PREVIOUSLY! OH HEY ANYTHING GOOD ON TV RECENTLY? I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I’M STUCK IN CAPSLOCK I’M JUST SOOOOOO
Oh, whoops. I actually had the capslock button engaged on my laptop, sorry for that. Ahem. Hi! So… pretty boring intro for the season, right?
THAT IS A DIRTY DAMN LIE, THE DIRTIEST I EVER TOLD. Ooooooh my gosh, you guys, I have been waiting for this show! And you! And it’s been 84 years since Cersei blew up half the damn city because she is the worst, most petulant mother-in-law in history, and I’m just so overcome right now to have more story?
Aaaaand consider this your obligatory reminder that I am Unsullied. I have not read the books, I have promised not to read the books until the show is over, I’m incredibly Spoiler-Phobic (waves a hello to new readers I met at Con of Thrones) and I will not brook book discussion on this site. Really wanting to split hairs about that sort of thing? I highly recommend my pals at Watchers On The Wall for that. But here, talk about the SHOW ONLY, and keep it to aired episodes. Please and thank you, A Girl has No Chill. [forehead kisses]
We open with a misdirection scene so delicious I could kiss my fingers. Argus Filch Frey has invited the whole house Slytherin to the Great Hall (ceiling forecast: cloudy with a hint of deception) to share wine just a few days after their last feast, and these dum-dums are so addlepated they don’t see that as a tip-off. Frey is the least generous man in Westeros.
He congratulates them on slaughtering women, children and guests—which the Gods do not forgive—and as they die choking on their own hubris (poisoned wine), we see Arya Stark, Ultra Assassin©, remove Frey’s face, and delivers a “HEY WELCOME BACK TO GAME OF THRONES” line to the poor girl currently forced into the role of Filch-Frey’s wife:
“When you tell people what happened here, tell them: ‘The North remembers.’”
Hey. Guys? I freaking love this show. Also, that was a lovely bit of acting there on David Bradley’s part, I want to point out. Lovely little tics and bemused grins to let the audience know Something Is Not Right.
Quick: someone commission a bard to write a song to rival “The Rains of Castamere” song for the Stark Family. (A Girl can hope…)
Also, you’re a liar if you try to convince me that you didn’t hum/sing/interpretive dance along with the intro, or holler out when you saw a new place on the map. It’s cool. You’re among family. I support you in all of your embarrassing decisions. NO I AM NOT PROJECTING, HOW VERY DARE YOU SUGGEST I SCARED THE CAT WITH A PIROUETTE. (She’ll be fine.)
The army of the dead is on the move, they’re bringing Winter with them, and it’s terrifying. AHHHH THEY HAVE GIANTS. Undead giants = my new favorite most horrible zombie ever. Also, RIP George Romero. Side observation #2: Meera is apparently WAY stronger than she looks, because she dragged Brandon Stark on a sled all the way from the Children’s Tree (RIP, Hodor, #NeverForget) and I’m just super worried about Bran being marked by the Night King on his forearm, and him going through the Gate and that making it so the Army of the dead can move past the wall. Did we ever determine if that was a thing on the show? We didn’t yet, right? That’s a mystery still to be solved. Gah.
And let me point out that a few eps back I said someone needs to build a spreadsheet of Valyrian steel swords (I nominate Samwell Gamgee Red Leader Porkins Tarley, Maester-in-Training), but now we see Jon taking shit seriously by trying to locate any and all dragonglass. Both? Can we locate and inventory both? Also, Jon gets bonus points for opening up enrollment in the army to the female-identified. WAY TO BE PROGRESSIVE, MY DUDE.
OH HO HO, DOUBLE HEART-EYED BONUS POINTS, for the record, for my pretend-daughter, Lyanna Mormont, who shuts down Lord “Girls can’t fight! By the way, neither did I” Glover with her smackdown of awesomeness, encouraged by the most delighted smile Brienne of Tarth has ever given anyone. Lyanna Mormont is the future of Westerosi women, and I am HERE. FOR. IT.
