Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully via 25.media.tumblr.com
Episode 3 of Game of Thrones' third season aired tonight, and was it a doozy. Let's dive right in, shall we?
We start off this week in Riverrun, and we immediately get our first look at two new characters! Brynden Tully, Catelyn's uncle, and Edmure Tully, her brother. The Blackfish reminds me of an older Nicolas Cage. Anyways, Edmure proves his worth by repeatedly missing the boat carrying the deceased Lord Hoster Tully with flaming arrows, trying to set it aflame. The Blackfish has had enough, taking the bow from his nephew and hitting the boat with the equivalent of a walkaway KO. It seems Brynden sees Edmure as incompetent. This is further shown when he reprimands Edmure for not showing Robb the respect he deserves as King in the North when he refers to him as merely "nephew". It seems Robb is also a bit miffed at Edmure for interfering with his plan to lure out Gregor Clegane to where they could defeat him. Edmure defends himself by bringing up the fact that they took hostages in the skirmish that could be used as leverage, though Robb says they aren't worth enough to the Lannisters. He would have known that if he'd been patient. Robb remarks that Tywin Lannister isn't running short of patience. Catelyn is later talking with her Uncle Brynden. It seems that Brynden and Hoster had a rift between them, and Catelyn is concerned that they made up before he passed. She starts crying when remembering that she has lost not only her father, but Bran and Rickon. The Blackfish assures her that they are still alive, and she needs to remain strong for Robb. Talisa, meanwhile, is bandaging up one of the Lannister hostages, Martyn. She jokes with him that Robb is a werewolf, which seems to scare him and his fellow hostage.
Back at King's Landing, we get our first looks of the season at Grand Maester Pycelle and Varys, who are attending their first small council meeting with Tywin Lannister as Hand. Tyrion is there as well, with every intention of getting on his father's and sister's nerves as much as possible. Tywin wants to know what news there is of Jaime, and is quite furious to find out that there is none. Varys reports that Robb is in Riverrun, with Roose Bolton taking up residence at Harrenhall. It is decided that Littlefinger is to marry Lysa Arryn in order to bring the Vale to their side. In his absence, Tyrion is named the new Master of Coin. Littlefinger shows Tyrion the ropes of being the Master of Coin and gives him the city’s ledgers, while saying the duties are simple compared to running a brothel. He thanks Tyrion for arranging for Ros’ release when Cersei imprisoned her, and is curious about why he did it. Could he know about Shae, perhaps? Tyrion rewards Pod for saving his life during the Battle of the Blackwater with a whore. Three whores, actually. Back at his room, Tyrion looks over the ledgers and finds that the crown can’t possibly pay back what it owes. Tens of millions of this is in debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos. He remarks that the bank will fund their enemies if they are not reimbursed. Pod turns up and gives Tyrion his money back from the whores. While he and Bronn initially believe that he didn’t take advantage of his first time with a woman, he reveals that they liked what he did so much that they refunded Tyrion’s coin. Way to go, Podrick Payne!
We catch up with Jaime and Brienne, captured by Bolton men, on the road, the two of tied together on a horse. They exchange their usual barbs, with Jaime defending his defeat at her hands and Brienne saying she expected more out of him. Jaime warns her that she will most likely be raped at camp when they arrive, and to not resist. Is Jaime actually showing compassion for her? Interesting. Later that night, Jaime’s concerns come fruition when a group of men come for Brienne. She attempts to put up a fight, but is beaten, just as Jaime said she would be. Jaime tells Locke that Brienne hails from Tarth, or the Sapphire Isle. After telling him that every sapphire in Westeros came from Tarth, and that Brienne’s ransom would be paid in sapphires, the men are ordered to release her. Jaime then goes on to tell Locke that he will receive lands, titles and a fortune in gold if he takes him back to King’s Landing. Jaime even negotiates his release from his chains and a hot dinner, or so he thinks. Locke’s men bring Jaime to his knees, as Locke himself brandishes a Crocodile Dundee knife. He reveals that Jaime is not as clever as he thinks he is before lowering the knife. Jaime thinks he is in the clear and will go back to being a prisoner when Locke brings the knife down on his wrist, severing Jaime’s hand. Problematic for the best swordsman in the Seven Kingdoms, don’t you think?
