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: The Bear and the Maiden Fair
Director: Michelle MacLaren
Written by: George R. R. Martin
Summary: Tywin meets his grandson, Joffrey, and teaches him a lesson in ruling; Joffrey asks what they should do about the rumors of Daenerys and her dragons, but Tywin claims there is no threat. On Blackwater Bay, Melisandre reveals to Gendry that his father was King Robert Baratheon.
Jon Snow and the wildling party led by Tormund Giantsbane continue their journey south. Ygritte stops with Jon to discuss their next move. Soon after, Orell offers some harsh wisdom to Jon, and later speaks to Ygritte, confessing his love for her and trying to convince her that Jon is still loyal to the Night’s Watch. Later, Jon tells Ygritte that the wildling cause is hopeless, but she remains undaunted.
Theon is freed from his constraints by two young women, who give him water and clean his wounds. Theon is apprehensive about their aid, until they disrobe and begin pleasuring him. The three are soon interrupted by his knife-wielding tormenter, who orders his men to restrain Theon as he appears to remove Theon’s genitals.
Heading for the Wall, Bran speaks to Jojen Reed while Osha and Hodor set up camp. Osha continues to grow suspicious of the Reeds, calling Jojen’s visions “black magic”. When she says they have to continue to the Wall, Jojen reveals that thethree-eyed crow is north of the Wall, and that is their destination. Osha refuses to allow them to go north of the Wall, relating to them the story of her husband’s death and resurrection as a wight.
King Robb, his advisors, and his army are delayed by rain in their march toward the Twins for Edmure’s wedding to Roslin Frey. Catelyn and her uncle Brynden discuss their distaste for Walder Frey, who will see their delay, as well as Robb’s oath-breaking, as a slight against his family. When the Tullys depart, Queen Talisa reveals to Robb that she is pregnant.
At the Brotherhood’s hideout, Arya expresses her anger at Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr for selling Gendry to Melisandre. When Anguy tells Beric of a Lannister raiding party near them, Beric orders the men to move out in pursuit. Arya calls Beric a liar, as he promised to take her to Riverrun. She runs away, and is pursued by several of the Brotherhood soldiers, but before they can locate her, she is taken captive by The Hound.
Daenerys, her knights Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan, and her army of Unsullied reach the yellow city of Yunkai. Razdal mo Eraz is sent by Yunkai to offer terms of peace, which include chests filled with gold bars and as many ships as Daenerys wants. Daenerys refuses his offer, demanding the slaves of the city be freed and paid for their service, which Grazdan angrily refuses, and departs the tent.
While on the road, Qyburn checks on the condition of Jaime’s right arm, and reveals that he lost his maester’s chain for experimenting on living humans. When Qyburn informs Jaime that Brienne will not be ransomed by Locke, Jaime manipulates Steelshanks, the party leader, to order their return to Harrenhal. Upon their arrival, Jaime finds that Brienne has been forced by Locke and his men to fight a bear with a wooden sword. Jaime tries to ransom Brienne, but is unsuccessful, and instead leaps into the pit to protect Brienne. The bear is shot with a crossbow by Steelshanks but continues to attack, before Jaime boosts Brienne out of the pit, and is then lifted to safety. Confronted by Steelshanks and his men, who are ordered to ensure Jaime’s safety, Locke relents and lets Jaime and Brienne depart for Kings Landing.
My take: Seriously, who wrote the Theon scenes, Mel Gibson? A moment of silence for Theon’s cock. Also, Tormund should write a sex column. Orell is just a jealous ass. I love the scene between Sansa and Margarey, especially when Sansa asks if she learned about sex from her mother and Margarey’s like, “Yeah… let’s go with that.” The scene between Tywin and Joffrey is marvelously acted and shot where Tywin is domineering the scene. Also Joffrey is the only one who actually thinks that maybe they should do something about the dragons. Oh, and Brienne fights a fucking bear!
