May 13 2013 10:00am

Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 7: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

Game of Thrones HBO Season 3 Episode 7 The Bear and the Maiden Fair George R R Martin

Each season of Game of Thrones has one episode written by AsoIaF author George R.R. Martin, and while we didn’t get the pyrotechnics of “Blackwater” or the surprise appearance of White Walkers as we did in “The Pointy End,” there were still plenty of memorable moments this hour.

And a ton of quotes that will have new meaning once the season’s over.

There are only three episodes of Game of Thrones left and while I can say we’re racing to the finish line, the players are certainly en route.

Does anyone else squee a bit when a new city pops up in the opening credits? This week we get Yunkai.

We haven’t seen this new slaver city yet, and we never would, if their representative got his way. You can’t blame a guy for trying to bribe Dany (Queen of the Andals, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, It Girl of the Seven Kingdoms, etc.). Those dragons get bigger every week. And they still manage to not look cheesy at all. Dany looked so damn pleased with herself, chilling on her sofa, tossing her babies some meat.

Game of Thrones HBO George R R Martin Season 3 Episode 7 The Bear and the Maiden Fair

So, is Dany’s vendetta against slavery more important than her end goal of the Iron Throne? Ser Jorah doesn’t seem to understand why. You’d think he’d learn, being that he’s only in Dany’s service because he’s an exiled slaver himself. He’s not loyal to her cause. He’s loyal to her, but for his own selfish reasons. And that’s why she doesn’t love him. What’s the Dothraki word for “Friend-zone’d”?

Just a logistics question: how does she plan on fighting a war across the Narrow Sea if she’s got 200,000+ civilians with her? Will they follow her on ships? Will they wave her off from the shore and then fight amongst themselves? (This exact situation was handled pretty realistically in the final season of Spartacus, by the way, so it’s a dilemma fresh in my mind.)

Meanwhile, Robb’s army has shrunk so much, you pretty much never see anyone who isn’t a Tully or his spouse. This isn’t a good sign. He’s barely fighting a war. But he sure is getting naked with his wife. In a timely announcment for Mother’s Day, we learn Talisa is with wolf cub. Robb made a huge mistake marrying her, but, dammit, they’re so sweet together. It really makes you believe that a love match is much better than the alternative.

Sansa would agree.

I get where she’s coming from; she hasn’t seen all of the incredible things Tyrion’s done and said and, frankly, she’s pretty dim, so she wouldn’t appreciate his great wit. Maybe he should slap Joffrey in front of her. Then she’d come around.

I’m not into Shae pulling the whole psycho girlfriend routine on Tyrion. Shae should be more pragmatic. She knows her place in this world all too well, sadly. And if she didn’t know it before Ros got skewered, she knows it now. So it’s just off-putting to see her try to trap Tyrion with his own words and act more jealous than she should be. Yet, TV-Shae has a more genuine romantic interest in Tyrion than her book counterpoint. I just picture Shae being more mercenary. Like Bronn—who was much-missed these past few episodes. Need more Bronn!

The other big love match of the season is Jon and Ygritte. Ygritte saying anything with her accent kills me. “Drooms.” I loved the final scene between them, when Jon sadly told her that the Wildlings can’t win the war they’ve started. That moment when Ygritte corrected Jon’s “you” into “us” was so spot-on and poignant.

But this episode wasn’t called “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” for nothing.

Game of Thrones HBO George R R Martin Season 3 Episode 7 The Bear and the Maiden FairTo quote The Stranger in The Big Lebowski: “Sometimes, you eat the bear, and, sometimes, well, the bear gets his meal taken away by Jaime freaking Lannister proving his awesomeness.” I’ve been biting my tongue as people who haven’t read the books hated on Jaime, but now I can shout my Kingslayer love from the rooftops. And rescuing Brienne isn’t even the best thing the reformed knight does. But it’s still really dramatic and cool. Kudos to the bear. And to actors who are brave enough to work against a giant brown bear no matter how well-trained he is. That was some Emmy-worthy animal acting.

The only thing that would’ve made the scene better is if Jaime nonchalantly pushed Locke into the bear pit. That would’ve mirrored the act that made every viewer hate Jaime in the first place in such a perfect way.


