Game of Thrones 4.5 – First of his Name

Previously! Question…why was Dragonstone in the opening and not the Eryie?  The Vale was such a neat model; I would have liked to have seen that. Know what I was wincing through, wishing I didn’t have to see? ALL THE BAD BOOB SUCKER STUFF. Gah. Wow, did I forget how creepy Aunt Lysa is, and I am actually sorry for freaking Petyr Baelish for having to marry her. That nastiness is strong, Lysa. STRONG.

GET IT OFF ME. BURN IT.

GET IT OFF ME. BURN IT.

And you’re welcome for me not grabbing your arm and screaming into your ear: HOLY SHEEP SHORTS, CRASTER’S KEEP!! like I did to my husband. Look, he agreed to “for better or worse,” and it’s not my fault he gets the worst more than the better. I’m just enthusiastic in my fannishness, okay? Oh, and raise your hand if you – like me – are shipping Oberyn and Cersei like they’re a gee dee Spanish Armada? 

 

We open with sweet, sweet baby-faced Tommen Lannister Baratheon being made King.

“And may the fifth god, erm, the god of cheese, is it? May He bless our Lord with a fine sheep’s feta, that he may delight in its mellow sourness all his days.  And the sixth god, crud, erm, the god of stinging insects, may she bless our Lord with a hide that no wasp may pierce, and that they indeed come away with a bent stinger, buzzing,’Ow’ in their small, waspy voices.  And may the…what number are we on? Oh for crying out loud, King? We don’t want you to die. May your hair flow like wine, your singing voice drown the Sirens, and honestly we just want to live out our lives without being dragged into another war, amen.”

Crowd: Amen.

"May his nostrils flare widely, drawing in strong breath, may he never get a hangnail. Lord, bless our King that he may not be lactose intolerant, for the winds are painful, verily we beseech thee."

“May his nostrils flare widely, drawing in strong breath; may he never get a hangnail for those ache in a most unpleaasnt way. Lord, bless our King that he may not be lactose intolerant, for the winds are painful, verily we beseech thee.”

GeePopPop Tywin claps the hardest and the longest, Cersei is only kind of drunk and moderately pleased, and Margaery…. Oh, beautiful Lady Tyrell stands in the wings simpering sweetly at her future husband until Cersei takes notice and stomps over. (Side note, her hair was FABULOUS.)

And just when you think Cersei is going to rip Margaery a new one…she’s all, “So, that son of mine that you married was a bit of a shit, right? Sorry about that. But how about marrying my other son? You’ll be a good teacher-wife for him, me thinks.”

And Margaery, oooh, she learned to throw shade at Olenna’s knee and replies, “Yeah, gosh. That first wedding was a bit of a nightmare, innit tho? And I’m so heartsick over losing Joffrey–” She stops to smother a laugh. “–that I’ll have to think about it.”

Cersei bites a hole through her lip and then breaks her own fingers as Margaery laughs about her marrying Loras. “So, would I call you sister? Mother? Old bag?”

Down in Meereen, Dany takes in her council’s news, delivered throatily by Jorah in his sexiest newsman voice. Y’all, I could watch FOX if the news was delivered by that voice.  She learns Joffrey is dead and the time is right to take King’s Landing. Daario went rogue and took the navy from Meereen, a good 93 ships or so. Yeah, the Lannisters have more, but they’ve been at war for so long that it’s highly unlikely they’d be fresh enough to give a good fight. Selmy thinks that the “old houses” will stand with Dany, but Jorah’s a bit more pragmatic (read: realistic and correct) and says they’ll stand with whoever will win.

And…the Masters have taken over Yunkai, in Astapor a wonk overthrew the council, and it seems like Slaver’s Bay isn’t as “conquered” as once believed. And if she’s going to be the Queen of Westeros, she’ll need to prove she can lead. So she’ll stay put, sic her dragons on the Masters (please?!!?), and she will rule. [insert regal music of Queenliness]

Jorah, unable to believe he could ever love her more, actually falls that much more deeply in love with her. ME, TOO, JORAH. KHALEESI!

Hey, remember when we were all nervous about Sansa being stuck with “Funny Uncle Petyr?”  Ha. HAHAHA.  Can I just say that Sansa is getting to levels of Theon Greyjoy “wow, how else can we just seriously fuck with you with no hope?” Oh, my poor sweet girl…

They wander through a dangerous crevasse, made so by both the armed archers aiming down at them and that no one is to know it is Sansa Stark Lannister, possible accomplice to the King’s assassination.

Cool strategy talk: while the Lords of the Vale didn’t have much by way of resources, they knew how to use the land to their advantage. No matter the force of your army, you’ll still have to march to the gate three abreast, and it’s like shooting ducks in a barrel.  (Hey, you know what wouldn’t be troubled by that? Dragons. I’m just saying.)

Also, I’m thinking GRRM was a big fan of The Princess Bride, because everything is “not once, in a thousand years. No one as beautiful… in a thousand years. No sign of dragons… in a thousand years. No crotch meat like Podrick’s… in a thousand years.” And if you haven’t read that book, you are doing your brain a huge disservice.

Good lord, she is a beautiful, beautiful young woman. Team Sansa, guys.

Good lord, she is a beautiful, beautiful young woman. Team Sansa, guys.

They get through the Bloody Gate with Sansa disguised as Petyr’s niece and come to the Eryie where thankfully they’ve just missed feeding time. Robyn – calling Littlefinger “Uncle” – races to Mommy’s Special Friend and crawls all over him.  Awesome things: Petyr looking at Sansa like, “Can you believe this shit?”

Petyr has gifts for everyone, a beautifully carved and intricate glass birdie for Robyn and a long-lost niece for Lysa. Sansa gets a hug from her aunt and some creepiness from her cousin.

Robyn: I heard they killed your family! [picks nose]

Sansa: Um, yes.

Robyn: I wanted to throw your baby-man husband out of our door and watch him fly! [claps hands like a creep]

Sansa: I don’t-

Robyn: Like this!  [THROWS HIS GOD DAMN GIFT OUT THE FUCKING MOON GATE TALK ABOUT SOME INCONSIDERATE BULL DONK!]

You know, this is what’s wrong with Westeros: no one appreciates a nice gift. Robyn takes her by the hand to show her to her room, and Lysa throws herself on Petyr.  Man, he’s good at pretending not to be totally skeeved.  She looks like death warmed over. Then again, when you’re breastfeeding a high school student, that tends to rob your body of essential nutrients, I would suspect.

Lysa: MARRY ME. [hums ‘Reunited’ by Peaches and Herb]

Petyr: Let’s…not be hasty.

Lysa: MARRY ME RIGHT NOW I HAVE WAITED SO LONG [rubs herself like a cat in heat over his body, sings] We both are so excited ’cause we’re [hip thrust] reunited, hey, hey!

Petyr: Can I have a flippin’ shower first? Maybe wash my hands or–

Lysa: I HAVE WAITED SINCE YOU SENT ME POISON FOR MY HUSBAND JON ARRYN, FORMER HAND TO THE KING, YEARS AGO, AND WE PLOTTED ALL OF THIS WHILE I DID THINGS TO YOUR MAN FLUTE WHILE YOU CALLED ME CATELYN, DO YOU REMEMBER?

Petyr: …so you want to get married right now, eh?

Lysa: [opens door triumphantly to show wedding party waiting for the groom, and I’m wondering if they overheard anything because wtf, that was not stealthy, Lysa] YES AND IN CASE YOU DON’T REMEMBER I’M A SCREAMER.

Guys, I watched this whole scene standing ON TOP OF MY BED with my hands over my face, making high pitched, creeped out noises that only dolphins could understand. <– I literally was doing this. GAH, she’s so gross! Also, those of a certain age ought to remember “Lassie” from Porkies. Lassie = Lysa? I C WUT U DID THAR.

We cut to Sansa in her bedroom that night trying to block out the sounds of Lysa LITERALLY SCREAMING as Baelish puts it to her.

1) Damn, Petyr!

2) JFC LYSA YOU ARE THE WORST OH MY GOD THAT IS TERRIFYING.

Noises in the bedroom = awesome. As long as they are: sexy moaning, sexy sighs, sexy gasps, dirty talk, loving words. Not awesome noises: farts, “is it in?”, “well wiggle your ass so I can feel it, then!,” and straight up SHRIEKING. Poor Virgin Sansa. Sansa? That is not normal. That is how crazy people bone.

How about a palate cleanser where we talk about the Iron Bank? Everyone loves accountancy! Tywin talks to Cersei about Tommen and Margaery getting married soon (they’re both in favor) and then Cersei marrying Loras two weeks after that (I’m not convinced she thinks it will actually happen). Then we learn the Lannisters are seriously in debt, as is the crown. There is no more gold coming, and the Lannisters always pay their debts.  And this time, they’ll pay them by marrying the Tyrells and foisting the debt onto them. Ooh, shady!

Tywin also makes sure she understands that he won’t be talking about Tyrion’s trial with her. And she makes sure he understands that both of his sons have failed him in his vision for their family, but she has given him two kings. BURN.

And wow, the awesome editing where it cuts to a fire; Arya’s going through her list of names before falling asleep, pissing off the Hound. Oh, I’m bothering you? Fine, last name, then: THE HOUND. Yeah, she didn’t forget you killing her friend, buddy. (He thinks it’s cute, little girl playing at assassin.)

Lady Lysa has that post-Baelish bliss on her face as she serves Sansa some lemon cakes (HEY WHERE DO LEMONS COME FROM?  I believe that’s where the Tyrells are from? Am I right? Olenna was all about the lemon cakes and cheese? Because she is me.) – Cat used to love sweets, but misogyny, no fat chicks, Daddy wanted her pretty, blah – and then shit goes downhill fast.

I swear, I thought there was poison in the food. Just me?

I swear, I thought there was poison in the food. Just me?

Lysa grabs Sansa’s hands in a death grip. Because, ha, Lysa finds it so very  interesting that Petyr felt so responsible for Sansa. Why is that? Why would that be when Cat never loved him, oh yes, Lysa knows all about that, so why is her new husband – you did hear him putting it to me last night, didn’t you? – wants so badly to help Sansa?

Lysa: Are you fucking him?

Sansa: [swallows her own bile] WHAT? No!

Lysa: Are you letting him do things to you? Did you let that dwarf do things to you? Disgusting, evil, horrible… [dreamy face] …things to your young, nubile, lush body?

Sansa: You are freaking me out.

Lysa: ARE YOU A DIRTY DIRTY GIRL? I CAN SEE YOUR DIRTY PILLOWS!

Sansa: He hates me, calls me stupid and dumb, says how hot your eye bags are, how cool your saggy teats are, and no no no, I am a virgin, ahhhhh!

Lysa: There, there, sweet baby. Such hysterics!  [soothing kiss to her brow] You’ll be a widow soon and then you’ll marry Robyn – I’ll keep breastfeeding him, of course – and you’ll be the lady of the Vale, how does that sound?

TERRIBLE, LYSA. THAT SOUNDS TERRIBLE. Good lord, poor Sansa. This kid cannot catch a break, can she? (But that was a nice bit of learning how to undo situations with words there, wasn’t it?) Guys? I want to watch Lysa fly.

Podrick awkwardly rides a horse as Brienne wonders for the millionth time why she’s been saddled with such a dope. (Because we love it, Brienne, that’s why.)  Looks like she’s got her work cut out for her. Podrick’s “Aww, jeez!” face as he tries to make the horse go forward is a thing of beauty. She tries to turn Pod loose, but there’s no doing it. He’s stuck on her like a barnacle.

I am here for the Stark Girls, okay? I LOVE THIS KID. I love that she's slowly falling apart, wow.

I am here for the Stark Girls, okay? I LOVE THIS KID. I love that she’s slowly falling apart, wow.

The Hound wakes to find Arya practicing her water dancing style of sword fighting and makes fun of her for it. Whoever taught her that nonsense – “The greatest swordsman who ever lived!” – oh? He’s still alive, then? – “…no. He was killed by Meryn Trant.” – that arsehole? My mother could kill Meryn Trant, and she doesn’t have any arms and is blind. – “Oh, yeah? BELLY STAB!”

Honey? You can SEE his armor. And he knocks her down, reminding her that what matters in a fight is that you have body armor and a weapon. But mostly that armor bit.  Yeah, your name isn’t falling off her list any time soon, Clegane.

Prince Oberyn sits in an idyllic setting writing poetry because he’s perfect. Seriously, I want to hollow him out and wear him like man pants. Going commando. (Are we there in our friendship? I can say that to you, right?) He and Cersei go for a lovely walk, we learn he has eight daughters, one of them he mistakenly named after his murdered sister, so it’s a constant, painful reminder, but Cersei wants to talk about her daughter. He assures Cersei she’s being treated well and is happy.

“We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.”

Cersei scoffs softly. “Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls.”

EXCUSE ME WHILE I STAND IN SALUTE, CRYING SOFTLY WITH AN AMEN IN MY HEART, CERSEI.  Because this needed to be said, and this needed to be said by HER. Also, how is it that even in a FANTASY WORLD women are still raped and abused? Yeah, that’s not how things would be in my fantasy, JSYK. Do better, male writers of the world.

