Hello all and welcome back to our Game of Thrones discussion. A discussion each week becoming more and more about a television show and less and less about a book series the show was based on! Yes, I exaggerate. But, the media and some hardcore fans would make you think that is the case. This week included a scene that book fans were worried was going to happen. We'll discuss it when we get there. While it is a little shocking due to the characters involved, it still does seem to me that the showrunners are being completely faithful to the books and that this is still one of the best adaptations on television. Last night's episode as a whole was fantastic yet again and directly included some of the best highlights from George R. R. Martin's latest 2 books (I know using the word "latest" is pretty comical). Let's dive right into the recap.
Spoiler Disclaimer: I've read the books and will discuss book vs. show if the show covers the plot. If I ever bring up a clear cut spoiler in the recap it will be indicated as so. Otherwise, I usually save them for the comments and will clearly indicate my comments as "SPOILER" or "BOOK DISCUSSION" and encourage anyone else to do the same!
We will debate and discuss, I'm sure some of the "controversial scenes" but you know EW has you covered as well. This time? Even George R. R. Martin himself has dove into the ring defending the show. Here are some links:
- James Hibberd Recap
- Producer/Writer Bryan Cogman defends scene
- Sophie Turner Discusses Scene
- George R. R. Martin discusses Show vs Books (no spoilers)
Arya leveled up in her quest to become no one which led to a creepy yet pretty awesome scene.
- We saw a montage of Arya cleaning one corpse after another. She finally lost it on the girl and told her she wants to know why she's doing it and that she's ready for the game of faces. The girl told a story how she grew up like Arya but ended up having her step mother killed and has been with the faceless men ever since. But, we kind of learned it was a lie even though it seemed like the truth. It's all part of the job of becoming no one.
- Jaqen later tested Arya by asking who she is. Arya told the truth of Arya Stark, but every time she changed a detail Jaqen slapped her silly indicating she lied. The biggest lie being when she said she hated the Hound and wanted him to suffer. (Nice way to imply she felt a bond with the man without having to explore her inner thoughts)
- While she was frustrated, the preparation seemed to work when a man brought his dying daughter to the House of Black and White. Arya told some story to comfort the girl about how she was sick and dying and that drinking the water in this House cured her.
- Jaqen watched on with approval and allowed Arya to follow him where the cleaned bodies go. And then we saw it. A giant chamber with many many faces removed from their former bodies' owners. I can't even imagine the CGI effort that went into this scene. Making all of those unique faces. I'm sure some of them were made for real and then the ones you couldn't really see were duplicated, but still a pretty impressive shot!
- So, they don't really explain what this means, but enough is implied that I don't feel bad discussing it! Jaqen tells Arya she is not ready to become no one, but she is ready to become "SOME ONE ELSE". Nice. The faces of the dead are the faces that "the faceless men" wear to change their appearance. I'm not sure how much the show will go into details here, but that's the gist.
- I actually can't remember if there was a scene like this in the books with a room of faces. But, I think the concept is still similar and it made for an awesome visual. There's another subplot from the books for Arya that seems like it might be cut on the show, but I'll refrain from discussing until I know for sure!
We rejoin Tyrion and Jorah on their journey to Meereen. And fun is had by all.
- No talk of Jorah's pending greyscale outbreak, but it's looming!
- Tyrion complained about the lack of food and villages that Jorah said they might run into.
- Jonah asked why Tyrion was transported to Essos in a crate, which led to him explaining exactly what he did. He killed his father who wanted him dead and was sleeping with the woman he loved.
- Tyrion went on to talk about Jorah's father, Lord Commander Mormont who was murdered in an uprising at Craster's Keep. Jorah hadn't heard yet. I don't remember if this exchange of information was in the books, but I thought it was nicely done on the show.
- Tyrion and Jorah also talk about "Why Suppor Dany?" Tyrion doesn't understand why he would blindly support her claim to the throne when she hasn't spent a day in Westeros or proven her ability to lead. I loved the line about her family being famously insane. Jorah spoke of the great pyre in which her dragons were born and she survived without a scratch on her. Jorah went from cynic to believer. Judging by Tyrion's first run in with Drogon, he probably will be too.
- Oh wait, there's a slave ship! And Tyrion and Jorah have been captured by.....what? Mr. EKO!!!! Okay, it's not really Mr. Eko, but it's certainly the same actor that played the infamous fake priest from LOST. Lots of hysterical discussions around magic Dwarf organs and how Tyrion's matches up to any average size man. "The dwarf lives until we find a **** merchant" had me rolling.
- Long story short, we continue our adaptation of Gladiator with a famous soldier being sold into slavery and his determination to "win the crowd and give them something they've never seen before". In this case it's Jorah Mormont and not Maximus. Tyrion did a good job selling his resume', but killing a Dothraki bloodrider in single combat was what sold Slaver Man on it.
- So, this is how Tyrion and Jorah will get to Meereen, as slaves! Good times and very much in line with the books in concept if not exactly how.
Littlefinger arrives for more book detours! And Cersei one-ups the Tyrells for at least today!
- Littlefinger seems to be playing both sides to his advantage. After some small talk about the Tyrells (which is what I thought Cersei summoned him there for), Littlefinger came clean about finding Sansa Stark. He didn't explain how he got her out of the city or masterminded the killing of her son. But, he did say he found her at Winterfell ready to marry Roose Bolton's former bastard son.
