In the House of Black and White Arya is cleaning the place as some shady shit is going on in the background. Overall this is far from most interesting storyline this year but the design of the house itself is really great.
In King's Landing Margaery marries Tommen and Cersei is in despair but smiles trying to hide it. In a very controversial change, a result of Tommen being a bit older in the show, Tommen and Margaery actually consummate the marriage and Tommen looks pretty much like every guy who has had the first time. Margaery uses the opportunity to tell Tommen Cersei would be happy elsewhere.
The next morning Margaery is bragging to other ladies about Tommen's enthusiasm. Cersei overhears that. Margaery shouts "Mother!" and throws shade at Cersei saying she wishes she had some wine to offer but it's too early for her and her friends. She also talks of Tommen's sexual appetite.
OK. I can take Daenerys whitewashing. Tyrion whitewashing. But Cersei?! Because three episodes in and I want to hug her and just punch that stupid Margaery in the face. First of all there is bad writing for Margaery and Dormer delivering levels of terrible that make me miss Shae. She has no idea what she is doing. The thing about Margaery is her intellect and what does she do in every scene? She continues to provoke Cersei for no reason at all.
And that wine line. That was so mean. I felt so bad for Cersei. I think Dormer's Margaery is beyond hope but I hope the show starts showing Cersei doing horrible things soon because so far we didn't see even half of the atrocities she committed. The weight of the scenes is wrong - yes, they show she is assassinating innocent little people in search for Tyrion but it's not emphasized enough. I hope they will include Qyburn's experiments soon.
We travel to Winterfell. I have not mentioned my heart breaking when, ever since the premiere, we see Winterfell with Bolton sigils, have I? Well it's me mentioning it. The place is a fucking horror show with rotting flayed bodies, two of the new ones being lifted just as Reek is passing by. Alfie Allen is one hell of an actor. He has only few scenes in this ep and he delivers amazing performance without uttering a single word.
Roose is dining with Ramsay and we find out Roose arranged for Ramsay to marry. He says he found the perfect match and in the editing cut that probably caused the screams of horror - and/or vomiting - from every single person watching the show we see Sansa riding with Littlefinger. He tells her of his plan - she will marry Ramsay so that she could take the North.
Sansa protests and Turner is really wonderful here but no amount of good acting can rescue that plot. It's asinine - a number of things here don't click, including LF claiming Sansa is not really married to Tyrion because they never consummated the marriage and that he doesn't know much of Ramsay. Ramsay is fucking running around flaying people and cutting their dicks off and Littlefinger knows nothing about this? Do the writers think we are brain damaged?
They are currently in Moat Caitlin and we see Brienne and Pod overlooking them. What follows is wonderfully acted scene where Brienne talks to Podrick about Renly. In a horrific twist that made me go all 'stay away from him you bitch' Brienne mentions her oath to kill Stannis for what he did to Renly. I like you Brienne. But fuck off.
In the next scene Stannis comes to see Jon. He is so hot in that scene I had to rewatch it to actually hear the words that were being said. Jon refuses Stannis offer to become the Lord of Winterfell and Stannis remarks how honorable Jon is. They discuss wildlings and Stannis mentions that Jon should speak with Tormund and perhaps he will be willing to compromise more than Mance.
Stannis also gives Jon advice to send Alliser somewhere because he is Jon's enemy. I was very impressed with Stannis ability to compromise here. He is softer to Jon than to other people and his scenes benefits from the fact that Melisandre, a raving lunatic on the show, is not in them. After Stannis leaves we have Davos explain his behaviour to Jon and trying to convince Jon that if he went to Winterfell he would still fulfill his vows - being the shield that guards the realm of men.
In Braavos Arya meets another girl who is in the House of Black and White. The girl is really mean to Arya. Jaqen walks in and tells Arya she needs to give all of her things up. Arya is then throwing her possessions into the sea but she hesitates before throwing away Needle. Arya hides Needle instead. Maisie Williams' acting in this scene was just wonderful, I think it might have been her best scene on the show so far.
Next Sansa arrives in Winterfell. Sophie Turner's acting here was so good - Sansa approaches Roose he says "Lady Sansa" and she has this really cold look on her face that last few seconds before she takes a bow and responds to his greeting. She then is introduced to Ramsay who is desperately trying to look normal. We then see dramatic cut to Myranda looking jealous as hell.
Sansa is then taken to her room by an old woman who says to her "Welcome home, Lady Stark. The North Remembers". This almost made me cry.
