It's not a good sign that even though King's Landing - which apart from the Northern storyline - the one we are not getting on the show for the sake of the adventures of Darth Sansa - is the best written storyline in the book - wasn't featured this week I didn't miss it one bit. Also there is whole bunch of crap and torture to show in King's Landing and the are only 5 episodes left!
But first - in opening credits Stephen is 4th billed!
In Meereen we find out Barristan is dead. Dany orders the heads of the most powerful families in Meereen to be brought to her and than takes them to the dragons. They burn one of them and there is a great shot of of her in front of the dragons.
Sam reads about Daenerys to Aemon. Aemon says the Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing. Jon enters at the moment he says it....
Jon asks Aemon what to do about the wildlings and master Aemon says the powerful words from the book "Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Kill they boy and let the man be born". He basically tells Jon to be a leader.
Jon goes to speak with Tormund. Jon tells him that Wildlings belong to the realm of men. Jon decides to let Wildings into the realm so they could fight with him against the threat that is coming. Jon unchains Tormund and tells him to be a leader to his people. Tormund tells him most of the people is at Hardhome. Tormund tells Jon to come with him.
Jon tells others in the Watch about his plan. One of them says the Wildlings should die and it means less enemies for the Watchers. Stannis who is present says "Fewer" correcting the Watcher's grammar, Davos goes "What?" Stannis says "Nothing". It was such a nice little funny moment. The Watchers disagree with Jon because Wildlings killed their people. Jon says if they abandon the Wildlings the will become wights. Stannis is shown again. Oh, my heart.
Olly comes over to Jon's chamber. The little shit is finally given some lines. Olly is against the Wildlings on account they killed people in his village. Jon tells him he knows what it's like to lose the people he loves but winter is coming and they know what is coming with it. They can't face it alone. Olly is visibly upset.
Meanwhile the crack team of Brienne and Pod got around Moat Cailin - and to those familiar with the geography of Westeros, here's our 5 minute laughter break - and now Brienne tells Pod of how Boltons killed Sansa's mother and brother. Brienne finds new BBF who will help her get messages to Sansa who is some random old dude. Because you know, why bring back the characters we already met on the show and are in Brienne's storyline in the book if you can introduce new person, right?
20 minutes in and three Catelyn mentions already. Oh for fuck's sake.
We get a sex scene with Ramsay and Myranda, because of course. Myranda and her crazy hip bone get all 'you're mine' all over Ramsay and he is warning her he won't marry her like he once promised and that she better not bores him because she knows what happens to people who bore him. Myranda obviously remembers the chick that she helped him hunt with that got eaten by dogs. So she bangs him. Charming.
It gets better because The North Remembers old lady tells Sansa to light a candle in the tower if she is in trouble, because she has friends in the North. Oh good. Don't worry Sansa. When Ramsay tries to rape you, torture you and flay you, find matches and light a candle. The quartet of the two elders, Brienne the Incompetent and Pod, who cannot ride a horse will get there - in I'm sure a nick of time - to help.
No, but seriously at this point I'm glad we are getting even this poor sample of northern conspiracy and rebellion from the books.
Sansa sees the tower that Bran fell from in the first episode. She is wearing her Maleficent/Angry Bird/Such a playa dress and Myranda comes over and in the rouse transparent to everyone - but Sansa - tries to befriend her while complementing her dress.. I feel this couldn't be more obvious if she looked like a crone and handed her an apple.
This is the content of Game of Thrones Mother's Day episode. This, not Stoneheart.
Sansa tells her that her mother taught her how to make dresses. This is like the forth and fifth mention of Catelyn.
Myranda tells Sansa to go see something in the cages to help her remember. To her shock it's "Theon Greyjoy is not here right now" Reek. Reek is locked in a cage and Sansa first looks stunned, then sad, then furious. Both Alfie Allen and Sophie Turner are doing wonderful job this season already and I'm sure that the best thing that will come out of this convoluted Sansa in Winterfell plot are going to be their scenes together.
Reek is helping Ramsay get dressed. He tells him Sansa saw him. Ramsay tells him not to keep secrets from him and get on his knees. Thank God all that happens is Ramsay telling him "I forgive you".
During dinner scene we finally get to hear Walda, the second relatively normal Frey in the world (next to Roslin) speak. She is very nice to Sansa and even is in for Sansa breaking Roose and Ramsay's balls by remarking how this is her home but the inhabitants are strange. I'm all for Sansa throwing dirty looks and smiling sarcastically but I feel this is way too much shade to be throwing at the man who is ruthless and has a flayed man for a banner and his psycho son who you are about to marry. But who knows, maybe Sansa's only lesson from Littlefinger was this - be stupid while climbing the ladder of chaos.
There is some sick shit happening as Ramsay makes Reek apologize to Sansa for killing her brothers.
But never mind that because one of the best things going on in the show nowadays is Roose mercilessly trolling people. We have Ramsay torture - verbally for now - Sansa and say that Reek will give her away at the wedding (by the way that wedding is next week so I advise you to buy paper bags). Sansa throws him 'you've gotta be fucking kidding me' look. Roose jumps in and announces good news - Walda is pregnant. Roose thinks it's a boy. Sansa smiles at Ramsay smugly because here comes the legitimate son of Roose, not a bastard like Ramsay.
Someone protects Walda, please. We haven't had fetus killing in almost 2 years on the show. Don't break that run, HBO.
