That's Not Wine
The episode picks up mere moments after last week's episode ended, with Jon Snow marching from The Wall toward certain death. He reaches Mance Rayder's camp quickly, and he masks his last-ditch assassination mission as a discussion of peace. Mance makes it clear that all he and his men want is to use The Wall as shelter from the horrible things that Winter is about to bring to their doorstep. However, before an agreement can be arranged, Jon's true reason for being there is made clear.What did we learn?
-The giant that was killed in the hallway last episode was a King giant named "Mike the Mighty." In a world full of bizarre and intricate names, it seems like George R.R. Martin phoned this one in.
Here Comes the Cavalry
Just before things between Jon and Mance get really complicated, Stannis arrives with his own army to complicate things even further. On Melisandre's command, they have come to take the Free Folk prisoner and end the war on The Wall. Jon introduces himself to Stannis and attempts to save Mance from him. Then he advises that they burn the dead bodies - after all, he has seen what happens to corpses left to their own devices. After Maester Aemon says a few words for the fallen men of the Battle, Jon has a special private ceremony to burn Ygritte's body.What did we learn?
-Based on the very ominous / amorous eyes she was throwing him in the funeral scene, Melisandre may have plans for Jon Snow.
The Mountain Is Alive
Q: So, did The Mountain die, too? Or...
As it turns out, Oberyn Martell coated the tip of his battle spear with the venom of a manticore, and The Mountain is now infected. Maester Pycelle is convinced that he is doomed, but the creepy doctor who performed Jaime's amputation (Qyburn) is convinced that there is something that can be done. Cersei allows him to do some weird Dr. Frankenstein stuff to him, even after he warns that he may be "different" afterwards. Khal Drogo different? That's yet to be seen.What did we learn?
-Apparently Oberyn was called the "Red Viper" because he poisoned all his weapons before battle. Kind of unfair... in retrospect.
-It was hard not to think of the old 90s cartoon "Dexter's Laboratory" when Maester Pycell proclaimed "this is my laboratory!" to Cersei.
Confession Time with Cersei
Cersei goes to Tywin to once again refuse her upcoming marriage to Loras Tyrell. Tywin scoffs at this idea and, once again, reminds her that it is not her decision to make. She then admits her horrible secret that everybody already knows: King Tommen's true father was not Robert, but her own twin brother Jaime. Tywin's pride is too great to accept this imperfection in his family, as usual. Cersei backs up her confession up by going to Jaime and banging him on a big slab of rock.What did we learn?
-Even after she sentenced his beloved little brother to death, Jaime cannot resist Cersei.