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A Man Without Honor

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"A Man Without Honor" is the seventh episode of the second season of Game of Thrones. It is the seventeenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on May 13, 2012. It was written by executive producers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by David Nutter.

Jaime meets a relative; Theon hunts; Dany receives an invitation.



In the Seven Kingdoms

At Winterfell, now held by the ironborn, Theon Greyjoy awakens to find that Osha is gone and she has escaped with Hodor, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark and their direwolves. Theon berates Lorren for allowing them to escape. When Lorren counters that Theon is also to blame for sleeping with Osha and letting his guard down, Theon furiously beats him. Theon leads the ironborn on horse to hunt down the boys with hounds to track them. The search leads them to a shepherd's farm, but the farmer says that he hasn't seen anyone. Dagmer finds some walnut shells, so they know that Bran and Rickon were there, but the hounds can't get the scent. Theon tells them the hunt is over and to return Maester Luwin to Winterfell: he knows where they are, and his mercy has been exhausted.

Burned bodies

Theon has the burned bodies raised on the walls of Winterfell

Theon returns to Winterfell with two children's bodies burned beyond recognition, and he has them hoisted to either side of the main gate. Maester Luwin cries out when he sees them.

At Harrenhal, Tywin Lannister is discussing the assassination of Amory Lorch with Ser Gregor Clegane. Tywin is convinced that it was an assasination attempt on himself, unaware that Jaqen H'ghar actually killed Lorch on the request of Arya Stark. As Arya eats in the background, Ser Gregor speculates that the Brotherhood Without Banners may have been responsible. Enraged, Tywin orders Gregor to burn out villages and farms in reprisal for this assassination attempt. Tywin now suspects that Arya is highborn, because she doesn't pronounce "M'Lord" the way commoners do, instead saying "My Lord", and possesses an educated vocabulary. Arya makes the excuse that her mother taught her to speak properly.

In King's Landing, Sansa Stark comes to thank Sandor "The Hound" Clegane for saving her life during the recent riot in the city and says that he was very brave. Sandor simply says that a dog doesn't need courage to fight off rats. Sansa is perturbed by his "hateful speech", but Sandor cautions that a day will come when his cynical speech is all that stands between her and her "beloved" King Joffrey.


Sansa and Shae trying to flip the mattress.

Sansa awakens in her bed from a nightmare, only to find the sheets covered in blood - she has begun menstruating for the first time. Given that Joffrey openly promised to rape Sansa to "put a son in you" as soon as she had her blood,[1] she then frantically tries to get rid of the bloody sheets to remove the evidence. Shae tries to help Sansa hide the sheets but Sandor finds them.

Terrified of being brought to Joffrey, Sansa is instead brought before Queen Regent Cersei Lannister, who awkwardly tries to comfort her. Cersei presents Sansa with warped advice on Joffrey, bizarre counseling based on her bitter marriage with King Robert Baratheon. Blithely waving away her son's torment of Sansa and homicidal outbursts she says that her brother Jaime Lannister stayed by her side the whole time she was giving birth to Joffrey, but Sansa should never expect such devotion from Joffrey. Cersei firmly believes that Sansa and Joffrey not being in love is a good thing; she advises Sansa "the more people you love, the weaker you are."

Privately, Cersei meets with Tyrion and expresses regret at having children with her own brother Jaime. She wonders if Joffrey's violent personality is the price of her and Jaime's sins. Tyrion earnestly points out that her other two children, Myrcella and Tommen, are not monsters, and they share an odd moment of sympathy.

Alton's body

Torrhen Karstark discovers the body of Alton Lannister.

At King Robb Stark's army camp in the Westerlands, close to an unidentified keep, Alton Lannister returns as an envoy giving Queen Cersei's response to Robb's peace terms. Robb is unsurprised that she rejected them. The nurse Talisa Maegyr discusses medical supplies she needs with Robb, who decides to attack the Crag to take the supplies they need. Alton is imprisoned with Jaime Lannister. Jaime kills Alton to lure the guard, Torrhen Karstark, into his cell. Jaime strangles Torrhen and escapes, but is soon recaptured. Torrhen was the son of Lord Rickard Karstark, one of the major nobles from the North. Lord Rickard demands Jaime's execution in revenge, regardless of his protected status as both a prisoner of war and a valuable political hostage. Catelyn is forced to argue for Jaime's life. Catelyn confronts Jaime and tells him that he has no honor. Jaime bitterly explains that his vows as a knight required him to defend the innocent and serve the king, but his king was slaughtering the innocent. Jaime considers concepts like "honor" and "loyalty" naive at best and hypocritical at worst. Jaime asserts that he has only been with Cersei and begins to ridicule Eddard Stark, Catelyn's late husband, by bringing up the shame of Eddard fathering a bastard. This brings Catelyn to breaking point and she asks for Brienne's sword.

