Previously on Game of Thrones: Joffrey started a riot by…existing, basically, and Sansa almost paid a pretty steep price for it. Theon took Winterfell and very quickly got in over his head in a number of ways. Daenerys keeps meeting resistance in her quest to get help taking over the Seven Kingdoms, and then her dragons disappear.
Theon finally wakes up and finds himself alone in his bed. Huh, I wouldn’t have thought he was the feel-free-to-stay-the-night type. Below his window, several of his men are gathered around the body of the man Osha stabbed to death the night before.
Soon, Theon’s been caught up and is downright mad that his guys let a kid who couldn’t walk escape. One of the men calls him out on screwing Osha, who clearly had a serious hand in this, so Theon finally takes my advice from a couple of episodes ago and kicks the guy’s ass. Then he orders up horses and hounds and we’re off on a merry hunt. He even drags Luwin along, just to be an extra-special asshole. Luwin protest that they’re just little boys and are more valuable alive than dead. Theon knows and promises not to kill them. The hounds start to bay and Theon takes off, telling Luwin this is all just a game, which seems a little heavy-handed. We know what show we’re watching, HBO.
Osha, Hodor, Bran, Rickon, and the kids’ two direwolves are still on the move, Hodor busting open walnuts for Rickon with his bare hands. Damn. If he and Brie got together they’d have the biggest, most freakishly strong baby ever. Rickon spots a nearby farm where two boys he knows live, and he urges them to stop there, but Bran’s getting wise to the ways of the world and says it’s not safe, because if they’re followed this far, the farmers will be tortured for information and might give them away. Osha seems to agree, knowing they’ll have dogs after them and they’ll need to get a good head start.
Jon and Ygritte wake up, all cozily spooned up together. Jon, embarrassed because, well, it’s morning, so you work it out, jumps away and she teases him a bit before realizing he’s a virgin. He tells her not to talk about his sexual experience or his manly parts, but she keeps up the conversation anyway and realizes that not getting laid will totally make people miserable. Men especially. She calls him a prisoner, less free than she is, and he argues that she’s his prisoner, whereas he made a conscious decision to join the Night’s Watch and give up tail. Somehow, this devolves into a property dispute over who really should own the lands—she thinks his people are invaders who just put up a great big wall and called the lands theirs. Unfortunately, that’s how conquest usually goes. The people with the bigger guns or sharper swords get to call the shots. He tells her that, as the son of Ned Stark, he has the blood of the first men in his veins, just as she does. Couldn’t we all argue that we have the blood of the first people in our veins? It’s always true, to some extent, right? She asks him why they’re fighting them, then. He has no answer, so they continue their walk in silence.
Harranhal. Tywin examines the weapon used to kill the soldier who was going to tattle on Arya and realizes it’s not the type of thing your average assassin would use. His guard tells him they hanged 20 men the night before, which is an awesome thing to do in an army that probably already has a morale problem. Guard thinks it was someone from the Brotherhood who’s infiltrated their camp. Tywin thinks he was the actual target of the assassination. Arya’s setting the table, taking it all in. Guard—oh, it’s the Hound’s brother, or something. He’s a Clegane, at any rate—says they’re having some trouble finding the Brotherhood members, so Tywin tells him to up the torturing. Once he’s gone, Tywin invites Arya to eat, and she digs right in. While she chows down, he comments that this will be his last war, win or lose. She asks if he’s ever lost before and he says he hasn’t. He turns away from her and says his legacy will be decided in the coming months, as he picks up a knife and contemplates stabbing him. She doesn’t, in part because he turns back around and starts talking about how the original builder of the castle thought it would be his legacy, but then the dragons came through and trashed it, led by Rhaegar Targaryen. Arya corrects him and mentions it was Rhaegar and his sisters who rode the dragons. Tywin’s impressed with her knowledge, though I’m not surprised she’s boned up on the histories of powerful women. He tells her she reminds him of his daughter, which I wouldn’t take as a compliment, and asks where she learned all this. From her father, of course. He dismisses her, but before she leaves, he calls her out on speaking too well for a supposedly low-born girl. She makes up a lie on the spot, but it’s uncertain whether he believes her.
Sansa runs into the Hound in a corridor at the palace and thanks him for saving her. He basically says it was no big deal, and she asks him if he likes scaring people. No, he likes killing people, just as her father did. Sansa says her father just did what he was ordered to and the Hound tells her that’s a bunch of BS. Hurt, Sansa asks him why he has to be so hateful, and he tells her she’ll be glad of the hateful things he does when, one day, he’s all that stands between her and Joffrey. Seriously, keep this guy on your side, girl.
Daxos tells Daenerys that he’s summoned the 13, figuring one of them either stole the dragons or knows who did. She wonders if he might have had a hand in it and he points out that he could have stolen them any time and didn’t, since she’s staying in his house, and furthermore, the dragons mean nothing to him. He promises they’ll get them back and Daenerys, for some reason, gets bitchy and asks him why he wants to help her. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Dany. What’s your problem? He says she’s his guest, and he can’t let this thing happen to her under his roof. She tells him it already has, is rude to him a bit more, and stomps off like a child.
