Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, given a chance to climb, they cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.
Last week, on Game of Thrones: we didn't post a review but Jon Snow uses his gaping mouth for something respectable for once (Ygritte's vagina), Stannis' wife fully approves of his lusty feelings for Melisandre, everyone finally takes a bath, Brienne and Jaime solidify their alliance while Jaime grows ever more sympathetic, and Tywin tells Cersei and Tyrion that they're forced to marry Loras and Sansa, respectively.
This week, on Game of Thrones...
No Daenerys! Adjust your expectations accordingly.
On the road:
Samwell seems to be making minuscule progress toward winning over his lady fair, in spite of his immeasurable failure at starting a fire. She asks him to sing for her and her baby, and the ever-present disdain in her eyes finally subsides a tiny bit. Oh Sam. I hope good things for you, but something tells me I'll be daunted on that score.
Arya is heartbroken when The Brotherhood Without Banners sells out Gendry to Melisandre, which means she might have another pair of tits at which to aim her trusty arrow. Melisandre and Arya take the full measure of each other when Arya calls Melisandre a witch and Melisandre sees the darkness of vengeance within Arya, along with a vision of eyes that Arya will shut forever. "Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes." Cersei and Joffrey both have green eyes, so I hope she doesn't mean Arya will shut only one pair of each color.
Bran is still traveling with Osha and the Reeds, and he's spending much of his energy trying to mediate the who-skins-a-rabbit-better slap fights between Meera and Osha. He sure is growing up, isn't he? Jojen's visions give him a seizure as he sees "Jon Snow on the wrong side of the wall, surrounded by enemies."
On the wrong side of the wall:
Jon Snow isn't just on the wrong side of the wall, he's on the wrong side of the wall. As in, climbing up all 700 feet with nothing more than a rope and a pickaxe, the most literal representation of this week's theme. When an avalanche causes him and Ygritte to be cut free from the others, he manages to save both of them through sheer will, and when they reach the top of the wall and overlook the sun rising over all of Westeros, no one can blame them for hardcore making out - even after Ygritte promised to cut off Jon's cock and wear it as a necklace if he ever betrayed her.
Robb needs Lord Walder Frey again, and who didn't see that coming? After breaking his vow to marry Frey's daughter, he now needs Frey's armies to join him for the march on Casterly Rock. Frey doesn't ask much in return: Harrenhal, an apology and for Uncle Edmure to marry one of Frey's daughters sight unseen. Edmure, after much bellyachin', complies. Hopefully he's better at keeping his promises than Robb.
Jaime seems to be making some strides at negotiating with Roose Bolton, who's willing to send Jaime back to King's Landing - but without Brienne, whom he intends to charge with treason. But then who will help Jaime cut his meat? I've grown to worship the friendship between Jaime and Brienne, honestly. Their relationship is so singular, free of romance, a true pairing of equals, a partnership with three hands. I'll sure hate to see them split up.
Wherever Theon Is:
He's still in capture, still being tortured. I assume his storyline will grow interesting one day, right? His captor plays sick games with him, first daring Theon to guess who he is and what his motivations are (Theon guesses a Karstark seeking revenge) and then promising to let him go if he gets it right. That charade doesn't last long as the man sneers, "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." Safe to say that's the catchphrase for all of Game of Thrones, I imagine.
At King's Landing:
Tywin may have met his match in Olenna Tyrell, my newish favorite character. She balks at the idea of marrying Loras to the soon-to-be-barren Cersei when she's already wasted Margaery on Joffrey. Tywin condemns Loras for his "unnatural" behavior in bed, to which Olenna has a quick and handy retort, since Tywin's daughter has been sleeping with his son for decades. They eventually agree to marry them off, and Tyrion and Cersei might form their first ever united front in their equal dismay at being forced to break up the coupling of Loras and Sansa and keep the parts for themselves.
I feel for Loras and Sansa - even though he's gay, I think they'd make a good, sweet, pleasant match. As Tyrion puts it, "It's hard to say which of the four of us is getting the worst of this arrangement. Probably Sansa, though Loras will certainly come to know a deep and singular misery."
And Tyrion is forced to tell Sansa that she's now his betrothed - and forced to tell her in front of Shae. "This is awkward" doesn't quite cover it, does it, Ty?
And in the most chilling speech of the episode - the series? - Littlefinger gives us our title, boasting to Varys that he left Ros to Joffrey's devices as punishment for becoming one of The Spider's little birds. If anyone had any doubt, Littlefinger and Joffrey are utter monsters. Ros is strung up naked and riddled with Joff's arrows, as he sits back and surveys the damage with his infinite smirk.
And poor, sobbing Sansa is forced to watch as Littlefinger's ship sails away, taking with it her last chance to return home.