Dany exchanges gifts with a slave lord outside of Yunkai. As Sansa frets about her prospects, Shae chafes at Tyrion’s new situation. Tywin counsels the king, and Melisandre reveals a secret to Gendry. Brienne faces a formidable foe in Harrenhal.
The episode opens with the cry of Orell’s eagle flying above the wildlings as they move south from the Wall. Ygritte asks Jon Snow how far they are from Castle Black, and he tells her he thinks it’s about a week. She wonders how he doesn’t know for certain, and he replies that when he came to Castle Black they took the kingsroad. As they sit down to rest, she mocks the southron roads, wondering if southron armies march down roads banging drums and waving banners. Jon says yes.
Ygritte wonders how the banner-bearers fight, and Jon tells her they don’t really, but it’s a great honor. As the drummers, those are usually boys. Ygritte wonders what good that is, and Jon tries to explain that the drums help the marchers keep rhythm. This is a source of great amusement to Ygritte, who parodies it and wonders if men need help remembering to move their feet. Then she tells Jon that when Mance gives the signal and they attack Castle Black, there will be no drums banging to warn them of their coming.
Jon says no… instead, Mance will “light the biggest fire you’ve ever seen” to let the Watch know they’re coming. Ygritte tells him, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” She turns and walks away, and Orell comes up behind Jon and tells him that she’s right. Jon confronts him and says he does know Orell cut him loose when they were scaling the Wall. Orell points out that he cut Ygritte loose, too, and she’s not sulking over it because she understands the way things are. Jon wonders if Orell will share the “deep wisdom” he found in the head of a bird. Orell responds that people work together, are loyal, love, and kill when it suits them. Orell finishes by saying Ygritte knows it, but Jon doesn’t and that’s why he’ll never hold on to her. Orell walks away, smiling. Jon eventually rejoins the march.
In the riverlands, Robb is being dried by Talisa in their tent when the Blackfish enters and complains the rain will cost them another day. Edmure says Lord Frey will wait, as he knows they’re coming, but Catelyn responds that Lord Walder is a prickly man by nature. The Blackfish interrupts, saying he’d call Lord Walder the least pleasant man he’s ever met, rather than just “prickly”. Catelyn agrees and tries to go on, but against Ser Brynden interrupts her and adds even ruder views on Lord Walder. After a moment, he apologizes to Talisa for his language, saying he’s spent too many years among soldiers. Talisa responds she’s spent the last two years nursing wounded men, watching them bleed and die, so it doesn’t bother her. The Blackfish laughs.
Catelyn finally has the chance to say that Lord Walder will take the delay as a slight. Edmure doesn’t care—he’ll get the wedding he wanted. Catelyn disagrees: he’s getting a wedding, but it was a king he wanted. Robb suggests Edmure is the best match the Freys have ever had, and instead suggests they all get some sleep. The others depart. Catelyn, at the tent’s entrance, pauses and looks back, and sees Talisa and Robb embracing and kissing.
Later that same evening, Robb and Talisa are in bed and intimate. Finally Robb stops and pulls away, leaving the bed and throwing on a robe while Talisa continues to lie there in her nakedness. Robb, looking at her, says that if she doesn’t get dressed, he can’t promise he won’t attack her again. “Attack, attack!” Talisa says. Robb smiles, but he turns away to sit down… and stare at the map with its markers of the various forces arrayed against him. He moves a candle to get better light, while Talisa takes the opportunity to write something. Robb asks what she’s writing, and she says she’s writing to her mother. Robb asks if she’s writing Valyrian, and she responds, “gaa”. He repeats the word and then tells her to say hello from him. She tells him the Valyrian word for hello, and he tries to repeat it as well, though less successfully; she laughs and tells him that that’s close enough.
Robb wonders if her mother knows she’s a queen. She responds not yet. Robb supposes that’ll be a surprise, and Talisa adds that it’ll be one of many surprises for her. Robb glances at her, and after a moment asks her how he’s supposed to be planning a war when she’s lying there looking like that. Talisa looks at him, and then asks if they’ll go to Volantis together when everything is over. Robb promises that they will. Talisa goes on to say that she knows her mother would love to meet him… and her grandchild, as well. It takes a moment for that to sink in, when Robb realizes she means she’s with child. He goes to her, dropping down to take her hand. She asks if he’s angry, and he says she’s his queen. She supposes she has his little prince or princess inside of her, to which Robb replies that it might be one of each, and she laughs and tells him not to get greedy. Then she asks if he can leave the war for one night. Robb tells her that he loves her, and kisses her, and rejoins her in bed. Outside, the downpour continues.
