It’s time for a wedding, and you know what that means. A feast, a fool and…MURDER! This episode pits savagery against integrity, and with so many sinister acts happening across the Seven Kingdoms, it seems the brutal War of the Five Kings is not quite over yet. In this episode, the “purple wedding”, as fans have dubbed it, put the internet in a 24-hour tizzy after the premiere, which is what good telly is all about, right? Let’s explore Westeros (spoilers ahead!).
We have a few stories happening in the North, but in this episode we only see Bran Stark and House Bolton. Bran has become quite a strong Warg, and he can easily enter into his direwolf’s body and travel with her across the land. His wildling companions (and Hodor!) know the power of the Warg and so they ask Bran to refrain from entering Summer until he is stronger and safe. When Bran’s direwolf finds a Godswood tree, Bran touches it and immediately has a vision of the three-eyed crow, the crypts of Winterfell, a Valyrian steel sword, fire, snow, the Godswood, the Iron Throne, the tower from whence he fell and King’s Landing, along with the words, “Look for me…North.” Bran tells his group that he knows where they need to go, and they continue on their long journey through the winter wood.
To the east at Dreadfort, the Boltons are a vicious clan and Theon Grayjoy, Iron born and traitor to his friend Rob Stark, is now a flayed man-slave of the sadist Ramsey Snow, bastard son of Roose Bolton. House Bolton takes credit for the gruesome Red Wedding and has been given the North territory by Tywin Lannister as recompense. Ramsey is bold, presumptuous and enjoys torturing his victims. He asks Theon to shave him while Roose watches on, and then proceeds to berate, anger and horrify Theon with the news that his father, Roose, has recently returned from putting a knife through Rob Stark’s heart. Theon also is forced to admit that he never really killed the Stark boys, and so Roose sends his best man (the same guy who cut off Jamie Lannister’s hand) to Castle Black to find the children. While Roose is a bit miffed his son dared participate in the Bolton tradition of flaying on a potentially valuable hostage, he is impressed when a broken Theon shaves Ramsey with a straight razor and doesn’t nick the man once, even as he is goaded on by Ramsey. Roose knows that when all the Starks are dead, the Boltons will have the North secured. It is an act he is desperate for.