Previously on Game of Thrones: Stannis got a much-needed loan from the Iron Bank; Jon took back Craster’s Keep; Petyr delivered Sansa to the Eyrie, where things got creepy almost immediately; and Tyrion demanded a trial by combat.
We’re all over the map with this one (literally), so let’s get right to it.
Jaime’s giving Tyrion hell for not taking the deal to beg for leniency and spend the rest of his life at the Wall, but Tyrion’s unrepentant. It was Shae that put him over the edge, and he just couldn’t help but let everyone have it, as they deserved. Also, he rather enjoyed sticking it to his father, who wanted Jaime at Casterley Rock and Tyrion dead. Now he has neither of those things. Jaime has little faith in Tyrion’s chances, telling his brother he can’t serve as his champion, because he sucks at fighting now his sword hand’s gone. Tyrion looks bummed but figures he can just fall back on Bronn. He asks Jaime to find him and asks who Cersei has named as her champion.
It’s the Hound’s brother, the oft-mentioned Mountain, who’s currently training by going up against completely unseasoned, terrified slaves or prisoners or something. That seems like terrible training for a fight against an actual warrior. Mostly it just gives HBO a chance to fill its gore quota for the hour. Cersei watches for a bit, then steps over the viscera to welcome him to King’s Landing.
From one Clegane to another—Arya and the Hound come across a burned village and approach with caution. They find one man with a gut wound who tells them he tried to walk back to his hut, but the wound hurt too much and his hut was burned anyway. Hound checks him out and tells him the wound’s not going to get better. The guy knows. Hound asks if he’s had enough and the guy says he knows it’s time to off himself, but he can’t seem to bring himself to do it. Arya asks why he goes on and he shrugs it’s just habit at this point, and nothing can be worse than this. Arya dispassionately says nothing isn’t better or worse than anything, it’s just nothing. The man asks who she is and she gives him her real name. Hound introduces himself as her captor, delivering her to her aunt for ransom. The guy thinks that’s a fair exchange and asks for a drink, since dying’s thirsty work. Hound gives him a drink from his flask and then swiftly stabs the man through the heart. The man has just enough time to look appreciative before he expires. Hound wipes off his sword and tells Arya that’s where the heart is. As he’s sheathing his sword, he’s jumped from behind. He breaks the man’s neck, but there’s another guy standing at a slight distance. Hound asks what’s going on here and the man says there’s a price on Hound’s head. Also, Joffrey’s dead. So, that’s one name off Arya’s list. Arya recognizes the man as one of the people she was taken prisoner with ages ago. Hound asks if he’s on her little list and she admits he’s not, but only because she doesn’t know his name. The man stupidly gives it to her, and Arya thanks him before stabbing him through the heart. ‘You’re learning,’ the Hound observes.
The Wall. Jon and his men return from their triumph at Craster’s and are warmly welcomed. Mostly. Thorne can’t help but be a dick and immediately orders Ghost locked up. Jon glares at him before heading off with Ghost.
Inside, he reports that Mance and his army are closing in fast and advises they seal off the tunnel. The regular men are all in favour, but those in charge are not. Thorne’s standing behind history, reminding everyone that the castle’s held for thousands of years, like that’s going to mean anything against a frigging giant. Thorne falls back on his usual weapon—douchiness—and reminds Jon that he’s a steward, so what does he know? He asks the head builder if they should seal the tunnel. The Builder clearly agrees with Jon, but he plays follow the leader and refuses to endorse the plan. Thorne further punishes Jon for being sensible by giving him and Sam night watch for a few weeks. You know you can’t win popularity points by acting like a complete asshole to the guy everyone likes, right? This man’s a moron.
Bronn finally arrives to see Tyrion, and right away we know this isn’t going to go well, because he’s wearing a fancy new suit. His fancy suit goes with his fancy wife—a dimwitted noblewoman. Cersei set all this up, of course. Bronn reminds Tyrion that he offered to double the price of anyone who tried to tempt Bronn away. Tyrion promises to pay Bronn handsomely for being his champion, promising a nice chunk of the North. Bronn’s not interested. He figures a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, plus, he frankly admits to being a bit scared of the Mountain, which is sensible. Tyrion tries to play the friend card, but Bronn reminds him that Tyrion’s never risked his life for him. Bronn’s done it at least once. He apologises but Tyrion understands. They shake hands, remember the good times, and say goodbye. Before he leaves, Bronn asks Tyrion what he’ll do. Tyrion says he’ll have to kill the Mountain himself, and won’t that make a great song? Bronn sincerely says he hopes to hear it someday.
