The Game of Thrones writers named this episode "The Climb" because they love Miley Cyrus, we can only assume. That's the only logical explanation. There was no climbing, either physical or metaphorical, in the episode itself. Oh, wait.
Scaling The Wall: Jon and his new wildling brethren have reached the Wall in record time and are planning on going over, thanks to Jon's information about which castles are manned and which are empty. Before making the climb in their spiky ice wall climbing shoes from Dick's Sporting Goods, Ygritte gives Jon the big spiel about how she knows he's still a crow, but that doesn't matter because now she's his lady and she's asking him to put his 'ho before his bros. And judging by the way Jon kissed her at the top of that wall in front of that Thomas Kinkade Westeros painting, Jon's OK with this.
Upward Mobility: Littlefinger is PISSED, y'all. Varys did some sneaking around, as only Varys can do, and figured out that Littlefinger was planning on whisking Sansa away from King's Landing. Varys thwarted this by getting Olenna Tyrell to agree to marry Sansa off to Loras (and now Tyrion, once Tywin got word of that plan). Now Littlefinger has no Sansa and no Catelyn. He's just stuck with Catelyn's wacko sister and her suckling pre-teen, and Littlefinger WON'T be having that. He sends his whore accountant off on one more job, letting Joffrey fill her with arrows from his crossbow. That's quite a fetish.
Littlefinger also gave a stirring speech about the realm and how all the stories of kings and knights are just lies people tell themselves until they believe it. And he mentioned that chaos is actually a ladder, which taunts those who can't make The Climb.
Better Living Through Marriage: Sansa is now betrothed to Tyrion, who feels just awful about the engagement because Sansa deserves to marry a young hottie like Loras Tyrell. I have a hard time with this "Oh, poor Sansa" stuff. As an audience member, we know she could do SO MUCH worse than Tyrion. Tyrion (to some people) may not be much to look at, but he's smart, cares for Sansa (at least insomuch as he has no plans to harm her), and he's got a good sense of humor. What does Loras have besides those curls and a great fashion sense?
Olenna Tyrell was so unmoved by the idea of marrying off her grandson to Cersei Lannister that she chose to squash his chances of ever being Lord of Highgarden by allowing Loras to be recruited for the King's Guard. So now no one gets to marry Loras and we'll never get to see his beautiful babies with that curly hair.
Over in Riverrun, now that King Robb has married his (non-Frey) queen, he's scrambling to find a way to make up his slight to Lord Frey, whose help Robb desperately needs to fight the Lannisters. Lord Frey has offered up his forgiveness as long as Edmure Tully, Lord of Riverrun and Robb's uncle, agrees to marry a specific Frey daughter. Edmure balks, wanting to choose the Frey daughter himself; but Robb plays the king card, and they're all headed to the Twins for a wedding. Huzzah!
Personal Betterment: Sam Tarly has escaped Craster's keep with Gilly and her son in tow. Now he's learning how to make fires and sing in front of people and he's showing off the obsidian knives he found in the snow that we've all been waiting for him to use.
Over in Harrenhal, Roose Bolton may be a Stark man, but he's hedging all his bets, offering to send Jaime back to King's Landing, as long as Jaime tells his father what a cool guy Roose Bolton is. "Everybody's talking about that Roose Bolton! So sick and tired of hearing about how brilliant that Bolton is."
King's Blood: In the biggest departure from the books of ALL TIME, Melisandre shows up at the Brotherhood without Banners camp and says the Lord of Light needs Gendry. Beric Dondarrian gives the smith up easily for a few sacks of gold and sends him off with Melisandre.
In the books, Gendry sticks with the Brotherhood and disappears for a while after Arya is separated from the group. There is another Robert Baratheon bastard, Edric Storm, whom Melisandre takes a shining to. It seems Gendry is taking this guy's place, which makes sense. 1) We don't know or care who Edric Storm is, but we do know Gendry -- and we like him! 2) It's a good way to hold on to the Gendry actor. If the writers had followed the book to the letter, we wouldn't be seeing Gendry again for years, probably. The more Gendry the better, in my opinion.
- Jojen had a seizure and his sister and Tonks fought over rabbits. Also, HODOR.
- Olenna knows that Loras is a "sword swallower," and she's fine with it.
- Oh, yeah. Bolton is charging Brienne with treason.
- Oh, yeah again. Theon. He had his finger tortured by that cute nameless guy, who may or may not be a son of Lord Karstark (whom Robb beheaded last week). I say "may or may not," because the guy also admitted to being a liar. And a sadist. He and Joffrey would be great friends.
What did you think of the episode? Do you like the liberties the show has taken with the source material?
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