We get another scene with Ramsay and Roose with Ramsay wondering how can Roose know she is pregnant since Walda is so fat and how did he managed to get her pregnant anyways. Roose remarks how Ramsay disgraced himself during dinner. I liked that Roose at the very least tries to be gentlemanly towards Sansa and hates Ramsay's stupid mind games. Then the conversation moves to Ramsay's mother. Roose reveals to Ramsay that she was a peasant girl, miller's wife. They married without his consent so he hung the husband and under his swinging body, he raped her. She then appeared months later with Ramsay. Roose says he looked at the baby and knew Ramsay was his son.
Roose says that Stannis has army at Castle Black and he means to take Winterfell and the North. Ramsay says he will help Roose defeat him.
DON'T YOU DARE HURT MY KING.
Sam and Gilly are hanging out. Sam tells Gilly of Oldtown and the Citadel, which has the most books in the world. Stannis walks in. Gilly runs away, hilariously. Stannis starts talking to Sam, who is shaking like a leaf. Stannis questions him about killing White Walkers. He is surprised that someone like Samwell killed a White Walker. Stannis is eager to find out how to kill them and tells Samwell to keep reading.
Then Stannis goes to see Davos and tells him they begin marching on Winterfell at sunrise. Davos asks about men staying behind to guard the Queen and the princess and Stannis says they are going with them because most of the men at Castle Black are killers and rapists.
In something that neither of the people I spoke with guessed, Shireen and Selyse leave the Wall with Stannis. A bunch of us assumed that Stannis would leave them under Jon's protection but no. Shireen gets a sweet scene with Davos where Davos tells her he is afraid and in case there is battle she must protect him. The psycho bitch Melisandre leaves too, unlike in the book, where she stayed to creep towards her new, desired
Selyse appears and of course makes everyone miserable. Shireen manages to exchange a quick and adorable wave with Sam and Gilly.
On one hand I'm happy Shireen is going with Stannis because daddy will protect her. On another I'm not happy because Melisandre is going too and I don't want her anywhere near Stannis. I want her across the narrow sea. I want her in freaking space, away from that man and baby fawn Baratheon.
Stannis and Jon part and Jon wishes Stannis safe journey and thanks him. Melisandre throws more pervy looks at Jon but who cares when Stannis is wearing that:
Then he gets on the horse and his badass theme plays in the background and his army leaves Castle Black. I can't hear my thoughts over the noise of my ovaries exploding.
Do not hurt him. DO NOT HURT HIM.
Back in Meereen Grey Worm is unfortunately still alive so that the time wasting crap that is his romance story with Missandai continues. I'll be even more pissed off if he dies anyway given how much screen time they wasted on this storyline already.
Daenerys asks political advice from Missandai. Oh my God. Anyways let's not dwell into this - it ends with Daenerys saying she should marry that Hizdahr dude. Let's move on
In a scene that was kinda in the books but it has so many changes that not really, we are back to everyone new favorite pairing - Tyrion and Jorah. They are sailing (which happened in the books) through Old Valyria (which has not happened in the books). They see Drogon (which has not happened in the books), are attacked by Stone men (which has happened in the books) and Jorah gets greyscale (which has happened in the books to the character the show cut).
So this is what is our adaptation now.
But leaving aside the bitchiness, because I'm doing it for comic relief now - as I adored the scene and the only cut characters I mourn are Stoneheart and Manderlys - this was an excellent sequence and finally an explosive ending - for both non book readers and book readers. Some of us crazy obsessed nerds figured out Jorah will probably catch greyscale but it was still shattering to witness. I mean my God, poor Jorah. Can't get laid and now he is patient zero. He cannot catch a break, but he catches greyscale. Oh man.
Jorah will probably be used as a vial that causes the plague - either in Essos or Westeros, prompting everyone to abandon ship and run the fuck away. Yes, Shireen got cured but Shireen's daddy is Stannis and Stannis's perseverance, love and resources led to miracle.
Jorah doesn't even own a second shirt.
The whole sequence was very well done as were the Stone Men - they were so creepy especially how at first they blended in the background and then moved, it was like something straight out of Alien franchise. The whole setting looked amazing and even though we just saw him briefly the CGI of Drogon and his movements were so well done. I especially loved the look on Tyrion's face when he saw him - a mixture of astonishment, curiosity and shock.
The Stone men attack their boat and Jorah yells at Tyrion that he can't let them touch him. Peter Dinklage was so good here, showing the fear so well. Tyrion falls over board and then Jorah rescues him. He cuts him lose and says they will walk the rest of their journey. Tyrion asks if Jorah was touched by the stone men and Jorah says no. But then he gets up, makes sure Tyrion doesn't see it and looks at his arm which already has greyscale on it.
Overall this was a very good episode - the show has now detoured into such strange depths for book readers that seeing a writer and director actually drop enough of fan service and cool stuff to keep us more entertained than annoyed is great.
The episode was written Bryan Cogman, who remains the best writer on the show. We got to see the Old Valyria, we got great Stannis moments and cute invented ones - Davos/Shireen. The episode was directed by the newcomer to the series - Jeremy Podeswa, who directed Stephen Dillane so beautifully in Fugitive Pieces. Seriously see this movie.
And by the way, I almost got an aneurysm during yet another flood of Catelyn's name drop. Have some shame, for the love of God.
Next week it's Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken - the house words of Martells so we go to Dorne again. We also check in with Arya. It looks like no Stannis for me. Batman returns to King's Landing and grandma Olenna comes to rescue Margaery and Loras. Also there's wedding in Winterfell. I assume no one will die during this one but this is gonna be the most repulsive one yet.
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