Beyond the Wall

Jon Snow is still separated from the Night's Watch scouting group led by Qhorin Halfhand. He attempts to locate them, travelling with his Wildling prisoner Ygritte. She argues with Jon, criticizing him for ignoring their common descent from the First Men. She states that the animosity of the southerners to the Wildlings is arbitrary, given that the Wildlings are only distinguished from them by living north of the Wall when it was constructed. She mocks Jon's sexual repression and surmises that he is a virgin. She taunts him by offering to teach him how to have sex. She escapes and leads him into an ambush. Ygritte says that Jon should have taken her when he had the chance.

Across the Narrow Sea

In Qarth, Daenerys Targaryen is desperate to find her stolen dragons. Ser Jorah Mormont returns and she orders him to find them. Xaro Xhoan Daxos claims to be distressed at breaking his promise to protect her, fearing that his word will be publicly seen as worthless. Jorah questions Quaithe of Asshai. Quaithe knows that Jorah once betrayed Daenerys by spying on her. Quaithe warns Jorah that the man who stole the dragons is already with Daenerys. Jorah finds Daenerys, in the company of Kovarro, pleading with the council of The Thirteen to find her dragons. The warlock Pyat Pree confesses to stealing the dragons and declares Xaro the King of Qarth. Doubles of the warlock then magically appear behind the other members of the Thirteen and slit their throats, leaving only Pyat Pree and Xaro. Xaro secretly entered into an alliance with Pyat Pree to become king. They urge Daenerys to find her dragons at the House of the Undying.


Main: A Man Without Honor recap

A detailed recap of the episode scene-by-scene.


Main: A Man Without Honor/Appearances


First Appearances




Guest starring


Cast notes


  • The title of the episode comes from a line by Catelyn Stark to Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer: "You are a man without honor."
  • Tywin Lannister states that the current civil war in the Seven Kingdoms is being called "the War of Five Kings". This is the first time that the conflict has been named on-screen (though the formal name is ultimately the "War of the Five Kings".
  • In the "ThronesCast" interview series, actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who plays Jaime Lannister) mysteriously refers to a scene in this episode as his favorite moment in the series and his favorite scene he's ever acted in. He later explained in the HBO featurette for this episode that he was referring to the scene between Jaime and Alton Lannister.[2]
  • Tyrion made similar comments to Ygritte's back in Season 1 when he visited the Wall, pointing out that the "Wildlings" are basically just those people whose ancestors were unfortunate enough to happen to be living north of the Wall when it was built. Both the inhabitants of the North (south of the Wall, ruled by the Starks) and the Wildlings are descended from the First Men. They have much closer ethnic ties to each other than the foreign Andal invaders who now dominate all of southern Westeros.
  • According to episode director David Nutter, the episode was filmed not long after the footage of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's death was circulating heavily in the news, during which Gaddafi was surrounded by a frenzied mob eager to exact "eye for an eye" vengeance. Nutter said that he was loosely inspired by the visual energy of this footage when he was shooting the scene in which Jaime Lannister has been recaptured after killing Rickard Karstark's son, and is dragged back into camp by an angry mob of Northern soldiers who want to immediately kill him.[3]

Memorable quotes

Shae: [threatens handmaid] "You say nothing to anyone. Do you understand?"


Sansa Stark: "I beg pardon, Ser. I should have come to you after, to thank you for saving me. You were so brave."
The Hound: "Brave? A dog doesn't need courage to chase off rats."
Sansa: "Does it give you joy to scare people?"
The Hound: "No, it gives me joy to kill people. Spare me. You can't tell me Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell never killed a man."
Sansa: "It was his duty. He never liked it."
The Hound: "Is that what he told you? He lied. Killing is the sweetest thing there is."
Sansa: "Why are you always so hateful?"
The Hound: "You'll be glad of the hateful things I do some day, when you're Queen and I'm all that stands between you and your beloved King."

Cersei: [to Sansa] "Permit me to share some womanly wisdom with you on this very special day. The more people you love the weaker you are. You'll do things for them that you know you shouldn't do. You'll act the fool to make them happy, to keep them safe. Love no one but your children. On that front a mother has no choice."                 Sansa: "But shouldn't I love Joffrey Your Grace?"                                                                                                 Cersei: "You can try, Little Dove."

