Game of Thrones 5.04 – “The Sons of the Harpy”

Excuse me while I pick my book-reading jaw off the floor! The latest episode of Game of Thrones, “The Sons of the Harpy” just went THERE. AGAIN. The wheels of change are hard to stop. This week we get a lot of awesome fight scenes, intimate histories of character’s yore, and a shocking non-book death! Read below…if you dare.

****SPOILERS BELOW*****

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King’s Landing: Cersei, oh Cersei! How doth the Queen Mother continue to be so foolish in her finally coveted leadership role? Firstly, she sends Mace Tyrell, father of Margaery, off to Braavos to deal with a debt with the Iron Bank. She also sends her number one henchman, Meryn Trant, with him. Once again, the small council continues to get smaller. Then she meets with the High Sparrow and basically arms all of his lunatic followers and then tells him about the sins of Loras Tyrell. The High Sparrow’s men immediately storm Littlefinger’s brothel, killing and arresting heathens, including a certain Knight of Flowers. The High Sparrow remarks that sinners are all equal in the eyes of the Gods. Cersei better watch herself.

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Margaery is obviously upset her brother is arrested and wants her husband, the King, to have him released. Tommen goes to his mother, who acts innocently, telling him to ask the High Sparrow to release him as he is the one who arrested him. So, Tommen goes down to Flea Bottom and basically gets rejected from the Sept, with peasants calling him an “abomination.” Poor, innocent Tommen is not suited for this type of power playing. Why he went to Flea Bottom himself is questionable? He is the King, right? Why does the High Sparrow suddenly have more authority? Maybe because all of his followers have now branded their foreheads with bloodied stars. They are crazy! Margaery makes promise to contact her grandmother. Yas, more Queen of Thorns (Diana Rigg) in our future.

Winterfell: Darth Sansa, meanwhile, is exploring the crypts of Winterfell. She even picks up a feather that King Robert left at her Aunt Lyanna’s grave back in Season 1. She is joined by Littlefinger, who tells a tale we’ve heard a bit about before: the story of Prince Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark, Sansa’s beautiful aunt. I wonder if the story is a nod to the long popular R+L=J fan theory, or serves another purpose. Regardless, Littlefinger is going away to King’s Landing at Cersei’s request. Sansa is worried, at first, but Littlefinger lays it all out for her. Stannis is coming to Winterfell, is going to overthrow the Boltons, and make Sansa the Wardeness of the North. She is the sole Stark survivor and key to the North.

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Sansa worries about coping with the Boltons, especially Roose, but Littlefinger displays confidence (and a kiss on the lips) in her. He tells her she’s learned how to manipulate people from the best (him). She seems more confident, telling him she’ll probably be married when he returns. Hm. The dynamic between these two is odd.

The Wall: Speaking of Stannis, he IS planning to come to Winterfell soon. He admires and likes Jon Snow, but not as much as Melisandre. His wife, Selyse, does not share the same opinion, calling him a bastard of some whore. But, Stannis seems to think that wasn’t “Ned’s way.” Hmm, interesting. Stannis is fond of his daughter, though, in case you were wondering. They share a touching moment where he tells her about how she got her disease, greyscale, and how he loves her anyways. Awww! Stannis does have a heart. Hugs for Shireen.

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Jon is signing requests of men for help from local houses, including the Boltons. He is not enjoying it, but luckily Melisandre enters and interrupts the process. Sam excuses himself and Melisandre bares it all (in the literal sense), disrobing and guiding Jon’s hand to her boob. She talks a lot about fires, life and death, and Jon just sits in stunned silence. He finally breaks, as she goes for his pants. He tells he a made a vow, so Melisandre leaves, but she is not done. At the door, she turns and says, “You know nothing, Jon Snow!” Yowch! I have a feeling that hit Jon hard. He can’t catch a break with these redheads.

Dorne: We finally get an introduction to Dorne on the opening credits map, but I must say it was a bit disappointing. Anyways, Jaime and Bronn head south on a ship to rescue Princess Myrcella. They pass by an island, the Isle of Tarth, Brienne’s homeland. Jaime looks longingly at the coast. Does he have a little crush for his former companion? Bronn is very blunt, seeing straight through Jaime’s lies about the situation, but goes along anyways.

They take a smaller boat to the coast where they are attacked by four Dornishmen. Bronn takes three, while Jaime fights one, narrowingly defeating him when his sword gets caught in Jaime’s golden hand. Bronn worries that the sea captain sold them out.

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Aaaand, sure enough he did. At another beach in Dorne, Ellaria Sand makes the acquaintance of the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of the deceased Oberyn Martell. We have spear-wielding Obara Sand (Keisha Castle-Hughes), whip-wielding Nymeria Sand (Jessica Henwick), and double dagger-wielding Tyene Sand (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) ready to start a war for their father. Nym has buried the sea captain who sold Jaime and Bronn out buried in the sand with scorpions covering his face. But Obara ends up sending a spear through his head. Ouch. They want REVENGE!

A Rowboat: Meanwhile, Jorah has taken Tyrion into a rowboat — he’s taking him to the Queen, Queen Daenerys! “What a waste of a kidnapping!” Tyrion laughs after annoying Jorah into taking off his gag. He also calls out Ser Jorah on everything about him, causing Jorah to angrily rebuff by knocking Tyrion out. I’m excited to see them heading towards Dany!

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Mereen: The problems in Mereen have gone from bad to worse. Dany, atop her pyramid, seems not to realize just how bad. Hizdahr zo Loraq urges her to reopen the fighting pits to appease the city, but she refuses. Ugh, does she not get it?! Justice is so one-tracked for her. Barristan Selmy, one of the best characters and probably Dany’s only saving grace, tells her a great story about her brother, Rhaegar. He used to disguise himself and go into the city and sing. It was a nice moment between the two of them.

However, the Sons of the Harpy are out in full force now, killing many of the Unsullied at a brothel and then starting an all out battle in the streets. Grey Worm ends up in the fight and then so does Barristan Selmy. DON’T DO IT GAME OF THRONES! The fight is brutal and bloody and out of control. We see Barristan in all his glory…but then he gets taken down. Grey Worm is stabbed. Nothing is sacred anymore… Also, did not happen in the book as he is alive and well. But I’m not bitter… Okay, maybe I’m bitter. This is going to take a few days to process.

The changes keep coming and, as an avid book fan, it is hard for me to swallow. I just need to accept the changes and that the show and the book series are two completely different things now. BARRISTAN SELMY? WHY?! He was Dany’s smartest and most loyal supporter. Ah, oh well. Otherwise, the episode was great! Lots of great fight scenes, nice progression of storylines, some great comical moments, and nice set ups. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season pans out. Things will be different, but that’s okay!

Are you guys book readers? Or just show watchers?

What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below.

New episodes of Game of Thrones air on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.

 

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Post Author: Ben Fleck