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Game of Thrones – Recap: Stick Them with the Pointy… Oops!

Game of Thrones continued its journey through A Storm of Swords with “Dark Wings, Dark Words,” benching Khaleesi and her dragons for a week in favor of the littlest Starks. Direwolves everywhere! Even former honorary Stark turned heinous wreck Theon (Alfie Allen) popped in for a few torturous (literally) minutes. In the end, it was the Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) banter that stole the show during episode 3. Honorary mention goes to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and her harlot turned huntress arc.

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

Every Rose Has Its Thorn: Lady Margaery has quickly made a name for herself about King’s Landing. Of course, all of these people have some sort of hidden agenda. The concept of killing with kindness hasn’t really been touched upon yet. The Lannisters, Cersei (Lena Headey) specifically, found themselves baffled. Why would anyone bother to care for the *gulp* common folk. Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) was characteristically uninterested in “boring” chitchat surrounding a possible impending overthrow of sorts. Cersei attempted to remind the boy king that a woman who dresses like a floozy and acts like a priestess is most likely looking to ruin everything.

Shae (Sibil Kekilli), the whore with a heart of gold, continued to watch over a newly hopeful Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who’d fallen under the spell of Little Finger and his promises of freedom. Freedom isn’t free, little dove. Shae knows most men want nothing more from pretty girls than the pervey stuff, and Little Finger, who owns a whorehouse and rocks a pornstache, has a reputation for boundless selfishness. Later, Shae would confide her fears for Sansa in Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who, unfortunately, only popped up for a mere moment this week. Shae’s lion did get some sexy time, but not before acknowledging that Sansa is in the midst of sticky situation. Cut loose from Joffrey, she was of value to many.

Meanwhile, Sansa had been called to tea with the Tyrells. Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) aka The Queen of Thorns cracks like a whip and likes her snarky wit with a side of lemon cakes. By the way, if that’s what a lemon cake looks like, I’ll pass. Biggest letdown of the series. Poor Sansa found herself in yet another pickle. Margaery and her grandmother placed the young ginger wolf in the garden hot seat. They wanted the dirt on Joffrey, as whispers had spread surrounding his devilish ways. At first, Sansa refused to budge; however, mention of her father’s unjust execution, and presto, Sansa snapped. Joffrey is a monster, but Margaery is far from helpless.

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

Later, Margaery would visit Joff in his quarters, putting her personal brand of pretty politics to the ultimate test. Would the same fate befall Margaery as Sansa? Immediately, Joffrey made his move; questioning Margaery’s former marriage to a traitor. Margaery, coy as ever, politely recalled Renly’s “issue” in the bedroom. Playing the “dutiful wife” card was smart. Pretending to know nothing about politics was even smarter. My favorite part of this scene was, of course, the crossbow moment. The way Margaery gently touched his weapon reminded me of the infamous “kiss my sword” moment Joffrey forced upon Sansa last season. This time, Margaery held the power. Once Margaery had mentioned her fascination with power and death, Joffrey was hooked. If Joffrey is a lion, Margaery is a Venus flytrap.

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

Reed All About It: Many fans were up in arms over the exclusion of the Reed siblings last season, but Jojen (Thomas Sangster) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) made their grand debut tonight. The episode began with one of Bran’s (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) special dreams. The dreams seem to be growing in both intensity and mystery. I enjoyed how the episode recalled the scene from the pilot in which Bran struggled to shoot his bow while his brothers watched on advising. The three-eyed crow is the international man of mystery, isn’t he? Jojen materialized. You can’t kill the crow because the crow is you, Bran.

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

I’m also happy that the show has decided to keep Osha (Natalia Tena) and Rickon (Art Parkinson) along for the adventure, at least for the time being. The book differs a bit with regard to this. Osha remained protective as ever over Bran; however, bringing up a three-eyed scary bird was an omen she wanted nothing to do with. You know Osha and her omens. Mainly, the episode served to introduce Bran to his spirit guide in Jojen. Jojen, a boy wise beyond his years (Hell, wise beyond all of these people) serves the purpose of enlightening Bran to his abilities as a warg. The crow serves as a symbol of sight, of the future and the past. Remember Bran’s nightmare of his father’s execution? Bran’s dreams of living within Summer are just the start of his ancient abilities.

In other news: Hey, Hodor (Kristian Nairn)! How’s it hangin’?

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

Theon, Ouch: Was I the only one was a little caught off guard to see Theon Greyjoy back in the picture? Not that we learned too much of what had gone down, though. Robb received word that Theon had put the torch to Winterfell via Roose Bolton’s bastard. The men now had Theon pinned and primed for torture. What do they want with Theon? We may never know the answer, as his sister Yara had dispatched an undercover ally to free him in the night. Sorry about that twisted torture scene, Theon. No, I’m actually not.

The Worst (?): The King in the North can’t catch a damn break. Robb Stark (Richard Madden) probably did lose the war the moment he decided to marry Talisa (Oona Chaplin), but watching his men treat him like damaged goods following his marriage is tough. On the other hand, Lady Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) might warrant the title of “the worst,” in my personal opinion. After releasing the Kingslayer with Brienne, Lady Stark might be the least popular woman of the North at the moment, among her own men, at least. Robb’s men are seething, yet they find themselves twisted up in Stark family drama. Now, they make their way towards Riverrun for the funeral of Catelyn’s father, Lord Tully.

