‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Grin and Bear It (Season 3, Episode 7)

Credit: Keith Bernstein/HBO

Death catches up to all of us, in the end. Every time, without fail, 100% of the time: in the battle of Life v. Death, Death wins. The task that’s left is of the grin-and-bear it variety: die, but not without living first. Times are hard in Westeros these days, and it seems like nobody is getting what they want, because they’re losing everything. Arya’s lost Gendry, Sansa’s lost her gay husband-to-be and a chance to escape, Joffrey’s lost control, and Theon’s lost all hope. It seems as though nearly everyone is fighting a losing battle — and Jaime isn’t the only one in need of a hand. Oh, Game of Thrones, you tricky beast: you’re going to try and dull our senses before you destroy them with senseless death and bloodshed, aren’t you?

Sunday night’s episode, “The Bear and Maiden Fair” was the seventh of the season — meaning, we’re nearly finished. Only three episodes remain and the lionshare of shenanigans (in an already packed season) are rumored to take place amongst their final minutes. So for now? Bring on the sex!

By The Skin of Their… —
If you were one of those people who lamented the last few episodes for not having nearly enough naked people in it, this week should’ve done you quite well. Robb and Talisa were the first two to get in on the action, having a quick romp in the tent before the admission that perhaps Robb’s direwolf is going to have to rock a baby bassinet one of these days soon: surprise! That’s right, Talisa’s pregnant and Robb couldn’t be more amped on it. A good, naked day for them all around. Clearly this means something terrible is going to happen to them both very soon.We pretty much only saw butts here, though. Butts butts butts — it’s fun to say, isn’t it? Royal butts abound!

Also gettin’ a bit of skin is Theon — though obviously it’s not going as bang-a-rang for him. Tonight’s episode saw Theon still stuck in (at least as far as the show is concerned) gods-knows-where and being tortured by our mystery psychopath. And, OK, I have to ask: did Theon just lose his d**k? Because he looks like that’s what was about to happen. Theon Greyjoy joins the castrati. Oh, I’ll be so sad if Theon loses his junk, you guys, because that one’s really just a loss for Westeros ginger-lovers everywhere. Talk about paying the iron price: guess that’s why these cats aren’t all into reaping. Really brings a whole new meaning to the house motto of “We Do Not Sow,” if it’s true, eh?

But seriously, the brutalization of Theon Greyjoy’s been a tough one to watch — he’s broken, and this is far ahead of his personal storyline as far as the book this season follows is concerned (book 3 of the George R.R. Martin series). And, given that it is largely un-documented on the page, this means what we saw was essentially the minds of our favorite demented and ruthless showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Which is why Theon’s walk towards Castration Way felt extra brutal. He managed in his completely destroyed state to somehow get turned on by the ladies throwing themselves at him, giving him a bit of water, only to have it immediately destroyed. Something tells us blue balls are the least of Theon’s problems, and it’s only going to get worse.

Someone who isn’t worrying about blue balls is Jon Snow, though. America’s favorite bastard and his wilding lady Ygritte seem to have found a wedge in Orell, who is desperately trying to keep the two separate. But Orell’s warging ways are no match for Jon Snow’s oral abilities. Plus, those two crazy kids are just real cute together: her trying to sound like a lady, and him attempting to amp up his dirty-flirty banter that she loves so much. It’s all rather precious. I hope — at least for Ygritte’s sake — that Orell doesn’t have a for-real-real, serious crush on her though, because that sounds like it could end in disaster for everyone involved.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore: The Story of Brienne of Tarth —
Poor Brienne. She’s done her duty and tried to stay honorable and look where it’s gotten her: in a terrible dress, fighting a bear in a pit for a bunch of garbage trolls’ enjoyment. Her and Jaime’s budding friendship/mutual respect thing is so fascinating because it makes me feel something other than utter disgust for a cocky incest-and-attempted-child murderer knight. Mixed feelings, they are everywhere. But one thing is for certain: Brienne’s dress from last week is still here and it is still the worst. It is the Pepto Bismol of dresses. If there is such a thing as dowdy and outdated in the Realm, this is it. Granted, the dress is now completely overshadowed by the bear claw gashes running down her neck, but still: that dress. The worst.

