Sandor Clegane has his fight with Beric Dondarrion to determine whether he was guilty of murdering Mycah the butcher's boy. And even though Beric has a flaming sword, Sandor wins, which means he's innocent! It should also mean that Beric is dead, but Thoros brings him back to life for what turns out to be the sixth time. See, this is why you always want to have a Cleric in the party. Sandor Clegane is given an IOU for his gold and sent on his way. Gendry decides to stay with the Brotherhood, so all that's left is to take Arya to Robb and hand her over for some money. I'm sure that will go perfectly!
Brienne and Jaime get dragged to Harrenhal, where Lord Bolton turns out to be much more friendly toward them than everyone expected. Jaime gets some crude surgery to have all the gross dead flesh scraped off his arm stump, but he refuses to have his arm cut off. Hey, you don't want to lose an arm like that. I hear he has a right elbow which people come miles to see. Then Jaime interrupts Brienne in a giant bath, which means we get to see both characters naked from behind. We also hear Jaime's explanation for why he killed the Mad King Aerys Targaryen. It's a good scene!
Quick hits! Up north, Jon Snow has been forced to give up some information about the Night's Watch defenses so that he can maintain his cover. He's also lured into a cave where he has sex with Ygritte, but there wasn't much force involved. More mouth stuff than she's used to, though. At Riverrun, the Karstarks kill the two young Lannisters that Robb was holding as hostages, so Robb has to make a stand. He executes Lord Karstark, which makes him look very stern but also makes him lose half of his army. So he has to come up with a new battle plan, which is to attack Casterly Rock. And Stannis Baratheon is still at Dragonstone, where he turns out to have a daughter with a skin disease. She sneaks down to the dungeon to see Davos so she can teach him to read.
In King's Landing, the Tyrells and Lannisters step up their political squabbling. Tyrion has to ask Olenna Tyrell to pay for half of the royal wedding. And she agrees, although not before zinging him mercilessly. Cersei tells Littlefinger to find out what the Tyrells are planning, and he promptly gets a boy into bed with Loras. Armed with the knowledge that the Tyrells want to marry Loras to Sansa, Tywin steps in. He's going to have Loras marry Cersei instead! And Sansa? Oh, she gets to marry Tyrion.
Last week: "Dracarys!"
This week: let's see who's left in the credits, shall we? King's Landing, that makes sense. There are a lot of people there. Harrenhal, I guess so. That's where Jaime and Brienne were being taken. Riverrun, sure. Robb and Catelyn are still there. Winterfell, I don't know about. No one's been there for some time. I guess there's a chance that Theon's there, but you'd think he'd recognize the place. The Wall can be a stand-in for the characters to the north, I guess. And we whoosh across the sea to... Yunkai! It's just north of Astapor, still on the shore of Slaver's Bay. Update your personal maps accordingly.
"Lord, cast your light upon us." Ah. Thoros appears to be some kind of fanatic. He's praying to the Brotherhood's campfire, which I guess is the stand-in for the Lord of Light. Thoros prays for the Lord of Light to strike Sandor Clegane down if he's guilty, but give him strength if he's true. His prayer ends with words we've heard before: "For the night is dark and full of terrors." Sandor will be fighting Beric Dondarrion, who doesn't get a shout-out in Thoros's prayer. Thoros cuts Beric's palm, then hands him a sword. Beric touches the sword to his wounded hand, and the sword suddenly erupts into flame. Neat! Sandor also gets a sword and shield, but they're not as cool. He's definitely behind on style points.
The fight is characterized by large men swinging large swords at each other. Except one of the swords is on fire, which doesn't freak Sandor as much as I thought it would. After all, fire freaks him out so much that it made him leave King's Landing. I also like to think he just got fed up with the whole war. He doesn't even lose control when the course of the fight results in him stumbling into the fire itself. This is a small cave, so men (and Arya) are constantly stumbling out of the way. Sandor is a huge man, so he's able to chop Beric's shield in two. But then Beric starts attacking more strongly and Sandor's shield catches on fire. That seems suboptimal. He fights Beric off, and then has to waste some time hitting his own shield to put out the fire. Beric ends up on his knees, holding up his flaming sword to protect himself. And Sandor chops all the way through it and into Beric. The flaming sword is broken in two and Sandor's sword drives at least a foot through Beric's shoulder and into his chest. Beric falls.
Thoros runs over and starts praying over Beric's body. Arya grabs a knife and runs at Sandor, but she's pulled away, which is probably good news for her since no matter how angry she is, she's still maybe a quarter of Sandor's size. Sandor comments that their god must like him more than her "butcher's boy." Arya yells, "Burn in hell!" And Beric says, "He will. but not today." Hey, didn't he die in the last paragraph? Trial by combat seems like it has lower stakes if you have a combatant who doesn't stay dead. Oh, and his shoulder got fixed so now it's attached to his chest properly.