Game of Thrones Recap: Wedded Diss [Updated]
Ned Stark’s beheading in Game of Thrones‘ first season was brutal. This week’s episode makes that murder look like a gentle mercy killing.
If you’re among what some fans of the series refer to as the “unsullied” – aka those who haven’t read George R. R. Martin’s book series and are therefore unspoiled about what’s likely to happen in the TV series – the hour probably put you into a catatonic state. I am decidedly sullied… and it was still a really sad, grossly violent, hard-to-watch episode.
Let’s all get through this together, shall we? Here’s what happened in “The Rains of Castamere.”
HOUSE TARGARYEN | We’ll start far away from The Twins – how about outside of Yunkai, where Daario Naharis is advising Daenerys on the best way to take the city? His plan of attack boils down to, “I’ll knock on the back door, kill the guards and slip around to the front door, where I’ll let your army in.” Daario, you stole that scheme from any high-schooler trying to sneak his or her friends into a movie through the theater’s exit door. Is it any wonder that Jorah and Barristan are wary of the pretty interloper? But Grey Worm trusts him, so Dany tells them they’re to go that very evening. Though it looks dodgy for a minute or two – at one point, Khaleesi’s three look like they’re about to be made into Yunkai chowder, and I fear for Jorah because he’s strong but old and you just know he’s got a trick knee or bad back or something – but the former knight returns to report that the slave soldiers “threw down their spears and surrendered.” Daenerys only fully exhales when Lotsa Locks Ken Doll is back safe, too, kneeling at her feet and saying, “The city is yours, my queen.”
THE (CURRENT AND FORMER) MEN OF THE WALL | Sam leads Gilly through the woods, telling her about the black gate: a secret passage through The Wall that’s buried deep in one of the castles along the gigantic block of ice. She’s dumbfounded that he knows all of that just from reading, a skill she clearly doesn’t have. “You’re like a wizard,” she sighs. The geeky glow of pride on his face at her inadvertent compliment is fleeting, but THINGS GET BAD LATER and I need to hang on every moment of happiness that I can, OK?
Elsewhere, Jon’s having a hard time convincing Ygritte and the gang of wildlings not to murder a horse trader whose farm they’ve stumbled across. Of course, they don’t listen to him; they storm the house and then pursue the trader when he takes off on horseback. (Side note: Now that they’re south of The Wall, aren’t the free folk sweaty in all of their fur trappings? The weather looks positively springlike, guys. Lose a raccoon tail or two.)
When they corner the man, Tormund and Orell think it’s a good idea for Jon to kill him. Though Jon stands in the pouring rain and holds his sword to the trader’s throat, he can’t bring himself to do the deed… so Ygritte does it for him with an arrow. Tormund and Orell immediately go attack both Snow and his “crow wife.” Jon knocks the redhead out of the way and winds up killing Orell, who wargs into his eagle and screams down from the sky, claws ripping at Snow’s pretty face. And for that, I will cut you, bird. Through a sequence of events we’ll get into in a minute, Summer the direwolf jumps into the action and saves Jon, who hops on a horse and takes off. It’s probably best he’s outta there; Ygritte looks ready to divest him of his most important parts.
HOUSE STARK: TALK-TO-THE-ANIMALS EDITION | Unbeknownst to Jon, Bran, Osha, Rickon, Hodor, Meera and Jojen have taken refuge from the storm in a nearby tower. A panicked Hodor is scared of the thunder and makes a ruckus; as the group tries to quiet him, Bran’s eyes roll back, turn white and he falls slack. At the same time, Hodor instantly calms and falls gently to his knees. Yep, Bran was somehow able to enter the simple giant’s mind and chill him out. Jojen urges Bran to mind-meld with Summer in order to see what’s going on outside. Though the Stark boy claims he can’t, the greenseer politely disagrees. “You’re a warg, Bran,” he says. “It’s in your blood.” So it’s actually Bran – in Summer’s body – who saves his half-brother.
When Bran comes back to himself, he relates what he saw and then instructs Osha to take Rickon and Shaggy Dog to a nearby safe site. His little brother cries and protests, but Bran is resolute. “Robb’s at war, and I’m going beyond the wall,” he says. Osha knows it’s for the best. As Rickon says goodbye to his brother for probably the last time (good God, how much heartache can this family endure? Don’t answer that), Osha asks Meera and Jojen to “Keep this one safe. He means the world to me.”