Before we dive in, am I the only one both extremely excited and desperately nervous about Lindelof having another show? That final season of Lost still haunts me, gang. But The Leftovers: that is my JAM. (Long time readers know I’m all about the End Times/Apocalypse stuff.) BUT HEY, HOW ABOUT THAT GAME OF THRONES? [Last week, filled with amazing discussion about That Scene and more.]
Reminder that I’m Unsullied, always Unsullied. (Before Unsullied: nothing.) So…there was a moment in this episode that someone TOTALLY gave away in comments two eps back, and that’s not cool. Please. PLEASE: do not lace your comments with hints of what us non-readers should be looking for, because that’s a spoiler, okay? You LITERALLY have the rest of the internet to talk about this, as you Readers are Legion. Be a dude, don’t be a dick, okay?
Speaking of helping a brother out, Dany’s beautiful handmaiden Missandei is getting Grey Worm hooked on Phonics (It’s sweeping the outliers of Westeros!) and I am instantly shipping it. (Look, I don’t have A ship, I have a FLEET of ships.) Dany breaks it up because it’s time to take Meereen.
I get that battle scenes are expensive (and they can’t all be Blackwater), but I think I would have liked to have seen a bit more here. What we DO see: the Unsullied breaking in through the sewers and making their way to the slaves’ quarters. What I loved about this is that there was no thought given by the Masters that a) anyone would go through sewage to enter the city, and b) that the slaves would be the Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains’ goal. Because why would they think that? The Masters never think of the slaves.
Also something I appreciated: multiple races/ethnicities as slaves. Always having them as Brown People is incredibly problematic (aka: racist), so that was appreciated.
Grey Worm and the other Unsullied bring the slaves weapons and encourage them to rise up, another thing I loved. They didn’t force them into this, but gave them the choice, something they’ve never had before. And they take it. KILL THE MASTERS. (Ha, the guardsmen running away to leave that one man to his fate! Sucks to be you, 1%!)
Cut to Dany walking to the topmost pyramid amid cries of “Pizza!” (I’m hearing that correctly, right? LOL) The remaining Masters have been rounded up, Ser Jorah throatily reminds her in a very sensual way that 163 children were crucified along the roadside, and so she gives the orders for the same number of Masters to be crucified in the city. Ser Barrister doesn’t like that, but she didn’t become Mother of Dragons and the Khaleesi by listening to white dudes say she should be merciful. Were they ever merciful to her? And the answer is NO.
Protip: when crucifying someone, it’s best to drive the nail into a wrist for better stability – longevity is the name of the game with this form of torture, and a hand is going to rip right off that nail. [shooting star-rainbow: THE MORE YOU KNOW]
Look, I think about little kids being subjected to that, and I didn’t cringe once while watching the 1% get theirs. Not once. The hand pinned to their guts – speeding up the toxic spill of their innards and hastening their painful death – was a nice touch. Also, raise your hand if like me you hoped to see the dragons looping and wheeling in the sky, diving in and peeling one of the Masters off their cross to be eaten? Just me? (I’m…a little bloodthirsty.) Her flag hanging over the Sphinx statue at the top of the pyramid gave me chills. KHALEESI! /sexy Jorah voice
Bronn continues giving Jaime sparring lessons, giving no quarter because that’s how it is in the real world. Greatest thing ever: Bronn grabbing Jaime’s hand and backhanding him with it. Ha! He also gives Jaime shit for not seeing his brother in the dungeons, especially since they both know that Tyrion has great respect for Jaime – he even asked for him to be his Champion, not Bronn – and that Tyrion didn’t kill Joffrey.
Cut to Jaime smirking and being funny and bro-chill with Tyrion in the dungeon. (Side note: I love me some Peter Dinklage, but his accent was…noticeable this episode. There. I said it. Come on, American, step up your game!) Because he needs to be able to say that he asked, Jaime wants to know if Tyrion killed Cersei’s son.
Joffrey Incest Love Baby Baratheon = worst kept secret in Westeros. Also, Jaime knows that Tyrion didn’t do it. You can tell he wants to be there for his brother, that he likes him, but he’s hamstrung by his sister-lover-baby mama and his father. He also seems to be hamstrung by his promise to Catelyn Stark regarding Sansa. AND IF I MAY: writers? You’re doing an excellent job of transitioning from story to story in my opinion.
CUT TO: Sansa on a ship with the sneaky little fucker Littlefinger, who is giving off a serious case of the Bad Touch to our young princess. He also does the “I’m a villain, let me ‘splain you a thing” thing, because Evil Villains can’t help but brag about themselves.
Baelish: I’m on a boat and/ I’ll marry your Aunt./I had a plot to kill King Joffrey Baratheon!
