Previously on Game of Thrones: Robb agreed to have his uncle Edmure marry one of the Frey girls, the Brotherhood without Banners handed Gendry over to Melisandre and let the Hound go, Sansa was forcibly engaged to Tyrion, and Jon Snow scaled the Wall.
Ygritte asks Jon how far they are from Castle Black and he guesses about a week. She makes fun of him for guessing and not knowing, like he’s Google Maps or something, but he tells her that the last time he approached the castle, they used this thing called a road. She then makes fun of him for using roads all the time. Never really lets up with this girl. They talk a bit about how southerners go into battle—waving banners and marching to drums beaten by young boys who can’t fight; naturally, neither of those things makes any sense to her. She tells him that they won’t be banging on drums to let Castle Black know that they’re coming and Jon knows that, adding they’ll just be lighting a big ass fire. ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow,’ she catchphrases before wandering off.
She’s replaced by the ferrety looking guy who cut them both loose on the wall, so Jon decides this is the time for some recriminations over that. He fills Jon in on the wildling way: they work together when it suits them, love each other when it suits them, and kill each other when it suits them. Ok.
It’s raining, which is holding up the Riverrun party on its way to Frey’s for the wedding. Cate stresses over their lateness, saying Walder will take it as a slight, though I think that’s the least of the slights he’s gotten from this family. Nobody else is too disappointed by the holdup, though, least of all Robb, who just wants to have sex with his wife. And I must say, it’s rather refreshing to see a married couple on this show so into each other. Haven’t seen that since Dany and Drogo.
In the afterglow, Robb gives us a nice moment of bare ass (and so does Talisa, so it’s equal opportunity) and flirts a moment before going back to work. Talisa also reaches for pen and paper to write a letter to her mother. Robb asks her to say hello for him and she tells him how to say that in her language. He asks if she knows about their wedding, and apparently she doesn’t. Wow, I guess Talisa’s not much of a correspondent. In a slightly roundabout way, Talisa tells Robb that she’s pregnant, and it takes a minute to sink in, but of course he’s delighted, even hoping for twins. ‘Don’t get greedy,’ she tells him playfully. He tells her he loves her and then they start making out again.
Wildlings on the move. Redhead’s giving Jon sex tips while Ygritte putters about nearby. They get moving again and now it’s some other guy’s turn to put the screws to Ygritte, who correctly guesses that he’s jealous of Jon and really wants Ygritte to be his girlfriend. He asks her if she loves Jon and she nods. He thinks it’s because Jon’s pretty. Well, you have to admit, dude, it’s hard to get past that. Pretty will forgive a lot. He snarls that she won’t like Jon so much once she realizes what he really is. Hmmm, them’s fightin’ words!
In King’s Landing, Sansa’s with Margaery, her new BFF, bewailing her terrible fate of being Tyrion’s wife. Margaery comforts her, telling her she wants to see her happy, but women in their position have to make the best of things. She points out that Tyrion’s been pretty kind to Sansa, and that of all the Lannisters, he’s hardly the worst. Sansa admits that she can’t bear the thought of having sex with Tyrion, though she’d be missing out on waaaay better sex than she’d ever have gotten with either Joffrey or Loras. And really, when you think about it practically, this marriage would actually be highly beneficial to her in many ways. Tyrion’s not only experienced, he’s also smart, wily, and massively rich. And he’s also the king’s uncle. So, if the war goes the Lannisters’ way, Sansa would be safe, being married to a Lannister. If it goes Robb’s way, she’d be safe, being a Stark. The only one she really has to worry about is Dany, and nobody even knows she’s a threat yet. She has a 2/3 chance of coming out of this a member of a royal family, which isn’t a bad deal. Especially when you consider the alternative: the eternal limbo she’s stuck in, which is dangerous as hell.
Anyway, Sansa thinks being a dwarf makes Tyrion a lousy marital prospect, but Margaery tells her that experience counts for a great deal.
Tyrion, meanwhile, is confiding in his BFF, Bronn, who doesn’t think he’s getting a lousy deal either. Tyrion says that Shae won’t like it, but Bronn easily says that Shae’s a whore who’ll do as she’s told. Just marry one, and keep the other around as a mistress. Once Sansa’s knocked up, he can do what he likes. Tyrion doesn’t like the idea of having two women in his life hating him, but Bronn says that, if he spends his life trying to get people to like him, he’ll end up popular and dead.
