Game of Thrones- Season 5 Episode 3
The first two episodes of the new season of Game of Thrones were somewhat of a slow burner to say the least. Things are starting to pick up gradually with Jon Snow asserting himself as the new Lord Commander by lobbing off the head of Janos Slynt. Arya is now finally beginning her training properly, but if she will be able to embrace this extreme training regime by no longer regarding herself as Arya Stark, only time will tell. The first seemingly happy wedding in Kings Landing for a while sees the recently crowned Tommen marry Margery, who seems easily able to manipulate him in order to undermine Cerci. The Queen Mother on the other hand is seeking an alliance with the newly emerging religious sect, The Sparrows. Possibly in order to set them against her new daughter in law. This episode sees Littlefinger reveal his intention to marry Sansa off to the malicious Ramsay Bolton, as with most of Littlefingers decisions, his intentions are still unclear. It’s not all mind games and murder in episode 3 however, as Brienne and Pod begin to forge some respect and friendship towards one another.
Jon Snow has a lot on his plate as it must have been a huge wretch for him to turn away the request from Stannis in making him Lord of Winterfell and an official Stark. He also refuses the advice of Stannis by not sending away Ser Allister Thorn, instead, appointing him as First Ranger. This shows a maturity in that despite the fact that they hate each other, Jon is able to see past this and gives him this senior position in the Nights Watch, to which he is well suited.
When Slynt disobeys Jon’s command of him being sent away to watch Greyguard, Jon shows absolutely no hesitation in taking him outside and cutting his head off. By doing the beheading himself it rings further reminders to us that this is Ned Stark’s son, and while he is a fair leader, he will come down hard on anyone preventing him from carrying out his duties. He begs Jon for mercy but unwilling to show any sign of weakness, Longclaw slams down on Slynts neck. Much in the way the same sword in the first Game of Thrones episode did, when Ned cuts off the head of a deserter.
We find Arya getting ever more frustrated in being left with the mopping duties in the House of White and Black when she wanted to be trained as a fearless assassin. In order for her to begin her transformation in to a Faceless man (or woman) she is ordered to get rid of all of the possessions of Arya Stark. Her reluctance to throw away Needle I think indicates that she still has a strong sense of who she really is as the sword was given to her by Jon, her only reminder of her real home. I think whatever becomes of her in future episodes she will always have a strong desire for revenge and seems like the type of girl to hold a life long grude.
This scene of a potential character transition then leads us to someone who is now a completely unrecognisable character in the story. Poor Reek… Granted he was a bit of a bastard as Theon Greyjoy but this definitely has to send us alarm bells for what may become of Sansa. Whether or not Little finger is unaware of the sadistic nature of Ramsay Bolton is still unclear, but he manages to convince Sansa that this is the best way to get revenge for what the Bolton’s did to her family. Sansa plays the part of the polite highborn girl well when she meets Roose Bolton, without giving away any signs of hatred that she is clearly feeling here.
In Littlefingers exchange with Roose Bolton as he attempts to convince an unconvinced Lord Bolton of the Lannisters slipping grip over Westeros. Any sort of alliance between The Eyrie and the North would be a potent one as Littlefinger points out. However, as the heads of the smaller Northen Houses are still loyal to the Starks and would be unlikely to head into any sort of war under the command of Lord Bolton. This is something Littlefinger will be aware of which leads me to believe he is stringing Bolton along here.
We pause from all the bloodshed for a bit as there is a nice bit of bonding as Brienne takes Podrick under her wing and promises to train him as a Knight. Learning of how Pod became a squire in the first place. She obviously sees potential in him as he is attentive, patient and has a great work ethic. Brienne here also reveals her main goal over and above her oath to protect the Stark girls, which is to see Stannis dead for the murder of her beloved Renly.
In Kings Landing the new wife of the King has already begun to manipulate him in an attempt to undermine Cerci and sows the idea in Tommen’s mind of sending her home to Casterly Rock. She first tries to get to Tommen by referring to Cerci as “A lioness guarding her cub”. A line like this is always going to get under the skin of a young man trying to assert himself as a King. Her skills of manipulation have always been obvious and she really sticks the knife in to Cerci by reminding her of her lower position “What’s the proper way to address you, Queen Mother or Dowager Queen?” The writers hold back a bit here by failing to have a typical Cerci like response for Margery which always prove entertaining.
This I think is where Cerci’s idea of forming an alliance with the Sparrow’s comes from, by locking up the High Septon after the Sparrows humiliated him by dragging him out of Littlefinger’s brothel. She clearly feels that the unorthodox and vigilante like methods they use may help her in some way do something about Margery Tyrell, who is a massive thorn in her side at the moment.
Brothels are indeed a common feature in Game of Thrones, and this is where Jorah Mormont pops up for the first time in a while after his banishment from Deanery’s camp. Tyrian decides he is too troubled and traumatised to do what one would normally go to a brothel to do, so elects to “take a piss” instead. This is when he is captured by Mormont who then tells Tyrian he is taking him to the Queen. Although which Queen he plans on taking him to is somewhat ambiguous at this point.
A solid episode with lots going on and a couple of unexpected plot twists. Banter wise it was possibly lacking a bit as Cerci seems more subdued than usual.
Jon Snow in the North isn’t putting up with any nonsense as he seems to have the same standards and morality as his father. This results in Janos Slynt losing his head as a result of his failure to obey orders. He is also attempting to build bridges with Allister Thorne by appointing him as First Ranger.
Arya’s frustration is building at her apparent lack of training but finds it difficult to let go of her identity in order to become a faceless assassin. Needle is her last reminder of home and doesn’t look like she wants to give up completely on her old life, at least without a fight.
The potential marriage between Ramsay Bolton and Sansa is the big surprise twist of the episode and as always the tenacious Littlefinger is central to Sansa’s future. Whether this bodes well for Sansa, we shall see.The despicable character of Ramsay is yet another obstacle for her well being after all she had to put up with when she was with Joffrey. This may be a case of out of the frying pan and in to the fire for Sansa…
Cerci seems unusually passive as she lets Margery emabrass her, something we are not used to seeing without a ruthless retort. This may be a slow brewing form of revenge as she attempts to build an allegiance with the High Sparrow.
Finally Tyrian is caught after leaving the relative safety of the wagon and is captured by Jorah Mormont. But where he intends to take Tyrian is less clear, “I’m taking you to The Queen” could mean more than one person.