Promotional Images

Promotional video

In the books

This section refers to plot details from the next episode of the series. The episode covers material from the following chapters of A Clash of Kings, book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire:

  • Chapter 21, Tyrion IV: Cersei breaks down about the safety of her children.
  • Chapter 27, Arya VI: Arya recalls the burning of Harrenhal.
  • Chapter 31, Arya VII: Arya recalls the burning of Harrenhal.
  • Chapter 40, Catelyn V: Jaime makes an escape attempt.
  • Chapter 41, Daenerys III: Daenerys considers the invitation to the House of the Undying.
  • Chapter 46, Catelyn VI: Catelyn questions the returning envoy about peace terms.
  • Chapter 51, Theon IV: Theon sleeps with a Winterfell servant. The escape of Bran and Rickon is reported to him and he mounts a hunt. He eventually loses the scent and decides to kill them if he finds them. A subordinate suggests that they are hiding nearby.
  • Chapter 52, Jon VI: Jon speaks with Ygritte as his captive.
  • Chapter 53, Sansa IV: Sansa thanks Sandor for saving her during the riots. She has her first period and is brought to talk to Cersei.
  • Chapter 56, Catelyn VII: Catelyn decides to speak to Jaime, bringing Brienne with her.
  • Chapter 57, Theon V: Theon has displayed the tarred corpses of two children at Winterfell, claiming that they are Bran and Rickon.
  • Chapter 69, Jon VIII: Jon is captured by the wildlings.
  • Chapter 70, Bran VII: Bran recalls fleeing from Winterfell in this chapter but the events are not described from his point of view at the time.

There are several changes from the source material.