Yep. Add this ship to my armada.

Yep. Add this ship to my armada.

Cersei’s had a small ship made for her daughter and hopes it can be given to her. And I hope Myrcella uses it to sail to freedom. Oberyn looks at Cersei with new eyes, and then they fall in love, sail to Dorne, have passionate, consensual sex (Ellaria Sand is there, too) and never think about King’s Landing again. SIGH.

Podrick screws up dinner by not knowing to take the skin off the rabbit, ahahaha. Oh my god.

Smeagol: [pained wailing] What’s it doing!? Stupid, fat, Podricks! It ruins it!!

Brienne would just like to know what exactly Pod did for Tyrion? “Well, there was getting bottles of wine…” – Yes? – “..and then opening the wine…” – Okay? – “and of course, pouring the wine.” – I…see. “There was a lot of wine, m’lady.”

He also admits to killing a Kingsguard back in Blackwater, defending Lord Tyrion. Well, now she’s a little more impressed. “I could help you take off your armor!” he says.

No, you bloody well won’t! [She struggles with the clasps.] Fine. He gets to it, smiling because he has a special purpose again.

Hey, it’s been, what, ten minutes since there was a rape? Let’s go to Craster’s! Locke spies Rast abusing a girl, does a quick recon (including Bran Stark’s whereabouts) and tells the hiding Jon Snow and his men the deets. Oh, and stay away from the shed, there’s a bunch of mean dogs in there. =| But the Keep dudes are drunk, not paying attention, and it should be easy to do this.

Great lines: Locke saying, “You should see what I can do with a knife.” *cough* Jamie Lannister’s hand.

Jojen’s got the hydrophobie and is possibly dying? IDK. But he tells his sister and Bran to keep going. He can see the weirwood tree from Bran’s vision and that Bran will get there. Then he watches a vision of his hand burning and yeah, this child has a fever, his hands felt like two balloons, he caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned to look it was gone, his flaming finger’s wrong now and he needs some medical attention, like, yesterday.

Objects in visions aren't as close as they appear.

Objects in visions aren’t as close as they appear.

The poor man’s Willem Dafoe (Karl Tanner) has decided he needs to get up on Meera because she has nice hair like his mother. No, that’s not disturbing at all. What he leaves of her, the others can have. Time for this guy to die!  Oh good lord, he’s going to do it in front of her brother and Bran, too, WHAT THE-

Jojen offers himself up because he has The Shine and can help.

Karl: Did you foresee being caught?

Jojen: …no.

Karl: How about me raping your sister and killing you?

Jojen: …no.

Karl: Not much of a Seer are you?

Jojen: I saw you die. Watched you burn. Tonight, in fact. Saw the men creeping out of the woods to do it.

TO ARMS! The shout comes just then from the other Craster Creeps, and a battle is upon them. The Creeps have grown complacent while the men of the Watch have been training daily. Locke makes his way quickly to Bran, gets him free and leaves the others. Bran is smart enough to know to shut up. Oh, and Warg into Hodor, helping Hodor break free and chase them down. Oh, and strangling Locke, snapping his neck in the most wicked looking compound fracture I’ve seen on this show yet, damn.

Sad moment; Hodor coming back to consciousness and seeing blood on his hands. :( But fuck you, Locke, you deserved to die. Hodor goes to free Jojen and Meera while Bran lies helpless in the snow. Jojen points out that Jon would force Bran back to Castle Black, so they don’t alert Jon to their presence. Double :( :( I wanted the Starks to have a reunion!

Karl Tanner has two short swords in hand and a heart full of malice as Jon challenges him inside the keep. Um, the two swords are crazy effective, but Jon? You have a longer reach. Stop telegraphing your attack and stab the fucker. Nope, Karl gets in a great leg stab, all while smarming about how free he is there, how he can do anything he likes, and knocks Jon to the ground, disarming him because he knows how to fight dirty.

Protip: when fighting for your life, FIGHT DIRTY.

One of Craster’s women hits Karl in the back with a hatchet. He PULLS IT OUT, rounds on her, but before he can end her miserable life, Jon HEAD STABS HIM HOLY SMOKES CHOKE ON THAT, ASSHOLE!!!

Things I didn’t like: Jon not shoving Karl’s dying body away from that poor girl. Hasn’t she suffered enough? He’s gotta dump her dead rapist’s body on her lap?

Jon offers her his hand. “Are you all right?”

NOPE. NOT REALLY. SUFFERING PRETTY HARD FROM PTSD, THX.

The other women huddle together as the Watch count the bodies. Rast is missing. Oh, he’s running off in the dark like a dummy, right to Ghost’s pen (why?) and HEY SNEAK DIREWOLF ATTACK AHAHAHAHA. Yep, he’s dead. Good job, puppy!!

He goes back home and Jon’s all excited to see his puppy again because puppies are the best and Ghost is awesome and you should hug all the puppies. :(

I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING.

I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING.

GoT Jon Ghost 2

*sniff*

Jon offers shelter at Castle Black to the women, and their spokeslady (their mom? The first wife? IDK) says, “Yeah. Sorry if this sounds rude and all, but I don’t really trust any men because we’ve Seen Things. We haven’t been safe anywhere. So let’s first off burn this mother out, and then second, y’all keep on keeping on because we’re going to find our own way.  We’re making a village of women for women BY women and you’re not invited, thaaaaaanks.”

I feel that.

I was so happy to watch them set that place ablaze, to see the women say, “No, we’re not going with any of you,” and the relief on their faces when the flames rose up against the black sky. So. Cool.

Okay, next week is going to be INSANE. We have:

  • Theon’s sister coming to collect him (hooray!)
  • Roose covered in wounds ready to fight her
  • The Iron Bank (new place on the map?)
  • Dragons!!!
  • Tyrion’s court case

My prediction: when Tyrion’s asked, “Do you wish to confess?” he smarts off with something like, “To being devastatingly handsome and a lover of wine? Yes, I confess, it’s true.”

Reminder that I’m not a book reader, spoiler-phobic, and only cool people hang out here, so you must be This Cool to Ride. *points to comment section, filled with awesome, thoughtful people*

How is this the fastest hour on television? I am continually shocked when the credits roll, damn. Come talk at me! (And I love when comments spurn great discussions, so feel free! Just remember: no spoilers, no rude behavior, keep being amazing.)

Click here for Tyrion’s Trial in episode 6!

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  • Lyanna Mormont

    Oh, the creepiness that is Lysa. I heart it. “My niece! I will take such good care of you! Now go away with my creepy son so I can mack on my long-time lover. Petyr! remember how I killed my husband for you? We’re getting married right now, yes, RIGHT NOW! I’m going to scream so loud! Oh, hey, Sansa? Your momma used to be fat. But you’re not, despite all the lemoncakes. WHY AREN’T YOU FAT? DOES PETYR LIKE YOU BETTER THAN ME? HAVE YOU HAD SEX? WITH ANYONE? There there, don’t cry, you’ll get to marry my creepy son!”

    Seeing the Cersei / Margaery scene was so surreal. But then she proceeded to get all her judges in a row, and suddenly everything made so much more sense. Look at her, getting her agency back! Using truths to manipulate people!

    Oberyn has eight daughters, and writes poetry to them when he’s away from home. Because of course he does. He’s Oberyn Martell.

    JojenVision! I love it. But the burning hand worries me. I have no idea whether that was about the burning of Craster’s Keep, or his fever, or something else that will happen later on. (The show keeps moving away from the books, and I don’t know what’s going to happen more and more often, and I love it.)

    The Society for Ethical Treatment of Hodors has its eye on Bran now. As I’ve been saying all over the place today, one does not simply warg into Hodor. Yeah, Hodor realizing his hands had killed was pretty damn awful. And I’m not sure Bran sees anything wrong with what he did. (Although granted, he didn’t exactly get much time to reflect on it yet.)

    But one of Craster’s daughters got to fight back! Although apparently one of the things Jon knows nothing about is saying thank you. Hey, Jon didn’t your mother ever teach you… ooops. Sorry.

    Also, Podrienne are adorable, the Hound isn’t winning any points with Arya, and Ghost/Jon reunion yay!

    • Oh man, Cersei was so awesome this episode. I loved her getting some of her own back. LOVED. I took Jojen’s hand on fire as him seeing him dying north of the wall and his body being burned – that’s when it’s truly “the end” because otherwise you come back? TIME WILL TELL!

      I’m still in love with the S.E.T.H. group and feel we need to get that in action as a real thing. :D Poor Hodor. And yes, Bran did what he had to do (“Little lord…”) in time of war, but I don’t have to like it.

      GHOST!! I want Arya to find her puppy, too. Poor Sansa and Robb’s were killed…. *cries*

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Puppy love!

        Yeah, it’s not like Bran had a lot of options there. I’m just worried – he’s still a young boy who may not stop to think about what it’s like on Hodor’s end. It’s possible he’ll get too carried away with the prospect of being able to do things through Hodor that he can’t do by himself anymore – he did get warned by the Reeds about spending too much time in Summer…

        • tsinivari

          Yes…the whole Bran warging into Hodor…I mean, I get why he did it, and frankly at the time his options were very limited – and if we can see him actually grasping that while it was quite possibly his ONLY option, it still wasn’t a GOOD thing that he did. We’ve already gotten hints that he’s a little too involved in warging when he was spending more time in Summer’s eyes (which to me is just as abusive in some regards as what he’s done with Hodor – I would argue that Summer’s agency is just as important in a lot of respects) than in his own and that it could become addictive.

          • Marilyn

            that would be helpful, bran recognizing how huge a transgression that was. i was very much cheering for hodor (literally chanting “hodor! hodor!” because something is wrong with me) to deal with locke and rescue bran, etc., until the unwarging. hodor looked at his bloody hands, and i had to smack myself a little bit. HODOR never chose to do that because it was bran using his gianty body like a weapon. sadface x infinity = me :(

        • You know, I hadn’t even thought far enough ahead to think of Bran seeing Hodor as a vessel to be used often. God, I hope it doesn’t go that route!

          • Magamus

            As a book reader (i’m not gonna spoil, you’re safe) they haven’t really said a lot about it on the show, but in the books it seems like Summer doesn’t mind the warging stuff at all. (they/Jojen said something about the wolves being a part of them or something in book 2 or 3).

            • Honestly, the only time I’ve thought the Warging had a negative result was when Hodor looked down at his bloody hand in confusion an fear. :( I got the impression as a show-watcher that the Starks are supernaturally connected to their Direwolves, so it wouldn’t be anything strange for Bran to connect with Summer in that manner. I have no idea if I’m right, but that’s the impression this Unsullied had.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Oh, and Dany’s discovering what Tywin told Tommen a couple weeks ago – conquering is not the same as ruling. And when the chess pieces are living human beings, they tend not to stay where you put them down. It’s good to see some believable complications thrown into the whole Conquering Hero stuff she’s been doing lately. Dany and Jon are the closest thing GRRM has to traditional hero-types, and since a big part of the reason I enjoy the books and the show so much is the deconstruction of storytelling tropes…

      • tsinivari

        I did love seeing complications as well…it was really coming up on the time when something needed to go less smoothly for her, and I like that this is how it is manifesting to be honest. Because it…makes sense, it is realistic and I loved her response to it. I love that she’s not just shrugging and saying “Oh well, I did what I could…I have other things to conquer” …because that response (to me) would have made her less in the realm of “deserving to lead”. In some ways, yes, the freed slaves are pawns in the larger game of chess that comes down to war, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to treat them badly.

        • Lyanna Mormont

          Oh, the chess pieces was more meant as a reference to the Masters in Yunkai and the Council she apparently put into place in Astapor. Just because she dethrones the Masters doesn’t mean they’ll never try to get their power back, and just because she created a Council doesn’t mean nobody else will seize the chance to make a grab for power.

          • tsinivari

            Oh I knew what you meant but in a way those freed slaves are also pawns – she’s adding them to her considerable number. I was simply pointing out that I was very happy with how she responded, that she needed to do a little housekeeping and didn’t simply go “*shrug* Oh well, I did the best I could, on to shinier pastures”.

        • Lyanna Mormont

          You’ve got to love a fantasy series that brings in aspects like going into debt because of a war and dealing with banks, liberated societies not necessarily staying on the course the liberators would like them to once left to their own devices, questions like “Why is it worse to kill a dozen men at dinner than thousands in a battle?” and how sometimes brute force and thick armor defeat fancy swordfighting moves.

          • tsinivari

            I do like those little details (some of them not so little in the scheme of things) getting thrown in – and like I said that Dany is finally experiencing something other than total victory – it really is a matter of the battle is won but not the war.

            I’ve always enjoyed the mental gymnastics that sometimes are brought into play when it comes to hospitality towards guests in one’s home vs what you would do to them if you were to meet in battle (or even on the street); and how that hospitality is meant to be pretty much sacrosanct (generally when there are gods being brought into it). I don’t even mean for this book series/show specifically, but the concept in general.

