"Game of Thrones" Review "The Climb"

“Game of Thrones” Season 3, Episode 6 Review: “The Climb”

(Warning: Full spoilers ahead!)

Our plot moves significantly forward this week as stories collide in Westeros and the usual betrayal and scheming hurts the innocent victims in this cruel world.

We begin with Sam, Gilly, and her new baby in Wildling territory after escaping the Night Watch mutiny at Craster’s Keep. Gilly shows Sam how to build a proper fire, and Sam tells Gilly they only have a few more days until they reach the Wall. Sam begins to tell Gilly about life at the Wall and at Castle Black. They relax as Sam sings to Gilly and her baby. It is unclear at this point what Sam and Gilly’s plans are once they reach Castle Black as women are not allowed there and most of Sam’s peers were at Craster’s Keep.

Just north of the Wall, Osha and Meera argue about the proper way to skin a rabbit. Bran yells at them and tells them to stop bickering. The two women unconvincingly apologize to one another. The tension is broken when JoJen begins to have what looks like a seizure in his sleep. Meera tells the group he is having a vision and his visions take a toll on him. When JoJen wakes up, he turns to Bran and tells him he saw Jon Snow with the enemy.

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Meanwhile, Jon Snow is preparing to climb the Wall with Tormand Giantsbane and the rest of their Wildling group. Ygritte teases Jon about their night together, but she changes her tone as she begins tells him she knows he was still loyal to the Night’s Watch when he met Mance Raydar. Ygritte explains his loyalty needs to be with her now and that they have to stick together because no one really cares whether they live or die. She tells Jon she is his woman now and he can never betray her.

Somewhere in the riverlands, Arya practices her archery with the Brotherhood Without Banners. While practicing she notices a group of riders in the woods. As the group approaches, Thoros meets them and finds Melisandre amongst the riders. The two of them speak to one another in High Valarian concerning Thoros’ failed mission to convert King Robert to their religion. This is the first we have heard about Thoros’ mission in Westeros and Melisandre does not seem amused by his current work with the Brotherhood. Thoras takes Melisandre to meet Beric Dondarrion where she examines Beric and is amazed at what Thoros has done for him. She asks Thoros how many times he brought Beric back from death and when he answers she says that amount of power is impossible. Thoros begins to recall how he lost his faith but befriended Beric. When Gregor Clegane stabbed Beric, Thoros prayed over his friend’s body to the Lord of Light, and the Lord of Light brought Beric back to life; ever since that moment Thoros’ faith has been restored.

"Game of Thrones" S3 Ep6 Review "The Climb"

As Melisandre prepares to leave, she gives the Brotherhood gold in exchange for Gendry. Gendry doesn’t understand why he is being taken and why the Brotherhood would betray him; Melisandre tells him he will bring down kings. Arya protests and confronts Melisandre. She calls Melisandre a witch, and Melisandre responds by looking into Arya’s eyes and telling her she has darkness in her and that they will meet again. Assumingly Gendry is the individual Melisandre told Stannis she left Dragonstone to search for; being Robert’s bastard Gendry has the blood of kings and will be used to help make Stannis king.

In the north in an undisclosed location, Theon’s torturer blows a horn and wakes up Theon from his sleep on the racks. The boy wants Theon to guess where he is and every time Theon guesses incorrectly the boy peals off some skin from Theon’s little finger. Theon guesses he is with the Karstarks and the boy tells him he is right much to Theon’s relief, but then the boy tells Theon he is lying and begins pulling off the skin on his finger.

At Riverrun, an envoy representing Lord Frey meets with Robb and the Tullys. The Freys came to negotiate with Robb because the Starks need Lord Frey’s men to win back the North. Lord Frey’s terms include a formal apology from Robb for breaking their marriage alliance, territory in the North, and Edumure Tully to marry to one of his daughters. Edumure does not want to marry Lord Frey’s daughter, but Robb, Catelyn, and the Blackfish point out they will lose the war and could possibly be killed if they do not make this alliance. Edumure reluctantly agrees and Robb thanks him for paying the price for Robb’s sins.

While at Harrenhal, Jaime Lannister and Brienne share a meal with Lord Bolton. Jaime and Lord Bolton discuss the current status of the realm and Jaime tries to convince Lord Bolton to let him go to his father. Lord Bolton tells Jaime he will allow Jaime to go to King’s Landing and if he promises to tell his father that Lord Bolton was not responsible for Jaime’s mutilated hand; Jaime agrees. Unfortunately Lord Bolton will not allow Brienne to go with him; as Jaime protests Lord Bolton quickly reminds him how he lost his hand and that he is in no place to make demands.

