The Old Bear via images5.fanpop.com
After the shocking ending to last week's episode, what could top that? Let's find out.
The episode opens with the Bolton men berating Jaime, cracking jokes and arguing about how much of his severed hand they could shove up his ass. It seems the loss of the hand has taken quite a toll on Jaime, who falls from his horse face-first into the mud. To add insult to injury, one of Locke's men pours water over the head of the famished Lannister, while Locke gives him horse piss to quench his thirst. Having had enough, Jamie steals a sword and attempts to fight them with his weak hand, but it's clear he isn't the same swordsman anymore as he is quickly beaten. Locke threatens to take his other hand if he tries anything else. Later at camp, Brienne encourages Jaime to hold on to life in order to take revenge, while he claims to not care about revenge. She berates him for giving up after being faced with this small misfortune. He reminds her that the misfortune involved him losing what he is known for: his skill with a sword. Brienne calls him out for his whining, saying he sounds like a woman. However, she also reveals she knows what he did to save her from rape, and wants to know why.
Meanwhile, Tyrion meets with Varys in King's Landing, wishing to speak of the Battle of the Blackwater. Tyrion wants proof that his sister instructed Mandon Moore to assassinate him during the fight. Instead, Varys tells him how they cut his balls off. Apparently, he was sold to a man in Myr and thought he was going to end up a sex slave. Instead, he was given a potion that kept him from moving or speaking while they castrated him and threw his genitals into a fire. It's implied that it was some sort of sacrifice to the Lord of Light, causing Varys to despise magic. He became a street rat, and eventually an excellent thief. In doing this he discovered that information is often more valuable than gold, allowing him to rise from the slums to a seat on the small council. With this power and influence, Varys was able to track down and capture the sorcerer who disfigured him. Later, Varys speaks with Ros about the rumors concerning the womanizer Podrick Payne. It seems Pod did something so unusual that it is essentially indescribable. The conversation moves to Littlefinger and his upcoming union with Lysa Arryn in the Vale. Varys asks is his new title of Lord of Harrenhall is all it takes to make him forget about Sansa Stark. Ros confirms that they have not spoken since that day on the docks, but she still believes he is interested. She uses his ship's inventory as proof, pointing out that he is bringing two featherbeds on the voyage.
Beyond the Wall, the remnants of the Night's Watch are still holed up at Craster's Keep. Grenn and Dolorous Edd discuss how the biggest part of being in the Night's Watch is shoveling, not honor. Rast reveals he has lost faith in Lord Commander Mormont's mission, questioning what they are still doing at Craster's and blaming him for the slaughter at the Fist of the First Men. He suggests that they forget Craster and the Night's Watch and look out for themselves. Sounds like a good way to get beheaded. Meanwhile Gilly, with her newborn baby boy, is dreading the moment that Craster comes for her son. Sam comes into her hut and tries to make conversation, but it's clear she's in no mood for small talk. Later, the Lord Commander holds a funeral for Bannen, a ranger who recently died from wounds sustained at the Fist. Rast instead blames Craster for starving Bannen to death, and that the wounds (a broken foot) were not serious enough. Sam defends Craster, saying he needs it for his many daughters, but Rast isn't buying it. At the Keep, Craster tells Mormont he'll be glad to see the Night's Watch leave, and suggest killing off the ones who are too wounded to travel. A black brother, Karl, doesn't like that and asks who's throat Craster plans on cutting. Things are getting pretty heated between the two parties. Mormont tells Karl to wait outside, trying to keep the peace. Rast joins in, accusing Craster of holding out on them, causing Craster to jump from his seat and grab an axe. The black brothers get ready to defend themselves, as Craster is about to go completely apeshit. Karl calls him a daughter-fucking bastard, causing Craster to lunge at him, where his neck meets Karl's dagger. Mormont, saying they will be cursed for violating guest right, draws his sword on Karl. Rast, however, proves he's a dick and stabs the Lord Commander in the back and all hell breaks loose. Mormont almost has his revenge, but the adrenaline wears off as he begins to cough up blood, preventing him from choking the life out of Rast, who then goes Mel-Gibson-from-The-Patriot on him. Jeor Mormont's watch is, indeed, ended. In the chaos, Sam goes to find Gilly, and she leads them through the quickest way out of the camp. Rast vows to find him and slit his throat in the night.
Oh look, another Bran dream sequence. This time, he's running through the forest chasing the three-eyed raven, and Jojen tells him to climb the tree after it. At the top, his mother appears and echoes what she said in the very first episode of the series when telling Bran to stop climbing around Winterfell. Bran falls and wakes up, with Jojen staring at him.