It’s much drier in the North when Tormund is holding forth on the finer points of being a lover, including a very useful simile involving a baby seal. Jon listens bemusedly, as Tormund laughs and slaps him on the back before telling everyone else to go on. Orell is near to Ygritte when he walks up beside her and asks if she thinks Jon Snow lovers her, and if he promised he’d make her his lady and live in a castle with her. Ygritte says that Jon barely talks, but Orell says he’s seen them whispering in the night, “giggling like a pair of girls.” Ygritte is amused and notes he’s jealous. He admits it, and says she should be with one of her own. She asks if he’s one of her own, and notes that she’s never had a kind word from him.
Orell stops her and says that she would, if she were his. He’d tell her she’s beautiful and fierce and wild, and that he’d be good to her. Then Orell asks if Ygritte loves Jon. She’s silent for a moment, and then nods her head. Orell wonders if it’s because Jon Snow is pretty, with his pretty hair and his pretty eyes. He grabs her and asks if she thinks pretty will make her happy. She starts to tell him not to touch her, when Orell adds that she won’t like Jon so much when she learns what he really is. He leaves suddenly, and Ygritte watches him leave, confounded by his words.
In King’s Landing, Sansa bitterly reflects that when she was growing up at Winterfell she had wished to escape and come to King’s Landing, to see the southern knights in painted armor and the city after dark with all the candles burning. Sansa breaks down into tears, calling herself stupid, a stupid little girl with stupid dreams who never learns. Margaery comforts her and tells her to come walk with her. Margaery remarks that the first time she saw Sansa, she thought she had never seen someone who looked so unhappy. As Sansa dries her tears, Margaery tells her that she wants her to be happy, as does Lady Olenna. Sansa would have been happy in Highgarden, she tells her as she plucks a rose from the garden and gives it to her, but women in their position must make the best of their circumstances. Sansa cannot see how, when she’s marrying “him”. Margaery questions her as to whether Tyrion has ever mistreated her, and Sansa says he hasn’t, and admits he has tried to be kind to her as well.
Margaery asks if she still doesn’t want him, and Sansa notes he’s a Lannister. Margaery agrees, but says he’s far from the worst of them. Sansa apologizes suddenly, complaining as she is when Margaery must wed Joffrey. Margaery does not seem to mind—she notes that her son will be king, and sons learn from their mothers. Margaery intends to teach her son a great deal, and then tells Sansa that if she’s not mistaken, Sansa’s son might be Lord of Casterly Rock and Winterfell one day. But that simply troubles Sansa, as she cannot imagine having a son with Tyrion. Margaery asks if it’s the pain that she’s worried about, but Sansa says she’s not afraid of that, not after what Joffrey has done to her. Margaery doesn’t understand the problem, as Sansa gives her a look; she even says he’s rather good looking, even with—especially with—the scar. Sansa finally says, “He’s a dwarf. And Loras… Loras.”
Margaery tells Sansa that women like all kinds of men (some even like other women), but most don’t know what they like until they’ve tried it, and sadly most women get to try so little before they’re old and grey. She tells Sansa that she’s heard Tyrion is quite experienced. Sansa wonders if that’s really a good thing, and Margaery says it can be, as women are very complicated and pleasing them takes practice. Sansa finally asks how she knows all this, and if her mother taught her. Margaery looks at her for a long moment, then smiles and takes her arm and agrees that her mother told her.
Elsewhere in the castle, Tyrion is complaining that Sansa is a child. Bronn, drinking wine with him, tells him that she’s a foot taller than Tyrion is. “A tall child,” Tyrion then says. Bronn then asks what the youngest he’s ever had has been, and Tyrion replies, “Not that young.” But he smiles as he thinks on the question, as Bronn presses him, and he just says, “Older.” Bronn finally says that she’s a beauty and he doesn’t see the problem. Tyrion responds that Shae won’t like it, but Bronn is pragmatic: Shae is a whore and Tyrion’s certainly not going to marry her, given how marrying a whore worked out for him the last time. Tyrion regrets having told Bronn about that. Bronn goes on to say that he can keep Shae, if he wants. Simply get Sansa pregnant with a son, and he’ll be able to rule the North in his name. He’ll have a kingdom and two women. To that, Tyrion says that it’ll be two women to despise him, and a whole kingdom to join them.
