It’s Game Of Thrones Episode 17, entitled “A Man Without Honor”, a title which clearly and specifically refers to Bran. Or possibly every character on this show ever, except for that guy who insulted Theon and got decapitated and like maybe one of the direwolves (the other, dishonorable direwolf is constantly stealing the others’ Raven-Milk-Bones and having sex with them.)
Ironically, the “Man Without Honor” episode doesn’t include Joffrey – I assumed the episode was just gonna be a 60-minute closeup on Joffrey with dishonorable sh*t happening in the background, like the “You Don’t Know How It Feels” video – but Tyrion and Cersei do sit down and discuss the grim reality of Joffrey on the throne, with Tyrion adding “It’s tough to leash a dog once you’ve put a crown on him” (not true! I do this to my basset hound Doggfrey on an hourly basis).
In one of the season’s more subtlely interesting scenes, Cersei tries to confide in Tyrion but can’t quite do it, and Tyrion tries to comfort his sister but also can’t, and they spend the scene tragically beating around the Joffrey bush (without actually beating Joffrey this week, sadly):
They stop just short of talking themselves into agreeing “Sometimes, the sincerest form of loving your child is killing him and letting a more reasonable child take over…”, but still, the ‘Joffrey’ tension between the two Lannisters in this scene was thick enough to beat with a crying prostitute’s scepter.
Jon Snow, meanwhile, is still trudging along with the escaped wildling Ygritte (aka Gwen from Downton Abbey – does she recognize Sir Richard Carlisle??) who keeps ridiculing his idea of freedom and tries to tempt him into sexually letting his guard down, adding “I’ll teach you how to do it.”
Not-Defensive-At-All Jon’s like, “Oh I’ve borked a lot of women in my time…”
At one point, Jon clutches his sword and Ygritte yanks him to the ground with the rope, rushes to higher ground, and Jon quickly realizes he’s surrounded by wildlings:
So in a way, the man with the most honor – Jon, the sympathetic non-sex-haver – has ended up in the worst possible position (not counting head-detachment). Oh, episode title – you’re more layered than a Bhyruvian Owlcake!
At Harrenhall, The Mountain has responded to the poison-darting of Amory Lorch the way everyone at Harrenhall responds to anything: By torturing and hanging 20 men to death overnight (“We really need to repave the Eastern road – better gouge some dudes’ eyes out and let rats play marbles with them and that should do it.”) Tywin assumes there’s a plot to assassinate him, and very not-unsubtlely ‘invites’ Arya to eat his food in front of him, which she reluctantly does, while Tywin tells her stories with his neck conspicuously exposed:
Tywin explains how Harrenhall was once an impenetrable fortress, defeated only when the Targaryens ‘changed the rules’ and attacked with dragons, even though they’d explicitly agreed “No Dragbacks” before the fight, as well as “No picking Oddjob” and “no proximity mining the body armor.” He surmises that Arya is of noble upbringing from her knowledge of history, casual addressing of a fellow lord, and her non-attempts to have sex with his food-plates; Arya decides not to act, but the season’s drawing to a close soon, and she’s still got oooonnnnee mooooreee ‘death’ left and it’s burnin’ a hole in her pocket.
On the battlefront, Robb Stark makes a cameo appearance:
He talks to the messenger Alton Lannister about Cersei ripping up his conditions for peace, and in a really obviously terrible decision, he orders Alton to be placed in Jaime’s cell. Jamie and Alton share stories about being squires and the thrill of killing, with Jaime comparing his imprisonment to “like stepping into a dream and finding out that the dream is more real than your life. But enough about The Matrix – they need to get some more recent movies in this sh*thole. They showed us frickin’ Nell last week.”
He whispers to Alton that “there is one thing you can do to help me…” which sounds totally not-ominous, coming from The Kingslayer. He probably needs to borrow a USB drive or something:
Jaime knocks his cousin to the ground and beats him to death with his hands and shackles, then when a guard runs in to tend to Jaime, Jaime chokes him to death with his chains, “Die Hard 2 General Esperanza” style. Just when you were thinking “Is Jaime seriously gonna get away? They had ONE guard on him??”, you remember that Game Of Thrones isn’t ‘other stupid things’ and Jaime is still captive in camp, but the father of the murdered guard personally calls for his head, inciting riots among the camp and forcing Lady Stark to step in to keep their valuable prisoner alive, telling the father “I know you’re upset but Jaime is a super major character and you just appeared in the show this second, so dial it down a notch, Beardo McMadderson.”
