Game of Thrones 5.4 – Sons of the Harpy

First off, I want to thank Super Reader Tran for the generous donation to keep the website going! We have our yearly bill coming up, so it was timely and very appreciated. THANK YOU!

But back to GoT… Previously! My daughter just saw the Harpy on the Merreen pyramid and said, “Boob eagle!” So in my head, that’s what I’m calling them from now on. Look, you understand religion in your way, let me understand it in mine. Interesting to note that only one of the Westeros religions praises sex while the others condemn it. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

A LOT happened this episode, and if you don’t think these first four eps are the tightest the of the show’s history, then:

how dare you


ETA: And as always, be sure to read through our AWESOME, SPOILER FREE comments section, where some of the liveliest convos are happening. (I have a few theories about Specific Name Dropping in them, for example!)

We open with Jorah knocking out a fisherman, taking his boat and tossing in a bound and gagged Tyrion. The other be-shipped Lannister is Jaime, en route to Dorne, but before they get there, they pass the Sapphire Isle, aka Tarth, aka Brienne’s home. His little smile is my everything, guys. Their Brotp gives me life. Bronn, however, isn’t looking forward to their final destination, which is crazy, because if ever there was a guy who belonged in the land of fucking and fighting, it’s Bronn.

But Bronn explains, “We’ll have loads of fighting, to be sure. But when we kidnap the princess, I doubt we’ll be sticking around for the loads of fucking.” Well, he’s not wrong. Also, Bronn is pretty sure the princess ain’t Jaime’s “niece.” And also, Tyrion didn’t get himself out on his own, did he? But don’t think Jaime feels warmly about Tyrion after murdering their father. Jaime wants to split his brother in two with his sword, then perform a different sort of sword splitting with his sister, in whose arms he wishes to die.

You know who could use some family counseling? The Lannisters.

Also some financial counseling, because Braavos is calling in a portion of the Lannister debt, which, as they loudly proclaim, ahem, they always pay. So… [sucks teeth] Lord Tyrell is proving to be a useful patsy, saying he can loan the money, because his daughter—wink at Cersei!–is good for it.

Cersei: [simpers] Oh, but you’ve done so much. No, instead, we need to send someone important, someone they’ll trust. [beatific grin at him]
Cersei: And the King loves his new PeePaw In Law so much that he’s sending his best assassin, I mean, best guard. Ser Meryn.
Ser Meryn: [forked tongue hiss]
Arya: I HAVEN’T FORGOTTON YOU [continues to chant her list]
Cersei: [coughs] That’s because you’re a moron [cough]
Lord Tyrell: What was that?
Cersei: SAFE TRAVELS DEAR MAN. Oh let me speak with the High Sparrow! Glass of wine?
High Sparrow: I don’t drink.
Cersei: I’m sorry?
HS: I said, I don’t drink?
Cersei: No, terribly sorry, I didn’t catch that, either. You’ll have to say that in my good ear…
HS: I’m trying to say that I don’t care for the taste of wine.
Cersei: See, I can tell that your lips are moving, but it’s all coming out jibberish. Here, let me take a sip… Now. Where were we?
HS: I can honestly say that I have no idea.
Cersei: Here’s the thing: I want an army… of righteous men. You shall lead them, they shall have dominion over bodies and souls, meting out justice as they see fit. Religious fervor, armed fanatics, total control over deviants, what could go wrong?
HS: Gosh! I say! Yes, Faith Militant sounds marvelous!
Me: DID ANYONE READ HISTORY BOOKS?! I mean, I get the symbolism, etc. but [stuffs face with popcorn]
HS: By the way, I don’t believe you realize that this just might come back to bite you on the ass, but all sinners are equal in the eyes of God.
Cersei: Yes, yes, muffled buzzing from you about something I’m sure you find important, but what about I lead you to a particular person with whom to start your Crusade? more wine?
HS: I’ve told you, I don’t drink.
Cersei: Does anyone understand a word he’s saying?

[Frightening scene recreating Jesus tossing out the money lenders from the temple, but you know, less Jesus and more dudes in black robes with a sigil of the Seven Gods cut into their face and way more boobs and murder]

Lancel, freshly marked, leads a group to arrest Loras. NO NOT BEAUTIFUL CURLS LORAS! Gee dee it, Lancel, you boned family, you do NOT get to stand in judgment of others! Margaery bursts into the King’s chambers, who’s eating a nummy lunch of ants on a log and baloney roll ’em ups, an apple juice sippy box at hand. She wants to know if he likes her. Like, like likes her.

Of course he does! Then please set her brother free, Beautiful Strong King. Well, first he’s going to grumble at Mummy who has a few more years of manipulating young men than Margaery, and manages to dump the task onto Tommen. After all, she doesn’t have Loras locked up, the church does.

He goes to see the High Sparrow, but he cannot get past the Militant. The Kingsguard are absolutely ready to throw down and send these holy rollers to meet the gods they love, but Tommen doesn’t like the icky thought of blood. (Because he’s a good person at heart which is why he’s a terrible king.)

