Game of Thrones Recap: Armed and Dragonous

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Game of Thrones Season 3 RecapMemo to Game of Thrones‘ Stannis, Robb, Joffrey and anyone else who’s thinking about planting their royal cheeks on the Iron Throne in the near future: You may want to Google “Unsullied” and then quiver in fear, because there are legions of these dudes, and they’re all wholeheartedly on Daenerys’ side now.

Elsewhere, Jamie’s still having heaps of indignity handed to him (those puns will stop eventually, but not quite yet) and Varys finds someone even bitchier than he is. Let’s review what happened in “And Now His Watch Is Ended.”

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HOUSE TARGARYEN | Dany and her entourage meet once more with Kraznys to finalize their deal: all of his Unsullied for one of her dragons (and various sundries). Jorah and Selmy look very discomfited as the trader takes the beast’s tether and hands Daenerys a symbolic golden whip – giving her power over all of the soldiers – in return. Once she’s sure the transaction is finished, Khaleesi comes out to play. She addresses the troops in their own language, surprising the slave trader (who, you’ll recall, has done nothing but trash talk her, thinking she didn’t understand). “Valyrian is my mother tongue,” she calmly informs him before ordering the troops – now hers – to kill everyone in power, unchain the slaves and leave the children unharmed. The trader, unable to control the dragon at the end of its chain, orders Dany killed. “Dracarys!” she shouts in response, and her winged beast barbecues him. (And I thought it was impressive when I got my old dog to catch a treat I balanced on her nose.)

The Unsullied get to spearin’, and soon no one’s left but the army and those Dany ordered protected. Astride a white horse, she addresses her men. Anyone who wishes to leave can do so unharmed, she announces, because she’s freeing every single one of them. (Are those dragons fitted with PA speakers? How did all those men hear her?) She asks: Will they fight for her out of their own freewill? Slowly, the silence is filled with the sound of thousands of spears beating the ground – the Unsullied, it seems, are down with this new plan. So Danerys leads her loyal following away from Astapor, her three reunited dragons circling in the sky, and drops the symbolic whip in the dust as they all blow out of town.

HOUSE LANNISTER: KEEP-PALM-AND-CARRY-ON EDITION | Near death – I assume from infection, because there’s no such thing as ye olde Purell – Jaime’s forced to ride on with Brienne and their captors. Even worse, his severed hand is strung up and hung over his shoulder like a discarded soap-on-a-rope. He falls off his horse and face-plants into the mud, then vomits up the horse pee the men give him to drink. All in all, not his best day. Still, he manages to grab a sword and feebly fend off a few of the men – with Brienne trying to come to his rescue – for a few moments. It’s folly that quickly turns serious when the men, tired of mocking the Lannister heir, just start beating the entitled snot out of him. (How surreal and disheartening was it to see his hand resting at that weird angle next to his face in the mud?)

Later, by the campfire, the Kingslayer bemoans his fate. The appendage he lost, he reminds Brienne, was “my sword hand. I was that hand.” Though I think she has real sympathy for Jaime’s plight, especially in light of him lying about her father’s riches in order to stop her rape, she’s hard with him. “You sound like a bloody woman,” she says, telling him to eat. It’s interesting that he eventually does what she says, no?

HOUSE TYRELL: EVERY-ROSE-HAS-ITS-THORN EDITION | While Joffrey shows his future bride around the sept, Margaery wants to say hi to the people of King’s Landing who are clamoring outside. “If you give them your love, they will return it a thousandfold,” she advises her fiancé. Cersei looks like she wants to punt Marg and her plunging neckline into Blackwater Bay, but Joff’s not really listening to his mother these days. So he warily orders the doors open, and the betrothed pair wave to the crowd. “They adore you,” Margaery tells him, laying it on a little bit thick. After all, it’s not his name they’re chanting.

The cunning little queen-to-be continues to further her agenda (probably put into motion by her grandmother; more on that in a minute) when she takes a walk with Sansa. After ordering the guards to leave them be, Margaery paints a future in which Sansa is promised to her brother Loras – the Knight of Flowers (who, you’ll recall, she also once offered up to Renly) – and can escape Knight’s Landing for the greener pastures of the Tyrell’s Highgarden. I know I should feel sorry for Sansa, and the way her face lights up at the thought of leaving the Lannisters behind does break my heart, but I really just want to shake her and shout, “Has Cersei taught you nothing?!”

