This episode opens with Winterfell under siege by Theon and his men. He proves, once and for all, what a slimy bastard he is. Of course, what fate may befall Theon might ultimately make us pity him but for now not so much.
Maester Luwin sends a raven to Pyke and to Deepwood Motte to inform Theon’s father and sister alike of his conquest of the North. The fulfillment of Bran’s dream is coming to pass at Winterfell, though the dream envisioned the deaths of the Ironmen, not their victory.
Theon’s sentencing Ser Rodrik to death does nothing to help Theon’s cause ultimately. Even after the counsel of the Maester, Theon takes the irrational choice and has Ser Rodrik put to the sword. Unlike Ned Stark, Theon is incapable of taking off a man’s head in one strike and instead must hack off Ser Rodrik’s in no less than three strikes. The brutality of it all even makes Theon’s right hand man wince.
Comically, Tywin’s plans were foiled by one of his general’s illiteracy. Petyr Baelish comes to visit Tywin, putting Arya on edge because she fears being discovered. Baelish confirms Margaery’s desire to become queen. Baelish highlights the Tyrells’ power and influence in their part of the realm.
Jon Snow is off playing ranger games with the Night’s Watch. The party falls upon a small group of wildlings that they easily kill, except for a fire-haired wildling girl named Ygrid, who warns them to burn the corpses or else the bodies will become White Walkers.
Of course, Jon Snow has to kill her because they can’t spare the resources to keep watch over her. A bad task to leave to him, ultimately, as he misses his mark trying to decapitate her and she flees.
Back at King’s Landing, Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, is sent away to Dorne for safekeeping.
‘I want you to know what is like to love someone, to truly love someone, before I take her from you.’
A mob nearly overwhelms Joffrey and his retinue after they see his sister off to Dorne. The Gold Cloaks begin to attack the mob and things get out of control as the violence gets out of hand. The purple robed priest is ripped apart limb from limb by a crowd in a scene of ever increasing gore. This show knows no limit in its creativity for violence.
‘We’ve had vicious kings. We’ve had idiot kings but I don’t think we’ve ever had a vicious idiot king.’
Sansa gets separated from the group and is nearly raped by a gang of grimy men until the Dog, Sandor Clegane, kills them all. He’s the most awesome of the entire Lannister gang. Those who were not as lucky as Sansa are beat and torn to death by the crowd.
Daenerys meets with the spice king of Qarth, the same voluminous man who attempted to deny her entry into the city before.
‘Unlike you I do not have exalted ancestors, and, unlike you, I make my merit on trade.’
In a parlay in his foyer, Daenerys’ declarations of intent to take the Iron Throne of Westeros are shown to be ill-formed and even childish in nature.
‘I’m no ordinary woman. My dreams come true. … I admire your passion. But in business, I follow logic, not passion.’
Arya uses her second death-wish on Amory Lorch who was going to tell Tywin Lannister about her duplicity in stealing the message. In record time Jaqen H’ghar dispatches with Amory Lorch easily by shooting a poison dart into his neck.
In the middle of conducting war Robb is also spending a considerable amount of time chasing tail. The field nurse, now revealed to be a noble woman from Volantis, is sitting in the middle of the camp where Robb chances upon her… again. Robb has all sorts of things on his mind other than winning the war. By the way, Winterfell has fallen to a handful of Ironmen under the direction of Theon, the spirit of incompetence itself.
Jon and Ygrid are going to camp the night out together after Jon became separated from the rest of the group during his chase after he.
‘You’re brave. Stupid. But brave.’
News that Winterfell has fallen to ‘treasonous whores’ like the Greyjoys comes as a shock to Robb. Of course, why wouldn’t that be shocking news? Theon, master of the ‘Sea Bitch,’ has felled the North. Lord Bolton offers to retake Winterfell on Robb’s behalf.
Sansa is alive and basically unharmed. After seducing Theon, Osha sneaks out of his bedroom, slits his guard’s throat, and escapes Winterfell with Bran and Rickon in tow. The episode ends with Daenerys’ discovery that her dragons were stolen from her with a closing shot of a man walking up stairs to a sandy colored tower.
All photos courtesy of HBO.com.
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