Previously on Game of Thrones: We played catch-up with about half the cast. Dany’s on her way to Westros by sea, stopping off to pick up a brand-new army and a new sidekick—a former member of the Kingsguard. Robb’s still on the move and still mad at his mom; Sansa’s still trapped in King’s Landing, where Margaery’s winning over the common folk and pissing off Cersei. Tyrion’s being crapped on by his family, and Jon’s trying to fit in with Mance Rayder and his Wildlings.
Several would-be kings stepped up and made claims. Renley got killed by a creepy SmokeStannis; Stannis lost most of his army and got defeated. Sansa got a little less naïve and a little more savvy. Cate got a great sidekick and lost her mind a little. Robb got laid. Cersei got meaner and drunker. Tyrion got to prove he’s not just a half man and that Jaime isn’t the only warrior in the Lannister family. Daenerys got played. Theon got in over his head in a very big way. Joffrey got to explore his sociopathic side a bit more. Arya got captured, hung out with Tywin, and tricked her way out of captivity. Jon got embroiled in a series of rather dull subplots north of The Wall. Winterfell got trashed.
Previously on Game of Thrones: Everyone with a title and a tenuous claim made a grab for the Iron Throne—or some throne, with Stannis Baratheon coming out nearest the top and heading to King’s Landing to make his claim more official.
Apparently this is the episode the book fans have been waiting for: our big battle, and it’s so important George R. R. Martin himself wrote the teleplay and the showrunners had to ask HBO for more money. They got it; let’s see if they put it to good use.
Previously on Game of Thrones: Theon took over Winterfell, Stannis bore down on King’s Landing, Robb got a crush, and Jon got taken hostage by his own hostage.
With this recap, I will, at last, be all caught up. Whew!
Hell, hell, Winterfell. Someone dumps a bunch of dead ravens out a window as Theon watches. Then the gates open and in rides Yara with the men Theon wanted. Inside, Yara enjoys some lunch and emasculates her brother a bit, calling him out on killing children and mockingly calling him a great warrior. She thinks the kids were brave to try to run away and tells Theon he’s weak and stupid. He observes that she didn’t bring enough men and she says she’s not there to defend Winterfell, she’s there to bring him home so daddy can spank him properly. They’re not interested in holding Winterfell, which is hundreds of miles from the sea, and furthermore, now that Theon’s killed the Stark boys everyone in the North will want him dead. Theon doesn’t think too many people, Robb especially, will find out, since they killed all the ravens, like that’ll stop the gossip train.
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.
Previously on Game of Thrones: Theon led a raid on a town very close to Winterfell. Cate, Stannis, and Arya all got some fairly badass sidekicks, and Daenerys received a tempting proposal.
Chaos at Winterfell. Luwin rushes to his room, where he has just enough time to dash off a quick note and tie it to a raven before soldiers burst in and catch him. Theon, meanwhile, arrives at Bran’s room and informs him he’s captured the castle, which confuses the hell out of Bran, because he hasn’t been reading Theon’s status updates lately and can’t keep up with his changing allegiances. Theon tells Bran he’ll have to give in publicly, which Bran doesn’t want to do, but Theon tells him that, if he doesn’t, he’ll start hurting people in the castle. Before Theon goes, Bran asks him if he hated the Starks the whole time.
Previously on Game of Thrones: Melisandre gave birth to Stannis’s freaky smoke-baby. Arya and her fellow prisoners were taken to Harranhal, a rather horrific place where they were nearly tortured to death. Fortunately Tywin Lannister saved them and made Arya his new cupbearer. Theon took the first steps toward being welcomed back into his family fold, and Daenerys found refuge for her tribe and baby dragons.
I’m so woefully behind on these. I’m sorry, everybody. I spent the weekend getting caught up with The Borgias, mostly because the names in that are easier to spell. Yeah, I know, lazy. But here I am, back in Game of Thrones Land, so let’s get started.
Previously on Game of Thrones: Theon pledged himself to his Iron Islands family, while Renley looks like he’s going to throw his hand in with Robb. Goldcloaks found Arya and Gendry, but Arya lied that Gendry was already dead. We’ll see how much time that buys them.
We’ve got Harrenhall in the credits today—I’m pretty sure that’s a new locale, though the name sounds familiar. There’s a place called Qarth too, which looks like it might be in some desert-like area.
Previously on Game of Thrones: Lots and lots of sex. Tyrion made Bronn the new commander of the watch at King’s Landing, Theon didn’t get the homecoming he was hoping for, and Jon might have let his curiosity go a bit too far.
Thank God, no new locales in the credits. I’m having trouble keeping everything straight as it is.
Jon gets bundled into Crestor’s hut by Crestor himself, who tells Mormont he wants all the Night’s Watch men gone immediately. Mormont sends Jon out, and a little while later he joins him and demands to know what he did. Jon tells him about following Crestor into the woods and how Crestor’s killing the baby boys. Well, yeah, obviously, Jon. Where did you think the boys were going? Mormont knows all about it and says the boys are sacrifices to the Wildlings’ gods. He doesn’t like it, but they need men like Crestor on their side. Jon apologizes and mentions seeing something pick up the baby. Mormont says he’s pretty sure he’ll see that thing again and adds that they’ll be leaving at dawn.
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.