Other points of interest and Quote of the Week nominees:

  • “Goodbye, Ser Jaime.” That Brienne called Jaime by his actual name says a lot about her change of heart towards him, even before he returns to collect her.
  • Tywin Lannister is worth his weight in gold. The slooow walk up the steps to the thone. Ha! Joffrey didn’t need to be slapped to shut up. “We could arrange to have you carried [up the stairs in the Tower of the Hand].” Still, I really, really can’t wait to see every doubter’s face when they see Dany’s dragons with their own eyes.
  • That was an interesting aerial shot of the Blackwater battle aftermath. Gendry is like a real storybook character, a young orphan discovering he is really a secret heir. Only Game of Thrones is no sweet fairy tale....
  • “You pay me to kill people who bother you. Evil notions come free.”—Bronn
  • “What would I do [across the Narrow Sea?] Juggle?” Oh, that’s rich, Tyrion. Nicely done, George.
  • Tormund Giantsbane giving lessons on lovemaking. Who says all wildlings are savages, eh? Game of Thrones HBO George R R Martin Season 3 Episode 7 The Bear and the Maiden Fair
  • Speaking of sex ed: “Yes, sweet girl. My mother taught me.”—Margaery. Sansa, you idiot.
  • It was so different reading Theon’s flashbacks in A Dance With Dragons vs. being there as they happen. On the one hand, weeks of torture scenes are getting a bit old. I know it’s following the books’ timeline, but it is tedious. However, I’d hate to not see Alfie Allen for two seasons. The other benefit of Theon’s scenes is there’s now definitely no ambiguity that Ramsay cut off Theon’s cock. (In the books, it was implied, but I know a lot of readers who thought it was more of a metaphorical, emotional castration, since we’re so in Theon’s point of view.) So, I guess that’s good to know? Only I wish we didn’t see it happen. It’s just such needless cruelty. I was pretty sick to my stomach from the moment those two girls showed up. Then that horn. Ugh.
  • Osha had a sad little monologue about why she left her home. I wonder if she and Rickon will go their separate ways soon.
  • “Death.”—Arya on her god. Cold words for such a young kid.
  • “The Lannisters send their regards.”—Jaime. Yeah... Nice use of “Rains of Castamere” once again.


Next week: “Second Sons.” Not sure what the title refers to, but hopefully we’ll get more of Arya and the Hound.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM E/PT on HBO.

Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci

Ser Tom
1. Ser Tom
An interesting episode with a few poignant sceens. Dany's definitely feeling her power now. Even with last weeks discussion vis a vis her agency, it seem to me she is experiencing quite a bit of self determination here. He chooses to pursue her anti-slavery campaign rather than accept the ships she so desperately needs to reach her ultimate goal, the Iron Throne.

Hooray Jaime! I agree that they missed an opportunity when he didn't toss Locke into the bear pit.

With only three episodes left are we going to get one wedding each? Or will the Joffrey/Margaery wedding wait until Season 4 as predicted ?
Mo -
2. Astus
Jaime jumping into that pit with no regard for sanity was amazing, as was Brienne just shrugging off that bear attack. The following exchange warmed my heart...

The scene with them prior to Jaime leaving the first time was so good too. There's the dialogue but Brienne also says so much with her eyes. Props to the actress.

I got a very unsettling vibe from Talisa that I haven't gotten before. There was certain slyness about her when she talked and was writing the letter. This was before the baby bombshell, mind. I enjoyed Tormund in this episode much more than I have so far. Now, that's the dude I remember from the books! HAR!
Great review as always. Things are about to hit another level! :)

Edit - It keeps eating up my post. The exchange I'm referring to between Jaime and Brienne is when he first jumps in the pit and tells her to get behind him and her emphatic response. Guess Tor doesn't like quotation marks.
Ser Tom
3. Ser Tom
One more comment. Arya naming Death as her god is some cool foreshadowing, considering where she winds up later on. *ehem*
valar morghulis *ehem*
Theresa DeLucci
4. theresa_delucci
@1 I really can't see getting all three weddings this season. In fact, I'll eat... well I don't own a hat, but I'll borrow someone else's and eat it. They've gotta save something outrageous for next season -- and let this year's events sink in and depress people.

@2 Thanks! And, yes, I know some people are kind of suspicious of Talisa. I'm trying not to be cynical but what kind of person thinks, upon basking in post-coital afterglow, "Gee, let me write my mum." And the fact that Robb doesn't speak Valyrian.... HMMMM. I don't know. But I want them to be truly in love.
Ser Tom
5. Ser Tom
Damn, hit the send too soon. Again, about Arya, her declaration would have had much more significance than even she knew to Thoros, and maybe Dondarian. The former, for sure, should be familiar with the Many Faced God. I believe I caught a look of shocked recognition on thier faces when she said it. Either that or it was just shock that such a young girl could be so dark.
Ser Tom
6. Herb7
Only Game of Thrones could make nudity that dull. And there was no ambiguity in the book...some people are just dense.
Elizabeth Doolin
7. mochabean
Another solid episode. The added scenes give us both a new perspective (like Osha's) and stand in for viewer questions. Yes, why are we listening to these random teenagers telling us Bran needs to go north of the wall in search of the three eyed crow? "Because the conventions of fantasy dictate it" is often an unsatisfactory answer.

Emilia Clarke's acting is often slammed, but I thought she did a great job last night. Her whole demeaner with Yunkai's representative was so much like Visarys from S1 it was creepy. You really don't want to wake the Dragon, sir.