Bronn pours out more wine and tells Tyrion that if he wastes time trying to be popular, he’ll be the most popular dead man in town. Then Bronn laughs, and says he knows Tyrion wants to bed Sansa, he just doesn’t want to admit it. “I don’t pay you to put evil notions in my head,” Tyrion tells him. “The ones already there don’t need company.” Bronn replies that he’s paid to kill those who bother Tyrion, but the evil notions come free.
In the throne room, Lord Tywin is escorted in by two knights of the Kingsguard as Joffrey sits on the throne. Tywin approaches his grandson and bows. Joffrey greets his grandfather, and says he’d like a report on the meetings of the small council. Tywin replies that the king is welcome to attend the meetings, any or all of them, but Joffrey replies that he has been very busy and that many matters require a king’s attention. Tywin agrees. Then Joffrey says that Tywin has been holding the meetings in the Tower of the Hand, rather than in the council chamber. Tywin agrees with this, as well, explaining that the tower is where he works, and that the walk from there to the council chambers would take time away from more productive things. Joffrey wonders if this means he’ll have to climb all the stairs in the tower if he wanted to attend a meeting.
Tywin, after a moment, mounts the dais… and looms over his grandson, as he informs him that they could arrange to have Joffrey carried. Joffrey is at a loss for words, but eventually changes the subject, asking about the “Targaryen girl” in the east, “and her dragons.” Tywin asks where he’s heard about this, but then says that it’s apparently true. Joffrey wonders if his grandfather doesn’t think they should do something about it. Tywin replies obliquely, turning to when he was Hand to King Aerys. He notes that the throne room had the skulls of all the Targaryen dragons, and the skull of the last of them was right by the throne and was the size of an apple. Joffrey notes the biggest was the size of a carriage, and Tywin agrees, but the creature to whom it belonged died “three hundred years ago” and that “curiosities” on the far side of the world are no threat. Joffrey argues that these beasts may bring the whole world to heel, but Tywin responds that they have been told by experts who serve the realm by councilling the king on matters about which he knows nothing.
Joffrey, in frustration, replies that he has not been councilled. Tywin notes he’s doing so right now. In the end, Joffrey says that he should be consulted on such things. To this, Tywin says that from now on he’ll see to it that Joffrey is “appropriately consulted on important matters whenever necessary.” He walks away, pauses to bow and take his leave, and climbs down the dais. As he does so, we see that smiles.
Outside of Yunkai—called the Yellow City—Jorah shows Daenerys and Barristan the city, and tells them that the Yunkai’i train bed slaves, not soldiers, and they’ll be easily defeated in the field… but they won’t dare meet them in the field. Instead, Jorah supposes the Yunkish leaders will prepare to withstand a siege, having laid in provisions, patience, and strong walls. Daenerys does not want half her army killed before she crosses the narrow sea. Jorah says they can pass Yunkai by, that there’s no reason to lay siege to it. But Daenerys asks how many slaves there are in Yunkai, and when Jorah responds that there are 200,000 or more, she tells him that she has 200,000 reasons to take Yunkai. She turns to Grey Worm and tells him to send someone to the city gates, to inform them that she will receive them and accept their surrender, because otherwise Yunkai will be defeated as Astapor was.
Later we see the Unsullied lining the road to her encampment, as Yunkish slaves carry one of the slavers to the meeting. The slaver looks at all the Unsullied with concern in his eyes. The slaver is presented by Missandei as Grazdan mo Eraz, of an ancient and honorable house. He is frightened by Daenerys’s dragons, which are all present in her tent. Missandei goes on giving Daenerys her titles and style, including “Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.” Daenerys calls for a chair and Missandei offers refreshment to Grazdan as Daenerys looks on. Then he begins to speak of the age and glory of Yunkai, and how it was part of an empire tha existed before dragons stirred in Old Valyria. Many armies, he says, have broken themselves against Yunkai’s walls and Daenerys will find no easy conquest. As he speaks, she takes a piece of meat and throws it to the dragons, who scream and flap their wings, and in so doing discomfit Grazdan further. Daenerys then tells him that that’s good—she was told that the Unsullied need to be blooded early.
