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Game of Thrones recap: The Night Lands

In the most sex-obsessed episode yet, who has time to fight for the Iron Throne when everybody is so determined to get it on?

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Theon Greyjoy

Game of Thrones

TV Show
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
run date:
D.B. Weiss
Current Status:
In Season

Tonight’s Game of Thrones delivered more devious backstabbing intrigue, more exotic locations and gobs of explicit — and occasionally even necessary — sex (we’ll debate that later). So grab a hot slice of fish pie and let’s travel “The Night Lands”:

The Kingsroad: The credits tease a new location — Theon Greyjoy’s towering seaside home of Pyke, whose graphic includes bouncy bridges (be careful crossing those!). Then we pick up right where we left off, with Arya traveling incognito as a boy. She strolls by the cart of hardcore troublemakers who are heading to Castle Black. Here we meet a key character: Jaqen H’ghar, the long-haired guy politely asking Arya for water.

“A man has a thirst,” Jaqen says. “A man does not drink for a day and a night.” But the other prisoners are jerks, so Arya pokes them with a stick. “A man does not choose his companions,” Jaqen says. Now if you’re cool like Jaqen, you can get away with referring to yourself in the third person, but don’t go trying it at, like, the Olive Garden, you’ll just sound bizarre (“A man wants a refill on his salad and breadsticks…”).

They’re interrupted by a troop of Gold Cloaks questioning Night’s Watch brother Yoren. They’re looking for the blacksmith Gendry, because he’s one of King Robert’s bastards (but doesn’t know it). As we horrifically witnessed last week, all potential heirs to the Iron Throne are being murdered. If the king’s men knew Arya was also with this group, they’d jump at the potential two-for-one capture.

Yoren is a badass. He threatens to cut the Gold Cloak leader’s femoral artery. “I sharpened this blade before breakfast,” Yoren says, “I could shave a spider’s ass if I wanted too.” There are so many threats in that statement. You don’t want to mess with somebody who considers daily knife sharpening a bigger priority than getting his first cup of coffee. And you definitely don’t want to fight a member of the Night’s Watch whose life can be so dull that he’s actually contemplated shaving a spider’s butt.

The Gold Cloak leader announces he plans to capture Gendry. He also declares he’ll be back later to attack the group with more men. Clearly, this man has read Ned Stark’s Guide to Strategy. And speaking of spiders…

NEXT: Shae’s fish pie debated; Craster + 19