As an episode written by George RR Martin, The Bear and the Maiden Fair, took the time to slow down and check in with all/most of our cast of characters this season. Some saw this as the show moving a bad direction, being slow, but I personally enjoyed this episode. Even its weakest moments are still miles above most modern television series. Let us jump right into the recap to cover what went down on last nights episode.
WHEN YGRITTE THOUGHT PRETTY WOULD MAKE HER HAPPY
The episode opened to Jon and Ygritte doing something we often catch people doing on Game of Thrones, walking and talking. Ygritte is a mess of questions concerning roads, drums used in armies, men carrying sigils, etc. Jon is trying to give her a lesson about his side of the wall but Ygritte is too proud. When something doesn’t make logical sense to her she teases it. Jon hints at teasing the way her “people” are going fight by lighting a great fire. The small spat ends with her walking away telling him he knows nothing. Orwell, the annoying warg who cut them free on the wall, approaches now agreeing with Ygritte that Jon really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They go on to measure dicks, ending with Orwell saying something disparaging about Ygritte and Jon not staying together. Someone sounds jealous which is completely ridiculous because DUDE CAN LIKE TALK TO ANIMALS.
Later in the episode we are treated to a gem of a scene in which Giantsbane is giving Jon both the best and worst sex talk ever. It is hilarious because the entire time Jon keeps looking over at Ygritte as if silently begging that she can’t hear any of this. He spouts things like “fuck like dogs”, “slick as a baby seal” and “don’t jam it in like you’re spearing a pig”. It’s really a tremendously funny moment that poor Jon Snow could never have imagined in his life. However the scene doesn’t end there. As the wildlings begin walking toward Castle Black again Orwell approaches Ygritte and proves that he is in fact jealous. Not only does he disapprove of Jon because he is not “one of them” but he also thinks he could be better for Ygritte. We are led to Ygritte admitting to loving Jon and Orwell immediately blaming it on Jon’s “prettiness”. Ha. Orwell also hints that he knows as much as Ygritte does about Jon: He is not one of them and he isn’t against the Nights Watch.
Even more into the episode Ygritte proves to be quite the hunter as they continue on their journey to Castle Black. Ygritte also proves to be nothing but a country bumpkin as her eyes practically bug out of her head in astonishment at a tiny broken down windmill thinking it is a castle. Man, how much did you wish you could immediately show her something like the Red Keep. Girls legs would be behind her head. Around now is also when Jon Snow decides to impart a sad truth to Ygritte: They won’t win. They being the wildlings. Jon Snow continues his tradition of blowing Ygritte’s mind by dropping some history bombs. The wildlings are brave but six times in the last thousand years a king beyond the wall has tried to rise from the wall and all six times they failed. Jon doesn’t see how this time they could be any different. He thinks if they attack the wall they all will die. Ygritte amends the statement by including him in on the them. They seal it with a kiss that drips in tragic outcomes on the horizon. Sigh.
WHEN TALISA HAS A LITTLE PRINCE OR PRINCESS INSIDE OF HER
King Robb and his company are on their way to his uncles wedding to one of the Frey’s but their journey is stopped by rain. Catelyn is hyper sensitive about upsetting Walder Frey (again) but there doesn’t seem to be any other decision to make. She does make it known that even though Edmure is marrying one of the daughters Walder didn’t want a suitable a husband but a king for his family. Robb, like me though, has had enough and tells everyone they should really get some sleep which is a kinky King Robb code for everyone get out so I can have sex with Talisa. Kissy faces!
Later on after some suitable nakedness that we have come to expect on Game of Thrones we watch Robb and Talisa bask in some post sex errands. Robb, donning his robe, sits at his war table to pretend to strategize while Talisa lays completely nude on their bed writing a letter to his mother. This scene needs to credit Talisa ass because it is center stage for the majority of this scene especially when Robb threatens to “attack“ her again if she doesn’t put on some clothes. Also this is where I started to really enjoy having the man, George RR Martin, penning this because he is really injecting some great culture points from his world that the HBO writers sometimes overlook. An example is mentioning Talisa writing to her mother in Valyrian. An interesting fact is Talisa hasn’t broken the news of her wedding to Robb, therefore she hasn’t told her mother that she is a Queen. An even more interesting fact is Talisa’s use of the phrase “many surprises for her” meaning that she has more to surprise her mother with than “I’m a queen now ma!”. This was the first time I suspected that lovely but boring Talisa has a bun in the oven and I am proven right a few moments later when Talisa asks Robb to go to Valyria with her when the war is over – because her mother would love to meet him and her grandchild. Robb is all smiles and yes‘s while he stares at his war table until he replays that last bit in his head: Grandchild?!? Robb practically spews happiness as they haggle over a girl, a boy, or both. This entire scene is meant to bring us closer to this couple and realize we should be happy for them and even with them which is usually a huge red flag on game of thrones. Warning if you are a Robb and/or Talisa fan brace yourself because no one is meant to be happy on this show so it can’t last.
