“Game of Thrones” returned on Sunday night, and in the aftermath of King Joffrey Baratheon’s murder, Tyrion found himself in trouble, Tywin forged a new alliance, and there was a disturbing interaction between Cersei and Jaime.
Sansa sailed free with someone who appeared to be involved in Joffrey’s death, Jon Snow warned The Wall again of Mance Rayder, and The Hound broke his code in Season 4, Episode 3 – “Breaker of Chains.”
Here’s our blow-by-blow recap of the episode:
The Wedding Banquet, King’s Landing: “You did this,” Cersei screams at Tyrion, as she cradles her dead son, King Joffrey. In the chaos of the moment, Ser Dontos grabs Sansa and they bolt. A moment later, Cersei notices Sansa is missing. “Bar the gates of the city. Seize every ship in the harbor,” Tywin shouts. “The two of them did it. I know it. Where is she?” Cersei screams.
Bells toll across the capitol as Sansa runs for her life, down passageways and stairs, and into a tiny boat. Ser Dontos assures Sansa he’s taking her somewhere safe, as he rows her out to what looks like a lifeless ship.
It is anything but. At the top of the ship’s rope ladder, a man grabs Sansa’s shoulders and helps her over. “Lord Baelish,” Sansa says, quite stunned to see Littlefinger. “Peytr,” he tells her to call him. “I’m sure you had quite a fright. Rest easy,” he adds. In the boat below, Ser Dontos prepares to say his goodbyes (so he can get back before someone notices), when Littlefinger reminds him to collect his fee – 10,000. Instead, he gets an arrow through the head. “You don’t want the queen to hear, do you?” Petyr tells Sansa when she screams. “A thousand gold cloaks are searching for you. And if they found you? How do you think they’d punish the girl who murdered the king,” he asks her. “You must admit it looks suspicious. The King who executed your father, tormented you for years, and you fled the scene of his murder,” Littlefinger points out. “Why did you kill him?” Sansa says, not referring to Joffrey, but Ser Dontos. “Because he was a drunk and a fool and I don’t trust drunk fools,” Littlefinger says, informing Sansa that Ser Dontos followed his orders – for coin. “Money buys a man’s silence for a time; a bolt in the heart buys it forever,” he says. He goes on to reveal that the family necklace Ser Dontos gave Sansa previously was something Peytr had made recently. “You’re safe with me, sailing home,” Littlefinger adds.
Margaery & Lady Olenna, King’s Landing: Sitting overlooking the sea, Margaery is feeling cursed. Both of her husbands have died (Renly and Joffrey). “Nonsense, your circumstances have improved remarkably,” Lady Olenna says. “You may not have enjoyed watching him die, but you enjoyed it more than you would have enjoyed being married to him.” To cheer her granddaughter up, Lady Olenna hints at something. “Our alliance with the Lannisters remains every bit as necessary for them as it remains unpleasant for us. You did wonderful work on Joffrey,” Lady Olenna says. “The next one should be easier.”
The Lannisters, King’s Landing: Standing next to his grieving mother, Tommen Baratheon looks at his late brother, King Joffrey, whose remains are laid out on a table. Asked what the moment means, by Tywin, Tommen says he knows he will now be crowned king. In order to be a good king, he needs wisdom most – and to listen to his counselors and advisers, who can help him do what’s best, Tywin tells his grandson. “Now, as the king, you’ll have to marry. Do you understand why?” Tywin says, leading Tommen off to explain the birds and the bees.
Dismissing the men watching over Joffrey’s body, Jaime Lannister enters the room and walks up to Cersei. “It was Tyrion. He killed him,” Cersei tells Jaime, before asking him to, “avenge our son,” by killing their brother. Jaime says the trial will get to the truth, but Cersei is convinced Tyrion will “squirm his way to freedom. … I want him dead,” she says pleading and crying. Jaime hugs her close and after a moment, Cersei kisses him, before quickly pulling away. “You’re a hateful woman. Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman,” Jaime says, spinning Cersei around to face him. He kisses her hard and starts unwrapping her dress as she stands with her back to Joffrey’s displayed remains. As Jaime rips her clothing, Cersei tells him to stop. She starts to give in, and then changes her mind again. “It’s not right,” she says, as Jaime takes her, on the floor, just beneath Joffrey’s lifeless body. “I don’t care,” Jaime says.
