The Collectress warned me the episode is gruesome, and boy, was she right. There is ruthlessness running throughout the Seven Kingdoms, and old wounds heal the slowest. In this episode, we see story lines come together, while others slowly unravel–or–in the case of a choice few, fall apart completely. The North is over run, while those in King’s Landing continue to come up with different definitions of murder. Still, the Queen across the Narrow Sea and her dragons make a safe haven for themselves in the desert, biding their time and strengthening their ranks. Brotherhood begins to take on a new meaning, and loyalty continues to be questioned. Let’s explore Westeros, shall we?
In the Eyrie, Petyr Baelish is questioned by the other Lords of the Vale, who are suspicious of his involvement in Lysa Arryn’s death of supposed suicide. When the council wants to speak with Sansa, it is obvious Petyr Baelish is worried when she states she has to tell the “whole truth”. Sansa’s emotional manipulation is reminiscent of Cersei’s–the Stark girl admits her lineage, but protects Baelish with crocodile tears and half truths. With Baelish free to run the Eyrie, he is one step closer to the Iron Throne, if that is his ultimate goal. When Petyr asks Sansa why she helped him, she admits that she knows what he wants. Yes, Sansa, I think we all do. When she puts on that lovely black dress, it seems that Sansa Stark has decided to take up her role in the game of thrones, and I for one, wonder if she knows what she is getting herself into.
At the Blood Gate far below, the Hound and Arya arrive at the Vale, looking to Lysa to buy Arya’s freedom. When a guard tells the pair she is dead 3 days, Arya breaks into a maniacal fit of laughter. After all the horrific events the Stark girls have seen since they left their home at Winterfell, I can only hope that the sisters will soon be reunited and have some sort of alliance with each other. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
Up at the Wall, it is just as Sam and Jon feared. The Wildlings are getting closer to Castle Black and Gilly and her baby are under siege in Mole’s Town, while the Free People and Ygritte raid the town. There is no mercy in the Wildlings; they come to ravage and reclaim. When the news that the inn was raided and many people killed gets back to Castle Black, Jon stresses once again the importance of heading Mance Rayder off before they get to The Wall, but there is no one in the Brotherhood to back him up. When Jon left the Wildlings, he left a comraderie that he has never known with the Crows. It is a testament to the man’s willpower and the self-sacrifice he is willing to make for what he believes is the greater good. Meanwhile, Sam cries for Gilly and Baby Sam and it’s heart breaking. What he doesn’t know is Ygritte let Gilly and Baby Sam go safely, and so there is hope for the trio, yet!
Over on the Iron Islands, Theon Greyjoy/Reek, doesn’t seem to know if his heart should be breaking or his will. When he and Ramsay Snow ride to Moat Cailan, an Iron Islands stronghold, Master Snow sends Theon in as Reek pretending to be Theon, trying not to act like Reek. Right before Theon/Reek breaks in front of the Iron Born and gives himself away, the turn on each other, eager to escape sickness at the Moat. Ramsay While, all it seems Theon/Reek seeks is his master’s approval, the man obviously has mental issues. Ramsay likens Theon to the Kraken on his Greyjoy armor. Fierce and brutal in the water but no bones or spine when on dry land and easily defeated. While Ramsay is a brutal beast to Theon/Reek, he is still just a little boy looking for his daddy’s approval. With Moat Cailan, he finally gets it. Roose Bolton gives Ramsay his last name, finally, and now the Bastard Ramsay Snow is the asshole Ramsay Bolton.
Ramsay Snow is looking for love from daddy–he finds it when Roose Bolton (warden of the North) finally gives the boy his last name. Now the most terrifying man in the North, becomes the legitimate son of the Warden of the North. This isn’t going to end well.
Across the Narrow Sea
In Mereen, Daenerys and her hand maiden Missandei are discussing the Unsullied and the lack of sexual advances because they are castrated. The Unsullied Captain Grey Worm gazed upon Missandei as she bathed at the river, and he is supposed to be without sexual urges and castrated. It seems romance in the air, but that isn’t the big story in Mereen. Ser Barristan receives a mysterious letter from what looks to be the Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister. The note reveals that Ser Jorah began his service as a spy to Robert Baratheon and the throne. Jorah is brought before Daenerys, who is cold and unforgiving. He has betrayed her and, while another man would lose his head, she simply exiles him, regardless of his professions of love. While Ser Jorah seemed the most loyal of the Khaleesi’s subjects, it seems that even the most trustworthy can keep secrets. The support structure of Daenerys Stormborn is shifting, and she is coming into her own and will surround herself with only the strongest and most loyal company, fitting of a queen.
Down in the dungeons of King’s Landing, Tyrion and Jamie spend what may be their last moments together, speaking of childhood memories and family jokes. The scene endears these two Lannisters to me for some reason, and it is nice to see the brothers sharing a moment that reveals why they truly care for each other, in a family full of serious douche bags. The conversation is, on the surface, simple and carefree, but the question of why the cousin murdered beetles still looms over the brothers. It can be a metaphor for the Lannister brutality and the family’s questionable end-game, or perhaps it is just a harmless sibling story to be shared.
Either way, the moment cannot last long, and soon it is time for the fight for Tyrion’s life, between Oberyn Martell and the Mountain. While the size difference between these two men is substantial, Oberyn fights like a Braavosi, and he is quick. Unfortunately, not quick enough. The most brutal death scene in all of Game of Thrones (except perhaps that knife into the belly of Rob Stark’s pregnant wife) leaves the audience at King’s Landing gasping in horror. Prince Martell is dead, which means Tyrion must also die, according to the rules of the gods. Cersei is pleased and smirking, while Oberyn’s girlfriend shrieks in despair. It is an intense juxtaposition and one that reminds us that what what should be is not always what will be on Game of Thrones. A sad lesson that each of our major players has had to learn and the audience should take a hint at. Don’t fall for a GoT character. They ALWAYS die.
The Collectiva Diva