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Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 2-Dark Wings, Dark Words

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Thoros of Myr via 2.bp.blogspot.com

Episode 2, "Dark Wings, Dark Words", of Season 3 Game of Thrones aired last night, with much of the same tone as the previous episode, "Valar Dohaeris". For those that missed seeing that one, here's a quick recap:

Sam almost got killed by a wight before being saved by Lord Commander Mormont. Jon Snow successfully convinced the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder, that he is no longer a member of the Night's Watch. In King's Landing, Tywin Lannister showed us all how much of a dick he is by denying Tyrion his rightful inheritance of Casterly Rock, even despite all he did during the Battle of the Blackwater. Joffrey's new girl Margaery makes a PR move by visiting an orphanage, while Littlefinger offers to get Sansa Stark out of the city. Davos turns up alive and is rescued and taken before Stannis. He draws a knife on Melisandre and is promptly thrown in the dungeon. Robb Stark and his men arrive at Harrenhall, where they find everyone slaughtered, including 200 northmen. A survivor, Qyburn, is found. Finally, we saw what Danaerys has been up to, as she arrives in Astapor. She mulls buying 8,000 Unsullied, which are basically slave warriors. The episode closes with her being saved from assassination by manticore by none other than Ser Barristan Selmy.

Overall, I felt that it was a good set up episode for the rest of the season. Though it may seem slow at times, it did a good job of reintroducing the audience to what happened last season. So here we go with Episode 2:

We start off with Bran Stark walking (!) in a forest, appearing to stalk prey. He sees the three-eyed raven land in a tree, and draws his bow. Jon and Robb appear beside him echoing the advice they gave to him in the series premiere regarding archery. Bran misses his target when a boy around his age appears. He says that Bran can't kill the raven, because he is the raven. Bran awakes from his dream, and Osha tells him they must get moving. Some time later, the boy again appears, but this time it isn't a dream. Summer gets all riled up at the sight of him, while Osha sneaks up behind him a puts a spear to his neck. A girl then puts a dagger to Osha's throat, forcing her to drop the spear. Everyone eventually calms down and the two introduce themselves as Jojen and Meera Reed. Jojen explains that he has "The Sight", which allows him to essentially see the future. Turns out, Jojen and Meera are the children of Howland Reed, one of Eddard's oldest friends.

Robb, having settled into Harrenhall, receives two ravens, both bearing bad news. One delivers news of the destruction of Winterfell, the other news of his grandfather Hoster Tully's death due to illness. Catelyn Stark, upon receiving the news, breaks down. Leaving Roose Bolton and some of his men at Harrenhall, Robb begins the journey to Riverrun, much to the disdain of Rickard Karstark. Robb insists that they need to go not only for the funeral, but to get reinforces from Riverrun. Karstark tells him it might not make a difference, and that he lost the when he married Talisa. Speaking of Talisa, she speaks with Catelyn, who tells her of when Eddard brought Jon Snow home following Robert's Rebellion. She confesses that she hated the bastard baby, and wished for his death. When Jon got the pox, she realized how horrible she was and promised to love him as a mother if the Seven saved him. However, she didn't keep her promise and never loved Jon, which she believes caused the Seven to punish her in the form of the war.

Meanwhile, Theon makes his first appearance since being knocked unconscious by his own men at Winterfell. He is being tortured by an unknown group of people that want to know why he took Winterfell. After they finish, a man says that his sister Yara sent him to rescue Theon, He says they must wait, and leaves Theon crying for his help.

Jaime and Brienne have been making their way to King's Landing to make the trade for the Stark girls. Jaime endlessly insults both Brienne and Renly Baratheon, trying to break her. He almost succeeds when he mentions Renly's homosexuality, but she holds back. They come upon a farmer, who notices that they are staying off major roads. Jaime urges Brienne to kill him, saying he might've recognized him as the Kingslayer. She refuses. I wonder if that will come back to bite them? The two eventually come to a bridge, where Jaime steals one of Brienne's swords and proceeds to attack her. Jaime almost kills her several times, and no doubt would have if his hands weren't bound and he hadn't been a prisoner for the last year. Eventually Brienne tires him and knocks him down, but soon her attention is turned towards a new foe. A pack of Bolton men find them, led by the farmer from earlier (well, what do you know?). The leader, Locke, says they'll be bringing Jaime back to Robb Stark.

Joffrey, while being fitted for new clothes, is talking with his mother, Cersei. Cersei calls out Margaery's harlot attire and her PR move from the last episode, but Joffrey says she's a good woman because she does what she's told. Later, Joffrey confronts Margaery about why she failed to give Renly any children. She confesses that Renly preferred men, which settles his doubts. He then tries to impress her, showing off his new crossbow and offering to take her hunting.

Sansa, meanwhile, is brought before Margaery and the first of two new major characters we meet this episode, Olenna Tyrell, or the Queen of Thorns. The two grill Sansa, urging her to spill the truth about Joffrey. Slowly but surely, she begins to tell Olenna and Margaery about the things that Joffrey has put her through, such as beheading her dad and eventually calling him a monster. Probably not the best thing to say in King's Landing. There's a short scene between Tyrion and Shae, which was mostly pointless. The scene could have been cut and wouldn't have changed the episode at all.

Next, we catch up with Jon beyond the Wall. Mance tells him of how he managed to unite 90 different clans, most of who hate each other, towards one goal. They must get south, or everyone will die. We meet Orell, who is using a hawk to scout. He says he sees dead crows at the Fist of the First Men. Speaking of which, what has Sam and the rest of the Night's Watch been up to? Well, Sam for one has been doing everything he can to not die. After Rast leaves him behind, Grenn and Dolorous Edd go back for him and we see how awesomely pessimistic Edd can be. Mormont comes back and forbids Sam to die, telling Rast to look after him and that if Sam dies, he dies.

Finally, we meet up with Arya, who is on the run with Hot Pie and Gendry following their escape from Harrenhall. They are found by the Brotherhood Without Banners and new character number two, the red priest Thoros of Myr, who is an absolute badass. They take Arya and the others back to an inn and feed them. Arya tries to show she knows how to use a sword, but Thoros disarms her without even trying. A group returns with a hooded prisoner, who is revealed to be The Hound. He instantly recognizes Arya, asking Thoros and his pals what they're doing with the "Stark bitch", blowing her cover.

This episode further set up some of the set pieces for the rest of the series. It was another slow episode, apart from the Brotherhood and Jaime's duel with Brienne. The introduction of the new characters makes up for the slowness in my mind, as I think they are going to be two of the best this season. I also liked the fact that they chose to show what happened to Theon, since he didn't appear in book three or four and we didn't know what had happened until he showed up again. Thoughts?

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