After an episode of exposition and setup, we get an episode this week that really starts to put some major wheels into motion. Where these wheels are going to take us is abundantly open to speculation and debate, so thankfully Jim and I are back again to break it all down and offer to our loyal reader(s) a completely cogent, trenchant, and utterly rational examination of all the finer nuances of this week’s episode… or, um… something like that. Come and see.
Es: I’m gonna start this week’s recap not even in the episode itself, but with my reaction to the “Previously on Game of Thrones” jawn that they show before each episode. A long lost character has finally returned, and I’ll admit that when I saw Littlefinger appear in this refresher montage, I literally said out loud, “Ooooh, Littlefinger’s back.”
And when the awesome Lord Baelish finally appears in the episode he: Arrives in a carriage, dismounts from said carriage like a boss and adorned in splendid garments, wins his nephew/son over with a gift (which COMPLETELY distracts him from just about everything… though methinks that any kind of shiny object would have the exact same effect), bald-face lies about what happens to Sansa, accuses Lord Royce of scheming against him and Lord Distracted of the Vale when Royce gets all questiony, gets Royce backpedaling like a champ to avoid getting chucked out the Moon Door, annnnnd gets a war started between the Vale and the Boltons. Oh, and all of this takes place in the span of about three minutes.
Dude does NOT fuck around.
So, my questions to you here, James, are: Were you excited to see Littlefinger as I was? Is he actually planning on attacking Winterfell? Whose side is he on? Do you think he’s loyal to Tommen or does he have another game is he playing? Just what is he doing back there? I never know what he’s doing.
Jim: And you never will know what he’s doing back there until it’s too late cuz you’re bent over and Littlefinger has become The Shocker and taken away your dignity [Ed note: Is THIS where were going today, Jim???]]. I’ll let you sit with that image for a moment. Ok, we good? Be prepared, dear reader, for it’s that kind of day.
I was excited to see Littlefinger for sure and I believe the only side he is on is his own. He’s a very good liar, a very very good opportunist, and a very, very, very accomplished scumbag, which in Westeros and modern day America can propel you to great power and the nomination for President. Sad.
I think he is going to attack Winterfell cuz honestly, what does he have to lose? If it fails, he can offer up Lord Robin as the culprit and if it succeeds he can chuck Robin out the Moon Door and who would really care? As an aside, doesn’t Robin Arryn look like the love child of Paul from “Wonder Years” and the Peter Pan Guy?
Es: Over in Meereen, Tyrion meets with the Wise Masters, and the Good Masters, and the Rich Masters, and the Fetch Masters, and ALL THE MASTERS… or some of them anyway. And seriously, how many different kinds are there? (Though that’s sort of rhetorical.)
To get back to the action… Tyrion has an idea that he thinks will promote peace, so he rolls out his Super-Phat Seven Year Plan to End Slavery and Have Everyone Play Nice Nice, and, of course, concludes the negotiations with the obligatory Swarm of Whores™.
Mr. Worm and your girl Ms. Andi are certainly not happy about this, and after, surprisingly in my eyes, backing up Tyrion to the Free Peoples, they sternly caution him that the Masters cannot be trusted. Even when I heard his plan, I have to say that I was thinking that the Halfman was severely fucking things up… which both shocked me and gave me a bit of the sad.
So, Jim, what are your thoughts on the plan that Tyrion rolled out? Were you surprised that Mr. Worm and Ms. Andi backed him up? WHY do you think they backed him up? How long of a leash do the two of them have him on, and how much of this Dealing with the Masters shit are they going to take before Tyrion takes a Grey Worm spear to the larynx? How do you think that Dany will feel about his plan? Tell me, Jim. Tell me!!
Jim: I’m not surprised they backed him up cuz let’s be honest, those two are kind of trained to not think for themselves. They have strong opinions but when it came down to it, they backed the play of their Queen’s Halfman. That being said, Dany will HATE this plan and I’ll go into further detail as to why in the final question, but Tyrion is doing what he knows how to do. He’s the shade of gray in that black and white world. Dude’s got some finesse when Dany is a blunt instrument… we shall see if the two can co-exist.
I’m not completely sold that Tyrion believes in that plan in the long run anyway and perhaps he was just looking to keep the status quo ‘til Dany gets back with her dragon. I honestly expected the Swarm of Whores™ to slit their throats cuz nothing says Game of Thrones like tits and blood. And a Song. Of Ice. And Fire.
Es: Next we’re off to King’s Landing, where your Magpie is brought before the High Sparrow… and we find out that he used to orgy. shit. up. This situation, however, presents what must be a supremely confounding conundrum for you… but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Margie is finally allowed to see her brother, who is just COMPLETELY broken. Like to the point that I don’t know how he HASN’T confessed yet… to everything and anything, including shit that he didn’t even do. Though I suppose that confessing to being the gay with this gaggle of assholes would more than likely get him the brutally murdered, so he has BIG reasons to stay hush hush… but I mean, dude has fallen APART.
