'Game of Thrones' Recap: Tricks of the Trade

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"Game of Thrones" -- "And Now His Watch Is Ended"
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Emilia Clarke in the "Game of Thrones" Season 3 episode, "And Now His Watch Is Ended."

The Episode "And Now His Watch Has Ended" in a Nutshell:

What happened:

  • Daenerys reveals her true plan for the Unsullied
  • The Night's Watch men riot at Craster's Keep
  • Lady Olenna and Varys plot Sansa's future

Body count: 1 important; many nonimportant

Nudity count: 0

Dragon sightings: 3

New people and places: Beric Dondarrion, leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners

Best line:

"What happens when the nonexistent bumps up against the decrepit?" -- Lady Olenna Tweet this

What's the deal with… Varys and his loyalties? What is his agenda (aside from taking down Littlefinger)?


After a lot of catching up, politicking, and maneuvering, Sunday night's episode of "Game of Thrones" finally gives us some action! The volatile situation at Craster's Keep finally explodes, while Daenerys shows that the decision to trade one of her dragons was, in fact, a ruse. In King's Landing, we get to see more of Varys, and an alliance between him and Lady Olenna is one to be feared by all.

King's Landing: The Lannisters, Tyrells, and Councillors

Tyrion drops by to see if Varys and his spies have proof that Cersei tried to have him killed, but Varys doesn't have any. Anyway, he's busy with a rather large package. As he opens the crate, he recounts the story of how he became a eunuch. Long ago, Varys was sold to a sorcerer, who cut off and burned his private parts in a fire. When the crate is finally opened, inside is the sorcerer who mutilated him. Treat yo' self ... with revenge!

Later, Varys chats with Ros, who has deduced Littlefinger plans to sneak Sansa away with him on his ship to the Eyrie. This pushes Varys to seek out Lady Olenna, but why should she care? Well, Littlefinger now has money and lands; all he needs is an army. And if Robb Stark fails in this war, whoever is married to Sansa could be a huge threat. And that's a big problem for the Tyrells. The question is: What is Varys's game? Who exactly is he rooting for?

[Related: Dame Diana Rigg Brings Snarky Fire to 'Game of Thrones']

At least there is an easy solution to the Sansa problem, and Margaery is sent to pose it to the younger girl. Wouldn't she like to marry the very handsome Loras Tyrell? "We would be sisters, you and I. Would you like that?" Marge asks. Tearful and smiling, Sansa nods. Is this girl ever going to be more than a pawn in the grown-ups' game?

Meanwhile, Margaery is still Princess Diana-ing Joffrey, and he's lapping it up. On a tour of the Sept of Baelor, where they will get married, she encourages him to greet the crowds. He's scared at first, and Cersei is terrified, but Joffrey listens to Margaery and not his mother. The couple steps outside to make their royal waves, and Joffrey looks thrilled by the cheers.

[Related: Sophie Turner and Natalie Dormer on Their Characters' Growing Friendship

Cersei is troubled that she's losing control of Joffrey, so she goes to her father. First, she asks if he's doing everything he can to get Jaime back. "If I would start a war for that lecherous little stump, what do you think I am doing for my eldest son and heir?" Tywin barks. Then, when she complains about how Margaery is manipulating Joffrey, he says, "Good! I wish you knew how to manipulate him." Cersei can't get no respect from Lannister men.

Near Harrenhal: Jaime and Brienne

With his cut-off right hand dangling around his neck, Jaime looks half-dead on his horse. He falls into some mud and is tricked into drinking horse urine. He manages to grab a sword but can only half-heartedly (half-handedly?) try to fight the men before he's overwhelmed.

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When they make camp, Jaime looks utterly defeated. Brienne can see he's given up. She encourages him to eat, but he doesn't care anymore. Brienne calls him a coward and tells him to quit whining. "You sound like a bloody woman."

[Related: What's Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie Like Off Screen?]

Finally, he takes a bite to eat. Brienne asks why he told that story about Tarth's (fake) sapphires to save her from rape. Jaime has no response. But we know why: Unlike his own sister, Brienne has earned at least one Lannister man's respect.

