Right before last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” started I remembered something I had read before the fifth season started.
The show’s creators said that book readers were going to hate this season of the show. It turns out they were right. As I’ve stated on this blog many times I have not read the books but my husband has and he had serious issues after last week’s episode and he’s not even that hard core about the show making changes from the books. I wondered what kind of reaction he would have to whatever unfolded in episode four….It turns out he was largely happy with it. In fact he thought it was the best episode of the season and I agree with him.
Last night’s episode picked up right where the previous episode had left off, with Ser Jorah kidnapping Tyrion. After knocking a man unconscious Jorah loads a tied up Tyrion onto a boat to take him to the queen. But which queen; Dany or Cersei?
The episode next switched over to the other Lannister brother as Jamie continues his journey to Dorne to try to rescue his daughter/niece Marcella. What was interesting about this scene wasn’t any thingsthat Jamie or Bronn of the Blackwater did (although it is worth noting that they sailed past Tarth where Brienne is from) it was what Bronn revealed. When Jamie referred to Marcella as his niece Bronn questioned it saying “Your niece?”. I thought this was telling. The truth about Joffery, Tommen and Marcella is clearly the worst kept secret in the seven kingdoms. Bonn has also figured about that Jamie set Tyrion free. Jamie claims that he would split Tyrion in two if he ever saw him again because of the fact that Tyrion killed Tywin but I don’t know if I believe it.
When the episode was airing I enjoyed all of the stuff with Cersei but it wasn’t until the episode was over that I realized it really was the best part of a strong episode. She seems hell bent on showing off how much power she can yield even if it means she cuts off her own nose in the process. It begins with word that the Iron Bank wants some of their money. Cersei responds by sending Margaery’s father off to Bravos to deal with the financial situation. It’s pretty clear that she’s doing this so that there will be fewer people around to question her. But the real move comes in her meeting with the High Sparrow. My husband said that I was shaking my head during their conversation. I don’t remember doing this but I must have had quite a strong reaction to Cersei starting a Holy War just to spite her new in-laws that I was subconsciously doing it. I’m 100% sure that Cersei has bitten off more than she can handle. There is a lot of chaos and the targeting of drinkers and gamblers and whores but the real target for Cersei was Loras Tyrell. Cersei knows that having Margery’s brother imprisoned is going to drive Margery crazy, and that exactly why it did it.
As soon as Loras is captured Margery demands that Tommen have him freed. It’s seems like a simple request. The queen wants her husband, the king, to have her brother released from prison. It should be a no brainer. The problem is that Tommen is an incredibly ineffective king. When Tommen goes to Cersei to demand that Loras be feed all it takes is a few words from Cersei to completely rob him of his power and authority. She says that she’s not holding him, which technically is true but let’s get real. If she told the High Sparrow she wanted Loras released he would have him released. Tommen goes to meet with the High Sparrow to demand that his brother-in-law be released but he’s not even allowed to see the High Sparrow because supposedly the High Sparrow is praying.
It is this encounter that I believe has doomed Tommen’s entire reign. Tommen could have had his guards basically force their way through. It would have been bloody but it would have shown that he meant business. But Tommen backs away and is met with shouts that he is a bastard and is born of sin and is an abomination. For the second time this episode the truth about Jamie and Cersei and Joffrey and Tommen and Marcella is acknowledged. The problem that Tommen faces is that he really has no claim to the throne and he is such a weak leader that he almost invites his own people to over throw him. I felt bad for Tommen. Even if he was Robert’s son he was never supposed to be King and he clearly is not in a positon to handle it.
As for Cersei…she is totally out of control. Without either of her brothers or her father around to try to keep her in check she seems to be growing more power hungry and paranoid each moment. As selfish and awful as she is I used to believe that she really did love her children (even that little monster) but now she’s seems to have blinders on. She is so focused on making life miserable for Margaery that she is weakening her son’s authority. Doesn’t she realize that if something happens to Tommen and Marcella is still in Dorne or dead that she will be left with nothing? Everybody will welcome Stannis back to King’s Landing and she’ll be raped and then killed.
