Another week of HBO’s most popular show in years is in the books. Now that we got to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode, “The Climb”, let’s talk about it.
WINNER: Samwell Tarly’s singing debut
Samwell Tarly and the unidentified former daughterwife of Craster are on their way back to the wall after the disastrous battle at the ol’ incest den. Samwell is dropping knowledge about the Wall since she’s never seen it. Samwell is going to take her to Castle Black and they’re going to eat venison stew. She then asks Samwell to sing which he fake reluctantly agrees to in a manner very reminiscent of David Brent in The Office.
LOSER: Osha’s rabbit skinning skills
Bran and the Warg crew are hanging out as Osha and Meera Reed squabble over who’s better at skinning rabbits. Bran calls out Osha for being kind of a dick to Meera — Osha once held a knife to his throat like Meera did to her after all. Then Jojen Reed has some weird dream seizures that lead him to tell the group that he’s seen Jon Snow in his dreams and that Jon Snow fights for the other side of the Wall now.
WINNER: Jon Snow’s tongue play
Meanwhile, Jon Snow and Ygritte catch up about their maiden voyage in cunnilingus. Ygritte gives Jon Snow shit for being reluctant to get in bed with her at first. But Ygritte has a longer play in mind. She tells Jon Snow that she knows he’s still loyal to the Night’s Watch but that they clearly don’t care about him at all. Now, she’s his lady. And if he betrays her, she’ll “cut his pretty cock off and wear it around [her] neck.” Such a beautiful way for a relationship to begin.
They’re going to climb the Wall next and the fear that they’re not going to make it is palpable for both Ygritte and Jon Snow.
WINNER: The Lord of Light
Arya is shooting arrows into a scarecrow, naming her various enemies in the process. But her arrow game needs some work according to the Brotherhood without Banners’ main archer. Suddenly, Melisandre descends on the camp with her fire priestess crew. She seemingly knows the bearded mouthpiece of the group from another time in their lives. They’re both believers in the Lord of Light.
Beardo takes Melisandre down to Beric Donarrion and reveals that he’s been saved from death by the Lord of Light six times. That seems both resilient and unhealthy given the lack of Western medicine. But Beardo, Donarrion, and Melisandre make a deal…she’s there for the blood of royalty and, coincidentally, Baratheon bastard Gendry just pledged his allegiance to the crew. Melisandre leads Gendry off with seemingly sinister plans.
Arya is having none of Melisandre’s witch nonsense while her friend is being taken away. But Melisandre sees darkness in Arya as well as the eyes of people she will one day kill. What. Nice non sequitur, Melisandre.
LOSER: Theon. Always Theon.
Theon’s new friend who pretended he would save him is back to torturing Theon. And he’s noticeably creepier this time. He dumps water out that Theon would like to drink, is threatening to cut off one of Theon’s body parts, and then plays a super unfun game show in which Theon has to guess where he is and who the mystery man is in order to win some semblance of safety.
Naturally, Theon being Theon he guesses completely wrong and gets his finger slowly chopped off in sadistic fashion as a result. All the mystery man needed to do was dance to “Stuck in the Middle with You” to complete the look.
LOSER: Edmure Tully’s bachelorhood
In order to win the Freys back into the North’s side after Robb bailed on his engagement to one of the Frey girls, two diplomats from the Frey camp attempt to negotiate an agreement. The Freys want Harrenhal given to them along with Edmure Tully to marry one of Frey’s daughters, Roslin. Tully refuses initially, hoping he could secure a better wife out of the deal. But Robb needs him to do this in order to secure the Frey territory and armies for their side and asks him to suck it up. Eventually, Tully relents. Attaboy. Hopefully Robb throws in a bag for her face as part of the deal.
WINNER: Sir Loras’s sword swallowing skills
Tywin Lannister attempts to negotiate Cersei’s marriage to Loras Tyrell. And that allows the two best written characters on the show, Lady Olenna and Tywin, to spar over the opportunity. Loras is clearly gay and Olenna doesn’t deny it. After she prods Tywin on if he ever boned a man before, Olenna counters with the rumors of Cersei’s penchant for incest. Olenna is worried that Cersei won’t be able to birth children due to being too old and, if Loras is married to her and Cersei can’t pop one out, But if she doesn’t marry Loras to Cersei, Tywin will name him to the King’s Guard, including vows that will bar him from having kids anyway.
Check and mate. Your sassy one-liners won’t save you this time, Olenna.
LOSER: Jaime Lannister’s slick tongue, again
Lord Bolton treats Jaime Lannister and Brienne to a meal. Jaime is going to go to King’s Landing in spite of his tenuous position since the Boltons need money to keep the war going. But he has to inform Tywin Lannister that Lord Bolton had nothing to do with his detached hand. But Brienne committed treason so she won’t be accompanying Jaime any further on his journey, despite Jaime’s requests. Is there still time for Jaime and Brienne to get back on the road and sing the “best friends” song from The Hangover? One can only hope.
WINNER: Jon Snow as Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger
The majority of the episode features Jon Snow and the Wildling bunch climbing a snowy wall for reasons that I’m not entirely clear on. At one point, Snow and Ygritte almost fall to their deaths when the Warg Wildling dude who has a hate hard-on for Jon Snow suggests cutting the rope tethering them together when it appears that they’re holding the group back. Snow pulls some magic out of his ass and saves his and Ygritte’s lives while the Warg guy looks on kind of impressedly and kind of disappointedly at the same time.
LOSER: Loras and Sansa’s romantic chemistry
While Tywin and Olenna share their marriage machinations, Loras and Sansa believe they’re going to end up together. The situation leads to the least romantic discussion ever between the two. Sansa says it’s “Like a dream” while Loras can barely keep vomit and indifference from oozing out of every hole. It gets better, Loras.
Even better? Mere moments later, Sansa is informed by Tyrion that she won’t be marrying Loras after all. Off camera, we’re led to believe that she was informed that she and the imp will be wed in a ceremony that neither will want.
WINNER: Littlefinger’s scumbaggery
Littlefinger and Varys continue their sparring over their respective machinations. And, unfortunately, Ros is on the receiving end of the games being played as Littlefinger figured out she was Varys’s stooge. Littlefinger’s monologue about climbing for power plays as we see his moves coming into play. And that includes allowing Joffrey to exercise his fantasy of murdering her in his bedroom with arrows while Littlefinger’s ship leaves behind a teary Sansa.
Littlefinger: King of the dick move.
WINNER: Romantic kisses after narrowly avoiding death
Jon Snow and Ygritte share a super passionate kiss atop the snowy mountain after barely surviving that climb. It’s supposed to be poetic and beautiful but seems super out of place after we just saw Ros’s arrow-ridden corpse a minute ago.
Kind of a downer episode unless you’re super into the love story of Jon Snow and Ygritte. Ros’s death was an unpleasant surprise. Even if she wasn’t a main character, it was nice to see her rise from hooker of note to woman of relative power. Seeing Joffrey smugly walk off as her lifeless body hung from the bed was kind of a pill to watch.
But we got a Tywin-Olenna scene that was probably worth any lesser moments in the episode and some serious foreshadowing in the moment between Arya and Melisandre. And, lest we forget, Theon’s continued failures of life at the hand of the still-unidentified yet super creepy character played by
Michael McElhatton Iwan Rheon.
I’ll give this one three forcibly removed fingers of Theon Greyjoy. Super happy for Jon and Ygritte and all, but I’d be surprised if that last shot of their conquering love appealed to a significant portion of the audience.