Closing music, great forshadowing

Still sad we didn't get to hear 'You thlew my bear!"
Elizabeth Doolin
8. mochabean
@4 -- I am suspicious of her as well. I mean, who else have we seen this year writing letters? Only one person springs to mind, and since the Westerlings aren't in the picture....she's seems like the likely tool to me.
Mo -
9. Astus
@4 - Yeah, it was odd. It just didn't seem like a really appropriate time to start penning any letter at the time. To her mother or not, lol. I had thought she would tried being a bit more discreet but then again, Robb did seem to buy her story. Like I said, I have been trying to view their relationship as mostly innocent with an undercurrent of dread that comes with this piece of work but I just got a really off-putting vibe from her in the scene. It was just her demeanour.

I suppose we'll find out soon enough what the whole jig is anyway! Where's Grey Wind though!?
Sydo Zandstra
10. Fiddler
"Second Sons" definitely refers to Yunkai, so we get some more Dany pulling a can of whoopass next week. (It's the name of a mercenary company hired by the Yunkai slavers)

Since episode 9 is called 'The Rains of Castamere' I think we can be sure we'll get 2 weddings at the most this season. I can see them putting in Tyrion/Sansa next week, Tyrion being Tywin's second son and all... :)

I was wary of Talisa from the start. But maybe that is because I believe in the theory about the Westerlings (barring Jeyne and her youngest brother) being in cahoots with Tywin/Freys/Bolton in the matter of the Red Wedding...
Chris Nelly
11. Aeryl
I feel like the show has validated my opinion that Marg is sexually active with all those handmaidens she has in the books, especially with Olenna's convo with Tywin about childish indiscretions with the same sex. (In other words, she's guilty of what Cersei accuses her of, not that that excuses Cersei's actions in FFC)

Osha's story broke my heart:^( SO SAD. Now we know how the split'll happen. Also, my guess is that next week is Queenscrown.

I'm glad the show didn't have Marg drop Sansa like a hot potato like she did in the book. Part of me really feels like the show intends to pull Sansa into the plot, knowingly(WHICH IS WANT SO BAD).

Talisa continues to intrigue me. Her writing in Valyrian is has alarms pinging in my head, though I know it makes perfect sense her mother wouldn't speak Westerosi. Especially with the news she shared. I guess we'll know soon enough.

BTW, Theresa Yunkai's been in the credits for a few weeks. It showed up after she left Astapor, my coworkers asked me about it, as they don't read the books.

Having read the books, I can't quite tell what the writers are doing with Shae(and I think the difference in her characterization from the books explains why GRRM couldn't hit the right note with her last night). Making her this unsympathetic is unlike their history of making every death painful, but if they are trying to keep Tyrion from becoming to morally compromised, this may be their gambit.
Chris Nelly
12. Aeryl
@9, I think ALL of the wolves have had their screen time reduced to make room in the budget for the dragons. Ghost has only been seen once, Grey Wind, Summer and Shaggy not at all.

Also, in re Talisa, I'm glad someone pointed out she asked Robb to "leave the WAR" for one night, not WOLF, b/c my alarms went off even louder after that.
Mo -
13. Astus
@12 - Yeah, I guess so. I'm just exclaiming out of frustration, haha. I wanted to see him interacting with Talisa or at least some mention of him. I guess I can't get the image of them being so intrinsically tied to the Stark kids out of my head.

The dragons did look fantastic in the episode though.

I also agree re: Shae. She's the only character who hasn't really sat right with me since her introduction. She's just far too abrasive and I can't see what Tyrion would be attracted to in her. They've essentially kept the connection between them from the books but changed her character completely and that in turn causes a disconnect. I felt in a similar way about Renly although not to such a great degree.
Daryl Strickler
14. Seacaptain13
@7 mochabean - Still sad we didn't get to hear You thlew my bear!

LMAO! Oh I missed him in the show.
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
Second Sons
- Mercenary company in Yunkai (this is likely one of the "friends" reference by Yunkai guy).
- Tyrion adventures in KL (perhaps a wedding?)
- Bran adventures up north (can something finally happen, please?)
- Maybe we'll get a Tommen appearance? Perhaps a letter from Myrcella down in Dorne, wouldn't that be nice?
Chris Nelly
16. Aeryl
I think we'll get the scene where Jon and Bran just miss one another(when I saw the mill, my perspective was off, I thought it was farther away, so I assumed Queenscrown) next week or the week after.

The season will end with Jon returning to Castle Black, not with the wildlings anymore.

I think Gold wedding next week, unless they go really harsh, and do both weddings together, cutting back and forth from one to the other.
Theresa DeLucci
17. theresa_delucci
@16 I'm thinking we'll get a cruel juxtaposition, too.

Thanks for the "Second Sons" refresher, everyone. I thought it had something to so with goings on in Essos. I got them confused with the Stormcrows because it looked like the actor supposedly playing Daario in the preview, not Brown Ben.
Rob Munnelly
18. RobMRobM
Nice episode but ran afoul of the curse of heightened expectations (given GRRM authorship of script). I expected great things on level of Pointy End and Blackwater and only got good things.

