AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! AAAAAHHHH!!! Holy F@&# DID YOU SEE THAT!!!??!!! SHE TRIED… AND THEN HE… AND… CAN’T BREATHE!!!
Okay, relax… deep breaths. “Game of Thrones” is just a television show, not the answer to world peace.
I’ll try to resume some modicum of control, after the break… and of course spoilers ahead… AAAAAA…
…AAAAAHHHHHH!!! Okay… let’s start from the beginning.
Man, that crazy Cersei, when the guards wouldn’t let her go to Mryrcella’s funeral she just set her new champion FrankenMountain loose. Oh the carnage, the crushed skulls, the limbs rent from torsos, everything you expect from the hot-headed queen regent who is used to getting her way. Except wait… she didn’t. Because this is new Cersei, one with introspection and some real regrets, and goddangit show runners, you actually have me pulling for her. That, in itself is a coup, because the Faith Militant is so bad, they’ve made the Lannisters the good guys. Amazing what a few seasons can do.
The Kings Landing scenes may have been the most effective of a very good episode. Not just because we’re seeing (hopefully) a newer, wiser Cersei, but because we (and the characters) are finally starting to understand the boundaries in this brave, Tywinless world. Tommen is weak. It’s understandable, he’s a kid thrust into a role he never thought he’d have, suddenly left without advisors. The question now is what does Cersei do now that she’s back in the inner circle. What does Jaime do. And will they perhaps realize against this common enemy they need the Tyrells?
Not a lot happening in Meereen. Except for the part where Tyrion lets the dragons loose. My logical brain tells me Tyrion is safe, they couldn’t possibly kill the best character in the show. But I gotta tell you, those scenes down beneath the pyramid were tense and perfect. I kept thinking one or both of those dragons would turn the flame broilers onto the littlest Lannister, and either reveal him to be a secret Targaryan or we were about to see one of the saddest plot lines in the book re-created with a different character. Sort of glad I was wrong on both counts, and Tyrion’s smarts and bravery (especially after one of those dragons started drooling and eying him up like a nice lamb chop) were once again revealed. I’m assuming the dragons walked back into the darkness so they could eat, and that they can fly out the top of that pyramid… otherwise I’m not sure what unchaining them really accomplishes.
Another beating/Stick lesson at the hands of the waif ends early when Jaqen H’gar shows up and offers Arya redemption. Masie Williams was incredible, combining vulnerability with that never-ending Arya grit. She has reached that character rock bottom point, and the only way to go is up. And while I can’t wait to see what that means for the overall plot, I don’t know if I really want to see Arya become ‘no one.’
Beyond the Wall
Bran’s back, and boy did he age. We get our first of (presumably) many flashbacks, and while it didn’t reveal too much (Hodor wasn’t always Hodor) we get to see Lyanna Stark for the first time, and discover why Robert and Rhaegar both fell in love with her, she’s a fierce whirlwind, unafraid to give orders, sort of an Arya with a little more discipline! Makes you think what a wonderful queen she would have made.
Bran’s return to the current world was important as well. Meera Reed needs something to do aside from watching Bran fall into a trance, and you can sense she’s thinking of risking the cold, hard north to find it. And we get some hints about what lies ahead, for the Child of the Forest warns Meera, “Brandon Stark needs you,” because his destiny lies beyond the raven’s cave.
The North Wilderness
Another short little bit of exposition to check in on Sansa and her new found posse. Nice reminder from Brienne of her beat-down of the Hound a few seasons back. And also nice to remind us that Arya is Sansa’s sister, and the elder Stark girl cares deeply for her. I was really curious whether the plan would go to Castle Black or if they’d try to find Stark allies. I guess either has it’s drawbacks in a Bolton-ruled North.
It looks like Theon’s story will take another turn with his decision to go home to Pyke. Again, unsure what allies he’ll find there, but looks like Yara can use some help, so maybe he’ll get there right in time. Great work as usual by Alfie Allen as begins to build on the newly emerging Theon. His acceptance and contrition at the things he’s done, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he fits into the Pyke storyline.
Damn, those Ironbound are hardcore. Funny, it’s been so long, since we visited the Greyjoy homeland, I thought Balon died two seasons ago. (In the books he’s one of the kings that die to prove Red God’s power). We got a great, short introduction to the craziest of the Greyjoy brothers, Euron, and I doubt it’s going to be just a cameo.
Ah Ramsay, you psychopath. It didn’t take long for you to strike. Two episodes in, and we have three coups, so I guess season six is going to be one about change and redemption. Great timing that he took out his dad about five beats after Roose warned him about acting like a mad dog. Because that’s really what Ramsay is. By the way, mad props to the show runners to have Ramsay’s slaying of Roose basically reenact Roose’s killing of Rob at the Red Wedding.
We all knew Walda Frey and the Bolton baby were pretty much toast, and I guess the scene in the kennel was needed to even more firmly establish the whole “mad dog” thing, but I do wish the show runners would have just implied the danger. On a story note, I wonder if this means the new Lord Bolton will now have to count the Freys as enemies going forward.
So much to talk about here. First, major props to Dolorous Ed coming through the Wildlings (and the giant) at the best possible moment. And these are new and improved Wildlings, who appeared to learn from Jon Snow. Instead of massacring the remaining Watch Men, they cart them off to prison. Even Ollie, who I thought certain would end up impaled on some Wildling’s sword got off. And it looks like Thorne learned a lesson, you need to earn loyalty. Those men would have fought for Snow. But for Alliser Thorne?
And of course, the moment we’ve been waiting nearly a year for. SNOW’S BACK! I confess, I was surprised. I was certain that our mopey bastard would return at some point, but I thought they’d play us for a few more episodes. They really played this for drama, teasing us. Carice Van Houten was absolutely magnificent in this episode, wallowing in doubt. The show (nor the books) ever give her much of a story, she just is – a force of nature – so it’s great to see her showing development.
Okay, so it turns out Tristane Martell was in Kings Landing when he was killed… which brings my up my next question, how the hell did the Sand Snakes get there? Never mind, don’t even want to know.
Am I the only one who thinks the Child of the Forest looks a damn site creepier this season than back in season four? My first reaction when Bran came out of his trance was “WTF was that!”
Was it Melisandre’s Red God that brought Jon Snow back, or maybe something else at work. What does this do for her faith? I confess, I was hoping for a funeral pyre awakening, but I guess that would pretty much seal the deal on him being a secret Targaryan a little too soon.
What kind of Jon Snow are we going to get? A vengeful one of the Lady Stoneheart variety? A wise one who realizes he still needs all the men he can get? A cold and frosty one that eventually starts growing a crown of horns out of his head? I guess we’ll find out starting next week when “Oath Breaker” hits the airwaves. Really can’t wait.