            • Marilyn

              i feel like…if you’re in battle, you’re there deliberately (conscription aside). you know you’re risking your life for whatever cause or loyalty you’ve chosen. if you go to dinner with somebody, though, you come in good faith — you aren’t prepared, you aren’t armed, and, even if you know it’s going to be dicey, you don’t expect to be attacked or plan to make an attack.

              if you can’t trust that hospitality holds, then you can never ever trust anyone ever at any time whatsoever. it takes an already precarious life and takes away any form of safety you might have left. plus, how can you expect to negotiate with an enemy unless you know walking into that meeting that no one’s going to get shot? wars would be even more unending than they already are.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      About this:

      “Cool strategy talk: while the Lords of the Vale didn’t have much by way of resources, they knew how to use the land to their advantage. No matter the force of your army, you’ll still have to march to the gate three abreast, and it’s like shooting ducks in a barrel. (Hey, you know what wouldn’t be troubled by that? Dragons. I’m just saying.)”

      We did hear Tywin say recently that Dorne was the only part of the Seven Kingdoms that wasn’t conquered by the Targaryens. The Targaryens invaded Westeros 300 years ago. Therefore, they somehow got to the Vale, but according to LF they didn’t take the Bloody Gate, so… dragons?

      • I wonder if Dorne is underground, then? WHAT WOULD BE DRAGON PROOF?

        ….holy shit, they’re Atlantis. Oh, please please please let us to go Dorne at some point. (Mostly because I want a complete picture of the Map of Westeros in my head.)

      • Marilyn

        maybe the arryns didn’t put up a fight when the targaryens sailed in on their dragons?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      (I keep thinking of new things to add…)

      Tywin: “When will the wedding take place, in your mind?”

      Cersei: “After we’ve given Tommen time to mourn his brother, and Margaery her husband.”

      Tywin: “In a fortnight.”

      Cersei: “Yes.”

      I can’t even. A fortnight. The appropriate amount of time to mourn your brother/husband, if he was Joffrey, is TWO WEEKS. God how I love Tywin sometimes (even though I usually loathe him).

      • tsinivari

        I believe that was only out of respect for tradition as well …. lol Because really, did ANYONE really need a fortnight to mourn him beyond Cersei? (And even SHE knows how awful he was)

        Though I suppose if you think about it, it was only technically a marriage (the reception meal hadn’t even been DIGESTED yet lol)…the wedding festivities hadn’t even concluded when it went from marriage to wake (and how!)

        I adore Tywin – so much.

  • tsinivari

    Okay…so that episode…wow (and I read a review that went up earlier elsewhere that claimed nothing much actually happened in this episode to further the plot – I would disagree completely on that account).

    I just…I really never thought I’d actually feel bad for Petyr…I have been proven wrong. I mean, granted, he’s right where he plotted himself to be, but I straight up felt bad for him while Lyssa was pawing at him, etc *laughs* The look on his face was priceless….and good LORD poor Sansa…you’re right she can’t catch a break. You are most definitely not the only one who thought it was poisoned, especially when she was all “No dear eat up!” and watched her like a hawk. I literally told the tv “Don’t do it Sansa! it’s a trap!” …and it sorta was, just not of the poisoned food variety.

    I have to say though, I saw the crazy jealous thing coming…just some kind of instinct told me it would be there. It actually makes sense (as much as anything that crazy lady does)…given that how much Sansa looks like Cat (based on observations) and the fact that Petyr loving Cat was like the world’s worst kept secret. I also sorta assumed they’d try to hook Sansa up with the creepy kid *shudders* but I wanted to be wrong *cries*

    At least they are going to wait until she’s a widow *twitches* I just…can’t even with the people of the Vale, seriously. Just…no.

    Regarding Cersei…I really do love her; she’s the kind of “villain” (though that’s arguable at times) I adore…the kind that is just THE WORST but that you can actually sympathise with…and I do, so hard. I’ve often said that I think Cersei would have turned out a different person if Robert could have actually treated her like a wife and loved her. Sure, she’d still have that Lannister bite, but I think it would have turned out differently. I’m not pro-incest or anything, but it doesn’t take a huge leap to see how it is that she and Jamie ended up in the kind of relationship they had….

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that shipped Cersei/Oberyn hard in that scene. That side of Cersei just…moments like that are why I love her dearly. She does love her children, unendingly. That’s also why the whole scene with Margaery left me a little off kilter…because she was…nice to her *laughs* I was surprised that Cersei so quickly embraced her marrying her surviving son, and that she could help him. Part of me has to think something else is going on in her head (isn’t it always?) but then again…Joffery died, he was an awful, hateful little demon that even she realises was awful and hateful. I think she may have been straight up honest that she thinks Margaery can help teach and protect him…

    Let’s be real here, Margaery could. She actually had nothing to do with Joffery’s death, so we can’t put that at her feet. And she knows how to play the game (as evidenced by that exchange with Cersei)…she’s actually kind of a perfect wife for a completely untried, young king. And what teenage boy wants to be told what to do by his mother?

    So yes…Cersei/Oberyn – I loved it, and I loved her comeback to Oberyn saying they don’t hurt little girls in Dorne…because it did need to be said. In the same respect though, I do actually think Dorne might be a better place than any we’ve seen (and I want to see it!) and that Cersei’s daughter probably is, in fact, better off where she is. I kinda love that Oberyn has eight daughters, and that he doesn’t seem to see them as lesser for it (and likely they don’t all have the same mother, he’s not THAT old lol). I loved their exchange about him naming the 5th daughter after his sister, and that was perhaps why she was so difficult, because of the conflicted emotions that name calls up. *le sigh*

    I can’t really…fault Cersei for sticking to her guns that it was Tyrion, we all know she’s wrong – but from her POV I can see how she might think it. We have seen and think the best of Tyrion, which is not something Cersei ever allowed herself to do. So, Tyrion being guilty fits with HER vision of who and what Tyrion is. I think that Tywin isn’t as sure a bet of convicting his son though, unless he straight up does it to just put the matter to rest and if he even has a WHIFF that the Tyrells might have done it, I honestly don’t think he would necessarily pursue it. He KNOWS Joffery was an awful king, and he also knows that they…well…let’s be real, they did him a favour.

    Podrick… *face palm* I wouldn’t even begin to know HOW to do it, but even I know you skin the rabbit FIRST – I love those two together, like 100% – not in a shipping way, just in a “I’d watch that spinoff” kind of way.

    I was so glad the ladies of Craster’s Keep were like “Thanks but no thanks, peace out” because…can you blame them? Screw this men deciding our destiny thing…You can’t really argue they are any worse off striking out on their own in the ice than allowing men to continue to dictate the path of their future.

    Poor Hodor…but ghost back with Jon, yay! (and I presume Summer is with Bran again and not badly injured…I need to think this okay? This is what has to have happened). I was sad Jon didn’t get to at least know Bran was still alive and well…but I also get why they had to just keep going.

    Dany…in Meereen and Jorah …just…I’ll be a minute here *fans self* I’m actually glad she’s decided to not move forward yet, it IS the smart thing to do. What’s the point if you take King’s Landing if you can’t hold it …she’s learning how to lead and rule on a small scale before going for the larger vision. I loved her little quip about not listening to him in Quarth and how well that worked out. I just love her you guys, okay?

    Well that was an incoherent ramble but I just was…so in love with last night’s episode (and thank GOD the Crows attacked before more rapey awfulness happened in that hut…the threat of it and lead up to it was bad enough…I was growling the entire time, and cheered when John just straight up took him through the back of the head…how’s that armor working out for you now huh?)

    Just…so much good this week…I’m pleased with how everything is lining up, and even though it gives me cognitive dissonance to feel bad for Cersei, I love the scenes where we get to see the vulnerable side of her, that part of her that really informs all of the awful things she does in the world. She ranks as one of my favourite characters for totally different reasons than say Tyrion or Dany or Arya… she’s awful, totally awful, but she didn’t have to be…she’s the product of the world she lives in, which is really infinitely sad when you think about it. (Not excusing the awful things she’s done, I’m just seeing how that trip from Point A to Point B occurred and I really do cry for the woman Cersei COULD have been had the chips fallen differently for her)

    • Lyanna Mormont

      I am so so happy to see Cersei with agency again. it was one of my complaints in seasons two and three – they took the things she did in the books and gave them to Joffrey (like he needed to be more villainous) and then she got to sit about waiting for Jaime to come rescue her from an unwanted marriage. Now she’s doing things HERSELF again, and I love it.

      About the scene with Margaery – and this is not from reading the books, because this wasn’t in the books – I took that as part of her plan to make sure Tyrion is convicted. Three judges, Tywin, Oberyn, and Mace Tyrell. She spoke to two of them directly, playing up the side that she thought they’d respond best to (cooperative with Tywin, grieving mother and a dash of wanting revenge with Oberyn), and works the Tyrell judge through Margaery, since everyone knows it’s the women who call the shots in that family.

      And Jon does get props for a) offering the Craster-wives shelter at Castle Black, and b) letting them decide for themselves.

      Poor poor Sansa. That look on her face as Lysa pressed her face into the Bad Boobs…

      • tsinivari

        Yes, watching Cersei getting her ducks in a row was a thing of beauty (though I would argue, the one time she wasn’t straight up acting, at least not in the end, was with Oberyn – those emotions and sentiment were very real). Though, I suppose, to be fair – everything she said about Joffery to Margaery was also the truth – he was her son, her first born, and she loved him but she DID know what a monster he was. It was just a thing to behold, watching her move through each scene though.

        And I can see what you’re saying with Margaery re: her father’s vote. Though, unless it was straight up needed for the marriage to continue, I’m not 100% certain she’d encourage him to vote against Tyrion unless it was to just put the matter to rest (you know, given it was HER family that offed the little beast)

        Jon does get points for allowing those women their own agency, even if that choice leads to their death (from exposure or whitewalkers or whatever) it was a CHOICE they made. He offered sanctuary (such as it is) but he didn’t force it on them because “he knows what’s best”

    • When I hear people say “not much happened” in an episode of GoT, I wonder if they’re washing the dishes in another room while it airs, listening for dragons or explosions. HOW. HOW CAN YOU THINK THAT? We had so many stories inch along the board, moving people forward, resolution, for crying out loud, for the women at Craster’s, not to mention Jon and Ghost meeting back up after two seasons apart. (Two? Well, one and a half, I think.)

      And hahahaha! Cersei being nice to Margaery WAS odd, and I was holding my breath, waiting for the bite to come. Hee! I love that character so, so much, and as you said, we can see why Cersei’s the way she is. She’s understandable. Someone like Roose is just awful for the sake of it, but Cersei does what she has to do in order to survive the world she’s forced to play a part in. She’s fascinating. She’s compassionate, yet doesn’t want our compassion – she would see that as pity. (Which is something else to admire and hate her for, hahaha.)

      And I’ll raise a glass in cheer with you for the show not having Another Rape at Craster’s Keep before the Crows attacked. I was holding my breath for that, too. WHEW.

      • tsinivari

        I think it comes down to people who don’t like “talking” episodes …the complaint was that “not much happened” until the action of the last fifteen minutes (at Craster’s)…so I think that’s the place they are coming from. Apparently if stuff is (metaphorically) being blown up, it’s a slow episode? (I suppose the very same concept of those that don’t like dialogue, general storytelling episodes of Walking Dead – when I find them fascinating if done correctly). For me, GoT is one of those shows you have to watch the screen every moment because lots of times the expression on the face of those speaking is just as, if not more, important than the actual words.

        Cersei and Margaery…lol I get that the jibe about “What will I call you? Sister….or Mother…” was almost too good to pass up with how these two have been passive aggressively double talking at one another since word go, but with Cersei extending the (albeit very mangled) olive branch, I almost wish Margaery hadn’t fallen back on the snipe about “Mother”…but I totally GET it and it was beautiful because I love those two so much and I LOVE to see them circle around one another. Though in some respects, I think her making that statement was also a nod between both of them that while the words were all pretty, both of them knew they were still playing the game, and they knew they the other knew it.

        Could you imagine what would happen if those two honest to god joined forces? Lord HELP any and everyone that got in their way, I’m just saying. And I mean join forces in the way that they wouldn’t stab the other in the back the moment they were able lol but a true partnership lol I could actually ship those two if I’m honest….

        • Oh, you’re absolutely right about the people who don’t think much happened in eps like this don’t like “talking” – or as we call it, story. :D They should save their money by not getting HBO. (Well, True Blood isn’t very intellectual…)

          You can’t have non-stop CRASHBANGBOOMFIGHT or you’d get exhausted by it. It’s a flippin’ rollercoaster, or it should be. Ups, down, highs and lows, calm moments, moments where we’re on the edge of our seat. I know you know this, I’m just always baffled by the person who doesn’t understand basic storytelling structure. IT MATTERS, those little moments, those looks, those times of quiet.

          Oh my gosh, if Margaery and Cersei figured out a way to overthrow Tywin and Take Back The Night (in a matter of speaking)… the only thing that could stand in their way would be literal dragon fire. :D (I could totally get behind that ship, for the record.)

