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There are spoilers in this review for the show AND mild books. Duh.

Ohhhh boy. So in a few ways they’ve drastically moved away from the books, but they warned everyone they were going to have to. I was curious where they were headed with Sansa, since in the books she and Littlefinger were still in the Eyrie. It appears that they will be blending her storyline with Jeyne Poole, so book fans will know what I’m talking about. I hope that it’s not entirely the same, since I’d rather see Sansa have more agency. I was hoping after her dark arrival last season that she was going to become a player and not just a pawn. Becoming Ramsay’s play thing would be an endless cycle of awful for her character. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Previously on Game of Thrones, Arya has found Jaqen and she joined his people to become an assassin. Sansa is public now and traveling with Littlefinger, to whereabouts unknown by her. Jon Snow was elected the new Lord Commander. Tyrion and Varys are on their way to see Dany. Cersei heard about the Sparrows, a religious cult gaining power in the city.

Since I already referred to Sansa, I’ll talk about her first. Sansa is horrified to find out that she’s going home to Winterfell, but it’s to marry Ramsay. By marrying her, the Boltons will have a stronger control over the North. Littlefinger leaves because he’s still pretending to work for the Lannisers, but him and Roose have their own plans. I’m uncertain if Littlefinger knows how bad Ramsay is, but my guess is he does. There’s not much he doesn’t know. Theon recognizes her and stays out of her way. Sansa does agree to it although obviously not eagerly, since the Boltons murdered her family in the Red Wedding. I’d really like this to lead to Ramsay’s much deserved death by Sansa’s hands. I’d rather she do it instead of say Theon saving her; although that would be good for his character, I’d like her to take a more aggressive stance. Some rumors have gone around she might be taking over the Lady Stoneheart role to an extent. That would be interesting! Over with Arya, she’s impatient to get to more exciting parts of her training. Jaqen says she has to let go of her past in order to become one of them. She has to forget Arya Stark. She is able to get rid of her belongings, but she couldn’t throw away Needle, since it was Jon’s gift to her. This probably won’t be the last time Arya struggles between personal vengeance and her new life.

ThronesSparrow-640x426On the Wall, Jon is challenged by Janos Slynt who disrespects him and refuses to follow his command. When aggressively threatened, he backs down, but it’s too late. Jon executes him, setting a cold standard for the others to live by. That’s a very Ned Stark thing to do, honestly. Stannis approves, although he’s still bummed Jon didn’t take his offer to be legalized. Davos tells Jon that he should help them with the Boltons, and I agree. Not just for personal reasons, but because the more they can unify the kingdom, the better for when winter comes. Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Margaery and Tommen are married. She has sex with him. I know some people were really upset with this, but I’m surprised they’re surprised. This time period has different rules, remember Dany was very young when she was married to Khal Drogo. And raped by him repeatedly for awhile. It’s strange because Tommen in the books is still a child, but since they aged him up for this, it makes more sense he’d be controllable through sex. So Margaery is already trying to control him and turn him against his mother; she’s beautifully elegant in her manipulation. Cersei is silently stewing and met the High Sparrow to try and ally with him. Cersei’s biggest weakness is that she overestimates her intelligence, and underestimates everyone else.

Finally Tyrion and Varys are doing their usual travel thing, and Tyrion is like there hasn’t been enough nudity and whores lately. Let’s go fix that. There’s a prostitute dressed as Dany, she probably wouldn’t like that! Tyrion gets upset once he tries to actually hook up with someone. Well he did just murder his prostitute girlfriend a bit ago. He gets kidnapped by Jorah Mormont, who will probably try to trade him to Dany for her good will. Ooooo. That’ll be fun. Brienne agrees to train Pod, which is sweet. I love her so much. She tells him a story about how all the potential husbands made fun of her, but Renly was kind to her, and she loved him for it. She has sworn vengeance against Stannis, so that should be interesting. Overall this was an excellent episode. All the plots moved forward in interesting ways. There were some very emotional beats, with Arya and Needle and then Sansa’s horror about Ramsay. I don’t mind them blending book plotlines, like giving other parts to Sansa, but I hope they go against expectations and have her more capable. I vaguely think I know where some storylines are going, like Cersei and Arya, but the others are a question mark. I think it’s the smartest way for them to continue the show until he finishes his books.

 

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