So that happened.
Major episode spoilers ahead.
Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.
What’s dead may never die.
Except for Roose Bolton. He’s pretty freaking dead.
Okay, so the Big News is supposed to be that Jon Snow is alive. But, really, come on. The biggest surprise is that Lords Benioff & Weiss didn’t drag this “shock” out for more episodes. So, hurrah, Jon Snow is alive and relieved of his duty to the ingrates at the Night’s Watch if he so chooses. Awesome. Now let’s get to the meat of this development. I’m so excited! (No, really. That wasn’t meant as sarcasm.)
Speaking of meat… *ducks*
So long Roose, Lady Walda, and the little heir. Again I applaud Benioff & Weiss, this time for their restraint. I thought we’d actually see Ramsay bashing a baby against the courtyard flagstones a lá Gregor Clegane. But of course it was Ramsay’s dogs. Much more fitting, and just as fucking awful. Even just hearing the screams was enough to get my whole viewing party averting their eyes just in case we did see something foul.
With Roose swept off the board with a quick stabbing, things should likely be looking up for the North. Roose obviously wasn’t a great man, but he was smart. He was about as well-adjusted as anyone growing up in a house whose banner is a flayed man could be, conniving but certainly not mad. By murdering his father—and pissing off the Freys who hold the strategic boon of the Twins, to boot!—Ramsay has very likely signed his death warrant. He’s no great tactician. He’s no great ruler. He has nothing. And that includes Sansa.
Ramsay’s days are numbered. Which means Sansa’s in a great position to ascend.
Because the Karstark dude? Let’s be real. Who cares about Karstarks?
But I do admit to being a tad bored by this new reminder that Ramsay is a Bad Person. I’m just waiting for him to get his. Bitch, please; you are not fit to wipe the smirk from Joffrey’s feral little face. Feeding women and babies to dogs is cartoon villainy on Game of Thrones. Hell, I think Lady Walda is tougher than Ramsay for being up and walking around right after giving birth in an era before epidurals were invented. Pfft.
And again, I just feel a bit cold towards this introduction of Euron. Look, my Greyjoy love is strong. But having Euron stab Balon and toss him off the bridge at Pyke was just… meh. Oh, hey, look, it’s a brand new dickhead on Game of Thrones. Yawngasm. Anyone who has to say they’re The Drowned God and mad and the big bad storm? Yeah, they’re not so bad. Did he even have a missing eye? It was too dark for me to see. I’d much rather Balon plummeted as he did in the books; it might’ve been implied that he was pushed, but there was still the possibility that it was Melisandre working her evil blood leech magic on the three enemy kings of Stannis.
(Speaking of… is Gendry still rowing, forever and ever? Ahem.)
Onwards to the kingsmoot, I guess. But having Euron be so obvious is not Euron’s style: that’s more a Victarion thing. And it diminishes Melisandre’s power.
Of course, after last week’s reveal that the Red Women was Becky with the gray hair, maybe that’s what careful viewers should be considering? Melisandre certainly seemed weaker, more vulnerable, this week. Nothing a little pep talk from Davos can’t fix.
Meanwhile, in Meereen… Tyrion sure has a way with dragons, no? I wonder what that could mean. HMMM.
Beyond the Wall, Bran is back with a haircut and a voice like Barry White. Seven Hells, he was almost unrecognizable. I know I said I wanted to see Benjen again, and the gods answered me with a flashback. No fair. But it was cool to see Lil’ Ned and Lil’ Benjen and to finally see their sister Lyanna. So, Bran can see the past and probably the future, too. So what? What good does that do anybody? Again, not being sarcastic, but what does Bran’s training with the Three-Eyed Raven do for Westeros at large? (Holy cow, Max Von Sydow is the kind of guy who seems like he’s been old and wise forever. The Exorcist was filmed forty-three years ago!)
- Quote of the night: “I drink and I know things.” Me too, Tyrion. Me too.
- A Girl hesitated just a beat overlong when considering Jaqen H’Ghar’s offer to return her eyes. Good job, Arya! You’ve advanced to the next grade in Kill-Happy Hogwart’s School for Badass Assassins Working Towards No Discernible Endgame!
- The Children of the Forest look goofy, like Legend goofy.
- I’m glad you’re sorry Theon. And I’m glad you agree that you’re still a shit. Sansa is definitely leader material for being benevolent enough to offer him some forgiveness. Not that it’ll matter to the two farm boys he burned or Robb, betrayed and cold in his grave.
- The Lannisters are still sad in King’s Landing. The High Sparrow is still pretty confident. Is he really so protected that Ser “Strong” can’t just walk up to him and suckerpunch him to death? Is it bad that I thought that scene was hilariously over-the-top in the best possible way? Perhaps.
- WUN WUN WIN WIN. WUN WUN SMASH. Good job, Dolorous Edd. We were right to put our faith in you.
- Next week: Dany marches to Vaes Dothrak! And was that a young
Rhaegar TargaryenArthur Dayne I spied?
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM E/PT on HBO.