In the North: Theon

Theon and the servant guy who freed him travel through the woods, then down into an underground tunnel. There, Theon contemplates everything he's done. All he wanted to do was make his father proud. The servant says it's not too late. "It is," Theon weeps. "My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice. And I chose wrong."

[Related: Who Is the Real-Life Sister of the Actor Who Plays Theon?]

And that won't be the only time. When the servant leads him out of the tunnel, Theon ends up right back in the chamber with the X-shaped torture device! The servant was tricking him all along, and Theon is a captive once more.

In the North: Bran and the Reeds

Bran is dreaming again, following the raven. Now, he's joined by Jojen, who encourages him to climb a tree to get to the raven. But when Bran gets close, he sees his mother. Catelyn grabs him and shakes him and warns him about climbing. He falls ...

... and wakes up in a cold sweat. Jojen stares at him. What does it all mean?

[Related: Here's Where You Might've Recognized the Actor Who Plays Jojen Reed

Somewhere in the Riverlands: Arya and the Brotherhood Without Banners

A hooded Arya and Gendry are taken to the Brotherhood's hideout in a cavern, where they meet the leader, Beric Dondarrion. The Hound scoffs at their outlaw group and calls them deserters (though, technically, he's sort of one, too). They accuse him of murdering children, but the Hound says that was his brother. Then, an angry Arya speaks up -- she saw him kill her friend Micah, the butcher's boy. Beric sentences the Hound to trial by combat. We were hoping Arya would do it in a kind of David vs. Goliath-style battle, but Beric takes on the challenge himself.

[Related: Meet the New Faces of 'Game of Thrones' Season 3]  

North of the Wall: Sam and the Night's Watch

Things are supertense at Craster's Keep. The men are starving, and they're not happy with Mormont or Craster.

Inside the keep, the tension starts to boil over. One of the Night's Watch men (we'll call him Creep) accuses Craster of hiding food, and an angry Rast joins in. Mormont tries to defuse the situation, but Craster warns that the next person to call him a b------ will get a face full of ax. Well, Creep takes him up on the challenge, but when Craster lunges, Creep gets the best of him and kills him. Then, he grabs one of Craster's daughters to take him to the food store.

Mormont draws his sword and orders Creep to let her go, but Rast stabs him in the back! There's a moment of stunned silence ... before Grenn tackles Creep and the wounded Mormont starts to choke Rast. But not for long -- Mormont keels over, and Rast stabs him again and again in the chest. RIP, Mormont Senior.

As all hell breaks loose, Sam escapes the main house to find Gilly and her baby boy. "We have to run," he tells her. She grabs her son, and they slip off into the night.

[Related: John Bradley on Previews What's Next for Sam

Astapor: Daenerys

Daenerys and her retinue go to meet Kraznys and the army of Unsullied. He gives her a golden whip, which she can use to control them, and she hands him the chain to a screeching dragon. Wait, is this really happening?

Nope. Whew! Daenerys turns around and starts issuing orders to the Unsullied ... in Valyrian! (We had a feeling she knew what he was saying the whole time.) Kraznys is shocked, but she stands tall.

"I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen of the blood of Old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue."

[Related: Emilia Clarke Was Not the First Choice to Play Daenerys Targaryen on 'Game of Thrones']

Then, she orders the Unsullied to slay all the masters and free all the slaves in Astapor. She informs Kraznys that a dragon is not a slave, then has the dragon flame the slaver dead. Then, the dragon flies off to wreak fiery damage to other parts of the city.

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With smoke billowing and Jorah and Barristan looking on respectfully, Dany takes things one step further -- she frees the Unsullied. They can leave, without any harm, if they choose. Or, she asks, "Will you fight for me? As free men?" They pound their spears in reply.

Daenerys drops the golden whip into the dust, as her now-loyal army marches forward and her three dragons fly high above. The Dragon is coming.

Now can someone please make a Daenerys music video to Kanye West and Jay-Z's "N----- In Paris"?

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Watch a preview for the next episode:

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.