Loved the Dany scenes and the first Jaime-Brienne scene - the bear pit was fun but only ok - only so much you can do with a live action bear - but I enjoyed the "sorry about the sapphires" kiss off to Locke.

The Margaery-Sansa scene was highly amusing as well ("Yes, my mother taught me") is a huge LOL, as is the Tywin-Joff scene. I only later thought about the double meaning of the "we can carry you" line - in a palanquin handled by servants or implying he is acting like a baby.

Tyrion-Bronn is funny, and the Tyrion-Shae is getting painful. It's consistent with her story development, as she's pull out the "funny whore" line in Season 2 as well, but still ache-worthy.

Theon - I actually believe, unlike some, that these scenes need to be here but the second part of that was horrifying (and, yes, I'm one of those who believed that Theon probably (but not definitely) was never castrated while in custody. Guess I'll have to revise that opinion now.

Arya - as expected.

Jojen/Bran - need to start laying cards on the table more openly. (By the way, the "Hodor" in this episode was the single best one ever.)

Jon-Ygritte- Orell - didn't love it but really like the (yours/us) dialogue directly taken from the book.

I'm actually liking the Mel-Gendry dynamic, now that the preview has confirmed it is going in the direction I was expecting. Maybe we'll have to change his name to Gedric Waters-Storm.
Elizabeth Doolin
19. mochabean
@11 but if they are trying to keep Tyrion from becoming to morally compromised, this may be their gambit.

I think that is exactly what they are doing. Not sure why. But since Tywin has no chain of office here, I like how they introduced the chain motif between Tyrion and Shae --nice contrast with doings in Yunkai.
Chris Nelly
20. Aeryl
I did laugh at that Osha/Hodor exchange. Like what did you expect?

I'm quite upset that Yarasha was shown prominently in several trailers, but is apparently NOT IN THIS SEASON!!!!! UGH. From the look of the shot, I'm assuming it's after Balon Greyjoy's death, which I imagine will close out the season after the upcoming leeches.
Ser Tom
21. Lsana
An interesting point regarding Tywin: I enjoyed watching him deal with Joff as he might a particularly annoying fly, but that was tempered by the fact that for once in his miserable life, Joff was RIGHT. Joff was looking to find out what goes on in his council, being concerned about Dany and her dragons, wanting to be briefed by the experts, and generally take a more active role as king. He was, for once, doing more or less what he should have been doing, and he got slammed for it. I found it similar to Tywin's dealing with Cersei ealier in the season: yes, it was satisfying to watch her get slapped down as a miserable queen and horrid excuse for a mother, but on the subject they were discussing, the influence of the Tyrells, Cersei was right to be concerned.

One small point that bothered me in this episode: I refuse to believe Ygritte was unfamiliar with the concept of "fainting." The wildlings have so much food that none of them ever get low blood sugar? Their peaceful lifestyle means that none of them ever get hurt to the point where they go into shock? Sure, Ygritte won't faint at the sight of blood, but I'm sure she understands the concept.
Ser Tom
22. sofrina
they're setting shae up to betray tyrion. a classic 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' motivation. i'm sure his wedding is in the season since we see joffrey leading sansa down a staircase in the season trailer. she's dressed like margaery which is disappointing. i really wanted to see that maiden's cloak.

funny how brienne's manner becomes more feminine in that dress than in her armor. and her facial expressions aren't so tough and ugly. albeit, they aren't slogging on the road... she and jaime are acting more like a couple than comrades. (that bear was live?! i convinced myself it was amazing cgi.)

of course arya chose death. another lesson from syrio forel: "not today."

the stark direwolves have been in the season. we saw summer when the reeds appeared and then summer or shaggy dog on the road, following rickon into the grass.

daenerys' arrogance is impressive. jorah kept telling her that an army would only respect proven might. now she has her street cred, she is just swingin' it around... (funny the dragons didn't burn the meat.) barristan certainly approves. remember, she doesn't mean to take the slaves of yunkai with her. she only means to free them from bondage.

as for margaery and her ladies...that doesn't explain her use of moon tea.
Sydo Zandstra
23. Fiddler
RobM @18:

I'm one of those who believed that Theon probably (but not definitely)
was never castrated while in custody. Guess I'll have to revise that
opinion now.

I have only read aDwD once, Rob, but I seem to recall it was pretty explicit in the chapter where Theon gets reunited with Asha...

(could have been in his scenes with 'Arya'/Jeyne Poole too though)

BTW, that guy playing the Bastard is brilliant. Also, more Dreadfort sigils in this episode. Behind Bolton is the banner, in view longer now. And the commander escorting Jaime wears two leather bands crossed diagonally over his leather armour...
Ser Tom
24. Gold for Petyr
Ramsay rocking the Grenade Whistle So awesome, Ramsay is hilarious.
Rob Munnelly
25. RobMRobM
Fid - ADWD makes clear it could have happened (Asha gets some part of Theon sent to her) but I've never viewed it as definitive. I view it as more definitive today.

