Game of Thrones, Season 3, Ep 7 “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

The North, heading South: So apparently the plan was to climb down the southern side of The Wall. At least I think so, because the group of Wildlings (with Jon Snow and Ygritte) are now walking across a landscape with less snow and more grass on it. There’s no explanation whatsoever of how they got down from The Wall to here. Jon has words with the wildling guy who tried to cut him loose while climbing up The Wall; the wildling retorts that it was pragmatism (though in words of one syllable or less), and Ygritte would have known it and she doesn’t care that he cut the rope. He then proceeds to taunt Jon by saying Ygritte would prefer a real man, i.e. him, over Jon. Ygritte and Jon then have a brief lover’s tiff over their different cultures – he wants to look after her but she doesn’t want looking after – then they fall into each others arms again, while the wildlings in their party roll their eyes and say “get a room”.

Jon warns the group that they have no hope of taking Castle Black, or any other force south of The Wall, because they are so untrained and ill-disciplined. They don’t believe him, smug in the superiority of their barbarian fighting style. I dunno… it’s hard to see where all this is going. Jon’s probably right, they don’t stand a chance against any decent force – but that may just mean that they destroy the first one they come across, in a daring display of disorganised brawling. And Ygritte… I get the sense that she really likes Jon, but is still struggling with their differences, while Jon seems more aloof yet more willing to work at it. Maybe she’ll fall out of love with him at the same time as he starts falling more deeply for her.

Also The North, heading North: Bran’s company make camp. Jojen tries to counsel Bran in his visions and help him to unlock further meaning from them. Osha doesn’t like this one bit and complains, calling Jojen a witch (or similar). Bran is concerned by Jojen’s vision of Jon surrounded by snow and enemies, but Osha is dismissive and says she’s taking Bran to see Jon at Castle Black, and that’s that. Bran doesn’t fully resolve the conflict here, because for now they are still heading to Castle Black either way. But when they get there, I reckon Osha is going to fly off the handle when she realises Jojen is right (or at least not wrong). She seems barely able to deal with the situation as it is. She seems loyal to Bran, but I don’t think she can take much more of being ignored.

Wherever Theon is (also somewhere in The North): Two attractive young women cut Theon down from his torture rack and proceed to apply the “good cop” routine – where the cop is a two female strippers. In his torture-addled state of mind, Theon at first thinks it’s some sort of trick and doesn’t trust them (smart move, actually, very smart move), but when the women get completely naked and start rummaging inside Theon’s pants he starts to go along for the ride…

At which point the torturer returns and calls the women off. They obediently huddle behind him as he asks Theon what is his most important body part (contrasting to last time when he asked what was the least important body part, concluding it was a little finger, which he then proceeded to destroy). Torturer comments that Theon’s manhood is known across the land for being exceptionally large, and decides it will have to go. He bares a wicked looking knife, approaches a screaming Theon, and the scene fades to black…

It would have been nice if the next scene had opened with Varys, but alas the editor missed an opportunity. I have no idea what the point of all this torturing Theon is for. Presumably he has to escape at some point, so he can do something else. There’s no point spending all this screen time on Theon if he’s just going to be tortured and die here. I presume at some point we learn who the torturer is and why he hates Theon so much, and thereby will hang a tale.

Heading to The Twins (somewhere in the Middle): Robb’s march north to marry Uncle Edmure to Walder Frey’s daughter is interrupted by rain. They reckon Frey will be angered by the delay, but Robb says he can wait. Talisa and Robb then make love, and Talisa reveals that she is bearing Robb’s child. He does the standard father reaction of badly disguised shock followed by saying it’ll be awesome.

This delay in reaching Frey and getting the marriage done seems to be brushed off lightly by Robb, but I suspect it won’t be that easy. Meta-analysing, the rain delay has to be important for some reason, or it wouldn’t have come up. So I expect there will be some nasty complication when they finally arrive at Frey’s place.

Brotherhood Without Banners (somewhere else in the Middle): Arya is understandably annoyed that the Brotherhood handed Gendry over to Melisandre. She picks fighting words with Beric, who says they serve the Lord of Light, and He had plans for Gendry, so they couldn’t refuse. Arya says the Lord isn’t her god, and races off into the woods. Just when you think she’s evaded the Brotherhood, a hand clamps over her mouth and picks her bodily off the ground… It’s Sandor “The Hound” Clegane!!! Uh oh!!

