Warning: This episode contains a whooooole lotta talking. I mean, put it this way: the character who arguably sees the most action is Podrick. Yes. Podrick. But hey, in the Game of Thrones, deliberation and discussion is what you need to do to pass the time in between the fight for the chair.
In this episode’s opening scene, we catch up with Arya who has made her way to Braavos to find Jaqen H’ghar a.k.a. Assassin Dude Who Refers to Himself in the Third Person. Surprise surprise, she’s rejected entry into the ‘House of Black and White,’ even when she uses the secret password. With nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, Arya just takes a little breather in the city: beheading birds, threatening men twice her size, reciting her bedtime death list. The usual. Though I must say how gratifying it feels that her list has seemed to be half the amount of names it used to be. Girl has been to work, and I wonder how long it’ll be before that bucket list is complete. Anyway, Jaqen finally decides to show his face—literally, and a girl finally gets to go inside the house where I’m guessing a girl will finally learn how to become one of the faceless warriors of death.
On the other side of the Narrow Sea, Cersei receives a special package in the form of half of the mother/daughter bff necklace she shares with her daughter Myrcella. Although Myrcella is a sweet, innocent, yet-to-be-tainted child, Cersei’s so sure that her only daughter is doomed to die down south in Dorne where she’s been betrothed to one of the princes. As if her life doesn’t suck enough, Tyrion is still running around free, her youngest son has fallen victim to her worst enemy Maragery, and the king’s council won’t stop questioning her actions as the Queen Mom. The only person she can really depend on is Jaime. Being Myrcella’s uncle/father, he decides to travel to Dorne for a “peaceful discussion.” Right, and that’s totally why he decides to ask Bronn to come along, right? Riiight.
AND NOW A NEVER BEFORE SCENE FROM DORNE. We may have not have been graced with an official introduction to the Sand Snakes just yet, but we finally get a look into life in the South… and it doesn’t look that much greater than the rest of Westeros, to be honest. Unless you’re Trystane and Myrcella who seem to be blissfully unaware in their courtship. (See, Cersei? NOTHING to worry about.) Prince Doran… of Dorne (yes, that’s really his name) is eternally chair-bound and seems super blah on the subject of seeking vengeance for his brother who was
killed slaughtered in last season’s trial-by-combat. The late Oberyn Martell’s paramour Ellaria is appalled by his potato couch status. She isn’t the only one, as we will soon find out… (Or will we? I can hardly keep up with which characters have been cast and which have been erased from existence anymore.)
Onto to Brienne and Podrick , who have been this season’s reigning “odd couple” so far. After all of the misses, something has to go right. And as fate allows, it does! Brienne and Podrick legit spot Sansa along with her Uncle/Fake Father/Whatever-He-Is Petyr Baelish. Yay! I mean, finally, right? Wrong. Because Sansa doesn’t want to go with Brienne, nor would Littlefinger even let her anyway. Brienne accepts this rejection and leaves the inn… only to release all of the horses in the stable and go all beast mode on everyone. Podrick comes perilously close to dying several times, but is somehow saved (probably because death by swordsman would be far too simple and not gruesome enough for a death on this show). So there’s that in what I’m going to refer to as “Ughhh: The Sequel.”
White Walkers seem to back to their M.I.A. status, but life at The Wall hasn’t necessarily returned to normal with Stannis and co still taking up rooms at Le Chateau-Noir (that sounds so much more enticing than Castle Black, doesn’t it?) Another noticeable tremor in the North is that the population of females in this supposedly all-male zone currently stands at 3 thanks to the Baratheon ladies and a super random Gilly. No, seriously, why is she there? The same can be asked about Selyse Baratheon, but maybe I’m just bitter about how flipping rude she is to her precious daughter Shireen. Woman, you’re going to question your daughter’s intelligence while also dissing the fact that she loves books!? I mean, Cersei may not be Mother of the Year, but at least she’s supportive of her children. Anyway, with his brothers murdered and gone, Stannis Baratheon now gets to put his full sassiness on display with Jon as the main audience member. Stan wants the North, and even though Jon’s not officially in charge of Winterfell, he’s willing to make him a deal: Winterfell for an upgrade from Snow to Stark. Before Jon can make that decision, first all of the men must participate in the voting ceremony to determine who will be the next Commander of the Night’s Watch. Naturally, two of the oldest, most popular guys are chosen: Thorne (ugh) and other guy who I’m sure is also important, but not as important as Thorne because I can’t recall his name. But then Sam nominates Jon, listing off all of his virtuous deeds. Jon wins, and that’s not a miscount. So while Jon Snow doesn’t get to become a Stark (yet), he does get to add a new title to his name: LORD COMMANDER. Whaaat!
In keeping with tradition, Daenerys continues to lose control of her subjects, and this is the main topic of discussion at the Rejected Knights of the Round Table meeting. Grey Worm 2.0—oops I’m sorry, Mossador attempts to take justice into his own hands and kills one of the murderous “sons of the harpy” even after Dany orders against it. Justice needs to be served, so Dany ends up holding a public execution anyway much to the people’s protests. Mossador’s head is sliced off by her current flame Daario and everyone suddenly switches dialects to Parseltongue and hisses their rage away in what’s a pretty dang creepy turn of events. Dany is escorted away to safety and naturally vexed by this, but then the prodigal dragon returns to check in on mommy dearest. Alas, Drogon’s trip is a short one as he flies off once again. *Insert witty “How to Train Your Dragon” joke here*
Final thoughts on this episode: Bronn wearing clothes fit for a prince? Jon voted as Lord Commander? Arya being initiated into the face-shifting assassins’ club? Gilly learning to READ? I’m declaring the unofficial theme of this episode, “STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM, NOW THEY’RE HERE.” And hopefully soon the rest of the team will be there, too.