Game of Thrones – Review of Season 3 Episode 7: The Bear and the Maiden Fair


“Stupid little girl with stupid dreams who never learns” ~ Sansa

This week, we get a special treat: George R. R. Martin wrote this episode. If you’re expecting another Battle of Blackwater, you’re not going to find it. This is a slower episode to further the storyline and contains few exciting scenes.

Game of Thrones - Review of Season 3 Episode 7: The Bear and the Maiden Fair

JON

Jon and Yrgritte’s relationship grows stronger despite some setbacks and interference this episode. Jon’s learning quickly that there are no hard feelings amongst Wildlings. The man who cut them loose on the Wall threatens Jon that he will never hold onto Ygritte because he’s soft and she is not the kind of woman you find South of the Wall. He cares for Ygritte and tries to part them because he believes she should be with “one of her own”. Ygritte rebuffs him and admits she is in love with Jon. As they wind their way South, Jon warns her that her people won’t win because in the last thousand years they’ve attacked six times and failed. Jon is worried that if the Wildlings attack, Ygritte will die along with them. She reassures reminds him that they’re in this together until the bitter end and they re-pledge their love to each other.




KING’S LANDING 

“You’re my lady, you will always be…” ~ Tyrion

“I’m your whore, and when you’re tired of fucking me, I will be nothing” ~Shae 

Tyrion complains to Bronn about his situation: he’s about to marry a child and he doesn’t know what to do about Shae. Bronn’s sage advice is to ‘wed one, bed the other’. Later on, Tyrion presents Shae a gift of golden chains as a way of placating her for the pending marriage but Shae doesn’t want trinkets. She wants to escape with him but Tyrion refuses – there is no life for him outside of being a Lannister. He tells her to stay and he will provide a good life for her and protect her and she is enraged that she will be his kept whore.

Meanwhile, Sansa’s dream is crashing down and she finally realizes her folly. The romantic dream of being whisked away by her Prince to some beautiful castle to live like lady is snatched from her once again. Margery tries to get Sansa to make the best of a bad situation, to see that of all the Lannisters, Tyrion is kind to her and not like the rest of his family. Sansa – the representation in Martin’s novels of “Disney medieval” is slowly but surely coming the grim realization that life isn’t a fairy tale; there are no princes to rescue her, politics have casualties and people are not always what they seem.

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Joffrey summons Tywin and demands reports on the council, and asks why Tywin holds meetings in the Tower of the Hand. Tywin quickly and deftly deflects his grandson’s questions like a cat toying with a mouse. He makes Joffrey look like a child. Tywin’s mock deference and sarcastic retorts make this a fantastic scene. He knows how to handle Joffrey’s demands and impertinent behaviour better than Cersei. Joffrey respects and somewhat fears his grandfather. Tywin walks away with a priceless smirk on his face. He makes handling Joffrey look easy.

DANY

Dany comes to Yunkai to free the 200,000 slaves that are inside the city gates to further build her army. If the slavers refuse her request, the same fate that befell Astapor will befall them. They come to offer terms of peace present Dany casks of gold and ships so that she can sail away and leave them alone. In return, Dany offers different terms: she offers his life in exchange for every slave in Yunkai, and that every man woman and child to be able to take as much as they can carry for the years of their servitude. This is a bold move because Yunkai will retaliate – but Dany doesn’t care – she’s confident in her abilities and shows that she is a force to be reckoned with in every episode. She remains one of the best things on screen in this series.

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JAMIE & BRIENNE

Jamie comes to see Brienne and tells her he owes her a debt. She calls him up on keeping his word to Catelyn Stark and Jamie swears an oath to her that he will keep his promise. Their growing friendship is one of my favourite story lines this season and of the books. Jamie’s course toward redemption through Brienne is one of the best character journeys of the series. Unfortunately, Jamie’s previous lie to save Brienne has backfired – the offer her father makes for her safe return isn’t sufficient because Lock believes that the Tarth family has a hoard of sapphires. Realizing they will rape and kill Brienne, Jamie returns to Harrenhal to save her and he arrives in the nick of time – he finds Brienne fighting a bear in a pit! Injured and swordless, he jumps in and saves her.

LOOSE ENDS….

There will was no resolution with the other stories this episode, just more information to move plot lines forward.

Arya is angry that Beric Dondarrion gave Gendry away for gold and Arya flees in anger and is captured by Sandor Clegane – the Hound.

Theon, in some bizarre torture porn scene is taken off the rack and seduced by two whores. He’s then interrupted and tortured some more. It’s pretty much wash, rinse, repeat with him every episode and it’s getting tiresome.

Osha is worried about Jojen filling Bran’s head with stories. We learn about her sad past; how she lost her lover when he came back undead as one of the Others.

Gendry is back at King’s Landing and Melisandre tells him his father was King Robert and that’s why the gold cloaks wanted him.

Lastly, Catelyn is still bitter over Rob’s marriage as Lord Walder Frey isn’t getting the King he wanted, he’s getting a second prize. Rob finds out Jayne is pregnant and he’s overjoyed.

Tune in next Sunday on HBO at 9pm ET for another exciting episode of Game of Thrones