“Game of Thrones”: Rub-a-Dub-Dub


A hot tub craze sweeps Westeros, a gay knight gets lanced by his new squire, and someone loses his head. Let’s dig in!

Oh, first – has anyone else noticed that no matter which cities they show in the opening titles, they always hit the elevator going up the Wall at the same soaring musical bridge in the theme song? It’s the small comforts that mean the most.

At the Brotherhood Without Banner Ads Mancave, the Lord of Light is exacting vengeance on The Hound (Rory McCann). Or not.

No, Beric Dondarrion’s (Richard Dormer) flaming sword (no, that’s not a euphemism) is no match for The Hound’s sheer Houndiness, and he damn near cuts the guy’s arm off. Arya (Maisie Williams) is furious. But lo – ginger-bearded Thoros (Paul Kaye) murmurs something over Beric, and his wounds are healed. Wait, WHAT?

“For the night is dark and full of terrors” is spoken for the first of two times this episode.


Up north, Jon (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) – aka “Snowy Egret” – play in the snow, and then she steals his sword and strips for him in the Westerosian equivalent of a hot tub lounge. They do it, and he shows a knack for… um… “picnicking at the Y.” Oh – and before the doing it, Jon gave up which of the 19 castles on the Wall were actually being guarded, and Tormund Superbeard (Kristofer Hivju) muttered, “I like you, boy, but if you lie to me, I’ll pull your guts out through your throat.”

Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendolyn Christie), meanwhile, are brought to Lord Michael Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton), who promptly sets Brienne free with his apologies and a gift basket and sends Jamie to a doctor after filling him in on what happened at Blackwater (spoiler alert: his sister… is… unfortunately… actually… not… un… anti… dead.).

Doctor Creepy wants to take Jamie’s whole arm, but Jamie has his golf game and the show’s CGI budget to think of (never forget Tyrion’s nose!) and opts for just a bit of a trim off the end, really. He also refuses morphine. Memo to Jamie: WHAT THE F*CK?

Back at King’s Landing, Cersei (Lena Headey) visits Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen) to tell him to spy on the Tyrells. He’s totally all about it.

In Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) quarters, he welcomes Lady Olenna (Dame Diana Motherf*cking Rigg), who sends iPod (Daniel Portman) scrambling for some f*cking figs, because nana’s got some downstairs business brewing that only figs can fix. I cannot tell you how much I love this woman, especially after she tells Tyrion that a royal wedding is more important than feeding the poor and then agrees to pay for half of it before taking a bite of fig and bee lining to the nearest growler.

Back in the cave, Gendry (Joe Dempsie) tells Arya that he’s going to stay there to smith for the Brothers, because why not – it’s not like the writers are giving him anything else to do, right? Arya has to agree, but she does offer to be his family, to which he creepily responds, “You’d be m’lady.” Eeeeeeeew!

Some grey-bearded dude (seriously – is it just me, or are the beards getting bigger in this joint?) breaks into the Lannister Daycare Center and kills the two kids. Robb (Richard Madden) is pissed at Lord Cardstock (Cardshark? Carshart?) at masterminding the whole thing, and instead of letting Karstark (John Stahl) belittle him in front of his men and his mother (Michelle Fairley, who is off to the side rocking some hot bedhead), he has them all hanged except for Karstark. He then beheads Karstark on a rainy afternoon. And did he hurt his hand in the process, or something? What was up with that weird close-up?


Arya is back to listing her enemies as she goes to sleep, which is never a good sign. Beric shows her all the scars from all the times he was killed and Thoros McBeardy brought him back. This is his second death from a Clegane! Ah, good times. Arya asks, “Could you bring back a man without a head?” and they know what she’s getting at and it’s kind of awkward all around. Nice move, Frankenweenie.

We then meet up with Stannis (Stephen Dillane) – wait, there was no Dragonstone in the titles, was there? – as he visits his… wife? Yes, wife. Her name is… Celise? Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald). Of course. And she’s totally cool with his banging ToriAmosandre and everything, because Lord of Light and blahblahblah. Also, dead babies in jars. So there’s that.

Oh – Stannis also has a daughter, who has a fish face, or something, and lives locked up in a tower. Wait, what? Well, beats the jars, I guess. The Onion Knight gave Princess Shireen (Kerry Ingram) a boat, and she liked it, and asks how he’s doing. Stannis says Onion is a traitor. Okay, I’m super confused – can we go back to the fact that his daughter has scales again?


