Previously on Game of Thrones, ‘The Wars to Come’
Brienne and Pod - Near the East Road
Our favorite traveling mentorship stops in a tavern for a bite to eat. While Pod checks out the server, a couple speaks at a table nearby. It’s Sansa and Littlefinger! And book readers lose their damn minds.
Sansa asks about the scroll delivered to Littlefinger while they were at Lord Royce’s. Was it, as her mother always said, “Dark wings, dark words?” Inaccurate, he says. His marriage proposal was accepted. Before he can tell her by whom, Podrick recognizes Lady Sansa despite her new goth appearance. Brienne sends him out to ready the horses, telling him to find another so they no longer have to share when they make their sure to be hasty retreat.
Brienne approaches their table and Littlefinger wastes no time pointing out her fancy new duds, implying she must be on a mission for someone very important and rich *cough Lannisters cough*.
She pledges her sword to Sansa. Littlefinger questions her ability to protect anyone: Renly, Catelyn Stark. Why should Sansa trust her? Brienne mentioning the shadow with Stannis’ face doesn’t help any. Sansa refuses to leave with her. Knowing she’s been beaten - for now - Brienne attempts to leave and has to knock about a few of Littlefinger’s men to do so. She manages to let loose a few of the guards’ horses before she and Pod take off, but Littlefinger’s guards are close behind.
She and Podrick get separated - leave it to Pod to pick a horse he can’t control. Brienne doubles back and sees Littlefinger and Sansa riding off. She makes note of their direction before returning to rescue Podrick from two of the guards. It is gory and magnificent.
Pod wonders if maybe the Stark girls are a lost cause - they both refused her service. Neither of them believe Sansa is truly safe with Littlefinger, so they are going to follow her.
Cersei and Jaime - Kings Landing
Cersei has received a crude gift: Myrcella’s necklace hanging from the mouth of a serpent statue. It is a threat from the Martells of Dorne, who have her daughter and are probably just a tad upset that Oberyn died in the capital.
Cersei rages about their daughter’s safety and scoffs at Jaime’s warning to keep her voice down. She doesn’t care. One of their sons is dead, their daughter is practically being held hostage, and their other son is due to marry a smirking whore from Highgarden. Princess Smirks-a-Lot!
Jaime offers to quietly go to Dorne - so as not to start another war - to retrieve Myrcella. And he’s not going alone.
Bronn is taking a walk with his bride-to-be, Lollys Stokeworth. He’s eyeing the castle he’ll inherit with his new wife, when she corrects him: the castle will never be theirs when her father dies. It goes to her older sister who’s a bit of a twat. We can practically see Bronn’s plans to murder the sister playing in his head. They’re both surprised to see Jaime Lannister waiting for them. Alone with Jaime, Bronn learns Jaime needs his help on a trip, and when they return, he’ll be given a better bride - probably one who won’t have a sibling in need of murdering.
Cersei observes the head of a dwarf brought to her by two hunters. They won’t be collecting that bounty, however, because it’s not Tyrion. Never one to waste anything, Qyburn asks for the head for his “work.”
Cersei holds the small council meeting, though she is not Hand of the King. She’s simply advising her son until he’s of age. Mace Tyrell offers to take on the role, but she tells him he’ll be busy being Master of Ships and Master of Coin. Qyburn will be Master of Whispers, which sends Grand Maester Pycelle into a sputtering fit of rage. She offers Kevan Lannister, her uncle, the role of Master of War. He’s honored, but would like to hear it from the king himself. The king is busy. The king, he says, needs to have his ass at the small council meeting to learn to lead. He has no interest in watching Cersei fill the council with sycophants. When she won’t tell him what mission Jaime has taken, he announces he’s going back to Casterly Rock. If Tommen needs him, he’ll come back.
Shireen’s Reading Rainbow - The Wall
Shireen is teaching Gilly to read while Sam studies the history of the Lord Commanders of the Night’s Watch. Gilly asks about Shireen’s greyscale, which she got as a baby. Shireen’s not sure how she was saved from death. Gilly tells a story of her sister wives who had it, and how they were taken out to the woods and killed by her father husband. Selyse arrives and puts a stop to all of that. She instructs her daughter to stay away from Gilly.
Stannis is hot with Jon’s ass. He thinks he showed too much kindness when he put Mance out of his misery. Jon counters that the free folk won’t follow him whether he’s nice or cruel. They will only follow one of their own. Speaking of which, Stannis received a response from House Mormont, whose leader is just a girl of ten. They will not recognize anyone as the leader in the North unless they’re a Stark.
Davos points out that Alliser Thorne will most likely be elected Lord Commander that night, and that will make life tough for Jon. How about he allow Stannis to make him legitimate by swearing his sword to him? He’ll rise as Jon Stark, and help Stannis control the North.
At the voting ceremony, Sam balks when Jon says he won’t accept the offer. He already pledged himself to The Night’s Watch, Jon says. What kind of leader would he be if he can’t keep a vow? Well, you kinda already broke a few of those when you got all up in Ygritte, but okay.
