A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×10 (To be fair, I threw the book when I read what transpired in the final scene back then)

GOT 5x10

I never thought the writers would try and cram two books into one season since it took two seasons just to cover book 3 (A Storm of Swords). Yet, here we are on the eve of A Dance with Dragons and the final act was like onto the end of Caesar’s reign, only instead of “Et tu Brute?” it was simply “Olly?” And like a band of self preserving troglodytes, they turn greek tragedy into the next sad moment in Westeros. Except Caesar didn’t have a witch like Melisandre to bring him back from the dead like the red priest has done with Beric Dondarrion. After 3 seasons, you’d let us simply forget that people can be brought back from the dead? Yeah, we’re onto you writers.

Like all GOT finales, everyone who had a speaking role needed either closure or events setting up the next stage in their lives and for the next season. Is everyone where they should be? The truth can be very subjective considering the hot tempers that will flair from events taking place tonight. I for one was as prepared as I could be, but that doesn’t change the fact that we don’t have the omniscience we once did anymore on who will live and who will die. Most of what transpired was not fun in the slightest, but more masochism and cringe-worthy moments that did little to answer but more speculative than anything. When the one moment where things seemed decent was when a dwarf and a bald guy reminisce and one says he missed the other, there needs to be a new bar on dismal and sullen finale’s. In any case, It’s done and now as a whole fanbase we can move on as one group, not just the two groups where one laughs on the outside but cries on the inside because they have to relive through this tragedy twice.

Melisandre leaves Stannis once he finds out half his army deserted him over Shireen’s death. Stannis trudges onward to Winterfell and meets the Bolton army. He is defeated and found by Brienne who seemingly executes him for the murder of his brother Renly. Theon helps Sansa escape Winterfell (That or they just committed suicide by jumping off a wall) Arya murders Trant and is later punished when her eyesight is removed. Cersei confesses to only sleeping with Lancel and is allowed to return to the red keep by walking from the church naked and scorned by the townsfolk. Jaime and Bronn leave Dorne with Myrcella and on the moment Jaime and Myrcella come to terms on him being her father she suffers fatally from a poisonous kiss given by Ellaria. In the North, Sam requests to leave with Gilly and the baby to learn to become a maester. After he leaves, Davos attempts to enlist Jon’s help when Melisandre arrives with little to say on Stannis’s fate. That night, Jon is led into a trap where several members of the watch stab Jon including Olly. Jon Snow is left for dead.

I’ve read the theories for years and I’m not truly an expert, but I can give my perspective on the events as they’ve been printed on film for us since season one. Whether Martin and the show writers truly intend for Jon’s swan song to be this moment, I am in denial because of certain pieces of evidence. Unfortunately none of that evidence is present in the finale save for Melisandre herself. She abandoned Stannis after supporting him for so long and as a red priestess, she has the ability to resurrect people, assuming of course if they deserve it. For now, it’s hard to say whether she will or won’t but it’s the best shot we have to saving Jon’s life and for those who think being resurrected completely ruins the character in question. Dondarrion is the only proof that you can be normal if you are properly resurrected pretty much at the moment of death. Otherwise you end up with a Lady Stoneheart in the making and the show just won’t do that to Jon. Is it a done deal that Jon will return? Of course not, but if they don’t they run the risk turning the north into a laughing stock of the whole series. If Jon isn’t there to help at least fend off the whitewalkers then Westeros is completely screwed until Dany comes and even then, there’s no telling what will happen. I’m confident Jon will be back. If they really wanted to kill him, they should have cut his head off like Ned. You don’t come back from that.

By not showing us what happened to Theon and Sansa I’m left laughing at the sheer incredulous cliffhanger that made me wonder just how much snow must they fall into to survive a drop like that. Clearly they didn’t die, but Sansa didn’t end up with Brienne either which was a very interesting way to go. So now, you have Theon, who actually helped Sansa and escaped which is unheard of. I have no doubt Ramsey will be searching for them in no time. Does this mean that Sansa will now be looking for her two little brothers in season 6? If so, she’ll only find Rickon if she gets to find him at all. This show has a way of saying “Noooooope, you don’t get to be happy for 1 second, back to Ramsey with you”. But we’ll see. And a fine farewell to Myranda, she got what she deserved.

I have no love loss for Stannis either. Was it fitting that Brienne took his life? Eh, it doesn’t matter to me. He was the lesser of two evils, but it wasn’t enough to take out the Boltons. What’s done is done. Brienne is very noble and continues to find ways to stay true to her convictions. Now that Sansa escaped it would be nice if the two ran into eachother because it’s highly unlikely that She’ll run into Littlefinger. Brienne’s purpose does seem a bit floundered at this point, but at least she’s still alive.

Arya’s revenge was very quick and to the point. She’s crossed over into a new brutal nature and used what she learned to get the job done. And now it’s at least for the time being cost her a bit of sight, or rather, all of it. This is mostly a book to show translation and for a while she’ll deal with the consequences. I’m not that worried about her because she has more story to fulfill. I liked that she was able to use a face and I absolutely loved that the character who everyone thought was Jaqen wasn’t and that any assassin could look like him. This leads to the possibility that the original Jaqen is on his mission still which in the books leads him on a path around Sam.

Jaime and Myrcella shared a nice moment where he finally felt some small measure of comfort in revealing his truth even though his daughter basically knew. And then she died. That’s what this show is known for doing and it was easy to realize that Ellaria would have the last word in this struggle. What’s important is understanding the calamity that will ensue including Trystane’s fate as well as backlash against all of Dorne. Will Jaime keep this from Cersei? Probably at first, but odds are this will strain their relationship and match it more with how Jaime sees Cersei in the books. Then again, they don’t have to do that if they don’t want to.

