With “Game of Thrones” Season 3 now halfway completed, the HBO series is charging full steam ahead. Many characters had major plot developments during “Kissed by Fire,” from Robb Stark having to make a brutal decision to ensure his authority to Tyrion learning he will have to marry Sansa in order to thwart the Tyrells’ plans for the Stark hostage.
Not every character might have been “kissed by fire” this episode, but the phrase had exciting and surprising connotations for those who were. Jon and Ygritte consummated their season-long flirtation at long last, and it was revealed that Beric Dondarrion has been resurrected by Melisandre’s and Thoros’s “red god,” the Lord of Light, six times. It turns out that red magic does have more practical uses than creating shadow assassins.
Here’s what happened in “Game of Thrones” Season 3, episode 5, “Kissed by Fire.”
With the Brotherhood
What a way to open up this episode. Picking up right from where the storyline with the Brotherhood Without Banners left off, “Kissed by Fire” shows just how powerful the Lord of Light actually is. Thoros of Myr is a red priest just like Melisandre, and he not only blesses the Hound’s fight with Beric Dondarrion, but also is able to bring the Brotherhood’s leader back to life after he is slain.
Though the big reveal of Beric’s resurrection was the most important event to happen in this storyline, it’s worth noting just how awesome the fight between the Hound and Beric was. Considering the Hound’s fear of fire, he fared pretty well against Beric’s flaming sword. Even when his shield is lit on fire, Sandor Clegane keeps fighting and manages to slay Beric by slicing through his sword and cutting his chest in half.
At this point, the too-brave Arya grabs a knife to try to kill the Hound herself. She is held back and shouts at him to “burn in hell.” That’s when Beric makes his triumphant resurrection courtesy of Thoros’ prayer on his behalf, responding to Arya that the Hound won’t die on that day. After all, Sandor was deemed innocent by the Lord of Light because he beat Beric, and thus is allowed to go free.
Needless to say, Arya is pretty ticked off by this turn of events. She later has an interesting conversation with Thoros and Beric where Thoros ultimately tells her that she is going to be ransomed to her brother at Riverrun, and she’s none to pleased about that. Then Beric starts explaining about how Thoros managed to bring him back to life six times, and Arya asks if there’s any way the same magic can work on Ned Stark. Unfortunately for all of us, it can’t. Beric explains that every time he is brought back he feels like he’s a little bit less than he was before, and he seems emotionally and physically worn down.
Things continue to not go well for Arya in this episode as she also loses her closest friend to the Brotherhood Without Banners. Gendry reveals that he is going to stay and smith for Beric and his men, and Arya does her best to try to convince him that he should come with her to Robb instead. “I can be your family,” she tells him, to which he responds, “You wouldn’t be my family. You’d be m’lady.” True words, but still, poor Arya!
With the King of the North
Oh young Lannister hostages, we hardly knew ye. Rickard Karstark murders the two boys early on in “Kissed by Fire,” which forces Robb’s hand to punish his insubordinate behavior. Karstark claims this move was vengeance for the deaths of his two sons, but Robb tells him it’s treason. As a result, the King of the North kills the men who aided Karstark and sentences the lord to death despite being advised to keep him alive. Karstark tells him this is the wrong move because they are kin, but Robb says it was wrong of Karstark to betray him. Right before Robb decapitates him, Karstark tells him, “Kill me and be cursed, you are no king of mine.”
Unfortunately for Robb, the death of Karstark means that half of his forces — those loyal to the Karstarks — have left his cause. He criticizes himself for the fact he’s letting his army fall apart, and feels like his men have lost their motivation because their cause isn’t as clear as it once was. During a conversation with Talisa, he realizes that they should go attack the Lannisters’ home, Casterly Rock — but first they must visit Walder Frey to ask for his army. Don’t forget, Robb was sworn to marry one of Walder’s daughters to form a union between the Starks and the Freys, but Robb married Talisa instead. As has been said many times before, this may have been a mistake, but that remains to be seen.
North of the Wall
Beric isn’t the only one kissed by fire this episode. Jon Snow continues his trek with Tormund Giantsbane and the Wildlings to Castle Black, and Orell tests his loyalty to their cause by asking him to reveal information about the Night’s Watch’s defenses. Jon claims that there are 1,000 men at Castle Black — a number that is probably a lie, for the record — and Orell calls him on it. Fortunately Ygritte comes to his aid, though Tormund makes it clear to Jon that he won’t let Jon’s potential betrayal go unpunished.
