Synopsis: Jon Snow and the wildlings continue beyond the wall towards Castle Black. Orell chides Jon for sulking because they were cut loose. He points out Ygritte isn’t whining about it. He tells Snow he’s never going to hold on to Ygritte. Later with Ygritte, Orell tells her he doubts Jon’s loyalty and says she should be with one of her own, like him. He admits he’s got a torch for her, but he knows she prefers Snow because he’s pretty, but that she won’t like him when she learns who he really is. Robb and the Tully’s march towards Walder Frey’s for Edmure’s wedding. They are delayed by rain and Catelyn is worried Frey will be even more upset. Later, Robb and Talisa bask in post-coital bliss when she tells him that he’s already pumped a baby inside of her. He’s thrilled. Sansa cries to Margaery about having to marry Tyrion, but Margaery tries to get her to see the bright side, he’s far from the worst Lannister. Tyrion isn’t thrilled either, as he shares with Bronn. Bronn tells him just to keep Shae and wed Sansa and leave it be. Bronn thinks he wants Sansa and doesn’t want to admit it. Tywin approaches the throne where Joffrey has summoned him. Joffrey wants to know about the small council meetings and wonders why Tywin has been holding the meetings farther away in the Tower of the Hand and not nearby. He also wants to know if it’s true about Dany and her dragons. Tywin answers his grandson dryly, but agrees to make sure Joffrey always feels consulted.
Dany and her squad approach the city of Yunkai. There are two-hundred thousand slaves in Yunkai and Dany wants to free them to join her cause, but Jorah doesn’t think that’s wise. She summons one of the leaders of Yunkai. He offers her gold and ships if she agrees to leave Yunkai alone. Dany counters by asking him to free their slaves or she will not show mercy. Tyrion and Shae argue about his pending nuptials. She’s not super stoked on the idea. She wants them to leave but he is bound by duty, despite his feelings for her. Melisandre and Gendry sail to King’s Landing through the wreckage of Stannis’ ships. The Red Woman questions Gendry’s history. She says she was a slave until she was rescued by the Lord of Light. She tells Gendry his father was Robert Baratheon. Arya isn’t enjoying her days with the Brotherhood without Banners. She calls Beric traitors. When he talks about the Lord of Light, she says her god is death. When they delay taking her to Robb’s camp, she takes off running but is intercepted by the Hound. Jaime visits Brienne, and asks if he knows what the plan is. He says he is returning to King’s Landing. Brienne begs him to keep his word and he agrees to send the Stark girls to their mother. Jaime saddles up with Qyburn and others and says later to Roose. Locke taunts him on the way out of Harrenhal.
Theon is freed from his chains and is rubbed down by two sweet, young lasses. As they try to get him aroused, dry humping him like eighth graders, Totally not Ramsay comes in to put an end to the fun. As his men hold him down, TNR approaches with a blade promising to turn Theon into a Varys with one swift cut. Ygritte and Jon flirt and fight as they argue about Mance’s interest in taking Winterfell for the wildlings. Osha is upset that Bran is being taken in by Jojen and Meera, and she wants them to leave him alone until they meet Snow at Castle Black, but Jojen says they are not going to Castle Black. They are going north of the wall. Osha tells them about her former lover being turned into a White Walker and that she had to kill him. North of the wall is not where men are supposed but Bran thinks the gods have other plans for him. Qyburn tells Jaime that he experimented on living men and that’s why he was stripped of his title. Qyburn asks Jaime how many men he’s saved, and Jaime snaps back half a million, the population of King’s Landing. Qyburn tells Jaime that Bolton turned down the offer from Brienne’s father because Jaime made them think he was super rich. Jaime wants to return to Harrenhal. As they arrive, Brienne is in a pit fighting off a lie bear to the amusement of Bolton’s men as they sing along. Brienne holds off the bear with a wooden sword, but he gets the better of her and knocks her down. Jaime jumps in the pit to save her. They are both pulled out of the pit where Jaime informs Locke that Brienne will be returning with him.
Comments: A nice if slow-moving episode penned once again by George R. R. Martin. No real movement forward, with a lot reflection from north of the wall to King’s Landing. Jaime saving Brienne after she’s saved him was a nice touch. Dany’s story feels like it’s moving in similar trajectory to her victory in Astapor. She is definitely carrying herself a little differently, more assuredly, almost cocky. It’s only been a couple episodes but the size of her dragons suggests a longer time in between. The promised siege from Mance and his people gains momentum, in direct opposition to the deepening of Jon and Ygritte’s romance. There’s no easy way out for them, but this was never a show about happy endings. Walder Frey’s ire looms large as people continue to talk about him in preparation for Edmure to wed one of his daughters. While the Hound nabbing Arya lays the groundwork for one of the show’s better pairings, they don’t really get a quick hit here. It’s an episode filled with good conversations and one interesting scene with a bear, but doesn’t really pack the same impact as some of the more thrilling hours.
Tywin: You are being counseled at this very moment.
Ygritte: You’re mine as I am yours. If we die, we die. But first, we’ll live.
Dany: And what happens to things that don’t bend?
Foreshadowing: Robb promises to go to Valantis once the war is over. Sad trombone sound. Arya worshipping death might be more than just a flip answer.
Title: Sung by Locke and his men while Brienne literally fights off a bear, it’s a song about a woman rescued by a bear when she was hoping for a knight. Methinks the bear might also suggest Jaime, who was certainly not the knight Brienne wanted to come to her rescue.
Deaths: The first episode since the third of season one where there’s not a single death on or off screen.