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‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “Dark Wings, Dark Words”

Game of Thrones Season 3 Dark Wings Dark Words Review
HBO

Game of Thrones’ season 3 conjures its second episode of the season “Dark Wings, Dark Words,” as Arya and her companions run into the Brotherhood Without Banners, Bran meets some new faces of his own, Jaime and Brienne continue their journey and Margaery Tyrell grows closer to King Joffrey.

Last week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ premiere “Valar Dohaeris” saw Jon Snow meeting with the mysterious Wildlings, while Daenerys negotiated to buy an army, Tyrion demanded recognition for his role in the battle, and Davos Seaworth attempted to sway King Stannis back to reason, so what will the newest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3, episode 2, “Dark Wings, Dark Words!”

Clearly dreaming, Bran runs through the woods with a bow before taking aim at the three-eyed raven. Robb and Jon urge him to be steady, but he still misses the bird, and an unidentified boy appears to tell Bran that the raven represents himself. Bran wakes, and tells a vigilant Osha of his dream, while she worries they should move soon.

Over at Harrenhal, Robb and Talisa share a quiet moment together, before Roose Bolton arrives with both bad news from Riverrun and Winterfell. Robb informs his mother that her own father has died, and that Winterfell has been burned to the ground, with no sign of Brandon or Rickon, and no word from Theon Greyjoy. Elsewhere, mysterious men torture Theon Greyjoy, without telling him of their demands of purpose

Brienne and Jaime continue the journey toward Kings’ Landing, trading barbs and discussing Renly, when a traveling stranger passes them by. Jaime insists that Brienne should kill the man in case he recognizes Jaime, but she refuses to slaughter an innocent. Meanwhile back at Kings’ Landing, Joffrey gets fitted for new clothes, while Cersei attempts to gather if her son has any actual romantic interest in Margaery Tyrell. Petulant as ever, Joffrey shrugs his mother off and rudely leaves.

As Sansa dresses, Shae advises her to beware of Littlefinger, before Ser Loras Tyrell arrives and asks to escort Sansa to the garden. Flourished, she reminds Ser Loras how they’d met previously, before Margaery arrives and brings Sansa to meet her grandmother, Lady Olenna Tyrell. Straight to the point and sharp-tongued, Lady Olenna asks Sansa to give them the honest truth about Joffrey, and after some gentle pressing, Sansa reluctantly admits that Joffrey is a monster who killed her father.

On the march to Riverrun, Robb’s men begin to question if they’re losing the war, while Lady Talisa attempts to bond with Catelyn Stark. While Catelyn fashions a prayer wheel for her children, she admits to Talisa that she believes the troubles on the Stark family came from her own failures years back, wherein she prayed to the gods to kill Jon Snow, but prayed for his life when the boy took ill. Catelyn swore to love Jon and treat him like family if he survived, but ultimately couldn’t keep her promise, dooming the family in her eyes.

Way up north, Mance Rayder explains to Jon how he united the squabbling tribes by convincing them they’d all die if they didn’t travel south. The pair stop before the Warg Orell, who returns his conscious mind from an overhead bird, and reveals that he found dead Night’s Watchmen at the Fist of the First Men. Elsewhere, Sam cries for his failure to protect his friends, stopping his march altogether, when Mormont forcefully stands the young ranger, and forbids him to give up and die.

Bran wakes once more to find Osha vigilant, when moments later the boy from Bran’s dream slowly saunters up. The boy introduces himself as Jojen Reed, while his sister Meera Reed gets the drop on Osha. Jojen manages to calm Bran’s direwolf Summer rather easily, explaining that they’d been searching for Bran for some time. Elsewhere, in another forest, Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie stop dead in their tracks when they see other men traveling nearby, though the men quickly reveal themselves. The leader introduces himself as Thoros of Myr, among the Brotherhood Without Banners, and quickly intimidates the trio into traveling with them.

Tyrion returns to his quarters to find Shae waiting for him, and expresses his concern that Tywin will learn of their relationship if she isn’t careful. Shae expresses her worry for Sansa that Littlefinger isn’t to be trusted, but quickly begins to chide Tyrion for his relationship with Ros, and potential interest in Sansa. Elsewhere in Kings’ Landing, Margaery pays a visit to Joffrey, and reluctantly admits that her previous husband Renly wasn’t interested in women. Margaery expresses an interest in Joffrey’s crossbow, and the young King eagerly demonstrates it for her, growing attracted to her as she fantasizes about killing something with it.

The mysterious men continue to torture Theon Greyjoy, asking his reasons for capturing Winterfell, but increasing his torture regardless of the answer. When the men leave, one of the servants explains to Theon that his sister Yara sent him, and he’ll return before nightfall to free the boy. Elsewhere out on the road, Jojen Reed explains to Bran that his dreams are signs of being a Warg, though the three-eyed raven represents a different kind of enhanced sense.

Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie share a meal with the Brotherhood at a Riverlands pub, but Arya leaves out Jaquen H’Ghar in tales of their escape from Harrenhal. When Arya boasts of her prowess with a sword, Thoros sportingly knocks hers away, before a clutch of men enter with a large prisoner in tow. The prisoner is revealed as The Hound, taken after passing out drunk, who quickly recognizes and identifies Arya despite her efforts to slip out unnoticed.

Jaime and Brienne come to a river crossing, reluctantly agreeing to take the bridge overhead, on which Jaime professes his need for rest. As Brienne props him up, Jaime steals a sword and cuts the tether, challenging Brienne. Jaime taunts Brienne and fights valiantly, though ultimately falls to his own exhaustion as House Bolton men surround the bridge on either side. The man they passed on the road earlier identifies Jaime to the Bolton men, who vow to bring Jaime back to Robb Stark. Cliffhanger!

The more ‘Game of Thrones’ episodes we watch, the more we come to realize that very few stand out beyond advancing each story a few paces at a time. It was nice to catch up with Arya, Bran and even Theon Greyjoy, considering last week’s premiere had left them out, but the multiple new characters introduced dilutes any real impact of the incremental story progression. Perhaps most effective this week is Margaery’s growing manipulation of Joffrey, and the sharp-tongued Lady Olenna, while Bran’s new companions Jojen and Meera Reed are given too little time to explain their mysterious purpose. Sophomore slumps are something of a given with ‘Game of Thrones,’ but at the very least we’re caught up with most of the central characters.

Did you get your fill of sword-swinging ‘Game of Thrones’ action?  What did you think about tonight’s episode “Dark Wings, Dark Words?” Check out all our other ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3′s latest episode “Walk of Punishment” on HBO!

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