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?

The North

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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.