Game of Thrones 5.2 – The House of Black and White

Previously! Thought before we get into it: someone somewhere mentioned that Podrick had shown proficiency with regards to knowing banners, sigils, etc, so why on earth didn’t he notice House Tully passing? My guess, but I couldn’t make it out on my giant-ass tv screen for certain, is that the sigil waving on those flags was Littlefinger’s newly chosen sigil: the Mockingbird. Podrick wouldn’t know about it. Thoughts? Well, save them until the end, we have VERY IMPORTANT STUFF to talk about first!

House of Black and White Game of Thrones,Braavos house of Black and White

A MAN needs some chapstick.

Like how Braavos steampunk-moustrap was back on the map! And it’s because Arya is finally entering the city! (Love the lore about the Titan coming to life and smashing enemies in days of old. I’m going to love these books when I finally get to read them, aren’t I?) And hey, there’s your reminder that I am UNSULLIED. Do not—I beg of you—discuss the books here, neither overt nor veiled. Be cool. Literally the rest of the internet is for you book readers. But down here, it’s our [non-reader] time. It’s our time down here. [Obligatory Goonies reference]

Arya’s headed to the house of black and white for a smart yet suburban-mom-sexy outfit for Friday night. Also, to see A MAN about a horse. Problem: the MAN who opened the door not only isn’t familiar with the MAN who gave her that coin, he doesn’t even care about the coin, and tells her to shove off. Literally she has the whole world at her feet, so hit the bricks, kid.

She spends the day and night going through her list of who to kill. Well, one of them (The Mountain) is already dead, so that’ll be nice once she learns it. Easier to get through her list of names, you know? After twenty-four hours of this, she stands, tosses A Coin into the bay and walks off.

Podrick and Brienne find an inn, and Littlefinger and Sansa happen to be there, too. Podrick picks up on that, alerts Brienne, who vibrates with pleasure at finally being able to honor her vow to Lady Stark.

A woman approaches offering her sword. Do you:

–listen to her, taking her on as your personal bodyguard and learning how to be good and just and also kind?

or

–listen to your companion, a wonk who points out all of the woman’s failures (not knowing of her many triumphs)?

Dammit, Sansa, she takes option B. Brienne, shocked but still pleased that Sansa is at least being wary of strangers, decides to make a break for it even though she and Podrick are severely outnumbered.

Littlefinger smug with Brienne at inn,Game of thrones  Littlefinger Sansa

LOOK AT THIS SMUG F*CKER. Oooh, he needs a boot to the face.

Brienne and Pod take off, getting separated after she looses Littlefinger’s horses, loses the guards in the woods, and doubles back to save Podrick, who can’t really keep a seat and gets himself cornered. Brienne shows up, jousts one of the bad guys to death, throat stabs another, and deflects Podrick’s posit that she just might be released from her vows by virtue of the Stark Girls not really wanting her.

Brienne: So you think a young lady is safe with Humbert Littlefinger, do you?
Podrick: …well, no m’lady.
Brienne: Get the horses and shut it, then.

Cersei with Sand Snakes gift,Game of Thrones Sand Snakes,Cersei Lannister Kings Landing Myrcella's necklace

Most elaborate invitation to a Sand Snakes garden party ever.

Cersei calls Jaime to her chambers to help her open a gift—a threat from Dorne in the form of jewelry. Raise your hand if you thought the Presentation Snake [dibs on ’80s glam rock band name Presentation Snake!] was Myrcella’s arm? Oh, we’ll learn that the kids of Oberyn are “Sand Snakes,” by the way. But back to King’s Landing where Cersei, who at last check was all out of fucks to give, berates Jaime for being a shit incest father, Dorne for being a shit of a kingdom, and the world for being a shit of a universe. Yeah, well how about Jaime, a one-handed man who can’t claim ownership of his daughter goes down there and busts Myrcella out? HOW ABOUT THEM APPLES?

Cersei: I’ll believe it when I see it.
Jaime: …you know, I’d ask for a little sugar before leaving, but I don’t think there’s anything sweet left in you.

And lookee lookee, it’s Bronn! Bronn, enduring the rambling of his soon-to-be bride because holy schnikies, that’s a hell of a castle he’s set to inherit!

