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: Kissed by Fire
Director: Alex Graves
Written by: Brian Cogman
Summary: Lord Beric Dondarrion and the Hound begin their trial by combat. Dondarrion uses his blood to magically set his sword afire, which visibly frightens the Hound, but the Hound cuts through his armor and deep into his shoulder, killing him. Thoros rushes to Dondarrion and begins to pray, and Dondarrion is resurrected. Having won the trial, the Hound is freed. Afterward, Arya finds Gendry repairing Beric’s armor and he explains his intent to smith for the Brotherhood. Later that night, Arya recites her kill list beside the fire. Arya asks if Thoros could bring back a man without a head. Thoros and Beric understand she means her father, but Thoros says he does not think it works that way.
Locke proudly presents his captives Jaime and Brienne to his commander, Roose Bolton. Examining Jaime’s stump, Qyburn discovers it has become badly infected. Afterward, Jaime joins Brienne in Harrenhal’s bathhouse and climbs into the same massive tub. He asks if she knows about wildfire, and explains that Mad King Aerys was obsessed with it and loved to watch men he thought were against him burn. Eventually, half the realm was against him, so Aerys had his pyromancers place caches of wildfire all over King’s Landing. When the sack began, Aerys ordered Jaime to kill his own father and ordered his pyromancer to ignite the wildfire and burn them all. Jaime continues that first he killed the pyromancer, then stabbed Aerys in the back as he turned to run.
At Riverrun, Lord Rickard Karstark fights his way into the cell of the captive squires Willem and Martyn Lannister with some of his men, stabbing them. Robb orders Karstark taken away and his men hanged. When one begs mercy because he only watched for the guards, Robb orders him hanged last so he can watch the others die. Robb beheads Karstark, and his men leave, cutting Robb’s forces in half. He admits that he needs to replace the Karstarks by winning back the allegiance of House Frey, who withdrew their support when he broke his vow and married Talisa.
En route to the Wall, Tormund and Orell question Jon about the defenses. As they walk away, Ygritte steals Jon’s sword Longclaw and insists he steal it back, leading him into a nearby cave with a hot spring. There she starts undressing and insists Jon break his oath of celibacy with her. Jon is quite hesitant because of his vows and his virginity, but once they start kissing he begins kissing his way down her body. Ygritte expresses a wish that they could stay in the cave forever and forget all the horrible things happening in the word outside.
Stannis Baratheon visits his wife Selyse, a fanatical believer in the Lord of Light, finding her praying. Bound by his sense of duty, Stannis confesses and begins to apologize for his adultery with Melisandre, but Selyse says she knows and claims nothing done to serve the Lord of Light can be a sin. He visits his daughter Shireen, whose face has been disfigured by greyscale, Shireen asks if her friend Ser Davos Seaworth came back with him, then shows Stannis the toy ship Davos gave her. Awkwardly, Stannis explains that Davos has been imprisoned for treason and advises Shireen to forget him. That night, Shireen sneaks down to visit Davos in the dungeons. Davos admits he cannot read. Undaunted, Shireen offers to teach him.
Dany and her army of Unsullied march north to free the slaves of Yunkai. She meets with the officers of the Unsullied. She asks whom they have chosen as their commander and their new leader removes his helmet and introduces himself as Grey Worm.
A young squire named Olyvar brings water to Loras and begins flirting with him. Soon after the two are having sex back in Loras’ chambers. As they finish, Loras wonders aloud how Olyvar knew about his sexuality when his betrothed seems unaware of it. Olyvar declares slyly that they rarely do. Immediately after, Olyvar reports back to his employer, Littlefinger, so he may pass the information on to Cersei. Tyrion summons Lady Olenna to discuss the cost of the upcoming royal wedding. Tyrion is shocked when she willingly offers to pay for half the cost. Tyrion reports his success to Lord Tywin, but finds his father uninterested. Tywin explains that Cersei has uncovered the Tyrell’s plot to marry Sansa to Loras and steal the key to the North. Tywin orders Tyrion to marry Sansa. He adds that it is past time Tyrion was wed, which leads Tyrion to declare he was wed. Tywin declares that Cersei is expected to marry Loras. She refuses, but roars that she is his daughter and will as she is told and put an end to the rumors of incest once and for all.
My take: One of the things that Belle likes to mention is that how the women of the north probably wouldn’t be so well groomed. She said her legs would look like Santa pants. I would also think that after months of being in those furs, maybe they should have taken the bath before he went down on her. Also, we get a little gay action for once.
Changes from the books: Ygritte didn’t take Jon’s sword to lure him into the caves. The wildlings were camped in the caves for the night.The chamber where Jon and Ygritte were was pitch black, with only their torch for light.The first time Jon and Ygritte made love was in the middle of the other wildlings, under their sleepings furs at night. Selyse did not keep her stillborn children in jars in the novels. In fact it is never mentioned in the novels that she ever gave birth to stillborns, nor to any liveborn except Shireen. The scene where Tyrion discusses the wedding with Olenna never happens in the book.
Nudity: Ygritte and Jon in the cave (they’re engaged IRL!) Jamie and Brienne in the tub. Olyvar and Loras having sex
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Harrenhal, Riverrun, Winterfell, the Wall, Yunkai
Death Count: Willem and Martyn Lannister, by Rickard Karstark. Rickard Karstark, beheaded by Robb. Karstark’s men, hanged on Robb’s order.
