Even a show that spends most of its time setting up future episodes offers the viewer a lot to enjoy!
1) The episode ends with the demise of Lady Lysa – and a perfectly horrible way to go: after years of tossing many a victim down her moon door, she is pushed into it by Littlefinger, but only after he delivers an even more wicked blow.
“My sweet wife. My silly wife, I have only loved one woman, only one my entire life … Your sister.”
It did not come as a total shock to me that Petyr Baelish would murder his new wife, considering that she is crazy and he had little use for her now. Moreover, he has a much bigger stake in protecting Sansa, in whom he has a professional and (growing) personal interest in. Does he see Sansa as Catelyn 2.0, or is she just someone he needs to make use of in furthering his schemes?
2) Meanwhile, how does Sansa responds to all this? She now shares two important secrets with Baelish – she knows he was the mastermind behind Joffrey’s assassination and she was right beside him when he killed Lysa. Her fate is becoming more and more linked to Petyr, but she will have to decide if she can work with a man so dangerous and evil.
3) The second big event for this episode is that Tyrion has found his champion – Oberyn Martell. Once it was revealed that it was The Mountain who was going to fight for Cersei, it was not much of a surprise to have Oberyn step forward and take up the challenge. It is his opportunity to have revenge against the man who raped and murdered his sister, as well as payback for the Lannisters. His talk with Tyrion, telling him about the story of the ‘monster baby’ struck me as deeply emotional, adding more layers onto the relationship between Tyrion and his family.
4) Tyrion has three great conversations this episode – besides Oberyn he speaks with Jaime and Bronn. In last week’s review I mentioned that I could see foresee one or both men involved in the judicial duel. Now, it seems neither of them will be involved in the fight – Jaime just doesn’t have the ability yet in his left arm to put up a challenge, and Bronn has been paid off enough money by Cersei and faces too much of a challenge from The Mountain that he won’t fight for Tyrion. For a relationship that started off as one man hiring another to do his dirty jobs, the goodbye between Tyrion and Bronn was truly heartfelt and touching.
5) We get a few minutes of Arya and The Hound on the screen, which I think for many of the viewers is the best part of the series. While I did find it odd that two men could just sneak up on The Hound and almost kill him, it did set up a great scene in which Arya again shows how coolly she can stab a man. It is hard to tell that one of them is the captive and the other the captor, as two have been together for so long that they now share intimate details of their lives.
6) Speaking of The Hound, a month ago Rory McCann was interviewed where he talks about his character and many of his references seem to relate to the scenes from this episode. You can watch it here:
7) Among the other characters featured in this episode, we get to see Daenerys managing her relationships – with Daario and Jorah. She sees the former as more of a booty call, while with Jorah she has more deep felt feelings (just not the kind that Jorah is hoping for).
8) The scenes for Jon Snow and Brienne are good enough – they offer a little character development and move the plot along if ever so slightly.
9) The trailer for next week’s episode is up, and it looks as if the battle between Oberyn and The Mountain will be heavily featured:
10) Andrea Cefalo has come up with an interesting video where she looks at events in the 13th-century Holy Roman Empire and how it compares to Game of Thrones. It might even offer a clue on who will ultimately win the Iron Throne. Click here to visit Andrea’s website to see her video.