'Game of Thrones' Recap: Bear With Me

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"Game of Thrones" -- "The Bear and the Maiden Fair"
Gwendoline Christie in the "Game of Thrones" Season 3 episode, "The Bear and the Maiden Fair."

The episode "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" in a nutshell:

What happened:

  • Daenerys meets with a slaver from Yunkai
  • Jaime risks his life to help Brienne
  • Jon, Ygritte, and the wildlings move toward Castle Black

Body count: 1

Nudity count: 4

Dragon sightings: 3

New people and places: Yunkai, "The Yellow City"

Best lines:

"I don't pay you to put evil notions in my head. The ones already there don't need company." -- Tyrion

"You pay me to kill people who bother you. Evil notions come free." -- Bronn

What's the deal with… Melisandre's plan for Gendry? Is she merely going to sacrifice him, or something else?


After a few breakneck episodes that saw Daenerys acquiring an army, the wildlings climbing the Wall, and Tywin Lannister matchmaking to his family's benefit, "Game of Thrones" is taking a bit of a breather this week. We check in on almost every major character on the show, which leads to a lot of questions being raised. With just three episodes left in the season, the answers will soon follow (we hope).

In the North: Jon, Ygritte, and the wildlings

Guess getting down the Wall is a lot easier than climbing it. As the wildlings make their way to Castle Black, Jon snipes at Orell for cutting them loose, and the warg brushes him off with an analogy to birds. "They work together when it suits them; they're loyal when it suits them; they love each other when it suits them; and they kill each other when it suits them," he says. Later, he hits on Ygritte, telling her that Jon isn't "what" she thinks he is.

[Related: Kit Harington Talks 'SNL' Sketches, Climbing The Wall, and Jon's Love For Ygritte]

Ygritte is cute when she spies a windmill, thinking it's a castle. Then she innocently asks Jon what "fainting" is. This is no ordinary girl, Jon Snow. She doesn't want to dress in silks and live in Winterfell. But as he warns her, a King Beyond the Wall has tried six times to cross it; and six times, they've failed. "If you attack the Wall, you'll die, all of you," he says.

"If we die, we die," she corrects him. Jon may love this woman, but he hasn't really switched loyalties just yet.

Somewhere in the North: Theon

Mystery Torture Guy tortures Theon some more, blah, blah. Theon screams some more, blah, blah. (Well, this time, MTG does appear to remove Theon's most famous, uh, asset. So, ouch.)

Let's all pray to the Seven Gods that we get answers about this storyline soon.

Somewhere in the North: Bran and the Reeds

Osha is still being pissy, though this time her ire is directed at Jojen for filling Bran's head with "black magic." When she finds out they're not going to Castle Black (since Jon isn't there) but instead seeking the raven across the Wall, she erupts. See, before the wildling crossed the Wall, she had a man (he was hers, she was his). But one day he left, and then he returned as a White Walker. So there is no way Osha's going back.

Riverrun: Robb and Talisa

Cue the Barry White! The king and his queen are making royal love -- bow-chicka-wow-wow! After a romp in the fur-lined sack, he settles down to look at his maps while she writes a letter to her mother in Valyrian. She hopes her mom meets him and their child someday. Child? Yep, Talisa is pregnant!

[Related: 'Game of Thrones' Star Richard Madden Goes From Would-be King to Prince Charming]

Near Riverrun: Arya and the Brotherhood Without Banners

"I don't talk to traitors," an angry Arya tells Beric and Thoros. They're sorry they had to give up Gendry, but the Red God wanted him. And what the Red God wants, he gets. Arya replies that he isn't her god -- her god is death (shiver).

Word comes of a Lannister raiding party, and the Brotherhood decides to go fight them. But they were supposed to deliver Arya to Riverrun! Beric shrugs and promises to do it later. She screams that he's a liar and escapes out of the caves. But out in the forest, she runs straight into the arms of … the Hound!

King's Landing: The Lannisters, the Tyrells, and Sansa

Poor, poor Sansa. She was all set to marry the (gay) man of her dreams, and now she has to marry a dwarf. "I'm a stupid little girl with stupid dreams who never learns," she cries to Margaery. True, but the situation isn't so bad, Marge notes. Tyrion is a good man and experienced in bed. Sansa looks startled -- poor, innocent Sansa. Margaery gives her a coy smile. Maybe Loras isn't the only Tyrell to swing both ways.

