|Bran & Hodor on the move, courtesy HBO|
With only three more episodes remaining of Season Two of Game of Thrones, the building tension is becoming as uncomfortable as Jon Snow is when he’s discussing his private parts with Ygritte. This episode brought us even more twists and surprises, and we could just sense that a large battle is brewing in the near future.
Theon wakes alone in his bed and goes to find that his guard has been murdered and imprisoned brothers Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) have escaped with their wildling protector Osha (Natalia Tena) and gentle giant Hodor (Kristian Nairn). Theon is super pissed and beats the crap out of a man for accusing him of being at fault because of his evening romp with Osha. He assembles a search party, including Maester Luwin (Donald Sumpter), to whom he promises that he will hurt but not kill Bran and Rickon. The escapees come upon a familiar farm house but Bran is concerned that the family will be tortured for information if they are discovered to have been there. Theon later comes upon the farm and finds evidence that they were there. He is furious and sends Maester Luwin back to Winterfell.
Back in the Frost Fangs, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) wake from their slumber and Jon finds his hand on her breast prompting him to speculate about what may have gone on during the night. Ygritte goes on to harass Jon about being a virgin and wonders how the men of the Night Watch handle their sexual urges. Damn, she’s persistent and is hell-bent on getting Jon to get savage with her. Jon defends himself and the oath he has taken regarding sex and even shows anger towards her queries. He claims to know what to do during sex but Ygritte utters the well-known line from the book: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
Ygritte also questions why they are fighting against her and her people and makes it clear that they are free and were the original settlers of the lands. She even proposes that she join the tribe and play house with her or even another, “You’re a pretty lad. Girls would claw each other’s eyes out to get naked with you.” Way to sound civil, Ygritte! She continues to be sexually relentless and also reminds him of how far from his men he probably is. She then escapes and Jon finds himself surrounded by wildlings. Good thing he didn’t accept her warm and wet invitation ... he would have had quite an audience!
The scenes between Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) and Arya (Maisie Williams) in Harrenhal are short, but so engaging. Don’t you agree? Tywin believed that the poisoned dart that killed Ary’s second victim was intended for him and he watches as suspects are executed on the grounds below. Tywin offers Arya his dinner because clearly he’s not a big fan of mutton. Or is he starting to feel fatherly towards her and thinks she needs nourishment? He tells her that, “This will be my last war, win or lose.” and that this is the war he’ll be remembered for. Arya continues to try to keep up her game but impresses him with her knowledge of history and even prompts him to compare her to his daughter, Cersei (Lena Headey). Methinks that Tywin is starting to suspect that Arya is not a stone mason’s daughter, especially when she makes the medieval “m’lord” versus “my lord” error. No doubt, Arya has smarts, but she’s still a naive young girl who needs to keep quiet or else her life with be in danger.
In a brief scene between Lady Sansa (Sophie Turner) and The Hound (Rory McCann), she thanks him for saving her from being raped. He proclaims that “killing is the sweetest thing there is” and portends that one day, she’ll be thankful for his penchant for killing. Later, Sansa wakes from a nightmare where she is about to be raped and stabbed. Her nightmare doesn’t end when she discovers that she has started bleeding. This means she is ready to bear King Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) evil baby princes or princesses. Her handmaiden - and Tyrion's gal pal - Shae (Sibel Kekill) walks in and tries to help her cover it up but is discovered by another girl. Shae chases her down and threatens her not to tell. It’s too late though ... apparently the Hound picked up the scent.
In a strangely touching scene with Cersei, Sansa is reminded how she is a woman now and how painful and long her labor with Joffrey was. She also mentions how King Robert (Mark Addy) used to go out hunting when she bore his children, but her dear brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) remained by her side. Cersei gets all sentimental and tells Sansa that Joffrey won’t be as devoted as Jaime was. Sansa proclaims that she loves Joffey with all her heart which prompts an epic quote of season two, “The more people you love, the weaker you are” and “Love no one but your children.”
