If Sansa ever had any hope that a knight in shining armor would save her from all her troubles, that should have been duly quashed in “Second Sons.” “Game of Thrones” followed through on one of four promised weddings in this week’s episode, making Sansa go from a Stark to a Lannister in one sad affair.
Now that Sansa has tied the knot with Tyrion, it remains to be seen if Cersei can somehow get out of her marriage with Loras, if Margaery still walks down the aisle with Joffrey and if Edmure will be able to successfully marry one of Walder Frey’s daughters. With only two episodes left to go in Season 3, there are still a lot of loose ends to tie up and apparently no happy marriages in store for anyone.
Here’s what happened in “Game of Thrones” Season 3, episode 8, “Second Sons.”
Off the Kingsroad
“Second Sons” opens with Arya awakening as the Hound’s prisoner. Despite finding herself in a worse situation than she was with the Brotherhood, her rebellious spirit has not been destroyed. Instead Arya tries to kill the Hound with a rock while he’s sleeping — except, of course, that he’s not sleeping. Instead of attacking her, the Hound welcomes Arya to try to kill him with the threat of breaking both her hands if she fails. The Hound seems to welcome a chance at death now, though he’s still going to do whatever he can to find a place in the world.
What that seems to mean now is that he wants to deliver Arya to gain a ransom. In a twist, Sandor Clegane reveals that he is bringing Arya to the Twins to meet her mother Catelyn and brother Robb, instead of selling her out to Cersei and Joffrey. He also tells her how he was Sansa’s ally (of sorts), though Arya still seems unconvinced. She worships death, after all, and includes the Hound in her nightly prayers.
Across the Narrow Sea
World, meet Daario Naharis. Daario Naharis, meet the world. Daenerys meets her newest ally in the form of the sellsword, though she doesn’t realize it at first. He is a member of the Second Sons mercenary company that was hired to protect Yunkai, and he and Dany meet when she invites their commanders to her tent so she can attempt to win them over. Though she seemingly does not sway the other two leaders, Daario finds himself intrigued by her because he fights for beauty.
Dany inspires the same loyalty in her followers that she does in Daario. Grey Worm, Barristan and Jorah are all offended by the way the Second Sons’ leader treats her, but it’s Daario who ultimately does something about it. When he is tasked with sneaking into Dany’s camp and killing her, he ends up beheading his other two allies instead. He does sneak into Dany’s camp while she is bathing, but only to prove that he has sided with her by presenting the Mother of Dragons with the two heads.
Daario is an interesting change for Dany. He’s young, like her, and also a handsome face. He is different from anyone she has ever dealt with before, and his smooth tongue — he swears his loyalty and heart to her, after all — is something she’s rarely had to deal with. Actor Ed Skrein is a welcome addition to Dany’s storyline, as he looks like he will mix things up for the Khaleesi just when she was beginning to get comfortable with her success. It will be interesting to see how Yunkai responds to losing the Second Sons to Dany.
Poor, poor Gendry. The bastard son of Robert Baratheon has been cast a bad lot in life, and it only got worse the second Melisandre bought him from the Brotherhood Without Banners. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t see Melisandre’s true motivations for bringing him to Dragonstone until it’s too late. She wants to sacrifice him to offer the Lord of the Light the king’s blood he requires to kill more in the name of Stannis Baratheon, but even Stannis has a problem with killing an unsuspecting “lamb.”
That’s why Stannis turns to the still-imprisoned Davos to hear a voice of reason that will convince him not to let Gendry die. Davos realizes Stannis’ game, and seems to say that the god Melisandre worships is not real. Of course, both he and Stannis know that’s not the case, which is why Melisandre needs Gendry’s blood to help Stannis’ cause to begin with.
Spoiler alert: Gendry gets to live. Instead of killing the bastard like she originally planned, Melisandre leeches Gendry — but not before having sex with him because why not, Joe Dempsie‘s a babe. Melisandre painfully attaches the leeches to Gendry’s chest and penis, and then has Stannis cast them into the brazier and wish death on three men: Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and Robb Stark.
Will Gendry’s blood be enough to appease the Lord of Light? Hopefully not, but the audience has already seen the power of the god to do what it deems is right when he killed Renly Baratheon and resurrected Beric Dondarrion. At least Davos is in a better situation than he was earlier in the season, as Stannis ends up freeing him from prison (finally) and the Onion Knight is making some progress in learning how to read.
