I wrote these rewatches on the old site a few years ago, and now I’m posting them here. These recaps naturally contain spoilers.
Episode title: A Man Without Honor
Director: David Nutter
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: Sansa is awakened by a nightmare of the riots, and discovers that she has bled, which means she will soon have to bear Joffrey’s children. When Shae discovers her trying to cut the blood from her sheets, she begins to aid her, but they are discovered by one of the Queen’s handmaidens, who rushes to tell the Queen. Shae catches her in the hall and threatens her life should she tell anyone, but upon her return discovers the Hound now knows as well.
Tyrion discusses with Cersei that Stannis’ fleet will be arriving in days and the King’s plan to repel them might not work. Cersei opens up and admits to Tyrion that Jaime is the father of her children and regrets making Joffrey King who has become mad with power, believing she is being punished for committing incest. Tyrion can do nothing but counsel his sister that her other two children are still fine.
Jon continues to search for his companions with his prisoner, Ygritte, in tow. While crossing a muddy passage, Ygritte is able to slip away from Jon and make her escape. Jon pursues her but is unable to find her until she whistles to him, at which point several wildlings reveal themselves, thus capturing Jon.
Tywin orders the Mountain to find Amory Lorch’s killer, having confused the murder of Lorch with an attempt on his own life. When Clegane leaves, he invites Arya to eat with him, which she eventually does. They discuss Tywin’s desire to leave a legacy. Tywin deduces that she is highborn, as she says “my lord” instead of “m’lord”.
Robb hears Alton Lannister’s unfavorable reply to the peace terms he brought to Cersei. Roose Bolton informs Robb that his prisons are full, so Robb orders the construction of a new pen to keep Alton in, and orders him placed with Ser Jaime Lannister until it is complete. Robb also meets with Talisa to discuss getting her more medical supplies. Robb asks her to come with him to the Crag to see the Maester for her supplies, which she agrees to. After a long conversation, Jaime brutally kills Alton, planning to escape. When the jailer investigates, Jaime strangles him with his chains and flees. In the morning, he is recaptured and brought back to the Stark camp. Lord Rickard Karstark demands the Kingslayer’s head in retribution for murdering his son, the jailer Torrhen. Catelyn Tully, with the assistance of Brienne of Tarth, is able to delay the execution until Robb returns from the Crag. She later visits Jaime in his pen, and after being insulted repeatedly, asks Brienne for her sword.
Having lost her dragons, Dany has difficulty trusting Xaro Xhoan Daxos when he tells her he did not take them. Jorah Mormont returns from his search for a ship, and seeks out the mysterious Quaithe. She informs Jorah that although she does not have the dragons, Daenerys is currently with the one who does. At a meeting of the Thirteen, Pyat Pree tells Daenerys that he has her dragons in the “House of the Undying”. Shortly after this revelation, Xaro, with the aid of the Pree, proclaims himself King of Qarth. Pree, having multiplied himself around the room, assassinates the remaining eleven members of the Thirteen, and Dany flees.
Theon Greyjoy awakes in the morning and finds Osha gone from his bed. When he arrives outside, he discovers one of his men has been killed, and Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and Osha have fled Winterfell in the night. They hunt for the boys. After arriving at a farm, Theon is displeased to learn the dogs have lost the trail, but Dagmer discovers walnut shells in the farm yard, indicating Bran and Rickon may have passed through. Theon then orders Luwin back to Winterfell so he may interrogate the farm owner. After returning from the hunt, Theon calls the people to the square, and after Luwin’s arrival, reveals to them two charred remains which he claims are Bran and Rickon.
My take: Theon is despicable. He murdered two orphans to cover up his own incompetence. As much as I loved Rose Leslie on Downton Abby, I love her even more here, and the choice to film on location in Iceland. The scene where she makes up the sex story is hysterical. And poor Sansa. Never has getting your period has been so terrifying. I kind of like the womanly advice Cersei gives Sansa, mit’s almost as if she’s trying to protect her for the future. In a way, Cersei becomes the first of Sansa’s mentors as Tywin is becoming Arya’s mentor and Osha and Lewin are Bran’s. It’s also a nice scene between Jamie and Alton. That is right before Jamie kills him. Oh, and Catelyn is about to make another huge mistake. I also wonder if those who hadn’t read the books thought that the two burnt corpses were the Stark boys.
Changes from the books: Jaime does not kill Cleos Frey (who is replaced in the series by Alton Lannister). In fact, Jaime has never killed any of his kin. Cleos is killed later by outlaw archers. Jorah never meets with Quaithe. There is never a conspiracy to control Qarth staged by Pyat Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Thus, the Thirteen are never killed, Pyat Pree is not allied with Xaro Xhoan Daxos, nor does he kidnap Daenerys’ dragons to lure her into the House of the Undying. She goes there of her own accord. In the books, when Bran and Rickon escape with Hodor and Osha, the two Reed siblings are with them (characters later introduced in the show). They don’t go to a farm, they only go to the woods leaving an obvious trail, then backtrack, sending the wolves on to make a trail for the dogs. Theon and his men don’t go to the farm either. In the series, the entire burned bodies of the children are hung on either side of the main gate. In the books, the bodies are brought in dressed in the clothes of Bran and Rickon, but the heads have already been removed and tarred, with the faces peeled off. The bodies are thrown on a fire and only the heads are put onto spikes on the castle walls.
Nudity: Quaithe paints a henna substance on the back of a nude man
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Harrenhal, Pyke, Winterfell, the Wall, Qarth
Death Count: Alton Lannister and Torrhen Karstark, killed by Jamie while escaping. The Spice King and ten other members of the Thirteen, by Phat Pree. Two farm boys, burnt by Theon to pose as Bran and Rickon. The Mountain hangs twenty men in retaliation for the assassination attempt
Quotes: Tyrion Lannister: It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.
