Game of Thrones, S. 5, E. 4: “Sons of The Harpy”

Jamie Lannister, rocking that deep V. Image source: HBO Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide

Jamie Lannister, rocking that deep V.     Image source: HBO Game of Thrones Viewer’s Guide

Hi, and welcome to week four!

How’s everyone else feel about this season so far? I think it’s starting to get a bit repetitive and filler-filled. This is one of the shortest GOT review I’ve written, given the extra battle scenes and lack of things happening. Oh well! On to the episode!

If you happen to watch the “Previously on…” there should be definite “HEY LOOK AT THIS” clue when you see scenes from back in season one. This latest one, featuring Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, is a big one, leading up to a scene with Sansa where she gets a history lesson (and a lecherous little kiss) from Petyr. This back story is the root of one of the most speculated about theories in all of A Song of Ice and Fire – and the show all but confirmed it TWICE in this episode. I love the clues, but again, I feel the subtlety is so lacking that it takes a bit out of the fun.


The Iron Bank comes into play again, as Cersei sends Mace Tyrell to negotiate another loan with them. A couple of things here: 1) Mace is strategically sent away in both the books and the show, and you see why later in this episode. 2) The Iron Bank is famous throughout Westeros for always collecting its due (sound like anyone else you know?), and has already funded Stannis’s cause to fight against the crown (which owes the Iron Bank millions). It’s plausible to think they won’t receive Mace Tyrell kindly (and sending Ser Meryn with him also seemed a bit threatening, right?). And 3) Meryn Trant is sent with Mace to Braavos – anyone remember where else we’ve heard of Meryn recently (and what might be waiting for him in Braavos)?

Part of Cersei’s plan is revealed shortly, as she helps the High Sparrow restore the Faith Militant. It seems a bit of a stretch that they would be so extremely violent, even to the point of threatening the King, but I’m not really sure how I expected them to act. Much of these events occur in the book, but are only alluded to, particularly as a set up for some seriously juicy stuff that will occur in future episodes. Loras isn’t a target in the books, but here he is made a prime example.

I loved the scenes with Margaery and Tommen here – she loses her cool for a second and you can see it freak Tommen out. Tommen runs off to set her brother free and we get a taste of how lame and powerless he is. It’s kind of pitiful the way he can’t look anyone in the eye when challenged. And note the cries of “Abomination!” – just because he isn’t Joffrey, doesn’t mean the people love him.

While still lingering at the Wall, Melisandre really hammers home the idea of king’s blood in this episode. Is this important? You bet your ass it is.

I utterly hated the scene between her and Jon Snow. It seems pretty clear that Jon Snow isn’t going with Stannis to Winterfell – this point has already been made. The scene was created for two reasons: boobies and hints at Jon Snow’s future. She doesn’t just come on to anyone.

And gah… what a way to pander, GOT.

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” – All red heads everywhere

“Bwahaaaaaaaa?????” :O – Jon Snow, mouth breather

Speaking of Jon Snow… I’m willing to bet that his letter to the Boltons at Winterfell is going to be intercepted by someone who isn’t a Bolton – Sansa or Theon? To what end? I’m not sure, but the way this season has been going, every time they make a point of calling something out, it’s come back into play in another episode. Again, subtle.

Stannis is preparing to kick the Boltons out of Winterfell, but not before bonding with his only child. He’s become a fan favorite through his portrayal on the show – most of the threads I come across online call him Stannis the Mannis – mainly due to scenes like this one between him and Shireen that show him to not only be an upstanding leader, but also, maybe kind of a good person. Maybe. He did fall into ranks with Melisandre.

Oh hey, another Stone Men and greyscale mention. This time with mention of a place – the ruins of Valyria! WONDER IF THAT’S GOING TO MEAN ANYTHING LATER.

That hug, though.

Stannis’s plans for Winterfell play into Petyr’s plans for Sansa. Sure, Stannis will support Sansa as the Wardeness of the North – remember that Ned died because he backed Stannis as King. I just wonder how much Stannis will trust Petyr – perhaps that’s why Baelish is making himself scarce for a while. “Use your lady parts,” Petyr tells Sansa before departing. What a creep.

Jamie and Bronn sneak into Dorne via a merchant ship, met with light resistance by a few guards on patrol. Jamie’s early admission that he is angry at Tyrion for killing their father is surprising to me – Tywinn Lannister was a complete asshole to Jamie as well. I’m not sure what drives the rage, but I’m going to guess this is a sentiment that will come back.

Side note: I’ve been waiting for him to use his hand as a shield ever since he resumed fighting. Stupid? Maybe. Funny? Yes. I do not get tired of the gold hand hijinks.

Elsewhere in Dorne, we meet and get the silliest conversation between the Sand Snakes. Pointless, save to introduce some new characters and point out that Jamie and Bronn have not been successful at sneaking.

“I’m on a boat!” Tyrion thinks, as he successfully deduces who his captor is and Jorah reveals where he is taking them. Honestly, Jorah might have better luck taking Tyrion to King’s Landing, but he’s in love with Daenerys so that thought probably never entered his mind. I doubt Tyrion and Jorah will become chummy along the way, given the way Tyrion pokes the bear.

We get a cute little bonding moment between Barristan Selmy and Daenerys before the show slaps book readers across our smug little faces (again). Is there a word for when characters part on extremely positive terms, so positive that you’re like “They’re never gonna see each other again”? Like that time Ned and Cat were like “See you soon, honey!” the final time they parted ways?

