Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: Backstabbing, Boobs, and a Bloody Battle
Things are heating up on Game of Thrones Season 2, with all manner of betrayal and backstabbing cropping up in every corner of Westeros. Plots within plots, all wrapped up in your weekly dose of violence and boobs. This show is nothing if not consistent.
Read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's recap of Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 3: “What Is Dead May Never Die.”
North of the Wall: Strange Bedfellows
We start where we left off, with Creepy Craster hella pissed off about Jon following him to his baby sacrificing ceremony. He wants the entire Night's Watch gone from his home.
Mormont gives Jon a stern taking to, revealing that he knew about Craster's baby killing ways all along. Craster may be a monster, but he's their monster, which is more than can be said of many of the terrible things that lie beyond the wall. Beggars can't be choosers about their friends. Jon makes a bunch of angsty faces and is generally very conflicted, but also pretty. You just keep being sad, Jon. As long as you look like Kit Harington, it will never get annoying.
Meanwhile, Gilly is upset that the Night's Watch is marching off without her. Sam leaves her a token of his affections — his one and only memento from his mom. He promises to come back for it, and for her. Because apparently he wants to get his hand chopped off.
Winterfell: Magic Is Dead
Back at Winterfell, Bran is still having his strange, wolf-y dreams. He's heard stories of people who could send their spirits into animals, but Maester Luwin insists that those are just that — stories. And Bran's dreams are just that — dreams. Bran's all, “Nah, man, I'm TOTALLY MAGICAL. I dreamed my dad died, and then he DID. I'm awesome! Please someone tell my I'm awesome.” However, the Maester has been trained in the “higher mysteries,” so he totally knows what's up, and according to him there's definitely no magic anymore. “The dragons are gone, the giants are dead, and the children of the forest forgotten,” he explains. Which is why there are definitely absolutely no dragons on this show. Oh, wait...
(This would normally be when they cut to Dany, but she's not in this episode. Let us assume she is still starving in a desert.)
We finally get to see Renly and the army everyone has been worried about. He's currently hanging out at a beautiful seaside location — there are seriously a lot of those this season — running...a tournament. Because that seems like a reasonable thing to do in the middle of a war.
Catelyn Stark shows up literally just in time to watch Renly's secret gay lover, Loras Tyrell, lose to Brienne of Tarth, a hulking giant of a woman, who requests to be part of Renly's Kinsguard as her reward for winning. Renly says sure, while Loras makes bitch faces in the background for no reason.
Renly welcomes Cat and introduces her to his new wife, Margaery Tyrell, AKA Loras's sister. Because that's not weird at all. Renly promises Cat Joffrey's head on a stick. Mama Stark's not impressed, because Renly and his giant army of strapping young men have yet to, you know, fight in any battles. “My son is fighting a war, not playing at one.”
Later, Cat and Renly walk in private, and she reinforces her point, telling him his army is made up of the knights of summer, and winter is coming. He huffily sends her off with Brienne, who we learn is completely devoted to Renly, and doesn't like being called a Lady.
And because this episode was lacking in weird (but in this case also kind of amazing) incestuous overtones, we get a scene of Loras and Renly making out. After whining about Brienne being on the Kingsguard because he's insecure, Loras tells Renly they can't make love tonight, because Renly needs to buck up and bone Margaery. You know, like you do.
Margaery comes in, and tries to seduce Renly the normal way: with her boobs. When that fails to get him going, she suggests they could bring Loras back in to help things along. Or Renly could bang her from being and pretend she's her brother. Whatever works. Renly's all “I don't know what you're talking about,” but Margaery, being the practical lady she is, tells him not to bother with lies. She's chill with their odd little arrangement, but they really need to get a baby inside her to protect against their enemies tearing them apart. Renly is very sulky about this, though we don't know why, because he has literally the best set-up he could possibly ask for given the circumstances. Margaery is okay with sitting there while his gay lover gets him started even though it's her brother. She is baller, Renly. Be grateful!
Pyke: What Is Dead Will STAB ROBB IN THE BACK
Speaking of incest, Theon is super angry at Yara for not telling him who she was before he groped her, but she isn't phased. She wanted to find out what kind of man he really is, and she did. Fair enough. Maybe you should stop molesting every random women you meet, Theon. Ever think of that?
Balon comes in with plans. Now that he knows Robb's army is headed south, he's decided the Iron Islanders will raid and pillage the North, taking it all — except maybe Winterfell — before the Starks and co. even realize what's happened. Yara gets 30 ships and a castle to attack. Theon gets...one ship to harass fishing villages with.
