Previously, when I was young and fresh. The first thing you need to know is that I am devastated. That’s… that’s the first thing you should know. My husband—keeping his promise not to spoil me—knew just when to snap a picture. HEY I AM REALLY SAD. Guys? I am fucking devastated. Broken. Red Wedding? That’s like the memory of a day at Six Flags. I HAVE NEVER KNOWN PAIN LIKE THIS.Someone showed me a Golden Retriever puppy, made me fall in love with it, let me cuddle it endlessly, smiling and cooing when it snorfled my neck in the middle of the night, needing pets and lovings, and I gave that puppy those cuddles. I loved on that sweet, perfect thing. AND THEN SOMEONE CAME INTO MY HOUSE AND PUSHED ITS EYES INTO ITS SKULL AND CRUSHED IT BETWEEN THEIR HANDS IN FRONT OF ME AS I WAS HELPLESS TO INTERVENE. That’s my take on this episode.
And you should know that. I just shouted out and literally pounded my chest with a fist, crying to anyone who cared, “THEY’RE NOT REAL BUT THEY FEEL REAL.”
(The above was written after I had an entire bottle of wine after the ep aired. You might see words, but all I hear is a muffled ringing in my ears.)
Oh, hey, we have new places on the map, and this was very exciting! Moat Cailin with little spears surrounding it, and the sight of Braavos opening up is still exciting to me because I’m this many. And once again, no Eyrie?
We open on a typical night in Mole’s Town, folks macking on each other in a muddy alleyway, a Marion Ravenswood-type (but far more coarse) out-drinking the menfolk and getting in some good slams while she’s at it—I laughed so hard at the snail joke and how there are only two damn songs in the whole world, and the guy got it wrong—and Gilly’s doing laundry. Poor Man’s Marion gets up in Gilly’s grill about Baby Morsel being too loud, and how she better shut that baby up or PM’sM will do it for her.
But Gilly, sweet Gilly who grew up with Craster, grew up with the threat of White Walkers and Wildlings and truly knows what goes bump in the night, hears a call and knows “That’s no owl.” She’s right. It’s Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter and the rest of the Wildlings, including a pissed-off Ygritte. Dear people who are hating on my girl: did you forget she’s a Wildling? Why aren’t you pissed at Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter? Mm, hmm, cut that stuff out. She’s a warrior, one who wars.
Of course Ygritte comes face-to-face with PM’sM and guts her through, hears Baby Morsel, and finds Gilly hiding. She tells Gilly to stay quiet and leaves her there because she’s already killed someone in front of a kid, and I don’t think she wants to do that again. Awesome shot: blood dripping down between the wooden slats overhead. Wildlings go hard, yo. (My guess: Ygritte recognized something about Gilly that marked her as a Wildling in hiding.)
Cut to Castle Black where Samwell Gamgee Red Leader Porkins bemoans putting Gilly in danger and getting her killed. Yeah, that was a shit move, bro, deciding her fate without her input. Our little gang of Watchers tell him she’s probably gotten free because she’s a survivor. More importantly, the Wildlings are getting closer to the Castle, which means Mance is, too, and this is getting to Remember the Alamo proportions.
Dear Little Eight-Pound Baby Jesus, thank you for the next scene of bare-chested men bathing. And that you saw fit to include the beautiful ladies, as well. Grey Worm—who still has a mouth and fingers, let me remind you fellas—watches Missandei bathing, and good lord, but she’s a pretty woman. I mean, she is sheer perfection. She stands and lets him see her fully, then covers herself and turns away, and I just ship these two so damn hard it’s now a fleet.
WAIT I MEAN I DON’T CARE ABOUT THEM. [Great, now they’re gonna die.]
Later, Dany is all eyebrow waggle and “Eh? Gonna hit that?” to which Missandei is unsure of how to answer. Like, are the bait and tackle removed when they make Unsullied? Missandei admits that she doesn’t know, but she’s wondered. Hell yeah, you have. (I’m guessing just testicles are removed, because peeing would be difficult, right? I mean, it’s clearly possible to pee without a penis *points to self*, but urethra muscles, etc.? IDK)
Off topic, but I love that Dany does her hair. Also, I totally was singing, “O! Sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” as Missandei realizes that she has feelings for Grey Worm, and he for her. He comes to apologize to her for looking, but she’s all, “it’s fine. Also, I think I want you to look again, honey pie.”
