“Game of Thrones”: Dick in a Box


After last week’s insane Red Wedding shocker, it would have been pretty impossible for the finale to up the ante any further. But how do folks feel about the capper to Season 3? Let’s dig in!

Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) surveys the scene as the Stark army is slaughtered – and before you can say “who brought the pinata?!” they cart out Robb’s body… only with his direwolf’s head sown to it where his own head should be. OUCH.

Also, am I the only one who couldn’t help but remember this scene?:


Yes? Well… humor is my defense mechanism.

Back in King’s Landing, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) walk the promenade with Shae (Sibel Kekilli) trailing a few steps behind. She truly has become Maiden in the Middle, hasn’t she? We learn that Tyrion keeps lists of people he wants to f*ck with just like Arya does, and Sansa tips him off to the Westeros version of the “upper decker”: fill someone’s bed with sheep’s guts and they’ll never know where the smell is coming from. I have a feeling most of the characters on this show don’t smell much better than sheep’s guts on a good day.

They joke that together they are “disgraced daughter and demonic monkey”, which would be a great name for an punk band. But iPod interrupts to drag Tyrion to the Small Council.

There, Tyrion learns that Robb and Catelyn are dead, and that his family had something to do with it. By “something” I of course mean “everything”. Apparently still determined to win Wedding Wars: Westeros Edition, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) plans to feed Sansa Robb’s head at his wedding.

Tyrion defends her, Joffrey wigs out, and Tywin (Charles Dance) sends him to bed without supper. Tyrion tells his papa that he doesn’t approve of the whole “having people slaughtered at someone else’s wedding” thing and that he refuses to rape Sansa just to get Tywin an heir. Tywin basically tells Tyrion that he should have drowned him in the river like he wanted to when he was born. OUCH THE SEQUEL.

Sansa, meanwhile, has heard the bad news.

Up North, Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and his friends stumble upon an abandoned village they believe to be haunted by a giant rat that was once a cook who put a king’s son in a pie. Ah – so they’ve made it to Cleveland? Bran shares the wisdom that the gods aren’t cool with people killing guests in their house – not that this has anything to do with anything else going on, mind you. Totally anecdotal.


Back at The Twins, we learn that Blackfish did, indeed, escape, and Cate’s bro spent his honeymoon in a dungeon. So there are two Tullys still in the game. Walder Frey (David Bradley) and Roose Bolton toast to dead Robb, “the young wolf”. They then speak about Roose’s son, Ramsay, who is the dude who has Theon held hostage.

We then join Ramsay (Iwan Rheon), who is in the midst of enjoying a delicious pan-fried metaphor. Yes, it’s a wiener gag, and Ramsay eats it… with relish. [rimshot] Ramsay is interested in knowing if Theon now has a “phantom cock”, which would be another great name for an punk band. Theon (Alfie Allen) begs to be killed, but Ramsay decides to rename him “Reek” and beats Theon up until he accepts the name. Okay, you know what? This storyline officially Reeks.

Back up wherever, Bran is surprised by a loud noise and a hulking shape coming out of the well… that turns out to be Spamwise Gamgee (Jon Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) and the nameless baby. Oh joy. Would anyone else have preferred a giant rat in a cook’s hat?

Spam recognizes the direwolf and calls out Bran for being Jon’s brother (which to him is a good thing). Spam tells Bran to turn back and go to Castle Black, but Bran says he has to go North of the Wall because… well, because the script says so. Spam gives Bran and his friends all the remaining dragonstone that he didn’t drop while doing his Tippi Hedren routine a few weeks back.

We then meet up with – hold on, is that YaraSofia Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan)?!?! OMG I’ve missed you! She’s hanging out with her dad, Balon (Patrick Malahide), who reads a scroll from the Boltons as she opens up a carefully-wrapped box:


Turns out it’s… Gwyneth Paltrow’s head!

Okay, not really – it’s just her brother’s wang sitting in the pretty engraved (and, let it be said, rather large) box. The note says that Greyjoy’d better surrender everything or he’ll keep getting bits of Theon in the mail and all the Ironborn will be slaughtered. Balon says that at this point the kid isn’t going to produce an heir, so he’s not worth surrendering for. YaraSofia protests, but he stands firm, saying, “I’ve made my decision. Bring back… my girls.” (Because now he has two, see?)

His sister, on the other hand, is all about saving Theon, and she mobilizes an army to do so. Atta girl!! And wait – is Ramsay’s last name Snow? Is he related to Jon?

Down in Dragonstone, Ser Davos Notsoseaworth (Liam Cunningham) chats up Gendry (Joe Dempsie), who is chilling out in the dungeon and feeling a bit used after the whole “leeches on my sack” thing. Turns out Gendry fell for ToriAmosandre’s song-and-dance because he’s a virgin. WHAT?! With those abs?! Computer says “no”. Ser Davos and Gendry bond because they’re both poor kids from Fleabottom and Davos says he only accepted a lordship from Stannis to save his kid, who then died because of him. So that worked out well.

Back in the KL, Shae is approached by Varys (Conleth Hill), who gives her a pile of diamonds and tells her she should hop the first boat out of town and live it up like the starter whore that she is. (And he says that with all due respect.) He says that Tyrion is the only person who can actually help this GD realm, and she’s just distracting him with all her love and crap. Shae also admits that she loves Sansa to bits and would kill for her – and she throws Varys’s Swarovskis back in his face and says that she isn’t going anywhere.