- Cersei was beside herself that the Bolton's would make such a bold move. Littlefinger advises her to strike on Winterfell AFTER Stannis decimates the Boltons. Both sides will have huge losses and WINTER IS COMING. And then when they get their stake back in Winterfell, Littlefinger wants to become Lord of Winterfell. What's his game here? I guess get all the players involved and see which one gives him the biggest reward? Chaos is a ladder, right? Cersei said that she'll trust his intentions when Sansa's head is on a spike. OUCH!
- This whole encounter is purely the TV show. In the books Sansa and Littlefinger never left The Vale. So everyone wins here even if we continue to alter the story. There's always a chance it's heading in the same direction.
- More alterations, Lady Olenna has returned to King's Landing to help free her son! Long Story short, she failed. Cersei still claims to have nothing to do with Loras' imprisonment and said that the inquest by the Septon is just a formality. We witnessed the inquest where Loras denied having relations with Renly or other men. And then Margaery went on record swearing before the gods the same thing. Enter Oliver who clearly implicates he's done the deed with Loras many times and it was even witnessed by Queen Margaery. And then, who would've thought that the random talk of a Birthmark in the shape of Dorne would reap benefits?
- At the end of the day, Loras will now stand trial for his actions. And in a further twist, so will Queen Margaery! King Tommen just sat there and took it like the puppet he is (if you notice, Cersei's hand was on his arm during the entire scene).
- Cersei definitely found a way to get Margaery arrested by the Faith Militant in the books, but I believe it was under different circumstances. I think she wanted to prove that Margaery was sleeping around, and she set up a bunch of scenarios that would be impossible for her to resist her urges. But, this method seems a little more plausible.
- And Cersei certainly smiles for now, but she is still 1/2 of one of the most unholy pairings of all. And it was implied by Olenna in this episode. Will this come back to bite her in the end? Time will tell.
- Also implied was how the Tyrells are supplying wheat to the throne, which seems to be an important oversight with winter looming. I doubt the Queen of Thorns is just going to sit there and take this abuse.
And we're back to Dorne. While I still enjoy Jaime and Bronn, I still maintain that this might be the weakest story the show has ever attempted. Granted, the source material wasn't much better.
- Oh look, Myrcella is in love with Tristane, her betrothed. How sweet! Oh no they're kissing. They mustn't not until they have said their vows!
- Prince Doran talks to his right hand man Areo Hotah who is infamous for his skills with an axe. If you didn't know that, the cringe-worthy exposition in this scene let you know that he still remembers how to use it. Doran is determined to protect these two young lovebirds.
- Meanwhile Bronn and Jaime are dressed as Dornish Soldiers (Nice singing Bronn), and are able to sneak into the capital. Our cartoonish Sand Snakes are released from some dungeon to take them on.
- Uncle Jaime finds Myrcella kissing her betrothed and tells her she has to leave. Nice. Naturally, she doesn't want to.
- Enter the Sand Snakes. Fight. Fight. Fight. Fight. Lots of sword and spear swinging, and no injures outside of a nick to Bronn. Prince Doran takes EVERYONE involved into custody. Ooh, and we got to see Areo Hotah swing his axe telling Jaime it would've been a good fight when he was whole.
- Stay tuned for more excitement in a future installment!
You didn't think we'd let a season go by without more than 1 wedding, did you? It's Sansa's wedding day (again) and she got all the warnings she possibly could for what she's in for.
- It's still tough to determine Miranda's intentions but she told Sansa of all of the ladies that bored Ramsay in the past. The last one she mention tied into a scene we saw last season with Ramsay an Miranda on a hunt to kill his former fling. Sansa responded in a Lady-like tone that she is a Stark and in Winterfell and she's sorry she's stealing her man but she's not scared.
- It's snowing in Winterfell and Sansa has on her wedding dress. Reek/Theon has arrived to escort Sansa to the godswood. Reek has even resorted to the lowborn speak calling her "M'lady". Sansa refuses to take Theon's arm. Once again we get the short version of the Westeros Wedding. Though, it's a different custom in the North than what we've seen in King's Landing and at The Twins.
- Ramsay takes her back to their bed chamber with Reek in tow. Ramsay speaks of her being a virgin and asks how she still is since she was married to Tyrion. Sansa says he was kind and gentle and never touch him. Ramsay got all Ramsay and started speaking of not lying to him. Then asks her to remove her clothes and wants Reek to watch. Things start getting dire quickly. Ramsay tells him to watch the girl he's known since childhood become a woman. And then Ramsay forces himself onto his new wife, thankfully off screen. Theon's face says it all. He might be very near a breaking point.
- Okay, book comparison time. This happened in the books, of course it was with Fake Arya and not Sansa (because she was still in the Vale, as mentioned previously). Fake Arya was Sansa's friend Jeyne Poole. Reek was definitely very much involved in the scene, but if I'm not mistaken in the books Ramsay forces him to join in. So, believe it or not, they actually toned things down for the show. Fans are in an uproar that they would do this to Sansa Stark. But, it seems like Sansa actually knew this might be part of the deal. She's a hardened girl in the show, and we have to think she's going to be looking for the upper hand. If anything happened here, MAYBE she gained some sympathy for Theon. And maybe Theon is going to find some of himself again.
- If anything happened, we are all united in our hatred of the Boltons and they must be dealt with!