Monday, April 27, 2015

game of thrones: a man must serve

So many interesting things happened last night on the third episode, "High Sparrow," of the fifth season of Game of Thrones. I didn't miss Daenerys and her crew one bit, either. There are a few spoilers included below for those who haven't read the books ...

As Jaqen H'ghar, Arya's teacher/mentor/Mr. Miyagi told her, "All men must serve." Arya is just beginning to get a glimpse of what life in the House of Black and White might be like. Her first task was to cast off all things Arya, which meant her clothes, her precious "Valar Morghulis" coin, and [gulp] Needle, her trusty sword that was a gift from half-brother Jon Snow. But she couldn't make herself do it, and kept just a little bit of Arya inside of her, and spared the rest of us the despair we would have felt if we watched Needle sink into the Braavos canal.

The first ever Westeros wedding without a casualty occurred in King's Landing, between Margery and young Tommen, who embraced his wedding night with typical teenage boy gusto. Margery wasted no time exercising her home court advantage by getting Tommen to consider that an overbearing mother might be better enjoyed from a distance - and Tommen quickly suggested that Cersei might be happier in Casterly Rock. Cersei tries to intimidate Margery, but she and her attendants were too busy discussing the indefatigable young king's prowess to let anything Cersei might try to insinuate bother them. But no matter. At least Cersei still has her creepy sidekick Qyburn and his Mountain-like Frankenstein experiment, and a new friend and associate in the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).

Up at The Wall Jon looked very comfortable in his new role as Lord Commander. He turned down Stannis's offer of becoming Lord of the North and proceeded to exercise his power by executing his first traitor, the loathsome Janos Slynt, just like his dear old dad Ned Stark would have done, with a sword of Valerian steel. Stannous looked on approvingly from the battlements. Jon may not have accepted his offer, but the two do seem to have a grudging respect for one another and may find themselves some sort of allies in the future.

For once I'm actually interested in what Littlefinger has to say.

The show took a real turn from the books by having Littlefinger offer Sansa in marriage to the creepy and sadistic Ramsay Bolton. This is a brilliant change and streamlining of the books clunky "fake Arya" storyline. I am looking forward to seeing how this will play out. And for the first time ever I wonder if I have caught a glimpse of Littlefinger's true end game. It as been assumed all along that Catelyn Stark was his true love and he lusts for Sansa as she reminds him of his lost love. But maybe he actually hates Cat and all of her family. He must know how horrible Ramsay is. And an alliance with the Bolton;s can't really mean that much to him politically - in fact it puts him in a more precarious position. We'll see ...

Brienne and Pod were lovely together and in another improvement on the book's storyline, Brienne showed that she is more aware of the behavior of the people around her than we might have thought. She illustrated this by telling a touching story of how she first met Renly Baratheon. Please keep giving us moments and stories like this, please.


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