Tywin arrives in the throne room for a meeting with Joffrey, who’s trying to be all grown up on his big ugly throne. Tywin strides right up to the base of the dais and Joffrey asks him for a report of the meetings of the Small Council. Tywin suggests he actually attend said meetings, but Joffrey says he’s too busy. Yes, reenacting the martyrdom of St Sebastian with a loaned prostitute is so draining on one’s time. We hear that Tywin’s been holding the meetings in the Hand’s tower, instead of the council chamber (nice power play there, Tywin). Joffrey whines about having to climb stairs to attend council meetings now, and Tywin rolls his eyes, comes up right in front of the throne, and offers to have Joffrey carried there.
Somewhat cowed, Joffrey asks what the word is of Dany. Tywin’s not concerned, because he knows she’s far away and his information is that the dragons are just little curiosities. Guess he doesn’t have spies in Astapor, then. Joffrey whines a bit more, and Tywin promises that Joffrey will be consulted on important matters whenever necessary. Yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breath there, Joffrey.
Speaking of Dany, she and her crew arrive at Yunkai, a large walled city. Jorah says they people of the city will refuse to meet them in open battle (smart) and will just hide behind their walls and chip away at Dany’s massive army. He thinks they shouldn’t bother with the city, but Dany the Emancipator wants to free the 200,000 slaves inside the city. She sends Grey Worm to tell the slavers of Yunkai to surrender or suffer the same fate as Astapor.
Amazingly, someone actually comes out from Yunkai, carried in a fancy litter and wearing his very best guyliner. He eyes the army lining his route warily and is set down in front of Dany’s well-appointed tent, where she’s holding court with her dragons, who snarl at him. Missy introduces her mistress with a veritable tangle of titles. The man seems rather cowed, even as he sits and takes some water. He does manage to tell her that the people of Yunkai will fight her if necessary, but they’re willing to pay her off with gold and ships if she just leaves them the hell alone. Dany orders him to free all the slaves in the city or she will show him no mercy. He warns her that their city has powerful friends who will fight on their behalf. The dragons roar at him, and threaten him when he tries to take the gold back. He has no choice but to retreat. Once he’s gone, Dany asks Jorah and Barristan who these powerful friends are. They don’t know. She tells Jorah to find out.
Tyrion is attempting—unwisely—to win Shae over with a gift of golden chains. Not the best choice of jewelry for her, I must say. She throws some attitude back, and he tells her he doesn’t want this marriage, it’s his duty. She suggests they run away together, but Tyrion’s not interested in becoming a juggler in some far-off city. He counter offers to set her up in a big, expensive house with servants and guards and everything. He next tries appealing to her feelings for him, calling her his lady, but she sadly says she’s just his whore, and when he’s tired of her she’ll be nothing.
Melisandre takes Gendry to Blackwater so he can see the wreckage of Stannis’s fleet and they can chat about his parentage. He has no idea who his father was and only knows that his mother was a tavern wench. Melisandre tells him she was born of a slave, but the Lord of Light raised her up. She points to the castle and tells him that’s his father’s house. He’s shocked to hear he’s the son of Robert Baratheon. She tells him there’s power in a king’s blood. Power, and danger.
Back with the Brotherhood, Arya’s mourning the loss of her bestie. Eyepatch says he didn’t like giving up Gendry, but the Red God is the one true God, and whatever he says, they do. She tells him he’s not her one true god, Death is.
A patrol returns and reports a nearby Lannister raiding party. They get ready to go attack, but Arya asks why they’re not going to Riverrun like they promised. She accuses them of being liars and runs away, out into the forest, where she runs straight into the arms of…The Hound.
At Harrenhal, Jaime’s allowed into Brie’s cell/room. She asks, a little nervously, if he knows what they plan to do with her. Jaime says Bolton will be travelling, while she remains behind with Locke. Brie swallows that and then reminds Jaime that he gave Cate his word to get her girls back. He swears to do so. She bids him goodbye, calling him Ser Jaime.
The next day, Jaime mounts up and rides off, ignoring Locke’s taunts, though he clearly notes Locke’s sinister promise to take good care of Brie.
