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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sons of the Harpy

And...we're back! This week I thought I'd approach things a little differently - instead of recapping things by the different Houses of Westeros, I thought I'd recap by the different locations. All the characters are starting to converge on one another; more Houses in the same location = less locations to hop to! 


Kings Landing: Religious Fervor Much Edition - All is not well in King's Landing; Cersei continues her streak of paranoid decision making, this week she sets out to arm the Faith and undermine/alienate Maegaery. Cersei first meets with the High Sparrow, who is also now the High Septon of the Church and tells him she's certain her son, the King would give him the permission needed to arm the faith; he'd resurrect the Faith Militant so they could protect the Church and the Crown. This seguways into the Faith Militant storming the streets of King's Landing, bursting open casks of wine and ale, turning over tables and pushing their way into brothels to capture or kill the prostitutes inside.

Cersei mentions in her meeting with the High Sparrow that there is sin right in their midst and she's referring to Loras Tyrell, the brother of Margaery. Loras has been wildly open with his homosexual tendencies in a place that doesn't look kindly on that lifestyle, so it should come as no surprise when he's dragged out of the practice yard and thrown in a cell.

Game of Thrones
See Loras - perhaps you should have listened to your sister....
Margaery immediately attacks her new husband, demanding to know why her brother has been locked in a cell - he admits he has no clue that Loras was arrested - and is further dumbfounded when Margaery insinuates that his Mother was behind Loras' imprisonment. He thought Margaery and Cersei were getting along splendidly... Oh Tommen - bless you. Margaery immediately flips her tactic, turning her words honey sweet and begging Tommen; telling him if he has any love at all for her, he'll get her brother released. Tommen goes to Cersei and demands that she release Loras - to which Cersei coyly reminds Tommen that she didn't arrest Loras and furthermore, Tommen is the King - if he wants his brother-in-law released, all he has to do is go speak with the High Sparrow and she's sure he'll release him.

Tommen takes his guards to meet with the High Sparrow but is immediately blocked by the Faith Militant: the High Sparrow is praying and will not be disturbed. Tommen's guards tell him they'll rid the steps of the filth and Tommen innocently asks "do you mean, kill them??" Tommen is so innocent and naive it's almost painful...and the scene becomes more painful when peasants in the crowd beginning hurling insults at him: "bastard" "abomination" and "born of sin" are just a few of the choice names he's called. Tommen backs away from the Faith Militant and says he'll return another time. His wife is not so pleased with this response and leaves in a huff - and no, she won't be returning later tonight Tommen, so don't ask.

North of the Wall: Denied Edition - Almost a third of the cast is now situated at the Wall, so a lot of action tends to take place here. This week the action opens with Stannis and Selyse watching Jon instruct his men on fighting; Selyse refers to him as "some bastard from a tavern whore" but Stannis tells her that wasn't Ned Starks way*. Selyse then bemoans the fact that she only ever gave Stannis a weak, disfigured daughter but Melisandre sweeps in (seriously - that woman just always appears...) and tells Selyse that Shireen is important; she has King's blood in her veins. Is anyone else worried for Shireen???

In Jon's office, Sam is giving him letters to sign, asking the Houses of the North to send more men to help defend the Wall. Jon initially balks at requesting help from Lord Bolton (he did kill his brother, after all) but realizes the needs of the Watch are more important than his need for vendetta. As Sam leaves, Melisandre enters and immediately sets about trying to seduce Jon. She disrobes, sits on his lap and tells him that together, they have the power to make shadows* flee; she also tells him he is powerful... but Jon is having none of it. He made a vow and he still loves another, so he tells her to leave him be. As she leaves, she turns back and channel's Jon dear departed love...and it obviously makes Jon's blood run cold.

Game of Thrones
Thanks but no thanks...

Well that's just eerie...
Meanwhile, over in Stannis' office, Shireen has stopped by to visit her dear Father. She wanders around, poking and poring over the things in his office and mentioning that she knows her Mother wanted to leave her behind when they left. She then looks to Stannis and asks him "are you ashamed of me, Father?" Stannis thinks for a moment before recounting the tale of how Shireen contracted the greyscale that has left her face scarred: A merchant has brought a doll, dressed in the Baratheon colors and figured a new Father was an easy target; Stannis was and he remembers how Shireen clutched the doll to her cheek, by the time they realized the doll was infected, Shireen was as well. Many people told him to kill her or send her way, but he called on every Maester, healer and purveyor of dark arts until they were able to heal her. She is Princess Shireen of House Baratheon and her place is with him. Cue the waterworks.

All the tears...all the tears...

Dorne: Give us A Hand Edition - We finally catch up with Jaime and Bronn; as they sail past an island in the Narrow Sea and Jaime is told that it's Tarth he gives a whimsical smile - I'm sure he wonders what Brienne is doing and where she is. Below deck, Jaime insists that it has to be him who rescues his "niece" and Bronn counters by giving him a knowing look and saying "your...niece?" He also tells Jaime that if he ever sees Tyrion again, he should give him Bronn's regard. Jaime doesn't mince words - Tyrion killed their Father; if he ever sees him again, he'll cut him in half. Ouch!

Jaime's brilliant plan (sarcasm, hello...) is for he and Bronn to sneak on shore during the night and then make their way to Prince Doran's palace at the Water Gardens. He's making the same error that all the Lannister children seem to make; he's counting to heavily on money to keep someone's mouth shut as to who they are and where they're going. Sure enough, the gold he gave the ship captain was for naught as he and Bronn are found by four Dornish soldiers. Jaime is one-handed and has told Bronn he can only fight one of the four men at best; Bronn immediately kills two of the four, injures one and pushes him toward Jaime. The battle between the two seems all but lost until Jaime lifts his right hand - now made of solid gold - and is able to stop the blade, giving him the pause he needs to skewer the Dornish soldier.

