Bran and Rickon are in the wind, and Theon continues down the path to becoming a true and utter douchenozzle. He did a nice job beating up Big Baldy for that epic (and entirely warranted) burn, so it seems like he's getting a handle on the "iron" way of doing things—even as it looks like that's pretty much the same as prison yard rules. And speaking of burn, those poor kids! Of course there's no way they're Bran and Rickon, like Maester Luwin and the audience are supposed to believe, but still, burning kids, dude? That's veering into Joffrey territory, and I had higher hopes for ol' unwanted horndog Theon.
And speaking of horndogs: oh, Jon Snow. You really do know nothing. But you shouldn't take it too hard (that's what the small of Ygritte's back is for, zing!). You aren't the first guy to turn into a complete idiot when confronted with a smart-talking redhead.
But going back a tick and speaking of Joffrey: This week Cersei finally admitted what everyone already knows, that Jaime is his real dad, and that the kid is entirely screwed-up. Cersei did try to have a moment with Sansa, sharing her experience being married to a king who didn't really want to have anything to do with her. Granted, Robert was just kind of a drunken lout, while Joffrey is... well, he's Joffrey. And Tyrion was surprisingly nice to her in his one scene this episode, reassuring Cersei that at least her two other kids are all right. Now maybe I'm just projecting my own desires here, but when Tyrion was talking about the approaching battle with Stannis and the fact that the peasants of King's Landing are in open revolt, I got the impression that he might be thinking that if House Lannister is going to win this one, Joffrey will have to be out of the picture.
Meanwhile, the Arya-Tywin scenes continue to be the best things ever, not to mention a convenient way to learn the history of Westeros! This week's lesson: the origins of Harrenhall, and the effectiveness of having a dragon air force. So, what are the odds that Tywin's already figured out who Arya is? While Arya's proven pretty darn good at thinking on her feet, Tywin's a dangerously smart man—if he doesn't know already, I guarantee he'll nail it down in another conversation or two. In the meantime, the death of his right-hand guy is being pinned on the as-of-yet-unseen Brotherhood Without Banners, and Ser Gregor the Mountain is off to burn down some villages until they find their assassin. Luckily they refer to the Mountain by name, since the role was recast from season one and this new Gregor doesn't look a whole lot like the original, except for his height. Anyway, that's got to weigh on Arya a little bit—the burning, not the recasting—as it's all stemming from her hurried assassination of Ser Illiterate.
And way off in Qarth... doublecross! Xaro Xoan Ducksauce and Fake Voldemort are behind the dragonnapping, and with a few cut throats are now running this city. Fake Voldemort apparently has the same powers as Shredder from the old TMNT arcade game. Unfortunately for Dany and her merry band of ... well, Ser Jorah ... he doesn't have a helmet to knock off, so I don't know how to stop him from duplicating himself. Man, they really want her to visit the Houses of the Undying, don't they? And I really wish someone would tell that seer who keeps bothering Jorah to take that silly thing off her face, it is weird and distracting. It's hard to pay attention to anything she's saying.
Oh and hey, Jaime's back! I mean, I guess he hasn't actually gone anywhere, but we haven't seen him since the season premiere. He pulls his own variation of the "sick prisoner" routine— Jaime's version has more dead cousins than the traditional version—and escapes just long enough to severly tick off old Mr. Karstark. He does get off a few barbs at Catelyn, and by golly I think he likes Brienne, but then Cat takes Brienne's sword and CLIFFHANGER!
Of course, the chances that Cat's actually going to take a hack at Jaime are about the same as those burned kids being the Stark boys. Even without having read the books you can see that. Still, just three episodes left, and only three thousand plot threads left to tie up. Can't wait!