Dany returns to her room to find Daario waiting for her, having snuck in through the window to bring her some flowers. She rejects them and tells him to wait to be summoned. He makes a big show of bowing to her and telling her he lives to serve her. She settles down and asks what he wants. He says he has two talents in the world: war and women, and in Meereen, he can’t exercise his talents. She suggests he find some Meereenese women to pursue, but he’s only interested in one woman. He begs her to send him to kill some of her enemies. She gets up, pours some wine, and tells him to strip. He obligingly does so. She appraises the goods.
Selyse goes to visit Melisandre and finds her in the bath. Selyse is embarrassed, Melisandre not at all, inviting Selyse in and asking her to fetch some sort of bath perfume or something. After she gets out of the bath, Melisandre confesses that many of the potions and powders she has on hand are to produce simple magic tricks to win people over to the Lord of Light, a bit of subterfuge she defends by explaining that these tricks and lies will eventually lead people to the truth. Seylse casts an eye over Melisandre’s body and asks if she used one of the potions—a seductive one, apparently—on Stannis. She did not. Selyse closes her eyes and reminds herself that this is all for the best and that they were blessed to have Melisandre come into their lives. She tells Melisandre that Stannis wants to take Shireen with them wherever they’re going, but Selyse doesn’t want to take the kid. Not because she’s concerned for her daughter in any way, mind, but because she thinks her daughter has ‘heretical tendencies.’ Melisandre tells her that, actually, they really need to take Shireen with them, because the Lord needs her. That doesn’t sound good.
Jorah, on his way to see Dany, runs into Daario on his way out. Awkward. Daario reassures him she’s in a good mood before going on his way. Heh.
Dany almost immediately realizes that Jorah doesn’t approve of this liaison. He says this is about trust, not approval, and she pretty much tells him to deal with it. She reassures him this is just about fun, and she’s sent Daario to retake Yunkai and execute all the masters there. Jorah tells her that slaughtering people, even people who do bad things, isn’t the best way to go about winning others over and effectively ruling. He eventually talks her around, and she decides instead to send Hizdahr to Yunkai to tell the masters what happened in Meereen as a warning. She sends Jorah off to tell Daario he changed her mind. That’s right: Daario may be her boytoy, but Jorah’s her advisor. May as well remind everyone of that.
The Hound’s trying to sew up his own wound on his neck, and Arya tells him he has to cauterize the wound first. She grabs a burning stick from their fire and he freaks out. Arya, surprised, backs down and goes back to polishing Needle. Hound calms himself enough to eventually tell her that he was burned by his own brother, Mountain, when he took one of Mountain’s toys as a kid. Holy crap, Mountain’s insane! What sort of sociopathic child does that to another child? To anyone, really. And to top off this sundae of horror, their father protected the Mountain and told everyone that Hound’s bedding caught fire. Arya looks sad for him and offers to wash and sew up the wound. He allows it.
Brienne and Pol have stopped at an inn for a kidney pie and a good night’s sleep. And guess who’s working there—Arya’s old friend, Hot Pie! They compliment the pie, and he immediately sits down to chatter endlessly about how hard it is to make a really great pie. On and on he goes about the importance of gravy, before asking Brienne if she’s a knight. She says she isn’t, despite the armour. He asks what’s brought them to the area and Brienne says they’re searching for Sansa Stark. It seems a bit unwise to be advertising that too widely, considering. Hot Pie gets ready to leave them and Brienne tells him she swore to Catelyn she’d see her daughters to safety.
As they’re getting ready to leave, Pol warns her that it might not be best to go telling people exactly who they’re looking for. Glad I’m not the only one who thought that. Hot Pie comes out to confide that he knows Arya and that she’s dressed as a boy and heading north. He tells them she went off with the Hound and asks them to give her a large biscuit in the shape of a wolf he made for her. Awww.
On the road, Brienne wonders where Arya could be headed. Pol guesses the Eyrie, because that’s where her aunt lives. Brienne guesses that Sansa could be there as well. They reach a fork in the road and Brienne decides to head Eyrie way.
