We begin in King's Landing, in a dingy cell, where Jaime's going off on Tyrion's throwing his life away. Tyrion admits to a certain lack of wisdom in his conduct, but he takes a small bit of pleasure from ruining Tywin's plan. Unfortunately, his own plan is ruined when Jaime makes it clear that he's in no shape to champion him. After a second of morbidly trying to cajole his brother and failing, Tyrion sighs that Bronn once fought for him and hopes that Cersei will choose Meryn Trant to represent the crown. That fool would be no competition to the wily sell-sword. Jaime becomes the bearer of bad news for a second time: the champion's already been chosen, and it's not the pompous child beater...
Answer Cut to Gregor Clegane, who's impaling, hacking, disemboweling and otherwise gruesomely dispatching condemned prisoners in a sort of quasi 'warm-up' for the real deal. His victims seem to have been given their choice of weapons, but they may as well be unarmed, for all the good it does them. Cersei strides in to thank the Mountain for making it back to the Capital with such speed, and he inquires as to who he'll be fighting. Cersei asks him if it even matters and for a man like Gregor, it truly doesn't. To him, all men soon become dead men.
Traveling in the Riverlands, Arya and Sandor debate entering a burned out village. They do, and find a man dying of a stab wound to the stomach and the subsequent agony of a long drawn-out gastrointestinal infection. He doesn't even know who the brigands fought for. The three of them have a decidedly philosophical conversation on death, until Sandor puts the man out of his misery. He points out where the heart is to Arya before wiping the farmer's blood off his dirk... only for Biter to leap onto his back and sink his filed teeth into Clegane's neck. Sandor rips and twists the psycho off of him and lets gravity do the rest, but the footpad's companion remains. The fugly individual might be recognizable to some from Season Two, and he informs Clegane of the Purple Wedding as well as the sizable reward for his death. Arya then recognizes him as one of the men who were with Jaqen H'ghar in the cage bound for the Wall. "Is he on your little list?" says Sandor. "He can't be; I don't know his name," she replies as she walks up to him. "What's your name?" Clegane asks. "Rorge", the scumbag rasps. "Thank you," Arya snipes. She quick-draws with all the grace of a water dancer and puts Needle through his black heart, slaying the raping murderer who once threatened to sodomize her where he stands. "You're learning," the Hound says with some approval.
Jon Snow and friends return to Castle Black. The happy scene is ruined by Allister Thorne again when he shows up to tell Jon to either lock Ghost up, or see him eaten at supper. Later, in the the dining hall, Jon gives his report. They could see Mance's army as they left. He's coming, and they can't adequately defend the portcullis from giants. He recommends sealing the tunnel. This gets an 'oh hell no' type reaction from Thorne, as the Watch has defended the castle for a thousand years without closing off the only way north. Some of his Brothers take Jon's side, so Thorne asks the First Builder's opinion, which is a hesitant no. Jon and Sam are sent atop the Wall as lookouts.
In King's Landing, Bronn shows up at Tyrion's cell, dressed in fine new clothes. It seems that Cersei has arranged his marriage to a noblewoman, Lollys Stokeworth. He even casually admits that he's already planning to arrange an "accident" for his future sister-in-law so Lollys can be bumped up on the inheritance ladder. "You and my sister deserve each other," Tyrion laments dryly, "why did you bother to come here?" Really, the only reason he came was because he promised Tyrion a chance to get the last bid. Tyrion tries a large chunk of the North, an appeal to pride, and an appeal to friendship, but none of these can make Bronn fight the Mountain when he can have Lollys. Resignedly, but with no ill-feelings, Tyrion shakes his hand in farewell. "What will you do?" Bronn asks. "I suppose I'll have to kill The Mountain myself," Tyrion quips. "Won't that make for a great song?" Bronn is hesitant on leaving and finally brings himself to murmur, "I hope to hear them sing it one day."
It's night-time in Meereen. Daenerys enters her private chambers for some shut-eye, to find, surprise, surprise, Daario! She demands to know how he got past her guards. He confesses that the windows are left unattended at the summit of her 800 foot-tall base of operations. He even brought her wild flowers, claiming that he swam to a distant isle to bring them back for her. Daenerys doesn't exactly take to these obvious pulls. He then asks her for a favor. The gods gave him only two talents— war and women— and he can't pursue either of them as the Second Sons are now policing Meereen's streets trying to keep the peace. Dany brushes him off, reminding him that preventing the revenge killings in her city is far more important to her than slaking his thirst for open battle. And as for women, there are plenty of the fairer sex to pursue. To which he retorts with a gentle push that there is only one woman he desires, and she will not have him. If she orders it, he'll stay and be her city watchdog, but he had sworn his sword to her service and he would gladly kill her enemies. Any enemy, anywhere. The game finally comes to a head and Daenerys decides to treat herself after what must have been a hard day's ruling over a divisive populace. With a goblet of fine red in hand, and a smoldering expression on her face, she tells him to do what he does best and he strips at her command. What follows next... Well, it's not hard to guess.
