Continuing my reposting of articles originally posted on the old site. Spoilers abound.
Episode title: The Wars to Come
Director: Michael Slovis
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: In a flashback, a young Cersei and her friend meet Maggy the Frog, whom they know to be a witch and fortune teller. Cersei demands to know her future, and whether or not she will marry the prince, Rhaegar Targaryen, and have his children. Maggy informs her that she will instead be wed to the king, Robert Baratheon, and while she will have three children, the king she marries will have twenty. She also says that all of Cersei’s children will wear golden crowns, but also golden shrouds, and that another queen, younger and more beautiful than Cersei, will cast her down.
In the present, Cersei arrives at the Sept of Baelor to pay respects to her deceased father Tywin. Once inside the Sept, she chastises her brother Jaime for freeing their brother Tyrion and thus indirectly causing their father’s death. At Tywin’s wake, Cersei is approached by her uncle Kevan and her cousin Lancel, who has become a devout member of the Sparrows, a religious group devoted to the Faith of the Seven. Lancel asks Cersei’s forgiveness for their adulterous relationship and for his role in giving King Robert Baratheon wine before the hunt in which Robert was mortally wounded. Cersei denies any knowledge of her husband’s murder, and leaves.
Margaery Tyrell walks in on her brother, Loras, and his lover, Olyvar, naked in bed. After dismissing Olyvar, she tells Loras that he should be more discreet but he dismisses this idea by saying that they already know about him and that he is unlikely to be married to Cersei as Tywin’s death means no one can force her to do anything. He calls this bad news for Margaery as it means that Cersei will remain in King’s Landing instead of going to Highgarden with him. Margaery hints that she may have a solution.
Tyrion, weary and drunk, is broken out of the crate in which he was smuggled out of Westeros by Varys. Arriving in Pentos, Varys tells Tyrion that he and Illyrio Mopatis had worked together in secret to install Daenerys Targaryen as the new ruler of Westeros, and convinces Tyrion to travel with him to Meereen to meet her.
Several Unsullied remove the large gold harpy from the top of the Great Pyramid in Meereen. Later, one of the Unsullied is murdered in a brothel by a member of the Sons of the Harpy, a resistance group operating in Meereen. Dany orders Grey Worm to find those responsible, and for the murdered soldier to be buried in the Temple of the Graces as a statement of defiance to the Sons. Daario and Hizdahr zo Loraq return to Meereen and Hizdhar declares that the mission to Yunkai has been successful, and that the Wise Masters will turn over power to a council of former slaves and former slave owners. In exchange, the Wise Masters have asked that Daenerys consent to the reopening of the fighting pits, an arena where slaves used to fight to the death. Daenerys denies the request. Later, Daario urges her to reconsider, as his youth spent fighting in the pits gave him the combat skills necessary for him to join the Second Sons, where he met Daenerys. After a comment made by Daario, Daenerys visits her two captive dragons, Viserion and Rhaegal, which she locked underground to prevent them from killing people. When she approaches them, they show aggression toward her, forcing her to flee the room.
Lord Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark watch Lord Robin Arryn struggle while sparring with a young boy. Sansa witnesses Baelish receiving a message, which he quickly hides. Lord Yohn Royce has agreed to take Robin as his ward and train him to fight, but is not optimistic of his abilities. Though Baelish told Lord Royce that they would be travelling to the Fingers, Baelish and Sansa instead head west, with Baelish explaining that he is taking her to a place where the Lannisters can never find her. Podrick Payne attempts to plan the next move for Brienne of Tarth and himself, but Brienne tells him that she doesn’t want anyone following her. He reminds her of the oath she swore to Jaime to find the Stark girls, but she states that Arya did not want her protection. As the two talk, a caravan passes nearby, carrying, unbeknownst to them, Baelish and Sansa.
Jon Snow helps train new recruits to the Night’s Watch, while Samwell Tarly about the frontrunners to be the next Lord Commander. Sam fears that Ser Alliser Thorne will be selected, as he hates the wildlings. Jon is summoned by Melisandre to speak with King Stannis Baratheon. Stannis wants Jon to persuade Mance Rayder to bend the knee and have the wildlings fight for Stannis, so that he can take back the North from Roose Bolton. Stannis tells Jon that he has until sundown to convince Mance, or he will have him burnt at the stake. Jon tries to get Mance to agree, but he will not bend the knee as he fears that the wildlings will not follow him if he does. At night, Mance is brought before Stannis and told that if he agrees, he will be allowed to live. Mance declines the offer and is placed on the pyre. Jon, unwilling to watch Mance die in agony, shoots him with an arrow to give him a quick death.
