‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “The Climb”
‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 conjures its sixth episode of the season “The Climb,” as Jon Snow and the Wildlings begin their dangerous ascent of the wall, Melisandre visits the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Tyrion breaks his bad news to Sansa..
Last week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode “Kissed By Fire” saw the Hound faceing his trial by combat, Robb Stark making a difficult choice that threatened to weaken his position, and Tywin Lannister proposing drastic measures to quash the Tyrells’ plot to marry off Sansa Stark, 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 6, “The Climb!”
Alone in the wilderness, Sam and Gilly tend to a fire, before he shows her a mysterious dagger of unknown material he found at the Fist of the First Men. Sam describes the wall, singing to comfort Gilly and her boy, while elsewhere in Westeros Bran urges Osha and Meera Reed to stop their incessant bickering. Jojen Reed stirs in his sleep, before coming to with a vision of what he’d seen: Jon Snow on the wrong side of the wall, surrounded by enemies.
Jon Snow and the others prepare to make the treacherous climb over the wall, while in a moment alone Ygritte reveals that she knows he didn’t abandon his loyalty to the Night’s Watch. Ygritte presses that they should value is their loyalty to one another, while Tormund ominously prepares them for the climb.
Arya’s bow practice with the Brotherhood is interrupted by the arrival of Melisandre and her emissaries, warmly greeted by Thoros and the others who worship the Lord of Light. Thoros takes Melisandre to meet with Beric, as she expresses her astonishment at his many resurrections, and Thoros explains that Beric’s deaths were what cemented his faith in their religion. Outside, Gendry agrees to make arrows for the Brotherhood, before Thoros orders Gendry to be bound at Melisandre’s insistence that the Lord of Light needs the boy. Arya protests, accusing the Brotherhood of selling out for gold, before confronting Melisandre directly. Looking into the girl’s eyes, Melisandre sees a darkness and many to be killed, assuring that they’ll meet again.
Theon’s mysterious tormentor rouses him from sleep, and threatens to cut off his pinky before proposing a game. If Theon should guess who his tormentor is, and why he’s inflicted such pain, he’ll let him go free. Amid torture of his pinky, Theon guesses that the man belongs to the Karstarks, seeking revenge for the murdered orphan boys, to which the tormentor relents. The tormentor continues anyway, professing himself to be a liar as he removes joints from Theon’s pinky.
Robb Stark and the others meet with Lord Frey’s emissaries to listen to the demands required to salvage their alliance, among them that Lord Edmure Tully must marry Frey’s daughter Roslin. Edmure refuses at first, in hopes that haggling will win him choice of Frey’s daughters, but Robb reminds him of their desperation in the war. Edmure reluctantly agrees, while Robb assures him he’ll remember the sacrifice.
Both healed and dressed, Brienne and Jamie share dinner with Roose Bolton, wherein Bolton explains that Jaime will return to Kings’ Landing when he recovers. However, Brienne will remain at Harrenhal to face treason charges, and when Jaime protests, Bolton reminds him not to overplay his…well, hand. Meanwhile at Kings’ Landing, Tywin matches wits with Lady Olenna and shoots down her questions of Loras marrying Cersei, given her age and his interest in the opposite sex. Tywin threatens to have Loras named to the Kingsguard and forbidden to marry otherwise, as Olenna admires his threatening strategy and relents.
Elsewhere along the treacherous climb, Ygritte’s pick starts a crack that sends several Wildlings tumbling from the wall, nearly dragging her and Jon Snow along with them. Orell tries to cut the pair loose so as not to weigh them all down, but Jon manages to gain a new foothold and save Ygritte before Orell's actions can kill them both.
Cersei and Tyrion watch an oblivious Loras and Sansa meet within the garden, observing that Tywin’s plan has doomed them all to hell. Hoping to gain alliance, Tyrion demands Cersei cop to her earlier plot to have him killed, though her silence reveals that Joffrey was instead the culprit. Cersei reminds him that Tywin’s presence will likely prevent any further strife, as will the inevitable return of Jaime, though Tyrion only wonders who must break the news to Sansa. Shortly thereafter, Tyrion arrives in Sansa’s chambers, hoping to break the news without Shae standing nearby, though Sansa refuses to send her away. Awkwardness ensues.
Varys finds Petry Baelish contemplating the iron throne, before the pair taunt one another over their respective scheming of Sansa and the Tyrells. Baelish then lays out his trump card that he sold Ros as punishment for her working with Varys, as we see Joffrey contemplating her crossbow bolt-ridden body. Baelish explains that the chaos created by all their scheming and games is but a ladder for the opportunistic to climb, as we see Sansa crying over Baelish’s departed ship.
Jon Snow and Ygritte finally reach the top of the wall, as the sun breaks and shines over the south, and the two share a kiss over their success.
While the quality of 'Game of Thrones' season 3 has certainly risen in recent weeks, we'd expect a few divisions over "The Climb." Certainly the effects, tension and story development carry the hour, with some big moments for Jon Snow and the Lannisters, thought "The Climb" suffers greatly from 'Game of Thrones' tendency to drift across narratives.
Save for Jon Snow and Kings' Landing, most of the hour's stories make only single appearances, affording precious little momentum in the narrative. Bran and the Reeds still seem to be going nowhere fast, while Theon's torture continues to stall without any satisfaction. Jaime and Brienne got a nice moment in their brief dinner with Roose Bolton, as did Robb in his attempts to rebuild an alliance with the Freys, but the episode would have been better served to drop a few characters, and offer more to those with something to build.
Finally, who will deliver out sexposition now? Pour one out for Ros, all. Daryl Dixon hangs his head at such sinister use of a crossbow.
Did you get your fill of sword-swinging ‘Game of Thrones’ action? What did you think about tonight’s episode “The Climb?” 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 Bear and the Maiden Fair” on HBO!