UPDATE: Recap is finished! Click "continue/read more" to check it out.
Greetings Westerosians and welcome back to Game of Thrones! Since our last discussion, there has been some changes in my personal life that are already taking their tolls (rightfully so!) on my blogging hobby. It originally delayed my recap of the episode, but it is there now!
Same note on Book Spoilers. I will compare to the books when something has happened but will note spoilers in the recap or comments when I feel it is something that should remain unread by TV Only audiences!
Here we go.
- King's Landing - Coronation, Wedding Talk, Iron Bank Stuff, Myrcella
- All hail King Tommen, the "FIRST OF HIS NAME"! Tommen is king, Margaery is still plotting her marriage to another Lannister bastard and Cersei sure was being strange this episode. And by strange I mean nice. Sure, she did appeal to 2 of the judges in Tyrion's trial, trying to sway their opinion. And actually, she was working the 3rd judge through Margaery possibly. Margaery said she'd have to talk to her bumbling father Mace Tyrell to see if she'd be able to marry Tommen. Of course, we already know it was in her and her grandmother's plans already. It was strange to see Cersei act nice towards Margaery. Maybe she truly is grieving her son, but I feel like something else is up.
- Her talk with Tywin was interesting also. He was freely telling her information on the crown's debt and even the fact that Lannisport has run dry on gold. (I actually don't remember this from the books) So, their merger with the Tyrell's is all the more important and part of Tywin's plan to reconcile with the Iron Bank. So, Cersei's marriage to Loras is still on schedule as well.
- Cersei also had a discussion with Oberyn Martell about Myrcella, Tyrion, poetry and little girls in general. He promised her that Myrcella is fine but he further made his point that he holds a grudge with the Lannisters and The Mountain.
- The Vale - Crazy Lysa, More weddings, and ANSWERS!!
- All of this stuff was straight out of the book with Littlefinger and Sansa and crazy Lysa and her son Robin even down to the detail of calling Sansa, Alayne. Each chapter in the books are titled by the Character whose Point of View you are following. So, at this point, Sansa's chapter titles actually changed to Alayne. In the books she is Alayne Stone, Littlefinger's bastard daughter. I think he referred to her as his niece here.
- So, we get another shot of something going out the moon door. Make all your Checkov's Gun theories here if you wish! We see Robin is still obsessed with making people fly and his mom's boob.
- We get a very quick marriage of Littlefinger and Lysa which was "made official" loudly that night (also in the book). She talks to how they already had some "interactions" in the past. Lysa has always been obsessed with Littlefinger. But over the various scenes we learn all of the drama that has been going on. Catelyn was originally supposed to marry Ned's brother Brandon Stark. Littlefinger always was infatuated with Catelyn. Brandon dueled Littlefinger but Catelyn begged for Brandon to let him live. Events led to Brandon's death (I think it had to do with Robert's war but I'm forgetting some details here) which led to Ned marrying Catelyn.
- But, the big thing we learn here is just how far back and big Littlefinger's involvement in the events of the Game of Thrones have been. The even that started all of this drama is basically former Hand of the King Jon Arryn's death (Lysa's husband). Ned was asked to become Hand of the King in his stead, and Cat received a letter from her sister Lysa that the Lannisters were behind the death indirectly starting a war between the Starks and Lannisters. It would appear that Littlefinger was pulling the strings behind all of this as he had Lysa write Catelyn and blame the Lannisters when it was really Lysa herself who poisoned her husband. So Littlefinger has been behind the death of the Hand of the King, the war of the 5 kings and Joffrey's death. Crazy right!? He said last week his motivation is that he wants everything. We see that he has built himself up out of nothing and is now Lord of Harrenhal AND The Vale (now that he is officially married to Lysa). He certainly is one to keep our eyes on.
- It is important to note how incredibly unstable Lysa is. Sure, we knew that from the first time we met her, but we saw it stressed here in her conversatons with Sansa. She is incredibly jealous of any interactions Littlefinger has with other women, especially Stark women. Since Sansa is the daughter of Catelyn Stark, the share similar traits and she feels that Littlefinger might be drawn to that. Of course, we should question what Littlefinger's obsession is with Sansa besides her supposedly being "the key to the north". Maybe that is it. But, he sure is revealing a lot of his plans to her. Maybe only the ones that she needs to know about.
- There also was a talk of marriage between cousins Robin and Sansa. (well it's not siblings, right?) There was also talk of how Sansa and Tyrion weren't really married due to them not consumating. It was nice to see Sansa defend Tyrion here though too. I don't know if book Sansa would have done that.
