Having read the book upon which this season is based, my eyes and ears are tuned in to catch all the little throwaway moments that hint at foreshadowing. Things that happened in this episode that may be more important than they seem:
Instead of leaving them to burn, Arya saves the three dangerous prisoners, including Jaqen H'Ghar. A man would take note of this.
Before getting dead, Yoren tells Arya a nice little story about revenge and praying for the deaths of those who've wronged you.
Sometimes the best ideas are the bullshit ideas, i.e. Tyrion's "plans" for Littlefinger and Myrcella.
But back to the recappage.
Last night's Game of Thrones episode was all about siblings. How nice, right? Let's check in with the brothers and sisters of Westeros.
Gilly and her BrotherSon: Last week everyone's favorite bastard caught Craster ditching a newborn baby boy in the woods. I mean, like what did everyone expect Craster was doing with the baby boys? Seriously. The only options here are exposure or cannibalism. I think everyone should just be relieved Craster was only handing off his (grand)sons to the Others and not using them to make soup. But anyway, now Jon is all indignant about this and gets the Crows kicked out of Craster's keep and Lord Mormont is all, "Jon, you're just a kid, and a bastard to boot, because we are contractually obligated to mention at least twice per episode your bastard status. Craster isn't a great friend, but he's the ally we've got. He's kept us safe all these years. He kept your uncle safe until he went missing. Remember your uncle? I wonder what happened to that dude. Pity."
Meanwhile, Samwell was making friends with Gilly the Forbidden and he gave her a thimble because Sam knows what makes ladies swoon. He promises Gilly that the thimble will keep her safe until he returns for her.
Bran and Rickon of the Wolves: Oh there you are, Winterfell! Not much happening there right now. Bran is still dreaming he's a wolf, and apparently so is this unseen "Rickon," who may or may not be a figment of Bran's imagination at this point. Maester Luwin just can't even with this little lordling anymore. He just says, "Honey child, please, do you see the chains around my neck? These say I have the authority to break your broken little legs if you mention magic to me one more time, boy."
Renly and Stannis Baratheon: Renly is hanging out at the Reach with his new wife and his brother-in-law/boyfriend watching fights and having a merry old time. He's surrounded by supporters and everyone loves him, including Brienne of Tarth, a woman who would love nothing more than to serve in Renly's kingsguard. And Renly lets her, because he's so progressive. And he's generally a good guy. But HE HAS NO CLAIM TO THE THRONE. Technically, I mean, not to go all Ned Stark on you. And he's not prepared to fight Stannis. And if he and Stannis would just be brothers and join forces, they could beat the Lannisters no problem. Why can't they be co-kings? Why can't Stannis serve as king and Renly can run the small council? Or whatever. Ugh. I guess because then there'd be no story. But Renly, just know that I think you're an idiot.
Margaery and Loras Tyrell: All of the other siblings in Westeros should take a page from the Tyrells, which depending on who's talking is pronounced either "ty-RELL" or "TEER-al" or "DON-a-gee." Loras and Margaery both want the same man in their bed -- Renly Baratheon. Loras wants him for love or love-like reasons. Margaery wants him because it's her duty to give him a son and strengthen his weak hold on the Iron Throne. And the two of them are willing to share. And if HBO neglects to give us the Tyrell/Renly threesome they hinted at in this episode, well, then they might as well start airing this show on ABC Family because what's the point?
Theon and Yara, nee Asha: Balon Greyjoy, for all his posturing about tradition and sea wives and whatever, is quite progressive when it comes to women's rights. His daughter has grown up to be the son he always wanted, while his only living son was off being raised by wolves. That last fact wasn't Theon's fault, of course. It was actually Balon's. Theon was sent to Winterfell as a hostage to keep his traitorous father in line. And now that Theon is back in the Iron Islands, he realizes that he currently doesn't belong anywhere. He's not a Stark, and he's barely a Greyjoy. But maybe if he forsakes his friend Robb by burning his letter like it's the last missive from the ex-boyfriend who broke his heart, maybe then he can leapfrog Yara and become the son his father has always dreamed of. Complete with male genitalia.
Tyrion and Cersei: Oh, Tyrion, you crafty bastard, not literally. He knew someone in his sister's inner circle was leaking info from the hand back to the queen, and probably has been for years. So Tyrion came up with three lies about where he was planning on sending Myrcella -- to Dorne or to the Eyrie or to Theon Greyjoy. He told one lie to each of his sister's possible moles, Grand Maester Pycelle, Varys the Eunuch, and Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. When his sister came to him screaming about Myrcella going to Dorne, Tyrion knew Pycelle was the problem. So he had him thrown into the black cells under the castle.
- At the inevitable Westeros theme park in Orlando, FL, I hope they hire Hodor as greeter.
- Brienne, people. I can't believe I barely mentioned Brienne. She's like Marla from League of Our Own meets a badass Tilda Swinton on steroids.
- The Greyjoys are plotting to take over the North, with Theon riding Sea Bitch.
- Tyrion has gotten Shae a job as one of Sansa's handmaidens. Shea is not good at this job.
- They really like to make Sansa look like a bee-yotch on this show. She's one of my favorite characters in the books, playing the game of survival, always a breath away from harm. She's one of the characters who has changed the most since book one. She saw her father die. The prince who was going to make her dreams come true is now a monstrous king. On the show she still comes off as just a spoiled brat. A weepier spoiled brat, to be sure, but still a spoiled brat.
- Tyrion leaving Maester Pycelle's whore two coins for her troubles was a nice touch.
- Varys told his sellsword riddle in this episode, a riddle about what motivates men to do what they do -- money, power, religion, duty, something else.
- Yoren, the BAMF black brother, got dead this episode. He was felled by the Mountain. Lommy Greenhands also suffered loss of life, but, despite his light colored hair, the Lannister people believed him to be the Gendry they were looking for.
What did you think of this episode of Game of Thrones?