Fiery heat spread throughout Westeros. While The Hound is judged and sent on his way, Jon Snow proves his manhood and Robb Stark learns that his emotional fire may come back to haunt him.

Game of Thrones, Episode 5, “Kissed by Fire”—Season 3 is starting to make its mark with the story picking up the pace towards an epic climax. While wilding Ygritte’s bright red hair is the inspiration for the episode, the fiery heat burned through every character from Jon’s sexual desires, to the flames that brought Beric Dondarrion back to life, the hot steam bath at Harrenhal shared by Jaime and Brienne to Robb’s burning desire to stake his claim.

Back in the Brotherhood without Banner’s cave, little Arya also felt a burn. As Sandor “The Hound” Clegane fights his trial by combat against Beric Dondarrion, she finally thinks she can cross another name off her vengeance list. But when the Hound crashes his sword down on Beric, killing him dead. Thoros then begins to pray over his brother’s dead body while Arya rushes at the Hound yelling, “Burn in hell!” “He will… but not today,” answers Beric, who is miraculously alive. We learn that Thoros has brought back Beric six times from death. After the fight, the Brotherhood takes the Hound’s gold but sets him free. Arya is crushed. Does anything ever go her way? Will the Hound return?

At the wildling camp, Orell and Tormund prod Jon Snow for information about the Night’s Watch’s patrol of the Wall. Because Jon’s response is guarded, Orell accuses him of lying when Jon tells them that 1000 men man Castle Black. Ygritte sticks up for Jon and lures him to a cave.  Alone, Ygritte, who has been burning and yearning for the handsome crow, tells Jon to prove his loyalty and break his vow of celibacy. “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” she says once again as his head lowers down south of her naked body. While the two have sex and bath in a hot spring, once can’t help but wonder how this will change Jon and his loyalties. His storyline has been slow and a lot has been omitted from the book tales but one can only hope more screen time will be dedicated to this story, if not in season 3 but in season 4, which I suspect his adventures, will play out.

His brother Robb’s story will, however, reach a climax this season and soon. Angry with one of his men, Lord Rickard Karstark, for going against orders killing tow Lannister boys, Robb Stark, sentences him to death. Robb’s mother, wife and uncle plead with him to spare Karstark’s life: Robb cannot win the war without him and his men. In fact, he will lose half of his army, if he kills Karstark. The next morning Robb stands his ground as King of the North and takes Karstark’s head. The loss of Karstark’s head results in Robb losing half of his men. Pondering his next move, Robb has the idea to take the Lannister’s home of Casterly Rock and has a plan to recoup his army with the help of Walder Frey, the man whose daughter he was suppose to marry. As much as I root from Robb, one can’t help but wonder if his emotional decisions will be his demise in this war.

Stannis Baratheon’s storyline gets even creepier when we see him visit his wife, Selyse, back at Dragonstone. Selyse knows of Stannis’ affair with the Red Priestess, Lady Melisandre, and approves as she stands before a number of their stillborn baby boys, preserved in jars.

While a whole lot of crazy lives on at Dragonstone, back in King’s Landing, Tywin stirs things up and makes a play against the Tyrells. Learning that the Tyrell’s are making a play for Winterfell and the North by marrying Lores to Sansa, Tywin tells Tyrion that he will instead marry her. Smug with how this makes Tyrion squirm (hasn’t Sansa suffered enough, he says), Cersei gets hers when Lord Tywin tells her that she will marry Loris Tyrell. One thing’s for sure; Tywin has some pretty smart moves.

While every scene in episode 5 was intriguing, the scene that Jaime and Brienne share while in a steam bath at Harrenhal stole the show. Is it possible that Jaime “The Kingslayer” has been misunderstood this whole time? Suffering from his severed hand, he tells Brienne the story of how he got the name Kingslayer. After the Lannisters entered King’s Landing and sacked the city, Aerys not only refused to surrender, he prepared his pyromancers to set the city on fire. Jaime was told to bring his father’s head. Left with no choice, Jaime drove his sword into the Aerys’ back and climbed atop the Iron Throne. Ned Stark found him there and immediately judged him guilty; Jaime never told him the truth. Weak and in pain, Jaime passes out in Brienne’s arms. Even though these two are not romantically involved, they prove to be the most honest couple in the series.

In other news, Littlefinger continues to plan an escape plan for Sansa, but her hopes of marrying Loris are keeping him at bay. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen forges on with her army of Unsullied men. Nothing really new here, but what was interesting was the conversation between Jorah Mormont and Barristan Selmy. Jorah digs to see if Barristan knows his part in trying to get Dany killed on numerous occasions in Season One. It appears he does not. But where does this leave Jorah and Dany?


Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Canada.


—Toni-Marie Ippolito

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