‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “Kissed By Fire”
‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 conjures its fifth episode of the season “Kissed by Fire,” as the Hound faces his trial by combat, Robb Stark faces a difficult choice that threatens to weaken his position, and Tywin Lannister proposes drastic measures to quash the Tyrells' plot to marry off Sansa Stark.
Last week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode “And Now His Watch is Ended” saw a mutiny break out at Craster’s Keep, while Varys plotted to assure Sansa Stark’s safety, and Daenerys took command of the Unsullied, 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 5, “Kissed By Fire!”
The Hound prepares for his trial by combat, while the Brotherhood Without Banners pray to the Lord of Light, and Beric Dondarrion’s sword lights aflame. Beric and the Hound brutally battle in the close quarters of the cave, but the Hound eventually gets the better of Beric and slices him through the chest. Thoros quickly rushes in to pray over Beric, as Arya lashes out and attempts to attack the Hound, but Beric himself soon rises from death to proclaim the Hound free.
Still marching toward the Wall, Jon Snow reluctantly provides intel to Orell and Tormund Giantsbane, though both worry that Snow isn’t being entirely honest with them. After Ygritte vouches for Jon, she takes his sword and leads him into a local cave to retrieve it, shortly after stripping naked and urging Jon to break his vows. Afterward, the two playfully swap stories about their respective firsts, while Ygritte affectionately wishes they’d never leave the cave.
Back at the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Hound prepares to be set free even while Arya protests his release. Meanwhile at Harrenhal, Locke presents Jaime and Brienne to Roose Bolton, who promptly sets Brienne free and orders Jaime be tended to by the Maester. The Maester reluctantly agrees to spare Jaime further amputation, and follows Jaime’s wishes to be treated without milk of the poppy to dull the pain.
Meanwhile in Kings’ Landing, Cersei tasks Littlefinger with digging up dirt on the Tyrells, while Tyrion negotiates with Lady Olenna to have the Tyrells pay for half of the royal wedding, despite the massive aid their family has already provided to Kings’ Landing. Back with the Brotherhood, Gendry explains to Arya that he intends to stay with the group, having never had real family that treated him more than a servant. Arya protests that she could be his family, before running off in grief.
The captive Lannisters Marten and Willem are awakened by the sounds of fighting, before Lord Karstark slays the guard, bursts in and kills both children. Later, Robb rejects Karstark’s claims of vengeance for Jaime Lannister killing Karstark's own son and orders his men be executed. Lady Talisa, Edmure Tully and Catelyn advise against Robb having Karstark executed, lest his bannermen desert the army, but Robb ultimately elects to carry out the sentence on Karstark himself.
Back in the cave, Thoros explains that they’ll soon take Arya to Riverrun, while Beric appears and explains his multiple resurrections to a bewildered Arya. Arya wonders if the same magic could have been used on her father, but Beric assures her he wouldn’t wish such flawed magic on an honorable man like Ned Stark.
Over at Dragonstone Stannis visits with his wife Selyse, confessing his affair with Melisandre, but Selyse explains she views the affair as a gift in service of the Lord of Light. As Seylse laments her inability to provide sons to her husband, Stannis visits his disfigured daughter Shireen, and reluctantly explains that he had to lock away her friend Davos Seaworth as a traitor.
Brienne bathes at Harrenhal as Jaime is brought in for the same purpose, and somewhat awkwardly chooses the same bath. Jaime explains that he trusts Brienne, revealing his own side of the “Kingslayer” story that he killed the mad tyrant to prevent him burning down the entire city with his store of wildfire. Ned Stark however only saw that Jaime had broken his oath and killed the king, creating the nickname that haunted Jaime, before the behanded Kingslayer begins to grow woozy. Brienne cradles the Kingslayer and calls for aid, to which he wearily replies that his name is Jaime.
Young Shireen pays a visit to Davos behind bars, offering to teach him to read in his spare time, while across the sea Daenerys leads her new army. Jorah and Ser Barristan debate whether Jorah’s past crimes will afford him a place in Daenerys’ eventual regime, while Daenerys himself learns that the Unsullied have chosen a leader for themselves. The soldier removes his helmet and identifies by his slave name “Grey Worm,” but denies Danerys offer to choose a new name, believing it luck that he was freed under his current moniker.
Robb stresses over his next move now that the Karstark men have fled and cut his force in half, eventually devising a plan to take Casterly Rock by re-forging his broken alliance with the Freys. Elsewhere, Sansa watches Ser Loras Tyrell spar, not realizing that Loras’ squire has begun flirting with the knight. Shortly after bedding, Loras shares his plans to marry Sansa Stark, which the young squire immediately takes back to Lord Baelish as per his plan. Baelish goes to find Sansa, offering the chance to leave on his ship in the near future, but the girl declines without mentioning her intent to marry Ser Loras.
Tyrion arrives at the small council chamber to find Tywin and Cersei waiting, having learned of the Tyrell plot to bring Sansa into their family. Unwilling to give up the key to the North, Tywin passes down that Tyrion will instead marry Sansa, to his understandable horror, also handing down that Cersei will marry Ser Loras despite her own protests. Tywin insists that his children have brought nothing but shame to the Lannister name, and will serve the current purpose for the good of the family.
Naturally, with an episode as action-packed as last week's "And Now His Watch is Ended," we'd expect anything that followed to feel like a bit of a let down. You can imagine our surprise then, that even without too much action "Kissed By Fire" felt equally, if not more weighted and cathartic than its predecessor. Not only did tonight's episode offer major leaps forward for Jon Snow, Brienne, Jamie and Arya, but also heaped a world of drama on Robb Stark and the remaining Lannister children.
We're halfway through the season now, with a much clearer sense of the major conflicts going forward, so "Kissed By Fire" doesn't suffer from the listlessness of the some of the previous episodes. Beautifully acted across the board, Jaime's monologue in particular standing out, with the promise of some very dark tidings ahead for the second half of the season. We knew nothing, Ygritte. We really didn't.
Did you get your fill of sword-swinging ‘Game of Thrones’ action? What did you think about tonight’s episode “Kissed By Fire?” 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 “The Climb” on HBO!