Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 7: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” Recap

brienne

By Devin Kirby

As my good buddy Steve eloquently described this episode: “They continue to finger their buttholes and not progress the plot at all.” It’s hard to argue.

We have now committed about 8 hours to watching this season of GoT, and don’t have a ton to show for it. There’s been some great character development, sure, and some big plot twists—Jaime’s hand getting cut off and Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion being my favorites—but overall this season has felt like a massive commercial for season 4, which would make sense considering seasons 3 and 4 are two halves of the same book, A Storm of Swords. This season has a bunch of journeys, but not a lot of arrivals. Don’t get wrong, I’ve loved the ride—I consider it some of the best television I’ve ever watched—but my patience is wearing thin. Episodes 4 and 5 were outstanding, but 6 and 7 have been rather pedestrian. That being said, this show is always back-end heavy—Ned Stark’s execution wasn’t until the 9th episode of the first season, and the Battle of Blackwater Bay (one of the few saving graces of the sophomoric second season) also didn’t come until 9 episodes in. So with that, here’s “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.”

 

IN THE NORTH

Jon Snow has a girlfriend

Jon SnowYgritteOrellTormund Giantsbane, and the other Wildlings continue to trek south after last episode’s insane Wall climb. There are a couple moments of Ygritte being adorable and her and Jon eyebanging (apparently Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie, who play the two, are actually dating in real life). Orell, who cut the two from his line during a moment of panic while climbing the Wall, gets a little jealous at this, and says mean things to Jon Snow before trying to talk Ygritte into leaving him. This scene bugs me due to the sole fact that I don’t like Orell’s character and don’t quite understand why he has such a big role. I think a lot of the things he does and says could be given to someone like Tormund, who’s already a more interesting character than Orell with half the lines. Tormund does compare a vagina to a seal though, which makes for the fact he kind of gets shafted otherwise. Oh Tormund. The other thing I hated about these scenes was that there’s supposed to be this tension between Snow and his Wildling girlfriend’s different ways of living, but I don’t really feel it. They’re south of the Wall now, in Snow’s territory, and in a land that governs itself by the same rules he does. So why would Ygritte’s different way of life even be a factor? The Wildling’s are supposed to be animalistic, and animals adapt. Their outlooks on life are an interesting juxtaposition, and a big part of why they have such great chemistry, but the show just beats you over the head with this point so much it just kind of gets tedious.

However, Jon Snow does kind of save this plot in this episode when he tells Ygritte he has absolutely no faith in the Wildlings successfully sieging anything. Ygritte tries to tell him that he knows nothing, as she always does, but Snow insists. This is a great little reoccurring bit of writing: every time Ygritte says that he knows nothing, Snow proves her wrong (starting with her teasing him about being a virgin before he goes down on her like a champ). Hopefully, this will be the one time that Snow is actually mistaken. Ygritte is very ready to die for the Wildling cause, but you get the feeling Snow might not be ready to throw away his life, especially by trying to attack the land he was sworn to protect.

 

 

Team Hodor

 

 

Alright, I’m so over watching Hodor make camp and Osha bitch at a girl half her age. She tells Bran she hates magic after seeing her partner (do Wildlings get married?) Bruni come back as a White Walker, which kind of explains the hatred she feels towards Jojen and Meera Reed. To make things worse, Jojen has convinced Bran that they not only need to go find Jon Snow at Castle Black, but then need to go beyond the Wall and find Bran’s spirit raven. Wait. What? That’s so dumb I can’t even stand it. I know they’re children or whatever, but Jojen and Bran have to realize on some level with a colossally stupid undertaking that is. The Starks and their stupid decisions man. It’s unbelievable.

This week’s Hodor moment is one for the ages though, so. I guess there’s that.

 

Theon and his ugly face

Two chicks come take care of Theon and eventually it turns into one of them dry humping him (ok?) before Theon’s torturer performs the most epic cockblock of all time and then goes to cut Theon’s penis off. Well, that escalated quickly.

