Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT! (For the show, NOT the books)
Five episodes down, five to go. We’ve had plenty of standout moments already this season, with regicide, rape and White Walker kings being pretty high up there when it comes to shocking “Game of Thrones” moments. This week though, we learned yet again that some of the best twists don’t have to involve a whole load of gruesome deaths.
The reveal last week that Littlefinger had conspired with Olenna Tyrell to murder Joffrey was a big moment for the series, pushing him a bit further up the ladder of the shows heavy hitters, but this week’s reveal blew that out of the water. To learn that Littlefinger was behind the death of Jon Arryn (coercing Lysa into poisoning him) was an absolutely massive moment. When you think about it, the whole series started out with Jon Arryns death causing the Starks to get involved in events at Kings Landing in the first place. Everything from the death of Ned to the whole War of the Five Kings can be traced back to Jon Arryns death and Littlefinger’s scheming. Littlefinger doesn’t have an army or a whole lot of money, but his words have helped shape the entire realm, and we now see exactly how dangerous he can be going forward.
Poor Sansa though. She obviously doesn’t trust Littlefinger very much, but she surely thought her life would be improving now that she is in the company of her Aunt Lysa. Yes, Aunt Lysa, the absolutely insane sister of Catelyn that nearly “made the small man fly.” She’s completely obsessed with Littlefinger and immediately becomes suspicious of his and Sansa’s relationship. Thankfully her son Robin seems to have toned down his creepiness since his last appearance, albeit not by much. Sansa learns that she’ll eventually be married to him, which when you think about it, is all kinds of wrong. Now that they’ve arrived at the Eyrie, Sansa and Littlefinger’s story looks like it’ll be an integral part of the show going forward.
Daenerys didn’t have a whole lot to do this week, but she did learn some interesting information and came to a huge decision. Now that she finds herself in charge of a fleet of ships and a sizeable army, her focus begins to turn towards Kings Landing, especially after news of Joffrey’s death comes filtering through. While her council recommended she set sail for Westeros, she decides to stay in Meereen a bit longer after learning that her previously freed cities were now back under slaver control. It’s another step towards Daenerys becoming the Queen she was born to be, and we may be in store for some large scale warfare if Meereen comes under siege.
Arya and the Hound continue to be incredibly entertaining to watch, with their back and forth banter being delightful. Arya learned a little bit of a lesson here though as she practiced her water dancing skills. While the Hound may have been a little harsh with her, he certainly has a point when he says that Meryn Trant was alive because he had armor and a sword. You won’t get very far in this world without certain resources. Another pairing with the potential to be great to watch is Pod and Brienne. She’s initially quite dismissive and cold with him, but after he tells her how he saved Tyrion at the Blackwater, she starts to warm up to him a bit.
The big fist-pumping moment of the episode came towards the end, with the Nights Watch men’s assault on Craster’s Keep. This whole scene was very fun to watch play out as there were a ton of different variables in play. Bran and his group were in captivity with Locke looking for them, while Jon remained oblivious to their presence. I liked how, in the end, Bran decided to not reveal himself to Jon and instead deciding to continue on his journey. His group has made it this far on their own, and Jon more than likely wouldn’t have let them continue. Bran “warging” into Hodor and having the gentle giant break Locke’s neck was a cool moment, although I do feel sorry for poor, confused Hodor. Also very crowd pleasing was watching all those dastardly mutineers finally get what was coming to them. Jon sticking his sword through the back of Karl’s head was a fitting end for the character.
The scenes at Kings Landing nicely filled out the episode too as Tommen was sworn in as King and Tywin revealed that the Lannister’s vast wealth was actually drying up. Cersei had several strong conversations with different people, first having an actual conversation with Margaery and discussing Tommen’s future. She then reverted back to her usual self and approached two of the judges on Tyrion’s trial, Tywin and Oberyn, in the hopes of swaying their decision. In her conversation with Tywin it was revealed that the Crown, and the Lannisters by proxy, owes massive amounts of gold to the Iron Bank of Bravos, an interesting twist. Lannisters always pay their debts, but this one may be quite difficult to pay off going forward.
So we’re halfway through the season now, and I must say it’s all going rather well. In these five episodes, we’ve had plenty of huge moments and shocking reveals, more than enough to fill out a full season of other shows. But this is “Game of Thrones”afterall, so with events such as Tyrion’s trial and the Wildling assault on The Wall, this season surely has a lot of shocks left in it.
How did you like the battle at Craster’s Keep? What do you think would have happened if Jon and Bran reunited? Hodor it in the comments below. NO SPOILERS for the books.
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