Game of Thrones: Kissed by Fire   First Watch 
July 17, 2015 8:24 AM - Season 3, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The Hound is judged by the gods; Jaime is judged; Jon proves himself; Robb is betrayed; Tyrion learns the cost of weddings.

Tywin [To Cersei and Tyrion]: "My children, you’ve disgraced the Lannister name for far too long.”

Longer Summary (contains spoilers)
In King's Landing: Cersei asks Littlefinger to help rid King's Landing of the Tyrells. Sansa and Margaery watch Ser Loras practicing with his sword. After the practice, Loras and his squire, Olyvar have sex. Unbeknownst to Loras, Olyvar is a Littlefinger spy. He tells his boss that the Tyrells intend to marry Sansa off to Loras. Littlefinger meets with Sansa to discuss their journey to the Vale, but she tells him that she wants to stay in King's Landing. Tyrion meets with Lady Olenna regarding the rising cost of the upcoming royal wedding. Olenna agrees to finance half. Tywin tells Tyrion of the Tyrells' plot to marry Sansa to Loras, and declares that Tyrion will wed Sansa. Tyrion objects, but to no avail. Cersei is pleased by her brother's discomfort at the notion, until Tywin tells her that she will soon be wed to Ser Loras.

At Dragonstone: Stannis admits his infidelity with Melisandre to his wife, Queen Selyse and is surprised to find out that Melisandre has told her everything. Selyse tells him she approves of what he is doing in service to the Lord of Light. It’s possible Selyse might not be in her right mind: She has jars of her own unborn, miscarried or stillborn babies in her room. Stannis then visits his daughter, Shireen to tell her that Davos was imprisoned for treason. “Best forget him,” he says. Shireen sneaks down to the dungeons to visit Davos and bring him a book, but Davos admits to her that he is illiterate. She begins teaching him to read, starting with book on Aegon I's conquest of Westeros.

Beyond the Wall: Tormund and Orell interrogate Jon, who lies and claims there are a thousand men guarding the Wall. Tormund threatens to kill Jon if he is lying. Shortly afterward, Ygritte steals Jon's sword Longclaw and has him chase her into a cave, where she seduces him into breaking his celibacy oath to the Night's Watch.

In the Riverlands (The Brotherhood): Beric and the Hound fight in a trial by combat. Dondarrion lights his sword on fire, frightening the Hound, but soon finds himself overpowered. During the fight, Arya screams, “Kill him!” at Dondarrion. But then The Hound delivers a killing blow, winning his freedom. Arya is pissed. She grabs a tiny knife and tries to kill The Hound herself, screaming, “Burn in hell!” but is stopped by Gendry. Thoros resurrects Dondarrion, who frees the Hound as promised. Later Gendry tells Arya that he intends to stay with the Brotherhood.

In the Riverlands (Robb’s Camp): Captives Martyn and Willem Lannister are slain by Lord Karstark and his men. Robb locks Karstark in a dungeon and orders his men hanged. He orders Karstark killed for treason, Talisa, Catelyn and Edmure beg him to keep Karstark alive, so the Lord’s men will remain loyal to Robb, to no avail. Robb executes Karstark personally. Outraged the Karstark forces abandon the Northern army. With a smaller force at his command, Robb changes strategies. He will now attack Casterly Rock, the home of the Lannisters. “I’m going to take their home away from them,” he says. To replace the lost Karstark forces, he will forge an alliance with Lord Walder Frey; the man who controls the Twins, and whose daughter he originally was supposed to marry instead of Talisa.

In the Riverlands: (Harrenhal): Locke delivers Jaime and Brienne to Lord Roose Bolton, who is furious that they have maimed a valuable hostage. Bolton frees Brienne and orders Jaime taken to see former-Maester Qyburn. Qyburn treats Jaime’s arm. Later, Jaime is brought to the baths, where he tells Brienne about Robert's Rebellion, the "Mad King" Aerys Targaryen, and the Mad King's plot to burn and slaughter all of King's Landing using wildfire. Jaime reveals that he slew the Mad King to save the city, its people and his own father's life.