Sof - I'm really concerned that they haven't shown Gray Wolf yet this season. Where is the Robb-Dire Wolf connection that we all know and love? Also, I think you're right about Shae's motivations but, realistically, she had to expect that Tyrion would be married off at some point in the story.

Lsana - yes, Tywin is not as smart as he thinks he is. Delicious irony that Joff is the sole voice of sanity trying to get Tywin to focus on it.

Re Marg - definitive (seemingly) that show Marg had had a fair amount of experience in the sack. Unclear whether it's just girls (as noted as one of the options mentioned to Sansa and the moon tea might be for someone else in her circle) or whether boys as well. I'd bet on both.
Ser Tom
26. Bean
I may be in the minority here, but I think these past two episodes (6 & 7) have been kind of weak. The repetition/redundancy alone is frustrating – how many times does Ygritte need to have the exact same conversation with Jon Snow? Someone give that girl a better script – something beyond variations of “I’m your woman now” (repeated endlessly this and last episode) and “you know nothing Jon Snow” (she said this yet again this week – and this time Jon didn’t have such a compelling reply). Honestly their storyline is getting a bit yawn – for all her Wildling wiles Ygritte is still a fairly one-dimensional character, and Jon Snow’s becoming a bore – when Orell started giving him a piece of his mind, I found myself weirdly on team Orell.

But what really chaffed about this episode were the omissions. Like others have said, the show lost me a bit last week with the needless killing of Ros. Classic HBO – get rid of an interesting female character by reducing her to a gruesome metaphor. My one hope for this week was that Tywin would find out what his grandson had done and raise hell – but no. Honestly, when it comes to “handling” Joffrey, Tywin has been all talk and no action. A few episodes ago when Cersei challenged him to stop Joffrey from “doing what he loves” he shut her down with an authoritative “I will.” Turns out, no, he won’t. Sure, he’ll scold Joffrey over where the small council meets – that’s apparently worthy of taking a few slow steps up the dais for - but apparently brutally murdering women doesn’t rate on Tywin’s scold-o-meter. This is a gross oversight, and I hope it’s corrected in the last episodes.

As for other plot threads that are unraveling, the torturing of Theon has leapt into such gratuitous territory that – just – ugh. We all get that the show wants us to understand the brutality of what he’s going through, but the way this season has reveled in these elaborate displays of torture is troublesome. Even on a purely mechanical story level, these scenes are not moving the plot forward in any meaningful way anymore. We’ve known for a long time that Theon is being mercilessly tortured and he has had our sympathies for many an episode now. So why the endless torture scenes when there are so many other story threads that need attention? Seems a wasteful and disturbing narrative choice in a story that demands some economy to fit everything in.

As for Talisa and Rob this week – so awkward and stiff! Note to producers – if your actors are so uncomfortable being nude that they have to twist and contort into cutesy poses to hide their bits and pieces, let them have clothes on so they can at least get through the scene without looking like they’re posing for an oil painting. Seriously, there’s just no chemistry between these two – the scene felt really forced, and I don’t know whether it was the acting or the staging, but both felt off. Talisa may have been a battle nurse, but she’s also boring as a post, and her lines are always absurdly cheesy. At least her simpering love face (whenever she glances at Rob) provides much-needed comic relief.

Dany just seems naïve at this point. When she lays siege to all these cities, who does she think is enlisted to fight to protect them? That’s right, the very slaves she seeks to free. So basically her freed-slave army will be killing other slaves until the moment they conquer and “free” the survivors. Urgh. Dany would be so much more appealing if she weren’t so self-righteous that these basic facts seem to blow away in the hot breeze of her dragon rhetoric.

Thank goodness for that bear and Brienne at the end. Nothing can save an episode like a big ‘ol bear in a fighting mood. Hopefully next week will be stronger. And failing that, more bears!
Ser Tom
27. Gold for Petyr
@25. RobMRobM:

Where the fuck are the WOLVES!!!!

Summer? And Shaggy Dog? Should be right there. Ghost? Greywind? Seriously. I dunno WTF is up with that.
Elizabeth Doolin
28. mochabean
@25 -- agree with you about missing Grey Wind. Particularly since his absence will (or should) become a plot point very soon. If Talisa is more than she seems, maybe writers thought that having her also be "afraid" of Grey Wind (like Jeyne W.) would have been too much of a giveaway?
Chris Nelly
29. Aeryl
All these cities? So far it's been just one, Yunkai(Astapor was no siege), and we haven't even seen her lay siege. Also, Yunkai produces bed slaves not soldiers, so they aren't going to be drafting them into the city defense. Plus requesting slaves defend you from the woman intent on freeing them doesn't seem like the smartest strategy. That performance in her tent wasn't only for the Wise Master, but for his slaves as well. What do you think they'll be talking about when they get back to the city?