Grazdan replies that blood shall flow, if that’s what she wishes… but despite the atrocities in Astapor, the Yunkai’i are a forgiving and generous people. He informs her that the Wise Masters have sent a gift to the “silver queen”. Slaves come forward with a wooden box, which is opened to reveal bars of gold. Grazdan says far more awaits her, on the deck of her ship. Daenerys is surprised by that, and Grazdan says again that they are generous, and she will have as many ships as she requires so long as she makes use of them to sail to Westeros and leave Yunkai untroubled. Daenerys glances to his slaves, who kneel on the ground behind him, and tells him she has a gift for him as well: his life. He doesn’t quite understand, but she presses on it’s his life and that of the Wise Masters as well that she will give them… in return for one thing: that all the Yunkish slaves be freed, with as much food, clothing, as property that they can carry. She tells him that if he rejects this gift, she’ll show no mercy. Grazdan calls her mad, and saying Yunkai is neither Astapor nor Qarth, and tha they have powerful friends who would take great pleasure in destroying Daenerys. Grazdan promises the survivors will be enslaved once more, and then he stands to threaten that perhaps Daenerys will be enslaved as well.
At that, Drogon screams at Grazdan, who flinches away and reminds Daenerys that he was promised safe conduct. Daenerys says she did promise that… but the dragons made no promises, and he “threatend their mother.” Grazadan tells his slaves to take the gold, but as they nervously approach Drogon leaps down over it, wings out spread, fangs showing as he screams. Daenerys tells Grazdan that it’s her gold, since he gave it to her, and she means to put it to good use. She tells him he would be wise to do the same with the gift she gave him. She orders him out, and he turns and leaves angrily, cursing in Valyrian. Daenerys looks to her councillors, and Barristan notes the Yunkai’i are a proud people, and they will not bend. Daenerys asks rhetorically what happens to things that do not bend, and then wonders about what powerful friends Yunkai is supposed to have. She asks Jorah who that might be, and he says he doesn’t know. She orders him to find out, and he nods his head. As he leaves, Drogon flies down to sit next to Daenerys, who pets him.
In King’s Landing, Shae says, “Chains.” She is looking at a fine piece of golden jewelry, which Tyrion informs her is solid gold from the mines outside of Lannisport, and made in Casterly Rock. But Shae again repeats that they are golden chains, and seems put off by them. Tyrion notes she could buy a ship with this, and she leaps on it, wonder if she needs a ship and if she’s supposed to be going somewhere. He tells her she isn’t. She then asks if she’s invited to his wedding. Tyrion pauses and then protests that he didn’t want the marriage. She questions that, nothing that he himself called Sansa a beautiful girl. Tyrion protests that it’s duty, not desire, and Shae asks if he means to tell himself that when he beds Sansa. Tyrion presses that it’s his father’s will, but Shae says Tywin does not rule the world and suggest they can go across the narrow sea. Tyrion wonders if he’s supposed to juggle there. “I am a Lannister of Casterly Rock,” he tells her, to which she replies, “And I’m Shae, the funny whore.”
Tyrion insists his feelings for her have not changed, that he’ll marry Sansa and do his duty by her. Shae expects she’ll be left to empty Sansa’s chamberpots and pleasure Tyrion whenever he’s bored. Tyrion swears that it will not be like that, and she asks what it will be like. Tyrion promises to buy her a good home in the city, with fine clothes, guards, and servants… and if there are children, they’ll be well-provided for. Shae angrily retorts that she does not want children who will never see their father, and who will be killed in their sleep if their grandfather finds out about them. Tyrion insists that she listen to him, calling her my lady, and saying she will always be his lady. She insists that she’s his whore, and when he tires of her, she’ll be nothing. She leaves, upset.
A ship sails through the wreckage of the Battle of the Blackwater Rush, with the ciy looming on the cliffs above them. Gendry asks what happened, and Melisandre informs him that it was wildfire, and that she should have been present. Gendry notes the irony of having run and fought so much to get away from the city, but here he is again, right where he started. Melisandre asks if he misses it. When he asks if she means King’s Landing, she says she meant his father’s house. He replies he’s never had nor wanted a father. Melisandre asks him if he hasn’t ever wondered where his strength and his talent for fighting came from. Gendry replies he’s just lowborn, as a low as you can be, as his mother was a tavern wench.