Anywho… Grey Worm AND Barry? COME ON. If they both die, I’ll… be extremely irritated. But seriously, the Sons of the Harpy can kill a host of Unsullied, but Barristan and Grey Worm take out about a dozen while wounded? What the ass kind of fighting is that?

The sneak peek for episode five shows Barristan laid out on a slab. I refuse to believe he’s dead – where are those creepy eyeball rocks??

Next episode: Are Barristan and Grey Worm dead? What’s a dragon queen to do about her trusted advisors and guards dropping like flies? (P.S. maybe your guards should stop going to brothels.) How is Sansa going to fare in Winterfell without any allies? Will Stannis ever GTFO of the Wall?

And why does Jorah always wear that blue necktie?


  1. legalreader

    I hated the Jon/Mel scene too! And Ser Barristan 😦 doesn’t he have a chapter in ADWD? and are they cutting Quentyn and the Griffs? Because that’d be awful 😦 I’m already sad about them cutting Victarion!
    Sorry, didn’t mean to be so negative – I still love this show 🙂 I just love the books even more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOW! I looked to see if they had cast anyone for the Griffs, but haven’t seen anything that confirms it. I wonder if they don’t want to introduce too many new characters? I hope they do – I really want to know what happens with Young Griff! It would have been great to introduce Victarion – his plot line was working its way towards Meereen and included R’hollor and would have brought some really interesting stuff to the show. It doesn’t seem like we will get the kingsmoot either. I wonder if the Greyjoys will be reintroduced at all – I feel like they must for Theon’s plot, but I’m unsure because Asha/Yara already tried and abandoned the cause rescue Theon on the show.

      Don’t worry – I’m picky about it too! 😉 I also am starting to like the books better. I enjoy the characters on the show, but prefer the book plots. I feel like they add too much useless stuff to the show.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually didn’t mind the Jon/Melisandre scene… relax, it’s not because we saw Melisandre’s breasts… if I want to see them again, I can just rewatch selections from Season 2, 3, and 4.

    It’s fine with me that the show runners want to hit home that Melisandre senses the open secret that we book readers know, and wanted to get some sexy magic going. We know she can make a shadowy assassin in this manner, and for something that looks like Jon Snow/Stark to kill Roose Bolton in Winterfell would be a powerful message to the northern lords.

    It would seem kind of inconsistent for her not to make a move like this.

    That being said, I appreciate that it didn’t play out as well for everyone.

    In regards to the Sand Snakes, new character introductions are always kind of odd, and I agree that the dialog wasn’t the greatest.

    Ellaria: Are you in, or out?
    Obara: When my father…
    Tyene and Nymeria: We know this story. And he was our father too.
    Obara: … came to my mother, he threw a spear down at my feet
    Tyene and Nymeria: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Ellaria: Look, it’s a yes or no question, Obara. I don’t need to know your life story. Particularly because I already know it.

    But I did like it that the Ship Captain got his for not playing ball honorably with Jaime, and showing discretion. Ned Stark gets a lot of heat for being so honorable that it caused his death, so I take pains to point out when someone’s less-than-honorable behavior does the same (like Janos Slynt, and this Braavosi greedhead captain who thought he could haggle with the Sand Snakes.)

    In general, I don’t mind the Sand Snakes being presented as weirdly pretentious, because I’m totally on Doran’s side in regards to the Mountain and the Viper.

    Ellaria: Oberyn was murdered!
    Doran: And the murderer was Oberyn himself for taking on the Mountain! So you should kill everyone that Oberyn held dear! (Just start with yourself, Ellaria…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your recap of the Sand Snakes convo. Come on Obara, get it together. And yeah, seriously — Oberyn died in a court of justice. Trial by combat. VOLUNTARILY.

      I just wasn’t a fan of Melisandre and Jon because EWWW, haha. I definitely did like that the show seemed to confirm theories that readers have discussed for ages. However, it just seems kind of early for those revelations, but I suppose it seems like the writers had a conversation like “You think we should start reminding people about the whole Targaryen/Stark history so we can drop the R+L=J bomb on them later?” Gotta reinforce the details so it doesn’t go over heads when stuff goes down. At this point, I’m not sure exactly WHAT will go down, but it’s interesting that they are dropping specific clues in that direction.

      Littlefinger seemed to brush off the idea of Lyanna being raped too, right? Maybe that was just me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for enjoying my paraphrasing of the Sand Snakes! 🙂

        I think your instinct in regards to Littlefinger are dead on correct.

        He was totally giving Sansa the skeptical eyebrow when she echoed King Robert’s assertion that Rhaegar raped Lyanna.

        In general, I can list off everyone who’s said a bad word about Rhaegar on one hand, and if it wasn’t for Sansa parroting Robert, I could list them off just using my thumb.

        King Bob. Boom.

        Everyone else agrees he was a stand up dude.

        Okay, really only Barristan Selmy is saying this, but he’s pretty honest about stuff, and Jorah kind of backs up the notion that Rhaegar was honorable and brave (but had that one problem… he died…)

        Liked by 1 person

      • They went at lengths to reinforce that in the episode as well – in one scene, Sansa’s calling him a rapist, in another Barristan is saying he was a singer, not a fighter. “Sing ‘Freebird,’ my lord!”

        Liked by 1 person

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