Being Theon, his feelings are hurt; plus, he still thinks they would be better off pledging loyalty to the Starks. When his father once again accuses him of being soft, Theon snaps back that Balon was the one who gave him up. So how tough can he really be if he just handed over his only son? Alfie Allen knocks this scene out of the park, and we get to really see how hurt Theon is under all of his gusto.
It's good that we just saw his humanity, because next Theon goes and totally stabs Robb in the back, choosing not to warn him about his father's plans. Instead he allows himself to be re-baptized into the religion of his people, pledging allegiance to the Drowned God in yet another gorgeous seaside scene. “What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger.” We suspect we'll see how strong Theon can really be soon.
We open in King's Landing with Shae whining to Tyrion about being stuck in his room all day, every day. He suggests she could be a kitchen maid, but she isn't having that. She may be a prostitute, but she's got standards! We have to say, we really love Shae on the show. She's tougher than in the books.
Meanwhile, Cersei, the younger Lannister kids, and a very unhappy Sansa have the most awkward dinner ever. Apparently Joffrey is going to marry Sansa once the war is over, and poor Sansa has to pretend to be happy about it. On the upside, it turns out the other Lannister kids are nowhere near as intolerable as their brother. Myrcella is naively excited about getting to dress up for the wedding, and Tommen even says he doesn't want Robb to die. Can we please kill Joffrey and make his younger bro king, already?
Somehow Tyrion has secured Shae the role of Sansa's new handmaiden. Sansa's a total brat to her, but she's going through some stuff, so she gets a pass from us.
Tyrion is a busy boy this episode. He sets a trap to figure out who is spying for his sister. He tells Maester Pycelle he's planning to marry Myrcella to the Martell's of Dorne, Varys he's planning to marry her to Theon, and Littlefinger that it will be to Robin Arryn. We see what you did there, Tyrion.
And the leak is Pycelle! Cersei freaks out about this supposed plan, crying all over the place because she will not have her daughter sold off like a whore, though, as Tyrion points out, that's kind of what princesses are always used for in this world. Plus, it might actually be safer for Myrcella outside of the city. When Tyrion tried to reason with her, Cersei just gets even angrier and shoves him over. We're sensing that she has some unresolved issues about her own marriage.
Undeterred, Tyrion has Pycelle locked away in the dungeons, but not before cutting off his beard. Littlefinger, who had been promised a lordship and castle in return for securing the marriage with Robin Arryn is now super pissed at Tyrion; Varys, on the other hand, is impressed with the Imp's mad trickster skills. We sense the beginning of a beautiful, deceitful friendship.
On the Road: Well, That Went Poorly
We end the episode with Arya, who is sitting with Yoren in the dead of the night. She wants to know how he manages to sleep with all the terrible things he's seen, because she is clearly deeply shaken by her father's death. Yoren revels his own traumatic back story about his brother's death and how he whispered the killer's name every night before bed until he finally managed to achieve revenge, which is how he ended up at The Wall. Not really sure what the moral is there.
Not that it matters, because — WHAM — our intrepid crew is being attacked by Joffrey's men! Yoren tells Gendry and Arya to hide while everyone else fights, because they are the only ones who actually matter.
Yoren puts up a good (read: epic) fight, but is eventually felled, as are many others. In the midst of this all, Arya notices that the caged crazies we met last week are surrounded by fire, somehow, and takes a second to throw an axe into the cage, theoretically helping them escape.
But in the end, no one gets away. The Lannister men win the battle, and round everyone up — including Arya (who they steal Needle from! No!) and Gendry. In all the disaster, there is one stroke of luck: A random boy who is brutally killed grabbed Gendry's signature bull helmet before the battle, and the quick-thinking Arya says the dead boy is Gendry. Remember, that's who the men are after, since they have no idea who Arya is. So, they're still totally screwed, but at least our heroes can keep their heads...for now.
Tyrion moment of the week: Tyrion paying the prostitute who Pycelle was boning. He really does have a soft spot for whores.
Tyrion mentions to Littlefinger that he wants to send him off to talk to Cat about getting Jaime back. Can't wait to see more about that.
In the hands of a lesser actress, Sansa could be really obnoxious. Sophie Turner does a fantastic job showing how hard it is for the poor girl to even get through a single conversation. It really makes her bratty moments more sympathetic.
Speaking of young actors, Maisie Williams killed it in Arya's late-night convo with Yoren. This show single handedly raises the bar for child actors on TV tenfold.
Brienne is SO PERFECT you guys. We can't wait to see more of her.
Renly has the best crown of all the crowns.
How long until someone makes a gif of Balon slapping Theon? Oh, who are we kidding. It's probably already out there.
“Drop your weapons in the name of the king.”/“Now which king would that be?” Oh Yoren, we're going to miss you.
We miss Robb. And Jaime. And not just for shallow reasons.
Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones on Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.