And I actually have to say that this sort of bothered me. I mean, it’s been wildly apparent who the stronger of the Tyrell siblings are, but Loras is supposed to be some badass knight, so you think that he would at least have something left in him pushing him to fight. Then again, they never really show what they’re doing to him, so maybe it’s some really bad shit? Jim, any thoughts?
After this, Cersei and Jaime bum rush the Small Council meeting and tell them that they’re going to have your Magpie make a Walk of Shame, to which the Queen of Thornes unleashes an “AW HELLZ NO!!” and everyone decides they need to work together, because the Lannister lovertwins also agree that this can’t happen.
So… why do you think that Cersei is fighting to NOT have Margie take her walk of shame? Is it because she doesn’t want anyone else to have to endure that? Is it because she’s protecting the reputation of the Throne and therefore her son? Is it a cunning attempt to trick the Tyrells and Yes We Kevan? Or is it just to get rid of the Faith Militant?
And finally, to get back to the aforementioned moral dilemma you must be in that I touch on above… We all know how much you heart yourself some Margaery Tyrell, so do you want her to be saved from these zealots and returned safely to home with no further harm done to her like a good and caring person would, OR would you like her to “atone for her sins” by taking a naked amble through the streets of Kings Landing where she will undoubtedly get pelted with any and every type of foul shit… you know, because then she would be both naked and humiliated, and you like both beautiful naked women and when people are thoroughly disgraced and degraded while naked? Ugh, Jim. Seriously! What kind of fucking creep are you!!??! Please tell our ones and ones of readers how you feel about this so we can appropriately judge you.
Jim: It seemed to me that whatever they are doing to Loras is much harsher than the way Magpie is being treated. And I would guess that it’s because they want to force her to confess to save her brother. But my girl ain’t falling for that shit.
I think Cersei has reasons and they are threefold. One – she knows she’s not getting back on that council and back in Tommen’s ear unless she does something to help Margaery. Two – she knows that she is the reason the Faith Militant are even in power to begin with, so something has to be done before people start remembering that fact. And three – like Littlefinger and his Winterfell gambit, she wins either way. If the Tyrell’s attack is a success, the people of King’s Landing aren’t going to like it and the Tyrell’s get the blame. If it fails, which I think she’s secretly counting on, the Lannisters get no blame either since Yes We Kevan’s army is going to stand down… plus she always has FrankenMountain to fight for her in the trial by combat as a backup plan.
Now, as for my alleged creepiness… first – “how dare you?” Second, by way of naked humiliation – I just learned that forniphilia was a thing the other day. I’ll save you the google and tell you it means there are people turned on by human furniture. That’s right, human furniture… which must lead to some identity issues for Ottoman Turks.
Now who’s the creep? Oh yeah, still me. Shame! [Ed note: You avoided the questions, James. Shame indeed!]
Es: Finally, Theon Greyjoy has returned to the Iron Islands! And this dude is still a complete f’n mess. The fact that his sister comes right at him from the jump probably doesn’t help, but he finally explains to her that he’s there to help her win the Kingsmoot and rule his homeland. My question is, do you think that his support actually helps Yara or hurts her? Would she better off distancing herself from him until after said Kingsmoot?
Since there’s not a lot here, please allow me to segue to Theon’s former home of Winterfell. Osha gets all bathed and cleaned up and is brought before Ramsay. With the way she played Theon and the other Ironborn when they took control of Winterfell before, I was interested to see how this would unfold.
She goes with her standard move with the fellas who take her captive and immediately talks a big game and gets into sexy mode. Here’s how it went:
- “Our house sigil is a flayed man because I skin people, much like I’m creepily peeling his apple, and do all kinds of other sick and sadistic things to them.”
- “Do you eat them after?”
- “Then I’ve seen worse. Let’s grind while I try to grab this just-barely-out-of-reach knife that I want to stab you repeatedly in the face with.”
- “Okay. And while you do that I’ll secretly plan to jam my knife in your Wildling throat.”
- Annnnnnnnnd now Osha’s dead.
Not Tonks! NOT TONKS!!!
Okay, so this kind of took me by surprise. Usually she was slick enough to get herself out of these situations, but this is Ramsay Bolton here, and…. eeesh. Though I have to say, considering that fucker’s track record, Osha got out LIGHT. I’m sure Theon would have been happy to take a quick dagger to the jugular than to endure what he did.
Anyway, I don’t know that I have any real questions here, Jim, but were you surprised at all or any of this? How exactly did you feel about Osha quickly bleeding out all over the floor due to the gaping hole in her neck? Please be both specific and precise about your feels.