Farewell, guard and Alton Lannister:
Fearing Jaime won’t live through the night, Lady Stark enters his cell with Brianne, and Jaime launches into an Anthony Hopkins Game-lence Of The Thrones speech to get under her skin, noting that he’s only ever been with one woman (his twin sister, which he kind of glosses over) while Ned sired a bastard while married, then turns into the camera and says “SO WHO IS TRULY THE MAN WITHOUT HONOR HERE?” (2 minute pause). Then Jaime’s like “Oop, still have some of my cousin’s brains on my knuckle – could you toss me a towel?”
Having heard enough, Lady Stark asks Brianne for a sword, and the scene cuts away before we get to see her carve a penis onto the side of his face and giggle.
Daenerys continues her search for her dragons, and we continue laughing just a bit whenever a character really earnestly uses “dragons” in a sentence (“I am so, so sorry to hear about your dragons, Khaleesi.”) Jorah apologizes to Daeny for being conveniently away when the dragons were stolen and everyone killed (urgent Downton newspaper business), and visits that weird masked woman to ask for help finding the dragons by watching her paint symbols onto a naked dude’s ass (lost your dragons? They’re always in the last ass you painted!)
Daeny confronts the Council Of Thirteen to ask who took the dragons, and right after chubby spice guy tells her “I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew,” that super-shady warlock Pyat Pree admits that he took the dragons in conjunction with “The King Of Qarth”:
Xaro admits that he and Pyat have joined forces against the Thirteen in an attempt to “Open Quarth to the world” and also to start consolidating the thousands of characters on this show. Just minutes after I said to my fellow GoT watchers “You know when an episode has this many calm talking scenes in a row, some SERIOUS sh*t is gonna go down later in the episode”, the Jaime beating scene happened, followed by Pyat magically slaughtering every other member of the Qarth council:
Alright, can the Game Of Thrones characters now officially stop underestimating the powers of the magical characters on this show? The whole “oh bugger off, you wacky charlatan” mentality might make sense in real life, but it doesn’t make sense in a world where clearly characters possess magic powers and are capable of multiplying themselves into eleven physical apparitions and slitting everyones’ throats. It is not clear, however, why Pyat’s magical doubles are dressed like Indiana Jones extras.
Daeny and her two remaining cohorts attempt to escape, but Pyat calmly keeps inviting her to reunite with her dragons, an offer which she likely won’t have the option to turn down. So it turns out, that creepy, shady-ass magical dude WAS actually a creepy, shady-ass magical dude; what if the last scene in the season is just Pyat the warlock and Brianne nailing the crap out of each other for ten minutes in the grossest scene ever committed to tape? That might top the Season 1 twist.
Over in Winterfell, Theon intensifies the search for Bran and his brother – “I don’t care if I have to f*ck every nook and cranny in Westeros, find them! What? No, I definitely said ‘search’.” – and after several fruitless days of hunting, a paranoid Theon dismisses Maester Luwin from his position as the Royal “Bald Friarly Man”.
Unfortunately for the Starks, Theon’s men do pick up a trail: Shells of nuts left behind by Bran’s dangerously nut-loving brother, which leads the search party right to where the boys are hiding: Uncle Nutsy’s Clubhouse –
The episode concludes with Theon’s men dragging Maester Luwin to the town square and Theon announcing that he’s a man of his word when it comes to people defying him, and just when you expect him to decapitate Luwin and say to yourself “Ah well, that guy was nice but figured he’d die at some point,” Theon unveils the charred remains of two tiny individuals, either the Stark boys or even worse, their beloved Pound Puppies:
Wow. So, that was a slight turn of events. I initially thought that Theon might have not actually captured Bran and was staging the ‘burning’ as a message to the Winterfellas, but the HBO Synopsis just straight-up says it was the Stark boys, plus when you rewatch the ending, Theon is clearly distraught over his own actions:
However it turns out, way to go, Theon! Cue trailer: “A man who f*cks everything is about to f*ck up the one thing he can’t unf*ck [Record Scratch]…his own life.” Really just a great Mother’s Day episode for Lady Stark, Cersei, and the Mother Of Dragons. Celebrate!!! You earned it.
Fittingly, the episode fades on Theon and his companion Dagmer slow-dancing to Genesis.
“A Man Without Honor” episode thoughts? Favorite / least favorite parts? Thoughts on the big Bran development? Thoughts on the even bigger Whoever That Guard Was development??? Predictions for the last few episodes? Leave ‘em in the comments – only three more weeks until we’re forced to just enjoy summer!