In Slaver’s Bay: Dany marches through the desert with her new army. Sers Jorah and Barristan discuss the siege of Pyke during Balon Greyjoy's first rebellion against the throne. Jorah pries into Barristan's motives for joining Dany’s cause, and tries to ascertain if Barristan is aware that Jorah was working as a spy for Varys under Robert Baratheon. Barristan appears to be unaware of Jorah's secret. Dany assembles the officers for her Unsullied army. They have selected Grey Worm as their leader. She tells them that they are free to choose their own names, but Grey Worm tells her that he will keep his current name, as it is the one he had when she liberated the Unsullied and he considers it lucky.

Ygritte: "You know nothing, Jon Snow. Noth---oh. Oh. OHHH."

Introduced in this episode
* Queen Selyse Baratheon, wife of Stannis, the Lord of Dragonstone and claimant to the Iron Throne. She was born into House Florent of Brightwater Keep, a noble house of the Reach and bannermen of House Tyrell.
* Princess Shireen Baratheon, the only daughter of Stannis and Selyse, and their presumptive heir. She is the same age as Arya Stark.
* Grey Worm, the chosen commander of the Unsullied, the warrior-eunuchs of Astapor, whose reputation for combat is without equal.
* Olyvar, Squire to Ser Loras and Spy for Littlefinger

Notes (cribbed from here)
* "Kissed by fire" is a phrase used by the wildlings to describe people who are red-haired, and blessed with good luck.
* In the books, Jon's sexual encounter with Ygritte in the cave is told from Jon's narrative POV, and thus contains some inner thought monologue lost on a TV audience. In his head, Jon is actually deeply ashamed that he broke his solemn vow of celibacy, and in his thoughts he swears to himself that he will never break it again. Ultimately this was for naught, however, as he ended up having sex again with Ygritte later that very same night, twice, and then once again a few hours later as night turned into morning.
* Dany’s scenes were added in such a way that when Shireen is explaining to Davos who Aegon Targaryen was, how he lived on Dragonstone island where she now lives and conquered Westeros, her description switches into a voiceover, segueing into the scenes with Daenerys, Aegon's descendant.
* This episode marks the debut of Stannis's wife Selyse, as well as his daughter and only child Shireen. Selyse briefly "appeared" in the Season 2 premiere, played by Sarah MacKeever as a placeholder, but she had no speaking lines nor was she identified by others as Stannis's wife (only by the implication that she stood next to him during Melisandre's ceremony).
* In this episode, no explanation is given why the left side of Shireen's face is disfigured.
* The TV series never explicitly stated this, but Jaime's story about how the Mad King tried to burn down King's Landing with wildfire rather than let it fall to the rebels during Robert's Rebellion directly explains why the Alchemists' Guild was able to provide such a massive amount of wildfire on short notice for the Battle of the Blackwater.
* Lady Olenna lists the support House Tyrell is giving to the Lannisters as: 12,000 infantry, 1,800 mounted knights, 2,000 support troops, one million bushels of wheat, half a million bushels each of barley, oats, and rye, 20,000 head of cattle, and 50,000 head of sheep.
* In the books, Qyburn's treatment of Jaime's stump is narrated from Jaime's POV, which explicitly says that the main reason he refuses to take Milk of the Poppy is because he fears that if he allows himself to be rendered unconscious for the surgery, Qyburn might break his word and cut off the rest of his right arm anyway.
* In the books, Robb Stark beheads Rickard Karstark with a pole-axe, but he botches the job and takes multiple strikes to finally cleave off his head, leaving Robb covered in his blood (symbolizing what a mistake this was). The TV series changed this so that Robb beheads Rickard with a sword, and cuts off his head cleanly with a single swing. Bryan Cogman explained that this change was deliberately made to parallel earlier scenes in the TV series. Theon Greyjoy had beheaded Rodrik Cassel in Season 2, but he did poorly and require multiple messy strokes, to show that he hadn't learned proper resolve from Eddard Stark. In contrast, the TV producers wanted to visually emphasize that Robb had learned martial skill and resolve from his father, so they had Robb kill Rickard with a single well-aimed stroke of his sword, to parallel Eddard's opening scene in the first episode of the TV series. Interestingly, however, because a TV adaptation also has the medium of sound to utilize, while Robb's execution scene visually parallels the execution scene Eddard performed, the music playing during the scene is the same score which plays during the scene in "The Old Gods and the New” when Theon executes Rodrik - to give the impression that while Robb does not lack for martial skill, his decision to execute Lord Rickard is unwise (as all of his advisors warned him against it). Also, Cogman noted, because so many scenes are filmed in Northern Ireland the production team can usually just wait for a rainy day, but there was unusually no rain when this episode was being filmed. Because they felt it was so important for Robb to execute Rickard in a driving rainstorm, this was one of the few times the production team actually had to bring in rain machines to achieve this effect.
* Cogman also stated that another deliberate callback was when, after Robb Stark beheads Lord Rickard, Robb is so upset that as he walks away he has a tremor in his right hand, which he tries to hide from the gathered crowd by clenching his hand into a fist and holding it at his side, though it can still be seen trembling. This is a reference to Season 1 episode 8, "The Pointy End", when Robb was so upset and afraid after he gave the order to call all of the Northern bannermen to open war that he couldn't stop his right hand from trembling. As Theon pointed out in that episode, it was actually good that he was afraid, because otherwise he'd be stupid for not realizing what a dangerous situation he is in. Similarly, Robb is not flippantly executing Karstark as Joffrey might a Lannister subordinate: he is aware of how politically disastrous this will be and is nervous, but feels duty-bound by honor to go through with it nonetheless.
* This episode won the 2013 Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic).