Elsewhere, on Dragonstone, Melisandre is taking a bath. When Selyse Baratheon enters, she asks her to grab one of the vials from the shelf. It seems that the Lord of Light was kind enough to tell her that she won't get another bath for a while, so she intends to enjoy this one. She has to explain to Selyse that she's joking. Selyse apologizes for her lack of humor, and Melisandre replies that it's because most jokes are lies, and Selyse is devoted to the truth. She goes on to explain what the vials do: a pyrotechnic trick, a phobia-inducing hallucinogen, and a powerful aphrodisiac; all acceptable tricks if they get nonbelievers to make that first step. R'hllor will do the rest. Selyse asks if she used the lust potion on Stannis and, getting a no, goes on a bit of tangent on how grateful she is that Melisandre came. She mentions Shireen; she doesn't want her to join them when they set sail. I know how you feel, says Melisandre, but it's important that she accompany them. A time will come when she is needed, Melisandre says, and she glances at the fire she once fed leeches full of Gendry's blood to....
Back in Meereen, morning has broken. Jorah runs into a hastily dressed Daario just outside their Queen's apartments. The swaggering merc just has to remark on Daenerys' newly improved mood. It's safe to say Mormont puts two and two together and definitely doesn't approve. He marches into Daenerys' war room and demands to know how she could have faith in a man who killed his two former captains merely for philosophical differences. "I could never have faith in a man like Daario," she replies firmly, and tells him that her paramour and the Second Sons are going to be sent to retake Yunkai. Jorah is less than thrilled with this, pointing out that the Wise Masters will just bide their time after her victory and undo her work again. She cheerfully tells him that she has considered that hitch, which is why Daario is under order to solve the problem by exterminating the degenerates... all of them, actually. She begins to reel off all the reasons why they have had it coming while he argues that this is comparable to how they would then be acting, but doesn't get anywhere until he points out that he was once a slaver himself. If Ned Stark had treated him as she intends to treat Yunkai, then he wouldn't be here today. This strikes a chord with her, and she decides to then send Hizdahr zo Loraq as her ambassador. The Yunkish will instead be offered a choice: live in her new world, or die in their old one. But an offer of clemency will at least be made, much to Jorah's relief and happiness that his counsel is being acted upon. Dany also tells Jorah to inform Daario of her change of heart and more importantly, who was responsible for it.
In the Riverlands, Sandor Clegane curses at no one in particular as he tries and fails to suture his wound. Arya recommends he burn it out to prevent it festering. He vehemently refuses and tells her to shut up about it; in fact, she should shut up about everything. He says that this is all her fault, that she's turned him into a bag of silver on legs and that he wishes he'd never laid eyes on her. Eventually he begins gloomily reminiscing on his disfigurement; pointing out that while her brother gave her a sword, his brother seared his face in hot coals for playing with one of his old toys, and their father told everyone that his bed caught fire to protect the elder son. Arya, moved to pity, offers to help wash out and sew his injury and Clegane does not resist her ministrations.
Meanwhile, at the Crossroads Inn, Brienne and Podrick are enjoying a warm meal. Unfortunately, their serving boy and cook of said pastry is none other than Hot Pie. At the first opportunity he starts going on and on and on about the proper making of his namesake, and even further on a variety of other cooking topics, much to the duo's annoyance. He eventually gets out of Brienne that she's looking for Sansa Stark. Hot Pie freezes up at that, says that the Starks are known traitors and takes his leave.
As they leave, Brienne senses that Pod wants to say something. When he does, it's to impart that maybe they shouldn't advertise their mission like that, given all the Lannister swords on Sansa's trail. Hot Pie joins them outside. He tells Brienne that she seems trustworthy, and tells her that while he doesn't know where Sansa is, he do know that Arya is alive, that she is with the Hound, and asks Brienne to give Arya a gift from him when she finds her, namely a loaf of bread in the shape of a direwolf. Brienne sends her squire a gloating you were saying? look, and he quietly swallows his humble pie. Later, on the road, Brienne and Podrick discuss the next move. Tyrion had made Pod memorize the vast spider web that is Westerosi' genealogy, so he knows that the Arryns are her last living kin. To the East!
