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.