It's really hard to talk about this show without discussing the foreshadowing and the events to come. I know (or at least I think I know) what Big Events will happen at the end of the season. I'm guessing we'll get three weddings, two fights/battles, at least one betrayal, and a partridge in a pear tree. I have my predictions for the final scene of the season, and it involves some of those "fantasy elements" some people are craving, and which I couldn't care less about. But if I'm right about the final scene, it should be a pretty cool reveal. Or it's possible they could save that scene for the end of Season 4, in which case, I said nothing, Jon Snow. (That's not a hint. That's just me paraphrasing Ygritte. God, it's impossible to talk about this show without fretting about giving something away.)
Anyway, on to the pre-antepenultimate episode of Season Three of Game of Thrones, "The Bear and the Maiden Fair."
The title refers to an old Westerosi song about a pretty maid falling in love (or lust) with a bear. The song is referenced directly when Roose Bolton's men throw Brienne into a pit with a bear at Harrenhal, but it actually makes a lot of sense in the context of the rest of the episode -- how women fall in love with all kinds of men; how some of those men might not be good for the maids; how some women may be disgusted at first, but learn to love or trust someone unexpected.
Brienne and Jaime and the bear: Brienne and Jaime are both the bears in their relationship. She saw him first as only the "Kingslayer," a Lannister and oath breaker. He saw her as an unattractive woman, obsessed with Renly and obsessed with becoming a knight. Now he has opened up to her, and she trusts him, and she had him running back to Harrenhal to save her from Vargo Hoat and his men (and a bear). One of the biggest (and quietest) moments of the episode was during Jaime and Brienne's goodbye. He told her he would keep his promise to bring the Stark girls back to their mother. And she believed him! No one believes the Kingslayer. Awww!
Sansa and Tyrion: I think Margaery is right on about her assessment of Sansa marrying Tyrion -- Sansa could do a lot worse. Tyrion has never been mean to Sansa. He's smart and funny and the whores sure seem to like him. At the same time, I don't think Sansa is ready to hear that. She's one of the girls who hasn't played around with the boys. She has no idea what she wants in a man, outside of "he's pretty and brave," like Loras. She remains disgusted and afraid of marrying Tyrion, and I can't say I blame her. She's fourteen-ish!
To his credit, Tyrion is also leery of marrying Sansa because she's a child and because he's still in love with Shae. Bronn sees no problem in this situation. Sansa has flowered and Tyrion can keep Shae as his concubine. Easy peasy. Bronn should host a talk show and tell it like it is.
Robb and Talisa: Talisa fell for a king, as you do, a king who was betrothed to someone else. The two of them together are a bad decision machine, but now they're bringing a baby into this mess and a war, so yay love!
Jon, Ygritte, and Orell: Orell wants to be Ygritte's bear. He has seen some things with his warg eyes, and he thinks Jon is no good for Ygritte. He thinks she only loves Jon because he's pretty, but she'll wise up once she finds out what Jon really is. Does he mean once she finds out he's still a Crow? Because I think she knows that already. Or when she finds out he's Ned Stark's bastard? Because I don't think a wildling woman cares about that. Unless she has grand dreams about becoming the Lady of Winterfell or a queen. I don't know her life.
Arya and the Hound: Arya runs away from Beric Dondarrion and friends because she's still mad at them for giving up Gendry. Plus she doesn't believe in their "one true god;" she only believes in death. Plus, plus Beric and his buddies are about to head in the exact opposite direction of Riverrun, the place where they were supposed to take Arya to reunite with her mother and brother. She scampers through the woods until she falls and the Hound finds her. Talk about a love/hate, David and Maddie type situation. I'm kidding, of course. Sansa and the Hound 4-EVER.
I feel like I've exhausted my "Bear and the Maiden Fair" analogies, so here are some other things that happened in the episode:
- Jon thinks the way the wildlings fight battles is ridiculous. Ygritte thinks all the pomp and circumstance of the King's army is foolish. Jon thinks a King Beyond the Wall has tried to attack the North six times and has failed six times. Those two bicker like an old married couple.
- Margaery is a bawdy broad, isn't she?
- I don't know if we "needed" to see that scene between Joffrey and Tywin in the throne room, but more Charles Dance is always a good thing.
- Dragons. Dany ball busting. Same old same old in Yunkai.
- Shae don't want no part of Tyrion's tight ass concubine living, you freak bitch.
- Melisandre and Gendry are on a boat, wearing nautical themed pashmina afghans. She tells him that he's one of Robert Baratheon's bastards. I'm surprised no one's told him before this.
- My other favorite moment (after all the rest of the favorite moments) from this episode was when Jaime was talking to Qyburn and asks the old man why he was kicked out of the citadel. Qyburn admitted that he liked to experiment on dying men. He asked Jaime how many men he had killed. Jaime admitted to "countless." Then Qyburn asked how many men Jaime had saved, and Jaime said, "Half a million." Way to own your heroism, Kingslayer!
What did you think of the episode? How do you think the season will end? I'd love to hear your predictions, especially if you haven't read the books.
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