WHEN SANSA ONLY WANTED TO SEE KINGS LANDING AFTER DARK
Now we get to catch up with my new favorite besties. Sansa is still crying over marrying Tyrion in Kings Landing while Margeary is trying to comfort her. Sansa laments all of her naïve notions before she came to Kings Landing calling herself a stupid girl who never learns – which is sad but a bit true for the reality of it. Margearys answer is to get Sansa moving, asking her to walk with her as she begins to explains in her special way how she views Sansa’s situation. Margeary wishes for Sansa to not be so unhappy and urges her to make the best of her circumstances as all women in their predicament must. Margeary points out the obvious: Tyrion has never mistreated her. He has also tried to be kind to her. He is also far from the worst Lannister. This jars Sansa from her melancholy realizing that after all her complaining Margeary is still to wed Joffrey. Margeary, always so quick and smart, explains that she will have a son with the King and sons learn from their mothers. Then Margeary points out how much power Sansa metaphorical son would entail. This further proves that poor Sansa is a bit of a stupid girl as she didn’t even think about how she will have to have sex with Tyrion. Margeary’s knowing smile is so amazing. I love Natalie Dormer and her silly nose and facial expressions. Margeary shares that she thinks Tyrion is actually pretty good looking, and especially with her scar (RAWR! Now that’s a couple that would dominate). Sansa, the silly stupid girl, points out that he’s a dwarf – because she apparently thinks we all have forgotten. Ha.
Margeary then waxes on about the nature of being a woman and trying to figure out where one draws pleasure which leads her to another reason why Sansa shouldn’t be crying: Tyrion is experienced and could actually give her pleasure. Sansa is aghast at to how him being experienced with other people could actually be a good thing. Margeary, her smile in tow, explains how they (women) are very complicated and is takes time and experience to learn how to please them. Sansa, still truly baffled, asks where Margeary would learn such a thing: her mother?! (HA-endless laughter) Margeary probably finally giving up on teaching Sansa worldly ways just smiles and lies: Of course her mother taught her.
WHEN BRONN PUT EVIL NOTIONS IN TYRIONS HEAD
Tyrion is agonizing to Bronn about his upcoming nuptials much like Sansa and Bronn, much like Margeary doesn’t see the issue. This is also a perfect scene to demonstrate why these two characters work so well together: Tyrion often thinks about everything and finds issue with everything while Bronn is the picture of unphased – absolutely nothing bothers him. Bronn’s all around view of this situation is that Tyrion will have two women and a whole kingdom from this situation. Tyrion quips that it will be two women that despise him and a whole kingdom to join them in hating him. Bronn, coming to conclusion, thinks he knows the real problem here: Tyrion actually wants to bed Sansa. Ha. He denies it but it doesn’t make this scene any less fun.
Later in the episode Tyrion is gifting Shea with some pimpin’ gold chain to which Shea seems to hate. It seems Shea the funny whore has become Shea is the entitled bitter whore. She is taking issue with Sansa and it is truly changing her entire outlook. She wants Tyrion to run away with her. Tyrion rightfully thinks this is a silly idea for him – what is he going to do juggle? He wants to take care of her here – including children. Shea is shocked that he’d even mention children – me too! Shea seems to have gathered one solid piece of information about her relationship with Tyrion: No matter how much he doesn’t say it or act like it she is still his whore and only his whore.
Also in Kings Landing was a quick scene between Melisandre and Gendry. They’re sailing between the brunt shipwrecks in Blackwater Bay which is kind of cool but the point of this scene is for Gendry to be told about his true father: the late king Robert Baratheon. A fun side note was learning that Melisandre was born into slavery until the lord of light raised her up – apparently literally. Also it was still funny to watch Gendry not believe for the second that he has noble blood. Yet, no matter how happy I am that this young man is getting a solid plotline I can’t help but want to tell him to run as Melisandre explains that there is power in kings blood.
