SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from Season 5, Episode 6 of Game of Thrones.
So many faces, so little time:
A girl is not ready to become No One, but she is ready to become someone else. -Jaqen H’ager concludes to Arya Stark
Arya (still sweeping/washing dead bodies) is once again tested by the other girl she has been working w/ in The House of Black and White, then later, by Jaqen. He hits her w/ a branch whenever she tells a lie about her past life. When she gets the dying little girl to drink the (poison) water of the well, Jaqen sees more of Arya’s potential. I LOVED how naturally Arya related to this girl. (I didn’t know that this well was the last resort for people who drank from it, but it makes sense now!) Jaqen leads Arya down through a tunnel to a long room- there are faces EVERYWHERE! Arya is speechless as she looks over these faces.
Unlikely Traveling Companions:
Do you ever stop talking!? -Ser Jorah Mormont exclaims to Lord Tyrion Lannister
Jorah (FINALLY) learns from Tyrion that his father, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, is dead at the hands of some his own men. Iain Glen (one of my faves on this cast of FAB actors) quietly lets us know how his character is feeling. Later on, the two men are captured by a band of pirates led by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who you may know from HBO’s prison drama Oz or ABC’s Lost. (This was a nice surprise- I didn’t know he’d have a role on this show!)
Take me to Slaver’s Bay. Put a sword in my hand. I’ll prove my worth. -Jorah tells the pirate leader
Tyrion does what he does best- talking his way out of getting killed and convincing the pirates that Jorah is a great warrior (of course, we know he IS). Jorah joins in by explaining that he killed one of Khal Drogo’s bloodriders (which he did to protect Dany and her then unborn child).
Young love (probably won’t end well):
What was up w/ the rescue/kidnap plan of Myrcella (looking so pretty/sweet) in the Water Gardens!? Talk about a hot mess! Neither Jaime and Bronn nor the Sand Snakes had a good plan. Bronn got a cut on his arm. (Joanna Robinson and Dave Chen of A Cast of Kings wondered if he was poisoned. Oberyn said that he put poison on his weapons in S4.)
Some viewers were happy to see that Myrcella and Trystane (son of the king of Dorne) had fallen in love. Tyrion arranged the match to protect the girl in case war came. But, come on people, do you REALLY think a couple will be allowed to be happy on THIS show!?
Littlefinger runs into Lancel, then meets w/ the Queen Mother:
We’re both peddling fantasies, Brother Lancel… mine are just more entertaining. -Lord Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) explains to the young Sparrow
I absolutely LOVED the above line- who else but Lord Baelish would have the gall to compare religion (albeit a very extreme from) to pimping!? LOL!
Hmmm… why exactly did Cersei call Littlefinger back to Kings Landing? He works his magic w/ his words (as usual), and eventually reveals that Sansa Stark is alive. Well, THAT gets Cersei’s attention! Of course, he never says anything about HIS role in helping Sansa out. And can you imagine Littlefinger trying to rally the lords of The Vale in a battlefield!? Hey, it might happen if the Martells remove their support.
The Tart-Tongued vs. The Tart:
I didn’t trust your father, or particularly like him, but I respected him. He was no fool. He understood that sometimes we must work with our rivals rather than destroy them. -Lady Olenna comments
House Lannister has no rivals. -Queen Mother Cersei Lannister retorts
The scene w/ Cersei and Olenna was just perfect! And did you see how comfortable Cersei looks in the office of The Hand (where her father Tywin used to sit)? Olenna pointed out that House Martell has been providing “gold, wheat, and troops” to the capital, so she can’t have her house’s “future” (Ser Loras) locked up in jail. But the above remark about the Lannisters having no rivals was just dumb, even dangerous.
Faith, Lies… & (GASP!) Olyver:
…neither kings nor queens are exempt from testimony at a holy inquest. -The High Sparrow explains to Margaery
Next up- the inquest (NOT a trial) which involves Tommen, Cersei, Lady Olenna, Margaery, Loras (looking FAB w/ that beard), and the High Sparrow/High Septon (still in threadbare robes) and a few of his attendant Sparrows. This scene was pretty predictable, as Dave Chen noted. Loras denies that he and Renly Baratheon were lovers, even though we Loras mourned his death deeply and wore his king’s green/gold armor at the Battle of the Blackwater (see clip below).
Queen Margaery sticks up for her big bro, even saying that she swears to the gods that she’s telling the truth. I knew that the pro/procurer, Olyver, would testify against Loras (who should’ve been more discreet). But why should his testimony be held above that of a noble family!? It doesn’t make such sense. Shockingly, Margaery is taken away by the Sparrows, while Tommen just sits silent (powerless/clueless).
The third time is NOT a charm for Sansa:
…the last thing we needed was to have a powerful young woman brought low in order for a male character to find redemption. No thank you. -Joanna Robinson (A Cast of Kings podcast/Vanity Fair magazine)
I’m sure we ALL felt very sorry (yet again) for poor Sansa! She has been through SO much, but come out as a survivor. The dirge-like music as she prepared to go to the wedding was a superb touch, as was the dark/snowy nighttime setting of the ceremony. Sansa took her time to agree to the alliance (this is political, after all). Notice the evil/gleeful look in Ransay’s eyes? It was creepily apropos.
