TV REVIEW: Game of Thrones – Season 3 Episode 5 ‘Kissed by Fire’

The Hound faces his trial, Jon Snow settles further into his life beyond the Wall and Tywin creates the future for both Cersei and Tyrion.

The Hound takes on his trial by combat against Beric Dondarrion. Dondarrion loses the trial, meaning that the Hound wins his freedom, aginst Arya’s wishes. Dondarrion loses his life during the trial, but by some magic from Lord Berrick, is brought back to life. Later, as Arya learns she will be sold back to Robb at Riverrun, she wonders whether this magic could be used to bring her father back. It is easy to forget that Arya is anything more than a scared little girl, but underneath all of her cunning and cleverness, this is exactly what she is, and this is revealed through her wishing for her father back. As well as this, it seems Arya is set to lose Gendry from her life, as he decides to stay with the Brotherhood.

At the Wall, after Igrid saves Jon Snow from accusations that he is a liar, she finally gets him to break the vow of chastity that he took when joining the Watch. Igrid and Jon Snow have always had a rather complicated relationship, but it now seems that they have learned how to get along. They actually make a rather great couple, but the union between Crow and Wildling will surely not be tolerated.

Speaking of unions; Brienne and Jaime are delivered to Lord Bolton. Jaime’s hand is patched up and, while sharing a large bath with Brienne, he tells her how he earned the name King Slayer. This is probably the first time Jaime has fully let his guard down with anyone, and it is probably not a coincidence that the first time he lays his inner self bare, he is naked on the outside. There is a lot going on underneath the surface with Brienne and Jaime, and it would not be entirely surprising if the two teamed up in more ways than one, but now that Tywin has made his feelings for his children clear – and seems to be doing nothing to get Jaime back to King’s Landing – then the question is, which side would the duo join? They would certainly be an asset in the fight against the Lannisters…

Cersei and Baelish learn information that puts Sansa’s union with the Tyrells in danger, and also leads to Tywin ordering Cersei to marry a Tyrell and Tyrion to marry Sansa. This is not for love, but for tactical advantage. One thing is for sure, neither union will be a happy one, but this may be a chance for Tyrion to return to form, and lose the browbeaten air he has picked up sine the Battle of Blackwater.

Robb shows some strength in the conviction of the men who killed his Lannister hostages. This leads to the end of his alliance with the Carstarks. Stannis tries to confide in his wife about his misgivings regarding Melisandre, but she is the fan of the Red Woman that he once was. Stannis’s daughter finds her friend Davros and decides to teach him how to read as he languishes in the dungeon, and there is dissention among Daenerys’s ranks, even though the Unsullied – now they have been freed – adore her.

This is the episode of Game of Thrones where everything kicks up a gear; alliances suddenly become dangerous, and plans contrived by those with a little power are suddenly changed by those with much. The show seems to have hit its stride now that the seeds have been sown for the season, and this is where things get truly interesting. Alliances are shifting and changing and it seems that no one is truly safe from those around them. Game of Thrones is always about backstabbing and power struggles, but this episode served to underline the fact that this season will be no different, it just seems – from what we have seen so far – that the power may pass from the strong to the downtrodden. Watch this space…

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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