          • tsinivari

            Yeah I kinda wonder why people watch the shows at all (not that I’m saying hey don’t watch!) when they obviously do not like storytelling episodes that aren’t just straight up hack and slash action… but *shrugs* I suppose to each their own lol but it doesn’t mean I can’t quietly judge *long side eye* It is sometimes nice to have a breather, as you said, and just let the plot unfold via conversation (which – for me at least – GoT has always been good at being engaging even when it’s just a lot of characters around a table discussing/providing exposition – sometimes it’s bloody necessary to keep track of who is where on the board!)

            Cersei/Margaery… a definite force to be reckoned with, and yes only dragon fire could stop them…but let’s…extrapolate this thought experiment out a bit further, if you will.

            Do you actually think, necessarily, that if those two were actually in charge you might not just end up with the most awesome trio of females controlling the world? Perhaps ever? “Here Dany dear, let us show you how PR works on a smaller scale than you are used to…”

            I mean …come on… can’t you see it? Those three would be like… “Wait…we could actually…rule the entire world together pretty effectively…”

            You’ve got Dany on one end of the spectrum, with Cersei on the other, and Margaery could just make sure they play nice. (Please no one tell me all the ways this would never work and let me just enjoy the thought experiment of this being reality)

            • So, I’m gonna need a 100K fic with Dany/Margaery/Cersei as the Moirai – they are actually beautiful, not blind crones, Gods AND men must bow to them for they operate outside their laws. They are Order, they are Destiny, and they’re all hot for each other.

              And each of the dragons corresponds to one of the women and they wreak their vengeance on the evils that men do. I WOULD READ THE HELL OUT OF THAT. And then turn it into a movie. :D

              • Lyanna Mormont

                Norns! they’re totally norns!

                Margaery as the spinner, Dany as the one who measures, and Cersei as the cutter of threads, obviously.

                • tsinivari

                  Obviously.

                  *laughs* I’m glad I’m not the only one that totally latched onto that idea and would like to see it made so.

                  I would read/watch the hell out of that as well…with how GRRM likes to make us suffer in general, when this all shakes out in the actual end, this might just be my head canon instead … Cersei/Margaery/Dany ruling the world together, each with their own dragon.

                  Yup, that’s how this ends for ME now anyway ;)

                  • Marilyn

                    i feel like dany has three dragons for a reason. she can’t ride all three at once, therefore she has to have two consorts. who’s to say that her consorts can’t be cersei and margaery, guys. WHO’S TO DENY US?

  • I also sort of forgot how creepy Lysa was and she even dialed it WAY up with Sansa. That’s why I think this show is better cast than most – we haven’t seen this actress and character for quite a while and yet she immediately demonstrates the craziness of Lysa from the first moment we see her again. And can I say that I have actually never been as shocked at this show as I was at the moment when Robyn threw his beautiful glass bird from new Daddy Petyr through the Moon Door! It was shocking and I actually gasped.

    Does anyone else want to watch a spin-off series of Craster’s women in whatever their new home ends up being? For some reason, I would think that would be fascinating. I pity the man who ever crosses paths with one of them.

    • tsinivari

      I hadn’t forgotten how creepy Lyssa was, I think it was more that we had only scratched the surface of just how creepy and crazy she actually is. I mean we got a dose, but this was just…wow…

      I had the same reaction with the bird “No you didn’t just!!!!” – in a perfect world, Petyr would have picked him up and tossed him out the moon door with it, so he could see just what flying felt like….If left to actually grow into a young man, as Joffery did, this kid could give him a run for his money. At least Cersei TRIED to rein Joffery in (though it could be argued she simply waited too late to try)…whereas Lyssa just encourages the crazy.

      • Swear to [the ] god [of your choice], every time we go to the Eyrie, I watch people walking around that hole (that seems…not smart to have open all the time), and imagine a little hip check to send them “flying.” Petyr TOTALLY could have hip-checked that weirdo to go get his birdie.

        • tsinivari

          I noticed that last night… that it was open (again) and granted it didn’t seem to be open fully but it WAS open… that just seems like an unnecessary hazard …”Damn, that’s the seventh guard this week…I’m running out of good help around here…”

          The image of Petyr hipchecking someone out that gate has me cackling…

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Oh yeah, little Robin and his “I heard they cut off your brother’s head! Watch me throw this expensive gift out the window, er, Moon Door! I wanted to the same to your husband!” Way to charm Sansa. And Littlefinger. But I’m sure Lysa found no fault with any of it.

    • “That’s why I think this show is better cast than most – we haven’t seen this actress and character for quite a while and yet she immediately demonstrates the craziness of Lysa from the first moment we see her again.” YES YES!! Agreed.

      And I was FURIOUS when Robyn threw that damn tchotchke out the flippin’ porthole/whatever. YOU DIDN’T EVEN PLAY WITH IT FOR FIVE MINUTES, YOU UTTER BRAT!

      OMG, let’s call it now: the women of Craster’s Keep form a vigilante band with a home base in a mountain side, training one another with swords they stole from the Creepy Crows, and begin roaming the North, righting wrongs and freeing women. I WOULD WATCH THAT.

      • tsinivari

        I would totally watch that.

        They are the northern auxiliary branch of Dany’s liberation movement…

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Can they adopt Ygritte as their teacher? Bows and arrows would be useful to them, I bet.

        • She could be their human, she roams the earth looking for those who attempt to defy the Fates. She’s battle-hardened, fierce, and fiercely loyal to the Fates. But she didn’t think she would fall in love with the man she was sent to round up for them, Jon Snow. Ahahaha.

  • Katy

    I think I might be tempted to enjoy even Twilight if it were narrated by Ser Jorah. *sighs*

    Yay puppy reunions! When Rast was walking by the cage I was like, ok, where’s Ghost? Then POW! Ghost! I clapped and yelled Good Puppy!

    Biting my lip because of book spoilers re: Vale happenings.

    • Boy, that is no lie. I would listen to Iain Glenn read the back of shampoo bottles.

      Ahahaha, I yelled “GOOD BOY!” when Ghost attacked as well. Great minds think alike!! <3

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Oh ye GODS. Have you seen that YouTube clip where Charles Dance reads a snippet from Fifty Shades of Grey? Biggest WTF moment EVER.

  • oh my gosh “This Cool to Ride.”

    The Cersei scenes this week were pretty good, along with a very welcome inclusion of Oberyn- though I doubt it was just poetry he was writing.

    I also like these traveling scenes with Pod-Brienne and Arya-Hound. They’re both about different levels of trust and figuring out things about yourself and the other person.

    Bran and Co never went to Craster’s in the books, so Meera was never threatened like that and I had a little fury in my head about the whole thing. But seeing Jojen’s visions was at least interesting, and at least we saw how Vargo Hoat, the Bolton spy, lied before he died.

    Poor Hodor, seeing his hands bloody.

    So glad the women at Craster’s could see the place burn before they leave for themselves. I hope they’ll get somewhere safe. They’d probably feel safer in the land of White Walkers and Wights than around men.

    • HEE! *points to sign, picture of you is there*

      I bet Oberyn’s sexts are poetry, though. You wouldn’t delete a sext/dirty letter from that hombre, is my thinking. Rawr.

      I have no idea who Vargo Hoat is since in the show it’s a man called Locke? (I know things are different in the books and the show, but as you know, we only go off what the show shows us, even when it’s weird. LIKE MEERA IMPERILED, why why why?)

      Photoskunk and I are writing a show for the women of Craster’s Keep up in comments where they’re bad ass warrior ninjas with hearts of gold. :D

      • Vargo Hoat was his name when he cut off Jaime’s hand, but then he renamed himself Locke when spying.

        good on you guys for writing that!

        • Oho! I never picked up on that! I honestly couldn’t remember them using his name – but when you’re watching the first time through, you never know who to remember, who is passing through, etc. Thanks!

          • Lyanna Mormont

            Actually, his name is Vargo Hoat in the books (where this bit about trying to catch Bran for the Boltons doesn’t happen). His name has always been Locke on the show.

            • (Yeah. I figured. SIGH. You’re awesome, Lyanna. Thank you!!)

          • DanH

            Don’t read that person’s posts. Bookwalker. Hoat was the name of the character in the book. They changed his name to Locke for the show right from the start – Vargo Hoat exists only in the books.

            • (I figured.) Dan, you are both a scholar and a gentleman for looking out for me. I truly appreciate you fabulous book readers who help us Unsullied out. <3

  • Christian

    Hahahahaha :) That was as good as I hoped – I could’ve used that during office hours though :P

    Anyway, can’t wait to see this season, even if their goal as of late doesn’t seem to be adapting the books so much as making a show loosely based on the books. Eight more weeks to go.

    I like that Cersei seems to come out of her shell this season – I have no doubt that Lena Headey can do way better than she did so far, if she only gets the right material to work with.

    The one character I can’t get into is Daenerys. Won’t get into the specifics here since it’s getting harder and harder to figure what I get from the books and what from the show, but I’d love for every shot in which she uses the words ‘fire’ and ‘blood’ in the same sentence to also contain Jaime Lannister sharpening his blade…

    Oh, by the way, there was an interview with George Martin earlier this week where he justified all the Rapey Goodness he keeps heaping on us with ‘honesty’, as the show is based on historical events and a little raping has always been part of war and blah blah blah. Doesn’t feel the same need for ‘honesty’ when it comes to freakin dragons now, does he? Anyway. It’s probably nothing that’ll stop anytime soon…

    • Oh, I think Lena Headly’s amazing! For me, she’s just grown more and more into the role, but I’ve not had issues with her before. YMMV, of course.

      A great rule of thumb when you’re dealing with adaptions: you HAVE to see them as two separate entities. For books, you’re doing all the casting, the location scouting, voice work, you’re adding your own experiences and emotions into the moments you’re reading about. It becomes tailored for you and you alone. When you make a movie, obviously it won’t be that. That way lies disappointment, my friend!

      (Which is PRECISELY why I’m not reading the books until this is done, so I don’t have the reactions I know so many book readers are having.) For a non-reader, these characters and stories make perfect sense. *shrug*

      And hahaha, EXCELLENT POINT re: dragons vs. rape. Also see: POC in fantasy tomes not being “realistic.” Oh, really? *eye roll*

  • Christian

    …also Hooray Lord Mycroft of House Holmes of the Iron Bank of London :D Can’t wait to see that either :D

    • tsinivari

      I SAW that and I had a “when fandoms collide!” meltdown of beautiful proportions…

      Followed by.. “Of COURSE Mycroft works at – is mostly likely in charge of – the Iron Bank. Of COURSE HE IS.”

      • Christian

        When he’s not busy being the Citadel or the Faceless Men, that is.

  • The Starks are forever destined to never re-unite :(
    Also, I had a thought about Brienna being an awesome mentor for Arya, the Hound makes a good anti-hero but Brienna would be REALLY cool.
    But alas, it will never happen.
    Also I wasn’t happy about the lack of Tyrrion in this episode, so next week should be good!

    • I’m counting Jon and Ghost reuniting as a Stark moment, because I need something to tide me over! *cries a lot*

      Brienne and Arya together… Add that to the list of things I wish for most ardently. That would be so awesome, and would help pull Arya back from the killing spree we know she’s headed for. (Hmm, let her get a few names off her list THEN set her up with Brienne for a redemption arc!)

  • Kit

    Laughing myself to death at this, Laura, lord. You are awesomely funny.

    I quite enjoyed this episode as a reader. The Eyrie scenery/set design remains lovely and there was no actual rape (just near-rape–and I know you won’t be surprised if I casually mention that that does not happen to Meera in the books. Lord, I feel like the Deliverer of Rape Counts from the Books here all up in your comments section for the second time now, ugh, sorry). Low expectations, maybe, but hey. A great middle episode in general, with lots of my faves, plenty of Stark feelings, gorgeous scenery, and more. (Plus Iain Glen’s voice. Good. God. That. Voice.)

    Fun fact from someone who maybe a bit too obsessively follows some of the production of the show: Pedro Pascal and Lena Headey are pretty tight offscreen, it seems. I was so glad to see that chemistry come through in the Cersei/Oberyn scene, as well as to hear about Dorne in general on the show.

    I’m SUPER HYPE for next week, mostly because my main men Davos and Stannis are back in action and–judging by that preview–actually appearing in something approximating natural light! Hooray! (Acting against Mark Gatiss, it looks like, as well, aka broody world-ruler Mycroft Holmes.) And Asha (Yara, I guess she is in showville) hopefully being a BAMF in search of Theon! And the trial! Should be good indeed.

    • Aww, I’m so happy you laugh at these! That is my NUMBER ONE GOAL.

      Gosh, the Eyrie is such a beautiful set, isn’t it? So disarmingly creepy within, but that’s all in thanks to the amazing actors. Someone else mentioned that Meera doesn’t get nearly-raped in the books, and it’s so TIRING that the show keeps imperiling women in such a way. Why not threaten to cut her hand off for information? Something Karl would have done to a man? BAH. You know, when we keep bringing this up, my hope is that someone who was on the fence about this topic might think a little more…creatively and come up with something different in their stories.

