Recap: Game of Thrones Ep. 13: What Is Dead May Never Die
Episode 13 is a real doozy. Everyone is an animal! Robb doesn’t even show up on screen, but he’s now the wolf pup marching south, and Sansa is an obedient little dove (or is she?) and Bran is actually a wolf and a bird and a bunch of other things.
Last week was a cliffhanger in which Craster clubbed Jon over the head for following him into the woods when he made his infant sacrifice to the Others. Raise your hand if you thought Craster was going to offer Jon to the Others. Jon is like, “You don’t understand, Mormont, he’s killin’ them, all the boys…ohmygodyouknow” Yes, Jon. He knows. You are like, literally the last person on the Night’s Watch to figure this shit out.
“Like it or not, we need men like Craster,” says Mormont. If there’s anything this society runs on, other than the spinning wheels of fire in the opening credit, it’s men like Craster, and Varys, and Baelish, and everyone else who has figured out how to survive in this sick sad world that is the Seven Kingdoms by being sick sad people.
Sam and Gilly have A Moment. He gives her his mother’s thimble, the only thing he has of his one relative who gave a shit about him. She takes it; he promises to return to collect it (and her). Those crazy kids. I hope they get married and have lots of non-incestual offspring.
Back in Winterfell, Bran is having more of his nutty anthropomorphized dreams. He questions Luwin about the lore of magical humans who could inhabit animals’ bodies. Ta-da! This explains a lot! “What boy doesn’t secretly wish for hidden powers to lift him out of his dull life into a special one?” Writers, are you looking at us, the audience? I see what you did there.
A hop, skip and a jump over to Storm’s End (the first time we are seeing it by the way, and doesn’t it sound like a retirement community?), and two soldiers are battling for the entertainment of their Gay King Renly Baratheon and his new bride, Margaery Tyrell. (Her dress is super futuristic and low cut and awesome. I like her already.) Doesn’t it seem like a waste of resources for all these top soldiers to constantly be battling it out in Fight Club? Ser Loras Tyrell, Margaery’s brother and Renly’s lover, is fighting a masked soldier, who wins. Psych, it’s a lady! Lady Brienne of Tarth. “Just call me Brienne,” she tells Catelyn. “I”m no lady.” For her valiant efforts, she gets one wish. She wants to be a member of the King’s Guard. Granted! Personally, I would have asked for some gold, or a seaside cottage with a trust for property taxes.
Catelyn is visiting to ask Renly to help out Robb Stark, but she’s not exactly getting along with everyone. Conversely, there’s an exhange between Renly and one of his soldiers to demonstrate what a friendly, easy-going guy he is. I may be your king, but I’m just like you guys! He leaves to “pray, alone.” We see where this is going.
On Pyke, Theon and Yara are having an argument by candlelight. I was terrified during this scene that they were going to kiss. Papa Greyjoy details to his children how they’re going to take over the North and defeat the Stark army. He gives Yara 30 ships. He gives Theon one ship. “The Sea Bitch,” says Yara. “We thought she’d be perfect for you.” Yara is being kind of a sea bitch.
Theon tries to convince his father and sister to team up with the Starks, but Balon is too hell-bent on going to war. “Your time with the wolves has made you weak.” And your time in a damp, salty castle has made you insane, Balon.
In King’s Landing, Tyrion and Shae are having a lover’s quarrel. It’s the oldest story in the book: boy meets girl, boy hides girl in secret chamber in family castle, girl wants to go outside, boy wants her to work undercover as a kitchen wench. ”Every man who has tasted my cooking has told me what a good whore I am,” quips Shae. I hear that, sister!
I thought I’d attended some awkward family dinners, but nothing tops the one where Sansa’s tween-in-laws are asking their mother, “Is our brother going to kill Sansa’s brother?” Sansa is continuing her “name, rank, and serial number” numb captive routine. We can see the wheels turning. Shae is appointed her handmaiden. Hopefully Sansa has sense enough not to confide in her, but she’s a teenager, so, we’re not betting on it.