Raise your hand if you wanted her to fly down the stairs at his romantic confession of being glad he’s Unsullied because it led him to her. Son, you have some game. I would bang that like a screen door in a hurricane.
Ramsay and his little sleeper agent, Renfield, I mean Reek, shoot, I mean Theon prepare to offer a deal to the remaining Ironborn that Yara left at Moat Cailin (right? I had to check my notes from a season back). Just go in there, offer them a plea bargain, and I won’t feed you to the dogs, all right? “Yes, Master,” Reek slurs, limping away.
“Kraken. When you take them out of the water…no bones! They collapse under their own weight.” Oh, that is brilliant. And Lord Greyjoy is going to experience this one day, I think. Theon already has.
The leader inside is clearly dying of disease—lots of dead bodies everywhere, nice cholera breeding ground there, dummy—and refuses to accept that a) Theon is who he says he is, and b) the plea. Theon is getting nervous by this not working, what will Ramsay do to him as a result? He starts murmuring “I’m Reek,” under his breath. But HATCHET TO THE SKULL FROM HIS OWN MEN! And the leader falls, another takes his place and asks, “That plea bargain still good?”
“Yep,” Reek/Theon says. “You’ll be treated every bit as fairly as me.” *looks significantly at the camera*
The thing about being a good liar is that there has to be truth in it. Cut to the Ironborn dead, flayed, and Ramsay going on about tradition. This is all terrible, I realize that, but it’s so funny how matter of fact and delighted Ramsay is with all of this.
The most wonderful group of disapproving judges assemble to give Petyr his trial. How very convenient, wouldn’t you say, for him to suddenly appear, marry Lysa, and then she “commits suicide?” Everyone knows her creepy fixation on her son—she wouldn’t just abandon him. They’re also not interested in any of Littlefinger’s ass-kissing. His ass-kissing prowess is legendary, and the scent of Tywin Lannister’s taint still lingers on his breath.
SourFaceJudge: Bring forth the gull.
Petyr: that simpleton? Err… [tugs neckline]
Sansa: [steps forward, nervously] I must tell them the truth, Lord Baelish.
SourFaceBiddy: Come, sweet girl. Don’t be afraid of anyone here.
Sansa: Okay! One, I’m not Alayne. I’m Sansa Stark.
Everyone: LE GASP!
Sansa: [nods] I’ve been a hostage, tortured, kidnapped, married to The Imp, studied treachery and deceit at the knee of the greatest deceiver of them all—
Petyr: [drifts off imagining her at his knee]
Sansa: —and I’m going to show all the Sansa haters why they should have taken those 50 to 1 odds against me. Aunt Lysa was unhinged. You all know that. And she’s been in love with Lord Baelish since she was a child. He kissed my cheek—
Me: SANSA STARK, OH MY GOD
Sansa: [winks at me] —and she saw it, became suicidal, and leapt to her death.
SourFaceBiddy: This sounds reasonable.
Petyr: I have never loved you more, m’lady.
Sansa: I OWN YOU NOW, BITCH.
Once again: the best way to lie is to use the truth. And, as Sansa has learned, to use what people want to be the truth. Petyr? You in danger, gorl. The group of judges apologize to Petyr [wow] and Petyr then says how Robyn/Robin needs to fly the nest. Needs to see the land, learn how to fight. Good god, this man. He is so clever and devious! The group of judges/heads of the other houses all agree. Time to season the young Lord of the Vale. Would be such a shame if anything happened to him…
[Me: something is totally going to happen to Bad Boob Sucker. Eh. Okay.]
Ser Barristan gets a note from a little birdie. Oooh, it’s the pardon from the Hand of the King, aka Ned Stark, the one for Jorah. He tells Jorah that he’s going to give it to Daenerys, and that he will never be alone with her again. And cue my heart breaking!
Dany sits on her newly obtained throne, silent and terrible in her betrayal. Jorah tries to come close, but it won’t be allowed. Is it true? He can’t deny it. Did he tell Varys that she was pregnant with Drogo’s child? He did. So he’s been lying from the start. He hangs his head in shame. If he isn’t gone by nightfall, she’ll have his head thrown into Slaver’s Bay.
