"They say it’s not great to have children in threes because one kid always winds up feeling left out. Could you imagine if your siblings were twins and fucking? Talk about a third wheel. "
Today we are all Lisa Simpson.
I’ll have more in the recap but I just wanted to check in with everyone and pour some out for one of the best fictional characters in one of the best fictional series. After going through the seven stages of grief and finally coming to acceptance, I will say that shit like this is what I love most about GRRM as a writer. The pure guts to kill the hero of your story not once, but twice, and trust that you will be able to pick up the pieces after dropping a bomb like that and that the audience will follow you, it takes brass balls. But just because I admire it doesn’t make it hurt any less. So today we gather to honor the fallen:
(Sorry this is so late guys! My little sister was in town and stayed with me this past week and really cramped my recapping game. But I think the Starks would agree with me that family comes first. Also the Lannisters. You know what, let’s move on.)
Previously: Robb got naked, Theon got castrated, Talisa got knocked up, Gendry found out the results of his paternity test, Ygritte learned some important lessons about eco friendly technology, and Jaime jumped into a bear pit and all of our hearts to save Brienne.
Off the bat this episode:
Boys! I miss you! (Except you Theon. You should stay away for a while.)
Arya wakes up staring at a rock. She’s weighing the pros and cons of bashing Sandor in the head with it. Because she’s Arya Stark head-bashing wins and she creeps over to where the Hound is sleeping, but she’s not as quiet as Syrio taught her to be and the Hound hears her coming from a mile away. (You know what would fix this problem Sandor? A blanket burrito! (In the books the Hound deals with the fierceness of Arya Stark by wrapping her up in a blanket bundle that she can’t get out of. It’s surprisingly adorable.))
Hound, “I’ll give you one shot, kill me and you’re free, fail and I’ll break both your hands.”
Arya agrees with the audience that there’s been too much hand violence on the show recently and gives up.
Later they’re riding and Arya sits sidesaddle in the front. (For two ruthless killers they sure are cute.)
The Hound offers her food and she rejects it.
Hound, “You’re in a bad mood.”
Hound, “You’re actually super lucky I found you and not someone worse.”
Arya, “Nope. Pretty sure you’re the absolute worst.”
Hound, “Pretty sure that’s my brother. He’s so intense he once killed a man for snoring.” (Okay is that really the best example Sandor? I’ve almost killed someone for snoring. A car alarm went off outside my apartment for an hour the other night at 2 AM and if murder would have stopped it, I would have considered it.)
Hound, “At least I’m not physically abusive or a rapist.”
Arya, “Okay the men of Westoros need to set a higher bar for themselves. You don’t get a prize for not raping a child. It’s just what you should do.”
Hound, “I know that, I actually save people from being raped. People like, I don’t know, your sister. Why don’t you ask her the next time you see her who saved her when she was being attacked at Flea Bottom?”
(Sandor!!! You’re gossiping with Arya about Sansa!)
Hound, “No but seriously, does she think I’m a hero? Also what does she think about my hair? Cause I’ve been thinking of doing it a different way.” (Hound, we have got to get you an age appropriate love interest.)
Arya, “Is that the Blackwater?”
Hound, “Do you have any idea where we are?”
Arya, “Not really no. But you’re the King’s dog? You kill little boys when he tells you to, aren’t you bringing me back to him?”
Hound, “That was before my mental breakdown. I said it once, I’ll say it again, Fuck Joffrey, Fuck the Queen. I’m not going back there. Not now, not ever. That’s the Red Fork, I’m taking you to the Twins.”
Hound, “Because your mom and brother are there and I’m going to do what the audience has wanted for three seasons and reunite some Starks…for a small fee of course.”
Arya even smiles a little bit! Wolf girl!!
Arya, “Wait, why is my family hanging out with the Freys? God things are worse than I thought.”
Hound, “The Brotherhood didn’t tell you? Dicks. It’s on the front page of every tabloid, your Uncle is marrying one of the Frey girls. So if you quit trying to kill me, we might make it there in time for the rehearsal dinner.”
Arya, “It really is lucky that I was caught by you wasn’t it?”
Hound, “That’s what I was trying to tell you.”
