Recap

'Game of Thrones' Recap: A Tale of Two Massacres

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Apr 21, 2013 | 10:25pm EDT
Credit: HBO

Can you believe we're already on week four of Game of Thrones? Apparently it's come time for s**t to get real — as even though there were a few check-in scenes we could have done entirely without (sorry Bran), I think fans should be pleased with this week's action. I was personally most intrigued by Arya's meeting with Beric Dondarrion of the Brotherhood Without Banners (not to mention Theon's capture!) but the moment everyone will likely be talking about at the water cooler tomorrow is Dany's final meeting with the slave trader. It was only a four minute scene (the only time we had with her this week) but the end shot of Dany marching through the desert with 8,000ish Unsullied and 3 — yes, 3 — dragons should satiate Dany fans for quite some time.

But enough about blondie. How are we feeling about Theon's massive betrayal? About Jaime's fading desire to live? Sansa's upcoming marriage to a gay man? Let's dig in!

Jaimenne: Had you forgotten for ten seconds about last week's harrowing final moments, when Jaime Lannister's prized member was chopped like a chicken gizzard? Well in case you had (dummy) we opened up on a close-up of the damned thing this week, dangling off Jaime's neck to remind him and whomever may pass of his great shame. "How many fingers do you think we can stick up his ass?" Locke's crass men wondered (out loud). It must be noted that while all of this was going on Jamie was as vacant as a Beverly Hills housewife after her morning pill cocktail, while Brienne looked absolutely horrified at the deterioration of her long-time travel partner. They also made jokes about Cersei anally raping him (don't know how that would work) so that didn't help.

Jaime had given up so much that he literally just toppled off his horse into the mud, a la Season 1 Drogo. It wasn't pretty seeing my boyfriend this way, it most definitely was not. He picked a one-handed fight with Locke and his men in an attempt to just die already without his precious right hand, but no one was going to make it that easy for him. Plus, the bounty on his head is sure to be insane, dismemberment or no.

That night, as they camped, Brienne had to essentially force my poor Lannister Lion to take a bite of food. "You need to live," she said. "To take revenge." Jaime did not agree, as now that his hand had been forcibly removed, he had nothing left to live for. "I was that hand," he said. Brienne wasn't happy about this. "You get one taste of the real world, where people have important things taken from them, and you whine and cry and quit. You sound like a bloody woman." With those shockingly cruel words as a motivator, he ate. Feminism! 

Brienne also revealed that she knew what Jaime had done for her. The Sapphire Island she was from was so called due to its icy blue waters, not because of any presence of sapphires. Jaime had obviously known this, but lied to save her anyway. Why? We, and probably Jaime himself, don't know — mostly because he pulled a Don Draper and didn't answer the question. But I have my own theories — when you think about it, Brienne is the first legitimate friend Jaime Lannister has ever had. He doesn't know what to do with this newfound attachment, but he's fully aware of the fact that it's there. TBD. Your allotted time is OVER, Jaime and Brienne.

King's Landing: What a great way to start the week off in old KL — with a conversation between Tyrion and Varys! Tyrion wanted to chat about Blackwater, or more specifically, that one little part where one of Cersei's men tried to kill Tyrion. Either to change the topic or… oh, who knows what is motivating Varys, ever, he finally regaled Tyrion with the story of how he was cut. To paraphrase:

Varys was a traveling actor in the free cities, until some dude who seemed like a pedophile bought him. "He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses… he sliced me root and stem, chanting all the while." He then burned Varys' you-know-what, the flames turning blue, until a voice answered his chants. Horrible. Just terrible. But wait.

THERE'S A GOD/DEMON THAT FEEDS OFF THE JUNK OF LITTLE BOYS!? We've always known that Westeros and Essos (that's across the Narrow Sea, FYI) were f**ked up, but this creature needs the full wrath of Megan's Law on his ass.

Anyway. Despite his dicklessness, Varys proved that you don't need "balls" to be a badass, despite what popular vernacular would have you believe. He hates all magic now — hence his willingness to fight Stannis, Melisandre, and their Lord of Light — and he even captured his own red priest dickcutter and now keeps him shackled in a box. "Influence grows like a weed," he explained to Tyrion, now clearly using his own struggles as a more painful metaphor to Tyrion's current one. "I tended mine patiently, until its tendrils reached from the Red Keep all the way across to the far side of the world, where I managed to wrap them around something very special."

"I have no doubt the revenge you want will be yours in time," he finished. "If you have the stomach for it."

