Mary Baker ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This week’s Game of Thrones contained a lot of throwback to previous seasons as we saw the somewhat triumphant returns of Gregor Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) cheerfully lopping off heads and spilling innards as well as everyone’s favorite baker, Hot Pie. We also learned what Lysa Arryn’s favorite season is. (It’s fall.)
Tyrion (House Lannister)
After his showstopping speech last episode, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has royally screwed over the sacrifice Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was going to make in order to save his life. The heartbreaking scene between the “Kingslayer Brothers” showcased both actors’ talents beautifully, and seemed to be one of the final straws to secure Peter Dinklage another nomination for his work. Tyrion asks Jamie to bring Bronn (Jerome Flynn) so he can be his champion. Bronn arrives dressed fit for a lord as he tells Tyrion Cersei (Lena Headey) has arranged a marriage between Lollys Stokeworth and himself. The shout out to Lollys seemed to be a nod to the book readers who have really been given the shaft this season with increased divergence from cannon. It was a nice tie back to the semantics of the book series and also showed the apparent departure of the season’s comic relief, indicating dark times ahead in the three episodes left in the season. Thankfully, the episode was bookended with a powerful scene between this season’s power player, Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) and “the monster,” as Oberyn explains how he believes Tyrion is not as evil as his family would like to believe. The skilled swordsman does his best Inigo Montoya and announces, (more or less) that he is Oberyn Martell, the Mountain killed his sister, prepare to die.
Arya (House Stark)
Another day, another adorable scene between Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) that does nothing to advance the plot but everything to advance character development. The two come across a dying man and talk about death and why one would continue living if in extreme pain. “Habit,” the dying man gasps. In a rare show of sympathy, the Hound gives the man some water before killing him, but it’s a merciful act, not a brutal one. Later in the episode, we see Arya offering to clean the Hound’s wound. He refuses, saying even though Arya’s family is dead she is less alone than he is after his brother (the Mountain) maimed him and their father covered it up. He eventually lets her help him, and it’s touching to see the odd couple growing closer.
Jon (Night’s Watch)
Jon (Kit Harington) has not had too much to do this season. His story has taken a back seat to the King’s Landing drama, and we are treated with another episode of Jon Snow actually knowing something but no one will listen. Hopefully Jon will get a jumpstart to his plot soon, because aside from the battle at Craster’s Keep it’s been the slowest story this season.
Daenerys (House Targaryen)
Unlike at the Wall, things are really heating up for Dany (Emilia Clarke). The viewers are treated to a seduction from Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) where Dany voices what all the inclined viewers are thinking: he should really take his shirt off. It’s not a disappointment to anyone but the perpetually friend-zoned Jorah (Iain Glen). Jorah is visibly shaken as he pleads Dany not to trust Daario. She tells him she sent him away to murder all the slave owners in Yunkai, but then changes her mind after speaking to Jorah. “Tell him you changed my mind,” she tells Jorah as he practically skips out of the room.
Brienne (House Stark)
Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Pod (Daniel Portman) are still on their mission to find Sansa. Who is their waiter at the inn but Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey), Arya and Gendry’s companion on the way to the Wall. In an uncharacteristic move, Brienne reveals who they are, who they are aligned with, and what their mission is. If their waiter were literally anyone else, they would be dead or in trouble. In a bluntly obvious metaphor, the two characters reach a fork in the road that just so happens to be the exact location between Sansa and Arya, who they now know is headed to the Eryie. They choose the Vale and mission continues.
Sansa (House Stark)
All together now: poor Sansa! (Sophie Turner). She just wanted to build a snow model of Winterfell and the little twerp Robin (Lino Facioli) had to come stomp on it. Model home destroyed, she slaps him and immediately regrets it for fear of what her crazy aunt Lysa (the fantastic Kate Dickie) will do. Think things can’t get worse? Wrong! Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) comes to tell Sansa how much he loved her mother and how, in a better world, she would have been his daughter. Oh, and she looks like a more beautiful version of the woman he’s loved his whole life. Littlefinger proceeds to kiss Sansa, who is completely helpless to do anything but let him. Think things can’t get worse? Wrong again! Lysa confronts Sansa about kissing her new husband and holds her over the Moon Door, threatening to push her through. Littlefinger walks in and stops her, speaking words of comfort. “My sweet silly jealous wife,” he tells her, “I’ve only loved one woman, I promise you. Your sister.” And with a “long live the king” Lion King gleam in his eye, he shoves her out the Moon Door to her death.
This episode also saw appearances from a vengeful Cersei, a very naked Melisandre (Carice van Houten), and a very uncomfortable Selyse Baratheon (Tara Fitzgerald).
Even though this episode definitely felt like it was just building up for the giant events in the final three episodes (the trial by combat is episode 8, episode 9 is traditionally where a climactic battle or scene happens [Ned’s beheading, Battle of Blackwater, the Red Wedding] and episode 10 is the playoff), it was still the best so far this season. The next three episodes are going to be a doozy. Buckle your seatbelts.
Overall Episode Grade: A
Mary Baker ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer