Game of Thrones is usually all about the lions (Lannisters) annoying the wolves (Starks), but this time, a different furry animal joined the fray.
On Sunday's episode, Brienne got up close and personal with a bear as part of her Harrenhal welcoming gift (a muffin basket would have sufficed!). But she escaped relatively unscathed, which is more than we can say for Theon's fate at the hands of his gleeful torturer. Who else struggled? Who triumphed? TVGuide.com breaks down the power shifts in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair":
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Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) The maid of Tarth suffers several injuries after she faces off with a live bear for the amusement of Locke (Noah Taylor) and his men. Fortunately, her former prisoner Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) swoops in and almost single-handedly (ha!) saves her from a grisly — or is it grizzly? — fate. Fun fact: Little Bart the Bear required country music blasting from the back of a pickup nearby to keep calm and happy during shooting. Also, producer Dan Weiss told reporters, "[He was a] total ham and fun to work with. ... Every time you did a good take, you had to give him positive reinforcement. Everyone on the crew and inside had to clap. 'Good job, bear, good job.'"
Robb Stark (Richard Madden) The King in the North is going to be a dad! While this is happy news indeed (send a raven!), this has bigger political ramifications as well since the little wolf zygote is a potential heir that could guarantee the continuation of the Stark line.
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Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) Khaleesi meets with the first envoy in Yunkai, a slaver who first tries to bribe her to leave and then threatens her. In response, Dany gives him an ultimatum: Free all the slaves or die. Really, did that eyeliner-wearing blowhard think he could get the best of the Mother of Dragons?
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) We already know that the Hand of the king is the one who calls the shots in King's Landing, but Tywin solidifies his dominion over the king himself, snotty grandson Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) in a deceptively offhand speech in the throne room. Not only does Tywin position himself as the one to be sought out by holding meetings in the Tower of the Hand, but he makes it clear that Joff doesn't need to be consulted on any matter.
Gendry (Joe Dempsie) It turns out that the former blacksmith's apprentice is one of the late King Robert's byblows. Yep, he's a royal bastard that somehow slipped through Joffrey's city-wide massacre.
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Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) Having two naked ladies writhing all over you isn't so bad! But wait, it's just another ploy by Theon's mysterious tormentor to teach him a lesson about his old womanizing ways. Again with the knife, but the target body part isn't Theon's pinky finger this time! Although we're horrified, we're kind of astounded that he stuck around long enough to get aroused instead of, you know, trying to escape the torture chamber.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) She's rightfully angry at the Brotherhood Without Banners for giving Gendry to Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and finally makes good her escape. Sadly, she runs right into the arms of The Hound (Rory McCann), one of the names on her personal hit list.
Shae (Sibel Kekilli) Tyrion's (Peter Dinklage) sudden engagement to Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) doesn't sit well with his paramour, who tries to convince him to run away with her. But he won't leave duty, or the need to feel approval, behind and his insulting offers (to set her up financially as his mistress and possible baby mama) force her to realize that she means less to him that he does to her.
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Orell (Mackenzie Crook) on the wisdom of birds: "They work together when it suits them; they're loyal when it suits them; they love each other when it suits them; and they kill each other when it suits them. [Ygritte] knows it; you don't, which is why you'll never hold onto her."
Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) about Tyrion: "He's rather good looking even with the scar ... especially with the scar."
Tyrion: "I don't pay you to put evil notions in my head, and the ones already there don't need company."
Bronn (Jerome Flynn): "You pay me to kill people who bother you. Evil notions come free."
Ygritte (Rose Leslie): "What's fainting?"
What was your favorite part of the episode? Were you surprised Jaime saved Brienne? Does Theon have a chance at surviving? Should Tyrion go through with the marriage?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.