My take: One of the first things you see is Cersei approaching the Sept of Baelor and climbing the steps. The final episode will see her leaving the Sept in a different manner. Olyvar has replaced Ros not only as Littlefinger’ righthand man, but also as the go to guy for nudity. The gold masks are a nice creepy addition. It’s good to know that Meereen has a Party City..
Changes from the books: Maggy’s physical appearance is quite different in the show. In the books she is very old, wrinkled, and has no teeth left. The Sons of the Harpy did not leave a mask when they killed, they painted a Harpy in blood near the body. In fact, they were never seen in the books, and they were never described wearing masks. Cersei never thought Jaime had released Tyrion but suspected the Tyrells, because a golden coin of House Gardener was found in the possession of the missing galoer, who disappeared the same night Tyrion did. At that point in the books, Tywin’s body was already in state of decomposition and a foul stench emanated from the body, so nobody wanted to come close to the body. Varys never went to Pentos with Tyrion, and his whereabouts are unknown for some time afterwards. It was Illyrio Mopatis who discussed Daenerys with Tyrion. Mance never actually died. He is still alive in the books. The person who was executed was Rattleshirt, who had been magically altered to look like Mance.
Nudity: A pair of whores flash their chests to a potential custimer. Full frontal Meereenese prostitute. Finn and Olyvar in bed with creative shadows. Daario’s ass.
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, the Eyrie, Winterfell, the Wall, Pentos, Meereen
Death Count: Mance, burned by Melisandre, finished by an arrow by Jon. An Unsullied, murdered in a brothel.
Quotes: Tyrion Lannister: The powerful have always preyed on the powerless, that’s how they became powerful in the first place.
Lord Varys: I don’t believe in saviors. I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.
Yohn Royce: He swings a sword like a girl with palsy.
Episode title: The House of Black and White
Director: Michael Slovis
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: Cersei and Jaime receive a message from Dorne: a small viper statue with a necklace in its fangs. Cersei tells Jaime that the necklace belongs to their daughter, Myrcella, who was sent to Dorne by Tyrion. Jaime tells Cersei that he will travel to Dorne and bring Myrcella back. He travels to meet with Bronn, who has gone to Castle Stokeworth with Lollys, his fiancée. Jaime gives Bronn a letter telling him that he will not be wed to Lollys. When Bronn reminds him of the deal he had with Cersei, Jaime tells him that, should he agree to help rescue Myrcella, he will instead be wed to a woman of higher standing, with a larger castle.
Cersei meets with two hunters who have brought her a severed head, though she is disappointed to find that it is not Tyrion’s head. Qyburn lays claim to the head for his research and the two walk to a small council meeting. With the office of Hand of the King vacant, Cersei tells the council that she will stand in temporarily until Tommen chooses a new Hand. She appoints Mace Tyrell as the new Master of Coin and Qyburn as the new Master of Whisperers. When Cersei tries to appoint her uncle Kevan as the Master of War, he declines, telling her that as the queen mother she holds no power, and has no interest in serving in a council filled with her sycophants. In defiance of Cersei’s “orders”, Kevan states that he will return to Casterly Rock until he hears direct word from Tommen that he is required.
In the library, Gilly is tutored in reading by Shireen Baratheon before her mother Selyse orders her to stop. Jon is chastised by Stannis for giving Mance Rayder a merciful death. Stannis shows Jon a letter he received from Bear Island, stating that former Lord Commander Jeor Mormont’s relatives will only recognize a Stark as their King. Ser Davos tells Jon that the Night’s Watch will elect a new Lord Commander that night, and that it is almost assured that Ser Alliser will win. Stannis asks Jon to kneel before him and pledge his life to him, and in exchange he will legitimize Jon, making him Jon Stark, and giving him Winterfell.
In the great hall, Jon tells Sam that he will refuse Stannis’s offer, as he swore an oath to the Night’s Watch. After Maester Aemon asks for discussion about possible candidates, Janos Slynt advises his brothers to vote for Ser Alliser, saying he is the only true choice. Another man tells the brothers to vote for Denys Mallister. Before the voting can begin, Sam gives a speech imploring his brothers to vote for Jon, reminding them all how he led the mission to Craster’s Keep to avenge Commander Mormont’s death and how he led the defense of Castle Black. After the voting is complete, the ballots are tallied and show a tie between Jon and Ser Alliser. Maester Aemon casts the deciding vote in favor of Jon, making him the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
Brienne and Podrick stop at an inn. They discover that Sansa and Petyr Baelish are eating lunch there. Brienne decides to approach them. She pledges her life to Sansa and asks Sansa to exit with her, but is refused. Petyr tries to capture Brienne, but she flees with Podrick and kills the guards sent after her. Meanwhile, Petyr and Sansa also flee the scene. Podrick suggests that Brienne is now released from her vows, but Brienne knows that Petyr is a malicious person, and insists that Sansa must be saved.
