Game of Thrones Recap: Goad Trip

Game of Thrones Season 3 recapArya and Jaime both surface in this week’s Game of Thrones, and similar fates befall both of them by the end of the hour. Elsewhere, Catelyn gets some very bad news (what else is new?) and Bran makes some new friends. Let’s review the major developments that take place in “Dark Wings, Dark Words.”

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HOUSE STARK | Lord Bolton brings a one-two punch of bad news for Robb and Catelyn: Her father has died at Riverrun, and the Ironborn have turned Winterfell into a smoking pit and have probably killed her two youngest sons.

As the army travels to Riverrun for the funeral, Robb’s wife Talisa tries to offer her sympathies to her mother-in-law. A brittle Catelyn rebuffs her support as she weaves a dreamcatcher-type object (if anyone knows the actual name, shout it out in the comments) to protect her children. She’s done it twice before: once to help Bran survive his fall and once to bring an infant Jon Snow through the pox. She confesses to having prayed for Jon’s death after Ned brought his bastard son home, but recalls sitting up all night with the boy and promising to love him as her own if the gods would just save him. He obviously recovered; however, “I couldn’t keep my promise,” she says, adding that all of the misfortune that’s befallen her family is completely her fault. “It’s all because I couldn’t love a motherless child.” Can someone please hug Catelyn?

HOUSE STARK: REFUGEE EDITION | Bran dreams he’s running in the woods. The three-eyed crow nearly Fabios him, and when he draws his bow to shoot it, Robb and Jon are suddenly there to offer advice (and mock him when he misses). Ned’s disembodied voice admonishes them, and then Bran is suddenly alone as a blonde teen appears. “You can’t kill it, you know,” he tells young Stark, who asks why not. “Because the raven is you.”

Bran wakes – still an invalid, unfortunately — underneath a tarp in the middle of nowhere.  Rickon, Hodor, Osha and the direwolves are nearby. Osha is twitchy and paranoid that people are following them, though Bran points out that no one even knows they survived Theon’s siege of Winterfell. Still, she starts breaking camp. “The wall,” she reminds him, “is a long way off.”

Later, the boy from Bran’s dream makes his appearance in real life. His name is Jojen Reed, and his sister – who’s good with a weapon – is Meera. Their father saved Ned Stark’s life during the rebellion, and they’ve come a long way to find Bran and his gang. Jojen informs Bran that his dreams of being a direwolf mean he’s a warg – or someone who can enter the mind of an animal to see what it sees. The three-eyed raven, though, is something else: “It brings the sight” of times past, future, faraway, etc. While Jojen’s schooling Bran on metaphysics, it’s clear Osha has little respect for a man who needs his sister to physically defend him. “Some people will always need help,” Meera tells her cheerfully, eyeing Bran in his makeshift wheelchair. “That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve helping.”

HOUSE STARK: BABY-BADASS-ON-THE-RUN EDITION | Our first check-in of the season with Arya (yay!) comes as Gendry is drilling her about her choice of Jaqen’s victims. Why not Joffrey or Tywin Lannister, he asks? “You could’ve ended the war.” She tells him to shut it, reminding him that she got them out of Harrenhal and reiterating their plan to head north with Hot Pie to her grandfather’s estate at Riverrun. But soon, they’re (gently) captured by Thoros of Mir and his Brotherhood Without Banners. “The lords of Westeros are trying to burn the countryside,” Thor explains amiably. “We’re trying to save it.” Deducing that the grubby trio somehow escaped from Harrenhal, Thoros is content to let them go… until his archer enters the tavern with his newest prisoner: The Hound. Arya tries to sneak past the Lannisters’ former thug, but he outs her as a Stark heir. Hope you enjoyed that freedom while it lasted, Arya.

HOUSE GREYJOY | The screws are being put to Theon – literally – but he doesn’t know who’s responsible for his torture or why. A wisp of relief comes in the form of a servant, who eases the captured Greyjoy’s pain, tells him that he’s working on behalf of Theon’s sister and that he’ll be back later.

HOUSE LANNISTER: KINGSLAYER-ON-THE-MOVE EDITION | Brienne’s plan to get Jaime to King’s Landing involves avoiding the Kingsroad whenever possible; the fewer people who see them, the less likely anyone will interfere. Despite his clear disadvantage  — she literally has him on a short leash – Jaime manages to rankle the blonde knight by impugning Renly’s name and intuiting that she had feelings for the murdered king. “I did not fancy him,” she asserts. Given Renly’s affection for the feminine Loras Tyrell, Jaime notes, “You’re far too much man for him.” (Can we pause for a moment to recognize that even as an unwashed, unshaven prisoner, Cersei’s twin bro is a tasty morsel? I know it’s wrong. He’s immoral and terrible… terribly sexy, that is. He can slay my king anytime.)

