It’s the halfway point and no that isn’t a veiled dragon-eating nod! The show continues to move forward and away from the plot of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire.” I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, because we soon won’t be sure of what is a spoiler of the book series or what is totally made up for the show. It’s a hard, yet fascinating, caveat that all of us must get used to. That being said, this week big things are set up for the second half of the season. Jon makes some unpopular moves to unite the Night’s Watch with the Wildings, Stannis heads for Winterfell, Sansa reunites with a childhood frenemy and deals with her new, sociopathic fiancé, Dany deals with death and injustice (plus, a marriage proposal!), and Tyrion finally sets his eyes on a dragon! It’s all very exciting, and with no King’s Landing, Dorne, or Braavos, the episode feels very focused and grey-hued.
In Mereen, the fates of Grey Worm and Ser Barristan Selmy are revealed after that (non-book) fight at the end of last week’s episode. Grey Worm is barely hanging on as poor Missandei watches over him. Ser Barristan, however, did not survive. WHAT in the HECK?! Does not happen in the book! Ser Barristan is still alive and being awesome. Oh, well. Dany is obviously pissed (she must be a book reader, too), and wants justice. So, she rounds up all of the heads of the big families of Mereen and brings them into her dragon “prison,” where she forces them to be prodded into the paths of Viserion and Rhaegal.
Her lovely pets make an appearance, burning one man alive and then splitting him in half to eat. Aw, they share their food! Hizdahr zo Loraq, who has been urging Dany to open the fighting pits, is ready for death, but Dany decides to just imprison the rest of the leaders for now.
Grey Worm finally awakens from his slumber and tells Missandei that his biggest fear, more than death, was never seeing her again. Aww, that’s sweet. Now that Barristan is dead, Dany needs some advisors. She turns to Missandei for advice on what to do about everything and lo, and behold, Missandei gives great advice about being true to herself. So, Dany releases Hizdahr zo Loraq, telling him she is reopening the fighting pits and that she will marry a head of a great house to solidify the city. Her suitor is Hizdahr, himself. He can’t believe what just happened. How is Daario going to react?
Up at The Wall, Samwell reads blind, old Maester Aemon news about his great, great niece, Dany. Aemon laments that it is sad she is a lone Targaryen, all by herself. Cue: Jon Snow. Hmm, another nod to the R+L=J theory? Pretty heavy handed at this point. Jon wants advice on how to get the Wildings to fight with the Night’s Watch. Aemon basically says “Kill the boy, be the man” and stop caring about if everyone likes you, half of them hate you already! I love Maester Aemon!
Man-up, Jon Snow does! First, he talks with Wilding prisoner, Tormund Giantsbane, and releases him from his chains. Tormund agrees to talk with the rest of the Wildings, who are up beyond the wall at a settlement called Hardhom, but Jon must come with him. Secondly, Jon announces his plan to the Night’s Watch, who aren’t very happy about it. Little Ollie is even pissed, telling Jon the Wildings killed all his family. However, Jon is sticking to his plan.
Also, sticking to his plan? Stannis Baratheon. He finally decides to march on Winterfell! How exciting. His wife, daughter, Melisandre, and all his men are coming with him. They head out into post-book territory and it is all very exciting. After last week’s father-daughter scene, Stannis is quickly becoming a fan favorite…which probably means bad news. We shall see.
Meanwhile, down at Winterfell, Sansa finally gets a glimpse of the dysfunctional House Bolton and it is not pretty. Firstly, outside of the stronghold, Brienne continues her promise to Lady Stark by telling a weird-looking innkeeper to sneak a message into Winterfell for Sansa. He follows through and Sansa’s new handmaid tells her that if she should ever be in trouble, to light a candle atop the highest tower and help will come.
Sansa goes to inspect the tower, where she is accosted by Ramsay’s girlfriend, Myranda. Earlier, a naked Myranda expressed dislike and jealousy of Sansa to Ramsay. But Ramsay warns her that jealousy bores him, so she bites his lip and then they have aggressive sex. Such a healthy relationship. Anyways, Myranda urges Sansa to check out the last stall in the dog kennel. Sansa stupidly agrees, coming upon her old “brother,” Theon Greyjoy/Reek. Such a sight to see! To Sansa, he is the man who betrayed her eldest brother and “killed” her other brothers. So, not good.
At dinner, Ramsay continues to show his true colors and Sansa stands her ground, but Ramsay then brings in Theon to “apologize” to Sansa for killing her brothers. It’s altogether gross and tacky and Ramsay is insane. So insane, he decides that Theon should walk Sansa down the aisle at their upcoming wedding (aka the wedding from hell!). FINALLY, Roose steps in and knocks Ramsay down a peg or two by announcing his wife, Fat Walda, is pregnant and probably having a son. HA, Ramsay!
Later, Ramsay worries about his position and Roose tells him the story of how Ramsay came to be. Roose raped a peasant woman and almost threw young infant Ramsay in the river, but didn’t (why not?) because he is knew Ramsay was his son. And there ya have it! Next week, the wedding. Let’s hope Sansa stands her ground and isn’t the victim anymore…
A ways away, Jorah and prisoner, Tyrion, enter the Doom of Valyria, the ancient home of the Targaryens and dragons that was wiped off the the face of the world by a big, cataclysmic explosion of some sort. It is daunting and ominous and everyone in the known world avoids it. So, of course, Jorah is going to cut right through it to get to Dany. Tyrion is complaining about his lack of wine, when Drogon makes an appearance above. Tyrion is gob-smacked in awe and Jorah looks happily proud: a reminder of his Queen! As they watch Drogon flap overhead, they miss seeing a creepy looking Stone Man jump into the water.
Shortly after, a bunch of stone men (aka those infected with greyscale – the disease we keep getting lectured about aka Shireen’s face, etc), attack! Jorah fights them off and Tyrion falls into the water. Fade to black! What?! Luckily, Jorah managed to save Tyrion and get them to the shore and out of Valyria, but secretly Jorah was infected by the greyscale! Oh no! It’s not in the books, but things aren’t looking good for Jorah. Now Dany will never want him…
And there you have it! Even though there was no King’s Landing, Braavos, or Dorne, the episode was still full and exciting. Lots of plotlines moving forward and things are actually starting to happen and have effects. We now have TWO upcoming weddings and you know how Thrones loves it’s weddings.
What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below! Feeling bad for Jorah? Want Sansa to bring it on during her next wedding? Is Jon making the right decision? Plus, Stannis is coming! It’s all building up! See you next week!
New episodes of Game of Thrones air on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO. – See more at: http://www.whedonopolis.com/game-of-thrones-5-04-the-sons-of-the-harpy/#sthash.2Ewvcc19.dpuf