“Khaleesi!”Don’t call her that! [Both me and the Khaleesi thing] He wants so badly to explain, to say that yes, his original intent was to spy on her, but he saw her with all her power, with all of her purity and he fell in love with her, both as a person and as a symbol. But he cannot. And now she’s lost the one person she’s needed most at her side. Barristan is a good man, but he is totally by the rules and will not bend. Daario will do what she wants or what he wants. Jorah would advise her wisely and now she has lost that.
And across Slaver’s Bay, women’s wombs dry up, their hearts break, and they cannot know it is because Jorah has ridden away on his horse in shame, and by the command of his one love. A pained wail of “Khaleesi!” sounds from the desert, sending frightened Jawas scurrying into their hovels.
Ramsay stands before his father Roose Bolton on a hillside with a nice little piano cover, telling him that shit hole of disease and dead bodies Moat Cailin belongs to the Boltons now. I suppose it makes a good base? Near Winterfell and all?
His father points around them. “When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Son, the strongest castle that can be built.”
Ramsay: [lip wobble] S-son?
Roose: Yes. You can finally take my name. I made it official and everything. [hands over paperwork]
Ramsay: I promise to flay every man alive and make you proud of me… Dad.
Roose: Aww, that’s a good lad. [ruffles his hair]
I did like the reminder of how massive the North is: hundreds of miles of land in three directions.
Petyr comes to Sansa’s chambers, wanting to know why she lied. Uh, because she’s actually smart and knows that she finally has a chance to be safe, to have power enough to KEEP herself safe. So… any more questions? Petyr debates internally whether he should pass her a note asking if she likes him, check Y/N. Yeah, Petyr, she knows what you want. And she’s getting older and wiser every day. Mm, mm, mm. You are hosed, buddy.
The Hound and Arya make their way through the cliffs of insanity, all the way to the Bloody Gate. Arya! About to be reunited with her family! Except… her Aunt Lysa just died, sorry. Arya, once again confronted with almost being back home, almost getting somewhere, bursts into maniacal laughter because seriously? Hahaha, Hound, once again you’re not getting paid, and she’s not getting away, and she worships Death and Death is always a step ahead of her, but never there for her, ahaha. Ha. Ahem.
Point to make: the Hound mocks the use of poison to kill Joffrey, because “that’s a woman’s weapon.” Men use steel. And how much do you want to bet that the entire Clegane family feels this way? We’re getting to that…
First we need to see Petyr encouraging Robin to go outside, but he has corns and his tummy aches and he has the winds and sometimes his nose runs and what if he stubs his toe and– Sansa steps out reborn in feathers and black and seduction and is all, “Ready?” Petyr adjusts himself under his clothes.
We have another wonderful moment with brothers, Jaime and Tyrion, before the combat trial. Jaime admits he’s never seen Oberyn fight, so he has no idea how this will play out. They relive memories of their simple cousin, Orson, the Lannister who was dropped on his head. The story of the cousin smashing beetles his whole life and how Tyrion studied him, watched him intently because there was a shocking lack of books about morons was quite clever, I thought.
(And people who call this scene filler are now Orsons to me. They just want the kuh-kuh-kuh.)
Tyrion wants to know what makes people tick, of course, but more importantly, he wanted to understand the nature of man. And when you strip away all the complications and boil us down to our most base parts, we just want power. We want to crush those weaker than us, over and over, reaffirming that we’re alive, we’re capable of doing so. Now, I don’t believe this is true for all people (Gilly! Samwise! Jon Snow!) it’s certainly seems to be true for the Lannisters and for Petyr. Crush little bugs, the satisfying little crunch of their carapace, kuh-kuh-kuh!
“There’s no kind of killing that doesn’t have its own word.”
Tyrion lets the little roly poly he’d picked up go, and if he’s going to die soon, he’s at least explained his existence to the one person sympathetic to him. He wants to know, will always want that, and because he thinks, therefore he am.
And then cue the Metallica/The Bells Toll. I mean, “blinded eyes” is in the damn song. The bells are sounding the start of the Most Awesome Battle Of Awfulness Ever. Tywin wants Grand Maester Cat Piss to shut up and shoos him off so we can begin.Great lines: “Size does not matter when you’re flat on your back.” Tyrion mutters in response, “Thank the gods.” Ahahaha.
Things I noticed: a page is rubbing a cloth over Oberyn’s spear over a bowl of liquid while wearing heavy gloves. Oberyn is the greatest master of poisons, right? Oho!
