Game of Thrones Season 3 – “The Climb” Recap
Welcome to our weekly Game of Thrones recap feature. It includes full spoilers from Season 3, Episode 6 “The Climb” and the HBO series as a whole, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
Characters featured this week: Samwell Tarly, Gilly, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, Osha, Meera Reed, Jojen Reed, Jon Snow, Ygritte, Orell, Arya Stark, Gendry Waters, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, Melisandre, Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Edmure Tully, Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully, Theon Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Roose Bolton, Sansa Stark, Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Loras Tyrell, Lady Olenna, Petyr “Littlefinger” Bailish, Varys, Ros, King Joffrey.
Samwell Tarly and Gilly, daughter of the recently-slain Wildling Craster, make a fire in the woods, with the latter proving much more adept at such survival skills than her clumsy companion. Sam shows Gilly the “dragonglass” (aka, obsidian) arrow head that he and his Nights Watch brothers unearthed at the Fist of the First Men last season. Sam sings Gilly’s newborn boy a lullaby involving the Seven Gods worshiped throughout much of Westeros, excluding the North.
Bran Stark is forced to play the mediator as his Wildling protector Osha and new companion Meera Reed argue over who skins a better rabbit, claiming that they will never reach the Wall if they are at each other’s throats. Jojen Reed suffers a seizure during one of his visions. Meera quickly goes to help her brother, inserting a leather strap into his mouth so that he won’t bite off his tongue. He claims to have seen Jon Snow in the midst of enemies on the wrong side of the Wall.
Jon Snow, along with his new lover Ygritte and the rest of the Wildling scouting party dispatched by Mance Rayder to spy on the Night’s Watch, climb the wall. Jon accidentally triggers a miniature avalanche. To save himself, Orell attempts to cut through the rope, which nearly sends Ygritte plummeting to her death. Jon manages to save her just in time, and the two of them make it to the top of the Wall, consummating their ascent with a passionate and scenic kiss.
Brotherhood Without Banners
Red Priestess Melisandre pays the Brotherhood Without Banners a surprise visit. She is surprised to learn that Thoros of Myr, a fellow follower of the Lord of Light, has used his powers to resurrect Lord Beric Dondarrion a number of times. After some discussion, Melisandre insists that she requires Gendry, the bastard son of the late King Robert Baratheon, for some kind of ritual. The Brotherhood grants her request, provoking the wrath of Arya Stark. Before she departs, Melisandre tells the Stark girl that her future will involve three different eye colors and that they will meet again at some point.
Having broken his vow to wed a daughter of capricious Lord of the Twins, Walder Frey, Robb Stark is called upon to make amends. Frey’s emissaries demand another groom to replace the King in the North. All eyes in the room turn to Catelyn’s brother and the Lord of Riverrun, Edmure Tully. The headstrong Edmure initially refuses, much to the annoyance of his uncle Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully. Robb insists that all is lost if they do not placate the Freys, whose army is needed for an assault on the Lannister city of Casterly Rock. Reluctantly, Edmure agrees, in part to make amends for the tactical error of attacking Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane when Robb wanted to lure him into the North.
Theon Greyjoy continues to be tortured by his mysterious captor, who considers the whole thing a sick game. Flaying the skin from Theon’s finger little by little until he begs for it to be chopped off, he reveals a level of sadism that would give King Joffrey a run for his money.
Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth dine with Roose Bolton, the Stark’s bannerman whose servant Locke captured the Kingslayer and severed his hand. Bolton agrees to let Jaime return to King’s Landing if he swears to tell his father Tywin that Roose had nothing to do with his mutilation. Despite Jaime’s best attempts, however, Bolton does not allow Brienne to go free, insisting that she must answer to King Robb for Catelyn Stark’s treacherous decision to let the Kingslayer go free.
Tyrion and Cersei share a rare moment of sibling bonding as they lament their upcoming marriages, arranged by Tywin Lannister. Tyrion confronts his sister about trying to have him killed at the Battle of the Blackwater, only to learn that it was in fact Joffrey who ordered a member of his Kingsguard to dispatch the dwarf at the peak of his heroism. Sansa Stark moons over her betrothed, a disinterested Loras Tyrell. She does not realize that he is gay and more interested in the details of the wedding than his bride.
Lady Olenna and Tywin Lannister engage in some verbal jousting, hurling accusations of homosexuality on the part of Loras Tyrell and incest on the part of Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Olenna is angry that Tywin has foiled her plot to marry Sansa Stark, the key to the North in the event of Robb Stark’s demise, to Loras. However, Tywin threatens to have Loras inducted into the Kingsguard, which demands chastity on the part of its members, if the Tyrells refuse to marry him to Cersei instead. Despite having her plot foiled, Olenna voices her respect for Tywin Lannister.
Tyrion is left to deliver the news to Sansa Stark, who is understandably devastated by the turn of events. She watches helplessly as Littlefinger’s ship, the means of escape that she recently turned down following her short-lived betrothal to Loras, departs King’s Landing.
Littlefinger tells Varys of his nihilistic philosophy on life: chaos is a ladder, and the climb is all there is. He holds that the “realm” that Varys claims to serve is just a convenient invention by those in power, and that it should not serve as an obstacle to ambition. Before leaving, Littlefinger drops one last bomb on Varys: his “servant” Ros, a former prostitute from Winterfell who was actually spying on her employer on the eunuch’s behalf, has been found out and delivered to the King as a present. True to his instincts, Joffrey murders Ros with his crossbow.