Over the last week I have managed to read thirty more pages in “A Clash of Kings” and am now almost to the end of a Bran chapter on page 330.
This episode opened at Castle Black. After having gaven up his position of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch at the end of episode 3 Jon is getting ready to leave. Ed questions him and tries to convince him to stay but Jon is determined to leave. But then everything changes when three new people arrive at Castle Black. Those three people, of course, are Sansa, Brienne and Pod. “Game of Thrones” is known for breaking your heart so it was unbelievably exciting for there to be a moment that gave me tears of joy. I almost couldn’t believe that Sansa and Jon were going to be reunited! The Starks has been through hell on earth and to see the two of them back together literally made me cry. It was so incredibly moving to see Jon emerge from inside to see Sansa. It gives me chills just to think about it. Jon slowly moves down the stairs, almost in disbelief, before they hug.
Inside they talk a little about the past. Sansa acknowledges that when they were growing up she was awful to him. He brushes it off but she asks to be forgiven and when he says there is nothing to be forgiven for she insists. He does forgive her. I’m really glad that the show touched on their prior relationship. In many ways Jon grew up a Stark but make no mistake Catelyn didn’t like Jon and Sansa grew up being more Catelyn’s daughter than Jon’s sister. Sansa in the early years of the show was not a character that I liked but I feel like she has finally come out of her passive victim role and has found her own strength. This newfound strength was on full display when she and not Jon is the one that proposes that they fight to take Winterfell back from Ramsay.
A major event at the end of Season 5 still hasn’t been addressed with two very important characters yet. The event in question is the burning of the Princess Shireen by Melisandre. Davos adored that little girl and he still does not know the truth of what happened to her. For the first time he begins to question Melisandre about this after she says she will follow Jon anywhere because he is “The Prince that was promised”. This, of course, is a change because as Davos points out she previously believed that Stannis was the prince that was promised. Although the truth is not reviled to Davos it is clear that when it is there is going to be major fallout between Davos and Melisandre.
The arrival of Brienne at Castle Black sets up a similar dynamic but for a different reason. Brienne reveals to Davos and Melisandre that she saw Renly killed with blood magic and that Stannis admitted it right before she executed him. It would seem that right now Melisandre has actually found “the prince that was promised” in Jon and she is on the right path but with the impending conflicts with Davos and Brienne she may have to pay dearly for her past sins.
Moving down to the Erie we see a couple of characters we haven’t seen in quite awhile including Robin who remains feeble as demonstrated by him not even being able to hit the target as he practices archery. When Littlefinger arrives we find that his is as manipulative as ever. First, Littlefinger distracts/wins over Robin by giving him a couple of new Falcons while undermining Lord Royce.
It takes less than a minute for Littefinger to work is manipulative magic and have Robin ready to throw Lord Royce through the moon door. I mentioned to my husband after the episode Robin is just as crazy as Joffrey but just more feeble and therefore less dangerous. Before the scene is over not only has Littlefinger taken Lord Royce to the edge of being thrown through the moon door he is managed to convince Robin to send the Lords of the Vale up the Wall to fight with Sansa. As usual I’m not sure what Littlefingers motivations are. Did he basically put Sansa in danger with the marriage to Ramsay as to trigger a new war in the North? If so why?
In Meereen, Tyrion, Varys, Missandei and Greyworm meet with the slavers from the other cities. Tyrion is trying to bring his style of ruling to Maureen. It is a style of negotiations and favors and it is one that was fairly successful for him when he was the Hand of the King. However, this style is not the way things have been done in Maureen either before or during Dany’s rule. Instead of ending slavery immediately he makes a deal with the slavers that they will slowly end slavery over seven years. And then in classic Tyrion style he gives them prostitutes.
Sometimes Tyrion makes it impossible to totally root for him. The way he relates to women is just awful. While Tyrion is quite happy with his negotiations nobody else (except maybe for Varys) really is. A group of freed slaves are very upset that they met with the slavers and this puts both Greyworm and Missandei in a difficult position. What I found very interesting about the position that Greyworm and Missandei are in right now is that it is a positon that people find themselves in when they first rise above their normal positon in life. They are torn between where they come from and where they currently are. It also seemed that Tyrion is trying to play a game of figurative game of chess with the slavers while Greyworm and Missandei believe he is in over his head because the slavers can’t be trusted to abide by the rules of the game Tyrion is trying to play. Although this scene was a little bit better developed than last week’s scene in Meereen it still seems like everything in Meereen is kind of a time filler for two time Emmy award winner Peter Dinklage while the show works to get Dany back to them
Speaking of Dany, Daario and Jorah make their way towards Vaes Dorthrak in their efforts to find her. As they get closer Daario seems to be trying to pick a fight with Jorah. This makes no sense to me at this point in the game. After they see the temple of Dosh Khaleen a tear in Jorah’s clothes allows Daario to see his greyscale.