Later, Varys went to speak to Roz about Pod the Lustrous Lover, as he too apparently could not believe the stories about his free session last week. Roz said that it was not size-related, but the ladies did say that he was the most extraordinary "man" they'd ever met. When Varys pried for more, all Roz could say was what she was told — that it was "hard to describe." Well, here we have it folks — the big mystery of Season 3. Shout out your guesses in the comments!

Varys and Roz also chatted about Littlefinger, who was about to sail off for the Vale and Lady Lysa of the Gross Breastfeeding Lysas. Varys wanted information on his plans for Sansa, and Roz revealed that he had booked twobeds for his journey. Oh, the look on Cersei's face when she finds out will be worth that extra fare alone.

Meanwhile, my one true king Joffrey took Margaery on your typical second date, you know, the date where you show the lady places where people had been brutally murdered. "What's left of her is buried in the crypts right down there!" he said with glee. They ran into Cersei and the Queen of Thorns who were in the midst of wedding planning, where Margaery again got to show Cersei just how whipped her son actually was. But Cersei saw through it. She saw right through it. The conversation switched from wedding tables to the stupidity of men (a favorite in my household as well). "We mothers do what we can to keep our sons from the grave; they do seem to yearn for it," QoT said. And yet the world belongs to them, Cersei replied. The look on QoT's face said, "Not in my house, Lady.".

Margaery and Joffrey wandered off to the Targaryen graves, which Margaery was particularly happy to see. "Sometimes severity is the price we pay for greatness," she remarked. "Swoon," Joff replied. Then they heard the jibber jabber of the po'folk outside, and Margaery convinced Joffrey to take his first official visit. "You lead the defense of King's Landing," she cooed. "They adore you."

So King's Landing's evil Obamas walked outside and waved to their adoring public. As a result of this, Cersei came running to Tywin, giving some speech on how he should trust her more as she was the only one who listened to him growing up. He heard her council, but all she did was bitch about the Tyrells, specifically how Margaery knew how to manipulate her son. Tywin, being somewhat more logical than his sister, knew that this was a good thing — as Joffrey, being stupid, needed to be properly manipulated. "I don't distrust you because you're a woman, I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think you are."

QoT Olenna, meanwhile, headed to the gardens for a chat with Varys about Ms. Sansa Stark. And boy, when these two trade verbal barbs it is magnificent. I know we all love Tyrion, but these two surely contain the sharpest minds in King's Landing, or at least best know how to use them. Anyways, Varys wasn't happy about Littlefinger stealing off with Sansa, as "Littlefinger is one of the most dangerous men in Westeros." He was born without land or title, and now had both — and soon he'd have Sansa Stark, the "key to the North" should Robb fall. How easily could the silver-tongued serpent garner up an army then you think? Especially from the high-up comfort of the Eyrie?

His solution was to try to marry Sansa to a Tyrell — and as they spoke, the little dove herself was approached by her proposed future relative Margaery, as she was praying, of course. Those Starks and their goddamned praying. Now we all know that Margaery is manipulative and cunning and Sansa is… nice … but their "friendship" actually seems somewhat genuine, or at least as genuine as a Tyrell friendship can be. The Joffrey Survivor's Club must create a special bond of sorts, but I'm interested to see Margaery's plan for Sansa — being who she is, she probably would not take on a friendship that did not work to her benefit. Part of Margaery's plan now involves setting Sansa up for a sexless marriage with a gay husband (Loras), but considering Sansa's alternatives right now that's probably for the best.

Credit: HBO

Craster's School of Incest and Wizardry: Up north, absolutely no one was happy at Craster's Keep. Which I get, because it's an incest and murder haven surrounded by White Walkers where you're only allowed a warm bed if you are actually sleeping with Craster. Sam met Gilly's baby who, unsurprisingly, was male — or as we call it over on The Walking Dead, Walker-bait. Gilly was all ornery over the impending death of her child, to the point where she angrily gave back poor old Sam's token of his affection. Oh no. This has to end. This has to end now.

That night, the creatures of the Night's Watch had to bury a ranger from starvation, since Craster was still being an ass and not sharing his food. Starvation will drive a man to insanity, so it's not too surprising that those terrible guys who torture Sam walked inside, called Craster a "Wildling Bastard" and gutted him like a fish. Mayhem! Mayhem, I tell you! One of them stabbed even Commander Mormont, which is sad. RIP Dany's friend's dad. You were nice, I guess.

So now the jerks of the Night's Watch are free to roam as they please, while Sam has run away with Gilly and her baby. "Run fast, Piggy!" the main douche shouted. "And sleep well! I'll be cutting your throat too, one of these nights."

