Game of Thrones Power Shift: The Wildlings' Epic Climb and Littlefinger's Bad Investment
One whore has sadly discovered that she's not as skilled at playing the Game of Thrones as she fancied herself to be.
On Sunday's episode, Ros learns to not cross Littlefinger (or at least not get caught at it) too late. It's a grim reminder of just how brutal the world of the Seven Kingdoms is. Who else paid the price of failure? Who benefited? TVGuide.com breaks down the power shifts in "The Climb":
Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie on climbing the Wall and Ygritte's love for Jon Snow
Ygritte (Rose Leslie) Despite almost plummeting to her death, she successfully tops the 700-foot Wall that separates the wildlings from Westeros proper. It's a strategic victory for the wildlings, who under the command of Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds), aim to ambush the Night's Watch. On a more personal note, she only survives because of her love, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), whose quick actions secure a hold in the ice that prevents them both from falling. He's a much better boyfriend than the guy whom she kicked in the crotch to steal his ice cleats!
Jon Snow It turns out that Ygritte isn't fooled by his performance as a double agent, but she is OK with his divided loyalties and is willing to stick by him. In her mind, their respective military leaders don't care if they live or die, but Ygritte and Jon Snow can watch out for each other. It's reassuring to know that she has his back and it's even kind of romantic, despite her threats to castrate him. Ah, young wilding love!
Robb Stark (Richard Madden) Who would have thought the Robb's bumbling uncle Edmure (Tobias Menzies) would be the answer to the King in the North's problems? By agreeing to marry one of Walder Frey's daughters, Edmure has secured more men for Robb to fight the Lannisters. Sacrifices must be made in wartime, and it's so much better when your subjects do the sacrificing for you!
Game of Thrones' Coster-Waldau on Jaime losing his hand... but not his hair
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) The Hand of the King seems to have the real power here, and only he can go head to head with Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) about a political matter and win by just picking up a quill. Once again we're reminded that the quill is Tywin's most insidious weapon in this game.
Jaime Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) will allow him to continue on to King's Landing in good faith as long as Jaime tells Tywin (see? the real power) that Roose had nothing to do with his maiming. Only problem is that Jaime must travel without Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), even though he valiantly tries to insist on her escort. We're liking Noble Jaime!
Ros (Esme Bianco) The former prostitute from Winterfell is no more. Once Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) discovers that Ros has informed on him to Varys (Conleth Hill), he decides to have her killed since she's such a "bad investment," an echo to a threatening little anecdote he told her in Season 2. Her ambition was her undoing, and the only thing we're grateful for is that we didn't have to see her getting killed, only the aftermath of cruel King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) using her for target practice for his new crossbow at close range. We wonder if his dear fiancee Margaery (Natalie Dormer) will find out about this?
Game of Thrones: The trouble with Joffrey
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) Although we're spared Ros' slow and painful death, we're not so lucky when it comes to the excruciating adventures of Theon. His mysterious torturer continues his sick little games -- both mental (giving him false hope) and physical (what appears to be systematically flaying Theon's pinky finger) -- until Theon is crazed to the point of begging him to cut his finger off. Yes, Theon did horrible things, but nobody deserves such torment, especially from a madman who admits that there's no ulterior motive to the torture. He just enjoys doing it! Worst. Hobby. Ever.
Gendry (Joe Dempsie) Sorry, but Gendry isn't going to have the family he wanted after all. Melisandre (Carice van Houten) encounters the Brotherhood without Banners (gee, we wonder why she had no problems finding them) and after discussions with Thoros and Beric (Paul Kaye, Richard Dormer), she whisks Gendry away in service of the Lord of Light, but not before telling him, "You will make kings rise and fall." Cryptic much?
Brienne Although Roose Bolton is treating her as his guest, his insinuation that he should send her back to Robb Stark for abetting treason does not instill confidence in us about her fate.
Lady Olenna Tywin outmaneuvered her regarding Loras' (Finn Jones) engagement to Cersei (Lena Headey), and that's a bad sign for Highgarden's influence in King's Landing. What other compromises will the Tyrells have to make? Is it possible that the Tyrells have understimated the Lannisters?
Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer: Margaery thinks she can control Joffrey
Ygritte to Jon Snow: "Don't ever betray me... because I will cut your pretty c--- right off and wear it around my neck."
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to Sansa (Sophie Turner) about their engagement, with his mistress Shae (Sibel Kekilli) present: "Where to begin? This is awkward."
Torturer to Theon: "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."
Varys, about the Iron Throne: "Ugly, don't you think? Yet it has a certain appeal. [It's] the Lysa Arryn of chairs."
Bryden (Clive Russell) to Edmure: "The laws of my fist are about to compel your teeth."
Melisandre to Arya (Maisie Williams): "I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness, an eye is staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes -- eyes you'll shut forever."
How did you like the big Wall climb? Were you shocked by Ros' fate? What were your favorite highlights of the episode?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.