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Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 8-Second Sons

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Mero, "The Titan's Bastard", captain of the Second Sons via images3.wikia.nocookie.net

We start off this week with Arya awaking in the wilderness. She slowly picks up a large rock and walks over to where The Hound is still sleeping. Or so we think. The Hound is indeed awake, and tells Arya he'll give her one chance to kill him, but if she fails he'll break both her hands. She doesn't take the bait, and the two move on. The Hound tries to convince her that she's lucky he found her, because she now has protection. He tells her about how he offered to take Sansa with him when he left King's Landing, but she doesn't believe him. They reach the Red Fork, and Arya asks if it's the Blackwater. The Hound reveals that he's not taking her back to the Lannisters, but to her mother at the Twins. Not because he's a nice person, but because he wants the ransom.

Across the Narrow Sea, Danaerys and her two advisors watch as a mercenary company arrives at Yunkai. Jorah recognizes them as the Second Sons, led by Mero, "The Titan's Bastard". Barristan counts them at 2,000 men, armored and mounted. Dany suggests persuaded the mercs to switch sides. The three commanders of the company, captains Mero and Prendahl na Ghezn and lieutenant Daario Naharis. Mero, cocky as he is, shows no respect for Danaerys or her army, saying they'll all be slaves soon. Dany offers more gold than what the Yunkai paid them, but Ghezn says they can't break their contract or they'll never be hired again. Dany then tells them they will never need another contract, as they'll have gold, land and anything else they want after she takes back Westeros. She gives them two days to decide. After the three leave, Dany tells Barristan to kill Mero first should it come to battle. He gladly agrees. Back at the Second Sons' camp, Mero isn't worried, saying Danaerys will be choking on his cock soon. Naharis reminds him of the 8,000 Unsullied that stand between them, but he is still unworried. He says they will merely send one of them to her camp in the night and kill her before anything starts. They basically draw straws, and Naharis is chosen as the one to do the deed. Later, Danaerys is bathing and discussing languages with Missandei. A man in Unsullied garb enters and holds Missandei at knifepoint, saying he'll kill her if Danaerys screams. He releases her and is revealed to be Naharis. However, he explains he is not here to kill Danaerys, and presents her with the heads of Mero and Ghezn. He says he killed them because he was opposed to the whole assassination plan. Dany orders him to swear to her, which he does.

Back at Dragonstone, Melisandre has arrived with Gendry. Gendry is sent to his room, and Melisandre promises to talk to him soon. After he has left, Stannis tells her that if she means to sacrifice him to do it and not waste time pampering him. She counters, saying if the lamb sees the knife right away, it will panic and become tainted. In his cell, Davos is practicing reading, but is clearly struggling in his attempts. As Stannis approaches he hides his book and greets his king. It appears that Stannis regrets having to imprison Davos. He tells Davos of Gendry and that Melisandre plans to sacrifice him. Davos is turned off by this, reminding him that Gendry is his nephew. Stannis asks why he didn't complain when Renly was assassinated. Davos explains that Renly wronged him by declaring himself king, while Gendry has done nothing. Stannis says he is only doing it to save the realm, as it is his duty and only a bastard boy. He then frees Davos, on the condition that he never threaten Melisandre again. He agrees, but says he can't promise to never speak against her. He says Stannis came to him today because he values Davos' counsel of restraint, something Melisandre doesn't do. He also says he doesn't believe in any gods. Stannis reveals what he saw in the flames at the end of last season: a great battle in the snow. That vision is what caused Stannis to believe. Later, Melisandre returns to Gendry in his lavish room. The two breifly discuss Gendry's life in the slums of Flea Bottom before Melisandre offers him wine. She proves it's not poisoned by drinking it herself, but we all know how that turned out last time. For now, at least, Gendry seems to be safe. He is still in disbelief that he could be anything special, as he considers his existance no more than a mistake. Melisandre says that he exists because the Lord of Light willed it. She seduces him, and in the process straps him to the bed. She places leeches on his chest in order to bleed him while he freaks out. Stannis enters just as she is removing the leeches. She brings him the full leeches, and he throws them into the fire while saying three names: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon.