Arya & The Hound, Near Fairmarket: How close are they to the Eyrie, where Arya’s aunt Lysa lives? The Hound doesn’t know, but he’s not trying to delay their journey. “Believe me girl, I want you there as soon as I can. Get my gold, be on my way,” he tells her, suggesting he might end up fighting as a sellsword for the Second Sons (note – the group Daario originally came from). Thinking about her own future, Arya suggests she’d like to visit Braavos one day, a place she has friends (a reference to Season 2’s Jaqen H’ghar). Before she can explain any further, a man and his daughter spot them. Arya handles the situation, explaing The Hound (she calls him her “father”), fought for The Tullys of Riverrun (Catelyn Stark’s family). Pleased to hear it, the man invites them over for rabbit stew.
After eating, conversing and The Hound agreeing to stay to help with farm work and fending off the Freys (as in Walder Frey) who are plundering and stealing, Arya gets some rest. The next morning, she’s woken by screams. Running outside she sees the man has been knocked to the ground and The Hound is walking away with his silver.
“You told me you weren’t a thief,” Arya screams. “He’s a good man, his daughter makes a nice stew, and they’ll both be dead come winter,” The Hound explains. “You’re the worst sh** in the Seven Kingdoms,” an outraged Arya spits back. “There’s plenty worse than me. I just understand the way things are. How many Stark’s they got to behead before you figure it out?” The Hound asks her.
Davos Seaworth & Stannis Baratheon, Dragonstone: “I am now faced with a great opportunity, and I am powerless to take advantage of it,” Stannis tells Davos as news arrives of Joffrey’s death (he’s still furious at Davos for saving Gendry, the royal bastard Melisandre was going to sacrifice in Season 3 for Stannis’ political gain).
Angry that Davos has only rallied a few Houses to his side, he grows even angrier when Davos suggests they get sellswords, or an army from across the sea. “We’re willing to use blood magic to put you on the throne, but we’re not willing to pay men to fight?” Davos asks. It doesn’t matter anyway. They have no gold. “If I do not press my claim, my claim will be forgotten. I will not become a page in someone else’s history book,” Stannis tells him. “I’m running out of time, Ser Davos, which means you’re running out of time.”
In the bowels of Dragonstone, while meeting for his regular reading lesson with Stannis’ daughter, Shireen, Davos gets an idea for how to get that gold, and asks the girl to write a letter, “To the officers of the Iron Bank of Braavos, from Stannis Baratheon, the one true King of Westeros.”
Samwell & Gilly, Mole’s Town: In order to protect her from the men at The Wall, Sam brings Gilly to an establishment in Mole’s Town for room and board only. “No other work,” he insists to the woman running the house.
Prince Oberyn, King’s Landing: Mid-orgy, the door to the brothel opens. “May we have the room,” Tywin says, sending the participants to the exit, leaving just Oberyn and Tywin in the room. Alone, Tywin presses Oberyn to tell him what he discussed with Tyrion at the brothel, previously. It was the death of his sister Elia, Oberyn tells him, an act he blames Tywin for (and which Tywin denies involvement in). Vengeance in his heart, Oberyn asks for a meeting with The Mountain (the man who killed Elia), and Tywin proposes a deal — serve as a judge in Tyrion’s trial, and he’ll set it up. And there is another reveal – he wants Oberyn on the Small Council for the new king. Daenerys Targaryen has three dragons, and only Oberyn’s people – the Dornish — were able to resist dragons in the past. “We need each other. You help me serve justice to the King’s assassins and I’ll help you serve justice to Elia’s,” Tywin says holding out his hand.