Up at the wall Stannis is preparing to make is move and attack Winterfell. Melisandre wants to make sure she goes with him and Stannis assures her that he will. Meanwhile, Jon is caught up on the business aspect of being lord commander. That leads to the painful choice of having to ask Roose Bolton for new recruits for the night’s watch. Melisandre then makes a move to try to convince Jon to go with Stannis to attack Winterfell and drive out the Boltons. Even though Stannis is supposed to be a great leader it’s clear he’s having doubts that he can take Winterfell without Jon’s help. After all, the request that Jon help has come from Stannis (who offered Jon the ultimate prize for a bastard, legitimacy), Davos and now Melisandre. When Jon doesn’t give in Melisandre tries to use the biggest tool at her disposal and that is her sexuality. She desperately tries to seduce Jon. Watching this scene I got the scene that if Jon gave in and had sex with Melisandre it would mark a turning point for him. But he doesn’t give in he says that he still loves another despite the fact that she’s dead. Melisandre responds by exiting the room but before she does she says Ygritte’s famous tag line of “You know nothing Jon Snow.” Melisandre knows more about Jon than she’s letting on (his parental lineage perhaps) and I have a feeling this is not the last time she’s going to try to get into his pants.
The events at the wall wrapped up with a nice scene between Stannis and Shireen.
I don’t like Stannis but adore that sweet girl. It’s easy to forget that Shireen actually could be very important if Stannis were to take the Iron Throne because she is after all a Princess of the House Baratheon and without a son for Stannis she would someday be Queen…greyscale and all.
My biggest issue, not to mention my husband’s, with last week’s episode was the engagement of Sansa to Ramsay Bolton. I know this isn’t in the books so I obviously don’t have an investment in that regards. The reason I was so upset is that Sansa had gone from starting to have a voice to being totally passive. This week did improve a little bit on it. When we first see Sansa she is at her Aunt Lyana’s grave. There is a lot of talk of her and of her relationship to Rhaegar Targaryan. The official story is that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped her but is that what really happened? I am well aware of the theories surrounding Lyana and Rhaegar and I felt like by recalling a character who hadn’t really been mentioned much since the first episode the was laying the groundwork for that theory to be fully developed in the next season or so.
In addition to the talk about Lyana Stark and Rhaegar Targaryan it is revealed to Sansa that Littlefinger is leaving and going back to King’s Landing. Part of me feel s like LIttlefinger is abandoning Sansa and hoping that Stannis will come in a rescue her but then again if, and this is a big IF, Sansa has grown maybe she can use the maneuvering skills she’s gained by spending so much time with Littlefinger to not only survive but put herself in a good position. I want to believe good things about Sansa and that she can become a weak female character who grows into a strong female character…It’s just the show makes that really difficult at times.
To the south Jamie and Bronn have landed in Dorne. Before too long they are fighting against Dorne soldiers. What was most interesting about this scene was how Jamie was saved by his fake hand. You never know what you can use to your advantage.
I had been waiting for the appearance of the Sand Snakes mainly because one of them is being played by Academy Award Nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes.
As Ellaria Sand tries to get them motivated to avenge Oberyn’s death I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the woman who was once the youngest person ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. I was excited to find that she seems to be the most bad ass of them all.
We then rejoin Tyrion and Jorah on the boat. As I had suspected Jorah is taking Tyrion to Dany. It doesn’t take Tyrion long to identify who Jorah is and confront him on his spying. Having none of it Jorah smacks Tyrion unconscious. I do like Tyrion but sometimes he does need to shut up.
In Meereen, there is even more talk of Rhaegar Targaryan between Dany and Selmy. Again, I think the show is really setting something up by having so much talk of Rhaegar in one episode. I like this scene between Selmy and dany, he is important to her. Selmy is her link to the family she didn’t know.
As Dany is hearing another plea of how she needs to reopen the fighting pits all hell breaks loose. The Sons of the Harpy are on the attack and Dany’s army of the unsullied is getting their as kicked. In the fighting Selmy and Greyworm both make moves to save the other ones life but the episode ends with the possibility that both of them are dead
I was very sad at the thought of losing one or both of these character. However, I feel like Dany has been stuck in neutral. She needs something to shake her out of the holding pattern she’s been in. Perhaps the murder of one or both of these characters combined with the arrival of Tyrion will allow to fully embrace who she is and begin to plan her big move to finally take back the Iron Throne.
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