There are many meetings, though not as many greetings this episode:
- Here is a statement I thought I’d never make: this Game of Thrones episode had a textbook example of consent. Gilly, who has been afforded little choice about who controls her body by the narrative, not only chooses Sam, but also makes sure that he’s on board with everything she’s doing. Remember kids, if you sense your sexual partner might be in discomfort, check in with them and only proceed if everything is all right.
- There has been a lot of talk about how Sansa’s storyline is merely in place to make Theon redeem himself, so I actually liked that when she reminded him that he was Theon Greyjoy, it wasn’t because she was being particularly compassionate, or supportive, but because she wanted him to do something for her.
- For the first time this season the Sand Snakes seem to be an actual family with dynamics that could be interesting. All it took was an annoyed glance between sisters to make most people with siblings or friends that run their mouths actually identify with them on some emotional level. I don’t know if that has something to do with the lack of dialogue that has so far been the death of all Sand Snake scenes.
- I would never suggest that Daario Naharis is anywhere close to being a good advisor, but his recommendation that all masters must die seems almost reasonable… And then he says a ruler is either a butcher or meat and we’re back to square one.
- Lena Headey killed it this episode. While I don’t know how much I like Cersei being a doting mother (by her standards) instead of the power-hungry monarch she wants to be, screaming at a nun that Cersei’s face is the last thing the nun is going to see before she dies is the most Cersei Lannister thing she has done in 5 seasons.
- I am actually excited about Tyrion meeting Daenerys, so I hope it makes for some fun dialogue. Since he has lost Bronn, maybe he can adopt Daario.
- “I dreamed that I was old.” Sadly, Aemon Targaryen is no longer with us and Ser Alliser is poised to be an even bigger Thorne in Jon’s side.
- Sansa refusing to play nice with Ramsay was something I needed, however, taunting him about his status as a bastard removes so much from what her Alayne storyline could have been. As the daughter of a noble, Sansa had been in a position of relative privilege and it wasn’t until she became the bastard daughter of Petyr Baelish that the class clash became personal to her. Rather than that, we have her reinforcing the idea that nobles are a better class of people, which is an excellent dig on Ramsay I wouldn’t begrudge her for making, but it is far less interesting thematically.
- While I may have liked Gilly taking charge, I don’t particularly like the timing. It might be telling of her character and the terrible way she grew up, but having Sam being shown as the victim of her sexual assault in need of comfort, makes for a questionable resolution of that scene (and I’m not even going into Ghost appearing out of thin air much like his name suggests).
- Jorah was a slaver, that’s why he had to leave Westeros in the first place, so I would have preferred an actual exploration of the fact that he is now the victim of the same inhumane trade he supported. Instead, his character arc was given no room to breath and the story simply moved forward.
- Similarly, now that Dany in all likelihood has them in custody, I hope somebody brings up one of the strongest arguments against the fighting pits: there is no system in place to check if the fighters are actually free men and not slaves forced to fight.
- How dare they harm that little old lady? How dare they?! On a less emotional note, I think this is supposed to show that Ramsay was aware of the plot against him, or at least where the true loyalties of certain people lay even before Theon reported to him. Otherwise it makes no sense, since Sansa never mentions her.
- I do not appreciate even the slightest whisper of a threat against the well-being of Shireen.
- Weirdly enough, Bronn and Tyene seem to have some sort of chemistry brewing and I wouldn’t even have minded a simple peek of breasts since the show’s lack of subtlety doesn’t allow for any above-the-implied-nude-breasts shot, but the repeated lingering of the camera on them and Bronn’s reaction just strained my eyes because of all the eye-rolling.
- Tommen suddenly taking charge and wanting to bathe the streets in blood is too much, too soon. He is now demoted to salty cinnamon bun.
And I leave you with this cracky theory: suppose all the people Ramsay has killed come back from the dead to destroy him.
This post is brought to you with help from the lovely Nikki who saved us all from the typos.