Shit continues to hit the fan in the land of Westeros this week. Executions are imminent, war is all but proclaimed, little girls are forced to stab people, zombies and giant penises are exposed! Exciting stuff.
The show opens in the best way possible, with Syrio Forel teaching dancing to Arya. And she’s getting really good! Unfortunately though, the rest of the household is being slaughtered. Sansa’s dress flows beautifully as she tries to run to safety, but really, where is there she can go that is safe in King’s Landing? Syrio manages to teach Arya an important lesson about the true seeing when guards try to take her away. But they’re Lannister guards, and Arya and Syrio realize something is up. Syrio manages to take out like 4 fully armoured knights WITH A WOODEN SWORD so Arya can get away. She tries to get him to come with her, but he knows if he does she won’t get away in time.
Arya gets away because she knows the hidden passageways and back passages of the castle, and Sansa is pretty much immediately caught by the Hound. A stable boy tries to take Arya as she’s searching their fallen luggage for Needle, and she accidently kills him.
Varys visits Ned in the dungeon, and brings him water and news (considering how he’s been baiting Ned all season to find out about Joffrey’s parentage, he kind of owes him). Varys calls him a fool for going to Cersei first with his knowledge, and that it was probably the impetus for the King’s death. Oh, and Catelyn doesn’t have Tyrion anymore, meaning the Lannisters have nothing stopping them from killing Ned. Ned asks Varys who he serves, and he replies, “The realm”. And I actually believe him. He’s playing his own game, obviously, but I think he actually does want to bring true stability back to Westeros.
Sansa is brought to the Queen and council, and they tell her about her father’s treachery (though not the details, obviously). Sansa begs to remain Joffrey’s fiancée, so they make her write a letter to her brother and mother to get them to come to King’s Landing and swear their fealty. Sansa wants to see her Dad, to talk to him, but of course they can’t allow that, and she is shamed out of that notion right quick.
Sansa eventually goes to Joffrey’s first meeting of court, where those who moved against Ned Stark are rewarded for their treachery (if you listen carefully, you hear the captain of the city guard being given quite a large holding and being made a lord). Tywin is appointed Hand (again). Ser Barristan, being the only person who did try to side with Ned, is stripped of his office. Barristan knows exactly what is going down here, and storms off instead of taking the lands they’re clearly trying to placate him with. Sansa tries to beg for her father’s life using her only weapons – her beauty and her manners. But it doesn’t seem to be enough (although Varys does try to sway opinion to her side). Joffrey will only offer mercy if her father takes back what he said about his birth, and I think we all know Ned well enough by now to know that will never happen since he knows for sure it’s the truth.
Jon and Sam find the bodies to go along with that hand that Ghost found last week, and they bring them back to Castle Black. Commander Mormont wants them examined before they’re burned though, even though that’s what the Wildings to with their dead (and with good reason, it turns out). A raven arrives, and it turns out to be bearing the news from King’s Landing. Mormont summons his steward to his quarters to tell him what has happened to his father, and warns Jon that he cannot leave the Wall to help them. He’s made his bed with the Night’s Watch, and now he has to lie in it.
Ser Alliser decides that it’s a perfect time to goad Jon in the kitchens later though, and Jon goes at him with a knife. Mormont sees this and is not pleased. Jon is confined to quarters. Ghost starts flipping out and scratches at the door incessantly, and Jon goes out to investigate. Turns out they should have burned those bodies after all, because those suckers are walking around now (and the one he encounters looks delightfully like a certain member of the Addams family) and fire seems to be the only thing that slows them down. Jon is redeemed though, when he saves the Lord Commander’s life.
As they burn the walking dead in the morning, Sam tells them the few things he has managed to find out about the White Walkers in Maester Aemon’s library, and it ain’t good. The dead will walk, the white walkers are coming, and the Wall might not be enough to hold them back now that they’ve reawakened.
Catelyn is pissed at her sister for not giving her the news about her husband from King’s Landing immediately. Lysa and her son continue to be creepy, and not only that, but she refuses to help Cat. Nope, Lysa and the knights of the Vale are staying put in their impenetrable fortress. Practically, it’s not the worst plan, but it is pretty cold given the circumstances.
