Game of Thrones: Season 3 Episode 6
You know things are bad when Samwell Tarly is having the best week in Westeros. Ser Piggy gets to show Gilly his big obsidian knife (not a euphemism), Gilly teaches him how to stoke a fire (also not a euphemism), and we get to hear another one of those Westerosi hymns that only book fans actually listen to (clearly not a euphemism, that makes no sense, get your head out of the gutter). This is the happiest anyone will be in the next hour.
The “tough women, soft men” trend North of the Wall continues with the growing relationship between Jon Snow and Ygritte, who apparently runs around assaulting and stealing from men who fail to engage in cunnilingus. Kudos go to Rose Leslie for this whole season so far, as she manages to balance the playfulness of her character with the sadness of knowing that Jon didn’t willingly choose to be her lover. She’s fun and empowered, but at her core she’s still just a girl who likes a boy more than he likes her back. I would say this is just like my high school experience, but no one saved my life and then made out with me on top of a 700-foot magical ice marvel when I was sixteen, so I guess she’s better off in that sense at least.
Our other large and in charge redhead, Melisandre, crashes the Brotherhood Without Banners campsite to buy Gendry (who, in case this was confusing, has King Robert’s / “King” Stannis’s Baratheon blood, which she needs in order to do king-killing magic). This is presumably Gendry’s punishment for growing that terrible goatee. We also get the pleasure of seeing Melisandre totally weirded out for once, as she freaks out over Beric’s undead-ness and Arya’s apparent future as an assassin (this had better be an accurate vision). Speaking of Arya, dang, she must be getting tired of adults being so F*CKING DISAPPOINTING. Cool it with the cold-eyed pragmatism, grown-ups!
Of course, it could be worse (this will always be my transition to Theon paragraphs). While Arya just deals with questionable moral relativism, poor Theon continues to be tortured by the evil mystery hobbit, who now has a kazoo (known to be the most horrific of torture instruments). We learn basically nothing in this scene, unless you count the “revelation” that Evil Mystery Hobbit is evil and mysterious. And a hobbit.
Meanwhile, Robb Stark has a surprisingly easy negotiation with a couple of Walder Frey’s sons. I’m not sure who’s happier to force Edmure the Lame into a dull marriage: the Freys, or the Starks and Tullys who are tired of his posturing. You just know the Blackfish is hoping Edmure gets the ugliest daughter in the bunch.
Not too far away, another one-sided negotiation unfolds, as Lord Bolton makes a stone-cold “overplaying your hand” joke at Jaime’s expense and informs him that he will be sent to King’s Landing, not back to Robb, if he promises to tell Tywin that the whole maiming thing was totally not Bolton’s fault. Lord Bolton was Robb’s last major ally, so this little betrayal doesn’t bode well for the King in the North. Nor, for that matter, does it look good for Brienne, who isn’t a Lannister and therefore is apparently screwed. THIS WEEK IS SUCH A BUMMER.
Jaime may not want to rush to King’s Landing, because ugh, everyone there is unhappy too. They’re all having extremely well-written, interesting conversations with each other, but they’re not having fun while doing so. Normally when four people are getting married (in two pairs, I mean, it’s not as weird as it sounds), at least one of them is happy, but the impending Cersei-Loras and Sansa-Tyrion unions rate at about 0% satisfaction. In fact, with Lady Olenna and Shae upset as well, it’s more like -30%. There’s only one person in King’s Landing who seems happy at all, and that’s Littlefinger, who has put on his fanciest dress (with a little Arryn blue) to gloat in metaphor-heavy monologue about thwarting Varys’s spying by having Roz tortured to death (and possibly driving Sansa back into his arms/boat, if I’m reading that right). He had already threatened Roz with a similar story in season 1, so we can’t call it shocking, but it was chilling to see him go through with it. So, after several failed attempts, Joffrey finally managed to kill someone, although he had to tie her up and shoot her at point-blank range to manage it. Roz, my lady, you deserved better.
Death to the King.