“A Man Without Honor”

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Theon wakes up furious to discover the little Stark’s have been spirited away by Osha, his Wildling bedmate. He’s got to get them back or he’ll be an even bigger laughing stock to his family for letting a cripple (Bran) get away on the back of an idiot (Hodor). The little Stark’s come upon an orphanage they know but Bran is afraid contact will put them in danger. Osha contends even with the head start they have, they can’t outrun the hounds without help. Theon eventually finds the orphanage with terrifying results.

Alton Lannister arrives at Robb Stark’s camp with news that Cersei tore up his letter and will honor none of the terms. When he’s informed there are no accommodations for Alton, Robb has him thrown in Jamie’s pen for the night. This leads to a touching reunion between the two distant cousins and even a moment of humanity from Jamie before he does his Jamie thing and kills Alton and the young squire assigned to guard him. While Jamie is highly accomplished at maiming and killing people, he sucks balls in the running away department as he’s quickly recaptured again.

Robb is not in camp having gone to accept the surrender of a Lannister bannerman so Catelyn is left to deal with the fallout from the Kingslayer’s capture. The late young squire’s pops wants Jamie’s head on a plate and without Robb around there’s not much to stop him from taking it. Catelyn intervenes but was last seen asking Brienne for her sword as she stood over Jamie’s smirking face. He’d just thrown Jon Snow and Ned’s infidelity back at Catelyn’s and Cat looks ready to run him through.

Speaking of Jon Snow, he wakes up with a woody and Ygritte, the hot ginger Wildling, is quick to bring it to his attention. Painfully embarrassed, he gets them moving again but once she’s figured out he’s a virgin, she’s merciless in her teasing. Just when she’s about pushed his last button, she shakes free and ditches him, leading him right into her troop of Wildlings surrounding him at spear point. “You should have taken me when you had the chance.” HGW taunts at him.

Every scene this season with Tywin and Arya together has been golden. This week they come as close as they ever have to revealing too much about themselves but they can’t seem to help it. Tywin knows deep down, he’s breaching his own military protocols talking in front of her the way he does. This is confirmed when she eyeballs his jugular and fingers the knife she’s holding while his back is turned. And she can barely conceal that she isn’t a highborn Lady of the House Stark. But they prattle on like BFF’s. Even when Tywin catches a tell and calls her out. “If you’re going to pose as a commoner you should do it properly.” he says but Arya seems more pleased than concerned.

Sansa tries to thank The Hound for saving her but he reacts by being as horrible as he can. He says he’s doing it for her own good and you kind of believe him. “You’ll be glad of the hateful things I do, someday when I’m all that stands between you and your beloved king.” That is until he turns her straight over to Cersei when he discovers Sansa’s bloody bed sheets. Now that she can bear children, Sansa is distraught at the thought of having Joffrey’s baby. Cersei is surprisingly maternal and even almost helpful in a cynical and awful way. When she asks, “Shouldn’t I love Joffrey?” “You can try.” is the best Cersei can do for an answer.

Finally, THE DRAGONS ARE MISSING!!! Daenerys is stomping around feeling sorry for herself when Jorah returns instead of continuing to scout for ships. This brings an awkward confrontation with Daenerys and then the Tattoo Lady with the Funky Mask. TLwtFM tells Jorah, the Dragon thieves are with Dany right now. Daxos has called for an emergency meeting of The 13 to investigate the dragon-napping. The creepy dude from the House of the Undying reveals that the HotU have the dragons and eagerly await reuniting them with their Mother.

He then swears allegiance to the King of Qarth. Before the other 11 can say ‘Hey, there’s no King of Qarth’, creepy dude appears in multiples and slit all their throats and only Daxos and the House of the Undying appear left to control Qarth. Jorah and Kovarro lead Daenerys out but where is there to run without the dragons? Neat way to pair down the bureaucracy of Qarth and focus that part of the story I thought. The Targaryen wing of “Game of Thrones” may finally get some traction after being stuck in neutral since Khal Drogo died.

We are three episodes away from the end of Season 2 and while it has been a thoroughly satisfying ride, knowing how soon it will end brings up the “when does Season 3 start?” anxiety. That’s when you know your show is good, when people feel that way about it.

GRADE: A