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How will Game of Thrones top last week’s ending? Let’s face it, Joffrey’s death left a huge void, the fans collective hatred was one of the driving forces of the show. The answer, to just keep it simple and go on.
The episode opens up with a close pan of Joffrey's face, and as it moves out , we see a hysterical Cersei trying to make sense of what happened and ordering the search for Tyrion’s wife; Sansa Stark. We then see Sansa (who at that time was already running away with Ser Dontos) board a boat and row to a nearby ship, where Sansa comes face to face with her true rescuer; Lord 'Littlefinger' Baelish. After giving her a brief explanation, Littlefinger deals with Ser Dontos, but instead of rewarding him, he proceeds to have him killed by a crossbow . He justifies it by pointing out that with him out of the way, Sansa’s safety would be more secure. Baelish then throws diamonds at the boat where the now dead knight lies, delivering on a little bit of his promise of payment. The ship sails away, with an uncertain future for Miss Stark.
Back on shore in King’s Landing, Margaery is conversing with her grandmother; Lady Oleyna. She wonders whether she is still Queen, and if she is cursed in some way after her last two husbands died under such gruesome way early on after their wedding. Lady Oleyna calms her fears, and tells her that there is still opportunity in their situation and that their alliance with the Lannisters is still strong.
In the Sept of Baelor, Queen Cersei and her son Prince Tommen are watching over the body of King Joffrey who is now laid out. Lord Tywin enters and proceeds to address his living grandson, teaching him that wisdom is what makes a good king and that his brother Joffrey didn’t have it which is why he died. He then takes Tommen out and eases him to the idea of marrying Margaery, his brother’s widow, in order to maintain the alliance with the Tyrells. Jamie then enters and asks everyone else remaining to leave the Queen alone to mourn her son. Left alone with his sister and lover, Jamie offers what comfort he can. But the Queen is ice cold and her mind is only filled with retribution. She blames Tyrion and she tells Jamie of what their imp brother had told her once “The day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn into ashes in your mouth”. Cersei then asks Jamie to kill Tyrion, but he is not so keen, telling her that Tyrion is their brother and that they should leave it to a trial. She cries, and they share a kiss, but she ultimately draws back. Jamie to blurts out “You’re a hateful woman, why did the gods make me love a hateful woman?”, then proceeds to force himself upon her.
Meanwhile, far way, Arya and the Hound are still continuing on their journey towards the Eyrie. They are found by a farmer and his daughter who tells them that he owns the land they are standing on. Arya weaves a fake story, claiming that she and the hound are a father and daughter fleeing from battle, and that her ‘father’ is a soldier, much to the Hound's confusion hinted with slight awe. The farmer asks to which banner the Hound fought under, Arya answers House Tully, which turns out to be the right response as the farmer is a loyal Tully man. He offers them food and lodging, and they accept of course. During the dinner the farmer, sees that the Hound is in his chain-mail, with a sword by his side and appears to be a fair fighter. He offers the Hound a job to guard his farm and surprising Arya, the Hound accepts. As to why he would do such a thing is answered the next morning when Arya awakens to find the hound robbing the farmer. Angry, Arya confronts him, the Hound dismisses her rants and tells her that he is a realist and that the farmer and his daughter would die anyway, because they are weak and can’t fight.
Further North in Castle Black, the Night’s watch is preparing for a wildling attack. Sam has a talk with Gilly on whether or not she is safe being the only woman among so many men. He then suggests that maybe Gilly is safer in Moletown, which isn't far from Castle Black. Gilly is not keen on the idea but Sam brings her there anyway. He has her and her newborn son hide in a brothel of all places, paying for her food and lodging. Gilly is not happy with being abandoned, but Sam and the Night’s Watch have bigger problems as the wildlings raid a nearby village. Only one boy is allowed to escape, who delivers the news to Castle Black. The members of the order discuss an appropriate response but Jon Snow tells them that they have to face reality and that their duty is to the wall first and not to the villagers. In that instant the horn is blown, signalling the return of rangers. The brothers scramble to speak with the returnees who reveal of other members of the order who are trapped and left behind. Jon Snow argues for their rescue since they might be forced to give information to Mance Rayder if captured.
In Dragonstone, King Stannis had just received news of King Joffrey’s death, and believing on the power of the magic of Melisandre and the King’s blood provided by Gendry for the spell. Stannis scolds Ser Davos Seaworth for freeing Robert’s bastard and his valuable blood. Davos tries his best to placate the King but can offer no alternative solution.
Later, Ser Davos meets again with Stannis’ daughter who is still teaching him how to read. During the course of their conversations, the Princess gives him an idea on how to raise an army. He then asks the princess to pen a letter for him to the Iron Bank of Braavos to secure a loan.
Back in King’s Landing, the scene opens up on an orgy courtesy of Prince Oberyn and his paramour Ellaria Sand. There are a few snippets of conversations about sex and sexual preference, when Lord Tywin Lannister barges in and asks to speak with Oberyn alone. As usual barbs are thrown between the two, then Tywin reveals why he went to meet the Prince. He offers him two things: first to be a judge in Tyrion’s trial and second, a seat in the ruling small council.
Not too far, Tyrion is languishing in jail. When he is visited by the ever faithful squire Podrick Payne, who brings him a few small items and news of the outside. Before he leaves, Podrick reveals that he has been approached to be a hostile witness against Tyrion. The smart imp, then gives us another reasons to love him more, ordering Podrick to betray him, because he has no wish to see his squire die with him. He then tells Podrick “There has never lived, a more loyal squire”. Teary eyed, the young man leaves his master to his fate.
Far to the east, Daenerys has arrived in Meereen and contemplates the city's very high walls. With her armies formed in front of the walls, the people within make their response. A lonely rider emerges from the gate and it is explained to Daenerys that they expect her to have one of her own champions to face this rider in combat. The young Queen watches on as the rider proceeds to insult her, and even pisses in front of her as an act of defiance. Daenerys then chooses Daario to fight the rider, who upon facing the rider gives her a flirtatious wink, before using a throwing knife to kill the rider’s horse, and then beheading its master. This angers the crowd behind the wall who orders archers to shoot. Arrows fly, but they are out of range. Daario stands his ground and pisses in front of the onlookers, mere inches from the fallen arrows. As if on cue, Daenerys then gives a speech addressing the slaves watching in the walls. She tells them that she has freed slaves before who now stand behind her, she offers the same to them and urges them to turn on their masters. Her army then proceeds to place catapults on position firing wooden barrels at the city. The barrels shatters, revealing its contents. A slave picks one up, which is an open slave collar similar to the one wrapped around his neck.
The saga of Westeros continues next week. What story lines will we see, who's blood will be shed and will Joffrey's murderer come out of the shadows? Tell us who you think killed the king in the comments and watch Game Of Thrones
on HBO, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern.
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