After last week’s strong episode with so much character driven story, tonight’s story is more subdued. There were some surprising revelations with rich dialogue . “The Climb” was really about loyalty and control in the Game of Thrones. This was definitely a set up episode showing us the possibility of the danger that lurks ahead.
Still trying to make it back to the Wall, Sam and Gilly sit around a fire to keep them warm as the cold of North completely surrounds them. He proudly showed her the dragon glass knife which he had found at the Fist of the First Men. Will he know how to use it? Also, there seems to be a certain chemistry between the two; it’s very subtle, which could make Sam’s story more interesting.
The most gruesome scenes to watch were those of Theon’s continuous torture by “Boy”. This time he (Boy) played a game of “Russian Roulette” of questions. These are very intense scenes and both actors, Iwan Rheon and Alfie Allen are amazing. It’s a great visual that we don’t get in the books.
As Bran and company head northwards, things aren’t going smoothly between Meera and Osha as they continue to bicker with one another. You could have almost sworn they were sisters. Bran finally gets them to make peace. Poor Jojen, his dreams are taking a very heavy toll on him. He saw Jon Snow beyond the Wall but surrounded by enemies. These visions seem to foresee trouble ahead. I also wonder if Bran will meet up with Sam because it almost looked like they were in the same forest.
At Riverrun, Robb negotiates with the Freys by promising them the rights to Harrenhall and by ensuring that Edmure marry, Roslin(whom Robb was supposed to marry). He knows he needs this alliance more than ever, if he is going to win this war. This the price for Robb’s mistake. Edmure is reluctant at first but finally agrees after some convincing by Ser Breyden and Robb. The wedding will take place in a fortnight, so it is a quick marriage. It looks like Edmure might fit into the Frey household since they all look like a sullen, serious bunch with not much personality. The Blackfish seems to be the most interesting character by far (in this segment), let’s hope to see more of him.
In the Riverlands, Arya learns the art of shooting an arrow courtesy of Anguay. Out of nowhere, Melisandre appears which creates an unexpected turn of events. She has a conversation in High Valyrian with Thoros of Myr. It was an unique but welcomed addition because it gives us insight to these two characters and perhaps a little more about R’hilor. As she meets with Beric, Melisandre is shocked to find out how many times he has been resurrected ( by the Lord of Light). Her mission is complete by capturing Gendry. Could he be another one of her sacrifices? A shocked and outraged Arya confronts the Red Priestess. Mel replies, “Darkness surrounds her (Arya) with green, brown and blue eyes that will close forever”. It was truly eerie when Mel tells Arya, “they shall meet again”. Great foreshadowing for future episodes.
And speaking of Harrenhall, Jaime and Brienne dine with Lord Bolton. He agrees to send Jaime back to Kings Landing but with one stipulation; that Tywin knows he wasn’t responsible for his maimed hand. Unfortunately for Brienne, she will stay behind as a captive for treason. Jaime did not seem too happy about it. Did anyone notice her dress? It’s hard to imagine Brienne not in armor. It’s highly suspicious that Bolton didn’t drink at dinner, he is definitely up to something.
Meanwhile back in Kings Landing, unexpected twists and turns take shape and the outcome is anyone’s guess. We see Tywin and Lady Olenna discussing a proposed marriage between Loras and Cersei. She breaks his quill just to show him, she’s got the upper hand. Has Tywin met his match in Lady Olenna? The back and forth banter between them was cleverly scripted. Another dynamic performance by Dianna Rigg and clearly a standout favorite.
In the garden, Loras is feeling completely awkward towards Sansa as they discuss their future nupitals. Even Cersei and Tyrion are entirely powerless this time because they are interwoven with the same fate. It forges a bond between them where Tyrion realizes that Cersei had nothing to do with Blackwater attack on him; instead it was Joffrey. This could potentially sets up Tyrion to seek retribution. In a heroic gesture, he also reveals the truth to an unsuspecting Sansa, who cries watching Littlefinger’s boat leave for the Eeryie. The highlight of this segment was interchange between Littlefinger and Varys. It sets these two up for either an epic fail or grandiose victory. LF’s powerful monologue was beautifully written. And during it, we discover that Ros was killed by the sadistic Joffrey. It reminds me of the line, ” All is fair in love and war” however; “when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die”.
At last, the Wildings have reached the magnificence of the Wall. It’s enormous structure protects all of Westeros from the far reaches of the North. Tormund, Orell, Jon and Ygritte eagerly prepare for their climb. Ygritte tells Jon that she knows his secret: he is still a crow. She pledges her loyalty to him despite their differences and asks him to do the same. As they ascend the icy slopes, mishaps and mayhem and a cut rope from Orell plague the journey. Somehow, all of them make it alive and well. The cinematography of those scenes was as terrifying as they were climbing it. The ending was a spectacular view of Castle Black amidst the top of the Wall at sunset (even with Jon and Ygritte’s kiss). It was simply breath taking. Now what happens on the other side?
The Climb was slower paced but rich in context episode that leaves us with much anticipation for next week.It builds towards an exciting climax, most likely episode 9. Again, Iceland is the perfect setting for Beyond the Wall because of its breath taking location.
Who is the rightful owner of Harrenhall? Is it Littlefinger, Bolton or Frey?
“Our God is the one true God: all men must serve” Thoros to Melisandre
” A prize flower in the dirt” Tywin to Lady Olenna discussing the marriage proposal
“The lords of my fist are about to clench your teeth” Blackfish to Edmure
“You, staring at my ass, Jon Snow” Ygritte to Jon as they climb the Wall
Here is a preview of Episode 7: