Game of Thrones Rewatch: Season Five Episode Three “High Sparrow” and Episode Four “Sons of the Harpy”

Continuing my reposting of articles originally posted on the old site. Spoilers abound.

Episode title: High Sparrow

Director: Mark Mylod

Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

Summary: Tommen and Margaery are wed, and that night, they consummate their marriage. Margaery then manipulates Tommen into trying to persuade his mother, Cersei , to return to Casterly Rock for her well being, but she declines. Cersei, with the facade of a caring mother-in-law, confronts Margaery and is powerless when she mockingly gossips about Tommen’s enthusiasm in the bedroom.


In a whorehouse, the High Septon is attacked by Lancel and several other Sparrows, and forced to walk naked through the streets while they call him a sinner. He requests that the Small Council take action against the Sparrows by executing their leader, the High Sparrow . Cersei meets with the High Sparrow personally to tell him that he will not be executed, and that she has imprisoned the High Septon, whom he will replace as head of the Faith. Returning to the castle, Cersei has Qyburn send a message to Lord Baelish. As Qyburn writes, the body of Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane shakes on Qyburn’s operating table.


Reek passes through the courtyard at Winterfell, while several workers repair the castle. He is horrified to witness several flayed corpses being hung up in the courtyard. While serving dinner to Roose and Ramsay Bolton, Reek overhears that the Boltons do not have enough men to hold the North, should the former bannermen of House Stark rise against them. Roose tells Ramsay that the best way for them to forge alliances is with a marriage.


At Moat Cailin, Petyr Baelish tells Sansa that he has agreed to have her wed to Ramsay. She is disgusted by the idea, since Roose was responsible for the death of her brother and mother, but changes her mind when Petyr points out that this will be an opportunity to take revenge. They arrive at Winterfell and are received by Roose, his wife Walda, and Ramsay. Ramsay promises Petyr that he will never hurt Sansa, before Roose arrives to discuss the possible ramifications of their plan. Petyr tells him that, with Tywin Lannister dead and Margaery Tyrell as queen, they have no reason to fear the Lannisters. Roose is unconvinced, and shows him the letter sent for Baelish from Cersei. Petyr reassures him of their alliance, but Roose requests to read Baelish’s reply nonetheless. Petyr and Sansa are being secretly followed by Brienne and Podrick. Podrick tells Brienne the story of how he came to serve Tyrion Lannister, and Brienne tells him of how she came to be devoted to Renly Baratheon, when he showed her kindness when they were young. She then explains that she believes Stannis Baratheon was responsible for Renly’s death, and that she has sworn to kill Stannis in revenge.

Jon, now the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, refuses Stannis’s offer to legitimize him in return for helping Stannis take back the North. Stannis tells Jon that his army will leave the Wall within a fort-night to march on Winterfell. In the dining hall, Jon appoints Ser Alliser as First Ranger. He also appoints Janos Slynt as the commander of Greyguard, a ruined castle which Slynt must restore. Slynt refuses and insults Jon, who responds by having Slynt seized and taken outside. Despite his pleas for mercy, Jon personally beheads Janos. Stannis, who was watching, nods in approval.


Arya helps a man drink from a pool of water. He leaves to pray, and Arya approaches Jaqen, demanding that he begin teaching her to be a Faceless Man. Jaqen reminds her of the phrase “valar dohaeris”, which means “all men must serve”, and accuses Arya of only wanting to serve herself. She turns and sees that the praying man has died, revealing that the pool of water is poison for those who seek a quick death. Two servants then come to take his body away, but ignore Arya when she asks what they are doing with the body. Arya is told to rid herself of her possessions. She throws them into the water, but cannot bring herself to discard Needle, so she hides it amongst some nearby rocks, and returns to sweeping at the House of Black and White. Jaqen then takes her to a room where she and the Waif wash a dead man’s body.


