Game of Thrones Episode Recap & Review – “Dark Wings Dark Words”
Warning: This recap contains full spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 2, “Dark Wings Dark Words”
The following is a summary of “Dark Wings Dark Words” focusing on the major events of the episode. It is divided into sections featuring the show’s various protagonists: Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Bran Stark, Margaery Tyrell, Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Roose Bolton, Theon Greyjoy and several new characters including Lady Olenna Redwyne, Thoros of Myr and Jojen and Meera Reed.
Jaime and Brienne
Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth continue their trek to King’s Landing, where the latter hopes to fulfill her promise to Catelyn Stark by trading the captive Kingslayer for her mistress’s daughters, Sansa and Arya Stark. Along the way, they encounter a fellow traveler who seems friendly enough. Jaime recommends that Brienne kill the man in case he recognized the famous Kingslayer, but the noble knight decides against shedding an ostensibly innocent man’s blood, in spite of the risk that he will give away their position to the Northmen.
As they march, Jaime goads Brienne, casting aspersions on Lord Renly Baratheon, whom the lady knight served loyally before Stannis Baratheon had him assassinated with black magic. The tension between the unlikely duo reaches a climax when Jaime manages to seize his captor’s sword as they cross a bridge. Brienne fights the Kingslayer to a standstill before their clash is interrupted by the arrival of armed Northerners, apprised the of two travelers’ whereabouts by the man Brienne spared despite Jaime’s warning.
Bran Stark dreams once again of the mysterious three-eyed crow. He tries and fails to shoot it down with his bow, only to be informed by a young boy that he cannot kill the bird because it his him. Bran awakens in the company of his dire wolf Summer, his younger brother Rickon, the dimwitted but ever-loyal Hodor and his wildling protector Osha. Shortly thereafter, Bran is approached by the boy from his dreams, who introduces himself as Jojen Reed, the son of loyal Stark banner man Howland Reed.
Osha attempts to ward off the intruder, only to be surprised by Jojen’s sister, Meera Reed, a capable fighter who guards her frail sibling. Jojen tells Bran that his dreams reveal events from the past, the present and the future. They also allow him to commune with and enter the minds of animals, including his dire wolf Summer (by means of a process called warging).
Loras Tyrell escorts Sansa Stark to meet with his sister Margaery and their grandmother, the Lady Olenna Redwynne, a formidable old woman who exudes authority and employs her acerbic wit to lace every sentence with barbs. Olenna convinces a reluctant Sansa to reveal Joffrey’s sadistic nature in advance of Margaery’s wedding to the sadistic boy king. Margaery subsequently approaches her groom-to-be and manages to seduce him by playing along with Joffrey’s sadism, as well as admiring his new crossbow, which he wields as both a threat and a phallic symbol. In the process, Margaery reveals herself as a formidable manipulator.
Arya Stark, along with fellow refugees Gendry (the late King Robert’s bastard son) and Hotpie are on their way to Riverunn, where they hope to seek refuge with the Tullys (Catelyn Stark’s family and an ally of the King in the North). However, they are intercepted by a scouting party of the Brotherhood Without Banners, an organization devoted to defending the smallfolk of Westeros from its warring factions. One of their leaders, the enigmatic Thoros of Myr, promises to let Arya and her companions go, but not before introducing them to their latest captive, Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound (a former member of King Joffrey’s Kingsguard who fled during the Battle of the Blackwater in Season 2). Alas, the Hound recognizes Arya, whom he charmingly refers to as the “Stark bitch,” just as she is about to set off on her way.
The King in the North
In the midst of canoodling with his new bride, Lady Talisa, King in the North Robb Stark is interrupted by Lord Roose Bolton, who informs him that Winterfell has been burned to the ground and that his two brothers, Bran and Rickon, have not been found. Robb breaks the news to his mother, Lady Catelyn, still imprisoned for freeing the Kingslayer, who is mourning the recent death of her father, Lord Hoster Tully of Riverunn. In a moment of grief, Catelyn recounts a story to Lady Talisa.
After Ned Stark returned to Winterfell with bastard son Jon Snow following Robert’s Rebellion (which took place prior to Game of Thrones’ first season), Catelyn prayed for the infant’s death. However, when he came down with a case of the pox, the guilt-ridden Lady Stark stayed at his bedside praying for his recovery. During her all-night vigil, she prayed to the gods to spare Jon’s life, promising that if they did, she would love him as one of her own offspring. However, when the child recovered, she was unable to live up to her promise, and blames her inability to do so for the tragic events that have befallen her family since.
Meanwhile, Rickard Karstark, one of Robb’s banner men also stricken with grief after losing his sons in the war, blames the King in the North’s dire situation on something entirely different: the young king’s marriage to Lady Talisa. Karstark reveals that the only thing that keeps him fighting is a desire for vengeance against the Lannisters.
Theon Greyjoy awakens in a cell where he is repeatedly tortured by unknown captors. After one particularly gruesome session, a man claims to have been sent to rescue Theon on behalf of his sister Yara.