I’m reliably informed by The People Who Have Read The Books that George R. R. Martin is a master of suspense, but not in a good way. Apparently this episode, which can be summed up parenthetically (Brienne fights a bear, Theon loses a valuable appendage), is on par with those giant tomes clogging up your friends’ bookshelves in terms of promising a lot and delivering not quite enough.
But we can hope. At least we’re now well and truly set up for a speedy downhill run into episode 10. After all, Robb couldn’t possibly spend any more time in tents, kissing his (now pregnant) ladyfriend, could he? And Bran and his gang couldn’t possibly bicker around their campsite about whether they’re going in the right direction for another episode? And Ygritte and Jon Snow couldn’t possibly be any more bound together by a mutual sense of impending doom/desire for freedom? Surely not.
Ok so there are a few things worth reporting on this week. At King’s Landing, Sansa and Tyrion are slowly being talked down from their ledges about their impending marriage, but Shae is having none of it. Meanwhile Joffrey is all ‘Hey Grandad, keep me in the loop about this lady with dragons I keep hearing about,’ and Tywin is all ‘Whatever you say, Justin Bieber.’ Also, Melisandre tells Gendry that he’s actually Robert Baratheon’s bastard, and Arya gets jack of the gold-hungry Brotherhood Without Banners and runs away – straight into the clutches of the Hound.
To make up for the total lack of Daenerys last week, we get a fantastic scene where she ‘negotiates’ with a representative from Yunkai – a city she’s about to raze to the ground after freeing all its slaves. But even more satisfying – especially after 40 minutes of build up – is the final scene when Jamie rescues Brienne from a pit-match with a brown bear (courtesy of
evil Noah Taylor Locke). Whatever will Cersei say when she meets Jamie’s new best friend?