If a Game of Thrones episode doesn’t start with the title sequence, that means it usually has something important to say.
This was my favorite episode of the season so far. (Spoilers after the jump)
It starts off with a scene of happy people working together. Of course, this can’t end well. I’ve maintained the idea that one of the purposes of Game of Thrones is to be a harsh critique of religion. Finally, we get a religion that seems to be good. Not a religion that is trying to gain something, but one that wants to be there to provide support for people. Having Ian McShane as the preacher is great casting. He provides the right amount of gravitas without making it seem hokey. The best part about these scenes is the return of The Hound. The Hound is probably the most dynamic character on the show. Being that it’s Game of Thrones, you know its not going to end well. However, credit goes to the writer and director for knowing that we know how it is going to end and still making it tense and interesting. The Hound with a purpose, even if it’s not the one we want for him, makes for an interesting storyline.
In Kings Landing, we see more of how the High Sparrow is really thinking about power and not spiritual matters when he urges the Queen to have a child. He has, or thinks he has, his claws into the royal family. He needs the line to continue so he can have dominion over the child. Margery is too smart to be a fool and finally proves it to her grandmother. If Diana Rigg is leaving the show, then it will be a huge loss for Game of Thrones. If she is, she does have a nice scene with Lena Headey’s Cersei. Cersei has played the game all wrong and Rigg devours the scene when she tells her so.
In the North, we see that last names don’t make people leaders of people. Jon only gets the wildlings to fight for him because he knows them, and the Bear Islands only fight because of Devos experience. Sansa really has some growing to do with political reality. The Stark name for most of the North died with Rob and those people need more than a name. These were three excellent scenes, especially the Bear Island scenes. If that ten year old had been the head of a larger household, the show would be over.
We get to see Jaime and Bronn back at it. Bronn is a favorite of fans because he is one of the few people who survive talking truth to power. The scene is a lot of war talk and men being men. Jaime proves he his a smart and more powerful man to the Freys, but fails to make the same impression on the Blackfish. It’s all wonderfully acted, and allows for some character development for Jaime and the Blackfish. Plus anytime Jerome Flynn’s Bronn is on the screen, I’m entertained.
Theon has an interesting scene with Yara. She provides tough love to her broken brother. Theon’s renewal in many ways mimics the same that we see with The Hound. They have both done horrible things and were looking for redemption.
Arya gets what’s coming to her. It’s disappointing she didn’t see it coming. I feel that she is a smarter character than that. She should not trust anyone at anytime until they have earned it. However, it is a great piece of parallel story writing that we are last seeing her being left to die while The Hound is reborn.