'Game of Thrones' Season 3 episode 6 recap: 'The Climb'
"Game of Thrones" has picked up some serious steam in the past few episodes, and it seems like it's not going to slow down as we hurdle towards Season 3's final four episodes. Plans are being thwarted left and right in King's Landing while others are just beginning to take shape, and the Wildling threat north of the Wall is becoming just as serious as the one from the White Walkers.
As so many plots have already been foiled this far through Season 3, it remains to be seen what will happen to the ones being developed now. Will Robb Stark be able to make good on his hoped for alliance with the Freys? Will the Lannisters be able to outwit the Tyrells for good, or will the family make good on their house words, "Growing strong"? And just who will be able to keep Joffrey in line -- if anyone -- as he finally has his first taste of killing someone? There are more questions than answers left after the sixth episode of Season 3, and hopefully they get resolved by the end of this season.
Here's what happened in "Game of Thrones" Season 3, episode 6, "The Climb":
North of the Wall
Finally we get to see Sam and Gilly again! They're apparently a couple of days away from Castle Black, and seem to be surviving pretty well on their own. Rast hasn't shown up to seek revenge against Sam as promised, though we can't shake the feeling there's something watching Sam and Gilly in the darkness.
Farther south, the Wildlings have finally reached the Wall and Jon, Ygritte, Orell, Tormund and their band begin their climb up to the top. Before their ascent, Ygritte admits to Jon that she knew he didn't shed his loyalty to the Night's Watch when he joined with Mance -- but she does know he's loyal. "I'm your woman now, Jon Snow. You're going to be loyal to your woman," she tells him. "It's you and me that matters to me and you. Don't ever betray me ... 'cause I'll cut your pretty cock right off and wear it down me neck."
Foreboding words to be sure, but Jon and Ygritte seem to have come to quite the understanding after last week's tryst in the cave. Their journey up the Wall isn't without its losses, as Ygritte accidentally causes a fissure in the ice that leads to the rest of their group falling to their deaths. When Jon and Ygritte cause Orell and Tormund to nearly fall as well, Orell severs the rope that held them together. Our two new lovebirds would have died if Jon hadn't manage to save them at the last moment.
That means only four people made it up to the top of the Wall: Tormund, Orell, Ygritte and Jon. Ygritte had previously said that she always dreamed of seeing the view from the top of the Wall, and Jon reveals her first glimpse at Westros. The two share a kiss as the camera pulls back in what's got to be one of the most gorgeous shots of this entire series.
South of the Wall
All is not well in Bran's camp, as Osha and Meera haven't stopped fighting since they met. The latest fight we see is over who can skin a rabbit best, but Bran quickly sets them straight. Their apology is cut short by Jojen, who has a seizure while experiencing a green dream. He sees Jon traveling "on the wrong side of the Wall" and "surrounded by enemies," which understandably upsets Bran. Still, he should be happy to know that his bastard brother is alive.
Somewhere near of Winterfell
The unnamed boy is still torturing Theon, and it's clear that the Greyjoy's sanity is waning. "Let's play a game: which body part do you need the least?" the boy asks him, and it's ultimately determined that Theon can live without his little finger on his right hand. The rules of the game are that if Theon guesses where he is being held and who is torturing him, he won't lose his finger, and if he begs the boy, it will be cut off. Unfortunately for Theon, his guess that the boy is the son of Rickard Karstark is wrong, and he is tortured by having his finger flayed. It's so painful that he does end up begging for the boy to cut off his digit. As the boy tells him, "If you think that this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."
Interestingly enough, the boy makes the point that Theon has already revealed all of his secrets to him when he thought the torturer was actually his savior. That means the boy knows Bran and Rickon are still alive somewhere, though it remains to be seen if he goes after them. That makes Theon and the boy the only two people not with Bran and Rickon to know the youngest Stark children are still alive.
With the Brotherhood
Anguy says it best when he tells Arya, "You're good. You're not as good as you think you are." The high-spirited Stark child got a bit cocky after coming out on top in Season 2, and it's worrying that she's acting so unafraid of death in Season 3. At least the Brotherhood Without Banners seems to find her bullheadedness endearing, as Anguy teaches her how to shoot a bow and arrow in a way that's actually useful in a fight.
Their archery lesson is interrupted by the surprise arrival of Melisandre. When she meets Beric and sees the magic Thoros has worked on him, she looks surprised for the first time in the series. She asks Thoros how he's done the impossible by bringing Beric back to life six times, and he explains that it's not him, but the Lord of Light. In fact, Thoros had forsaken all gods until the Lord brought back Beric from the dead after he prayed for it. "I knew the truth," he says. "Our god is the one true god, and all men must serve him."
But it turns out that Melisandre has come to the Brotherhood for more than just to see the miracle that is Beric: she wants Gendry. As she previously told Stannis, she needs someone with the king's blood in his veins, and Gendry is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. Beric and Thoros sell Gendry to her for gold, an action that leaves both Arya and Gendry feeling betrayed. Unfortunately nothing can be done for Gendry, though Arya does confront Melisandre and call her a "witch." Melisandre seems taken aback by Arya, telling her there's a "darkness" inside of her as well as the eyes of people she will kill. Melisandr leaves, but not before telling Arya they'll meet again.
