Here there be SPOILERS….

Theon wakes to find Osha missing from his bed and a guard dead in the yard. His day’s not beginning well at all is it? His men let a half wit and a cripple escape. As though it’s a game, he forms a hunting party and sets hounds to hunt them. (Why are all of the “men of power” whinny, spineless, brats that can’t do anything without throwing a tantrum?) Meanwhile, Hodor, Osha, Bran and little Rickon are high-tailing it through the countryside. They’re hungry but too afraid to stop.

Jon wakes with a mild shocker. How else is a guy going to wake when he’s holding a pretty girl?  As they continue their march and much to Jon’s dismay, Ygritte tries to figure how the men of Night’s Watch, or Crows as she calls them, get their jollies. No women? No sheep? Don’t use each other? Oh must use the hands then. The conversation degenerates into a childish argument of whose people were where first and who’s free.

In Harrenhall – Tywin learns that his banner man was poisoned with wolf’s bane. He thinks assassins are trying to kill him. He orders all farms to be burned as a warning. (And this is going to stop assassins how?) His attention then turns to Arya. He hates the mutton that she brought him so he orders her to eat. She tries to refuse but he’s in no mood to be argued with this morning. As he speaks of war and this being his last, Arya thinks the knife she’s using would look quite nice in that spot right behind his ear. (Too slow little Arya. Too slow.) He then goes on to explain what befell Harrenhall. The towers were built to withstand a million men attacking from land. But it fell to dragon fire from above. Arya then schools him on the great Targaryen sisters that rode alongside their brother on those dragons. Tywin eventually dismisses her with a warning, “mi-lord. Low born girls say mi-lord not MY lord. If you’re going to pose as a commoner you should do it properly.” (BUSTED! I knew he’s known all along whom she is! Or at least what she is.) She tries to cover but it’s not working.

In Qarth – Xaro swears to Daenerys that together they will find her dragons. She reminds him that there is no “together” then storms off in a huff. (Each episode she becomes more and more like her brother with these little hissy fits. She needs a swift kick in the ass to remind her she’s a Khaleesi. Maybe she can dump a bucket of molten gold on someone’s head?)

North of the Wall – Jon continues his search for the rest of his group while dragging Ygritte behind him. She continues her argument about how free she is and how Jon can join them. Her argument is beginning to sound appealing. She even offers to teach him to how to do “it.”

Ser Alton delivers the Queen’s answer to Robb’s terms. It’s not what Robb wanted but I’m sure he expected it. She refused. Lady Tallesa arrives to ask for more supplies. (Oh the looks that these two give each other! Makes me all swoony!) To her surprise, Robb agrees to take her to the local Maester to allow her to go through his supplies.

Theon has lost total control of his wits. He’s ready to beat the hounds. (And again with the brat attics?! Grow up!) The hounds are safe today; one of his men finds walnut shells. (uh how do they know that’s what Hodor was feeding the boys?)

Ser Jorah finally returns to Qarth to find a very distraught and disheartened Daenerys. She can’t trust anyone any longer. Jorah still has faith and believes in her. He will do anything for her. Daenerys, “find my dragons.”

Ygritte just keeps on and on about doing “it.” (This is kind of sweet and almost innocent. It’s a much better way to bring home the point that Jon is younger than he looks. Thank the stars Jon isn’t pitching little brat hissy fits!) They might as well do “it,” she says, since that’s the story she’s going to tell his commanding officer. She’s getting under Jon’s skin for sure. Then she makes a break for it again. This time she finds her friends – a lot of friends.

Sansa wakes from a nightmare only to find a another nightmare – she’s started her cycle. The act itself isn’t what frightens her. It’s the realization that the Queen will know Sansa is ready to have children. Her handmaid, Shae, tries to help her remove the bedding but they’re interrupted by another servant. This servant runs off to tell the Queen. Shae chases then threatens the woman with a knife, but it’s a useless gesture. The Dog has already found the scene. Later, Cersei tries to have “that” talk with Sansa. In her own twisted way she tries to help Sansa. She’s a woman now and all that. She tells of her experience of child birth – how the King would leave her to go hunting. He would return and present her with a stag’s head and she would present him a baby. She tells of her brother Jamie’s devotion and insisting to be there during the births. She also warns Sansa that Joffrey will show no devotion but in the end she will find love in the children she bares.  Poor Sansa doesn’t look the least bit comforted.