Oberyn pays a visit to Tyrion and tells him he’s had a word with Cersei, who was clearly trying to turn Oberyn against Tyrion. Tyrion tells him that Cersei has wanted him dead for a long time. Oberyn knows, because way back in the day, when Tyrion was a newborn, Oberyn’s dad took him to Casterley Rock, where he was really disappointed to find that Tyrion wasn’t the horrible monster everyone had described. Cersei showed Oberyn and his sister the baby, which pretty much just looked liked a baby to them. Cersei said that Tyrion killed her mother and that she hopes he dies soon, like everyone says. Tyrion struggles to hide his pain at hearing this and bitterly observes that Cersei always gets what she wants, eventually. Oberyn says that he wants justice for his sister and her children, and now he has a way to get it. He’s got the opportunity to kill the Mountain, for murdering his sister and her children, and he’s going to take it. He’ll be Tyrion’s champion.
Up at the Eyrie, Sansa goes for a walk and finds that it’s been snowing. She looks around the courtyard she’s in, enchanted, and settles down to build a snow Winterfell. Robin joins her and asks what she’s up to. She explains, and he chatters a bit, sounding reasonable enough, and then asks if Winterfell has a Moon Door. When he hears it doesn’t, he wonders what they do with the bad people and the people they don’t like. She says they didn’t do anything with them. He promises that, when they’re married, they can throw anyone she doesn’t like through the Moon Door. Sansa thinks that sounds nice because it doesn’t occur to her that that can so easily be turned against her by this unstable child. He suggests they add a Moon Door to her Winterfell, and she agrees, but when he suggests where to put it, he accidentally knocks over a tower. Sansa sulks that he ruined it, and he freaks out and destroys her snow castle. Sansa, totally over having to deal with little assholes, slaps him across the face and he runs off, sobbing. She calls out an apology.
Petyr joins her, amused by what he saw, and says he’ll smooth the way with Lysa, if Robin tattles. She looks sadly down at her model Winterfell and observes that she’ll never see her home again. Petyr says that, if you want to build a better home, you have to demolish the old one first. She asks him why he really killed Joffrey and he admits it was pretty much revenge for everything Joffrey did to her mother, whom Petyr has always loved. He observes that, in an ideal world, Sansa might have been his daughter. Now we’ve gotten a good dose of creepy into the scene, he proceeds to tell her she’s more beautiful than her mother ever was and then leans in to kiss her. Lysa, from a distance, sees, and Sansa doesn’t seem to quite know how to react to any of this. She’s so damaged at this point she’s never going to know what a healthy relationship is.
Lysa summons Sansa to the Moon Door and tells her that people thrown through it shatter on impact, but sometimes large bits remain intact, like a whole head. Thanks, Lysa! She tells Sansa she knows what she did, and Sansa, misunderstanding, apologises for hitting Robin. Lysa doesn’t care and calls Sansa a whore, dragging her to the edge of the Moon Door, screaming that Petyr’s hers, and people who stand between them all end up dead. Thankfully, Petyr shows up and tells Lysa to let Sansa go. Lysa tearfully reminds him that she lied and killed for him and he repaid her by bringing Sansa along to the Eyrie. He promises to send her away, if Lysa just lets her go. Lysa does, thankfully pulling Sansa back from the Moon Door and not releasing her the other direction, and bursts into tears. Petyr comes over and tells her he’s only loved one woman: Catelyn. And then he throws her out of the Moon Door. Well, that’s a terrible loss. What’s Robin going to eat now? Or is he finally weaned? They just sort of let that go, didn’t they? And can we now make an argument for Sansa being the Stark kid who’s had it the worst? They’ve all had it bad, of course, but man, has she just been crapped on endlessly or what? She’s now seen her father beheaded and her aunt defenestrated, has been threatened with sexual assault and murder numerous times, has been forced to fake being in love with Joffrey, was forced into a socially humiliating marriage with a member of a family that’s the reason for all her unhappiness, has lost every single member of her family, and is now trapped with a man who sees her as some sort of creepy replacement for her mother, and she can’t leave because she’s also wanted for murder. This poor girl hasn’t had a single moment of happiness or safety since her father died, which was years ago, apparently, in show time. Jesus.
GOT is taking next week off, but I’ll be back with a fresh recap the week after. Happy Memorial Day, Americans!