I agree with the repitition with Jon & Ygritte, but the theme for the night was love, and as they are one of the ONLY love stories the audience can get behind, that means a lot of focus on them.
Ser Tom
30. Littlefinger87
If dany releases the 200,000 slaves from Yunkai and then doesn't take them with her, they would be slaves once again. They are in slaver's bay. The area is swarming with slave bounty hunters. I agree about the Spartacus point. In the books, she becomes a victim of her own success. In the show she's given a clear choice (which I love) between her family's destiny or her own will. Chalk one up for a lady with agency.

Bean: How is it an oversight that Tywin doesn't scold Joffrey for killing a whore? Considering what he ordered his men and Tyrion ti di with Tyrion's first wife, it is in perfect character. That and how he treats the riverlands shows how much Tywin cares about smallfolk and ultimately why it isn't great for the realm for him to be in charge.

The Theon scenes are necessary in my book. Complete and total subjugation takes time. It's like we are getting a sneak peak at how the Unsullied are made.

Dany gives the ultimatum of "free the slaves" before she has to fight them although in the books she does actually fight and kill much of the Yunkish army which is made of slaves. There's a pretty obvious difference between the slaves in the Yunkish army and the slaves in the Yunkish city. One is armed and fighting against her and the other isn't.
Chris G
31. HardTruths
Everybody...I have a humble request: PLEASE just stooooooop with the whole woman's "Agency" thing. Not just woman's....ANYONE's "agency" lol....It has gone way beyond overboard at this point. I love the blogs and "re reads" here but Tor is being ruined by it. At least, MY enjoyment is. Dont understand the importance attached to it all of a sudden.

In 2012, words like "viral" and "baby bump" and ''Squee'' made me grind my teeth worse than Stannis. I guessa ll these fun, new, cutesy little words just bug me like Littlefinger getting a ''bad investment'' lol. lol. Jmo. No offense intended. Please dont flame me for it.

- Hardy
Ser Tom
32. Nessa
Not a whole lot to say this week. I thought that the Tyrion-Sansa wedding was going to happen this episode, but I guess that'll come next time. Margaery's 'advice' to Sansa made me roll my eyes. We all know Margaery is NOT the type of girl who just takes what's being handed to her and tries to make the best of it. She looks out for Number 1 most of all, and that's clear enough from both the books and the show.

Daenerys: I'm already starting to get a few bad vibes about her conquering. Dany has almost no knowledge of diplomacy (finding your strength with the Drothaki would do that to you, I guess). As long as she's only conquering slaver cities, I'm okay with it. But I'm afraid to see what's going to happen when she finally gets around to Westeros. Hopefully she learns a little something about politics along the way.

Jon and Ygritte: I agree, their dialogue is starting to get a bit stale. I can understand why they want to play up the Jon/Ygritte romance, but I think it's time they started focusing more on the impending conflict between the wildlings and the Night's Watch.

Tywin and Joffrey: I thought this was going to contain the hilarious part in the book where (spoilers) Joffrey calls Tywin a coward for hiding under Casterly Rock (end spoilers). Alas, it was not to be. Tywin berating Joff was funny too, I guess.

Jaime/Brienne: Best part, hands down. My only nitpick is that Brienne didn't look as ridiculous in the pink dress as I had imagined. Still a great scene though. Especially Jaime's parting shot "Sorry about the sapphires". Glad to see he's regained his wit.
Ser Tom
33. lady of the north
they were playing rains of castemere at the red wedding during the slaughter. plus we are pretty close to its time in the book. so i'm thinking that's the wedding we'll be watching.
get out some kleenex.
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
HT @31 +1 on the comment re agency and its recent over-use. I thought about making the exact same point. Bravo. (Maybe I lacked sufficient agency to make the post. Maybe you have a surfeit of agency.)
Deana Whitney
35. Braid_Tug
@ 27. Gold for Petyr:
Show producers talked about the general lack of wolves in the show.
One of the "extras" I watched on Season 1 (I think).
Boil points down to : it's expensive and takes 3 times as long to film.
First filming with the animal, then the CGI time to make him bigger.

Thus, we get so few Direwolf shots.
Bruce Arthurs
36. bruce-arthurs
Let's try to make a list of what people want to see in GoT:


-bad romantic dialogue

In a perfect GoT, Bronn would throw a saddle on the bear and ride him into battle.
Sydo Zandstra
37. Fiddler
Following on Braid_Tug @35:

That, and I think doing the CGI on the 3 Dragons probably swallowed the budget in that department for this season...
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
"You know nothing Bruce-Arthurs." LOL.

