Game of Thrones brought us something entirely different for Father’s Day. This is Westeros after all, where things take a deadly ugly turn in a drop of a hat. But we’ll get back to that later. First we go to the Wall, where we left off last episode as Jon Snow was stepping out to the Land of Always Winter, where he hopes to find Mance Rayder and kill him. He walks into the Wildling camp, where he is apprehended and taken to the King Beyond The Wall. He pretends to be there to negotiate terms, but Mance is not a fool. He sees through Jon's facade and tells him so.
As the tension builds up in the tent, a horn is blown through the camp. A large army of cavalry has arrived and is proceeding to slaughter the Wildlings. Mance steps out and calls on his people to stand down; he does not wish to see more of his followers die. Two riders then arrived with a retinue of guards. It is Stannis and Davos Seaworth. They confront Mance and tell him to bow down and surrender. The Wildling king refuses to bow. Jon Snow introduces himself, and advises Stannis to keep Mance as a prisoner but with due courtesy. Stannis accedes to Jon’s advice since he knew Ned Stark and thought him an honourable man.
Later, Maester Aemon presides over the eulogy for the fallen members of the Night’s Watch. As the funeral pyre burns, Melisandre keeps an interested eye on Jon Snow. Perhaps she wants another leech session? After the ceremony, Jon Snow speaks with the Magnar of Thenn. The imprisoned Wildling reveals to him that Ygritte really did love him, even to the end. He also told Jon that she belongs to the North, the true North. Jon understands, and brings Ygritte’s body to the nearby woods beyond the Wall. He builds a funeral pyre for her, and burns her body.
In King’s Landing, The Mountain is being treated by a healer as Maester Pycelle and Queen Cersei watch on. There seems to be no hope, it seems that Oberyn has utilized a deadly poison on his blade that is irreversible. Pycelle wishes to leave it alone, thinking that there is no way to save him. But the healer says there is a chance, and Cersei bids him to do what he must. She dismisses the older and more experienced Grand Maester before leaving to speak with her father. She asks him to break her betrothal to Loras Tyrell. But Lord Tywin is not a man you can change when he has already made up his mind. He rejects her plea, and Cersei warns him that she will tell the truth if forced to the marriage. She then reveals she and Jamie have been having an incestuous relationship right under their father's nose. To spite him even further, she then proceeds to walk out, to the Tower of the King’s Guard where her brother is. The two of them make love as Cersei whispers that she does not care if anyone walks in on them.
Further east to Meereen, Daenerys is troubled by an old slave wanting to return to his old master, so that he may be a tutor again. Daenerys does not grant his exact request, instead allowing him to draft a contract for service no longer than a year. The old man leaves, but another one arrives carrying a bundle. He lays it on the Queen’s feet and shows her the bones of a child killed by her black dragon, Drogon. Daenerys then conducts a meeting in her chambers on how to handle the situation. Drogon is nowhere to be found. She locks up her two other dragons beneath the catacombs to prevent more deaths.
In the Land Beyond the Wall, Jojen, Meera, Bran, and Hodor have reached the tree of the three-eyed raven. It is the same as the one they saw in their visions. Moving to approach it, they are set upon by a group of skeletons who have come to life. The fight is fearsome and Jojen ends up being stabbed multiple times. A small figure saves them by hurtling exploding jars of fire on the skeletons. She bids them to go to the cavern beneath the tree. Meera, seeing how mortally wounded her brother is, decides to give him a quick death instead of leaving him lying there to bleed. The small figure mercifully incinerates Jojen’s body with a well-aimed exploding jar. Everyone else proceeds to the cavern. The skeletons try to follow, but disintegrate upon entering the cave. The small figure then explains that she is what they referred to in their legends as The Children of the Forest. She takes them deeper into the cave, where they find the three eyed raven. As it turns out, the figure who has spoken to Bran in his visions is a man encased in the roots of the tree. He tells Bran that while he will never walk again, he will learn to fly.
In the Vale, Brienne awakens to find their horses have gone. She scolds Podrick for being careless as they continue their journey on foot. Coincidentally, they run into Arya who is practicing with her blade. Arya tries to call on the Hound, who at that time is out of sight but nearby. Brienne speaks to her, but soon enough the Hound makes his appearance. Podrick immediately recognizes him. They soon learn they have been talking to Arya Stark. Brienne tries to convince the young woman to join her, explaining that Arya's mother, Catelyn Stark, had dispatched her to bring her daughters home. The Hound and Brienne duel, and he ends up being kicked off a cliff. Brienne tries to find Arya, but she cannot find her. She then goes down to find the Hound and speak to him one last time. The Hound begs for death, instead of dying slowly. But with cold, stony eyes, Arya gets up, stealing the Hound’s money purse instead. She walks off, leaving her long-time companion and captor to his fate.
Back in King’s Landing, Jamie frees Tyrion. They walk in the hidden passages, and Jamie tells his brother to go upstairs to the tower of the Hand, exit it, and find Varys. It is the same hidden passage Varys let Tyrion use to smuggle Shae into King's Landing, back when Tyrion was the Hand of the King. The two brothers share a warm embrace, and bid their goodbyes. Tyrion goes up the stairs and finds himself in his old chambers, which now belongs to his father as the new Hand. He warily approaches the bed and finds his old lover, Shae, there. Fuming with rage, Tyrion ends up choking the woman he once loved. As he contemplates what he has done, he spots a crossbow hanging on the wall. With it in his hand, he searches the tower for his father. He finds him in the privy taking a dump. He points the crossbow at the man who has belittled him since childhood. Tywin, always the politician, tries to talk himself out of the situation. But Tyrion has had enough. He shoots, reloads again. As Tywin bleeds, he screams that Tyrion is no son of his. Tyrion retorts that he has always been Tywin’s son and then shoots the killing blow.
The imp then walks away and knocks on Varys’ door. The spymaster hides Tyrion in a chest, which is later loaded onto a ship journeying east. But as Varys watches, the bells ring in King’s Landing. Perhaps knowing full well the implications of that sound, he boards the ship and sits beside the chest where Tyrion is hidden.
Somewhere in Westeros, Arya finds a ship and asks the captain if he would take her to the Wall in the North. But the captain says no, he is making his way to his home in Braavos. Hearing this, Arya brings out the old coin she was given many years ago; a coin that would bring her help from any Braavosi who sees it. She utters ‘Valar Morghulis’, and the captain replied ‘Valar Dohaeris’, and he grants her a cabin, allowing her to join the voyage. The ship, with Arya, sails away. She does not know her family’s greatest enemy has died in the privy.
Still though, Happy Father’s Day Tywin Lannister, the Starks send their regards.
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