What an episode! First off, quick SPOILER ALERT, do not read this recap if you haven’t seen this week’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ as it will be chock full of important plot points, including a major character’s exit from the show. Lets start with the happening’s in King’s Landing, as the stage is being set for a showdown between Margaery and Cersei, especially now that Margaery’s family is being drawn into the battle.
Cersei dominates another Small Council meeting, ending with sending Lord Tyrell to Braavos to negotiate a new deal for the crown’s debt, a convenient way to get the man out of the capital. Cersei then has another talk with the High Sparrow (aka the new High Septon), and they discuss the moral ambiguities of the capital, with Cersei bringing up the ancient Militant Elite, which existed during a time when the Septon had an army to enforce the will of the gods and bring down morally corrupt individuals. She decides to re-enact the Militant Elite, and gives the High Sparrow the name of a high Lord who’s evil deeds must be punished. And so we get a tense scene of the militant elite, led by a newly branded Lancel, storming through King’s Landing, destroying beer, arresting and killing male and female prostitutes, ending with them arresting Sir Loras, who’s “evil” acts with other men is well known around the capital. Margaery is pissed at the happenings, and demands her husband save her brother. Tommen confronts his mother, but Cersei plays innocent, and says she is not holding Loras, but rather the High Sparrow is. She suggests Tommen demand his release, which the King attempts to do, but is stopped by the High Sparrow’s men outside of the Sept. Knowing he will not be able to pass without ordering the King’s Guard to battle the sparrows, Tommen relents and returns to Margaery, who is disappointed, and leaves him alone as she says she needs to be with her family.
At Castle Black, Stannis watches Jon Snow train his men, and discusses with his wife their future. Jon meanwhile sits down to work, signing paperwork from Sam about sending new men to the Night’s Watch, almost refusing the men from Roose Bolton, the man who killed his brother. Sam points out they can’t afford to send away men, and Jon relents, with Sam leaving right as Melissandre enters, trying to seduce Jon and convince him to join the army going down to Winterfell. Despite exposure to her ample, arguments let’s say, Jon refuses her, and Melissandre leaves, but not before telling him “You know nothing Jon Snow,” a statement that definitely spooked the young Lord Commander. Stannis and his daughter Shireen have a nice moment, where he tells her about her diseased childhood and how he never gave up on her, and how much he loves her. All of this Stannis goodness makes me worry that Stannis might be next on the chopping block.
At Winterfell, Sansa lights the candles in the crypts under the castle, where she is joined by Lord Baelish, who says he has to return to King’s Landing, as Cersei has summoned him (that’s never a good sign). He tells a little bit of Westeros history, about the Targaryan love that destroyed the royal lineage, and doomed Sansa’s aunt Lyanna Stark, which is one of two references to Rhaegar Targaryan in the episode. Before he leaves, Littlefinger tells Sansa about Stannis’s upcoming attack on Winterfell, saying that Stannis will win, and could take over Westeros with the North behind him, and will make Sansa Wardeness of the North, freeing her from the Boltons. She asks what happens if Stannis fails, and Littlefinger tells her she has the power to get her future husband under her thumb, as she learned manipulation from the best (Littlefinger himself!) He kisses her, but she’s clearly not into it, and responds, “I expect I’ll be a married woman by the time you return,” meaning that she will no longer be virgin, something I suspect Littlefinger has been waiting for.
Near Dorne, Jaime and Bronn are smuggled into the lands on a merchant ship, which Bronn notes as odd. Jaime insists that they have to keep their heads down, as they are both aware of how much the Lannisters are hated in Dorne. They briefly discuss why one-handed Jaime would be the right choice for this mission, and Bronn guesses that Jaime is trying to make up for setting Tyrion free, with Jaime claiming that because Tyrion killed his father, he will kill his brother if he ever saw him again. They make landing, and Bronn is doubtful they won’t be sold out by the ship captain, right before a Dornish patrol spots them, figuring out they are outsiders because of Jaime stupidly telling them about sharks in the ocean nearby (apparently Dornish waters don’t have sharks!). Bronn takes down 3 of the men, leaving Jaime to single-handedly (zinger!) take down the 4th, which he is barely able to do. (luckily he used his fake hand to block a blow from his attacker’s sword, with the sword getting stuck in the metal). Bronn congratulates him on the win, and then gripes when Jaime demands they bury the bodies, to make sure their presence goes unnoticed. Cut to the Sand Snakes conversing with Ellaria, (Sand Snakes being the name of Oberyn’s three daughters by different mothers, all of whom are renown warriors), the Sand Snakes knowing that Jaime has come to King’s Landing. They scheme to kill Myrcella before Jaime can save her, finishing the scene by killing the ship captain who gave them the information with a spear.
On the way to Mereen, Jorah steers his small sailboat with Tyrion stashed aboard, the imp’s angry grunts and mumbles annoying Jorah to the point that he ungags Tyrion. The exiled Lannister quickly figures out who Jorah is, and is relieved to hear Jorah is taking him to Queen Daenerys, as that was his intended destination anyway. Jorah still refuses to untie him, and when Tyrion points out that bringing him back to Daenerys might lead to Jorah’s execution instead of Tyrion’s, Jorah breaks his silence by punching Tyrion across the face.
In Mereen proper, Barriston Selmy tells Daenerys a story about her brother Rhaegar dressing up as a minstrel and singing for the people in King’s Landing, a happy memory that sends him back out onto the streets. Daenerys meanwhile has to listen to more pleas about bringing back the death matches, which she is clearly still against. In that moment, the Sons of the Harpy attack in droves, taking down numerous Unsullied who are patrolling the streets, one of which includes Grey Worm, who battles fiercely, almost losing until Barriston Selmy arrives, jumping into the fray. In the end, there are just too many Sons of the Harpy, and Barriston is killed (!!), and Grey Worm appears to be dead, though we are not sure. And in true ‘Game of Thro0nes’ fashion, the end credits begin. Episode over.
GAME OF THEORIES:
– I think Grey Worm will survive the encounter, and be the one to tell the story of Selmy’s final moments to Daenerys.
– Cersei just handed a religious sect ultimate power over King’s Landing. I’m sure that won’t blow up in her face.
– I see the beginnings of a beautiful friendship between Tyrion and Jorah, they just don’t know it yet.
Lots going on this week, and while I missed Brienne (and Pod) and Arya, it was great to see the show firing on all cylinders for the first time this season, setting up stories while also gracing us with lots of action and twists. Can’t wait to see next week’s episode!