  • Scene 1: Theon sleeps with a Winterfell servant in Chapter 50, Theon IV but it is Kyra rather than Osha. Kyra has not been established in the TV series. Kyra does not leave his bed during the night as Osha has here.
  • Scene 2: The body of Drennan is similarly discovered in Chapter 50, Theon IV. Another of Theon's men (Squint) is found in the moat, savagely killed by the Direwolves. The escapees used the hunter's gate to escape but their route is not specified in the show.
    • Because Theon was not seduced by Osha he does not get mocked by Lorren. However, he does beat another of his men (Urzen) when annoyed after the escape.
    • Dagmer remains at Torrhen's Square in the books so is not present. His role is adapted from the book character Reek (actually, Ramsay Snow in disguise) who is a freed captive at Winterfell who assists and advises Theon.
  • Scene 3: Theon hunts for the boys with hounds and horses as in the books.
    • Along with Luwin he also forces Farlen to accompany him rather than having his own Master of Hounds in the books; while Farlen is established in the TV series he does not participate in the hunt.
    • Theon's line about it being better to be seen as cruel than foolish is adapted from an almost identical thought he has in the book.
    • Luwin's comments on hunting and his council about mercy are very similar to the book with the omission of the advice be gentle with the Reed children, who in the books escaped with Bran and Rickon but are absent at this time on the show.
    • In Theons point of view we learn that he had been attracted to Meera Reed, who's character in season 2 was largely composited into Oshas, tho Theon and Meera never had sex.
  • Scene 4: Bran recalls his escape from Theon in Chapter 69, Bran VII.
    • Bran left the castle and then sent the direwolves ahead to form the trail that Theon followed while they hid elsewhere.
    • The boys do not reach a farm before hiding from pursuit.
    • The characters of Billy and Jack do not appear in the books.
  • Scene 5: Jon speaks with Ygritte as his captive in Chapter 51, Jon VI.
    • Jon lets Ygritte go immediately after deciding to spare her in the books.
    • However they spend more time together before Qhorin arrives because Jon and Stonesnake undertook the ambush alone, after climbing the cliff face.
    • They do not sleep next to one another and do not discuss Jon's virginity.
  • Scene 6: Jon speaks with Ygritte as his captive in Chapter 51, Jon VI.
    • Jon reveals his Stark blood to Ygritte at this point in the books.
    • They do discuss their shared ancestry at this point but Ygritte illustrates it more directly by telling Jon the tale of Bael the Bard, a member of the Free Folk who stole away a long dead Lady Stark and fathered her children.
    • They do not discuss the oath of celibacy although Jon does have a similar discussion with another wildling Tormund in book 3 A Storm of Swords chapter 15, Jon II.
  • Scene 7: Arya briefly recalls the burning of Harrenhal in chapter 26, Arya VI.
    • Arya does not serve as Tywin's cupbearer, but Roose's cupbeaer, and does not speak to him directly in the book.
    • Arya thinks more about the burning of Harrenhal when she arrives there in chapter 30, Arya VII but does not touch on the role of Rhaenys and Visenya.
    • Daenerys muses about the history of Rhaenys and Visenya chapter 63, Daenerys V but not specifically about their role in the Wars of Conquest.
    • Dark Sister is not mentioned in A Clash of Kings but was referenced in the Dunk and Egg prequel novellas.
    • Arya does not name Ser Amory Lorch and the Tickler in A Clash of Kings. Her first two names are Chiswyck, a Lannister man-at-arms, and the castle understeward Weese. Since neither are as high profile there is no brutal investigation such as Tywin orders in the show.
    • The deaths at Harrenhal are attributed to a ghost by some, the Brotherhood Without Banners are not suggested as involved.
  • Scene 8: Sansa thanks Sandor for saving her during the riots in chapter 52 Sansa IV.
    • Much of the dialogue here is very similar to the books but the conversation is shorter.
  • Scene 9: Daenerys speaks to Xaro about his proposal in chapter 40, Daenerys III.
    • Daenerys's dragons are not stolen in the book.
    • She speaks to Xaro about his proposal and again rejects it in this chapter but the scene in the show is only loosely analogous to the equivalent point in the book.
  • Scene 10: Jon speaks with Ygritte as his captive in chapter 51, Jon VI.
    • They touch on the wildling cultural differences to the Seven Kingdoms and the importance of their freedom during the discussion.
    • They discuss the possibility of Jon joining the Free Folk.
    • Ygritte does not directly reference Jon's virginity in the discussion.
  • Scene 11 and Scene 12: In the book Ser Cleos Frey (also a Lannister cousin) is responsible for delivering peace terms to King's Landing and he returns in chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
    • His return is to Riverrun rather than to Robb's camp and he is met there by Catelyn, who does not rejoin Robb in the book.
    • There is no Battle of the Yellow Fork in the books.
    • Robb captures Ashemark before marching on the Crag in the books.
    • The Crag is not expected to surrender to Robb in the books.
    • Cleos' return is coupled with an attempt to free Jaime by his escort so when Catelyn questions him she calls him dishonorable; when Robb questions Alton he calls him honorable.
    • Talisa Maegyr is not present in the books.
  • Scene 13: Theon's hounds lose the trail in chapter 50, Theon IV but they are by a stream in the woodland rather than reaching a farm.
    • "Reek" suggests to Theon that the boys may be hiding in a nearby mill rather than Dagmer finding the walnut shells.
    • "Reek" shows Theon that he has brought a bag of Bran and Rickon's clothes with him, suggesting to the reader that he may stage a ruse.
  • Scene 14: Daenerys speaks to Jorah before going to the House of the Undying in chapter 40, Daenerys III.
    • In the book their conversation is focused on the marriage proposal and lack of aid she has received.