      I WANT TO MARRY IAIN GLENN’S VOICE. JFC, that man. *fans self* And I don’t normally dig blondes!

      Oh, I love hearing that Lena and Pedro are friends! That’s awesome! And yes, their chemistry was amazing and had me wishing for lots and lots of scenes with them together. It’s such a huge cast that I know it’s not likely, but yeah. I’m Pro Dorne and Pro Oberyn in any way I can get it/him. …take that however you’d like. Hahahaha.

      Davos and Stannis! I’m excited for more Stannis moments so I can root for him like I do everyone (but Robyn and Roose). And that matte shot of the Iron Bank? SO. COOL. (That may not be the Iron Bank. I’m making assumptions.)

      We have been bereft of Yara’s BAMF-ness, and I, too, am looking forward to her return. That girl is hard as nails (iron nails, hurr) and still has feeling for her family. YES, PLEASE. Complex characters are my jam.

      • Kit

        Yeah, I’d hope we could get SOME sort of “you know what, maybe rape isn’t that exciting a thing anymore, narratively. Maybe I should try for something else here” going on but lord. Who knows. I think the problem in part is just that there aren’t a lot of female creators, STILL (or creators who are people or color, for issues of racism). White men are perfectly capable of presenting stories that aren’t dripping in racism and sexism (even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it), but IMO the best stuff will likely come from a) female creators and creators of color, since it’s their lived experience, and then, slowly, from b) others who work with them and get that more naturally under their skin than it sometimes is right now.

        Stannis is so hard to root for sometimes, but he’s weirdly fascinating. (And Stephen Dillane is another of my British old man crushes, just as Liam Cunningham is an Irish old man crush. Okay, I think it’s safe to say basically every actor/actress of age on this show is a crush of mine. Whoops.) And I’m so excited for the Iron Bank/where they’re going. (I’m not sure if discussing it is a spoiler or not, so I’ll just leave it there, but the city surrounding the Iron Bank should hopefully be totally, totally awesome in a worldbuilding way and, yeah, that matte scenery shot from the promo made my heart beat faster. I can’t wait to see what wizardry the CGI guys can come up with for it.)

        I LOVE me some Asha/Yara (I’m sorry, I know it’s awkward/borderline pretentious when people insist on using book-only names in discussions of the show, but dissociation can be hard, so I often think of her as AshaYara when talking to Unsullied, haha.) She’s so, so great. And I’m glad the whole “hard as iron but still with emotions/family love” thing is coming across for show-only people (especially considering how relatively little we’ve seen her in the show), it’s seriously my favorite thing about her character. Yay for complex characters, especially women who sit in both camps of the whole tomboy-girly girl, action-emotion (largely false) divide. (Really, all the female characters are quite good at this.)

        • Something like… 17% of creators in Hollywood are female? And a percentage of that are POC? Yeah, that’s a huge problem and makes the media we get very one note.

          Ooh, yes, don’t tell me where the Iron Bank is PLEASE (and thank you!) because it will be revealed and I will gasp and cling to you all, I’m sure. Haha.

          And I appreciate your reasoning as far as calling Yara Asha-Yara. It’s got to be frustrating to read a million pages of a series and have a name be different on screen. (I still don’t get why they changed it, but whatever.) She caught my attention from the get go, and I couldn’t wait to have more of her. And again, with the massive cast of characters, it’s impossible to get all the screentime I want for the characters I’m most interested in, but it just makes it all the more worthwhile when they DO show up.

          YES, AGREED, CO-SIGNED, THE WOMEN OF THIS SHOW ARE SO GOOD AT THAT. (and the largely false ideology of emotionalism – feminine characteristics) <3

          • Kit

            Ha, don’t worry, I won’t spoil. I have no idea what on earth people get out of spoiling others–a sense of superiority, I guess? I think it’s amazing and hilarious to watch the unspoiled experience the beats of the story for themselves. It’s a little bit like experiencing it for the first time yourself (*insert cheesy Foreigner lyrics here*). (The amount of schadenfreude I got out of watching Red Wedding reaction videos was probably slightly unhealthy, but we all deal with tragedy in our own way, I guess. XD) Plus, I’m fairly sure that the show will beat the books to the end at this point, so we’ll ALL be unspoiled soon enough. No point in being obnoxious now.

            Re: the amount of characters, it IS a little bit like rationing, almost. Two weeks ago I was (thankfully not literally) frothing at the mouth wondering where AshaYara was (I think they changed the name to avoid it being too close to Osha? Whatever, dudes), and now that she’ll be coming back I’m almost absurdly happy about it. They really make you work for it for sure.

            I want to kick the emotionalism–>feminine thing out of orbit to be honest. As if men aren’t emotional. (What are anger/rage and pride if not emotions? Oh, sorry, I forgot–they’re the acceptable, manly manly emotions. ) Or as if you can’t simultaneously a) like more traditionally feminine things (dresses, for example, a la Sansa) and b) be emotionally strong and capable (see also Sansa; there’s almost no way I can imagine myself keeping my head down and keeping on in her situation, especially at that age). (See also Arya, the flip side of that coin–tomboyish in her appearance and manners but not without a heart of her own, even if she’s currently kind of struggling with keeping it in this rough and tumble world.)

            Sorry, that was a bit of a rant. Suffice it to say I love the female characters (and the male ones too–even the loathsome ones are awesome characters, really) of Westeros. XD

            • Some people just delight in being ruiners. Thankfully we don’t have any of those types here (not in the three+ years we’ve been active!) and let me love you for that power ballad ear worm from the 80s. It feels like the VERY first time! *guitar clang* And I totally get people who read the books wanting to watch other people’s reactions to the Red Wedding. When you read, it’s just you. You’re dealing with that happening on your own, unless someone is reading at the same clip right next to you. You had to PROCESS that on your own! This way, you can sort of see if people felt the same as you, which in turn validates your reaction.

              My post on the Red Wedding had so many book readers coming over to commiserate with me (gleefully) and I totally got it. (And was grateful for it!)

              …I had to blink to remember who Osha was. I just called her Tonks, lol. But you’re probably right.

              And you are talking to a fellow believer re: feminism, perception of gender, wanting to scrub out the idea of binary absolutism. *points down to Riah’s thread* We’re musing over Petyr adopting “feminine” qualities/weapons as defined by this show/book and happily skating the lines, which is something that far more clever people than me could probably wax philosophic about (and I would LOVE it).

              I love Arya’s attempt to remain true to herself, yet still having to grow up far more harshly than she intended. I love that the opening of this show had her and Sansa as polar opposites (tomboy/ultra feminine) and yet they truly are cut from the same cloth. Both strong, determined, can weather what life has thrown them, and both feel very deeply. No one would call Arya “weak” and yet Sansa gets that. Sansa is ALIVE. Sansa is using the tools in her kit to STAY alive. I love the hell out of that kid. *sings many colors in the rainbow songs of ladyhood song*

              THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN ESPOUSE YOUR THEORIES. Never apologize for that! I love it! (And so do the other readers.) And wow, I just really love the complexity of character in this show, too. Damn.

          • Lyanna Mormont

            I think it’s been mentioned where the Iron Bank is, probably in that Davos/Shireen convo a couple of episodes ago. (And I so want to see Team Dragonstone again! It seems like ages ago!)

            We get SO MANY different female characters in this series, who aren’t cardboard cut-outs. I mean, sure, you could claim that Cersei and Lysa are both “evil queen and over-involved mother, who killed her husband and rules through her son” – but they’re so much more than that, and they’re so not the same person. And we don’t just get one Good Mother figure as contrast, we get Cat (who is not considered a “good mother” by many because of Jon Snow) and we get Gilly, both of which are complex characters with so much more going on than being mothers. Likewise, other shows wouldn’t give us BOTH Ygritte and Yara, and make them so different. We would get one Good Whore with a Heart of Gold, not both Roz and Shae.

            And then there’s Dany, and Brienne, and Olenna, and Margaery, and Melisandre, and Ellaria, and Selyse, and Meera, and Sansa, and Arya, and Shireen, and Missandei, and we had Dany’s handmaidens, and Myrcella has only been in something like three episodes but she gets mentioned a lot, and and and. We’ve got DEAD female characters who were never seen on the show, but who still play very important roles in who the current characters have grown into. (Lyanna Stark, Elia Martell, Mama Lannister.)

            They’re all different. They’re all CHARACTERS, and not just women as accessories.

            • Everyone on this show (the women especially) are all distinct individuals. Not one is a repeat of the other, and with a cast this size, it’s impressive, truly. I mean, that’s how it is in real life – all the different variables that make us both alike and unique – but you so rarely get that on television, as you pointed out.

              All hail the use of women as, you know, PEOPLE, and interesting, complex, difficult people at that, instead of having us be arm candy. (I’m looking at you, Kubrick, where he LITERALLY put women in as mannequins. <-- a rant for a different day.)

  • Why, oh why, do I continue to love Petyr Baelish so much? HE had LYSA kill her husband? LIKE HOW MANY PUPPET STRINGS DOES THIS DUDE HAVE DANCING ON HIS CREEPY EVIL FINGERS. I’m fascinated by the mastermindedness of it all, and he is such a dark twisted delight on my screen, and I did kind of have a delightful laugh at his faces when Lysa was trying to hump him into submission.

    Cerberi ship name for Cersei/Oberyn, yes yes? Someone draw up the official tshirts. That would be a nifty twist, right? Instead of marrying Loras, marry Oberyn! He’s still likely to take a guy to bed extramaritally, but at least he’ll enjoy the intramarital bed too!

    Now, I’m speaking totally blind here, as I haven’t booked this far–I’m wondering if Dany’s going to be called to Westeros only when the White Walkers are pushing the Wall? The way she’ll conquer is by riding in on dragon(s) and burning the zombies, because headshots ain’t as easy from a moving mount, amirite? Anyway, that’s something I think would be amazing, and then she could just fly down the length of Westeros kicking ass and taking names and gathering a hoard of angry women who are going to overthrow the patriarchy with their righteous anger, and and–

    I mean yeah, good ep, lots of plot stuff, we’ll see what happens next, got any extra wine on you perchance?

    • Petyr Baelish is the quiet dark horse creeping up from behind. And his bite is poison. Okay, that got away from me, but you get my point. I love that character. He’s so slippery and slimy and I actually felt bad for him! HIM!! That is a man who relishes the long con, my word.

      I am starting a prayer circle for Tywin to decide to marry Cersei to Oberyn, because that would be AMAZING. Plus, as you said, he’d actually bone her. (And methinks she wouldn’t mind hanging back and watching him have sex with Ellaria….) <-- WHERE IS THAT CUT SCENE? I totally think that Dany's dragons are going to be key to destroying the White Walkers. Let's see, we have the magical dragonglass (sorry, I play Skyrim) that kills them, fire... Seems like the components to an actual-fact dragon to me. (I think the Direwolves might be able to do it, too, since they're a part of the magical/supernatural of this world.) GIRL I ALWAYS GOT EXTRA WINE. Here, lemme scootch over on this sofa, you come sit with me-- *tops you off* --and we'll write up a script for the Ladies Take Westeros Back episode.

      • You know, I find it interesting. Petyr uses poison to murder. How many times has this show said poison is a woman’s weapon (or a eunuch, Mister Baelish, I heard that one from you)? And yet, one of the foremost poison experts is Prince Oberyn, and the most successful user of it we’ve seen is one Petyr Baelish? Both of whom are…dudes. I think it’s a more delicate weapon, certainly, not violent. But what does that say about the poisoner, that he acts in a perceived feminine way and he gets away with all his dirty deeds (done not so dirt cheap)? Petyr isn’t afraid to seem cowardly or weak or unmanly unless it concerned Catelyn. And yet…his long con involving saving Sansa as his Catelyn 2.0 is this underhanded, sneaky, *feminine* game? I don’t know where I’m going with this, I just find it interesting and know there’s a discussion in there, yet I lack the archaeological tools to do the job. Never had patience with a brush, anyway.

        And basically what you’re saying is that Dany is Dovahkiin? ‘Cause I’m into that (Skyrim vet here myself) and I’d love to see a big showdown with her Shouting at her dragons and taking everything down like the very tiny warlord she is turning out to be. She’s even got a couple greybeards on her side, though one is like a ginger and pepper beard and I’m also super into that…

        Mmm yes that has a lovely bouquet, even though I have no idea how to tell that sort of thing, it all smells like alcoholic fruit to me, but the sofa and the script sound fantastic, yes, let’s.

        • First, points for the AC/DC. (Side note, when I was little I thought that song was “Thirty deeds, Thunderchief!” I never claimed to be a smart child.) and yes yes, this show (and many points throughout history) have called poison the “woman’s weapon.” And second, I think there’s a dissertation in there about Petyr laying down the false path towards a woman doing all of the things he’s done, happily using them as his scapegoats in order to get what he wants. He’s a man who owns and operates brothels, and while true, there are men who work for him there, it’s traditionally women. Plenty of opportunities to pick up tools of the trade, not to mention him giving the ladies some tips in how to undo the men, as well.