Sarah Plain and Tall: Oh, but we won’t inherit Stokeworth, dearest.
Bronn: What’s that?
SP&T: My older sister will get the house.
Bronn: (smiles to himself) Oh, sure, sure. (plans insta-murder of sister) Won’t we be ever-so happy no matter where we light, my precious tender lamb?
SP&T: Oh my gosh, you do love me!
Bronn: ….right. Hold onto that thought. Say, Jaime Lannister is here to see me! Run along, dear, don’t trip and die on anything before we’re able to be married!
Jaime: So I have a thing. It involves you not marrying SP&T, coming with me, and marrying someone better with a larger house. You interested?
Bronn: You had me at larger house. Wait, no, at better girl. Shit, no, at getting to do anything other than listening to inane blather about pigeon pies. And also the girl and house thing. So! Let’s get to it!

Cut to: Dorne, where Ellaria Sand, dressed in mourning and reflecting PERFECTLY my aching heart over Oberyn Martell as well, tries to incite a war with Oberyn’s brother. But he’s amazing—guys? Am I just going to love all of House Martell? You can tell me, I need to know—and says that in Dorne, they do not mutilate little girls (Myrcella) for vengeance, basically repeating what Oberyn told Cersei. But he can sense her growing unrest—she’s gonna be a problem for you, bro.

Daario and Grey Worm discuss tactics with regard to how to ferret out the Sons of the Harpy. AND I JUST REALIZED THAT DAARIO IS CAL ON ORPHAN BLACK. Sir? I humbly apologize for the comment about your ass last week, because your everything else makes up for it in my book.

Daario finds a guy hiding by virtue of a nice wall-stab. Ser Barristan of course advises Khaleesi to exercise caution with the Sons of the Harpy, Mossador doesn’t trust any information gained from this guy, but the newly freed once-a-slave tells them that the guy they caught is a low level con, a hired gun, a person who should just be killed—that’s a good message, one that the locals of Meereen understand. But from the desert a throaty, lusty cry can be heard: “Khaleesi!! KILL THEM ALL AND LET ME LOVE YOU.”

(I just really miss Jorah.)

Ser Barristan has a private word with Daenerys:

SB: Remember your insane father? No, hear me out. He liked to torture people and he liked to think that he was giving people the justice they deserved. Now, I’m not saying you’re in his image, but’re starting to walk like a Mad King and quack like a Mad King. You might want to make sure you cultivate a political persona that doesn’t make people think you’re just like the Mad King.
Dany: I locked my dragons up, dude. And fine. A fair trial, then we execute him.

Tyrion and Varys are on the move in a super sweet luxury car, headed for Volantis, and then Meereen. Best line of the night after Varys reminds Tyrion that there’s a price on his head. “She should have offered her cunt. Best part of her for the best part of me.” Ahahahaha!

Varys goes into a very long-winded speech that basically can be summed up thusly: “You and I think outside the box. But only when we’re inside the box.” [Fourth wall droll stare at you, the watcher/reader.]

Justin TImberlake droll stare

Speaking of his head, someone drops a head on Cersei’s table wanting coin for it. Nope, not her brother, but thanks for the horrifying murder of an innocent! Man at arms? Escort them out.

Maester Renfield [Qyburn] would like to keep the head, Your Grace? For… reasons?

Very good, have at it. There’s wine to be drunk, ta!

Maester Cat Piss is rather put out at Maester Renfield sullying the Small Council meeting, and they’re all askance at Cersei sitting in as Hand. But o! Lord Tyrell, you’re now Master of Ships, of Coin, and of Puppies! [drops six week old labradoodles onto the table to keep him busy.]

Well that should help out with the whole “the Lannisters are actually bankrupt and House Tyrell is wealthy” issue quite nicely. …why can’t we let Cersei run the show? She ain’t stupid. Oh, because she’s equipped with a lady box and not a presentation snake. AH. In fact, her uncle Kevan Lannister, after being told he’s been appointed Maester of War, says to her thanks, but no thanks. He’s not taking her word on it; he’d like the actual King to tell him of his new job. “You are the Queen Mother. Nothing more.”

If you go back and watch, crank your volume up and you can literally hear her grind her teeth.

Shireen/Lady Newt is giving her grossly underrated Hooked on Phonics lessons to Gilly up at the Wall! And if you haven’t loved Gilly from the start, you’re quite possibly broken inside. We learn that two of Gilly’s sisters also had Lizard Face (greyscale, Newt calls it) and she’s pleased that Newt didn’t die from it, not like Gilly’s two sisters, dragged via rope from Kraster’s Kreepy Keep to die slowly and painfully out in the cold, alone, covered with scales, and turned into animals. Yeesh.

Can I just say that I love that there is disease specific to this world? I really want to read the books. I WILL NOT because I, like Jon Snow, took a vow and I shall honor that vow, but I’m continually excited for that day to come.