Ygritte continues to bait Jon, saying she doesn’t live in a castle, but she’s at least free to make her own decisions and to choose her own king. She tells him he could live free too and paints a rather charming picture, even offering to teach him how to “do it.” He says he knows how, but he clearly doesn’t and she knows it.
Camp Stark. Alton, the Lannister cousin dispatched to Cersei lo these many episodes ago, has finally returned and is reporting her “F-You” response to Robb’s proposals. Robb thanks him and sends him back to his pen. But his pen’s already occupied with other prisoners, so Robb has him put in with Jaime, which is sure to end in some kind of disaster.
Off he goes, to be replaced by Talisa, who looks like she’s been at work. She tells Robb she’s been treating the wounded, but she’s running out of supplies fast. She wants to send Robb with a list to the next castle that’s due to surrender. Robb suggests instead that she come along and get the supplies herself. I think he really just wants to spend more time with her. Robb’s got a crush!
Theon’s made it to the farm our not-so-merry foursome passed earlier, but of course they don’t find anything. Luwin suggests they give up, and you’d think Luwin would have learned by now to keep his mouth shut when Theon’s pissed off. Theon flies off the handle, grabs his robe and tells him he’s going to find the damn kids, and do some awful things to them to boot. The farmer’s brought out and Theon tries to beat information out of him, but he knows nothing. Theon’s first mate, however, finds a walnut shell near a hay pile, which Theon takes as a sign the boys were there, because no one other than Rickon eats walnuts, I suppose. Theon sends Luwin back to Winterfell before doing what he needs to do.
Jorah returns to Qarth from wherever he was trying to get a ship and Daenerys is glad to see someone she knows is 100% on her side. She tells him her favorite handmaiden’s dead because she failed to protect her. She led her people out of the Red Waste and into slaughter. He promises to remain by her side, because “these people” can’t be trusted. She tells him nobody she knows can be trusted—her brother sold her, the people of Westros don’t know she exists, and the Dothraki largely abandoned her when Drogo died. Jorah urges her to trust him but she says she really can’t afford to trust anyone. He warns her that nobody can survive in the world without help, and he just wants to help her. She tells him to find her dragons, if he wants to help.
Ygritte asks Jon how long before they get back to the other Rangers. Jesus, where the hell did they go? Is he taking her all the way back to the main camp? How’s he going to explain that? She taunts him with stories of how she’ll tell his leaders they had sex, but I think she’s just having a go at him. And I don’t blame her, this would be a really boring road trip otherwise. I know I’m kind of enjoying it. Jon the Humorless, though, tells her to turn around and stop talking. She tells him that, since she’s going to say they did it anyway, he might as well go ahead and do it for reals. He reaches for her sword and she backs off, but while he’s slightly distracted she yanks away the rope he was using to bind and lead her and runs off. Jon follows and ends up right in a Wildling trap.
Sansa’s having nightmares of her near-rape, except this time she winds up getting stabbed. When she wakes she finds blood on her legs and on the sheets and completely freaks out, grabbing a knife from a nearby table and trying to slice the bloody bit right out of her bed. Shay comes in and tries to tell her it’s ok, but Sansa sobs that if the queen knows she’s ready to get pregnant, she’ll be married off right quick. Shay gets it immediately and they go to flip over the mattress, but another handmaiden arrives, sees the bloody spot, and hurries off to tell Cersei. Shay catches up with her, holds a knife to her throat, and fiercely tells her to keep her mouth shut. The woman nods and Shay returns to Sansa’s, where she finds the girl weeping and the Hound standing over her.
So, Cersei knows and quickly summons Sansa for some girl talk. She’s fairly gentle with her, asking her if she knows what this means. Sansa knows she’s now ready to have kids, physically, if not in any other way. Cersei tells her that bringing little princes and princesses into the world is the greatest honor a queen can have. And then she paints a pretty awful picture of childbirth and royal marriage by talking about the birth of Joffrey (took a day and a half, apparently) and how Robert would just take off and go hunting whenever her time was near. She gets increasingly bitter the more she talks about it. But Jaime was always there, unsurprisingly. Cersei knows Sansa will probably never love her husband, but she’ll love her children. She warns her, though, that the more people she loves the weaker she’ll be. She should love no one but her children, and even then, it’s only because a mother can’t help it.
Jaime’s now got company in his cage and is trying to figure out exactly how he’s related to the younger man. Alton reminds Jaime that he squired for him once, and after some mental prodding, Jaime remembers. Alton excitedly recalls every detail of the day, because it was the best day of his life. Jaime bonds by describing his own experience filling in as a warrior’s squire on short notice.
