Mother of shit, last week’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones was heinous. I’d rather have a pig fart in my mouth than watch that again. Luckily we have this week’s episode to enjoy.
In the blue-filtered frozone of Castle Black, Jon Snow is saddling up to ride northward on another of this season’s “sensitive diplomatic missions”. With Tormund Giantbeard for company. No one says goodbye except Ser Alliser (sort of) and Fat Sam, who gifts Jon a bag of dragonglass. You know, in case they run into the miles-long train of ice zombies.
Dear old Maester Aemon, meanwhile, is circling the drain, and is rather less guarded about his speech now.
A bit further south, Our Theon of Sorrows and Our Sansa of Bruises have another meetup. Sansa’s got the windows wide open, probably in hopes of catching her death. Sansa tries to enlist his aid, appealing to whatever in him remains intact. This can’t go well. And it does not.
And we say goodbye to Maester Aemon, whose very long watch has ended. Sam speaks eloquently, and Ser Alliser honors the occasion with his usual boorishness.
Barry the Bastard looks like a ventriloquist’s dummy when he puts on a smile. And it looks like Theon has ratted out the room service underground. Good thing Sansa palmed that dagger.
And, suffering in the snow we have Stannis’ army. Minus 500 sellswords, 40 horses, and much morale. I hate to say that Stannis has a point about marching ever forward, but retreating north sounds suicidal.
I remember I asked for a scenario in which Shireen doesn’t wind up as an art installation hanging from the battlements at Winterfell. Not to be a complainer, but I don’t like Red Mel’s proposal any better. Fortunately Stannis seems to agree.
Back at Castle Black, at least two more assholes have noticed that Sam’s running out of allies, so they beat the ever loving holy shit out of him and try to tack on another gratuitous rape scene for our delectation. Lucky for Sam he’s got love to make him strong. Stronger. Able to stand up for a few seconds. Also he has Ghost, who has run out of mammoth femurs to gnaw and can smell bullying. Or maybe Sam’s blood.
Either way we’re spared watching Gilly get raped in front of Sam, and we get a touching consensual love scene, Northern style (cloaks on).
Across the sea, we find Tyrion and Jorah on the block at the local slave market. Nameless Slaver drops a fairly ridiculous spiel about Jorah, who keeps a straight face and sells for 33% above asking price. Not bad.
(The actor playing our nameless slaver is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who is 6’ 2” and has a law degree from King’s College London. Take a moment and imagine him in a barrister’s robes and wig.)
Tyrion tries to fast talk his way out of the cock merchant’s clutches, but makes the sale by laying down a chain-whipping. Tyrion has probably wanted to beat the shit out of someone for months.
Meanwhile in Mereen, Daario the Sleaze is dropping some knowledge along with the pillow talk. Dany isn’t taking him all that seriously, which is not likely to bite her on the ass anytime soon.
Back in King’s Landing, Lady O is trying it on with the High Sparrow, who shuts her down hard. The High Sparrow is like the Joker: He doesn’t scare, he can’t be bought, and he’s a step ahead of everyone. And he has a loyal army of violent headcases.
As if Lady O’s day can’t get worse, she gets a note from the Unspeakable Pimp Baelish.
Tommen’s got a baby face, but he’s getting really tall. Looks weird. And the air must be thin up there if he’s buying Cersei’s bullshit.
Sensitive Diplomatic Mission Update: Jaime gets to tell a teenage girl that she doesn’t get to be princess and has to come home. It goes great, right down to the You Don’t Know Me and the flouncing off.
And Bronn gets a moment to relive his brief 90s pop stardom, and finish the song he started last week. The Sand Snake he was flirting with last week as they were hauled off is feeling seductive, and hey man Dornish gratuitous is fun. The Dornish fashion for poison blades is a bit less so. So Bronn learns a lesson about negging assassins, and we don’t have to say goodbye to him. That would have hurt. (“Gift” is the German word for poison, by the way, so this counts as yet another titular gift, since I figure the writers on this show are at least as clever as I am.)
The Unspeakable Pimp Baelish is in a somber mood, surveying the damage done to his theme park of perversion. Lady O is just happy to be in the company of someone she can plausibly threaten. Which she does, at length, since she knows Baelish to be the author of her misery. Baelish offers her the gift of a handsome young man, like he has any of those left.
And in the newly re-opened fighting pits of Mereen, Jorah and Tyrion get picked last for dodgeball. Dodgesword. Whatever. It’s about as messy as your average Dothraki wedding, and Dany is in no mood (Hizdar the Lorax, however, has an unseemly leer on his mug). (Dany looks frickin’ fabulous in that gown tho.)
Jorah realizes Dany’s out there, and stomps out the gate and disposes of the competition like he’s pushing over trash cans. Tyrion joins him after getting busted with a hacksaw blade (someone bake him a cake?) and freed by some huge, piggy-eyed dwarf sympathizer.
Dany is still mad at Jorah? Still mad. But she’s not one to look a gift dwarf in the mouth. (How does this make any fucking sense? Did Dany have an Amazon wishlist with a drunken, clinically depressed fugitive dwarf on it?)
Back in King’s Landing, more simpering and sneering from Cersei, who packed up some leftovers for Marge. Marge has kennel cough, her hair’s a fright, and she’s in no fucking mood. Cersei’s loving this so hard.
Who else is having a good time? The High Sparrow is feeling great. Getting the gift of a handsome young man will do that. In this case, it’s Lancel, who has unburdened himself of all manner of things, apparently.
We end the ep with Cersei, Jaime and Bronn locked up, Jon Snow riding north to an uncertain fate, Stannis snowbound with his army poised to freeze to death or desert, Sansa out of options, and Tyrion and Jorah with a load of explaining to do. Everyone is just waiting for the shit to hit the fan. See you next week.