Meanwhile, in the gardens, Varys and Olenna have their first interaction – and if there’s ever talk of a spin-off, I pray to all seven gods that it centers on these two. The old lady and the mincing gossip trade some great lines; one of my favorite is when she says his seduction is for naught: “What happens when the nonexistent bumps up against the decrepit? A question for the philosophers.” Based on intel gleaned during a conversation with Littlefinger’s right-hand gal Ros, Varys is pretty sure that Lord Baelish is planning to secret Sansa Stark away sometime in the near future – like when he leaves for the Vale to wed Lysa Arryn.  Olenna finds that very interesting.

HOUSE LANNISTER: FAMILY-LOVE EDITION | Tywin’s verbal smackdown of Tyrion a few episodes back now extends to his daughter, who complains that she is a better asset to him than either of his sons. “I don’t distrust you because you are a woman,” he says, barely glancing up from his work. “I distrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.” Yikes. Then he berates her for having no control over Joffrey. (Sorry, Cersei; can’t libel the truth.)

Elsewhere, Tyrion visits Varys to get more “proof” of how Cersei tried to have him murdered during Blackwater. As a slightly distracted Varys goes about unnailing a crate, he seems to go off on a tangent about the day he “was cut.” Yeah, that cut. Here’s the chopped-down version (heh): As a youth, he traveled with a troupe of actors. His master sold him to a man who literally emasculated him and “burned my parts in a brazier” as part of some dark sorcery, then left him to die in the street. “Ever since that day, I have hated magic and all those who practice it,” he says, adding that helping battle Stannis and his red priestess was a sort of symbolic revenge. “Yes,” Tyrion replies impatiently, “I feel the need for actual revenge.” Ha! The Spider counsels patience, lifting the crate’s lid to reveal the bound and gagged man who’d bought him all those years ago. In the what what?! The comeuppance Tyrion wishes to dole out can be his “in time,” Varys says, “if you have the stomach for it.”

HOUSE STARK | The Brotherhood Without Banners arrives at its home base, a cave-looking place so hidden that Arya, Gendry and the Hound are hooded until they’re well inside. Once there, they meet the Brotherhood’s eyepatched (and believed dead) leader, Beric Dondarrion. (He’s the one Eddard Stark sent to take down the Hound’s brother in the first season.) The mysterious Dondarrion has been “reborn in the light of the one true God” – but looks a little rough around the edges — and he’s eager to hold the Hound accountable for any murders he’s committed. Arya pipes up that he killed her friend Mycah (the kid who wound up dead after Arya and Joffrey’s scuffle in Season 1), and Clegane doesn’t deny it. No one present can judge the giant former king, Dondarrion says. “Only the Lord of Light may do that now. I sentence you to trial by combat” against Beric himself.

HOUSE GREYJOY: TOO-LITTLE-TOO-LATE EDITION | Theon’s rescuer leads him through a series of tunnels as they make their way to Theon’s sister… or so Greyjoy thinks. He sings like a little, desperate bird the entire time: about how his father doesn’t care about him; about how he “paid the iron price” for Winterfell by having neighbor boys killed, burned and strung up to make everyone think Bran and Rickon were dead; about how he’d done it all “to make my father proud” but that he’d realized that “my real father lost his head at King’s Landing.” I generally find Theon weaselly and unsympathetic, but here Alfie Allen gets me a little with the remorse in his voice when he says, “I made a choice, and I chose wrong.”

Unfortunately, the man leading Theon to his “salvation” is actually working against Theon and has really just circled them back into the torture chamber. “I brought him back. He killed the others!” (hmm…) the man cries with a gleeful edge in his voice. And almost before young Greyjoy realizes what’s happening, he’s back on the torture device he just left.

THE MEN OF THE WALL | The brothers of the Night’s Watch are ailing, hungry and angry at Craster’s, so when they start to suspect that he’s sitting on a secret store of food, bad stuff goes down – and quickly. In the pandemonium, one of the men kills Craster; another kills Mormont. During the confusion, Sam runs to grab Craster’s daughter Gilly and her baby son, and they slip away.