It's after dusk in King's Landing and Oberyn enters Tyrion's cell. After a bit of banter, he recounts how Cersei approached him two episodes ago in order to sway his feelings of impartiality as a judge and condemn Tyrion. "She has my passion for dead Lannisters." Oberyn recalls the first time the two of them met, to Tyrion's confusion. He was only a baby when Oberyn arrived at Casterly Rock. Oberyn comments that although he disliked everything about the place, the biggest letdown was Tyrion. All the people spoke of how hideous he was: that he had a head twice the size of his body, a tail, claws, a single red eye, both man and lady parts. The young Oberyn was of course quite intrigued by this, and repeatedly asked Cersei if he could see the baby and after some prodding she finally agreed to show him the freak. Tyrion looks increasingly close to tears at this bit of news that his big sister had always despised him; but Oberyn informs him instead, that when he finally got that chance to look upon the infamous cursed infant, he was rather disappointed to see what was just a reasonably average baby boy. But Cersei insisted that he was a monster because "he killed my mother!" and actually grabbed his little penis and for a moment she seemed determined to tear it off, before Jaime managed to make her stop. She even hoped that Tyrion would die in infancy and complained that he had lived long enough already.
Sooner or later, Tyrion agrees bitterly, she'll always get what she wants. Oberyn pulls the other one; justice is what he has desired for so long, and justice he will claim. Tyrion replies that King's Landing is the wrong place to seek justice. But the Prince of Dorne begs to differ: all the people he wants to bring to justice are gathered in one place, all at one time, just waiting for his spear to fall; he'll start with Gregor Clegane. And with that, the Red Viper declares himself Tyrion's champion, causing Tyrion to devolve into a half-sob, half-gasp of astonishment and gratitude.
We end in The Eyrie, which is covered in the first of winter's blanket. Sansa, wandering the halls, goes outside into the courtyard and decides to make a snow castle of Winterfell. She's made quite a bit of progress on it when Robin comes out. He asks her a little about Winterfell and why she left; he can't leave, he's the Lord of the Vale and that makes him really important. He asks her how they made people fly at Winterfell. He's horrified to hear that they didn't: here in the Eyrie they can make anyone fly and someday, when they're married (Sansa looks briefly horrified), so can she! Won't that be great? He reaches out to add a Moon Door and accidentally collapses one of the towers.
Sansa angrily tells him that he ruined it. He snaps back that it was already ruined, how could it not be ruined when it didn't have an awesome Moon Door? The Warden of the East and the Heiress to the North get into a remarkably petty argument which ends with him demolishing her labor of love and her slapping him across the face in retaliation. He bursts into tears and runs off. She stands there, realizing that this will have consequences, and Littlefinger appears to have seen the altercation. He tells her not to worry about it, that Lysa should have disciplined her son a long time ago, and muses that perhaps to make a better home you have to destroy the old one. Why did you kill Joffrey? asks Sansa. Because I loved your mother, says Petyr, and, when given the opportunity, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love? He goes on to explain that in a brighter world, she might've been his daughter. Then he kisses her, full on the mouth, not knowing that Lysa is watching....
Later on, Sansa is summoned to the central chamber. Lysa is waiting for her, and the Moon Door is laid wide open. She amiably tells Sansa to come over to the Door, and casually talks about how long the fall is and of what happens to the bodies. She tells Sansa that she knows what she did. Sansa begins to apologize for hitting Robin, when Lysa cuts her off. You kissed him, she says and holds Sansa over the nearly two-hundred meter drop, raving about how she saw it, and how Petyr's hers, and how her father, her husband, her sister, everyone in her family that stood between them are now all dead!
Littlefinger arrives to try and save the day. He shows up in the nick of time and attempts to talk his crazy wife down, while Lysa screams of the sacrifices she has made for him and how Sansa will never love him. Baelish swears by all the gods to send his niece away but first she must let her go. Finally, Lysa releases Sansa and then breaks down into anguished tears of hurt and betrayal. The Lord Protector of the Vale steps forth cautiously and embraces Lysa, while Sansa tries to recover her composure. But as it turns out, Littlefinger's not done quite yet...
- Petyr: Oh, my sweet wife. My sweet, silly wife. (Helps her to her feet) I have only loved one woman... Only one, my entire life.Lysa: (Dopey grin)Petyr: Your sister.
Then he shoves her out of the Moon Door to her shrieking, arm-flailing demise.
- Absentee Actor: In Meereen, only Daenerys, Daario and Jorah are present. In King's Landing, Tywin Lannister doesn't have any screen time, just as King Tommen, Ellaria Sand, Varys and every Tyrell still around. However, the only really notorious absence is that of Aemon Targaryen at the Night Watch's meeting, who should have been at the table to counterbalance Alliser Thorne's dismissal of Snow's proposals, because of his role as head of the Stewards.
- Adaptation Distillation:
- Brienne's search for Sansa is condensed from a number of chapters and false leads down to a single scene. The show has her quickly pick up the right trail, and the episode also features the deaths of Rorge and Biter before Brienne encounters them, making clear that the rest will also be more streamlined.
- The books remove the backstory about Lysa's youthful seduction of Petyr and the son she was forced to abort by her father.