But Orell isn’t the only one testing Jon’s loyalty to the Wildlings. Ygritte steals the sword Longclaw away from Jon and leads him into a cave, all the while teasing him. There she strips down — hey there, naked Rose Leslie — and tells him to break his vow to the Night’s Watch by sleeping with her, which he does with little to no resistance.
It seems as though Jon knows exactly what to do to a woman, even though he is a virgin. In their adorable post-coital scene, she teases him for his innocence and explains that she is “kissed by fire” because of her red hair. Then they spend some time splashing around in the cave’s hot spring and Ygritte tells Jon, “Let’s not go back. Let’s stay here a while longer. I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow. Not ever.” If only life could be so simple, but this is “Game of Thrones” we’re talking about.
Jaime and Brienne likely aren’t expecting the surprisingly civil reception they get when Locke finally brings them to Harrenhal. There Roose Bolton greets them by cutting Brienne’s bonds and teasing Jaime by making him think his sister (and lover) Cersei is dead. But despite that cruel reception for Jaime, at least Bolton has the former maester Qyburn tend to the Kingslayer’s arm. Qyburn reveals he lost his maester’s chain because he was conducting “bold” experiments. That doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence in his skills, and Jaime refuses to be anesthetized while Qyburn cuts and sterilizes his arm-stump.
Following the procedure, Jaime joins a very surprised Brienne in the bath. Yes, it wasn’t only Ygritte and Jon who strip down in “Kissed by Fire,” as we get to see plenty of both Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau‘s skin as well. Much to Brienne’s mortification, Jaime decides to bathe in the same large tub as her and continues his streak of mocking. When she finally gets upset enough to stand nude in front of him, he apologizes to her and tells her he trusts her and would like a truce.
Whether it was to prove his point or just because he is delirious after his arm was operated on, Jaime starts revealing his side of the story about why he is nicknamed Kingslayer. It’s common knowledge that Jaime earned the title because he killed the Mad King Aerys while he was a member of the Targaryen ruler’s kingsguard, but he explains that he only did so because Aerys had demanded Jaime kill his father Tywin and planned to burn down all of King’s Landing with wildfire that had been stored under the city (the same wildfire Cersei and Tyrion found in Season 2). It was only then that Jaime found himself forced to kill Aerys. Jaime asks Brienne if she would had been able to follow Renly’s orders if he had asked her to murder a city and kill her own blood.
“I don’t think he expected to die,” Jaime says of Arys. “He meant to burn with the rest of us and die together, reborn as a dragon to turn his enemies to ash. I slit his throat to make sure that didn’t happen. That’s where Ned Stark found me.” When Brienne asks why Jaime didn’t just tell Ned his side of the story, he says it’s because the Stark had already judged him guilty. So too had Brienne, and it’s clear from the way she catches him when he collapses that she’s starting to warm to him.
In King’s Landing
Leave it to Cersei and Littlefinger to uncover the good turn of events the Tyrells were planning for Sansa Stark. Cersei, who is right to mistrust the Tyrells, turns to Petyr Baelish to see what he can uncover about their plotting, and he sends one of his men to woo his way into Loras Tyrell’s bed. It doesn’t take much effort for him to succeed, and soon Loras has revealed to the man, Oliver, that he is set to be married to Sansa.
Of course, Varys and Lady Olenna had plotted to marry Sansa to Loras in order to prevent her being taken away by Littlefinger, so it’s terrible news that he has learned of it. When Baelish discovers the Tyrells’ plot, he not only reveals it to Cersei but also meets with Sansa to tell him he will be able to help her escape soon. When she says she might prefer to stay in King’s Landing — so as not to endanger his life, of course, though in reality she would rather escape to Highgarden with Loras — he tells her he’s her “true friend” and will do whatever she desires. He obviously doesn’t mention his own plotting of course.
