So my sister is in a unique living situation, but suffice to say, she is currently unable to watch Game of Thrones. As I would never see someone suffer in this way without stepping up to their aid, I have chosen to do terrible, terrible recaps for her on this, my old blog.
All right, let’s do this. Cue the DUM dum da da DUM dum….
Welcome to my totally unofficial and officially unremarkable recaps of GOT. All game. All thrones. All the time.
So, when we left our merry band, all sorts of bad stuff had happened. Sansa and Theon had done a Peter Pan off the wall of Chez Bolton, Myrcella had Dorne issues, daddy issues, and death issues in that order, people attempted to assassinate Daenerys and she just noped on out of there with Drogon, Jorah was wrinkly, Tyrion was Tyrion only slightly less drunk, Cersei was ashamed, Stannis was astabbed, Brienne and Pod were awesome, if slightly ill-timed, and nobody knows what the heck Littlefinger is up to but it’s surely nothing good. Oh, and Arya is blind for training purposes.
Okay. I think that’s everyone.
Except, of course, for the worst kept secret in television history, so let’s start there, with Benioff and Weiss standing up and pointing at Jon Snow’s exsanguinate corpse, shouting “See?? See??! He is totally for realsies dead and there is no way we are taking that back, nuh-uh, never never never, only we totally will in like an episode or two and then we will point out that it was a technicality because he WAS TOTALLY DEAD. For, like, a day. We went through his pockets and looked for loose change and everything.”
So, Jon Snow. Oh, Jon Snow.
Ser Davos finds Jon, in the snow (heh heh), and being one of the few people on this show with fairly consistent common sense, decides that this is Very Bad TM. He gets the few people together who trust each other and loved Jon, and they get his body and Ghost upstairs into a locked room, hole up, and wait/plan what exactly they’re going to do against a castle full of Alliser Thorne supporters.
Now granted, Alliser Thorne may be unpleasant, but he’s put a little thought into this and decides to give a fairly defensible “Yes, your Honor, we did it BUT BECAUSE REASONS” speech, in which he points out that Jon let the wildlings in, which would be the end of Castle Black, and probably civilization as we know it. He conveniently ignores that the main reason Jon let them in was that, aside from saving lives, he didn’t want to swell the ranks of ice zombies that will MOST CERTAINLY end civilization as we know it. Details.
But of course, this gives Davos and company ideas, because hey, you know who’s out there in very large numbers and will probably be pretty annoyed that you offed the guy who fought ice zombies and storms and snow and frostbite and every other lousy thing to get them through the Wall? You get one guess — and if you piss them off, which you have very probably just done, you have also probably ensured that they will do that thing that you swore you were preventing, namely, storm the Castle, murder you in your beds, etc. etc.
You know, that thing you ‘murdered’ Jon Snow for bringing upon you.
We’ll see if it plays out that way. Right now, I admit I’m enjoying watching Davos and Thorne play this little maneuvering game. Onion Knight, FTW.
Where Roose Bolton is being the worst and best father ever, and watching him complisult Ramsay right and left, I realized how very much I have missed these two, because Roose Bolton is the Warden of the North, Lord of the Dreadfort and Master of Shade.
“Sure, son,” he says shadily. “You did a GREAT job attacking a half-starved southern force that was way out of their depth. Super proud. Except you did lose Sansa, who your claim and future hangs on. Oh, and Theon, who would have been pretty valuable right about now too if you hadn’t been having flay dates every other day. In short, you = big disappointment, and you better step it up, because my wife might be having a son who will be better than you in every way. Might not even be a sociopath.”
(Who are you kidding, Roose? He’s a Bolton / Frey. Of COURSE he’ll be a sociopath.)
Meanwhile, Theon and Sansa are being pretty awesome running from the hounds, until they get cornered and are about to be brought in. Then we hear hooves…. really badass hooves…
And Brienne the badass rolls in, followed by Pod the Polite, and they chop down everybody. Theon even gets to stab a guy. And at the end of all of it, we get a genuinely awesome, touching moment where Brienne renews her offer of fealty to Sansa. And although Sansa is shaken, suffering from hypothermia, and has to be reminded of the words to the oath, she accepts, and there’s a fantastic sense of finally. Just the look of fulfillment on Brienne’s face, at having honored her oath to Catelyn, is beautifully done. And we know, seeing these four people who by all metrics of this world should not be alive right now, that now that they have teamed up, we are about to see some stuff happen.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei got clothes, and the ship from Dorne is heading in to harbor. And this is why Lena Headey is a treasure in this role — because she can make you feel Cersei at so many levels. Watching her standing there, her face alight with the one good quality of maternal love she has, and seeing the dawning realization creep over her face, is wrenching.
