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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Sometimes so much happens on an episode of this show that it’s hard to find the right way to approach it. There’s a lot going on, so let’s get to it. Previously on Game of Thrones, Dany’s been having trouble with her rule because Sons of the Harpy was causing grief. They’re a cult that basically just wants the slave masters to get back to power, and they’ll slaughter the Unsullied and Dany and whoever else gets in their way. Cersei is dealing with a cult of her own called the Sparrows who are all about religious purity and purging sin. Sansa was forced into a betrothal with Ramsay to get the North back. Ellaria Sand returned to Dorne looking for vengeance against the Lannisters for Oberyn’s death, but his brother is having none of it since it was an honorable duel. She wants to kill Myrcella and declare war, and Jaime is secretly traveling there to save his niece-daughter. Jon Snow was elected Lord Commander, even though Stannis offered him to be a true Stark and take over Winterfell. See how much has happened in three episodes? This show!

Let’s start with Dany because it’s the most lethal of the group. The Sons of the Harpy have been attacking people, so Grey Worm goes out with his Unsullied and Ser Barristan to try and defeat them. Instead they’re ambushed and appear to possibly be dead. Barristan looked pretty dead, he was stabbed multiple times, but Grey Worm could probably make it. This will be a heavy blow for Dany since they’re her most reliable officers. Earlier Barristan talked to Dany about her brother Rhaeger, who was said to be an honorable man. A lot of people were getting excited this week because there were two references to Rhaeger and Lyanna Stark. A popular fan theory is that Lyanna willingly went with Rhaeger when he captured her, and Jon Snow is really their son. I also agree with that theory, and I think the show might too. Sansa’s story has Littlefinger talking about Lyanna, since they are at her grave. He mentions Robert’s Rebellion and Sansa points out that she was kidnapped by Rhaeger and raped. Littlefinger doesn’t seem to believe that’s the story either. He indicates that Stannis might be coming to Winterfell, and if he does he might help Sansa and let her stay as Wardeness. I love how he’s basically playing everyone. Any possible outcome might turn up okay for Littlefinger. Go get Sansa, Stannis! And kill the Boltons, please and thank you.

Grey-worm-gets-ganked-S5-E4-810x455Speaking of Stannis, he’s still hanging out at the Wall, but he’s getting ready to go because they can’t stay there anymore. Not enough food and he’s eager to get up to the North. Melisandre tries to seduce Jon Snow but he refuses her. She says “you know nothing, Jon Snow.” This may very well be another nod toward the Lyanna/Rhaeger situation (it’s called L + R = J as code a lot of the time), since she seems to see royal blood in Jon that she wants to use. Another popular fan theory in the books is that Jon might be the actual Lord of Light’s chosen instead of Stannis. In any case, Stannis will be headed to the north soon. He does have a cute scene with his daughter where he says what he did to cure her and how much he loves her. Stannis wouldn’t be a bad ruler, but he isn’t really good with people, so it would be hard to love him. Plus his wife is clearly unstable and he’s hanging with Melisandre and created smoke babies with her. That wasn’t too honorable, was it, buddy?

Jorah has Tyrion and he plans on bringing him to Dany. That’s mostly their thing. Jaime and Bronn make it to Dorne and they are attacked, but they fight them off. However, the Sand Snakes and Ellaria hear that they’re there. The Sand Snakes are the bastard daughters of Ellaria and Oberyn. In the books the older ones aren’t by Ellaria at all, but the show seems to be simplifying it here. I’m fine with that, except Arianne should be here, and no I will never let that go. Still, the Sand Snakes are incredibly dangerous female warriors and they should be feared. They agree with Ellaria they want to start a war for their father. Cersei making friends with the head of the Sparrows means they have power and they arrest Loras Tyrell for homosexual sin. Margaery is understandably upset, and Tommen attempts to go and speak to the Head Sparrow, but he’s scared off. Margaery says she’s going to talk to her grandmother. YAY QUEEN OF THORNS RETURNING? I love her. Cersei may think she’s won now, but she shouldn’t get too comfortable. She’s putting power in dangerous hands here. Cults are never easy to control.

This was a loaded episode, and they all are. A lot of people are moving around and like most seasons, the first few episodes are more set up than anything else. Except for Barristan and Grey Worm, who may be out of the show. We’ll see next week. I think the L + R=J thing was definitely indicated here, there’s not a lot of reason to bring up Rhaeger and Lyanna unless it’s headed somewhere. This is exciting. Great acting on all parts, and I’m eager to see what Dany’s reaction to Tyrion will be and if Jaime will face off with the Sand Snakes. Good times all around!

 

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