(Spoiler Warning) Last week saw the return of one the most intriguing characters to have ever graced the show, Jaqen H'ghar. Arya had arrived at the House of Black and White, to begin her training to become one of the Faceless Men, like H'ghar. Her training doesn't go quite as planned, as Arya finds herself sweeping the temple floor or being whipped with a cane by another young woman in the service of the Many-Faced God. A bored Arya watches people come to die in the temple, which is about as interesting as things get for her. When she finally demands to know when her training will begin, H'ghar calmly tells her "a girl must become no one." Arya now must lose her identity, so that whenever she's asked who she is, she can convincingly tell them she's no one. She sets about throwing away all of her possessions, clothes included. However, when the time comes to throw away Needle, she can't bring herself to do it. Instead, Arya hides the sword given to her by half-brother Jon Snow.
I'm looking forward to Arya learning to become an assassin. From day one, it's almost as if Martin had always known her fate would be to kill people. While Sansa was learning needlework and how to be a lady, Arya was being a tomboy, and learning the water dance from master-swordsman Syrio Forel. (Watch here)
Margaery and Tommen are wed, leaving Cersei feeling like an outsider. After the wedding, we're shown the happy young couple in bed after having sex. "This is all I want to do, all day, everyday, for the rest of my life" gushes the young naive king. Margaery has the young king well and truly wrapped around her little finger (not that Littlefinger), allowing her to bring Cersei's prophecy (Watch here) one step closer. There are a couple of scenes with Margaery and Cersei that felt very awkward. The first comes when Tommen tries to strongly hint to Cersei that she'd be happier at Casterly Rock. Of course, Tommen thinks this was all his idea, but he was maneuvered expertly by his new wife, Queen Margaery. The second scene comes when Cersei, after realising the already tenuous influence over her son has been broken, approaches Margaery to offer her help anytime she needs it. This clear display of Cersei crawling to Margaery like a supplicant, unbelievably made me feel sorry for her. I was so sure I would enjoy watching Cersei getting what she deserved, but the writing and direction of this episode was masterful, making me feel something that seemed foreign. How can anyone feel sorry for Cersei Lannister?! Before Cersei can walk away from Margaery, the new queen asks Cersei how she should address her: "Queen Mother or Dowager Queen?" This was just one more nail in Cersei's coffin. Well, you reap what you sow.
Game of Thrones
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
26 April 2015
Ed's Grade: A+
Stannis is still at Castle Black. He and Jon Snow appear to be at odds, however, the wise and humble Onion Knight, who we've seen speaking up for the taciturn Stannis before, offers some wisdom to the new Lord Commander. Stannis made Jon the incredible offer of making him a true Stark, giving him power over the North. This would be to hopefully align "Lord Jon Stark" to King Stannis' House Baratheon, and unseat Lord Bolton and the crazed Ramsey from their northern stronghold -- currently Mote Cailen, with an eye towards Winterfell. But Jon refuses the king, claiming he's needed at Castle Black more than ever. Amusingly, Stannis points out that Jon's as honorable as his father, meaning it got Ned killed. What appears on the surface as animosity between these two, is actually a growing respect. Jon gets a chance to prove himself to his men, after there's descent from Janos Slynt. Jon gives Slynt a duty that he's unhappy about, making him openly rebellious towards the new, young Lord Commander. Hoping for backup, Janos looks to Ser Alliser Thorne, and this might have worked had Jon been ungracious towards Thorne. But he wasn't, and Janos is dragged away to the chopping block. A blubbering, groveling and apologetic Janos Slynt, begs for mercy from Lord Snow. Under King Stannis' gaze, and surrounded by the Night's watch, Jon briefly pauses as if to give mercy, then he lets Valyrian steel fly, removing Slynt's head from his shoulders.
The biggest surprise of this episode, was discovering just how (much of a scumbag) devious Petyr Baelish can truly be. I was so convinced that he wanted to help Sansa Stark out of the love he once felt for her mother. It would appear, however, that altruism is something that Littlefinger can indeed fake rather well, but can't actually bring himself to do. Littlefinger has aligned himself with Roose Bolton, now that the real power behind the Iron Throne, Tywin Lannister, is dead. Sansa is to be wed to the cruel Ramsey Bolton (does that make him an "ex" bastard, now that Roose has legitimized his name?), further securing his own position in the North. He's already lording over the Vale, while his weak and feeble stepson is too young to rule himself. Baelish is steadily maneuvering himself into a powerful position. But to what end? Watch Sansa's proposal scene below.
Tyrion just couldn't keep it in his pants. Thanks to visiting a brothel, against Varys' advise, Tyrion is kidnapped by none other than the shamed Ser Jorah Mormont. He growls to Tyrion that he's going to see the Queen, meaning Daenerys, but that was his destination anyway. Is this how Jorah plans to win back Dany's trust? Good luck, Jorah. You're gonna need it. I'm sure she threatened to have him killed. (Watch here) We also might be seeing the return of Frankengregor. The new Maester that Cersei gifted the dying Ser Gregor Clegane to, is now busy getting up to no good with what I can only assume is Clegane's corpse. He appears to have reanimated the Mountain somehow, and if this is the case, what does he, or Cersei for that matter, plan on doing with the new monster?