Things are finally happening! This week’s ‘Game of Thrones‘ really let loose with the plot-lines, leaping past the books for many characters, and finally bringing Cersei’s story to the point where she gets what’s coming to her.
Let’s start with The Wall, where Jon and Tormand are heading out to gather the Wildlings, a trip that all have advised Jon Snow against, even Allister Thorne, who tells him the mission is reckless. Jon feels he is making the right call, and leaves anyway, leaving Thorne in charge of Castle Black. Meanwhile, we see Sam and Gilly keeping an eye on Maester Aemon on his deathbed, where the man keeps calling for his brother Aegon (aka Aegon Targaryan, the Mad King), the last words spoken by the ancient Maester being “Aeg, I dreamed I was old.” The brothers gather for the funeral proceeding, with Sam speaking the final words about Aemon before lighting the pyre. As the group watches the ancient Crow burn, Thorne comments ominously to Sam that all of his friends were leaving. Later than evening, Gilly is wrapping up some laundry when she is approached by two Crows, who are clearly annoyed that Gilly has been protected for so long in the castle without sharing any sexual favors. Right when it seems that ‘Thrones’ is about to hand us two weeks in a row with rape, Sam enters, bravely brandishing his sword to protect Gilly, woefully unprepared for the fight and ensuing beat down that finds him bloodied on the floor. Fortunately for Gilly, Sam gets up regardless of his injuries to face down her attackers, and Ghost appears from behind him, growling at the Crows as they flee, saving Sam and Gilly. As Gilly washes Sam’s bloody face in bed later, he awakens and promises her that he will always protect her, despite her telling him that she could handle herself. Extremely grateful, and falling even more in love with her protector, Gilly climbs onto Sam, and after making sure she wasn’t hurting him, she takes Sam’s virginity.
On the road to Winterfell, we learn that Stannis’ army has fallen on hard times due to the storm and snow, and though Sir Davros has been bringing Stannis reports of dead horses and sellswords abandoning their cause, Stannis refuses to back down. He points out that he retreated during the Battle of The Blackwater, and if he were to retreat again, he would only be known for the battles he fled from. Sir Davros is understandably perturbed, and points out they stand to lose everything if they continue forward. Stannis then speaks to Melissandre, demanding to know if they are making the right moves, having her remind him that this was the future she saw in the flames. She confirms that they are moving in the right direction, but points out that another sacrifice of Kingly blood to the red god wouldn’t hurt matters. When Stannis points out that there is no one left, Melissandre reminds him that Shireen has kingly blood in her. Stannis balks at the idea of sacrificing his own daughter, and does not give in to Melissandre’s demands. For now…
At Winterfell itself, Reekeon (that’s Reek and Theon combined for matters of expediency) brings food to Lady Sansa, who tells Reekeon in words and with the bruises on her body how Ramsey hurts her every night, and reminds him that has betrayed her family, and is Theon Greyjoy, who grew up with her. She tries to urge him to light the candle in the tallest tower to summon her allies in the North, but instead Reekeon takes the candle to Ramsey. As cowardly as Reekeon may seem right now, it’s important to remember that Ramsey tortured him for months, in deranged ways, and that by cutting off his genitals he denied Theon of ever having heirs, denied him his importance in the world of ‘Thrones,’ which is a large part why Theon can’t bring himself to act like the man he once was. That man is literally gone. Anyways, Sansa later takes a walk with her new husband around the castle ramparts, Sansa taking certain pleasure in pointing out that Ramsey is still nothing more than a bastard, who will lose his birthright should his father’s new child turn out to be a male. Ramsey in turn takes Sansa to his latest victim, where we see the old woman who told Sansa about her “friends in the North” flayed and strung up, her bloodied face making Sansa look ill. Clearly Ramsey didn’t take the news of Sansa attempting to summon help all that well.
Heading to warmer climates…. in Dorne, Myrcella visits her uncle/father, demanding to know why he came to “rescue” her and assuring him that she is happy in the Water Gardens, and that she and Tristane are in love and looking forward to their arranged marriage. Jaime knows that he won’t be able to convince her to leave, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he made one last attempt to take her home by force before the season is over. As for poor Bronn, he is in Dornish prison alongside the Sand Snakes, who are thoroughly entertained by the man’s singing abilities. Tyene begins to flirt with Bronn, exposing her breasts which get the man’s blood pumping, which is a problem as Bronn had been cut by a poison tipped dagger during the rescue attempt, and only Tyene has the anti-dote. He begs her to give it to him, which she does rather kindly, and we see that perhaps the Sand Snakes are not all bad (especially since they saved Bronn, who is one of my favorite characters).
