Sunday night’s Game of Thrones begins with yet another link in the show’s long chain of language lessons – this time, it’s Missandei teaching Grey Worm to speak English just before he captains the infiltration of Meereen’s sewage system. The Unsullied commander gives a quick pep talk to the city’s conflicted slaves before supplying them with weapons and prompting yet another successful slave rebellion. Daenerys does it again, folks. Ignoring Ser Barristan’s suggestion to show them mercy, Dany serves justice to the Meereen slave masters and nails them to trail-markers just as they did to the slave girls from a few episodes back. As satisfying as it is to watch Dany continue to roll over and absorb slave cities, her uninterrupted victory run is getting a wee bit dusty – it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong.
This week, the King’s Landing spotlight falls primarily on Jaime Lannister. Disturbingly, there’s no mention of last week’s rape – he and Cersei just glide on by as if nothing happened. Leaves a pretty awful taste in my mouth, especially since Jaime’s sweet-factor is on the significant upswing this week despite his disgusting behavior. After a long-overdue visit to Tyrion’s cell (a tense meeting laden with accusations as to Lannister incest and murder, respectively), Jaime resolves to be a hero. He appoints Brienne as Sansa Stark’s brand new protector, presenting her with his Valyrian steel sword and the less-than-welcome company of Pod (who is now in too much danger to remain in King’s Landing). He gets to play the good cop and attempt a voice of reason when an embittered Cersei continues to demand Tyrion and Sansa be killed. Throughout the episode, Jaime covers good-guy base after good-guy base. It’s a sick way to ignore/bounce back from his actions in “Breaker of Chains,” and I’m really hoping that the rape doesn’t continue to fall under the radar in weeks to come.
Joffrey’s murder has some significant new developments. It turns out that an unwitting Sansa and the necklace given to her by Ser Dontos played some part in the murder – the poison was likely stored in one of the stones. Of course, Littlefinger had some hand in the affair – from what we can tell, Lady Olenna & Co. may have paid him to facilitate the killing – but his true motives remain fuzzy. At this point, it’s pretty much impossible to take the guy’s statements (to anyone, but least of all the impressionable and valuable Sansa) at face value, so we’ll chalk his protests up to manipulation for the time being. Lady Olenna makes it clear to Margaery that Joffrey’s death was a necessary and pro-Tyrell move, probably made in the future queen’s interests, in particular. “You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?” she asks her granddaughter. Turning the entire kingdom upside down and potentially creating animosity with Westeros’ most powerful family seems like overkill for giving Margaery a more comfortable marriage, but Lady Olenna doesn’t appear to do things half-assed, least of all her granddaughter’s love life.
At Castle Black, Jon is granted a trip down to Craster’s Keep to deal with the mutineers – provided he can gather enough crow buddies to accompany him. Ser Allister is none too fond of the bastard, and he wrongly assumes that Jon won’t have much backup. Meanwhile, things are finally heating up for the wargs. Bran and Clan hide just outside of Craster’s Keep, eventually hearing the cries of an abandoned child being offered to the White Walkers by the mutineers. When Bran sees Ghost locked up beside the Keep through the eyes of his own wolf, the group decides to investigate closer and ends up captured by Karl and the mutineers. We’re so close to a Jon/Bran reunion and it tastes so sweet. The episode closes with an eerie shot of our baby being frozen/turned by a White Walker – probably the most screen time we’ve gotten of those monsters yet.
This episode is one big cliffhanger and feels more like a step towards action than action itself – a little frustrating, but we’re now hanging just on the edge of some significant stuff. The crows are heading down to the Keep, we’ll hopefully get our first Stark reunions in forever (Bran and Jon will both soon be at the Keep, Sansa and Arya are headed to the Eyrie), Tyrion’s trial is nearing…it’s all coming together.
Pictured: Natalie Dormer, Dean-Charles Chapman
Photo Credit Helen Sloan/ HBO