Before the voting begins, Janos Slynt gives praise to nominee, Alliser. Another speaks on behalf of a ranger who’s been a member for eons. Jon taps his cup in agreement, so we know who’s getting his vote. Sam surprises everyone by throwing Jon’s name into contention. He snitches on Janos for being a punkass bitch during The Battle at Castle Black. Sam lists all of Jon’s accomplishments: taking over defense of The Wall, leading the men when Alliser was hurt, going beyond The Wall to speak with Mance, and leading the mission to avenge Commander Mormont. Alliser can’t let this endorsement go unchallenged and reminds everyone Jon fucked a wildling. Stay classy, Alliser.
Everyone votes, and it’s a tie between Alliser and Jon, but Maester Aemon breaks the tie and Jon Snow is appointed the 998th Lord Commander of The Night’s Watch.
The Martells - Dorne
Ellaria Sand watches as Myrcella strolls through the water gardens with her betrothed. If looks could kill, there’d be a Marcella-Shaped stain on the ground. Ellaria takes her anger to Doran Martell, Oberyn’s older brother who is confined to a wheelchair. After snapping at his guard, Areo Hotah, she demands to know what Doran plans to do about Oberyn’s death. She has the Sand Snakes with her and they’re prepared to send Myrcella to Cersei bit by bit. He reminds her they don’t mutilate young girls in Dorne, not while he’s in charge. Ellaria wonders aloud how much longer that will be.
Tyrion and Varys - On the road to Volantis
Tyrion has a bit of cabin fever as he’s been traveling in a wheelhouse with Varys with no other company. At least he has his liquor.
Varys points out Tyrion was a pretty good ruler for that short time. Tyrion admits Shae wanted them to leave, but he stayed because he enjoyed playing the game of thrones.
Arya - Braavos
As the ship passes through the giant legs of The Titan, the captain explains to Arya the statue’s significance, and she gets her first look at Braavos. He rows her through the canals, past the merchants and markets and deposits her at The House of Black and White - a large structure along a shore.
This is everything Arya has been waiting for! Tentatively, she knocks on the door and is greeted by a grumpy old dude who kinda looks like Maya Angelou and a turtle mixed together. Despite seeing the coin given to her by Jaqen H’ghar, he tells Arya to kick rocks. She sits on the steps, chanting her death prayer all night and through the rain. When the sun rises, she tosses the coin in the water and leaves.
Arya is out in those Braavosi streets, cutting off the head of a penguin so she can either cook it or sell it. We don’t find out which because she’s approached by some street thugs. She and Needle are about to do work when the Turtle Man appears. The thugs are scared simply by his presence. She follows him back to The House of Black and White and he returns her coin. Then he reveals another face: Jaqen H’ghar! Who’s not really Jaqen because a man has no name. He is no one, which is what a girl needs to become. She follows him inside.
Daenerys - Meereen
Daario gives Grey Worm a lesson in espionage as he leads a few Unsullied to a hideout of one of the Sons of the Harpy. They find him hiding in a wall after Daario stabs through it.
Daenerys receives advice from her council: Mossador - a former slave and leader of their rebellion - wants him executed without a trial; Hizdahr zo Loraq doesn’t believe the former slave owners are paying the SOH to stir up trouble; Barristan Selmy recommends a fair trial to decide the man’s fate. Daenerys dismisses them all. Barristan stays behind to remind her of her father’s actions when he was at his maddest. Basically, check yourself, girl. She promises to give the man a fair trial before executing him.
Mossador visits the terrorist in his cell and kills him. He leaves the body in the streets with the message: Kill the Masters. In the throne room, Mossador explains to Daenerys that he did it because she could not. His father died in the uprising, and if they allow the SOH to return them to chains, then his father never lived. Daenerys is moved, but not enough to let him go.
Mossador is marched before the people - masters yelling for his death, former slaves yelling, “Mysha!” Though it pains her to do so, and despite Mossador’s plea for forgiveness and the former slaves’ cries for mercy, Daenerys orders Daario to execute Mossador. The former masters look satisfied, but the former slaves hiss like snakes. Daenerys and her court are hustled away as violence erupts.
In her quarters, Barristan and Grey Worm vow to stand guard outside her room all night. She asks to be alone, and when she is, hears something outside. She goes outside to investigate because scary movies aren’t a thing so how could she know this is a bad idea? On the balcony, she finds Drogon on the roof looking big.as.fuck. He comes closer and she reaches out tentatively, unable to touch him before he flies away.
- I love all the changes from the books! Sansa meeting Brienne is not book canon - at least not yet - but it makes total sense. And though we don’t know what this proposal is all about, I don’t have any doubt that Sansa will eventually be glad that Brienne hasn’t given up on her.
- This is why I couldn’t be the leader of a country. I would have totally forgiven Mossador.
- Fist pump for Kevan Lannister who stood up to his niece, pointing out that she’s clearly loading the council with people dumb enough to do her bidding. And also, props to him for taking his ass promptly back to Casterly Rock. Challenging Cersei and staying in the capital is basically committing suicide.
- We gonna find out what Qyburn is doing with that dwarf head or nah?
- Why do I feel like Bronn will not make it to or out of Dorne alive?
- Very little Tyrion this episode, but that’s okay. What we did get was top notch.
- We heard their names, but didn’t get to meet the Sand Snakes! *hiss*