Game Of Thrones Recap: "A Man Without Honor"
Theon sets out with a few men, some hounds, and Maester Luwin in the hopes of finding Bran and Rickon. Luwin cautions the would-be lord of Winterfell to show mercy. Theon, now clearly of the belief that cruelty beats weakness any day, refers to the whole thing as a game. He implies he won’t kill Bran and Rickon…provided they turn up soon enough.
Just then we check in on the band of misfit northerners, Rickon devouring walnuts and Osha observing they should have brought more food. They got a head start, sure. But hounds are coming for them. They stumble upon the farm where Bran sent two young orphans to be raised a couple of episodes ago. It’s tempting to make a pit stop and get supplies, but Bran isn’t too keen on relying on anyone, since involving others in their escape attempt would cause a greater risk of discovery.
Further north, Jon wakes up to discover Ygritte right where he left her, tied up next to him. She toys with him over his morning wood, and from his overly embarrassed response she realizes that young Snow is a virgin. He talks about the celibacy oaths of the Night’s Watch, a custom she finds ridiculous. For all they may have below the Wall, she’s a free woman and he’s shackled by his vows. They argue over ancestry and land rights until she gets to the truth of the matter—the only difference between the wildlings and the rest of the north is where they all happened to live when the Wall went up. Jon doesn’t have much of a rebuttal.
It’s a bloody day at Harrenhal. In an effort to find out who killed Amory Lorch and therefore poses a threat to his life, Tywin has given Gregor Clegane the go ahead to carry out about twenty hangings (and counting). No luck rooting out the assassin so far. In need of some good company, Tywin gives Arya his mutton and, as she eats, waxes on about how this will be his last war: The War of the Five Kings. Win or lose, this is what he’ll be remembered for. This is where he solidifies his legacy. He’s so obsessed with the idea that about five more seconds of self-reflection with his back to Arya would have seen the history books referring to him as the most powerful man ever to have his throat cut by a ten-year-old girl. She thinks better of it.
Tywin gives his cupbearer a history lesson, describing the glory of Harrenhal before Aegon rained dragonfire on it. Arya knows all about Aegon, as well as his sisters, one of whom she sounds particularly fond of. Tywin is impressed by how much she knows, observing that most girls are more interested in princesses and that sort of thing. “Most girls are idiots,” says Arya, earning a chuckle out of Tywin, who comments that she reminds him of his own daughter. Not an easy thing, making a comparison to Cersei sound like a genuine compliment. Tywin gives Arya a few pointers on how to talk like an actual commoner, more or less saying he’s aware that she’s not telling him everything. She comes up with an explanation for her highborn dialect, which the Warden of the West appreciates, but still doesn’t seem to fully believe. “You’re too smart for your own good, has anyone ever told you that?” She answers in the affirmative.
In King’s Landing, Sansa walks past the Hound, and takes the opportunity to thank him for saving her from the mob. He responds by further shattering her romantic notions of the world, confessing that it gives him joy to murder, and that she better be okay with that, because once she’s married, it’s Sandor Clegane who’ll be the only thing standing between her and her beloved Joffrey.
Dany is scrambling after the loss of her dragons, and Xaro is trying to help. She doesn’t really want to be around him, though. He can’t let something like this happen under his roof.
Ygritte points out to Jon that Mance Rayder was a crow like him until he chose to be free. Jon could be free too. She offers to sleep with him. To teach him how to do it. Jon says he knows what to do. Ygritte looks at him intensely. “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
Alton Lannister, the messenger who’s been running back and forth between King’s Landing and the Stark camp, tells Robb that Cersei tore up his terms of surrender. The King in the North thanks him. Considering they’re overcrowded at the moment, Alton will be imprisoned with the Kingslayer.
Up north, the search party arrives at the farm. The first mate finds some walnut shells. Theon realizes what needs to be done, and sends Luwin home.
Dany finds Jorah waiting for her; he returned the moment he heard the dragons were taken, and is furious with himself for leaving in the first place. The Mother of Dragons feels lost. She doesn’t know who her people really are. Jorah tries to comfort her, but she chides him for being too familiar. He asks what she wants of him. Her answer is pretty obvious: Find the dragons.
After another failed seduction attempt, Ygritte makes a break for it. Jon runs after her only to discover he’s now surrounded by wildlings. He should have slept with her when he had the chance.