Ser Alston is placed in the pen with the King Slayer, Jamie Lannister. They take a trip down memory lane. (aaaaaw male bonding – chained to posts, sitting in mud and poo, reliving the good old days.) Alston remembers far more than Jamie. He’d squired for Jamie once. He absolutely worships the ground Jamie walks upon. He remembers every detail of that day he got to be his squire. It was the best day of his life. Jamie latches on to that adoration. He relates a similar tale of his first squiring. (I smell some massive manipulation going on here – course it might just be the crap Jamie’s sitting in.) It’s the kind of thing only they can understand. And there we go – not as eloquent a plan as I’d thought would come from Jamie but… “you only have to do one thing. You’ll have to die.” He then proceeds to beat the ever living life out of poor Alston. And when the guard comes in to check on Alston’s twitching corpse, Jamie jumps on him, strangles him and takes the keys.

In Qarth – the masked woman uses the blood from a ram’s flayed skull to paint protection symbols on a naked man. It’s supposed to protect him when he sails. Ser Jorah cares nothing of the ritual. He’s come looking for the dragons. The masked woman points out that he loves Daenerys.  Shocked but unwavering, he asks again for the dragons. She then asks if he will betray Daenerys again. He answers, “never.” The masked woman, “the thief you seek is with her now.” (I really like this spooky masked woman!)

Daenerys stands in a room with the entire council of 13 of Qarth. (It’s going to be hard to find one thief among so many.) She begs they return her dragons. The Spice King admits that it’s a very good thing the dragons are gone. In his opinion they need to be killed. They’re too dangerous. Well here’s a shocker – the Warlock comes forward to say he will take her to the dragons. He admits they took them and are in the House of the Undying. He made a deal with the King of Qarth. As the council points out, there is no King of Qarth. (Something wicked is a foot.) Well then Xaro steps forward and petitions to be King and the Warlock moves to his side. The council isn’t going to agree, but no matter – a Warlock steps up behind each council member and cuts their throats. Daenerys runs in fear. (I’m not clear on this point. The Warlock wants to take her back to the Tower because the dragons need their mother. Why would she run?) Ser Jorah arrives in time to get Daenerys out.

Jamie’s escape is short lived. He’s dragged and beaten until they reach the center of camp. Catelyn steps in as the guard’s father is about to take his vengeance. She won’t allow Jamie to be killed just yet. It takes every ounce of her spit and fire to get the father to back down. (Catelyn is one tough old wolf.)  Finally it’s the stockades for Jamie.

Tyrion and Cersei discuss their options for the coming war. They agree they’ve lost control of Joffrey. Tyrion, “it’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.” Cersei finally breaks under the weight of her guilt. Tyrion almost breaks and gives her comfort. (It’s fantastic to see the characters we’ve grown to hate are actually human.)

The men in Robb’s camp continue to fight over Jamie. If they continue to drink Jamie won’t last until morning. Catelyn goes to Jamie to talk. (What does she think they’re going to talk about?!?! Really?! Just let the men beat the pretty snot out him!) Instead Jamie does all the talking. It’s like watching a fine battle. Jamie is able to pull up some of the most hateful events of the past and ram them right into Catelyn’s gut. The most powerful being the honor of Ned Stark – or lack of, when he brought home a bastard son. Catelyn asks for Brienne’s sword.

Theon returns to Winterfell. To prove to the people he means what he says, he presents the consequences. He hangs the bodies of two dismembered and burned bodies from the castle walls. The bodies resemble two young boys.

Wow wow! There was a whole lotta whine in this episode and I was all out of cheese! So last week we got a little satisfaction with Joffrey getting a cow pie to the face but this week we get two potentially strong characters (Theon and Daenerys) spiraling into hissy fit bratdom. It seems only the Starks can act as mature individuals. Let’s hope they don’t catch the brat bug in the weeks to come. Thoughts?