I agree w/ Joanna that focusing on Theon’s/Reek’s quivering/crying face as Sansa is being raped (yes, marital rape is real) by Ramsay was NOT a good choice. Why does it have to be about the man’s pain!? I expected BETTER!
SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from Season 5, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones.
10) Keep reading, Samwell Tarly. -Lord Stannis Baratheon concludes w/ this in his scene w/ the (literary) steward
Stannis is surprised when he realizes that Sam is the son of a great warrior, Randall Tarly, the man who defeated his brother Robert once in a battle. Sam (humbly) tells Stannis that he has killed a Whitewalker, like the crows said. Now, he’s going through all the books in Castle Black to find ANY reference of the creatures. In a world where all men must serve, some serve better by using their brains NOT brawn (or Bronn- pun intended).
Sidenote: Wasn’t it funny when Stannis corrected the grammar of one of the Night’s Watch? Here is the scene, along w/ one from Season 2, Episode 4.
9) When the battle comes, promise you’ll protect me. -Ser Davos jokes w/ Shireen Baratheon as they prepare to leave Castle Black
Aww, I LOVE the little light-hearted moments in this (mostly serious) show! I liked how Shireen had time to make friends w/ Sam (a bright bulb like herself) and Gilly (who she was teaching to read).
8) What would make our time together truly enjoyable would be some wine. -Lord Tyrion Lannister explains to Ser Jorah Mormont
If YOU saw a dragon, you’d probably need a drink, too! Jorah is surprised to see how big Drogon has gotten; Tyrion is speechless (for a change).
7) We don’t want to overfeed them. -Daenerys Targaryen comments to the Meereenese noblemen in the dragon cave
Barristan the Bold is indeed dead, which means that Dany is short of ANOTHER advisor. She rounds up the heads of all the noble families (including Hizdahr zo Loraq), shows them her other two dragons, and then one of them gets eaten- YOWZA! I did NOT expect that to happen, BUT Dany is full of surprises this season. See more below…
6) This isn’t a strange place. This is my home. It’s the people who are strange. -Sansa Stark corrects Walda Bolton at the dinner table
Sansa is at Winterfell, BUT it’s not like home at all. Ramsay’s freaky/VERY jealous girlfriend, Myranda, shows her to the kennels where Reek (formerly known as Theon Greyjoy) is sleeping. Of course, Sansa is shocked to see the state of her adopted brother-turned enemy.
5) That was getting… very tense. -Ramsay Bolton comments at dinner
Wow, was that dinner awkward?! Ramsay says that Reek will give away Sansa (being the closest to family). Roose announces that Walda is expecting their child, possibly a boy. Oh yeah, that shuts Ramsay up fast! Did you notice the look on Sansa’s face? It was golden!
4) Sure, I’m your son.. until a better alternative comes along! -Ramsay declares to his father, Roose
That unborn son will do Roose no good in the battle to come — he’ll tell Ramsay whatever he needs to in order to keep him flaying folks for Team Bolton. -Jeremy Egner (The New York Times)
We (finally) learn Ramsay’s origin story- it’s a HORRID one, of course! Hmmm, I wonder- does Roose love Ramsay? Or is he just using the sick, sinister young man to further his ambitions. Ramsay (as MANY critics/viewers have written) is worse than his father.
3) Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy… and let the man be born. -Maester Aemon counsels
Jon worried what the other crows will think if he makes a certain decision. Maester Aemon (How cool is he!?) says that Jon’s the one that must make the decision, and it doesn’t matter what he or anyone else thinks! It’s time for Jon to put aside his doubts and lead, as a Lord Commander should.
2) Thankfully, a suitor is already on his knees. -Daenerys Targaryen says to Hizdahr zo Loraq in his jail cell
A woman who began this story as a matrimonial offering to a barbarian ruler is now using a political marriage to her own advantage. -Jeremy Egner (The New York Times)
I was VERY surprised by Dany’s sudden decision to ally w/ the former slaveowners of Meereen by marrying one of them- Hizdahr (Joel Fry)! Then I recalled how Hizdahr (though afraid) stood tall in the cave w/ the dragons. Also, he served as Dany’s ambassador to Yunkai, and made some valid points at court. Looks like ANOTHER wedding is coming up…
1) Don’t let them touch you! – Ser Jorah Mormont warns Lord Tyrion Lannister after the Stone Men attack their boat
The BEST parts of this ep involved Jorah and Tyrion, two noble men from Westeros traveling through a (rather spooky) area of Valyria. They admire the ruins, recite a poem together, before being attacked by the Stone Men. Whoa, those dudes were kinda scary! Jorah fights with several of the zombie-like men. In the commotion, Tyrion falls out of the boat. As he struggles w/ the rope binding his wrists, he sinks lower, then the screen goes black for a few VERY tense moments. No worries, Tyrion is safe! He and Jorah (one of my faves) are on an empty beach, but the knight has contracted Greyscale- OH NO!!!
SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from Season 5, Episode 4 of Game of Thrones.
