Game of Thrones- Season 5 Episode 4
“Sons of The Harpy”
Season 4 of Game of Thrones is heating up as Bronn and Jamie encounter a spot of bother on their way to Dorne, while Ellaria takes it upon herself to try and incite a war with the Lannisters. Cerci has her own problems with her dwindling influence in Kings Landing. She addresses this in a meeting with the High Sparrow and decides to arm the religious group with the intention of using them to fight against the Tyrells. Meanwhile in the North, Jon has further tough decisions to make in having to ask Lord Bolton for his assistance in defending the wall. In this episode Ser Jorah Mormont reveals to Tyrian that he is taking him to Deanerys as a way of redeeming himself to her after his banishment. The Sons of The Harpy are at it again in a massive blood soaked brawl at the end of the episode. We also get to hear an important conversation between Sansa and Little finger in the crypt at Winterfell that seems to tell us the reasons for Robert Baratheon’s rebellion may not be entirely truthful.
The banter between Bronn and Jamie is a nice break from the usual ultra serious tone of the show, a bit like a more violent version of Varys and Tyrian. Bronn sees through all of Jamies secrets but Jamie still remains stubborn in his silence. Quite rightly I think he doesn’t trust Bronn to tell him things of such importance, the information would be worth a lot of money to Bronn the sell sword and although the two seem to respect each other, I don’t think that Bronn likes him that much… He points out to Jamie that only having one hand doesn’t make an ideal partner for Bronn in a situation like this. Jamie’s adamance in that he had to be the one to do this and says “It has to be me”, which says a lot about his pride and possible feelings of guilt towards Cerci and his children. After a lifetime of having to pretend he loves his sister more than a brother should and that his children were really another man’s (while having to serve that man), has surely messed up his head. After killing four Dornishmen between them they head to where Myrcella is being kept , let’s just hope for their sake that they aren’t captured by Ellaria.
We find Littlefinger and Sansa plotting in the tomb below Winterfell, this scene has echos of the very first episode when Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon were here and also discussing Lyanna. The story was that Prince Rhaegar had abducted and raped her, added to the fact that she was promised to marry Robert, this in his eyes was justification for war. Littlefinger paints Rhaegar as a noble Knight who’s crime was falling for another woman. Littlefinger seems to imply here that he doesn’t believe the generally accepted abduction story.
We are given further insight into Rhaegars character in a conversation between Barriston Selmy and Deanerys. He tells her that her brother was a man who hated killing and loved music. Although her father’s title of the Mad King was justified, her brother’s reputation of a brutal killer was definitely not. A talented Knight and a musician who would go into the streets and perform for the people and give away the money people gave him while pan-handling.
Both of these scenes seem vital to the Game of Thrones story here as it seems to indicate that the whole justification for the war may have been false. It was easy enough for Robert to get Ned Stark on his side after the death of Ned’s father and then his sister at the hands of the Targaryen regime. The story is that Robert was off to bring down the Mad King and rescue his betrothed from the kidnapping rapist Prince.
However, when we look into the character of Robert Baratheon, he was a man of overindulgence; overweight, careless, unfaithful with several bastards. When we compare his character to Rhaegar’s the pieces of the story don’t quite fit here. It seems to me that dragging up this backstory I think means that we may find out a different narrative about how the rebellion actually began in the first place.
We learn a bit more about the character of the seemingly hard and ruthless Stannis in this episode-which is a really nice touch,when his daughter Shereen asks him if he is ashamed of her. The little girl already feeling down after her mother said to her that “I don’t want you to come”. Stannis goes into the story of the doll that a trader gave as a gift to her which we find out is the reason she contracted greyscale. An infant with this horrible illness wouldn’t be expected to live very long at all and it was strongly suggested to Stannis to send her away to live in the ruins of Valyria to live her short life with the Stone- men. He staunchly refuses and pulls in every resource he can in order to save her life. He tells her “You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon and you are my daughter.” Children are not generally well treated in Game of Thrones and Stannis shows a caring side here that makes him seem like he’s the good guy who we should want to win. I couldn’t see any other of the Kings of Westeros showing this kind of softness in such a hard world.
We find Tommen still struggling to get to grips with being King as Margery and Cerci run rings around him. With Cerci now effectively ruling due to the absence of Tyrian, the death of Tywin and her Uncle Kevan leaving for Casterly Rock- she is free to do anything she likes. By arming the faith militant she is now able to manipulate them into imprisoning Loras Tyrell for her due to him being gay. Cerci is further able to isolate Margery’s position by sending her father away to Bravos to negotiate terms with the Iron Bank. I think she would be very foolish to push the Tyrells too hard as making an enemy of them would surely lead to the end of the Lannisters grip on power. Especially with Stannis in the North and the Dornish in the south, she simply cannot afford to make enemy’s of the Tyrells.
In the North the Red Woman tries to get Jon to break his vow of celibacy in the hope of getting him to leave Castle Black and help Stannis take Winterfell. He also has a tough decision to make in asking the despicable Boltons for thier assistane in providing them with men and equipment to help guad the Wall. This shows us yet again that Jon is a good leader who does what needs to be done and doesnt let his personal feeling get in the way of that. Stannis needs Jon as both his name and his knowledge of the layout of Winterfell for battle purposes would be invaluable. Millisandre’s attempts to seduce Jon fail as he claims to still love Ygrette. We then get an echo of here which freaks out Jon a bit when Millisandre says to “You now nothing Jon Snow.”
Tyrian is still Jorah’s captive and Tyrian finds out that they are heading for Meereen instead of Westeros. Mormont still won’t concede to Tyrian his identity but he is able to work it out mainly due to his Bear Sigil breastplate. It seems to greatly unsettle Mormont here when Tyrian points out to him that when they get to Meereen its equally likely that he will be the one to be executed instead of him. When we consider the amount of knowledge that Tyrian will be able to provide on the Lannisters, Kings Landing and Westeros as a whole, I find it very difficult to imagine that Deanerys will be in a position to refuse this level of help. This is I think a completely desperate act from Mormont here and frankly I find it a bit too unlikely and seems a bit clumsily fitted in as part of the story.
The episode ends with a fantastic battle between the Sons of the Harpy and a group of Unsullied that included Greyworm and Barriston Selmy, who were both left for dead at the end of the episode. The Unsllied seemed to be caught out and unable to deal with a rural battle of this type and seems like they were outfought in large parts. How Deanyerys will respond to this attack from the Sons of The Harpy will be interesting. This will bring further issues to Deanerys as they are both her closest advisers and she will be a bit lost without them and how she comes to terms with this will show us her real strength as not just a leader but as a person.
A great episode and probably the best so far of the series, a lot going on and things start to make sense as we find out more about the past. Mormont’s intentions, however do seem a bit unbelievable but apart from that there was very little wrong with the episode.
Jamie and Bronn have a massive job on their hands as they try to free Myrcella from Dorn. If they get caught im guessing that it would lead to some kind of war between the Lannisters and the Dornish.
With Littlefinger heading back down to Kings Landing it’s a bit worrying about what may happen to Sansa in his absence, or whether or not he will even return.
Cerci may have let things go too far by arming the faith militant as Kings Landing now seems to be a bit of a lawless place that’s on the downward spiral. Deanerys meanwhile has similar problems of trying to assert her control in Meereen and bringing The Sons of The Harpy to heel.