Surprise is the name of the game in this episode of Game of Thrones. A new king is crowned, Lord Baelish takes a wife, Khaleesi gets some bad news and the Night’s Watch takes a stand. Let’s get to it.
Tommen is crowned as the new king. He’s got his eye on Almost-Queen Margaery, who makes sure she stays in his sights. She wants to be queen in the worst way, and if it means marrying a teenager, she’ll do it. But will Cersei give her blessing or block the whole thing? At first it seems as if Cersei would do the latter, but her conversation with her daughter-in-law proves surprising. Margaery knows who Joffrey was and apparently, so does his mother. “He would have been your nightmare,” says the Queen Regent. She also reveals that Joffrey did things which “shocked” her. We all know that Cersei is not easily shocked, so to hear her say that is quite surprising. Tommen, on the other hand, is a sweet boy who may actually deserve to be king. Cersei asks for Margaery’s help to make sure the new king stays that way.
In Meereen, Dany learns that Joffrey is dead and also that the Second Sons have taken the Meereenese Navy. Dany wants to know if she has enough of an army to invade King’s Landing. But that idea is short-lived when she finds out that Yunkai and Astapor, cities that were freed by Dany, have gone south. With no Unsullied, the masters in Yunkai have taken the free people, making them slaves once again, while Astapor’s newly-appointed council has been overthrown by someone ready to take on Khaleesi and her crew. Cleon, also known as The Butcher, fancies himself as the new king of Astapor. Although Dany wants to sail for Westeros, she knows she needs to stay in Slaver’s Bay to restore order to her people. She tells Jorah in no uncertain terms, “I will do what queens do. I will rule.” Here’s hoping King Cleon gets to meet Dany and her dragons very soon.
Lord Baelish and Sansa arrive at the Eyrie, where they receive greetings by weirdos Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) and her son Robin (Lino Facioli), who still seems to be enamored with his mother’s breasts. Both are exceedingly happy to see Lord Baelish and welcome him enthusiastically. Lysa greets her niece and lets her know that she is safe at the Vale, but asks that Sansa not use her real name while there. When Robin shows his cousin to her room, Lysa jumps Lord Baelish and demands they be married that very night. She says that she has done everything he’s asked, including murdering her own husband, Lord Arryn! Seriously, Lord Baelish seems to be the man everyone should fear. He agrees to marry Lysa that evening, asking that he be allowed to change his clothes. But his bride-to-be has other ideas when she opens the doors and in walks a septon. Lysa queasingly tells everyone that she will be screaming her head off when her husband makes love to her, which she does, keeping poor Sansa and everyone else in the Vale awake.
In King’s Landing, Cersei and Tywin are discussing Tommen’s upcoming wedding and decide it will be a small affair, especially with the fact that the Crown is basically broke. Tywin admits that there hasn’t been any gold coming in for three years and a huge debt is owed to the Iron Bank. For those who don’t know, the Iron Bank is like the mob of Westeros, meaning they don’t make deals, listen to reason or offer extensions. Pay the debt or suffer the consequences, which is where the Tyrells come in. They are as rich as the Lannisters and will be helping out with the debt. The Tyrells may not be the ideal family with whom to make deals, but the Lannisters aren’t stupid. They will do what they can to survive.
The Hound is trying to get some sleep, but Our Rebel Arya is reciting her nightly kill list. He thinks she’s just saying names until she tells him they’re people she wants to kill. The Hound’s brother, The Mountain, is a name they have in common, as both want to end that monster’s life. Arya asks her traveling companion what he would do if his brother were in front of them. He says, “I’d tell him to shut the f*ck up so I can get some sleep.” The Hound then tells Arya to finish her list so they can finally get some shuteye. Our Rebel says that she only has one name left. She turns over on her side and says, “The Hound.” Methinks someone should sleep with one eye open.
After her noisy wedding night, a happy Lysa brings lemon cakes to Sansa. She talks about her sister Catelyn and her love of sweets, but then the conversation takes a crazy turn. Lysa wants to know why Lord Baelish has such an interest in her pretty niece, demanding to know if Sansa has had relations with him. Sansa, having experience living with a lunatic, does whatever she can to convince her crazy aunt that she’s still a virgin, until Lysa finally believes her. Poor Sansa seems to have gone from one psycho to another. Will she ever truly be free?
