WOW. I mean, seriously, FUCKING WOW. I know that Game of Thrones, even in its less than stellar episodes, will always entertain me but I forgot how a truly great episode leaves your jaw on the floor and your eyes misty. This was one of those episodes. It was jam packed with action and featured a major death, an escape, many wonderful conversations and secrets, and uprising that still has me smiling days after. There is much to discuss so let’s get down to it. Off to Westeros and beyond.
Jamie and Brienne
Is there any sight sadder Jamie’s hand just dangling around his neck? To top it off he looks like he is going to fall off his horse and Brienne is giving him such sad and pitying looks. Jamie does indeed fall off of his horse and face down into the mud. It’s awful to watch. The once mighty Kingslayer is now reduced to drinking horse piss and retching in a muddy pit. Yes, horse piss. Jamie is feverish and thirsty and Locke pours water on his face but then gives him horse piss to drink. VOM.
Brienne’s facial reactions are just heartbreaking. She knows how much Jamie has lost and she also knows he saved her. After being humiliated, Jamie manages to pull a sword and puts up an admirable fight with his left hand (Brienne jumps off her horse and tries to help too) before being bested by Locke and his men. He has lost his identity, the one thing that made him truly special.
Later that night as Jamie sits around the fire with Brienne he tells her he wants to die and refuses to eat. She tells him that he has only tasted a small dose of reality and to stop being such a woman about it all. Buck up and get revenge Jamie! Her shaming of him for folding just because he lost his hand is enough to make him start eating and thinking. She is the best!
Brienne also tells Jamie she knows he saved her and asks him why. She doesn’t get her answer but I think it’s safe to say this is the beginning of a beautiful (and complicated) friendship. Also, the GoT coupling of my dreams. Let’s make this happen GRR Martin.
Man, shit is a mess for Theon. He thinks his sister’s friend is leading him to safety and confesses his sins against the Starks on the way. Theon is saying he betrayed his real family and that his true father lost his head on the steps of Baelor. Even though Theon has been a total shit, it’s hard to not feel an inkling of sympathy for him when he is saying this. The supposed helper picks the lock into the castle and leads Theon…RIGHT BACK TO THE TORTURE ROOM.
I knew this was coming as I know what a sadistic fucker the “helper” is from the books. Poor Theon. I sort of hope we really don’t see him for the next two seasons much like in the book. He’s sorry and he’s about to pay for all of his sins times a million. I have no desire to see it happen though. I’m not a sadist.
At Kings Landing
So much Varys this week. I loved it. I enjoy Varys enough in the books but on the screen he really comes to life and has become one of my favorite characters to watch interact with others. We finally get the story of how he became a eunuch and how he bided his time, learned the value of secrets and has worked his way up, waiting for his revenge. The sorcerer in the box completely terrified me but I also was happy Varys was getting his revenge on the creepy fucker.
This whole story told to Tyrion is important because it tells us how much Varys hates magic and because he talks about how he does what he does to protect the realm. Not the Lannisters, not the Starks, but the realm. Varys is a complicated character but his motivations are laid bare before us in this conversation.
Varys also has a hilarious conversation with Ros about Podrick’s prowess in the sack. Apparently he is so amazing that the girls couldn’t even explain what happened. What’s going on here? Does Pod have two dicks or something? Ros is becoming quite the intel asset as she passes on to Varys that Littlefinger has secured fancy boat accommodation for two to the Vale and thinks he is planning to bring Sansa with him. Creepy.
Lady Olenna also has a choice scene with Cersei where they discuss their children while Joffrey and Margaery are touring the sept/crypts. She gets a few choice digs in at Cersei and I feel as though I could watch Lady Oleanna bantering with every character on this show for a whole season. She knows Cersei is feeling insecure about losing Joff and being replaced by Margaery and is twisting the knife. Sooo good.
The tv version of Margaery is an example of a character really coming to life in a way that I have loved. In the book you are never quite sure of her motivations and she is painted as more of an opportunistic gold digger than a complex character since she isn’t a POV character. On the show she comes across as crafty and opportunistic but also as warm, funny, intelligent and slightly terrified of what she will be navigating within the Red Keep. She knows she has walked in a viper’s nest and is trying to figure out the most peaceful way to exist there.
She has begun to understand what makes Joffrey tick and plays to his love of violence, his pride, his desire for power, and his lust. She convinces him that the people love him and makes him step outside with her to wave to his subjects. Because the people love Margaery, they will in turn accept Joff. Joff begins to wave and feels the love wash over him. He can get on board with this sort of thing because he is an egomaniac. Margaery is shades of Eva Peron and Princess Di in this and it’s brilliant.
