While I could not honestly call this episode romantic, it seems that something has turned everyone’s mind to relationships, sex, and love in the land of seven kingdoms. It’s all they talk about, aside from giant man-killing beasts that is.
The most exciting plot line of the episode has to be Ser Jaime, Brienne, and the Bear. So Jaime checks in on Brienne before being taken to King’s Landing, thanking her for saving his skin a time or two. His eyes say even more, like, “Thanks for handling my hot tub secret time so well, and for showing me that women other than my sister are cool. I kinda like you. Love, Jaime” Out loud he swears to return the Stark girls safely, upholding his promise and allowing Brienne to fulfill her promise to Catelyn Stark. She’s grateful but still suspicious (as we all should be when Jaime is involved). On the trip out Maester Qyburn, reveals to Jaime that Brienne is likely to suffer immediately since her father’s offer for her safe return was deemed too low by Locke. Jaime knows this is partly his fault for the earlier stories about untold wealth in Tarth, so he forces his party to return to Harrenhal. He want to save Brienne from what will surely not be very entertaining for her. While I was watching, I got supremely worried when I heard people singing, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” It isn’t a song that implies safety and happiness for any women in the vicinity, and the show proved me right. They had a stadium surrounding Brienne (armed only with a wooden sword) and a big angry bear. Jamie tries half a dozen strategies from bribery to one-handed athletics to save her, and he succeeds, barely. Now he cannot play it cool in front of most of these people anymore; everyone knows that Brienne is super important to him. I predict that Cersei finds out soon and that she will become the angriest woman in Westeros.
Meanwhile in the Stark camp, Talisa cuddles up to Robb so hard during his meetings that it is no surprise he stays half focused on her instead of the wisdom his mother is laying down about the political implications of Edmure delaying the wedding with the Frey girl, even with the horrendous weather. Of course, they waste no time getting busy once they are alone. None of this is new to Game of Thrones or to this couple, but here is where things start to head into some new territory. After their lovin’, the naked Talisa gently lets Robb know that she’s pregnant. The dangers here are obvious, so I felt with Robb as this news hit him with worry as well as hope and excitement. War plus baby sounds scary.
Jon Snow and Ygritte only got to enjoy a very brief honeymoon period in their relationship. Now everyone wants to tell them everything. Jon gets very frank but unwelcome wildling sex advice from the enormously confident Tormund Giantsbane. The Ugly and unpleasant warg fellow tries to drive them apart by muttering unpleasantness at each of them separately. No one wants to just let either Ygritte or Jon have their bubble of happiness in this dangerous time. This doesn’t stop their flirty one-upmanship; it doesn’t even slow down. Now that they are south of the wall, Jon knows a thing or two. Ygritte mistakes an abandoned stone windmill for a great palace. To the contrary, she gives Jon another perspective to consider when she questions the assumptions made about battle by the southern militaries. She doesn’t see much use in drums or banners or for the history Jon tries to share about previous Wildling attacks. I worry for them now.
Margaery and Sansa’s little dialogue offers the best quote of the episode, “We’re very complicated, you know. Pleasing us takes practice.” She’s yet another person talking about sex. She also obliquely hits on Sansa (I swear, I am not making this up) when she explains about how different people want different things in a romantic partner. She starts out with a long list of types of men then ends with a mention of women while giving Sansa the pretty Highgarden eyes. Sansa Stark is clueless and doesn’t even realize what she’s missing. Ugh. Part of her point was to get Sansa to realize that Tyrion isn’t the worst possible future spouse, but Sansa isn’t having any of that either.
As far as Tyrion’s feelings about the upcoming marriage, he’s still trying to sort them out. First he discusses his options with Bronn, who is fairly optimistic. Then Shae shares her worries with Tyrion aggressively. He doesn’t have very good things to say in order to convince her that life as his kept woman will be okay once he is married to Sansa. He does offer her jewelry and her own house as opposed to her day job as Sansa’s lady’s maid, but he’s just not convincing her or himself, so she leaves him alone to ponder some more.
Tywin schools Joffrey on rulership in a truly epic scene, but he happens to be wrong about dragons. He says that Joffrey doesn’t need to worry about the Targaryen girl or her three dragons. He does not nowever promise to start holding small council meetings in the small council chamber. We’ll see what Joffrey makes out of this in time.
Speaking of dragons, Daenerys’ babies have grown! Yunkai, she’s decided that even an offer of gold and ships to take her army where she’s been waiting two and half seasons to go will keep her from freeing all the slaves she can. She boldly threatens Razdal, the city’s emissary
Bran and Osha’s journey with the Reeds exposes a bit of conflict about who is in charge and where they are all going. Everyone but Osha wants to go north of the wall, but she wants to take Bran to his half-brother Jon. But it ends with some real information about Osha’s past in the Wildling lands. Her loving husband turned white walker husband is a moving tale of love lost told in the most utilitarian Northern fashion possible. So very Osha.
Arya runs away from the Brotherhood Without Banners because they suffer from mission drift constantly. Instead of taking Arya to her people, they decide to initiate a raid on a group of Lannisters. She doesn’t have the patience to deal with them, but unfortunately once she easily dodges them, she ends up in the firm and unfriendly grip of the Hound. If it was Sansa, I wouldn’t worry so much. She’s a little bird to him, but he hasn’t ever warmed to Arya that I can tell.
Now that she’s taken him away from the Brotherhood, Melisandre informs Gendry of his half-royal parentage. He seems quite surprised to find himself the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. The scene isn’t particularly strong between these two secondary characters, but mostly because the show hasn’t spent enough time on them individually to cement their characters for us meaningfully. She mentions Gendry’s skill at fighting, and I was all like, “What skill? What do you know that I don’t?” I keep telling myself to be patient with this plot because I can tell it is going somewhere, I just don’t know where.
We visit Theon Greyjoy in Torturetown again, this time with pretty girls who will watch him be castrated or otherwise mutilated in his man parts. We still don’t know by whom or why. I hate spending precious Westeros minutes on this until there is a reason to care.
Emotions ran high this week, and I already feel nervous about next week.