Previously on Game of Thrones: Everyone decided they wanted to be king. Tyrion took over as Hand of the King, Jon headed north of the Wall to explore yet more incestuous relationships, and (almost) all of King Robert’s bastards were put to the blade.
We’ve got yet another new location in the credits: Pyke, in the Iron Islands.
Arya’s nervously squatting and peeing near a stream, which can’t be good for their water supply. Once she’s done, she rejoins the rest of the camp and is called over to a cage holding three prisoners. One asks her for water, offering to be her friend if she gets him some, but she says she’s got plenty of friends. A more violent guy threatens her and Mr. Water apologizes for his jerky companion. Arya lashes out at one of the jerkier prisoners and Water smilingly observes that she has more courage than sense. Well, she is a Stark. Seems to be a family trait.
Gendry passes and reminds her that they’re not supposed to go near those three. Arya says they don’t scare her and Gendry calls her stupid. A crew of soldiers arrives and Arya freaks out and hides, telling Gendry they’re looking for her. The commander strides over to the soldiers and gives them a bunch of lip, even after they hand him a warrant for one of the “gutter rats” he has. He informs the man that these kids belong to the Knight’s Watch now, so they’re beyond warrants, royal or otherwise. The lead rider goes to draw his sword, but before he can Commander (sorry, I can’t remember this guy’s name for the life of me) has a knife to the man’s thigh and threatens to drain his femoral artery (at least, I think it’s the femoral artery in the thigh). He helps himself to the man’s sword and sends the riders on their way. Their leader says they’re looking for a boy named Gendry, and anyone who hands him over will get a handsome reward. Gendry blanches slightly, even as the riders leave.
Whistling, as usual, Tyrion makes his way through the council room and into his own room, where he finds Shay entertaining Varys. Since she was supposed to keep a low profile, Tyrion’s not delighted by this, and even less delighted when he finds out Shay’s been putting the story about that Tyrion found her working in his father’s kitchen. Varys clearly knows that’s a lie, but they’re all playing along here. “You should taste her fish pie,” Tyrion suggests. Ew, but also, heh, on several levels. Varys also makes it clear that he knows Shay isn’t supposed to be there, but promises to keep her a secret. He excuses himself charmingly from Shay, who leaves at a quick nod from Tyrion. Once she’s gone, Tyrion tells Varys he doesn’t like threats, and he knows how things work at court, unlike Ned.
Small council. Cersei reads and rips up Robb’s peace treaty. Tyrion tells her to at least give Ned’s bones back as a gesture of good faith but Cersei won’t, because she’s a stubborn moron. She asks after Jaime and the cousin/messenger tells her his spirit hasn’t been broken. Pycelle hands over a message from Castle Black, asking for more men to man the Wall, as always. Tyrion reads the message, which includes the tale of how Mormont was attacked by a zombie last season. Nobody seems all that concerned about all this.
Speaking of beyond the Wall, Sam and a couple of the other guys are chopping potatoes and talking about death and farting, like you do. Sam observes one of the girls walking by and thinks it’s a bit greedy for a man to have so many wives. One of the other guys talks about a girl he was friends and wrestling partners with when they were kids. And then they got older and wrestling became “wrestling.” Sam’s dispatched to get some more spuds, but he’s waylaid by one of the wives screaming, terrified of Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, which is approaching her. Sam tells Ghost to stand down and Ghost does. Sam asks the girl if she’s ok and she panics slightly and reminds him not to touch her. He apologizes, and she observes that he’s very brave, which is probably the first time Sam’s ever heard that.
A little later, Sam takes her to Jon, because it turns out she needs help. She’s knocked up, and she’s afraid of what’ll happen if it’s a boy. I’d be equally afraid of what’ll happen if it’s a girl, frankly. Jon’s like: well, what am I supposed to do about it? Sam says they need to take her with them, and Jon tells him in no uncertain terms that it’s not gonna happen. The girl wants to go, but Jon says they just can’t. Sam accuses him of being cruel and Jon reminds him that Crestor gets pretty pissed if someone so much as looks at one of his wives. And even if they can take her, who’s going to deliver a kid? Sam? Sam says he could try. Not the response any woman wants to that question. Jon tells him to drop it, but as Sam walks away, he looks like he feels pretty bad about it.