She and Jaime have the obligatory emotional hashing out of their feelings, and while I completely buy Cersei’s grief, I am also enjoying Jaime’s unbalanced detachment. We’ve seen him try to come around to feeling something for his kids, more than he could when he was forced to be so distant from them, and with Myrcella, he seemed to begin to realize that he could be a father, have a relationship with his daughter. But now that she is dead, he is sad, certainly, but still more intensely wrapped up in his devotion to Cersei. I know he says he is grieved for his daughter, but his face is oddly impatient, until reminding Cersei of how he and she together matter more than anyone else in the world. Then that old fierce, obsessive connection is back. And without Tywin or Tyrion in the way, I imagine there are a lot of bloody decisions about to be made.
Over in Braavos, Arya is playing blind beggar and getting beat up on the regular by the girl with the staff. I don’t know if it’s registered with her yet that this is all part of her training. I hope so. Her eavesdropping is improving; she’ll figure it out.
Daenerys, meanwhile, is having flashbacks to season one, captured and sexually harassed by a Khalasar. She saves her knowledge of Dothraki until she’s in front of the Khal, and finally gets to mentioning that she used to be Khal Drogo’s wife, which is, for right now, the get-out-of-rape-free card. Apparently it’s bad form to assault a Khal’s widow, which is exactly as arbitrary and sexist as it sounds. Although, really, it’s kind of like modern-day sexism on steroids. You are a hot woman — we will harass you! Oh, wait, you used to have a man in your life who we actually attributed a modicum of respect? Okay, hands off. And now off to Vaes Dothrak! Because if we can’t sex you, we will put you away in a dusty corner and never think of you again.
So yeah, they want to take her and park her with the other Khal widows. Meanwhile, Jorah and Daario are looking for Dany and find a ring and some trampled grass. They’re putting two and two together. Sure would be nice if a dragon showed up to help, but CGI budgets don’t grow on trees.
In Mereen, we return to the REAL show everyone wants to see: the Tyrion and Varys variety hour. They stroll the streets looking at graffiti, Tyrion gets mistaken for a cannibal, Varys criticizes that rich little way Tyrion walks, it’s fabulous. GIVE US MOAR.
Annnnnnd Dorne. Sigh. Dorne, we need to talk. I just…. don’t get you. Maybe Martin didn’t either. Maybe he got so far in to his Spanish proxy kingdom, and then realized it was going nowhere, but only now told Benioff and Weiss, who were like, well, dang. Gotta kill em all. The Dornish are the anti-Pokemon, people.
So the Sand Snakes kill Areo Hotah and Prince Doran Martell, which sucks because I loved the casting for Doran, for all of the two episodes he was in. And Doran’s son Trystane, too, who is moodily painting the eye stones for his beloved dead Myrcella, trying to get every last fleck of light in her eyes just right as a tribute to their beautiful young love, until the Sand Snakes come and stab him in the head. Meanwhile, the castle guards all stand around, collectively agreeing that now is NOT, in fact, the best time to angle for that raise after all.
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for since the internet got hold of it: Melisandre gets naked. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.
She’s been sitting staring at the fire, clearly unhappy that she’s been misreading all the Lord of Light’s signals. Apparently she’s starting to realize the irony of how annoyed she used to get when she asked the Lord of Light to show her Azor Azai, and he kept showing her Jon Snow instead of Stannis. (No, seriously. It’s one of my favorite lines in the books.) Stannis is dead, and she was wrong, and now Jon Snow is “dead” too. And interestingly, she seems very disturbed by it all.
Is she having a crisis of faith? Or is she simply tired, and can’t see the way forward? Either way, she removes her glowing red necklace and the glamour of the Red Woman vanishes, revealing Melisandre, the eleventy-hundred-year-old woman. And for once, the boobs are justified, because it really does make that moment punch harder. One minute, she is young, beautiful, slightly disturbed Melisandre, and the next, she is old, not just in face but in body. She totters over to her bed and climbs in, burrows under the covers, and you can feel her despair.
And all joking aside, serious props to the body double for this episode. In a show where we are constantly given all the boobs, we are also given a woman’s aged body, without apology or artifice. It’s a commentary on how rare it is for us to see a woman’s body in a non-sexual context that this scene has elicited so much chatter. It’s almost like everyone ages, even women — almost like that’s okay, and not shameful, and not something we need to hide away.
Now someone needs to get that memo over to Vaes Dothrak, stat.