On Game of Thrones Season 1, Ned Stark lost his head.
On Game of Thrones Season 2, we experienced the Battle at Blackwater.
So what will the Game of Thrones Season 3 penultimate episode hold? Viewers have an extra week to consider, as the HBO epic takes Memorial Day weekend off before returning with "The Rains of Castamere" on June 2.
Look for Robb to present himself to Walder Frey on the episode, while Jon faces a daunting test, Bran discovers a new gift and Daario and Jorah wonder how to take Yunkai.
Read through our review of "Second Sons" now and then watch the official network teaser:
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Everyone loves a wedding right? Well it wasn't exactly Kate and William, but Sansa and Tyrion's big day took center stage this week on "Second Sons." Sansa dutiful as ever put on a good face, but having Joffrey be the one to walk her down the aisle just added insult to emotional injury. Poor girl, not only were none of her family there, there wasn't even the slightest hint of a wedding march. Unfortunately for Tyrion, most of his house was there, including his father who tried to put a stop to his son's fun to insure his offspring didn't drink away his ability to consummate the marriage.
Both he and Sansa are unwilling pawns, who were thrown together in a fight for position in the great game of power. Tyrion certainly had no delusions about his role at this point, but still showed his big heart when he tried to lessen Sansa's dread before the ceremony.
Tyrion: You won't be a prisoner after today, you'll be my wife. | permalink
He of course immediately acknowledged how that wasn't necessarily an improvement. The self proclaimed god of tits and wine, drinks so much because he can't stand the world around him or his role in it. There wasn't enough wine in the Seven Kingdoms that could help him get over how unfair a situation this was for both of them, not to mention just how young Sansa is. So in the end he passed out and showed what a stand up guy he is. He may have also restored Shae's faith in him who had a look of delight on her face when she saw the bedsheets were unmarred. I loved how she came barging into the bed chamber with no regard for how loud she was being, no doubt trying to stir her lover's looming hangover out of spite.
Back in the forest, Arya had a chance to make sure The Hound never saw the dawn of another day, but the threat of two broken hands if she failed to deliver a death blow, proved a bit too daunting. Lucky it did, because she soon learned Sandor might not just be as bad a man as she had thought. She was shocked to learn of his plans to return her to her family. Sure he wants a reward for doing so, but as he is no longer Joffrey's attack dog, he showed not every ounce of decency has been beaten out of him just yet. He did indeed save one Stark daughter and is now trying to deliver a second to salvation.
After being taken captive himself, Gentry was just waiting for the other shoe to fall as Melisandre rolled out the Red Witch carpet for him upon returning to Dragonstone. I had thought the whole point to her buying the bastard son of Robert was to impregnate herself with a royal heir, because Stannis had not been up to the task. Instead she seemed more fixed on making him a sacrifice, perhaps some kind of black magic Viagra to help Stannis get his sword up. Thanks to Davos's council, I think Stannis convinced Melisandre to use the leaches in lieu of the blade. The bloodletting would allow Stannis to show his old friend what Melisandre had showed him, while also sparing the young man who was of his own blood.
Stannis got real deep while visiting Davos in his cell. While I admire Stannis's faith in his one true god, anyone who has ever been to a Phish show can tell you, that seeing visions in flames is not proof of anything real. Then he went on about how we don't choose our destiny and all. Where he may have gotten a little ahead of himself, was when he rhetorically asked what one bastard boy's life is worth when matched against the fate of an entire kingdom. Jon Snow may have had something to say about that, and very well might still.
There seemed to be a number of possible little hints about other story lines this week, like the one just mentioned. Was it just a coincidence that the story Davos was trying to sound out and read was that of Dany's ancestor and his dragon? I don't think so, nor do I think it was chance that the sentence he read described how even the smallest of dragons can eventually swallow a horse whole. Dany we know, can read and speaks several languages. Missandei funnily enough did point out how her Dothraki accent needed some work, but she also praised Dany's fluency in High Valyrian. I couldn't help but think of Talisa's fondness for corresponding in the same language.
Daario Naharis certainly spoke to Dany unlike any man has, since the passing Khal. She seemed taken with him from their first encounter. Ignoring the crude comments and advances of Mero, she seemed very interested in how Daario had risen in rank so fast at such a young age, not unlike her own ascent to power. There most certainly was some chemistry there, even if Dany didn't leave much left to be uncovered. I cannot wait to see how it plays out.
I just new that obsidian dagger Samwell found was going to be important. It remains to be seen if it was forged in the fires of a dragon or Hell itself, but it most certainly was effective against the white walker. But then the daft fool goes and leaves it on the ground as he and Gilly made a run for it. That fumble was most deserving of an ESPN "C'mon Man!"
No sign of Jamie, Jon, Bran or Robb this week, but there was little room in the hour for their story lines, especially when you had Tyrion and his sister just owning every scene they were in.
Cersei: If you ever call me sister again ill have you strangled in your sleep. | permalink
However, Lady Olenna trying to make sense of all the changes to their collective family trees at the wedding reception, was possibly the funniest moment of the episode.