Arya, “Sorry I tried to bash your head in with a rock.”
Hound , “I get the impulse.”
Arya, “You wanna talk more about Sansa?”
Hound, “Do I ever!”
Arya, “Well does she know you have a crush on her?”
Daenerys is adorably hiding behind a wall with her awesome headscarf.
Barristan, “I don’t trust mercenaries. People need to be bound by their word and honor.”
Jorah, “I know that was a dig at me old man! Hurtful. And these guys will kill you if they get a big enough check.”
Daenerys, “So you know them?”
Jorah, “I recognize their team logo, they’re called the Second Sons. They’re a company led by a Bravosi named Mero, the Titan’s bastard. They are not pleasant.”
Daenerys, “Is he more titan or bastard?”
Jorah, “He is all bastard, all of the bastard.”
Daenerys, “How many are there?”
Daenerys, “Enough to fuck up my plans to sack the city?”
Daenerys gets her thinking face on, “It’s hard to collect wages from a corpse. I’m sure sellswords like to fight for the winning side.”
Jorah, “Right as ever you are.”
Daenerys, “I’d like to talk to the Titan’s bastard about who’s going to be the winning side.”
Barristan, “Like I don’t get it cause I think you’re awesome, but he doesn’t know that, he might not want to meet with you.”
Daenerys eyes get scary again and she gets serious, “Oh no, he will, you aren’t always aware of sexism because of your privilege, but I get how it works, a man that fights for gold can’t afford to lose to a girl.”
Previously: We lost Craster (yay!) and Mormont (no!), Catelyn threw Bran out of a tree, Sam and Gilly set out on a road trip of their own, Jaime briefly flirted with anorexia, Theon cried, Daenerys unhinged her jaw and ate the entire world, etc.
Only The Good Die Young!
Thoros and Beric are about to have their rumble in the cave.
Thoros, “Xenu save us!”
Everyone, “Xenu save us!”
Thoros, “If the Hound is innocent, let him kill my friend. If he is guilty, let my friend kill him.”
Everyone, “For the night is dark and full of terrors.”
The Hound’s getting himself psyched up, pretty convinced he has this in the bag.
Beric cuts his hand, spilling his blood on his sword. Then he whispers softly, “dracarys,” and the sword LIGHTS ON FUCKING FIRE.
And then they FIGHT. FIGHT. FIGHT.
This fight is so cool and so well choreographed. I died. I loved this fight so much and they do such a good job with it (as always.)
Then in the melee, the Hound catches on fire!
(I feel like it gets lost in all the child murdering, but the Hound is being very brave! He’s so afraid of fire! And for a total nihilist, he’s fighting very hard for his life here!)
He doesn’t have much support from the stands. Everyone’s chanting, “Guilty! Guilty!”
Arya, is more direct, “Kill Him! KILL HIM!”
Beric is doing a great job, and he has the whole fire advantage but the Hound is a huge beast and isn’t going down easy.
Then the Hound, still on fire, BRINGS UP HIS SWORD AND CUTS BERIC’S SWORD IN HALF STABBING BERIC.
Beric falls over with a giant chest wound and a sword sticking out of his shoulder. The Hound stops, drops, and rolls.
Thoros jumps on top of Beric, “Xenu put the thetons back in his body.”
Arya has had enough of this bullshit and grabs a sword and goes running full speed at the Hound, because there’s no situation she can’t make better by running in half cocked and fully armed.
Gendry’s the only one with eyes on Arya and runs after her shouting, “ARYA, DON’T!” And then he GRABS HER and tackles her to the ground! Gendry! Why are you so wonderful!
Arya, “No! Let go of me!”
Gendry, “No! You can’t just murder people!”
Arya, “Why not? Everyone else does!”
Hound, “Looks like the gods love me more than your butchers boy.”
And then Beric stands up. ALIVE.
Beric, “Oh, he’ll go to hell, just not today.”
Recap Season 3, Episode 4
Previously: Jaime lost his fucking hand. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
Benioff and Weiss are out of control and need to be stopped before they ruin television for everyone.
She is Suffering!