    • Since the dragons are not stolen in the book the scene in the episode is very different to the source material.
  • Scene 15: Jon speaks with Ygritte as his captive in chapter 51, Jon VI. Jon is captured by the wildlings in chapter 68, Jon VIII.
    • Ygritte tells Jon that Mance would take him in the chapter 51.
    • Jon lets Ygritte go in the book rather than recapturing her and chasing her a second time. He then rejoins the other Night's Watch scouts.
    • Jon is ambushed and captured while he is still with Qhorin in the book.
  • Scene 16: Sansa has a nightmare about the riots in chapter 52 Sansa IV. This short scene is very similar to the book's description of the dream.
  • Scene 17: Sansa awakens from a nightmare to find that she has had her first period in chapter 52 Sansa IV.
    • Sansa's distraught reaction is similar but in the book, after she has tried to cut away the sheet, she tries to burn the mattress rather than flipping it over.
    • Shae is not serving as Sansa's handmaid at this point in the book and is not present for this scene.
  • Scene 18: An added scene based on a sequence in chapter 52, Sansa IV.
    • Sansa is discovered by her handmaids when her efforts to burn the mattress fill her chamber with smoke. Shae is not present and no-one tries to keep word from reaching the Queen to protect Sansa from being made to sleep with Joffrey, although that is Sansa's main fear in the book.
  • Scene 19: An added scene based on a sequence in chapter 52, Sansa IV. It is Sansa's hand maids who discover her rather than Sandor in the book.
  • Scene 20: Sansa speaks to Cersei about motherhood in chapter 52, Sansa IV.
    • Cersei's tale about the birth of Joffrey is directly from the book.
    • Cersei's advice about love being a weakness has been adapted from the book.
  • Scene 21: Jaime is not a point of view character in the book so there is no analogous scene to this one.
    • Ser Alton does not appear in the books.
    • Cleos was unaware of the plot and was not involved in any manner in the escape attempt. Jaime did not kill him.
    • The "fat Lannister" Jaime mentioned may be a reference to his Aunt Genna, the mother of Cleos.
    • Willem Frey's wedding is not mentioned in the books. Willem Frey is Cleos' son in the books and likely too young to be the character discussed in the scene.
    • Jaime was a squire during the fight with the Kingswood Brotherhood in the book but for Lord Sumner Crakehall rather than Ser Barristan Selmy.
    • Torrhen Karstark was slain by Jaime at the Battle of the Whispering Wood rather than during the escape attempt.
    • Reference is made to Jaime attempting to escape in chapter 39 Catelyn V.
    • Tyrion sent a party of men with the returning Cleos Frey who broke him free of Riverrun.
    • Jaime did kill several men during the escape attempt in the book.
  • Scene 22: Daenerys speaks to Quaithe in chapter 40, Daenerys III.
    • Jorah does not meet with Quaithe alone in the books.
    • Quaithe is similarly enigmatic in the books but her dialogue with Daenerys focuses on her homeland of Ass'hai and the return of magic to the world rather than Old Valyria and the theft of the dragons.
  • Scene 23: Since there is no dragon theft there is no analogous scene to the council meeting in the book.
    • The Thirteen are not murdered in the books.
    • Xaro is not allied with Pyat Pree in the books.
    • The dragons were not stolen in the books, Pree simply invites Daenerys to the House of the Undying.
  • Scene 24: Since there is no dragon theft there is no analogous scene to Pree's repeated invitations in the books.
  • Scene 25, Scene 26 and Scene 27: Reference is made to Jaime attempting to escape in chapter 39 Catelyn V.
    • Jaime Lannister killed Torrhen Karstark, and his brother Eddard, during the Battle of the Whispering Wood.
    • Lord Rickard Karstark is fighting in the Westerlands and while bitter about the deaths of his sons at the Battle of the Whispering Wood is not present to demand vengeance in the book.
    • This sequence is a condensation of longer plot threads in the books.
    • Catelyn therefore does not have to defend Jaime against the vengeance of Robb's bannermen.
  • Scene 28: Catelyn decides to speak to Jaime, bringing Brienne with her in chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
    • Her decision is prompted by receiving news that Theon has hung her sons from the walls of Winterfell.
    • This has not yet occurred in the show so her motivation is the imminent danger to Jaime from her vengeful lords.
  • Scene 29: Catelyn interrogates Jaime in chapter 565, Catelyn VII.
    • The part of their discussion focusing on Jaime attacking Bran already featured in "Fire and Blood."
    • The show omits the discussion of the knife the Catspaw assassin used, which proved to Catelyn that Littlefinger lied to her, and that Tyrion was innocent. Instead, it's just implied that she knows he betrayed Ned and at this point she doesn't trust anything he says.
    • The part of their discussion about the deaths of Rickard and Brandon was adapted for a scene between Eddard and Jaime in "Lord Snow."
    • The part of their discussion about vows and honor is drawn directly from the book.
    • The chapter ends with Catelyn asking for Brienne's sword just as the scene does.
  • Scene 30: Cersei breaks down about the safety of her children in chapter 20, Tyrion IV.
    • It is Myrcella rather than Joffrey that she is concerned about.
    • The moment of awkwardness between Cersei and Tyrion as he goes to comfort her is similar in the book.
  • Scene 31: The moment where Theon reveals the bodies is not covered by the book but occurs between chapter 50, Theon IV and chapter 54, Tyrion XII where Tyrion is told of the news by Varys.
    • More details about the bodies emerge in chapter 56, Theon V.


  1. "Fire and Blood"
  2. "A Man Without Honor" HBO featurette
  3. "A Man Without Honor" HBO featurette
Game of Thrones Season 2
#01 "The North Remembers"#06 "The Old Gods and the New"
#02 "The Night Lands"#07 "A Man Without Honor"
#03 "What is Dead May Never Die"#08 "The Prince of Winterfell"
#04 "Garden of Bones"#09 "Blackwater"
#05 "The Ghost of Harrenhal"#10 "Valar Morghulis"

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