Daenerys’s tribe is camped out in the Red Waste, looking hot and exhausted. They see a horse approaching, riderless, which is never a good sign (though that horse’s internal GPS is amazing). Jorah goes to inspect and sees a dripping satchel with some hair sticking out of it at the horse’s side. Daenerys joins him and, sure enough, it’s a head in there. She asks who would do this and Jorah says it could have been any of the other Khals. Daenerys’s slave joins her and completely breaks down, so I guess the dead guy was her brother or husband or lover or something. Daenerys comforts her, even as she looks up at Jorah, a little panicked.
Theon’s aboard ship, looking delighted as he approaches Pyke, the home he’s been away from for so long. The place is a castle crazily built on top of a series of very high, rather narrow cliffs. He goes below, where the captain’s daughter is waiting for him, naked. He paints a big picture of how there’ll be a big crowd waiting for him on the docks, since they haven’t had much excitement since he left. How would he know? He and the daughter get to it. Theon, by the way, has absolutely no respect for foreplay. Then again, he might just be trying to shut the girl up. She’s kind of a babbler.
It seems we’ve reached the T&A portion of the hour. Petyr spies on a few of his clients being serviced by the ladies, but he’s called away by a dissatisfied customer who’s complaining that his whore just started crying. And not because he wanted her to, either. Petyr calls over another girl, who has just finished giving another man a BJ, wipes the corners of her mouth, and hands her over to this guy. She gives him a big old sloppy kiss on the mouth. Once again, ew and heh.
Petyr, meanwhile, goes to find out what the problem is here. I’m not sure if weeping woman is Ros from last season, but let’s pretend it is. She apologizes, telling him she’s just upset about what happened with that one girl’s baby. Petyr’s rather sweet to her, until he tells her that he doesn’t make bad investments, so if she fails to turn him a profit, he’ll get rid of her. He does give her the night off to grieve, though, so I guess that’s something.
Tyrion’s having the Watch Commander to dinner and brings up the recent Massacre of the Innocents. The guy’s a robot and says he had his orders. Tyrion figures Cersei was behind the whole thing, but the guy won’t say from whom the order came. Tyrion mentions Ned and Commander says Ned was a traitor who tried to buy his allegiance. Tyrion wryly notes that said allegiance had already been bought, which pisses the guy off. He insults Tyrion, which seems like a really poor idea considering how powerful Tyrion is and the fact that he’s got Bron standing right there, ready to kick some ass on his behalf. Tyrion dismisses the Commander, who sputters protests, and puts Bron in charge of the City Watch. Awesome. Bron takes the newly vacated seat and he and Tyrion drink a toast to the new commander.
Arya and co. seem to be at the same encampment as last time. A couple of the younger boys talk about battles and Arya scoffs that they’d never be able to manage being in battle. Gendry finally sends the boys away and Arya asks him what the soldiers wanted with him. He says he has no idea and she calls him a liar. He warns her not to insult people bigger than her. “Then I wouldn’t get to insult anyone,” she says. Hee! She keeps pressing and he finally says that two Hands came by the forge asking about him, and then they both died, so he figures he’s bad luck. He turns the conversation to her and reminds her that she thought the soldiers were after her. He asks if it’s because she killed someone or because she’s a girl. Arya tries to deny it, so he suggests she show him the proof. She quietly tells him nobody can know, and she tells him she’s Arya Stark. He realizes this means Ned Stark was her father and she’s a lady. He starts to cutely tease her and she pushes him and stomps off.
Pyke. Theon reaches solid ground, and sure enough, there’s nobody there to greet him. An old man nearby asks what he’s brought with him and he tells the guy who he is. The guy couldn’t possibly care less. Theon says he needs to get to the castle and gives the guy some cash. The man reluctantly leaves to find him a horse.
A pretty but tough-looking young woman tells him she can take him there, and of course our resident horndog wastes no time hitting on her. She parries him well and correctly identifies him. The two ride tandem up to the castle, and Theon, of course, starts groping her boobs and then reaches into her crotch. Charming. He tells her he has a proposal for his father that’ll make Lord Greyjoy king again. He not-so-subtly suggests she sleep with him that night, telling her it’ll be a story she can tell her grandkids. She correctly realizes it won’t be a story fit for children. I rather like this girl.
