Things are getting back to normal in Kings landing and elsewhere. Daenerys has taken most of Slavers Bay, Sansa and Little Finger have escaped, and the Lannisters have a new king to crown. Up north, Jon is still on his was to Craster’s to try to take care of some traitors and that’s where the biggest moment in this episode happens.
The episode begins with the coronation of Tommen Baratheon. After the ceremony, Cersei approaches Margaery. She admits to Margaery that she understood what kind of man Joffery was and that he “shocked” her. Much like Margaery’s mother, Cersei has it in her mind that Margaery will still become queen but, this time, as Tommen’s bride. Even though it’s already her intention, Margery plays it coy and says she’ll have to ask her father and points out that it seems there will be several weddings between the families soon.
Cersei meets with her father to discuss the future of the families. They arrange a time frame for Tommen and Margaery to be married as well as one for Cersei’s wedding to Loras. Tywin informs Cersei of the current financial problems facing the family. The crown had been largely indebted to the Lannisters and the Iron Bank. Now that the Lannisters are the crown they have little to collect on. They also haven’t been able to mine gold for the last 3 years. This is why they need to have a strong alliance with the Tyrell’s because they are the only other family in Westeros who rival the Lannisters financially.
Back in Slaver’s Bay, Daenerys’ conquest has hit a snag. It turns out that cities that she’s conquered during her journey have started to fall back into their old ways, or worse. Even so, she’s been presented with a fleet of ships that is large enough to take her and her troops to Westeros. On top of that, she has just been told that Joffery has been killed and that his troops are weary from constant battle. However, instead of moving on with her conquest, she chooses to stay in Slaver’s Bay and rule so that the people she has freed don’t fall back into chains.
In the Eyrie, Petyr Baelish has arrived with Sansa in tow. They walk through the Bloody Gate and Baelish warns Sansa to hide her identity. Once inside Sansa finally meets her aunt Lysa and her son Robin. Robin is his same disturbing and aloof self and Lysa is figuratively burning to reunite with Petyr. In a private conversation she talks about all the things she’s done for him, revealing that they have been together before she was married and that she actually poisoned her own husband and framed the Lannisters for it at Petyr’s request. The two have a quick wedding and consummate the marriage that night (very very loudly). Later Lysa goes to see Sansa and becomes a bit unhinged as she questioned why Petyr is doing so much for Sansa, the daughter of a woman he had an unrequited love for. Sansa promises that she has done nothing with Baelish and Lysa then begins to comfort her, promising that things will be okay and that she may one day even be married to Robin.
Somewhere in the forest, Arya and the Hound are still wandering around. Arya is keeping the Hound awake by naming off all of the people that she wants to kill. It’s something she does to get to sleep. She finishes the list with the Hound’s name, causing him to briefly look at her before going to sleep himself. When he wakes up he finds that she’s disappeared. He finds her Water Dancing by the river. When he asks her about what she’s doing and who taught her to fight she tells him of her instructor, Syrio Forel, who was killed by Ser Meryn Trant. The Hound scoffs at the idea of a great swordsman being killed by Trant and tells Arya to show him what she’s learned. Arya tries to stab the Hound, but her Needle can’t pierce his armor. The Hound knocks her to the ground and tells her that the reason that her instructor is dead is because Trant had armor and a big sword.
Elsewhere in the wilderness Brienne and Podrick are getting acquainted. Brienne keeps trying to get Podrick to leave her alone and Podrick isn’t proving himself to be very useful. He’s pretty bad at riding horses and sets their food on fire. Brienne does soften up to him when she learns what he did for Tyrion at the Battle of the Black Water. Once she hears that she does agree to let him help her with her armor.
Back in the North, Jon Snow and his band of brothers have made it to Craster’s keep. They raid the keep but one of the men, , is actually there to kidnap Bran. Bran takes control of Hodor’s body and uses him to kill his kidnapper. Once everyone’s free Bran frees his wolf and leaves so that Jon won’t try to take him back to the wall, even though he does want to see his brother. Unaware of this, John continues the slaughter of the men at Craster’s culminating in a one on one fight with Jon and Karl. After winning the fight Jon burns Casster’s to the ground. He is also reunited with his dire wolf, Ghost, who also killed Rast before returning.
I didn’t realize just how much happened in this episode until I started typing this out. That’s mostly because of how much the battle at Craster’s Keep overshadowed everything else for me. I think that the fight between Snow and Karl is probably the best choreographed fight scene that they’ve had on the show yet. On top of all of that the way Karl dies is just so grotesquely pictures. When I saw it I just said, “Well there’s an image that’s gonna stick in your head for a while.”
That’s not to say that there weren’t some other good parts to the show as well. The whole time when we got to see what was happening at the Eyrie was informative, uncomfortably funny and somewhat disturbing. More than anything it just looks like Sansa has, once again, found herself in just a terrible situation. The only ally that she really has at this point is Little Finger and it’s not clear whether or not he’s even completely on her side. Lysa seems like she’s going to be a loaded gun pointed at Sansa that could go off at any time. Except of getting shot, she’d probably be thrown through the moon door.
On a smaller scale, I thought the Podrick/Brienne and Arya/Hound scenes were really fun. It was good to see the water dancing come back and Arya definitely looks a lot better with the sword than she was. I do start to wonder though; after spending so much time with people like Syrio, Tywin, and the Hound what kind of a dangerous person could Arya grow up to be. It’s like she’s graduating from a school of Tyrants and killers.
Speaking of Tywin, the Lannisters also seem to be on the verge of coming apart. They’re basically broke and owe the Iron Bank a lot of money. The same bank that Stannis Baratheon is petitioning for help. On top of that the Tyrell’s seem to be trying to get into bed with them (literally) just as much as they are. I was surprised by Cersei’s willingness to offer up Tommen to Margaery (although I don’t know why I’m surprised) and I wonder if she wouldn’t be alright with her sneaking in at night to see her son. It really is starting to feel like those two are cut from the same cloth.
Overall, this was a solid episode with a few fun pieces. Although, the battle at Craster’s is the big payoff for the episode. So if seeing people get killed GoT style isn’t your thing, then you probably wouldn’t enjoy this one as much.