Now it’s your turn. What do you make of Bran’s dream? Did you get a chuckle out of Ros and Varys discussing Pod’s prowess? Did you miss Jon Snow this week? Sound off in the comments!



Comments (52)

  • Just how I imagined it when I read the book. Dracarys!!!!

    Comment by strachpa – April 21, 2013 07:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Love those wonderful dragons!

      Comment by Val – April 21, 2013 08:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Same here and the Direwolves as well. I found the show because of my brother and now I am reading the books as the show does not tell everything. I am having a hard time finishing because I have soo many thoughts and questions. Yeah to the Dragons and yeah to the Direwolves. Although the should does not give the direwolves much TV time as they should like int he books to show what these Direwolves are really made of. Varys is very sneaky you never know really what he is thinking/doing and his comments are always double bladed part trying to help and part trying to destroy. I am glad Theon at least feels remorseful although it is a little too late. I am also glad money does not buy everything. Meaning Jaime cannot buy his way out of trouble. the Brienne and attempted rape story last week was out of left field and weird because she has strength/skill etc.. and that scene where oh she is just a mere woman scenario was disheartening because of all that she had proved. Has anyone seen Xena or Hercules and does this Lord of Light god seem to imitate the dahak story lines of Xena and Hercules shows? It does to mean. I am looking forward to reading the books and watching the show. I am liking that Dany is learning/adapting and growing to be a force to reckon with.

        Comment by Shannon – April 22, 2013 02:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Even better than I could have ever imagined. I know it’s not the GRRM-style, but a whole Dany story ep would be awesome.

      Comment by junior – April 21, 2013 09:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Last 5 minutes? Best. Scene. Ever. It happened just like I had when I read it, probably even better! The show has been skyrocketing to top all tv shows. I feel so proud of GoT, each episode just gets better and better!!!

    Comment by Drew Herring – April 21, 2013 07:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Khaleesi for the win!!!

      Comment by Curly Girly – April 22, 2013 08:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That was a fine hour in television. I love this show.

    Comment by Dick Whitman – April 21, 2013 07:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally awesome. Dany rules!

    Comment by Jen – April 21, 2013 07:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The man leading Theon back to torture is certainly NOT one of Robb’s men.

    Comment by BookGirl – April 21, 2013 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Perhaps I read too much into the exchange — amended. — KR

      Comment by Kimberly Roots – April 21, 2013 07:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Also, there’s a typo in the Tyrell paragraph. King’s Landing.

        Comment by Dick Whitman – April 21, 2013 07:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • well… technically he is… a northerner that is, so that makes him one of Robb’s men.

      Comment by Jess – April 22, 2013 09:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • As Jess noted, technically he is.
      If you’d like to know his exact identity, I recommend checking out IMDb. As a reader of the books, if you haven’t recognized him by now, you’ll certainly recognize his name.

      Comment by DL – April 22, 2013 10:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A dragon is no slave.

    Comment by Brian – April 21, 2013 07:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When I read Book 3 – loved the relationship that grew between Brienne & Jaine – became really lovely

    Comment by Carol McBride – April 21, 2013 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I haven’t gotten to this point in the books yet, but I’m under the impression that the guys torturing Theon Greyjoy are not Robb’s people. Robb doesn’t seem like the type to condone torture. It was nice to see Greyjoy’s remorse, if only because I thought he was pathetic when his father made fun of him and he betrayed Robb.

    Comment by kate – April 21, 2013 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Theon was not present in Storm of Swords, most of his current storyline is created specifically for the show.

      Comment by Mike – April 21, 2013 08:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They have definitely moved up the storyline from “Dance with Dragons”, I was under the impression that since you see the same cross as Bolton’s sigil, we already know it is his men torturing Theon even though Ramsay isn’t there.

        Comment by Greg – April 21, 2013 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • We don’t HEAR from him in Storm of Swords, but based on his own reflections in Dance, we know what was happening to him during that time. So the storyline isn’t made specifically for the show, but rather the show, rather than doing a flashback in three or more seasons to show what happened to him for all these episodes that he’s been absent, is instead revealing Theon in real time.