Quotes: Jaime Lannister: Stark? You think the honorable Ned Stark wanted to hear my side? He judged me guilty the moment he set eyes on me. By what right does the wolf judge the lion?
Lady Olenna Tyrell: I was told you were drunk, impertinent, and thoroughly debauched. You can imagine my disappointment at finding nothing but a browbeaten bookkeeper.
Ygritte: You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Robb Stark: This one was only the watcher. Hang him last so he can watch the others die
Episode title: The Climb
Director: Alik Sakharov
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: Tywin meets Olenna to discuss having Ser Loras marry his daughter, Cersei. They trade barbs about Cersei’s age and accusations of incest with Jamie, as well as Loras’ well-known homosexuality, before Tywin threatens to make Loras a knight of the Kingsguard, an order which renounces their right to inheritance and marriage. Olenna relents. Sansa tries to get acquainted with Loras. Tyrion then goes to Sansa’s chamber, where he reveals to her and Shae that she will be wed to him, and not Loras. Lord Varys finds Littlefinger in the throne room. Littlefinger tells Varys that he is aware of Varys’s arrangement with Ros, and that he has given her to Joffrey to kill for pleasure.
Melisandre arrives and speaks to Thoris. She is shocked when she learns of the six deaths of Beric Dondarrion. The Brotherhood agree to let her take Gendry, upsetting Arya.
Robb and his advisors meet with Lothar and Black Walder Frey. to discuss an alliance for his planned attack on Casterly Rock. The Freys carry their lord’s demands for an alliance, which includes a formal apology from Robb, the castle Harrenhal and all of its lands and incomes, and for Edmure to marry Roslin, one of Lord Frey’s daughters.
At Harrenhal, Lord Roose Bolton has dinner with Jamie and Brienne. Bolton tells Jaime he will send him to King’s Landing on the condition that Jaime swear to tell his father that Bolton had nothing to do with his maiming. Jaime assumes that Brienne will accompany him, but Bolton intends to keep her with him, under arrest for abetting treason.
Jojen experiences a seizure while sleeping, and Meera explains they are caused by his visions. Jojen then tells Bran that in his vision he saw Jon Snow with the wildlings. Elsewhere, Theon’s captor awakens Theon to continue torturing him. The boy threatens to remove Theon’s little finger if he cannot guess his true identity and their current location. After several attempts, Theon guesses that he is a Karstark. His torturer acts for a moment as if the guess was right, but he begins flaying Theon’s finger, telling him that he was lying. Theon eventually gives in and begs his torturer to remove his finger.
Samwell Tarly and Gilly stop to camp during their journey to the Wall, after having fled Craster’s Keep. Sam shows Gilly the dragonglass dagger he found at the Fist of the First Men and tells her about Castle Black.
At camp at the base of the Wall, the wildling party led by Tormund Giantsbane prepares to climb. Jon and Ygritte talk about their impending climb and their relationship. Ygritte reveals she is aware that Jon is still loyal to the Night’s Watch, but tells him their loyalty is of greater significance, implying she joined Mance’s cause from self-interest rather than trust in him. While climbing, Ygritte strikes the Wall and causes a massive crack, which inadvertently causes an avalanche that kills a few members of the wildling party and leaves herself and Jon hanging by their safety rope. Before Orell cuts the rope, Jon manages to secure himself to the Wall, saving Ygritte, and they later reach the top of the Wall together. Gazing out across the landscape of the Seven Kingdoms, they embrace and kiss.
My take: Oh Ros. Of all the chests on the show, I think I’ll miss yours most of all. Osha and Meera just need to kiss and get over it. We have a glimpse of another mentor for Arya, with a little archery lesson. It’s fun to see Charles Dance and Diana Rigg match words. Belle feels robbed that we don’t get to see Tyrion tell Sansa and Shae about his wedding. Littlefinger’s voice gets more and more like Batman each episode
Changes from the books: Tywin never has a conversation with Olenna concerning Loras and Cersei. At this stage in the book, Loras is already in the Kingsguard so he cannot marry anyone. Cersei was offered to Willas Tyrell, a character cut from the series. Melisandre never visits the Riverlands in the books. Gendry isn’t taken by Melisandre in the novels, his usefulness for Stannis and Melisandre is filled by Edric Storm. Melisandre says Thoros to convert King Robert to the religion of R’hllor. In the books, he was sent to convert the Mad King. Thoros did still hang around the royal court under King Robert and became one of his drinking companions, but he had even less luck preaching about the Lord of Light to Robert than he did to Aerys. Jarl is leading the climb up the Wall in the books, not Tormund. Jon and Ygritte are not among the dozen wildlings who first scale the Wall. While climbing the Wall, large parts of ice broke off the Wall, Jarl and other climbers fell and were killed. Once the remaining climbers reached the top, they threw ropes to the wildlings on the ground. Ladders were pulled to the top of the Wall, and only then Jon, Ygritte and the other wildings climbed.
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Harrenhal, Riverrun, Winterfell, the Wall, Yunkai
Death Count: Ros, killed by Joffrey and his crossbow. At least four wildings, falling off the wall
Quotes: Littlefinger: Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.
Melisandre: I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.
Olenna Tyrell: Oh no, not at all. A sword swallower through and through
Ygritte: Are you staring at me ass, Jon Snow?