Melisandre replies her mother was a slave, and so was she. “Bought and sold, scourged and branded, until the Lord of Light reached down, took in me in His hand, and raised me up,” she informs Gendry. But he replies that he was born in Flea Bottom. Melisandre says his blood is in fact noble. Gendry wonders if that means his father was some lord. Melisandre directs his gaze to the Red Keep, and tells him that that was his father’s house. Gendry, unbeliving, says he’s just a bastard, but Melisandre corrects him: he’s the bastard son of Robert Baratheon, King of the Andals and the First Men. She asks if he didn’t think about why the goldcloaks wanted him, and then informs him that there’s power in a king’s blood.
In the riverlands, in the hollow hill, Arya is sitting apart and silent. Beric invites her to come closer to the fire, but she is unresponsive. Thoros remarks on her not talking, saying it’s a first. Arya then speaks, saying he doesn’t talk to traitors. Beric tells her that he didn’t like giving up Gendry, and Arya replies that he did, he took the gold and gave him up. Beric argues that the red god is the one true god, that Arya has seen his power, and what he commands they must obey. Arya retorts that he’s not her one true god, however. When pressed by Beric, she informs him her god is death. Just then, Anguy and other men of the brotherhood arrive to inform Beric and Thoros that they found Lannister raiders, no more than twenty, less than a day’s ride to the south. With a look between Beric and Thoros, Thoros invites the men to a lion hunt, and they respond enthusiastically.
Arya rushes up, saying that they had promised to take her to Riverrun, which is to the west. Thoros says that it will still be there two days from now. Aryas tells them that they swore, and Beric acknowledges that he did, and that he will take her home but they must do this first. Arya asks if it’s so they can steal the Lannister gold, too. Beric starts to swear to her again, but she says she doesn’t care what he swears, he’s a liar who’s lied to Gendry, to her, and to anyone. Beric tells her that one day she’ll understand—
—but Arya breaks away, running out of the cavern. Beric calls after her, and then has Anguy and the other men give chase. But it’s dark outside, and she manages to avoid them, rushing into the surrounding wood. She prepares to run further, when suddenly she’s grabbed from behind. It’s Sandor Clegane, who silences her and tells her she can kick all she likes, but it won’t do her any good. He drags her backward, out of sight.
In Harrenhal, its night as Brienne sits alone in a ruinous cell when Jaime is admitted. She says she thought he was gone. He replies that he’ll be leaving tomorrow. When she asks if he knows what will be done with her, Jaime says that Lord Bolton is leaving as well, riding to Edmure Tully’s wedding. He adds that Brienne is to remain. Brienne responds that she’ll be left with Locke. To that, Jaime struggles to find something to say, and tells her that he owes her a debt. Brienne approaches him and tells him that when Catelyn Stark released him, they both made promises to her. Now it’s his promise, she tells him, and if he keeps his word, she’ll consider the debt paid. Jaime nods, and swears to return the Stark girls to their mother. Brienne nods, and says, “Goodbye, Ser Jaime.” Jaime is silent, but nods and leaves.
The next morning, Jaime is in the castle yard struggling to tighten the saddle girth on his horse. Qyburn offers to do it for him, and informs him that it will take time to learn to do such things on his own. He departs, and as Jaime prepares to mount, Lord Bolton approaches and tells him that Qyburn is accompanying Jaime to King’s Landing in hopes that Lord Tywin will force the Citadel to reinstate him as a maester. Jaime quips that Tywin will have him named Grand Maester if he grows back Jaime’s hand. Lord Bolton then says that he trusts Jaime will give Lord Tywin his regards. To that, Jaime replies that he hopes Bolton will share his regrets for missing Edmure Tully’s wedding, but the Lannisters send their regards.
As Jaime starts to ride out, Locke appears with some of his men and wishes him a safe journey. He remarks on Jaime’s silence, and says he preferred him before, while suggesting he doesn’t recall emasculating him. Then he promises that he need not worry about Brienne, that they’ll take good care of her.
