This week’s episode of Game of Thrones opens on a single awakening eye. It’s a cool and peaceful morning, and young Arya Stark has murder on her mind and a rock in her filthy hands. The Hound is off his bender, though, and isn’t to be snuck up on. Lesson learned: next time, throw the rock.
Back in the saddle, there’s time for some chit chat, and Arya gets brought up to speed on her family’s latest doings. It does a little number on her head hearing that the Hound (a) saved Sansa from being violated and god knows, probably eaten and (b) intends to take her back to her people without any detours to bushwhack Lannisters. I doubt she feels all that bad about praying for his death for the last year, but maybe a little.
Across the sea in Yunkai, Dany and 2Dads are getting a look at those powerful friends the Yunkish envoy was talking about. These turn out to be a free company of heavy cavalry called the second sons, led by a giant Aussie asshole who talks like a YouTube comment thread.
No dragons on hand for this little parlay, so most of the entertainment comes from watching Dany keep her cool. That and the vibe between her and the comely Lt. Naaharis.
Mel and Gendry are back at Storm’s End. After a friendly chuck under the chin, Uncle Stannis is satisfied that Gendry is a genuine bastard, although he’s a bit baffled by Mel’s Whole Foods ethical slaughter protocol.
With no one else to talk to, Stannis hits the dungeons to interrupt Davos’ homework. Stannis is a world-class shitty friend, only showing up when he needs something, in this case someone who will actually talk back to him. He doesn’t want to be talked out of letting Mel do her thing with Gendry, though. He just wants to work through his rationalizations out loud.
Back in Yunkai, the Second Sons’ commanders are plotting a quick solution to the problem of trying to ride down 8,000 pikemen. And the job of assassinating Dany falls to the free-spirited Lt. Naaharis and his truckstop art-noveau cutlery.
And now the moment that no one, but no one, not anywhere has been waiting for: Tyrion & Sansa’s storybook wedding. This is some of the most excruciating shit ever. We get Tyrion’s earnest and hapless attempts to reassure Sansa. We get Cersei dropping all pretense with Marge, to the point of threatening to have her killed if she doesn’t lay off the treacle. We get the unspeakable Joff, bouncing on his heels as he reminds Sansa that he had her father murdered. And snatching Tyrion’s stepladder, for pity’s sake.
It’s a relief to get back to Mel & Gendry, and a wine and candlelight seduction that ends with Mel sticking a leech on the poor boy’s seething hard-on. I’d love to know how that isn’t going to spoil the meat, but I can’t see arguing with Mel.
In the end, the leeches get the worst of it, chucked on the brazier like coins in a fountain as Stannis recites his enemies list.
Back at the wedding, Tyrion is getting absolutely hammered, Sansa is dying inside, and Lady O is being fucking hilarious. Tywin, ever the proud and loving parent, comes over to smack the goblet from Tyrion’s hand out of concern that he won’t be able to raise a rope and start piping baby-batter into poor Sansa on schedule.
I’m on Tyrion’s side, of course. I got through half a bottle of Scotch at my wedding, and I was entirely happy to be there. Tywin’s just pissed because he got that awesome leather coat made special, and no one has complimented him on it yet.
Up on the landing, Loras takes a shot at commiserating with Cersei, who swats him down hard and goes for a refill. Pity poor Slow Loras, he really is in for the worst of these three abominable matches.
And Joff, who is having the time of his life here, adds a few flourishes by threatening to rape Sansa, and then trying to rouse the crowd for a traditional bit of bawdy merriment. Last straw for Tyrion, who is too drunk to deliver a bitchslap, but drunk enough to draw steel. Tywin jumps in just in time, allowing Tyrion to clown his way out of the room with Sansa dragging behind.
How drunk is Tyrion? Drunk as hell, obviously, but somehow not drunk enough to rape a terrified 14 year old, even on his father’s orders. Take a rest, guy.
Under the light of the new moon, Lt. N is sneaking into camp, and Dany is having a bath with her 3PO unit. And some stuff happens blah blah blah as Dany’s perfect nipples glisten. And we can add 2,000 cavalry to Dany’s assets. If I was Yunkai, I’d be ironing my negotiating robes.
And in the hungover light of morning, Fucking Shae barges in with breakfast and checks the sheets for blood. And appears genuinely surprised to find nothing. A glance is exchanged as she leaves, but Tyrion obviously know he’s not off the hook. There’s just no upside to this mess.
Though if we want to talk about doomed couples, we can’t leave out Sam & Gilly and the wee baby TBA. Camping in a shack under a weirwood tree festooned with noisy ravens is bad enough. Late night calls from baby-hungry ice zombies? Just the worst.
We get some fantastic CGI here, and we see Samwell Tarly’s balls grow three sizes that day. And now we know what dragonglass is good for. (Unless you leave your dagger in the snow as you flee in terror with a Hitchcock movie’s worth of ravens in your wake. You’re still useless, Sam.)