Now onto Cersei. That was brutal scene to watch. I read about how the creator’s had to get special permission to film a scene of that magnitude and all the points in the world to Lena Heady for taking the plunge and knocking that awkward scene out. Even as a villain, she had things coming to her, but this was vastly different than a poisoning or any physically hurtful thing she could have gone through. But she swallowed her pride and managed to get back home in the arms of an undead Mountain, who will be her next champion should she need one to fight for her in trial by combat. They could have cut that scene down at any point, but the resonance was so thick that it’s hard to believe she deserved anything remotely pertaining to that walk of shame. Even I thought the mother needed some comuppance because of it. Cersei is no doubt planning it and I’m glad she is, if she is.

Dany’s scenes were relatively unchanged except for it not being in a desert and her not suffering from hunger and, well other issues at hand. But she found more Dothraki and that was the point. She can’t get back to Meereen and now she’s surrounded by people that seemed to have dropped off the map since season two. One notable moment is when she dropped her ring which I assume means she doesn’t want them to know she was married because she in fact was already married to Khal Drogo and I’m certain these dothraki are aware of it. Will they follow her back to Meereen or will she be in for the fight of her life? I’m certain she’ll weave their loyalty while Darrio and Jorah seek her out.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Arya’s scene after the murder of Trant. It was more for her to understand she couldn’t just use her talents to do with what she pleased and further more confusing her on who and what the faceless men really are. They don’t just control faces, but body types as well. They can appear smaller when they are generally bigger and a true face is lost in the myriad of others. Does this mean Arya will eventually lose her true face? I hope not, but it’s certainly a possibility.

CHARACTER MVP

Cersei, hands down. She lost her hair and walked through an entire city naked with bloody feet and the muck of the populace coating her skin. No matter what she would not confess to sleeping with Jaime and stuck to her guns on the matter. Now she’s in full planning mode which she will no doubt act when the time is right. Does she have to play through the High Sparrow’s trial though, or can she just leave the city whenever she wants? She endured a lot to get back to her son and she deserves the credit for it.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Bran will be in season 6 and somehow he has to know what happened to his brother, Jon. If anyone else could help in this problem, it should be him along with Melisandre.

Davos is now free to murder Melisandre after everything she’s done. Even so, he’s without a king now, assuming Brienne murdered Stannis. If she didn’t, then keeping him alive would only mean she has other plans we’re not aware of.

Maybe now that they mentioned Benjen we’ll get a look at Coldhands next season. Then again, we didn’t get Lady Stoneheart, why would we get Coldhands? It’s a conspiracy to remove mostly dead resurrected characters. Only fully resurrected characters are allowed to be on this show…and the whitewalkers.

I’m very glad Tyrion and Varys are once more together. This show suffers a lot on great characters that don’t get to interact with other great characters, but for once they put Tyrion in a great position, that is until Dany left, but now Varys is back and soon those two will get to share scenes together and I can’t wait for that.

Where oh where is Littlefinger at this stage? Does he regret having left Sansa to deal with Ramsey? Will he have a plan should he find her again, or will he betray her as Cersei wanted him to? I highly doubt Peter will betray Sansa but even for that to have a sliver of a chance, he has to find her first, and I really don’t want him finding her.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Not the strongest finale from the franchise and the end was entirely bittersweet because book readers knew what was coming. But for consistency of shots, beautiful landscapes and luscious atmosphere, GOT still manages to remain epic and large on a scale to well known after five years. Everyone is out of their element now, and some are dead for the effort. Every season it’s safe to say nothing is the same for anyone. And that’s the great thing about this type of storytelling. Nobody is expected to do what they must and as a result, so many different things can happen. This isn’t the story where the good guys win and the bad guys win, it’s people going through the motions and dealing with choices and consequences regardless of karma or a god’s will. The whitewalkers are that much closer and for now, the commander of the watch is dead. But dead isn’t forever in GOT and I do believe Jon will be brought back with Melisandre’s help. For now, it looks like the show watchers will find out before the book reader’s do and that has to sting knowing how loyal the book fanbase has been since day one. It’s an exciting time even though it’s equally frustrating. Will L + R = J even matter if Jon is dead at this point? That’s why he can’t be dead, because we have to know, and Jon has to know. But really, we need to know. Until next season, thank you for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×09 (The Dance of Dragons, A Dance with Dragons, same diff)

GOT 5x09

While some roads lead to circumstantial sacrifice, another takes to the skies as the mother of dragons dawns her title and sees her city of Meereen from a dragon’s point of view. Tonight’s penultimate episode places each front running player into an uneasy position where choices become harder and vengeance is but an eyelash away. The only moments left are the one’s that almost guarantee lives will be lost. Who’s lives will it be this season? Only those who have read A Dance With Dragons know for sure.

For the last few episodes, they’ve managed to truly capture some spectacular storytelling moments in the last twenty minutes of their broadcast. Last week it was Jon Snow and the whitewalker horde. This time it was both the lasting battle of Jorah Mormont and the ambush from the Sons of the Harpy. Each creative in their own way yet, this venture had the flair for the fantasy and managed to ease the tension with a dragon’s roar. Aside from a desperate decision made by a cold-hearted king and a gladiatorial climax, this episode carried with it a calm not usually expected during such a critical point in a season. Now a girl must decide if her training will be used outside of the orders given to her.