Plus, the crowd starts calling him an abomination and filthy bastard–not incest Flower in the Attic? huh–so Tommen and his men clear out. Oh, this Sweet Summer Child is not ready for the job, is he? Margaery is over trying to coddle him and goes to take matters into her own hands. And I’m not talking about Loras, Tommen. He’s gonna learn real quick how some women use sex as a reward… or punishment.

Stannis watches Jon train his men at the wall with fondness and longing (o! to have a son!) and don’t think for a second that Grumpy Wife Selyse isn’t internalizing that as a failure on her part to provide an heir. Fire Crotch Mage shuts her down and reminds Stannis that he needs her to win the upcoming battle at Winterfell. Okay, Stannis’ needs are being met, but what about what Fire Crotch Mage needs? Speaking of Jon, with the help of Samwise Samwell Samwood Porkins, is sending out ravens to local Houses for supplies and men.

Jon: [holds out letter with tongs] OH NO. NOT THIS ONE.
Sam: Yes, I understand, but he has things we need.
Sam: Yes, it’s a dreadful business, but we’re actually desperate?
Jon: [literally signs an X instead of his name, doodles a hairy peen under it]

Fire Crotch Mage enters for a “word” with Jon, explaining that she wants him… to march to Winterfell since he knows the place like the back of her hand. But Jon isn’t going, okay?

FCM: [shows her boobs]
Jon: Yes, I see. You make a compelling argument.
FCM: Awesome. I haven’t had a good lay in a while.
Stannis: [frowns, but he doesn’t know why]

Melissandre and Jon Snow


GOT jon FCM 2

Your GEE DEE right you still love her, Jon Snow.

Me: [puts pitchfork down]
Jon: No, but seriously. No. NO MEANS NO.
FCM: Dammit. That makes me want you more. Fiiiiiiiiiine.

And haha, that she says “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” is both ridiculous and hilarious.

Little Newt goes to see Papa, wanting to know if he’s ashamed of her like Mummy is. And we learn that a doll Stannis bought off a Dornish peddler when Little Newt was born carried the greyscale disease that almost killed her. Okay, knowing Stannis feels guilt for his daughter’s affliction changes a LOT for me, you guys. Also, it’s good to know what Stone Men are now (don’t think I haven’t been gritting my teeth each time y’all have mentioned them—we non-book readers are just learning this stuff!).

I love how much Stannis really loves his daughter, and how sweet she is. Aww! “You are Princess Shireen of House Baratheon!” I JUST HAVE A TREE OR SOMETHING IN MY EYE, I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING.

Shireen Baratheon smiling at Stannis

LOOK AT THAT WEE MUFFIN NUGGET’S SWEET SMILE! I’m so glad we got her off of LV-426 in the knick of time. <3

Sansa is in the catacombs under Winterfell, paying homage to her ancestors, and I’m just constantly on tenterhooks for her, especially with Baelish lurking about like a freaking vampire bat in the background. He slithers forward, tells her the story of her aunt Lyanna and how the Mad King’s son Rhaegar Targaryen gave her a crown of flowers at a tournament instead of to his wife Elia Martell. WAIT. OBERYN’S SISTER? She was married to a Targaryen when The Mountain killed her, he raped her, he murdered her children? (Oberyn flashbacks, sorry.)

Okay, genealogy time: Rhaegar, the Mad King’s son, older brother to Daenerys, married to Oberyn’s sister, knew Ned Stark, Baelish was a poor kid hitching a ride with Catelyn’s family at the shindig. GOT IT.

Sansa reminds him that the story isn’t so lovely with flowers and jousts, but that Rhaegar also kidnapped her aunt Lyanna and raped her. So, not such a great story, Littlefinger.

Baelish tells her he’s gotta bail to keep Cersei from sniffing things out, but hold tight, Sansa, because Baelish knows about Stannis coming, so it won’t be long until she’s with people who are her friends, aka, not the family Baelish is trying to marry her into. He’s got it all figured out, see? Stannis will roll over the Boltons and establish her as Wardeness of the North. And if it all goes to smash, why, Ramsay’s already fallen for her (lol) and she can manipulate him!


GoT note from Cersei to Baelish with stamp

Look who’s all fancy with his own sigil stamps now!

Okay, I think I’m getting what Baelish has planned all along, but I just don’t know if he’s the puppet master he believes himself to be.

Jaime and Bronn row to shore, or rather, Bronn does because of the whole one hand thing. Hahaha, Jaime is such a little shit. If you watch this scene where they’re pulling their boat onto the beach, you might be able to see Gendry rowing in an endless circle. I ASSUME THAT’S HAPPENING, SINCE WE HAVEN’T SEEN HIM IN A WHILE.

Bronn kills a snake right next to Jaime’s face for a lovely breakfast.

jaime Lannister Bronn kills a snake


Oh my god, give me a spin off show with these two knuckleheads snarking at one another. I mean, it’s the perfect Odd Couple reboot.

Bronn: You dying by snake would make for a great hit song.
Jaime: I don’t like music. Besides, there’s only two songs in Westeros. They’re all hits.
Bronn: [stares at camera, cue laugh track]

Hey, I wonder if that almost a death by a snake is a portent of things to come? DO NOT SPOIL ME OR I’LL SIC BRONN ON YOU.

