After being tossed from a tower and all, Little Bran Stark hasn't had an easy life. But after Sunday's Game of Thrones, things are looking up for the boy from Winterfell.
As for his older sister Arya, she was dealing with her own canine problems. Who else suffered a setback? Whose lot improved? TVGuide.com breaks down the power shifts in "Dark Wings, Dark Words":
Game of Thrones: The trouble with Joffrey
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright): Turns out that he's a warg, a person who can enter an animal's mind and control its actions, and has been using this new skill with his direwolf Summer. Although he's not that great at it yet, new friends Jojen and Meera Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ellie Kendrick) will help guide him on that path. This connects him to the magical world in a way that hasn't been present for a while in Westeros.
Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer): The stylish lady endears herself to the awful King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) even more by admiring his crossbow (the scene is as creepy as it sounds) and then implying that he's more manly than her previous husband Renly (Gethin Anthony), who was gay.
Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg): No wonder Margaery shows hidden steel if this is her grandmother! The grande dame promises to be a force of nature and in a short conversation with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), is able to ferret out the truth: that Joffrey is a monster. Lady Olenna knows her way around courtly politics, especially when she's forewarned with such essential knowledge.
Sansa Stark: The poor girl seems to have new friends, not only in the Highgardens but also Shae (Sibel Kekilli), who even asked for aid from Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) on her behalf. Let's hope someone can help her before the Lannisters or Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) do her permanent damage!
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Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): Although it seemed that she would get to leave the Brotherhood Without Banners anonymously (and with a full belly), Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (Rory McCann) gave her identity away. Yikes! We're not sure what that will mean, but she's been masquerading as "Arry" for a reason. All the Starks are valuable to their enemies.
The Hound: The Brotherhood is not loyal to King Joffrey, so now that they've captured The Hound, they still think he's working for the Lannisters. Regardless of his current status (he fled from the Lannisters' employ), he has still done many unsavory things in the past.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): He lives! After Theon got conked on the head at Winterfell last season, he was dragged off and apparently is now residing in a torture room. We find him tethered to an X-shaped wooden frame where sharp objects are driven into his hands, his foot gets incrementally crushed and an inquisitor demands the truth about why he took Winterfell. The cleaning guy in the room later whispers in confidence, "Your sister sent me," which hopefully means Theon will be saved soon.
Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley): She got news of her dad's death and that her sons Bran and Rickon are missing. How much grief can a mother endure?
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Robb Stark (Richard Madden): Although he also fears for his little brothers' fates, the King in the North may have to watch out for his own bannermen. Rickard Karstark (John Stahl) isn't too pleased with Robb breaking his vow to the Frey's by marrying Talisa (Oona Chaplin). "I think you lost this war the day you married her," he said. It's not a good sign when your own people lose faith in your word.
Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie): Not only did her prisoner Jaime Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) swipe one of her swords, but unfortunately their journey to King's Landing was interrupted by men who displayed the flayed man sigil of House Bolton. Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) is supposed to be loyal to Robb, so these men might be here to take Jaime back to him. Either way, Brienne seems to have failed at her task.
Jaime to Brienne: "Do you think Lady Stark will want a giant, tow-headed plank following her around for the rest of her life? A week's journey with you and she'll order you to fall on your sword."
Also Jaime to Brienne: "I don't blame [Renly]. I don't blame you either. We don't get to choose who we love."
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Talisa to Robb: "My mother always told me that the Westerosi were a grim lot -- grim, bearded, stinking barbarians..."
Joffrey to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey): "[Margaery] married Renly Baratheon because she was told to. That's what intelligent women do: What they're told."
Lady Olenna: "But once the cow's been milked, there's no squirting the milk back up her udders."
Sansa: "[Joffrey is] a monster!"
Lady Olenna: "Hmm, that's a pity. (pause) Ah, here comes my cheese!"
Margaery to Joffrey: "I imagine it must be so exciting to squeeze your finger here and watch something die over there."
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Sweet dreams: Although it was only a dream, it was nice to see Bran with his two older brothers again, reunited with his mother and to hear the voice of Ned (Sean Bean).
Cat's confession: We did not expect that heartbreaking story from Catelyn about blaming herself for all of this misfortune because she could not love the bastard Jon Snow (Kit Harington). We had a little more sympathy for her intolerance of him after that glimpse into her past.
Cuddling the crossbow: It was a strange to see Margaery so intrigued by Joffrey's, ahem, weaponry, but not only did it demonstrate that she's strategic about wooing her fiance, but that she may have a dark side herself!
What was your favorite part of the episode? Do you think Arya is in danger? What would you do if you were a warg? Can Theon escape? Is Joffrey the worst or what? How did you like Dame Diana Rigg?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.