But let’s all give a big round of applause to Bart the Bear who really gave us casual, terrifying animalistic realness tonight. Just don’t clap too loud or else he might come and maul you to death. I bet he’s a real sadistic type of bear: he probably lazily paws around with your foot or something after he does it. For the role, Bart! We mean for the role. We love you, Bart.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Maternal Instincts —
The mommy gene was alive and well for many of the gals, not just pregnant Jeyne. Margaery Tyrell has continued to show not only a deft handle of politics, but also compassion and motherly will. In a relationship that could’ve quickly dissolved following last week’s episode, Margaery stood by Sansa Stark in all her silly little teen girl naïveté. She thought that if she just got what she thought she wanted (coming to the Red Keep, getting betrothed to Joffrey) she’d finally be happy.

Oh, girl. Oh honey. This girl has so much learning to do. To which, Margaery remained persistant in her explanations: “women in our position, must make the best of our circumstances,” she explained. Plus, Sansa girl: do you know what you’re giving up right now? Tyrion may be a dwarf but he’s handsome, far and away the nicest Lannister of the bunch, smart, and he loves to please them ladies. Sansa if you keep judging a dude’s worth by his purse strings you’re going to be majorly unhappy for all of your days. Focus on the good, and what you can do! Be more like Margaery and her wonderfully liberated self. Sure, she might have to still play a typical role, but she’s willing to make the most of it. After all, “Sons learn from their mothers — and I plan to teach mine a great deal.”

But perhaps having the best Mother’s Day ever is Head Khaleesi in Charge, Daenerys Targaryen. Marching into her second slave city of the season — Yunkai. Only the rulers of this town are nowhere near as dumb as that a**hat from Astapor (guess that’s why they call them the “Wise Masters” over there). Still, he makes an offer that Dany quickly refuses: ships and gold as long as she lets them keep their slaves. But Dany is still on her “free the slaves” tip, and isn’t about to back down all that quickly. So what happens when you’re an overprotective baby monster and your mother’s just been threatened? You lose your gold and possibly a kingdom — so you better be careful.

Melisandre even gets in on the game, prepping her newest potential smoke-vagina-monster-giver Gendry (I mean, that has to be what’s happening here, right?) for his future greatness. Sharing with him, emoting with him — manipulating him into exactly what she wants. By leading him past the Red Keep on their way back to Stannis’, she was simultaneously able to teach him not only of his origins (the bastard of King Robert), but also of the importance of his paternity. He may be a bastard, but he’s also an heir. Sometimes I think absentee dads have a bigger influence on kids than ones that stick around. Also the manipulative abilities Melisandre (and her vagina) terrify me. I don’t want wee Gendry involved in any of that!

Loose Ends:
– Is it just me or is it still really surprising to see a landing strip (and I don’t mean for airplanes!) in Westeros? The whole Medieval vibe of the show, coupled with the general unwashed nature of most of the cast always makes me question the pubic hair choices (and abilities!) of the ladies on this show.
– Learning about Osha’s husband tonight was so sad, but I’m really glad we’re getting a bit of character development for someone who while otherwise wonderful, is woefully one dimensional.
– Pro-Tip for Wildlings: Comparing a lady to seals and baby pigs is a surefire way to make sure you never get it in. Ever. Take some advice from Jon Snow or  if you want to know how to please a lady.
– Implementing a new rule: every time we see a lady’s vagina we might as well throw a couple weens in there, too. And so it was decreed as law: henceforth and in perpetuity.
– Arya’s god is death, she declares: does sound really f**king ominous to anyone else? 

What did you think of this week’s Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments.

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