Game of Thrones
Turns out having a hand made of solid gold can be useful...
Elsewhere in Dorne we are introduced to the Sand Snakes - the daughters of Oberyn Martell. Each girl has a different mother (at least, they do in the books...I assume they do here as well...) but they all share their Father's personality. Ellaria has come to ask them if they will help her reach Myrcella before Jaime does; if they have her, they can use her as a tool for starting war - Myrcella is after all, Cersei Lannister's only daughter. The girls do not hesitate to agree to help her in her scheme.

- side note - I was NOT impressed with the Sand Snakes. They've been built up prior to this season and they fell flat for me. Anyone else think that??? 

We're badasses...so of course we'll help you scheme & exact revenge...

Winterfell: Heavy-Handed Hints Edition - Sansa is in the crypts of Winterfell visiting the grave of her Aunt Lyanna. Littlefinger finds her there and tells her he's been called back to King's Landing by Cersei, so she'll be on her own now. Sansa panics and tells him she can't do this alone but he assures her she's been taught how to maneuver by one of the best; plus, Ramsay Bolton has already fallen for her. He also tells her his plan: Stannis will be riding North soon to take back Winterfell and banish the Boltons from the North and name Sansa Wardness of the North. It all sounds good...which means it probably won't work out that way.

Littlefinger also tells Sansa about the Tourney at Harrenhall in the False Spring - the tourney where Rhaegar Targayen won the lists and bypassed his own wife, Ellia Martell and instead laid a crown of blue winter roses on Lyanna Stark's lap, naming her the Queen of Love and Beauty. This moment was what laid the start of Robert's Rebellion; the war that tore the Seven Kingdoms asunder - Littlefinger wonders how many people had to die because of Rhaegar's decision? Sansa reminds him that Rhaegar then proceeded to kidnap and rape her Aunt Lyanna and Littlefinger makes an interesting face in response to her remark.*

I hope you're ready to play hard ball Sansa...

Across the Narrow Sea: Double, Double, Toil & Trouble Edition - We briefly check in with Jorah and Tyrion; Jorah steals a boat and tosses Tyrion into it like a sack of potatoes. Later Tyrion uses his excellent deductive skills (Sherlock Lannister?) to figure out who Jorah is and exactly which Queen he's being taken to - Daenerys. He tells Jorah it's really a waste of a good kidnapping since that's where he was headed anyway; Jorah's attempts to win his way back into Daeneys' good graces seem pathetic at best and he doesn't like being reminded of that, so he knocks Tyrion out.

Game of Thrones
You should really learn to just keep your mouth shut.
Elsewhere, Daenerys and Ser Barristan Selmy are in her chambers and Selmy is telling her a story about her older brother, Rhaegar - a must different story than we heard earlier from Littlefinger. Rhaegar loved to escape the palace, disguise himself and sing for crowds, giving the money he collected to the poor. He wasn't ever much of a fighter.* He takes his leave of Daenerys and she tells him to sing a song for her as he passes his afternoon.

Meanwhile, Daenerys is again being asked to re-open the fighting pits - if the pits don't re-open, the people will find other places to fight. In the streets of Meereen ,this very thing is taking place as the Sons of the Harpy instigate a battle royale with the Unsullied. Bodies are dropping right and left when Ser Barristan Selmy joins the battle. He manages to finish off the rest of the Sons of the Harpy but has been gravely wounded; he's only saved from having his throat slit at the last minute by Grey Worm. The episode ends as we pull away looking at their presumed lifeless forms.

Ser Barristan is pretty hardcore - the man is like...80...

Other notes from Westeros (and Essos) 
Cersei's dealings with Tommen prove once and for all she is only concerned for herself, despite what she may claim about loving her children. By forcing Tommen to go to the Sept of Baelor and subject himself to matters far too complicated for him to handle, she is showing yet again that she's inept in so many ways - this time by putting her so-called "beloved" child in danger for her own gains.

Speaking of Cersei - she's operating based on jealousy and paranoia...but even she, a known adulterer who is also guilty of incest (even if she thinks no one else knows) has to see that arming the Faith is only going to come back to bite her. Right?

No sign of Arya this week nor did we see Brienne and Podrick. All three were sorely missed.

*This episode was filled to the brim with hints that support the widespread theory (okay, maybe it's only widespread if you're a big Game of Thrones nerd like me) that R + L = J. In fact, it seemed like they were almost hitting people over the head with it. Example One - Stannis remind Selyse that it wasn't the honorable Ned Stark's way to sleep around on his wife. Example Two - Jon Snow has some kind of power. We know by now that Melisandre only tries to seduce people with king's blood...how might Jon have gotten that king's blood if he isn't the child of Rhaegar Targaryen? Example Three - the knowing look Littlefinger gives Sansa when she mentions the "kidnap and rape" of Lyanna Stark at the hands of Rhaegar Targaryen; perhaps he knows that scenario played out much differently? Example Four - Selmy's telling Daenerys how her brother liked to sing to his people; he wasn't one for fighting. Doesn't sound like the kind of guy who'd kidnap and rape someone, does it?

Does anyone else feel like they're hitting us over the head with this reveal? I didn't think it would be as early as Season Five, but maybe I'm wrong. Having said that, I have to admit that I feel like this episode was one of; if not the weakest episode of the series ever. Here's hoping next week will pick up a little bit.






Until next week, remember - there are worse ways to wake up in the morning....

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