Best line: “I don’t need your permission to defend the north.”
Lyanna Mormont? Allow me to say this. I don’t believe you need a mother, but if you want one, I will knit you lumpy sweaters and make sure you don’t catch a chill and slip treats in your backpack and tell you how amazing and fierce and proud of you I am. (I have a soft spot for awesome pre-teen/teen girls, I can’t help it. I LOVE YOU, BABIES. YOU’RE DOING SO GOOD, SWEETIE. I AM SO PROUD.)
Everything isn’t butter on biscuits, though, because Sansa brings up some good points as Jon lays out some strategy. The Karstarks and Umbers are garbage people and should lose their holds. Jon’s theory is: #NotAllKarstarks. Well… I feel like this will come back to bite Jon in the ass via Baelish. Takers of that bet? (Don’t. That’s a Sucker’s Bet.)
Jon calls forth the heirs of the Umbers and Karstarks, who are reasonably nervous at the attention, but they are 1) a teen girl (hooray!) and a young little boy and 2) smart enough to realize where they are in this Game. They take oaths to support Jon, whew. It’s a good move, but it’s not a great move. Oh, not with respect to them, they get to keep a roof over their head. But what’s the damn tagline for this joint? THE NORTH REMEMBERS. That also means they remember turncoats and pederasts, I assume.
After the council meeting, Jon and Sansa bicker about bickering in public, and Sansa makes a comparison between Jon and Joffrey.
Sansa? Camera three. Girl, baby girl, beautiful Titian goddess, you know I have your back. I do. But comparing anyone to Joffrey is basically Godwin’s Law. Like, you don’t throw out your Ace of Spades when the table shows a 6 of Diamonds and a 10 of Clubs, ya feel? (She does, fortunately.)
In fact, Sansa is so smart she knows that Ned and Robb were too good by half and it left them vulnerable for mistakes that cost them their lives, and it put their House in jeopardy. (And how!) A raven comes from King’s Landing calling them out from Queen Cersei and she takes a moment to think on how and why Cersei made all the horrible decisions in her miserable life.
Speaking of… Cersei is getting a little reno done back in KL: a new map of the world in her private courtyard. She’s still pretty cocky even without her metal epaulettes and neck chain, and then Jaime drops a little knowledge: Yeah, they may have enemies surrounding them, but people won’t flock to support those who they perceive as the losing side. And the Lannisters? Well, well, well, for once they look to be the losing side.
Cersei: I’m the queen of seven king–
Jaime: Three. Three kingdoms at best. I think you’re drunk on power and forget how to math?
Cersei: I also forgot I have no heirs.
Jaime: OH THAT WAS SOMETHING I NOTICED RIGHT AWAY, WOW. WHAT THE HELL. OUR BABY. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS?
Cersei: No. I see it as betrayal, though? Also, Revealio of my age: I’m 40.
Laura: OH HO HO, GIRL WHAT FACE CREAM YOU BUYING, asking for a friend.
Cersei: Also I paid attention to Pop and his strategizing, even though he thought I was stupid.
Laura: You kind of were. ….did I say that out loud? Cersei, don’t kill me.
Cut to: DRAGON SQUID SHIPS. I want to write a thousand words about the squid ships. They are magnificent. They are gorgeous. They are build off Spanish Galleys, and they’re so wonderful to behold, even though they’re Greyjoy/Euron/Braggart dunderhead-owned. Looks like he got his 1,000 ships, and wow, they are so beautiful. (Side note: I’m super lusty about Age of Sail stuff. It’s awesome. Euron… not so much.)
Not awesome: Cersei hinting that she’s going to bone Euron. Even weirder, when Jaime reminds Euron that he’s an upstarting PoS who exists to stir the pot and profit, Euron is all smiles. “Yep! That’s me! And by the way, I loved watching you fight and kill my family. Fun stuff! No, really, I enjoyed that. I’m also the greatest captain in all the seas.”
