Grey Worm has received English lessons in order that he and his men can take Meereen, which is done a bit too easily in my opinion. The Unsullied sneak in through a water outlet, with weapons for each of the slaves. They outnumber their masters, three-to-one, making the task simple. We only see one man killed, but right before he's hacked to death, he spots Dany's banner draped over their own statue high above the city, marking Meereen's new ownership. Daenerys' is reminded of the children that were crucified as her army marched the road to the city, ordering the same number of the former masters be crucified on the same road, even though Ser Barristan advises against this course of action; that same action that was pointed out by Tywin Lannister when he was explaining to his grandson about mistakes rulers make.
Jaime is still in training and is vastly improving with Bronn's help. Bronn's usual wisecracks are as funny as ever, and at one point removes Jaime's fake hand and slaps him on the face with it. When they stop for a rest, Jaime asks Bronn if he thought Tyrion killed Joffrey; "No. No. He hated the little twat, sure, but who didn't?" Who indeed? Bronn then pours on the guilt about how Jaime should fight for his brother. When Jaime does finally visit Tyrion his attempts at levity didn't have the desired effect on his imprisoned brother. "This isn't so bad. Four walls and a pot to piss in. I was chained to a wooden post, covered in my own shit for months." When Tyrion asks "How is our sister?" "How do you think? Her son died in her arms." "Her son?" asks Tyrion. The rest of the scene is about what Cersei plans to do to not only Tyrion, regardless of his innocence, but also Sansa. Jaime, along with everyone else, finds it curious that she vanished after Joffrey died.
We catch up with Sansa and Littlefinger on the Narrow Sea, where Sansa learns exactly how Joffrey was killed, using a stone from the necklace she was given. I still haven't rewatched the tent scene where Joffrey dies, to see if I could spot this happening, although, I'm sure It'll be fun watching that horrid character getting what he deserved, even though I'll miss Jack Gleeson's brilliant take on the King. Littlefinger explains how the Lannister's were useful allies but his new friends are predictable and reasonable. It was they who wanted Joffrey dead. While Tyrion defended Sansa in his prison cell when Jaime asked about her possible guilt, Sansa defended Tyrion when Littlefinger at first asked if she was sure he wasn't the one who killed Joffrey. Does this mean Sansa had/has feelings for Tyrion?
The fact the next scene went directly to Lady Olenna and Margaery having a conversation about what Margaery should do next, was rather telling. It would appear Lady Olenna is Littlefinger's "new friend." Margaery was of course stunned at learning this fact but I can't say I was all that surprised it was she behind Joffrey's death. The reason Olenna gives Margaery certainly made sense, and listening to her describe how she met Margaery's grandfather was rather amusing. Olenna sets Margaery quickly to task, while Cersei is still in mourning. Tommen is now next in line, and Margaery needs to move on the young boy, using all the guile she can muster. She sneaks into Tommen's bedchamber, and without too much trouble has the boy entranced and wrapped around her little finger. "It'll be our little secret," she tells her wide-eyed future husband.
After Jaime visits with Cersei, addressing her as "your Grace," Cersei questions his loyalty after he failed to prevent Joffrey being murdered, and she's angry that only one guard is protecting Tommen. She then asks Jaime why he was really set free by Catelyn Stark, and "brought back by that great cow (Brienne) to the capital?" Jaime explains he swore to Catelyn, if Sansa and Arya were alive, he'd send them safely back to her. Cersei then wants to know if he has any loyalty to Catelyn Stark, and if he is prepared to hunt and kill Sansa, then present her head to Cersei. Jaime also tells his sister he thinks Tyrion is innocent, which does irreparable damage to what was left of the relationship, which the rape more or less managed to do anyway. Cersei orders that four guards be placed at Tommen's door day and night, then dismisses her brother with a finality that said it all. "That will be all, Lord Commander."
Of the rape scene between Cersei and Jaime, author George RR Martin said he regretted that the scene had disturbed some people "for the wrong reasons," and "the scene was always intended to be disturbing--but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons."
The scene between Brienne and Jaime was moving and well-directed, and was how this episode got its name. Now that Jaime knows Cersei is set to kill Sansa, Jaime proves he's more complicated than most give him credit for, and that he's more honorable than any other Lannister, aside from Tyrion. We also discover that during the gifting ceremony, when Cersei asked Brienne if she loved her brother, there was a lot more truth to the allegation than she knew. Jaime wants Brienne to seek out Sansa and protect her from his mad sister. He gives her a newly made suit of armour and his new Valyrian steel blade, which he explains was made from Ned Stark's sword, so is rather fitting it should be used to defend Ned's daughter. Because Pod is unsafe in King's Landing, Jaime sends him with Lady Brienne as her Squire. Jaime asks Brienne what she plans on calling her sword. "Oathkeeper," she replies. As Brienne rides away, she and Jaime exchange looks that tell of unspoken love.
Under orders from Roose Bolton, Locke is making friends with Jon Snow to try to discover the whereabouts of Bran Stark, by demonstrating his swordsmanship, also feigning a dislike of the ruling class and showing kinsmanship as both aren't "highborn." After a run-in with Alliser Thorne, Jon is sent north to Craster's as a way to try to have him bumped off by the mutineers. Locke is one of the volunteers to go with him after overhearing Sam and Jon talk about Bran possibly being near Craster's Keep, with Jon being clueless of Locke's real motives for following him outside the Wall.
At Craster's Keep, Karl is drinking wine from Jeor Mormont's skull (the scene from season 3 where Craster and Mormont die can be watched by clicking here) and happily continuing Craster's legacy by sacrificing his male sons and raping Craster's wives and daughters. Karl isn't a nice guy at all, and has his men openly raping the battered and bruised women, egging them on with words of encouragement. The poor women are practically naked and in a bad way because if the ill-treatment at Karl's orders. "F*ck them 'till they're dead!" he goads his men, who are all acting no better than animals.
While Karl is boasting of his great deeds and calling everyone a "f*ckin' c*nt" countless times, one of Craster's elderly wives comes in with a newborn boy. Karl is about to kill the baby but the women all start to chant "gift to the god's." The baby is left outside in the snow for the White Walkers to collect, where its cries are heard by Bran's group who are hiding nearby. After learning Karl has Jon's wolf, Ghost, caged up, the group are captured with poor Hodor being tortured.
The closing of the episode shows just what happens to the children that are left for the White Walkers. As opposed to reanimated Wights, we finally see how a baby can be changed into a White Walker with a simple touch. The baby even appears to be happy before its little eyes turn bright blue, then it becomes a new recruit. This was a very powerful scene, and answered at least one mystery that's bothered me since finding out about Craster's practice of leaving the male children outside to be collected.
Due to the fact Game of Thrones' author, George RR Martin wants to end the series in style with a budget-heavy feature film, I was wondering what fans of the show thought of this idea? It could be something along the lines of Lord of the Rings in many ways, or perhaps the The Hobbit would be closer, with the dragons by then being huge, as the writer himself mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter. "It all depends on how long the main series runs..." "Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger. It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know."
TV Recap by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder
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