There's rarely a bit of humor in this series, and that's fine because it means more room for wanton sex and bloody decapitation. But the conversation between Tarty and Snow this week was chuckle-worthy, but for it's inherent, well, maleness. The two have taken oaths of celibacy -- or have they? Tarty smartly points out that what they actually, literally swore to was A: Do not take a wife, and B: Do not father a child. Hell, he thinks, we are basically a couple of frat guys when you get right down to it.
Jon Snow, being of levelheaded (at least when not in caves with redheads) would like to be able to join Samwell in his cognitive dissonance but dismisses the idea. The sex scene he had with Ygritte in the cave was epic though. Good God, HBO, please let Jon Snow break his vows again. We all know Sam will.
This week was a massive battle between the Night's Watch and the Wildlings. Just like in my old Buffy days, I fast forwarded through most of the fight scenes. R. R. Martin is good at taking what we expect to happen and twisting it (the death of Lord Oberyn at the hands of the Mountain, for example). We knew that Jon Snow and Ygritte would be reunited again on the battlefield; she had already fake-tried to kill him, only wounding him. Would he kill her? Would he take Sam's advice and keep hittin' that? Would he completely abandon all his vows and marry her? Gack, would Jon Snow even be killed? What ended up happening was pretty boilerplate Hollywood, which I guess still counts as a surprise since we don't expect such things on this show.
As the arrow from another drained the life out of her heart and Jon Snow held her, weeping, telling her they would be in the cave together again, what else could she say but, "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Pedestrian and predictable, but oh so satisfying.
In the last scene, Snow heads out into the great white void to kill the meister Wildling, Mance. Or be killed, natch.