Newt’s mother shows up and reminds us all that she’s a horrible woman and she really hates little Newt.

Jon Snow gets reamed by Stannis for killing Mance before he was burned, but Stannis is learning first hand that folks up North don’t take kindly to strangers. And Stannis is a stranger, and make no mistake. He’s been made aware by local leaders.

Stannis Baratheon Jon Snow

internet meme

So how about he offers Jon the name Stark instead of Snow? Just give up any potential leadership roles that would undermine Stannis with the WIldlings and Northerners by kneeling before Stannis, and voila, he’s a Stark of Winterfell, easy as you please. And while Samwell Gamgee Red Leader Porkins is all in on that bit o’gloriousness, Jon isn’t, because he suffers strongly from Ned-itis, which is to say, a crippling case of the Honors.

If he turns away from his vows to the Night’s Watch, then what sort of leader does that make him? And who would follow such a man? (Uh, most, Jon. Most.)

Looks like Lord Butthurt is set to become the 998th leader of the Wall. (So, kill him, kill the next, and let Jon be the 1000th? I mean, that’s the way it usually works in this genre, so…?)

Porkins: I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU ALL OF A FEW THINGS.
Crowd: Wassat?
Porkins: First and first mostly, Cap’n Yeah Boss pissed himself in a closet during the battle with the wildlings. He literally cried harder than an actual baby. Secondly, Lord Butthurt is great in a battle, true, but did you know that he is [Jean Ralphio voice] the wooOOooorst? Jon Snow’s real good looking!
Jon: DEAR LORD STOP, SAM.
Porkins: (smiles, shoots Jon finger guns) Jon Snow’s basically the greatest soldier here? He’s pretty much better than everyone of us. And when the night was the darkest, there was Jon Snow, his hair blowing in the wind and his emo face making us all remember what it was to be fourteen and alone, and yet we were not alone.
Lord Butthurt: BUT HE BONES WILDLINGS.
Jon: (single perfect tear rolls down his face as he remembers Ygritte’s South)
Crowd: VOTES LIKE STOIC MUH FUHS.
Maester Targaryen: … a tie? See, this is why we need a two-party system. Those of you guys voting for that random Libertarian basically threw your votes away! Also, I didn’t vote! …yet.
Town Crier: JON SNOW IS THE OBAMA OF THE NORTH!

Arya, wandering the alleys of Braavos, is set upon by some thugs wanting to take Needle from her to sell. But, as she states, “Nothing is of value to dead men.” And the guy from White House Black Market shows up, his mere presence freaking out the band of thieves. Like Obi-Wan, he, in his cloak. wanders off and she, a la Luke, follows. (Jawas scatter back into their holes as they pass.)

Who the hell is he? He tosses her the coin she threw in the bay and then HE IS JAQUEN H’GHAR!

Jaqen H'gar Braavos Jaqen H'ghar Braavos reveal
Except he isn’t, he is a MAN who is NO ONE. “And that is who A GIRL must become.” Ahhhhhhh!!!! He lets her inside and I AM EXCITE. GUYS. GUISE. GHEYS. Is Arya going to give up being Arya Stark to become A Girl!? OH MY GOD DO NOT ACTUALLY ANSWER THIS I AM JUST BOUNCING AROUND WITH GLEE.

Freeman in Meereen sees the Harpy bro, hears him out, then kills him, anyway. In blood behind him on the wall it reminds the people: KILL THE MASTERS. Dany didn’t approve it, but Freeman would like the record to show that he knows her hands are tied, that he knows the guy deserved it, that the freed slaves of Meereen know that no one else but her is looking out for them. The Sons of the Harpy want to return people to chains, and if that happens, then all of those lives lost were in vain. And Freeman isn’t going to stand for it.

(Not gonna lie, I was pressing my fist to my chest, nodding as he spoke so passionately to Khaleesi. Don’t judge me, okay? IT’S THE NAME OF THE DAMN WEBSITE FOR A REASON.)

Dany isn’t the physical embodiment of the law, though. The law is the law. And it kills her to say it, but she tells the guards to take him. MHYSA, NO!!! The people call to her, crying for her but she speaks to everyone there gathered at the pyramid.

