A lot of important shit happened this week, the most notable of which being that Daario was nearly naked again.
Jon is leaving with Tormund on their mission to corral the wildlings to move them south of the wall. Literally everyone is against this plan except for Jon, and his farewell is just a compilation of passive glares and thinly veiled hostility.
Ser Allister: It is my job as first ranger to tell you that this is a terrible fucking idea.
Jon: Sorry I can’t hear you over all my honor.
Sam gives Jon some dragon glass in case of the very real possibility that he runs into some white walkers. Jon is clearly unnerved by this idea, but then remembers that Sam was capable of killing one and therefore Gilly’s baby could probably do it.
Speaking of Gilly and the baby that has miraculously survived months of subzero climate in a castle without any kind of internal heating: they are hanging out with Maester Aemon who appears to be on his deathbed. He is reminiscing about his little brother “Egg,” also known as Aegon Targaryen, the once King of Westeros. He warns Gilly to head south with Little Sam before it’s too late. It is unclear if “too late” refers to their inevitable death by an army of white walkers or the day that Sam tries to have sex with her. Maester Aemon: ambiguous even in death. He dies later that night and it’s one of the most shocking deaths we’ve seen due to the sole fact that it was natural and peaceful.
Sam speaks at Aemon’s funeral the next day and Ser Allister waits the appropriate and respectable four seconds after lighting his corpse on fire to let Sam know he’s running low in the friend department, seeing as how Jon is gone and the decrepit blind man is dead.
Later, Gilly is happened upon by two brothers of the Night’s Watch who are very intent on raping her when Sam shows up. Bless his heart, he really does try to help her out but he is still Samwell Tarly and, despite his best efforts, gets the shit kicked out of him. Luckily, Ghost reappears from his sabbatical as Jon’s guard wolf to scare them off. Sam passes out and wakes up to Gilly tending to his wounds.
Gilly: The gesture was nice, but maybe next time leave the fighting for wolves or my infant child.
Sam: Fair enough.
What follows is a sex scene that isn’t necessarily uncomfortable by Game of Thrones standards, but still not great. We don’t have to watch the entire thing (thank God) but it’s safe to assume Sam lasts all of three seconds. Where is Little Sam in all of this? Is Ghost watching him somewhere far away? One can only hope.
After the horrific shit that went down last week you would hope that maybe Sansa’s situation had improved slightly, and then you would remember that this is Westeros and proceed to chastise yourself for ever being so foolish as to hope for a woman finding happiness. It turns out that Ramsey keeps her locked in her room all day and only shows up at night to rape her before he presumably goes and drowns a bag of puppies. This shouldn’t be all that surprising, but it still seems like a bold move considering Sansa is highborn and the prodigal Stark of Winterfell.
Sansa is desperate enough to ask Theon’s help, which works out just about as well as you would expect it to. She tries to instill some sense of decency and pride in Theon by reminding him that he is the last living son of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands. Little does Sansa know, Theon’s dad hates him and Ramsey cut his dick off so inspirational speeches are kind of a mute point.
She tells him that all he has to do is light a candle in the broken tower and help will come for them. For about half a second it looks like he might grow a pair (purely metaphorically) and help her out. Instead, he goes straight to Ramsey. Classic, Reek.
Pan out to the outer grounds of Winterfell, where Brienne stands waiting for her signal to bust in, guns blazing, to save Sansa. Podrick is nowhere to be seen but is probably eating in the background and reminding Brienne that no one actually wants them there.
The next day Sansa goes on a lovely couple’s stroll with Ramsey around the castle. He lets her know how truly psyched he was when he found out she wasn’t the homely beast he was expecting. Ah, the sweet whispered nothings of honeymooners.
Ramsey is talking about how one day he will be Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. Sansa shuts him down with a quick reminder that he is a bastard and a decree from Tommen Baratheon, another bastard, probably won’t be enough to save him when his legitimate little brother is born. It takes a good ten seconds for Ramsey to get his crazy eyes under control before he tells her that bastards can do great things, citing her brother Jon’s rise to Commander of the Night’s Watch. This is news to Sansa, but before she can question it Ramsey moves on to more exciting topics like the latest person he’s flayed.
The old lady who told Sansa about lighting the candle is very dead and very skinless. Ramsey makes some long-winded sociopathic speech about her demise, but it’s not necessary. The message is pretty clear: you have no friends here.
Stannis’ army isn’t adapting to the northern winter too well. A bunch of his sellswords have abandoned his cause, which is to be expected when you pay men to fight for you but aren’t able to inspire their loyalty like other leaders might cough DAENERYS cough.
Davos is advising that they head back to Castle Black until winter passes. Stannis is not down because that would be his second retreat and the winter could last years. He gruffly tells Davos to stop being a pussy because they are marching no matter what. Davos isn’t happy with the plan but is too turned on by Stannis’ bravado and winter scruff to argue anymore.
After Davos leaves Stannis turns on Melisandre. He’s starting to question her visions and just about everything else about their plan.
Stannis: How confident are you in your fiery witchcraft?
Melisandre: 100% confident, my Lord, but also sacrificing your daughter probably wouldn’t hurt the cause.
At the beginning of this season I would have absolutely expected Stannis to kill his daughter without batting an eye if it meant becoming the One True King. But after the grayscale speech we know that he is actually a competent father, and he tells Melisandre to GTFO.
Jaime finds out the that being an absent father/uncle doesn’t mean you can escape the wrath of teenage rebellion. When he tells Myrcella that she needs to return to King’s Landing she throws down the gauntlet in the way only a thirteen year old in the throes of first love can. Trystane is alive and well after last week’s battle and she fully plans on marrying him and staying in Dorne.