          Dany is TOTALLY the Last Dragonborn! I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find that the game writers at Bethesda were huge GRRM fans. How bad ass would Shouting be? Then again, that would be a direct rip off. (But still! The whole “dragons killing the White Walkers = Throat of the World quest. I’M JUST SAYING.)

          Hahaha, stick with me, my friend, and I will show you the wooooooorld. Of wine. LOL. <3

  • Richard

    Great review as always Laura! Make sure to send a bucket of chicken to Lord Baelish easily the Jonathan Goldsmith of Westeros (as you wouldn’t have a show to recap if it weren’t for him). I don’t think a lot of viewers caught the mumbling Lysa got through before LF grossly french kissed her to shut her up. Cercei alluded to the whole “you win or you die” when you play the game of thrones, but the show finally revealed a small glimpse of LF’s board.

    1. He used Lysa’s childhood infatuation of him to get the job as master of coin in KL from Jon Arryn.

    2. He understood that social standings could be gained a lot quicker through times of war/turmoil so he used the Stark/Lannister rivalry (stemming from Robert’s rebellion), by getting his patsy gf poison her husband and blaming the Lannisters for it. Not only was this part going to create the “chaotic” environment he wanted, it also was to score an old personal debt against the starks (via the dead Brandon).

    3. Allied with the Lannisters at the end when they were vulnerable by bringing in the Tyrells/betraying Ned and gained the title he needed for the next part of his plan.

    4. Guilt tripped Cat into releasing Jaime which allowed Tywin to check mate Robb.

    5. Removed himself from the visible board so everyone would forget about him when shit hit the fan (including the viewers)

    6. Agreed to remove Joffrey in part to gain more favors with the Tyrells (who were desperate to remove that little turd), but more importantly Joffrey had outlived his usefulness the moment he bestowed Harrenhal and was far too volatile for even LF to control.

    7. Framed Tyrion while kidnapping Sansa of Joff’s murder… where nobody in a million years would have guessed it of him.

    8. As master of coin, he maxed all the royal credit cards from the Iron Bank and left crown holding the debt.

    9. The Vale has NEVER been conquered because of its geographic advantage, it’s called the Bloody Gate because various armies had tried in vain throughout history and ended up getting their ass handed to them by the Gate. The Vale also never participated in the war of the 5 kings, thus is a kingdom with a surplus of gold/food reserves.

    10. The scariest thing about LF is that we STILL DON’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND HIS TRUE END GAME…

    Varys really understood what a true evil mastermind LF was, it’s just immensely gratifying as a book reader to finally see the show watchers glimpse the diabolical genius that is LF. Appearances are often deceiving, to the rest of Westeros LF is just a little upstart with high ambition and their #1 Fixer should they need someone to clean stuff up. To LF, they’re all his little ho’s to play around with.

    • Hey, Richard! Thank you!!

      And yes, LF is THE MOST MASTERFUL PLAYER YET. If Tywin knew just how good…

      And I didn’t even THINK about him running up KL’s credit cards and maxing them out! JEEZ LOUISE, HE IS THE BEST. By which I mean the worst. (By which I mean the best.)

      Oho, so the Vale wasn’t a part of the big war (which I assume is the Targaryen/dragon/Harrenhal destruction war, but I may have to go back and rewatch the history lesson ep from S1) which means it’s untested against dragons! Because come on: dragons. Ooh, or obviously White Walkers, since they’ve not gone beyond the Wall. How do you kill your enemy when they’re already undead? They’ll just keep pressing against the Bloody Gate until they break through, or create a tidal wave of icy bodies, rising up and over the cliffs.

      Varys is definitely in the top 5 wisest of people as far as playing the game goes, and now I want to rewatch everything over again to pick up on those little details of Varys keeping an eye on LF – the one person he really NEEDS to keep an eye on.

  • Porkpie

    Peeking out of the woodwork to bounce up and down at your Kim Cattrall and Carrie references….your recaps are the highlight of my Mondays, and today had me cackling harder than I ever have before. I might have recruited some new readers since they wanted to know the source of my gigglefit….

    (And I am signing up for the Moirai fic AND the Crasters Crones spinoff, so who’s getting on that???) :D

    • COME! STAY! DON’T HIDE! We’re all super nice here, and we have wine! :D Aww, I’m so glad I make you laugh! That’s just what a Monday morning needs, says I. <3 And thank you for sharing the site with people, that's awesome. We're pretty much word of mouth since I quit supporting ads, so it's greatly appreciated.

      (WOULDN'T YOU WATCH THE HELL OUT OF THAT?! Lemme fill my glass of wine up, and we'll all get started on writing those shows in comments and go from there. :D)

  • Colleen

    Ok, this recap literally made me spit my coke out, twice.

    Laurrrraaaa, I love that you love Sansa. I am so tired of the Sansa hate. Yeah she is a stupid little girl, her being inexperienced in all the sincerely messed up and deeply disturbing politics of King’s Landing makes her admirable. Plus, that kid is a survivor without being a bitch.

    ALSO, YES, THANK YOU FOR ACKNOWLEDGING CERSEI. She DID need to be the one to say that line. Plus, we all need a pair of Oberyn man pants. In fact girl, I’ll take two.

    Lysa, I also made dolphin noises at. I didn’t realize it was actually really possible to feel bad for Littlefinger, but err… I’m pretty sure Roz is sitting on a cloud, strumming her harp and polishing her halo, and LAUGHING HER ASS OFF.

    Ok Brienne, I confess, I don’t really like Book Brienne. TV Brienne is the best. She is sincerely the best. Pod. I love Pod. I am going to have someone make me a tshirt that says how much I love him. Poor boy, trail life ain’t for him… The Hound. I love the Hound too. Arya can throw shade at him all night (because I love it and I would just watch a full hour of that!) but he is sincerely teaching her things that will keep her ALIVE.

    Jon Snow, you know something. Something gross and disturbing, like how to impale heads, but hey, we’re glad you know that.

    Lastly…. Laura, if you would like to remain spoiler free, you must stop clairvoyantly predicting the dialogue from them!! Have a great week!!

    • I have a deep and abiding love for teenage girls, being the mother of two of them, and get so upset when they’re marginalized for dreaming, for hoping, for longing… SANSA STARK IS WONDERFUL. And she’s doing the best she can as a young lady in the situation to which she finds herself. TEAM SANSA.

      God, I have no idea if Cersei says that line in the book, but it’s irrelevant. She said it HERE and it needed to be said. <3 And hahaha, your image of Roz had me snort-laughing, let me tell you.

      OOH, I PREDICTED SOMETHING?! Oho! *rubs hands together* That's mostly because I'm paying attention to the characters' voices, so I'm just making "educated guesses" - OR MAYBE I'M LYING. (I'm not, I promise!)

      <3 Have a great week yourself! See you next ep!

      • Lyanna Mormont

        *psst*

        The thing you predicted was the bit about the blessing of the god of cheese and the god of stinging insects. That’s totally word for word in the upcoming wedding vows.

        Oh, spoilers. Sorry!

        • AHAHAHA! Oh my gosh, I am so glad you’ve joined in the comments this season. YOU ARE A DELIGHT.

  • Gail

    First thing, your video *hearts hearts hearts*! I love feeling welcome and safe enough to jabber on about this show. I don’t watch much TV so I pretty much am only here for the GoT recaps, but I look forward to coming to this site to read them almost as much as new episodes of the show! :)

    Oh, Sansa, oh pumpkin. I have a friend who started out like, rabidly hating her and now has finally come around to admiring her for continuing to survive her constantly fucked up situations. (Which is good, because I find it hard to be friends with Sansa-haters.) That scene where she can’t sleep, oh my god. I can’t. My face was like Dx the whole time.

    Podrick and Brienne! Podrick and Brienne! I freaking love Gwendoline Christie, okay. Her irritation and put-uponness (that’s totally a real phrase) with Pod is so clearly different from her irritation and put-uponness with Jaime last season. It’s so good. My husband was about dying watching Pod on the horse literally riding circles around Brienne but not in the way that phrase is actually meant. Bwahahaha. xD

    Oberyn Martell, just. Guh. <3

    • Oh, I’m so happy to know you feel that way here. It’s precisely why I started this bar Site in the first place. :D

      I only knew people hated Sansa from visiting other sites. I really don’t get it. (I mean, I do, but I don’t get those people in the first place, so their hate is nonsense to me, as well.) And how funny was that scene of her desperately trying to block out the horrible noises of her aunt?!

      Gwendoline Christie is a thing a beauty. I just love her, I love her character, I love what she brings to the table, and dramatic of comedic, she’s gold. GOLD. (Also gold: Oberyn Martell. Unf.) <3

  • Lee No

    Hey Laura, thanks for the awesome recap as always :)
    All I was hoping for this episode was that I wouldn’t be left feeling alienated as I was during parts of the last two. And I got so much more than that! Littlefinger manipulation! Oberynsomeness! Craster’s keep burning and HAHAHA I was screaming “GET HIM GHOST! You will get EATEN Rast!!” as soon as I saw the cage was open.
    Dany realised what she lacked last time, that conquering doth not necessarily a good ruler make. And I also liked the set and her dress.
    Sansa may be in a bad position, but she’s starting to learn survival skills that stop crazy crazy aunts from choking her or sth on mere suspicion. How do they just casually leave the Moon Door open all the time? Don’t they get a constant cold? Maybe the lack of oxygen up there harms the brain (since noone in their right mind would just throw a nice gift away after 5 seconds grrr)…
    Also cool: The Hound teaches Arya to fight dishonourably (or, at least, that the world is dishonourable), as Jon learns it from Col. Kurz Wannabe Karl (stabbed him in the back, very definition of dishonourable). Good for them, they may survive longer in Westeros.
    Yes, I loved this episode. And it was even really funny at times (the shot where Cersei blocks Margaery’s view, Brienne and Pod). Michelle Maclaren is a fantastic director.

    • Oh my GOSH, how amazing was that betrayal reveal of Littlefinger’s?!?! Ooh, I can’t stop thinking about it, and trying to go back in time to remember all of the little signs and clues that have been littered along the way. GENIUS. And Rast being eaten by the Direwolf Puppy was one of the greatest moments yet. GOOD BOY, WHO’S A GOOD BOY?! *belly scritches*

      Dany is so beautiful to watch in this ep’s scenes, right? She’s looking more and more “queenly” the more she experiences (and of course Jorah is noticing that). I love the sets of Slaver’s Bay – but as you pointed out, I really love the lessons she’s learning simply by DOING. This is why I think she would make a good ruler. She LEARNS.

      And wow, you just HAVE to fight dirty. You have to fight to live, and waiting for people to get into proper position to parry and riposte is going to end with your head on a spike. A fencing or jousting match is one thing, but – as Bronn pointed out to Jaime, who is also learning to fight dirty – when your neck is on the line, sometimes you have to spit in your opponent’s eye and backhand them with their own hand. (“Quit hitting yourself!”)

      I loved this ep, too, and I continually boggle when people call eps like this “filler” or “slow.” DO THEIR EYES AND BRAINS NOT WORK?!

  • Jeremey

    Re: Jojen having “the hydrophobie” and “The Shine,” I LOLed SO. HARD. OMG! It is hilarious insights and references like that that have made you my favorite Unsullied GoT review to read each week.

    Also, Dorne’s “secret weapon” vs dragons isn’t really a secret–just geography. Dorne is the southernmost–and therefore hottest–part of Westeros and is mostly desert wasteland. So, basically, very little for dragons to burn, and for the Dornish people, think Fremen hiding out in the rockholds of Dune. So, a handful of dragons by themselves are going to be of much less use in conquering such a place.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Also, Jojen being Comfortably Numb. Brilliant.

      (We generally tread very very carefully when it comes to information from the books that hasn’t been stated on the show.)

    • Aww, thanks, Jeremy! I’m just happy to have someone get my old references, ahahaha. <3

      Oho, Dorne is a dry heat, then? A dry, cliff-dwelling, lack of vegetation joint? BRILLIANT. It's Mesa Verde! :D

  • Jeremey

    Re: Conquest of the Vale was accomplished by Aegon’s sister, Visenya, who rode her dragon, Vaghar, over the army guarding the Bloody Gate to land directly in the Eyrie’s courtyard. The Lord of the Vale was a young boy at the time, and exchanged acknowledging Aegon’s supremacy for a ride on Visenya’s dragon.

    • Huh! I don’t remember that from the show (but then, there is a LOT of history crammed in as exposition for a non-reader to absorb or dismiss) so thank you for that! Oooh, I love the image of that bad ass Targaryen riding her dragon into the Vale. AWESOME.

  • I know what you mean about people who don’t think much happens on GoT episodes! What the?

    Okay- I want to read all of the comments here because this is a gee dee party of awesomely smart people. But let me just leave this here for the moment- you prayer at Tommen’s coronation was at Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch level of hilarious brilliance.

    Carrry on, bright star.

    • Donna, the comment sections have been ON FIRE this season – it’s AMAZING. So much awesome discussion, all of it thoughtful, fun, and respectful to the Unsullied.

