Yes, yes, I know this is late but blame the auto blog post thingy because there I was thinking I’d filed this one in pretty early only to discover um no. *smacks head* Let’s get right to it.
We ended the last episode with fire and this episode took off right where we left off; with fire. The Hound defeated the god of Light when he won his trial by combat with Dondarion but not so fast, within moments of his death Dondarrion was resurrected, so to speak, by this all powerful god. This gives us inkling as to power of this god of light and how significant he will become in later episodes. Although the god of Light is not powerful enough to resurrect a headless man from the dead as Arya Stark finds out. Poor child.
Lady Olenna can be my Queen any day. We only saw a bit of her in this episode but so far her character has delivered every single time. In her scene with Tyrion, she doesn’t fail to hide her disappointment at finding him nothing but a “brow beaten bookkeeper” quite contrary to his reputation of being a drunken mischievous character. Poor Tyrion, he’s having a bad time of it lately. No? He looked so pained by her words as they hit home, reminding him how far he has fallen. And as if that isn’t bad enough he has been ordered by Papa Lannister to marry Sansa Stark to avoid her being married off to Loras. Cersei’s gloating smile was wiped off her face when she was ordered to marry Loras, who we know has no inclination to women thanks to the scene with his squire, and start breeding, because you know, she still has her child bearing years about her. Thanks the gods for that! (*S). So quickly Sansa is becoming the key to the North in this battle and the Lannisters will do everything to keep her in their sight. Little Finger too has his own scheming up his sleeves despite his loyalty to the Lannisters. Poor little dove so simple and blissfully unaware.
The ghost of Ned Stark reared its head in this episode. We see Robb Stark faced with making a decision of epic proportion; does he kill Karstark for killing the Lannister hostages, to send a message to traitors but risk losing half his army? Or does he keep Karstark alive as leverage in order to gain the allegiance of his army a bit longer? Lady Catelyn and Queen Talisa feel strongly about the latter but Robb who, it would appear, has more to prove to himself than anyone else, opts for the head of Karstark; the Starks really do have a thing for beheading don’t they? Quickly after beheading Karstark, his (Karstark’s) army abandons Robb who then decides to lay a siege on Casterly Rock with what army he has left. BUT, and this is a big BUT, he needs the help of Lord Fey in doing so. The same Lord Fey whose daughter he was supposed to marry… Hindsights is a right royal bitch eh Robb? Poor Talisa.
(Yes we are full of the poors this episode aren’t we just)
In a bath time confessional between Brienne and Jaime- seriously though his and her baths wouldn’t have gone amiss but the bigger issue was Jaime’s Lannisters! my poor eyes) Anyway, in this bath time tale Jaime gave us a back story into the reign of the mad King Aryan Targaryen who wanted to burn all of Kings Landing. Becoming the King Slayer was the price Jaime paid to save his people. Yet another layer to Jaime being one of the more compelling characters, next to Daenerys and Tyrion. When Brienne asks why he didn’t allay any of this to Ned Stark, it is obvious Jaime would rather die than admit the truth to Stark who’s never really taken a liking to Jaime and believes the worst of him. Here we see Jaime at his very weakest which only strengthens the depth of his character, stripped bare but no less honourable. Even more so.
We meet Stannis Baratheon’s very Kray wife Queen Selyse with her even Kray-er choice in home furnishing; her still born sons in quite nice lamps. I mean there’s obviously a lot of crazy going on here. Their daughter, the rather sweet Princess Shireen who forms a friendship with Davos, is locked in a dungeon, I would imagine for her facial deformity, nonetheless, this is a family of crazies. It gets even weirder when Selyse tells Stannis she gives her blessing for his indiscretion with Mellisandre because it was essentially for the greater good. Just what is the dynamic here? I’m intrigued.
Jon Snow finally gets some sexy time to rid him of that brooding pout. Bloody hell, if I had to watch him brood one more minute I would have reached out to slap him. But Ygritte got him to loosen up sexily, after which they went all young lovers skinny-deeping on us at which point Ygritte wanted to abandon her Wildling calling. “You know nothing Jon Sno-o-o-ow” Mmm Hmm. And I guess Snow is no longer an man of the watch considering he has broken his vows…oh the love of a woman, what it’ll do to you.
After giving us an epic scene in last week’s ending, Khaleesi is getting her army prepared for battle as they choose a captain. What’s compelling in this scene is that, Grey Worm, said captain, refuses to give up his slave name and take up his birth name because it is the name he held the day Daenerys Stormborn gave him his freedom. And so she gains their allegiance. As for the allegiance of her advisers, we have a cause for concern; in flashback episodes at the beginning we now know we cannot trust Ser Barristan as for Ser Mormont the jury is out but still very weary. In any case there’ll always be the dragons to “Dracarys.” Having learnt of her father’s rather tempestuous side, it is easy to wonder whether Daenerys too possess the same irrational mind but time and again, so far, she has shown us the depth of her character, whilst possessing the heart of the dragon so to speak, she also has compassion especially for those in a lowlier place than she is. This is the winning quality to her.
After last week’s very dramatic series of events this was an emotionally heavy episode from Arya’s wish for her father to come back to life to Jaime’s confession, Cersei’s fear of being forced to marry Loras, even the pain of the past; Tyrion’s memory of what happened to his first marriage which his father destroyed, Dondarrion’s confession to being less of a man each time he resurrected by his lord of Light and down to the possibility that Robb may break Talisa’s heart in his quest for Casterly Rock… There is a new dynamic with this god of light, just how significant an element it’ll be remains to be seen.
Ultimately everybody is a pun in someone’s scheme and once again the Starks are left in limbo of the sort. Robb’s influence as King of the North is waning and there is no indication that he is advancing in this very stagnant battle. There have been no significant victories, if anything, its been a bit of a losing streak for him, first Jaime thanks to his mother and now the two Lannister boys thanks to Karstark. He is left short of a proper army. The King of the North needs to think fast if he is to fill his father’s shoes. But at what cost?