Crows seem to be traveling fast in Westeros, as Robb is already meeting with the Freys after determining his need to ally himself with them in "Kissed By Fire." Two of Walder Frey's descendants (Sons? Grandsons? Great-grandsons?) have come to Riverrun to speak on Walder's behalf. They offer up a bargain for Robb: They'll join forced with him if he offers a formal apology for breaking his marriage arrangement, if he gives Walder Harrenhal and if Edmure marries one of Walder's daughters. The wedding would need to take place within a fortnight because Walder's "recent experience has made him wary of long engagements" -- an appropriate zing at Robb.
Needless to say Edmure is none too happy about that, and he initially refuses. Eventually Robb, Catelyn and the Blackfish convince him that he needs to marry a Frey for the good of their cause -- and to make up for the way he ruined Robb's plan to capture the Mountain. Things seem to be moving forward for Robb at last after he seemingly faced setback after setback this season.
Of course, Robb likely didn't expect to lose yet another one of his liegemen so easily. After executing Rickard Karstark last week, it's revealed here that Roose Bolton is ready to be bought off by the Lannisters. He dines with Brienne and Jaime, and tells Jaime he'll let him return to King's Landing if he promises to convince Twyin that Roose didn't mean for his men to cut off Jaime's hand. Unfortunately for Brienne, she is being kept at Harrenhal for abetting Catelyn's treason, despite Jaime's protests otherwise.
After last week's adorable bath scene, Jaime and Brienne shippers likely loved the moment when Brienne helps Jaime cut the meat he's struggling to eat with one hand. We know we sure did.
At King's Landing
At long last, Lady Olenna and Tywin Lannister get to face off in a battle of wills. The two heads of their families are clearly some of the smartest people in Westeros, but even Olenna is no match for Tywin's political savvy. She meets with him to protest having Loras marry Cersei, saying that Cersei is close to menopause and thus couldn't bear Loras' children. Tywin counters by saying Loras is gay, and that Olenna should be happy to have that covered up. He ends up forcing Olenna's hand by swearing Loras will join the Kingsguard if he doesn't marry Cersei, and Olenna concedes by snapping Tywin's quill -- finally someone did it! -- and telling him he lived up to her expectations.
Though Olenna didn't get her way, she certainly did come out on top in our opinion for not only bringing up the fact Cersei and Jaime are incestuous but also flat out asking Tywin if he ever had a gay experience. Tywin denied both, but he did note that if Joffrey is the child of two Lannisters then the Tyrells are making a big mistake having Margaery marry someone who is not the king.
The realization that Sansa's planned escape with Loras to Highgarden isn't going to happen made the scene between the almost-couple in the garden even sadder. While they talk about their upcoming nuptials, their actual intendeds, Tyrion and Cersei, look on at them from a distance. Cersei speculates they kill Sansa and Loras to avoid having to marry them, which is exactly the sort of plot she would expect she could get away with. Fortunately for Tyrion, that opens up the perfect opportunity to learn if it actually was Cersei who tried to kill him at the Battle of Blackwater. It turns out it was Joffrey who ordered the hit on him, leading him to determine "the boy's an idiot."
But "the boy" is more than an idiot; he's evil. That's revealed when Littlefinger tells Varys that he gave Ros away after he realized her part in the Spider's plan to marry Sansa to Loras in order to prevent Petyr Baelish from spiriting her away. It's then shown that Littlefinger had given Ros to Joffrey, who strung her up in his bedchamber and murdered her with his new crossbow so he could presumably discover what it's like to kill something. There really is no hope for him as a character, and it's clear that he's not as controlled this season as Cersei, Tywin and Margaery seem to think he is.
Poor Sansa finally has her dreams of a happy marriage and an escape destroyed by Tyrion revealing to her that they are to marry. He tells her in front of Shae, and though we don't get to see either of their reactions to the news, we do see Sansa sobbing as she realizes that she is stuck in King's Landing and has to marry Tyrion.
- Been wondering what the deal with Roose Bolton's banners has been? His house sigil is the flayed man, meaning that weird X-shape is supposed to be a man being skinned. Make of that fact what you will.
- In the novels, Gendry is not the bastard that Melisandre takes to Stannis to get the king's blood. Instead, it's another bastard son of Robert Baratheon named Edric Storm. When Gendry is last seen in the novels, he is still with the Brotherhood.
- It seems as though Loras and Margaery are the only two children of Mace Tyrell in the "Game of Thrones" series. In the novels, there is also the crippled heir Willas Tyrell and already-married second son Garlan Tyrell.
Ygritte to Jon Snow: "Don't ever betray me ... 'cause I'll cut your pretty cock right off and wear it down me neck."
Meera of Osha's talent with her fists: "Oh, you're going to punch the rabbit to death?"
Thoros of bringing Beric back to life for the first time: "I knelt beside his cold body and said the old words, not because I believed in them, but he was my friend and he was dead and they were the only words I knew, and for the first time in my life the Lord replied."
The Blackfish to Edmure: "The laws of my fists are about to compel your teeth."
Lady Olenna to Tywin of the topic of menopause: "You may have a stomach for bloodshed and slaughter, but this is something else I promise you."
Varys to Littlefinger of the Iron Throne: "The Lysa Arryn of chairs. It's a shame you had to settle for your second choice."
Tyrion to Cersei: "Once Jaime comes back, Loras may come down with a terrible case of sword through bowels."