Jon Snow, you naughty, naughty boy. He has been kissed by fire, and that fire’s name is Ygritte. Beyond the Wall, the Wildlings are still unsure of Jon’s loyalty to them and constantly test him. When questioned about the number of castles being guarded on The Wall, Jon reluctantly tells the truth, but is called a liar by Orell. Before things get bloody, Tormund Giantsbane gets in between Jon, Orell and Ygritte. Tormund warns Jon that if he’s lying about the castles, he’ll pull his guts out through his throat. Now, I’ve seen some bloody and nasty things on Game of Thrones, but that is definitely something I have no desire to see.
Ygritte thinks it’s time for Jon to prove his mettle as a Wildling. She steals his sword and runs into a cave, where she removes her clothing in hopes that Jon will prove he is no longer a crow and break his oath. And does he ever. Although Jon is playing a very dangerous game in order to gain the Wildings’ trust, taking Ygritte as his lover may prove to be his downfall. Will Jon continue with his mission as a Brother of the Night’s Watch or will he stay with Ygritte and become a true Wildling?
Beric Dondarrion is preparing for trial by combat against The Hound. Before the battle begins, Thoros speaks a prayer to the Lord of Light, asking that The Hound’s guilt or innocence be judged. Dondarrion’s palm is cut by his blade and then WHOOSH, his blade is aflame, which frightens The Hound. But a frightened man can also be a dangerous man, as The Hound proves to The Brotherhood and Arya. She watches in horror as The Hound kills Dondarrion, causing our rebel to grab a blade from one of the Brothers, hoping to sink it into The Hound’s chest. During the chaos, a very-much-alive Beric Dondarrion speaks, leaving us all wondering how that could have happened. Later on in the episode, we learn that Dondarrion has been resurrected six times, leaving a part of him behind each time. How many more lives does Dondarrion have before he’s dead and gone for good?
On Dragonstone, Stannis is wracked with guilt over his indiscretion with Lady Melisandre. He decides to confess to his wife, Lady Selyse (played by Tara Fitzgerald), another follower of the Lord of Light. But there is no need of Stannis’ confession, as his wife has been informed of all by the Red Woman. Lady Selyse is fine with whatever Stannis has to do to secure the throne, as long as it is done in service to the Lord of Light. Stannis’ wife has her own guilt. She has given him no sons, only stillborn reminders that she keeps in her room, and a daughter Shireen (played by the remarkable Kerry Ingram), who has been afflicted with the disease Greyscale. Stannis wants to see his daughter, who is a feisty thing to behold. When she asks after her friend the Onion Knight, Stannis tells his daughter that Ser Davos is a traitor and being held in the dungeon. Shireen decides to see for herself and boldly goes down to see him. The Princess doesn’t care if the Onion Knight is a traitor, he is still her friend. She brings him a book, but learns Ser Davos cannot read. Shireen takes it upon herself to teach him and will not take no for an answer.
In Riverrun, King Robb’s army is falling apart. Lord Karstark wants his vengeance for the death of his sons, and by the gods he’s going to get it. Lord Karstark and his men ambush the cell where Lannister twins Willem and Martyn are being held and are killed. Robb decides to execute the men who carried out the murders, including Lord Karstark, which is met with opposition. Robb is advised by his mother, uncle and wife that to behead Lord Karstark would mean losing half of his army. But King Robb, like his father, believes in justice and carries out his judgment. And, as he was warned, half of King Robb’s army abandons his cause. He has no idea where to turn until he remembers that Walder Frey has an army large enough to fill the gap left by the Karstarks. But will Walder Frey join the King in the North’s cause after Robb’s betrayal?
Lady Brienne and Jaime Lannister finally arrive at Harrenhal, where they are given rooms, food and aid. During a particularly telling scene, Jaime explains to Lady Brienne exactly how he came to be known as the Kingslayer. Jaime’s confession revealed he would rather do what is necessary to save his father’s life and the lives of everyone in King’s Landing than to blindly do what his King commands. Jaime’s confession showed Brienne, and viewers, how honorable he truly is.
In King’s Landing, there are plots and plans aplenty, and poor Sansa is stuck in the middle. She is the key to The North and both the Lannisters and Tyrells want her, while all Sansa wants is to leave the Capitol. The Tyrell’s believe a marriage between Sansa and Loras would benefit both houses, but the Lannisters will not be outwitted. Cersei persuades Littlefinger to find out what the Tyrells are up to, which he does as only Littlefinger can. When Tywin learns of this plot, he decides to make his own plans and have Sansa marry . . . Tyrion. The Halfman was not at all pleased with this bit of news, but did receive a bit of satisfaction when Tywin orders Cersei to marry Loras. The smug look on the Queen Regent’s face quickly fell when she realized that she is, after all, just a woman. And in Westeros, women do as they are told, no matter how powerful.
It is a good thing for us that Daenerys was not raised in Westeros. She is her own ruler and will do as she pleases. After freeing all of the slaves in Astapor, Dany made sure that the Unsullied understood that they could choose their own leader. They choose Grey Worm (played by Jacob Anderson). Dany explains that because they are free, the former slaves may choose whatever name fills them with pride. Grey Worm decides to keep his Unsullied name, as it was the one he had when he was freed. What’s next for Dany, Jorah and the rest? Stay tuned.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.