Jon Snow returns to the wall with a sense of defeat only having saved a few hundred wildlings. Stannis sends Davos back to the wall for reinforcements after Ramsey’s men lay siege to Stannis’s supplies. He later gives in and has his daughter Shireen put to sacrifice by flame to help Melisandre call on her godlike forces for aid against the Boltons. Doran Martell releases Jaime and Bronn and sends Myrcella and Tristane with them in the hopes of maintaining their alliance with King’s Landing. Arya is on her way to assassinate the thin man when she spots Mace Tyrell and more importantly, Meryn Trant who she remembers killed Syrio. She follows him to a brothel and spies on him. In Meereen, Daenerys watches the games take place in a grand arena. In the second match, she watches Jorah fight and eventually win the round. He stops a Harpy from striking the queen as the Sons of Harpy ambush everyone. Jorah, Tyrion, Daario, Missendei, and Dany flee to the center of the arena where Drogon arrives and helps kill many of the Harpies. She then climbs Drogon and rides to the sky as the others watch in awe.

King’s who whisper “forgive me” are often put to the most harshest of trials in claiming what they seek. Stannis fought against Melisandre’s simple solutions to win the oncoming battle. To her, sacrifice is simple and necessary, yet in the end, Stannis relented and watched as his daughter burned to death. Will this in fact help Stannis beat the Bolton’s in the finale? The truth is, she hasn’t been proven wrong yet and that’s a scary track record considering how magic, dark or otherwise is used. Obviously sending Davos was just so he wouldn’t try and stop Melisandre because he would have. It will be interesting to see if Davos is the kind of character who will stay subservient after finding out or actually go after Melisandre yet again regardless on the outcome of the war.

Arya’s tale is very basic and after nearly five seasons later she finally has a chance to exact another piece of her revenge, this time on the vile Meryn. It’s not so much a matter of if, but rather how Arya will take his life. Will she have the ability to change her face, or will it be just a few stabbings or poisoning when he eats next? I’d say it’s too early for her to be establishing any abilities, but rest assured, she’s cunning and smart enough to find ways to get those she wants killed. In fact, my money is her using needle to get the job done. Just use the pointy end. Odds are she’ll get caught in the attempt or execution and possibly punished.

Jaime and Bronn got off easy, but it’s more about how Doran handled the situation. He’s a king who has his people and lands to worry about and knows the point of having an alliance. Whether Ellaria is truly swayed by the act of a second chance or whether she’ll try once more to exact revenge remains to be seen. The sand sisters have barely any screen time this season, so there’s hope they have more to offer in the next season. There isn’t any danger of them expiring, but then there is one more episode left.

For a seasonal show, a lot of effort went into the effects of tonight’s episode which I think was absolutely flawless. The fighting itself was decent considering the movements of people in armor, and the gore was rather limited, but the point was to showcase Jorah’s absolute devotion which paid off in the end as he defended her from the creepy Sons of the Harpy. They came out droves but Drogon’s appearance was abundantly telegraphed especially when they were surrounded in the arena. Rather than end the dragon’s life which could have been any other writer’s prerogative, they instead followed suit from the book and had Dany take flight. There’s no guarantee she’ll land near Tyrion and the gang, but for now, she’s safe. Tyrion’s moments were few but each line was delivered with the usual care and gusto as only he can deliver. Overall, the scenes in Meereen have been better considering most of Dany’s adventures as of late keep her walled up and bored. At least Tyrion’s around to make light of the queen’s stony demeanor.

FAVORITE MOMENT

I think it’s safe to say that the final arc of the episode had the most to offer in terms of action, suspense and of course a fire-breathing dragon. Everything from the start to the finish was a very well articulated segment. The sheer volume of the Harpies was a good choice because we’d only seen them in small skirmishes, and clearly the games did not sway them from trying to take back their city. And Drogon’s thrashings were a grand sight in both CGI and backing soundtrack. Well performed all around.

CHARACTER MVP

As a send off, I’d like to give the MVP to Shireen Baratheon. Her stories to both Davos and Stannis showed her innocent nature at recounting the massive history of Westeros and both cared for her in their own way. She was essentially the last bit of light in Stannis and now she’s gone. But even from her affliction, she remained a courageous character and tried her best to be a good daughter to Stannis. What happened to her was a despicable act, and hopefully Davos doesn’t let her lie in ashes as just a bitter memory.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Who is really going to mess with that giant at the wall? I hope he’s a mainstay, because he’s survived some wicked battle scars and should be a clean ally for Jon.

Judging by how the books went down, I’m not expecting Jaime to return to King’s Landing quite yet. His relationship to Cersei is very different in the written world and this Jaime is still very much in care of his sister, which makes anything he does from here on out very interesting and possibly questionable.

Will Dany discover Jorah’s greyscale and how will she react after trusting him again so soon? Or will she even find out at all. His days could be numbered, but that’s for the seasons to decide. Shireen survived it after all and it’s just an arm.

How exactly will sacrificing Shireen help Stannis? Will men and supplies suddenly appear or will the snows do the Bolton’s more harm than good? Maybe the snows will cease just enough for Stannis and his army to make it to Winterfell. Since Stannis is still the lesser of two evils, he has to be the one to be victorious, for Sansa’s sake if nothing else.

Speaking of Melisandre, what would a character like her say to Daenerys if the two ever met? Considering who she’s serving with such loyalty, has she really considered what a Targaryen would do when she lands in Westeros? Is she like Varys, actually biding her time with the safest enemy because she knows what’s really going to happen, of does she know even more dangers than just the whitewalkers, if she even cares about them at all.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out 10. It was in the realm of being a lower number but the last act stayed the course and kept it in the high eight range. We understand everyone’s final storylines for this season with the exception of Sansa, Jon, and Dany. Sansa could be rescued, or she could be taken away by Ramsey if he’s been defeated. Jon is on thin ice with his own men still and keeping the peace with an even larger wilding group could prove to be most difficult in the finale. And where will Dany land? In the books we know exactly where she lands, but enough things have changed, she could be dining in Meereen just as easily, except that her city is being overrun yet again by her enemies. She has to save it or leave it, and she’s not the kind to leave anything abandoned. Very good episode at the end, and I look forward to seeing yet another finale rip the hearts or freeze the eyes of it’s fiercely loyal audience.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×08 (Zombie hordes and breaking the wheel)

GOT 5x08

A legitimate threat long whispered and seldom scene has made its presence viscerally known on the eve of GOT’s 8th winter episode. The bitter frost and army of blue eyes ravaged and cleaned wildling house as the whitewalkers took it straight to Jon Snow and his men while he rallied those who would return to the wall. It was a cavalcade of sheer mayhem while far below the south, a queen and a Lannister traded formidable words and may strike an alliance yet.