Ygritte: You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Tywin Lannister: You’re too smart for your own good. Has anyone told you that?
Episode title: The Prince of Winterfell
Director: Alan Taylor
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: Tyrion and Bronn plan the defence of King’s Landing, with the aid of several old texts. While dining with his sister Cersei, Tyrion is accused of plotting to have Joffrey killed during the defense of King’s Landing. Cersei tells Tyrion that she has kidnapped his prostitute lover and intends to hold her to ensure Joffrey’s safety. When Tyrion asks for proof that Shae is still alive, Cersei orders her brought into the room, where Tyrion discovers that she has kidnapped Ros and not Shae. Tyrion promises Ros that he will save her and tells his sister she will pay for what she has done. He later leaves to his bedchamber, relieved to find Shae safe.
Jon is presented to Rattleshirt by Ygritte and her companions. After Rattleshirt orders Jon be killed, Ygritte saves him, telling Rattleshirt that Jon is Ned Stark’s bastard son, and that Mance Rayder will want to meet him. Qhorin Halfhand, having been captured while searching for Jon, tells him that Mance intends to march on the Wall, and he may survive being a wildling prisoner, if he does what needs to be done. At the Fist of the First Men, Sam and Grenn discover a Night’s Watch cloak, which contains a strange horn and obsidian daggers.
Lord Tywin Lannister intends to attack Robb and his army, while their attention is on the Greyjoys capture of Winterfell. He orders the Mountain stay behind and hold Harrenhal while Arya is to remain at Harrenhal. Arya tries to find Jaqen before Tywin leaves, intending to have Jaqen kill him, but she cannot locate him in time. When she does find him, he asks her for a third name, saying she may name anyone and he will kill them. After some thought, Arya names Jaqen, and he begs her to take his name back, to which she agrees, on the condition that he help her escape with Gendry and Hot Pie. True to his word, Jaqen has killed the Lannister soldiers guarding the entrance to Harrenhal, and the three escape.
Robb returns from the Crag with Talisa and is informed of Jaime’s escape. Robb is also informed of his mothers involvement in the escape. When Robb confronts Catelyn, she admits to her involvement, sending Brienne of Tarth to King’s Landing to trade Jaime for Sansa and Arya. Angered with his mother’s betrayal, Robb has Catelyn arrested. Lady Talisa then enters Robb’s tent where he confides in her about his problems. After she tells him a story on why she choose to help the less fortunate, Robb confesses to her he does not want to marry one of Lord Walder Frey’s daughter as his mother promise to Lord Frey as a deal for their alliance. Talisa also wishes the same, and the two consummate their relationship.
Davos and Stannis plan the siege of King’s Landing. Stannis says that he will make Davos his Hand, the first low-born to hold that position. Jorah Mormont tells Dany he has found a ship to take them to Astapor, but she refuses to leave Qarth without her dragons. Dany tells Jorah to take her to the House of the Undying, where the warlock Pyat Pree has said they are being kept, and he reluctantly obeys.
Theon orders the messenger ravens be killed, so word of the deaths of Bran and Rickon Stark will not leave Winterfell. Soon after, Yara arrives with a few riders. Yara reveals she has come to Winterfell to bring him back home as his decision to execute Bran and Rickon was foolish as the boys were valuable hostages and now the Northerners want him dead. Yara begs Theon as his sister to come back with her but Theon refuses as he doesn’t want to be seen as a coward abandoning Winterfell. Later, while passing through the courtyard, Maester Luwin sees the wildling Osha stealing bread and retreating to the crypts beneath Winterfell. He follows her and discovers that both Bran and Rickon are alive. The two burnt corpses which Theon claimed were Bran and Rickon were actually two orphan boys, which Bran had sent to a nearby farm. Luwin asks Osha not to tell Bran of the orphan boys’ deaths, but unbeknownst to them, he is awake and overhears their conversation.
My take: Any scene between Tyrion and Bronn is gold. I also like Arya’s little shrug when Jaqen says she has no honor. Catelyn makes the mistake of freeing Jamie anf Robb makes the mistake of falling for Talisa. It’s a one-two punch that will lead to their deaths. Cersei would be dangerous if she were smart enough to pick the right whore. And poor Ros. Leaving the North hasn’t been good for her, of course had she stayed in Winterfell she’d most likely end up being hunted by Ramsey and killed.
Changes from the books: The cache of dragonglass weapons is discovered by Jon Snow and Ghost the first night they spend at the Fist, not by Grenn. It contains blades, a dozen knives, leaf-shaped spearheads, at least 200 or 300 arrowheads and an old broken warhorn. Jon makes daggers for himself, Grenn and Mormont the old warhorn, a spearhead and a dozen arrowheads, and passes the rest out among his other friends for luck. In the books, the prostitute that Cersei captures is Alayaya, a prostitute in a local high-end brothel, not Ros (who is not a character in the books). In addition,Tommen had been moved to Castle Rosby north of King’s Landing long before Stannis arrives, but is captured by Tyrion’s sellswords. Tyrion threatens to harm him if Cersei harms Alayaya, “the beatings and the rapes included”. To make the threat worse, he says that he’ll do that himself. The scene ends with Tyrion having the upper hand.
Nudity: Robb and Talisa strip nude and have sex
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Harrenhal, Pyke, Winterfell, the Wall, Qarth
Death Count: Jaqen kills guards at Harrenhal
Quotes: Tyrion Lannister: I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.
Yara Greyjoy: You’re a great warrior. I saw the bodies above your gates. Which one gave you the tougher fight, the cripple or the six year old?