Dany: Remember how I promised you justice AND freedom? You kind of need both to have either.
People: (crying out for her)
Freeman: Mhysa! Please! Forgive me!
Me: FORGIVE THE KID JESUS CHRIST YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE!
Dany: Yeah, I have to kill him, because laws and shit (looks at Ser Barristan)
SB: Yeah. You do.
Jorah: (in the desert) KHALEESI NOOOOO.
Daario: (blade to Freeman’s neck) …Seriously?
Dany: (nods) Yep. Kill him. Because laws, and I don’t want to be my dad, and I’m hella confused, shit. I guess? Yeah. No, wait. No, okay, yeah.
Daario: (does)
People: WHAT THE FUCK? (LITERAL HISSING)

Hoshit. They have to hotfoot her out of there with a band of Unsullied as umbrella protection while fights break out in the crowd. She’s devastated, sends everyone away from her room, goes out to her balcony only to find Trogdor, her missing dragon baby! He sniffs her, then takes off, and she watches, wishing she could be a dragon and fly away from all this bullshit, too.

Drogon in Meereen Daenerys,

LOOK AT YOUR BABY GROWING UP OH MY GOD THINK OF HOW MUCH HE’S BURNINATED AND EATEN TO GET SO BIG!

Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon

LITERALLY ME EVERY TIME WE SEE DRAGONS.

GUYS. DRAGONS. I NEED MORE. (Also, forever crying over Direwolves and where are my Giant Endangered Puppies?!) So did Dany just create a Lord Karstark situation for herself? Oh my god, don’t answer that if I’m onto something.

NEXT WEEK–CLICK FOR 5.3! Holy shizz, there’s a Theon/Reek sighting! Guys, S5 might be the best so far, not gonna lie. There is so much story being told! There was a lot that happened this episode, and yeah, there’s a lot to be told, but I’m satisfied, not knowing what’s to come. Remember this is the UNSULLIED place of worship, so be cool? For me?

THE BIG QUESTION FOR YOU: should Jon have become Lord Commander?

And if you needed something perfect to tide you over, check out the latest Ultimate Rap Battle:

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  • Ludo

    Hello Laura, very nice review as always ! I totally love reading them.

    Concerning the sigil of the knights wandering the countryside with Littlefinger and Sansa, these are Arryn flags – the falcon and the moon – not Tully ones. And I think there is no flag displayed outside of the inn.

    • Hey, Ludo!!

      Thanks for that insight–do we know if last week those were the flags shown when Brienne and Pod glanced over? It’s not really essential, but it does niggle at me that Podrick didn’t recognize them last week. But at least he did this episode!

      • Ludo

        Yes they had the same Arryn flags (the knights also carry Arryn shields on their backs), but I’m not sure Pod is close enough to recognize them.

        Cheers from sunny southern France!

        • Eddie H

          Maybe he just didn’t make any particular note because of where they are geographically. Not that weird for Arryn knights to be in that area I guess.

  • Moriah Gemel

    Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait.

    Baelish said something about a marriage proposal. Did we ever find out wtf that means? He said his marriage proposal had been “accepted” and then the conversation went a little hooey. WHAT IS GOING ON.

    • NO WE NEVER DID HEAR WHO IS WILLING TO MARRY HIM!!

      HOLY. SHIT. What if it’s Sarah Plain & Tall?!?

      • Moriah Gemel

        No, she’s not important enough for Baelish. This is going to be huge, I know it.

        • IDK–Baelish may not be important enough for other people. WHO KNOWS, but hopefully we won’t have to wait for a season-ending reveal that it’s Cersei. :D

          • dholton

            I noticed he never said who the marriage proposal was for. Maybe for Sansa?

            • It’s definitely a possibility (and honestly what I expected would happen). So my question is: who would he have asked/offered the proposal to gain Sansa’s hand?

              IF THIS IS A SPOILER, THEN NEVERMIND. :D

              • dholton

                Well, with Sansa, we’re off the reservation as far as the books are concerned. So not a spoiler, but I have a nasty suspicion as to whom Littlefinger has in mind. If you don’t want me to say I won’t.

                • Oh, speculation is totally fine! In the past we had a few folks who liked to “speculate” and they were always spoilers, but if the book readers don’t even know, then speculate away!

                  Also, can I just thank you from the bottom of my fearful little spoilerphobic heart for being so considerate? <3

                  • MaxwellJames

                    Hey there! Irrespective of book spoilers (which as dholton points out are less and less a factor) – do note that the first four episodes were leaked online. So there are plenty of show spoilers floating about right now.

                    • MAXWELL!! Oh my gosh, you’re a sight for sore eyes. :D

                      I have been avoiding the leaked episodes like it’s Shingles, so thanks everyone for the head’s up!

