(Spoiler Alert: I will be recapping this episode so don't read on if you haven't seen it yet.)
Sunday's episode helped propel season three onward to its climax in a couple of weeks, but did so with much less action and spent much more time in fewer locations. I enjoy the complexity of GOT, but it's not easy recapping a show that has over twenty main characters inhabiting Seven Kingdoms, the Wall, the Free Cities and many other locations so it's much appreciated when the story gets concentrated a bit. Anyway....
Arya and the Hound
Arya wakes up to see the Hound (Sandor Clegane) is still sleeping so she picks up a rock and approaches him to bash his brains out.
I will give you one try, girl. Kill me and you're free, but if I live, I'll break both your hands. Go on hit me. Hit me hard.
She wisely gives up the attempt and while riding together soon after, Sandor tells her that she's lucky she's with him and not alone in the world. He's not a really bad man after all, not like those child rapers and such. Heck, he even saved her sister from being killed. You're lying, she says. The Hound then turns her world upside down when he tells her he's not taking her to King's Landing, but to the Twins to sell her to her mother and brother who will be there for this really big wedding. Everyone one is yapping about it. For the first time her rage has been rendered speechless. It's something she doesn't know quite how to handle either.
Things are starting to look up for Arya finally---at the hands of all people, the Hound
Do you love a good wedding? How about if it’s taking place in King’s Landing, being thrown by the royal family with a teenage bride forced to marry an unwilling dwarf? Now that's what I call a must-see wedding. There's a lot more at play here than just a marriage, though. How is Margaery Tyrell getting on with Cercei Baratheon?
If you call me sister again, I'll have you strangled in your sleep.---Cercei
Ouch, tell us how you really feel. I doubt sisterly bonding will ever take hold.
Diane Rigg (Olenna) continues to get the best lines in GOT and can she ever deliver them. She tries to make sense of the new family dynamic created by Margaery and Loras' marriage to Joffrey and Cercei.
To Ser Loras: Their son will be your nephew after you're wed to Cercei. And you will be the King's stepfather and brother-in-law.
To Margaery: When you marry the king, Joffrey's mother will become your sister-in-law and your son wil be Loras' nephew, grandson? But your brother will become your father-in-law. That much is beyond dispute.
Please, give me a scorecard.
It's rare that Tyrion is ever at a loss for words, but when he tries to ease some of Sansa's pain over her plight of being forced into this marriage, he fumbles his words uncomfortably until finally telling her that he'd never hurt her. That's something.
Joffrey does his best to embarrass his uncle at the altar and terrorize his ex-fiance at the celebration (I'll enter your room after my drunk uncle falls asleep and have my men hold you down) right up until a drunk Tyrion threatens to cut off his cock with a knife to stop him. That freaks out the party and as Joffrey was probably about to call the Kingsguard on his uncle, Lord Tywin calms down Joffrey's rage by declaring his uncle drunk. Tyrion plays it off as a bad joke and leaves with Sansa.
Sansa, who only drinks wine when she is forced to, grabs a bottle after they return to the bed chamber for the consummation that Lord Tywin demands. Major props go to Tyrion for refusing to deflower her and will do so only until after she asks him to. This type of kindness doesn't usually last long in wartorn King's Landing, but Tyrion is not an evil man and in his own way, a lot like Robb Stark.
The Yellow City
Danaerys Targaryen had an unproductive meeting with three leaders (Mero, Brendahl, Daario) of the Second Sons, a mercenary group composed of two thousand sellswords who have been hired by the Yunkai to protect them form her Unsullied invasion. She wants to buy their allegiance, but since they already have a contract, they can't renege on the Yunkai.
Mero plans to have Dany assassinated because they could never beat her army of free slaves so the three pick lots to see who will do it. Daario Naharis loses the bet and he must slip into her camp and kill her. He appears while she's taking a bath and instead of killing her, he throws the two severed heads of Mero and Brendhal onto the floor and explains to her that he always has a choice and the other two refused to abide by his choice of not wanting her dead so he killed them instead. She intentionally stands before him nekkid and demands his loyalty to her. He not only gives her his loyalty and two thousand sellswords, but also his undying love.
Stannis Baratheon goes to Davos and offeres to pardon him from the dungeon if he won't attack Melissandre again because he misses his council and his loyalty. This is an important moment in GOT because Stannis reveals to Seaworth why he follows this religious zealot and how he has been converted into a believer of the Lord of the Light. Davos knows that Stannis wouldn't just murder an innocent boy, but Baratheon tells him that Melisandre's visions demand Gendry for a blood sacrifice.
Stannis: What's one bastard boy against the kingdom?
Davos: I think mothers and fathers make up the Gods because they want their children to sleep through the night.
Stannis: I saw a vision in the flames. A great battle in the snow. I saw it! And you saw whatever she gave birth to. I never believed, but when you see the truth, when it's right there in front of you as real as those iron bars, how can you deny her God is real?
These words reveal much of Stannis' motivations. He never wanted to be King, but you don't get to choose your own destiny.
Melisandre seduces Gendry into bed because he mistrusts her, but does so only to trick him into being tied up so she can bleed him with three leeches.
As the leeches do their work, Stannis and Davos enter the room. She tells Davos this demonstration is for him since he's an unbeliever. She plucks the bugs off Gendry's body and stands in front of a fire. Stannis says the name Baleon Greyjoy aloud. She throws one into the fire. The other two leeches are sacrifices made against the names Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon.
Beyond the Wall
Sam, Gilly and her baby are huddled in a crumbled shack-like structure, trying to start a fire to get warm from the freezing cold. After some mild banter, a flock of crows begin screaming outside the shack. Sam takes his sword and goes out to see what's happening. An entire tree with a distorted face grown into it is covered with dozens of crowing crows. As Sam approaches, they suddenly stop and that's when Sam notices a White Walker coming towards them. Gilly screams that he's come for her baby so Sam tries to fight him off, but the Walker easily destroys his sword with one touch of his his cold, dead hand and throws him out of the way. As the undead thing closes on Gilly, Sam pulls out the ancient obsidian dagger that he found buried in the snow and stabs it in the back. To his shock, the White Walker slumps over and disintegrates like a dusted vampire from Buffy. Sam and his new family bust ass out of there.
*Will King Joffrey eventually take revenge on Tyrion after he publicly embarrassed him since he's a spoiled psycho king-brat?
*Is the Hound yet another character that is much more than what he originally appeared to be? Hmmm.
*Will Melisandre's curses come true and what does she really have planned for Gendry?
*Will Jorah Mormont be able to handle Daario's presence if he does sleep with his queen?
*How will Sansa and Tyrion's marriage hold up after a few months in King's Landing?
Bummer of the week: No dragons.