      AHAHAHA, I KNEW YOU WOULD PICK UP ON MY MONTY PYTHON INFLUENCED PRAYER. <3 *forehead smooch*

  • Kat

    For some reason Arya’s storyline is ringing my alarm bells way more than Sansa’s. I feel like Sansa in the Vale has Lysa to deal with (and creepy Uncle Littlefinger), but the danger to her comes from outside sources. She just needs to do what she always does, keep her head down and do what is expected of her to survive.

    Meanwhile, Arya is never going to come out of this as a normal member of society right? The way she so desperately clings to that list, because it’s literally all she has left, really, and now the Hound teaching her to play dirty? The danger to her comes from the outside too (12 year old girl wandering around on the battlefield that is all of Westeros right now), yes, but it’s also in her. In order to survive, what will she become? The second she doesn’t need the Hound or the Faceless Man anymore to help her, that’s when she’s a good enough killer herself, and isn’t that just sad?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Arya is a child soldier, basically. The world is training the humanity right out of her, in the name of survival and revenge.

    • (rubber stamping a SECONDING LYANNA on to her reply to you) and yes, yes, I see this happening with Arya. She’s more troubling for me as a mom-type than Sansa because of her age, and that she’s literally had to fight to survive in hand to hand combat, where Sansa’s is all mental fighting (not that it isn’t hard in its own way).

      Arya’s being trained by one of the greatest killers in Westeros to be an efficient killer – but the Hound is also teaching her some important survival skills, which I guess is because he assumes she’s going to end up like him. There’s nothing for her with her family gone, nothing left but to kill before she’s killed. (His viewpoint)

  • Ivo

    *peeks out from behind the browser*
    Your recaps are actually more fun than the show itself, and the show is
    pretty entertaining.
    One thing about the Craster’s Keep Carve-out bothered me a little. Jon and
    his chums were going after those guys because…they were rapey rapists?
    Nope, not a factor. To save Bran and the Sidekicks? Nope, they didn’t even
    know about them. Because they killed Old Man Mormont? Well kinda, but
    really it was because…they knew the Night’s Watch had about 27 guys
    instead of the 10,000 Jon had told Mance about. So really, it was all an
    exercise is damage control, rather than giving some very rapey rapists
    their much-deserved soggy end. Makes it all somehow a tad less…noble.
    But still very advisable and much enjoyed!
    Of course, what could we expect after Sam’s little listing of why the men of the Night’s Watch tend to get sent to the Wall: “Rapist. Thief. Rapist. Rapist. Rapist. Raped a thief. Stole a rape.” and so on…
    I worship the keyboard you write on. There should be more of you.

    • I’m so glad you came back!! I thought the point you made about Craster’s Keep and Jon’s reasoning for going there was salient. It was strategy, pure and simple, with a little “For Lord Mormont!” thrown in like icing. I do wonder, though, if Jon was aware of the raping? I say that because for Jon, that’s not even a thought that would cross his mind because HE doesn’t think that way. Just a curious thing at my end.

      And you are VERY kind. I’m so glad you found us! Thanks for contributing to the awesome and thoughtful discussion happening this season.

  • Ivo

    Hah, fair point about Jon’s non-awareness, although if he really thought everything would be just peachy after the mutineers killed Craster and Mormont, he’s dimmer than I thought. (“Well, glad that’s over with, ladies! Now who’s for some tea?” is what Qarl would NOT have said…)

    Full disclosure: I am a book reader (I have fond memories of finding the hardcover of “Game of thrones” on sale in San Francisco in 1999), but I am extremely uninterested in comparing books and tv show. They are their own animal. And frankly, I have faith in the showrunners to make good decisions. So far, some of their non-book material has been better than the faithful adaptation of the books, and they have used their artistic license wisely.

    Oh, and I almost forgot: that Littlefinger, eh? To even get in the same zipcode as Lysa Arryn shows true dedication, let alone what he actually…did…sorry…can’t think about that. Flowers! Must think about flowers!

    • I tend to think of Ned’s boys as incredibly idealistic. They were raised to behave a certain way, and seem to be constantly shocked when others don’t behave in kind. BUT WHO KNOWS?

      Oh, how happy I am to find a book reader who understands the difference between books and teleplay. They’re completely different animals. It’s like comparing a painting to a song! The showrunners have kept me absolutely riveted for four seasons, now, so I’m inclined to agree with you about them making good decisions.

      I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT LF GAVE LYSA A HUGE BUNCH OF FLOWERS, WHICH WAS WHY SHE WAS SCREAMING IN DELIGHT. She really likes flowers. Hahaha.

  • Ivo

    Ah, you’re right, I’d forgotten that the Starks’ family motto might as well be “Unrealistic Expectations A Specialty!” Except for Cat (who’s a Tully by birth) who’s more into “Kill the bastards!”.
    The only thing from the book I sometimes pine for is the back story. GRRM can of course just drop giant slabs of exposition whenever he wants and the showrunners wisely cut the vast majority of it out, but some of it was kinda cool. I think their biggest triumph has been to make Cersei such a fascinating character. I sometimes get very sad when I try to imagine what Cersei would have been like if she had not been…damaged by a.) living in the freakin’ Dark Ages and b.) having Mr.Freeze as a dad. She’d have been beyond awesome. Now you just want to hug her (while discreetly moving the wine bottle out of her reach).

    • Something I’m looking forward to when I get to read the books: the backstory. Oh, give me detailed worlds, complete societies with rituals, animals, history… That’s why I love Joan D. Vinge and Paolo Bacigalupi so much.

      I think…the post before this one, or before that we had some amazing Cersei discussion in the comments. Who she could have been had she not been born a Lannister (or had been loved and respected by Robert!).

      • Lyanna Mormont

        I sometimes play with the idea of what Robert would’ve been like if he’d been born a girl.

        Probably not too different from Cersei, I usually end up with. Except maybe worse at politics.

        • Ivo

          Robert as Roberta is a big game-changer in other ways, though. I mean, no Roberta’s Rebellion! Sadly, a lot of the outcome would be determined by whoever her daddy would have picked for her as a husband *retch*. Since nobody particularly cared about the Baratheons (not rich, oldest son Stannis (!) kind of a dork) I suspect Roberta would have been married off to a minor noble. On the other hand, if Stannis had been the oldest son he might have been married off to someone more useful than a Florent. My head hurts.

          • Lyanna Mormont

            I suspect Roberta would’ve been married off to Rhaegar Targaryen. And how’s that for a brain-breaking thought?

            • Ivo

              Wow. And of course, that makes you wonder if Rhaegar would have run off with Lyanna Stark in that scenario.
              Here’s another wonderful what if: what if Tyrion had not been a dwarf?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      I miss the female Mormonts. (See username.) They were wonderful, and at this point I don’t think we’ll ever see them.

      But yeah, also the backstory. The little hints about Robert’s rebellion, about Old Valyria, past Targaryens… So much good stuff that just won’t all fit in ten hours per season. (And would probably be kinda boring to listen to people telling each other about.) Although they did squeeze in some things, like Joffrey babbling to Margaery about the more gruesome Targaryens when he was showing her the Sept of Baelor that time, particularly Aerion Brightflame. And it made such perfect sense that Joffrey would love talking about a guy who drank wildfire.

  • Ivo

    Paolo Bacigalupi? Sorry, you don’t exist. Nobody is THAT awesome.

    I have catching up to do in reading comments. So far I’m fairly dumbstruck at how respectful they are. You are obviously spreading Good Vibes (that’s a reference to Kelly’s Heroes, not the website, I hasten to add self-defeatingly).

    Have you tried any Jack Vance?

    • (OMG, Pump Six was LIFE CHANGING. And the Wind Up Girl was such a brilliant novel. That stuff – speculative fiction – is my One True Love, right there.) ANd wow, I haven’t read Jack Vance since… wow, I was a teen? I need to revisit Planet of Adventure ASAP!)

      One of the main reasons why people are so great here (and really, I think I’ve only had one or two people I’ve had to chasten in the almost four years we’ve been around) is that we don’t advertise. It’s word of mouth. People find us, see what we’re about, and we’re like their little secret. :) Also, I think the tone of how we write here shows that this isn’t for hate-watchers. I’m so unbelievably grateful to the people who keep coming back because they, too, want a place on the internet that’s relaxed and joy-filled.

  • Ivo

    Jack Vance stole my heart with one scene (From “The Asutra”). Scene: a tavern somewhere in the Badlands. Clientele: desperadoes. A band of slavers walks in. The chief of the slavers says:
    “All persons present may now consider themselves our property”.
    One of the other customers stands up and says:
    “This is not customary procedure!”

    I was in LUHB. And yes, The Wind-up Girl was outstanding. Bacigalupi is on a very short list of authors whose new books I await with impatience. (Sadly, we lost Iain M. Banks from that list last year)

    As for the tone of the comments here…I think tone is infectious. I’m sure your recaps get read by cantankerous troglodytes but either they choose not to comment or they tone down their CT-ness to not look like a total hat rack. You set a shining example. It works.

    • :) (And on top of being awesome, you’re generous, too? THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION. That was so thoughtful! I’m grinning from ear to ear.)

      <3

  • Ivo

    Sheer self-interest. You need to exist.

    • <3 I raise my glass of Cab in your honor, Good Ser.

  • LEW

    Well, hello.

    I’ve been kind of obsessed with these recaps for a while, but I haven’t yet commented. Mainly, it’s because I’m a book reader, and I worry about unintentional spoils, but I’m also pretty weary of comment boards and Internet Infighting on the whole.

    However-

    Your very lovely video and very politic handling of the show’s recent, weirdly unbalanced rape fixation reminded me just why I love these recaps so much in the first place: your real, genuine, and thoughtful (and most often hilarious) reactions to a great, albeit flawed cultural touchstone.

    In other words, I used to watch Game of Thrones in a bar with STARK Bingo and themed drinks and lots of nerds. Then I moved to a new city, and now I watch it alone. And your recaps give me that happy feeling of communal viewing again. HUMANITY. It’s nice.

    So, here are my talking points (I won’t call out specific things from your recap…just assume I laughed at all of it):

    – Did you notice that Cersei was systematically GOING THROUGH THE JUDGES for Tyrion’s trial? Tyrells, Tywin, Oberyn…

    – I was really hoping they’d complicate Dany’s victories as they did in the book. It definitely helps with the immaculate white-savior-lady thing she had going on. This is what happens when you pull the whole liberate n’ leave trick. Just ask…well, any country with borders drawn by Europeans, really.

    – Dany’s got this whole confident-girl-still-figuring-shit-out thing going on. That’s so rare. I love it. Just because you’ve got things to learn doesn’t mean you can’t rule.

    – Speaking of things to figure out, do we think Sansa is better off at the Vale? Or in King’s Landing? I can’t really decide. I mean, sure Lysa is banana-nut-bread bonkers, but Petyr’s got her under control, right? On the other hand, PETYR’S got her under control…and then there’s the promising to Young Norman Bates thing. I’ll take the Moon Door, thanks (with a parachute– sounds fun!)

    – I read something somewhere this week about how Lysa and Petyr are both looking at Sansa and seeing Catelyn, with two very different reactions. Neither of which are to Sansa’s benefit, unfortunately.

    – Okay, one reaction to a thing you said: THE PRINCESS BRIDE is amazing. I am seconding your recommendation loud and clear:
    “I mean, I really do think that love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. But I also have to say, for the umpty-umpth time, that life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”
    Something makes me think Sansa would still agree.

    – The thing Robin threw out the moon door…a Falcon? The sigil of House Arryn? SYMBOLISM, maybe?

    – I was a little surprised by your lack of freakout for the whole LYSA-ACTING-FOR-PETYR-KILLED-JON-ARRYN-AND-STARTED-THIS-WHOLE-WAR-THING-TO-BEGIN-WITH realization. I mean, it’s a big thing is all I’m saying. That’s why Mr. Stark Went to Washington…er, King’s Landing…after all.

    – As a girl living in a thin-walled apartment I feel for you, Sansa. Hang in there, girl. At least he’s not singing to her, too.

    – Every time Arya reminds us of Mycha, her friend the Hound killed on Joffey’s orders, a Dead Stark gets its wings. So many innocents get killed for no reason whatsoever in this world, so it’s nice to remember one every now and then. RIP Loving Father of the Little Wildling Boy Who Stopped for Potatoes and Got Eaten By Thenns!

    – I love how much people love Oberyn. I love Oberyn. I love Dorne. I love his wacky family, and his awesome daughters. NO SPOILERS! I’LL STOP! But seriously. Martells: the spinoff you didn’t know you needed.

    – “Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls.” Just true. No applause. No arguments about the Necessary Degrees of Verisimilitude in Fantasy Fiction and the degree to which they should address real world social issues like misogyny…just quiet nodding.

    – I do think that Cersei is showing shades of realness here, but this is Cersei. I’m suspicious of her interactions with anyone who has something she wants. AND OBERYN IS A JUDGE IN TYRION’S TRIAL. And it’s all “Well, let’s do what we can, sister” with Margaery, “Yes, Daddy, Okay” with Tywin, and then the Mourning Mother in Distress Seeks Freedom act with Oberyn. She plays the game to win or die, remember? But then, you never know, do you? That’s the fun.

