Previously on Game of Thrones: Arya and Gendry, Theon, and Jaime and Bree all got (re)captured. Bran made some new friends, and Cate received word of her father’s death.
New locale in the credits: Riverrun, so I guess the Stark entourage is going to be showing up there at some point this episode.
We open on Cate’s father’s Viking-esque funeral, so we are, indeed, at Riverrun. Robb helps send off the boat with the corpse in it, and then an archer fires a flaming arrow that…misses. So does the next one. Heh. Also: far more realistic than these types of scenes tend to be. Finally, one of the other guys standing about grabs the bow and arrow, fires, and sets the damn boat alight already.
Inside the castle, Robb’s uncle (who’s played by the actor who played Brutus in Rome) tries to lecture him, but Robb’s bannerman with the good aim cuts in and tells him to show some respect to his king. Seems Uncle Badaim ventured out into battle without Robb’s go-ahead and grabbed some mill, which does not make Robb a happy little king. He had a strategy and everything, but Badaim messed it all up. Badaim tries to defend himself by telling Robb he took hostages, including some minor Lannister, but Robb doubts Tywin gives a crap about some distant relative. Hell, Tywin barely cares about his own flesh and blood. Badaim finally seems to realize he really screwed up here and apologises.
Small Council time! Tyrion arrives with the others, and when Tywin takes his seat at the head of the table, the others fill in, with Tyrion standing back. Cersei strolls in, fetches a chair, and places it at her father’s right hand. Everyone turns and looks expectantly at Tyrion, who grabs his own chair and moves it as far away from his ungrateful dad as he can—to the foot of the table. Now that everyone’s seated, Tywin asks what the news is of Jaime. Nobody has any, despite their intricate spy networks. What they do know is that Robb and most of his guys are in Riverrun (see? I knew it wouldn’t be long before his enemies realized that!) and that one of his bannermen, Beltan, I think, holds Harrenhal, a property which, you may recall, Tywin gifted to Petyr last season. Petyr doesn’t seem all that concerned with its loss, because he’s more focused on possibly marrying Lysa, Cate’s crazy sister. Petyr’s sure he’ll be successful in his suit of Lysa, and all the other men at the table exchange a look as Pycelle points out that marrying Lysa would make Petyr acting lord of the Vale. Tywin tells Petyr to get on the road and start a-wooing. Tyrion cuts in and reminds his father that Petyr’s the man who holds the purse strings, and someone will have to look after that while he’s gone. Tywin knows that, which is why he’s naming Tyrion the new Master of Coin, a job Tyrion’s not at all interested in. Too bad.
Jaime and Bree are being taken, on horseback, to some undetermined location by their captors, who sound like they’re singing a rather merry song about rape. Charming. The two captors snipe at each other, of course. Jaime does soften enough to warn her that, when they make camp, the men will probably take advantage of her, and it’s in her best interests not to fight back, because they’ll just kill her. She asks if he’d follow his own advice. Doesn’t sound like it.
Gendry’s helping to fit Thoros for some armour, while Arya bitches at him for helping their captors. Thoros tells her she’s not a prisoner, but warns her not to wander off, because the woods aren’t safe for Ned Stark’s daughter. Arya wanders off and finds the Hound so she can ask him if he remembers the last time he was in the area. He says it looks like every other craphole he’s seen. Everyone’s getting packed up to go, but Hot Pie’s decided to stay and work for the innkeeper. Well, he was kind of a boring character to me anyway, so I won’t miss him. He does rather cutely give Arya a bread in the shape of a wolf as a gift and wishes both Arya and Gendry well. Gendry says the same to him. Before she rides off, Arya tells him the bread’s really good.
