We begin our episode of Game of Thrones a bit south of the wall, where we have some manner of jealous intrigue developing with Jon & Ginger and Orell. Orell’s true feelings for Ygritte must have awakened after he cut her lifeline last week. Either that or he’s sick of listening to their conversation and hopes to get one or the other of them killed.
Further south, on the road to the Twins, we have grousing and bickering amongst the Stark Brain Trust, and a load of gratuitous candlelit nudity with Robbo and Nurse NITB. Which is nothing to complain about. Our takeaway from this is that Nurse is knocked up. Let’s all say it together: This will end well.
Further, further south (I think, my sense of direction fails me often), Sansa & Marge are having a heart to heart. Or rather, Marge is trying to settle Sansa down and doing a typically masterful job. Not that she’s even bullshitting that hard. Her points are solid: Tyrion’s the only person in town other than the Hound who ever treated her with any compassion. (Tyrion was just doing his job, mind you; the Hound was in love.) And thanks to Nose NITB, he is actually rather ruggedly handsome. He’s still four feet tall and and a pretentious, sarcastic grouch, but some people find that alluring.
Furthermore, he’s not a hair-trigger sadist and he’s never killed a hooker. Sansa should be comforting Marge, by rights.
And oh, the look on Sansa’s face when it dawns that she’s expected to make babies with Tyrion. Marge manages a good save on that one, too.
On the other side of the knitting, we have Bronn doing a less masterful but even funnier version of Marge’s pep talk. Tyrion seems to have forgotten that he’s a whoremongering, opportunistic degenerate; luckily Bronn remembers.
And we finally get our Tywin vs. Joff scene, which plays out in a more subdued manner than expected. Of course, the kids always behave for Grandpa. And when Joff gets a little agitated, Tywin shuts him down with a power move. Yes, he’s just ascending the steps to throne level, but it’s all in the attitude.
When Tywin excuses himself, it’s clear even to Joff that this was a one-sided encounter. Total ownage, Tywin-style.
Meanwhile on the far side of the world, Dany and her Two Daddies are discussing the merits of going to war with a walled city. Or, rather, 2Dads are pissing in the wind and Dany’s decided that Yunkai is going down.
Take note: When negotiating a surrender, make sure you have a couple of surly adolescent dragons around to punctuate your main points with toothy shrieks of rage. Better than a dire wolf, even.
Dany is of course right to reject the Yunkish bribes, if only because there’s no way two underfed slaves could lug those chests if that was actual gold. Clearly gold-painted balsa wood.
There’s a German term I’ve always liked: Drachenfutter. It literally means “dragon food”, and it refers to the sort of gifts you buy for your woman after you’ve seriously pissed her off. Tyrion is not getting out of this mess with Shae the Funny Whore with a necklace, however. And however sincere he may be, Shae is the one seeing things clearly.
And floating past, unbeknownst to all, are Red Mel and Gendry. What Mel is playing at by revealing Gendry’s little secret to him is beyond me. I mean, she gives him the meaningful crazy eyes to go with it, but I bet she does that when she asks for a glass of milk.
Back with the BWB, Arya throws a great big strop and runs away. Into the arms of the Hound, who is pretty sneaky for a guy his size.
Jaime comes to visit Brienne in her martyr’s cell, and they have a moment. Brienne has accepted that Jaime has enough honor to be trusted to keep his oath, and addresses him as Ser instead of Kingslayer. Jaime, again, is struck mute, and leaves the room and the castle clearly hating himself to his very soul.
Our Theon of Sorrows finds himself being given succor by a pair of saucy serving girls, which is the sort of thing that Odious Theon would have smirked his way through like Austin Powers. Traumatized Theon immediately smells a setup, and frantically resists until one of them literally sits on his dick and wiggles. His body reacts, he surrenders to the moment, and Barry the Bastard blasts in right on cue with his fucking vuvuzela.
We don’t actually see him castrate Theon. But really, he did that. The question is, if you’re keeping someone around as a torture canvas, what do you do to top this? Sweet dreams, everyone.
We’re getting a lot of Jon & Ginger this ep, and a lot of back & forth for contrast. Ygritte’s a solid hunter and not a fainter, but she’s never seen a building the size of a windmill. Jon knows his history, but he’s never lived his own life.
And it turns out that Tonks, much like Varys, has some solid reasons for her loathing of the supernatural. Nice to know what was bugging her so much.
Without Brienne around, Jaime reverts, and passes some time bullying Qyburn for being a ghoul. As an afterthought, he asks if Brienne’s dad ever wrote back. Yes, it turns out, and Jaime’s hasty lie about the sapphire isle has come back for another bite of his ass.
So he blags his way back to Harrenhal and shuts down the party again, this time by jumping into a fucking bear pit. And, against all odds, he blags his way back out, past Ruthven and a couple hundred other men who hate his guts. Jaime, it turns out, is a quick thinker and a hardnose negotiator. There may be a future for J as a lefty after all.
(Note: Wife and I watched that last scene together, and her only comment after was “Poor bear…”)