Game Of Thrones: "If You Think This Has A Happy Ending, You Haven't Been Paying Attention."
The Freys' emissaries meet with Robb (Richard Madden) et. al. to discuss the continuance of their alliance. They want Harrenhal, and Edmure (Tobias Menzies) to marry one of Lord Walder's daughters. Edmure balks, at first, but agrees to the wedding after Robb and the Blackfish (Clive Russell) give him the bum's rush.
Ser Loras is totally Prince Charming from the "Shrek" movies.
Back at Harrenhal, Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) agrees to send Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) back to King's Landing, but it turns out the "treasonous" Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) won't be going with him. Knowing what we do about the Boltons (their standard is a flayed man), this could be a problem.
In the scene everyone was probably waiting for, Lord Tywin (Charles Dance) meets with Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg). Tywin plays his hole card by bringing up Ser Loras' "festiveness" and she trumps him with Jaime and Cersei's incest. His threat of putting Loras in the Kingsguard (and effectively ending the Tyrell bloodline) eventually convinces her to concede, however.
All this will come as a surprise to Loras (Finn Jones) and Sansa (Sophie Turner), who are being as romantic as possible, given the circumstances. Cersei (Lena Headey) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), betrothed to the two youngsters, observe and discuss the arrangement, and who may be the worst off (it's Sansa). Even better, he gets to break the news to her himself. Thus endeth Sansa's hopes of escaping King's Landing.
Finally, and second to Tywin/Lady Olenna -- and just beating out Arya/Melisandre -- is yet another verbal joust between Varys (Conleth Hill) and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen). I don't know if Gillen just developed his Dark Knight voice this season, but the way he counters Varys' view of trying to save realm from chaos ("Chaos isn't a pit: it's a ladder") and his off-handed description of how he disposed of Varys' informant (by giving her to Joffrey for target practice) further cements his position as possibly the most dangerous man in Westeros.
So, yeah; not the most action-packed episode, but "The Climb" was full of fantastic performances (Williams, Rigg, Dance, and Rheon chief among them) and provided a brief, albeit tense, intermission before the second half of the season.
Stuff That Will Piss Off Book Purists: I don't recall Osha and Meera quarreling; Jojen didn't have epilepsy; Ygritte didn't make a speech to Jon about staying true to each other; Melisandre and Thoros never met - and she sure as hell never kidnapped Gendry or prophesied to Arya; there was no Lady Olenna/Lord Tywin summit; R.I.P. Ros (Esme Bianco).
Next Week: Yunkai looks to be a tough nut to crack, Brienne is in trouble, and Arya is embracing the Dark Side.