Meanwhile, her future husband is moaning about having to marry a child. His faithful friend, Bronn, says she's beautiful and Tyrion wants to, uh, consummate with her. "I don't pay you to put evil notions in my head. The ones already there don't need company," Tyrion sighs.

"You pay me to kill people who bother you," Bronn points out. "Evil notions come free."

Tyrion tries to make good with Shae, who's not happy about his marriage. He promises her jewels and clothes and a house for their children. But she knows that he'll soon tire of her and then she'll be "nothing."

[Related: Sibel Kekilli Says Shae Is More Than Tyrion's Mistress]

In the throne room, Joffrey calls for his Hand, and Tywin's slow, determined steps say everything about how he feels about the summons. The petulant boy-king wants to know why his grandfather is holding meetings in his suite. Tywin nearly rolls his eyes -- because it's a waste of time for him to walk all the way to the Small Council room (just like it's a waste of time to walk all the way to the throne room).

Joffrey is concerned and scared about the rumors of Daenerys's dragons, but Tywin scoffs. The last Targaryen dragon's skull was the size of an apple. One the one hand, it's great to see someone treating Joffrey like the spoiled child that he is; on the other, Tywin is greatly underestimating Daenerys Stormborn.

Blackwater Bay: Melisandre and Gendry

Gorgeous overhead shot of the bay, with the wreckage of Stannis Baratheon's fleet at the bottom. Gendry learns from Melisandre that his father was King Robert Baratheon, but Gendry says he's just a bastard.

"Your blood is noble," she replies. And it carries a strength that helped him rise from the slums of Flea Bottom to the smith's forge to the Brotherhood. And now they go to to Dragonstone to use his blood for … what? Gendry had better start praying to that Red God now.

Yunkai: Daenerys

Daenerys and Jorah survey the city of Yunkai. Conquering it could wipe out half of their army, he advises. She doesn't want to waste her soldiers, and yet the city is full of slaves. Slaves she wants to free.

Flanked by her growing dragons (they're so big!), Daenerys meets with one of the city's slavers, who brings coffers of gold as a gift. And he has ships, too -- if she leaves Yunkai immediately. But Daenerys also has a gift for him: his life, and the lives of the other masters, if they free all their slaves. Otherwise, the mother of dragons will show no mercy. And her intimidating dragons underscore the point by hissing and looking like they're about to scorch the daylights out of everyone there.

It's amazing to see how far Daenerys has come, from the scared and naive girl who married Khal Drogo to the regal, formidable mother of dragons she is today.

Harrenhal: Jaime and Brienne

Before he leaves for King's Landing, Jaime comes to say goodbye to Brienne. He's sorry he can't take her with him; he owes her a debt. She replies that he can pay it by holding true to his promise to Catelyn Stark -- to return Sansa and Arya to their family.

[Related: 5 Things to Know About the Music in 'Game of Thrones']

Jaime departs with the maester who healed his stump and some of Lord Bolton's soldiers. But he's disturbed to find out that Bolton is leaving to attend Edmure Tully's wedding to Lord Frey's daughter and that Locke is being left in charge of Harrenhal. On the road, he learns that Brienne probably won't last another day.

That spurs Jaime into action. He persuades the party to go back to Harrenhal, where he discovers that Locke has put Brienne into a pit … to fight a bear! A very angry bear! And she's only got a wooden sword to defend herself with!

Jaime jumps down into the pit and stands in front of her. As the bear is about to charge, one of the soldiers from the road shoots with him a crossbolt; he's following his duty to Lord Bolton to get Jaime to King's Landing. Both Brienne and Jaime manage to get out of the pit, but a sneering Locke says he won't allow Brienne to leave. Jaime stands his ground: Either Brienne comes with him, or Locke has to kill him. And Lord Bolton specifically did not want Jaime to die. So, what's more important? Locke finally blinks and lets them go.Even with just one hand, Jaime is the biggest badass in Westeros.

Watch a preview for the next episode:


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

Jayme Perry, Kelly Woo, and Chrissy Le Nguyen contributed to the creation of this infographic.