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A chunk of this most recent episode, “First of his Name,” was spent on the Littlefinger/Sansa story. Not only does Littlefinger keep boasting about the fact that he had everything to do with killing Joffery, we’ve now found out that Lysa Arryn had a hand in it as well. Another bombshell got dropped this week, too. Apparently, Lysa poisoned her late husband and wrote the letter to Ned and Catelyn implicating the Lannisters, with both actions being ushered in by Littlefinger. Wait, what? I’m sure this will be brought up again, because it was only briefly brushed over during the incredibly uncomfortable make out scene between Lysa and Littlefinger. The fact that Littlefinger may be the actual big bad seems a bit far fetched, but with the exception of Tyrion, he’s pretty much the smartest, if not also the sneakiest, guy in Westeros.
A brief scene with Daenerys in Mareen was all we got this week. She was informed that Joffery is dead and Tommen sits on the Iron Throne. After she asks how many men she has and if it’s enough to take King’s Landing, Jorah talks her down by telling her that the slave cities she “freed” have relapsed and the Masters have taken those cities back. Daenerys claims she will do what all queens do: rule. And once her dragons are full sized, that will certainly become a lot easier.
Alternating scenes in the middle of the episode gave us looks at the two unlikely traveling duos: Arya and the Hound, as well as Brienne and Pod. The first part of this week’s Arya/Hound story had the Hound telling Arya to ship up while she was rattling off her death list. She’s just about done when he interrupts her, but she says she can’t sleep until she says them all. He tells her to finish, and she says, “The Hound,” then promptly falls asleep with a smile on her face. The next morning, Arya practices her water dancing with Needle, that Serio had taught her back in season one. The Hound interrupts her yet again, telling her that being good with a sword won’t do you any good if you don’t have any armor to protect you.
Brienne tries her hardest to ignore Pod, but he’s a pretty persistent guy. She asks him questions about what he actually did for Tyrion, and she doesn’t seem impressed by any of his answers, until the question about combat comes up. He tells her about how he saved Tyrion at the Battle of Blackwater Bay by killing a king’s guard with a spear through the back of the head. Having heard this, Brienne seems to immediately warm up to the boy.
North of the Wall is where most of the action took place this week. It starts off with Locke scouting Craster’s Keep. He sees Bran, Jojen, Mira and Hodor chained up and all the mutineers as well. He reports back to Jon and the other Night’s Watch, but doesn’t mention the locked up children. That night, Jon and his brothers attack the Keep. It’s been a while since a lot of blood has been shed, as this was a nice change of pace from the story heavy episodes of late. While Jon and the Night’s Watch are fighting the mutineers, Locke goes to the hut to take Bran. As Locke is taking Bran, Jojen (who not too long before had told Karl of his vision of Karl’s death in an attempt to stall the rape of Meera) gives Bran a slight head nod, which we find out is the universal sign to Warg his way into Hodor. Bran takes over Hodor and, as the gentle giant, goes after Locke and snaps his neck like a twig. Jojen has to talk Bran out of calling for Jon, as he knows Jon won’t let them continue to head north. Bran, the Reeds and Hodor free Summer and head off.
Jon has his showdown with Karl, which is a pretty entertaining fight. Throughout the fight, Karl points out how Jon fights like an old man trained him in a castle, whereas Karl improvises in his style. Karl’s got Jon on the ropes, and is just about to kill him, when one of Craster’s daughters stabs him in the back. Karl turns his attentions to the girl, but then Jon stabs Karl through the back of his head and out through his mouth. The Night’s Watch round up the bodies, including their fallen brothers, and Locke. Jon counts the dead mutineers and realizes they’re one short. Rast is out running in the woods when he comes across the cage where Ghost was being kept, and the door is open. See ya, Rast. After Jon invites Craster’s remaining daughters to return to Castle Black with them and they refuse, Ghost walks up the the camp. Jon, who notices a bit of blood on Ghost’s mouth, couldn’t be happier to see his direwolf.