So, I want to start the conversation but I can't wait for Game of Bones or the analysis on io9. I might have some mini-spoilers on here but I will try not to be a total jerk about it for those who haven't read the books.
The first scene opens up with Thoros of Myr saying a prayer to the Lord of Light before the trial by combat of Beric and Sandor. The Brotherhood Without Banners repeats the prayer as they are believers of R'hllor, same as Stannis' crew. Beric seems to be a small guy, but that makes him more heroic in my eyes. Beric fights well against the Hound, pushing all his fire-fearing buttons by magically lighting his sword on fire, kicking the Hound into fire, setting his shit on fire, but he is ultimately killed. Arya is understandably bummed out to the Hound's amusement. However, Thoros' god has brought Beric back to life to throw out some postmortem trash talk. So far, out of all the pantheons of the series, R'hllor seems to have the most juice. Also, am I the only person that read the books and imagined Thoros as a black guy?
Back to Jon Snow beyond the wall. There is a scene where Yoren and Thurmond question Jon about troops in the Nights Watch, and Ygritte steps in again to save him. After Thurmond throws Yoren to the ground like a sack of dog shit (like he is) Ygritte steals Long Claw and leads Jon Snow into a sex cave to test his vows. Its about time, as I had almost forgotten these two liked each other in the show. This scene hit me right in the feels, as Ygritte looks a lot like the ex I wanted to marry and JON SNOW STAY IN THE CAVE FOREVER YOU IDIOT. Jon Snow goes down on Ygritte because he is cool like that.
Jaime and Brienne are passed over to Lord Bolton. Bolton seems pissed at his henchman that cut off Jaime's hand and seems kind to Brienne, but he still fucks with Jaime a little by making him think something horrible happened at King's Landing for a few tense seconds. Jaime is sent to Qyburn to have his stump cut at. Its revealed that Qyburn is not a maester because his experiments were too fucked up for them. Jaime says he will forgo milk of the poppy in favor of screaming loudly.
There is a brief scene where Cercei asks little finger to dig up shit on the Tyrells, but then it quickly moves to a scene with Tyrion being schooled by the Queen of Thorns. Tyrion is clearly off his game this season, and the Olenna Tyrell lets him squirm for a bit, displays some of her intellect, before finally agreeing to pay for half the royal wedding. It is clear she is the brains behind the Tyrell family.
Gendry is repairing Berics armor and he tells Arya that he wants to stay with them. Arya is heartbroken because they were so close to meeting up with Robb together. Gendry and Hot Pie were her wolf pack, and now she is down to a lone wolf. Gendry says he wants to join the Brotherhood because they are a family, and Arya says that she could be Gendry's family [explosion of tears from my eyes] but Gendry doesn't want that, she is highborn and they would not be equal.
In the next scene, Lord Karstark kills the young Lannister prisoners while in captivity as revenge for his son being killed by Jaime Lannister. Against the wishes of his wife and his mother, Robb decides to execute Karstark (who was talking SO MUCH SHIT there wasn't really another choice). During the execution, Karstark curses Robb while the Theon theme plays (which I will hereby know as the "bad decisions theme").
Thoros, Beric, and Arya have a cool scene where they talk about how many times Beric has been killed and brought back to life (6). Beric admired Arya's father, Nedd Stark, but Thoros is doubtful he can bring him back to life, he still doesn't understand his powers (he sees himself as a drunk that the god works through).
Stannis meets with his wife, a devout follower of R'hllor, on his way to hang out with his daughter. His wife blames herself for not giving him sons and is totally stoked that he fucked the Red Priestess. She keeps beakers full of dead babies like Barbara Bush.
Stannis seems a bit softer with his daughter, who is locked up with grey scale, an affliction that can kill adults but is not fatal in children. He relates that her buddy Davos, the Onion Knight, is a traitor, and is so uncomfortable that he grimaces and bails.
Finally we get to the Jaime/Brienne bath scene. Jaime arrogantly hops in the tub with Brienne even though there is a perfectly good tub next to her and spills the beans on why he broke his oath to the Mad King. By killing the king he not only avoided a confrontation with his father but he also single-handedly (ha) saved the people of Kings Landing. In this scene we see both their butts, and they are top notch. We also see them both openly care about each other, which is almost hotter.
Okay, this took me longer than I thought and I better hit the sack. Stannis' daughter teaches Davos to read and Tyrion is told to marry Sansa, while Cercei grins like a cheshire cat (until she is told by Tywin that she has to marry Loras).