Episode 5 of Season 3 … and this means that we are halfway through with the newest season of Game of Thrones. And written by Bryan Cogman who has written an episode each season (S01E03 and S02E03) and it was probably the most intimate episode of this Season with all the things we learned about Westeros’s inhabitants.
A note on the spoiler policy
These articles will discuss the episodes in-depth so everything that has already been aired will be talked about. There won’t be spoilers for future events and book information will only be discussed if it has already happened or happened differently in the books. Things that are omitted from the books won’t be mentioned because those events might come to play in a different way.
For the night is dark and full of terrors
There seems to be one mandatory complicated action shot in every episode and Kissed by Fire kicked right into it. At first Thoros’s prayers seemed like the mumblings of any other lunatic… and to be honest I don’t consider Thoros to be among the mentally stable. But then Beric Dondarrion’s sword caught fire and the Hound had to endure what was probably the most terrifying fight in his life.
But that was not the highlight when it came to magic. In a very casual cutaway we were left to think that Dondarrion got killed by the Hound right after the episode that introduced us to him. But instead the Lord of Light cast his power and… revived Beric.
This was a pretty big game changer. The religion of the Lord of Light has now evolved from a Smokemonster-god to healing god. In a discussion afterwards we learned that Beric had been resurrected six times by Thoros. So the miracles just keep coming for Thoros and we are left to wonder how big of an impact all this will have on the story.
But bringing people back from the dead isn’t actually that new if we look at the White Walkers. Then again Beric seems much more alive than those extras from The Walking Dead although he admits that everytime he gets back into the world of the living he somehow feels less.
Overall Arya had to go through a lot this episode: first the Hound wins and insults her dead friend, she talks about bringing someone back from the dead and on top Gendry wants to stay with the Brotherhood.
Once again Gendry hints at something that I think is one of the major themes of Game of Thrones: overthrowing the established system of government. He states that he likes the “elected ruler” more than all the Lannister and Stark monarchs. And in a very poignant way he made it clear for Arya that if he went with her to Winterfell he would be a commoner and no longer Arya’s family – as she described it.
Indeed a very sad moment and a promise of more to come.
Just call me Jaime god damn it!
After getting trolled by Roose Bolton at Harrenhal Jaime had to endure some painful medical surgery by Harrenhal’s mad doctor but that was not the highlight of Jaime’s story. Instead we got a very intimate scene between him and Brienne where he finally cleared up the whole Kingslayer-story. I never understood the hatred for this act – aside from stubborn guys like Ned Stark.
Tell me: if I’d stabbed the mad king in the belly instead of the back, would you admire me more?
Is the quote from Season 1 that stuck with me. Clearly everyone hated the Mad King and it must have taken quite some courage to finally kill him. Thankfully Jaime finally got his moment to clear up his story and boy if it wasn’t a great conflicting tale! Go Jaime!
You are no King of mine!
Speaking of conflicts we saw Robb Stark this week dealing with a very similar problem that his father had in Season 1: honor or power?
And 100% his father’s son he went the honor route and beheaded Rickard Karstark for murdering the Lannister boys he captured a few episodes ago. The problem that Rickard mentioned – and that will probably haunt Robb – is that Robb executed a traitor… yet his mother is a traitor in the eyes of many.
The execution was a fantastic visual and musical callback to the execution of Ser Rodrik by Theon in Season 2 and if we look where Theon is now I am starting to worry even more for Robb.
Things are getting worse and worse. The Karstark’s army has now left Robb. Therefore Robb decided to get more men… from Walder “Argus Filch” Frey. I am not sure what his plan is but I suggest to Robb to not bring Lady Talisa along to Frey as it might remind Frey of a certain deal…
Stannis’s great family
Time to meet Stannis’s family! It is the fifth episode (that is half the season) and we are still getting introduced to new characters. This episode it was Stannis’s wife Selyse and daughter Shireen. Selyse was just super-mad with grief. Her collection of stillborn sons was a very simple tool to show us why this woman would become so obsessed with this new religion in order to find a purpose.
On the other end of the spectrum Shireen is just the nicest kid imaginable. But nice is not enough to bring out the nice side of Stannis and so she was lectured by Stannis about why the Onion Knight was not a nice guy (which he still is).
Rotting in a cell the Onion Knight was later visited by Shireen in a scene so touching it rivaled the Arya/Gendry-scene. Now she will start teaching Davos to read – something his now dead son also suggested in Season 2.
You know something Jon Snow
And thank god we finally had the mandatory sex scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte. This really was the scene that I knew would happen from the moment Jon Snow exclaimed “It’s a girl” and I am glad that we got it out of the way so the story can move along now.
I command you to have free will
Only to very quick things happened over at Daenerys’s place:
First she – or at least we – realized how difficult it might be when you try to teach mindless broken slaves to be individuals.
Second there was a scene where Jorah Mormont tried to figure out if Barristan Selmy sat on the small council. To Jorah’s relief he wasn’t and therefore his double-identity from Season 1 remains a secret – for now. I doubt that Jorah will be able to hide the fact that he was sent to spy on Daenerys by Robert Baratheon. And the longer he waits the bigger the explosion will be.
Connecting a series of short scene in King’s Landing – including a gay scene where I was sure that Loras would not make it – we got a nice Lannister-family time where some wedding plans were made. In short Tyrion is now promised to Sansa Stark and Cersei to Loras Tyrell. While from a father-children perspective it might be considered a horrible and cold move I must say that Tywin once again proved to be the best tactician in Westeros and now the game is set for more to come…
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