Sansa: Le gasp!
Baelish: [twirls mustache, evil laugh] And you helped! Didn’t you realize your cheap-as-hell necklace was missing a gem? It was the poison!
Sansa: Le double gasp!
Baelish: [evil laugh intensifies] AND OTHERS HELPED ME, FOR THEY HAVE DESIGNS ON THE THRONE AS WELL! And you’ll never guess who, never. NEVER!
Me: Lady Olenna?
Baelish: Well, Sansa didn’t guess, so I’m still 1 – 0.
And Margaery apparently didn’t know about this plot of her loving grandma. Let’s just fist-heart/chest-pound the awesomeness that is Lady Olenna. She knows about marrying jerks and the trouble women have to go through just to save their necks. And while she was good (she had serious bed skills, ahaha, I love it), she knows Margaery is better. She got that snapping P, them bedroom eyes, and it’s time to act on young Tommen before Cersei shuts that whole thing down.
(Um, isn’t Tommen, like, twelve? Eesh. Clearly the actor is, well, okay, to me he looks fourteen, but GAH. That would be a hard day of filming, if it goes all the way.)
But it’s time for me to panic with worry for our darling Jon Snow, the kindest bastard in all the land. He’s trying to train the soldiers (including a smart-mouthed nine year old with a great eye for archery) when Dick In Charge Alliser grinds his boot heel into Jon’s knob, reminding him in front of everyone that Jon’s a steward, not a soldier. Because Alliser is all about saving his own face and not being smart and using actual fighters to win this war against the Wildlings.
AND OHO, LOCKE, THE KINGSLAYER’S HAND-TAKER IS THERE UNDER THE GUISE OF BECOMING A KNIGHT OF THE WATCH! Jon, you in danger, Gorl! And not just from the Bolton’s spy, for Knight Neckbeard is all, “Alliser, let Snow go back to Craster’s. He’ll probably die from it, and you’ll have One Snow killed by Two Birds [crows] most likely.”
It’s Booze O’Clock and Cersei is drinking her feelings. Jaime comes to see her, and we learn pretty quickly how she feels about everything: that wine will numb her rage. Kind of. Well, not really. She’s still pretty pissed about everything (I don’t blame her), pissed about her lot in life, about Jaime turning traitor to the Starks (“I did it so I could get back to YOU”), how Jaime is being nice to their brother like some kind of softy, like Jaime’s a Stark, because Lannisters give no quarter, Jaime. NONE. Speaking of, how about you bring her Sansa’s head on a plate? Until then, Lord Commander, you ain’t getting none of this [points to the empty hole where her heart should be].
[Note: since evidently the show has moved on from last episode's Scene, I will, too. There is lots of great discussion in the previous ep's comments, and I feel like I've said what needs to be said. And I stand by it.]
Tommen, Love Child #2 (will we ever see their daughter again? DON’T ANSWER!), is having trouble sleeping because of the whole “Roz was killed at the foot of my bed and there are dead animals heads everywhere” thing – kid? You’re about to be King. You can redecorate – and because his kitty-cat isn’t snuggled up with him.
But soft! Who is that coming into his bedroom? Kitty-cat? Well, that’s a part of it, and it’s banging… Lo, for Margaery has come to tell him a bedtime story! It’s totally cool for her to be there, because they’re going to be married.
Future King Tommen’s Bedtime Story of Awakening, By Lady Margaery Tyrell
Once upon a time there was a lovely young man named Tommen, who had been terrorized by his older brother, Joffrey. Joffrey wanted to kill Tommen’s beloved kitty cat, Ser Pounce, and make Tommen eat it, oh no!
Joffrey terrorized Margaery, too. And Lady Margaery just loves kitty cats. Bless the wee little pussies! Pets her puss nightly; in fact, back home, she had a beautiful servant girl pet her puss a few times a day. Gave it a kiss, too…
One day Tommen might get to do that if he’s a very, very good boy. Why, Lady Margaery’s puss would belong to Tommen for ever and ever, and he could stroke it any time he liked, but until then, he’ll have to keep it a secret so they can live happily ever after.
And that, Tommen, is your special purpose. *forehead kiss, pointed look at the growing tent in the, erm, bedclothes*
And Tommen never slept again. He asked the Maester for special hand cream the very next day. (I freaking love Lady Tyrell, can you tell?)
Jaime does something incredibly noble and incredibly dumb. (IT IS AN HEIRLOOM.) He gives Brienne his gee dee Valyrian steel sword, the one forged from Ned Stark’s. And it’s lovely and moving that it’s to protect Sansa, but those aren’t being made anymore, bro! Just wait until your father finds out, oooooh. He also gives her a suit of armor and a Podrick, and damn, that’s a trifecta of awesome gifts, that is.