                  • dholton

                    Probably best I don’t say, as I think that my guess is based in part on hints given by various actor interviews. So I’ll continue to be considerate of your fearful little spoilerific heart. (You should get that checked out though)

                    • HAHAHAHA. Aww, you’re a peach. (And I’m on the Wait List with the local cardiologist. :D)

                • Anthony Gitto

                  We are mostly off the reservation regarding Sansa… but there is a spoiler to this question from the book to be avoided.

                  • ANTHONY!!! You’re the best. I mean it sincerely when I brag about having the best comment boards on the ‘net. <3

                    • Eddie H

                      Yeah. There is info being leaked all over about things relating to what they’re up to, so it’s a subject to avoid.

  • Anthony Gitto

    There is a disease that is similar in our World called Scleroderma. It is pretty rare and the skin doesn’t turn grey, but the skin hardens. This episode’s reference to turning into animals is new, I don’t recall that symptom being mentioned before…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scleroderma

    • Oh, right! But mostly I was praising GRRM for making a world fully realized. Often in fantasy you don’t get down to microbes/etc level of world-building.

      But yeah, them dying from it after being turned into animals is pretty amazing (I mean, HORRIBLE, but you feel me). :)

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Greyscale is creepy. Like, maybe one of the creepiest things in the books (apart from Ramsay).

  • LEW

    I don’t know if my comment on your premiere recap ever made it through, but it merits repeating regardless that I am very happy these recaps are back. Happy flails all around in the best space for happy flails!

    I have to wonder what Brienne’s Big Plan was for Sansa, once found. And Sansa probably had to wonder that as well. Initially, Brienne probably planned to bring her to her mother, or back to Winterfell, or maybe even the Eyrie to be with her aunt, but those are all now impossible or comically unwise choices. As the Hound told her, there is no safety anywhere, least of all for a Stark. So I guess I support Sansa’s decision to stay where she might learn something, and keep the whole Cynical Player Evolution thing going. Baelish might be a creep, but she at least has his number, and some serious blackmail material. She doesn’t trust him, but at least she knows him, and his considerable power in this world.

    Elsewhere: Ellaria’s got some serious crazy-eyes and I dig it, I feel like Jaime and Bronn are a perfect Dorne-bound team, and I’m so glad the Snow-Tarly ticket beat out Butthurt-YeahBoss for Lord Commander in Chief. Has Hillary picked a hype-man yet? Because Sam is pretty good at it.

    And let’s hurry up and get Tyrion to Meereen, because my girl Dany could use some savvy. Has no one in Westeros/Essos ever reconsidered the whole capital punishment thing?

    • Hello! And no, no comment last week–sad for me!!! I’m glad to see you around these parts again! (And I switched our discussion board to Disqus to help expedite comments moving through the queue, and it’s been very reliable so far. As long as you maintain the same email addresss, you won’t have to “wait in line” so to speak. Your comments will pop right up, plus they have the ability to “like” other comments, too. :)

      And you bring up an EXCELLENT point about Sansa and Brienne. Just where the hell would they go? Maybe they haven’t heard of the Boltons at Winterfell? Perhaps they’d go to the Wall? Or maybe they’d ride off together and be buddies, solving mysteries with their faithful manservant, Pod! Ha.

      Also amazing duos: JAIME AND BRONN, oh man, they are so delightful. And Sam WOULD make an excellent Hype man for anyone, wouldn’t he? I love how much heart he has, and that he’s not afraid of his own shadow anymore. Heart of a lion!

      Boy does Dany need Tyrion!! Holy smokes, with Tyrion AND Varys at her side, she’d be unstoppable!

      • LEW

        Yes, I noticed when I posted that it went right up. Fancy. Also: Democratic! Just like the Night’s Watch, apparently.

        Speaking of that, the political nerd in me really loved the fact that Vice President Maester Aemon had the tie-breaking vote. It’s just like the US Senate, xenophobia and all!

        • HAHAHA! Ugh, politics are the worst, EVEN IN MADE UP WORLDS.

          • Eddie H

            But the politics are a big part of what makes this world so intriguing!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Also – would Littlefinger have let Sansa go off with Brienne? Not likely. And I think Sansa KNEW that. Better to stay in control (and let LF think she was going along with whatever he said) than have Brienne killed off, and essentially become a prisoner again to make sure she didn’t do anything LF wouldn’t approve of..

      • LEW

        Now that I think of it, given Brienne’s Blanket Task-Loyalty issue, she might not have been planning to take Sansa with her, so much as she was offering to remain by her side. Perhaps even as she travels with Littlefinger, in the same way that she pledged herself to serve “Lady Catelyn, not the Starks.” It was Littlefinger that rejected her outright, making it Sansa’s choice between the two, instead. I think. I’d watch the scene again, but you know, work.

