I was disappointed two weeks ago that the season five premiere of “Game of Thrones” did not feature Arya.
Last night’s episode more than made up for it with lots of good material for her. The episode began with Arya sweeping a floor. Arya complains to Jaquen H’ghar that she’s been sweeping the floor for days. He doesn’t really give her complains any merit as he gives an old man, who soon dies, a drink of water.
In King’s Landing crowds in the streets are calling out for Queen Margery but it is Cersei we see first. As she rides through the streets of King’s landing she looks incredibly pissed off. No wonder, she is now all alone. Tommen is the only person she has left on her side but with his marriage (and its consummation) to Margery she now is completely fending for herself. I certainly don’t feel sorry for her but I get why she’s so pissed off. As pissed off as Cersei looked as she rode to the wedding she looks a hundred times more bitter as she, once again, sees one of her sons wed Margery Tyrell.
Then Margaery gets to do with Tommen that she failed to do with Renly and Joffrey. She gets to consummate her marriage. The scene immediately following their first time having sex is interesting because if you view it through the lens of citizens of the year 2015 it’s kind of creepy. It’s a scene where a thirty-three year old actress pretends to have sex with a seventeen year old actor. But then again is that a double standard? I can think of several instances where a very young actress had a sex scene with an older man; think Drew Barrymore and Tom Skerrit in “Poison Ivy”. I also didn’t have a problem with it because if you think about the age in which royalty (and even common folk) got married pre 1900’s it wasn’t uncommon at all to have thirteen and fourteen year olds getting married and having babies. Let us not forget adolescence is a 20th century invention…Margaery certainly knows what she is doing and she is absolutely using her sexuality to put herself in a position of power. One thing Margaery is clearly trying to do with her new power is to slowly poison the well against Cersei. She knows the best way to get Cersei out of her hair is to subtly convince Tommen that his mother would be much happier if she wasn’t in King’s Landing. And Tommen really is clay waiting to be shaped by whoever gets their hands on him first. I like him and I certainly don’t want him to become like Joffrey but I fear if he doesn’t figure out who he is soon he’ll turn into the male version of Sansa; always getting pulled in the direction of whoever is controlling him at that particular moment in time…I did like that he said that he didn’t feel guilty about his brother’s death and that he is now king.
Of course, the power struggle for influence over Tommen isn’t limited to Margaery. In the next scene Cersei tries to poison the well against Margaery. The problem with Cersei is that she’s at a huge disadvantage now that Tommen and Margaery’s relationship is a physical one. As much as Tommen loves his mother it is his wife and new Queen who has the power now. The question hanging over Cersei’s head at this point is will Tommen send her to Casterly Rock? I don’t think so but I think the fear of that happening will cause Cersei to make some big mistakes out of desperation.
The next scene is a direct interaction between Margaery and Cersei. Margaery is bragging about Tommen’s sexual eagerness when Cersei shows up.
The two women trade subtle jabs at each other. Margaery is clearly trying to make Cersei feel old. As I stated before I think Cersei is going to make some big mistakes in her attempt to deal with Margaery, especially without Jamie in King’s Landing to try to help her keep a level head.
The episode then moved to Winterfell and what is by far my least favorite storyline of the season. Poor Theon, as awful has been in the past I feel sorry for him. Of course, I now should really just refer to him as Reek. Roose Bolton talks to his son, the recently legitimized Ramsay. It is revealed that Roose has arranged a marriage for Ramsay but to who? A split second before the show told us who it was I figured it out. Ramsay is to marry…Sansa. While I’ve never been a big Sansa fan, in fact I hated her the first two seasons, I still yelled out no!
As Littlefinger told Sansa of the plan for her to marry Ramsay I became very upset. My husband has read the books and he’s been great about not spoiling me. He did tell me that this is not in the books…But then again since we are dipping into book 6 stuff who knows what’s really in the books at this point. At the end of season 4 I thought Sansa might finally be finding her own power and voice. I clearly was mistaken and I am done with her. I don’t want her to marry Ramsay. I want her to fight. I want her to stand up for herself. At this point I don’t care if it’s not fair to compare to Arya and Brienne. Arya and Brienne fight, all Sansa does is get dragged around and follows orders. First, she’s engaged to Joffrey, then she marries Tyrion, then then she’s controlled by Littlefiner. Sure she she’s a survivor. But at some point you need to do more than survive. She might even survive being married to Ramsey but enough is enough. Littlefinger even offered her the choice to not marry Ramsey saying she needs to stop being a bystander in her own lie. I couldn’t agree more. She needs to stop being so passive but marrying Ramsey certainly isn’t the way that’s going to be accomplished. I desperately want Brienne to rescue her, but then again does Sansa really deserve to be rescued? Maybe she should fight and try to figure something out on her own…For once.
I really enjoyed the next scene between Brienne and Pod. I thought it really nice when Pod said that he was proud to be Brienne’s squire. As nice as that was the best part of the scene came when Brienne recalled how Renly saved her from complete and utter humiliation when she was younger. It was some really nice character development for Brienne and it explains a lot. I had always wondered why she had loved Renly so much and been so devoted to him. Now I really understand. She still blames herself for not being able save Renly and she vows that she’ll avenge his death by killing Stannis. As much as I want Brienne to save Sansa I want her to avenge Renly’s death more.
Speaking of Stannis.
