We begin this week’s episode of Game of Thrones with Grey Worm and Missandei doing a little bonding over the shared horror of their past. She’s teaching him the common tongue of Westeros, apparently. Eyes on the prize, Dany.
Grey’s role in the taking of Meereen is as an agent provocateur, supplying motivation and a load of cutlery to the slave population. He is, shall we say, effective. In the blue dawn, we see Dany’s standard flying atop the penthouse suite at the Luxor, followed by a zombie apocalypse-style blitz.
In the warm afternoon sun, Dany does a victory stroll and hands out some hardass payback to the folks who set up the 163 welcome signs. She seems to like the view from her new villa overlooking the strip. Check the lease agreement, see if they allow dragons?
Jaime seems to be getting the hang of fighting southpaw, so Bronn’s moving on to Fighting Dirty 101. Pimp-slapping a dude with his own prosthetic hand isn’t an everyday move, but we’re learning principles here. Bronn’s services also include some very frank talk, and a bit of precise shaming. I’d forgotten that Tyrion named Jaime his champ originally.
A little shaming goes a long way, and we get a gently sunlit scene with Jaime and Tyrion, playing out a bit of sibling rivalry by comparing prison conditions. Tyrion knows he’s screwed and that Jaime’s useless here, but at least he believes Tyrion’s denials.
And Sansa believes in his innocence, though who knows why. And her captor Baelish hands her some garbled nonsense about realpolitik and ambition, but in his heart he is just another pimp. He is unable to feel shame, and other people exist to be used or degraded.
So Baelish had a hand in killing Joff, shocker, and did it to seal an alliance with… the Tyrells, or at least with Lady O. Who hands out some parting wisdom to Marge. That little walk and talk last week between Tywin and Tommen about marital mechanics was well timed.
I think we’re all on Lady O’s side on this one. I can’t say I like the way she fiddles with Marge’s jewelry, though.
Is it just me, or is Jon Snow’s voice getting deeper? Something’s certainly getting deeper, what with Ruthven joining the ranks. Ruthven’s barely able to keep his sadism in check in a training bout, but beating a brother to the ground chills him out enough to let him get close to Snow. That was one ominous handshake.
Does anyone think Tyrion’s the actual killer? Cersei might, but she’s also clearly above all in a mood for blood. And wine. Not, however, in a mood for Jaime.
Those four dudes guarding Tommen’s door must have been very confused about their orders. Tommen’s a sweet kid, and really, I’d rather have Marge leading me around by the nose than Cersei.
Brienne doesn’t have shit to do in King’s Landing, so she’s grateful for a mission, even a wild goose chase after Sansa. Jaime sends her off with a re-gifted Valyrian steel sword, some very hot couture, and of course Pod. Those two are going to have some earnest conversations on the road to not finding Sansa.
We get a touching goodbye, with Pod getting Tyrion’s lucky axe and Jaime speaking Brienne’s name to her for possibly the first time. She’s too tough to cry, but she does look back.
Back with the Black, we get a huge swathe of Not in the Book plot that’s sets up a collision of Bran’s campers, Jon Snow, Ruthven, and two direwolves at Craster’s Keep. Which was never a great place to visit, and is now a snowbound Public Disgrace set presided over by the sneering drunken braggart who knifed Craster. What this establishes is: Jon Snow has a talent for leadership, Bran’s a bit sloppy as a wolf, and Ruthven is going to swear an oath with every intention of breaking the shit out of it.
And we find out what happened to Craster’s boys, whom I assumed were snacks. It turns out there’s some manner of Cenobite leadership class of White Walkers and they MAKE ZOMBIE BABIES and that is the most fucked up thing so far this season and that is actually saying something.
So, it’s churlish to complain that the only thing that actually happens this ep is that Dany conquers a city. But she’s done that before, and Meereen was a pushover. OK, we found out who wasted Joff, but we kind of knew already and sadly for Tyrion, it doesn’t matter. This was still a setup ep. Next week I want dragons and ownage.