Changes from the books: Robb Stark’s wife Jeyne Westerling, changed to “Talisa Maegyr” in the TV series, never told him that she was pregnant. It is possible that Jeyne is pregnant in the later books, which chronologically would mean she became pregnant around this time if she has. There are minor book characters named Myranda and Violet, but they do not have anything to do with the Boltons and Theon’s torturing. Although it is hinted at, it is unclear if Theon is castrated. Jaime decided to rescue Brienne after having a fevered dream of her, not after hearing from Qyburn that Vargo Hoat/Locke had rejected the ransom her father offered. While Jaime was gone, Vargo Hoat tried to rape Brienne, but she fought him and bit off one of his ears. When Jaime returned to Harrenhal, he noticed that Hoat’s left side of his head is covered with bloody bandages. Brienne’s fight with the bear is different in the book. She fights it with a metal tourney blade. Jaime only noticed this after she stabbed the bear without causing any injury. When Jaime arrives he is accompanied by 200 Northmen commanded by Steelshanks who outnumber Locke’s men two-to-one. Steelshanks and several other Northmen killed the bear with a dozen or so crossbow bolts. Jaime and Brienne do not climb out of the arena, the bear is killed before there would be need to do so. Gendry never learns that he is Robert’s bastard.
Nudity: Myranda and Violet strip down to seduce Theon. Robb and Talisa nude in their quarters
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Harrenhal, Riverrun, Winterfell, the Wall, Yunkai
Death Count: none
Quotes: Bronn: You waste time trying to get people to love you. You’ll end up the most popular dead man in town.
Episode title: Second Sons
Director: Michelle MacLaren
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: With their wedding hours away, Tyrion visits Sansa to ease her apprehension at the prospect of being his wife. In the Sept of Baelor, Cersei intimidates Margaery with the story of House Reyne of Castamere, and how her father Tywin destroyed the Reynes root and stem when they rebelled against House Lannister. After arriving at the Sept, Sansa is walked down the aisle by King Joffrey Baratheon. In an effort to embarrass his uncle, Joffrey departs with the stepstool Tyrion was to use to cloak Sansa with the Lannister colors. After some snickering from the crowd, Tyrion gets Sansa to kneel, and they are soon after married. At their wedding feast, Tyrion gets very drunk, irritating both Sansa and Tywin, who counsels his son to stop drinking and begin trying to conceive a child with his new wife. Joffrey, after threatening to rape Sansa, calls for the traditional bedding ceremony to begin, but his plan is thwarted when Tyrion threatens to castrate Joffrey. Tywin defuses the situation, and Tyrion is able to avoid punishment, using his intoxication as an excuse. Tyrion soon after departs the feast with Sansa. Though Tywin has ordered Tyrion to consummate his marriage, he tells Sansa he will not share her bed until she wants him to.
Melisandre returns to Dragonstone with Gendry. She then takes him to see King Stannis, who recognizes Gendry as one of Robert’s bastards. When Gendry is taken to his chamber, Stannis and Melisandre discuss what they intend to do with him. In the dungeons, Davos continues to learn to read. Stannis visits him to discuss Melisandre’s plan to sacrifice Gendry. Davos objects to the plan, seeing Gendry as a nephew to Stannis, but Stannis remains resolved. He then makes Davos swear to never try to kill Melisandre, and frees him. Later, Melisandre visits Gendry, and after a short discussion, she disrobes him and they begin having sex. Melisandre, who has earlier stated that there is “power” in Gendry’s kingly blood, then binds Gendry’s hands and legs and lays three leeches on him to draw his blood. Afterward, Stannis arrives and ritually burns the leeches, speaking the names of the usurpers to his throne: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon while he does.
Arya tries to kill the Hound while he is sleeping, but he is revealed to be awake, and thwarts her attempt on his life. They depart their camp and head for the Twins, where he intends to ransom Arya to her brother.
