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.
Outside, Bran yields unenthusiastically. Theon tries to assert himself, but one guy in the crowd keeps mouthing off to him, until one of Theon’s men gives him a good beating. After that, nobody objects when Theon orders Luwin to send a raven to Pyke to tell his father of his victory, and another to Yara to order her to bring 500 men to Winterfell. Yeah, we’ll see about that. Also, how do these ravens know how to find these people?
Osha steps forward, addresses him as “Lord Greyjoy,” which he likes, and offers to serve him, kneeling at his feet and everything. Theon turns her down and shoves her aside. Bran asks her why she’d do that and she whispers that this is his dream come true: the ocean has come to Winterfell, and she appreciates self-preservation.
Some of Theon’s men bring in a bloodied Ser Roderick, who blusters and insults Theon, who orders him locked up. His second in command steps up and tells Theon he can’t let the insults stand, Roderick has to pay the iron price. Theon hesitates, but finally sentences Roderick to death. Luwin steps in and tries to talk him down, but Theon’s an Iron Islander now, so Roderick is beheaded right then and there, by Theon himself, despite Bran’s and Rickon’s sobs and pleas. Horribly, Theon botches the execution and Roderick ends up getting butchered, basically.
Halfhand, Jon, and the rest of their little band hike through the mountains, accompanied by Ghost, who’s rather interested in doing some exploring of his own. Halfhand likens Ghost to the Wildlings they’re looking for, who tend to hide in the day and attack at night. Which is why, I guess, Halfhand has no problem chatting and making a racket while they’re supposed to be sneaking up on their enemies.
Tywin’s meeting with his lieutenants again, and scolding them again, which is all he seems to do. No wonder they’re getting their asses kicked. Well, that and the fact that his lieutenants are so incompetent they’re sending news of their troop movements to their enemy by mistake. Morons. Tywin dismisses the men so he can meet with Petyr who, I believe, has met Arya and might actually recognize her. Petyr tells Tywin he just traveled from Renley’s camp, as Arya pours wine and tries to hide her face.
Petyr starts to talk possible alliances and talks up the Tyrrells, the family of Margery and Loras (Flowers), who are, apparently, one of the greatest families in the kingdom. Loras is pissed, but Margery just wants to be queen, so maybe she can be worked. Tywin reminds him the Tyrells rebelled against the Iron Throne and Petyr agrees that they did, and perhaps they should be punished instead of allied with. He offers to represent the Lannisters in whatever way they want to approach the Tyrells. Arya’s clearly listening in a bit too closely, because she accidentally spills some wine on the table, attracting Petyr’s attention. He tries to get a closer look at her face but says nothing. Tywin says Petyr will have an answer by nightfall and dismisses Arya. Before she goes, she notes that Petyr mentions meeting with her mother.
Jon and the others are on the move, now sneaking up on the scouts they saw from the mountaintop earlier. They attack and kill them all, except one—a redheaded girl. Holy crap, it’s GWEN! Guess that secretarial job didn’t work out after all. Halfhand wants to kill her (her name’s Ygritte) but pumps her for information first. She tells them Mance has hundreds of thousands on his side, but when Halfhand asks what they plan to do, she clams up. She does say that they should burn the men they killed, lest they become White Walkers. He goes back to wanting to kill her, and Jon offers to do it. Stupidly, Halfhand leaves him alone to do it and takes off with the others, and Ygritte immediately tries to talk him down. He refuses to hear her, so she turns over and asks him to strike hard and true, or she’ll come back to haunt him. Sounds fair. Of course, when it comes down to it, Jon can’t kill the pretty girl, so she surprises him, throws him aside, and runs off. He follows to…finish the job he apparently never intended to do? He manages to catch up with her and she tells him he knows he can’t do it. She reminds him that his friends are far away, and the sun’s going down.
Little Marcella’s embarking on her journey to her new home, watched by Cersei, Tyrion, and the court. The girl’s weeping, and Cersei’s holding it together, but she tells Tyrion she hopes he loves someone someday, just so she can take her away from him, because that’s the kind of sweet and loving person Cersei is. Seriously, Cersei, you’re queen regent. If you feel that strongly about it, couldn’t you have objected and put a stop to this?
Joffrey sniffs over his little brother crying, saying that princes don’t cry. Sansa stupidly mentions having seen Joffrey cry once, which is a good way to get the Hound slapping you around again, sweetheart. Joffrey asks her to repeat that, please, and she changes her line, saying her own brother cried when she left Winterfell, so maybe it’s normal. Joffrey sneers that her little brother’s not a prince, then stomps off, followed by the Hound and trailed by Sansa. As he walks through the city’s streets, the crowd jeers him, prompting Tyrion to tell a guard to get Geoffrey’s younger brother to safety, quickly. Someone throws something and hits Joffrey in the side of the head, and before long, a bloody melee has broken out. The Hound grabs Joffrey and practically carries him away as guards start attacking random citizens, Tyrion ducks blows and missles, and ladies scream and hang onto Sansa, for some reason. Tyrion watches in horror as one man is actually ripped apart by the crowd, and then he starts to worry about Sansa, who seems to have gotten separated from the rest of the royal party and is now being chased down a side street.
Once in the castle, Tyrion lets Joffrey have it for causing a bloody riot in the streets, just because he got hit with a cow pie thrown by people pissed off over the war he started. Joffrey shouts that he’s talking to the king, here, which just earns him a well-deserved slap. Tyrion moves on to wondering again where Sansa is.