Elsewhere, Jamie gets into a tub with Brienne, despite her protests. It’s kind of adorable in the most near-rapey, at-home-amputatey way possible. He shuffles some Grade A mudflap on the way to the tub, and then when he gets bossy, Brienne shows him who’s sheriff by brandishing her Blue bottom. He is impressed. So much so, in fact, that he tells her the real story of why he killed the Mad King – he was going to kill all the poor people with Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiildfiiiiiire, apparently, and Jamie had to take him out to save them and his dad. Or something. He faints, but Brienne catches him. “I’m Jamie.” Yes, we know.

Stannis’s Proactiv-ready little miss visits Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) in pokey and teaches him to read. It’s something about Aegn the Conqueror’s conquest of Westeros. Maybe starting with something more along the lines of “The cat sat on the mat” might be wise?

We then cut to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke)  as she leads the Unsullied out of their slave city, and she lets them elect assistant managers from amongst their ranks. One, named Grey Worm, steps forward, and she tells him he can lose the “slave name” now, because he’s part of the Dragon Party. He says he likes the name because it was the name he had when Dragon Lady saved him. She’s cool with that.

Meanwhile, Barristan Celery Selmy (Ian McElhinney) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) whip their d*cks out (not literally, although on this show…) and swordfight over who has more claim to be Dany’s right-hand man. Selmy asks, “Do you believe in her?” and Jorah responds, “With all my heart,” which we all know from Liza Minnelli in Arthur as the appropriate response to the question, “Do you recommend the French toast?” But it works here, too.

By the by, how long will it take for the news to reach Jorah that his dad has been killed North of the Wall? Season 6 or so? Works for me.


Robb, meanwhile, agonizes over his Settlers of Catan board until TalisaMilano (Oona Chaplin) drifts in to say that teeheehee, she doesn’t even know where Winterfell is, which prompts Robb to remember that he married her instead of a Frey woman, which reminds me that he can probably get the Freys in his corner to take Casterly Rock from the Lannisters. Wait, really? Oh and by the way – thanks, Talisa, for coming to work today.

Back in the KL, Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Marge (Natalie Dormer) watch the Lorax (Finn Jones) fight. Sansa asks just how soon she’ll be able to mount Sir L, and Marge says that it’ll just be after she marries Joffrey and after a night of many, many Sex on the Beaches.

Loras’s new squire, Oliver (I think), seems to take a special liking to him… and in seconds, he and Loras are going at it. Oliver gets up to get some wine, and he gets Loras to spill the beans about his new betrothed while spilling his meat and two veg all over the table. Of course, he’s a spy for Littlefinger, who runs straight to Cersei to tell her that the Tyrells are trying to bag Sansa.

Littlefinger does put in one more attempt to get Sansa to get on his boat, but she isn’t having it. In his best Hellraiser Casuals outfit, he says that they will speak again when he returns. The moment he leaves, she exhales heavily.


Tyrion, Tywin (Charles Dance), and Cersei meet. Tyrion’s excited to share the news that he got Olenna to pick up half the cost of the wedding, but Tywin is upset at the news that the Tyrells are trying to steal the “key to the North” from them. He wants Tyrion to marry Sansa. HA! Tyrion is exactly as pleased as he should be. Cersei rubs his nose in it until Tywin then commands her to marry Loras. HAHA! Wait, Tywin thinks that marrying a gay guy will somehow help her reputation? As what, a chick who bangs her own brother? Tyrion reminds them that he was already married once, and it’s a sore subject for him and papa.

The episode ends with the worst song ever, sung by Stannis’ little fishface.

Notably Absent: Lord Varys, Joffrey, Bran, Rickon, Osha, Theon, YaraSofia, Spamwise, Grenn and the rest of the Watch, Mance Rayder, Ros

Notably Dead: the Cardshark, the Lannister kids, Beric Dondarion (he got better)

Quote of the Week: Not a great week for quotes, but since it was spoken twice (once by the Brotherhood and once by Stannis’ Tupperware-happy fetus collector), I have to give it to “for the night is dark and full of terrors.” It’s got a good beat and I can dance to it!

Holy Crasters, can they stop with all the new characters with names exactly like the old characters, already? Starks and Karstarks? Thoros? Tormund? Selmys and Selyses and Shireens, oh my! My head is spinning.

Aside from that, though, this ep was kind of fun. I love that, as on the Jersey Shore, the hot tub is Westeros’s most time-honored method of seduction. I love that Papa Tywin is making his kids marry people they don’t want to, and I love the continued rehabbing of Jamie’s character with the whole Mad King monolog. I need Lady Olenna harder and more often, please. And thanks to the show for serving up the prime poopers of both Jon Snow (albeit briefly) and Jamie Lannister, as well as some day-player peen. Your efforts have not gone unrecognized.

I’d give it seven out of ten Prells:

What’d you think?

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.