- Adaptational Heroism:
- In the books, when Oberyn recounts the story of his meeting with the young Lannisters and meeting Baby Tyrion, the context is that of their first meeting on his arrival at the capital. There, Oberyn meant it as insulting and an expression of his contempt of the Lannister family. Here, the context is changed to make it into a genuinely empathetic moment between Oberyn and Tyrion.
- A slight change is that the Oberyn-Gregor face-off was something Tyrion expected and hoped for. He anticipated that Cersei in her paranoia would summon Gregor Clegane as a pre-emptive move to cancel his Trial by Combat gambit. As he expected, Oberyn catches news of Gregor's arrival at the capital and volunteers to be his champion and asks Tyrion to call for trial during his trial just so he could get a shot at Gregor. Here it's presented as a desperate ploy with Oberyn rescuing him in his hour of need.From the books
- Adapted Out:
- In the books, Marillion (the minstrel who accompanied Catelyn to the Eyrie and remained there afterwards) is present when Lysa confronts Sansa in the high hall and attempts to throw her out the Moon Door and plays his harp to keep them from being overheard, then finds himself blamed for throwing Lysa to her death. Here he is absent due to (as one may recall) having had his tongue cut out by Joffrey in place of a different (nameless) singer.
- In the books it is Oberyn's mother who took the young Martells to Casterly Rock and not his father; she had been friends with Tywin's wife Joanna Lannister and hoped to set a match between the Lannister twins and the Martell siblings (along with several other potential betrothals for Elia). While Oberyn's phrasing does not preclude his mother being there, this would have been her first mention in the show.
- Likewise, Lady Tanda Stokeworth, the mother of Falyse and Lollys, is adapted into Lord Stokeworth.
- Affably Evil: Bronn; lampshaded by Tyrion. He's quite casual about his intentions to murder his future sister-in-law to get her inheritance, and genuinely apologetic about having taken a bigger bribe to abandon Tyrion to his fate.
- After-Action Patch-Up: Arya talks the Hound into letting her clean and sew up the bite on his neck. As usual per this trope, it marks a moment of bonding between the two reluctant companions.
- A Shared Suffering: Despite some terse words between the Lannister brothers, they share some Gallows Humor over their mutual resentment of Father.Tyrion: Even if you die, imagine the look on father's face when you fall: our family name snuffed out with a single swing of the sword.Jaime: It's tempting.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Tyrion tries appealing to The Power of Friendship to ask Bronn to save his life."Aye, I'm your friend. And when have you ever risked your life for me?"
- Asshole Victim:
- Lysa really had her fate coming.
- Rorge and Biter are not good people.
- Ax-Crazy: The Mountain likes to entertain himself / train / practice PR by executing commoners like dogs.
- Back for the Dead: Biter and Rorge
- At the Crossroads: Brienne and Pod — should they take the North road or head to the Vale?
- Black and White Morality: Defied. Daenerys thinks that her fight against the slavemasters in Slaver's Bay is a classic fight of good against evil, but Jorah points out that the world is hardly ever so black and white. After all, is he himself pure evil because he was condemned for selling slaves in Westeros?Ser Jorah: It's tempting to see your enemies as evil, all of them, but there's good and evil on both sides in every war ever fought.
- Blood Knight:
- The Mountain prefers to train by butchering live people, it seems.
- Daario expresses dissatisfaction with the Second Sons acting as a glorified city watch, saying that his talents and passion for killing can be put to better use.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Subverted. Petyr tells Sansa of how much he loved her mother and how she looks more beautiful than her, then plants a big kiss on her. Sansa is an unwilling participant, however. When he pulls back, she's upset and he's visibly disappointed.
- Break the Cutie: Sansa, once again. First she has to endure an extremely uncomfortable kiss. And then, her aunt tries to murder her on seeing the same kiss.
- Brick Joke: Hot Pie's direwolf bread has improved.
- Bullying a Dragon: Rorge and Biter think they can take on the Hound (a notorious fighter) in a woefully inept sneak-attack. People seem to have a habit of underestimating Sandor Clegane...
- The Bus Came Back:
- After disappearing midway through season 2 and being absent throughout the entirety of season 3 and more than half of the current season, Ser Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, finally returns after being summoned as the Lannister's champion in Tyrion's trial by combat.
- Admit it. None of us expected to see Hot Pie again.
- By the Hair: Lysa grabs Sansa by her hair while trying to force her through the Moon Door.
- Sansa follows her husband's example in slapping Royal Brats.
- When Tyrion talks to Jaime about Shae, he mentions that he fell in love with a whore and expected her to love him. Jaime has a look of recognition and regret, a Call-Back to Baelor when Tyrion discusses his first wife, Tysha, a prostitute Jaime engaged as a Meet Cute to give his brother real happiness that ultimately went From Bad to Worse.