Their bickering is interrupted by a man Jaime is sure recognizes him, but Brienne refuses to kill him just because he may alert someone to their whereabouts. Bad move, Brie. Later, after Jaime manages to grab one of the lady knight’s swords and engage her in a battle on a bridge (which, I should note, she definitely would have won), they’re captured by a gang of men flying the Bolton banner. Jaime was right; the man they ran into earlier sold them out.

HOUSE LANNISTER: MEANWHILE-BACK-AT-KING’S-LANDING EDITION | As Cersei watches Joffrey being fit for some new clothes, she tries to warn him that Margaery’s actions – dressing provocatively, being kind to the poor, marrying Renly – means she’s clearly working some kind of angle. “She married Renly Baratheon because she was told to,” Joff bites back, adding this veiled threat for good measure: “That’s what intelligent women do — what they’re told to.” Joffrey you stick-legged sadist, just when I think I can’t loathe you more…

Meanwhile, Margaery and her grandmother Lady Olenna Tyrell have asked Sansa to join them for some girl talk. The redhead is completely unprepared for the old lady’s frankness; it’s unlikely she’s heard so many true statements strung together since she first arrived at court. “I’m much less boring than the others,” Olenna says, casually trashing the Lannister clan before coming around to her main point: She wants to know what Sansa truly thinks about Joffrey. “Has this boy mistreated you?” she asks. Poor Sansa doesn’t know whether to speak freely or parrot what’s been beat into her, but mention of her father’s denunciation and death spurs her to blurt that Joffrey “is a monster.”  My favorite part of this scene is how utterly nonplussed Margaery and her grandmother look at Sansa’s admission. The Tyrell women are on it.

That state of affairs is very apparent when Joffrey summons his bride-to-be to his chambers. Though earlier the boy king seems to ignore his mother’s words, he clearly has them in mind when he menacingly asks why she and Renly weren’t able to have children. Claiming that “the subtleties of politics are lost on me” – yeah, right – she demurely says, “I don’t believe he was interested in the company of women.” Renly never wanted to get it on, she adds, except for one night when he drunkenly suggested “something that sounded very painful and couldn’t possibly result in children.” You don’t mean… tweezing his eyebrows? She then distracts Joffrey by fondling his new crossbow. It’s kind of awesome to watch her work him so artfully. He is, after all, a horny little jerk – and she’s a beautiful (and shrewd) young lass. The following lines are verbatim from the scene; I’ll leave it to you to supply the mental bow-chicka-wow-wow:

• “Do you like it?” – Joffrey
• “It’s beautiful. Will you show me how it works?” – Margaery, slowly running her finger up and down the… weapon
•  “Would you like to watch me?” – Margaery, all big-eyed innocence
•  “Yes.” – Joffrey, breathily

Servants, haul up some water from the river. Methinks the young king’s going to need a cold shower forthwith.

Speaking of… crossbows, Tyrion comes back to his room to find Shae waiting for him. He’s not happy – “My father doesn’t make idle threats,” he reminds her – but she wants his help protecting Sansa from whatever Littlefinger has planned. The conversation quickly turns into her jealously commenting on his sleeping with Ros (in the past) and remarking on Sansa’s beauty (which he claims does nothing for him, personally). But it appears all is forgiven when Shae unlaces his breeches and, like Mance Rayder’s army, slowly heads south.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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43 Comments
  1. kate says:

    Jamie and Brienne are easily the most amusing part of this show right now.

  2. strachpa says:

    Im just curious as why they have Theon back.

  3. Elena says:

    My favorite scenes were Jaime and Brienne by far! His storyline is my absolute favorite for from book 3, and without doubt, the right actor has the role. I have no worries that Nikolaj will continue to to justice to that part, and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne only helps make the dynamic between those two characters even better.

  4. The scene with Lady Stark talking about Jon Snow almost made me cry, especially if you think about the way she treated him in season 1 when he was saying goodbye to Bran. I love the scenes with Bran, Can’t wait to see where they take that. I can’t really find a character in this show that I hate. I mean we all despise Joffrey but the actor is so good in his scenes. Great show. Better than anything on tv.

    • Elly says:

      I know exactly what you mean. Literally the second she said a “child” instead of saying a specific name, I knew it was going to be Jon Snow. I never read any of the books but I hope by the end of the series she and Jon have a make-shift parent-child relationship. I think deep down she does have a place in her heart for him but when she sees him it’s just the reminder.

      LOVE Brienne, I really hope they keep her around. I bet a conflict between her and Cersei will come about sometime. And Shae too, but I have a feeling her days are numbered-either at the hand of Baelish or Tyron Lannister.

  5. Chad says:

    They couldn’t just not show Theon until season 5. Even though he doesn’t show up until the 5th book (which runs concurrent with book 4), his torture at the hands of bolton’s bastard is referenced. There’s a story to be told about it.

    • Alice says:

      We never got to see this in the books. By the time Theon was point of view again, he had already transitioned into “reek.” This fills in what was happening all that time. I’m kinda glad to see him get broken, I never had much attachment to Theon. I’d much rather watch him get tortured than hear about Joffrey beating Sansa again.

