The newsflash of this episode is that "Game of Thrones" now has a governing metaphor. "Chaos is a ladder," says Lord Petyr Baelish. "The climb is all there is." Caveat emptor, and all that, but still.
Highlightsfor this eventful episode include:
A face-off between well-matched master thespians Diana Rigg and Charles Dance, as Lady Olenna and Lord Tywin, that may be the acting highpoint of the first two-and-a-half seasons of GoT. One of several scenes in the episode about the negotiation of wedding arrangements.
Sansa makes calves eyes at the now all-but openly flaming Loras, then learns the truth (off-screen, unfortunately) about Tywin's wedding orders for her.
Another unwilling groom is Edmure Tully, who has a point when he complains, but comes off petulant. You can't pick your relatives or, in this universe, your spouse.
Melisandre gives Arya a portentous foreshadowing prediction about eyes peering out the darkness, in a scene (one of several in the episode) that's been invented for TV. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Jon Snow and Ygryt seem to have decided that private vows of loyalty are more reliable than those made to political leaders or military commanders -- and Snow seals the deal by saving her fire-kissed life in dramatic fashion, setting up a rare outburst of "LOTR"-style romantic grandeur.
Elsewhere, Theon Grayjoy is still being tortured -- or, more precisely, flayed.
This was also a great installment for quotable comebacks. Olenna's "As an authority on myself I must disagree" gets high marks. To my taste, however, the quip of the season to date is "The laws of my fist are about to compel your teeth." That one could come in handy.