Arriving in Volantis, Tyrion persuades Varys to let him depart their carriage and walk the streets. In the city, they witness a red priestess preach to a congregation of slaves of “the savior”, Daenerys Targaryen. After the priestess notices Tyrion, the two hide in a brothel. Tyrion talks to a prostitute, but finds himself unable to bring himself to have sex with her, and leaves to urinate. While doing so, he is kidnapped by Jorah Mormont, who tells Tyrion that he intends to take him to the queen.

My take: Tommen is like every guy who loses her virginity. And how about Margarey: “Boy your son really likes to fuck me, huh?” One thing I hope to see is the North rising up. Since there are whores who dress like Dany, it makes me wonder if there are drag queens who dress as Dany. Janos Slynt died like he lived, like a little bitch. This is going to be Arya’s Dagobah season

Changes from the books: Due to Tommen Baratheon being nine years old, he and Margaery Tyrell have currently not consummated their marriage. When Arya disposes of her possessions in the canal, she returns to the House of Black and White completely naked (Maisie Williams was 17 at the time of filming). Littlefinger does not intend to marry Sansa to Ramsay Bolton, he instead plans to marry her to Robin’s heir Harrold Hardyng. Littlefinger also disguises Sansa’s childhood friend Jeyne Poole as Arya Stark and marries her to Ramsay instead.

Nudity: Although Tommen and Margarey make love, not much is seen. Prostitutes in the brothel, and the High Septon. Prostitutes in Volantis

Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Moat Cailin, Winterfell, the Wall, Braavos, Meereen

Death Count: Janos Slynt, beheaded by Jon. A man in the House of Black and White, by poison

Quotes: Jon Snow: Take Lord Janos outside. Olly, bring me my sword.


Episode title: Sons of the Harpy

Director: Mark Mylod

Written by: Dave Hill

Summary: Mace Tyrell informs the other members of the small council that the Iron Bank of Braavos has called in 10% of their debt, and that they can afford to pay only half the amount. Cersei tells Mace that he will be sent to Braavos, along with Ser Meryn Trant, to negotiate a deal. She then leaves to meet with the High Sparrow, authorizing the revival of the Faith Militant, an armed force in service to the gods, deliberately causing an attack on one of Petyr Baelish’s brothels, and the arrest of Ser Loras Tyrell because of his homosexuality. News of his arrest reaches Margaery, who asks Tommen to order his release. Tommen first appeals to his mother for Loras’s release, but she tells him that he must speak with the High Sparrow. He tries to speak with the High Sparrow, but the Faith Militant prevent him from disturbing his prayers, prompting one of the Kingsguard to inform Tommen that they will kill the Faith Militant if he orders them to do so. For a moment, Tommen is visibly unnerved at the prospect of shedding blood on the steps of the Sept of Baelor despite his desire to please Margaery, but then some street urchins start yelling insults at him about his incestuous parentage. Tommen quickly realizes they are outnumbered and tactfully orders his Kingsguard not to attack the Faith Militant, saying they will find another way to free Loras. Frustrated with Tommen’s inaction, Margaery leaves to inform her grandmother Olenna of the situation.


After assisting in training his men, Jon signs several letters to be sent to northern lords, including Roose Bolton, asking that they send men and supplies to help defend the Wall. Jon is reluctant to plead to the Boltons for aid, but must respect the Nights Watch’s neutrality. Melisandre arrives to ask Jon to join Stannis in taking Winterfell from the Boltons, but he again declines. She attempts to seduce him, but he is able to resist her advances, telling Melisandre that he still loves Ygritte. Before leaving, she says “You know nothing, Jon Snow”, mimicking Ygritte. Elsewhere in Castle Black, Stannis tells his daughter, Shireen, the story of how she became afflicted with greyscale, and how he did everything in his power to cure her.


In the crypts, Sansa lights candles for her deceased family members. Petyr arrives, and tells her about her aunt, Lyanna, and how Robert’s Rebellion started when Rhaegar Targaryen allegedly kidnapped her. He informs Sansa that he is leaving Winterfell to return to King’s Landing, at Cersei’s request. Petyr also tells Sansa that Stannis and his army are at Castle Black, and suggests that they will soon take Winterfell from the Boltons, whom they outnumber. As they believe that all of her siblings are dead, Petyr believes that Stannis will appoint Sansa as Wardeness of the North.