There wasn’t a better time to give us the most awe-striking hellish winter of evil than now. Payoffs had been mentioned earlier and many of those came true tonight, from the simple exchange between favorable characters to the simplest truths that finally met the ears of Sansa Stark. Here lies the comeuppance of a queen so used to having her way, and a girl begins her first mission of assassination. Everything worked hands down and I couldn’t find a single moment that wasn’t a fabulously well done scene. Even Sam’s speech to Ollie spoke volumes of trust and necessity of survival. Even in Westeros to the folk know how to battle the zombie invasion.

In Meereen, Tyrion convinces Daenerys to spare Jorah but still has him banished. Later, Tyrion and Dany converse about her plans to take the iron throne while Jorah returns to the master he fought for, this time as a willing participant wanting to fight for Dany in the pits. Theon reveals to Sansa that he never killed Bran and Rickon but flees when Sansa tries to push for information on their whereabouts. Arya begins spying on a local businessman as her first test of subterfuge. In King’s Landing, Cersei continues to defy her captors while in captivity. In the North, Jon and Tormund reach the wildling camp and convince most of the people to join them, but the whitewalkers invade, slaughtering many of the people there. Jon and his men narrowly escape as a whitewalker commander raises all the newly dead as zombies in his army.

To begin, it was simply a surreal moment finally seeing the witty Tyrion square off with the tempered Daenerys as they conversed over history and intent to rule. While much of Dany’s words felt a bit reserved and cautious, Tyrion chose his own carefully and tactfully ultimately resulting in her statement to make him her advisor. It’s what everyone wanted and we’ve witnessed the first step in that direction. Dany intends to not only lay claim to Westeros but forge her legacy and the Targaryens forever. Tyrion may be in it for the ride of his life, but he focused and driven and whether truly loyal or not, he’ll do what he can to ensure not only his safety but perhaps the safety of all common folk in Westeros.

Sansa now knows that her younger brothers are essentially still alive. I don’t think it will take any more convincing since Theon’s hesitancy to even speak on the matter was basic proof enough. Now Sansa has just enough of a reason to hold out hope that her family it larger than just herself. Now, as we all know, Bran is beyond the wall and well out of her reach, but that doesn’t mean Rickon is lost. In fact, I’d wager if Sansa does make it out of Winterfell intact, there’s a strong possibility that she can be reunited with Rickon and maybe, just maybe Brienne will be in charge of finding yet another Stark in service to the family. I can see Sansa trusting Brienne with such a task if Brienne in fact saves her from the Bolton’s regardless of the battle with Stannis and his men.

Arya’s training has now reached the next level that involves the studying and spying of someone who the faceless men were hired to essentially take out. There’s little doubt that Arya will be up for the task and she’ll most likely pass with flying colors. Her character is bound for this lifestyle and it’s unlikely she’ll mess anything up unless the truth of her blade, needle comes into play. I suspect it won’t be an issue at this point in the plot and I genuinely look forward to her first kill. Does this mean she’ll get to change faces this season? Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

There wasn’t much on the Cersei front save for her conversation with Qyburn. His comment before he left could have been rushed for the sake of the religious woman being in their presence, but more so it’s likely that he’s referencing his experiment laying on his table. I was surprised he didn’t mention a trial by combat, but we’re not quite there yet as it would appear Cersei is still in defiance mode and won’t let down so easily for the sake of pride. In any case, her battle is far from over just because she’s extremely thirsty.

The meat and bones of this episode was surprisingly Jon’s venture into the deep north to acquire the remaining wildlings. The speeches circling the chieftains, Jon, and Tormund were all well spoken moments, but truthfully once the horde came crashing through the snowy blizzard, it was delightful carnage. Skeletons, half bodies, full corpses, and whitewalkers themselves brought the chaos as the wildlings fought for their lives. For the first time, Jon understands that his valyrian steel blade can not only deflect a whitewalker’s blade, but disintegrate them as well. Perhaps dragon glass isn’t the only weapon in their arsenal. Everything was intense and brutal and the best qualities didn’t even need the extra gallons of blood and teeth mashing that we usually are accustomed to on other zombie shows. It was cold and callous and unbelievably fast in some segments that created a fantastic rush while watching and hoping Jon got through unscathed. His look after the dead wildlings risen was priceless as he only understands all that more what Westeros is up against. An undying army that can only grow with each dead person they claim. At least they have a giant making it back with them.

FAVORITE MOMENT

As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the last twenty minutes of the episode I still have to give Tyrion and Dany the credit for giving us a scene five years in the making. Good acting means letting characters handle their personas and deliver in their unique ways while the camera eagerly catches their mannerisms and inflections from moment to moment. Once more, Tyrion proves how invaluable he is and Dany easily perceives this and so far is encouraging their alliance. These are two “good-natured” characters that are trying to survive and thrive the only ways they know how. It was about time they hooked up as allies and only more great scenes can come from this. Whether Tyrion fouls up because of his lust for wine or something he might say under heated breath remains to be seen, but for now it was just an amazing scene to watch.