In King's Landing, it is the day of Tyrion and Sansa's marriage. In Sansa's room, Tyrion and her have a moment alone to talk. Tyrion makes it clear that he isn't doing this out of spite, and tries to find the silver lining by telling her that she will no longer be a prisoner after today. He then jokingly remarks that marriage to him may be a different kind of prison. He promises to never hurt her as the two leave for the ceremony. In the Great Sept of Baelor, Margaery and Cersei and playing a game of words with each other. Margaery is clearly kissing Cersei's ass, while Cersei appears to be annoyed by her presence. She tells Margaery how the song "The Rains of Castamere" came to be. House Reyne rose up in rebellion against Casterly Rock. Tywin, then heir to his father Tytos, took it upon himself to end the rebellion and obliterated House Reyne. The story is a not-too-cleverly-disguised threat followed by an outright threat. Cersei tells Margaery she will have her killed if she ever calls her sister again. At this time, Sansa enters and is joined by Joffrey. When she asks what he's doing, he tells her he is giving her away in place of her father. Dick. He walks her to the dais where Tyrion is waiting. Joffrey takes Tyrion's stool, which earns him a second insult. Dick. This causes Tyrion to struggle with putting the cloak on Sansa, and she must kneel to allow him to do so. During the reception, Olenna is going over the complicated family tree that will form after the various weddings have taken place. Loras leaves, clearly unhappy. Sansa excuses herself, and Joffrey follows her while Cersei also wanders off. Joffrey catches up to Sansa and taunts her about her fate of having a Lannister baby, and even hints at planting his own seed in her. Tywin comes up to Tyrion and urges him to make a baby with Sansa as soon as possible. He's not happy that Tyrion is drunk, as it could affect his performance. When Joffrey calls for the bedding ceremony, Tyrion bluntly refuses. Joffrey ignores him, causing Tyrion to snap and threaten to cut his genitals off. Joffrey is pissed that he just got insulted in front of everyone, causing Tywin to defuse the situation by agreeing with Tyrion about the bedding ceremony. Tyrion plays it off as a joke and takes Sansa back to their room, all the while showing just how drunk he really is. He pours himself another drink and appears ready to consummate the marriage. As Sansa undresses, he has a change of heart and says he won't share her bed until she wants him to, even if that time never comes. The next morning, Shae awakens Tyrion and Sansa with breakfast. She notices that there are no bloodstains on the sheets.

Beyond the Wall, Sam and Gilly find shelter in an abandoned shack. They decide to stay there for the night. As Sam struggles to make a fire, Gilly suggests sharing furs to keep warm. After some awkward conversation, Gilly goes ahead and builds the fire herself. They then discuss names for Gilly's baby, when they hear the cawing of crows outside. Sam goes to investigate. I's like a scene from The Birds outside, with crows lining the branches of the weirwood. Suddenly, the crows become silent as a White Walker approaches. Sam musters up some courage, but the undead creature shatters his sword blade. The Walker throws him aside and advances on Gilly. Sam grabs one of his dragonglass daggers and stabs the Walker in the back. The creature turns to ice and shatters on the ground as Sam and Gilly escape into the night.

Another solid episode this week. Seemed to be focused on a smaller number of characters, which I actually enjoyed. Drunk Tyrion is even more awesome than sober Tyrion. I'm glad we finally got to see Sam kill his White Walker, which was supposed to happen way back in like the first two episodes. On a low note, I just found out that we have to wait TWO WEEKS for the next episode because of Memorial Day. Lame. Any ideas for a placeholder Game of Thrones-related post for next week?

In two weeks: Jon faces a dilemma, Bran looks to be trapped, Danaerys attacks, Arya and the Hound are getting along swimmingly and we get another wedding.

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