What would you say if I told you about a great sinner in our very midst, shielded by gold and privilege? -Cersei asks the High Sparrow
At first, I was like which sinner? Is it Tyrion? But then, I saw Lancel (w/ a seven-pointed star freshly carved into his forehead- YIKES) and several Sparrows come to where Loras Tyrell was jousting w/ his men, seize him, and toss him in jail. Joanna Robinson (A Cast of Kings podcast) thinks that Littlefinger wrote to Cersei re: Loras. After all, Olyver was a pro who spied for Littlefinger, and has been hooking up regularly w/ Loras.
Aren’t you and mother getting along? -Tommen asks Margaery
LOL! Poor King Tommen, he’s in WAY over his head in his new marriage and (we later learn) in ruling! Cersei has given The High Sparrow (now High Septon, Joanna Robinson points out) a LOT of power by reinstating The Faith Militant, who violently “clean up” the streets of King’s Landing.
I need to be with my family right now! -Margaery declares to Tommen before rushing out of their chamber
Both Joanna and her co-host Dave Chen noticed that this is where we get to see the REAL Margaery. Her usual façade is gone, as she’s VERY worried for her brother. She goes to write to her grandmother (Lady Olenna). Diana Rigg was in the previews for the next ep; it’ll be cool to have her back!
I’ve lived an exciting life. I want my death to be boring. -Bronn says to Jaime
You know how we LOVED the Bronn/Tyrion friendship? Well, this season we get the (budding) friendship between Bronn and Jaime, who the sellsword taught how to “fight dirty” in Season 4. On the ship, when Bronn mentions his former employer, Jamie coldly says “If I see him again, I’ll split him two.” Whoa, that was a BIT harsh- I didn’t think Jaime would say THAT! Tyrion killed Tywin at the end of Season 4, and Jaime can’t forgive that.
I think I can speak for all of us three who are playing Sand Snakes: We are all so grateful to him for the work that he [Pedro Pascal] did. As an actor, he set up so much of our world. He was only on the show for eight episodes, and he made such an impact. It’s incredible. So much of my performance, especially, was based on him. It was really important that the movement was similar, because Obara is the most like Oberyn. She has trained her entire life with him to use the spear like he does. -Keisha Castle Hughes
Next is the scene w/ Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell’s three daughters (Obara, Nym, and Tyene). I just expected more, BUT did enjoy seeing Keisha Castle-Hughes all grown up; she plays Obara, the eldest of the Sand Snakes. You may know the now 25 y.o. from the critically-acclaimed indie Whale Rider or The Nativity Story, where she co-starred w/ rising star Oscar Isaac. (FYI: Her mother is Maori and her father is white.)
My father pointed to the spear and then to my mother’s tears. I made my choice long ago. -Obara explains to Ellaria
When Obara mentioned tears, I thought of Sansa, who can’t fight w/ weapons like these young women of Dorne. Well, Arya and Brienne can fight, but they’re NOT typical Westerosi gals!
How many tens of thousands died because Rhaegar chose your aunt? -Littlefinger muses to Sansa
We see Sansa in the family crypt below Winterfell, looking rather solemn. She picks up a feather, looks at it quizzically, but we recall that it was the token King Robert Baratheon left for Lyanna back in Season 1. Littlefinger walks in, tells the story about Rhaegar Targaryen preferring Lyanna Stark (Sansa’s aunt) over his wife Elia Martell, then says he has to leave b/c Cersei has called him back to King’s Landing. Then he says that Ramsay has already fallen for her already, so she doesn’t need to worry. Um no, Ramsay is just acting grateful and humble b/c Sansa is a lady with the right name! Oh, and he also fears his father. Now I’m even MORE worried for Sansa!
I was told you’d die… or worse.. the Grayscale would go slow and let you know the world before taking it away from you. Everyone advised me to take you to the ruins of Valyria to live out your short life with The Stone Men, before the sickness spread through the castle. I told them all to go to Hell. I called in every maester on this side of the world, every healer, every apothecary. They stopped the disease and saved your life, because you do not belong across the world with the bloody Stone Men. You are the princess Shireen of the House Baratheon… and you are my daughter. -Excerpt from Stannis’ speech to his daughter
Like Joanna, I teared up at the end of the scene w/ Stannis and Shireen- it was FAB! Thank goodness, we are seeing MORE of Stannis- he’s not just a cold/calculating warrior! He declared that Selyse his wife would “never strike” their daughter in that memorable Season 4 dinner scene.
Traditions are the only thing that will hold this city, your city, together. Without them, former slaves and former masters have nothing in common but centuries of mistrust and resentment. -Hizdahr zo Loraq explains to Dany
I liked the above line a LOT! Hizdahr pleads w/ Dany (again) to reconsider opening the fighting pits. Though “the city looks peaceful” from her high perch on the pyramid, there is turmoil (as we see that in that final scene where the rag tag Sons of the Harpy take on several Unsullied… and even Ser Barristan Selmy)!
I LOVED that scene where the knight quit the Kingsguard! Looks like Ser Barristan (who has been on the series since early in Season 1) has wielded his sword for the last time- TOO BAD! Grey Worm is wounded, but I’m sure he’ll survive.