This episode opens with Brandon Stark running through woodland hunting the three eyed raven. He’s dreaming obviously, since Bran lost the use of his legs in Season 1. He awakes with a start to find himself back at camp with Hodor, Osha and Rickon. He tries to tell them about his dream and the strange boy who appeared at the end warning him that he cannot kill the three eyed raven. Osha is nervous and does not want to hear about his black magic dreams, instead insisting that they must push on. They are still very far from the wall, which is where they are heading. Later however the boy from Bran’s dream appears in the flesh. Jojen Reed and his sister Meera. Jojen explains the significance behind Bran’s dreams of the three-eyed raven. It means he has the sight. The ability to see things which haven’t happened yet, or happened long before he was born, or are happening right now many miles away. Jojen has the sight as well and he has been seeing Bran in his dreams for a long time, and finally they meet.
In Harrenhal, Robb Stark takes the opportunity to look broody in some firelight as he talks with his bride. He looks like a king with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but things get no better for him (and his mother) when word reaches them of the death of his Grandfather, the sacking of Winterfell, and the fact that Bran and Rickon are missing presumed dead at the hands of former ward and friend of Robb, Theon Greyjoy. Robb resolves to ride to Riverrun for his Grandfather’s funeral with the hope of garnering extra troops to aid in the war effort.
Theon himself is not faring very well. He has fallen a long way after taking Winterfell for his own in season 2. He didn’t hold it for long and was knocked unconscious before it was sacked. It seems he has been taken prisoner and is now being held at an unknown location, chained up in a dungeon. His captors proceed to torture him for the remainder of his part in the episode (prising off his fingernails, and crushing his feet), demanding to know why he captured Winterfell, but at the same time appearing to be disinterested in his answers. Psychological torture combined with physical as Theon does not know who has taken him or why. Later in the episode a boy comes to him promising that he will release him, but he has to wait until nighfall.
Having been released from captivity by Catelyn Stark in a desperate bid to secure the release of her daughters in King’s Landing, Jaime Lannister is being escorted South by Brienne of Tarth. Jaime proceeds to get under skin at every opportunity, engaging in coversation and taunting her for the way she looks and explaining home truths that Brienne has heard all her life. They exchange pleasantries with an innocent trader heading north to Riverrun. Jaime insists that the man may have recognised him (after all the Kingslayer is renowned throughout the land), if he tells someone then they would be hunted down and recaptured within days. The implication is that they should kill the man. But Brienne refuses. When they reach a river Brienne is forced to break the cover of the woods and cross a bridge, much to Jaime’s delight. Half-way across Jaime manages to steal one of Brienne’s swords and cut himself free. Jaime is weakened by his weeks of captivity but he is still a formidable opponent, and the pair are evenly matched. Brienne knows she cannot kill Jaime since she is charged with taking him safely to Kings Landing. But just as she begins to get the better of him three horsemen arrive at the bridge. They have the trader in tow. He did indeed recognise Jaime and he has sold the information to the Bannermen of Roose Bolton.
Once the cows been milked there’s no squirting the cream back up her udders – Olenna Tyrell
In Kings Landing Lady Sansa is escorted to the gardens by Loras Tyrell at the behest of Maergery Tyrell herself where she is introduced to Margery’s grandmother, the delightfully prickly Lady Olenna of House Tyrell. She clearly has a lot to say for herself and would undoubtedly be a formidable foe in a battle of wits. She quickly gets to the point and starts quizing Sansa about her grand-daughter’s betrothed, Joffrey Baratheon.
Joffrey did that. He promised he would be merciful and he cut my father’s head off – Sansa Stark
Hesitant at first, fearing a trick, Sansa opens up, revealing how Joffrey ordered her fathers head to be cut off before taking her up onto the battlements to see his head, tarred and placed on a spike. He’s monster, she confesses worriedly. News which Olenna finds most disappointing. Later Maergery and Joffrey discuss her relationship with Renly, a known traitor. Maergery reassures him however that her duty to Renly was only that of any woman wed. To provide her husband with children. Unfortunately their relationship was never consummated before he died. Maergery fosters the notion that Renly was not interested in woman and Joffrey agrees. Having negotiated a dangerous conversation Maergery brings Joffrey back onside, by feigning interest in his bowmanship before he goes hunting.
North of the wall, two bands are marching south to the wall itself. The remaining Rangers of the Blackwatch, struggling to get back to the wall to warn the brothers of the White Walkers, and the Wildlings with Jon Snow. Mance Rayder tells Jon how he has united the different wildling clans under a single cause. Survival. Head south or die. While the Nights Watch are slowed in their trek back to the wall buy Samwell Tarly: Too fat, and too slow to survive. Lord Commander Mormont is having none of that though and commands Tarly to live.
Tarly, I forbid you to die. D’you hear me? Jeor Mormont
Arya Stark makes her first appearance of Season 3 when she runs into the ‘Brotherhood Without Banners’, after escaping from Harrenhal with the help of Jaqen G’har. The brotherhood take Arya and her travelling companions, Gendry and hot pie, under their wing and treat them to a hot meal and a drink at a nearby Inn. Some banter ensues but it is clear that the Bortherhood have no real interest in the three ‘young persons’ and they are free to leave after they have finished their meal. Ayra can’t wait and is almost out the door when another member of the Brotherhood walks in with a hooded captive in tow. The captive turns out to be none other than Sandor Clegane, or the Hound as he is also known. This is bad news, because Clegane knows Arya’s face and as she tries to leave he recognises her.
“What in seven hells are you doing with the Stark Bitch – The Hound