CHARACTER MVP

Jon Snow led the charge and battled bloody and beaten against a whitewalker and survived. He’s no joke and if the wildlings aren’t convinced of his stature and demeanor, than nothing more can be asked. He’s taking on as much responsibility as he can knowing just how much is truly at stake. He just met the cold jaws of evil death and he’s still alive to fight them again. Let’s just hope Ollie didn’t take Sam’s advice and do something stupid like betray Jon for the greater good according to him.

ENDING THOUGHTS

It remains to be seen but I wonder if the whitewalkers can in fact talk. Doing so could deflate the majesty that they portray every second they’re on screen. With simple gestures alone, they command new troops freshly made for their devices.

With Bran out of this entire season and the dead army on the foot-heels of the wall, what part will he play aside from becoming the master of wargs(wards)? Will he in fact be forever embedded to his new home by the tree?

The formula usually calls for a huge battle during the 9th episode, but will they have the Bolton’s and Stannis fight so soon after we witnessed the undead massacre? Is this fight one we have any stock in? Surely Stannis is the lesser of two evil’s but even Ramsey has a plan that he thinks needs only 20 men. This will be interesting.

I guess the Lord of Bones won’t be soul-swapping with Mance Raydar anytime soon. Ah those lovely book moments that never reach the tv show’s script lines.

Clearly Littlefinger won’t be able to return to Winterfell before Stannis reaches it. It’s interesting that Sansa may never see him again and in many ways I hope that’s the case. Although, I doubt Sansa will be taken from Winterfell as her situation is more politically driven and having her run around with Brienne looking for Rickon just doesn’t seem like it’s the nature of her character. Still, if she does encounter Littlefinger again, they either one be the same?

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Almost a perfect episode. It has grand moments finally fulfilled and a rip-roaring ride with the real evil of the series. There wasn’t much in the way of complaints and they wisely kept on Jon for the entirety of his segment instead of chasing back and forth. Those who were sandwiched between Tyrion and Dany and the whitewalker battle played to their strengths but were more filler than anything because not much was accomplished accept for Arya’s new task to undertake. Other than that, it was a highly enjoyable episode that promised more big things are coming. If only Ned was around to witness this turn of events. Oh, and when the whitewalker raised his arms, even though I knew the newly dead were going to rise all I really wanted to see were undead frost dragons emerging from the blizzard snow and wind. Food for thought.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×07 (The Mormont who became a gladiator)

GOT 5x07

Every aftermath is positioned carefully so that the most ill-fated characters have some semblance of hope. Yet such courtesies are snatched away again and again for some, and hope turns to confusion and even desperation for others. Tonight’s episode of GOT provides enough sullen waves yet its second half proved more lenient and even gave us a morsel of comeuppance for the so-called queen of the seven kingdoms. From here to the end, there won’t be a fan not glued to their seat to view what comes next.

If the pattern had continued, I would have been hard-pressed to write an objective viewpoint regarding certain villainous and cowardice characters. The straw that almost broke the dragon’s back was Sam’s abhorrent beating at the hands of his own brothers of the wall. Sometimes the wicked thrive because the pores of the earth seep darkness through and through. Luckily an old friend cameo’d and since then the tempo was most deservedly upbeat and even bashfully supportive as a pair of characters are unkindly reunited.

In the north, Sansa is betrayed by Theon when she pleads for him to send her allies a signal. Jon departs with Tormund to find the remaining wildlings beyond the wall. Melisandre tries to convince Stannis to sacrifice his daughter to guarantee victory over the Boltons, and Ghost helps Sam stop a pair of night’s watchmen from taking Gilly for themselves. In Dorne, Jaime unsuccessfully tries to convince Myrcella to leave while Bronn suffers near death at the hands of the sand sisters. Jorah and Tyrion are purchased for the pit fights and Daenerys attends a small event. Jorah see her and rushes into the fight defeating everyone and revealing himself to her. Tyrion emerges by his side as his gift to her. In King’s landing, Littlefinger converses with Olenna which eventually leads to the high sparrow arresting Cersei after Lancel previously confessed his actions with her.

If I haven’t wrote it a few times before, I have to once more punch the keyboard about Theon. He is less of a case of Stockholm syndrome and more of a trial of absurdity in this series. Even from a written standpoint, characters like the Hound, Davos, Yara, and even Lancel at this point deserve more screen time than this fop of a let down. His absolute last moment of choice was when his sister went to break him out. Now we’re utterly forced to endure his broken down and tattered being again and again crumbling to the might of Ramsey. There’s overselling a villain’s stature and then there’s Ramsey Snow. Sansa’s only beacon of hope is Brienne who’s waiting for some kind of sign to ride in and take her away. If there’s a pay off here, it needs to happen. Theon is a joke and now Sansa knows it. Whatever happens next, she needs to be careful because she swiped that tool and she might try and do something with it and of course she won’t succeed because writer’s rub their hands together and cackle when they dangle hope like that in front of a specific fan base. Okay, moving on.

Aemon’s death and Sam and Gilly’s coupling all happened on a boat that was meant to send them way south, but that’s no longer happening at least not in season 5. For the most part that’s okay considering Ghost got to make an appearance and wouldn’t have if Sam wasn’t around. I just hope Ghost doesn’t suffer at the hands of vindictive men. Not to mention, why isn’t Ghost at Jon’s side in all this? He really has the freedom to go where he likes. Sam’s heroic nature is also stumped by the fact that he was reminded his allies are growing short. He and Gilly need to leave and leave fast.