- Bronn's meeting with Tyrion in his cell echoes Podrick's farewell to Tyrion. Podrick has Undying Loyalty whereas Bronn has his limits. Despite this, Tyrion parts with him on relatively decent terms, with Tyrion wishing both well.
- After his earlier lesson with Gendry (who sold armor), Hot Pie no longer believes that any person wearing armor is ipso facto a knight, just that they usually are. He still appears to believe the Starks hail from "Winterhell", although that may have been Obfuscating Stupidity considering that it's not wise to express too much knowledge of or sympathy for the Starks.
- The Champion: Cersei recruits the Mountain to be her champion. Oberyn swears to be Tyrion's for his upcoming Trial by Combat after being refused by Jaime and Bronn.
- Consummate Liar/Believing Their Own Lies: Oberyn discusses Cersei trying to gain sympathy from him by discussing Myrcella in a blatant attempt to turn him against Tyrion, he noted that she might have even been sincere or started believing it while she was lying. Tyrion agrees:"Making honest feelings do dishonest work is one of her many gifts."
- Continuity Nod: Arya has a split lip from when Sandor backhanded her in "First of His Name".
- Damn With Faint Praise: Jaime sarcastically comments re Tyrion's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, "They'll be talking about it for days to come" implying Kings Landing will have forgotten about it by the end of the month.
- Disney Villain Death: Littlefinger makes Lysa fly.
- Dissonant Serenity: When Cersei approaches Gregor Clegane, she steps through a pool of entrails and gore of prisoners he killed, with the same grace as if she's walking a garden. She's totally unafraid and calm in Gregor's presence.
- Double Meaning: Littlefinger's "What do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?" reply to why he killed Joffrey. Ostensibly he's referring to Catelyn, but given Joffrey's long torment of Sansa...
- The Dreaded: It's not enough to see Gregor Clegane hacking at hapless prisoners, but a certified badass like Bronn confesses to Tyrion, without shame, that he's afraid of him and indeed any sane man should be:"He's freakish big and freakish strong and quicker than you'd expect for a man of that size. Maybe I could take him. Dance around till he's so tired of hackin' at me, he drops his sword, get him off his feet somehow. But one misstep... *snaps fingers* and I'm dead."
- Eating the Eye Candy: Dany is certainly not displeased at what Daario is packing when he takes off his leather pants. She's clearly enjoying herself!
- Enemy Mine: Oberyn despises the Lannisters, but he'll champion for Tyrion if it means that he can get a shot at revenge against his real targets, beginning with Gregor Clegane. However, he also shows real sympathy for Tyrion at this time and makes it clear that he doesn't consider him one of his enemies anymore.
- Establishing Character Re-Introduction: Just in case the audience forgot the kind of man Ser Gregor Clegane is, he's re-introduced by using lowborn prisoners as living practice dummies.
- Evil Is Hammy: Lysa really ramps it up in her attempt to make Sansa fly."Liar! Whore! HE IS MINE! My father, my husband, my sister, they all stood between us and now they're all dead! That's what happens to people who stand between Petyr and me! Look down, look down, look down, look down, look down!"
- Exposed to the Elements: When they're out in the snow in the Eyrie, Sansa and Robin are both well wrapped up against the cold - but Littlefinger swans around in his usual long tunic, without even seeming to need a cape.
- Fanservice: In a season mostly devoid of straight examples, leaning more to the Fan Disservice side, this episode throws us a bone. We get another Melisandre nude scene as well as a shirtless Daario.
- Fatal FlawJaime: I thought you were a realist. Didn't realize you'd die for Pride.
- Female Gaze:
- A rare example that is focused at another woman. Melisandre consciously invites it by remaining undressed in Queen Selyse's presence. Selyse takes a long look at her body, apparently envious and jealous of this woman who seduced her husband Stannis but justifying it to herself as being the Lord's work. Melisandre claims that flesh is just another trick of the Lord of Light's real power.
- The camera ogles Daario as much as Dany when he strips naked for her.
- Forceful Kiss: Sansa is on the receiving end of one by Littlefinger. She reacts with shock rather than enthusiasm, and he's obviously disappointed by her lack of interest.
- Gender Flip: In the books, House Stokeworth is ruled by Lady Tanda Stokeworth. Meanwhile, Oberyn and Elia were taken to Casterly Rock by their mother, the Princess of Dorne.
- Green-Eyed Monster:
- Jorah - more overtly and intensively than ever before.
- Lysa, who is generally a Clingy Jealous Girl, loses it after she sees Petyr kissing Sansa.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Littlefinger discusses how that wasn't the best idea for a brat like Robin Arryn.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Jorah points out that Daenerys seems to be heading in this direction. He also notes that it sets a poor example since the slaves she has freed have only known brutality and they get the same from her, only directed at others.