Dany meets with Mero and his lieutenants Prendahl na Ghezn and Daario Naharis of the Second Sons. She attempts to bribe Mero to renege on his deal with Yunkai and fight for her, and gives him two days to make a decision. In the Second Sons’ camp, the three leaders plot to kill Daenerys that night, with one of them sneaking into her camp. By random draw, Daario is selected to carry out their plot. After nightfall, Daario enters Daenerys’ camp, disguised as an Unsullied soldier. He enters her tent and shows both her and Missandei the severed heads of Mero and Prendahl. He then kneels and pledges the Second Sons, as well as himself, to her cause.
Sam and Gilly continue their journey to the Wall. They stop at an abandoned hut for the night and discuss a name for her son. When they hear a murder of crows cawing nearby, Sam leaves the hut to investigate. Soon after, he is attacked by a White Walker, which shatters Sam’s sword with a touch and tosses him aside. The Walker moves towards Gilly, intent on taking her son, but Sam stabs the Walker with his dragonglass spear tip, killing it. Sam and Gilly then flee into the night, chased by the crows while leaving the dagger in the snow.
My take: The Hound states that his brother once killed a man for snoring. I guess Martin has one of those Time/Life “Gunslingers” book. Can you really blame Gendry for letting a nude woman and tie him to a bed? Joffrey is at his most obnoxious and vile at the wedding. Peter Dinkledge’s line reading of “I vomited on a girl once, during the act … not proud of it…” is hysterical. I think it’s interesting that Dany is forgetting Dothraki, and I guess the way to a girl’s heart is two severed heads. I love how the self-professed coward Sam is the first one to slay a White Walker especially since he had no notion the dragonglass would even work. Belle describes Daario having an “idiot swagger.”
Changes from the books: The wedding scene between Sansa and Tyrion is different in the book. Sansa is a lot more distraught throughout the procedure, and outright refuses to bend down when Tyrion attempts to cloak her, her only act of defiance throughout the entire ceremony. Thus Tyrion had no choice but to stand on Dontos’ back in order to cloak Sansa in the colors of House Lannister, while everyone had a good laugh. There was no chair that Joffrey took in the show. After Tyrion thrusts his dagger into the table and tells Joffrey “Then you’ll service your own bride with a wooden prick”, he adds “I’ll geld you, I swear it”. Tyrion and Sansa get fully undressed and enter bed, and Tyrion gropes Sansa’s breast. (Sophie Turner was still underage when this scene was filmed) Although she does not explicitly say “no”, he realizes that she does not wish to have sex with him, and he does not want to force himself upon her.When Sansa asks Tyrion what if she never wants him to touch her, he answers “that is why the gods made whores for imps like me” and climbs down off the bed. He never says, “And so my watch begins,” or falls down drunk. Neither Shae nor anyone else checks Tyrion and Sansa’s bed for stains of maidenhood blood. The scenes between Gendry and Melisandre never happen in the book, although there is some truth to them. In the show, there are leeches gorging on Gendry’s blood, but in the book, there are leeches gorging on Edric Storm’s blood, an acknowledged bastard of King Robert present on Dragonstone. Sam and Gilly meet a mysterious person who takes them to the Nightfort. This character is called Coldhands and doesn’t appear in the series.
Nudity: Melasandre, nude with Gendry (yet no nudity from him). Dany, out of the bath, which may be the last time Emila Clarke agreed to be nude in the show. (UPDATE: It was not)
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Harrenhal, Riverrun, Winterfell, the Wall, Yunkai
Death Count: Mero and Prendhal, by Daario. White Walker, by Sam.
Quotes: Cersei Lannister: If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.
Tyrion Lannister: I am the god of tits and wine.
Tyrion Lannister: Come, wife. I vomited on a girl once, during the act, not proud of it. But I think honesty is important between a man and his wife, don’t you agree? Come, I’ll tell you all about it, put you in the mood.
Daenerys Targaryen: Ser Barristan. When it come to battle, kill that one first.