Mother of Dragons!
The Climb Recap
By: Dan Shorr
Jon climbs the 700 foot Wall with an ice pick and some custom shoes, and no one else’s storyline this episode quite has the same stakes in comparison.
Beyond the Wall:
Samwell Tarly is on the lam with Gilly and her newborn son following the Craster’s Keep riot. They are still a few days away from returning to Castle Black and snacking on some venison stew, notably very tasty, and getting the not-even-a-week-old infant indoors. Also, just a quick tangent, I don’t think that a few blankets and a tiny fire are suitable tactics to enable an infant to survive being exposed to arctic weather for multiple days on end. Moving on, Gilly is enamored with Sam’s upbringing; “I knew you were Highborn” she says. Uh-oh, Sam. Watch out. No wonder she is waltzing around with her son in the snow, she’s just trying to cozy up to you for your money! Get out while you still can.
Osha and Meera are bickering over proper rabbit skinning techniques before Bran forces them to play nice. Meera’s brother, who clearly has gotten a lot weirder since Love Actually, starts having a seizure and has a vision of Jon Snow. But who cares about that, Rickon – the lost Stark – gets two whole lines of dialogue! Somebody call the Guinness Book of World Records, this is just too good to be true.
Jon is getting ready for The Climb, the episode’s title, and does so by getting a pair of Ygritte’s ex-boyfriend’s sneakers. Really nice of her. She also calls Jon out on his loyalties, because that is such an appropriate topic to discuss before climbing a 700 foot ice wall. “You didn’t stop being a crow the day you walked into Mance Rayder’s tent” she says to him. She knows Jon is good, too good to betray his brothers. But, as she tells him, if he goes back to his Night’s Watch intentions like he plans on doing, he will in turn betray her and thus compromise the integrity he values so much. Damn, AND the dude has to climb that big ass wall. Tough day.
Somewhere in the Riverlands:
Arya is still reciting her hit list in public, obviously not reading the Mother of Dragons recaps here on Independent Philly. She is incorporating some archery practice into her routine because apparently nobody thinks that it’s a bad idea to encourage a little girl with murderous intentions with further violent activities. The Brotherhood without Banners get a very unexpected guest, Melisandre, Stannis’ fire mistress. She shows up to buy Gendry (the bastard son of King Robert), presumably for some ominous fire-sacrifice back at Dragonstone. This is a MAJOR deviation from the book (well, more like a major compression of sorts) so your guess is as good as mine.
No offense to Tormund Giantsbane and his half a hundred Wall climbs, but this just doesn’t look possible.
Theon is hanging out with Pervert Sean Astin (right? This dude definitely looks like Rudy) who is giving Joffrey a serious run for his money. “If you think this has a happy ending then you haven’t been paying attention,” not a fun thing to hear before someone starts cutting off your pinky.
Robb takes a meeting with two of Walder Frey’s goofy hat wearing sons who give some simple conditions for the truce between the two sides. Robb has to apologize, give the Freys ownership of Harrenhal (the Westeros real estate market is all about that burned down property), and have his uncle Edmure marry a 19 year old Frey daughter within the next two weeks to ensure that this time a wedding actually happens. Edmure initially puts up a fight but eventually concedes thinking well, 19 is 19, and the group lets the Freys know that the wedding is on.
Brienne is looking fly in her pink dress while Jaime struggles with his pork-chop and tries to negotiate with his “host” Roose Bolton. Roose knows that he will end up dealing with Jaime’s father, the last guy you mess with, and realizes that the smart thing to do is to send Jaime back to King’s Landing – which he agrees to do. But guess what, Brienne isn’t going with him. Still accused of abetting treason, Brienne will remain behind as a prisoner – bad news in case you were on the fence about it.
A senior citizen powwow as Olenna Tyrell tries to become the first person since Arya to pull one up on Tywin Lannister as the two debate the two families’ upcoming weddings. She gets in one or two good jabs about Tywin’s incestuous children but ultimately she falls like the rest. Tywin threatens to throw together an executive order which would royally screw over Loras, unless Olenna plays ball. She consents and admits how rare it is to meet “a man who lives up to his reputation.” Maybe she hasn’t met Joffrey yet, that kid is certainly as advertised.
Back to the climb that this writer can’t fathom participating in, things get a little messy. Ygritte inadvertently causes a massive avalanche of ice and a majority of the climbers fall to the ground with remarkably low chances of survival. Jon and Ygritte are knocked down and become dead weight for the two climbers above them, Tormund and Orell the Impolite Warg. Orell cuts the young lovers loose, a really rude thing to do 500 feet off the ground (or honestly just in general). Some last minute Jon Snow heroics save the day, and the two continue their treacherous journey up the Wall.
Sansa Stark talks jewelry and fashion with Loras Tyrell, really not picking up any hints about his lack of interest. The two do find common ground as they both loathe King’s Landing (“the most terrible place there is”) and cannot wait to be able to leave it forever. Shame that isn’t going to happen…
Tyrion and Cercei look on from above, spying. Tyrion steps up his quip game giving us this gem about Loras’ forced marriage to Cercei: “[he] will certainly come to know a deep and singular misery.” But they also cover some important ground as Tyrion confronts his sister about the attempted assassination on his life. He realizes it wasn’t Cercei, it was Joffrey! But of course it was!
Later, Tyrion has to tell Sansa the bad news about their nuptials and has to do so in front of his own girlfriend, who is clearly just learning about it for the first time. Yeesh. That is awkward.
Littlefinger, taking his sweet time packing for the Eyrie, confronts fellow schemer extraordinaire Varys to speak allegorically about the nature of the “Realm” and share a graphic little tidbit about Ros, Littlefinger’s assistant who was snitching to his bald adversary. “Luckily, I have a friend, he wanted to try something new, something daring. And he was so grateful to me for providing this fresh experience.” What ever could he be talking about – oh, sure, a five second cameo of King Joffrey using his custom crossbow to murder a prostitute. Should have seen that coming.
Ygritte and Jon made it! Too tired to beat up Orell the Impolite Warg for almost killing them, they just intensely make out and take in the view. And probably take some time off before climbing down. Because that is going to suck.
Tune in Sundays at 9:00 PM and then check Independent Philly the following day for the recap!
[Story by Dan Shorr]