Tyrion continues to set up his tidy little hermetically-sealed inner circle. He wants to weed out anyone who is more loyal to Cersei, so he tells Pycelle, Varys, and Baelish that he plans to marry off Princess Myrcella to three different men in a political power play (with the stipulation that “the queen mustn’t know”): the (as yet unnamed) youngest son of House Martell of Dorne, Theon Greyjoy, and Robin Arryn of the Vale. I don’t know anything about the Martell kid, but we know that Theon is 1) a jackass when it comes to “romance” (but, bonus, he’s into very young girls?) and Robin is still breastfeeding, despite no longer being eligible for the kid’s meal. Best of luck to you, Myrcella, if any of this pans out! You’ve got some real winners to choose from.
Renly is “praying” “alone” i.e., getting it on with his boo. Loras is like, get off me, I am mad at you for emasculating me after my pretend fight, and also my chest hair is growing back in weird! (Remember that scene from Season 1?) Loras sends in his sister for sexytimes with her new husband. Renly is trying very hard not to burst into tears while she kisses him. He is terrified of vaginas. After offering him herself, she offers up some Real Talk. She’s well aware of Renly and her brother’s relationship, but also knows if he’s going to be king, and she’s going to be queen, she needs to get pregnant ASAP, so if that means using her brother as a marital aid, so be it. This is one understanding lady! Understanding, and cunning. I like this broad.
Cersei and Tyrion get into a shoving match. She’s heard of his plans to send Myrcella off to Dorne. Guess we know who the mole is now! Theon writes a letter to Robb warning him of his father’s plans. Then he burns it. He’s made his choice. He gets baptized with seawater, being welcomed back into the fold.
Baelish doesn’t like being made a fool of! But he softens when Tyrion offers him a chance to run an errand that involves negotiating with his crush, Catelyn, for the release of Jaime. Tyrion has his men cart Pycelle off to the dungeons. Tyrion and Varys sit down for a cup of chianti and discuss power. “Power resides where men believe it resides,” says Varys. “It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall. And, a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
Somewhere in Westeros on the way to the Wall, the Night’s Watch recruits are sleeping in a barn. Did this remind anyone else of that scene from the Disney animated film 101 Dalmations?
Arya can’t sleep. She’s polishing Needle, the sword Jon gave her. She and Yoren have a fireside chat about vengeance and grief. We learn that Yoren came to the Wall because he murdered his brother’s killer. Arya can’t stop picturing the faces of Joffrey, the queen, her father, her sister, all in the moments before Ned’s death, but her eyes glimmer with satisfaction upon hearing Yoren’s story. Watch out, Joffrey. Arya’s coming for you.
A warning horn sounds outside the barn. “Ho! Get up ya lazy sons o’ whores,” yells Yoren. “There’s men out there who want to fuck your corpses!” Can I make this soundbite my morning alarm clock?
Yoren pulls Gendry and Arya aside, and tells them to hide, not to fight, and to run northward if shit goes down. Shit proceeds to go down. Those two soldiers Yoren pissed off earlier have returned with reinforcements. They proceed to question Yoren, and a battle breaks out. All the recruits watch Yoren get speared from all sides. A fire’s been ignited, and Arya frees the three men from the last episode who are still in their cage. Arya, Gendry, and the other young recruits are rounded up as prisoners. One of them has been shot in the leg, and asks the head soldier to carry him. He brutally skewers him through the neck with Arya’s sword. “We’re looking for a bastard named Gendry,” a soldier says. “Give him up, or I’ll start taking eyeballs.” Everyone looks at each other nervously. Arya, blessedly, thinks quickly and sees the boy that’s just been killed had Gendry’s bull-horn helmet, and identifies him as Gendry. Cut to black! Let’s hope the less intelligent recruits have sense enough to call Gendry something other than “Heh….ndryyyy.”