I'll accept your "more" list plus Cat being closer to her less emo book self and Jaime dreaming about Brienne; I reject your "less" list and substitute less crossbow action and Pod the Sex-Machine stroking. That's about it. (Torture needed to happen for plot purposes but I agree it's time to stop now.)
Alan Brown
41. AlanBrown
I loved the scenes with Jaime and Brienne--just perfect. In general, though, I think this was one of the weaker episodes of the season. Mr. Martin needs to focus on what he does best. Writing books. As in THE NEXT BOOK OF THIS SERIES.
Focus, Mr. Martin. Focus.
Rob Munnelly
42. RobMRobM
Re-watched tonight and I liked it better. Reduced expectations, more enjoyment.
Ser Tom
43. Petar Belic
@AlanBrown: I could not agree more.

Not because I don't like seeing him write screenplays. I'm thinking selfishly here, but I want to read a Dream of Spring this decade thank you very much.

I'm one of those stupid people who read Game of Thrones when it first came out. I've threatened to myself I would stop reading the series with every new book....

Anyway, the last two episodes have definitely been the weaker ones. I'm looking forward to next week's episode. I can't remember now - do we get to meet Daario Naharis yet? I wonder if his gold tooth and purple forked beard will be as appealing as I remember it should be...
Ser Tom
44. Gold for Petyr
@35. Braid_Tug

Yeah but now its ridiculous. It was one thing in winterfell, its another thing when Bran and Rickon are in the middle of a field and all alone and there's no sign of either wolf, ever.
Chris Nelly
46. Aeryl
@43, I do believe I've seen Daario featured in some of the trailer shots. He looks nothing like he does in the books, FYI. Looks like a tanned brunette Viserys, TBH.
Theresa DeLucci
47. theresa_delucci
@45 YES. More Dolorous Edd. He's the best part of Night's Watch scenes.

MORE - Dany's bloodriders. Come on. They should at least be seen in the background more. They were original Dany supporters.

I'm happy to trade wolves for more dragons this season. They look so cool!

LESS Jon and Ygritte making puppy dog eyes. LESS Theon torture. MORE mention of Balon Greyjoy. (Hopefully next week? I mean, no one's commenting on his little rebellion, are they? )

@43 Yeah, no crazy blue beard, from what I can guess. Possible gold tooth. I hope he has his naked lady dagger hilts, but the most important part of his character is his leer.
Chris Nelly
48. Aeryl
Two of Dany's Khos are dead. They killed them at the beginning of S2, except for Rhakharo I think.
Rob Munnelly
49. RobMRobM
Rahkaro died in Night Lands episode (poor Irri).

Kovarro is supposed to be still around but hasn't been seen.

I don't think the third one has been named on scene. There's also an older Dothraki who has checking out the booty at the Qarth party.
Rob Munnelly
50. RobMRobM
Yes, Daario has been cast and will be appearing next week. No colored hair. Agreed I'd like some of the other accessories and character traits.

Balon - they have to wait until after Mel uses slugs on Gendry and then throws them in the fire to predict/cause deaths of Robb, Balon and Joff. I'd expect news of Balon's death to get to us either towards end of Ep. 10 or very early next year.
Chris Nelly
51. Aeryl
There's a scene of Yarasha riding a horse in the rain that was in all the previews, I assume that's Balon's funeral. So I guess it'll be in Ep 10.
Theresa DeLucci
52. theresa_delucci
Nice bit of misdirection there, showing us Yarasha in the first trailers for the season. I was definitely wondering if I imagined it. Glad I'm not seeing krakens where thereare none.
Chris Nelly
53. Aeryl
I know, I WAS SO EXCITE! Now I am so LETDOWN.

I need Oberyn too, but I can understand why we are waiting for S4 to introduce him.
Ser Tom
54. Sunny D
Re: Tywin
it is plausable that Tywin has no Knowledge of Ros's execution. It was a plan/plot by little finger. LF is cunning and it is quite possible that the whole murder was arranged without Tywin ever knowing.

also people thinking "oh why doesnt tywin listen to joff about dragons?"
there are bigger immediate problems in the relm. and the relm has not seen magic, let alone dragons for a very long time. any sane person would dissmiss talk of dragons as foolishness.
Theresa DeLucci
55. theresa_delucci
Oh, I totally agree Tywin has more to worry abut than rumors of dragons. Personally, i get a little frustrated because I want there to be more of a connection between Dany and Westeros. At least Robert trid to assassinate her. I always squee when someone in King's Landing mentions Dany and her dragons.

How different Westeros would be with Twitter...
Anthony Pero
57. anthonypero
@OP RE: Shae

I didn't read it that way, as her trying to trap him. I think she IS more interested in Tyrion than book Shae, but I think sh'es also pragmatic enough to know what it is. I think her problem stems from TYRION not knowing. That makes TV-Shae, no matter how pragmatic, start to feel that maybe it is possible when she knows better. And she resents Tyrion for it. That was the emotion I was getting off of her in that scene. Its also a really great motivator for what might happen next.
Anthony Pero
58. anthonypero
@2, 4:

What could she possibly be doing that is sneaky in Valaryian that will matter to Robb's storyline? I won't be any more spoilery than that.