(The episode starts in the depths of despair and raises us to the heights of exaltation. But this opening scene is rough. So rough I had a moment of “maybe this show is getting too dark for me,” (and then the end happened and it was fine, but Jesus Fucking Christ is this dark.))
Jaime is on his horse with his hand TIED AROUND HIS NECK.
And he is just a empty shell of a man. There is nothing happening behind those eyes and it is so grim and sad. This isn’t how our sparkly, witty Jaime is supposed to be! Two seconds in and my heart is already on the floor.
Locke, “Hey, can we sodomize you with your amputated hand?”
Congratulations Locke! You are fast becoming the worst person in the Seven Kingdoms. You have some steep competition, but you are getting there.
Locke, “Is that the kind of thing you and Cersei used to do?” (Okay, can we stop with the ass rapes Game of Thrones? And rapes full stop? Can we all get on the same page with that? (Also no judgment if that’s what they’re into Locke! (You could actually probably use it.))
It’s super sad because old Jaime would have some biting comeback about Locke’s obsession with his sex life but new Jaime just stares numbly into the distance.
Brienne is the only one who has her eye on the catatonic disaster that Jaime has become, because she’s the only one who spent months listening to him babble on for days and gets how out of character he’s being.
She sees Jaime start slumping out of his saddle and can’t do anything to stop it. She calls out for the others to help him.
Then Jaime falls off his horse and face plants in the MUD. This is just some Theon levels of degradation right here. (Maybe this is the curse you suffer if you attempt to kill Bran Stark? The complete and total destruction of your soul?)
Locke, “LOL, I’m totally Instagramming this. Hashtag, #fuckedupkingslayer.”
Then Jaime starts begging for water (begging these assholes must be so hard for him!)
Locke, “You sure you don’t want a back pillow?”
Jaime, “Just the water.”
And then one of the men approaches and opens his water and DUMPS IT ON JAIME’S HEAD.
Brienne is 400% done with their shit and is ready to start busting heads to protect her pal.
Jaime, “If I die my father won’t give you any gold.”
Locke, “Oh that’s enough out of you.” Like Jaime is being a whiny bitch in this scenario.
Me to Locke:
Locke gives him a wine skin and Jaime drinks all of it.
Locke, “I’ve never seen someone drink horse piss that fast.” (Locke, why do you have a wine skin filled with piss? How did you get that? Why is that a thing you carry on you?)
Jaime vomits up the horse piss while everyone laughs at him.
They haul him up and Jaime ELBOWS a dude in the face and steals his sword, because even the empty shell of Jaime Lannister still has moves. (Also how sad that they aren’t chaining him up anymore because the once great Kingslayer isn’t even a threat.) Despite using his non-dominant hand, Jaime puts up a heartbreakingly good fight. Brienne hops off her horse to help him (because they lurrve each other) and even tied up, without a sword she still takes out like four dudes cause she’s a bad ass bitch. But they are hopelessly outnumbered and they finally corral Brienne and beat Jaime into submission.
Locke literally kicks Jaime while he’s down and steps on his HAND until he lets go of the sword.
Locke, “You do that again and I’ll take your other hand.”
Jaime, “Yeah you won, I lost. I get it.”
They close up on Jaime’s mud covered face with his dead hand beside him.
Recap: Episode 7, Season 2
Previously: Botched beheadings, Littlefinger being everywhere, Mycella winning a free trip to Dorne, Taunting, Cow pies, Joffrey being slapped, Intestines being ripped out, Robb and Jon awkwardly flirting with people who aren’t each other, Spooning with wildlings, Shae and Sansa bonding, Operation Hot Mother, Dothraki massacres, Dragon theft, etc. etc.
Theon wakes up in the morning and rolls over, shocked to find Osha gone. (Which I find very hard to believe that’s the first time that’s happened to him (or the last.)) He then discovers that he has somehow botched the easiest siege in the war.
Outside everyone’s looking at the sailor whose throat Osha cut last episode.
Theon, “So let me get this straight, you were outsmarted by a eight year old cripple and a giant who’s vocabulary is limited to his own name?”
Cranky Bald Sailor, “No we were outwitted by an eight year old cripple and a giant who only says his own name and Rickon.”
