A natural death? On GoT? What the whaaa? *silent tear*
Also: BWHAHAHAHA! FINALLY!
Caution: spoilers ahead.
We start out at the Wall, as Lord Commander Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane ride north toward Hardhome, leaving *shudder* Ser Alliser Thorne in command at Castle Black. Not long afterward, Maester Aemon dies of old age – which might make it the most unusual death in this show’s run. His death has the extra unfortunate consequence of leaving Sam, as well as Gilly and Baby Sam, without allies at Castle Black (Pyp and Grenn are dead, Jon and Dolorous Ed are en route to Hardhome). So, of course, Thorne wastes no time getting back to his roots as massive jerk and Sam gets the daylights beat out of him trying to protect Gilly from getting raped by two of his sworn brothers. And then, *cue music* HERE HE COMES TO SAVE THE DAAAAAY! Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, is back! (There was much rejoicing on our couch last night) Ghost, being as terrifying as possible, scares off the would-be rapists. And Sam loses his virginity in a very tender, TOTALLY CONSENSUAL interlude with Gilly. Awwwwwww!
Meanwhile, on the long march between the Wall and Winterfell, Stannis is struggling: they’re trying to make their way in a snow storm, food supplies are running short, horses are freezing to death, and the sellsword contingent of his army just rode off during the night. Ser Davos counsels Stannis to turn back to the Wall and Stannis will have exactly none of that. Melisandre encourages Stannis to continue the march toward Winterfell, but says that there must be a sacrifice to ensure victory – a sacrifice of royal blood, Shireen’s blood. And, apparently, leeches won’t do the trick this time. While Stannis does send Melisandre away, he’s hesitates a bit… leaving viewers to wonder if his desire for victory will eventually outweigh that tender scene earlier in the season when he reassures Princess Shireen of his love for her.
Within the walls of Winterfell itself, we find out that Sansa is held captive – locked in her chamber all-day and raped and beaten every night. She tries to convince Theon to send the signal that she is in trouble. Instead, he rats her out to Ramsay who, in turn, flays the kind woman who told Sansa how to communicate that she needs help. Then Ramsay makes sure that Sansa sees the body, so that she will know the end anyone who helps her will have. Though, before he takes her to the courtyard to see the body, Sansa gets in a few blows in their tête-à-tête as they walk the battlements. …so, at least, she’s got that going for her, which is nice.
In Essos, Jorah and Tyrion have survived the journey aboard the slavers’ ship to Slaver’s Bay, where Jorah is auctioned off to fight in Meereen’s fighting pits. Tyrion makes sure they are sold to the same master by arguing that he and Jorah are a fighting team, that he is also a great fighter. When the slavers and masters laugh at his assertion, he promptly takes down the man holding his chains and beats the snot out of him with his chains. The master who bought Jorah reluctantly buys Tyrion as well. When Jorah discovers that Daenerys is, much to her consternation, watching the fights in his pit, he skips his turn, runs into the pit and disables every other still-standing combatant. When he reveals his face to her, she is furious and demands he be taken from her sight. Before he is escorted away, he manages to scream that he has a gift for her, at which point Tyrion runs out and confirms that he is the gift. And then there is some awkward staring. (Memo to me: never get in a staring contest with a Targaryen.)
In Dorne, Jaime is confronted with the fact that he doesn’t know his daught…erm, niece – yeah, that’s the ticket – anymore. Bronn is in jail, in a cell across from Oberyn’s daughters. And proving their lethality, Tyene manages to very nearly kill Bronn from within her cell: prior to the fight in the Water Gardens, she coated her dagger with a slow-acting poison and, having cut Bronn during the fight, she speeds up the poison by elevating his heart rate with a strip tease. She gives his the antidote only when he tells her that she is the most beautiful woman in the world.
Lastly, in King’s Landing, we get to see some serious drama. Cersei manipulates the crap out of Tommen, convincing him to allow her to continue to negotiate with the High Sparrow on his behalf – bless Tommen’s sweet little heart, he really needs to get with the political program or he’s just going to be eaten alive. Lady Olenna and the High Sparrow get into a verbal sparring match as she schemes to get her grandchildren out of prison, which the High Sparrow shuts down by getting seriously Occupy Wall Street about his political and spiritual beliefs. Cersei puts on her best Mother Teresa act (which is decidedly terrible) to visit Margaery in her cell, of which Margaery wants zero percent. Then Cersei visits with the High Sparrow, being terribly smug and proud of herself… and the High Sparrow promptly shuts all that down by having Cersei arrested for her trespasses against the Faith. FINALLY! Though, it does leave me wondering: who’s running King’s Landing now…?
What Could Have Been Better
After last week’s angry-making episode closer, I could have definitely done without the attempted rape of Gilly. I could have also done without the admission of Sansa being consistently raped and the camera’s lingering on the old woman’s flayed body… but, then again, I could just do without the Boltons altogether.
What I Loved
- GHOST IS BACK!
- Sam and Gilly – they’re just adorable together.
- Lady Olenna and the High Sparrow – Dame Diana Rigg and Jonathan Pryce are just brilliant on screen together.
- Cersei’s maneuvering coming back to bite her – while I am really not all about the militant religious police force or the rules they are enforcing, I am definitely all about Cersei getting hers.
What I’m Looking Forward to
I am very anxious to see how everything plays out with Jorah’s turning up with Tyrion in tow. I am hoping to see that Stannis does not sacrifice Shireen. I am really looking forward to seeing how the drama between the Faith and the royal families unfolds.
“We march to victory, or we march to defeat. But we go forward; only forward.” – Stannis Baratheon
“I’m the gift.” – Tyrion Lannister
“What will we find when we strip away your finery?” – the High Sparrow