Hello fellow Westerosians and welcome back to our Game of Thrones discussion! We had another fantastic episode last night. Most of the episode was setting up some major plot developments for the final 3 episodes, which I've heard are nothing short of amazing. It may get tiresome to hear, but having read the books, I'm a little bit "in-the-know" of how much is left to cover in those 3 episodes and can pretty much figure out how they're going to sparse it out. Normally there is a 9th episode to look forward to every season where something crazy is going to happen. I'd go ahead and expect excitement in 8, 9 and 10 this year! Of course, that doesn't exclude the 7th episode that we just watched. Many speculated the ending sequence in this episode would have been the final moment we would see this season. I can think of several others that can/will surpass it. Anyway, enough preamble.
Spoiler Warning: As always, I will compare the TV Show to the Books for material that has been covered by the TV show. I will indicate "SPOILERS" very clearly when I want to talk about upcoming book stuff. The trend has been that I won't do this until the comments section! But, if I feel like it's worth bringing something up in the recap, I will label it.
Let's dive in!
Links and Notes
- Here is EW.com James Hibberd's recap
- Just wanted to note that there will be no episode next Sunday due to Memorial Day. They took off last year too. The year before they aired the Blackwater episode on Memorial Day and ratings took a hit! (duh)
- Tyrion's Search for a Champion - Great moments this week for Tyrion as he fell more and more into hopelessness. Jaime's sword training proved that he is incapable of standing for Tyrion. Bronn is marrying a noblewoman and will become a lord of a castle thanks to Cersei's manipulation. He also made a good case of how he loves himself just a little bit more than Tyrion. And of course, we found out who Cersei's champion will be. THE MOUNTAIN! Anyone keeping track, this is the 3rd actor who has played the mountain. This guy looks more like the one that The Hound fought at the Hand's Tournament in season 1. The guy they had in season 2 at Harrenhall was slim and very tall. In any case, his reputation has always been a foreboding presence in the show. (PS: I like how the show tied in The Hound's experiences with his brother in this episode) Anyway, Oberyn "The Red Viper" Martell came to see Tyrion in this episode and spoke about how he met Tyrion when he was born. He explained even further Cersei's hatred of her little "monster" brother and how she always wanted him dead. While, Oberyn's main goal isn't to right wrongs of the past for Tyrion, he certainly wants justice for his dead sister and her dead children. And he shall be Tyrion's champion! I remember being blown away by this twist in the book. Everything seemed hopeless for Tyrion and this came out of nowhere (but of course, not really as Martin had been planting the seeds all along). Can't wait for the next episode!
- Arya/Hound - Arya and Sandor Clegane had some great moments this week, starting with the mercy kill of some injured guy in the Riverlands. Last week Tywin Lannister put a price on The Hound's head for killing the soldiers in that tavern (including Polliver, who was really killed by Arya). The 2 guys that were heading to The Wall in chains with Jaquen Hgar in season 2 were looking to cash in on that ransom. One of them took a bite out of The Hound's neck while the other got a name and ended up on Arya's list for a short second before she killed him. Note, this did not happen in the books, but it all works towards Arya's growth. It's probably safe to mention now that this injury to The Hound does happen in the books, but it happened in the tavern fight rather than later down the road. It gave the 2 a little more bonding time on the TV show prior to their extra special bonding time with Arya treating the injury. It was a great scene where The Hound has a full confessional about his life with his brother Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane. He was upset over Sandor playing with a toy and burned his face. Of course, we know The Hound is afraid of fire, and this results in him not allowing Arya to fry his wound to try and prevent infection. But he eventually let her clean the wound and sew it up.