- Hitler Cam: When Cersei approaches Gregor Clegane to be her champion in Tyrion's trial, the camera is at a very low angle to make Gregor tower over her even more than he does already.
- Hope Spot: Sansa builds a snowcastle with Robin and Robin promises that when they're married he'll send anyone who threatens them out the Moon Door and Sansa smiles and says she'd like that, and for a second it looks like Sansa has finally found some level of safety and happiness for her future. A slip of the hand and some harsh words later, and things don't look quite so hopeful.
- Hot Consort: Danys is on top of the world (or a great big pyramid at least) and so clearly has no problem ordering Daario into her bed simply because she has the power to do so.
- Incest Subtext: Played with. Sansa and Petyr are not related, but he is passing her off as his niece (which she now is, by marriage). He tells her that she might have been his daughter about five seconds before kissing her.
- In Love with Your Carnage: A non-sexual variant: the Hound is quite pleased with Arya's killing skills."You are learning."
- Ironic Echo: Lysa did mention to Littlefinger on their wedding day that she is a screamer. She didn't scream when pushed out the Moon Door in the novel, but here she does.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
Sansa: [mortified] I shouldn't have hit him.
- Bronn points out that although he definitely knows the Mountain's strengths and weaknesses, going into such a fight would practically be suicide and there better be a damn good reward for taking the risk. Tyrion agrees with him.
- Littlefinger may have enjoyed seeing Sansa smack Robin a little too much, but he does have a valid point that Lysa has utterly failed to discipline her son, and he's become a sadistic little brat as a result.
- Karmic Death: Lysa wanted to shove Sansa from the Moon Door. Littlefinger does exactly that to her in return.
- Kingpin in His Gym: After arriving in Kings Landing to fight for the crown in Tyrion's trial by combat, the Mountain is introduced sparring with his massive broadsword in a courtyard... by slaughtering helpless, emaciated convicts.
- Knight Templar: Daenerys is slowly becoming like this and Jorah tries to counsel her against it, noting the same tendency in Ned Stark nearly led to his execution and denial of a chance to redeem his honor.
- Know When To Fold Them: Bronn had a great run serving as Tyrion's champion and bodyguard but he decides to not fight as Tyrion's champion against the Mountain. He does not like his chances against such a fearsome opponent and more importantly Tyrion cannot really offer him anything that would make that kind of risk worthwhile.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Before pushing Lysa out the Moon Door, Littlefinger makes sure she knows that he loved Catelyn and not her.
- Lovable Traitor: Bronn manages to make himself endearing even when he's leaving Tyrion to die, telling him that he won't fight for him against Gregor and that he will take Cersei's offer and call it quits. Tyrion even shakes his hand fondly in goodbye.Bronn: I like you, pampered little shit that you are. I just - like myself more.Tyrion: I understand.Bronn: I'm sorry it has to be this way.Tyrion: Why are you sorry? Because you're an evil bastard with no conscience and no heart? That's what I liked about you in the first place.
- Love Makes You Evil: Lysa is positively proud of all the people she ran over to be with Littlefinger, and reminds Sansa that their family connection will not save her one bit:"He is mine! My father, my husband, my sister, they all stood between us and now they're all dead! That's what happens to people who stand between Petyr and me!"
- Madness Mantra:
- "Look down! Look down, look down, look down!"
- Selyse repeating her lines from last season about Melisandre takes on an edge of this.
- Manly Tears: Tyrion struggles to hold back tears when Oberyn relates how his sister mistreated him and wanted him dead even as a baby. Again when Oberyn says he will be his champion and Tyrion realises he's got a chance of getting out of this alive.
- Meal Ticket: The reason why Bronn accepted Cersei's offer to marry a lackwit noblewoman.
- The Mentor:
- Brienne is slowly taking this role for Podrick, trying to instill him the right discipline and preventing him from drinking wine and lapsing back into his old habits under Tyrion, who enjoyed spoiling him.
- Sandor shows Arya where to stab a man in the heart so he dies quickly. Arya puts it in to practice. Sandor congratulates her.
- Mercy Kill: Sandor gives a slowly dying man a quick death to put him out of his misery. He also grants his last request and gives him a drink of water before carrying out the deed.
- Mood Whiplash:
- One minute Littlefinger is being charming and kind, talking about Sansa as if she could have been the daughter he had with Cat. Then he comes on to her, telling her that she's even more beautiful and kisses her.
- In the middle of Tyrion's conversation with Jaime, where the latter berates him for shooting his mouth off and then mentions he can't champion Tyrion without his main sword hand, he and Tyrion suddenly defuse the situation discussing the look on Tywin's face if Jaime died in battle with Gregor Clegane, losing both his sons in one fell swoop.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: Rorge and Biter show up only to be quickly polished off by our favourite Badass and Child Duo.
