Okay all you Game Of Thrones fans, we’re three episodes in, and things are starting to actually happen. You know, at like…a regular, plot-based pace instead of just running all over Westeros trying to catch up with each character individually. We start out at Lord Hoster Tully‘s funeral, where Edmure Tully is struggling to hit his father’s funeral pyre with the traditional flaming arrow. Finally Brynden ‘Blackfish’ Tully steps in and sets it on fire, because he’s a total bad ass. Robb Stark also gets to be a total bad-ass while chastising one of his men who went against his order and lost over two hundred men capturing a mill instead of leading Gregor Clegane west, into a trap of Robb’s men. Consider yourself chastised. By a bad-ass.
Speaking of bad-asses, Cersei Lannister sits at the side of no one’s table. She and Tyrion both make a point of dragging seats around at the meeting of the new small council, headed by their father Tywin. After a suitable amount of musical chairs, they talk about the fact that no one knows where Jaime is, and that Roose Bolton effectively holds Harrenhal. Tyrion is named as the new Master of Coin, and Littlefinger is dispatched to the Eyrie to marry Lysa Arryn.
But you know who does know where Jaime is? Me, me, I do! He was captured by The Bloody Mummers last week, along with Brienne Of Tarth, who is in pretty immediate danger of being raped. Jaime warns her not to fight, or else they’d kill her, and when she asks him if that’s what he’d do in her situation, he says, “I’d make them kill me.” Of course you would. Coupla bad asses.
Arya, my favorite bad-ass in this whole series, is also still in captivity, with Thoros of Myr and The Hound. They whole band is moving on, except Hot Pie, who’s staying behind to work in the kitchens. He bakes her a loaf of wolf bread which is pretty — you guessed it — bad-ass.
Meanwhile, back at Riverrun, Talisa is confirming some bad-ass rumors about her husband to the two captured Lannisters children. She tells them it’s true that he turns into a wolf at night and feasts on the flesh of his enemies, but says they needn’t fear because Robb doesn’t eat children. That’s lucky.
Jon Snow, still traveling with Mance Rayder and the wildlings, comes upon all the dead at the Fist of the First Men. Mance comes up with a bad-ass plan to attack the Night’s Watch, instructing Tormund Giantsbane to climb the Wall, and throw Jon off of it if he fails to provide useful intelligence about Castle Black. There’s some incentive for you.
The rest of the Night’s Watch seeks refuge at Craster‘s Keep, out of desperation, where one of his wives is noisily giving birth, prompting the line, “Go tell her she can bite down on a rag or bite down on my fist.” She declines to do either, and Samwell Tarly watches her give birth to a boy.
Meanwhile, Theon Greyjoy has been freed by a boy supposedly sent by his sister, and is sent east on horseback. He promises his rescuer a lordship in the Iron Islands.
In another part of the world, Melisandre is leaving Stannis, who is totally not into it. He’d like her to stay, but he’d love to have Joffrey and Robb dead. That said, he’s not totally on board with Melisandre’s terms, which require a sacrifice of someone with king’s blood, aka a direct relative of Stannis. She refuses to be cowed by him, though, in keeping with her total bad-assery.
As usual, Daenerys Targaryen is the queen of the bad-asses. She’s on the ‘Walk of Punishment’ around Astapor, which is a path of dying slaves hung up to discourage any of the living slaves from doing anything stupid that would require punishment. She offers one water, but he refuses. Jorah Mormont continues to insist that she purchase the Unsullied, as using them in her army would result in the death of fewer innocents. Ser Barristan Selmy is against it, but does acknowledge that innocent people will die anyway, and it might be better if there was no wanton rape and pillaging by soldiers less disciplined than the Usullied. After all, her brother Rhaegar Targaryen fought nobly, and valiantly, and Rhaegar died. Dany decides to purchase all the Unsullied — which is eight thousand men, not including the boys in training, whom she wishes to purchase as well. The slaver says her ships, gold, and all her Dothraki warriors are barely enough to buy one hundred, so she offers him her largest dragon, at which point Ser Barristan and Jorah are like OH HEY LET’S NOT. But she does, and she warns them if they ever question her in front of strangers again, she’ll dismiss them both. She also insists on taking Missandei, the scribe, with her, who warns Dany, “Valar morghulis”, to which she responds, in the most bad-ass line of the whole episode: “Yes, all men must die. But we are not men.” BOOM.
Meanwhile, back in Westeros, Tyrion is retrieving the ledgers from Littlefinger, from their hiding place in his brothel. He buys three prostitutes for his squire, Podrick Payne, in thanks for saving his life. Back in his rooms, he discovers that Littlefinger has amassed an enormous amount of debt to both Tywin Lannister and the Iron Bank of Braavos, which kind of sucks because they have no way to pay it back. Meanwhile, Pod returns with the money he was given to pay the hookers, because they refused it. Yeah, we should probably get to the bottom of that, since that’s extremely atypical hooker behavior.
Theon, still on the run after escaping, is being shot at with arrows. He’s captured and about to get raped when some guy appears out of nowhere and shoots all his captors, warning that he’s a long way from home, and that winter is coming.
In the final scene of the episode, Brienne is tied to a tree, and this seems to be the moment that her captors have chosen to rape her. She’s not going down without a fight, but then for some reason, Jaime starts trying to save her ass. He’s telling Vargo Hoat that she’s from the Isle of Tarth, which is reknowned for its vast amounts of sapphires. He says her father will pay her ransom, but only if her honor remains untainted. Vargo orders her brought back and left un-besmirched, and feeling very proud of himself, Jaime starts trying to talk his way out of his chains, name-dropping the wealth of his father. He seems like he’s even been successful, until Vargo CHOPS HIS MOTHERFUCKING HAND OFF. Um okay. Yeah that’s a big deal. We better end the episode right there so I can stress about it ALL. WEEK. Perfect.