virginal squire's fantasies come true. Later, as Tyrion and Bronn go over the books, learning that Lord Twatbeard (according to Bronn) doesn’t really understand the meaning of the word "loan" (the Iron Bank of
Brothers Braavos are gonna be pissed), Podrick shows up, whore money in hand. The ladies wouldn't take it, meaning sweet Pod possesses some kind of magic sexual trickery, which Tyrion and Bronn immediately try to get out of him in detail. Surprisingly, they don't immediately ask him to drop trou.
Beyond the Wall
Mance Raydar (Ciaran Hinds), Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Ygritte (Rose Leslie), and the Wildling warg come upon a labyrinthine spiral of dismembered horses. Fun! This wasn’t exactly the warg’s "Dead Crows" vision, but Crows' dead horses are close enough, he claims. Since the Crows are effectively fucked, Mance sends the ginger bearded Tormund Gianstbane (Kristopher Hivju) and Snow to go attack Castle Black while they are weak, and it's readily apparent that Giantsbane is fully erect at the idea.
The waylaid Crows, on a march back to the Wall, are "lucky" to find themselves at the compound of old friend Craster (Robert Pugh), our favorite Wilding ally of the Nightswatch and incest advocate. He allows them in, begrudgingly, while one of his harem of daughter-wives gives birth in a hut outside. He starts to rib Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), saying the Crows should feast on him while they march (GOT writers never met a fat joke they didn’t take advantage of). Incest, cannibalism, is this guy a charmer or what? Sam storms outside to spy on the childbirth of his daughter-wife crush, and she pushes out a baby boy who will soon become a White Walker snack, at the mercy of Daddy's rules about his all-female compound.
On The Road In The Riverlands
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and pals are still on the road with Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) and the Brotherhood Without Banners. They’re there more as 'involuntary guests,' if you will, though Sandor Clegane/"The Hound" (Rory McCann), former King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) bodyguard, is definitely there as a prisoner. While the Bros Without Banners hit the road, guests and prisoners in tow, Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) decides to stay at the inn as a baker, and bakes Arya a goodbye loaf of bread in the shape of a wolf. Yup. There is sentimental moment revolving around a novelty shaped loaf of bread.
Dragonstone: Outside Blackwater Bay
On Dragonstone Beach, exiled would-be king Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and witchy love Melisandre (Carice van Houten), the Creepy Lady in Red Who Births Murder Ghosts in Caves, get in a fight because she is leaving on a mission and Stannis is a jealous, needy whiner. Melisandre says a lot of really creepy stuff about Stannis' fires burning low and that she needs king’s blood, i.e. others who have Stannis’ blood. Summoning Stannis Baratheon's bastards! It’s sacrifin' time!
In The East: The Lands Across the Narrow Sea
In the land of the Unsullied, Mother of Dragons, the last Targaryen, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has now got two advisors, longtime guard Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney), a longtime Knightsguard who was dismissed by King Joffrey in season 1. They tend to disagree on how to advise her, but as she usually does, Dany reveals her quiet fierceness when she needs to. She negotiates with the soldier slave trader Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand) -- whose name I only know thanks to the GOT wiki -- and his pretty translator Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). In order to purchase the whole Unsullied army and the soldiers in training, she pulls her dragon card and trades one for the entirety of the Unsullies. She also takes the translator as a gift for herself.
On The Road South To King’s Landing, NOPE, NOT ANYMORE. To Harrenhal? I JUST DON’T KNOW
At the end of episode 2, knight Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) were captured by members of House Bolton (Jaime noticed their Flayed Man sigil), who want to bring his head to Robb Stark. We’ve had a few hints throughout this episode that the Boltons are now holding Harrenhal, and they’re also the ones in charge of the Theon Greyjoy torture. Busy bees! They're also a rape-y bunch, what with Theon's narrowly escaped attack, and Jaime warns Brienne to not fight back when they inevitably come for her that night. Still, when they do, it's brutal as she starts to savagely defend herself. Jaime proves himself not without empathy, as he skillfully manipulates their captor (Noah Taylor), letting him know that Brienne’s father, Lord Selwyn of Tarth, would pay her weight in sapphires if she were to return "unbesmirched."
His machinations work to save Brienne's honor (and her front teeth), but Jaime starts to think just a bit too highly of his verbal skill and standing with their captors. He asks to lie down, and they are certainly accommodating to his needs, unchaining him from the tree, offering him a fresh partridge off the fire, leading him to a nearby tree stump to dine... Of course, this is a case of the player getting played, as Jaime's hubris gets in the way of his better judgment. His captor lays him on the stump and starts to poke and tease him in the eye with the biggest carving knife ever. It’s quite an uncomfortable and extended moment, and a total bait and switch for both the audience and Jaime, because suddenly THIS MOTHERFUCKER CHOPS HIS DAMN HAND OFF!!!!!!!! CHOPS HIS HAND CLEAN OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jaime is as surprised as we are as he looks down at his wrist as it suddenly separates from his hand. For the record, my roommate spun around 360 degrees on the couch, shrieking at the top of her lungs when this happened. What was the best reaction to the de-handing among your watch party?
Heard But Not Seen:
No updates on the Li'l Rascals: Bran, Rickon, Osha (Nathalia Tena), Hodor (Kristian Nairn), Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) on the road to the Wall or wherever the Reed siblings are taking them. And no appearances of the Sexy Teens: Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Tyrion’s lover Shae (Sibel Kekilli), punk ass King Joffery, his betrothed Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), or her brother Loras (Finn Jones), as they are probably running around King’s Landing all hot and bothered. No sign of sassy Grandma Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) either, unfortunately.
And yes, that is The Hold Steady's "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" rocking the credits, the rowdy drinking song that was announced they would record for the series. It's a rollicking stomper of an anthem, with almost a Pogues/Flogging Molly sound to it. We can’t wait to sing along to this while splashing ale on someone in a dank tavern somewhere.