(SPOILER ALERT: Please don't read this recap if you haven't seen the episode.)
Wow, another top notch episode that keeps the tension high while engaging in more wacky plot twists for the Starks and those around them. Oh, and you know fire burns, right?
Berric Dondarrion and The Hound
Episode twenty five opens up with the Sandor Clegane chained up and awaiting to begin the battle that Berric Dondarrion has sentenced him to, to see if the Lord of the Light will judge him to be innocent or guilty of murder. Beric slices his hand open and covers his sword with blood which instantly sets the steel ablaze with holy fire. The two battle in a cave with the Brotherhood of the Bannermen and Arya Stark watching on. Arya is sort of, kinda being held captive so that Thoros and his outlaws can ransom her for gold that will help fund the Bannermen in this time of war.
Beric and Sandor fight fiercely for a while, but in the end the Hound wins the trial by slicing right through the left side of Beric's shoulder and body. Blood shoots out of the wound profusely as he falls to the ground. While he's dying, Thoros runs over beside him and recites a prayer to the Lord of Light, asking to bring Beric back from the dead and darkness.
Arya screams out in anger because Clegane has won so she grabs a knife and tries to stab the Hound, but the men stop her. As Clegane curses at her and the Bannerman, he turns around to see that Beric is not dead, his wound has healed and he tells him that the Lord of Light is not done with him yet even if he is free to go.
The Lord of the Light has seeped through many segments of GOT, but this time we see an actual miracle of life take place. Later on we find out that Beric has been resurrected at least five other times. Man, I have to learn that prayer.
Beyond the Wall.
Did Jon Snow betray his brothers when he tells Tormund Giantsbane that there are only three castles guarding the wall with one thousand men? We'll see. Ygritte then seduces Jon Snow in cave that has a pond and is lit by the firelight of her torch. Since crows have sworn off sex for good she strips naked just to make sure he's not a traitor. Snow never stood a chance with that girl who usually tells him he knows nothing until he lands a kiss on her private spot when they make love. Where did you learn that, Jon Snow? Ummm, nowhere.
This is a very touching scene and it's something we don't find often in GOT---real romance. She tells him that she could spend the rest of her life with Jon Snow right there in this cave, together and we really believe it.
Jaime and Brienne
These two have been finally taken to Lord Bolton, who is pissed off that Jaime's hand has been chopped off and wrapped around his neck. He orders to have them cleaned up. What's great about GOT is that characters change in ways that surprise. I hated Jaime when he crippled Brann Stark in season one after he saw him making love with his sister, but slowly RR Martin lets us into the things that have shaped Jaime's belief system and they aren't all bad.
Monologue of the week: In recent episodes characters are coming to life with either great speeches or confession like Lady Catelyn's so I'm going to honor one each week. The Kingslayer wins this week, hands down.
Jaime and Brienne's journey has transformed their relationship into a companionship of sorts and Jaime seeks her out while she's taking a bath. He's in severe pain after a defrocked Maester tried to cut of his arm. He reveals one of his most deepest secrets to Brienne: how he got the name Kingslayer. He tells her that the Mad King became fascinated with seeing his enemies skin boil and melt off their bones with the use of Wildfire. and he only murdered the Mad King, (which gave him many names such as the Kingslayer and the Oathbreaker) because he was going to burn all the people in King's Landing alive including his father with the Kiss of Wildfire rather than surrender his throne so he slit his throat to save everyone. He never told Ned Stark this fact after he was found with the dead King and so his traitorous legend took hold. He then faints and falls into the hands of a naked Brienne, who screams for help. Where is this relationship going?
Robb Stark gets betrayed by Lord Karstark, who goes behind his back and kills the two young Lannister boys they are holding hostage out of revenge. Robb is a truer believer and wants to rule with honor and dignity, but in times of war sometimes you need to make better choices. Instead of listening to the Tullys and his wife plead not to execute Karstark, he does anyway out of duty. Unfortunately, the Karstarks were half his fighting force in this war and after they leave him, he's just about finished. He's depressed while he talking to his wife about almost certainly losing the war now when suddenly gets an idea. He plans to attack Casterly Rock, the home Tywin Lannister's and completely shift the balance of power and wealth. But he needs more men and for that there is only one place to go. To Walder Frey, the man he stiffed at the altar to marry his wife, Talisa.
Austerity rules in King's Landing
Diana Rigg as Oleena Tyrell is a scene stealer every time. She easily outwits Tyrion Lannister of all people as he complains about the high cost of the royal wedding during a war. Apparently, austerity is in at King's Landing too. She easily deflects his complaints with a few simple words.
The people are hungry for more than just food. They crave distraction and if we don't provide them they will create their own. And their distractions are likely to end with us being torn to pieces. A royal wedding is much safer, wouldn't you say?
She then mocks him further by saying she was led to believe he was a man full of debauchery, but now he's only a bean counter for his father. Ouch.
Sansa and Margaery watch Sir Loras practicing some sword play and Margaery tells Sansa that she'll have Joffrey release her to marry her brother after the royal wedding. A few moments later, Ser Loras and one of Littlefinger's gay hustling spies is back in his room engaged in some more sword play of their own. Lord Varys is not the only one who has whisperers looming everywhere. Petyr Baelish finds out the plan to marry off Ser Loras to Sansa.
The plan also is now known to Tywin Lannister as well and he wants The North wedded to his family. Therefore he summons Tyrion into a meeting with Cersi and orders the Master of Coin to wed Sansa Stark immediately and have some babies. Cersi delights in his torture until she's ordered to marry Loras Tyrell, give him babies too so that the Lannister's will control almost all of the Seven Kingdoms.
Yikes, what's going to happen to Sansa now?
You also understand where Cersi's loathsome personality comes from since she was forced to marry the drunk Robert Baretheon for the good of the family after he defeated the Targaryens. Will being forced to marry Loras push her to new depths of depravity?
You know Littlefinger is not going to let any of this pass somehow, right?
Oh, I almost forgot about Daenerys. Barristan Selmy and Jorah Mormont get into a bitch fight about who should be defending Dany's honor when she goes to conquer Westeros with her dragons and armies. Selmy looks to be trying to squeeze Jorah out into the wasteland of the Dothraki sea so he can ride into glory with her. Stay tuned there.
And then we come to the downtrodden Stannis Baratheon. We get to see his creepy wife Selyse, who lives in what appears to be a tower with her three dead babies all floating in jars of their own. it's as scary as anything we've seen so far of GOTs. No wonder Stannis is into Melisandre. And don't you know she's cool with that too because he's King and working with the Lord of the Light But the real treat was meeting his daughter Princess Shireen. She's unfortunately disfigured by Greyscale, but seems to have a nice young girl with a lively personality. And she just loves Davos Seaworth, which is unfortunate at the moment because he's in prison at the moment for being a traitor. She sneaks down to the dungeons to see her friend and persuades him to let her teach him how to read. The episode ends with her singing a folk song with a haunting melody about fish with wings and shadows coming to play.
The birds have scales
And the fish take wings
I know I know
Oh, oh, oh
The rain is dry
And snow falls up
I know I know
Oh, oh, oh
The stones crack open
the water burns
the shadows come to dance
the shadows come to play
the shadows come to dance
the shadows come to stay
Is she trying to tell us something? I think so.