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'Game Of Thrones': Dark Winds, Dark Words

Lilian Min |
April 7, 2013 | 11:26 p.m. PDT

Music Editor

In this week's installment of "Game of Thrones," we have romance! Intrigue! Oh, and a little old-fashioned rack torture.

Last week's episode focused in a lot on Daenerys and Tyrion at the expense of many of the other important characters in the "GoT" universe, but this week's episode, forebodingly titled "Dark Winds, Dark Words," picked up on those dropped narratives and carried them out to exciting and terrifying ends.

BROS 4 LYFE (via stark-queen/Tumblr)
BROS 4 LYFE (via stark-queen/Tumblr)
First up is Bran Stark, who prances into the episode on his... legs?! But of course this is only a dream; the three-eyed crow is ever present, and Bran's flanked by his far away older brothers (in a great throwback to the first episode of the series). And of course, to up the nostalgia factor, we hear Sean Bean's omniscent voice in the background too, in case we need to be reminded that none of this is real.

But oho, who's this cutie lurking in the dream forest? It's none other than Jojen Reed, a boy who, like Bran, is able to slip into other creatures' subconsciences (a gift he called "the Sight").

Oh come on, you were all thinking it. (via stonestark/Tumblr)
Oh come on, you were all thinking it. (via stonestark/Tumblr)
Jojen and his sister Meera are the children of one of Ned Stark's bannermen, and Jojen, being a fellow warg (skinchanger) like Bran, has taken up a mystical duty to deliver Bran to an undefined somewhere.

Osha and Hodor are still traveling with Bran, baby Stark Rickon, and their two direwolves, but while the others in the gang fleeing Winterfell do not understand Bran's new companions (not that Hodor can really understand the complexities of anything), the crippled Stark is convinced that there's something more to his supernatural gifts, although: "I didn't ask for black magic dreams." Word.

Speaking of Bran's older brothers, what's up with Jon Snow and Robb Stark? The former's still hanging around with the Wildlings, and when he's not getting leadership advice from Mance Rayder, he's busy freaking out while watching a warg named Orell do his thing. And what does this warg speak of? Dead Crows—and Snow just slightly cracks his traitor's veneer in a moment of pure fear.

Robb Stark is also dealing with death, but of the more familiar kinds—of war sacrifices and natural death. Roose Bolton interrupts Robb and Talisa's ~*steamy makeout sesh*~ to deliver not just one, but two pieces of bad news. From Winterfell: the news that Theon turned traitor and that Bran and Rickon Stark are missing. From Riverrun: the news that Catelyn Stark's father, Robb's grandfather, is at death's door.

If it seems as though Robb's taking it bad, boy, does Catelyn take it worse. Lady Stark believes both her daughters captive and now knows nothing about two of her three sons (not counting Jon Snow, of course). When Talisa tries to have a moment with Cat, she is instead treated to a tearful confession of unreasonable, supernaturally-based guilt. Yes, it sucks to be Catelyn Stark—but it's so easy to dislike her when even she admits that her pride and insecurity have really f*cked things up.

Also, damn, does she dislike Jon Snow. But he's so ~*sad*~. 

SPEAK TRUTH, SANSA. (via jojenreeds/Tumblr)
SPEAK TRUTH, SANSA. (via jojenreeds/Tumblr)
But hey, how 'bout them daughters? Sansa Stark finds herself in the middle of some pretty crazy King's Landing intrigue. Queen-to-be Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother, the eagerly-awaited Queen of Thorns Olenna Tyrell, quiz Sansa about King Joffrey's true character. And for the first time since the death of her father, Sansa has an outlet to say what she really thinks about "His Grace."

#overit (via landslidesongbird/Tumblr)
#overit (via landslidesongbird/Tumblr)
The crazy part? Margaery and Olenna already know. One of the best parts of the episode was easily the faces the Tyrell women exchanged; it's moments like those that make this particular writer wish George R.R. Martin wrote any of the lords and ladies of Highgarden in POV chapters. Man, those Tyrells: they're in the process of playing the game of thrones better than possibly any of the other mainland characters in the cast.