Theon finds his father in front of the fire in the main room, and dad doesn’t exactly welcome him with open arms, which seems a bit harsh. It’s not like Theon chose to go with the Starks, he was basically a prisoner. Dad essentially accuses Theon of being more Stark than Greyjoy, and being a pussy to boot, since he actually bought some of his wardrobe instead of paying the “iron price,” which means killing someone for it. Happy homecoming, Theon! Theon hands over Robb’s proposal, and Greyjoy reads it. He doesn’t seem too happy about it, even after Theon offers to lead the Iron Island forces himself. After all, who else will do it?
Who else indeed? How about that chick he met at the docks, who now comes into the room and goes over to Greyjoy, who embraces her. Theon finally recognizes her as his sister (Kiara, I think) and HURL! What is it with this show/these books and the incest? Why, at some point, did she not say: “Hey, man, I’m your sister, you wanna get your hand out of my crotch?” GROSS! She’s been raised like a boy by her daddy, commanding and killing men and sailing boats. Greyjoy burns Robb’s message and says that no man will give him a crown, he’ll just take it. It’s the Iron way. As he and Kiara leave, Theon shouts after them that they don’t stand a chance against the Lannisters on their own. But it doesn’t seem like they’re going after the Lannisters.
Davos, meanwhile, is trying to get some pirate to throw in his lot with Stannis. Pirate hems and haws and finally agrees, for the promise of plunder. Oh, and he wants to screw Cersei. Davos’s son is horrified by the idea that they’ll just let this guy rape the queen, but the pirate isn’t the raping kind—he thinks she’ll go willingly. Davos says he can’t promise that, but the pickings at King’s Landing will be rich indeed, so Pirate’s on board.
As they make their way back to the horses, Son tries to fully convert Davos to the one true god, but Davos isn’t really interested. His only god is Stannis.
Cersei’s heard about her brother dismissing the watch commander and she’s pissed. Tyrion, of course, refuses to be cowed by her and tells her the people hate her, especially after the Massacre of the Innocents. Except, apparently, she had nothing to do with that—it was all Joffrey, and he didn’t even have the decency to clear it with mommy, like he ever clears anything with her. She fiercely tells him Joffrey did what needed to be done, and nobody else sees that. He brings up the rumors of her and Jaime’s relationship and she responds by reminding him that his birth killed their mother. Like that was really his fault, Cersei. I don’t think he spent nine months in the womb thinking: how can I make my own family really, really hate me as quickly as possible?
Dragonstone. Stannis, Davos, Son, and Melisandre gather around a table-sized map that now features some little boats representing their new pirate allies. Stannis asks if Davos trusts Pirate and Davos says he does, as far as one can trust a pirate. Stannis dismisses Davos and Son, and as they go, Melisandre stops Son and tells him the Lord of Light shines through him.
When they’re alone, she observes that Stannis is troubled and reassures him that these armies are just toys for the Lord. She urges him to have faith and he talks real-world terms—that typically the side with the greater number wins. He knows he can’t win without his brother. She tells him she’s seen the path to victory in the flames, but he needs to give himself to the Lord of Light more completely. By that, she means he needs to have sex with her. Well, isn’t that a convenient excuse to get laid. Stannis reminds her he has a wife, and she reminds him that she’s weak and sickly and hasn’t given him a son. Melisandre promises to give him a son, and apparently he’s the fantasy world’s version of Henry VIII, because that’s all he needs to hear to throw all that “I’m married and faithful” talk to the wind and start screwing her on the map. He also sucks at foreplay.
Late night at the wildling encampment. Jon’s sitting up and sees Crestor heading out into the woods, carrying an infant. Jon, because he’s both curious and suicidal, decides to follow. They go deep into the woods, where Crestor, I guess, leaves the baby out somewhere. Wild animals begin to snarl, and the baby wails. Jon draws his sword and runs towards the cries, then stops when he spots something picking up the baby. And then Crestor comes up behind him and knocks him right out.