We opened with insanely unpleasant scene with Jaime and Brienne. I wasn't sure if they will include that one particular thing from the books which was very cruel and hard to read about, but they did - after Jaime's sword hand was cut off, his captors made him wear it like a necklace. So Jaime, completely broken at that point, is literally witnessing his talent and essentially all that he was, rotting away in front of him.
Nikolaj Coster Waldau is doing such a tremendous job this season. He completely captured Jaime's depression and hopelessness. Hell, they even included the moment when he was made to drink horse piss. Brienne, who witnessed all of that, comes to his rescue, asking their captors to stop. The shot of Jaime, lying on the ground, covered in mud with his severed hand next to him must have moved even his haters. What is that saying? You have to reach the bottom to be able to start over? Well, this is the rock bottom for Jaime.
We did get the mutiny in Craster's Keep this week .That was the weakest part of the episode. First Sam was acting even more idiotic than usual - he spoke to Gilly, who has just given birth to baby boy (and male kids are sacrificed), with "aww, he is beautiful" approach. While the scene of the actual mutiny was well done I couldn't believe how rushed commander Mormont's death was. He didn't even say his last words to Sam - in the book Sam hears his last wish, for his son Jorah to join The Night's Watch.
We got another dream/flashback from Bran, this time with Catelyn yelling at him for climbing and him falling out of tree. Fortunately this was the only Bran's scene this week.
In King's Landing, the Tyrells are working their magic. Varys comes to see Olenna, who had many wonderful lines here, even asking Varys to seduce her and pointing out that she wonders what would happen since he is a eunuch. He tells her about Littlefinger's plan to take Sansa with him to Eyrie. Sansa is valuable - she is the second in line to be the heiress of Winterfell. The two agree that such a precious treasure shouldn't go to
Margaery approaches Sansa and they talk a little. Margaery is charming, elegant and sweet. In the books Sansa even says that she is like the sister she always wanted Arya to be. I really adored their scenes together in the book, considering how Sansa finally experiences some joy after all her hardships. The scene was very sweet and in it Margaery hinted that if Sansa married Loras, she could leave King's Landing. Sophie Turner's acting just breaks my heart. Seeing her sweet, naive face and everyone around her using Sansa as a pawn is heartbreaking.
Varys got a lot of screentime this week, all three of his scenes being additions to the book. Tyrion comes to see him as he is in a desperate need of spies to prove that Cersei tried to have him killed during the battle of Blackwater. Varys is clearly busy opening a certain box and he tells Tyrion a story of how he was castrated. When I first saw the shot of that box in the promos I turned into Brad Pitt and kept asking what was in the box. Well, it turns out Varys has captured the sorcerer who cut him and what will probably follow is a lot of torture. I really liked Varys's monologue here and his line to Tyrion - I have no doubt that the revenge you want will be yours in time.
Another scene was between Varys and Ros. Ros is spying on Littlefinger for him and it was her who told Varys about Littlefinger's plans towards Sansa. They also exchange some lines about Podrick - apparently he is now a sex legend among whores. How nice.
Before I discuss two other scenes from King's Landing, let's go back to Jaime and Brienne. Jaime and her are sitting by the fire together and he has blank, dead expression in his eyes. She tells him that he behaves like a bloody woman, whining and crying after one "misfortune" happened to him. Jaime is shocked by her choice of words and explains to her that his talent as a sword man was all he ever was. Brienne tells him that he can't just give up after finally tasting the real world. She tells him he should go on living, for revenge.
Another really nice moment here was Brienne telling Jaime that she knows he saved her from getting raped. She asks Jaime why he did that, but he doesn't answer. The brilliant touch here, and I'd like to think it was intentional, was the fact that this scene cut to the close up of Cersei's face. Brienne is a complete opposite of her - she is not beautiful, but she is noble, kind, caring and honorable. Let's face it - Cersei is an evil hoe. All she does, she does for herself, even the stuff she does for her kids is self-serving.
Jaime, who spent all his years blinded by his lust for his sister, almost crippled by it, is slowly opening his eyes because of the time he spends with actual good person that cares for him and for others. Jaime, the man who pushed a child off the tower to keep Cersei safe, is about to change. He is finally going to become the man he was supposed to be. Not for his house and not for his sister. Not even for himself. But for those who deserve his love and his protection.
Though show's Cersei is much more sympathetic than book Cersei, we still get to see her true colors this episode, no matter how many fake smiles she throws at Tyrells. We got brilliant scene in The Great Sept, where Joffrey was showing Margaery around, laughing about people being eaten by dragons, charmer that he is. Meanwhile Cersei and Olenna were talking about mothers and sons and how they would do anything to keep them from the grave.
It's a great shame the show is omitting prophecies. Cersei's story in the book is my favorite right after Jaime's because I love the stories where a character hears a prophecy, does everything they can to stop it from coming true and their actions lead just to that. When Cersei was young she heard the prophecy and part of it was "Queen you shall be. Until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear". Many believe that the prophecy refers to Margaery. I'm not one of those people - it is Sansa who is time and time again referred to as "beautiful".