Jim: Oh yeah, if Yara is smart she’ll dump Theon’s support over the side of a rickety old bridge. Whoops, too soon? Doesn’t matter though, cuz I’m all in on the Damphair ’16. I’m still pretty charged up for the Kingsmoot, and would actually prefer voting in that over our own election. Which of our politicians would be Yara’s equivalent? She kinda has the RBF of Carly Fiorina but she’d also cut a bitch like Ben Carson. She’d totally be a Republican though cuz I mean she literally received Theon’s dick in a box and was all like “quit whining, society doesn’t owe you shit.”
I’m going to admit it here, when he isn’t torturing people, Ramsay Bolton is kinda growing on me. I probably would’ve felt worse about Osha’s quick death if we’d seen her more recently, but she was gone before I could really remember the good times. The look on his face when he realized skinning an apple in front of her wasn’t going to intimidate her followed up by that awesome Dear Jon letter that we’ll get to later makes Ramsay pretty damn interesting these days.
First, Edd is super-mega-turbo dolorous about Jon leaving.
Second, it looks like the odds I put on Sansa and Jon meeting up last week were fairly accurate as she comes riding into Castle Black with Brienne and The Best Squire Evur. Sansa and Jon reunite after all this time and two Starks are finally together again for the first time since….. um… the Red Wedding. Uh oh.
But you know what, these two found each other again and I thought their reunion was just fucking awesome, so I’m gonna dwell on that bit of sunshine. It also apparently got really dusty in my apartment when they hugged because my eyes suddenly got a bit wet or something. Allergies are a killer.
Annnnyway… it was one of the few feel good scenes that this show has ever given to us (so why do we watch again??), and I couldn’t help but think of how much emotion would actually be contained in seeing a sibling again after so many years, and dead parents, and dead brothers, and EVERYTHING that happened to the both of them. And though some of my friends seem to malign Kit Harrington’s acting (you know who you are), I really think that both he and Sophie Turner did a bang up job in this scene, and in their collective scenes together. The look of complete awe on Jon’s face that his sister would just come riding into the castle was outstanding. And then there was the lunging hug between the two…. So great!
When they show the two of them finally catching up, I really thought there was a good chemistry between the two actors and thought that it was a shame that they really haven’t had any scenes together for the course of the entire show… with the possible exception of the first episode. And when Jon tells her that she was “occasionally awful” I think that that would be a great name for a cover band… but I digress.
So Jon now says that he’s going to watch out for Sansa. Buuuuut she wants to raise and army to go and take back Winterfell. Jon wants no part of this and almost nearly echoes Ser Alliser’s last words, “I fought and I lost.” I was waiting for “and now I rest”… though he’s not going to rest, because magics… and plot points… and all the things.
And just when you think things can’t get any better at the Wall in this episode… OMG! OMG! OMG! PINK LETTER! PINK LETTER! PINK LETTER!!
Without giving too much of anything away, this is what this letter is referred to by book readers… though it’s different (disparate!)… and SO many book readers have been clamoring to see this.
And it was AMAZINGLY sick, and twisted, and super fucking creepy. Seriously, how chilling was “come and see” repeated over and over again? Maybe because I knew it was coming from Ramsay, but it seriously gave me the wiggins every time it was said. So terribly fantastic.
This letter, and the fact that Ramsay has Rickon, makes Jon finally give into the idea of taking back Winterfell instead of retreating to the woods and becoming a hippie or something. And the fact that Lord Bolton talks about all the terrible things he’s going to do to the Wildlings… well, my boy Tormund is having NONE of it.
And speaking of my boy… and just when you think things definitely can’t get any better at the Wall… people are ALL OVER the webbernetz today shipping Tormund and Brienne… and it’s fucking fabulous.
And speaking of Brienne… and just when you positively most unquestionably are sure that there can’t be anything else awesome happening at the Wall, we get a shitload of tension between Brienne, Davos, and Mellie Mel, which is something that I didn’t even consider when Brienne rode in with Sansa, but once it was addressed, I was like, “How did I NOT think about that!?”
So my first and most obvious question to you, Jim, is: Who out of the three of them is going to kill the other? Brienne obviously wants Mellisandre the dead, while I’m sure that Davos wants Brienne the dead. How do you see this hate triangle playing out?
Also, I have no real questions about everything awesome that happened at the Wall this week, so just have at it and discuss whatever you’d like to here. I would like to hear about your takeaways without confining you with my silly questions.
Jim: I’m not so sure Davos is going to want Brienne dead after he finds out what happened to Princess Shireen. If you notice, that’s who he asked about when Mellie Mel told him Stannis was defeated. I very much enjoyed Brienne gleefully declaring her execution of Stannis, it was a nice win for her. But I would have my head on a swivel if I were the Red Woman cuz both sides of that hate triangle are going to want her dead.