  6. Cari says:

    Sansa, girrrl, keep your mouth shut!! Hoping for a Brie/Jaime hook up. The cheese will be served when I want it served! – classic. Curious who this Love Actually kid is and what his angle is as well.

    • cirob says:

      Thanks for the “Love Actually” reference. I couldn’t recall where I’d seen that endearing smirk before.

    • LaLa says:

      I was too lazy to actually look it up, but I THOUGHT that that was the young boy from Love Actually. How cool . . .

  7. Anon says:

    I don’t understand why I enjoy Jaime’s character so much…the dude threw a child from a tower window while grinning at his sister/lover.

    And still I look forward to his and Brienne’s scenes the most – well, after Tyrion’s.

    Hope that doesn’t say something about me as person.

    • Lyndsey says:

      If you’re paddling the boat to hell then I’m right there with you!! Jamie, Tyrion, & Daenrys (spelling?) are my favorite characters, also fond of Arya & Jon too though! ;-)

      • Jules says:

        Exactly the same for me, Jamie and Brienne’s scenes where the best in the last episode, and Tyrion is just a great character, Daenerys with her dragons and is amazing, and I very much like Jon Snow and Arya and each of their storylines.

    • Lizzie says:

      Its okay. I love Jaimie. I feel really dirty about it. But he’s awesome.

  8. Dick Whitman says:

    Loved the “flashback” to the pilot and seeing Robb, Jon and Bran.

    • Jules says:

      Me, too. The second that I heard Jon say “Don’t think too much, Bran” I was immediately back at that scene, and to actually see him and Robb there, was really cool. Also, that they continued the flashback with Ned’s voice… all around loved it.

  9. White Walker says:

    I love it how Gendry and Arya did their best impersonation of an old married couple, and Hot Pie his best as the child-caught-up-in-the-middle, only instead to ask for directions, they were arguing about asking for better deaths.

    • Winter says:

      Kids at their ages change so much so quickly. It’s why shows with young actors and slow moving time tables struggle and often have to do time jumps.

      • Riddle says:

        Good thing they kept Arya sitting next to Hot Pie then, it didn’t show she is almost Gendry size now, despite she was a head shorter than Gendry the last time they saw Harrenhal

  10. Lyndsey says:

    Maybe it’s just because I re-watched season one a few weeks ago but I was really struck by how much our younger actors have aged. Seems like they’ve each aged 5 years instead of two! LOL!

  11. what! says:

    Great episode! Bran’s story is getting very interesting… So, is the Joffery and Margaery scene a foreshadow of what may happen? Will she kill a Lannister?… I will be surprised if Shae unlaces anything after this season… Loved Jaime and Brienne’s fight! Can’t wait for more!

  12. Alex says:

    Catelyn was making a prayer wheel

  13. amy says:

    No hugs for Catelyn, she doesn’t deserve any!! Love Jaime and Brienne. I loved how turned on Joffery was while Magery was holding that crossbow, mama Cersei is going to be mad….

    • DL says:

      Seriously. I LOVED that scene. Both actors played it so well. Joffrey for the first time really getting all hot and bothered over a woman, and Margaery just playing him like a fiddle. She walked such a tightrope and somehow managed to pull it off! I really appreciate how the show is making her a fully realized character, since we didn’t get an opportunity to know her well in the book (no POV chapters).

      • Riddle says:

        Its easy to forget that sometimes but Joffrey is just a kid. Thanks show for Margaery to point that out.

  14. Robin says:

    I am such an avid fan of the books that I have trouble with the episodes…they are great tv don’t take it the wrong way. The events are out of order, some things never happen that way and the dialog just never happened that way either. I do love all the charaters especially Arya, Tyrion and Jon, and love to loathe Cersei and Joff! I was in NYC over spring break where they had a Game of Thrones exhibit! I was not able to go…kids were tired and we had dinner reservations…the line was a 2 hour wait and it was one city block long!

  15. nana says:

    “Speaking of… crossbows, Tyrion comes back…”

    I see what you did there. ;)

  16. Alice says:

    I forgot how much I love Lady Olenna.
    I find myself distracted by Natalie Dormer in an odd way because I keep mixing up her former role and her current role. When I read the books, I liked Margaery without reservation. She was smart, and kind, and didn’t really get terribly backstabby- or at least, if she has, that plan hasn’t sprung yet. I believed she meant Sansa no harm.
    But every time I see her on screen, I think of how when the actress was playing Anne Boleyn, that same earnest smile usually meant she was planning something terrible and self-serving and I keep second guessing my memory of the book. I feel as paranoid as Sansa.

  17. Frankieboy says:

    The actress playing Sansa, Sophie Turner, really has a way to captivate me every time I see her. I feel for Sansa most of the time and it’s only because Turner delivers such good work.

  18. Interesting point of view.Thanks for the post. – Once youve put one of his books down, you simply cant pick it up again. (talking about Henry James) – Mark Twain 1835 – 191

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