That said, there was brilliant little moment that reminded me of those words and even if it's not Margaery in the prophecy, those words certainly apply here. Margaery convinces Joffrey to go outside and wave to his people. Charmed by her and seduced by her words, Joffrey agrees and greets the same crowd that threw shit at him not so long ago. Margaery looks back, with a despising look at Cersei, who rushes over in horror, convinced the crowd will attack her son again. And then she hears the crowd lovingly chanting Margaery's name. The girl who did something Cersei never could - make Joffrey dance to her tune. While the women have a bit of a staredown, Joffrey smiles and waves away, like a dumbass. The crowd loves Margaery so much they are wiling to forgive him and love him too.
So Cersei does what she always does in situations like this one - she runs to daddy. Poor Tywin. He has all those important letters to write and his children keep interrupting him. I love how much focus they put on these little details - by now I'm sure even non book readers realize that since they keep showing Tywin write all of those letters, this has to be important somehow. Cersei informs her father that Tyrells are a problem. While he is kinder to her than he was to Tyrion, there are still some great and hurtful lines here including him pointing out the fact that Cersei is not as clever as she thinks she is.
Meanwhile, up North, Theon is being led by the boy who rescued him to see his sister. While the boy is trying to open the gate, Theon starts talking about the horrible things he did. He admits to the boy that the boys that he killed weren't Stark boys after all. Then he says that his "real father" died in King's Landing. Again - if i didn't loathe Theon so much I'd feel bad for him. Especially after what happens after.
Theon and the boy enter a room and the boy lights a torch. And then - surprise. We are back in the dungeon Theon escaped from. The boy is working with his captors. As for his identity nothing was explicitly stated yet but I don't think HBO can make it any clearer to all of you than that shot of the boy with a flaming torch behind this thing Theon is being tied to. Though I'm sure once Catelyn receives a certain morbid gift the boy's identity will be officially revealed.
We were introduced (or better word being - reintroduced) to Beric Dondarrion. Back in season 1 he was played by another actor in the scene where Ned Stark, during his brief time sitting on the Iron Throne, gave him the command over the group of knights sent after The Mountain. Those men are now the Brotherhood without Banners. And Beric, now played by Richard Dormer, is their commander.
In the scene in which we meet Beric (properly this time), The Hound is brought before him. Gendry and Arya are present as well. The Hound starts defending himself, telling them that they shouldn't blame him for his brother's actions. Then Arya reminds him of the boy he killed. Maisie Williams was excellent in this moment - she had tears in her eyes remembering the boy who died because they played together, yet at the same time she was so fierce. Dondarrion sentences The Hound to trial by combat.
Oh my God, Daenerys. First of all, enjoy her being badass while you can. The shit that is happening with her character in book 5 is the worst thing Martin did story-wise. Such regression. Fortunately, she will be awesome this season, so let's not concern ourselves with what the hell HBO will do since they hyped her up so much and focused most of show's advertising on her.
In the finale sequence of the episode, Daenerys meets with the slave owner to finish the transaction - her one dragon for his 8,000 Unsullied. Other slave owners gather around, wanting to see the dragon. Drogon, the one she has to give up, is chained and Daenerys gives the chain to the slave master. He hands her a whip - a symbol of her now owning Unsullied. As she turns around we can hear Drogon crying for his mother.
Jorah, Barristan and Missandai seem sad and then Daenerys...starts speaking Valyrian to Unsullied. She kept pretending she doesn't know it, yet she speaks fluently. Missandai is the first one to actually realize that Mother of Dragons is now speaking to her army without any need for translation. Daenerys gives them command to slay all the slave masters and soldiers and free every slave. Slave owner asks her how is it possible she speaks Valyrian and she tells him that as a Targaryen, of blood of old Valyria, Valyrian is her mother tongue.
Right after she said this came my favorite moment - we saw Jorah, breathless and in awe, seeing his beloved Khaleesi triumph. He realizes she was few steps ahead of everyone and she never had any intention of handing over her child. While slave master can't hold Drogon who doesn't listen to him Daenerys points out that a dragon is no slave and few moments after that all music, all noise stop and we see Daenerys say a single word - DRACARYS.
It's the command to breath fire and Drogon obeys, burning the slave master and then along with his bothers, burning whoever his mother commands to burn. After flames die out, seemingly to the ending of Fire and Blood, we see Jorah approach Khaleesi. That moment broke my heart as she didn't even look at him. I think it was meant to be symbolic, showing that at this moment she is beyond everything else, she is The Queen and The Breaker of the Chains.
Daenerys gets up on the horse and addresses Unsullied. She tells them that they are free and if they wish to leave, they can. They don't move nor speak. Daenerys asks them if they will fight for her as free men. After few seconds of silence a single one of them starts hitting his spear on the ground and others follow indicating to her they are now her army and they wil do whatever she commands. During all of this Jorah and Barristan exchange smiles, as if they were the world's most overqualified groupies.
Daenerys throws away the whip and Unsullied step on it while marching. And then we get one of the most epic shots of the series and the closing shot of the episode - the wide shot of 8,000 Unsullied marching forward with Daenerys' dragons flying above them.
One more thing - so I start having dreams about Robb Stark and this is the single episode this season he was not in? Really, HBO?
Here is the promo for this Sunday's episode - Kissed by Fire.I may not survive the sex scene that will be featured here if it's even half as ridiculous as it was in the books.
But we will get plenty of amazing things - Jaime and Brienne in Harrenhal, Robb with half-opened shirt, Tyrion getting very shocking news and one of the series most amazing duels.