The only thing better than watching what is certainly going to be an insane ending to this season, is waiting for it to happen. Game of Thrones tapered off a little bit this week to catch up on all of the principle characters involved in the plot, and move the pieces closer to a climactic finale.
In Winterfell, Theon is starting to face repercussions for his impulsive actions. His sister Yara chastises him for murdering the Stark boys and tells him to leave Winterfell to see their father. It’s an interesting moment as she recalls a story from their childhood and reveals her empathetic side.
Meanwhile Jon Snow is still being dragged around by the feisty redhead Ygritte, whose name reminds me of a Soviet lunch lady. She brings him to the Lord of Bones, some fellow who is decorated like Jack Skellington from a Nightmare Before Christmas. Ygritte convinces the Lord of Bones to spare Snow’s life and to leave his fate in the hands of the King Beyond the Wall. Halfhand, another captured member of the Night’s Watch tells Snow that a spy on the inside of the Wildling camp is much more valuable than hundreds fighting them from the outside. He begins to audibly fight with Snow to cover his tracks, making it obvious that he is the spy to whom he is referring.
Robb Stark faces a difficult choice when he learns that his mother Catelyn has let the Kingslayer go, causing him to place her under the watchful eye of some of his guards. Stark had intended upon keeping Jaime Lannister as collateral for bargaining in the future, but Catelyn worried about the fate of the rest of her children while the Kingslayer remained in their custody. We learn later that Brienne the Beauty has taken Jaime captive. After all this kerfuffle, Robb proceeds to have sex with the ridiculously attractive medic lady that’s been traveling in his camp. It’s funny to watch people get ready for a sex session when they have untie miles of stringy lace.
At Harrenhal, Tywin Lannister decides to stop playing mind games with Arya and leads his army into battle against her brother instead. She is to be left to serve the crazy, ugly knight lovingly called the Mountain. Immediately she seeks the help of Jaqen H’gar, the guy who’s been her regular Vincent Vega-esque hitman. Arya requests that he kill Tywin, which Jaqen says can’t be done. So instead Arya tells him that he must take his own life, prompting Jaqen to help her escape the city so that he may live. They refer to each other in third-person, sort of like a condescending fourth-grade art teacher.
Tyrion learns that Stannis is on his way to bring a beat down on King’s Landing. He is trying to determine ways to stop Stannis’ impeding forces, when he learns from Cersei that Joffrey plans to fight in battle. Obviously this makes both Tyrion and the viewers really excited, as Joffrey has absolutely no means of defending himself and may finally get his long overdue beheading. Cersei claims that she has taken Tyrion’s whore and threatens to kill her in an unimaginably torturous way if anything happens to Joffrey. Yet Tyrion has once again outsmarted the evil queen, causing her to take the wrong woman in a mistaken identity trick involving a Lannister lion necklace. Nevertheless, Tyrion is very upset and warns Shae that she must be careful.
Danyreas continues to whine about her dragons in Qarth and it’s all a tease because we don’t get to see the House of the Undying in this episode.
At the end of the episode Theon decides to stay in Winterfell in a typical dumbass move, ignorant of the fact that Robb Stark is coming to kill him. And it’s revealed that Bran and Rickon are still alive, something that we knew all along. All that means though is that Theon killed some other innocent kids and hung their charred bodies up for decoration.
This was a very dense episode that lit a fuse for the explosive battles that will ensue in the last two episodes of the season. As the best television shows often do, Game of Thrones reserved itself in order to heighten anticipation for the bloody, nasty doom that is to come.