Across the Narrow Sea in Meereen, we see Daenerys and Daario in bed once more, with Daario trying to convince her to marry him instead, feeling that he might be losing her soon. Clearly it is an offer that Daenerys cannot take, though she does seem reluctant. Daario then decides to offer her some advice. He tells her that she should kill the heads of every former slave-owning family as a sign of her power. Daenerys says no, and Daario points out that every ruler has to make a choice, to become either a butcher or meat. Not far away, after being sold to their new owner (with Tyrion saying he and Jorah are a package deal, and demonstrating his own combat abilities by beating up the man holding his chains), Jorah and Tyrion are led to their first fighting pit, where they are prepped for combat. While waiting just outside the arena, Jorah spots Daenerys touring the arena, watching in disgust the deaths of the combatants. Jorah makes his way into the arena, knocking out all of his opponents instead of killing them, which catches the eye of Daenerys. After taking down everyone else, Jorah approaches the royal seats and removes his helmet, revealing himself to his Queen. Daenerys almost looks happy to see him, but then her anger returns, and she orders him removed from her sight. Jorah pleads that he has returned with a gift for her, and out trots Tyrion, who introduces himself to the Queen, who does not know what to make of the “gift” she has been given. It’s a huge moment for the show, having the two most popular characters meet, and takes the show even further away from the books, where after spending all of the 5th book watching Tyrion getting closer and closer to meeting Daenerys in Meereen, the novel ended with the two characters never meeting. Here’s hoping the pair hit it off onscreen, and are able to work together to finally wrap up the Meereen storyline and get Danereys and those dragons back to Westeros!
Finally, in King’s Landing, there are many schemes afoot, the first one we see being the Queen of Thorns herself going to visit the High Sparrow to attempt to free her grandchildren. The High Sparrow and her trade barbs (no pun intended), but Olenna cannot offer the man anything more than money (he already has all the power he needs thanks to Cersei), and Olenna leaves frustrated. Cersei and Tommen have dinner together, where the frustrated King rages that there’s nothing he can do for his Queen, saying he should gather his army and destroy the Sparrows, but Cersei points out that Margaery would be the first casualty in that war. Cersei has done an excellent job of removing Margaery from the equation, but she is so dense that she cannot see that she has essentially stripped Tommen of any authority as King, for if he cannot even save his wife, how can he run the kingdom? Cersei visits Margaery, rubbing in her victory while still pretending to be “helping,” and Margaery looks so dirty and miserable that we realize she is beyond playing games, and curses at Cersei for what she has done. Meanwhile, Olenna and Littlefinger have a meeting in the ruins of his brothel, discussing the happenings in the capital, and coming up with a plan to get back at Cersei at long last for all she has done. Cersei visits the High Sparrow to ensure Loras and Margaery get the full punishment they deserve, and the Sparrow seems different. He begins talking to her about the ostentation architecture of the Great Sept, stating that after stripping it all away the only important piece was the small altar they were standing at. He then talks about how stripping away Cersei’s fineries will yield similar results, as Lancel Lannister the Sparrow enters, clearly having been pushed by Littlefinger to spill the beans to the High Sparrow about Cersei’s evil deeds, including incest (with both Lancel and Jaime), and her part in the death of King Robert Baratheon. Cersei, horrified and pissed that the man she gave all this power to is now arresting her, is thrown into a cell by a handful of lady septons, swearing that she will see them all dead for what they are doing.
GAME OF THEORIES:
– Will Jaime have to rescue Cersei when he returns to King’s Landing? Is there any other character that would care about her suffering in the Sparrow cells?
– Will Jon get to use the dragon-glass blade Sam gave him for the journey? And why wouldn’t Jon take Ghost with him as he ventures into danger with the Wildlings?
– Will Stannis stand strong? Or does Shireen have a dark fate before her? Would Melissandre somehow convince Davros to do it, for the greater good of Stannis?
– At what point does Brienne say “screw it” and just charge into Winterfell to get Sansa? She doesn’t seem like the most patient character, and the whole waiting for a candlelight idea seems full of potential problems, including the candle burning out before Brienne actually sees it.
Finally it seems the season is on track, and I know I am most excited for the future Tyrion and Daenerys scenes, as I’m sure he will be taking Sir Barristan’s place (eventually) in her small council, being the most knowledgeable person near Daenerys on Westeros and warfare at this point. Also looking forward to seeing more Arya and learning whether or not she got the face-changing ability yet. Can’t believe there’s only 3 episodes left this season!