The Targaryen Horde via images1.wikia.nocookie.net
After the craziness of the Red Wedding, we are left with only one episode left before the ten month wait for next season.
We pick up right where we left off: the Red Wedding. The slaughter is ongoing, with Stark troops and encampments being put to the torch. The Hound is trying to find an escape route when he turns to the source of some Frey chanting. Being paraded out of the gates is the body of Robb Stark, the head of Grey Wind in place of his own. Arya looks on in horror as they find a way out of there. Later, they happen upon a group of soldiers laughing about the Red Wedding. Arya jumps off the horse and approaches the men. She offers her Braavosi coin for food and warmth, but drops it when one of the men reaches for it. While he's distracted, she grabs him and stabs him repeatedly in the neck. The other three men jump up and rush her, but the Hound cuts them off. They're no match for him and are quickly killed. Arya reveals she stole the knife from the Hound, to his surprise. He tells her to let him know next time she does something like that.
In King's Landing, newlywed Tyrion and Sansa, the subject of consant laughs and jeers, are walking through the gardens. Tyrion makes mental notes of those who chuckle at their predicament. Sansa urges him to just forget the laughs and move on, but he reminds her that they've been laughing at him far longer than at her. She suggests an alternative punishment than his fear of death. Mainly, she wants to prank them by hiding sheep shit (or sheep shift, as she naively calls it) in his mattress. Podrick then informs Tyrion that a small council meeting has been called. Upon his arrival, the annoyingly happy Joffrey tells Tyrion of the Red Wedding. Joffrey orders Pycelle to write back Lord Frey and demand Robb's head so it can be served to Sansa during Joffrey's wedding. Tyrion defends his new bride, saying she is no longer the subject of his torment. He even goes to far as to remind Joffrey that kings seem to be dying as of late, which Joffrey sees as a threat. After Joffrey then insults Tywin, he is sent to bed by his peturbed grandfather. Everyone is dismissed apart from Tyrion. The two discuss the nature of power, and Tyrion remarks how Robb Stark has been defeated even though he held a powerful army. He also disapproves of the events of the Red Wedding, and that the Northerners will never forget. Tywin announces that Roose Bolton will be the new Warden of the North until Tyrion's son is born and of age. He also reminds Tyrion that the house that puts family first will always come out on top. Tyrion asks him when the last time he did something that was solely for the betterment of the family and nothing else. Tywin's reply: the day Tyrion was born. He then tells Tyrion that he wanted to drown Tyrion after he was born, but that he didn't because it would put a stain on the family. Later, Tyrion returns to his room, where Sansa has heard that her family is essentially extinct.
Elsewhere in KL, Shae is approached by Varys. He reassures her that she has been a good influence towards Tyrion. He tries to appeal to her by pointing out that they are both immigrants to Westeros. He reminds her that only the family name matters, and she has none. Therefore, it was foolish of her to think she could end up as Tyrion's love. She asks what he wants, and he gives her some diamonds to leave for Essos and start a new life. He wants her to leave so Tyrion will forget about her and focus on making Westeros better, as he is one of the few who can. She refuses. Tyrion, meanwhile, is drinking with Podrick. Cersei arrives and order Pod out. She tells him to impregnate Sansa if he wants her to be happy, but he doesn't think children guarantee happiness, using Cersei herself as an example. She tells him that, while she's not particularly happy, her children are the only reason she hasn't killed herself. She even loves Joffrey, because he was all she had before Myrcella and Tommen. No one can take those memories from her. Later, Jaime Lannister has finally made it back to King's Landing with Brienne, and no one recognizes him. He finds Cersei in her room and they are finally reunited.
Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor have finally arrived at the Wall, and chose to stay the night in the abandoned Nightfort. Bran doesn't like it, telling the others that he's heard some horrible stories about this particular castle. He tells them one of the stories. The Rat Cook, one of the cooks for the Night's Watch, killed the son of the King during that time. He cooked him into a pie and served it to the King. The taste was so well-liked that the King asked for a second taste, but the gods turned the cook into a giant white rat, forcing him to eat his own young from then on. Since then, he's been roaming the Nightfort. Meera seems skeptical that the gods would do that for a mere murder, but Bran tells her that it wasn't because of the murder. It was because he killed a guest, violating guest right. That night, Bran is awoken by a noise and wakes the others. It is coming from a well. A big, black-cloaked figure emerges from the well and Meera tackles it. The figure is Sam! With Gilly not far behind. Sam tells him he's a brother of the Night's Watch. After Bran tells him he has a brother in the Watch and seeing Summer, Sam deduces that he's Jon's brother. Bran denies it, but Sam knows about Bran's legs and even Hodor. He vows to do anything to help, as any brother of Jon's is his brother as well. Bran asks to take them North of the Wall, and Sam balks. He tries to convince them to come to Castle Black, but they are having none of it. Jojen tells him that Bran is the only hope of stopping the White Walkers. Later, Sam shows Bran a dragonglass dagger and tells him of its use against White Walkers. He gives them each a dagger and tries one last time to change their mind. He shows them the way through the Wall.