Up at the wall Stannis asks Jon for an answer on if he’ll bend a knee, get legitimized and fight with Stannis to take back winterfell.. As much as Jon would love to be legitimized and become Jon Stark he turns Stannis down. Jon wants to keep his vows and now wants to know when Stannis is leaving. Stannis tells Jon he’ll be leaving within a fortnight and leaves the room. Davos stays behind to talk to Jon. He tries to convince Jon to go join Stannis to defeat the Bolton’s. As much as I’d love to see Jon destroy the Bolton’s he think he’s made the better choice by staying at the wall. What was so good about this scene was that it was, by far, the best acting Kit Harrington has ever done. He is usually so stone faced but in this scene he emotes and really acts. I hope this is the beginning of a new phase of acting for Kit. I like him and I like Jon but I feel like time and time again Jon’s storyline hasn’t been as effective as it could be because of Kit’s flat acting.
Back in Bravos Arya is struggling to transition from being herself into being nobody, which is what Jaquen H’ghar says she must become. When another young lady asks who she is and she says nobody it leads to a fight. After Jaquen H’ghar breaks it up he confronts Arya. He says that she can’t be nobody when she is still hanging onto Arya Stark’s clothes and gold and sword. In her attempt to become nobody she throw her various belongings into the sea, except for her sword. She can’t bring herself to throw the sword Jon gave to her away. Instead she hides it. I found this especially touching. As tough as Arya is we forget that she is all alone in a completely new land and she is very young. I do wonder if Arya will be able to become who she needs to be if she is hanging onto her sword? Can she truly become nobody if she’s hiding a bit of Arya Stark under a pile of rocks?
At Winterfell, Sansa and Littlefinger arrive. For Sansa the return to her childhood home is truly awful. She is reminded that she does have support there when one woman says, “Welcome home Lady Stark. The north remembers.” I doubt that Sansa will be able to take control of her situation and become the master of her own destiny but hope does die last.
Back at the Wall, Jon is assigning tasks to members of the night’s watch.
As we’ve seen with Dany it’s one thing to be put in a position of power but it is something else entirely to use that power properly once you have it. As the new lord commander of the night’s watch (who won by a single vote) Jon is faced with the first resistance to his power when Lord Janos refuses to follow Jon’s orders. This is a big test for him. How he will respond? What kind of leader will he be? Jon seems to sense the importance of his decision. Unlike Dany he doesn’t go back and forth. He chooses to have Lord Janos taken outside to be executed. At first Lord Janos thinks Jon is just trying to scare him but once he has his head on the chopping block he begins to plead fir his life. I really expected Jon to spare his life but I’m glad that he didn’t. Jon is clearly sending a message to all the men of the night’s watch and it is “don’t fuck with me”. In addition to this scene being satisfying from a character standpoint I once again thought Kit did a good job acting. Keep it up Mr. Harrington, keep it up.
Checking back in with King’s Landing we see Cersei’s former lover/cousin Lansil humiliate the High Septon by dragging him out of Littlefinger’s brother and making him walking naked down the street. The High Septon demands that Cersei find the High sparrow and have him killed. I had been waiting for the appearance of Jonathan Pryce this season (I’ve loved him ever since 1986’s “Jumping Jack Flash”) and I was really excited to see him when he first appeared on screen. Cersei clearly isn’t going to honor the High Septon’s demands that the high sparrow be killed. That means Mr. Pryce will be sticking around for a while, which makes me happy. The funniest part of the episode was when Cersei asked a message to be delivered to Littlefinger at the vale or wherever he is slithering about. I loved this because as much as I don’t like Cersei I am even more unhappy with Littlefinger right now. He does slither like a snake.
At Winterfell, we see Reek/Theon look away as Sansa walks by him. I wonder about those two. How will Sansa react when she realizes what has become of the man who was kind of like her fifth brother? I also wonder (or hope) if the reason Reek/Theon looked away is because somewhere deep inside of him he remembers who Sansa is.
Littlefinger and Roose discuss the upcoming wedding between Sansa and Ramsey. A wedding I hope will never happen.
The episode wrapped up in a new location, as Tyrion and Varys reach Volantis.
I was really excited for this because the bridge of Volantis is actually the Roman Bridge in Cordoba, Spain, which was one of the awesome places I went when I was in Spain three weeks ago
(for more on that trip check out my blog on the first three days of that trip https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/return-to-espana-day-1-from-los-angeles-to-barcelona/ https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/return-to-espana-day-2-beach-day/ https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/return-to-espana-day-3-all-about-gaudi/ and check out my blog on the day we visited this bridge in person https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/return-to-espana-day-11-cordoba/). It was interesting to see the changes they made via CGI to make the bridge fit into the show. It was not at all what I expected…Anyway, back to the show. Tyrion is going insane from being stuck inside the coach so he insists he and Varys get out. As they are walking around they see a red priestess and they realize that there are people that are worshiping Dany and calling her a savior. Of course, Tyrion being he horn dog that he is wants to go to a brothel. The episode comes to a dramatic end inside that brothel. First, we see that the most popular prostitute is dressed up like Dany. It seems the mother of dragons has quite the reputation in places she hasn’t even gotten to yet. But the real trouble for Tyrion is Sir Jorah. When given the chance Sir Jorah kidnaps Tyrion promising to take him to the queen. But what queen is Jorah taking Tyrion to? I’m sure it’s not Margaery so that means he’s taking Tyrion to either Cersei or Dany. My money is on Dany. I think Jorah will use Tyrion to get back into Dany’s good graces. I guess we will see in the weeks to come.
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