Tyrion and Bronn are most of the way down the mountain by now when they get ambushed by the hill tribes that lurk in the area. But Tyrion of course manages to win them over by saying awesome things and promising them money, arms, and even the Vale itself once they’ve cleared out the Arryns. Tyrion gathers the rest of the tribes with the same promises and manages to reach his father’s camp. The red tents obviously were not invented for stealth, but then the Lannisters are definitely arrogant enough to not care how easy their army is to find. Tyrion introduces the rest of the hill tribes (plus Bronn), although his father doesn’t seem too happy with him still, ashamed that his son didn’t manage to put up more of a fight. We learn that Jaime is doing well in his campaign, and Tyrion is caught up on all the news.
Tywin does actually agree his son’s bargain with the hill folk, and even offers them more of they join the Lannister host. They agree, but only as long as Tyrion sticks with them, to the point where he has to fight with them. Tyrion’s face at this proviso is priceless.
Robb receives the letter from Sansa, but he and the Maester see right through her words. They know it’s really from the Queen. They also realize it’s a trap. So Robb chooses to answer her summons, but not alone – he’ll go south only with the full force of Winterfell’s bannermen behind him. The other men of the North are appropriately tough and grizzled. A particularly amazing bear of a man called the Greatjon argues with Robb over leading the vanguard, and Robb manages to earn his respect by not giving in to his demands and having his wolf eat two of his fingers. No one questions Robb’s authority after that. The Greatjon even laughs. They don’t make pussies in the North, that’s for sure.
The army leaves in the night so as not to be seen by Lannister spies and Robb says goodbye to little Bran and leaves him in charge of Winterfell. The littlest Stark, Rickon, appears out of the shadows, and is adorably, heartbreakingly, sad. He doesn’t think anyone is coming back. Bran then goes to the Godswood to pray for his brother’s safety, where he meets Osha. Being from beyond the Wall, she too believes in the Old Gods. Hodor appears, naked as the day he’s born, and we learn that there are not only zombies and White Walkers beyond the wall, but giants too, and Hodor must have some giant blood in him to be so big. Apparently this can only be confirmed by seeing the penis. Osha tells Bran that his prayers might be for naught, because the Old Gods no longer hold sway in the South (the godswoods there have been torn up ages ago), and also tries to warn him that the army is marching the wrong way. But the army’s already gone and Bran is ten, so there’s really nothing that can be done about it.
Catelyn rides to meet Robb’s host, and the men are dismissed so Robb can hug his mom in privacy (he is, after all, only a 17 year old boy). The men seem to be pretty optimistic about defeating the Lannisters though. Robb shows his mother Sansa’s letter and she learns the fate of her daughters. Catelyn reminds her son of what is at stake if his loses, namely, that they’re all dead. There’s no turning back now.
Robb decides they need to cross the bridge into the south at the Twins before they can take on either of the Lannister armies (and the Lord there sounds like an opportunistic son of a bitch), when a Lannister scout is found. The scout of course gets sent off with a ‘message’ instead of being killed, just because that’s way awesomer.
The Dothraki Horde
Dany saves women from the least convincing rape ever (seriously, we get the “fingerbang soliloquy” [thanks Vulture!] last week, but we can’t handle a convincing rape scene? They just like, push those women around a little bit. Their DANCES are more rapey than that!) and the Dothraki horde still looks like it consists of about ten people. But I do enjoy Jorah’s Hercules shirt (although why he’s wearing it now, when they’re ACTUALLY IN BATTLE instead of earlier I have no idea). The Dothraki are at war now to fund their war on the Seven Kingdoms, but that doesn’t mean Daenarys still approves of their brutality.
The bloodrider she interrupts runs off to the Khal and whines she won’t let him have his fun. Drogo tells her this is the way of war, but Dany won’t back down, and the Khal is pleased by her fierceness. So he and the bloodrider have it out to the death, and Drogo wins using his bare hands, and rips out the man’s entire throat with his tongue attached. It’s kind of badass. Drogo is wounded though, and one of the slaves claims to be a healer who can help him. The Dothraki claim she is a witch and don’t seem to trust her, but Dany does, and Drogo relents to her request that he let this witch tend to him. Dun dun DUN.
- Outfit of the week goes to Sansa, who seems to finally have found a dress that isn’t two sizes too big.
- I don’t understand why the titles are still on Vaes Dothrak when they clearly left last week.
- Tyrion continues to have the best lines: “How would you like to die?” “At age 80, in my bed, with a girl’s mouth around my cock.” “There are many differences between me and my brother. He’s braver. I’m better looking.”
- Those ravens must be magic, cuz damn they’re fast.
- Also this episode was written by the book’s author himself, G.R.R. Martin, who will also be writing episode 8 next season.
- Also OMG OMG THE NEXT BOOK IS OUT IN A MONTH. MINE IS DEF. PREORDERED.