Game of Thrones Recap – Episode 18: “The Prince of Winterfell”

If you watched the episode, or are Tyrion Lannister himself, then you’ll more easily forgive me as I boldly thank “the gods of tits and wine” for tonight’s Game of Thrones offering, “The Prince of Winterfell.” If you didn’t watch, then I’m sure I’m just a filthy pig… Nonetheless, here’s your recap of the 3rd-to-final episode of the season:

Written by Johnny Mansbach for

Fresh from the glorious triumph of his sadistic little Stark-B-Que… Theon has proclaimed himself our episode’s title.

If torching toddlers was just a cry for help to get daddy’s attention, it worked. Theon’s butch sis, Yara, has come to Winterfell with 30 soldiers. Yara has come to collect the child-murdering prince for Daddy Balon from the Pyke. Since word of the Stark boys’ demise has spread throughout Westeros, every man in the north wants to see the Prince’s freckled melon hanged. Bad Theon! Daddy is NOT happy.

Deep in the Frostfangs, far north of The Wall, the wildling Ygritte has led the unsuspecting Jon into an ambush by her fashionable people. Sorry to take you out of it, but damn, Iceland is beautiful. Okay, back to Westeros… Jon is reunited with Quorin Halfhand and another captive party of the Black that were also captured while returning to find him.

Quorin cocks up a plan that inexplicably involves throwing Jon down a snow bank. WTF? Did it work? We’ll have to stay tuned for next week to find out!

Robb Stark enjoys long walks along the beach, promising his mommy he’d marry a noble Frey woman in order to access a bridge, and lusting after another noblewoman: the Lady Talisa Maegyr, local paramedic and supermodel. Robb talks with Talisa about his daddy, dead Ned.

Lady Talisa shares with the eager king how her brother drowned when she was young. Talisa witnessed an Atlantean slave give him some sort of ten thousand year-old Atlantean CPR and brought him back to life. She’s wanted to saw off mutilated body parts ever since; her part in the war effort…

The story is so beautiful and heartwarming that they’re suddenly straight up naked and getting some Yum-Time on the wooden floor. Uh, when should we tell mom about the bridge…?

With the sexy, good news comes the ugly, bad: the Kingslayer is gone… Catelyn freed him. WTF? Lord Karstark wants vengeance on Jaime Lannister for killing his son in the cage. So now he sees Catelyn as a traitor. Robb agrees and boldly has his mother arrested. Why, Mom, why? She said she made a deal with Jaime Lannister to immediately free her daughters Sansa and Arya. Robb thinks something stinks… Although, to be fair, he just got off of Talisa… Hmm…

Under Catelyn’s orders, the bold and not-intended-to-be beautiful Brienne of Tarth has tossed the Kingslayer in a sack and brought him to a riverbank. Brienne loads him into a boat as he begs the giant heroine to fight him without restraints. Too smart, the pale paladin throws the wicked warrior into a boat and rows up the river. No one knows where they are…

In the dreary dungeon castle that is Harrenhal, Arya listens to Tywin’s war counselors talk about their forthcoming actions against her brother Robb. Tywin gives the command they will ride out at night to find and kill Robb. Arya is assigned to stay back with Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in charge of the castle.  Desperate to fulfill her third and final death wish, Arya looks for her secret weapon Jaqen H’ghar to come through, but he is out of the city.

When he returns Arya scolds Jaqen for missing his opportunity to kill Tywin before he left to execute his terrible plans. She gives her final name of “Jaqen H‘ghar” to Jaqen. Taking his oath to kill any three people she names, Jaqen is mortified. He convincers her to unname him in return for helping Arya and her friends escape and get to her brother Robb. He agrees and tells her to walk through the gates at midnight.

Meanwhile, later at midnight; Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie walk out the front gates of the dilapidated castle—tiptoeing over the mutilated dead bodies—compliments of the incredibly hardworking Jaqen H’ghar.

The most sensible little-person in all of Westeros talks with Bronn about his dress code. The clever imp wants his newly appointed leader to wear a gold cloak and stop cleaning his fingernails at the table. The fork-tongued advisor Varys enters.

The three argumentative men talk about Stannis’s plan to invade the Mud-Gate. Sounds a little nasty, but hey, what they do on their own time is none of my business.

When the little Lord Tyrion visits his sister Cersei, the vile queen springs a ruse on her little, little brother. Cersei reveals she’s kidnapped Tyrion’s longtime love Shae in retaliation for Tyrion’s dispatching of Cersei’s only daughter Myrcella. She makes clear that Shae will be killed if Joffrey is hurt in any way.

But when the dapper dwarf asks his sister to prove Shae is alive, the ruse is up. Cersei brings out her captive and it’s not Shae. Although relieved, Tyrion keeps up the charade that it is, promising to free the ill-fated prostitute.

Tyrion runs to his BFF Shae and professes his love for her, stating, “You’re mine.” She reciprocates his vow and becomes the happiest hooker in all of King’s Landing.

Later, little King Joffrey McBitchslap brags to his uncle Tyrion how he will easily defeat Stannis.

Varys announces that one Targaryen child, Daenerys, is alive in Essos. Then the two agree to use pig crap as a weapon against Stannis.

Elsewhere, we catch a quick glimpse of Jon’s “brothers” of the Black as they dig up some sword-marked graves in the snow. They discuss they likelihood that Quorin and Jon are both dead, then uncover giant stone carvings that were engraved by “The First Men”. Under the carvings are sacks filled with “dragon stone” (apparently that’s obsidian.) But who left it here? And why? And when will we find out? This medieval soap is good! I’m half waiting for Susan Lucci to make an appearance, bearing a small bow, while donning a moose-skin cloak.

Ser Davos talks with his elusive Lord Stannis about his childhood thirsting for to be king enough to challenge his brothers. Stannis implies that Davos’ role in arranging the kill of Renly Baratheon was vital and declares Davos will be the Hand of the King when he soon sits on the Iron Throne.

Waaaaay across the Narrow Sea, Dany’s loyal knight Ser Jorah passionately pleas for her to flee Qarth in a ship he’s secured. Dany convinces her clandestine boy-toy that the dragons are her children and she’ll not leave Qarth without them. She strokes his face. Ser Jorah agrees to find her dragons in the House of the Undying, then immediately sniffs his own face.

In an extremely cathartic turn, we discover what the sneaky old geezer Maester Luwin has learned: the destroyed bodies were not those of his little Starks. He furtively rejoins Osha and Hodor, hiding in a barn, all-the-while protecting little Bran and Rickon, quite alive and still super cute. And those other little charred bodies hanging from the gates…? Just some farmer’s children! But NOT the Stark boys. So… phew. Don’t worry, the farmer’s dead too… so no harm/no foul?

Only 2 more episodes left in this incredible season. With one king down and an imminent attack at the gates of King’s Landing… who will make the next move in this Game of Thrones?

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One thought on “Game of Thrones Recap – Episode 18: “The Prince of Winterfell”

  • May 21, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Johnny, I thought that this was kind of a slow ep overall. I liked it, and was most happy to get the news about Bran, but I think enjoyed this more as a hint and set-up of things still to come. Ten episodes a season is just not enough. I know there are some major events afoot though.

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