George R.R. Martin would write the most sexual episode of the season. The first half is full of naked bodies, thoughts of naked bodies; characters think in perversely about sex, lovingly about sex, or try to squash thoughts of sexual conduct with youths. Game of Thrones is a dirty, gritty show with lots of blood and sex. Martin doesn't romanticize much in his story. Fittingly, Martin wrote the script for "The Bear and The Maiden Fair." Martin oversees, yet again, the castration of poor Theon Greyjoy, and the packed final scene. Brienne's been an outcast for her entire life because of her interest in fighting, in serving the king, for not being maidenly in Westeros where women are destined for nothing but. Women marry men they loathe, bear children they don't want, and live with their husbands cheating on them with any whore, if they're high-ranking--a lord or a king. The sight of Brienne in the pink dress is jarring. She was introduced in knight's armor, swearing her loyalty for Renly, but she's been reduced to a plaything by Locke and the men of the North. The final scene showcases reversals: Brienne's put in a dress and dropped in a pit with a bear. Locke combines what she loves with what she loathes in an effort that cannot win without the intervention of Ser Jaime Lannister. The Northmen are overseeing the cruelty. Season 1 established that the north was good, and the south was bad. It's similar to last season's blackwater battle: I didn't want the Lannisters or Stannis to win--it was a lose-lose. The reversal of perspective is integral to the series. Bad men become good; good men become bad.
The last time Arya saw The Hound she wished him to burn in hell. So, Arya's pissed they let The Hound leave after killing Beric in the trial-by-combat. Arya's pissed the Brotherhood allowed Melisandre to take Gendry with her, and then she nearly loses it when Thoros and Beric decide to attack Lannister ravagers nearby, delaying her return to Riverrun by two days. Arya runs out of the cave, into the forest, where she's taken by The Hound. Arya's just stated her opinion about gods. Death is her god. The poor girl's in a bad place mentally and physically. Qyburn explained to Jaime before Jaime returned to Harrenhal that the war changed men. The Brotherhood represents another aspect of the effects of war. They aren't bad men. Arya may wish she didn't run off now that she's with a grumpy Sandor Clegane.
Gods become the centerpiece of Bran's only scene in the north. Osha's cranky. The Reeds hang around Bran too much. Jojen's in his ear about visions. Osha wants to travel to Castle Black and drop Bran off with Jon. Jon's not in Castle Black, and Jojen's convinced Bran to travel Beyond The Wall to find the raven from Bran's dreams. Last week was the lowest moment for Bran's story. Finally, the series gave viewers a sense of what they're going to do. Osha tells a sad story about life Beyond the Wall in which an old lover turned into a wight. None of the younger folk seem bothered by Osha's story. I didn't care about Osha's sob story, but I did care about Bran's feelings of fate and purpose about his fall, that it was meant to be, that it's no longer something happened to him for no reason, but it's something that'll give his life meaning. Westeros is a shit hole, friends and well-wishers. Osha shouldn't try to take away anything that'll help Bran feel better about his lot in life.
Melisandre tells Gendry about his lineage as her boat sails in the Blackwater. The scene provides back story for Melisandre. She grew up a slave in the east before the Lord of Light gave her direction. Gendry thinks he's nothing but a poor boy from Flea Bottom with nothing to offer the world except for masonry until Melisandre tells him he has royal blood in him as he's the true-born son of Robert Baratheon. The Lord of Light is the most active and present god in the Seven Kingdoms (that we've seen). The Seven are stones, a forgotten song remembered only from childhood in desperate moments, but the Lord of Light lives in flames and recalls dead men to life. His followers don't doubt because he's in front of their eyes; that's way easier than staring at stone.
-The major binary of the episode is life and death. Robb and Talisa's scend had a pregnancy reveal. Sex creates life. Theon nearly has sex with a brunette and blonde, but his time with them ends with the nameless one cutting him like Varys was cut.
-The trip to The Twins is delayed by rain. Roose Bolton left Harrenhal for Edmure's wedding. Catelyn's not confident in Edmure being enough for Walder's daughter. She's very worried about the delayed arrival. Robb seems comfortable, but he's internally beaming from news about his heir.
-Tywin and Joffrey have a chat in the throne room. Grandson and grandfather are not cool with one another.
-Tyrion endures Shae's whining about his arrangement with Sansa. Sanda whines about her impending marriage to Tyrion because he's unattractive. I have a soft spot for Sansa. I thought the ending of her scene with Margaery was sweet. Sansa had no idea what Margaery was getting at.
Dany's arrived in Yunkai. She meets Razdar and then threatens him. The look of Yunkai is great. The show nailed its Yellow City character. Emilia Clarke's just awesome when she's staring daggers at a man.
-My apologies for a shorter review, but I have limited time. I'm positive no one cares. My reviews will post late Sunday nights for the next three weeks.
-George R.R. Martin wrote the episode. Michelle MacLaren directed it.