Somewhere South of the Wall, Jon Snow is tending to damage the eagle did to his face. His horse neighs, alerting him to a presence behind him. He turns and see Ygritte, bow leveled at him. He pleads his case to her, telling her he still loves her. As he turns to mount his horse, she shoots him in the back and knocks another arrow. He rushes to his horse and mounts as another arrow hits his thigh. He is hit again as he rides off, and Ygritte looks after him with tears in her eyes.
At Castle Black, Sam and Gilly have finally arrived. Maester Aemon questions them, mainly Gilly. He mistakens Gilly's baby as Sam's son. Sam assures him he hasn't forgotten his oath, and that he is guarding her. He warns the maester about the White Walkers. Maester Aemon instructs Sam to get a quill and parchment, and to make sure all 44 ravens are fed. They will all fly tonight. A short while later, an arrow-riddled Jon Snow has arrived at Castle Black. He's in bad shape, but alive.
At the Twins, Lord Frey is feasting while servants clean the bloodstains following the wedding. He is gloating and recalling how the Tully's have always looked down on him, but now he's Lord of Riverrun. Lord Bolton informs him that the Blackfish escaped, but Lord Frey shrugs it off and toasts Roose as Warden of the North, then Robb. Lord Frey asks Roose what happened at Winterfell after Theon took it. He tells him that he sent his bastard, Ramsay, with terms of surrender, and the Ironborn turned on Theon. Instead of bringing Theon back, Ramsay had other things in mind.
Speaking of which, Theon is in bad shape after being neutered. Ramsay wonders out loud if eunuchs have phantom genitals, then insincerely apologizes to Theon. Theon begs him for death, but Ramsay assures him he still has a use. He says Theon isn't a lord anymore, and that he's little more than stinking meat. In fact, he reeks, which he also thinks would make a good name for him. He asks what his name is, and hits him whenever he answers, "Theon", until he answers, "Reek."
On the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy has received a letter from the Boltons, ordering him to withdraw all Ironborn forces from the North. There is also a box that arrived with the letter, containing Theon's severed penis. More boxes, with more pieces of Theon, will follow if Balon doesn't cooperate. Balon considers Theon a fool and is not too concerned, as he will not give up the lands he's seized for a son that can't further the Greyjoy line. Yara tries to change his mind, but he won't listen. Yara decides to take a ship and fifty men and rescue Theon.
At Dragonstone, Davos checks in on a bummed out Gendry. He tells Gendry that he's lowborn, just like him. He asks Gendry why he trusted Melisandre when he doesn't normally trust "fancy people". He says he was just caught up in the moment, as he'd never been with a woman before. Davos tells him he accepted Stannis' lordship so his son wouldn't live in the conditions he did. Later, Davos reads (!) incoming messages while Shireen studies a book. She gives him tips on grammar, and tries to convince him to read her book, particularly about Balerion the Black Dread. He reads another note, from the Night's Watch, and is stunned by what it says. They're interrupted by the sound of bells. Davos goes to Stannis, where he learns of the Red Wedding. Davos speaks his mind on blood magic, mainly that using it to in the war is wrong. Stannis reminds him that Aegon Targaryen used magic in the form of dragons. Stannis will use anything to win the kingdom. Davos urges him to spare Gendry, while Melisandre argues the opposite. Stannis sides with Melisandre. That night, Davos goes to the dungeon and releases Gendry. He leads him to a boat and gives him instructions on where to go. He'll eventually reach King's Landing, where he'll be reasonably safe. Stannis finds out before long, and Davos doesn't deny his actions. He is sentenced to death, but Davos says he'll need him. He reveals what was in the note from the Night's Watch: the White Walkers are coming, and they need soldiers. Melisandre agrees that they need to go to the Wall, while Davos will attempt to unite Lords to Stannis' new cause.
Outside of Yunkai, Daenerys and her army are waiting for the Yunkish slaves to emerge from the city. They soon exit, appearing to number in the thousands. Missandei addresses them all, introducing Dany. Dany then tells them she is not their liberator, as freedom is not something to be given and they had it all along. The gathered slaves start cheering "Mhysa!", which means "mother" in Old Ghiscari. The dragons take flight as Daenerys enters the crowd. She is soon obscured from view, but not for long as the crowd lifts her up and essentially worship her.
And so ends Season 3. Great season, and I fully expect next season to be even better. My complaint for this episode would be that they could have ended on a cliffhanger. Last season's finale was excellent with the army of White Walkers. Now to reread the books while I wait for next April.
Next week: Oh, wait...