(Spoiler Alert: I will be recapping the episode so don't read on if you haven't seen it yet.)
I don't know about you but I love the theme song and the opening credits of GOT. It gives us a quick tour of the complicated world of the Seven Kingdoms from the southern tip of King's Landing, up north past The Wall and then across the exotic sea that connects us to Essos and the city of Astapor. There are so many places and characters caught up in this war that there isn't enough time to spend with everyone we love in any single episode so---no Dany and no dragons, but there are some wonderful moments---highlighted by Catelyn Stark's confession.
The episode opens with Bran Stark having another vision in his sleep of the black crow with three eyes, but he also sees a teenage boy staring at him in his vision. (You can't kill the bird because the bird is you, Bran.) This is surely some foreshadowing of what's to come for Bran and it indicates he'll play an integral part in whatever future unfolds. Later in the episode, two new characters are introduced to Bran's posse, who are traveling to the Wall to see his brother Jon Snow at Castle Black. Jojen Reed is the boy he saw in his dream along with his sister Meera. They surprise Osha. Jojen seems to have some sort of power too because he's able to calm down Bran's Direwolf from tearing him from limb to limb. Jojen tells Bran that his psychic abilities will improve with time and that he is the most important person he's ever met. Either way, it looks as if they have a new mission in store for them.
He's being held captive on a wooden cross and being tortured for no apparent reason by somebody we're not sure of. I'm certain all of Winterfell would be thrilled watching him scream in agony, since he slaughtered so many people and then set fire to the great castle out of revenge for being held captive after his father lost a war to Eddard Stark back in the day. It didn't matter to him that the Starks treated him as one of their own. Later on, after spikes are being twisted into his feet, a stable boy tells him that he will rescue him later that night. He leaves Theon whimpering and begging him to free him.
Lady Catelyn Stark--Harrenhal
She had the best moments of the episode. She's making some sort of religious wooden thingy which is used like pray beads and Robb Stark's new wife Talisa of Volantis asks her if she can help. "Only a mother can make it,", she says. Robb's mother is not thrilled that he married this girl and neither is Richard Karstarks who tells Robb that he lost this war as soon as he married that girl. Anyway, Lady Catelyn finally opens up to her and confides a deep-seated secret that has been haunting her ever since tragedy struck. She confesses that when her husband brought home his bastard son from the war, she hated it and prayed to the Gods to kill it. Soon after, Jon Snow caught the pox and she was then overcome with guilt because she knew this little baby was an innocent, caught up in her jealous rage against the women her husband slept with.
Lady Stark: And I knew I was the worst woman who ever lived, a murderer, because I condemned this poor innocent child to a horrible death because I was jealous of his mother.
She promised the seven Gods that if he survived then she would love him like her own child and beg Eddard to give him a proper name. Catelyn says that she broke her word to the Gods and all this horror that has befallen her family is her doing. Betrayal is a key element in Game of Thrones. The motto should be "Trust no one" unless their name is Jaqen H’ghar.
Shae tells Sansa that Peter Baelish aka Little Finger only wants to have sex with her because that's what all older men want from young hotties. Sana's naivety has already cost her her father's head and now she's being wooed by the man that helped chop it off. A moment later, Lady Margaery invites Sansa to meet her grandmother Oleena Tyrell played by the great Diana Rigg so that she will reveal to them Joffrey's true face. After being promised that they will keep her words secret she tells the Tyrell's that Joffrey is a monster. Nothing will stop the Tyrell's of having Margaery become queen. And she appears capable of controlling Joffrey. Unless of course Cersei can undermine her some how.
Later, Lady Margaery begins to slowly seduce King Joffrey after he calls her in for a chat and shows off his new crossbow. She tells him that Lord Renly wasn't interested in making babies with her because of his certain predilection to the male members of Westeros and then she slowly finds her way into Joffrey's workd by asking him if he wants to watch her kill something. She had better hope that Joffrey doesn't call for Diana Riggs head just because he's feeling pissy.
Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie and caught in the woods by Thoros and the Brotherhood where they are taken to a pub. After some hearty laughs at the expense of Arya, who whips out her sword in vain, guess who shows up? The Hound, he's been caught and he has a fondness for the Stark women. He sees Arya and reveals her identity.
North of The Wall:
Not much action this week, except Mance Raydor tells Jon Snow that he really likes him, but if he double-crossed him, he'll kill him quick and with no remorse. Jon sees one of Mance's men in a trance and asks him what's up? That's when we learn that Bran Stark is a Warg.
Wargs are people with the ability to enter the minds of animals and perceive the world through their senses and even control their actions. A "warg" is a skinchanger that does so with wolves. Skinchanging seems to be limited to people who are blood of the First Men
So that's what's been happening to Bran. Back to the Rangers, Sam Tarley is dragging the men behind and they want to leave him for dead, but Lord Commander Mormont orders Sam not to die and makes those who were demeaning him responsible for his life.
Brienne & Jamie:
She's dragging Jamie Lannister around, trying to get him back to King's Landing to trade him for Catelyn's daughters. Jamie taunts her throughout the journey and finally gets wrestles a sword away from her and they fight. Brienne easily dispatches the Kingslayer, but then some of Bolton's men who support Robb Stark come upon them and it looks like they are in trouble.
What will happen to Arya after the Hound blew her cover?
What will happen to Brienne & Jamie after they are caught?
What will happen to Bran now that he has somebody that can tell him what his visions mean?
Will Sam survive the cold and the White Walkers to get back to the Wall?
Will Jon Snow stick to his mission and screw up Mance Raydor's massive army before it gets to the Wall?
Will Sansa be captured by Little Finger?
Will Lady Margaery outwit Cersie Lannister for Joffrey's affections? Tune in next week.