Bronn is hanging out in his cell singing lewd songs about Dornish wives all of five feet away from the Sand Snakes because he is the literal definition of shameless. After some playful banter and a few mild threats, one of the Sand Snakes tries to seduce Bronn with a little strip tease. Literally anyone else would have seen through this plan, but Bronn falls for it because men are weak in the presence of boobs.
His racing heart activates some kind of slow acting poison that she had stabbed him with during their scuffle in the water gardens. She gives him the antidote before he can die, and then tells him he is handsome. They take playing hard to get to a whole new level in Dorne. Most likely will not end well for Bronn.
At last, two of our plot lines finally intersect. The dynamic duo are being sold at a slave auction and the auctioneer is listing off Jorah’s accomplishments like it’s his OkCupid profile.
Auctioneer: Don’t let his appearance fool you, this wrinkly white man can tear shit up.
But it seems to work because a very disinterested man buys Jorah for twenty gold honors. Tyrion manages to get himself thrown into the deal because his dwarf antics amuse the buyer, proving that sometimes it pays off being the ugly, funny friend.
In the castle, Daenerys and Daario are having giggly post-coital pillow talk and I definitely didn’t cry watching it. He finds it very suspicious that the Sons of Harpy stopped their murder spree right around the same time that Daenerys announced her plans to marry Hizdahr. She calls him out on being jealous and he owns it because he is secure in his masculinity and also perfect.
Daario: Marry me instead.
Dany: * laughs in his face *
My heart: * shatters *
She tells him that as queen she can’t just do whatever she likes. Daario drops some wisdom on her, pointing out that her lack of choice makes her literally the only non-free person in Mereen. Beautiful and wise, it’s like whatever. He also thinks she should mass slaughter all the masters at the great games, but she decides to ignore that particular advice.
The next day Jorah and Tyrion are getting ready to battle in some of the lesser fighting pits in order to win the honor of fighting in front of the Khaleesi at the great games. But PLOT TWIST- she is already there, reluctantly overseeing the festivities with Hizdahr. Jorah sees her and turns into the human version of the heart eye emoji.
Before Dany can leave in disgust, Jorah sprints out into battle with a helmet hiding his identity. Knowing that she hates senseless death, he takes down all of the other fighters without killing them. She is clearly impressed until she realizes it’s Jorah, and then tells the guards to get him out of her sight.
Jorah: But I love you and I brought you a gift.
Khaleesi: What kind of gift?
Tyrion: SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKERS
Literally the moment we’ve all been waiting for, everyone’s two favorite characters meet at last. They stare at each other in wonder, probably imagining all of the sass battles they’re about to engage in. Ugh, can’t wait.
This episode is just a series of showdowns in the capital, each one progressively more fucked up than the last.
Olenna vs. High Sparrow
After establishing that both of them are too old to kneel, Olenna tells the High Sparrow that he should release her grandkids before she throws down. She makes a bunch of threats and bribes but he doesn’t budge.
Olenna: There are rapists and murderers all over the place but you’re going to go after Loras for his preference to butts?
Sparrow: Pretty much, you bourgeoisie piece of shit.
Cersei vs. Tommen
Tommen is just now realizing that he has zero power and is not taking it well. He threatens to kill everyone in the sept and start a war over Margaery’s imprisonment, because that is typically how teenage boys react when sex is taken away from them. Cersei is trying to talk him down and says she will speak to the High Sparrow on his behalf.
Cersei: I would do anything to keep you from harm.
Tommen: Like save Margaery?
Olenna vs. Baelish
Our two favorite Joffrey murderers meet up in Little Finger’s destroyed brothel to have a friendly chat about the state of the capital. Olenna very rightly does not trust Petyr, and lets him know that if the Tyrells go down she will absolutely take him with her. He tells her to calm the fuck down because he has something to offer her that he kept from Cersei: a handsome young man. I’m not sure if he just thinks all the Tyrells can be bribed with hot twinks but I guess we’ll find out.
Cersei vs. Margaery
This is less of a battle and more like shameless gloating. The way Cersei talks about Tommen makes her sound like an insecure new girlfriend flaunting her victory over an ex. Margaery is so far past even pretending to put up with Cersei’s bullshit and it’s refreshing to hear someone talk to her like that. She also manages to look prettier living in squalor than most people do with makeup and money, which is only moderately frustrating.
Margaery: You are a hateful bitch.
Cersei: Can’t argue with you there.
Cersei bids Margaery farewell with a shady “Sleep well, sister,” her face the definition of smug. Jokes on her, it doesn’t last long.
Cersei vs. Sparrow
Cersei goes directly to see the High Sparrow and essentially solidifies the downfall of the Tyrells. He says that if they confess before trial they will receive a degree of mercy, but all of their finery and wealth will be stripped away no matter what, “as it will be for all of us.” At this point Cersei should have realized shit was going down, but she was probably too busy relishing in her victory over her daughter-in-law.
The High Sparrow starts talking about architecture and how simplicity will outlast vanity. He is very openly glaring at her during this whole speech and she still doesn’t seem to understand that it’s time to bail.
He reveals that some time ago a very broken young man came to him and, in the process of divulging himself of his sins and vanity, had a whole lot to say about her. Lancel emerges from the shadows and Cersei finally realizes that this conversation probably won’t end in her favor. She tries to leave but is captured and thrown into a cell that looks a whole lot like Margaery’s. Karma is a bitch, huh Cersei? Lesson learned: if you are going to seduce and emotionally abuse your cousin, be prepared for the repercussions of his fanatic religious cult.
Episodes Since Daario’s Butt: Six, but we got a shot of his torso and beggars can’t be choosers.
She may have lost but she made sure to laugh in the face of her her enemies first. Also, “Look at my face, it is the last thing you will see before you die,” are really great parting words and also applicable when interacting with baristas who fuck up your order.