Brienne is moved to (almost) tears, tells Jaime she’s doing it for him because she gives her heart fully when she’s moved, and Jaime looks at her and wonders at how easily she does. Maybe wonders how easy life could have been had he met her and wasn’t a Lannister. She tells him that she will name her sword “Oathkeeper” and seriously, I want these two to ride off together solving mysteries and being awesome together. Like Moonlighting, but in a fantasy vein!
Back at the Wall, Sam and Jon figure out that Bran is most likely at Craster’s, fueling Jon’s desire to get out there even faster. Locke overhears, because of course he does. Jon addresses the Knights, giving an “I can’t make you come, but it’s the right thing to do” speech, and a handful of them stand, ready to accompany him on his quest. Locke finagles his way to join them, because of course he does.
(Side note: there’s a pig on a spit, not being turned. Now that’s just ruining a good side of meat, guys. Even heat all over, where is Ron Popeil when you need him?)
You know what we haven’t had enough of? Rape. (FUCKING HELL.) It’s Craster’s, and you know what I would do? I would napalm the shit out of that place and put those poor women out of their misery, that’s what. The Black Black Knights of the Watch are having their nasty ways with the girls (and I could do without seeing it, let me tell you) while their leader de facto, Karl Tanner, The Poor Man’s Willem Dafoe, drinks wine from Mormont’s skull. (That would leak all over the place. Terrible choice!)
He is raring to fight Rast, the guy who hated Samwell, but Rast is smart enough to keep his hide firmly attached and appeases Tanner. Before he heads out to feed Ghost – GHOST! Direwolf puppy!! Waah, he’s all caged up! – a woman comes in with a newly born baby boy, and we know what happens to them. Baby Morsels, the lot of them. (And we learn that it’s been nine months since Craster was killed, since that was the last of his seed.) The women chant in a frightened way, “A gift for the gods!”
SERIOUSLY. PUT ALL OF THESE WOMEN OUT OF THEIR MISERY. After giving them leave to torture the men as they’d like, of course.
Rast takes the baby out to be offered to the White Walkers. Can I just say that as a mother, I was VERY DISTRESSED by that baby out in the cold with nothing more than a shit blanket wrapped around it? No socks? Head covering?? VERY DISTRESSED. The air grows cold, crows begin to caw, and ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE ICE CRACKS, FOR IT CRACKS FOR THEE, wee baby morsel.
Hodor hears the baby, wakes up Bran, Jojen – looking a little peaky – and Meera, and Bran wargs through his Direwolf Summer to find it. BUT HIS PUPPY IS CAUGHT IN A TRAP, NOOOOO! Before they can save him at morning’s first light, they’re caught by the Black Black Watch. Hodor is chained up and teased cruelly (“Hodor? HODOR! …h-hodor.”) and Jojen and his sister Meera are threatened until Jojen goes into a twitching epileptic fit. The hell? Bran admits who he is so Meera can help her brother. Things just got interesting, thinks Poor Man’s Willem Dafoe.
And then my FAVORITE SCENE YET happens: a White Walker (they all have the same face, it seems?) on a decayed horse – seriously, that jaw bone! so cool – holding the baby and making his way across the land of ice and snow where the air is cool and the stonehenges grow. (Immigrant Song Battlecry!)
The creature dismounts, places the baby on an ice altar (DIBS ON NORDIC DEATH METAL BAND NAME) and backs away. And then WHAT IS COMING, OH JEEZ. Until it’s directly over the baby, we can’t tell what’s approaching from a group of twelve. It’s a White Walker, but it has horns? Shaped like a crown? And a magical fingernail that when it’s placed on the baby’s cheek just under his eye, the eye crackles like ice and turns vivid blue.
THE BABIES ARE THE SPICE! THE SPICE IS THE BABIES!
Okay, so are they using the babies as fuel, or is this how they make Elite White Walkers? My money is on the latter. We know that when you die up there, you turn into the Undead and must be burned by fire (or killed with the bit of Dragonglass, obsidian, whatever Sam has – The Shard! /Skeksies), so maybe this is how they’re making the Army Ranger/Seal Team Six Elite UnDead Squad or something?
I JUST KNOW THAT I LIKE IT. More White Walkers, please! And next week is the return of Bad Boob Sucker, and I am both delighted and horrified to see Lyssa and her creep of a child Robyn again. Whee!! This episode was more game piece positioning like last week, but that’s most of what chess is, you know?
How you feeling, gang? Enjoyed this? Waiting for big action scenes? Worried about the Direwolf puppies? And thank you in advance for not dropping any spoilers here. <3
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But click here for the next episode’s recap: First Of His Name