7:58pm PT by Aaron Couch
'Game of Thrones' Recap: Is Robb Headed Toward Ruin?
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair"]
Things went splendidly for Robb (Richard Madden) in the latest episode of Game of Thrones -- and that has us worried for House Stark.
After a nice romp with his wife Talisa (Oona Chaplin), Robb looked quite happy as he sat at his desk, gazing at his naked queen.
“How am I supposed to sit here planning a war while you’re over there looking like that?” he asked.
Talisa told him she’s pregnant, and asked if he could take a day off from the war, presumably to revel with her in their impending parenthood.
Much has been made of Robb’s strategic blunder in marrying Talisa, and thus losing the support of Lord Frey. There’s something of a forbidden-fruit element to the marriage -- and we predict it will ultimately end poorly for Robb. After all, who is really allowed to be happy in Thrones?
Robb’s decision to take the day off seemed particularly boneheaded after Tywin (Charles Dance) showed off his workaholic side, telling Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) that he’s been holding small council meetings in the Tower of the Hand so he would have more time to work.
In the same scene, Tywin reminded his grandson who really rules House Lannister. When Joffrey whined that he would have to climb the stairs in the Tower of the Hand, Tywin approached the Iron Throne purposefully and totally emasculated his grandson.
“We could arrange to have you carried” Tywin said. Translation: “You're a boy and I'm a man."
Moore importantly, Tywin showed no concern over reports that Daenerys (Emilia Clarke ) has a flock of dragons. Is this the first time we've seen Tywin overconfident, or is he right to think the Lannisters truly have nothing to fear from the Mother of Dragons?
Tywin would likely be more concerned if he saw the Godfather-esque way Daenerys is moving through the East. Daenerys came upon the city of Yunkai and ordered its emissary to free the city’s 200,000 slaves -- even after the man offered her piles of gold and as many ships as she needed.
The man refused and threatened to enslave Daenerys, which did not go over well with her dragons.
“You swore me safe conduct,” the Yunkai emissary said after the dragons hiss at him.
“I did, but my dragons made no promises. And you threatened their mother," rejoined the queen. That’s cold stuff, but what do you expect from Daenerys at this point? If Daenerys pulls off freeing the city’s 200,000 slaves, her khalasar could potentially have thousands of new -- and extremely devoted -- members. It’s clear that this is how Daenerys will build her strength for her return to the Seven Kingdoms.
Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) proved he has come a long way as a human being since murdering his cousin to escape custody last season.
At Harrenhal, he told Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) he owed her a debt. She asked him to honor Lady Stark’s wishes, and he swore to return the Stark girls to their mother.
Brienne addressed him (almost affectionately) as “Sir Jaime” -- not Kingslayer -- as he left for King's Landing. Jaime looked as though he had a lump in his throat as he said goodbye to the only person with whom he's had a connection, save for his sister.
Jaime was shown to be a diminished man, unable to prepare his horse without help, and holding his tongue when goaded by Locke (Noah Taylor), the man who cut his hand off. (“I didn’t remember chopping your balls off, too” got no rise out of the Kingslayer.)
Later, Jaime learned the men will use Brienne for “their entertainment” rather than returning her to Tarth. He convinced his escorts to return to Harrenhal, where he found Brienne battling a bear with nothing but a wooden sword. Jaime was powerless to do anything other than jump in the ring and defend his friend.
This is perhaps the bravest thing we’ve seen Jaime do. Though he was powerless -- unable to use physical force to protect himself, he leapt anyway. After successfully saving Brienne, some of his trademark cockiness returned.
“What do you think is more important to Lord Bolton? Getting his pet rat a reward or ensuring Tywin Lannister gets his son back alive?” he asked Locke when told he could not bring Brienne to King's Landing.
If only Jaime can learn to use a sword with his left hand, he might become the man he once was.
In the North, Orell (Mackenzie Crook) tried to drive a wedge between Jon (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie). Later, Ygritte confused a windmill for a palace, and asked if it was built by a king. The cute-fest continued as Jon explained what swooning was and she talked of fine silk dresses. Jon became melancholy explaining why the King Beyond the Wall won’t succeed in attacking the Seven Kingdoms, warning Ygritte that her people would all die. It was a revelation to Ygritte, who was defiant at first but ultimately accepted that what happens will happen.
“If we die we die. But first, we’ll live,” she told him.
And now for some odds and ends.
Theon gets lucky … and then doesn’t
Thrones dedicated an uneasy four minutes of the episode to Theon (Alfie Allen) having a threesome with two young women before his mystery torturer returned to confirm young Grayjoy’s luck had not changed. Theon screamed for mercy, but to no avail.
“This is mercy. I’m not killing you. Just making a few alterations,” his captor said, before presumably having Theon castrated.
Arya in the doghouse
Arya (Maisie Williams) escapes the Brotherhood Without Banners only to be captured by the Hound (Rory McCann). We’re guessing this is bad for Arya.
Tyrion in hot water
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) was also in the doghouse, with Shae (Sibel Kekilli) furious about his upcoming marriage to Sansa (Sophie Turner). Talk of fine silks, servants and guards did nothing to make things better.
Gendry finds his father
Gendry (Joe Dempsie) was told that King Robert was his father, and that a king’s blood runs through his veins.
"There is power in a king’s blood” Melisandre (Carice van Houten) told him.
We can’t wait to see what she has planned for him. Could he become a human sacrifice for the Lord of Light or be made a Warlock of some sort?
Game of Thrones airs at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.