- Not So Different:
- Jorah Mormont identifies this regarding his own past as a slaver, feeling that his situation is not so far from that of the slavers that Daenerys wants to summarily execute. He even compares her actions to one of her father's enemies, Ned Stark, who would likewise have executed him without hearing a word in his defense.
- Daenerys reminds Jorah that he himself served with The Golden Company when he criticizes Daario for being a mercenary.
- Subverted when Tyrion remarks that being dissapointed by him is a common feeling shared by Oberyn and the Lannisters. The subversion comes when Oberyn elaborates that the letdown came when he learned that Tyrion wasn't the monster he was promised.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Baelish has used Aiden Gillen's Irish accent when talking with Sansa, but an RP one when he talks to others. Here, it's Irish all the way.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Lysa discusses this at disturbing lengths with Sansa, making it clear that Robin isn't the only one that's slightly cuckoo when it comes to making the bad men fly.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- An In-Universe version; you can see the Oh, Crap! look on Tyrion's face the moment Bronn enters wearing the expensive clothes of a lord instead of his usual Boring, but Practical armour.
- Tyrion's regular snarky self is notably absent in his scene with Prince Oberyn. He has clearly reached the end of his tether. This is in stark contrast to his interactions with Bronn and Jaime, where his wit was still intact.
- Oberyn who's been snarky and impolite to all Lannisters displays genuine warmth to Tyrion.
- Baelish dispenses with his oily, polite demeanor before killing Lysa.
- Older Than They Look: Subverted — Oberyn doesn't specify how old he was when he met baby Tyrion, but he should be roughly as old as Cersei and Jaime according to the book timeline (with the show age-up for characters, this makes him around 40). However, as Peter Dinklage looks older than Tyrion's in-story age, this trope can come into play for fans.
- Only in It for the Money: Bronn's been very clear from the start that his only loyalty is to the highest bidder. True to form, he abandons Tyrion upon receiving a better offer, though he does give Tyrion a chance to offer him more. In an interesting variation, he genuinely likes Tyrion and hopes that he survives, but isn't willing to put his own life on the line without adequate payment.
- Pet the Dog: Oberyn Martell to Tyrion Lannister, telling him his reaction to first glimpsing him as a child, when everyone else had called him a monster."That's not a monster, I told Cersei. That's just a baby."
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Ser Alliser Thorne. He seems to have become more and more so due to Slynt's urgings, when he had been fairly reasonable at the start of the season.
- On the other hand, several fans have pointed out a few holes in Jon's "fill up the gate" plannote . While Alistair comes off as a bit of a jerk, his refusal to go along with that plan may be more strategically sound.
- The Power of Friendship: Averted with Bronn.
- Precision F-Strike: A notable one when little Arya quotes Rorge's words to her when they last met.
- Put on a Bus: Daario is sent to retake Yunkai, likely to accommodate Michiel Huisman's schedule with Orphan Black.
- Rags to Riches: Bronn is set to marry a noblewoman and will likely kill her older sister to bump her up the line of succession. Lampshaded by the fact he's wearing new silk clothes as opposed to his usual rough armor.
- Reality Ensues: Despite the friendship between Tyrion and Bronn, at the end of the day, Tyrion is paying Bronn for his services, and when Bronn gets a better offer that doesn't involve great risk to his life, he takes it. Bronn knows that he has almost no chance of winning a fight against the Mountain and also knows that Tyrion is in no position to offer him anything that would make it worth the risk; taking Cersei's bribe is the move that works out the best for him and he has no reason not to accept. As he said a long time ago, he doesn't loan his sword out...he sells it.
- The Resenter: Tyrion's conversation with Jaime reveals that as much as he loves his brother, it hurts him that Jaime could get back on his father's good books despite all the stuff he did because he's the "golden child" while nothing Tyrion ever does will get him so much as a kind word.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- Prince Oberyn is ready to pull the trigger on his after lining up every target on his hit list. Starting with the brutish Gregor Clegane who raped and killed his sister and her children, which he will get his chance at if he stands for Tyrion in his trial by combat. Presuming he survives, the rest of the Lannisters will be next. In his own words, for the first time in decades, everyone who has wronged him is in the same place at the same time.
- When Sansa asks him why he killed Joffrey, Littlefinger cites Catelyn's death as his reason."Given the chance, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?"
- Rule of Three: Tyrion is turned down by two potential champions before his third visitor volunteers for the job.
- Selective Obliviousness: Although it was plainly visible that Baelish was the one who kissed an obviously confused and uncomfortable Sansa, in Lysa's mind, Sansa came onto him.
- Sensei for Scoundrels: The Hound "teaches" Arya to aim for the heart and seems to express some approval when she kills Rorge that way.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Unusual for an HBO series, Daenerys's tryst with Daario takes place off-screen. And the only one shown nude (from the back) is Daario.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Melisandre is completely unfazed by Selyse walking into her chambers while she's in the bath. She then gets out of the bath and starts wandering around the room naked, still utterly casual about the whole thing.
