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There comes a time for all things within the world created by George R.R. Martin and then beautifully brought to life by HBO. And this season hosts a huge number of those things. Jon Snow lost his virginity, we learn that Cat Stark once showed affection for Ned’s bastard, we encounter giants for the first time, Daenerys Targaryen marches an army, and more. Last night’s episode contained one of our favorite firsts though, a scene that became the true turning point for one character which came directly from the book without change. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

Before we get to this pivotal scene, lets take a look at some of the other goings on in this episode. First, we find Sansa walking with the soon-to-be-queen Margaery Tyrell in the wake of finding out she will soon be wed to Tyrion, the dwarf son of the wealthiest man in the nine kingdoms. This creates tension between Tyrion and his true love, Shae, a whore whom he picked up in a war camp in season one. What’s more, is that Sansa is appalled at the thought of marrying him. The poor guy can’t win for losing. Rob Stark, on his way to attend the wedding of his uncle in order to secure the continued support of House Frey, discovers that the woman he eloped with is with child. Bran Stark, still traveling toward the wall, is learning more about his power to enter the mind of his pet wolf and about the three-eyed raven that follows him around in his dreams. When he reveals that the party will be traveling beyond the wall though, his companion (Osha) becomes angry and claims she will refuse to go. She insists on going to the wall and finding Jon Snow. Snow, has only just returned from the other side of the wall though and he is bringing a whole band of Wildings with him to mount an attack. Arya, betrayed by the Brotherhood without Banners, runs away and nearly escapes until she is caught by The Hound. Across the narrow sea, Daenerys marches her army to the walls of yet another slave trading city and offers them a deal: “release all of your slaves, or die”. The scene sets us up for another epic battle to rival last seasons, Battle of Blackwater Bay. But it is the Kingslayer, Jaime Lannister, that steals the glory of this episode. Newly released and on his way under guard to King’s Landing, Jaime becomes a new man all together. His previous captor, Brienne of Tarth, is now a prisoner and most definitely suffering cruelties at the hands of her captors. Jamie forces his escort to return and finds her thrown in a pit with only a wooden sword to defend herself

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against a bear. Shedding any remnants of the pompous, arrogant, egomaniac that he was – Jaime jumps into the pit and saves Brienne even though he is missing a hand. There, I think that briefly touches on almost everything that happened in just sixty short minutes.

As always, this episode was brilliantly planned. The tension rises and falls like a symphony until the grand note at the very end. The acting is above that found in many modern Hollywood movies and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau deserves the highest round of applause for transforming the despicable character he played into a true knight in shining armor. Oh, and about that bear – it sure as hell didn’t look like CG to this viewer. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: you need to be watching this show! “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” receives the full 