In the North, two women untie Theon from his cross and remove the hood placed over his head, while pouring him a drink. He’s frightened and can hardly speak, and does not understand what’s happening. He drains the cup o water, however, when it’s put to his lips, as the women tell him to be careful. One of them places an ointment on his wounds, and the blond woman tells him that Myranda knows what she’s doing, that she trained as a septa for a time before she gave in to “other” urges. Myranda remarks that the septons had them too, but they lied about it. Theon asks where his tormenter is, and Myranda says there’s no one there but Theon, Violet, and herself. One of them reaches into his trousers but he stops her, and they both beg to see his manhood, claiming everyone talks about it.
Theon accuses them of being sent by the boy, but they say they’ve sent themselves, having heard so much about him. Violet fondles him, but is disappointed that he seems to think they’re ugly. Myranda replies he’s been through so much, that you can see it in his face. Theon begs them to help him, but Violet insists they must help him feel better. Myranda asks how they can do that, and the other woman says she has an idea. She proceeds to undress Myranda while Theon watches. Once naked, the woman covers herself with her hands briefly, as Violet claims she’s shy… but Myranda is not so shy after all, as she straddles him and begins to have her way with him while Violet at first watches and then decides to undress as well as she complains that Myranda should not have all the fun.’
The two women argue over his intentions, as they toy with him further… when that horn sounds, and the boy enters with false apologies for his terrible timing. He says he was getting jealous. He stands at one end of the room, with the two women standing naked behind him, and asks if he can see the manhood everyone’s going on about. Theon tries to get up and run, but he’s hit with the horn and falls to the ground. The girls walk up to flank the boy, who fondles them as he remarks that everyone knows Theon loves girls… and he wagers that Theon always thought they loved him back. Then he takes out a blade, a strange hooked affair. Theon tries to crawl away as the boy says, “Your famous cock must be very precious to you.” When he supposes it’s Theon’s most precious part, he whistles and two stout men enter. Theon starts to beg for mercy, and the boy tells him it is mercy—he’s not killing Theon, he’s merely making some alterations. And then the two men, and the boy, grab Theon as he begs and screams.
Elsewhere in the north, Jon and Ygritte are crouched behind a stone, watching a deer on a ridge above them. Ygritte has a bow. Jon warns that they’ll scare it, and Ygritte says she means to kill it, not scare it. Jon is sure they’re too far away for her bow, and Ygritte’s reply is to draw back the arrow. Then we cut to the wildling group, and we see two wildlings carrying the gutted deer. Ygritte pauses and stares at a stone structure, wondering if it’s a palace. Jon reveals that it’s just a windmill. The word is unfamiliar to Ygritte, but she wonders if some king made it. Jon replies that the men who used to live there made it. She supposes they must have been great builders, stacking stones so high, to which Jon replies that Winterfell has towers three times that size. Ygritte mocks him for being a lord’s son who lived in such a tower. Jon then adds that if she was impressed by a windmill, she’d swoon at the sight of the Great Keep of Winterfell. “What’s swooning?” she asks him. He explains that it means fainting. “What’s fainting?” she asks. Jon, at a loss, suggests that it’s when a girl sees blood and collapses… but Ygritte doesn’t understand why that would happen.
Jon suggests not all girls are like her, but Ygritte replies that girls see more blood than boys. Then she asks if Jon likes girls who swoon, and again mocks the idea of it, falling into his arms. Jon says he’d like to see her in a silk dress, and grabs her and pulls her close to tell her it’s so he could rip it off her. She replies that if he rips her pretty silk dress, she’ll blacken his eye. Jon smiles as she resumes walking, and follows after her. He then suggests that one day he’ll take her to Winterfell, and she replies that one day she might take him there instead, when they’ve taken their land back. Jon is given pause, and then calls to her. He tells her that the wildlings won’t win. They’re brave, he admits, but six times in the last thousand years the Kings-beyond-the-Wall have attacked the Seven Kingdoms, and six time they’ve failed. Ygritte asks how he knows that, but he insists every boy in the North learns the details of those victories against the wildlings, such as where the battles were fought and the names of the heroes who fought in them. Six times, he insists, six times they’ve failed.
