Poor Sansa Stark.

First, she was pledged to marry the despicable, pathetic, cruel, spineless boy-king Joffrey. Now, the Lannisters are plotting to stick her with his even less-attractive uncle, Tyrion.

Granted, to viewers of “Thrones,” if you’re going to have to marry a Lannister, you’d definitely choose the funny, likeable Tyrion. But to 12-year-old Sansa, who has watched Lannisters behead her father, plan to kill her brothers and generally be horrible to her, Tywin Lannister’s plot is going to be a form of mental torture.

Tyrion, too, objects to the Stark-Lannister union.

“That’s cruel. Even for you,” Tyrion tells his father. 

(Remember these families are loosely based on those in the Wars of the Roses.  George R.R. Martin created the Starks to represent House York and the Lannisters are supposed to be House Lancaster.)

Just as Cersei is about to start gloating, Tywin turns on her, too. He tells her she’s going to marry Loras Tyrell, who, you know, isn’t exactly into women. 

Like Tyrion, she refuses, but it remains to be seen whether Tywin can force both of his non-captured children into marriages they oppose.

The camp of the Lightning Lord

The episode began with a sword fight we’d all been looking forward to: Beric Dondarrion (aka the Lightning Lord) vs. The Hound.

Dondarrion immediately lights his sword on fire, which plays on The Hound’s greatest fear. The two men engage in a violent exchange, while Dondarrion’s followers chant, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!” (They're trying to determine, through a trial by ordeal, whether The Hound is guilty of killing the butcher's boy in the first season of "Thrones.")

But the fire also works against Dondarrion, weakening his sword. And just when it looks like Dondarrion will prevail, his sword breaks down and Sandor Clegane delivers a death blow. 

Arya (love her!) charges after him, but is held back.

But all is not lost for Dondarrion. Thoros of Myr, using Melisandre-esque dark magic, breathes life back into him. 

It's the sixth time Dondarrion has died and Thoros has brought him back from the grave, we later learn.

"Every time I come back, I’m a bit less," Dondarrion says. 

Having been found innocent by God (weird way to judge guilt or innocence, right?), The Hound is released from captivity.

Meanwhile, Gendry Baratheon and Arya Stark start flirting. (This is a development that a lot of fans of the books have hoped for.)

"You’d be my lady," he tells her.

(Note: Several readers dispute my interpretation here, arguing that Gendry was merely pointing out class differences with Arya by calling her his "lady." Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but, in my view, Arya and Gendry would make a pretty awesome queen and king, in the end.)