Game of Thrones: The Climb

The sixth Game of Thrones episode of Season 3 was called “The Climb”, which is also the title of the Miley Cyrus song. And that’s about all the non-wisdom I have on hand for this intro, so let’s just skip it shall we?

He’s still in deep, deep trouble. His crazy captor gives him a chance to guess where he is and why he’s being tortured. And if he guesses correctly he’ll get to keep all the skin on his pinkie finger. YAY! Least fun game ever. Theon begs for freedom, but his captor scoffs at that. “If you think this has a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention.” Theon desperately throws out some random guesses and when he yells that they’re in the Karhold his captor acts pissed that he got it right. And then … he laughs maniacally, says he’s a crazy liar and none of that is true and then slowly peels all of the flesh off Theon’s finger. Ugh, gross. This whole plotline is definitely one of the low points of this series. It’s repetitive, it’s slow, it’s gross and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

King Robb is in suck-up mode, ready to sell his soul – or his uncle – to the Freys for their support. Yes, although Robb reneged on his marriage promise, Walder Frey is still determined to find a highborn husband for one of his daughters. His representatives attend a sit-down at Riverrun where they agree to pledge Frey support for Robb’s army – in exchange for a formal apology and Edmure Tully. He’ll have to marry one of the Frey girls and he won’t get to choose which one.

Edmure is initially flabbergasted. He huffs and puffs and whines. He at least wants to choose the prettiest Frey maid! But he’s reminded of his recent battle screw-ups and reluctantly changes his position. Even though he’s a bit of a windbag, I feel sorry for Edmure. Why should he have to settle for an arranged marriage when Robb got to marry his dream hottie?

The Brotherhood Without Banners gets a very strange visitor when Melisandre saunters across their hiding spot. Wow the Lord of Light must be fantastic with directions – she JUST left Dragonstone. And every other character has spent 2 seasons trying to get somewhere and still not arrived! Arya immediately expresses dislike for Melisandre, because she is a smart child and can recognize evil. Gendry and the Brotherhood immediately express interest in her, because they are men and can recognize boobs. Even when said boobs are hidden under layers of fabric … they know they’re in there!

Melisandre is astonished when she meets Beric Dondarrion and realizes he’s been brought back from the dead six times. But she also kind of seems pissed off that she wasn’t the one working such creepy magic. We learned a little more about Thoros’ backstory: a priest who was sent to Westeros to convert Robert, but ended up drinking and whoring it up instead. His recent brush with miracles hasn’t quelled his thirst for booze, but it has made him recommit to the Lord of Light.

The real reason behind Melisandre’s visit is revealed when Gendry is hauled off as a captive. The Brotherhood traded him for pretty, pretty gold. Presumably Melisandre wants his blood because he’s Robert’s bastard son. Gendry still doesn’t know that and he’s understandably really pissed that his new ‘family’ tossed him aside so easily. Most little girls – heck, most full-grown adults – would be terrified by someone as creepy as Melisandre, but Arya gets right in her face and tells her off. It doesn’t do Gendry any good, but Melisandre does see ‘darkness’ in Arya’s future and promises they will meet again. She’s like one of those annoying fortune tellers who keeps predicting vague events – ‘terrible things are coming’. Shut up.

Roose Bolton is still treating Jaime and Brienne with dignity, inviting his captives to join him for a fancy supper with forks and knives! He insists on dolling Brienne up for the occasion and there apparently aren’t a lot of ladies’ fashion options at Harrenhal. She’s wearing a hideous pink gown with white trim, which looks like an oversized version of a 10-year-old’s party dress.

After some discussion, Bolton agrees to send Jaime back to King’s Landing instead of Riverrun. Even though he’s loyal to the North, he knows nobody will pay more for Jaime than Tywin. And wars cost money. But he does insist that Jaime make it clear that Bolton had nothing to do with his maiming. No doubt he’s terrified of Tywin’s wrath. Unfortunately, Brienne isn’t getting the same break. She’s still guilty of treason for releasing Jaime and she’ll be staying in Bolton’s custody. Jaime tries to insist that she accompany him but Roose points out he should have learned his lesson about overplaying his HAND. He he. I have to point out again how much I LOVE Jaime and Brienne’s evolving relationship. He’s being chivalrous! My favourite moment of the scene was when Jaime was struggling to cut his meat because it kept shifting around his plate. Brienne just rolled her eyes and stabbed it aggressively with her fork to hold it in place.