        Comment by Alice – April 21, 2013 09:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Theon has a number of flashbacks in the 5th book that fill in what was happening to him during the timespan of the 3rd book – the specific details have been changed a decent bit (so far at least) for the show, but I’m confident that the overall storyline will match the book.

        Comment by Yahskar – April 22, 2013 06:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The last scene with Dany was spot on. Exactly how it should have been and almost exactly what it was like in the book.

    I’m becoming used to the Theon storyline (assuming that it’s who he’s supposed to be).

    Rob being married to medic lady still annoys me, but everything else makes up for it.

    Comment by Tim – April 21, 2013 07:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I like her better than the random Jeyne Westerling, but it still isn’t as good as it could be. The medic character was very interesting and fleshed out when she and Rob were courting, and that has devolved since their relationship became fully established.

      Comment by DL – April 22, 2013 10:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A dragon is no slave. !!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by George2k – April 21, 2013 08:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • wonderful books-seeing them brought to life has been a fascinating experience!

    Comment by Val – April 21, 2013 08:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the last section with Dani was epic!! great episode but that last scene is worth a rewatch over and over again.

    Comment by mya – April 21, 2013 09:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And that’s exactly what I did! Dany just gets more and more badass the more you watch that last scene haha

      Comment by iana – April 23, 2013 05:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I see im not the only one who re-watched that part again and again. It was great, just like the book. Although in the book, GrrM was able to lead the reader on to the point where you weren’t sure if Daenerys was really going to sell her dragon or change her mind at the last minute.

      Also, I loved hearing her speak Valyrian. And the look of total shock Missandei gave her when she heard her speak, win.

      Comment by No Slave – April 23, 2013 08:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am totally loving Olenna!

    Comment by The Beach – April 21, 2013 09:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I hope she gets to be a point of view character at some point in the books. I just want more of her in general.

      Comment by Alice – April 21, 2013 09:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ah, poor Sansa. Is there an unluckier character on TV than you? Though, really, I’d almost think she’d be just as happy even if she knew Loras was gay, just to get away from Joffrey and the Lannisters.

    As far as the whole “has Cersei taught you nothing?” query, she was initially afraid to trust them. But she’s a horribly abused girl. It’s hardly surprising that she’d jump at somebody who appears to give a crap about her and offers a way out (and Margaery and Loras are certainly a more appealing escape than Littlefinger).

    Comment by Sean C. – April 21, 2013 10:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have been rooting for Daenerys since season one. What’s not to like? She’s a smart and clever – she was able to lift herself up from being a little sister forced to marry a stranger to being the leader of a large army. She’s strong and determined – she was able to lead her Dothraki tribe even without Khal Drogo. And of course she’s righteous, something that is missing from other players.

    I don’t feel sorry for Jaime. I actually feel sorry for Brienne for showing compassion for him. He would actually have killed her if he had the chance. Now of course, he’s just doing everything he can to keep her at his side because she’s his only ally ever since he was separated from the Lannisters.

    Comment by King – April 21, 2013 11:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Tywin / Joffrey smackdown coming is going to be fun to watch. The only person who could get anything past Tywin was Arya, Cersi certainly didn’t.
    Olenna is like Downton’s Dowager Countess on steriods. She is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
    Seeing Dany lead The Unsullied out of Astapor with her 3 dragons was one of best scenes that GoT has ever done.

    Comment by Whatever – April 21, 2013 11:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Such a good episode! I loved all the scenes with Daenerys, and with Oleanna, she is amazing, and quickly becoming one of my favorites.
    The scenes with Varys and Ros talking about Pod certainly made me chuckle,
    and even though Jon and Robb are two of my favorites, I didn’t even miss them while watching the episode; sure I would have loved to see them, but there was enough good storyline in the episode, that I didn’t even notice missing them till it was over. But I hope they’re back next week.

    Comment by Jules – April 22, 2013 12:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They killed Mormont! Those bastards!

    Comment by nikki – April 22, 2013 01:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was bored with Daenerys’s story last year but wouaw she is such a bad ass right now! Great story, great actors, great everything! I just wish more Bran because the story here feels kinda slow but anyway excellent episode again.

    Comment by Azerty – April 22, 2013 05:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great episode. Getting closer to the Frey wedding disaster and the siege of the wall. Does anyone know how much of book 3 will be covered in this season? There is so much still left to go…wish the season was longer than the episodes!

