Not far off, Tyrion and Cersei are bemoaning their roles in their father's arrangement, but not before Tyrion pries out of Cersei that she and Joffrey were responsible for Tyrion's brush with death at the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Despite this grand revelation, Tyrion bares a level of apathy, given the way his father has marginalized his role within the family power dynamic since taking over as Hand of the King.
While Cersei is sullen over her role, she openly hopes Jaime returns to rescue her from her commitment. Tyrion, on the other hand, is much more despondent: "I'm truly f-cked." It doesn't help that he informs Sansa of the new wedding plans in front of secret lover Shae.
It is in the Great Hall where we see how the absence of faith is responsible for Westeros's downward spiral. Varys and Littlefinger have a confrontation about disrupting each other's secret operations. While Varys claims that he was operating for the good of the realm, Littlefinger calls the entire idea of the Seven Kingdoms a lie.
And when faith in that lie erodes, chaos is the true ruler of people, Littlefinger notes. Faith in country, love, or god is a worthless illusion that can be manipulated by those looking to sit at the pinnacle of power, he says.
"Chaos is not a pit, but a ladder," Littlefinger hisses. "The climb is all there is."
That brings us back to the Wall. After nearly plummeting to their deaths when a large chunk of The Wall broke, we find that Jon Snow and the Widlings have completed the Herculean task of scaling the 700-foot-high monstrosity. Ygritte, who was rescued by Snow mid-catastrophe, is in awe of the panoramic views the top of the Wall presents. Overcome with emotion, Snow and Ygritte embrace, solidifying their faith in each other.
Does Littlefinger's "ladder" speech really ring true in Westeros? Is faith really an illusion if it can bond the love of prior enemies, give second life and allow for second chances? Could faith in the realm be the saving grace for the Seven Kingdoms?
- Joffrey Baratheon and Theon's torturer are really racing toward that "most sadistic" title.
- Melisandre says Arya will "shut the eyes" of people with "brown, blue and green" eyes – just something to make a note of.
- The song Tarly sang at the beginning is called "Songs of the Seven." Here are the lyrics.