Our new episode of Game of Thrones begins with the next stage of Tyrion’s journey, which involves Jorah dry-gulching some poor fisherman and stealing his livelihood (nice tip). Jorah’s a prick and is making sure that Tyrion knows it.
On another boat, Jaime gets an unexpected view of Brienne’s old home, and a grilling from Bronn. All he’s asking is what we all are: Why is Jaime along for this fool’s errand? You need to do penance for letting Tyrion loose to kill Tywin? You need to prove yourself to Cersei? You have a special magic key hidden in your 30 lb. fake hand?
“It has to be me.” Great answer. I guess you can’t say “The writer’s room had to get all the pieces on the chessboard by ep. 4 and this is the best we could do.”
Cersei is clearing the small council out, since she has a power move coming up and Cersei is a fucking idiot. The Iron Bank, who own both sides of the war to come, have started foreclosure proceedings, so that’s an excuse to send the boob Tyrell off on a slow boat.
Idiot may be too mild a term. Apparently Cersei’s move is to authorize a fundamentalist militia to go on a headcracking binge, purging the capital of false idols, booze, whores, queers, and her inconvenient fiancee.
Mind you, her old fuckbuddy/cousin Lancel is one of the scarheads. And they have no qualms about disobeying the authority of the crown. So, good job getting rid of Slow Loras, but the situation is already well out of control. Hope Cersei has secured the castle wine cellars.
Marge is getting to the end of what she can do by manipulating Tommen, who is a sweet kid but really can’t project authority. So it’s time to call grandma. Which might mean more of Diana Rigg this season. Magnificent.
Meanwhile up north, Stannis is planning his march on Winterfell, and Commander Snow is swallowing his pride and begging for troops. And Red Mel is parting the robe for some impressive sexual bullying. Snow doesn’t know she’s trying to get a smokebaby out of him, but he knows not to trust her. She leaves him with a half-smirk and a scary quote.
And we get a touching moment between Shireen and Stannis, who might not be the worst dad. He’s not a hugger, but there’s hope.
Down in the crypts of Winterfell, we get a bit of backstory on the seeds of Robert’s Rebellion, and how the Starks fit into the whole miserable mess. And Scratchy the Pimp drops a load of exposition on Sansa, whom he clearly doesn’t give a fuck about in the end. The whole “Stannis is gonna take out the Boltons and rally the North” thing sounds iffy enough when Stannis talks about it. From the lips of Lord Petyr it sounds like pure bullshit.
Sansa’s half a head taller than he is, and we are seeing that for a reason. She’s worth three of him.
In the blue dawn off the coast of Dorne, Bronn and Jaime are actually going through with this. And we get to see Bronn kill and cook a sand snake, which I imagine is symbolic in some way.
Bronn wants a boring death, which he’s earned by now. Jaime wants to die in the arms of the woman he loves, and she might want the same thing, but wherever he dies will probably suit her. Considering that they can’t make it off the beach before they’re fighting for their lives, that’s for the best. Though Jaime seems to be adjusting to lefty status.
A bit further down the coast, The Smokin’ Hot Bastards are having a pow-wow. And Mel’s not the only one who can predict the future, it seems. Bronn’s prophecy of Captain Sellout’s betrayal has come to pass. So it is known that Jaime’s in town, which moves up the timetable on putting Myrcella into the deli slicer.
(Does everyone in Dorne wear those curly toe elf boots? Hadn’t noticed.)
Where did Jorah learn to sail? I guess he’s from an island. Anyway, Tyrion wants a chat, and after a rousing chorus or two of My Girl’s Pussy, Jorah relents and pulls his gag. Tyrion needs about a minute to read Jorah like a comic book. Jorah retorts by punching him upside the head, which Varys would applaud if he could see.
Back in Mereen, we get to hear about another side of Rhaegar Targaryen, who liked to busk on street corners when he wasn’t kidnapping and raping highborn Northern ladies and sparking civil wars. I’d call bullshit, but this is coming from Ser Barristan Selmy, whom you will recall from Scratchy’s earlier tale.
And it’s time for office hours with Dany, who is still pushing back on re-opening the fighting pits. It’s opening day, incidentally, which must have all the unemployed former pit fighters feeling a bit yippy. And look, here are the Sons of the Harpy, wasting Second Sons in broad daylight and luring Unsullied into catacombs.
The Unsullied are warfighters, trained to fight in pitched battles and in formation. With nice long spears. The Sons of the Harpy, whomever they may be, seem to excel at fighting in close quarters with shorter weapons, hmmmm sort of like pit fighters.
The Unsullied are fearless and tough, but they are outnumbered and otherwise at tactical disadvantage, and they get demolished. Grey Worm is wounded and about to go down when Ser Grandpa rolls in and drops a baker’s dozen before his luck runs out.
This has been a great ep for terrible decisions and ugly consequences, with the promise of more to come. Looking forward to next week.