The Episode "Dark Wings, Dark Words" in a Nutshell:
- Bran makes new friends with the Reed children
- Arya runs into the Brotherhood Without Banners
- Tyrell matriarch Lady Olenna questions Sansa
- Theon Greyjoy is tortured
- Jaime and Brienne sword fight
Body count: 0
Nudity count: 0
Dragon sightings: 0
New people and places:
- Lady Olenna, Margaery's grandmother
- Jojen and Meera Reed
- Orell Skinchanger, a wildling warg
- Thoros of Myr, a red priest with the Brotherhood Without Banners
- Locke, one of Lord Bolton's liegemen
Best line: "Once the cow's been milked, there's no squirting the cream back up her udder." -- Lady Olenna
What's the deal with … Theon's torturers? Who are they, and what do they want?
Patience, friends. While there's very little action (battle- or sex-wise) again in this second episode of "Game of Thrones" Season 3, the show is still moving its chess pieces into interesting places. Sadly, there's no Daenerys this week, and very little Tyrion, but we get updates on all the other Stark kids.
Somewhere in the North: Bran, Rickon, Osha, and Hodor
In a dream, Bran runs through the forest and spies the three-eyed raven in a tree. As he draws his bow, brothers Robb and Jon appear beside him (and his father's voice echoes in the trees) in a reference to the very first episode. Then, a blond-headed boy appears. "You can't kill it, you know," he says. "The raven is you." Bran wakes with a start.
Later, when they make a new camp, Osha and a growling direwolf Summer both sense a presence in the woods. After she leaves to scout around, that boy appears again. This is no dream, though. Osha returns and puts a spear to him, but another girl -- his sister -- puts a knife to her. Summer keeps growling, but when the boy approaches with his hand held out, she relaxes and trots off. Who is this kid?!
Turns out he's Jojen Reed. The girl is Meera Reed. Their father, Howland, was a good friend of Ned's. As the whole party continues traveling north, Jojen informs Bran that he's a warg, which means he can enter the minds of animals. Not only that, but Bran has "the Sight" -- he can see things that happened before, things that haven't happened yet, and things that are happening right now, thousands of miles away. Cool, cool, cool.
King's Landing: Sansa, Joffrey, Margaery, and Tyrion
Sansa insists to a dubious Shae that Littlefinger didn't ask her for anything during their little chat. "Men only want one thing from a pretty girl," Shae warns. Loras Tyrell knocks at the door, asking to escort Sansa to tea with his sister and their grandmother, Lady Olenna.
The sharp-tongued grandmother could give the Dowager Countess on "Downton Abbey" a run for her money (if highborn ladies cared about such a thing). She doesn't think very highly of her son and thought her family's backing of Renly Baratheon was dumb. "But once the cow's been milked, there's no squirting the cream back up her udder," she sighs.
Lady Olenna gets right to the point: She wants to know what Joffrey is really like. Terrified and uncertain, Sansa stammers out that he's handsome and fair and as brave as a lion. The matriarch nearly snorts. "Yes, and when a Tyrell farts, it smells like a rose," she says. Finally, they pester her into admitting that Joffrey is a monster. Margaery sighs and looks resigned.
But these Tyrell women are made of steel, and Margaery, in particular, knows how to play Joffrey. Later, when he snarks about her marriage to Renly, she adopts the "subservient woman" mask and says she was only doing her duty. Batting her eyelashes and stroking Joffrey's crossbow, Margaery taps into his horny-teenage-boy side by pulling the "Can you help demonstrate this big, heavy weapon for me?" trick. And of course he falls for it.
Elsewhere in the castle, Tyrion returns to his room to find Shae waiting. He warns her not to come around anymore, since Tywin threatened to kill her. But she's worried about Sansa. Tyrion shrugs it off, saying that Sansa is beautiful and will have many suitors. Shae acts jealous and he backpedals. Makeup-sex time!
Harrenhal: Robb, Catelyn, and Talisa
Some very bad news is delivered to Robb and Catelyn: first, that her father has died, and second, that Winterfell is a smoking ruin and Bran and Rickon are missing. Maybe they escaped, or maybe Theon took them captive, but ... it's not looking good.
On their journey to the funeral at her childhood home, Riverrun, Catelyn reveals to Talisa just what a horrible woman she is. Apparently, when Jon first came to Winterfell, she prayed for him to die. He came down with a deadly pox, and she felt bad, so she prayed for him to live. If he did, she promised that she'd love him, be a mother to him, and ask Ned to give him the Stark name. Well, Jon lived, and she didn't keep up her end of the deal. Now her family has been torn apart.
Well, Cate, this is why you don't cheat the gods.
North of the Wall: Jon, Mance, and the wildling army; Sam and the Night's Watch
As they march south, Jon learns more about how Mance united the very divided wildlings. He also meets Orell, a warg who enters the mind of a bird to go scouting. What does he see? "Dead crows," he says. They know that the Night's Watch has nearly been obliterated.
Ahead of them, somewhere, the remaining Night's Watch men struggle to march through the snow. Sam looks as if he's about to keel over, and Rast taunts him by calling him "piggy." His friends try to help him, but finally the Lord Commander comes over. "Tarly, I forbid you to die," he growls, and then puts Rast in charge of making sure that Sam keeps up.
Unknown location: Theon
A bloody, bruised Theon is tied to a big X-shaped device. Some unidentified men torture him, asking why he took Winterfell. As they drive nails into his feet, he screams that he did it for glory, that he hated the Starks. This doesn't seem to satisfy his captors, but there's hope in the form of a servant. He whispers that Theon's sister sent him, and he'll return after dark to help Theon escape.
Outside of Harrenhal: Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie
Arya and her two companions are heading away from Harrenhal toward Riverrun when they're accosted by the Brotherhood Without Banners, led by a red priest named Thoros of Myr. He doesn't seem hostile and even feeds them at a nearby tavern.
Arya boasts that she knows how to use a sword, and to prove it, she draws Needle on Thoros; but he draws his sword in return and disarms her almost instantly. A laughing Thoros tells them that they can continue their journey after their meal.
As the three try to leave, though, some members of the Brotherhood bring in a captive -- Sandor "The Hound" Clegane. And unfortunately for Arya, he spots her and tells Thoros that she's a Stark. Really, Arya's got the worst luck.
Somewhere on the Way to King's Landing: Jaime and Brienne
These two need their own sitcom. Jaime snarks at Brienne, she snarks back. He baits her about crushing on Renly, who's gay. She doesn't believe him, and whatever, she was not in love with him.
Their banter halts when a seemingly innocent farmer, on the way to Riverrun, comes across them. Jaime wants to kill him in case they've been identified, but Brienne refuses.
As they cross a stone bridge, Jaime manages to steal one of Brienne's swords. They clash and fight, though Brienne has the advantage on him. But even with his hands tied, the knight looks deadly. Their duel is interrupted by the sound of riders approaching. Yep, the farmer guy ratted them out. It's Locke, one of Lord Bolton's men, and they're taking Jaime back to Robb. So much for the traveling comedy duo.
Watch a preview of the next episode:
"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.