    – I thought the wrap-up of the Mutineers at Craster’s Keep Business was really well done…definitely cathartic, and a nice way to set up fundamental choices for both Bran (must…meet…destiny) and Jon (Take action! Take leadership! Kill the figurative bastards!). It was an important move on both of their parts, even if it hurt to get so close. Again.

    – But seriously! This whole Song of Ice and Fire and Murder and Sadness and Betrayal is all Littlefinger’s fault! At this point, I’m half-expecting Book 7 to end with a Wight Walker peeling off his mask Scooby-Doo style and revealing himself as LITTLEFINGER THIS WHOLE TIME! (If that happens, I promise I won’t tell.)

    And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling Starks! (This is assuming there’s still a Stark to meddle…)

    …Yikes. Maybe I should have commented sooner. I seem to have a lot of thoughts.

    • Ivo

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

      Not only did Arya remember Mycah’s death, but she added Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr to her list for selling out Gendry. Like the North, Arya Remembers.

    • Hahaha, we’re getting a lot of lurkers around here, lately! IT IS WONDERFUL. You’ll find the crudités in the hallway, we’re all on the back porch discussing the Lannisters, feel free to chime in. :) It is so nice to hear other people share my desire to have a place where we can talk about the stuff we love with fellow fans and not have that one jerk (or several) who have to one up, put down, or just ruin the experience for us. (And thank you times a million for being cautious about spoilers!)

      Cersei truly is Tywin’s daughter. She’s the son he wished he had in Jaime, and if they could only change the rules of the game, Tywin could have everything he wanted. She is smart, canny, sneaky, powerful, and willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants – within the confines of her world, of course.

      You bring up an excellent point about the liberate and leave method of conquering. It’s quite clever (and something I’m grateful for) to have Dany realize her mistakes and then DO SOMETHING about it. This is why she is better than the other leaders, so far.

      As for my freaking out over Lysa being the first (and most important) domino that LF tipped, it’s because MY MIND IS STILL BLOWN. I seriously need to rewatch S1 just to absorb the many, many threads to LF’s web. And they call Varys the spider? I THINK NOT.

      Ooh, and I’ve been rumbling around in my head the symbolism of that bird through the moon gate. Robyn tossing it so carelessly – says something about the type of leader he’d be, doesn’t it? Not to mention that Varys and LF constantly refer to their spies as “little birdies” – maybe there’s something more to that little gift than we thought? IDK!

      OMG, lol at “a dead Stark gets its wings.” AHAHAHA. I’m so glad you found us!!

    • LEW

      I said a lot of things, none of which were meant to seem like a bad thing.

      And Arya’s driven like a tank by her Northily Remembering. Sansa’s still got hope for a happy ending, but revenge is the only resolution Arya needs. And every new slight or injustice is like new breath.

      I honestly don’t think Cersei is what Tywin wants. She may be cunning and cruel and would totally fight with swords if given the chance *coughBriennecoughcough*, but she loves her children too tenderly, and needs his approval too much. Tywin has no time for ANY weakness, and try as she might, Cersei cannot conceal hers.

      Had Littlefinger not quietly framed the whole Season One King’s Landing Drama in terms of Lannisters vs. Starks, I wonder if we might not be on their side?

      I’m not going to comment on what I think the Flight of Uncle Petyr’s Cool Bird Gift might mean. As I know what happens, and I am not. going. to. spoil. But it merits mentioning that the sigil of House Arryn is a falcon, and the self-styled sigil of House Baelish is a similarly avian Mockingbird.

      Still, that was a gift. Show some respect, kid. Petyr worked hard to sow deceit and betrayal and manipulate your mother’s feelings and murder two Hands and a King and a Fool and buy that for you.

      • When Robyn threw that bird through DANGER HOUSE HOLE, I literally hit pause, pointed at my husband, at the TV, and then said, “WHAT THE HELL WITH THE RUDENESS? HE JUST GOT THAT.” I may have issues with youngins not showing proper respect. (I assume this means no thank you card, either?)

        Ooh, unfortunately you have a good point about Cersei’s tender feelings for her children not being something Tywin would admire. :( (Unfortunate for ME, is how I mean that. Still trying to work that Daddy-Daughter thing into something salvageable, and I know it will never happen. BOO.)

        • Ivo

          I’m not a big fan of hypothesizing how people got to be the way they are, but don’t you wonder what the hell happened to Tywin to make him into Mr.Warmth? I mean, this is Charles Dance, who can be so lovely. (“Why does he look like a dead halibut?” “He’s British, that’s how they look when they’re happy.” Ah Ruby Wax, I miss you. “I won’t say what she does for a living but it rhymes with ‘four’ and it rhymes with ‘fostitute’.”)
          What kind of a place was Casterley Rock like when all these mixed-up Lannister kids were growing up?

          • Lyanna Mormont

            I wonder about Mama Lannister. What was she like? If she hadn’t died, what kind of influence would she have been on her children’s lives? Would Tyrion have been less hated by Tywin and Cersei if he hadn’t “killed” his mother, or is that just the excuse they use?

            And as for Cersei, was her mother a traditionalist who was part of the world telling her she could only ever aspire to be a wife and mother, with no power of her own? Or does part of that longing to be in control of her own fate stem from her mother?

            I’m taking a course in Global Health, and one thing the lecturer today asked was “What’s the biggest cause of death worldwide among girl aged 15 to 19?” There was a lot of silence. Someone guessed at pregancy-related causes; nope, that’s big, but not the biggest. So what is?

            It’s suicide. The single biggest cause of death among young women in the world today is suicide. And it’s especially big when yung girls are allowed to go to school for some years, but then have to go back into a traditional culture where their future is very limited in what they’ll be able to do. Girls who get a glimpse of what the modern world has to offer, but then see it taken away from them. Depression and suicide are very big in that group, more so than among those who never get to go to school at all.

            And if I’m allowed to take a real-world tragedy and apply it to fiction, well, that’s sort of what Cersei is all about, isn’t it? She sees all these possibilities all around her, but knows she’ll never have the chance to try for them herself, simply because she was born female. And it makes her bitterly angry at the world.

            • [slips in to hug you for this comment]

            • Ivo

              I hate the world. F%%% that’s a horrible statistic. And I interpret it slightly differently: the single biggest cause of death among women is men, either directly or indirectly.

              I think you’ve hit it on the head with Cersei. I even wonder if her affair with Jaime isn’t narcissistic: she wants to be him because he doesn’t have the limitations imposed on her by living in the Dark Ages. And she has been reminded of her limitations time and time again. Some of the behavior we see now of her as Queen Mum is her seeing a small opportunity of having some real power for the first time. When Tywin arrived at the KL, it must have been a bitter disappointment for her. Again.

            • Lyanna Mormont

              A day later, I feel the need to add some disclaimers to that post. I was a tad bit upset when I wrote it (as evidenced by the typos).

              That suicide is the biggest cause of death among girls 15-19 worldwide is a statistical fact.

              At least one study has shown that between groups who a) live in a “modern” culture, b) live in a “traditional” culture but girls are allowed to go to school for some years, and c) live in a “traditional” culture where girls do not go to school, depression and suicide among your girls is biggest in group b. I don’t know the specifics of which country/countries this was studied in, or how many participants there were, or which other factors were taken into account; I just know that the numbers were higher in group b. That seeing what could be yours only to have it taken away is a (partial) CAUSE of that is interpretation, not proven fact.

              And finally, suicide is still big in the other groups. There are many other reasons for it, many of which probably have little or nothing to do with traditionalist values. That just seems to make a bad situation worse, not be the sole cause of it.

              Yeah, maybe that’s all a given. But I have a scientific mind, and these things should be stated.

      • Ivo

        My apologies, I could have been more clear about that: I meant having a lot of thoughts not being a bad thing.

        One thing about the Moon Door: it’s a bit like Chekhov’s Gun, isn’t it? You just know someone’s going to go through it.

  • Ivo

    No cab here but I just ate two slices of beef tenderloin roast in a red wine sauce that made me weepy-happy.
    On an unrelated note, given the Starks’ track record of Failed Reunions, do you think Arya’s going to make it to the Vale?

  • lightandstars

    Hey Laura, did you miss me? It’s nice to know you are here midweek when I need a laugh and some more GoT. Like you said, you ARE lucky to have the great contributors you have, they are an intelligent and fun bunch. I include myself in that. Just promise me that if I’m not as informed on the cultural references as you are, and ask about them, you won’t take it as an insult, mmm okay?

    There was a question about Tywin, as to why he became the cold persona he is. The first thing that came to mind was his talk with Arya last season, or maybe 2 seasons ago. Remember, when she was working as his little helper. When Jaqen H’ghar was still around. (how I miss that guy. Hope we see him again.) She asked Tywin about his father. The reply was something like that his dad was too soft and warmhearted and his weakness almost lost them their fortunes. In light of their current situation, that’s kind of ironic, don’t you think?

    Arya and the Hound. Probably my favorite line of the show … “Armor and a big fucking sword.” yep

    Is Jojen deathly ill? He has looked pretty bad the last few episodes, but I haven’t seen any real talk about it.

    Yeah, a Craster’s Girls spinoff would be great. That elder sister was cool. Imagine all the shit she’s seen in her life. That’s one capable old girl. “Burn it to the ground and the dead with it.” Who’s gonna argue with her?

    • A man cannot be insulted! ;)

      Ooh, I’d forgotten about that conversation with Arya back in S2! Which just proves that Tywin wouldn’t respect Cersei as long as she was soft and warmhearted towards her children. I have no idea what’s up with Jojen – they haven’t said ANYTHING about why he’s falling apart like he is, so hopefully that will be explained soon?

  • lightandstars

    Sigh, I have lived a long, satisfying life so far; I’m a grown-ass woman who should be well over fandom and participating in conversations such as this — but OMG I’m NOT, and thank goodness I’m not, because I love LOVE this show. It seems to be on my mind, much more now than anything from when I was a teenager. Thank goodness that you are here for all of us. They are skipping a week soon. What the hell are we all gonna’ do for the week that’s skipped? What did you guys do in other seasons when there was a gap?

    So many other sites have mentioned that this might be a “filler” episode, but not so. So many things were so deftly snuck into this one. Brienne & Pod. Who would’ve thought? I have no idea where they are going with this, but I love every interchange between them. Would much rather have a few minutes more of them than a few minutes of mayhem. Can you imagine what those tight-asses at the wall will make of Brienne, if she ever gets there?

    • Pfft, there is no age limit to be a fangirl/boy! 90 year old dudes still dress up and root for the Yankees, so I can, too. (Except not about the Yankees.) I do wish they were skipping a bit earlier, since I’m going to be traveling on the 19th, so we’ll all just have to drink and talk a lot here! Oooh, maybe I’ll make a new post just for all of us to cling and talk. :)

      When people use terms like “filler” with this show, I just assume they’re not paying attention and are only tuning in for big explosions/battles.

      • Ivo

        Just declare 5/25 a Game Of Thrones Withdrawal Symptoms Day and post about that. Recaps? You are no slave to the calendar!

  • Ivo

    I just realized that yo get to the Wall, BriPod will have to avoid/deal with:
    a.) roving bands of random assholes,
    b.) The Freys (Boo! Hiss!)
    c.) The Boltons (Eeek!)
    d.) Bands of Wildlings-South-of-the-Wall, including cannibals

    Pod had better brush up on his head-spearing skills, because I don’t think his alleged other skills are going to be much use.

  • lightandstars

    Ivo, Pod is the Wangmaster. They’ll be fine. But that makes me wonder how LF and Stansa got to the Eeyrie (sp. I know, sorry) without running into Shagga and the rest of Tyrion’s former guys. Ah, GRRM, look what you have done – slyly summoned all of us into this world where we drop everything else to wonder how your mind works. LOL see u later guys

    • Ivo

      I think (as that sneak LF would do) they took the back door: over sea to the coast and then sneak in from the coastal side. Maybe all of Tyrion’s former chums (“Shagga likes axes!”) live on the landward side of the mountains? No wait, I just realized they passed the Bloody Gate which, according to this is also on the landward side of the Eyrie. WTF, GRRM?

  • Maxwell James

    Hey, I’m back – what’d I miss?

    (BTW, the lurch of emotions from binge-watching several GoT episodes in a row is neatly counterbalanced by the enjoyment of binge-reading your recaps!)

    • MAXWELL!! I thought we’d lost you. Come have a seat, lemme get you a fresh drink and a willing ear to listen to your thoughts. :D There have been some stellar convos happening in comments with a bunch of new readers. And I can only imagine the emotional whiplash of soaking up so much of this show at once!

      • Maxwell James

        Nah, I was just offline for a while – first vacationing, then hellaciously busy (which I still am, but will hopefully ease up a bit soon). Plus some computer problems in between. I did seem to lose my avatar somewhere along the way, dang it.

        But very glad to see all the activity ’round here! Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up from now on.

        • You can upload it the next time you comment! We changed the avatar system and streamlined a few things, so that’s most likely at this end. Here’s to hoping that your life lays off you some so you can get back to what’s important: GoT and chatting with us. :D