Sadly there are no good bitchface competitions or sniping between Cersei and Margaery this week BUT we do get a scene where we see Margaery joking with Sansa (Porridge Plague! HA! Sansa, you are so dumb) this week. Margaery (no doubt from the instruction of her grandmother) encourages Sansa to begin thinking about Loras for a husband. Sansa’s heart nearly skips a beat because this has been her dream. Sansa, you are so dumb (said in the voice of Antoine Dodson).
In addition to her scene with the Lady Oleanna, Cersei has a great moment with Tywin that features the most epic burn. Cersei asks her father to do more to recover Jamie and bring him back to the Red Keep. Her father shuts it down and tells her that if he was willing to start a war for Tyrion’s life then you better believe he is doing everything he can to save his favorite child.
Cersei also takes this meeting as an opportunity to tell her father that just because she is a woman doesn’t mean he can’t confide in her so she may help him and contribute. Tywin responds and says “Okay, contribute. And it’s not because you are a woman. It’s because you aren’t half as smart as you think you are.” Then he tells her to rein in her idiot son. She tells him that he should give it a try and responds with a cold and amazing “I WILL.” FUCK YEAH! The fall of Cersei has begun.
Beyond the Wall
All hell breaks loose after another man of watch dies from apparent starvation. The half dead and starving men of the Nights Watch are all under extreme stress and decide it’s time to kill Craster and sack his house for food and hos. Of course the honorable Old Bear tries to stop the rebellion before Craster is killed and ends up getting a sword through the back.
I guess this would all be shocking if they hadn’t foreshadowed the unrest in the Watch and how much of a douche rocket the dude who kills Commander Mormont is. Mormont keeps fighting even with a sword through his back and nearly kills his assailant. In the midst of the chaos Sam finds Gilly and tells her they have to run away if they are going to survive. She argues a little but then bundles her baby and follows our favorite cowardly fatty into the cold wild. Sam and Gilly: The Incredible Journey, begins.
The Hound is taken before the Brotherhood Without Banners and awaits his judgement. In an interesting speech he claims all he ever did was protect who he was sworn to protect (King Joffrey) and anything bad he did was in the name of this duty. The Hound hated his brother and makes it sound like he never murdered out of menace but out of duty. He’s just a pawn in the game.
Arya steps forth and claims that he murdered the butcher’s boy in the first season or book. That boy was innocent and the Hound knew it. He was following Joffrey’s orders and didn’t feel an ounce of remorse for killing an innocent kid just to help Joffrey get back at Arya.
Arya’s screams of murder mean that the Brotherhood will try The Hound but in an interesting turn of events they allow a trial by battle against the returned leader of the Brotherhood – the one eyed (and pretty sexy) Berric Dondarrion. The next epi will start with a trial by battle.
Saving the best for last
Was there a more exhilarating last five minutes of a Game of Thrones episode ever?!? I happy cried and almost flipped a table. The thing is that I knew the whole time that Dany could speak High Valyrian and understood what the slaver was saying, but it didn’t make it any less awesome when she finally addressed the Unsullied in her mother tongue as she took the whip and handed over her unruly dragon.
I am getting chills just writing about this and it happened over a week ago. The look of shock on everyone’s face is classic. The look on Creepy Ben Kingsley’s face as he realizes what is happening is epic. After he calls her a bitch and tells her that she needs to control the dragon she gives the best speech. “A DRAGON IS NOT A SLAVE!! I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen of the blood of Old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue.” SHUT IT DOWN BITCH!
Dany then orders the unsullied to kill all of the slave owners but not to harm any child and she orders Drogon to blast CBK with a fireball. AMAZING. After the slaughter the Unsullied stand in formation and Dany surveys the scene. Her eyes are so intense and awesome and Emilia Clarke just kills it so hard in this whole sequence.
Dany addresses the Unsullied army before her and informs them that she will enslave no one. The Unsullied are free to go and no harm will come to them. No one moves. Then she asks if they will fight for her as free men and I get chills and start weeping a little. It’s silent for the briefest of moments and then one spear hits the ground and soon all of the Unsullied are banging their spears for the Mother of Dragons and freer of slaves. HELL YES! I was so overcome at this moment that I screamed “GET IT!!” at the computer screen and then just totally laughed/cried.
As Dany rides away for Astaphor she does one more incredibly bad ass thing and drops the whip like she is fucking dropping a mic. I. CAN’T. HANDLE. THIS. Dany Targaryen has become the bad ass we all knew she could be. The Mother of Dragons has finally come to play and I love it. BEST EVER!
Sorry this is a week late yet again. I am finding there is so much to unpack after each episode that I need to watch again and I still don’t think I remember everything that happened. I am going to go to a different format for the latest episode so check for that later this week. Thanks for reading!