 

 

I still think that this is all a giant test for Theon by his father, who was not a fan at all of Theon’s infamous promiscuity—which was last demonstrated by Theon trying to fingerblast his sister before he found out it was his sister. Regardless of the motive, this was the first time I actually felt for Theon. No one deserves to get their junk cut off. Having been dumped before in my life (believe it or not), one sympathizes.

 

IN THE RIVERLANDS

The increasingly poor decisions of Robb Stark

 

 

On the road to the Frey stronghold the Twins to marry off Edmure Tully in exchange for Walder Frey’s continued support, some heavy rain delays Robb Stark (awesome picture of Robb, by the way) and his company. Catelyn Stark seems to be the only one concerned by this: she is worried that the already-upset Walder Frey will take the delay as an insult. Walder Frey is a antagonistic old man, who has faced ridicule for years for himself arriving late to a battle during Robert Baratheon’s rebellion against Aerys Targaryen. So Catelyn has a point. But, as always, Robb Stark doesn’t really care. He’s too occupied porking the (admittedly pretty hot) Talisa, who, after they have sex and she starts writing a letter to her mom (isn’t that nice), reveals she’s pregnant. Uh oh. Red flag. Robb Stark’s inability to think big picture this season has put him in a precarious situation where he’s going to have to start kissing some ass to not wind up dead—a very un-Stark characteristic (see also: Ned Stark). And now there’s a baby that would make his demise that much more tragic? I see these things as leading up to one big conclusion. Stupid Robb Stark. Couldn’t keep it in his pants until the war is done. And I’m scared for him. Real scared.

 

Arya Stark is my favorite character in the show

Arya, still stuck at the hideout of the Brotherhood Without Banners, gets her return to her family delayed after the Brotherhood decides to hunt a Lannister scouting party—presumably to rob them—instead of bringing her to Riverrun. Arya, angry at the Brotherhood’s lies to her and the recently-sold Gendry, runs away, only to be captured outside by Sandor “the Hound” Clegane. It’s a pretty short and self-explanatory scene, but there is one awesome moment: when asked who she worships as her god, Arya responds with simply: “Death.” In the religion of the Lord of Light, Death is the only other deity besides the Lord. Yeah monotheism!

Oh, and so ready for the Hound and Arya to fight together. Please let that be a thing. Dear (Red) God yes. They both hate the Lannisters. They both hate the Brotherhood. They both hate, well, everybody. Why not?

 

 

AT YUNKAI

Dragons!

 

 

Dany and her giant sans-testicle army arrive at the golden city of Yunkai, which Jorah Mormont insists they don’t need strategically. Dany, who has risen from Dothraki slave wife to powerful political force, disagrees. Yunkai has 200,000 slaves in it, and 200,000 potential followers who will be awful grateful for their freedom. And Dany, now the BREAKER OF CHAINS (AWESOME OVERLOAD) wants to lend them a hand. She meets Yunkai’s ambassador, something daz gran something gaz, and demands their surrender. The ambassador, although trying to play it cool, is scared shitless of the dragons, and apparently so is Yunkai: they offer Dany two giant chests of gold and as many ships as she needs to get to Westeros in exchange for peace. Dany demands the liberation of all Yunkai’s slaves, which of course he denies, and she lets her dragons bully the guy a bit before letting him leave. What. A. Bad. Bitch.

And speaking of wanting to watch people fight, I want Grey Worm/Little Obama to wreck some fools.

But, the ambassador does mention that Yunkai that has some powerful friends—a cryptic threat that may or may not give Dany some problems. A complete shot in the dark, but here’s my take: Yunkai is somehow economically affiliated with Braavos, whose Iron Bank is internationally famous—and also the main lender to the Iron Throne, who, as Tyrion discovers when he becomes Master of Coin, is in deep debt. If that’s the case, then, well…it’d certainly be interesting.

