A bear there was. A bear! A BEAR! Trying to eat Brienne! Ser Jaime to the rescue! This episode saved the best scene for last, though Daenyrs' negotiating with the Yunkai slaver was top notch. The dragons were looking fierce! Elsewhere, however, things were less fun to watch. Tyleesa tells Robb she's with child, which is nice and all, especially cause she's sticking her cute bare rump in the air when she says it. Oh, and... ugh, Theon gets a rude awakening, then a crude... man... it just sucks to be Theon right now.
The plot is thickest here in the middle of the season, and all our favorite Westerosi are in precarious predicaments. The future of Robb Stark's kingship depends on his flaky uncle Edmure. Jayme Lannister and Brienne of Tarth's lives are in Roose Bolton's hands. Cersei and Tyrion are being forced into political marriages by their tyrannical father. Poor Sansa, who allowed herself to hope she might find a happy life with Loras in Highgarden, is heartbroken once again. Jon and Ygritte barely make it to the top of the wall alive, but their bond is strengthened. And Sam and Gilly have a nice campfire in White Walker infested woods.
This is a dark, bloody episode. Trial by combat! Dondarrion vs Clegane! "Kill him!", screams Arya. The hound prevails, however, yet miraculously Beric lives to fight another day. But only after dying. Lord Karstark takes his vengeance out on two helpless boys, leaving Robb no choice but to mete out justice and behead him, losing half his fighting force in the process. Jayme and Brienne are delivered to Roose Bolton at Harrenhall, and are treated courteously. Qyburn courteously tends to Jayme's stump. Jayme and Brienne share a bath, and Jayme shares a dark truth, about how he became Kingslayer. They also share glances at each others naughty bits. Jon and Ygritte do more than that in the enchanted romance cave. Ygritte is kissed by more than just fire. And in King's Landing lots of weddings are being planned, and not everybody is happy about it.
Lots of great action this week. Daenerys pulls a major switcheroo on the Astapori slaver in what might be the most awesome moment of the series to date. Theon falls victim to a cruel switcheroo as well. So does Jayme, when he gulps down some water only to find it is horse piss. Craster pushes his surly houseguests a bit too far and all hell breaks out. Sam makes off with the girl after Lord Commander Mormont meets an untimely end.
At long last, Riverrun... at least in animated opening credits form. We meet a few Tullys: Catelyn's brother Edmure, her uncle Blackfish and briefly, her deceased father Lord Hoster. Robb gives Edmure quite the dressing down for not following battle plans precisely, and the Blackfish gives his niece comfort. Not-Jayne-Westerling gives some little Lannister lads a scare as she patches them up. Theon gets some help from a mysterious stranger escaping from the cell he was being held in by mysterious torturers. Lord Tywin hosts a game of chairs with his small council. Mance Rayder orders Tormund to take Jon with him to scale the wall. The Nights Watch returns to Craster's Keep, much the worse for wear, and in foul spirits. Jayme and Brienne bicker in their bonds, followed by a nigh-besmirching, allayed by Jayme's bluff to Not-Vargo-Hoat. The episodes ends with a smash cut.
There's a lot to like in this episode. Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother have a nice sit down with Sansa and cut to the chase, getting her to open up about Joffrey. But rather than recoil when Sansa confirms the rumors that Joffrey is a monster, Margaery fearlessly charms her betrothed. Cersei trys to raise Joffrey's suspicions, but he's done listening to his mother. Arya and her companions encounter the Brotherhood without Banners, and almost slip away before the Hound is dragged in as a fresh prisoner, who spots Arya and outs her as a Stark, and therefore a valuable hostage. Jamie makes a bold play to kill Brienne, but their duel is cut short by Roose Bolton's men. What else... Sam is struggling as he and his brothers slog their way through the snow back to the wall... Catelyn shares sad memories and fears with her new daughter-in-law... oh, and Tyrion gets laid.
We're off and running with a great episode. Tyrion, Cersei, Tyrell, Bronn, Podrick, Joffrey, Maergery, Loras, Sam, John, MANCE RAYDER, Jorah, Danerys, Davos, Sallador, Stannis, Melisandre, Robb, Catelyn... There's a lot going on and we have plenty to say about it.
The Season Two crew reassembles a week before the premiere of Season Three of A Game of Thrones to get their quips and witticisms back in working order. Chuck, Craig, Mikey Boy and Phil try to recap all the great "between seasons" podcasts that should have been, including Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit.
Season Two of Game of Thrones comes to a close, tying up lots of loose ends. Tyrion awakes to find he is no longer Hand of the King, but at least he still has his nose. Joffrey finds a new fiance in Margery Tyrell, but Sansa's elation is short-lived. Theon laments the foolhardy path he has taken, but then tries to embrace it with a rousing speech to his followers. They are unimpressed. Jon kills Qhorin Half-hand to prove to Rattleshirt that he wants to join the wildlings. Daenyrys enters the House of the Undying to rescue her dragons, but has an unexpected vision of her Sun and Stars and son. The men of the Nights Watch hear three blasts of the warning horn for the first time in 1,000 years, and Sam gets a good close look at a wrinkly white walker on a rotting horse. The army of wights surround the Fist of the First Men in an awesome supernatural cliffhanger.
The entire season has been building up to the siege of King's Landing and it did not disappoint. We were not treated to the spectacle of knights clashing in broad daylight across a burning broken bridge of boats, but we were treated to one hell of a CG explosion that blows Davos into the Blackwater. Cersei gets drunk and morose and almost discovers who Shae is, then almost poisons poor little Tommen. Stannis is the first up the siege ladders, sans helmet. Tyrion rallies the troops and leads them out after the Hound gets spooked by everything burning, and Joffrey wimps out. Lord Tywin's host arrives in time to save the city from Stannis, with Ser Loras apparently leading the vanguard.
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