Brotherhood Without Banners Hideout: Arya is learning another lethal skill -- archery. At least she's safe for the time being because she's with the Brotherhood Without Banners, a group that's so secretive that nobody knows where they--
Oh, howdy Melisandre!
Stannis' bonfire-loving mistress does a pop-in on the Brotherhood. Too bad Arya didn't let that arrow fly and accidentally take her out. The Red Woman is impressed by Thoros' skill in reviving Beric six times, something she thinks is impossible (that's okay, so do we). Melisandre bribes Beric to let her take Gendry back to Dragonstone. So that's what she meant by telling Stannis there are others with her blood that she could potentially use to work her magic (Gendry, you'll recall, is one of ex-king Robert Baratheon's bastard kids). The Red Woman assures Gendry as he's being shoved into a cart, "You will make kings rise and fall."
Does this mean Gendry is going to be forced to rise and fall on top of Melisandre like Stannis to give birth to a shadow baby? Between this possibility and all the weddings coming up, the Thrones season finale going to have half the cast getting pressured into to having sex with somebody either half or twice their age.
Arya hates Melisandre on sight. She grabs her and spins her around. We are shocked and loving this. Melisandre is just shocked. "You're a witch," Arya says. "You're going to hurt him." Melisandre snatches Arya's face and peers into her soul, or something, then puts New Order into my head by saying: "I see darkness in you ... brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes -- eyes you'll shut forever. We will meet again." Oddly, Melisandre's most powerful scene in the series so far is this one with Arya.
And I'm betting this sequence is lighting fireworks in the minds of book-readers, so I'm going to break format by addressing this next aside to them: [This way is better. Why have Melisandre snatch some random king's bastard when it can be the one bastard we already know? And how about giving Arya a scene with Melisandre? Cool, right? Their dialog makes me think the producers have had some interesting chats with George R.R. Martin...].
Dungeon: This storyline has been messing with our heads as much as it has Theon's. We want to know: Where is Theon? Who is this dark-haired bastard who's torturing him? What does he want? The writers are not ready to give us answers, but at least they raise all those questions point-blank.
The Boy mocks Theon's confession and wants to play a game, asking which body part does he need the least. The Boy chooses Theon's little finger. I would have countered with pinkie toe. But I can understand Theon not wanting to suggest anything.
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention," The Boy says.
Now there's an interesting line...
Given that Thrones producers have indeed had chats with Martin about the ending of his saga, I'm wondering if The Boy's remark isn't just meant for Theon, but a hint for us. Like in Seven when Morgan Freeman warns Brad Pitt, "This isn't going to have a happy ending." With 27 series regulars on Thrones all sparring with each other, you figure there has to be a happy ending for at least somebody (unless winter finally comes and everybody freezes to death -- an ending that I'm sure would give Martin, who's always looking for ways to subvert our expectations, a degree of amusement).
So Theon guesses The Boy is the son of Robb's bannerman Karstark (who was beheaded last week). The Boy says he's right ... then reveals he's actually wrong. Fooled again. The Boy peels off the end of Theon's finger until he does indeed beg him to take the rest off. Thrones is definitely earning that GS warning this week. Are we felling sorry for Theon yet? And are you non-book readers starting to figure out where he's at?
NEXT: A decent proposal