Along with the Lord of Bones aka Rattleshirt, Ygritte cheerfully leads Jon Snow thru the wildling camp. Not everyone is happy to see a Night's Watch member. Jon sees that there are giants in the wildling camp. They arrive at Mance Rayder's tent where Jon mistakes Tormund Giantsbane for Mance and bows to him. This breaks the ice a bit and Mance reveals himself telling Jon that kneeling is not required. However he still wants to know why Jon is switching sides. And after dismissing Jon's first answer it's subtly shown that Mance will kill Jon if he's not convinced of Jon's sincerity. Well the best lies always have some truth mixed in them. Jon shares his anger at Craster's incest and sacrifice to the White Walkers and the Lord Commander's refusal to do anything about it. He says that's what led him to leave. Well that's good enough for Mance and he accepts Jon for now. He's also noticed that Jon and Ygritte are making puppy eyes at each other.
In King's Landing Bronn is in a brothel trying to do what all soldiers with time on their hands and a willing woman do but he's interrupted by Tyrion's squire Podrick who tells Bronn that Tyrion wants him right now and won't take no for an answer. Cersei comes to visit her brother who is of course suspicious of her intentions. Cersei wants to know why Tyrion wants to see their father and if he's gonna be tattling on her. Tyrion reminds her of long ago cruelties but all Cersei can remember is that Tyrion told on her. Cersei has trouble hiding her amusement at the turn of events in Tyrion's life. Bronn arrives and engages in some macho insults with Ser Meryn Trant, pointing out that Trant isn't good for much besides beating up Sansa. Violence is averted when Cersei leaves. Bronn tells Tyrion he wants double the money he's been getting, whatever that is.
Davos is alive! He's been burned. He's picked up by boats belonging to his old friend Salladhor Saan. Salladhor is quite embittered by the loss and worried by Stannis' depression and habit of burning alive those that he (or Melisandre) thinks are heretics. Davos begs and calls in every chip he has to convince Salladhor to take him to Dragonstone. Once he gets there Stannis doesn't appear to be too happy to see him. He's like whatever. Stannis won't send Melisandre away so that they can talk in private. Davos chides Melisandre and Stannis for their executions. Melisandre (and is that some nice cleavage or what) blames Davos for convincing Stannis not to take her to the battle. When she talks about Davos' son's death Davos loses it and tries to kill her but is stopped and imprisoned.
Roose Bolton and Robb and northern forces arrive at Harrenhal to find it abandoned and several Stark and Tully POW's and Harrenhal staff killed. This was likely the work of The Mountain. Robb is still po'd at his mother for letting Jaime Lannister go and it seems that his men are as well. They find one survivor, a maester named Qyburn.
Tyrion finally gets in to see his Daddy who is busy writing letters and doesn't appear to wish to be bothered. After Tyrion's pitiful attempts at small talk fail Tywin abruptly asks him what does he want. Tyrion points out all the good deeds he did and says a little credit/gratitude might be a start. Tywin scoffs and said he heard about all the fun Tyrion was having with prostitutes after specifically being told to stop that. Tywin also says that whatever good Tyrion did that's what he was supposed to do and he gets no extra credit for that. Tyrion gathers his nerves and says that since Jaime can't legally inherit that he should get Casterly Rock. Tywin can't believe this. He says he might try to give Tyrion a slightly better position and arrange a reasonable marriage for a dwarf but there's no way in hell he's ever getting Casterly Rock. Almost all of this dialogue is taken directly from the book and is probably the most powerful scene this week. Tywin goes OFF on Tyrion. Tywin kicks him out, tells him not to ask about Casterly Rock again and to stay away from prostitutes unless he wants Tywin to kill them. You can see that Tyrion is really hurt. It's not just about Casterly Rock of course. It's about seeking love and recognition from an emotional abuser.
In King's Landing Sansa and Shae watch ships leaving and make up stories about where they are going. Littlefinger shows up to talk with Sansa (looking and sounding EXACTLY like someone from To Catch A Predator) and tells Sansa he MIGHT be able to get her home. He also says he saw Catelyn and Arya. Roz tells Shae to watch over Sansa and watch out for Littlefinger.
Staying in King's Landing there is a nice contrast between Joffrey and Margarey. Both are being carried in litters. Joffrey hates the stink and is grimacing, with a handkerchief to his nose. Margarey gets out of her litter and visits a religious orphanage bringing cheer, food, and toys. She tells the head of the orphanage to come to her directly if she ever needs help. Later that night there is a dinner that includes Margarey, Joffrey, Loras and Cersei. Both of the Tyrells remain softspoken but Cersei is in a bad mood. She makes fun of Margarey's revealing outfit and Margarey politely does the same to Cersei's severe masculine one. Before a full blown catfight can develop tensions erupt between Joffrey and Cersei. It also comes out that House Tyrell is now supplying most of the food in King's Landing.
*This post is written for discussion of this episode and previous episodes. If you have book based knowledge of future events please be kind enough not to discuss that here. Most of my blog partners have not read the books and would take spoilers most unkindly. Heads, spikes, well you get the idea....