The Brotherhood without Banners, with the news that Arya Stark is in their company, are suiting up as they get ready to move out. Thoros insists that Arya and her friends are there as guests only, even though they know who she is. The Hound is berating Anguy for his use of a bow, which he considers a coward’s weapon. They load him up in a wagon and take him away. Hot Pie tells Gendry and Arya that he is staying at the inn as a baker. He gives Arya bread that he shaped into what he thinks looks like a wolf, and they say their goodbyes.
Beyond the Wall, the wildlings arrive at the Fist of the First Men. It seems the White Walkers are quite creative, as they have arranged the corpses of horses in a spiral design. I guess it’s meant to be a warning. Ygritte tells Orell that he said there were supposed to be dead black brothers here, and he assures her there were. Jon says there were about 300 men stationed there. Mance remarks that Mormont made a big gamble coming North, one that he lost. He instructs Tormund to take 20 men, Orell and Jon Snow included, and scale the Wall. If Jon gives him a reason to, Tormund is to throw him off. They are to wait and strike Castle Black at night.
Elsewhere, what’s left of the Night’s Watch arrives at Craster’s Keep. Craster reluctantly allows them into his hall, under threat of force. The men think that Craster is holding out on them, remarking that he feeds his pigs better than he is feeding them, while he says they should be happy he let them in. Craster cryptically tells them of how only godly men will survive the impending white. He suggest the men eat Sam, then laughs maniacally at Sam’s discomfort as he leaves. Outside, Sam finds one of Craster’s daughters giving birth, and sees that it is Gilly, the girl he met last time he was there. She asks what the sex of the baby is.
Theon is in the same predicament as we last saw him, chained to the wooden X. He is a bloody mess as the man who claims to be from his sister lets him down and gives him water. He leads Theon outside and gives him a horse, telling him to ride east to his waiting sister. He makes it to the top of a grassy hill, and is promptly discovered. He attempts to get away from his pursuers, but to no avail. After a chase sequence, Theon is knocked from his horse and about to be, um, raped. Luckily for him, he is rescued by some well-placed arrows from the man who set him free.
At Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon is questioning Melisandre as to where she is off to and is afraid she is abandoning him. She replies that she is sworn to serve him as he is the son of fire, and he will understand when she returns. Stannis wants Joffrey and Robb dead, and wants another son, via Melisandre. She tells him it would kill him, but there is another way. She tells him he will sit the Iron Throne one day, but there will be sacrifices to be made.
Danaerys and company, back in Astapor, are walking along a line of chained up, bleeding slaves. Barristan informs her that it is called the "Walk of Punishment" (hey look, the title!). She wants to give one of them water, which Jorah is not too thrilled about. Barristan wants them to leave Astapor to find sellswords, while Jorah thinks they should stick with the Unsullied. He reinforces his point by saying that the Unsullied will not butcher innocents, but only who they are instructed to. Dany decides to buy all 8,000 Unsullied, plus the ones still in training. The slavemaster is skeptical that she can afford to buy all of these troops, stating that her ship will buy her 100 Unsullied, plus 20 for the gold she has left. He also offers her three more in exchange for the remaining Dothraki. Dany pulls a wildcard and offers one of her dragons, bewildering Jorah and Barristan. She sticks to her guns and gives the largest of her dragons in exchange for the slave soldiers, plus Missandei, the translator. She then takes Barristan and Jorah to task for questioning her in front of someone, and threatens to dismiss them if it happens again. Missandei tells Danaerys of the undying loyalty of the Unsullied.
This episode, mostly the second half, really started to feel like the season is starting to get going. I really like the casting of Brynden Tully. He seems like a grizzled vet of many battles. The scene where Jaime loses his hand is different from the scene in the trailers that I thought was him losing his hand, which makes me curious what that scene will be. This is the one I'm talking about:
My one gripe about this episode, and really only gripe about the season so far, is that we don't see enough beyond the Wall. Jon Snow's story line in A Storm of Swords is, in my opinion, the best so I'd like to see more of that. Thoughts on this week's episode?
Next week, Dany gives up Drogon, Theon continues his escape, Cersei feels threatened by the Tyrells, we meet Beric Dondarrion and all hell breaks loose at Craster's Keep.