At King’s Landing, Lady Olenna meets with Tywin Lannister. She does not want her grandson, Loras, to marry Ceresei; she says Cersei is too old and may not be able to produce anymore children. Tywin tells Lady Olenna Loras should be honored to marry Ceresei since everyone knows about Loras’ bedroom antics with other males; this marriage would wash the shame away. Lady Olenna tries to irrigate Tywin by getting him to admit to having relations with men, and Tywin quickly shuts her down and says Lannisters do not engage in that behavior. Lady Olenna counters by mentioning the incestuous relationship between his children, Ceresei and Jaime. Tywin tells her the rumors about his children are not true and he will not discuss it. Tired of talking, he threatens to have Loras entered into the King’s Guard if she does not agree to the marriage; by entering the King’s Guard one cannot marry or have children. Impressed by his negotiating antics, Lady Olenna succumbs and agrees to allow Loras to marry Ceresei.

Back in the North, the Wildlings are climbing the Wall. Ygritte sticks her stake into the wall in a vulnerable space and causes an avalanche. Many Wildlings fall to their death, but Ygritte and Jon are linked to Tormund and Orell who are able to stabilize themselves during the avalanch. Orell proceeds to cut Ygritte and Jon loose because he cannot hold them any longer, but Jon is able to steady himself on the Wall right before they fall. He saves both himself and Ygritte.

In King’s Landing, Sansa and Loras discuss how happy they are about their marriage. Sansa tells Loras she cannot wait to go to Highgarden and leave King’s Landing. Loras tells her King’s Landing is an awful place. As the two are talking, Tyrion and Ceresei look on and Tyrion questions who is getting the worst part of the deal between the four of them. He tells his sister the marriage alliances they are being forced into are her fault, and Ceresei explains she was simply trying to protect her family from the Tyrells. They try to decide who should break the news to Sansa.

Somewhere in the Red Keep, Sansa tries on a new dress while she and Shae discuss her wedding to Loras. Tyrion comes to visit Sansa and asks to speak with her privately. He tries to get Shae to leave the room, knowing Shae will not like what Tyrion has come to tell Sansa, but unknowingly Sansa tells Tyrion he can trust Shae. Tyrion begins to tell Sansa what he has to say is awkward, and the scene ends.

"Game of Thrones" Season 3 Ep. 6 Review "The Climb"

Meanwhile, Varys finds Littlefinger in the throne room staring at the Iron Throne. Littlefinger lets Varys know he knows that Varys planned to have Sansa marry Loras and ruin his plans of taking Sansa away from King’s Landing. He lets Varys know he also took care of the woman who betrayed Littlefinger to Varys, claiming she was a bad investment. As Littlefinger eloquently describes the games that must be played in this political world, the camera moves to Joffrey’s room where Ros has been murdered by Joffrey’s crossbow, and then we see Sansa outside crying as she sees Littlefinger’s ship leave King’s Landing.

The episode ends at the top of the Wall. Jon and Ygritte successfully reach the top while Orell looks over at them, unhappy they survived the climb. Ygritte is speechless as she looks over either side of the Wall where she can see both North and South. Jon embraces her and the two of them kiss.

Overall tonight’s episode of “Game of Thrones” was great. It was nice to catch up with Sam and Bran, but we wish they would move their stories forward rather than check in every other week for a minute or two. The meeting between Arya and Melisandre was a highlight of the episode; Arya is being exposed to so much about the world outside of Winterfell and she is being forced to grow up as the world around her gets more and more complicated. Before meeting Thoros it is likely Arya never heard of the Lord of Light, and now she has seen the Lord of Light bring a man come back from the dead and met a priestess of the Lord of Light. Another highlight was the meeting between Lady Olenna and Tywin Lannister. These two are master manipulators and incredibly smart. We do not think Lady Olenna will give into Tywin’s demands as easily as she lets on and it will be curious to see what ends up happening between the Tyrells and Lannisters. One complaint is the love story between Jon and Ygritte; while Ygritte makes a point about the need for them to watch out for one another, she is controlling Jon and his admiration for her is just not believable. In the books their relationship was not as romantic as it is being portrayed in the show, and it changes the tone of the show. While it is nice to have a lighter story in this dark world, we predict their romance will not have a happy ending.

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