EDIT: I suppose she could be a Red Priestess. That could massively change the story from the books.
Chris Nelly
59. Aeryl

Dearest Tywin,

The riverlands are horrid this time of the year, our delay will surely enrage old Walder even more. I am taking this opportunity to inform Idiot Wolf that I am pregnant with his child, hopefully this will prevent him from naming another heir, ruining whatever plans you may have in regards to the line of descent in the North. He actually believes I am writing this to my mother.
I was very sorry to hear about the vicious murder of your nephews, I met them briefly during their imprisonment, I am confident they would have been upstanding scions of the Lannister name. Of course, ensuring the capture of such young boys was a genious move on your part, prompting Lord Karstark to seek his vengeance and obligating the idiot to further enrage his supporters.

Love and Kisses, your friend, Talisa
Ser Tom
60. The_Wanderer
There was a lot of relationship checkups in this episode, but they really hadn't checked up on the state of the various romantic relationships in quite some time. The way the Jaime/Brienne situation played out seemed like a parody of the damsel in distress situation, which was clever. I wrote a blog article that goes more into detail about all of the relationships that were explored in this Game of Thrones episode, its linked below if you're interested in reading it.

I liked the extra added history and other minor details that could have only come in from GRRM. I ended up appreciating the episode a lot more when I watched it a second time.
Rob Munnelly
61. RobMRobM
@60 - Nice blog post!

As I noted above, I agree the episode improves on rewatch. Some really nice and important character development happens, that paves way for future events.
Ser Tom
62. Josh L
To be fair to Sansa, I would call her more ignorant than "idiot". Hard to remember as Sophie shoots upward before our eyes, but she's only around 14 or 15 at this point. A highborn girl who probably lived a rather sheltered life up in Winterfell. And if anyone is going to be preaching the "no sex before marriage unless you want a bastard" message, it's probably going to be Ned Stark.
Maiane Bakroeva
63. Isilel

Not only that, but in the books even Tyrion didn't know about Loras's proclivities, IIRC, leave alone Ned. People who knew were those who lived at court for years but werent't as oblivious as Robert (who also didn't know) like the Lannister twins, Stannis, etc.

In the show, everybody being aware and Sansa being older makes her look somewhat more foolish. Though, it is not like anybody cared to enlighten her in the show either... I mean, if she was not aware that homosexuality was even possible, how would she notice anything?
Ser Tom
64. Maac
@21 -- I believe Ygritte was not quite outright *lying*, but definitely joking, at least, about not knowing what fainting was, since she went and executed a perfect fake one almost immediately to mock Jon with.
Chris Nelly
66. Aeryl
@65, Thank you. I screwed up the fact that they don't have "times of year" but other than that, I think I got it.
Anthony Pero
67. anthonypero

Except, the more I think about it, such a move could also be done by the Varys/Illyrio faction, to prevent the North from winning in a landslide, which it seemed Robb was on his way to doing.
Chris Nelly
68. Aeryl
That's very true.

Send in Talisa(in the show) to distract the Young Wolf(she is Volantis, near the Free Cities, so that's a clue there, as Illyrio operates there) and tempt him from his marriage to the Frey.

Then Tywin gets involved with the Freys to plan the retribution, but was never involved in the initial plot to end the alliance.

Now this doesn't work in the books, because the Westerlings are Lannister people, so to imagine he had nothing to do with it doesn't work.

Also, if Talisa is only a Varys plant, then that could explain why she might walk into the Frey wedding and still get killed, because she was unaware of the upcoming Lannister retribution.

Anthony Pero
70. anthonypero
And aparently it was nothing. Just bad acting.
Chris Nelly
71. Aeryl
When she was the first to go, I was floored. I still didn't believe it was love until that happened. When I saw the guy walk up behind her, I thought it was to escort her out.
Anthony Pero
72. anthonypero
Now we know why they changed the story from the books, at least. They wanted to figure out how they could top GRRM. For a lot of people, stabbing a pregnant woman in the womb will do it.
Scott Silver
73. hihosilver28
I'm really actually quite thankful that the "Lannister Honeypot Theory" (at least for now) is not true. I think it would have really cheapened Robb's death by giving us a scapegoat. That said, I can definitely see how the show gave hints that definitely support it. I really hope they don't reveal it to be the case in retrospect either.
Theresa DeLucci
74. theresa_delucci
After all the speculation about Talisa, I was surprised they killed her first, too. Damn. Merciless. And I was really hoping he'd get a little sliver of hope. Poor Little Ned was doomed before he was even born. I didn't think her acting was that bad. Certainly no worse than Natalie Portman's cheesy romance scenes in Attack of the Clones. Maybe flirty young love is supposed to look terrible and twee to outsiders?

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