*Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow*
For every episode we get that just blows our socks off, we will get at least one that is just good. Good is not a bad thing mind you, and I am not really sure that this episode had anything really to complain about but to me it was good, but not great. This seemed like a “tie up some loose ends before we really get into things” sorta episode, so there was much less action and a ton more dialogue going on, with some of that dialogue getting really close to blowing the off of socks.
Starting off North of the Wall with Sam and Gilly. Sam really doesn’t have a clue does he? Gilly explains how to properly work a campfire, while Sam shows off the Dragonglass that he found at the Fist. He tells her about Castle Black and at her request sings for her and the baby. I wish timing allowed for the full song, but the first bit was good. We got a bit of Bran’s arc here, with a confrontation between Meera and Osha. Rickon got a line or two in, and poor Hodor was awaken from his nap. Jojen had a vision about Jon Snow that was so bad he had to bite down on a leather strap. Bran didn’t seem too happy to see that part of his gift.
Theon’s adventures continue, even though it takes place in one room. The scene was brutal, and even though we don’t know who this mystery person is doing the torturing, if you are paying close enough attention you can figure out who it might be. The short scene with Jaime and Brienne having a rather awkward meal with Lord Bolton. Bolton agrees to send Jaime back to King’s Landing, provided that he tells his father that Bolton was not responsible for his maiming. Brienne is not so lucky, as she is being held for aiding in a treasonous act, which will probably not work out so well for her.
King’s Landing had a few good scenes, and one that had the sock blowing dialogue. Tywin and Lady Olenna going back and forth about family secrets and wedding plots was absolutely fantastic. Cersei the “old maid” and Loras the “sword swallower” was brilliant. It looked like she might have got the upper hand going forward, but Tywin put a stop to it by threatening to name Loras to the Kings Guard if she did not agree. Cersei and Tyrion had a nice scene sharing their respective woe is me’s about Tywin’s plans for them. Tyrion even found out that it was Joffrey who had ordered Ser Meryn to kill him at the Blackwater. Sansa and Loras had an awkward conversation about the wedding, before Tyrion tells her the bad news. Worst part for Tyrion is that he had to do it in front of Shae. The speech that Littlefinger had was the other dialogue worthy of blowing off socks, in part to his voice being back to the normal one. The speech itself was great, but the slow scenes that it went over made it that much more special. Seeing Sansa weeping while watching Littlefinger’s ship sail off, Joffrey’s sick grin as the camera panned to the arrow riddled body (proving that he is still the same old monster when Margaery is not around). It’s the little things that this show does extremely well.
Arya was getting some archery instruction when the Brotherhood received a visit from Melisandre. There was a great scene between Thoros, Beric and Melisandre, but it all ends with the Brotherhood being less brother like than we thought, and selling Gendry off to the Red Woman. The big part of this episode being Jon Snow and the Wildlings climbing the wall. It was really great to keep going back to this arc, as it doesn’t happen very often in this show. Ygritte coming clean that she knows Jon isn’t really a turncloak, all the way to the climb itself was done very well. We even got an action scene when a misstep in the ice pick causes a wildling crushing avalanche. The ending image of them together, in the middle of each others worlds with the sweeping musical score was the moment of this week.
Moving along the stories and even tying up some loose ends before we get into the last few episodes of the season, The Climb did it’s service to the realm. Note for next weeks episode, the screenplay was written by GRRM.
Here is a preview of the next episode: