When someone refers to a man without honor in Westeros, chances are its Jaime Lannister. The Kingslayer is back in the spotlight in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, and he is as villainous and interesting as ever. One of the first glimpses of his actual character and personality is shown through an extensive conversation with another Lannister prisoner. They reminisce on tourneys past, and the young Lannister reveals his longstanding admiration for Jaime…right before Jaime beats his head in with a rock. The murder is of course a ploy to get the guard to come into Jaime’s cell, providing him with the opportunity to strangle the unsuspecting guard and escape. His escape is short lived however, as he is quickly caught and brought before Catelyn Stark. Jaime’s part in the episode ends with Lady Stark demanding Brienne’s sword, a cliffhanger directly parallel to the ending of the corresponding chapter in A Clash of Kings.
True to the theme, another man lacking in knightly honor is showcased prominently in this episode. That’s Theon Greyjoy, former ward to the Stark family and current resident asshole of Winterfell. He reacts poorly to Bran and Rickon’s escape, first flexing his muscles by beating an insolent guard, then going on a manhunt that leads the Ironborn to a small village. His trusty first mate snags a clue to the Stark boy’s whereabouts, and his story is left untouched until the end of the episode. In the end Theon parades the charred corpses of two young boys before the people of Winterfell, letting them know the price for betrayal. The enormous shock of this scene is handled with appropriate dramatic flourish, ending the episode on a particularly shocking and heartbreaking note.
Jon Snow’s story continues to deviate from his path in the book as he strays further from the other men of the Night’s Watch with his wildling captive Ygritte. The sexual banter between them continues, and is mostly uncomfortable and a bit too forward despite a few laughs. This foreshadowing is a bit heavy handed, but the interest in this storyline is maintained through the surprising capture of Jon Snow by a band of wildlings towards the end of the episode. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in comparison to Jon’s story in the book. Similarly, Dany’s parallel story continues, taking her in the same direction as the books but in a slightly different way. She finds out the mysterious warlocks are behind the theft of her dragons, and in the next episode her exploration of the House of the Undying should get some prominent and interesting screen time. The next episode airs this Sunday on HBO.