Perfect for an episode that aired on Mother’s Day, right?
Cersei later has a hug-worthy scene with brother, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) when they discuss how Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) ships will be arriving soon. Tyrion feels that Joffrey needs to “step-up” but Cersei feels shame that he doesn’t listen to her and that she wished he would have turned out like his uncle/father, Jaime. Tyrion actually compliments her on how well her other two children turned out and shows his softer side. Did we almost feel sorry for Cersei tonight?
Poor Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is still missing her three baby dragons and even though Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie) offers her his help because he made a pledge to her, she doesn’t seem to want his intervention. She dubs the dragons “the most valuable thing in the world” and as we see later on, Xaro is very well aware of this fact.
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) returns to Dany when he hears of the slaughter of “her people” and they have a nice chat about trust. Dany appears vulnerable and defeated and frankly, she’s kind of acting like a brat. Jorah reminds her that “no one can survive without help” and all Dany wants is for him to “find my dragons.” Jorah then gets some insider info at the “Masked Lady Naked Body Painting Emporium” when she reveals not only that she knows he is in love with Dany but that Dany is currently with the dragon thief. He rushes to find her but, oh well, she’s with the entire “Thirteen”!
Fancy Spice Merchant dude reminds Dany that her dragons will only bring death and she is better off without them but then, Qarth’s Sexiest Warlock Alive, Pyat Pree (Ian Hanmore), reveals his and Xaro’s arrangement. So clever! Pyat Pree magically appears behind 11 of the 13 and slits their throats, turning the Thirteen into the two power-hungry Qarthians. Pree wants Dany to come with he and Xaro to the House of the Undying to help raise the dragons and they could all be in power together. Never trust a warlock with blue lips.
Back at Camp Stark in the Riverlands, Alton Lannister (Karl Davies) delivers news to Robb Stark (Richard Madden) that even though Cersei “admired your spirit,” she tore up the “peace” treaty he sent her. Robb puts Alton up for the night with his cousin Jaime while new lodgings are built for him. Then Robb’s nurse-crush Talisa (Oona Chaplin), informs him that she needs more medical supplies to tend to his men. He walks up nice and close to her and offers his help. She wants to go to the Crag with him when he goes to negotiate a surrender ... the Maester keeps a nice first aid kit there apparently. That should be a fun road trip!
Alton seems to enjoy his time with cousin Jaime (whose handsome face is hardly recognizable) and they talk about the good old days and how Alton once squired for Jaime. It’s actually kind of nice but since Jaime is an a-hole, we suspect he has an ulterior motive. He inches closer to his enamoured kin and reveals that he is not good at being constrained and to be free, Alton must die. He beats him to death and then strangles the guard who comes upon the scene. Jaime briefly escapes but is retrieved and brought to Lady Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley). Poor Catelyn wants nothing more than to have the angered father of the strangled guard kill Jaime but she knows that he is the key to getting her daughters back from the Lannisters in King’s Landing. Jaime is put in the stockade and Catelyn and her loyal sidekick, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) pay him a visit. Jaime is detestable when he brings up her late husband’s whoring around days and how much Catelyn must have hated having Jon Snow around as a reminder. She demands Brienne’s sword and ...
In a heart-wrenching final scene, Theon says to the people of Winterfell that he warned them what would happen if they were not loyal to him. Maester Luwin is dragged out and it is revealed to him and the townsfolk, what appears to be two charred and hanged children. It is implied that it is the Stark boys when the Maester lets out a blood-curdling “noooo!”
Is Theon bluffing? Will Jon Snow regret not knocking Uggs with Ygritte? Will Tyrion and Cersei finally get along and maybe even hug it out? Will Dany align for Xaro and Pyat Pree and become one big happy family?
Watch episode 8 of Season 2, “The Prince of Winterfell”, next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.