Cersei: [yawns] But what do you want? It’s wine o’clock. Chop-chop.
Euron: A pretty wedding with you, and your dress’s train will be 22 feet long, because Lady Diana’s was 20. Also note that I have two hands. [looks at Jaime]
Jaime: Bitch says WHAT?
Euron: WHAT. Yeah. I get the joke. I’m the master of the single entendre.
Cersei: That’s a soft no.
Euron: …that’s not a hard no. Know what is hard?
Cersei: Burying all three of your children, pulling off the genocide of half the town and all the religious wonks, usurping the throne, and being forced to listen to you insult my brother-lover?
Euron: Erm… Let me fetch you a gift, maybe firm that up to a yes.
$10 bucks it’s Tyrion’s soft, dry cock? (Don’t take it, it’s also a Sucker’s Bet.)
Back at the Citadel, we see that it’s not all book learning and knowledge harvesting. Instead, it’s more bedpan clearing and shit dumping, and Sam, you have suffered enough. SAMWELL TARLEY: YOU KILLED A WHITE WALKER. YOU DESERVE BETTER. (But the montage they shot is hilarious of bedpans and gruel and books and grunting and hahahaha. That was a magnificently awful montage.)
Sam can see the Restricted Section, however, and without an invisibility cloak, who knows how he’ll gain access to learn how to defeat the White Walkers?? (I want you to know that I write these as I watch, and I didn’t know it was honestly called the Restricted Section, and I’m laughing as the Maester tells Sam he’s not eligible. Where is Samwell’s McGonagall with a permission slip and a Time Turner? …Sam is Hermione here, we all get that, right?)
Something I freaking love, as a non-book reader. Look, I love the show. But you and I both know there’s more information IN the books than there is within the show. It’s the nature of the medium. When the Maester who’s training Sam in body organ weights explains how the folks at the Citadel aren’t like the others in Westeros or Essos, that they serve as the memory of humanity, it’s a good reminder that these people have sworn a sort of pledge to impartiality. You and I know there’s no time for it, but they don’t. It’s frustrating. The cold analytical side of academia often is. But I did appreciate the reminder that it’s an element to humanity, as was shown here.
But also, oh my god, let Sam read the Big Boy books.
The beauty of being a Constant Reader/Watcher: We’ve understood that this is the Ultimate Boss Battle coming soon. We’re told over and over, “Never in a thousand years, never a ____ since 1,000 years prior,” and if you read The Princess Bride, (and you absolutely should, it’s a marvelous book), the whole point of 1,000 years is that it’s the time of Change. It’s frustrating in a delicious, tension-building way, to be reminded that we’re at that turning point. And this man doesn’t get that. And that it seems only Samwell, in a land of learned, sign-seeking men, truly understands the gravity of the situation, which is befitting for this sort of story.
Theory: Sam is going to ruin his chance at his chain but will save the world. It’s the GoT equiv of Krum catching the Snitch, but Ireland winning the Cup. #NerdAlert
Cue: Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Sign Your Name” and hit the slo-mo. Why? Because Gjördkr the Pêrv Nømmër, previous known as Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter, then Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër but for new folks coming along, I’m talking about Tormund, Gjördkr has his eye on Brienne as she soundly defeats Pod in hand-to-hand combat. I don’t care about Littlefinger flirting with Sansa, that’s how much I love what’s happening in the yard. (I totally care and I hate Littlefinger, and oh, did we ever talk about Baelish’s hair resembling the markings of a mockingbird? Because THEY DO. Dammit, Baelish insists on stealing attention, and I hate him.) Brienne, however, shows up and shuts him down. Brienne: Ultimate Wingman.
BUT HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE. Arya, on horseback, is making her way to… who knows where. And Ed Sheeran is on the show? Singing??And she’s as shocked as I am that people in Westeros know another song. (I’m mostly shocked by a pop star popping up, but eh.) Edit: it seems Sheeran left SM because of backlash, and I now feel bad for making jokes about him popping up, even though I stand by my “What?” reaction. I didn’t hate it though.
hese guys seem a decent lot, and if I may quote The Princess Bride (just read the book, it’s brilliant), “You seem a decent man. I hate to kill you.” Oh, she’s not actually killing anyone this time? She’s getting that under control? Good girl, you’re growing up, my little murder teen!