Arya arrives in Braavos, and the ship’s captain, Ternesio Terys, takes her to the House of Black and White, the head-quarters of the Faceless Men. She is turned away by the door-keeper, even though she displays Jaqen H’ghar’s iron coin. She spends several nights sitting in front of the House. Later, while she is defending herself from a group of thieves, the door-keeper appears, causing the thieves to flee. The door-keeper transforms into Jaqen, and informs Arya that a person must lose his or her identity to become a member of the Faceless Men.
Ellaria Sand watches the loving couple Trystan Martell and Myrcella Baratheon from afar, before meeting with Prince Doran Martell, the ruler of Dorne, and the captain of his guard, Areo Hotah. She demands that he take action for the murder of Oberyn, though he reminds her that Oberyn was killed in a trial-by-combat, which by law is not considered murder. When she asks to take revenge on Myrcella, Doran rebuffs her, and she leaves, subtly warning Doran that he will not be in power forever.
Tyrion and Varys make their way to Volantis. In Meereen, Daario assists Grey Worm in capturing a member of the Sons of the Harpy. Mossador asks Daenerys to execute the captive, but Ser Barristan suggests that every captive needs a fair trial. Daenerys at first wants an execution, but after Barristan confirms to her that her father was a vicious king whose actions led to the deaths of most the family, she relents to the fair trial. Mossador disobeys and personally kills the captive. Daenerys responds by having Mossador publicly executed, which leads to a riot between the former masters and former slaves, from which Daenerys is forced to flee. Drogon flies to Daenerys at night but quickly turns around and flies away.
My take: Ah Bronn, just when you thought you were out… I was hoping to see more Jamie and Bronn’s wacky adventures. The way the people of Meereen hiss at Dany was pretty creepy, but Mossador got what he deserved for as stupid as he was. So it’s pretty clear that we’re not getting Griff and the secret Targaryen, but we’re also not getting repeated enquiries of “Where do whores go?” Remember Arya trying to catch a pigeon in season one? She takes out one with Needle fairly efficiently now.
Changes from the books: Varys does not accompany Tyrion on his journey to meet Daenerys. Rather, he is accompanied by Griff and his ward, Young Griff, as well as Ser Rolly Duckfield, Septa Lemore and Haldon Halfmaester, all of whom have been cut from the TV series so far. Kevan does deny Cersei, but not for Master of War, but as Hand of the King.He also refuses for a different reason. Kevan demands Cersei name him Regent, to rule until Tommen comes of age, and that she leave King’s Landing in accordance with Tywin’s plan. Cersei responds by throwing her wine in his face. In response, Kevan makes it plain he thinks her an unfit mother and is aware that Tommen and his siblings are the product of incest between Cersei and Jaime. Ellaria did not wish for war with the Lannisters to avenge Oberyn’s death. Quite the contrary, she is firmly opposed to any further bloodshed. This role is filled by Arianne Martell, Doran’s daughter, eldest child and heir, who has been cut from the TV series so far. Myrcella and Trystane were in fact not present at the Water Gardens as they were both at Sunspear, which is several miles away. Jaime never goes to Dorne to rescue Myrcella, since the Martells never send Cersei a threat. In the books, Jaime does leave the capital on Cersei’s orders, but to lead the Lannister armies in putting down the last few Riverlords loyal to Robb Stark who are still at arms.Cersei sends Ser Balon Swann to bring Myrcella from Dorne. His party does not include Bronn
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, the Eyrie, Winterfell, the Wall, Braavos, Meereen
Death Count: Mossador, executed by Dany. A Son of the Harpy, killed by Mossador. A little person, mistaken for Tyrion. A few of Littlefinger’s nen, by Brienne
Quotes: Samwell Tarly: Whilst Lord Janos was hiding with the women and children, Jon Snow was leading. Ser Alliser fought bravely, tis true. When he was wounded it was Jon who saved us. He took charge of the Wall’s defense, he killed the Magnar of Thenns, he went north to deal with Mance Rayder, knowing it would’ve almost certainly meant his own death. Before that, he lead the mission to avenge Lord Commander Mormont. Mormont, himself, chose Jon to be his steward. He saw something in Jon and now we’ve all seen it to. He may be young but he’s the commander we turned to when the night was darkest.