“Of course, ambitious climbers don’t want to stop on the second highest rung. If only you could take that final step. You’d see further than all the rest. You’d be alone with nothing but blue sky above you.”
– Cersei Lannister
We are introduced to Daario Naharis in season 3 episode 8, Second Sons. He makes an impressive first impression racking up a fair amount of points. Tyrion and Sansa are joined for better or worse. Far to the North Sam proves his bravery when faced with the terrifying White Walkers. Like last episode this as also light on scores, which generally means we’re heading for some big action in the next 2 episodes
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Arya makes an attempt to kill her captor The Hound while he sleeps, but quickly he reveals he is awake. He tells her she is lucky it is him who caught her and not someone else noting he protected her sister in King’s Landing, but Arya does not believe him. They come to a river and Arya is confused that is not the Blackwater as she believed Sandor was taking her to Joffrey and Cersei. Sandor responds, “Fuck Joffrey. Fuck the Queen.” Much to her relief he explains he is taking her to the Twins to be ransomed to Robb and Cat.
In Essos Daenerys learns that the powerful friends the Yunkish alluded to are a mercenary company known as the Second Sons. She arranges a meeting with their leader Mero, his co-captain Prendahl na Ghezn and his lieutenant Daario Naharis. She ignores Mero’s repulsive nature and attempts to bribe him to fight for her rather than Yunkai. She gives him two days to make a decision.
On Dragonstone Melisandre presents Gendry to an unimpressed Stannis. Though he sees the resemblance to his dead brother immediately. She orders Gendry to be fed and bathed. Stannis seems disturbed by this, likening it to torture if she only plans to sacrifice him. She retorts with an analogy to slaughtering a lamb, “If the lamb sees the knife, she panics. Her panic seeps into her meat, darkens it, fouls the flavor.” She claims to have slaughtered many lambs, none of which had seen the bade.
In his cell Davos struggles to read the book Shireen left him, but is making progress. He hides it away when he hears someone approach and is surprised to see Stannis. Stannis softens to his former Hand asking if he’s being fed and giving his condolences for the loss of Davos’ son in the Battle of the Blackwater. He reveals to Davos that Melisandre has returned with King Robert’s bastard son. Davos deduces Melisandre intends to sacrifice the boy. When Stannis reveals he has come to free him, Davos goes further stating Stannis knows that it is wrong to kill his nephew and knew Davos would advise against it. Davos admits he does not believe in gods, but Stannis is incredulous noting Davos has seen Melisandre’s power and he himself has seen the future in her flames. “How can you deny her god is real?”
Davos Seaworth earns 3 Alliance point for earning back Stannis’ trust and 3 Honors points for being restored as Hand of the King.
Stannis Baratheon earns 3 Alliance points for Davos’ continued loyalty.
At the camp of the Second Sons the three leaders discuss Daenerys’ proposition. Mero argues that they cannot break contract, but all are dubious of their chances in the field against her unsullied. In the end they decide to kill Daenerys by sneaking into her camp that night. By random draw, Daario is selected to carry out the plot.
In King’s Landing Tyrion goes to see Sansa before their wedding. She keeps her wall of courtesy in place as he attempts to make some sort of connection with her. He tries to explain that he knows that he would not be her choice, but promises to never mistreat her. Elsewhere Margaery greets Cersei warmly proclaiming they will soon be sisters with Cersei’s marriage to Loras. Cersei responds coldly and proceeds to tell Margaery the story behind the famous Lannister anthem The Rains of Castamere. The Rheynes had once been a rich powerful house that rivaled the Lannisters and eventually rebelled against them. Tywin responded by decimating their line and destroying their castle. To remove any doubt of the implicit threat Cersei ends the conversation promising to have her killed should Margaery call her sister again.
The wedding ceremony proves an awkward affair. King Joffrey delights in his role to walk Sana down the aisle in place of the father he had killed and then removes the stool which was to aid Tyrion in cloaking his bride. After a wave of snickers Sansa kneels for him to cloak her and the two are named husband and wife.
Sansa Stark earns 3 Alliance points for her marriage with Tyrion.
Tyrion Lannister earns 3 Alliance points for his marriage to Sansa.
Back on Dragonstone Melisandre visits Gendry who is in awe to be surrounded by such wealth and splendor. She seduces Gendry and when his defenses are down she binds his arms and legs. She begins laying leeches on his body as Davos and Stannis appear. She tells Gendry he can blame Ser Davos for his position as he needs proof of the power of King’s blood. She removes the leeches and Stannis tosses each one into the flames saying the names Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon.
Gendry receives -3 Betrayal points for Melisandre’s deception and -1 Wound point for his torture.
Melisandre earns 1 Magic points for her spell and 1 Wound point for her torture of Gendry.
The awkwardness continues at Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding feast. Tyrion drinks heavily much to Tywin’s anger, Joffrey corners Sansa and threatens to rape her, and when Joffrey declares they must have a traditional bedding ceremony Tyrion threatens to castrate him. The King’s rage is palpable, but Tyrion tries to defuse the situation blaming his drunkenness. He quickly takes his leave with Sansa. Though his father ordered him to consummate the marriage Tyrion tells Sansa he will not touch her until she asks him to. She replies that she may never and he pours another drink quoting the famously celibate Night’s Watch “And now my watch begins.”
To the east Daenerys bathes in her tent and marvels at Missandei’s ability to speak 19 different languages, but the two are interrupted by an intruder. He reveals himself as Daario Naharis. He tells her he was sent to kill her, but presents her with the heads of his captains explaining he had chosen to kill them rather than her. Daenerys stands from her bath and accepts his pledge of loyalty.
Daenerys Targaryens earns 3 Alliance points for the allegiance of the Second Sons
Daario Naharis earns 1 Morghulis point for killing his captains, 3 Honors points for becoming the leader of the Second Sons, and 3 Alliance points for pledging loyalty to Daenerys.
Still beyond the Wall, Sam and Gilly huddle together for warmth in an abandoned hut. They distract themselves by discussing baby names for her son, leading to a discussion about their fathers respective abuses. They hear the crows outside getting louder, Sam goes to investigate and is shocked to see the tree is now filled with them. Then they suddenly fall silent and a White Walker approaches. Gilly says that it’s after the baby. Sam draws his sword, but the White Walker shatters it. It moves toward Gilly and her child but Sam recovers one of the dragonglass daggers he found on the Fist and stabs the White Walker. The creature howls and then crumbles destroyed. For a moment the two are in shock but urged by the calls of the crows they run.
Samwell Tarly earns 5 Morghulis points for killing a White Walker.
White Walkers receive -3 Defeat points for their failed attack.
Gilly earns 1 Survival point for escaping the White Walker attack.