Tyrion tells iPod, “It’s not easy being drunk all the time” and on cue, Cersei (Lena Headey) arrives to kick iPod to the curb. She says that she’s not marrying Loras no matter what Papa T says, and that she thinks a child will make Sansa happy. Tyrion asks if her children made her happy – including the crazy alien one. She says that yes, at one time Joffrey actually did make her happy. I’m guessing it involved a Mother’s Day gift made of macaroni noodles and human teeth.

Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) come across a bunch of Bolton soldiers bragging about how they cut off Robb’s head and sewed a dog head in its place. Okay, so you’ve seen Mars Attacks! – big whoop. Arya hops off the horse and asks to sit by the fire with them. When they give her shit, she offers a coin – which she drops – and when the guy is leaning to look at it, she stabs the living crap out of him. Yikes! Hound swoops in to finish the job, and she admits this is the first man she’s killed, and yes, she pinched his knife to do it. Color him impressed.


Jon Snow (Kit Harington), meanwhile, is accosted by Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and her arrows. He rather cavalierly tells her that he knows she won’t shoot him, and it’s past his curfew and he really has to go home, and hops on his horse – and she puts three arrows in him. That’ll teach him! Come on, Snowy Egret – Ros wore the same outfit like four episodes ago and she totally killed it on the runway.

Spamwise and Gilly get to Castle Black and they convince the Maester to write letters to everyone in the universe about the approaching White Walkers.

Back in Dragonstone, Ser Davos is reading through the backlog of Stannis’s scrolls (“Why is there a “G” in “night”?) with the help of the fish-faced girl, wee Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram). He gets to the scroll about the White Walkers and the bells toll. He runs to Stannis’s cave, which is full of scrolls and ToriAmosandre (Carice van Houten), who is throwing chestnuts into the fire and gloating about her leech-god killing Robb Stark and all. Davos says that Gendry doesn’t have to die – he’s an innocent. Stannis (Stephen Dillane) disagrees. So Davos breaks Gendry out and puts him in a boat, advising, “don’t fall out.” Gendry asks why he’s helping him, and he replies, “Because it’s right.”

Of course, it’s about seven minutes until Stannis and Tori realize what Davos has done, and Stannis wastes no time sentencing him to death for his treasonous acts. Ser Davos says that Stannis will need him when the White Walkers invade, and reveals the note. Even Tori admits that Onions will be helpful when the war comes: “The true war is the war in the North.”

Jon arrives at Castle Black – barely – and Spam and his other friend who is not the cripplingly handsome Grenn (is he still stuck North of the Wall?) welcome him home to a life of abstinence, cold gruel, and abject misery.

Back at King’s Landing, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) enters the city with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) – who has thankfully ditched the pink dress, by this point. Cersei, meanwhile, is reminiscing in her chambers with seashells. Cersei shills seashells by the seashore? Perhaps. But she is interrupted when Jaime growls, “Sis?” in the doorway, and she turns to see him. I’m pretty sure her ladyparts turned to the door before her head did, but that gown’s pretty thick. Anyway, so good to see the murderous incestuous siblings from hell back together again.


And finally, in the last 90 seconds of the episode, Daenerys  (Emilia Clarke) and her pals gather outside the walls of recently-liberated Yunkai, waiting for the city’s people to come out. She’s worried that they might not be happy to see her, but when thousands of extras in potato sacks flood out into the desert and start calling her “Mesa” (“mother”), her fears are assuaged. So much so, in fact, that Dany does the first ever Game of Thrones stage dive to celebrate.


Notably Dead: Many soldiers, House Bolton’s PETA endorsement, my appetite for pork sausage.

Notably Absent: Blackfish, other Tully, Margaery, Loras, Olenna, Littlefinger, the Brotherhood without Banners, the Night’s Watch, Osha, Robb’s head

All in all, a pretty decent episode – although, much like last year’s post-Blackwater closer, it didn’t exactly feel like a finale. I’m really excited to have YaraSofia Greyjoy back, because she’s a total badass and has been missed for the entire season. I kind of love that Ser Davos can pretty much get away with anything, and am just counting the minutes until ToriAmosandre’s other leech-curses kick in and we get to see Joffrey’s head sewn to a cat. Arya’s coming into her own as a killer is disturbing but probably for the best in the long run – I don’t see how else she’s going to survive. And how cute is it that Tyrion and Sansa are becoming friends? I just hope Shae’s heart doesn’t get broken in the process.

I’d give this ep eight out of ten shampoos – another strong ep in a very strong season overall:

That’s about it for me! Thanks so much for joining me as we navigated all the twists and turns, and thank you as ever for your corrections, tips, and patience along the way. See you in Season Four!

In 2003, Brian launched the world's first website devoted to horror film from a gay perspective (CampBlood.org), mining an untapped (and occasionally unintentional) source of entertainment and bringing together a huge and colorful population of gay horror fans and filmmakers. When he's not pulling skeletons out of closets, Brian writes reviews for horror megasite Bloody-Disgusting.com, general film site Freezedriedmovies.com, and can be found on the ever-informative RottenTomatoes.com. Brian is also a filmmaker, having produced, written, and directed two shorts (the dark romantic comedy An Apple a Day and the eerie suspense piece Two Story House) that have played at film festivals worldwide and left audiences generally uneasy. A born-and-bred Midwesterner, Brian studied Mass Media and Film at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (I know – crazy, right?) before fleeing the district for the warm and occasionally stinky shores of NYC. Brian is a proud member of the Online Film Critics Society, loving husband to illustrator Andy Swist, and benevolent overlord of their two cats.