Game of Thrones recap: Pool Intentions

Characters are getting cleaned up and married off in this week's episode "Kissed By Fire"
Ep. 05 | Aired Apr 28, 2013

BATH OF THE TITANS: Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) search the chilly wasteland for a place to properly hookup.

Karstark (whose son was killed by Jaime Lannister during his escape attempt) taunts Robb, saying he's just going to scold him and let him go. I bet the men captured along with him right now are thinking, Shuuuut up! Robb orders Karstark locked away and his henchman hanged. One pipes up that he only watched the guards and didn't do anything. "This one is the watcher," Robb says. "Hang him last so he can watch the others die." Boom! That's what you get for bitchin'.

Robb's wife, mom, and her brother Edmure all urge him to hold Karstark as a hostage. Otherwise, they'll lose the support of his men. Robb's wife in this show is quite different than his wife in the books and some have speculated darkly on the boards that she might have been re-fashioned as a Lannister spy. But with this scene it seems not -- her advice is clearly in his best interest.

Robb ignores them. Karstark called him a wimp. He practically dared him to do it. In a great scene, Robb has Karstark taken out to a garden and chops off his head, just like his father taught him in the premiere. In my favorite shot in this episode, Robb storms away in rain, fist-clenching, furious (this week's director, Alex Graves, also helmed last week's hour).

Robb's decision seems out of character. The move feels like the culmination of so much that's frustrated him during his campaign. Remember, it's tough to be the decider. Perhaps one day there will be a Robb Stark Library with a Decision Point Theater where visitors can test themselves with the same multiple-choice options.

Sure enough, Robb has lost half his forces. But then he gets an idea -- since the Lannisters won't fight them in the open, and he's not strong enough to taken King's Landing, he will instead attack the Lannister home of Casterly Rock. Then Tywin will be forced to negotiate with him. "I'm going to take their home away from them," he says.

In order to pull this off, however, he needs more men. The one man who might give help is Lord Frey, whose daughter he was supposed to marry.

Brotherhood Hideout: Gendry decides he's going to stay on with the Brotherhood as their smith, annoying Arya. First Hot Pie ditches her for a day job, now Gendry, who likes the fraternity-vibe of the Brotherhood and figures he could do a lot worse. "I can be your family," Arya says. "You won't be my family. You'll be m'lady," he promises. Nice, yeah, but he's still kind-of ditching her.

Later, Arya has a chat with Beric and Thoros. We learn the Brotherhood is going to take Arya to Riverrun and reunite her with Robb for a fee. Beric also says he has died six times and Thoros keeps bringing him back. There's a big difference, fantasy fans know, between mostly dead and all dead. I'm unsure why Thoros was able to heal his bones and organs but not his eye. Perhaps the Lord of Light thinks eye patches look cool. Also, if Beric keeps getting into fights and keeps being killed over and over again, perhaps it's time to retire and quit fighting people.

Dragonstone: Sullen Stannis pays his wife a visit. Yes, he has one. Of course, now that his sultry mistress Melisandre has taken off to parts unknown, Stannis wants attention from his devoted wife. The Hound's not the only dog on this show.

NEXT: Tub of war

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