Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 5 Review and Recap
Kissed by Fire
In baseball strategy, you put your big power hitter fourth (clean-up) in the lineup in case the batter hits a home run and gets all three hitters ahead of him across the plate. The fifth batter is generally considered to be a second leadoff hitter — a way to get things going again after the clean-up hitter has cleaned up the bases. So it comes as no surprise to me after the epic “cleaning up” that Danaerys accomplished with the Unsullied army at the end of the fourth episode that the fifth episode would be a “second leadoff” for season three of “Game of Thrones.” This week, director Alex Graves’ “Kissed by Fire” attempts to jump start the season following the Westeros-shattering events of the previous episode.
This week’s episode begins following Arya’s “prisonership” with the Brotherhood Without Banners. This subplot picks up where it did last week. Sandor Clegane and Beric Dondarrion cross blades in a fight seemingly influenced by Lady Melisandre’s own Lord of Light. The clash of swords ends with The Hound cleaving Beric’s armor and shoulder, killing him for only a moment until he is apparently resurrected from the dead. The Hound departs freely from the cave later in the episode.
After Beric’s resurrection, we catch up with Jon Snow and Ygritte’s subplot North of the wall. At the wildling camp, Jon is grilled about which castles are guarded near the wall. Despite revealing the truth to his interrogators, the interrogators are still not satisfied until Ygritte (Rose Leslie- “Downton Abbey”) steps in to scare off his inquisitive questioners. After Jon makes it clear that he doesn’t need her help, Ygritte steals his sword and makes him chase into a cave where it becomes obvious that the chase was merely a ploy so she could get him all alone to herself. What happens next is what viewers have waited for ever since Jon Snow caught himself a wildling prisoner last season.
Jaime and Brienne then make their first appearance of the episode when they meet Lord Bolton, who informs Jaime of his father’s victory over Stannis Baratheon’s invasion last season. After Bolton sends Jaime off to see a doctor concerning his severed hand, Jaime then agrees to full amputation without medication. We then make a quick jump to the Kingslayer’s sister, Cersei, as she threatens Littlefinger into investigating the ulterior motives of House Tyrell which then causes another transition between Cersei and Jaime’s brother, Tyrion, and Lady Olenna Tyrell striking a deal in regards to paying for the royal wedding between King Joffrey and Margaery.
We then jump to one of the most sincere moments in “Game of Thrones” history when we catch up Arya again speaking with her friend Gendry. Gendry informs her that he wants to stay on with the Brotherhood because they need good men. Arya says that her brother, Robb, needs good men, too. Gendry responds to her that the Brotherhood offers him a family, as well, to which Arya tearfully confesses that she could be his family.
The next scene jumps to Robb Stark’s subplot as his two young Lannister “hostages” are murdered in cold blood by Lord Karstark and four other of his men. When Karstark is brought before Robb, he owns up to the murders and mocks the idea of a king in the North. Karstark’s men are sentenced to be hanged as Robb decides the political implications if he decides to execute Lord Karstark as Karstark’s men are sure to abandon Robb’s cause if their Lord is executed. Robb, true to his character and convictions, executes Lord Karstark for his actions despite the implications it means to his cause. We then jump back to the Brotherhood Without Banners where Robb is discussed by Arya and Thoros. Arya discovers that the Brotherhood will trade her for “a contribution” from Robb. She then inquires about Beric’s multiple resurrections, trying to discover if a headless man (obviously Ned Stark) could be resurrected just once. Again, Arya has to hear some tough news in this episode.
Next we see Stannis Baratheon and his wife, who has been locked away for a long time. His wife reveals how the Lady Melisandre has filled her in on everything that has happened since she became Stannis’s “spiritual advisor.” Stannis then visits his daughter (a princess locked away in a tower), a kind, innocent little girl with a deformed left-side of her face. His daughter inquires about the Onion Knight. Davos used to visit his XBFF’s daughter with gifts in tow, but she notices that he hasn’t visited her in a while. Like Arya, this girl was in for some bad news, as well. Later on, she finds the Onion Knight and agrees to teach him how to read while he spends time in the dungeon.
Graves then cuts to an extended, intimate between Jaime and Brienne. This scene is another that has been culminating for a while. As Brienne bathes, Jaime enters the bathhouse post-op. He chooses the very same tub as her. Brienne, for all her size and might, becomes as exposed and vulnerable as any human being upon Jaime “revealing” himself as he entered the tub. He then criticizes her service to Renly Baratheon which results in Brienne exhibiting her trademark bravery and standing fully nude and unashamed before Jaime. Jaime then apologizes and breaks down before her. He confesses his newfound trust in her and tells her his side of the story involving the death of the mad king and his feelings regarding the name “Kingslayer.” This is the most human Jaime Lannister has ever been since his secret was uncovered in the very first episode.
The Unsullied’s beloved Khaleesi makes her first appearance since her epic uprising last week. Ser Jorah and Barristan discuss Danaerys and her ability to lead as a queen. Jorah believes in her with all his heart. We then see Danaerys herself as she speaks with Grey Worm, a newly-elected leader among the ranks of her Unsullied army. The Khaleesi informs the army they now have the right to choose their own name so Grey Worm decides to stay with the name “Grey Worm,” considering it a blessed name as it was his name when Danaerys Stormborn gave him his freedom.
Robb Stark shows up again attempting to plan his next move following the revelation of Karstark’s departed men. Robb decides that taking Casterley Rock would be easy as well as crippling to the Lannister’s morale. We then see his sister Sansa and Margaery Tyrell watch Margaery’s brother Loras spar with a squire with whom he eventually ends up in bed. The next scene involves Sansa, as well. Littlefinger again extends his offer to take her away from King’s Landing to which she declines, fearing she will be a danger to Littlefinger if they are caught.
The last scene of the episode involves Tyrion walking into a private meeting between his father and his sister. Tyrion is informed about a potential power grab by House Tyrell. Tywin’s solution to this matter is that Tyrion marry Sansa Stark to secure the North and that Cersei marry Loras Tyrell in order to break up the union between the Starks and Tyrells so that the Lannisters have an especially tight grasp on House Tyrell and have a way to the North through Sansa. Both Lannister siblings are shocked by the news and the potential implications of the marriage. For Tyrion, he realizes how awful this could be for such a young girl to marry a much older man in a very selfless statement, however we really know his main concern is Shae. For Cersei, she is in love with her brother Jaime.
Sansa Stark has matured so much from the first season. This episode really solidified the notion that she’s starting to get the “game” over the Iron Throne. Her new friend Margaery has introduced an air of maturity about her and her new betrothal to Loras has her feeling much more safe than a marriage to Joffrey Baratheon. At the moment, it looks as if she’ll be marrying the closeted Loras or the much older Tyrion. The question is: Can Sansa manipulate and play the game as well as her potential sister-in-law?