Game of Thrones
S03 E05 – Kissed by Fire
Last week we learned about patience, which hopefully some viewers heeded, because though there were no dragons or “shocking” moments in this episode, it still delivered with it’s dialogue driven scenes. It gave us insight into the vulnerabilities of the characters known to have stone-hearts. Was this an attempt to get us to feel sympathy for characters we were taught to hate? If that was the case, did it work?
A tangled web is being woven in Kings Landing. Cersei asks for Littlefinger’s help in getting the Tyrell’s out of Kings Landing, she feels they don’t hold the crown’s best interests. He finds out by Ser Loras’ squire, and lover, that the Tyrell’s plan to have Loras wed Sansa. A fact further implied when Sansa informs Littlefinger that she doesn’t want to leave Kings Landing. Lord Tywin and Cersei will not have that since they think Sansa is the current heir of Winterfell and don’t want the Tyrell’s to have control of the North, so they force their plot on Tyion to marry Sansa well before Margaery becomes Queen & has any say. Tyrion refuses but to no avail. Proud Cersei is then brought down a peg by her fathers demands that in turn she is to marry Ser Loras.
We are introduced to Stannis’s hidden wife, Selyse. He confesses his infidelity with Melisandre, only to find out that not only did Melisandre already tell her, but that she’s fine with it since she herself couldn’t give Stannis any living sons (which we unfortunately see in what I only describe as closed glass vases with formaldehyde). Stannis then visits his daughter Shireen, also hidden away due to her appearance. She learns about Ser Davos being locked in the dungeons for being a traitor. That night, she sneaks into the dungeon to give Davos a book but learns that he cannot read, so she teaches him.
Dondarrion and The Hound begin their trial by combat. Dondarrion lights his sword on fire which shows The Hound’s fear & vulnerability of fire from his youth (his reason for fleeing the Battle at the Blackwater). The Hound temporarily overcomes the fear and overwhelms Dondarrion, killing him and being dubbed innocent of his crimes… then Dondarrion is alive again and frees The Hound. Later that evening Arya learns that “The Lord of Light” has resurrected Dondarrion six times.
Meanwhile in Riverrun, Lord Karstark and several of his men kill the young Lannisters being held hostage. Robb Stark orders the men to be hung while Karstark be placed in the dungeon. Catelynn, his wife & Lord Edmure beg of him to make Karstark a hostage so the remainder of his men stay loyal to the war. Robb, however, decides to execute Karstark for treason. Robb has a new plan to take Casterly Rock since the Lannisters are all at Kings Landing, but lacking the manpower now, he makes the foolish decision to forge an alliance with Walder Frey, the man whose daughter Robb was betrothed to in exchange for crossing his land in Season 1.
Brienne & Jamie Lannister are taken to Lord Bolton, who is furious that Locke & his men have maimed valuable hostages. He frees Brienne, has what is left of Jamie’s right forearm treated and orders them to bathe. While bathing, Jamie apologizes to Brienne for how he’s treated her, then confides to her of the “Mad King” Aerys Targaryen and that he was wrongfully dubbed “Kingslayer” by Eddard Stark and others when he was trying to save the townspeople and city of Kings Landing while the Mad King wanted them/it all to burn to the ground.
Beyond the Wall of Westeros, Jon Snow’s life is threatened by Rayder when he tells them the number of men left guarding the Wall, the Wildings still do not trust him. In a last effort to gain their trust, and because everyone eventually has needs, Snow breaks a vow he took upon becoming part of The Black and has sex with Ygritte.
Further beyond Westeros, Ser Jorah tries to figure out Ser Barristan’s motives for joining Daenyrus. As well if Barriston knows that he (Jorah) was working for King Robert & the Small Council when he joined Daenyrus.
We saw that, though she has an ice queen exterior (and often interior), Cersei has a vulnerability as she pleads with her father against marrying again and she is weak when up against her father.
We saw Stannis’ biggest vulnerability in his daughter.
We saw how much of an effect fire has on this feared murderer known as The Hound.
We saw that Jamie is only a Kinglsayer by name, he is simply acting the way that those who gave him the title see & think of him.
Can one be sympathetic to those who have committed such evil deeds if it were out of love, command, treason, lies, etc.? I don’t know about the other viewers but at least in the case of Jamie Lannister, I do feel a slight sympathy towards him.