Harrenhal (somewhere West of King’s Landing, at least in my head): I told you!! I told you Jaime would come back to rescue Brienne! Yep, he does! This sequence begins with Jaime saying goodbye to Brienne, as he prepares to leave for King’s Landing. She reminds him of his oath to free the Stark girls, and he nods. Later, on the road with an escort from Locke’s forces, the old Maester tends Jaime’s hand stump. He says he was stripped of his Maester’s chain for experimenting on live people in an attempt to learn medicine, saying he was prepared to let a few suffer so he could help many.

Jaime chats with one of his escort, who tells him that Lord Tarth has offered 300 gold coins for Brienne’s ransom, but Locke is not going to accept it, because Jaime convinced him that Tarth was knee deep in sapphires and Locke wants more. Jaime realises his tall tale has doomed Brienne, and demands to go back to save her. He returns just in time to see her fending off a bear in a pit! Jaime leaps in and manages to get her out before the bear shreds them both. He then demands that she travels with him to King’s Landing.

Awww… I told you Jaime was falling for Brienne! I’m looking forward to Tywin being pleased to see Jaime again, followed by his reaction when Jaime says he wants to marry Brienne. That should be good for some fireworks!

King’s Landing (not North at all): Melisandre has taken Gendry on a ship to King’s Landing, of all places. As they sail in the bay over the wrecks of Stannis’s failed fleet, Melisandre tells Gendry he’s important. He counters that he came from the slums of King’s Landing. She says his father came from a noble house, and he says, “Great, I’m some bastard son, so what?” She says, “He came from that house,” and points at the royal palace. Gendry suddenly realises what she means, and she confirms that he is Robert Baratheon’s son, and that his blood is powerful.

Sansa does some more ultra-naïve stuff, confiding in Margaery. She hates the idea of marrying Tyrion, but little does she realise Margaery is far more dangerous to her. Tyrion meanwhile laments to Bronn about the marriage and the fact that Shae won’t like it. Indeed she doesn’t. Later Shae tears strips off Tyrion, even though, as he somewhat justifiably points out, it’s not his fault, and he hates it as much as she does. Shae seems pretty angry here. I wonder if she’ll do something rash. Like approaching Tywin… that’d be interesting.

Tywin meanwhile strides into the throne room and slaps down Joffrey in a battle of words and wits. Joffrey whinges about the Small Council meetings being held in the Hand’s Tower, and Tywin says Joffrey is of course always welcome to attend. Joffrey complains about having to walk all that way, and Tywin says he could arrange to have Joffrey carried, with a meaningful emphasis on the word “carried”, which shows just how much Tywin thinks Joffrey is a whingeing brat. Joffrey tries to parry, but Tywin is all over him. Joffrey complains about news that Daenerys Targaryen is building an army, with dragons, across the sea. Tywin says the skulls of Targaryen dragons once littered the throne room, and they’re no threat…

Yunkai (East over the Narrow Sea): Daenerys approaches the city of Yunkai. Jorah tells her it has no value, but Daenerys says it has 200,000 slaves, which is 200,000 reasons to conquer it. She sends her commander Grey Worm to order the surrender of the city. A messenger appears to offer tribute of gold bars, but Daenerys says she wants the slaves, not gold. The messenger scoffs, and Daenerys sends him scampering back after her dragons snap at him.

Well, I expect Daenerys will raze Yunkai and gain more slaves for her army, without any real problems here. It seems inevitable… although that makes me wonder if we’re not going to see some stumble from her here. She seems utterly invincible at the moment. But that would make a shock defeat all the more shocking. I dunno… I like her being so invincible with her dragons – I’d hate to see her suffer a setback at this point.

One Response to “Game of Thrones, Season 3, Ep 7 “The Bear and the Maiden Fair””

  1. Glen Barnett says:

    “Harrenhal (somewhere West of King’s Landing, at least in my head)” … well, yeah it is — at least in the sense that most of Westeros is west of King’s Landing. I believe you’ll get a better sense of roughly how far north or south it is in the next couple of episodes (because of a mention of proximity of something else you have some rough sense of already). Regarding the rain delay on the way to Edmure’s marriage, while there may be a timing related aspect (in that the delay may perhaps be a factor in what happens in the story), I feel like the specific cause of delay is intended as a form of foreshadowing, but something you can’t pick up on a first time through the story because I think the reference it would evoke hasn’t come up yet.

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