With all these noble houses and sigils, and lords and ladies indulging their petty squabbles, and political intrigues turning to outright bloody battle - you could be forgiven for forgetting Westeros even has a civilian population. Our occasional reminders are the unfortunate recruits at Castle Black and prisoners at Harrenhal; and the wounded soldiers, tended to by healers like Lady Talisa.
But finally it seems the Andal Spring may have hit Westeros - at least at King's Landing. So batten down the hatches, unleash the dogs of war (or should that be Hounds?) and get ready for another episode of Raven On!
I should remind you that if you read on from this point, you will come across MASSIVE SPOILERS.
By the old Gods, Theon Greyjoy is a cock-snaggling douche crevasse. Sauntering into Winterfell with his saliferous sea-dog sidekicks and demanding Bran Stark yield control of the place. Sweet little thing, he was so brave, but ultimately acted to protect his people, even if they were happy to call Theon out as a scum-sucking piece of arse biscuit.
Mind you, you have to give Greyjoy props for moving quickly. I mean, just last week he was boarding the Sea Bitch with a ragtag bunch of salty misfits - now he's captured Torrhen's Square, then sailed on to Winterfell without so much as a stop for a quick shag.
I've got to dip my hat to Alfie Allen, who plays Theon. He's probably second only to Joffrey now as the lord you love to hate. The expression in his face after his execution of Ser Rodrik went utterly, terribly wrong was amazing. He beautifully conveyed Theon's recognition that in that moment, he crossed a line. If he'd let Ser Rodrik live, there may have been a chance to reconcile with Robb, or at the very least, be exiled back to the Iron Islands or scoot up to The Wall. But now, some part of him - a part he's already blusteringly pretending to ignore - knows he's doomed to be Robb Stark's next mantlepiece favour.
After last week's shocking lack of any nudity, Osha got her baps out for Winterfell and proved she's quite the resourceful friend to Bran and Rickon. I can't wait for their adventures on the run.
I found this image via Regretsy, of all places. Kudos. I'm going to have to consider a Hodor-kini myself next summer.
Speaking of temptresses, Jon Snow finds himself in a chilly conundrum up beyond the wall. Separated from his brothers-in-black after failing to kill a captured female wildling, he finds himself both chasing after her, and cuddling up to her. Jon's inherited a fair bit of the Stark sense of honour, but can he resist the red-haired chick's saucy spooning forever?
Over in Qarth, Danerys is looking smoking hot in her intricately-wrought golden armour, so much so that I really want to lose 20 kilos, dye my hair and take up cos-playing. I can't decide if Emilia Clarke, who plays Dany, is a really good actor, who captures the Khaleesi's occasional bursts of childishness well ("Give me my ships! Now!"), or if her portrayal is just a bit two-dimensional. Either way, the Spice King isn't interested in her cause, she won't marry Zaro, and now someone's taken her dragons. I can only assume it's one of the warlocks, as that stone tower seen at the very end of the episode did look like it could be their hideout, the House of the Undying.
There was some absolutely gorgeous character interplay between Tywin and Arya at Harrenhal this week. I particularly enjoyed the revelation of Jaime Lannister's dyslexia, and Tywin's father almost ruining the family name. They gave such an insight into Tywin's hard-bitten nature. Here is a man who does not tolerate weakness, and yet he is not wholly unkind, as evidenced by his growing fondness for his little cup-bearer.
Robb Stark spent some time cracking onto Lady Talisa, before cracking up at news from Winterfell. "I told you never to trust a Greyjoy!" cried Catelyn. I thought Robb could've been justified in throwing back a "Well, you trusted Littlefinger, so shut up," but it wouldn't be a kingly thing to do. Oooh, Robb. Let me comb your hair and polish your amour... I mean, armour...
But the BIG explosive event this week was the riot in King's Landing. The peasants are revolting! Ah, that joke never gets old. Suddenly and brutally, Joffrey got a karmic kickdown.
It was also great to see the Hound joining in on the comeuppance delivery. "I want them executed!" cries Joffrey. "They want the same for you," growls back Sandor Clegane. And I knew he'd be the one who'd rescue Sansa from marauders. "You're safe now, little bird." There's more to the relationship between those two.
Yay! (Best Moments)
ANGRY LORD TAKING IT IN THE NECK WITH A POISON DART. So, so good. While Creepy Rapey Guy is still a bit creepy, and still a bit rapey, I'm beginning to develop a certain affection for him. But Arya better choose her third victim carefully. I wonder what would happen if she chose him? Would he top himself? I doubt it, but there didn't seem to be any obvious clause precluding him from the picking.
Zing! (Best Line)
As Cersei bade farewell to her little daughter Myrcella, she told Tyrion that she hoped he would know the feeling of true love for someone, then pledged to take that person away from him. OUCH. Watch out Shae.
Eww, gross (a skin-crawl moment)
Apart from Ser Rodrik's beheading? Well, there was Littlefinger's appearance at Harrenhal, and he's always creepy. Plus the sight of all those dead Dothraki guards in Qarth was pretty horrid.
Boo, sucks (a downside)
Still no Stannis. I guess he's still sailing, and that battle is up next week. Until then, my Westerosi chums!