Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 7 Review and Recap
The Bear and the Maiden Fair
We begin South of the wall this week, following Jon and Ygritte’s voyage among the Wildlings as they march on Castle Black. Ned Stark’s bastard confronts the warg who cut his rope in last week’s episode.
The warg points out that Ygritte hasn’t taken the rope-cutting personally and implies that neither would Jon if he were truly fighting for the cause. Also on the move is Jon’s half-brother, Robb Stark. Stark’s army travels toward Ser Edmure’s wedding to one of the daughters of House Frey. As this scene progresses, Talisa reveals her pregnancy to the King in the North.
Robb’s oldest sister appears next as the only subplot not on the move this week. Sansa Stark and Margaery Tyrell speak about the upcoming nuptials between Sansa and Tyrion Lannister. Margaery points out that despite his deformities, Tyrion does have a reputation for expertly knowing his way around a female. (But that’s just a tip she heard from her mother. Mmm. Sansa’s naivete is almost too much to bear at times.) One of the most fascinating points of this scene is that Margaery tries to explain all of the pluses for marrying Tyrion Lannister. She comes off as almost jealous of Sansa’s role in the game of thrones. For all of Tyrion’s deformities and faults, he can please a lady and he isn’t a morbidly sadistic teenager. Margaery seems to truly appreciate the bullet that Sansa dodged more than Sansa herself, and this makes sense as the betrothed queen-to-be comes off as rather worldly this week. After we see from two girls who have shared the same betrothal, we jump to the betrothed — King Joffrey Baratheon. The King’s Hand (and grandfather) appears to counsel Joffrey on who is really in charge. The most surprising aspect of this episode occurs here, I believe, as Joffrey makes the most sense he’s ever made on this series. The King of Westeros inquires about Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons with grave concern (as would any person with a functioning brain). However, Tywin disregards Joffrey’s inquiry as nothing to worry about (as would any person who apparently didn’t know a thing about dragons). It was so unlike Joffrey to have a legitimate concern and even more unlike Tywin to dismiss dragons.
We then cut to the King’s uncle and the Hand’s son, Tyrion. Tyrion is having a heart-to-drunk with Bronn. Tyrion expresses legitimate concern on the ramifications of a wedding with Sansa to his true love, Shae. Bronn, however, doesn’t share the same sober sentiments. Bronn suggests Tyrion enjoy marriage with a young beauty like Sansa and enjoy a side affair with Shae. Both of Bronn’s suggestions are thrown back in Tyrion’s face later as accusations via Shae herself.
After this, Arya continues brooding about the departure of Gendry. The Brotherhood receives reconnaissance about a small Lannister party that will delay Arya’s return to her family. Arya accuses Beric of being a liar, declares death to be her god and escapes into the forest where she is abducted by none other than Sandor “The Hound” Clegane himself. Series author George R. R. Martin (he wrote the episode this week) then takes us to Gendry and Lady Melisandre as they share common stories of a poor, difficult upbringing. However, Melisandre declares that the Lord of Light saved her from disparity and that Gendry is the bastard son of none other than King Robert Baratheon (who appears to have fathered children with everyone except his wife).
In Yunkai, our favorite Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen attempts to negotiate for the freedom of all the city’s 200,000 slaves. Her negotiation tactics: angry children and the army of the Unsullied. Actress Emilia Clarke delivers this week’s most sage line: “What happens to things that don’t bend?” They break, Khaleesi.
Theon Greyjoy hasn’t gone anywhere since we last saw him. With everyone on the move, the changeup of the imprisoned ward of Ned Stark was great pacing. Two whores attempt to seduce him in the dungeon based on his reputation. However, Theon won’t play ball and sure enough, his captor returns to dismember him.
We then return to Jon Snow as he attempts to teach his beloved the meaning of swooning. Ygritte makes it clear that she isn’t like most girls that he knows. He then warns her of the history lessons he (and every boy at Winterfell) learned about the six failures of six attempts by the wildlings’ invasions of the North. She reminds him that he is one of the wildling side. It’s becoming increasingly obvious just how terribly and unwell their relationship will end.
The episode ends with Jaime Lannister and Brienne. As Jaime leaves for greener pastures, he learns that Brienne’s fate will not end well. He then manages to return and save Brienne as she is pitted against a bear, given only a wooden sword for a weapon. The Kingslayer swoops in and saves the day… one-handed.