        Also interesting: We’re talking about this in the past tense as if Brienne is not still pursuing Sansa and Littlefinger. Now that it really is an abduction/rescue or bust situation, I’m especially curious how she expects this to play out.

        Also also interesting: The US audiobook for the series pronounces Brienne’s name “Bry-een,” and that’s how I pronounce it in my head. Weird.

        • I think you are spot on with both Brienne expecting to stay by her side and LF forcing Sansa to choose.

  • The season finale, ep. 4.10? Cersei offers Qyburn the body? Granted, he was still hanging on like in a coma, but it was pretty clear they were going to drain the body of its humours and allow Qyburn some dissection space. *shudders*

    see here: http://heydontjudgeme.com/2014/06/16/game-of-thrones-4-10-the-children/

    • Dunk the Lunk

      Hi Laura, I think “Renfield”actually said he could help, but it would “change him” – Queen C asked if it would weaken him and Renfield said no, so she said go ahead. I don’t think he’s dead.

      • Hi!! You know, you could absolutely be right. My hope was that there was poison on Oberyn’s blade and there was no turning back. (Which makes me gruesome, I know. Lol!)

      • Vi

        Yeah, they showed him last week, with a gaping, festering torso wound. He’s in bad condition, but he’s not dead. Yet. :)

        • Well… shit. (Ha at your ‘yet’!) A Girl can hope!

          • Dunk the Lunk

            He’s still singing that Monty Python you referenced in your S4E10 recap – and maybe that guy who got hit by Brianne is saying “It’s just a flesh wound”

            • …you guys have figured out the SURE FIRE way into my heart. LETTING ME KNOW YOU LAUGHED AT MY JOKES. *puts in INSTANTLY in my Last Will & Testament*

  • Lyanna Mormont

    I approve of this episode.

    I really like the way they’re staying longer in each location. There were only six storylines in this episode, and Dorne didn’t get much time, so the other locations got like ten minutes each. It leaves more room for that glorious character stuff.

    Theme: How to be a ruler. What it means to be a ruler. Whether a ruler has to follow the law and keep their word. Balance of mercy/vengeance/justice. Dany, Cersei, Doran, to some extent Stannis and Jon…

    AND! They included Lyanna Mormont’s letter! I wasn’t expecting that but I love it – as might be obvious by my username. It made me grin so big, you have no idea.

    Baelish’s comment about a marriage proposal definitely makes me very suspicious. (Everything Baelish says or does makes me very suspicious.)

    Wasn’t Tywin on Arya’s list last year? If so, it’s odd that he’s not any more, because I don’t see how she could’ve heard the news already when she just arrived in Braavos. Oh well. Hi Jaqen! Oh, sorry – “No one.” Asking Arya to give up her identity when that’s basically all she has left is a pretty tall order… but then she might not see it as much of a loss. Or will she?

    I’m torn on Ellaria. She’s very different from in the books – I won’t say how, don’t worry – and I loved Ellaria in the books, so I miss that. But I can’t help but love Show!Ellaria, because Indira Varma. (Also, bisexual woman of color.) So, I’m torn. I’ll just have to hope that the show finds a way to give the role Ellaria did play in the books to someone else.

    Are you going to love every single Martell? … Perhaps. [/Margaery]

    • Oh, but of COURSE I thought of you when they mentioned Lyanna Mormontl! :D

      I am forever shocked at how much storytelling gets crammed into every episode, and they’ve just felt meaty and satisfying, not overly crammed. (For my tastes, at least.) I gasped when I saw the Water Gardens. That’s just about how I pictured it, from the snippets of information last season, and couldn’t understand Cersei’s derision, as if it’s some backwater. Then again, we’ve only seen the palace, so maybe it’s all Flea’s Bottom beyond the garden wall?

      I ache over the thought of Arya not thinking there’s any reason to remain a Stark and thereby giving up her name to become A Girl. But damn, if that’s not a fascinating story! I have no idea, obv. if that’s what’s going to happen, but I love it (as much as I sad face it).

      Ellaria, if you remember from last season, quickly became an especial favorite of mine, so that means i need to hate her so she doesn’t die horrifically.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Oh! Look, I’m featured!

      *swoons like Ygritte*

      More thoughts on the episode:

      Gilly and Shireen are the best match-up ever. Remember Gilly calling Sam a wizard because he could learn things from marks on paper? Now she’s learning to be a wizard, too! And Shireen is just going to teach all of Westeros to read, one person at a time.

