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Once again, Jaime and Brienne’s slowly warming relationship stole the show on Game of Thrones.
Captured by men loyal to the North, the pair was in dire straights — though Brienne’s (Gwendoline Christie) future looked grimmer than the Kingslayer’s. Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) warned Brienne their captors would rape her when they camped for the night, and advised her not to put up a fight. He reasoned that might anger her attackers into killing her. But the fierce lady knight said she would not acquiesce — and Jaime was forced to concede that neither would he, had he been born a woman.
PHOTOS: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 Premiere
That night, a bound Brienne was dragged off screaming into the woods after doing her best to fight off her attackers. Then, a miracle. Jaime spun a tale about Brienne being the daughter of a wealthy lord in Tarth, and convinced the leader of the would-be rapists it would be in his best financial interest to deliver Brienne back to her father “unbesmirched.” It was a difficult scene to watch. The specter of rape — while often mentioned and sometimes depicted in Thrones — has never been presented so chillingly.
The relief felt that Jaime put a stop to it was nearly enough to make us forget he’d callously tossed Bran out of a window in season one and done all sorts of horrible things. Almost as soon as Jaime performed this miraculous save, his hand right hand was chopped off for attempting to talk his way out of imprisonment. Again and again, Thrones has shown honorable behavior doesn’t bring reward for the show’s characters.
Case in point: In King’s Landing, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is made master of coin, while Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) goes off to woo Catelyn’s sister, Lysa Arryn. Tyrion isn’t too excited about the job — as Littlefinger is moving up in life and on his way to titles, while he’s stuck in an administrative position.
PHOTOS: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 Preview
In Slaver’s Bay Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) made a move to buy all 8,000 Unsullied soldiers, as well as the boys in training to pick up their swords. How could she pay the impossible price? With her largest dragon. It was a bold move — one her advisers didn’t approve of.
Beyond the Wall, we see that the White Walkers have a surprising artistic side. They turned 300 brothers of the Night’s Watch into zombies, and left the heads of their horses in an interesting spiral pattern that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) come across. The King Beyond the Wall ordered his men to take Snow to the Wall to infiltrate it. And if he doesn’t prove of use? Throw him off it.
At Riverrun, Robb (Richard Madden) and Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) mourn the loss of her father, Hoster Tully. Catelyn’s younger brother, Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) majorly failed when trying to light the funeral pyre of their father, and later whined when he was chastised for wasting resources taking a Mill when a little strategy might have landed him The Mountain’s head.
STORY: Game of Thrones’ Showrunners Talk About the Third Season’s First ‘Epic’ Moment
And now for a few odds and ends:
The Surprise Stud
As a reward for saving Tyrion’s life in the Battle of Blackwater, Podrick (Daniel Portman) is given the run of Littlefinger’s whorehouse. But it turns out his performance was so good, the women refused Tyrion’s coin.
This week’s episode provided poor Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) with yet another opportunity to look like a weirdo. After the Night’s Watch men returned to Craster’s Keep, Sam peeped through a window as his crush Gilly (Hannah Murray) gave birth. That’s not likely to earn him points with the new mother.
The Young Monarchs Get Angry
Young Robb has won battles but is still very much coming into his role as king. The wolf pup showed some strategic thinking and kingly anger when he chewed out his uncle over the mill blunder. When Edmure bragged about capturing two young Lannisters, Robb shut him down.
PHOTOS: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 Character Posters
“Tywin Lannister has my sisters. Have I sued for peace?” he asked. “Do you think he’ll sue for peace because we have his father’s brother’s great grandsons?” The anger really came out when Edmure touted killing more Lannister men than the 200-plus he lost. “I need my men more than Tyan needs his!” Robb shouted.
Daenerys also got heated after Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen ) and Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney) questioned her decision to sell a dragon for an army.
“I value your advice but if you ever question me in front of strangers again, you’ll be advising someone else,” she told them in a total Godfather moment.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m.
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