Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 203, What is Dead May Never Die

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Episode three of Game of Thrones continued to give us more scheming and plotting for the Iron Throne. The first two episodes were a bit light on the action as they focused on setting up plot lines and introducing new characters. This week however, those characters were put into motion.

We started off by picking up what happened to Jon Snow beyond the wall. After getting clocked by Craster for following him in the woods Jon is thrown to his commander’s feet by Craster. Craster is angry, wants the Night’s Watch out of his house. Commander Mormont scolds Jon, who tries to protest by telling Mormont about Craster and the babies he’s giving to monsters. Mormont’s reaction lets Jon know that he knew about Craster and the babies all along.

For Jon, this is truly his first glimpse of how brutal life beyond the wall is.

A major plot line of this episode deals with Renly Baratheon and his claim to the throne. He is watching a tournament as two knights beat each other to a pulp. When the fight ends we learn that the defeated knight is Ser Loras, Renly’s lover, and the victorious one is actually a woman, Brienne, who Renly names to serve on his Kingsguard. Lady Caetlyn is there at her son Robb’s request to try and forge an alliance with Renly. We are introduced to Robb’s new wife, Margaery Tyrell, who is Ser Loras’ sister.

As the two talk Renly seems quite pleased with himself boasting about his 100,000 men he has assembled. Caetlyn looks around her and tells him the stark truth, that this isn’t a game and that these are ‘the knights of summer and winter is coming’. Renly doesn’t seem too concerned with this.

Later, Renly is in his tent getting hot and bothered with Ser Loras who stops his advances and reminds him that he is married now and he has to keep up appearances, not let his men know about their affair. Renly pouts as Loras leaves. Margaery then enters his tent, disrobes and tries to get it on with Renly. Renly has issues performing, blaming the wine, only to have Margaery offer to ‘let her brother help’. This stuns Renly, she knows about his affair with her brother. She continues to tell him that to strengthen the alliance with her house he needs to have a son with her.

This sets up a love triangle that only Game of Thrones can throw at you.

On the Pyke, Theon Greyjoy is still bristling about the lack of excitement his family has shown for his return. His father, Balon, announces that instead of helping the Starks he is going to attack the North while Robb is in the South. He gives command of 30 ships to Theon’s sister, Asha, and gives Theon one and tells him to attack the Northern fishermen. Asha rubs it in by warning him to ‘watch out for their nets’. Theon snaps and scolds his father for giving him up to the Starks when he was a boy. Balon listens but seems unmoved by Theon’s speech.

Later Theon is finishing up a letter to Robb, telling him of his father’s plans. After staring at it he burns the letter with a candle. Has he turned on Robb? Knowing Theon the way we do, this is not surprising. Later he takes place in a ceremony on the shore where he is ‘baptized’ by a priest and chants ‘What is dead may never die’.

Clearly Theon is trapped between loyalty to the Starks and trying to win the approval of his father. As one of the more whiny characters in Westeros there is no doubt that this will turn out poorly.

In King’s Landing Tyrion finds a way to hide his girlfriend Shae from his sister and father. He assigns her to be Sansa Stark’s chamber maid. Sansa, who is still walking around like a zombie, is perplexed by this and doesn’t know how to react. Sansa has been on the verge of tears in every scene this season as her fantasy of being a lady of the court have not turned out the way she hoped.

Tyrion then attempts to find out which ones of the council members are trustworthy. He tells Varys, Littlefinger and Maester Pycelle each a different plan to wed the Queen’s daughter. He warns each that the Queen can’t know of his plan. Later when the Queen angrily confronts him about marrying her daughter to the Dorns he knows that it was Pycelle who betrayed him. He responds by having him thrown into a dungeon.

Tyrion is playing the game perfectly and knows how to protect himself. He seems to have a friend in Varys, although nobody can really trust Varys. While sitting together Varys seems to be intrigued by Tyrion’s actions and tells him that despite his size he has power. He tells him that ‘power resides where men believe it resides’.

It seems that Tyrion is stuck with Varys as an ally.

The episode climaxes with Arya, unable to sleep, sharpening her sword and talking to Yoren about how she can’t sleep with all she has seen. He recites a story about his youth, when his brother was killed by a man named Willem. He had obsessed about his brother’s killer, even reciting his name each night before he went to sleep. Arya seemed to like that, but before she could respond horns are heard blowing outside of the stronghold they were sleeping in. Yoren wakes everyone up as he knows it’s the King’s men, still looking for Gendry.

Chaos ensues as Yoren fights and kills several soldiers before he finally falls. Arya tries to escape but is captured and has her sword taken away by one of the King’s men. One of Arya’s companions, a young boy, Lommy, is injured and crying out for help as they are all rounded up. The head soldier feigns to help him up only to kill him brutally. This stuns everyone as they are then told they are being taken to Harrenhal and that they are looking for Gendry. Arya claims that Yoren was Gendry and that they had already found him.

The show ends with the lot being taken off. It seems like Arya may never find her way back home.

In Memorium:

The biggest loss this week was poor Yoren. He had protected Arya when her father was killed and was looking out for her as she tried to get back home. He went out with a fight though, after getting shot with a crossbow he claimed ‘I never liked crossbows, take too long to reload’ as he attacked the archer and killed him before he could reload.

We also lost young Lommy, who’s death may end up help Gendry escape harm. One disturbing theme through three episodes is how many young kids have been killed. So far, two babies and young Lommy have met their maker. Life expectancy in Westeros has to be pretty low.

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