Synopsis: A couple of Lannister soldiers are on watch, revealing that rumors of Renly and Loras’ bone down has made it to their ranks. They also show that farts are still funny to soldiers. Not funny – getting eating by Grey Wind, who is the first soldier to attack. In the morning, entrails abound as another battle takes place off screen. We get introduced to Roose Bolton as he and Robb survey their damage. In the field, Talisa tends to the wounded and she and Robb have their own meetcute while cutting off a man’s foot (to save his life). Joffrey, evil pig that he is, shames Sansa in court for Robb’s successes and has Meryn beat and disrobe her before Tyrion comes in and saves the day. Tyrion offers a kind word to Sansa as he escorts her back to her chambers but she continues to pledge her allegiance to Joffrey. Bronn and Tyrion think Joffrey’s ire might be because he needs to get laid. In his chambers, Joffrey finds whores Ros and Daisy, ready to please him, but they find that pleasing him means beating each other under threat of harm from the King.
Baelish shows up at Renly’s camp offering to help him in his quest against the King. Brienne is distrusting. Petyr visits Margaery in an attempt to get her to admit she’s Renly’s beard, but Margie knows which side of her bread gets buttered. Later, Baelish and Catelyn have an angry reunion where she blames him for his part in Ned’s death. Baelish suggests they could trade Jaime for the girls and offers Ned’s remains as a sign of good will. Catelyn throws Petyr out anyway. One of Dany’s riders returns and notes that he found Qarth, a beautiful city not too far away, where they are open to the Khaleesi’s presence. Jorah warns her that the arid waste beyond Qarth’s walls is referred to as the Garden of Bones. Arya, Gendry and the others are taken to Harrenhal where they are prisoners of Tywin Lannister. Other prisoners are tortured for information on the brotherhood. At night, Arya begins reciting a list of those she plans to kill. Cersei and Joffrey are right at the top.
Stannis, Davos, Melissandre and their squad meet with Renly, Loras, Catelyn and their crew. Gang signs are thrown, and the brothers have no love lost between them. At Qarth, Daenerys meets with the Spice King, and he introduces her to The Thirteen, who rule Qarth (the greatest city that ever was or will be), after some in-fighting, at the urging of the only other black man in all the land, they reluctantly welcome Dany and the remaining Dothraki inside the city walls. Tywin returns home and as he sees Arya he realizes she’s a girl because he took one look at her. He chooses her for his new cup bearer. Speaking of cup bearers, Lancel summons Tyrion to his sister, but Tyrion reveals he knows Lancel’s laying the pipe to his sister, and threatens to tell Joffrey. Or Lancel will now share everything he knows with Tyrion. Tyrion agrees to release Pycelle so long as he’s not on the council. On Stannis’ boat, he asks Davos to sneak Melissandre onto the land. As they make it to a cave, she flirts with him, and then disrobes, revealing her supremely pregnant belly (which was tight and baby-free two episodes ago). Melissandre drops to the ground, lets out a few Lamaze grunts and gives birth to man-sized shadow demon that crawls right out of her hooch.
Comments: The show has a surprising number of recasts and gets a pass for not having it throw things off. Now, we have a new guy playing the mountain who is as gigantic as his namesake but lacks the yoked nature of his predecessor. Once again, Tyrion being the smartest person in every room is fun and entertaining and keeps the show from wallowing in the drama of war too much. That WTF ending salvages a pretty ordinary hour (at least what passes for ordinary on this show) and reminds us of exactly how far into fantasy this show is willing to go. Tywin and Arya’s meeting is not the next Lannister/Stark meetup anyone expected, but is certainly an exciting premise. Even without appearing, Cersei’s presence is felt throughout.
Memorable Moments: That ending for sure, but also the lighter moments-Tywin meeting Arya, Tyrion with Lancel. With barely any screen time, Margaery has certainly made her presence felt.
Joffrey: The king can do as he likes.
Tyrion: The mad king did as he liked. Has your uncle Jaime ever told you what happened to him?
Meryn: No one threatens his grace in the presence of the kingsguard.
Tyrion: I’m not threatening the king, Ser, I’m educating my nephew. Bronn, the next time Ser Meryn speaks, kill him. That was a threat. See the difference?
Bronn: There’s no cure for being a cunt.
Arya: Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, The Hound… Polliver, the Mountain.
Catelyn: Listen to yourselves. If you were sons of mine, I would knock your heads together and lock you in a bedchamber until you remembered that you were brothers.
Foreshadowing: Arya’s list debuts with the names of those she’s going to kill. Tyrion’s affection for Sansa continues, despite her resistance to his support.
Title: Spoken by Jorah in reference to Qarth.
Deaths: Grey Wind takes out a couple of Lannister’s men at the beginning. Perhaps Daisy, as she has not been seen or heard from since.