Oh, great, the torture of Theon continues. Well, kind of. Two women take him off his cross, give him water, put salve on his wounds, and start with the sexy talk. Not being completely braindead, Theon knows this must be some sort of new trap, and he tries to resist getting aroused, but there’s only so much a guy can do when a girl starts waggling her landing strip in his face and dry-humping him. Because he’s an idiot, Theon starts playing along, and before you know it, CrazyDouche comes back, interrupting by blowing a horn (ok, heh), the girls step aside, and he starts fixating rather unhealthily on Theon’s dick. Theon begs for mercy, and CrazyDouche, wielding a really wicked looking blade, says this is mercy, because he’s not going to kill him. He has some strange rules about mercy, this one.
Ygrite and Jon are out hunting, he coaching her on bringing down a deer. They manage to get their quarry, and when they’re on the move again, she spots a ruined old windmill and asks if that’s a palace. Jon, accustomed to grander structures, tells her it’s no big deal, and you’d think she’d be less impressionable after having grown up near and then scaled a wall so massive it could take you clear out of the prevailing weather. He tells her that the great hall at Winterfell would have her swooning if a windmill impresses her so much, which leads her to ask what ‘swooning’ is. Jon stupidly explains that it’s when a girl sees blood and collapses, which is a completely foreign notion to her, of course. Brains don’t run in the Stark family, do they? She reminds him that girls see more blood than boys and teasingly playacts that she’s a grand lady with a pretty silk dress. He grabs her and says he’d like to see her in a silk dress, so he can rip it off of her. He offers to take her to Winterfell and she counteroffers to take him there, when they get their land back. He sobers up and tells her that her people won’t win. They’ve attacked south of the wall six times in their history, and been repelled every time. He says that their army doesn’t have the training or discipline and, if they attack the Wall, they’ll all die. Someone’s not getting laid tonight. Or maybe he is, because somehow this seems to turn her on. She reminds him that they belong together, and if they die, they’ll die, but first they’ll live.
And now we get to catch up with Bran and co. Osha bitches about Bran and Jojen getting to sit and chat all the time while she and Hodor do all the work. She accuses Jojen of filling Bran’s head with black magic and he says they just talk about what’s happening to Bran and what it means. Osha says she doesn’t want him talking to Bran anymore, until they get to Castle Black. Jojen patiently tells her they’re not going to CB, because Jon’s not there, and Bran needs to find the raven beyond the Wall. Osha has other ideas, but Bran overrules her, saying he belongs in the North and all this might have happened for a reason. This sets Osha off, and she starts talking about a man she used to have, who disappeared once and came back as a White Walker and almost killed her, but she managed to burn the hut down with him inside. And that taught her that the North was no place for men to be. She insists they continue on to Castle Black.
Jaime’s party pauses and the Maester examines his wound. Jaime asks what his story is—apparently the man’s disgraced somehow—and the man says he performed experiments on dying men to better understand disease. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that eventually catches up with you. Jaime nudges him a bit about that, but the Maester gives as good as he gets and asks Jaime how many men he’s killed. He has no idea, but he knows how many he saved: half a million, the population of King’s Landing, when he prevented the Mad King from blowing the place up with wildfire.
Jaime asks if a raven was sent to Brie’s father and the Maester says it was, and an offer was made for her safe return. But apparently it wasn’t enough, because Bolton thinks Brie’s father is sapphire rich (thanks to Jaime’s quick-thinking lie to prevent her rape). The Maester goes on to say that she’ll be the men’s entertainment tonight, and beyond that, they won’t care much. Jaime’s face says, ‘well, shit.’
He tells his guard they have to go back to Harrenhal, but the guard says he’s under orders from Bolton to deliver Jaime to King’s Landing. Jaime threatens to tell his father that the guard chopped off his hand, if they don’t go back.
Back they go, which is good, because Brie’s being made to fight a bear, armed only with a wooden sword. And it looks like she’s taken a beating already. Jaime’s enraged by the sight and offers to pay Locke off, whatever he wants. Locke tells him to piss off, while down in the bear pit the bear swats Brie’s sword away and then throws her to the ground. Jaime jumps down into the pit with her, tells her to get behind him, and as the bear approaches, Jaime’s guard unleashes an arrow into it, because he’s under orders, you know. Two of the men help Brie out of the pit, and she helps Jaime up, after he manages to climb most of the way up the wall, which is impressive with two hands, let alone one. Locke stands over him, telling him ‘the bitch’ stays, but Jaime says she’s coming to King’s Landing. Locke tries to stand his ground, but Jaime puts his foot down and is backed up by his guards, so Locke has no choice but to comply. So, back on the road Jaime and Brie go.