Cate’s taking in the view from her childhood home and notes that it’s easy to forget they’re at war. Robb’s bannerman, whose name I desperately wish I could remember, comments that, even in a war’s darkest days, in some areas, nothing is happening. Cate smiles up at him, calls him Uncle (so he’s not the bannerman I thought—sorry about that) and says she missed him, and so did her father. She wishes she could have been with her father at the end, but she’s glad her uncle was. Uncle’s nickname is Blackfish, so thankfully we’ve got something to call him. Cate remembers her father sailing off to fight in the last war and her sitting by the window waiting for him to come home. Weeping, she wonders how many days Bran and RIckon did the same, but she doubts she’ll ever see them again. Blackfish tells her that Robb thinks they’re still alive, and urges her to remain strong for his sake.
Talisa’s tending the POWs, including the Lannister Lad, Martin, who asks if it’s true that Robb can turn into a wolf and eat men alive. She says it totally is, but her husband doesn’t eat kids, except on full moon nights. Well, yeah, that’s a time worth celebrating.
North of the Wall, Mance and his folk find a big spiral of dead horses in the snow. White Walkers are apparently interested in art installations now. Jon notes that all the men who should be dead as well are gone, and Mance reminds him that we’re talking zombies here, so that’s not too surprising. Mance goes on to say that Mormont’s probably screwed, and all his men too and announces they’ll start marching on Castle Black. His red-haired buddy’s delighted to hear it.
Mormont and his crew, meanwhile, have made it back to Craestor’s camp. Great. Craestor doesn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat, but he finally lets them into his hut, where they get to listen to Gillie’s labour pains. They try to ignore that while Craestor and Mormont debate religion a bit and Craestor tells one of the women to shut Gillie up. He also jokingly suggests the Rangers carve up Sam as a meal. Sam does not take kindly to that and gets up and leaves.
He wanders through the camp until he finds the hut where Gillie’s labouring away. He watches, slightly astonished, as she gives birth. Sadly, the baby’s a boy. She gives Sam a desperate look.
Theon’s still tied up and hooded god-knows-where. His saviour appears, undoes the leather straps binding him to the X, gives him some water, and asks if he can manage to ride. Theon says he can. The guy brings him to a horse and gives him directions to his sister. Theon promises to reward him someday and gallops off.
Melisandre’s getting ready to go on holiday somewhere, wherever the waves take her, and Stannis isn’t too happy about it. He accuses her of abandoning him and she promises she’ll never do that, as she’s sworn to serve him. He tells her that he wants his enemies, who are laughing at him, dead. He also tells her to make him another son. What happened to the first one? Did SmokeStannis just appear to kill Renley and then dissipate? Seems like a lot of effort just for that. Melisandre tells him it’s impossible, because the effort would kill him. Well, someone has a rather high opinion of herself. He tries to insist, but she tells him his fires burn low. Ouch. She reassures him he will sit on the Iron Throne, but first sacrifices must be made.
Astapor. Dany’s walking along the quay with Jorah and Barristan, appalled by the sight of a man tied up to a cross, bleeding in the sun. She goes to give him water, despite Jorah gently trying to dissuade her, and Barristan urges her to get the hell out of this place and find soldiers elsewhere. Dany’s reluctant to have the blood of innocents on her hands, but Jorah tells her there’s no such thing as a war in which innocents don’t die. The one benefit of the Unsullied is that they’re entirely controllable, so they won’t go slaughtering any women or kids or old men unless she tells them to. Barristan remembers fighting for Rhaegar Targaryen, who commanded the undying loyalty of his men because he loved him, which is all well and good, but it takes a lot of time to build up that kind of loyalty, and let’s face it, she doesn’t have it.
Dany goes to the dickish Unsullied merchant and tells him she wants to buy them all. In his language, he says he doubts she can afford them all. Dany stands her ground, telling the translator she will have them all, or none. Merchant says her ship and the gold she has left will only buy her 110 Unsullied (and need I say, he’s saying all this in the most insulting language possible). He offers three more in exchange for all her Dothraki. Dany glances up at the walls of the compound and notes some children looking down at the proceedings. After a moment, she offers to trade one of her dragons for the remaining Unsullied. Barristan and Jorah both try to talk her out of that, but she holds firm. The deal is done. Jorah looks sick. She also wants the translator.
