Game of Thrones ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair’ – Season 3, episode 7
This series blog is following the UK broadcast schedule on Sky Atlantic
This week was very much about the inner struggle between love and honour, and we saw several characters faced with this dilemma. It was primarily Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) who were suffering from this inner conflict.
Now that the wildings have breached the Wall and are making their way to Castle Black, the tension is mounting. We are starting to see the cracks appear in Jon Snow’s role as the turncloak. What will Jon do? Will he betray the Watch or his love for Ygritte (Rose Leslie)? Something tells me that he is too much like his father but this is Game of Thrones and anything could happen.
Meanwhile Robb and his men continued to make their way to the Twins to wed Edmure (Tobias Menzies) to one of the Freys. There were some surprisingly tender scenes between Talisa (Oona Chaplin) and Robb (Richard Madden). The moment when Talisa revealed that she was pregnant felt so human and real, they stopped being mere characters in a pseudo medieval fantasy drama and came across as real people.
In season 3 the sex seems to be much more about love than lust – possibly because in a time of war the next second could be your last. Robb and Talisa’s sex scene has warmth to it, similarly the scenes between Jon and Ygritte oozed more love than pure carnal desire. It is certainly a departure from the hedonistic days of season 1 and 2 in brothels.
The sex in this episode added to the storytelling, although I wasn’t completely sure about girl-on-girl action taking place in Theon’s dungeon, shortly before he lost his manhood. In my mind the scene was more grotesque than Jaime losing his hand because it was warped beyond belief. I could have stomached it if Theon had been killed cleanly in episode 1 but as each week goes by the torture gets worse and more twisted. Clearly, his torturer is taking sadomasochism to a whole new level.
The title of this week’s instalment was an ironic play on words, considering that The Bear and the Maiden Fair is jovial song that everyone in Westeros usually sings at feasts. Brienne’s (Gwendoline Christie) encounter with a huge bear was anything but a jolly affair but luckily she was saved. The Lady of Tarth has never has much luck but this time the odds were in her favour. Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) act of heroism showed that maybe there is an ounce of good in him despite the murder and the incest.
He previously showed some inklings of decency when he stopped Brienne from getting raped. The longer he stays away from the other Lannisters, the better he becomes as a person. As each week goes past, I feel more and more endeared to Brienne and Jaime and want them to make it to the end alive. Both have learned from each other and have become a better as a consequence of this chance encounter.
On the other hand, his twin Cersei (Lena Headey) continues to become more maligned in her ways as she loses grip on her son. Tyrion too is affected by the influence of his family. Despite Shae (Sibel Kekilli) trying to convince him to leave the corruption of the capital, Tyrion knew he could not. He is a realist, tied to wealth, luxury and status. He knows that without these things in this world he is nothing. But at the same time we see his conflict, choosing duty over love.
All in all, The Bear and the Maiden Fair was a fun watch – apart from the castration scene. Jaime and Brienne continued to steal the show again this week. The transformation the Kingslayer has undergone since season 1 is astonishing and I am eager to see more of the new Jaime Lannister. Meanwhile I was less impressed by Arya (Maisie Williams) getting kidnapped by the Hound (Rory McCann) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) discovering he was one of Robert Baratheon’s many illegitimate sons. But things are undoubtedly brewing if Gendry has been brought back to his home. There is of course the upcoming wedding between Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Tyrion, could the smith from Flea Bottom have a part to play?Tagged in: A song of ice and fire, Arya, Baratheon, Cersei, dragon, game of thrones, George R.R. Martin, Joffrey, Jon Snow, Lannister, lena headey, Peter Dinklage, Sansa, Stannis, Stark, The Wall, Tyrion
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