Joffrey cannot die soon enough and his performance tonight just added fuel to my fiery hatred for the little king. Taking the step ladder away from Tyrion was cold blooded and threatening Sansa just plain eee-vil.
Only two episodes left, I can't believe it. What arc are you most intrigued by at this point and who do you think we will see meet their demise before the end of season?
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By airing "Second Sons" next Sunday night - and inviting viewers to a wedding!
Yes, the official HBO synopsis teases that King's Landing will host a ceremony (for Tyrion and Sansa, we presume), while Davos will require some proof from Melisandre; Sam and Gilly will come across and older man; and Daenerys will run into Titan's Bastard in her attempt to acquire 200,000 new slaves.
Watch the network trailer now:
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Winter is coming to the realm, but there were already plenty of cold feet this week on "The Bear and the Maiden Fair." Tyrion tried to elicit some empathy from Bronn, but he nor many other men I imagine, would really sit brooding over having to marry Sansa Stark. Sansa meanwhile shared her own reservations about the wedding with Margaery. Ideally, the biggest concern Sansa should have would be what dress to wear on her big day. Sadly her mind was filled with the prospects of having to not only have relations with Tyrion, but also giving birth to his potentially large headed children.
Robb Stark was also having difficulty keeping his head clear, what with his naked queen posing as a most stunning distraction.
Robb Stark: How am I supposed to sit here planning a war, when you're over there looking like that? | permalink
Talisa has Robb wrapped around her little finger, something Catelyn Stark seemed very wary of. I think it is safe to assume that letter Talisa was writing in Valyrian was not for her mother. During that scene, I recalled her suspicious letter writing in Season 2 as well. Any hope Catelyn may have about her son losing interest in the Volantis native will quickly go out the window when news of her pregnancy is made known. My feelings of uneasiness were further stoked when just as Robb rolled back on top of his pregnant queen a loud clap of thunder was heard just as we cut away to another scene. I don't think it was a coincidence by the sound effects crew.
With all Melisandre's talk of king's blood and offspring, not to mention her fluency in High Valyrian, I wonder if she and Talisa might be involved in some way. While the armies of the seven kingdoms fight to see who should sit on the throne presently, Melisandre has seeemd more concerned with shoring up who will be around to take control of it years from now.
There is so much talk of who the one true king should be, but from a numbers standpoint and if plain intimidation is worth anything, Dany has got to be the frontrunner to sit on the high seat some day. I loved how Missandei has added "Breaker of Chains" to go along with "Mother of Dragons" when introducing Khaleesi. Pretty soon she'll have more nicknames than Apollo Creed. She is learning how to be a queen on the fly, but doing so admirably and with some serious savvy..."my gold."
We caught up with Bran and company again this week, who are sort of the show's version of The Island of Misfit Toys. Although who wouldn't want a Hodor for Christmas?
I found it interesting when Bran hinted at how perhaps his place in life is actually north of the wall despite Osha's story about her man being turned by the White Walkers.
Meanwhile Jamie set off to return to his rightful place at his father's side. He has been acting less and less like a Lannister ever since he lost his hand and his heading back to rescue Brienne was the most epic example of such. Earlier in the episode he asked what good an arm is without a hand? His lost hand was his sword hand. His feats with which were very much his identity. When push came to shove though, what he usually threw around to protect himself was his father's name and money. For the first time, tonight, Jamie was a real man of action, without a sword or pecuniary promises.
Arya also went with her gut and fled from the Brotherhood. Unfortunately she ended up in the clutches of The Hound. Even he is smart enough to not kill her as she is a great bargaining chip. I foresee Arya paying some tribute to her one true god very soon and doing so in blood.
One of my favorite moments of the episode, had to be Ygritte's adorable naivete, as she marveled at what was just a simple windmill.
Ygritte: Is that a palace?
Jon Snow: It's a windmill.
Ygritte: Windmill... | permalink
The truth about her man Jon Snow is weighing on her, which is why perhaps she never missed a moment to embrace him. They are the best couple on the show, but their love is in a precarious spot after this week it seemed.
Of course, no one is in a rougher place than Theon. Paul Sheldon from Misery, had is easy compared to this poor guy. What a cold blooded trick Ramsay played on him, what with the whole T&A tease. "You want a lick? Psych!" It didn't look like Theon was going to be feeling those blue balls for long did it?
Relationships certainly took center stage this week. Those like Tyrion and Sansa's, while arranged, might be the most honest of all as there seemed to be many a subversive plot brewing. What did you think?
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Game of Thrones is new again next Sunday night with "The Bear and the Maiden Fair."
As the title suggests, Brienne will square off against a “formidable foe” in the bear pit.
The episode will focus on the Daenerys' arrival to the city of Yunkai, the repercussions of the upcoming marriage of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, and Brienne's fate at the castle of Harrenhal.
It looks from the HBO teaser below that Mother Dragon and her Unsullied army will be back in this beast of an episode, and that she’ll be be exchanging “gifts with a slave lord outside Yunkai.”
Also, it appears Melisandre reveals a secret of significance to a surprised Gendry.
Watch the preview for "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and see what you think:
For a look back at last night's "The Climb," and how the third season is shaping up overall heading into next week's installment, check out our Game of Thrones review from Sunday!
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