Sansa awakes from a nightmare in which the mob kills her to discover she’s gotten her period. Considering this means she’ll now have to marry Joffrey, she’s understandably terrified. Shae helps her try to hide it when a servant girl walks in, then exits rapidly. Shae follows and threatens to kill, her, but she returns to find Sandor Clegane in Sansa’s bedchamber. Unless they mean to intimidate the Hound, it looks like the word is out.
Cersei and Sansa talk about womanhood. The Queen reflects that Joffrey’s always been “difficult,” even in childbirth. Robert didn’t bother to attend those particular occasions, but Jaime did. Good to have the father there, after all. Very upfront about everything, Cersei outright tells Sansa that she might never love Joffrey, but she will be able to love his children. “The more people you love, the weaker you are,” she says. Best to be a loving mother and cut everyone else out. Sansa thought she was supposed to love Joffrey too. She can try, says Cersei. The unspoken level of success expected from such an endeavor is more than clear.
Jaime and Alton Lannister sit in their cage. The Kingslayer is trying to remember exactly how the two of them are related. Alton was Jaime’s squire once, he says to remind him. The two reminisce over the day in question. Alton happened to be a great squire; serving Jaime like that was the best day of his life. One gets the sense that for the Kingslayer, it was Tuesday. But he was young once, and remembers squiring for Barristan Selmy when he was sixteen. “Like stepping into a dream and finding out it’s more real than your life,” says Jaime, who considered himself a pretty bad squire. Bad at everything, in fact, except for what he does. For instance, he’s a terrible prisoner. A terrible cousin as well, as he follows up all of this familial bonding by beating Alston to death so that the guard will open the cell. Jaime promptly strangles the guard with his chains, grabs the key, and makes his escape.
In Qarth, Jorah visits that bizarre, gold-faced woman to ask where the dragons are. He promises never to betray Dany again, and she tells him that his queen is with the dragon thief now.
That’s not the most helpful of hints, considering Dany is meeting the entire Thirteen about her reptiles’ whereabouts. The Spice king points out that this discussion is futile; he doesn’t know what happened to the dragons, but he wouldn’t tell her if he did. They have too much destructive potential. Luckily, the warlock Pyat Pree will help her. Dany inquires how, and he answers that he’ll take her to the House of the Undying…where he put the dragons. Dany is understandably confused. The warlock explains he took them as part of a deal he made with the King of Qarth: Xaro Xhoan Daxos. The merchant thinks the city is sorely in need of his leadership, and he means to change things. The Spice King, unfamiliar with the concept of a coup, says they’re overreaching. Not to worry, though. The reality of the situation sinks in when the hooded men around the room are all revealed to be duplicates of Pree, who bloodily cut the throats of the other eleven city rulers. Dany wants to get the hell out of there, but another duplicate blocks her way. Jorah shows up and stabs him, but he dissolves into a heap of clothing. The original warlock extends a final invitation to Dany as she flees with Jorah and her bloodrider in tow.
Back at Robb’s camp, the Kingslayer has been caught. Turns out he’s bad at escaping as well. Unfortunately the young wolf is off getting medical supplies with Talisa, and with him not there to give orders the men are pretty keen on seeing the pride of the Lannisters hanged for his crimes, especially Lord Karstark, who’s son was the guard Jaime killed. Catelyn barely manages to keep the men’s bloodlust at bay.
Cersei and Tyrion discuss the impending arrival of Stannis’s fleet, which, bolstered by Renly’s former bannermen, now dwarfs their own. Cersei quotes some of their father’s tactical wisdom, but Tyrion points out that they’re quite alone on this one. They proceed to discuss Joffrey rather frankly, Tyrion observing that “It’s hard to put a leash on a dog, once you’ve put a crown on its head.” Cersei opens up entirely about her and Jaime’s relationship, observing it’s just like with the Targaryens. They survived with three hundred years of incest, sure, but half of them were entirely mad. Tyrion tells her she’s beaten those odds; Tommen and Myrcella are good, decent children. Small consolation, though, when the eldest is such a monster. Cersei breaks down crying, the most vulnerable and sympathetic we’ve yet seen her.
Brienne astutely remarks that it’s only a matter of time before hatred and waning sobriety make this Jaime Lannister’s last night on Earth. Catelyn speaks with the Kingslayer alone, and calls him a man without honor. He counters that when held to so many vows, it’s inevitable that he would betray some of them. He points out that he’s never been with a woman other than Cersei, so in his own way he’s more faithful than Ned was, considering he fathered a bastard. At this, Cat unsheathes a sword, and moves closer.
Finally, Theon returns to Winterfell, and shows everyone the consequences of disobeying him: The disgustingly blackened corpses of two young boys. Now there’s a man without honor.