The Hound wakes to find Arya practicing her swordplay. He has nothing but disdain for her water dance, asking her who taught her such rubbish. Arya says, “The greatest swordsman who ever lived. Syrio Forel!” The Hound isn’t impressed, especially when he finds out that Syrio was killed by Meryn Trant. To prove his point, The Hound lets Arya show him her skills. She tries to stick him with the pointy end, but his armor blocks her. The Hound backhands our girl, knocking her to the ground and taking Needle for good measure. He points it at her and says, “Your friend is dead, and Meryn Trant’s not. Because he had armor and a big f*cking sword.” Arya may not realize it, but The Hound is giving her one hell of a lesson about real life.
The scorching Prince Oberyn is, for once, not in a pleasure house. Instead, he’s writing a poem for one of his daughters when Cersei makes an appearance. She “invites” him to see the gardens so they can talk. They both discuss the people they’ve lost, realizing that being powerful doesn’t always save the ones you love. Cersei mentions her daughter Myrcella, who she hasn’t seen in over a year. Prince Oberyn says that her daughter is safe and that little girls aren’t harmed in Dorne. “Everwhere in the world they hurt little girls,” Cersei says soberly. She asks Prince Oberyn to take a gift to her daughter, which turns out to be a ship. She also asks that he tell Myrcella that “her mother misses her very much.” Will Cersei’s softer side be seen more now that she’s lost a child?
Podrick is proving to be a terrible squire. He can’t ride a horse, has no idea how to cook a rabbit properly and is more of a nuisance to Brienne than anything. She asks him what he did for Tyrion, which wasn’t much when it came to traditional combat duties. But Pod tells Brienne of his heroics during the Battle of Blackwater, where he killed a Kings Guard to save Tyrion’s life. Brienne decides to give Podrick another chance, especially now that she knows her new squire can be trusted.
North of The Wall, Locke is staking out Craster’s Keep. He finds Bran and the others first before heading back to Jon and the rest of the Brothers. Locke gives them all a rundown of the situation at Craster’s, but of course fails to mention Bran. Instead, he lies and says that there are hounds in the barn that may blow their cover. Jon announces that they will stage a surprise attack at sundown. Later, Karl and his goons head to the barn ready to make sport of Meera. Jojen, who seems like he is on his last legs, offers to help Karl if he lets Meera go. He tells him that he has the sight and can see things before they happen. Karl isn’t convinced, but pauses when Jojen says he sees him dead and burned. Just then, Jon and his Brothers attack. While all hell is breaking loose, Locke heads back to the barn so he can take Bran to Roose Bolton. He grabs Bran and throws him over his should. But what good is being a warg if you can’t use it in a pinch? Bran jumps into Hodor, who breaks free and gruesomely snaps Locke’s neck. Poor Hodor has no idea what’s happened and freaks out when he sees Locke’s blood on his hands. Bran sees Jon and calls to his brother, but Jojen tells him he must go North to find the werewood tree they both saw in their visions. Bran takes one last look at this brother and then tells them all to find Summer so they can leave.
Jon and Karl have their showdown in Craster’s hovel, with Karl almost getting the better of Jon until one of Craster’s wives/daughters stabs him in the back. Before Karl can kill her, Jon takes his sword and stabs him through the mouth (and yes it looks as awful as it sounds). When the fighting is done, Jon offers to take the women back to Castle Black. But after all of the abuses they’ve suffered, the women decide to find their own way, but ask that Craster’s Keep be burned to the ground.
And what of our friend Rast, the one who stabbed Lord Commander Mormont in the back? He may have escaped the massacre at Craster’s, but picking on a direwolf will always get you killed. When Rast sees that Ghost has escaped from his pen, he knows he’s a goner. Ghost makes quick work of his tormentor before reuniting with Jon. What will happen now that the mutineers are dead? How will the Night’s Watch protect The Wall from Mance and the Wildlings? Will Dany be able to get Slaver’s Bay back under her control? Will Almost-Queen Margaery finally become a real one? And how soon before Prince Oberyn ends up in another pleasure house? Stay tuned.
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.Powered by Sidelines