Do not read until you’ve watched the episode.
OK… let’s start from the beginning, because that was one hell of an end. Lights up on Arya, washing another satisfied customer at the House of Black and White. But, as she said in the “previously on,” what do we do after we wash them? Arya desires upskilling, or at the very least, a cheeky peek… so she tries to sneak her way backstage. What are they doing back there? Reanimating corpses, à la Qyburn? Discussing embalming options with bereaved families? Weekend at Bernies-style shenanigans? We may never know.
Arya’s grumpy colleague bars her entry. It really seems like Arya can’t crack the code at this place. Say you’re no one – get a made up sob story. Say you’re Arya – get repeatedly whipped. What are the rules of this game? It’s sort of like Braavosi Calvinball from where I’m standing.
Later on Arya gets her first opportunity to upgrade from janitorial work to customer service. Slightly troubling is the fact that they seem to sell their voluntary euthanasia fountain water as a miracle cure. Jaqen likes her style though – that’s how to get through the corpse door! And behind the door is…
A giant warehouse of decraniated faces. So that’s the gig at the House of Black and White! Facial harvesting! I guess the Many Faced God is literally many faced. He just keeps them all in
And they all have to be dusted, and the tealights constantly relit. Oh janitor!
Tyrion and Jorah are continuing their road – or off-road, you can never be too careful about stone men – trip to Mereen. In an unfortunate display of awkward, Tyrion accidentally assumes that Jorah knows all about his dad’s death. Never assume, Tyrion, never assume. At least now they have something to bond over?
They’re now journeying on foot – side question: where’s Jorah’s armour? He’s just got that cheese grater thing on his arm. Did he throw it overboard? Why not bring it and his sword? Or did they swim away from the stone men? I guess they’d just sink. But still – find a weapon ASAP guys. You don’t want to-
… get attacked by slavers.
The award for Best Dialogue of the Episode goes to this scene, by far:
TYRION: How could he know, unless he sees the dwarf?
SLAVER MATE: It will be a dwarf sized cock.
TYRION: Guess again.
Also, “Cock Merchant” is my new favourite term of insult. But how about that? Tyrion’s massive penis has literally saved his life. And Jorah is destined for the fighting pits. Gee thanks for reopening those Dany. She even screws him over without even knowing it.
In King’s Landing, The Finger has arrived and is up to no good – he’s holding strong against pious Lancel, and dropping innuendos against Cersei – “One’s choice of companion is a curious thing.” She shot back a Lysa taunt… But it seems like The Finger has enough confidence to make semi-enemies (semenies?) because he has something better than a sword – a PLAN.
It looks like he has betrayed Sansa to try and gain the title Warden of the North. This seems like a good plan in my opinion. He might as well divulge Sansa now – thereby covering his ass for when the Lannister’s realise she’s there – as they probably would have sooner rather than later. With Stannis bearing down on Winterfell, they can do the bulk of the fighting, and then his bannermen in the Vale – the best in the West(eros) apparently – can do the mopping up. Bingo bango, Bob’s your uncle, may have to spike Sansa’s head though.
He has shown that he will break a few Starks to make a Littlefinger omelette in the past though…
In Dorne, we get the showdown that was teased a couple of episodes ago: Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, Jaime and Bronn, and Areo and Doran all in the Watergardens, facing off over Trystane and Myrcella.
I loved the mid-kiss meeting between Myrcella and Jaime – I half expected a “DAD??? Do you have to ruin EVERYTHING!”, but this is not a 90s family sitcom, this is Game of Thrones, so instead it was “UNCLE???” and then a fight scene. Much better.
This was a great example of win by numbers – three beats one and a half, but doesn’t beat a whole bunch of guards and a mega axe.
Also ranking Sand Snakes, it seems like “two knives” is the obvious dud. Sorry Tyene.
In King’s Landing – Yay! Olenna is back. Spitting homophobic jokes like all good grannies, and ripping out sweet burns on Cersei the tart. I live for Cersei vs Olenna scenes. “What veil?” Brava. If it wasn’t for Tyrion’s dick joke, The Queen of Thorns would have won the repartée award this ep.
Loras’ court case does not go according to plan. I don’t know why no one has invented “lawyers” in Westeros, they really could make a lot of money. We knew something was afoot when Margaery was called… it became obvious when Olyvar was… and then here comes the boom – BIRTHMARK EVIDENCE. No refuting that!
I guess that wasn’t just an expository geography lesson! Damn, Olenna is going to get some solid revenge for this.
But this episode is all about Winterfell, and one person in particular. This show has not been kind for Sansa. She started off in season one dreaming of marrying a Prince, and for someone who’s been betrothed thrice, married twice, and is now half-ruler of Winterfell, she’s held it together well enough. But this could be the episode that proves her tipping point.
The wedding day did not start well. Her new frenemy Myranda basically gave her the lowdown on Ramsay’s previous conquests – reasonably poor form to mention that sort of thing to a bride on her wedding day, but I guess when the groom is a psychopath who uses hounds to hunt and mutilate women… maybe justified?
She then has to wear the frumpiest wedding dress in history, and get married surrounded by gloom, frost, and shields with flayed men on them. Not even the hipster lanterns can add a sense of romance to these proceedings.
But then it’s back to Winterfell, and here is where your stomach falls out.
This is basically as grim as it gets. We all saw what happened, and in a way, the second Sansa was betrothed to Ramsay, I guess all of us – especially those of us who read the books – knew what was going to happen. To be honest, this is a plot line that is completely absent from the books – Ramsay’s wife is the relatively unknown Jeyne Poole, Sansa’s friend, and although we hear rumours of how he’s treating her, we never get the full details.
But when it’s Sansa, and we’ve spent five seasons watching her get progressively destroyed, this really hits home.
SANSA DEAR GOD SANSA. Where to now for her? Will she breakdown? Will she harden and become an even fiercer schemer? Will Brienne and Pod save her? Will Stannis save her? Will Littlefinger betray her? Basically – will the writers finally give her a break!
CERSEI IS 99% SCREWED. She’s made too many enemies now. And her allies – the Sparrows, Qyburn – are wildcards. Olenna’s revenge is going to be brutal. Unless Jaime can get back? But he only has one hand. Oh, and he’s a prisoner of Dorne.
RECAST ARYA? If Arya gets a new face… what does that mean for Maisie Williams?
WE’RE OVER THE HALFWAY POINT NOW GUYS. Only four hours left of this season. Less than a month. How will we DEAL???
Missed Dan’s other Game of Thrones recaps?
What was your favourite thing about this week’s episode?