And Now for a Brief Useless Interlude With Brandon Stark: Bran and Jojen, Actually had a shared crow dream again, only this time Catelyn appeared to throw Bran out of a tree. Boom. That is literally all that happened. See you next week for 45 seconds, Bran.

50 Shades of Theon: So Theon was still riding with that mysterious boy from the torture dungeon, who offered a story about his life in the Iron Islands; specifically the day Lord Balon Greyjoy sent Theon away. It was so mean and horrible! All of this had been just too much for the poor loyal boy to bare, so when he saw his former Lord tortured, he knew it was time to act. This would all be very believable had he not said "winter is coming" last week. Not something you hear very often on the Iron Isles, ya know?

They entered a castle of sorts through the wet and rainy dungeons, supposedly looking for Theon's sister Yara and her men. Theon told his sad tale about life with the Starks and actually showed remorse for his shitty decision(s) last year, making him ten times more sympathetic who the Theon that appears in the books. I still wonder if they've kept him around these extra seasons (he's gone books 2-5) due to the likability of Alfie Allen's version of the character (and his abs?). It would make sense, as he's damn good. Anyway, Theon is especially torn up over the murder of the two butcher's boys, which, good. He should be.

They entered the room where Yara would be waiting, except it actually contained… The same cross he'd been tortured on for weeks! Oh, [name still redacted] you cruel, clever boy. He told the remaining men that THEON had killed the others, thus improving his own standing in the house. So, more torture it is for the kid who just can't catch a break.

Team Wolf Bread: Arya and Gendry were still wearing hooded cloaks as Thoros and the rest of the Brotherhood carried them off to their destination, which Lady Arya was not too happy about. But they let her drink rum, which is more hospitality than she'd get from Craster. Eventually Thoros led them into a cave where "neither wolves nor lions could prowl" — and in this cave was both Sandor Clegane (tied up) and Beric Dondarrion, the knight Ned Stark sent out to kill Gregor Clegane back in Season 1.

But Beric Dondarrion had changed. Not just the actor — he was different too, but I'm more talking about the fact that he had embraced the Lord of Light and now spent his time preying on people who preyed on the weak. Dondarrion didn't approve of murder, though — he would only kill Gregor after a "trial" of sorts, which really just meant someone accusing him of something bad enough to justify Dondarrion murdering him.

Luckily, lo and behold, Arya was there, and she was still pretty pissed about her ill-fated friend from Season 1. "You murdered the butchers' boy!" she said. "He was 12 years old. He was unarmed. And you rode him down." Lest we forget how badass she is, she also owned up to being the one to have hit Joffrey, with a "WTF are you going to do with it?" manner. So Dondarrion called for a trial by combat (aw, where's Bronn when you need him?) which led to some Sandor Clegane trash-talking, which I'm only mentioning because he taunted Dondarrion by saying "Is the girl the bravest one here?" and Dondarrion pretty much said yes, which I loved because I essentially worship the ground that child walks on. But alas, the rest will have to wait for next week.

Credit: HBO

Dragon Tales: Speaking of someone a lot of girls love to worship (but I still don't get it, sorry) we ended the episode with Dany making her final trade (Drogon) for her army of only-so-so-about-nipples-could-take-or-leave-them soldiers. Again the trader was sexist and crass in his foreign tongue… until Dany walked away with her slave-owner stick LIKE A BOSS and started addressing her army in that very same language. She knew all along! Valyrian is her mother tongue, duh.

The trader could not get Drogon to behave, which is another "duh" because Drogon is a freaking monster dragon. And now that Dany held the talking stick the Unsullied would do whatever she said, which this time was "kill everyone else holding a slave talking stick and free all the slaves." It was a bloodbath, and when Dany uttered the word "Dracarys" he breathed fire upon that bald-headed bastard. RIP, crass sexist slave-trader man.

Dany stood silently in this bordello of blood, as an explosion of flames took place dramatically right behind her. Once all was said and done, Jorah Mormont of the now fatherless Mormonts took a look at his Queen, who was quickly slipping out of his grasp. She was a woman now — a fearless women with thousands of seasoned warriors (and a hot translator) at her disposal. Of course she did her thing she always does where she says that everyone is free and can choose to follow her or not, but these Unsullied are bred to be killers-for-hire, so we knew they weren't going anywhere. Instead they used their spears to start a chat of sorts for Dany, and they all took off and headed… who knows where. I'd say Westeros, but we all know that's a lie. Either way, freaking crazy impressive army, Dany.

What did you think of this week's episode? Are you sick of the 45-second "catch up" scenes or do you like seeing every character every week? What do you think is the best move for Sansa? Shout it out in the comments, nerds!

Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna


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