Jaime and Bronn arrive in Dorne, with the intention of rescuing Myrcella. Bronn wonders why Jaime is so adamant about personally participating in the rescue, and Jaime implies that he seeks redemption for indirectly causing his father Tywin’s death and claims that he will personally kill his brother Tyrion if he ever sees him again. Shortly after landing they are discovered by four Dornish guards, who recognise the duo as being from King’s Landing. Jaime and Bronn are forced to kill the guards after being ordered to disarm. In doing so, Jaime learns how to use his metal hand to his advantage.


Elsewhere, Ellaria Sand meets with Oberyn’s three bastard daughters: Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene, collectively known as the Sand Snakes. Through a captured ship captain, they have learned that Jaime has come to Dorne, and Ellaria deduces that he intends to take Myrcella back to King’s Landing. She asks them to join her in starting a war with the Lannisters, and they agree.


At night, Jorah Mormont attacks a fisherman and steals his boat. He takes the captive Tyrion and sets sail. In the morning, Tyrion deduces Jorah’s identity, and learns that he is being taken to Daenerys, not his sister Cersei. When Tyrion presses Jorah about his motives for bringing him to Daenerys, Jorah knocks him out.


In Meereen, Ser Barristan tells stories about Rhaegar Targaryen to Daenerys. Daenerys leaves to attend to Hizdahr, who repeats his request to reopen the fighting pits. In the streets, several members of the Sons of the Harpy attack civilians. A patrol of Unsullied, led by Grey Worm, respond to the panic, but are ambushed by more Sons of the Harpy. In the ensuing battle, a majority of the Unsullied are slaughtered and Grey Worm is injured before Ser Barristan arrives to assist him. Though Barristan slays many of the Sons of the Harpy, they start to overwhelm him and he is stabbed multiple times. Barely defeating his attackers, Grey Worm manages to save Barristan from having his throat slit and the two collapse next to each other, surrounded by dead Unsullied and Sons of the Harpy.


My take: One of the things I liked about the Sand Snakes in the book was that they were all different, but in the series the three of them are all versions of Obara. I think it’s time to mention that the show is varying as far from the book as it ever has. Sansa is taking Jeyne’s role, Jamie is taking on the Dorne plot, and Tyrion’s plot is streamlined. As we get closer to season six, we’re getting deeper into unchartered territory.

I’m pretty sure if Joffrey was still alive, he would have ordered the Kingsguard to kill everyone on those steps.

Changes from the books: Loras Tyrell is never arrested for his sexuality. Instead, Cersei forces him to lay siege to Dragonstone, hoping he will die, and in fact he is reported to have been seriously wounded. As of A Dance with Dragons, his fate is still unknown. Barristan Selmy is not slain by the Sons of the Harpy, he is still alive and also a POV character in the latest novel. Sansa Stark is never promised to Ramsay Snow, never in Winterfell, and thus, neither she nor Littlefinger visit the crypts. Theon and Lady Dustin are the ones who go down to the crypts. Jaime and Bronn never intend to, nor do they sail to or set foot on Dorne to rescue Myrcella. In the books, Bronn is wed to Lollys Stokeworth whilst Jaime is in the Riverlands trying to get Brynden Tully to surrender Riverrun without bloodshed in exchange for Edmure Tully’s safety. Cersei sends another Kingsguard, Balon Swann, to take Myrcella back. Also, Oberyn Martell’s family never intend to harm Myrcella, but instead crown her as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms to challenge Cersei.

Nudity: Several prostitutes in Littlefinger’s brothel. Melisandre tempts Jon with her boobs

Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, Braavos, Meereen, Dorne

Death Count: Barristan Selmy, fallen in battle against the Sons of the Harpy. Members of the Sons of the Harpy and Unsullied, fallen in battle. Ship captain, killed by Obara by a spear. Four Dornish guards, killed by Jamie and Bronn.

Quotes: Bronn: The Dornish are crazy. All they want to do is fight and fuck, fuck and fight.