Jaime comments that he’s not well suited to prison and draws Alton closer to discuss escape. He tells Alton he only has to do one thing: die. And then he grabs his cousin and beats him to death with his chains. What a charmer Jaime is. The guard who was supposed to be looking after them comes running and stupidly leaves the gate open to check on Alton. Jaime strangles him from behind, steals his keys, and gets out of there. Worst. Guard. Ever.
Jorah pays a visit to the Strange Masked Lady from the garden party, whom he suspects of stealing or knowing who stole the dragons. She realizes he wants to please Daenerys because he loves her, and asks if he’ll ever betray her again. Never, he tells her. SML tells him the thief he seeks is with her now.
I guess it’s a member of the 13, because they’re all gathered at Daxos’s, getting mighty affronted at being accused of theft. Daenerys tells them the dragons will die without her and Spicy says that’s for the best, because they’ll just bring death and destruction. Blue-Lipped Wierdo, also from the garden party, calls him cruel and says she must, of course, be reunited with her babies. He promises to help her by taking her to the House of the Undying, where he’s put the dragons. He claims he made an arrangement with the King of Qarth, which confuses Daenerys, because there is no King of Qarth. Oh, but there is now, Daxos tells her. That was the other part of the arrangement. Wow, she really can’t trust anyone, can she? Daxos steps forward to make his speech and promises to open Qarth to the world. The other members of the 13 are not keen on this idea and tell him it’s a no-go, because you can’t call yourself king and make it so. He begs to differ, and considering what world we’re in, I think he’s right. BLW joins Daxos and says the Mother of Dragons will be with her babies, and they’ll thrive at her side…forever! And on cue, guards step forward to slaughter the other members of the 13. So long, Spicy! Daenerys is horrified and tries to flee, but where the hell is she gonna go? She’s stopped by BLW, who appears before her, but he’s just an apparition, which is proven when Jorah shows up and stabs it and it disappears into a pile of clothes. BLW—maybe the real one this time—arrives at her side and smilingly tells her she should be with her children in a very, very creepy way.
Some guy shows up to talk to Cate, but he’s immediately stopped by Brie, who’s acting as her bouncer for now. From the doorway, he tells Cate they caught Jaime.
Indeed, he’s being dragged back to camp in chains. Damn, Jaime, you really do suck at being a prisoner. You can’t even effect an escape. One of the men—presumably the father of the guard who was killed—wants to exact vengeance, but Cate steps in and tells him to back down or go through her. The guy’s pissed and not inclined to listen, but surely he knows she has Brie backing her up, which is helpful, so long as Robb’s away getting that surrender. Cate finally talks him down and, furthermore, warns him not to make demands of King Robb. Jaime thanks her for her defense and Cate sends him off to the stockade.
In Cersei’s rooms, Tyrion reads a report that Stannis’s fleet has been spotted not too far away. Cersei’s confident they’ll be able to beat him back, even though they’re outmanned. Tyrion reminds her that the only people around to run the defense are him, Cersei, and Joffrey, Not necessarily the three people you want in that situation. He warns her that the kid needs to start acting like a king already, like she can really do anything about that. She says as much and Tyrion mentions it’s difficult to rein someone in once you’ve put him on the throne. She wistfully comments that she hoped he’d be more like Jaime. Tyrion thinks Joffrey’s more like Robert than anyone else but Cersei knows her kid’s a sociopath and Robert wasn’t. Robert, unlike Joffrey, didn’t find cruelty fun. She thinks this all might be punishment for her sins of incest. Tyrion says that Tommen and Marcella are both good, decent kids, which might mostly be because they’re still kids, whereas Joffrey’s a bit older. Cersei says nothing to that.
There’s unrest in the Stark camp. Men are fighting and drinking, observed by Brie and Cate. Brie doubts Jaime will last the night, because the more the men drink, the more they’ll fight, and at some point somebody’s going to go after Jaime, and who will defend him? Cate goes to see him, wisely bringing Brie with her but sending the guard away. Jaime asks if she’s come to say goodbye. He says he did what he had to do to escape, and any other knight would have done the same. Cate says he’s no knight; that he’s forsaken every vow he’s ever taken. He says that, no matter what a knight does, they’re forsaking one vow or another. She calls him a man without honor and he tells her he’s only ever been with one woman his whole life, so he’s got more honor than Ned, with his bastard kid. He asks her how she felt when he came home with some other woman’s kid and guesses she hated him. Cate asks Brienne for her sword, but I doubt she’s going to kill Jaime.
Theon’s got the Winterfellians (Winterfellas?) gathered for yet another grand speech. He tells them he warned them not to get out of line, and then hoists up the blackened bodies of two children at Winterfell’s gates to show them what happens when they don’t behave. Luwin, who thinks these are the bodies of Bran and Rickon, wails and Theon looks just a little bit guilty. I know on this show pretty much anyone can die, but I really don’t think those are the Stark boys at all. If he’d caught them, we surely would have heard about it. And where are Hodor and Osha? Not them, it’s got to be those two kids from the farm.