Episode five of “Game of Thrones” covered a lot of ground. We spend an inordinate amount of time on boats, GOT transforms into a buddy cop show, creepy uncle returns, and a beloved character meets an untimely demise. Let’s all don our Bronn as therapist faces and discuss after the break!
Tyrion and Jorah
The episode opens on some Essos shoreline as the less than knightly Ser Jorah knocks out an old fisherman and throws a sackful of Tyrion into a rowboat.
Later, as Jorah commences the first of several thousand hours of rowing, he finally removes the gag from Tyrion’s mouth, and we discover the queen he’s dragging the littlest Lannister to is Dany. Loved Tyrion’s laughing response, and also loved his display of intelligence as, with a few glances at Jorah’s gear summarizes the knight errant’s entire plotline to date. It’s one thing to know the Imp is almost always the smartest guy in the room (or the rowboat), but to see it on display is always gratifying.
As for Jorah, he’s behaving like your typical obsessed high schooler chasing his crush, and his response to Tyrion speaking a little truth really shows how far he has gone over to the stalker side.
Bronn and Jaime
In the seas outside Dorne, Bronn apparently has the same issues with boredom as his former employee, as he and Jaime set sail on some random, anonymous boat in their master plan to rescue Myrcella. Loved Bronn’s incredulous expression when Jaime called Myrcella his “niece.”
This storyline is one with the greatest departure from the books, and it might be the most troublesome. The therapist Bronn persona, which worked okay with Tyrion, just doesn’t seem to fit; and I confess there’s a bit of a buddy cop vibe going here that doesn’t ring true. But mostly it’s Jaime’s behavior. How could he not consider the captain would betray them (as Bronn mentions after they get on shore)? How could using his golden hand on defense never occur to him? And most importantly, how does he imagine this is going to end? Jaime doesn’t have Tyrion’s smarts, maybe not even Cersei’s – but he’s smarter than this. I’m just not buying it.
Deeper in Dorne, we finally meet the Sand Snakes, being led by Ellaria Sand. Not a whole lot to go on, but I am worried that all of them are so gung-ho for war. Shouldn’t one be at least a partial voice for reason?
Our new young king has his hands full, with his mom scheming behind the scenes. Bad enough, she sends his father-in-law on a diplomatic mission with Ser Merwyn “Stick-em-in-the-Back” Trent, she fills the newly vacated High Septon spot with the ever-humble High Sparrow.
Even worse, she gives weapons to the fundamentalists (never a good idea), who immediately start carving symbols into their foreheads and raiding brothels, money-lenders, and taverns. Loras’ arrest, based on Cersei’s information, was a surprise (I thought she’d go for the queen immediately), but what really surprised me was her letting King Tommen go off on his own to talk to the High Sparrow. I can’t imagine her putting him in such danger, both politically and physically, but maybe that’s the point. Without Tywin to do the thinking for them, these Lannisters are going to be repaying debts for a long time a’coming.
I also don’t understand why Margaery and her scheming grandmother haven’t beefed up the advisors for Tommen on their end. It’s obvious what Cersei is doing, and it’s obvious that having the ear (and the balls) of this weak King aren’t enough, you think that might stack the deck a little. I’d think there was something up their sleeves, but Margaery doesn’t wear sleeves, so I really don’t know.
Up at the Wall, we learn that Stannis Baratheon really does admire the new Lord Commandor, defending him from his waspish wife. We also learn he’s a helluva dad, and in one of the few teary-eyed moments of this show that doesn’t involve someone getting run through with a sword, he answers young Shereen’s question “are you ashamed of me?” absolutely perfectly. Loved this passage that revealed what kind of person Stannis is under that cold veneer. Maybe he will make a good king.
Then again, if being a king requires strong willpower, than perhaps it should be Jon Snow because the way he withstood Melisandre’s hypno-boobs was quite a feat. I like the rule-breaking, hanging-with-Wildlings Jon Snow a lot better than the super-self righteous Ned clone, but this was an excellent scene, complete with Melisandre dropping the Ygritte line as she rejected-walks from the chambers.
It was interesting that most of this episode were in quieter two or three person scenes, and perhaps none was stronger than watching Sansa light the candles in the crypts beneath Winterfell. Of all the script deviations, I like this one the best, mostly because Sansa’s character arc has been one of the greatest in the series, and giving her something to do is just right. Even if that something to do is to wait for Stannis to arrive, or (as a back-up plan) try to Tommenize Ramsey using the powers of her Stark… um… her…
I don’t see the latter, for as much as she’s developed, Sansa is no Margaery, and Ramsey is certainly no Tommen. I’m just hoping Sansa has a plan C ready. Continuing the theme of characters acting out of character, Littlefinger actually seems pretty caring and together, right up to the point where he places another of those creepy-uncle kisses on Sansa’s not entirely unwilling lips. I also don’t quite like the little enigmatic look he gave when Sansa pointed out that she’d be a married woman when he returned. Like he was thinking “and that’s a problem, why?”
Over in Meereen, things have gotten a little dark. The Sons of the Harpy attack, but it looks like they have the support of at least some of the people. Love the ambush scene and the example of Grey Worm’s battlefield prowess (though the rest of the Unsullied Guard didn’t seem all that impressive). Selmy’s last minute save was great dramatic fun, but his apparent death in their Pyrrhic victory over the SotH ambush (they appear to show his funeral in next week’s trailer)will prove costly. If Grey Worm is dead as well (I’m not sure he is), maybe she’ll be desperate enough to allow Jorah a spot by her side after all.
Wonder if Bronn killing the coral snake before it bit Jaime foreshadows something? That’s one of the nice things about these script departures from the book… I really don’t know!
In the same vein, Baelish retelling the story of Rhaegar giving the garland to Lyanna; coupled with Selmy’s remembrance of the former crown prince’s singing and generosity both seem to hint at an idealized version of a man who should have been king (if not for Robert’s rebellion).
I did NOT like the glance between Melisandre and Queen Selyse when they discussed Shireen’s royal blood. Shireen’s a pretty sharp kid. I hope she has an exit plan.
Hard to believe next week is the halfway point of the season. The episode’s title (“Kill the Boy”) has me a little worried… not a whole lot of those left amongst the remaining cast to choose from!