My boo, Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne, the Red Viper, stealer of hearts and lover to Ellaria, drinks (“I always drink before a fight-today is not the day I die.”), kisses his lover (“Don’t leave me alone in this world!” “Never.”), and shows off his badass skills with a long spear. Seriously, Pedro Pascal is so gorgeously awesome in these beginning shots, working the crowd, smirking at his opponent, so confident and so ready to avenge his sister. I am 100% aboard the I Love You train to Oberyn-ville.
He tells the Mountain straight away that he will get a confession from him before he dies. He should go ahead and do that so this can be over quickly. And at first, Oberyn has the upper hand. It’s a standard “good guy vs. bad guy” set up, bragging, dominating, the Mountain overpowers him somewhat and it looks bad for Our Hero, his spear is knocked away, but I have faith.
This is my big mistake, as you all know. I continue to have faith.
Oberyn gets a new spear and renewed vigor. Cersei is tight-lipped, Jaime is delighted that the Red Viper truly is a wonder (you can see that he wishes they’d sparred once or forty times), and Oberyn runs his spear through the Mountain. Hooray! He screams at the Mountain, “You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!” and freaking rips through the man’s Achilles and please, please be poisoned, spear, because that would be so gloriously Greek tragedy. (Please tell me you know the story of Achilles.)
The Mountain falls!! Ellaria claps, finally losing some of the tension in her face as the Red Viper, the Owner of my Heart, The Beautiful And Majestic Prince of Dorne shouts once again and runs his spear through the Mountain’s chest. He knows the Mountain is dying. He pulls his spear out and waits for the Mountain’s confession, pointing at Tywin wanting confirmation that he gave the Mountain his orders. He steps close as the Mountain lies motionless. It’s pretty clear we can wrap this up and–
This is when I began to shriek. I wish I was using hyperbole.
The Mountain sweeps the leg, Johnny, and HOLY HELL NO NO NO NO, grabs Oberyn by the neck, punches him in the mouth so damn hard his teeth go clattering in a spray of gore, climbs on top of him and begins to pop Oberyn’s eyes as he confesses to what he did. “And I crushed her head like this.”
I can’t. Guys, I can’t. Just watching it again has me crying and looking away. Ellaria, let’s run away together and leave this place and these people. [brokenly weeps]
This is easily the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and it’s because I loved him. You guys, I freaking loved Oberyn. I know. I KNOW. That was my mistake.
The Mountain falls after doing this (kuh-kuh-kuh, the wickedly satisfying sound of a crushed carapace), and because Oberyn died first, Tyrion will die, too. “You are hereby sentenced to death.”
I loved him so much. He was my forever love! I didn’t think he’d go so SOON. Look, here’s why. It’s time for the Lannisters to get some comeuppance storytelling wise, so I was SURE this would be a way to throw their house into flux. I was SURE. Yeah. I know. I know. That was my second mistake.
And in the spirit of my Odes when The Good Ones Die, I give you to the tune of “Fernando” by ABBA:
A Song for the Prince of Dorne, the Red Viper, the Sassiest Sasser Who Ever Sassed, Oberyn Martell
Can you hear the crowd, Martell, O?
I recall the episode when you and Ellaria kissed
In Petyr’s whorehouse Martell, O
You were picking a blonde lover for yourself and drinking wine,
I could hear the distant song, the sound of Rains of Castamere from drunken swine.
They were out for you, Martell, O
Every hour every minute they were plotting it, darling.
I wasn’t afraid, Martell, O.
You were young and full of life and I didn’t think that you would die.
And I’m not ashamed to say
The sight of you falling—it made me cry.
There was something on your spear that fight,
A poison, right, Martell, O?
You were fighting there for family,
I know, you see, Martell, O.
Though I never thought that you could lose,
WHAT DID I KNOW?!
If I had to do the same again, I would stand at your ear and shout FINISH HIM AND DON’T GET IN GRABBING DISTANCE.
[mournful violins] For those of you who follow my twitter, I’m sorry I freaked the hell out last night except for how I’m not because I thought you promised that we were all in this together?!
Reminder/Notice for Newbies: I am UNSULLIED. Yes, it’s true. This man *points to self* has no penis. Also, I am not a man. Also, I have sworn to stay spoiler-free and avoid the books until the show ends. Please be awesome and keep all book talk out of comments. Thank you!