Now aim to the little shit by your side, Margaery. (via ishichan/Tumblr)
Now aim to the little shit by your side, Margaery. (via ishichan/Tumblr)
For when she's not (politely) bashing former husband Renly Baratheon's bedroom inclinations (despite knowing about his and her own brother's "degeneracy"), Margaery is still doing work by getting Joffrey's knees weak with a display of reserved interest in bloodlust. Who else got chills during the entire crossbow sequence? Too bad Margaery's hands couldn't have "slipped" or something during the demonstration... alas.

Whatever else happens to the (current) series regulars, it's apparent that the Tyrells are in it to win it... something that, so far, only Cersei is keen enough to pick up on, even as her son eyes his bride-to-be with not quite respect, but not total disdain.

Outside of the hornet's nest of King's Landing, Arya Stark, Gendry, and Hot Pie find themselves in... another hornet's nest! They're captured by Thoros of Myr, whose character appears to be a mixture of Tom of Sevenstreams (the bard) and the Thoros of Myr of the A Song of Ice and Fire Series (who's supposed to be bald). Thoros is leading a group of fighters who belong to the Brotherhood Without Banners, who fight against the king's men in the general Westeros countryside. 

(Side note: how great is it that Thoros is singing "The Rains of Castamere" during his character introduction? Arya almost smiles when she hears it... but boy, does that song take on new meaning later.)

 "Her?" (via stark-queen/Tumblr)
"Her?" (via stark-queen/Tumblr)
Arya's pride flares up when the men of the Bw/oB consistently belittle her size and sex, but being without the skill to actually back up her words with swordfighting, she's easily disarmed and subsequently embarrassed by Thoros. But man, that embarrassment is better than what she must be feeling next, for none other than the Hound gets taken prisoner by Brotherhood members, and when he sees Arya, oh man, does he remember her as well as she remembers him.

Don't these two look like the best of friends?! (via rose-papillon/Tumblr)
Don't these two look like the best of friends?! (via rose-papillon/Tumblr)
Then, in what's possibly the most satisfying storyline of the episode, it's time for the Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth show!!! These two deserve their own talk radio spot or something; the banter between them is as sharp as Brienne's totally steal-able swords, and their two diametrically opposed mindsets face off on everything from Renly's kingliness and whether or not they should kill the random man who spots the two of them in the woods (Brienne ultimately lets him go).

Even as they insult each other, the two are slowly opening up and becoming... friends?, or as close to friends as captor and captive can be. Brienne slips from her stone-faced act when Jaime tears open the still-raw wound that is Renly, and when she tries to shut him up, he says, "We don't get to choose who we love." Ohhhh man. 

Admit it, you laughed. (via northgang/Tumblr)
Admit it, you laughed. (via northgang/Tumblr)
But nothing good can last in the ASoIaF universe. Jaime makes a break for it when Brienne lets her guard down for just an instant, and while that sword fight was exhilarating to watch (seriously, how good of a swordsman must Jaime be that he can hold off Brienne with his hands literally tied), it spoke to the fact that these two are still very much enemies. Even though Brienne ends the fight by doffing Jaime in a most hilarious manner, shit, there's trouble on the way, in the form of Roose Bolton's devilishly facial-haired henchmen.

In the rest of the "Game of Thrones" universe:

- Theon is having the opposite of the time of his life as he's tortured by Roose Bolton's crew. Seriously, that flayed man sigil is like a warning beacon for "DON'T F*CK WITH THIS CREW." But it appears the tortured soul (literally) is going to get some help, from none other than Simon from "Misfits" (side note: Brit TV's inclination for incestuous casting continues).

- Tyrion and Shae have a lover's spat which reveals that at least one Lannister still harbors some feeling of protection for Sansa (whose name this recapper keeps typing as "Santa"). Shae's doing her best to watch out for the Stark girl, but to what end? She's already in danger by choosing to be with Tyrion; looking out for a known traitor's daughter doesn't seem to be a savvy move for a decidedly savvy person.

- Sam Tarly continues making a fool out of himself in the Night's Watch, but in an "awww" moment, he's lifted up (no really) by his brothers and he continues on his way back to the Wall along with the rest of those battered Crows. 

Read more of NT's "Game of Thrones" recaps here.

Reach Music Editor Lilian Min here; follow her on Twitter here and on Google+ here.


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