Our third fresh episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins with some heavy breathing in the dark, as Dead Snow rises. Death suits him; except for the stab wounds, dude’s bod is seriously on point.
The look on Mel’s face is priceless. Jon might be the second most surprised person in the room. She asks him the same thing she asked Beric Dondarrion, and gets the same grim answer. She has more to say, but so does Davos. (First off: Get the fuck out.)
Davos is once again the voice of us all: That’s Completely Fooking Mad. Jon’s having the sort of crisis of confidence that comes from being gut-stabbed by your steward, but Davos is ready with some bedrock wisdom and an oddly effective pep talk.
And so Dead Snow does his resurrection walk of shame. Tormund Giantbeard breaks the ice with a dick joke, and Dolorous Edd hugs first and asks questions later. (Note: When a man known as Dolorous Edd calls you out for not having a sense of humor, you might want to lighten up.)
Meanwhile on the raging sea, we catch up with Grinning Gilly and Seasick Sam! Gilly is giddy with the adventure of it all, and she’s right: Homonyms are fun. People who won’t leave you alone to puke your guts are less fun, but at least she passes the canteen.
Sam’s in yet another pickle related to oaths and single-sex environments, and he’s not selling the Live With My Mom option effectively. Gilly is almost certainly shining him on.
And here we are at the First Tower of Joy Flashback, with invisible Bran and Max. Bran is nearly as tall as Max von Fucking Sydow, whom I tend to think of as seven foot four in socks. He may have shrunk a bit.
We get some grim banter and a bitchin’ melee. And Ned Stark, it turns out, is the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
Bran speaks for us all when he bitches out the Raven for cutting that scene short. And the Raven speaks for the writers and producers, who want us to believe they have a plan. That’s fine, but remember that Bran is stuck dealing with your shit because he can’t walk out.
And we’re off to Vaes Dothrak! And the poorly lit bitter bitch clubhouse! This subplot could not suck more. HERE DROGON DROGON DROGON COME GET MOMMY BACK TO THE STORY.
Varys doesn’t care for the heat in Mereen, though he clearly digs all the leather. And he’s kept up with the latest in hooker-bullying enhanced interrogation.
Tyrion is coming out flat at every appearance this season, and has clearly established himself as a useless and pompous drunk. We are saved from his bloviating by Varys, who finally got someone to take a boat. The SOH are funded by a consortium of all the other slave cities, meaning very rich people with a lot of motivation to crush Dany’s project in a memorable fashion. Fortunately, Tyrion has an idea. Varys is totally going to find one of Jorah’s old gauntlets and backhand Tyrion across the face next week.
Back in the capitol, Qyburn has taken over Varys’ old mob of Baker Street Irregulars. The filthy urchins miss Varys, or at least they miss the candy. Qyburn is on his game this week, with candied fruit for rewards, and the FrankenMountain to play boogeyman. Cersei appears to have an actual plan for dealing with the HS and her upcoming show trial. Qyburn looks a bit nervous, but not unimpressed.
At the cramped Small Council table, the dolt Pycelle is rehashing old grudges and old gags. The “he’s right behind me, isn’t he” bit is some corny shit. Jaime and Cersei may have had a plan for forcing some issues, and it may have been a good one, but they didn’t count on Uncle Kevan flouncing off.
Across town at the Great Sept, we get another boring scene with the HS owning someone who thinks their authority should be respected, in this case Tommen the Hapless Boy. This has all the dramatic tension of a traffic light.
Back in Braavos, Arya and Ginger Bitchface are swinging sticks. And I swear to god, we get a training montage. A training montage. A TRAINING MONTAGE. Because this is a fucking Seagal movie.
In Project Mayhem, we have no names. And since Arya is finally no one, Capt. Jaquen administers the Faceless God’s mercy, which restores her sight. No one is going to shit when she sees the state of her eyebrows.
Up north in Winterfell (Under New Management), we find Barry the Bastard giving an audience to Smalljon Umber, who is not here to mince words. Barry clearly agrees that his father woz a coont.
Lord Umber, hoping for an alliance, brings the gift of a young man. And Tonks, how we’ve missed you. And that’s three of the Stark dire wolves down.
Bringing things back to Castle Black, Dead Snow is presiding over the execution of the conspirators. It’s a bit of a paradox that they are being strung up for murdering a man who is there to look them in the eye, but let’s not get lost in pedantry. (Mel looks a bit put out, but she’s just mad that no one’s getting burned alive.)
The cement-headed bully Ser Alliser makes his last words count, and squares up to face his fate. Oly can’t loosen up his clenched mask of hatred enough to speak, but it doesn’t matter. The swords swings, the foley editor wastes a bunch of celery, and it’s done.
And three cheers for Lord Commander Dolorous Edd. I’m looking forward to the scene where he explains this all to Brienne and Sansa.