Jamie: “There it is. There's the look. I've seen it for seventeen years on face after face. You all despise me.
Kingslayer. Oathbreaker. A man without honor. You've heard of wildfire?”

Brienne: “Of course.”

Jamie: “The Mad King was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn, the way their skin blackened and blistered and melted off their bones. He burned lords he didn't like. He burned Hands who disobeyed him. He burned anyone who was against him. Before long, half the country was against him. Aerys saw traitors everywhere. So he had his pyromancer place caches of wildfire all over the city. Beneath the Sept of Baelor and the slums of Flea Bottom. Under houses, stables, taverns. Even beneath the Red Keep itself. Finally, the day of reckoning came. Robert Baratheon marched on the capital after his victory at the Trident. But my father arrived first with the whole Lannister army at his back, promising to defend the city against the rebels. I knew my father better than that. He's never been one to pick the losing side. I told the Mad King as much. I urged him to surrender peacefully. But the king didn't listen to me. He didn't listen to Varys who tried to warn him. But he did listen to Grand Maester Pycelle, that grey, sunken cunt. "You can trust the Lannisters," he said "The Lannisters have always been true friends of the crown". So we opened the gates and my father sacked the city. Once again, I came to the king, begging him to surrender. He told me to bring him my father's head. Then he turned to his pyromancer. "Burn them all," he said "Burn them in their homes. Burn them in their beds". Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women, and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then? First, I killed the pyromancer. And then, when the king turned to flee, I drove my sword into his back. "Burn them all," he kept saying "Burn them all". I don't think he expected to die. He... he meant to... burn with the rest of us and rise again, reborn as a dragon to turn his enemies to ash. I slit his throat to make sure that didn't happen. That's where Ned Stark found me.”

Brienne: “If this is true... why didn't you tell anyone? Why didn't you tell Lord Stark?”

Jamie: “Stark? You think the honorable Ned Stark wanted to hear my side? He judged me guilty the moment he set eyes on me.
By what right does the wolf judge the lion?”
posted by zarq (3 comments total)
This is a First Watch with Books thread.

Please do not reveal spoilers for subsequent episodes from any source.

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM on July 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

The actor playing Littlefinger doesn't quite do it for me. He's supposed to be the most dangerous man in the realm but he's no more devious than anyone else at court. Imagine Mark Rylance in that role.

Have forgotten who the Hound killed to make Arya so angry at him. She and Sansa have had two different experiences with him.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:53 PM on September 23, 2018

The Hound killed Mycah, the butcher's boy who Arya was friends with while traveling to King's Landing. This was the same incident that ended with Arya's wolf gone and Sansa's wolf dead.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:58 AM on September 24, 2018

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