By far my favorite episode of the season so far, episode three contains enough action to satisfy the most bloodthirsty viewers while still developing the plot and characters tremendously. Every character is covered in this episode except for Daenerys and Robb, but the exemption of these characters led to stronger scenes with all of the other characters.
Jon Snow survives his run in with Craster and we finally learn what he has been doing with his wives (sisters) male children; giving them to the Others! For the first time since the prologue of the first season, we receive a glimpse of these scary looking dead humanoids hat the Nights Watch is so concerned about.
Renly receives a ton of attention this episode, as Catelyn Stark finally makes her way South to him to try and form an alliance between him and Robb. We are introduced to two more characters during his scenes: Margaery Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth. Both of these characters will play huge roles over the next few seasons, so get to know them now. We also receive that ‘sexpostion’ that I described in my last review, this time between Margaery and Renly. Margaery informs Renly that she is aware of his homosexuality, but also takes a mature role in saying that she does not care, as long as he can put a child in her. Renly is a king, and a king needs an heir.
Bran is plagued by another direwolf vision, but nobody is paying his experiences the attention that it deserves. Maester Luwin, Winterfells resident doctor, basically tells Bran that these are only stupid dreams, and they will pass in time. However, viewers can only imagine that these dreams will become stronger and more pronounced, giving Bran a very unique power that has the potential to cause some very severe disturbances.
Tyrion is up to his old tricks again, and this time he dismantles the small council even more with the removal of Grand Maester Pycelle. The way this was filmed was nothing less than brilliant, as the directors manage to fit three lengthy scenes into one short one while explaining his removal perfectly.
My two favorite scenes in this episode involve Arya and Theon. Beginning with Theon, this episode really confirms his transformation. He burns his letter destined for Robb that explains of an incoming attack, essentially cutting all ties with him. He is also ‘reborn’ in the eyes of the Drowned God as a true Greyjoy, and plans to sail off and attack the coastline in the name of his father.
Along with the letter, Theon burns his ties with Robb.
The show ends with an Arya scene, when the Night’s Watch is confronted and attacked by Queen Cersei’s men. Yoren is killed in an extremely heroic manner, being shot with a crossbow and still managing to kill four or five guards. While I knew about his death from the books, it still sad to see him killed, although I am pleased in the way they did it. Arya is then captured by the Queen’s guards, and through some quick thinking tells them that they have already killed Gendry, pointing to a body aside his iconic helm.
The editing, cinematography, and content all contribute to making this an excellent episode. We are now starting to get close to the halfway mark of the season, and new twists and surprises lie around every corner. Episode four should be even better than this one, as I have heard that it contains a major scene that is very famous form the book, although I am curious to see how it is adapted to the television screen.