Game of Thrones is really getting into the swing of it now. Three episodes deep into the fifth season of the world's biggest TV show, and we're getting some proper intrigue happening. Finally, right?
Warning: Spoilers within!
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High Sparrow opens with Arya sweeping floors in the House of Black and White, but she's not especially happy with her position in the scheme of things. It's not all bad, though — her talk with Jaqen H'ghar makes it very clear that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes. She wants to become a Faceless Man, a cold-blooded killer, but that means letting go of more than just a name, a whole life including the sword given to her by Jon Snow — a token of her Stark blood.
Back in King's Landing, the great unwashed clamour for Queen Margaery, so you can imagine that Cersei isn't exactly the happiest one out there. Oh, and Margaery very much is a queen now, having literally just married little King Tommen and quickly consummated the arrangement. The new Tyrell queen wastes no time turning her new husband against his mother — but as you can expect, Cersei isn't having a bar of it.
The first glimpse of Winterfell this season — I'll be honest, it looks a bit grim up there — is quickly joined by the first appearances of Theon Greyjoy, and the dangerous duo of Roose and Ramsay Bolton. And, to solidify Boltons' hold on the North, it's Roose's decision to marry his newly-minted, newly-recognised son Ramsay to another high family. There is one unfortunately apposite candidate.
Sansa. It's Sansa. This is probably the first proper twist of the season, and it's a pretty painful one for those involved. On a misty moor, she and Littlefinger have an anguished discussion — OK, the anguish is mostly on her part — about the plan to marry her off that she's literally just found out about. Petyr Baelish is a surprisingly good conversationalist, though, and Sansa seems a bit of an impressionable soul, so don't write this off as a possibility just yet.
Hot on their heels are Brienne and Pod, the eponymous odd couple. They still have catching up to and rescuing Sansa on their minds, but it's time for them to also learn a little bit about each other. Brienne's backstory is heartbreaking, as is the fact that she's so cut up about the death of Renly — something completely out of her control.
Further north, on the icy edge of the Wall, the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, the ever-glum Jon Snow, is dealing further with the entreaties of King Stannis. Stannis wants him to break his vows and move upon Winterfell to regain it and his noble family's honour. Honestly, Jon has a pretty good lot in life at the moment, the boy should cheer up a little bit. Anyway, thanks to a side word from Davos Seaworth, Jon has a lot to think about. Frowning ensues.
Tyrian is back too, hanging around with Varys inside a claustrophobic carriage cut off from the outside world. Nothing is going on, save a short day trip to explore the city of Volltis. Predictably, there's a priest there talking up the virtues of Danaerys. Is this a subtle hint at exactly how much character development we'll see from these two? That little trip doesn't end too well for Tyrion, though. A drink in a brothel puts our anti-hero face to face with a disgraced Jorah Mormont, a man who desperately wants to impress Danaerys — and what better way to do that than a captured Lannister dwarf?
Then, the moment of this episode. Jon faces a challenge from Janos Slynt, the ex-City Guard captain and lord who hasn't ever liked his adversary and takes a (rather ill-advised) opportunity to speak out against Jon's treatment of him. Here's a tip, though — don't complain when there's an angry Lord Commander with a very sharp sword and order to keep.
There's a challenge in King's Landing too, but it's a challenge to the religion of the land. The High Septon of the faith of the Seven — a lecherous fraud of a womaniser — is revealed to be so, and revealed by the Sparrows, a hardline and hard-hearted group of religious fanatics. He's suitably shamed, but the Queen Regent doesn't seem to mind. These guys look like they'll be of welcome assistance to Cersei, but looks can be deceptive.
Did you enjoy this week's episode? Which character do you think will come to an imminent, untimely end? I already have some guesses...
Note: Please, no spoilers for future episodes (if you've watched them) or spoilers from the books in the comments below!
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