    Comment by Robin – April 22, 2013 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Half of book is being covered, I think episode 9 will be the red wedding.

      Comment by Mike – April 22, 2013 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree the red wedding will be this season and Joffreys wedding will be next season.

        Comment by Whatever – April 22, 2013 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I disagree. I think Joff’s wedding is episode 7. Why else would GRRM write that episode?

          Comment by db219 – April 22, 2013 10:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Read the episode guide desciptions on Zap2it for the entire season…
            That contains a lot of clues as to what will be in this season.

            Comment by Whatever – April 22, 2013 11:07 AM PDT  
          • I actually hope they delay joffrey’s wedding. He’s a fantastic actor and I never hated Joffrey in the book as much as I hated him on TV. Also, this Margarey and Joff relationship is amusing to watch. We never got any of that in the book

            Comment by No Slave – April 23, 2013 08:17 AM PDT  
  • That last scene was amazing! All along I kept waiting to find out Khaleesi understood the stupid slave trader. I rewatched it 3 times already and can’t wait to get home from work to watch it again! I love Lady Olenna so much, her and Varys make such a great gossipy pair. I tend to forget that most of the Night’s Watch are criminals so I didn’t expect Mormont’s death at all last night! I can’t wait to see what happens with Sam and Gilly now. Theon’s story bores me. I agree that the actor makes you feel a bit for Theon’s plight but he’s a horrible person and I don’t want to freakin’ feel bad for him!

    Comment by Rain – April 22, 2013 07:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is Margaery good or bad? I can’t decide?

    Comment by Jay – April 22, 2013 08:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She’s walking a fine line between the two right now, isn’t she? I’d like to think she’s got good intentions, at least where Sansa is concerned. I hope she is able to knock Joffrey down a few pegs. Otherwise, we are in for quite the gruesome twosome.

      Comment by tripoli – April 22, 2013 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The moment Dany clarified that the Unsullied were hers to control when she finalized the purchase I knew what was coming. Fool men. The slave trader got exactly what he deserved. And I loved when she dressed down her two councilmen. I think they will never doubt her again after this fine showing.

    Dany is the one who belongs on that Iron Throne. She will be a truly great leader. People will love her because she is genuine. Something Margaery is not. She does what she needs to do to be Queen. Not that she is bad, but she is manipulative. The crowd was shouting Joffrey’s name at the end too. She is very smart, and it is killing Cersei.

    The sorcerer’s mouth was sewn shut – presumably so he could not call on dark magic (and those within hearing) for help. Do not mess with the spider.

    I love this show so much. I know I would love the books, but am trying to wait to read them. If the series was complete I would not, but since it’s not I will resist. (barely)

    Comment by CountryQueen – April 22, 2013 10:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does it feel like they are moving pretty quick with this season to anyone else, like maybe they are not separating the book into two seasons after all? Cause it seems that way to me, but I had heard for the longest that SoS would be two seasons.

    Comment by Truth – April 22, 2013 11:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know it has absolutely nothing to do with anything important, but I think that the ongoing subplot about Pod and his indescribable prowess in the bedroom is maybe the best thing ever.

    Comment by wordsmith – April 22, 2013 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Haha I know. I was so surprised when Pod came back to Tyrion and dropped the bag of coins on the desk. My first thought is that somehow he didn’t go through with it. But gosh, this whole new subplot is much more entertaining, especially when you watch their expressions.

      Comment by No Slave – April 23, 2013 08:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jaime and Brienne should have their own spin off, there were not bearly enough scenes between them last night. And, is it me or the Hound is actually more articulated around Arya than Sansa Stark?

    Comment by TV fan – April 22, 2013 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Jamie and Brienne the Archie and Edith of Westeros.

      Comment by kate – April 23, 2013 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Daenerys is so amazing. I loved how she took that place down. I was thinking “any second now, she’s going to say Dracarus.” I know it’s a long way off, but I hope she takes on Westeros and wins.

    Comment by Mikael – April 23, 2013 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did theon ask “did those men know what my father waz doing to me? is this why ned stark took him to his home?

    Comment by i bac – April 24, 2013 08:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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