      The Wall story was a little… less-than-optimally paced. Now, I don’t know how much story the Watch will get this season, maybe they HAD to squeeze all this into one episode, but… I can’t help but picture the offer to make Jon the Lord of Winterfell as the last scene of this episode, letting all the fans talk up a storm about that for a week, then putting the election for Lord Commander in the next ep. Give it time to simmer a bit!

      I’ve seen a few people compare the Dany/Mossador situation to Robb and Karstark, and plot-wise that’s very similar. But visually…? Visually, it was Ned’s Stark’s beheading that this scene brought back memories of.

      • Eddie H

        Good job Shireen. Even in Westeros someone needs to promote literacy.

  • MaxwellJames

    As a book reader, this is an fascinating time to be watching the show, since I’ve quickly realized that like Jon Snow, I know nothing (anymore). That’s especially true since I’ve mostly unplugged from following GoT news sites, I’m sure.

    So from my perspective, this season is off to a rollicking and highly unpredictable start. Some parts are almost comfortingly predictable as a well-loved pair of woolly socks (even when they involve, uh, copious bloodletting), whereas others are truly terra incognita.

    Three thoughts:

    – On seeing Presentation Snake, I’m pretty sure Jaime immediately thought, “I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams.” Especially after getting Cersei’s ultimatum.

    – While Bronn’s always a delight, his scene with Lollys was the first time I got a Marx Bros. vibe from him. I hope those two kids can make it work somehow, since she’s clearly the Margaret Dumont to his Groucho. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3FZ_jtDMVg

    – Thanks to being burned in the past, I’m definitely trying to keep my Star Wars Pandora’s Box tightly closed. But I am soooooo psyched that Gwendolyn Christie will be in it.

    Your recaps are a delight as always!

    • Welcome to the world of the Unsullied! :D (And same re: Star Wars. My first and forever fandom!)

      Jaime is definitely not waiting for Cersei’s sweet charity, is he? Longing for it? I think so. But not counting on it. I am VERY excited to see him interact with his daughter–I assume that’s where we’re headed at some point.

      And hahaha, you’re spot on with Bronn. Nothing worse than being the smartest guy in the room, unless you know how to have fun with it.

      I’m so happy to have you back, Maxwell! Of course you know that anytime Stannis is on screen, you come to mind. Yeah, yeah, the guy’s King material. ;)

      • MaxwellJames

        That’s funny, as there are way bigger Stan fans than myself out there (my personal rooting interest for who should take the Iron Throne is: nobody, at least not since Renly bit it). He’s definitely got an unattractive tendency towards humorlessness, self-pity, and, er, torching people. BUT – he is decisive, and somewhat fair, and those are qualities many of these would-be rulers don’t have.

        • Oh, but you were the one who patiently waited for me to figure it out!

          And it’s funny how the best leaders aren’t necessarily the most likeable. Because Robb Stark would have probably filled that bill. But… *cries*

  • cdvla313

    I just wanted to say I’m really happy you’re still doing recaps for GoT, b/c the other site I read recaps stopped doing them. SO THANK YOU FOR BEING AWESOME.

    Also awesome? House Martell. Granted, don’t know how the show’s going to really do things, but so far it all seems to be great. Sands Snakes! <3

    And finally, yes, you're going to love the books when you finally get to read them, solely based on the sheer amount of world building. :D

    • The only way I’d stop writing about this show is if they introduced clowns and a Rudy Huxtable and added a high school musical. :D

      Oh man, give me all the world building fantasy novels, please!! <3

      • LEW

        I wouldn’t blame you for giving up the writing part if all that happened, though. I’d have to devote all my time and attention to just watching it, too.

  • I love so much the richly designed cities on this show. I was thinking the same thing about the waterways, the bustling life of Braavos!

    I was worried about Pod, too! But then, I think he’s so valuable as a tension breaker that the show really needs– SHIT. I JUST DOOMED HIM DIDN’T I?!

    I wondered about Ellaria getting to yell at a prince, too. And Jon knows nothing… about the hell his life is about to become, I suspect. THANKS, SAM. =P (ha)

  • Char Turner

    Tyrion and Varys can’t get to Mereen fast enough. Daenerys needs some politically savvy advisors by her side *hiss*.

  • Colleen

    GAH! Show! Show, what are you doing to me? Laura, I don’t know if anyone has told you, but err.. we’re all Unsullied now as the show has departed from the books. I am really enjoying the feeling!!