Tyrion, Podrick, King’s Landing: After removing the contraband he had hidden away in his leathers and fabrics, Pod breaks the latest news to Tyrion – he’ll stand trial in two weeks for a crime he didn’t commit. And Pod has more news — Oberyn will be one of the judges. The discussion turning to potential defense witnesses, Tyrion learns Sansa has been missing since Joffrey’s death. “The girl’s no assassin. Whoever killed the King wanted me to lose my head for it, and with my wife’s disappearance, it makes me seem that much more guilty,” Tyrion notes. Unable to see Bronn (who is under suspicion now), Tyrion asks Pod to ask Jaime to come visit him. Heading out of the cell, Pod stops and turns. “There’s something else,” the young man says. He’s been asked to testify against Tyrion (in exchange for being named a Ser). Concern fills Tyrion’s face. “If I have to take that long walk to the executioner’s block, I don’t want to see your head already mounted,” he tells the young man. “Get yourself out of King’s Landing before it’s too late. Pod, this is farewell.”
A Village In The North: Wildling attack! A young man runs and hides as Ygritte, Tormund Giantsbane and those cannibal Thenns tear apart a village, slashing the people with swords and knives. A hand reaches under a wagon, grabbing a young boy trying to hide from the carnage. Styr, the leader of the Thenn, tells the boy he will kill his parents, and eat them afterward. “Go tell the Crows at Castle Black,” Styr says, releasing the terrified boy.
The Night’s Watch, The Wall: Arguments erupt over how to retaliate against the Wildlings, as the boy stands at Jon Snow’s side. Maester Aemon reminds them they are “the watchers on The Wall,” and Ser Alliser Thorne turns to Jon for his thoughts. “Mance Rayder is coming. If the Wildlings breach The Wall, they’ll roll over everything and everyone for a thousand miles before they reach an army that can stop them,” he says. Ser Alliser Thorne surprisingly agrees – they’ll sure up Castle Black.
Horns sound in the distance. It’s Grenn and Edd arriving back at Castle Black, having barely survived the mutiny at Craster’s Keep, where former Night’s Watch man Karl is now running things. “We need to ride North and kill them all,” Jon says, worried. “I told the Wildlings we had over a thousand men at Castle Black alone. Karl and the others know the truth as well as we do. How long do you think they’ll keep that information to themselves when the Wildlings are peeling their fingernails off?” Jon says. “Mance has all he needs to crush us, he just doesn’t know it yet. Once he gets his hands on them, he will.”
Daenerys, Outside The Gates Of Mereen: A light appears through the gates of the city as Dany and her army stand outside of Mereen. The champion of the city has come out to face hers. Dany’s most loyal (Grey Worm, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan) offer their services, but she refuses all of them due to their value. She doesn’t refuse Daario Naharis, who offers to fight for her.
Mereen’s champion laughs, and urinates in front of her forces, before mounting his horse and charging at Daario who just stands in the dust. Aware he isn’t moving, Dany shoots Daario a worried glance. He grins, turns back, quietly pulls out his knife, puts it on his shoulder, and kisses it. “Argh,” he grunts, flinging the knife into the horse’s eye. The great stallion falls, his rider with him. Whipping out his curved blade, he kills Mereen’s champion who rolls to his feet in the dust. Daario turns to Dany and nods.
Outraged, the Mereen soldiers fire their arrows toward Dany’s people (none of them reach her army). In turn, Daario urinates on the ground, shocking those in Mereen. The contest over, Dany speaks. “Your enemy is beside you,” she tells the slaves of Mereen. “I bring you a choice and I bring your enemies what they deserve,” she says as giant catapults are rolled forward. “Fire!” she cries, as barrels are chucked at Mereen’s city walls. Breaking open, their contents – broken collars – spill onto Mereen’s streets. A slave in his collar picks one up and turns to look at his master.
“Game of Thrones” continues Sundays at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.