Daenerys Targaryen on her way to Slaver’s Bay to buy herself an army of neutered slaves known as Unsullied. Her dragons have grown larger, and Selmy, the former leader of the Kingsguard, resurfaces to save her life and pledge his loyalty to her. As soon as Daenerys has acquired her army of Unsullied (through a ruse in which she pretended to trade one of her dragons for them), she immediately uses them to wage war against the slavers themselves, and marches on additional cities to free more slaves and increase her host. |
North of the Wall, Jon Snow is taken to see Mance Rayder, and he talks his way into joining with Mance’s Wildling army. The Wildlings come across the slaughter at the Fist of the First Men where Crows were killed by the White Walkers. The Crows themselves have fallen into chaos north of the Wall, and Jon is sent with those climbing the Wall. His bond with Ygritte grows deeper , and they make it south of the Wall and move on Castle Black until Jon tries to save a man near where Bran and his companions are hiding. Bran and Rickon’s dire wolves help save Jon, but Ygritte shoots Jon multiple times when the two part ways.
On the way to King’s Landing, Jamie Lannister’s situation goes from bad to worse when he and Brienne are captured. Jamie saves Brienne from being raped by the men but loses his sword hand in exchange. Jamie is taken to Harrenhal after Robb has left for the Twins to see his uncle wedded to one of the Freys, and Bolton decides to send Jamie back to King’s Landing as a peace offering to Tywin Lannister. Unable to leave Brienne behind with those who took his hand, he rescues her from a bear pit and takes her with him to King’s Landing. (Of particular interest to fans of the book, this episode also featured a performance of the popular Westerosi song “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” by the Hold Steady ).
Robb Stark leads his army to Harrenhal only to find that his supporters there are all dead. Karstark forces Robb’s hand when he kills 2 Lannister prisoners, and Robb takes his head. His army starts to crumble then as he loses about half his men in the aftermath, and this situation forces him to try and make amends with Frey for breaking his promise to him. The wedding itself turns into a disaster that becomes known as the Red Wedding (which provoked some incredible and often hilarious fan reactions across social media). Frey and Bolton turn against Robb, and we see Robb die along with his wife and mother.
Back in King’s Landing, Joffrey has managed to secure an alliance with the Tyrells, and Tywin Lannister forces Tyrion to wed Sansa Stark to prevent the Tyrells being able to marry her into their own house. Tyrion is made the Master of Coin when Littlefinger is sent to the Aerie to secure an alliance with his childhood friend. Lannisters plot against Tyrells and against each other while Sansa seeks to make the best of her situation.
While tensions grow between the Lannisters, Arya Stark falls in with the Brotherhood until they encounter the Hound. Determined to reach home but not knowing that Winterfell has fallen, she slips away from the Brotherhood only to be taken by the Hound. These two make their way toward the Twins so the hound can ransom her to her family only to arrive just as the Red Wedding has begun.
By that point, the stage is set for another intense season of Game of Thrones, a game which for those who play, can have only two outcomes : you win, or you die. It’s certainly far too soon in the story for anyone to win, so the question for season 4’s premier becomes who will be the next to die, deservedly or not?