 

AT KING’S LANDING

Tyrion being awesome while Sansa is being sad

(couldn’t find a video for this one. Sorry)

Yet another storyline I’ve completely lost interest in. The Sansa Stark soap opera continues, as she weeps to Margaery Tyrell about how much she wanted to be wed to Loras and boohoo wah wah. Margaery hints that Sansa use sex to her advantage, especially given Tyrion’s lecherous reputation (look at that picture. You should be doing that anyways. C’mon.), but of course Sansa is too naïve to understand (facepalm). Meanwhile, Tyrion laments his own state with Bronn, who tells him to just shut up and have sex with both Sansa and Shae. Oh look, a parallel between Margaery and Bronn and Sansa and Tyrion. Yawn. Shae’s mad that Tyrion is going to have to marry Sansa. Wider yawn. Moving on.

Charles Dance is Tywin Lannister and had sex with Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3 so he can do whatever he wants

(no video for this either. WEAK SAUCE YOUTUBE)

Tywin briefs stupid Joffrey on the Small Council meetings, being an awesome old bastard and showing Joffrey just how completely out of touch with everything he is. Tywin does basically rule the Seven Kingdoms, and has no qualms about flexing his nuts to prove so. Boss. Tywin also decides (without anyone else’s input) that the reports about Dany and her dragons shouldn’t occupy the Lannister’s attention, which makes sense. Tywin is a practical man, and it stands to reason for his character to be concerned with more pressing issues at their doorstep instead of half-baked stories about a lone Targaryen and her dragons. Hah. Eat that, Joffrey. Eat that right out of Ros’s sultry sex mouth that YOU KILLED YOU SON OF AN INCESTUOUS BITCH.

In related news, being Jack Gleeson (who plays Joffrey) must suck. Everyone he meets probably knee-jerk hates him. I would. He’s probably a nice kid.

Edit: just found out he’s 20. So I don’t feel that bad. I’d feel worse if he was an actual kid like Sophie Turner (Sansa), who’s only 17?! Well. Now I feel dirty.

 

Gendry?

On a ship sailing to Dragonstone with the priestess Melisandre, Gendry discovers that he is, in fact, Robert Baratheon’s bastard child. Ok, but that’s been a fact since season 1. Ned Stark figures it out. So.

 

AT HARRENHAL

 The Brienne and the Jaime fair

 

 

Jaime rescues Brienne from Locke after learning that she is going to be left alone with him after Lord Bolton leaves for Edmure Tully’s wedding—Locke, of course, being the guy who tried to rape Brienne and cut off Jaime’s hand. For entertainment, the Bolton men have Brienne fight a bear with a wooden sword (oh, like the title, get it?). Jaime heroically saves her. Like the rest of the episode, there’s not much else going on under the surface of this scene. In fact, I think it’s kind of a regression. Jaime was supposed to learn from his whole ordeal to not, as Bolton puts it, overstep his position. Jaime was supposed to get a little more humble and worldly. But instead, we see the smooth-talking and smugly self-assured Jaime we’ve seen before, instead of the complex, tortured man we got in episodes 4-6. But regardless, I’m glad Jaime and Brienne are still together. Maybe some of the magic they had in earlier episodes will bring some spark back into their scenes.

Sigh.

 

 

Rating: 2.5 wet shits out of 5

Line of the week“I’m not afraid of wet shits” –Talisa

Fanboy gift of the week: I’m going to be generous this week because this was, I think, the worst episode of the season to date.

Here’s The Hold Steady covering the Westerosi pub song “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” after which the episode was obviously named. It’s about vaginas.

Here’s Sandor Clegane doing an ad for the Scottish Green Party.

Here’s Khal Drogo’s audition tape, which is just Jason Momoa doing the haka.

Here’s Aiden Gillen’s (Littlefinger’s) profile picture on IMDB. Seriously.

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