- Shirtless Scene:
- The Mountain while practicing his sword skills. Less for fanservice and more to show how huge he is.
- Daario, before Daenerys.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Daenerys is sure of one thing — slavery is a horrible institution, and anyone who ever supported it must die. Jorah points out that her attitude, while understandable, is heading into Knight Templar territory. Just recently she discovered that because she was so quick to judge, she executed an aristocrat for a crime which he openly condemned to his fellows when his son asked for the right to bury his father's corpse.
- Stunned Silence: Jorah is rendered completely speechless when he sees Daario leaving Daenerys' chambers, still pulling on his clothes. You can see the gears whirling in his head as he tries to figure out just what's been going on, but by the time he's reached Daenerys, he's recovered enough to deliver a snarky comment about the situation.
- Robin is also left speechless after Sansa strikes him. Clearly it's the first time anyone's ever hit him to discipline him.
- Tantrum Throwing: Robin wrecks the snow castle and gets Sanslapped.
- Too Dumb to Live: Rorge and Biter, who are both quickly dispatched by Arya and Sandor respectively. This is lampshaded by Sandor, who states that not only were they stupid enough to come by themselves and without their whole group, but also because they were ill-equipped for the task. Doubly so for Biter, who instead of doing the unthinkable and just, say, stab The Hound whilst his back was turned, decided to attack him unarmed by trying to tear his throat out with his teeth! He is rewarded with a broken neck.
- Took a Level in Badass: In a dark fashion, Littlefinger finally gets hands-on and kills someone personally.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:
- In the backstory; Oberyn tells Tyrion that he visited Casterly Rock as a child and while there, he witnessed young Cersei twisting baby Tyrion's penis. Then telling Oberyn she hoped her baby brother would and should, die soon.
- Robin Arryn expressed delight at the thought of pushing anyone who bothers him out of the Moon Door.
- Arya is just a little too eager to kill. And her expression doesn't change when Sandor suddenly stabs the dying peasant.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite their rough start and hiccups, Hot Pie shows this for Arya and her family. Publicly he has to keep a low profile and hide his sympathies since the Lannisters are in power, but he secretly gives aid to Brienne and a wolf-shaped pie as a gift to Arya, declaring his real loyalty.
- The Un Favourite:
- Tyrion's resentment over how Jaime is treated in comparison to him comes pouring out, and Jaime has to pointedly remind his little brother that he's the only friend he's got right now.
- Implied with Sandor Clegane when he says how his father covered up for his maiming at Gregor's hands.
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Littlefinger for Catelyn. Normally, this would be romantic and touching (and Sansa initially smiles at Petyr's confession of his ardour) but it quickly becomes apparent to her that Petyr's romantic obsession has made him disturbed. Lysa Arryn even moreso.
- Villainous Breakdown: Lysa, after seeing Littlefinger kiss Sansa.
- Villainous Rescue: Lord Baelish saves Sansa from a psycho Lysa, but only for reasons of self-interest.
- Wait, What?: Tyrion, when Prince Oberyn declares himself his champion.
- Wham Line: In-Universe only. Was anyone in the audience seriously surprised about what happened next?Littlefinger: "Your sister."
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Jaime tells off Tyrion for stuffing up the Nights Watch deal, but Tyrion is still too bitter to care much.
- Jorah warns Danys against going down the Knight Templar road.
- Clegane finds out there's a hundred stag bounty on his head, all because Arya insisted on going into that inn.
- With Us or Against Us: Daenerys is ultimately convinced to give the new masters of Yunkai a chance to surrender, which is more merciful than her original plan.
- Littlefinger clarifies this in this episode. When Sansa talks about losing her home, Littlefinger tells her that to build a new home you might need to destroy the old one, and then segues into his feelings towards Catelyn and her Uncle Brandon:"In a better world, where love can overcome strength and duty, you might have been my child. But we don't live in that world."
- Lysa. She witnesses the only man she ever loved kissing her niece, and her response is to try to murder said niece in as brutal and terrifying a way as she can. She would have succeeded, too, had Littlefinger not...intervened.
- Littlefinger clarifies this in this episode. When Sansa talks about losing her home, Littlefinger tells her that to build a new home you might need to destroy the old one, and then segues into his feelings towards Catelyn and her Uncle Brandon:
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Now that Littlefinger's the regent to the Lord of the Vale, he really doesn't need (or want) to keep Lysa around any longer than he has to - so he doesn't. His dispatch of her is rather on the fly, and he was doing it at least partly to keep Sansa safe, but the sentiment is definitely there.
- You Monster!: Inverted. "That's not a monster; that's just a baby."