She gathers that even though they’re Lannisters, they don’t follow blindly. They really are super decent dudes. They want to go home. They want to be with their families. They want to love and raise their children. But Arya still has her list… and Cersei’s at the top.
Question: on a scale of one to invading
Russia The North in the Winter, how bad is this idea of trying to assassinate Cersei?
It appears the Hound has taken up with the Brotherhood–best way to keep a regular meal, I suspect–and he’s bitching about it the whole way, because he’s the worst tagalong in Westeros, hahah. There’s a real lack of roast chickens in his life now, and he’s bitter about it. He also doesn’t understand why Beric keeps getting a redo on life. Clegane has a pretty damn insightful look into humanity, reality and fairness, but that’s not how the Lord of Light operates, he’s told.
(Me: Religion is a pox of contradictions and injustices, but okay.)
The Hound actually looks into the flames and is visibly shocked. He sees a wall of ice. “The” Wall. It’s… real, the whole looking into the flames thing? Huh. Clegane also sees an upcoming siege at one of the Castles at the Wall. (Oh no, the castle the Wildlings, aka Gjördkr was assigned to protect?!?) He’s as shocked as I am.
IF TORMUND…. Dammit, not even going to say it.
While everyone sleeps, Sandor digs a grave for the bodies they found along the way—the man and child he robbed when he was with Arya–because Sandor Clegane is a fucking Good Guy now, thanks to Ian McShane. He’s responsible for their death in many ways and tries to right that wrong. Old Sandor would argue that they were responsible for their own death by not being smart enough to avoid being robbed.
I do love that when we go back to the Citadel we see that Gilly is there with Sam, because I was super worried about her. Awesome: Gilly’s reading has vastly improved. She wants to help because she’s a delight. (I will hear NOTHING BAD about Gilly!) And OH HO HO. It turns out that the whole island of Dragonstone is Dragonglass!! He immediately writes a letter to Jon, because YES. SHARE INFORMATION.
GUISE.While Sam is cleaning up bedpans and dirty dishes, JORAH “THROATILY REPLIED” MORMONT IS IN A CELL WANTING HIS KHALEESI AND I AM GOING TO BURST INTO TEARS. His entire forearm is covered in Greyscale, first of all. D: <– my face
Secondly, we cut to Dany staring at her home land as they sail up on Dragonstone, and she’s weepy eyed and excited and the dragons are soaring and happy and AHHHHH. BABY GIRL CAME HOME. Uh, those entry gates are awesome, one. Two, everyone is wearing black now, from Dany and her gang to Cersei, did you notice?Also, this was the first real inkling of the scope and size of Dragonstone (appropriate), and it’s magnificent. Part of me thought: Screw King’s Landing. Stay here! This place is more kick ass. But then, that isn’t the point of the show, I guess? But man. Dragonstone is bad ass.
“Shall we begin?”
Dany looks upon the map table and if I may, maybe get Theon on a little Lysol action over there, because Bad Things Occurred on that table, and Fire Crotch Mage probably still has the indent of the Islet of Baratheon on her hip… [gag]
Look. I’m all in on a Dany rules most of the Kingdoms, Jon/Sansa tag team the North, they combine forces to destroy the White Walkers. Will I get this? I’m sure not, but man, I waaaaaaant.
I am so glad we’re all back to flail together. SO. GLAD. Oh, just if you want, you can follow me on Twitter to keep up-to-date on recaps and sundries, and allow me to point out to new folks that we have a Very Robust and Awesome comment section here. Join in! But the HARD RULE IS: no book talk! BE COOL. That’s why the comment section here is awesome.
TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS, GANG. WE GOT THE BAND BACK TOGETHER.