Much of the only real highlight came from Jorah’s one-side victory over the pit fighters on his path to reuniting with Dany. What was strangely observant was Dany’s face when masked Jorah beat those men up. Unless she recognized his fighting prowess, she really shouldn’t have been impressed nor interested in one man’s gallant stomping of fellow fighters. Yet, when he revealed himself, she showed nothing but contempt. And then, there was Tyrion, once more saving his comrade and now we have the fated meeting between Targaryen and Lannister. Something the books never dabbled in because we’re simply not there yet. This is an exciting moment. Although, we can’t expect Tyrion to be propped beside the queen just like that, no there’s going to be a lot of haggling on Tyrion’s end just to keep his head attached. Still, this is uncharted territory and that’s a good thing.

Not much to say about Jaime and Bronn except that Bronn was easily being toyed with by the sisters. a scene like this was interesting because it shows at least one of the sisters isn’t completely heartless although holding that kind of power over a man could very well be the nature of their personalities, or at least one of them. They’re not to be trifled with and now Bronn understands that.

The climactic moment came in the form of situational irony. Whether Cersei had all of her own hand in the making really doesn’t matter. What matters is she’s now in the same boat as Margaery which makes the next few episodes very tricky for mother and queen. Cersei can’t order herself out of this and what’s more, everyone is technically guilty. What happens to the guilty in the eyes of the high sparrow and six other judges. Tommen will be a mess once he finds out his mother is locked up along with his wife. Things are getting interesting, but it was a sweet moment to finally see something happen to Cersei after 57 episodes. That’s a long wait, but so far, worth it.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Tyrion and Dany looking at each other. I would have picked Cersei in a cell, but I already read that and Tyrion has yet to meet Dany in the books. So for me, this was an epic moment to relish. Dany is smart, but Tyrion is impressively gifted in wit, so this will make for an interesting pairing. Where does that leave Jorah though? Hopefully in a better spot considering his greyscale is probably getting worse as we speak.

CHARACTER MVP

Sam gets the top spot this week. He took his lumps, stood up and was ready to face even more at the hands of protecting the woman he cared for. He’s proving to be more confident and hard-spoken even though he can’t quite match his wit with his ability to fight. Right now that doesn’t matter, Gilly recognized the heroism and thanked him in her own way. Hopefully this isn’t the highlight of Sam’s trek through this season with the foreboding that it all goes downhill from here. He shouldn’t suffer such a fate, not for lasting this long.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Sansa’s now suffered several nights of sexual abuse. This is truly a living hell for her considering it’s in her kingdom and there’s no one to help her. One thought that came to me was when Ramsey revealed to her that Jon was the Lord Commander of the night’s watch. What if she tries to send a message to him? Granted it’ll probably never work and even if it did he wouldn’t be there to receive it. But still, if he did, what would a half-brother do so close to home?

Bronn’s also in a tight spot considering he’s locked in a cell while Jaime is just in a room. Oddly enough I can see some kind of kinship with him and the sand sisters and who knows, maybe they could just buy his allegiance, but I know that’s not in their nature. Still, it’s hard to know what lies in store for the sellsword.

Rest is peace Aemon, you outlived practically everyone in around four generations.

I honestly don’t know what Stannis is prepared to do now that Melisandre has put this sacrifice in front of him. It’s sinister but he’s trying very hard to be a victorious king. Now comes a real interesting test for him.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. There were ill moments as I stated earlier. the kind that treat as though the world isn’t allowed to feel good about itself. And for much of the plot, it seemed like this would be a 100% dismal episode which never resonate well except to crush the plastic cups under aggravation at the water cooler. Though, things did pick up and some sense of balance came through with Tyrion meeting Dany and Cersei being arrested. Those are cliffhanger moments and shouldn’t be the centric of what made the episode good or bad. Sam dealt with proving himself and protecting Gilly and Brienne is biding her time until she comes to Sansa’s rescue. The north is preparing for war and what’s strange is all of the main characters are not in the picture, at least not directly. With three episodes left, it’s time to wait and see if the penultimate is our war episode. And the battle between queens in jail has begun in King’s Landing. Good luck.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×06 (There’s always death at a wedding)

Thrones 5x06

Virtue is cast aside to make room for more sinister agendas as the lone daughter of Stark becomes wife to House Bolton, and with it, a new sense of terror. This week’s episode of GOT delivers more uneasiness as nearly every showcased character gets rattled and captured in the snares of their rivals, save for the girl who wishes to become no one, but for now will become someone else.

Like Theon, this was a hard episode to watch and keep a positive outlook that good things will happen to those who seize the moment. In fact, it’s rather likely the only one’s who will prevail to some high degree by season’s end will be the ones who truly master the game and put forth devious effort and unrelenting conviction. “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” reminds us that no one is trustworthy, not for second in this wicked world. People will be used and manipulated just like they always are and in the end, becoming stone is the only way to endure it. Tonight’s fractured tale was one of multiple cliffhangers conjured forth to make the second half of this season a captivating one. While there was little to feel at ease with, the sensation of dread is ever growing.

Arya discovers that the bodies she cleans are stored and their faces used to change the faceless men. In Dorne, Jamie and Bronn are ambushed by the sand sisters just as they find Myrcella. All are captured however by Doran Martell’s guards, including Ellaria. Jorah and Tyrion get to know more about one another when they are captured by slavers at a shore. Tyrion convinces the leader (Mr. Eko!) not to kill him and to let Jorah take part in the pit games. In King’s Landing, Olenna Tyrell arrives to help Margaery, but due to evidence against Loras and his sexual acts, he and Margaery are taken into custody by the High Sparrow with Cersei ever the puppeteer. Littlefinger speaks with Cersei and offers to take over the north after Stannis and the Bolton’s battle. Cersei agrees to make him warden of the north as long as he brings her the head of Sansa Stark. At Winterfell, Sansa and Ramsey are wed. At night, Ramsey keeps Theon in his bedchamber to watch as Ramsey forcibly takes Sansa on their wedding night.