What’s funny is that the Tormund/Brienne matchup makes more sense than anything else that has ever happened on this show and I certainly hope we are treated to their amazingly awkward courtship.
Loved Jon and Sansa’s reunion overall, it was heartfelt and certainly earned. The only thing I found odd about it is, later as they sat by the fire catching up, Sansa seemed incredibly well adjusted to the fact that her half-brother came back from the dead. I know some crazy things have happened to lead us to this point, but the motherfucker is a zombie and she’s all like “so, like you wanna take back our house or something?”
Which brings us to the Pink Letter. Incredibly cool and the “come and see” was a fantastic touch and only solidified my thoughts about Ramsey becoming more interesting. But…the only thing I will say about it is that I re-watched the episode to prepare writing these answers and your boy Littlefinger said something interesting to Robin when he gave him his present: “My Lord, come and see…”
Is he playing the game… of thrones? Dun. Dun. Dunnnnnnnn.
Es: Lastly we get to Dany and Co. Apparently Jim’s boy Daaaaarrrrrioooo and Ser Bad Decision make quite the traveling companions.
“I don’t want to fight you Jorah the Andal. I want to taunt you with some really caustic shit that preys on every horrible and sad feeling you have about your unrequited love, and then I’m going to tell you how I pleasured that love of yours and about how she’s wild in bed, and… oh, is that your entire psyche and emotional state being torn to shreds?”
And not long after that Daaaaarrriiiiooooo finds out about Ser Bad Decision’s secret shame, just before they sneak into Vaes Dothrak, kill a couple Dothraki, then bash a corpse’s head in with a rock.
They meet up with their queen so they can hopefully get her out of there, but she turns them down because she apparently has another plan. “Oh great!” I think. “She’s going to list her titles at the Kahls and make ridiculous threats at them until they die of boredom.”
Well, she did threaten them… but she carried out on said threat, so yeah, I was wrong. I was very, very wrong.
Girlfriend then proceeds to NOT list all of her titles, and burns down the fucking house with ALL THE KAHLS in it. It’s like she was faced with this impossible situation and said to herself, “Okay, this is quite a pickle. Just how do I get out of this?” And so she thought and she thought until she finally remembered, “Well, I was in a really tough spot before when my husband and unborn child were murdered by blood magic… but then I started an inferno that I put myself in the middle of. When I emerged naked and completely unscathed, everyone kneeled before me like I was fucking Zod… so maybe I should try that shit again.”
And try that shit again she did. And work again it did.
As has been mentioned in my office this morning and on the internets, it’s a really good thing that people didn’t start screaming “WITCH!!!!” at her and begin tearing limbs off of her.
Anyway, my only real questions here, James, are what did you think of all of this? Are you impressed with Dany’s ability to pull the same trick again and win over all the Dothraki? Do you think they’re going to hightail it back to Meereen? How committed are these people going to be to her? What does Daaaaaarrrriiioooo do about Jorah’s the Greyscale? How long before he murders him?
And finally, how did Dany know that the place was going to go up like it did, AND that she would have the means to start the fire? When she walked in there, there was really nothing to keep them all from completely ruining her on sight, but they didn’t and she won. Did she know something that we didn’t?
Jim: Fuck yeah, naked Dany is back!! Oh, I mean badass Dany is back!! Naked badass Khaleesi Dany!!
Well, that shit really escalated quickly but we’ll start with Jorah and Daario. Come on, you can’t tell me Daario’s “I should’ve been born a Dothraki” at the sight of people randomly boning in the street wasn’t funny. It’s ok, I know you don’t want to admit it. I think he just likes messing with Jorah’s mind but doesn’t actually wish him ill. No idea how his whole story will play out but I feel like Ser Bad Decision is gonna sacrifice himself for his Khaleesi at some point.
As for Dany anticipating the fire inside, isn’t that where her brother received his gold crowning? I don’t think she’d soon forget that, and the Dothraki don’t seem too into feng shui so it was probably a good bet that not much had changed.
I have to admit, I didn’t think we’d end the episode with Dany scoring a brand new army, but that seems to be what happened. I think all those masters you mentioned earlier should start gently shitting their pants. (Yes, I do plan to try to work this in to every recap.)
Notice how Dany only does well with grand, sweeping, suddenly violent gestures but when it comes to actually ruling she’s terrible? That’s the main reason I think she is not going to see the wisdom of Tyrion’s political approach. I know Varys sees her as the best hope for the Kingdom, but what if he’s wrong?
She’s already mentioned her desire to break the wheel, but someone does need to put it back together afterwards.
Alright, Talking Heads, play us out this week…