There's a major game-changer on this week's Game of Thrones, as the many kings of Westeros continue to prepare for the next battle. Melisandre's recent birth has some major consequences and even Bran becomes part of rallying the troops. Things also take an interesting turn for Arya, and Catelyn makes an unexpected alliance.
Despite one major plot point, this episode isn't my favorite; it seems like we may have hit a bit of a midseason lull, but we're getting set up for a lot of impending action. To recap the moments that did make an impression, just read more.
- Did Renly just get killed by the rubber man from American Horror Story? After Ned's death, I know I should be prepared for anything when it comes to this show, but I was still shocked to see Renly Baratheon meet his maker so quickly. I was all ready for a big brother-on-brother showdown between him and Stannis, but Melisandre's creepy black death monster takes on the form of a shadowy man and stabs him within the first few minutes of the episode. Something about the moment just felt sort of anticlimactic to me, but maybe it's because I didn't think I'd have to deal with deadly smoke monsters after Lost ended.
- Arya learns the power of three. Arya — I mean Arry — I mean Arya — is in a bit of a pickle right now, what with Tywin Lannister breathing down her neck and asking her hard-hitting questions and all. However, she does fall into a place of power with Jaqen H'ghar, the prisoner whom she rescued a few episodes back. Now that he's back in civilization, he's ready to repay his debt, and to the third power. Arya basically gets to name three people she wants dead and Jaqen promises to make it happen. Her first victim is the "tickler," the local torturer around town. Now the question is: who will she choose next?
- Dany gets a decent proposal. Dany's only been in Quarth for a few days, but she's already freshly scrubbed, braided, and back to her khaleesi self. She's ready to move forward with her plans to take the iron throne, too, though we'll have to wait and see at what cost. Xaro Xhoan Daxos wastes no time making her an offer to help her with her goal, if she's willing to marry him. It seems like a legitimate power move to me, though Jorah feels differently about the situation. Is Dany ready to move on from her sun and stars, or will she be unwilling to share the power?
- Catelyn and Brienne combine their girl power. Catelyn's been a bit of a wayward sheep this season, doing her best to make peace between the Baratheons, bring her girls home, and keep Robb at bay. She hasn't been able to make much of a difference just yet, and she ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time when Renly is attacked. Brienne is also part of the situation, and it doesn't take long before all of Westeros is linking their names with Renly's death. I was happy to see them make an alliance, since these are two of the most loyal and true characters on the show, so it's a bond we can actually believe in. Something tells me it won't be long before Cat may require Brienne's protection.
What'd you think of this week's episode? Are you looking forward to seeing Jon take on some responsibilities as ranger? Who do you think is next on Arya's list?