- The Wall Defense - Poor Jon Snow can't catch a break! Crazy Alliser Thorne and Janos Slint have it out for the bastard and refused to listen to his ideas for preparing Castle Black for the invasion of Mance Raydar and 100,000 wildlings. He suggested sealing off the tunnel to the North beyond the Wall. Inevitably it was up to the builders of the Night's Watch to agree with the recommendation. It looked like the guy may have agreed but sided with his fellow elders. Further insult to injury was Thorne requesting Ghost be caged up. Something tells me that everyone should be listening to Jon Snow and his youthful wisdom! And, I sure would be surprised if those wildlings didn't show up before the end of this season! As I've mentioned before, the Night's Watch plotline has been stretched out a bit this season as the majority of the Storm of Swords story was told last year. But, overall, I think what they have done has been worth it to build up Jon Snow's character. We'll see if it pays off!
- Dany - Daario returns with more wildflowers! Still not sure if I'm onboard with New Daario this year. I know the recasting was because the other guy got a movie role (replacing Jason Statham in the Transporter series. I would've stuck with Thrones dude), but the difference in the appearances is so jarring it's tough to get on board. The acting is fine. Anyway, he climbed an 800 foot pyramid to get into Dany's bed chamber and put the moves on her. And it would appear that he got what he came for. Some nakedness with the Queen of Dragons! Naturally, we needed some soap opera drama with Jorah walking in on Daario's exit. Dany informed Jorah that Daario and the Second Sons were going to retake Yunkai and kill all of the masters. Jorah suggested this might not be a great idea and spoke to how there are ambiguous points of view on both sides of the battlefield (Clearly an allusion to the entire Game of Thrones saga!). Jorah spoke to how he once sold slaves and Ned Stark wanted his head for it. Somewhere in this discussion Dany heeded some advice and requested Hizdar (the man we met last week who wanted to bury his father) be sent as an ambassador to Yunkai to warn the masters what has been done in Mereen and help them avoid a similar fate. She concluded with telling Jorah to tell Daario that Jorah changed her mind.
- Brienne/Podrick - Still loving this pairing which is still a little funny since it is what most book fans complained about in A Feast for Crows (book 4). But, I think the complaints were more towards how the storylines were split over 10 years with the eventual release book 5. Anyway, I don't recall this from the book but they ran into Hot Pie at a tavern who eventually tipped them off that Arya Stark is still alive. I agree his wolf bread looked a little better this time! Anyway, this triggered Podrick's memory of some of his invaluable training from Tyrion that possibly Sansa and Arya are heading towards the Vale. While he's not confident it would seem that Brienne trusted his judgement enough to check it out.
- Mellisandree - I agree with James Hibberd's recap on this. The only thing memorable about this scene was Mellisandre's boobs. We were back at Dragonstone and she was talking with Sellyse about how some of her magic isn't real, just influence. But, eventually she spoke to the importance of Shireen and how she must accompany them on their voyage as the Lord of Light needs her. Where is their destination? I'd rather not say, but I think there have been enough clues on the show to figure it out if you really want to know. My recommendation would be just to wait and see!
- The Vale - It's snowing in the Vale! Sansa took this opportunity to make a snow castle of Winterfell. Robin shows up and we see how unstable he is just like his mother. He ruined the castle, and Sansa got angry. Robin flipped out and then Sansa slapped him. Littlefinger showed up and spoke to how Robin had it coming for a long time and needs to be disciplined. Then he spoke to how much he loved Catelyn Stark and how it motivated his killing of Joffrey. Not sure I would buy that but it's certainly what he is telling Sansa. He then spoke to how Sansa is even more beautiful than Catelyn and kissed the 14 year old in plain view of Lysa Tully Arryn. She calls Sansa over to the Moon Door to check out the view and talk about how the fall breaks apart men in interesting ways. She then spoke to seeing Sansa. Sansa of course thought it was her slapping Robin, but Lysa spoke of the kiss with Littlefinger. Of course, this was all part of Littlefinger's little plan, we can assume. He was able to get Sansa separated from Lysa and then told her there is only one woman he has EVER loved. Lysa got a smile upon hearing this. But, it was then followed by the 2 words she could not bear, "Your Sister". Petyr Baelish then pushed Lysa out the moon door to her ultimate demise!