Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 4 Review: “Sons of the Harpy”

(Beware, spoilers below – scroll down to skip the recap!)

This week on Game of Thrones we pick up right where we left off, with Ser Jorah knocking out a fisherman so he can use his boat to reach Dany. Meanwhile Jaime passes Tarth on his way to Sunspear. He talks to Bronn, who tells him that the Dornish are crazy. Jaime admits that he doesn’t want to start a war and what’s more, it has to be him do it. At King’s Landing the Tyrell patriarch talks about the problems of their debts with the Iron Bank. She sends him away to Braavos with Ser Meryn.

A bit later she talks to the High Sparrow to ask for his help to give authroity to his devout followers in order to prove a point in a world where the holy men are being ravaged across the kingdom. Soon after the Sparrows go round cleansing the city, from market stalls to whorehouses. Even Olyvar’s name dropping of Peter Baelish doesn’t do anything. Their newest most devout recruit? Lancel Lannister. The seize Loras Tyrell and put him in a cell. Margaery goes to talk to Tommen and the young king goes to talk to his mother in order to have Loras freed. She tells him to speak to the High Sparrow.

So off Tommen goes, but the faith militants block is way. His Kingsgaurd are willing to kill them to get them gone, but he’s not willing to. Back in the palace he goes to tell her he couldn’t free her brother without violence, and she is understandably furious. In Castle Black Stannis’ wife badmouths both Jon and her own daughter before Melisandre shuts her down quickly. She tells him not to leave her behind again. Sam helps Jon with his paperwork, which are his summons for lords to send their men to the Night’s Watch. When Roose’s name pops up Jon refuses to sign on it until Sam manages to reason with him. Melisandre then pops in for a visit, asking him to come with them when they ride south for the assault on Winterfell. Her persuasion doesn’t work, until she takes off her clothes and gets him to touch her. He tells her he can’t because of his love for Ygritte and in as she leaves Melisandre utter’s Ygritte’s famous phrase.

Back in Stannis’ room his daughter comes to visit. She tells him she likes it in Castle Black, even if her mother didn’t want her to come and explicitly told her so. She asks her father if he is ashamed of her and he tells her the story of how he was accidentally responsible for infecting her with greyscale. He conveys how proud he is over her and gets a hug in return. Meanwhile in Winterfell Sansa is down in the crypts. However, she is not alone as Littlefinger shows up. He tells her about her beautiful Aunt Lyanna and the tourney where Rhaegar gave the crown of winter roses not to his wife but to Lyanna instead. Littlefinger tells her he is going to King’s Landing and tells her not to fear because Stannis is coming. But even if Stannis fails, he tells her that she can outmanoeuvre the Boltons and gives her a kiss on the mouth.

Jamie and Bronn bond on their way to Sunspear and the two compare how they want to die. Cheery stuff. As they trek inland some Martell guards find them and Bronn spins a lie to try and get them out of trouble. Naturally, it doesn’t quite work and Bronn ends up taking out the guards with a bit of help from Jaime, whose metal hand proves more handy (no pun intended) than he thought. They bury the bodies. Meanwhile in a different part of Dorne Ellaria Sand meets Oberyn’s daughters with a plan for revenge. They find out that Jaime is in Dorne and her daughters stand with her on their path to revenge.

Tyrion is not allowing Ser Jorah to take him quietly. He finally takes off Tyrion’s gag and Jorah reveals he’s not taking Tyrion to Cersei but to Dany. Tyrion figures out Jorah’s tale quickly enough and calls his scheme a desperate one. This earns him nothing but a hard smack from his captor. In Meereen Ser Barristan tells Dany more about her brother and how he used to sing to his people in public. Soon after Hizdahr zo Loraq shows upon because he is appealing with her to open the fighting pits because it’s the only way to keep the peace between masters and former slaves. It’s just as well he’s talking about discontent because the Sons of the Harpy are running around again slitting people’s throats. It also seems that Dany’s Unsullied can’t trust everyone as even citizens betray Dany’s guards. Ser Barristan is out when the warning bell rings  and helps to aid a severely outnumbered Grey Worm, but not before dying himself.

The loss of Ser Barristan weighs heavy on my heart, as a personal favourite character I understand why they chose to kill him off, not that they eases my heart in any way at all. Because it doesn’t. RIP Ser Barristan. Forever. Aside from that it was a tense and ticking episode of Game of Thrones this time, with Sansa’s great set up fully revealed to us. By comparison Jon had much less to do, but he van’t be stealing the show every episode, and it was woth it to see the charming (if creepy) rapport between Littlefinger and Sansa. He might kind of be in love with her, but he’s a hella good person to have at your back… even if he’s now gone off to King’s Landing. A more brutal and perhaps unanticipated move was Cersei trying to take more control, and it was hard not to feel for little Tommen. However this has a definite vibe of the backfires about it so whilst I mourn over Ser Barristan I’ll sit back, let the King’s Landing queens pout and hope the Sand Snakes take out the lot of them. You go, Sand Snakes.

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