- Arya/Hound and Syrio Forel talk
- We are still a little Off Book with Arya and the Hound's adventures (I think), but they are still awesome. We have Arya going through her death list and including The Hound as her final note after a nice chat about how they both want to kill The Mountain (the Hound's brother and also someone who a lot of people want dead including Prince Oberyn). She refers to Ser Meryn as the King's Guard that killed Syrio Forel her water dance master from Braavos. I thought I should bring up a theory from book readers that could still be in play in the TV show as well. Basically, in both the book and the TV show, we never see Syrio Forel die. The camera pans away. Arya assumes he died, but he is a pretty impressive swordsman who defeated several guards with a wooden sparring sword. We should also note that Arya's next guide was Jaquen Hgar from Braavos who was a face changing assasin and gave her a coin in case she ever wanted transport to Braavos. So, Syrio Forel disappears, Jaquen Hgar is a face changer who just happened to show up not long after when she's leaving King's Landing. Both are from Braavos, both took an interest in Arya. Many theorize, they are in fact the same person. The theory does hold some credibility, but there has been no confirmation from GRRM on any of it. We must wonder if the the old adage rings true here. If you never see/read about someone dying, there's a good chance they're not dead.
- The end of their storyline this week was pretty hysterical with the armor line and him knocking Arya to the ground.
- Dany and the Meereenese Knot
- So, TV viewers, how do you feel about the turn of events here? "I will not leave. I will do what Queens do. I will rule." Book fans and TV fans alike always question, "When will Dany get to Westeros already!?" I've come to accept this as the long slow burn of the story. The book treads water with Dany's storyline in Meereen. George tangles himself in a big web of storylines where he's waiting for the dragons to mature and for finding a way to get Dany out of the mess she made in Slaver's Bay before moving on to Westeros. There are other factors in play too, but I will not mention them until they happen. But, it caused George many rewrites and took him 10 years to get himself out of. I probably already went too far into spoilery territory here to say much more. But, if you ever hear people refer to the Meereenese Knot, that's what it is. (And it was jokingly referred to last season as a move one of Podrick's free paramours was an expert in)
- So, basically, there are debates about Dany still building a bigger army before moving to Westeros, or just going there and the houses joining her in her crusade as the rightful Queen. But, there are also reports that Yunkai and Astaphor have fallen back into turmoil and slavery after her previous liberations. Since she didn't stay there and clean up the cities, they had no one to enforce the new regime. She plans to change that by staying put in Meereen and ruling.
- Now, I haven't had quite as much an issue of this decision as many book readers have. I feel like it makes sense for her to get experience as a Queen before conquering Westeros. But, there's no doubt, the storyline is not the most interesting in the books. I think that Game of Thrones the TV Show can make it MORE interesting. We shall see.
- Brienne/Pod Bonding
- So this is a little off book as Brienne meets Pod on the road in the books. So, this is more Brienne coming to terms with Podrick as her squire when she doesn't feel she needs a squire. She spends these scenes trying to figure out why he's worth something to have around. It appears he doesn't have the skills of a knight's squire and is more a glorified maid. It was comical to watch him ride that horse. But, once Podrick revealed that he killed Ser Mandon, the King's Guard that tried to kill Tyrion (we think on Joffrey's order but maybe Cersei's), Brienne knew what this guy was made of. Honor and loyalty. And everything changed after that as she pretended to have issues taking off her armor in order to have Podrick do it. I sense another great pairing in these 2! Which is ironic, because I think people hated this storyline in the books. (I didn't mind it)
- Craster Stuff and Bran's Mission
- Okay, so as expected this storyline that is completely made up for TV did not interfere with the trajectory of the books. Basically, the mutineers were all killed (nice seeing Rast get taken down by Ghost) and the made up leader guy was killed in a nice battle by Jon Snow and one of Craster's daughters. Great action for TV and built up Jon's character nicely.
- Also Bran warged into Hodor who took out the made up character Locke who was sent to get Bran and bring him back to Roose Bolton (none of which happened in the books). Though, Bran does warg into Hodor north of the Wall in the books. Maybe that scene is still coming but that still plays into similar events in the books.
- The key thing here is that while Bran did see Jon Snow, they did not interact. Once these Stark kids separate, there are several close calls but rarely if ever do they meet. So, I would've been surprised if Jon and Bran had a chat here. (I should also mention that Sam never tells Jon in the books that Bran went beyond the Wall. He swore to keep it a secret.)
- But now, the direwolves are back with their owners and we can get back to business. Jojen was having some crazy visions on this trip and even foresaw the dude being taken down by "SNOW" (Jon Snow) and then burned (they set fire to Craster's Keep). He also said that they must get to the weirwood tree as that is where Bran's destiny is. So, chances are that's where they're heading now!