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GAME OF THRONES Re-Throned: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (S3, E7)

GAME OF THRONES Re-Throned: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (S3, E7)

Winter is coming, but not soon enough. So to help pass the time until season seven of Game of Thrones, we’re doing a weekly re-watch of the series, episode-by-episode, with the knowledge of what’s to come and—therefore—more information about the unrevealed rich history of events that took place long before the story began. Be warned, though: that means this series is full of spoilers for every season, even beyond the episode itself. So if you haven’t watched all of the show yet immediately get on that and then come back and join us for Game of Thrones Re-Throned.

Because the next best thing to watching new episodes is re-watching old ones.


Season 3, Episode 7: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

Original Air Date: May 12th, 2013
Director: Michelle MacLaren
Written by: George R.R. Martin

It’s easy to presume that by the time we get to the end of Game of Thrones the warring factions and houses of Westeros will be able to cast aside their meaningless battles over who sits on the Iron Throne so that they may come together to take on the real enemy, the army of the dead led by the White Walkers. But such an assumption might be wrong, very wrong, as evidenced by something Tywin Lannister does in this episode, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.”

The Hand of the King is summoned by his grandson, King Joffrey, who wants to know why he isn’t being kept up to date and consulted on vital matters (because you’re a buffoon you psychotic little boy), especially in regards to the reports that Daenerys Targaryen has managed to hatch three dragons.


Tywin is surprised and unhappy to hear that Joffrey knows about this, but confirms the rumors are apparently true. Joffrey wants to do something about it—much like his “father” King Robert Baratheon once wanted to assassinate Daenerys when she married Khal Drogo—but just like then he is advised not to worry about it. (Lets face it, Robert was right about the threat she posed with a khalasar, and Ned was wrong to dismiss it.)

Tywin says, “Curiosities on the far side of the world are no threat to us,” dismissing the dragons as most likely being small, stunted freaks, like the last known dragons were. Joffrey is worried that they will grow to be like the dragons Aegon and his sisters rode, though, when they conquered Westeros (a reality with which his mother will soon have to deal).

But why would Tywin be so dismissive of the potential threat posed by dragons owned by the only living (so they think) Targaryen? He knows his history; he once explained to Arya how Aegon changed warfare forever riding dragons. Tywin isn’t stupid, far from it, but he fails to see what is really happening here. How can someone with such a great strategic mind get this so wrong?


It’s because he is distracted by his plans to have Walder Frey and Roose Bolton kill Robb and his forces at the Red Wedding. The current matter of holding on to power blinds him to an even greater threat to his position, even though it is a threat that can’t be so easily defeated at a party.

Out of sight, out of mind.

But if one of the smartest, most cunning men in the history of Westeros couldn’t recognize a clear and present danger to his family’s rule, why would we imagine that others will rise to the occasion when an even greater threat marches on the Seven Kingdoms. Dragons have been gone for nearly 200 centuries, but people know they existed, people know they were real. Meanwhile the White Walkers are just a myth from thousands and thousands of years ago. If dragons in Slaver’s Bay don’t feel like a pressing matter, a legend beyond The Wall is even less real.

So while it might seem inevitable that the wars of men will soon prove trivial compared to the war between the living and the dead, it doesn’t guarantee the men and women of Westeros will recognize that before it’s too late.


Robert and Joffrey were both bad kings, but sitting on the Iron Throne gave them a unique perspective to understand the dangers that come with wearing the crown, and they understood that tomorrow’s threat needed to be dealt with today, otherwise it could be too late.

Will that be true with the White Walkers? Will the living be too slow to recognize the real danger they all face?

Or worse, is it already too late?

What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments below.

Images: HBO

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