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?