And seriously, if you don’t love Bronn, you’re not paying attention. He wants to die of old age as people squabble over his wealth because he’s lived an exciting life, so let’s go for a boring death. Jaime wants to die in the arms of the woman he loves. So, Cersei, he means, and who doesn’t want that with her brother, given her constantly sending him off to his death to prove his love. Looks like you’ll never get what you want, huh, Jaime?

Well, looks like they’re not getting either, since some Dornish soldiers have been alerted to their presence. They say they’re Cooper and Darnell, and Bronn then takes out two guys, cuts down a horse making it easier for Jaime to fight one-handed—time to put that training to the test! Well, he gets a C-. Still passing, but sloppy. (Excellent use of the gold hand to catch the blade, and I wonder why he hadn’t thought of it before?)

Let me take a moment to fawn over the beautiful horseflesh in this episode, especially the one Elaria Sand rides. And let me take another moment to ululate to the heavens for the bad ass Sand Snakes who have captured Jaime’s captain and have buried him to the chin in the sand with scorpions. The highest of fives, gals. The oldest (I think?) Obara, who wears Matahualan-style boots [the ones that curl up at the front–these are REALLY common where I live, actually], chose to fight her battles long ago. She will fight for her father. She easily tosses a spear into the captain’s head.

Sand Snakes in Dorne

Oberyn Martell’s AMAZING daughters, the Sand Snakes. AHHHH, I LOVE DORNE.

Tyrion, still aboard Jorah’s purloined boat, sings through his gag to irritate Jorah to death. No, Jorah Death is not coming for Jorah today–he just removes the gag. And HA. HA HA HA, folks, because I called it (and I love each of you who agreed who the Queen was). Tyrion notes they’re not headed to Westeros. Oho! They are heading towards QUEEN DAENERYS TARGARYEN, THE QUEEN HE SERVES. But it’s funny, because that’s where he was headed, Jorah. Tyrion, who is so very clever, figures out the story of Jorah and how he was passing notes to Varys, and Dany must have found out and exiled her.

Peter Dinklage flipping you off.

What I imagine was going through Tyrion’s head as he figured it out.

Jorah smacks him across the face to shut him up. Hitting a bit too close to home, huh? [Khaleesi!!]

Dany hears some less rape-filled family stories about Rhaegar from Ser Barristan until Daario interrupts with business. Duty calls, m’Lady. Hazdar is still pushing for organized MMA fighting to be legitimized. The people of Meereen rich and poor are united in that sport, after all, and this argument is presented while Sons of the Harpy skulk about underground with slaves following.

Sons of the Harpy

These men did NOT take a vow of poverty.

In the streets, they start slitting the throats of men chatting up ladies (oho! This keeps happening, so Imma go out on a limb and say Meereen prostitutes can’t be trusted). The Unsullied are sent down a hallway by one of the women, who is in on the scheme. The Unsullied are outnumbered and out maneuvered, even though they get some good licks in. In fact, Grey Worm is one of them getting in those licks. Shit. The Sons of the Harpy are taking out the Unullied all over the city and it is looking bad, gang.

The bells ring, and Ser Barristan–the man who was the greatest swordsman alive, who painted his canvas in shades of red, who could slice through Kingsguard like butter on a hot summer day–goes off in search of whatever trouble is causing a panic. Grey Worm, who is no small shakes on the battlefield, too, takes a bad hit but keeps fighting, and it’s five on one when a cry sounds: a Boob Eagle devotee getting stabbed by Ser Barristan!

Six to one with Grey Worm keeping three at bay? Yikes. Ser Barristan gets in several kills, but he’s old, and there are so many. D: The keep coming, he keeps fighting until he gets hammied by one of the Boob Eagle men, and GOD DAMMIT. HE WAS SO GOOD, THOUGH. Well, he takes out two more before falling to the ground, Grey Worm taking out the last Son before he could slit Barristan’s throat. But it doesn’t matter. They’ve all fallen, both Unsullied and Sons.

And as the blood spreads between the cobbles, the bells keep ringing.


[And I hope you all appreciate that I was trying to be classy there at the end, otherwise you would have gotten an MMM WHATCHA SAY! earworm. YOU’RE WELCOME.]

So much religious fervor this episode! Except we’ve not seen any Weirwood worship, huh? (This would have been a great time for some Bran and Three-Eyed Ravens, I’m just saying.) Why is anyone a part of a religion that doesn’t allow sex? Wait, because the Sons of the Harpy are working with prostitutes, does that mean they don’t see that as a sin? Hmm. (If it’s a spoiler, please don’t tell me!)

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NEXT WEEK: Holy crap, Tyrion’s face seeing a dragon fly overhead is everything to me.  CLICK HERE FOR 5.5 KILL THE BOY

Reminder: I’m not a book reader and TERRIBLY spoiler-phobic, so help a gal out by not hinting at things to come or details from the books (yes, they are spoilers if not explicitly depicted on screen.) <3 (Seriously. I won’t respond, okay? I REALLY don’t want to be spoiled for this show that I love so dearly. Talking politics that haven’t SPECIFICALLY happened on screen are spoilers.)