The Wall
The Wildings are preparing to scale the wall and Jon Snow is struggling with his fears – not just of the dizzying heights, but of what will happen when they reach the other side. Ygritte confronts him with the truth of his real allegiance. She knows that he’s been lying to Mance Rayder and he’s still a crow at heart. She’s not squealing, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to just let him betray the Wildings. Instead she plays the guilt/lust card and reminds him that they’ve just consummated their relationship – binding them together. “I’m your woman now Jon Snow. And you’re going to be loyal to your woman.” And hey if he does screw her over, she can always just cut off his balls. GULP.

On the way up the wall Ygritte causes a mini ice avalanche, which makes the group nearly fall to their deaths. Gareth cuts Jon’s rope free in the process but he manages to hold on and save Ygritte from slipping as well. When the climb is finally complete, the view is fantastic and the northern lovebirds can’t resist making out on top of the world.

King’s Landing
Tywin and Lady Olenna have a very, very passive aggressive ‘discussion’ about whether Loras should marry Cersei, which basically went like this:

Lady Olenna: ‘Your daughter is an old hag.’
Tywin: ‘Your grandson is a perverted poof.’
Lady Olenna: ‘Better than being a perverted brother f*cker.’

But in the end Tywin pulled out a trump card when he threatened to recruit Loras to the Kingsguard and kill any chance of future Tyrell children. Lady Olenna reluctantly consented to the union.

I stand by my statement from my episode 5 review – Lady Olenna should be in EVERY conversation. She called her own grandson a sword swallower and prodded Tywin about whether he ever ‘had a go’ at one of his male buddies growing up. I love this woman.

While their elders are plotting their futures, Cersei and Tyrion are commiserating over their miserable fates. Cersei is fantasizing that Jamie will return and chop Loras’ balls off. Tyrion is dreading the moment when he has to tell Sansa they’re getting hitched. Tyrion brings up the little incident at the Battle of Blackwater where he was nearly killed by a Kingsguard and Cersei clams up. He realizes that it wasn’t his sister who put a hit on him, but his king nephew. We all know how much Joffrey hates people who talk back to him. Thankfully he’s too frightened of his grandfather to try anything while Tywin is in town, so Tyrion can breathe easy … for now.

Sansa has a HI-larious conversation with Loras about their upcoming nuptials in which he moons over a fabulous party, fancy food, dancing … and throws in the bride as an afterthought. At least he’s put a lot of thought into the gown she’ll be wearing. Sansa looks like she can’t believe her luck. A sweet young suitor who cares about fashion?! Score. Oh Sansa … you stupid girl.

When Tyrion comes knocking later, Sansa is still swooning over Loras and annoying Shae with her romantic babble. Tyrion subtly tries to get Shae to take a hike. He doesn’t want to horrify one girl with a marriage offer in front of the other girl he’s sleeping with. But Shae stays put and Tyrion turns to close the door behind him muttering, “This is going to be awkward.” The next time we see Sansa she’s outside sobbing as she watches Littlefinger’s ship sail away without her. Dammit, I really, really, really wanted to see the actual moment when Tyrion broke the news to Sansa. Ugh!

But the most disturbing development in King’s Landing wasn’t Sansa’s betrothal, but King Joffrey’s violent escalation. Littlefinger approached Varys, confronted him about his scheme to give Sansa to the Tyrells, and gloated over his victory in thwarting the plot. He dropped the bomb that he knows Ros betrayed him and horrified Varys with the news that he sent her to a client who ‘wanted to try something new’. We cut to Joffrey’s bedroom where poor Rosalind is strung up dead, a crossbow lodged in her abdomen. WOW. Joffrey is one sick little lion cub. And yes, we already knew that, but the fact that he was calculating enough to pay someone to bring him a whore he could murder for kicks just blew my mind.

Odds and Ends
-Meera and Osha are battling over who kills and skins things the best. Bran thinks they’re both equally badass and forces them to play nice.
-Sam fails at building fires and at singing … but at least Gilly is still enjoying his company.

Photo Courtesy of HBO

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