Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 3 recap

Not girls, necessarily, but did you notice how they were at the centre of every single plot? Westeros is filled with powerful men, but it’s the women – right down to Gilly – who have the most going on in every situation.  

The other notable thing about this episode was that the stories started and ended – more vignettes than overlapping stories. Every time we saw someone, they were shining for their first and only time onscreen that day (with the possible exception of Sam – it got a little muddy right around there). A function of the episode? Or pointing out to us how isolated everyone is, even as they all grow closer together…

That is, except for Sansa, who is running from King’s Landing instead of (eventually) toward it. I love that as Baelish welcomes her onto the murky boat we have no idea of what time it is, what direction it is,  where they’re going (though of course Harrenhall is an option) but Sansa is truly out of the frying pan. She doesn’t have much time to look afraid, which was nice, but I don’t think she realizes how much Baelish cared for her mother, and why that won’t necessarily be a good thing.

Not that they killed the fool but that we got the whole sequence of Petyr beckoning the guy over to shoot the arrow. I’m not advocating gun violence but sometimes the immediacy of a shot is a welcome thing on television, you know?  The arrow felt…unnecessarily extended.

Conversely, I felt like the story between Arya and the Hound was a little too short, overall. I could have watched it for the entire hour. I mean, I never saw Paper Moon, but this was what people loved about it, right? Father and daughter running scams together? He’s grumpy, she apologizes, she’s a scamp, he’s the muscle?

Honestly, some part of the back of the Hound’s mind has got to be realizing the truth of hanging around with Arya – as long as he’s with her he’s intimidating but not threatening. People let their guard down. How bad can he be if he’s travelling with a young lady?

And then the two of them run capers, bitching at each other all the while, and Arya hasn’t been with her parents or siblings for a long, long time but I bet even she knows that it’s starting to feel like family. Otherwise, why would she be so disappointed in him? His admonishment, “they’ll be dead come winter”, is the kind of thing that stings, because it’s true.  

There are a lot of those kinds of things on this show. I’m trying to decide if Margaery Tyrell heard any of them. Her grandmother is very straightforward about the fact that she’s probably better off as Joffrey’s widow, though not as good as she might have been had he managed to consummate the marriage. This, then, gets me thinking about the fact that Joffrey was marrying a woman who had been married before. Which, one would think, would make her ineligible for marriage. I googled this a bit, but started to get into very curious spoiler places (one of which is just how delighted I was to remember about the expression “maidenhead”) so I’ll leave it as a dangling question. It also led Lainey and me to some scandalous discussions about the Stark daughters and what their fates might be, so um. Well. Um.

How about Craster’s daughter? How about Sam and Gilly are on a totally different show where two kids can’t figure out that they’re in love with each other? Such that the end result is that Little Sam is being sent to live in a whorehouse? I feel strongly that I should not get emotionally involved with these two because neither of them has anything that makes me feel secure about their continued survival. I feel like it’s only a matter of time and I won’t be able to deal with it so I’m being mechanical about not getting involved. But God, their love is sweet. They actually seem like two kids from a Spielberg movie who are about to go on the adventure of their lives and kiss in a waterslide/sewer thing eventually.   

That is, however, the sweetest part of what’s going down at Castle Black these days.   I felt bad for the little guy whose parents are currently being chewed, but worse for Jon Snow, who has little to show for his time with the wildlings and all the responsibility of keeping the decimated members of Castle Black from being utterly slaughtered, if for no other reason than to prove “you know nothing, Jon Snow” isn’t quite true – at least, he hopes it isn’t…

And then there’s Cersei Lannister.

No, I know. I know. I can’t. I cannot deal with everything that went on at the top of the show but that stayed with me all the way through.  

Cersei’s fatal flaw is also her redeeming quality: She loves her son. I know, she loves her *children*, but as far as we’ve seen it wasn’t hard to love Myrcella and it isn’t hard to love Tommen. We’ll come back to young master Tommen. 

But she loved Joffrey, and she knew it was futile and stupid because he was awful.   But she did it anyway. She loved him and she protected him and she saw in him all of the love between her and Jaime, and none of the bad horrors that came with that, and now it’s gone. And Joffrey is gone.

And then Jaime rapes her up against the body of her dead son.

I mean come ON. She has denied him, he forces himself on her. On the altar where their son, born of incest, is entombed with the coins on his eyes making him the most gaudy, creepy, horrifying-looking spectre and also kind of little. Also, you realized he was a teenager. A mad psychotic teenager, but a young person. You felt a little sorry for him, didn’t you?

Because look at his parents.

Now of course, comes the next king. Young Tommen. Did you love how Tywin was seeing him for the very first time? Did you start to wonder anew who exactly did the poisoning? Especially when Tywin went to see Prince Oberyn to ask him to advise the young, impressionable king? Hmmm?

Tyrion, meanwhile, is rotting in a cell, and tells Podrick not to be a hero, that nobody wants to see him die. He acknowledges that Sansa couldn’t have killed Joffrey (COULDN’T SHE?) and points out the futility of trying to define “they” when he speaks: “They, they, the ominous they!” Tyrion’s been in some tight spots – remember when he was in that cell with the open edge? – but he knows this is just about the worst of it and no shouting of the Lannister name is going to help him.  
Since Bronn can’t see Tyrion and Varys has already been claimed on Cersei’s side, Tyrion is fuuuu*ked. For now.

So after all that is delicious, whyyyy can I not connect to the Stannis Baratheon plots? I just can’t get in and maybe I blame his even-handedness. There’s nobody to root for and worse, nobody to hate. Allegedly you root for Davos or the princess, but in the face of Joffrey, Melisandre and Stannis are poor substitutes.

The Khaleesi, however, had a good week. Just when I was ready to write her and her righteousness off out of sheer boredom, she got sassy all of a sudden. She’s always been imperious but now she got wry, too. I like it.

So it turns out that, contrary to popular belief, the people of Meereen do not think that the Khaleesi is hiding her dick up her own asshole. But it’s because her champion, Daario, does such neat work of both assassinating the attacker and, more importantly, winning the pee-off. I really wasn’t expecting this plot to work – it felt tacked on five minutes before the end –but the fact that she half doesn’t care whether Daario lives or dies and then he impresses her feels great.

Do you know how many people we didn’t see this week? Dozens! Do you know what’s happening next week? I haven’t the faintest idea. This is a new threshold of entertaining.  

Oh, but one more thing: BOMBS OF SHACKLES. Come on!