We see Joffrey for the first time since two episodes, getting all giddy while telling Margaery about long dead Targeryens. They meet up with Olenna and Cersei, who are planning the upcoming wedding. The two young'uns continue on to learn more about dead former kings. Cersei and Olenna talk about the deceased Robert and the circumstances of his death. Olenna remarks that her son, Mace, hunts to forget that he has never accomplished anything in battle. His only battle experience consisted of him feasting in the command tent while his men laid siege to Storm's End. Olenna urged him to not get involved in the war, because as a mother, it is her job to keep her children alive and well. Cersei appears to realize that Joffrey, being in a position of such immense power, could be the subject of a downfall much like the Mad King's. Speaking of Joffrey, he is telling Margaery of how his father wanted to burn the bodies of the dead Targaryens, but was persuaded otherwise. She says she's glad he didn't, and quickly defends her slip of the tongue by pointing out that even though the later generations of Targs were rotten, the ones before were not. The sound of a mob from outside grabs their attention, and Margaery encourages Joffrey to show compassion, saying they adore him for his defense of King's Landing. The two go outside to greet the crowd and are showered with cheers from the masses. Cersei doesn't like this hold Margaery holds over her son, and goes to her father. She confides in him that the Tyrells are becoming a threat and a problem. He reminds her that they helped greatly in saving the city, and that it is a good thing she controls Joffrey, as it might change his monstrous ways. He claims he will put a stop to it if someone else doesn't.
Elsewhere, Olenna is bored with the needlework the women in her company are producing, stating she is bored with roses. She also remarks how weak the words her own house are, while the Stark words and others are both memorable and strong. These words symbolize the how their respective houses are not to be taken lightly. Varys enters, wishing to welcome her to King's Landing. She doesn't buy, saying he must want something. He questions her interest in Sansa Stark, and she beckons him to walk with her. Varys says he wishes to help her, since he could do nothing when Ned was executed. He tells Olenna of Littlefinger's interest in Sansa, and that he plans to take her with him to the Eyrie. He suggests he is planning on raising an army, as Sansa is the key to the North should Robb fall. He offers a solution.
Theon's mystery rescuer is taking him to Deepwood Motte to rendezvous with his sister Yara. He claims he is from Saltcliffe on the Iron Islands, and he was just a boy when the Starks to Theon as a ward. The two arrive at Deepwood Motte, where they sneak into the castle. Theon remarks that his father always saw him as a Stark, even though Theon always remembered his roots. He says he took Winterfell to get on his father's good side and ended up paying the iron price, remorseful that he killed two innocent children in order to keep Winterfell. It opened his eyes to the Ironborn ways, and he says his real father lost his head at King's Landing. The stranger says it's not too late for Theon, and takes him upstairs to see his sister. The two enter a darkened room, where the stranger lights a torch, revealing a wooden X like the one Theon was previously tortured on. Theon is grabbed and from behind and strapped back up to the X, while his betrayer says to put him back where he belongs.
On a seaside cliff, Sansa is praying when Margaery approaches her and sends the guards away, wishing to speak in private. They discuss various topics that girls of their age would talk about, mainly Margaery's sister Alanna and her lordly husband with their many children. Margaery claims to want to become good friends with Sansa, and suggests a marriage with Loras. This excites Sansa, who has been interested in Loras since the Hand's Tourney in season one.
The Brotherhood without Banners, with a hooded Arya, Gendry, and Hound, arrive at their HQ. We are introduced to yet another new character in the form of Beric Dondarrion, who has gone through a much-needed casting change since his first, brief appearance. The Hound accuses the gathered Brotherhood of hiding from the war rather that fighting in it, while Beric points out that he deserted his duties. He explains that they plan on fulfilling their original orders given by Ned Stark: kill the Mountain. The Hound says their fighting for ghosts, and Beric replies that they themselves are ghosts, looking for those prey on the weak. House Clegane is "built on dead children", which makes The Hound guilty in their eyes. The Hound defends his case, saying he never touched any babies, but Arya conveniently reminds him of Mycah, the butcher's boy. Good enough for the Brotherhood, and Beric sentences The Hound to trial by combat against Dondarrion himself.
In Slaver's Bay, Danaerys is preparing to exchange Drogon for her 8,000 slave soldier eunuchs. She releases the black dragon, to the awe of the gathered people. The slavemaster gives her the whip symbolizing her ownership of the Unsullied, while he takes Drogon's tether. Danaerys asks if it is done, and he confirms it is, making the army hers. As she walks away, Drogon becomes visibly distressed and attempts to follow his mother. Addressing her new army, Danaerys instructs them in Valyrian, revealing that she understood every derogatory thing the slavemaster said to her. The slavemaster complains that the dragon is not following him, and Danaerys informs him that dragons are not slaves, and reminds him of her nobility. She turns back to her army, telling them to kill every person holding a slavemaster's whip, but not to harm any child or slave. As the bloodbath ensues, Danaerys turns back to Drogon and quietly says, "Dracarys". The dragon engulfs the slavemaster in flame then joining the Unsullied in the slaughter. When the dust settles, Danaerys and her company are all that remain standing. She mounts a white horse and frees the Unsullied, offering freedom for any who would like it, but asking for them to fight for her. The entire army joins her and they leave the city. The last Targaryen has her army.
I think this episode replaced last week's as the best so far. So much happened this week, and the ending was nothing short of perfect. No Robb or Jon this week, but I didn't feel that held the episode down any. I like the Old Bear and was said to see him leave, but overall he was kind of useless. Time for fresh meat to lead the Night's Watch. Thoughts this week?
Next week: The Hound and Beric Donarrion do battle, Jaime is brought before Roose Bolton, Robb makes a decision concerning someone's death, Tywin and family act to foil a plot and Tormund gets in Jon's face.