At King’s Landing
As Theon’s torturer told him in “The Climb,” “If you think that this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” That same lesson can be applied to Sansa, who finally gets married off in “Second Sons.” Tyrion Lannister is the lucky groom, though he is clearly as unhappy about the match as she is. He tries to tell her that prior to their marriage, and hopefully Sansa understands that they’re in the same boat. Both parties look mortified when they have to tie the knot in the Great Sept, and Joffrey revels in getting to torture both of them. From walking Sansa down the aisle to removing Tyrion’s stepping stool so he couldn’t put the wedding cloak on Sansa, the king of Westeros continues to prove that he’s the absolute worst ever.
With Sansa and Tyrion’s wedding complete, there’s still Margaery’s upcoming wedding to Joffrey and Cersei’s planned marriage to Loras to get through. Lady Olenna hilariously pokes fun at how complicated those unions will make the Tyrell and Lannister family trees, but it’s Margaery who feels the burn when she tells Cersei that they should be friends because they will soon be “sisters.” Cersei counters by telling Margaery the story behind the “Rains of Castamere,” a song that has repeatedly popped up this season. The song is about how the Lannisters slaughtered House Reyne when the wealthy family tried to rebel against them — a lesson that Cersei clearly means to apply to House Tyrell.
Sansa’s unhappiness doesn’t end when her marriage is finalized, unfortunately. Tyrion gets insanely drunk at their wedding party and then, when Sansa tries to retire to her bedroom, Joffrey threatens to rape her. Meanwhile Tywin orders Tyrion to consummate his marriage to Sansa despite the fact that she is only 14, and then Joffrey humiliates them all when he demands the public bedding ceremony begin in front of everyone at the party. It’s at that point that Tyrion finally snaps, threatening to cut off Joffrey’s genitalia if the king tries to force him and Sansa to have sex. No wonder Joffrey screams, “What did you say?”
Tywin ends up diffusing the situation and Tyrion and Sansa go to their joint bedchamber. Though they begin to prepare for their wedding night, Tyrion can’t go through with it and says he won’t have sex with Sansa until she wants him to. And if she never does? “And so my watch begins,” he says, quoting the Night’s Watch oath before passing out in a chair.
So despite the fact they are unfortunately wed, there is no wedding night for Sansa and Tyrion. That’s something Shae is clearly pleased about when she comes to clean the chamber the next morning and finds no sign of sex or a lost virginity on Tyrion’s bed. Maybe things actually could end up good for Sansa and Tyrion — if Sansa realizes how good Tyrion actually is for her.
North of the Wall
It seems like there’s some flirtation blossoming between Sam and Gilly as they continue their walk south to the Wall. The duo finds shelter in an abandoned house, and continues to grow closer as they sit around a fire. That shelter is soon interrupted by a massive amount of crows sitting on a weirwood tree outside the home. The crows foretell the arrival of a White Walker, which comes at Sam and shatters his sword. When the White Walker tries to steal Gilly’s baby from her, Sam attacks it with a piece of the obsidian he found and causes the beast to turn to ice and shatter. If Sam had realized how useful the material was earlier he likely could have saved a lot of Night’s Watch men, but at least he knows how to defend Gilly and himself going forward.
– Daenerys is always meant to find Daario attractive, but in the George R.R. Martin novels he looks a bit different than he does in the show. He is said to have blue dyed hair, a beard split into three points and some very curly gold-painted mustachios. Let’s just say we’re happy about his new look.
– In the novels, Sam discovers the helpful qualities of obsidian shortly after the White Walkers attack the Fist of the First Men and before he arrives at Craster’s Keep and meets up with the other surviving members of the Night’s Watch. His defeat of one of the creatures earns him the nickname “Sam the Slayer,” which is a nice change from “Ser Piggy.”
– In addition to the episode’s title referring to the mercenary band, it also applies to Tyrion and the Hound both being their father’s second sons.
The Hound of his changed loyalties: “F*** Joffrey, f*** the queen.”
Daenerys of the Second Sons: “A man who fights for gold can’t afford to lose to a girl.”
Melisandre of killing Gendry: “If the lamb sees the knife, she panics. Her panic seeps into her meat, darkens it, fouls the flavor.”
Davos to Stannis: “I think mothers and fathers made up the gods because they want their children to sleep through the nights.”
Cersei to Margaery: “If you ever call me sister again I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.”
Sam to Gilly: “I suppose it’s a rather philosophical difference between a wink and a blink.”