WHEN CURIOSITIES ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD ARE OF NO THREAT TO TYWIN
This next scene is actually one of my favorite moments to date on the show mostly in thanks to Michelle MacLaren who directed this scene into history in my opinion. King Joffrey, sitting alone chilling on his Iron Throne has summoned his grandfather Tywin. I like to think that Joffrey had to mentally prepare to confront Tywin, even planning confronting his grandfather from such a seat of importance. This also makes Tywin’s silly musical chairs game earlier this season much more entertaining. Joffrey is annoyed at being left out of his small council matters – even though he hasn’t even tried to attend an actual meeting. This could be based however on Tywin moving the Small Council chamber to his area in the castle which happens to have a bunch of stairs to climb which Joffrey totally doesn’t want to do. This is when Tywin hilariously approaches his grandson, towering over him in his little iron chair, brittles with an impatiences only Tywin can communicate without saying so, and announces that he works better from home if Joffrey really wants to go to the meeting he could arrange it for Joffrey to be CARRIED to them. HA. This is where I thought Joffrey would start crying and beg Tywin to back off his power but instead Joffrey said something completely shocking – I find it shocking because it is the first time Joffrey is heartily right about something and Tywin is downright wrong. Joffrey asks about Dany and her dragons! Tywin explains the reverse evolution of Dragons and therefore says it can’t possibly be a big deal. Ha! I love how Tywin even wins when he is wrong. Strike that. Especially when he is wrong. This marks one of the few moments Joffrey will ever be utterly in the right – He should know about Dany. He should know about his small council meetings. He should be being taught how to deal with this stuff instead of them just letting him run around killing whores.
WHEN DANY ASKED WHAT HAPPENS TO SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T BEND
Catching with Dany we get some insight from Jorah into the new slave city in her crosshairs: Yunkai. Also known as the yellow city, Yunkai has weak soldiers but strong walls that they could easily hide behind from enemies like her. I had to rewatch this scene a bunch because Dany’s hood is fucking mesmerizing. Jorah lets her know that Yunkai is probably not worth wasting her army on – but she asks how many slaves are there – 200,000. In turn Dany says she has 200,000 reasons to invade. Gulp. She sends word to Yunkai for the slavers to surrender to her or else they will suffer the same fate as Astapor.
Later on she gets a visit from one of the city slaver guys, an emissary, bearing gold as a gift for Dany, and being carried by slaves – literally. He approaches her tent and we get an amazing sight: Dany and her three dragons just lounging on a couch. This is the first time I’ve been stricken with how queenly Dany is becoming – a true majesty to behold. A queen flanked by dragons and advisors. She also has a new title added to her many awesome ones: The breaker of chains. Sick. The emissary is rightfully nervous but still pitches what Yunkai thinks the Silver Queen should do: He gives her a chest full of gold as well as more gold waiting on a ship to take her to Westros and therefore how her leave their city alone. Ha. Dany, not playing, says she will spare the city and this mans life is EVERY slave is freed with restitution. She also tells him that if he rejects this gift she will not show any mercy – OH and she’s keeping the gold because it was a gift and her dragons effing love gifts. She also sends Jorah to find out what “powerful friends” the Emissary was boosting about before running for the hills.
WHEN THE BROTHERHOOD GOT LESS COOL
Arya is not speaking with the Brotherhood as she sees them as traitors now – after all of the bullshit she has been put there I am not surprised at her breaking point concerning them giving away Gendry for coin. They try to say they did it because it was the command of the “one true god”. Arya doesn’t believe in the lord of light though so when asked who her one true god is she explains perfectly: Death. What a scary little mother fucker. They can’t ask her anymore questions as they hear that some Lannister soldiers are close for them to fight. Arya is all, but you were taking me to my brother in Riverrun and that is in the other direction, and they’re all, we’ll go after this one last thing. It is all too much for the young budding sociopath as Arya makes a run for it. They try to chase her but alas fate is ready for Arya again as she runs straight into The Hound who is hiding in the woods. He takes her and I’m left wondering what the hell is going to happen now.
WHEN THEON’S TORTURE SOMEHOW EVOLVED INTO SOMETHING WORSE
Theon is unfortunately still being tortured but today is different. He is woken up by two servant girls who begin to clean him and seduce him – constantly referring to his junk as “it”. Theon, like us, knows this is some kind of trap or joke but is powerless to do anything other than beg for help. As they finally begin to get a sexual reaction from Theon the entire erotic episode is interrupted awesomely by the not-savior-horn blower. He plays with the dialogue asking more about Theon’s penis making me truly fear for Theon. After some more mild beating, and milling dialogue about Theon loving girls with his penis the man take out a ridiculously scary shaped knife that I’m trying endless to forget about. Theon begs mercy as he realizes – as do we – that the man is about to take Theon’s favorite appendage. Who else was happy that they faded out of this scene sooner rather than later?
WHEN OSHA ORIGINS HAPPENED
Osha is seriously getting sick of these Reed kids. Jojen just sleeps and talks to Bran all day and Meera is too proper for Osha’s liking. She tries to plead her case to Hodor who of course gives us all a mighty “Hodor” in response trying to answer Osha. Bran tries to deflate her but Osha wants Jojen to answer her or at least fight back. First she wants answers concerning the three eyed raven. He has nothing straight forward to say. Osha doesn’t want them talking anymore until they get to Castle Black. Jojen spills the beans that they are no longer going to Castle Black. They want Bran to go find the raven beyond the wall. Osha, getting more flustered argues against it, imposing family on Bran. But Bran, perhaps feeling the pull of destiny feels like he must move forward on his journey and that is finding the raven. This is about the time Osha has a meltdown about being beyond the wall and the horror that the white walkers were for her: taking her great love and turning him against her. She burned down their hut with him in it and probably ran for the south until her fateful run in with little Lord Bran. To her the north is no place for men to be, at least, not anymore. She swears she will get them to Castle Black and not any further.