Sometimes the number of times you can count certain characters having good moments never exceed the amount of fingers you have on one hand. Ramsey has officially taken the place of Joffrey as the king of sadistic men. Not only does he reveal his nature to Sansa so suddenly but he continues to punish Theon in obscene ways. This trio will be going through a lot of trauma although Ramsey won’t be suffering from any of it unless Miranda, Theon, or Sansa take some kind of stand against him. But that’s not likely to happen because GOT plots don’t utilize conventional plot mechanics. Theon may have been crying but he’s absolutely broken to do anything about it. Unless there are plans to turn him around, they should seriously just kill him and be done with it. Now Sansa knows what kind of person Ramsey is and the worst of it is she’s alone, for now. We as the audience know that Littlefinger is all but offering Sansa on a silver platter all for the art of playing sides against one another and being the one to be ontop. His game is the most dangerous, but is he really planning on using Sansa so carelessly, or does he have something else going on? Sansa has hidden allies, and she’ll be calling on them soon I imagine. If she’s the one to put a dagger in Ramsey, after all she’s done, it will be a good day.

Arya is learning little by little the difference between true stories and the lies that come with becoming no one. The remarkable thing about her character is she’ll always be safe while she trains. I have no doubts of her training and in the end, she’ll be that much stronger having sustained her new lifestyle. Whether she can truly let go of herself remains to be seen.

Bronn and Jaime both surviving their capture I thought was a bit odd. And neither them nor the three sand sisters were gravely wounded which means all five fighters are that good at what they do. That day, nobody died in Dorne. How many times can that be said? No doubt Doran can’t just kill Jaime, but he’ll have to play it safe if he’s to keep down a possible civil war in his own lands.

Margaery and Loras are also in hot water no thanks to Cersei, who is so busy playing the game that she can’t see past her own rival. Olenna will have to jump into this somehow and I imagine Cersei’s acts with Jaime will undoubtedly make their way to the High Sparrow. Since it was Littlefinger who made the off-handed comment, maybe he’ll be the one to help Olenna. But then, that wouldn’t put him in any position accept seizing some alliance with the Tyrells. There’s a lot of back and forth coming up I’m certain. Cersei can’t win every single round, that’d be boring.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Arya’s discovery of the faces. It was a magnificent set piece with an immense musical number behind it. On her path toward this new state of being, she’s finally unlocked an important segment that will continue to draw her in. After all she’s been through, things are starting to pay off and that was more or less the only “good” moment to come out of this episode in retrospect.

CHARACTER MVP

I’m giving it to Sansa. She really did try to put on a strong face when Miranda tried to frighten her with Ramsey’s past relationships. But in her current state, she really has no control. Still, she won’t become broken like Theon is, and that alone should be a reminder what not to turn into. She’s learned only a small bit from Littlefinger, but against Ramsey, she’ll have to become something so much more. And the symbolism with her dark hair being washed away is not lost on me. She’ll call on her allies, it’s her only ace she has left.

ENDING THOUGHTS

With a crisis temporarily averted, I can’t imagine Doran executing any of his own people including Ellaria, but how Jaime and Bronn will make it out of Dorne alive, I have no idea.

Olenna won’t waste time. Since she’s the only one who has any modicum of power to react to Cersei, she’ll need to undo what’s happened fast or share some similar fate with all the Tyrells. Question is, who would help her against the “real” queen?

I wonder if Jorah’s greyscale will be some kind of sympathy move with Danaerys. Not that he’d use it persay, but if he were in trouble of that nature, could it in fact be a way for her to forgive him? Or is that just not in the cards and he’ll likely just die ten feet outside the gate because this show is known to do dastardly things like that?

The scene with Ramsey and Sansa was originally supposed to be with Jeyne Pool (I think) as a stand in. Why they decided to do away with this plot and actually use Sansa as the victim is beyond me. I guess in the grand scheme of facial recognition, and Theon’s broken mind, there’s no way he’d let someone else be called Sansa in her place.

The five-way fight scene honestly felt sloppy, and the only reason it felt sloppy was because no one was supposed to die in that scene. Cool moves were had, but at no point was there a fear that any of the those five would be mortally wounded. The Sand sisters are new and they wouldn’t kill one or two off that fast. Maybe coming up, but not tonight.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out 10. There was a lot more dismal occurrences than I would have anticipated. The end was certainly shocking if not for the sake of watching a beloved character suffer the rampant acts of a psychopath who technically owns her now. This was very much a set-up episode and the hope is the seventh episode will be the pay-off. Arya’s continued growth was the most well-received scenes and the rest were quite frankly, a disjointed band of evil marionettes having their way with the decent characters of this show. Arguments can be made for who’s decent nowadays, but I stick to my sentiments. Until next week. Thank you for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×05 (Greyscale in a grey world with no absence of grey joy)

Thrones 5x05

**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**

The north is remembered for much of tonight’s episode of GOT. If all falls in the direction claimed, then our big battle for the season will be between the Bolton’s and Stannis for control of Winterfell and essentially the north. There could be other major skirmishes along the way, but for now Stannis has begun his trek back south no longer content with waiting.

Some intensity was held back in favor of more established concerns between Daenerys and her city and other moments pertaining to Sansa, Ramsey, Jon, and a surviving Grey Worm who at the moment is being cared for by Missandei. Jorah and Tyrion’s travel through old Valyria provided a bit of heightened moments that ended with a dark turn for one of them. Most of the episode played casually with a few scenes that conjured a bit of worry, but for the most part was a rather relaxing mid-point of the season.