Fine, it made me cry.
Next up we are back on the Wall where Jon presides over meeting with fellow brothers of the Night's Watch. Slynt is sassing him, refusing to follow his order and generally being his usual awful self. Jon goes "Olly, bring me my sword". Slynt is carried outside, not even Thorne wants to help him. Jon is shown alone in the room, he finishes the drink and he goes outside.
He takes the sword from Olly and as he is approaching Slynt, whose head is now resting on the block, we also see Stannis, strolling around sexily in the background. The same music heard when Theon beheaded Rodrick and Robb beheaded Karstark is playing in the background
Slynt asks for mercy and Jon hesitates for a moment. But then rage comes over him and he cuts Slynt's head off. Jon looks up and Stannis gives him a slight and respectful nod of approval. This is by far the finest scene of the season so far. Slynt has been a horrible person - who betrayed Ned Stark in season 1, killed babies on Joffrey's order in season 2 and showed incredible cowardice in season 4. And now Jon got to kill a man who essentially participated in Ned's death.
While there is a significant change here that is as usual unnecessary - in the book the iconic line is not to Olly and not about sword but "Edd, fetch me a block!" - it was still less offensive than changing "Only Cat" to "Your sister" last season. The nod wasn't as noticeable as I imagined it but it was still a very well done, exceptionally shot scene.
Ah, the brothel scene. Not one, not two, but seven whores. At least the scene had a purpose as they showed High Septon indulging in a little the Seven sex show. Then the Sparrows walk in a drag him outside, terrorizing everyone in the brothel.
Then they showed Septon's ass. Why HBO. Why do you always show the assess and dicks of people we really don't want to see naked? Would it kill you to show naked Stannis? Would it? Why do you do things like that HBO?
Anyways Septon is outraged and goes to tattletale to Cersei and her council. Mace is hilariously outraged at the fact Septon was in the brothel and Pycelle's, old perv, is obviously defending him. Cersei decides to see the High Sparrow. She goes to Flea Bottom, filled with poor people and talks with him. It was a very well acted scene and Jonathan Pryce is already very good in the role
Cersei then goes to see Qyburn in his creepy cave and she gives him a letter to send to Littlefinger. After she leaves something under the covers moves. Qyburn says 'rest easy, my friend'. I bet every single non book reader already guessed who is there but really....you do this but you don't do Stoneheart?
In Winterfell Reek is doing something degrading - probably picking up poop or something and Sansa passes by. Reek turns his head away in shame. Ramsay is looking at Sansa, telling Littlefinger he won't harm her. Roose approaches and has a little chat with Littlefinger about his loyalties. He is wondering why Littlefinger is willing to betray the Lannisters. You and everyone in the audience, Roose. Roose gives him the letter from Cersei and says he would like to read Littlefinger's reply to it.
Back in Volantis Tyrion has enough of sitting in the carriage and goes outside with reluctant Varys following him. The two see the Red Priestess preaching to the crowd about the savior - the Dragon Queen. Tyrion mentions how the only priest they had in King's Landing was Thoros of Myr (Thoros mention crackpot get hype 100/100!!!) and this one is much better looking. Suddenly the priestess turns her head at Tyrion and stares at him intensely. Freaked out Tyrion tells Varys to get out of there and find a brothel.
In front of a brothel the guard rubs Tyrion's head saying that it's good luck to rub dwarf's head. Tyrion responds it's even better luck to suck dwarf's cock and Varys is throwing apologetic looks everywhere. Inside of the brothel Tyrion talks with a prostitute but once she is willing to go with him he says he cannot do that. Clearly it's the memory of Shae stopping him.
But there is something else happening in that brothel. There is a prostitute there, with her ass hanging out, wearing clothes and a wig that make her look like Daenerys. There is a bunch of men she is entertaining and at another table we see Jorah, drinking and dying inside. Hard.
Tyrion goes outside to take a piss and Jorah follows him. He then captures him and says he is taking him to see the Queen...
That was a true Thrones explosive ending, one that we didn't have probably since 4x08. I am so excited for the pairing of Tyrion and Jorah - two outcasts. Overall in spite of the many issues this was a very strong episode and while Sansa's storyline is puzzling at least it can lead to something interesting, unless they go torture porn which I really don't think they dare to do.
Next week, in The Sons of the Harpy, we check in with Jaime and Bronn, Cersei strikes back and situation in Meereen grows more dangerous.
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