Game of Thrones: Good Week for Newlyweds, Bad Week for Betrotheds

Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/HBO
Game of Thrones

Things we learned in the third episode of this season of Game of Thrones (“High Sparrow”): Alliances are best forged through marriage, rather than peeling a man’s skin off. You have to make your own justice in this world. And cosplay does exist in Thrones-land, as evidenced by an Essos-ian prostitute dressed up as Daenerys Targaryen. (If having whores copy your look isn’t a sign one has Made It, we don’t know what else is.) As in life, this episode included a pretty decent mix of Good and Bad Things. Here’s who the gods smiled upon, and who had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

A Good Week for…

Tommen Baratheon

Oh my [Red] God, a Game of Thrones wedding didn’t end in at least one horrifying death? Are Benioff/Weiss/Martin losing their edge? Probably not.

Anyway, the young king actually survived his wedding to Margaery Tyrell! That alone would have been enough to get him on this list, but he also got to experience the nocturnal nuptial activities usually enjoyed by newlyweds, so everything’s coming up Tommen.

Podrick Payne

Brienne finally sees the value in someone like Pod and agrees to train him as a knight! Not being a knight herself, she can’t dub him Ser Pod, but it’s still awfully sweet. And Brienne lets her psychic shield down just enough to tell Pod the devastating story of the time Renly Baratheon came to her rescue at a Carrie-esque ball, adding another layer of tragedy to her inability to save Renly from his murderous brother Stannis. “Nothing’s more hateful than failing to protect the one you love,” after all.

Ser Jorah Mormont

Ser Jorah captured Tyrion! One imagines Ser Jorah drank and whored and bare-knuckle brawled his way from Meereen all the way to Volantis, where Tyrion and Varys are. He didn’t just get fired by his boss, who also happens to be the woman he loves—he was banished. But stumbling onto Tyrion and snagging him for “the Queen” ought to at least put some silver in his pocket.

A Bad Week for…

The Cerwyns

Most of House Cerwyn got flayed! The Flayed Man is the sigil of House Bolton, but it’s one thing to see a crudely drawn likeness on a banner, and quite another to be confronted with the reality of men skinned alive and then hung for all the world to puke at. The former Lord Cerwyn refused to pay his taxes to the Boltons, so Ramsay had him, his wife, and his brother flayed in front of the oldest Cerwyn son, who, as the new Lord Cerwyn, agreed to pay up.

Sansa Stark

Sansa is now betrothed to Ramsay Bolton! Petyr Baelish, what are you doing? Setting aside the fact that the Boltons murdered her family at a damn wedding, there’s no way someone as well-connected as Littlefinger hasn’t heard about Ramsay Bolton’s…proclivities (i.e. hunting women for sport, flaying people, turning Greyjoys into eunuchs). For him to offer Sansa up as Ramsay’s bride indicates: a) he’s a monster, or b) he has an awful lot of faith that the eldest living Stark’s charms will keep her alive until, theoretically, a revolt against the Boltons can be planned. (No spoilers here, just an educated guess based on the serving woman’s “The North remembers.”)

Lord Janos Slynt

Janos got his head cut off by Jon Snow! We get it, it must be hard to accept a boy half your age as your Commander. Refusing to obey your Commander in front of the entire Night’s Watch, though, isn’t the right way to deal with your frustrations, particularly when your Commander learned at an early age to behead traitors.