Meanwhile, Tyrion meets with Lady Olenna to try to get her to either contribute money for the upcoming Royal Wedding or get her to spend less money on it. She reprimands him for not considering how much the Tyrells have already given to the crown and reminds him the Royal Family is supposed to pay for the wedding — though she still offers for the Tyrells to pay for half of it anyways. Tyrion proudly takes this victory to his father, though he soon discovers Tywin has other plans in the works.
Cersei has revealed the Tyrells’ plot for Sansa to her father, and his solution to prevent the Tyrells from getting the “key to the North” is for Tyrion to marry her. Tyrion seems to be more horrified for Sansa over this turn of events than he is for himself, but Tywin won’t listen to his son’s complaints. “You’ll wed her, bed her and put a child in her. Hopefully you’ll be able to do that,” Tywin says, causing Tyrion to mention his previous marriage, revealed previously, in a moment of anger.
It’s worth noting the fact that Sansa will likely want to escape with Littlefinger again once she discovers Tyrion is her intended instead of Loras, but that’s likely why the former Master of Coin revealed the Tyrells’ secret plot to Cersei. The Queen Regent also gets more than she bargained for in this deal, as Tywin reveals she is going to marry Loras in place of Sansa. She begs him not to make her do this “again,” but he tells both his children to do as they’re ordered.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Stannis’ wife Selyse, and she has only become more devout to the Lord of Light in the time since she first appeared in Season 2’s premiere, “The North Remembers.” In fact, Selyse is so devout that she considers the fact her husband cheated on her with Melisandre to be the Lord’s work, and says she wept when Melisandre told her that the red priestess had given Stannis a son — even if that son was just a shadow baby. To prove how obsessed Selyse is with her inability to produce a son for Stannis, it’s revealed that she has kept her three unborn children in jars in her room to stare at. Terrifying.
Of course, Selyse did produce Stannis a daughter, even if she doesn’t think very highly of the child. Stannis goes to see the young Shireen, and it’s revealed that her face is malformed by greyscale, a disease that turns the skin stone-like. Shireen is adorable and it’s a shame her parents both look upon her with disgust, because she seems to be the sanest one in their family. She asks her father about Davos, who she views as a friend, and Stannis firmly says that the Onion Knight is a traitor and that his daughter “best forget him.”
As children are wont to do, Shireen ignores her father’s wishes and goes to visit Davos in the dungeon. Their exchange is very cute, and it’s clear that they have a much closer relationship than Shireen does with her father. She brings Davos a book about a Targaryen named Aegon conquering Westeros with his dragons, and when she learns that Davos can’t read, decides to teach him how to do so.
Across the Narrow Sea
Speaking of conquering Westeros, Daenerys is continuing to set up her Unsullied army. The newest additions to her entourage are on the march, and she takes a break to meet with the Unsullied officers to dole out orders to her many followers. She meets their leader, a man named Grey Worm, whose loyalty proves how much the Unsullied respect her. While all is going well in that corner of her military planning, Dany’s two most trusted allies seem to be butting heads.
Dany still doesn’t know that Jorah was once acting as an informer for Varys, and he likely wants to keep it that way. Jorah seems to be uncertain if Barristan knows his secret, though. Barristan certainly hints at it as he brings up the fact that King Robert wanted Dany dead, but also says he wasn’t privy to Robert’s Small Council meetings, meaning he might not have known Jorah was Varys’ agent. Whatever his knowledge is, it certainly sounds like a threat to Jorah when he says, “If we are truly her loyal servants, we will do whatever needs to be done.”
– In the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, Shireen Baratheon’s only friend isn’t Davos, but rather Dragonstone’s court fool, Patchface. That character seems to be absent from the “Game of Thrones” TV series. Patchface has a mysterious origin as a jester slave from Volantis, but after he was shipwrecked in his youth, his body and mind were broken by the incident.
– Though Ygritte is described as “kissed by fire” because of her hair color, this episode’s title also applies to Beric Dondarrion because the “Lord of Light’s kiss,” the death rite administered to him by Thoros, brought him back to life.
Ygritte of her romance with Jon Snow in the cave: “Let’s not go back. Let’s stay here a while longer. I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow. Not ever.”
Robb of the man who begs to not be hanged: “This one was the watcher. Hang him last so he can watch them die.”
Tywin of Tyrion needing to marry Sansa: “You’ll wed her, bed her and put a child in her. Hopefully you’ll be able to do that.”