On their way out, Jorah still tries to talk her out of this deal, but Dany shuts him down by telling him he’ll be fired if he ever questions her in public again. She asks the translator about herself—her name is Missandei (we’re going to call her Missy, all right?) and she has no family to speak of. Well, that should suit. Dany confirms that the Unsullied will obey her without question.
Tyrion reports to Petyr’s whorehouse, where Petyr keeps the country’s ledgers. The page who helps Tyrion out can’t help but check out Ros’s boobs while she helps load the ledgers onto a little wagon, which the page then wheels out. Ros follows and Petyr suggests Tyrion repay the kid for saving his life. He also acknowledges that he owes Tyrion for securing Ros’s release when Cersei had her detained last season. Tyrion changes the subject and asks if Petyr has any advice for the new Master of Coin. ‘Keep a low profile,’ Petyr suggests. Oh, ha ha. He adds that they’re just numbers on paper, and once you understand them, it’s easy to make them behave. Tyrion collects his page and Bronn and heads out. Before he goes, though, he gives the page, Poldrick, a good time with a handful of Petyr’s ladies. The kid looks a bit like he’s died and gone to heaven. ‘Pace yourself, lad,’ Bronn warns him as they leave. Heh.
Back at the palace, Tyrion goes over the books and realizes the kingdom’s only been kept going by heavy borrowing from the Lannisters. The crown’s now in debt to Tywin for millions. And Tywin’s not the type to forgive debts, even those belonging to his own family. But he’s the least of Tyrion’s worries—he’s concerned about other people they owe money to, who might turn around and fund their enemies out of spite if they can’t pay up.
Poldrick reappears, looking super relaxed, and hands back the money Tyrion left to pay for the ladies’ services. Apparently they wouldn’t take the money. Tyrion finds this rather suspicious, and after a spell, so does Bronn. Tyrion pours some wine and asks Poldrick for details.
Theon arrives at the appointed spot, but instead of Yara he finds himself pursued by captors yet again. He tries to escape, but he’s eventually knocked off his horse. While he lies winded, a few of the men approach, and two of them hold him down while a third tells Theon he’s going to rape him. What is with the rape in this episode? But before things can get really awful, arrows come flying out of nowhere, taking out all the men, and Theon’s saviour appears, strolls over, helps Theon to his feet, and tells him he’s a long way from home, and winter is coming. So, they’d better get moving.
In another captive group, Jaime and Bree are tied to trees while the men sit around campfires. A few of them wander over to Bree, and one of them says he’ll have her first, and then the others can take a turn. Yeesh. She tells the man she was acting on Cate’s orders, but he doesn’t care. She tries to fight back, but it’s three against one. She gives a good fight, though. When they start to drag her away, she begins to scream horribly, and Jaime finally finds some pity and tells the head guy that Bree’s father is lord of the sapphire islands and therefore worth quite a bit of money, as long as she’s left alone. The head guy considers for a moment, and then calls the men to bring her back. They obey and tie her back up to her tree. Head guy asks Jaime if his father would pay a lot for his return. Jaime says he would, adding that the North can’t win this war and that fighting for a winning cause is more rewarding than fighting for a losing one. The guy agrees. Now that they’ve established a rapport, Jaime asks if the man can arrange for him to be unchained so he can lie down and relax. The man agrees and tells the men to undo his chains. As they do, he asks Jaime if he’d like something to eat. Jaime would. The man calls for a partridge and a carving knife. When the HUGE knife is brought, though, he holds the tip of it to Jaime’s eye, tells him he’s nothing without his daddy, who isn’t there, and then chops his hand off with one swift blow. Damn. And then a rather jaunty, rock version of the rape song from earlier kicks up over the credits.
Well, things sure are moving now!