After last week’s crazy craze fest of pure excitement, Game of Thrones definitely needed to dial it back a bit, check in with some characters we might not have seen in awhile and develop some plot lines for the endgame of Season 3. While nothing might touch last week’s glory, “Kissed By Fire” was fun, entertaining and just plain good. Which is what we expect every week from GOT, right?
In Which Arya Stark Gets Enlightened & Left Behind At The Same Time
It was a pretty big night for traveling with Arya Stark and her homeboy Gendry. After challenging Sandor Clegane to trial by battle, leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners Beric Dondarrion proceeds to get murdered by The Hound in the trial, revived by the Lord of Light in some bonkers ritual, and then lets Arya know how battle and death and all the craziness that she seems to want to thrive in to protect her Stark name really isn’t all what it’s made out to be.
While the idea that the whole ‘Lord of Light’ cult idea is actually somewhat mystical/powerful after Stannis’ blunders is a pretty big revelation, what’s more important here is that after seeing what the Brotherhood Without Banners can do, Gendry decides to let Arya go. While Arya feels slightly betrayed, you can’t really blame Gendry. He’s finally got something of his own where he’ll be able to stand on his own name and do what he wants instead of serving someone else. While it seems like everything is all well and good for Arya as she heads to Riverrun, let’s be real, nothing is ever this easy for Arya, right? The Hound is sure to reappear somewhere, this whole ‘Lord of Light’ business is sure to bite someone in the ass, and well, it wouldn’t be Game of Thrones if everything got neatly tied up in a bow, right?
In Which We Check In With Stannis Baratheon & Davos Seaworth For Whatever Reason
I’m not really sure why Stannis and Davos are given any screen time really. The only reason I’m addressing them now is because I mentioned the whole Lord of Light thing in Arya’s recap-bit, so I guess if the Lord of Light is chilling with her, this whole plot was shown to show how much Stannis’ life kind of sucks now after Melisandre has left him. His wife keeps her stillborn baby corpses in jars, his caughter is brilliant but horribly scarred, his kingdom is in shambles, and his closest confidant is in a dungeon getting taught how to read by the previously mentioned daughter. It’s pretty depressing, kind of aimless, and well, I thought they were wrapped up nicely in the season opener. Obviously there’s some sort of endgame here for the lost Baratheon and the Onion Knight, so we’ll wait and see how this all turns out.
In Which The Lannisters Are All Kinda Screwing The Pooch
You know, after having faith in the Lannisters for so long for being evil douches, they’re showing a ton of weakness right now, and that cannot be good for King’s Landing as the Tyrells proceed to make power moves all over the place. Cersei thought she had the upper hand as Littlefinger informed her that Sansa Stark is the ‘Key to the North’ since the Tyrells plan to wed her into their family, but instead she ends up being forced by her father to marry the closeted son that Sansa’s heart belongs to because, well, you know, incest sucks. (We’ll get to Jamie in a bit.)
Tyrion showed a bit of his old self this episode as he took budgetary meetings with Olenna Redwyne and a quick bit of one-liners between his father and his sister only to be forced to marry Sansa Stark, which would be kind of cool if Tyrion was still the dick he was in the first season, but he seems to have grown a bit and is still in love with Shae, which will probably be awkward city. Either way, Tywin taking control of King’s Landing seems good for right now in the short term ideals, but there’s something about how quickly and confident he is in his decisions (and how bitter he’s making Cersei) that will definitely haunt him. Cersei hasn’t had one good backstabbing plot yet this season, which makes her overdue and who better for her big comeback than her own father?
Speaking of comebacks (that’s two for two with the segues!), Jamie Lannister has finally gotten his hand treated (which is good), then got naked in front of Brienne (which is bad/awkward/awesome for anyone who hope for the OTP), then admitted that he actually has a heart and is kind of a good person due to the reasoning behind him getting ‘The Kingslayer’ nickname (which is good), then passed out maybe due to the drugs he was on because of treating his severed hand (which is bad). I don’t know about you guys, but I wasn’t really feeling the sexual tension I know I was supposed to feel between Jamie and Brienne when this scene first started, I really only thought Jamie was being a creepster.
However, as he opened up to Brienne, (which you could totally blame on the Seed of the Poppy or whatever), Jamie’s need for her, her openness, and her listening skills showed that there really might be something there between them. I mean, it helps that they were both naked in a hot tub while all this was going on, but still, it’s the thought that counts, right? Jamie totally could have done this in a different situation and it might not have had the same impact, but he’s really messing up here by doing all of this when he’s stoned out of his mind. He’s definitely not going to have any memory of it and ruin the sentiment we all felt for him this episode next week, you just watch.
In Which Daenerys Targaryen Doesn’t Even Know She Might Have A Civil War On Her Hands
In her first action post-MURDERFEST DICATORSHIP 2k13, Dany Stormborn decided to make sure that he newfound soldiers truly understand how free they are. Instead, they were like ‘Yo we’re super grateful we’re free, you don’t have to tell us.’ So that was nice, but not the point of her travels. Rather, the disagreements between her right hand men Ser Jorah Mormont (the dude who’s been there forever) & Ser Barristan Selmy (the dude who just got here this season) on how she should run her kingdom are going to be nothing but trouble. Ser Jorah definitely has the seniority, but Ser Barristan has the experience with current politics at his side. Either way, you can feel a murder plot between one of them coming up pretty soon in order to protect their status with the true queen. Either way, It was nice to see some of the support characters with Dany get a bit of a spotlight this episode in the aftermath of her Castro imitation.
In Which Robb Stark Actually Acts Like A King And Doesn’t Do It Right
So, some dude in Robb Stark’s crew murdered some Lannister teenagers, and Robb had to act like a king ala the very first episode of GOT when Ned Stark cut of some dude’s head and took responsibility for it. However, the dude Robb killed has about half his army loyal to him, so they bounced, which creates a huge problem in terms of Robb’s whole ‘King-of-the-North’ conquest regime. So, instead of like trying to figure out another, more sensible plan to get some support, he decides that he’s going to go to House Frey, who he totally dissed by marrying his hottie nurse instead of one of their daughters, and go get some soldiers. So one step forward, two steps back. Either way, Robb Stark keeps making bad decisions and is pretty much an idiot. So yeah.
In Which Jon Snow Finally Gets Laid & Is Naturally Gifted At Cunnilingus (Look It Up)
So, shoutout to Ygritte for making sure that Jon Snow got his rocks off. I mean, I know every girl has got needs just as much as dudes do, but Ygritte really took it to the next level and was, like, ‘Yo. You gonna hit this now or what?’ which takes a lot of courage from a girl, and especially approaching a dude who pretty much swore a sacred oath to crazy gods that made him celibate. Also, Jon Snow was a virgin! I mean, who saw THAT coming?!? You’d figured Ned Stark’s bastard would at least get some side-hooker swag ala Tyrion going on, but no! So good for him, you know? Plus, it’s not everyday a first timer gets complimented on his oral skills. So all in all, not much going on with the Kingdom Beyond the Wall, but there’s a party in Jon Snow’s pants and Ygritte is the only one that’s invited.
Either way, we’re at the halfway point of the season, and you can tell that this episode is definitely the apex for everything to either work out or come crashing down. Especially because Littlefinger seems to be planning something, and the last time that happened, well, Ned Stark lost his head. I’m stoked. I’m ready for more battles, more war, more backstabbing and more plotting. As I stated previously, last week was a lot to live up to, but this episode more than delivered to get us ready for the second half of this season. Check out the preview for next week’s episode below and let me know what you think either in the comments or on Twitter.