Cranky Bald Sailor, “Let’s just agree that this reflects poorly on all of us. And btw that wildling lady you boned last night is gone too, so this is mostly your fault.”
Theon, “You’re gonna step to me like that? Don’t you know I’m loco.”And then he turns around and punches the dude right in the face. (Cranky bald dude, you talked a big game for someone who gets taken down by one punch by Theon Greyjoy.) Theon hilariously hurts his hand doing this because he’s incapable of doing anything that doesn’t backfire. Since he’s too injured to continue hitting the dude he starts kicking him.
Everyone, “This is….pretty much the leadership we expected from this guy honestly.”
Cranky Bald Dude:
Theon, “Rickon and Theon escaped. This means one thing. Rampage.”
Theon, “I’m gonna cry havoc and let slip the hogs of war!”
Luwin, “It’s dogs of war.”
Theon, “Whatever farm animal of war! Geez.”
I’m not a doctor but if Cleftjaw likes you, odds are you’re doing something wrong.
Recap, Season 2, Episode 6
Previously: The death of la Renly, Gendry shirtless, The scrambling of the Tyrells, Tiny huts, Cersei being drunk as fuck, Theon dastardly plotting, Gendry shirtless, Anyone can be killed, Dragons making burgers, Creepy face masks, Gendry shirtless, Fancy scarves, Sexy assassins, Gendry shirtless
The castle is under attack and in chaos because George R.R. Martin likes to give you nice things like direwolves, Starks, and Winterfell before he rips them away from you, laughing maniacally at your tears like a vengeful god. Luwin is running around looking panicked. I can handle Renly, Drogo, Robert, Ned, but if you harm a figurative hair on Luwin’s bald head I will burn HBO to the ground with fire and blood. Luwin has escaped the fighting to make it to the Ravenery to send an S.O.S. text saying Winterfell is under attack. (Which, do you need to put a return address on that Luwin? Did you put a to address on that?)
And then the door bursts open and it’s a bunch of miserable sailors.
Theon charges into Bran’s room which begs the question, where are Summer and Shaggydog? I see like five people in each of these opening scenes who are begging for a direwolf ass-kicking. Remember when that dude fought Catelyn with a dagger and Summer ripped out his esophagus? More of that please! At least that dude had the decency to not walk everyone through his issues with his father constantly.
Theon, “Get up.”
Bran, “Theon, eww what are you doing back? Is this a Robb thing?”
Theon, “I took Winterfell.”
Bran, “What was that? I’m still like 50% in wolf-dream land.”
Theon, “I took it, I’m occupying it, I sent men over the walls with grappling claws and ropes.”
Bran, “Slow down spaz, what’s happening?”
Theon, “I take castle! I prince! People think I’m cool! What about this aren’t you getting?”
Bran, “Obviously the core concept.”
Theon, “I’m so smart and clever, aren’t you impressed?”
Bran, “No. Is he like this all the time?”
Cleftjaw, “Don’t get me started.”
Theon, “I’m a Greyjoy. I can’t fight for Robb and my father both so I choose my dad, because I’m really bad at decision making. Where’s Hodor?”
Bran, “I don’t know. Again, I am half awake and paralyzed.”
Theon, “My men are bringing the people of Winterfell together in the courtyard.”
Bran, almost completely disinterested, “Why?”
Theon, “OMG. How many times do I have to explain this?”
Bran, “Like a thousand, because everything you’re saying is insane.”
Theon, “We’re all going to go into the courtyard and you’re going to yield Winterfell to me and tell everyone what a super awesome prince I am.”
Bran, “Yeah….none of that.”
Bran, “Fuck all of you.”
Theon, hilariously trying to look hard and badass as he sits on the bed, “The castle is mine, but the people are yours so you’ll yield to keep them safe because that’s what a good lord will do.” (Realization: The only person Theon can talk to with any level of competence is a ten year old.) “Because once you’ve yielded the people to me then everyone will see how awesome I am and I will never be lonely again.” (Realization: Theon is the Michael Scott of Game of Thrones.)
Bran, cutting to the heart of the matter, “Did you hate us the whole time?”
Theon, “No, I loved you but nobody ever loves me back!”