HARRENHAL IS FOR LOVERS AND BEARS
Jamie is sharing a quiet but sort of lovely goodbye with Brienne as he is set to leave for Kings Landing the next day. The trouble is that Roose Bolton is leaving at the same time heading to Edmure and the Frey wedding therefore leaving Brienne at Harrenhal as a prisoner. It all feels wrong to both us as an audience and Jamie. Brienne says Jamie is doing her no wrong as long as he keeps his word and returns the Stark girls to their mother (like to see him try). She says goodbye calling him Ser Jamie probably making him weak in the knees. On his way out of the keep Qyburn helps him with his saddle leaving Roose to admit the Qyburn is probably looking for a favor. They set out on their journey to Kings Landing.
But before long they’ve stopped for a quick rest while Qyburn checks on Jamie’s bloody stump. We get some more fun George RR Martin insight as Jamie pointedly asks why the citadel (head maester casa) took his fancy maester chains. It turns out his experimented on living subjects. How lovely. A Westerosi mad doctor. Qyburn compares himself and Jamie by their death count trying to communicate how useful his work is. Jamie is “countless” (awesome). This is about when Jamie starts asking about Brienne’s future and we learn that Jamie’s little untruth that saved Brienne from being raped episodes ago has come back to haunt them. Locke Bolton won’t accept Brienne’s fathers modest reward for returning Brienne because his believes that her father actually owns all the sapphire mines in Westros. Shit. Qyburn puts it plain: No matter how fool hardy those men will kill Brienne tonight as entertainment considering most of them will be dead by Winter. This when we see that Jamie’s long lost conscience has completely taken hold of his personality as he begins realizing that he can’t bear (ha bear) the thought of her faces such a fate. So Jamie tries his charming money bags bit one more time and strikes gold! The man in charge of getting Jamie back to Kings Landing is a Bolton but also seems to be looking for some sort of recognition or reward. Jamie speaks plain, he could tell his father this man either took off his hand or saved him. Sigh. Jamie commands that they return to Harrenhal now.
They get back to an empty looking estate, cue the soft echoes of the Bolton men singing the same tune they sung episodes ago, and this episodes namesake: The Bear and the Maiden Fair. Jamie, gushingly rushes toward the singing to ward the men stationed above a large pit watching something happening inside. Jamie rushes to the railing and we see that it is Brienne in a now stained red dress fighting a huge bear with only a long wooden training sword. Hilariously we spy Locke in the crowd grousing at her shameful performance and to quit running and fight. Jamie approaches unable to do anything else, and pleads her case about the wooden sword. Locke, proving to be the comedian of the night, says they only have one bear. HA! Jamie, unmoved says he’ll pay her ransom. Locke once again hating Jamie’s rich-guy pride says he just doesn’t care because this makes him happy. Around now is also when Brienne takes a full on nail-ridden slap to the face from the bear. I cannot communicate how much I thought she was going to die. Apparently Jamie did too because he seriously jumped into the ring with her, just him and his bloody stomp, bidding her to get behind him. Weaponless, with nothing to guard them the bear seemed to be about to eat them both when a crossbow bolt hit the bear. Money-wanting Bolton dude who is still in charge of getting Jamie to Kings Landing is trying to help no matter how much Locke disapproves. Jamie’s bends over for Brienne to use him as a stool to climb out of the arena, in which she responds with screaming at the men to hold her legs as she returned the favor lowering herself into the pit to pull him out. Of course the bear was coming down upon them at every sparing moment but it only made their escape so much sweeter.
Once they are both safe Locke still insist that “the bitch”, Brienne, must stay there but Jamie insists she is coming with him or they will have to kill him. Jamie also calls him Roose’s pet rat before saying “sorry about the sapphires” before making the best exit ever as a sick instrumental version of “rains of castamere” plays over the credits. Best credit ever = Bart the Bear.
NEXT TIME: Dany is fighting some dangerous men who fight for gold but can’t afford to lose to a girl. Stannis, in his own mind, in the savior for everyone, ever. Cersei talks about killing people. Arya is lucky it was Sandor who found her, says Sandor. I think Arya is never lucky. She also looks like she might kill him. Sexy translator might be in trouble too. Also the red woman is either REALLY kinky or Gendry is in for something bad. Sam is going to try to fight something for Gilly! Joffrey is pissed at someone who said something he didn’t want said. Annnnnd can’t wait
Editors Note: Was anyone else thinking Anchorman?