This week on Game of Thrones, the theme is separation. Friends from foes, children from moms, and of course, heads and/or limbs from bodies.
The shenanigans start when “Prince” Theon informs Bran that he has taken Winterfell, and that he must yield to save the people living there. Bran reluctantly agrees, but Theon later beheads Sir Rodrik (rather messily) for disrespecting him. Nobody in Winterfell has any kind words for the new Greyjoy prince, and their hostility seems to solidify Theon’s loyalty to his family, making him all the more dangerous and hated by the Starks. When word of Winterfell’s capture reaches Robb, Cat lays down a harsh “I told you so” and Robb promises to kill Theon himself. Come nightfall, Osha offers to serve Theon by sleeping with him, and when he’s asleep she quickly disposes of a guard and leaves Winterfell with Bran, Rickon, Hodor and the direwolves in tow.
Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Myrcella is being shipped off to Dorne for her own protection, and Cersei is in full Mama Bear mode over it. She tells Tyrion she hopes that he comes to truly love someone, before she takes her away from him. I understand her motherly instincts, but Cersei can’t be so blinded by her distrust of Tyrion that she wouldn’t realize this is the best way to keep her daughter safe, right? As the royal family makes their way back to the keep, tension rises in the crowd, culminating in full blown chaos when someone throws a cowpie at Joffrey and he literally commands the guards to kill everyone. The starving peasants attack the nobles, tearing them apart with their bare hands and teeth. Tyrion slaps some sense into Joffrey once again, saying there have been vicious kings and idiot kings, but never the likes of Joffrey – a vicious, idiot king. Amidst the din, Sansa gets separated from the Lannisters and is caught by several men, who are seconds away from raping and likely killing her before the Hound comes to the rescue. Obviously shaken, Sansa confides in Shae that she hates Joffrey as much as the peasants do, but Shae warns her not to say such things, as you never know who might be listening. She looks sad as she advises Sansa that it’s easier not to trust anyone.
Arya has a few close calls of her own in Harrenhal, the first being when Petyr Baelish comes to speak to Tywin Lannister about the Tyrells and almost recognizes her several times. She manages to keep to the shadows and turns her face away from him whenever possible, but the few glimpses he does get cause him to look rather suspicious, though he says nothing to Tywin. Only time will tell if he truly knows the identity of the new cupbearer. And later, Arya steals a short letter from Tywin’s table which describes the movements of Robb Stark and an order to alert their men of his location and plans. In a move that doesn’t seem to suit Arya’s usually solid judgment, she walks around outside with the note in plain sight in her hand, and runs into Amory Lorch. She manages to lose him and hurries to tell Jaqen she needs him killed immediately, as he is on his way to tell Tywin about the incident and she will surely be found out. Jaqen’s assassin skills prove to be mighty indeed, as his target drops dead right at Tywin’s doorstep, shot in the neck with a poisoned dart.
In the Northern wilderness, the rangers of the Night’s Watch surround a small wildling camp and kill most of the inhabitants, though Jon Snow finds himself unable to kill a woman named Ygritte. He tells Qhorin that he will kill her and catch up with the others, but despite Ygritte’s egging him on, is unable to do it. She runs away and Jon catches up with her just in time for them to snuggle up (for warmth, of course) and get some sleep before setting out again in the morning. Ygritte is smart, tough, and enjoys messing with Jon Snow, so I’m looking forward to more of her. Ghost also wandered away in this episode, and Jon chose not to follow after, perhaps signifying his growing bond with the Night’s Watch.
Finally, in Qarth, Daenerys requests a ship from the one of the Thirteen, who shrewdly turns her down. She threatens him, but he refuses to budge. As lousy a strategy it is to constantly yell “DRAGONS! FIRE AND BLOOD!” at those who disagree with you, I still love Dany’s moxie. However, after going through the city with Xaro asking for support from any of the merchants and higher-ups, she still comes up short and returns home to find her guards and people slain, and her dragons stolen by a warlock who is taking them back to the House of the Undying. To what lengths will the Mother of Dragons go to reclaim her children?