Bran, “Yes, because of reasons.”
Recap: Episode 5, Season 2
Previously: Compulsory amputations, Hot rats, Robb in the rain, The complete emotional destruction of Lancel Lannister, No Jon, FMK, Farts, Flaying, Crossbows, Hand cutting to prove financial liability, The return of Tywin Lannister, Grammar lessons from Stannis Baratheon, Newborn shadow/ghosts, etc.
It’s a dark and windy night and Renly’s army is preparing themselves for the vicious onslaught of Stannis’ fifteen dudes.
Catelyn, “So basically the plan is you marry Robb and then you two rule Westoros together. He’ll rule the North, you rule the South, like the Summer and Winter Courts in the Iron Fey novels. You’ll see each other at the beginning of spring to pass the Scepter of Seasons back and forth and everyone will live in peaceful prosperity under two just and handsome kings.”
Renly, “I could see Loras being into this.” Daintiest sip of cocktail. “Sounds like a deal. Robb just has to swear to me the same oath Ned swore to Robert. Ned and Robert’s marriage was the super glue that held this Kingdom together for many years and now that they’re dead, their hotter, younger counterparts are going to take their place. It’s ideal really.”
Catelyn, “Great. So what are next steps?”
Renly, “Well first I’ll take off my armor so it will be very believable that I could be killed by a human, then in the morning I’ll deal with Stannis.”
Renly, “I’ve got 100,000 well rested soldiers, morale is high, crushing my older brother should be a cake walk. Then I’ll go to Robb, he’ll see me coming across the moors on my horse with my banners around me and he’ll start to smile but then stop himself but then you know what fuck it, he’s happy and he’ll grin wildly. And then when I finally reach him he’ll say something like, “Took you long enough.” And I’ll say something like, “Got here as fast as I could.” And then we’ll hug in a beautiful mess of ginger curls. And then we’ll get married and it will be the biggest party anyone has ever seen in Westoros but we won’t have flowers because you know, there’s a war on. And then after an abbreviated but intense honeymoon we will descend on King’s Landing in a sea of copper, green, blue and silver and we will kill Joffrey and try Cersei for Robert’s murder and free Sansa and get down to the business of finding Arya and any bastards Robert might have had who are still alive and once all that’s done.”
Renly, “We will rule in harmony until someone from across the Narrow Sea tries to attack us with dragons.”
Recap: Episode 3, Season 2
Previously: Reshuffling of the cabinet, Infanticide (again), No Robb, Greyjoy weirdness, Unconsummated sex between siblings, Gendry being the best character in the history of ever, Discussions of how you shit when you die, Sam getting a crush, Theon getting denied, Just generally complicated sexual politics, etc.
Picking up right where we left off, Craster drags Jon into his house waking everyone up in the middle of the night and unceremoniously kicking the Night’s Watch from his incest compound.
Craster, “I am very upset with Jon right now! I thought we had something! There’s no way a feeling that intense was one-sided! I had all these fantasies! He was going to stay here and we were going to raise my daughter/wives together! But it turns out he’s a snooping good for nothing! l feel more betrayed than Rachael Leigh Cooke when she found out Freddie Prinze Jr. was just pretending to date her to win a bet!”
Jon, “Sexily spits blood out of his mouth.” How does being covered in open wounds make you more attractive Kit Harrington? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
(Operating under the assumption that the actor is both alive and the age of their character. (Disagreement welcome.))
Starks and Friends:
Ned - Sean Bean
Catelyn Tully- Susan Sarandon
(I would also accept Karen Allen)
Robb Stark - Richard Madden
Sansa Stark - Alexis Bledel
Arya Stark - Chloe Moretz
Bran Stark - Max Records
Rickon Stark - Nolan Gould
Jon Snow- Mr. Original Emo: Montgomery Clift
Rodrik Cassel - Brendan Gleeson
(I would also accept Wolf Blitzer from 1988.)
Master Luwin - Morgan Freeman
Lyanna Stark - Olivia Hussey
Brendan Tully - Kevin McKidd
Lysa Tully - Toni Collette
(I would also accept Bette Midler in First Wives Club.)