She is currently in great danger of being gang raped. Thankfully, the Hound finds her before anything beyond her being completely terrified and further traumatized happens. He kills the men attacking her and gets her back to the castle. Tyrion’s the only person to show any concern for her, and he sincerely thanks the Hound for rescuing her. “I didn’t do it for you,” says the Hound. Hmm, devotion to his king or soft spot for Sansa? You be the judge.
In Qarth, Daenerys is being made to wait before meeting someone powerful. She’s annoyed at the wait, and Daxos takes the opportunity to tell her there’d be no wait at all if she married him. If you can move her to the head of the line, Daxos, now might be the time to do it. Daenerys turns him down, claiming to still be married to Drogo, and Daxos says she’s too young and lovely to be a widow. Before they can discuss this further, their host arrives. I think it’s Spicy, the jerk who greeted and tried to turn her away from the gates. He and Daxos rib each other a bit before Daenerys gets down to business: she wants Spicy to give her ships to cross the Narrow Sea. She promises to repay him at some point, but Spicy realizes she has no army and no allies and no way to guarantee the return of his investment. Daenerys basically asks him to have a little faith and though Spicy admires her passion, he’s still not giving her the ships.
While cleaning up, Arya finds some note relating to Robb. When she goes to read it, Tywin catches her and asks who taught her to read. She tells him her father did and he shares a little story about Jaime being dyslexic and being forced to learn to read by his father. He asks her about her father and she lies that he was a stonemason who managed to teach himself to read before his loyalty got him killed. Apparently feeling bold, she asks if Tywin knew his father. He did, and he was a good man, though a weak one. While he’s slightly distracted, she grabs the note and pockets it.
Outside, she finds a quiet spot to read it—it’s something about troop movements. She goes to, probably, find a way to send it, but she’s caught by one of the soldiers, who finds her note and asks what it is. She says Tywin wanted her to take it to the armory and the man clearly doesn’t believe her, because he suggests they go ask Tywin about this. Arya manages to give him the slip and finds Jaqen. She urgently tells him to go kill the soldier immediately. And somehow, he does.
Robb’s camp. It feels like a while since we’ve seen him. He greets his men as he walks by and seems pretty well liked, as most successful commanders are. While he’s walking around, he finds the woman—Talisa, I believe—who was nursing wounded men post-battle a few episodes back. He greets her as “Lady Talisa” because he’s already pegged her as one of noble birth. He’s correct. He invites her to join him (for his walk, I guess), but then Cate shows up. Robb introduces her to Talisa. Woah, meeting the mom already! Moving fast, aren’t we, Robb? Cate’s polite, but she gives Robb a knowing look when Talisa excuses herself.
Once they’re alone, Cate gently reminds her son that he has to marry one of Frey’s icky daughters. He knows. But any further talk of marriage is put on hold by the arrival of news from Winterfell.
Jon and Ygritte are just wandering aimlessly. She tells him she could give him some directions but Jon won’t listen. She tells him the cold will kill them both without shelter or at least some fire. He won’t light a fire, so she flirtatiously tells him they’ll stay warmer if they stay close (‘we must huddle together or perish!’) He finally gives in and they cuddle up. She thinks he’s stupid, but brave, which is the start to every great romance, right? As they lay there, she starts to rather suggestively wiggle her hips, claiming she’s just trying to get comfortable. He tells her to stop and, eventually, she does. Hey, where’s Ghost?
Robb’s in his tent receiving his report of the capture of Winterfell and the death of Roderick. Cate scolds him for trusting a Greyjoy, like that’s really helpful now. Robb’s all ready to march north and recapture his own home, but his captain tells him someone else can take care of this. Cate offers to go talk to Theon, which I already sense will not work out because I don’t remember him ever seeming all that fond of Cate. Captain tells him he’s got to stay and finish off the Lannisters. Captain’s son can go north and kick Theon out of Winterfell. Robb says he wants Theon brought to him alive, so he can ask him why the hell he turned against people who kept him a comfortable prisoner for most of his life.
Speaking of Winterfell, we’re back there, with Osha meeting with Theon in his room and begging him to let her serve him. And by “serve” I mean “have kinky sex with”. Theon, naturally, sends his guard away immediately. She asks for her freedom in return and he grants it, as long as she keeps it hot.
At King’s Landing, Shay attends to Sansa’s wounds. Sansa’s still shaken, wondering why a stranger would hate her so much. Shay straight-talks that Sansa represents everything the man will never have—her animals eat better than his kids. Not quite getting it, Sansa says she would have given the man food if he’d have asked for it. She goes on to say that she hates Joffrey, so maybe she does get it a little more than she seems to. Shay tells her to stop talking that way, because if the wrong people heard her, she’d be in serious trouble. She warns Sansa not to trust anybody, because life is safer that way.
Guess Osha did her job well, because Theon’s totally passed out in bed. She gets up and, cat-like, steals away. One of Theon’s men catches her outside and she tells him Theon sent her as a sexual plaything. The man’s fooled, and she quickly kills him with a knife, then whistles for Hodor, who emerges with Bran, Rickon, and one of the Direwolves.
In Qarth, Daenerys discusses her lack of luck finding any help from the other merchants with Daxos. He tells her the path to wealth is a messy, ugly one, as they walk into his palace and find the place strewn with the bodies of most of her khalisar. Daenerys rushes to her rooms, where she finds one of her slaves dead and her dragons gone.
The frightened little dragons are being trekked up the stairs to some tower, screeching in fear (and possibly annoyance).