Arya 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.”
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!Follow @kimroots