Queen Talisa attempted to bond with the woman, following an icy reception. Catelyn sat weaving a token of protection for her missing children. She recalled a previous occasion where she’d done the same; the night Jon Snow (Kit Harington) came down with a deadly case of the pox. Catelyn, never one to hide her disdain for Ned’s bastard, had wished death upon the boy. Wish granted. Well, almost. Catelyn prayed again, this time to spare Jon. Crippling guilt will do that to you, I guess. She promised to raise him as her own and to attempt to convince her husband to rename him as an official Stark. Catelyn’s prayers were answered, and Jon was spared. Psyche, Catelyn retracted her promise and continued to treat Jon like a dog among wolves. Today, she blames herself for her family’s downfall. I say, you go ahead and do that, Lady Stark.

Gotta Love Grenn:  Jon Snow met his first warg this episode. A warg, for those in the dark, is a skinwalker; someone who can embody an animal for a time. I have to say, Jon’s look of utter disgust upon seeing the wildling wig out was pretty hilarious. The raven overhead glided in circles as Ygritte (Rose Leslie), once again, pointed out the fact that Jon knows, well, nothing. Who hasn’t met a warg?! This week, Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds) continued to impress Jon, and me, with his absolutely sensible explanation as to why he’d grouped together thousands of wildlings from several different tribes into one army. If they don’t stick together and head south, they will die. Jon, surrounded by the likes of giants and cannibals, continued to seem intrigued as his budding appreciation for Mance’s cause continued to grow. How could it not? Turn your back on the wildlings, and they’ll eat you.

The wildling warg spied dying “crows” on the Fist of the First Men. Samwell (John Bradley) had just about had enough of the seemingly endless hike back to civilization. Famished and weak, all it took was one fellow crow asking him to politely die, and he was down on his knees. Cannibalism probably wasn’t sounding too bad right about then, huh, Sam? You gotta love Grenn (Mark Stanley), who refused to give up on Tarly. Citing exhaustion is not reason enough to willingly freeze to death. In the end, Lord Commander Mormont (James Cosmo) forbade Sam from dying. Samwell Tarly is not one to disobey. As punishment for asking his brother to die, the bitter crow was tethered to the slowpoke. If one dies, the other freezes with him.

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

Stick Them with the Pointy… Oops: Finally, we got to spend some quality time with Arya (Maisie Williams) this week. (Side note: the Stark kids are growing up! The actors, I mean.) Arya, Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey), and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) continued their trip to wherever was farthest away from that horrible Harrenhal. Riverrun, I guess.Unfortunately, their escape was short lived. After stumbling upon the Brotherhood without banners, the ragtag trio found themselves under the watch of Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye). This Thoros of Myr is a colorful character, is he not? As a red priest, I always pictured him ever so slightly more refined; however, I like this take. I like a priest with an affinity for ale.

Basically, Thoros and his band of brigands are looking to purge the land of the terrors brought forth by the Clash of Kings. They fight for the people. After offering Arya and her friends a hot meal, before promising to release them, Thoros found himself in part of an impromptu duel with the tiny she-wolf. Arya had taken her fair share of licks regarding her prowess, and we know Arya isn’t one to let some tired old priest mock her, even lightly. Arya barely drew her sword before it was knocked away, mortifying her in front of the audience at the inn. Pound an ale, little Stark. At least it isn’t Harrenhal. On second thought, maybe that wouldn’t be so terrible. Thoros’ men returned with a captive, the Hound (Rory McCann). Arya had been discovered. Suddenly, Thoros wasn’t looking so willing to keep his word.

HBO "Game of Thrones"

HBO “Game of Thrones”

Now That’s a Duel: Brienne and Jaime continued their journey back to King’s Landing. Catelyn Stark had entrusted Brienne with the duty of delivering the Kingslayer back to his family in exchange for Sansa Stark, not that there was any telling whether or not that would play out correctly. The conversations between these two were the highlight of the “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” Jaime is one of those brilliantly written characters who remains charming and likable, even considering his sometimes dastardly ways. This show has done a stellar job of painting the Lannisters, generally speaking, as complex people. I mean, Joffrey’s a jerk, obviously, but his parents are human enough. Plus, the Lannisters are winning. Don’t hate the player, hate the game (of Thrones).

Clever Jaime managed to uncover Brienne’s secret love for the currently rotting Renly. True, Renly would have made a terrible king, but Brienne’s love was blind. Still, even among his quips and criticisms, he managed to alleviate Brienne of at least a little pain. Renly was, well, gay. Jaime doesn’t blame Renly for that, just as he doesn’t blame Brienne for falling for Renly. You can’t choose whom you love, and he knows that better than anyone. After coming across a common peasant passing through, Jaime suggested nipping the potential rat in the bud. Brienne, of course, refused.

Later, the two would boldly cross a bridge rather than chance wading a river. There, we witnessed what could possibly be proclaimed as the best duel of the Game of Thrones series. Jaime managed to release himself. The two “danced” well, for a mismatched pair. Still, their chemistry in battle shows that they may be more compatible than they’d previously thought. Brienne couldn’t kill Jaime without breaking her promise, but that wouldn’t stop her from shaming him a bit. Her final flourish was pretty stellar, no? Unfortunately, the pair would have to join forces by the episode’s close. Bolton’s Northmen had discovered the Kingslayer. The peasant had tipped them off.

 

What did you all think of Game of Thrones, Season 3 Episode 2, “Dark Wings, Dark Words”? Did you miss Daenerys and Davos? Am I too hard on Catelyn Stark? Do you trust Margaery Tyrell? Who should Sansa place her trust in? Did you enjoy the introduction of the Reeds and the Queen of Thorns? Are you loving the chemistry between Brienne and Jaime too?

Thanks for reading my Recap of Game of Thrones, Season 3 Episode 2, “Dark Wings, Dark Words”!

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