Jon is sure the seventh will be the same. Ygritte replies that Mance is different, but Jon presses the point that the wildlings don’t have the discipline, that their army is not really an army, that they don’t know how to fight together. Ygritte protests that he doesn’t know that, but he insists that he does, and that if they attack the Wall, the wildlings will die. “All of you,” he finishes, emphasizing the point. Ygritte stares at him and then comes closer. “All of us,” she says. Jon’s silent, and she pushes him back against a rock and kisses him passionately, and then tells him, “You’re mine, and I’m yours. And if we die, we die. But first we’ll live.”
“Yes,” Jon says. “First we’ll live.”
Elsewhere in the north, Meeera is bringing rabbits to the fire as Jojen speaks with Bran. Osha complains to herself, wondering what Jojen is going about and why he always sits and chats while she and Hodor do all the work. Hodor replies, “Hodor.” Osha approaches them and asks what Jojen is telling Bran, but then says she’s heard him every day, feeling Bran’s head with talk of black magic, visions, and three-eyed ravens. Meera tells Osha to leave him alone, but Osha persists and says he can speak for himself. Jojen tells her that he doesn’t fill her head with anything, he just talks about what’s happening to him and what it means. But he can’t explain it to her, that he wishes he could tell Bran all the answers, as it’d be much easier. Osha commands that he no longer speak to Bran until they get Bran to Jon at Castle Black, but Jojen replies that they’re not going there. Osha turns sharply and asks his meaning.
Jojen says he’s said it all along, that Jon Snow isn’t at Castle Black, and that Bran needs to go to the three-eyed raven beyond the Wall. Osha insists that she’s not going back there and that Jon is at the castle. She tells Bran to look at him, but he tells her that the raven has been coming ever since he fell, and the raven wants him to find him. He has no legs anymore, and this is what he has now. Osha argues that he has a family, that he needs to get back to them where he belongs. Bran wonders if he doesn’t belong in the north, and that he fell for a reason. Osha is skeptical and asks if that’s what Jojen’s been telling him, that it’s for a reason that all these terrible things have happened because the gods have a plan for him. Then she crudely informs him that the gods have no time for Bran, her, or anyone else.
When Bran protests, she stands up angrily and says they don’t know, none of them know, none of them have been out there. She turns away from them and is silent for a moment, when she suddenly says she had a man before, a good man named Bruni. She was his, and he was hers. One night, she says, he disappeared and others said that he had left her. She knew him and she knew he would never leave her, not for long, and that he’d return. She sits down, emotional, and says that he did, through the back of the hut, but it wasn’t him, not really. She informs them that his skin was pale like a dead man’s, and his eyes were bluer than clear sky. He came at her, she tells them, and tried to strangle her. She managed to get a hold of a knife and stuck it into his heart, but he hardly noticed. In the end, she had to burn down the hut with him inside of it.
Osha tells them that she didn’t ask the gods what it meant, because she didn’t need to. She decided it meant that the north was no longer for men, not any more. She stands abruptly and tells Bran, again, that she promised Maester Luwin that she’d take him to Castle Black, and she does not mean to go any further. The others watch as she storms off.
In the riverlands, Qyburn is changing the dressing on Jaime’s arm and asks how the pain feels. Jaime wonders what the purpose of an arm without a hand. Qyburn ignores the question, but offers that they’ve stymied the corruption. Jaime repeats the words, and then remarks that Qyburn is a learned man. Qyburn agrees, but says it’s done him little good. Jaime says that Qyburn did fine work “sewing up this mess”, as Qyburn applies an ointment, and Jaime adds that he’s far better than Grand Maester Pycelle would have been. Qyburn smiles and calls it faint praise. Jaime asks him why he lost his chain, and if it was because he fondled one boy too many. Qyburn says no, that was not his weakness—it was curiosity. He explains that the only means of treating disease was to understand it, and the only way to understand it is to study the afflicted. Jaime correctly surmises that Qyburn’s sin was to experiment on living men. Qyburn says they were dying, but Jaime surmises (correctly as well, it seems) that it was done without the permission of the men involved.