This made me really sad because it was almost as if Jorah could kind of deny what was happening to him as long as nobody else knew. Now he really is living on borrowed time. The two men sneak into Vaes Dorthrak at night. When they are caught by two Dorthraki men who don’t believe their story that they are merchants they Daario kills one by breaking his neck and then saves Jorah’s life by stabbing the other with a knife he snuck into the city. While sneaking a knife into the city served them into the short term it did put them in an even more dangerous position since weapons are not allowed in the city.
As Dany waits to find out her fate she befriends one of the younger Dorthraki widows that is living out her life in Vaes Dorthrak, when Jorah and Daario finally find her they almost kill the young woman.
They want to help Dany escape but she wants to do more than escape.
In King’s Landing Septa Unella leads Margery to the High Sparrow.
While talking with the High Sparrow Margery reveals that she has absorbed some of what Septa Unella has read “at” her since she’s been imprisoned. I had to laugh when the High Sparrow admitted that Septa Unella loves to read at people, who hasn’t met people that love to read at or talk at people. He then uses this conversation with Margery to tell her of his own experience of finding his spiritual rock bottom and how it resulted in his path to righteousness. After their talk he allows Margery to see Loras. Brother and sister at different places. Margery wants them both to keep fighting and not to give in while Loras just wants it all to end.
It seems that their fate, for better or worse, will be decided by the actions of the people inside the Red Keep. Grand Maester Pycelle is talking to King Tommen when Cersei walks in. This upsets her and she sends Grand Maester Pycelle away. Once again Tommen is a very weak leader who is easily manipulated. He doesn’t want to put Margery at risk but Cersei argues for aggression against the High Sparrow. When Cersei spoke the words, “I’m your mother. You can always trust me.” I knew the broken Cersei we saw in the first two episodes of this season is gone and Spider Cersei is back. As Jamie and Cersei crash another meeting of the small counsel they try to get the Queen of Thorns and their Uncle on their side.
Using an effort to “Save Margery” they convince the members of the small counsel to make a move against the High Sparrow. This coup has disaster written all over it. I’m pretty sure Loras is going to be a goner when this all goes down and very possibly some other important characters as well. Cersei’s schemes don’t go well and I’m sure this one will be no exception.
Over at the Iron Islands Theon arrives home and is not greeted warmly by Yara.
She is upset about her failed rescue attempt of him in Season 4 stating, “I risked everything for you and you betrayed me.” Of course Theon was nearly 100% Reek at that point and was not in a positon to fight back. I don’t blame Yara though. She also doesn’t believe Theon hasn’t returned home to make a claim to their father’s throne. He denies this saying that she should rule the Iron Island and that he wants to help her.
In Winterfell there is no end to Ramsay’s destruction. A newly bathed Osha is left with him. She tries to distract him with a fake seduction so she can stab him with a knife but it backfires.
He reveals that Theon told him that she was the one who helped Bran and Rickon escape moments before he kills her. There was no reason for Ramsay to keep Osha alive so it really wasn’t a surprise but it was still quite sad.
At Castle Black a letter arrives from Ramsay. The letter informs Jon that Ramsay has Rickon and it taunts Jon into making a play for Winterfell. Jon is so upset with the contents of the letter that he can’t finish reading it.
It is Sansa that finishes the letter and it is Sansa that convinces Jon that they must take back their home and save their brother. I LOVED this scene and what it did for Jon/Kit and Sansa/Sophie. A more vulnerable Jon allows for more depth to the character and better acting from Kit. While a stronger Sansa with more belly fire gives a long passive character a new dimension and Sophie an opportunity to shine.
The episode wrapped up in Vaes Dorthrak as Dany is brought in to have her fate decided by the Khals. But instead just standing there and letting them tell her how the rest of her life will go she takes command and defies them. She proclaims that she will be the leader of the Dorthraki and she burns down the tent they were all meeting in killing all the Khals in the process. All the Dorthraki people move around the burning tent where their leaders have perished. Then out of the fire Dany emerges.
As we know fire cannot kill a dragon and as Dany reveals herself the Dorthraki people bow down to her. After years of waiting Dany is finally ready. She has her dragons, her unsullied army and now the Dorthraki and I have no doubt that she will be making her move toward Westeros by the end of the season. And she is going to kick some ass!
I LOVED this episode. I have always loved Dany but the biggest surprise this season has been Sansa. If you think about it these two women started out in very similar places back in season one. They have taken very different journeys but now both women have found their path and their strength and it’s very exciting to see.
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Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.