    Here’s a question… how is Pod the Sex God if he can’t stay on the horse?

    You will love all of House Martell, it is known. In fact, if you ever play Game of Thrones Ascent, you’ll probably become a Martell because they have the coolest talents. Geeking out right there.

    Great recap, thanks for sharing?

    • LOL at Pod the Sex God! See, my guess is that he’s all hip thrust and that saddle required thigh squeezing? I DON’T KNOW, HE’S A BEAUTIFUL IDIOT.

      OMG, more things I can’t do until this damn show wraps!!! D: (Lol!) Thank YOU, Colleen!

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    *tired wave* Hey Laura, it’s Ivo under my official Disqus ID. Pardon me as I vainly try to restore energy after a draining day of avoiding my boss.
    YES! Do you realize I had to spend 9 months without your GoT recap, you FIEND? I mean, there’s no excuse. You could have recapped entirely imaginary episodes or something to fill the gap.
    Unrelated book tip: Patrick Rothfuss. Also, a new biography of Joseph Stalin if you’re into that kind of thing (which I am, having read an absolutely embarrassing number of Stalin biographies WAIT why is everyone backing away from me?)
    Where was I?
    Arya. Is. The. Best. Dany is just…young and entitled. (which you have to pronounce right or women will slap you upside the head, I’ve noticed) Brienne is Dumb Honor Personified. She’s like Nedette Stark. Jon is still Mr Mopey-Pants. And Stannis is so cheerfully uncheerful it cracks me up every time. Plus, I just saw a wonderful movie called “The Guard” which gives you a whole new look at Davos Seaworth, among others.
    Prince Bashir of Dorne is all kinds of tired awesome, and I’m looking forward to the Sand Snakes because they’re purty. NO! I meant to say, because they’re Bad Grrls with attitude for days.
    Perhaps I should switch to decaf.

    • IVO!!! Oh, it’s good to see you back! And hahaha re: your other comment on Sansa being outed. YEP. I’m guessing that’s why they bugged out of there so quickly, not just the knights/hired guards but Sansa and Littlefinger, too. Brienne is as loyal as she is thick when it comes to political intrigue.

      Arya continues to be in my Top Three Characters, but so does Dany. I think we’re being forced (painfully) to remember how young she is, and when a young person gets absolute power as she’s done (DRAGONS. OVERTHROWING GOVERNMENTS) there’s a blind spot in their vision. WHICH WAS WHY SHE NEEDED JORAH. :(

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    By the way, has Sansa just been outed in an inn full of random passers-by? Isn’t she supposed to be like Public Enemy #2 after Tyrion? Nice one, Brienne!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Not just outed as still being around, but outed as being with LF. If word of that ever makes its way back to KL, Petyr had better be very careful of ever meeting up with Cersei again.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        On the plus side, the current Whispers organization is in transition so it might not be functioning at peak efficiency. Particularly since Qyburn keeps torturing employees to death and then experimenting on their corpses. HR has concerns.

  • Eddie H

    hAHAHAha! Wow I loved your version of Lyanna’s letter. But I did get a weird look from the guy spraying our office for bugs.
    Qyburn is such a creep! (In a major creep voice) “May I have the dwarf head your majesty?” EW!
    Jon Snow basically is Ned Stark and obviously that makes me nervous, but I’m beginning to believe that maybe he’s supposed to restore our hope in honor and doing things the right way (not that that worked for Dany though)
    In response to you saying this might be the best season, I basically shouted that out the first time I saw a preview for this season. I’m just glad that being overtly nerdy about all of this has become more socially acceptable, because I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it!)

  • Lyanna Mormont

    1. YES.

    2. Even if Sansa believed Brienne, would LF ever let her slip out of his grasp? I think Sansa knew that doing anything but telling Brienne to leave would amount to a death sentence for the Maid of Tarth.

    4. Well, Ellaria is basically his sister-in-law. With both his sister and
    his brother dead, he might be willing to make allowances for the family
    he has left.

    5. YES YES YES!

    6. Danger all around for Jon, I agree. And he doesn’t have Grenn and Pyp to guard his back. (Still mourning.)

  • Jay

    “I’m satisfied, not knowing what’s to come”

    At this point, even the readers don’t. HUZZAH!

    • Jay

      Oh and I’m glad someone at Winter Is Coming reminded me of the recaps here.

      (also A Song Of Ice and Lolz has resurrected itself. HELLO AGAIN, FUNNY GOT WOMEN, I MISSED YOU!)

      (pours out some for the guy at The Backlot who’s skipping this season, he’s really funny too)