Qyburn insists that his studies gave him insights that have helped him save many lives, but Jaime goes on, speculating that Qyburn used paupers without families, taking them from poor houses to his garret where he opened their bellies to see what was inside. Qyburn does not deny it, instead asking how many men Jaime has killed. Jaime has no ready answer. “Fifty? One hundred? Countless?” Jaime nods at that last, saying countless has a nice ring to it. Then Qyburn asks how many lives he has saved, and Jaime has a ready answer to Qyburn’s surprise: “Half a million. The population of King’s Landing.” After that, Jaime asks Qyburn if he got a bird off to Lord Selwyn Tarth, Brienne’s father. Qyburn says there was a response, with Lord Selwyn offering three hundred gold dragons for his daughter’s safe return. Jaime stands, remarking that’s a fair offer, and Qyburn agrees… but then adds Locke won’t take it, since he’s convinced Lord Tarth owns all the sapphire mines in Westeros and that he’s being cheated.
Jaime sighs in frustration at that, and then replies that they’d be fools to kill her. Qyburn says that his men have been at war a long time, and most will be dead by winter. He supposes she’ll be their entertainment tonight, and beyond tonight .... he doesn’t suppose they care very much what becomes of her. Jaime looks pensive, and looks around… and then acts, marching over to Walton, who heads the men taking him to the city. Jaime in forms him that they must return to Harrenhal. Walton asks why, and Jaime says he’s forgotten something. Walton concludes that there’s no chance, that he has orders from Lord Bolton. Jaime asks what the orders are, and Walton says that he must deliver Jaime to his father in King’s Landing. Jaime eyes him and then guesses Walton expects he’ll be rewarded. Walton stands straighter and responds that he serves Lord Bolton, and any appreciation his father—
Jaime interrupts him and explains to him that when Tywin sees him, the first thing he will ask is what became of his hand, and Jaime will tell him that Walton chopped it off. Walton protests, saying he had nothing to do with it, but Jaime overrides him and says he could instead tell him that Walton saved his life. And then he informs Walton they’re returning to Harrenal, immediately. Walton complies, and the men ride back north.
Entering the deserted courtyard of Harrenhal, they can hear men singing, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” Jaime runs deeper into the castle, Walton with a crossbow and others besides following behind. Jaime clambers up wooden steps to where the garrison is gathered about the bear pit, cheering and shouting and singing. Jaime sees that Brienne is down in the pit with a huge, brown bear… armed only with a wooden sword. Locke, not having seen Jaime yet, calls it a shameful performance and shouts for Brienne to put up a better fight. “A wooden sword?” Jaime asks aloud, in disbelief, drawing Locke’s attention. Locke replies that he thought Jaime was gone already. Jaime persists with his question, and Locke replies that they have just one bear. Jaime offers to pay her ransom, in gold, sapphires, or whatever Locke wants if he’ll get her out of there. Locke replies that lords and ladies think that all that matters is gold. He grabs at Jaime’s right arm and lifts it up, saying the stump of it makes him happier than all Jaime’s gold ever could. Then, pointing down at Brienne trying to stave off the bear with the wooden sword, Locke says that that makes him happier than all her sapphires. He then tells Jaime to go buy himself a golden hand, “and fuck yourself with it!”
Just then, the bear rears up as the crowd cheers. It roars and then breaks her sword with its paw, as its other paw rakes her. Brienne falls… and Jaime leaps over the side into the pit. He grabs her up from the ground, telling her to get behind him. She insists she won’t, but he pushes her back. The bear stares at Jaime, approaching menacingly… when a crossbow bolt suddenly sprouts from its shoulder, shot by Walton. Locke screams at him, asking what he’s doing to his bear, and Walton replies he’s been charged to bring Jaime back to King’s Landing alive, and he means to do it. As the bear shakes its head, Jaime calls up for them to pull Brienne up as he presses against the wall and stoops so she can clamber up his back. Two men help drag her up to safety. The bear closes in on Jaime just as Brienne calls for the men to hold her legs, as she reaches down for Jaime. He manages to climb up high enough to reach her hand, as the bear claws beneath him and roars.
The crowd starts to boo and hiss, when Locke looms over Jaime and informs him that “the bitch stays.” Jaime tells him that he’s taking her to King’s Landing, unless Locke means to kill him. Locke insists that she belongs to him, at Lord Bolton’s orders, but Jaime asks what he thinks Lord Bolton cares about more: giving his “pet ratter” a reward, or making sure Tywin Lannister’s son gets back to him alive. There’s tension in the air as several men have their hands a the swords, as does Locke. But then he drops his hand. Jaime tells Locke that they must be on their way, and insincerely apologizes over the sapphires. Brienne and he walk away, followed by Walton and his men as we hear the bear roar once more.