Game of Thrones: “High Sparrow” Review

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 3

Sansa makes a surprising decision, while Jon faces his first challenge as Lord Commander.



Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!

One of my all-time favorite gaming quotes is from Metal Gear Solid: “A cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal.” It’s a simple yet effective phrase taken in the context of the situation, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of it while I watched Margaery lord it over Cersei in “High Sparrow.” As dangerous as a cornered jackal may be, I’m sure a cornered lion can do its fair share of damage. Cersei is an incredibly hard character to sympathize with, as she has said and done so many horrible things. The only slight redeeming point is the fact that she has acted for the good of her family but has seen it all crumble around her. With Margaery stealing away the last of her children that she has around her, Cersei’s reaction will surely be vicious.

Margaery and Tommen quickly consummated their marriage, and the new queen spent little time trying to push the old one out. Margaery is younger, more beautiful and in a position of more power than Cersei, and for once, somebody has the upper hand on Cersei. It was perhaps interesting then that Cersei spent a lot of the episode dealing with a new religious faction rising up within the walls of King’s Landing. Religion is a very important part of the show, even though it hasn’t always been at the very forefront of the story. We’re seeing a rise in that at the moment, though, with various gods both old and new being referenced here. Cersei’s meeting with the High Sparrow was an incredibly interesting one, and you can bet she has her own agenda when it comes to helping him.

It’s kind of funny that after being separated from the main storyline for much of the series, events at the Wall are now some of the most enjoyable and perhaps pivotal. Stannis was still pressuring Jon to take up his offer to become Jon Stark, to no avail. Stannis took the words right out of my mouth when he told Jon he was acting like his late father. Like Eddard, Jon is being stubborn and honorable, something which could end up getting him killed just like his father. Another trait he inherited was carrying out his own duty, and he did that this week by lopping off Janos Slynt’s head. That whole scene was a great powerplay from the new Lord Commander. In one fell swoop, he partially won over his biggest rival Alliser Thorne, and also removed a potential pain in his side in the form of Slynt. Stannis certainly approved of his actions, and it’s the kind of decision Jon is going to be faced with more and more as Lord Commander.



Stannis announced his plans to march against Roose Bolton within two weeks, and we got to catch up with the other side of this confrontation over at Winterfell. While the despicable Ramsay Bolton would prefer to flay those who stand against them, Roose understands that the North must be won with diplomacy. The proposed marriage of Ramsay and Sansa is a shocking turn of events, one that was of course orchestrated by Littlefinger. Still, though, Littlefinger does seem to genuinely care for Sansa, so I don’t believe for a second that he would have let her anywhere near Ramsay if he knew what the former bastard was like. With Littlefinger returning to King’s Landing, Sansa now finds herself very much trapped in the wolves den. If that maid who informed her that “the North remembers” is anything to go by, she may have more friends around her than it first appeared.

Arya made a little bit of progress over in the House of Black and White. Her frustration quickly grew as she wasn’t able to jump straight into her training, but Jaqen was adamant that every trace of Arya Stark must be cleared before she can properly become “nobody.” This led to a scene where Arya tossed away all her belongings before finding herself unable to part with Needle. We all know how much that sword means to Arya, and as she heads down an increasingly dark path, it now remains as one of the only links to her old past. We still don’t know a whole lot about what goes on inside the House, other than knowing people go there to die. We should get to see plenty more as Arya starts her training proper.



Another busy episode wrapped up with Tyrion and Varys out and about in Volantis. I think we all knew something was going to happen once Tyrion insisted on getting out of the carriage, but it was still a surprise to see his path intersect with Jorah of all people. Poor Jorah, who has now taken to drowning his sorrows in a whorehouse where one of the girls shares a passing resemblance with Daenerys. It’s been a hard fall for the knight, and now he has seen an opportunity to get back into his queen’s good books. I’m not sure if snatching Tyrion and presenting him to Dany is enough to win back her trust, but he’s going to try anyway. Tyrion has had a few great partnerships with different characters on the show in the past, so I’m looking forward to seeing how his personality clashes with the dour knight.


Things are still quite slow in Season 5, but there’s plenty of promise of greatness to come. Cersei vs. Margaery is well and truly on now, and it could be a real cold war between the two queens. I’m most looking forward to seeing how Stannis gets on in his march on Winterfell, though. It’s up in the air whether the wildlings will follow him or not, and you’d also have to question how Jon will react if word reaches him of Sansa’s latest betrothal. Stannis is due to march within two weeks, but they are in the north, and as Jon reminded us all here: “Winter is coming.”

85/100 – Great

What will Jon’s reaction be if he finds out about Sansa’s upcoming nuptials? Will he join Stannis or stay true to his vows? Tweet me [SPOILER FREE] @OldSnake24. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded!

*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
About Michael Spring (159 Articles)
Michael Spring is a staff writer for If he's not playing Metal Gear or watching some excellent TV show, he's more than likely asleep. For some witty banter and the occasional rant about football, you can follow him @OldSnake24 on Twitter

1 Comment on Game of Thrones: “High Sparrow” Review

  1. That’s a funny opening line.

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