Oh, Tommen – you sweet summer child – you are entering a world of pain. Surely there is no way for this elaborate plan to come around to bite you, Cersei! Thank you, Jon, for not fathering a creepy, shadow murder baby. And… NO, Ser Barristan and Grey Worm. I refuse to lose both of you; I’d prefer not to lose either, but I refuse to lose both, so I guess you’ll have to rock, paper, scissors for it… or, you know, JUST DON’T DIE.
Spoilers ahead. Beware!
Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 4 – “The Sons of the Harpy”
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones was certainly not full throttle throughout, but it packed quite a few heavy punches. The episode opens with Ser Jorah commandeering a boat, whisking off with Tyrion toward Meereen, and showing off that massive chip on his shoulder: I know no one likes being confronted with their mistakes, but – dude, Jorah, really? – You had to know you’d face consequences for your perfidy eventually. Also sailing the seas, Jaime and Bronn are en route to Sunspear to rescue Princess Myrcella, traveling by merchant ship, rowboat, and on foot. Bronn is less than enthused about being the sole companion of a one-handed man, while Jaime unexpectedly finds that his metal hand is more useful in a swordfight than he supposed. Meanwhile, Ellaria Sand introduces us to the Sand Snakes! …and also their plot to start a war by killing Myrcella before Bronn and Jaime can rescue her.
In King’s Landing, Cersei is busy orchestrating her personal war against the Tyrell family. She sends Lord Tyrell to renegotiate terms with the Iron Bank and sends Meryn Trant as his escort. Cersei informs the High Sparrow that he’s been appointed High Septon, reinstates the long-defunct Faith Militant, and hints at a sinner that only the Faith Militant can touch which results in the arrest of Ser Loras Tyrell, Queen Margaery’s brother. I don’t imagine, though, that this plan will ultimately work to Cersei’s benefit, given the High Sparrow’s thoughts on hypocrisy. Poor King Tommen is caught between the spitefulness of his mother and the fury his new wife; his naïveté would be endearing, if it weren’t so dangerous.
Up on the wall, we get to see that Stannis Baratheon does, in fact, have a heart! We also get to see Melisandre try to seduce Jon into joining Stannis’ march on Winterfell …and probably also giving her another shadow murder baby. When Jon declines, ultimately citing his enduring love for the dearly departed Ygritte, the Red Woman creepily retorts, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” Meanwhile, at Winterfell, as Littlefinger prepares to leave Sansa in the *ahem* tender care of the Boltons, he assures her that Stannis will be marching on Winterfell and will, after disposing of the Boltons, appoint her Wardeness of the North. …and then there’s another creepy kiss. EW.
Finally, the episode ends in Meereen, where Daenerys finds herself more vulnerable than ever when the Sons of the Harpy carry out a massacre of the Unsullied that may have claimed the lives of both Grey Worm and Ser Barristan Selmy. That’s it. That’s where they left it: Grey Worm and Ser Barristan, both gravely – if not mortally – wounded, bleeding on the ground. I may or may not have cursed at my television screen.
What I Loved
- Stannis’ reply when Shireen asked if he was ashamed of her. My grinchy heart grew three sizes!
- Ser Barristan telling Daenerys about Rhaegar’s street singing
- Finally seeing Oberyn’s daughters, the Sand Snakes!
- Tyrion reading Jorah for filth
What Could Have Been Better
I really enjoyed this episode. …well, except for that last bit. I will admit that I miss the banter between Tyrion and Varys – this episode could have used a little bit of comic relief.
What I’m Looking Forward To
Cersei’s sending Meryn Trant to Braavos will put him in the same city with Arya. I’m not sure that Arya will get the chance to scratch his name off her list, but I’m looking forward to finding out! I’m also anxious see whether or not the show’s writers will toss out what the preview for next week insinuated and tap into my dream world and allow both Grey Worm and Ser Barristan to live. I won’t hold my breath about it, though – this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about, after all.
“…in our joining there’s power: power to make life, power to make light, power to cast shadows.” – Melisandre
“I told them all to go to hell … because you do not belong across the world with the bloody stone men. You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon and you are my daughter.” – Stannis Baratheon
“As far as I’ve seen, they’re all shit ways to die.” – Jaime Lannister
“Oberyn tossed his spear at my feet and said, ‘Girl or boy, we fight our battles, but the gods let us choose our weapons.’ My father pointed to the spear and then to my mother’s tears. I made my choice long ago.” – Obara Sand