In the north, Jon convinces Tormund to return beyond the wall to find the remaining wildlings and bring them south. Tormund only agrees with Jon accompanies him. Meanwhile, Stannis leaves the watch to deal with Roose Bolton and Winterfell. At Winterfell, Sansa discovers Theon (Reek) is serving Ramsey and still harbors anger over his act in “killing” her younger brothers. Ramsey is concerned over his position when Roose announces he’s having another child, but Roose reassures him and the two prepare for Stannis’s army. In Meereen, Daenerys serves a master up to her dragons but later decides to spare the master (I forgot his name) who had been pleading for her to reopen the pit games. She eventually succumbs to the request and even goes as far as to proclaim a marriage between the two to help with the hostilities in her city. Jorah and Tyrion travel through Old Valyria and encounter stonemen who attack the boat. Jorah and Tyrion escape to a beach but Jorah alone has been stricken with greyscale on his wrist.

To no surprise, another great character has seen his last episode. Sir Barristan Selmy fell after aiding Grey Worm, which means Daenerys is now one more consulate short in her group of loyal men. Just when his stories of Rhaegar and himself were reaching interesting points, any further stories that could shed light of Rhaegar’s being for Dany is now cut short. The truth is she knows enough of Rhaegar’s kindness that any more would probably dilute the image and she needs to continue to play at her strengths. Her choice in opening the pits to free people is something akin to the book so that’s on par for the time being. Barristan’s fate however is a different story.

In the north, we remain in Winterfell from a few points of view the first being Brienne who attempts to get a message to Sansa. Sansa is also greeted by the woman who gives her a message of her own about lighting a candle in the highest tower. Was it the same one Bran fell out of in season one? They looked similar. What really stood out here was of course her reaction to Theon and the way Ramsey treated him during their dinner. What’s puzzling is Theon is still very much broken by Ramsey’s torture and as such he probably isn’t going to be in any position to tell Sansa that he didn’t actually kill her brothers. It really wouldn’t do her much good to know because why would she ever trust anything he says? What’s important is she’s playing her game as best she can while Ramsey is actually behaving himself with the exception of Miranda, who’s showing more signs of malice and disdain for Sansa who is in line to wed Ramsey, still.

With Jon leaving with Tormund this will actually give him something to do, but I can’t imagine they’ll show too many scenes of this while Dorne and King’s Landing have a lot of cover in just this season alone. I wonder if Jon will still Sam away with his companions before he leaves. It is a book plot point, but is it one they want to stray away from like others they’ve done already? Sam’s scene with Gilly, Aemon, and Stannis were important I believe for this very reason. Sam needs to begin his next adventure, and they shouldn’t lock him in the wall on the show like that. Even Aemon gave Jon a stern message that he needs to grow as a man.

FAVORITE MOMENT

I particularly enjoyed the final scene with Jorah and Tyrion. There was a majestic quality brought on by Tyrion’s narration of what Old Valyria must have been like and what it would take to build cities like them again. The action came and spun them around taking them to their next destination while at the end, we discover Jorah’s fate with greyscale. Does this mean he’s going to die? Certainly not. How fast it will affect him and what not remains to be seen. But he’s keeping it from Tyrion for now and that means more in the future as they search for another boat. Jorah is now beginning to talk to Tyrion which means they may actually form a speakable bond. That’s the theory anyway.

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone was relatively equal this time around, but I believe Ramsey gets the edge this round. He had a moment with Theon and showed him mercy which doesn’t mean he’s turning a new leaf. Rather, he’s taking a softer approach with control because he’s already broken Theon in every way. He’s going to continue to use him to bait Sansa in some way, but at the moment his endgame could be anything. He’s playing his role, but deep down you can tell he’s waiting to try out his twisted ways when he’s free and able.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

I liked Grey Worm and Missandei’s small scene together. There’s an honesty with their feelings and Grey Worm is easily remaining to be a favored character in Dany’s court. He’ll recover, but now he’ll have distraction in his heart which means he can easily become vulnerable again if he’s not careful.

Who will come to Sansa’s aid if she needs it? Was that meant to be Brienne or is it in fact other people of the north that are still loyal to the Starks? What worries is that there will most definitely be a time coming that will cause her to do this. Hopefully it isn’t something Ramsey does to her.

Melisandre gave Jon that look before her and Stannis left. Was it a chilling look of foreboding, or a warning even? I would have thought if she really wanted to seduce Jon then she would have stuck around. But perhaps it was all to gain his allegiance for Stannis. If she has her own agenda with him, it won’t be worth much if she isn’t around to procure him.

I almost thought Sansa was going to see a captured Direwolf in one of those cages. Of course, with Lady having been the first direwolf to be killed back in season one, it wouldn’t have been anything real significant for her. We haven’t seen a single one this whole season, not even faithful Ghost. Shame.

The look on Tyrion’s face was pretty priceless when he finally saw his first dragon. Now he knows there is no joke with Dany being the mother of dragons. Still, he’s got one heck of game to play if he’s really going to side with her. Too bad he can no longer reunite with Barristan. Not that they had a strong alliance to begin with.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Although the north is more the focus I’d like to see, I felt Sansa and Jon were more like background characters this time. Jon certainly served a great start with allying with Tormund, but there was mostly more with Stannis, Sam, and the Boltons’s from Winterfell. Now that Dany has issued the pits to start anew, things should be getting interesting in Meereen again. Tyrion and Jorah have plenty to go before they can arrive there, and I’m not convinced it will happen this season, if at all. The most promising feature is that Stannis has left to face the Boltons and that will consist of some much needed battle days. Looking forward to that and I hope it’s not just an off-screen battle. They can afford bigger battles now. Time to get cracking.

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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!

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