Second Sons

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"Second Sons"
Game of Thrones episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 8
Directed byMichelle MacLaren
Written byDavid Benioff
D. B. Weiss
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byChris Seager
Editing byFrances Parker
Original air dateMay 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)
Running time56 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Bear and the Maiden Fair"
Next →
"The Rains of Castamere"
Game of Thrones (season 3)
List of Game of Thrones episodes

"Second Sons" is the eighth episode of the third season of HBO's fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 28th episode of the series. The episode was written by executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and directed by Michelle MacLaren. It aired on May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19).

The episode is centered on the wedding of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark in King's Landing, Gendry's arrival at Dragonstone and Daenerys's meeting with the mercenary company of the Second Sons before the walls of Yunkai.


In King's Landing[edit]

With their wedding hours away, Tyrion visits Sansa to ease her apprehension at the prospect of being his wife. In the Sept of Baelor, Cersei threatens Margaery with the story of House Reyne, former Lannister vassals whom Tywin exterminated when they rebelled against him. After arriving at the Sept, Sansa is walked down the aisle by Joffrey, and they get married.

At their wedding feast, Tyrion gets very drunk, irritating both Sansa and Tywin. Joffrey, after threatening to rape Sansa, calls for the traditional bedding ceremony to begin, but his plan is thwarted when Tyrion threatens to castrate an outraged Joffrey. Tywin defuses the situation, and Tyrion is able to avoid punishment by using his intoxication as an excuse. Tyrion leaves the feast with Sansa, and though Tywin has ordered Tyrion to consummate his marriage, he tells Sansa he will not share her bed until she wants him to.

At Dragonstone[edit]

Melisandre returns to Dragonstone with Gendry and takes him to see Stannis, who recognizes Gendry as one of Robert's bastards. When Gendry is taken to his chamber, Stannis and Melisandre discuss what they intend to do with him.

In the dungeons, Davos continues to learn to read. Stannis visits him to discuss Melisandre's plan to sacrifice Gendry. Davos objects to the plan, but Stannis remains resolved. He then makes Davos swear to never raise his hand to Melisandre again, and frees him.

Later, Melisandre visits Gendry and seduces him, tying him to a bed in the process. Having earlier stated that there is "power" in Gendry's kingly blood, she lays three leeches on him to draw his blood. Stannis enters and ritually burns the leeches, speaking the names of the usurpers to his throne: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon.

In the Riverlands[edit]

Arya tries to kill the Hound while he is sleeping, but he is revealed to be awake, and thwarts her attempt on his life. They depart their camp and head for the Twins, where the Hound intends to ransom Arya to Robb.

At Yunkai[edit]

Jorah tells Daenerys that Yunkai has employed a mercenary group called the Second Sons, which is led by an extremely vulgar man named Mero. Daenerys meets with Mero, his co-captain Prendahl na Ghezn and his lieutenant Daario Naharis. She attempts to bribe Mero to renege on his deal with Yunkai and fight for her, and gives him two days to make a decision. In the Second Sons' camp, the three leaders plot to kill Daenerys that night, with one of them sneaking into her camp.

After nightfall, Daario enters Daenerys' camp, disguised as an Unsullied soldier. He enters her tent and shows her and Missandei the severed heads of Mero and Prendahl, admitting that he is smitten by Daenerys and killed his superiors after disagreeing with the plot to kill her.

Beyond the Wall[edit]

Sam and Gilly continue their journey to the Wall. They stop at an abandoned hut for the night. When they hear a murder of crows cawing nearby, Sam leaves the hut to investigate. Soon after, he is attacked by a White Walker. The Walker moves towards Gilly, intent on taking her son, but Sam stabs it with his dragonglass dagger, causing the Walker to disintegrate. Sam and Gilly then flee into the night.



The episode was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

"Second Sons" was written by the show creators and executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on material from George R. R. Martin's novel A Storm of Swords. The episode adapts parts of the book's chapters 19, 29, 37, 43, 47 and 48 (Samwell I, Sansa III, Davos IV, Daenerys IV, Samwell III and Arya IX).[1]


The episode introduced the mercenary captains in service of Yunkai: Mark Killeen was cast as Mero (known as the Titan's Bastard), Ed Skrein the recurring role of Daario Naharis, and Ramon Tikaram the part of Prendahl na Ghezn. Tikaram is mistakenly credited as "Ramon Tikrum" in the closing credits.

Filming locations[edit]

Most of the scenes of the episode were shot in the Belfast studios of The Paint Hall, including the wedding of Tyrion and Sansa that was filmed at the huge semicircular set of the Great Sept of Baelor in mid September 2012. For this scene, a few hundred extras were recruited.[2]



The episode received 5.1 million viewers, an increase from the previous week, with an 18-49 demographic of 2.6.[3] In the United Kingdom, the episode was seen by 0.907 million viewers on Sky Atlantic, being the channel's highest-rated broadcast that week.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

"Second Sons" received critical acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes surveyed 20 reviews of the episode and judged 100% of them to be positive with an average score of 8 out of 10. The website's critical consensus reads, " 'Second Sons' shines through efficient storytelling -- and a comparatively low number of storylines to keep track of this week."[5] Writing for IGN, Matt Fowler rated the episode a 9.0/10, and wrote "This week's well-crafted and wonderfully acted Game of Thrones gave us a cold wedding, a hot bath and a blood-letting." He especially praised the scenes between Sansa and Tyrion and between Ser Davos and Stannis.[6] David Sims and Emily VanDerWerff, both writing for The A.V. Club, gave the episode "B" ratings. Sims was frustrated by the episode's meandering pace, but praised the end of the episode, with Sam killing the white walker, as "the most crucial, fascinating, electric moment of the night".[7] VanDerWerff praised the use of nudity in the episode, writing "...I actually think Game Of Thrones has gotten quite a bit better at utilizing nudity and sex in the midst of everything else as a method of telling its story. It’s come a long way from the 'sexposition' days of season one, when it sometimes seemed like the series would toss some breasts into the background of a scene just in case we got bored of hearing somebody talk at length."[8]


Due to his nomination, Peter Dinklage submitted this episode for consideration for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.

At the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the episode was nominated for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series.[9]


  1. ^ Garcia, Elio. "EP308:Second Sons". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Day 73: A big event in Belfast". 19 September 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. ^ Glover, Daniel (May 19, 2013). "Game of Thrones: Second Sons Sunday Night TV Ratings". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "Top 10 Ratings (20 - 26 May 2013)". BARB. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Second Sons". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Fowler, Matt (May 19, 2013). "Game of Thrones: "Second Sons" Review". IGN. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Sims, David (May 19, 2013). ""Second Sons" (for newbies)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  8. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (May 19, 2013). ""Second Sons" (for experts)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  9. ^

External links[edit]