A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×04 (If you like red hair, join the wall!)

Thrones 5x04

**NOTE** I’ve read the books so there may be moments when I refer to a segment that happened differently than how the book version went down but I’ll do my best to not spoil what that difference was or what’s likely to come. With that said, any review I write on GOT may contain book spoilers. Read at your own risk**

Almost at the halfway point and the intensity is already beginning to overflow with callous acts and a multitude of murders. Sure enough, it’s time to absorb another episode of Game of Thrones. Most of the cast was front and center tonight, each dealing with formidable opponents and interesting pairings. There’s a bitter froth on the horizon and the talk of winter is at an all time high. Will two supporting characters make it through the night after the injuries they’ve sustained? Not even the book readers can say for certain anymore.

Melisandre attempts to seduce Jon Snow while Stannis sets his sights on Winterfell. Littlefinger prepares to leave Sansa in Winterfell to travel back to King’s Landing but imparts advice to help her through the coming weeks. Bronn and Jaime arrive in Dorne and take out a group of soldiers while Ellaria gathers the Sand sisters, Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria to find Myrcella before Jaime does. Cersei gives information to the High Sparrow which leads to the arrest of Loras for committing sinful acts. Margaery’s attempt to use Tommon to free Loras fails and she goes to send for her family knowing Cersei is behind the arrest. Tyrion deduces Jorah’s identity and reason for kidnapping him for the queen. Daenerys still refuses to open the fighting pits while Grey Worm and his unsullied are ambushed by the Sons of the Harpy. Barristan helps save him, but the two are left severely injured with their fates questionable.

Even with so many different lands and characters to take in, I felt this episode was one of the most finely flowing and edited of the last two seasons. One can never doubt the validity of this large world and the cultures that inhabit it. Jon’s moments continue to reaffirm his position as the commander as he refuses Melisandre’s advances. When she told Jon that he “knew nothing” a chill filled the room. In small morsels, she’s allowing him to understand just how perceptive and powerful she can be. While they’re not on opposite sides yet, he has to realize refusing her isn’t going to bode well if she doesn’t get her way. Also a nice touch with Sam pushing to attain more men even from Roose Bolton. Jon had to swallow his vengeful pride knowing the watch needed to be replenished. He said so himself, he’s not concerned with any war, and he has to continue facing that fact. At least for now.

Bronn and Jaime are a good pair. They had a good fight against trained soldiers and live to finish their quest. It’s a shame Jaime still believes his money can keep his secrets and also foolish that he thinks people like Bronn still believe Myrcella is his niece. What really stood out here was him swearing to kill Tyrion if he saw him again. He could be boasting, but there’s truth in his voice and the death of their father, Tywin still lingers. But such a reunion may be off for quite some time.

I wasn’t expecting Littlefinger to leave Sansa. You could tell how much he’s trying to instill confidence in his protégé but has such little time to teach her now. Sansa is growing up faster than she wants to, but she’s realizing more and more just how important her name is. Here is where another candid tale of Rhaegar Targaryen is told, one of how he came to long for Lyanna, Ned’s sister. Sansa only remembers what she was told about Lyanna and despises Rhaegar much in the same light as Robert in the same place back in season one. Littlefinger doesn’t say whether she’s right or wrong, but rather watches and admires the disdain she’s showing. Clearly, he may know something or at least speculate with more facts about what may have really happened between Rhaegar and Lyanna. I won’t bother going into the letter equation created by the fans, I’m sure you’ve been introduced to it by now.

While I wasn’t as excited to witness anything in Daenerys’s solitary tale, they kicked it up a notch by having Grey Worm stave off an ambush with the help of Barristan. At the end, they both suffer grievous wounds and we’re wide eyed and waiting to find out if both or neither survived. That fight was intense. After hearing of Littlefinger’s tale which I believe mentioned Barristan it’s only fitting that we see him in action, still the sword master as ever. That’s what’s great about this show. We don’t know if they’re going to live or die. No one has main character syndrome and if they go, the queen will be two soldiers less and even more alone than she already is. That honestly won’t bode well for her story plot which really has yet to pick up. I’m just chomping at the bit to see Tyrion meet her. Hopefully she doesn’t have him killed. His quick wit will have to work overtime to save himself for what’s to come.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Sansa’s scene with Littlefinger near Lyanna’s tomb. It’s been entirely too long since a main character got to return home, even if she is the only one. I was also impressed by Littlefinger’s faith in Sansa and for once didn’t feel creeped out by his infatuation with her. Everything he said made them seem more like a teacher and student and though you can still tell how much he adores the daughter of Catelyn, he’s not committing himself to her like other less noble characters would. If only he knew the sickness emanating from Ramsey, he might have taken her with him back to King’s Landing. She’ll be alone to deal with this and it may not be pretty.

CHARACTER MVP

I’ll give it to Jaime this time around. He’s the most driven character shown tonight and we got to see a little bit more of his nature and how he acts and reacts. Twice he could have admitted his acts with Cersei to Bronn, and even suspects he knows like many others, but he refrains because he hasn’t given up on that future where he dies with the woman she loves. Is it in fact Cersei? I think for the moment it’s safe to assume yes, but failing to bring back their daughter and it will be easy to see that future go up in flames.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

I’m a little surprised by Tyrion’s omniscience, but I do appreciate how he they make him pay attention to little details and his wit can still decipher people in quick fashion. Jorah isn’t having any of it though, so it’ll be interesting to see how they pair up in the future.

Sansa and Jon are the closest they’ve ever been distance wise. It’s cruel to think how he’s shut himself off of any reunion with his half-siblings and it’s likely any meeting between him and Sansa will probably never happen. Such a cruel-cruel world to prevent characters like that from interacting again.

Now we’ve met the Sand snakes and I have to say they’re off to a great start. They mean business and we were shown the type of weapon that Oberyn uses to give us a friendly reminder with how vicious it can be in the hands of a master. They’re vengeance prone and directly in Jaime’s path. He and Bronn will have their work cut out for them. Three have been introduced, but I wonder, what about the other five?

Cersei’s act in giving the High Sparrow power in King’s Landing is good for now, but in all realistic fashion, how long can this alliance possibly last? There’s something eerie when the religious zealots look down on the king while he’s ridiculed by passing patrons. That’s a sign of worse things to come and Cersei’s running out of true allies.

All this talk about the fighting pits and still no sign of them opening up. I hope they either move on from this subject or actually do something about it. I get Dany’s position but with all the mayhem caused, I wonder how long she’ll put her foot down based on her governing ways. It was said that even with them opening up the skirmishes will likely continue. What’s a queen to do, especially if her strongest soldiers are taken out of the equation?

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Thoroughly impressed with tonight’s episode. Everyone played either decently or superbly. Like always, the sets and scenes are painted with beautiful precision and long lasting impressions. Everyone is fitting into their arcs quite nicely and the pairings thus far have been proving to fit flawlessly. Jon may be slipping into a lull as is Dany, but everyone else is picking up and we even got in a few nice sword fights which I’d never turn down. Splendid performances all around and I can’t wait till the mid season episode hits us. Thanks for reading!

No more words

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