Remember when I was praying for this season of Game of Thrones to pick up already? I think my wish finally came true. This was the first time this season that when the episode ended I felt like I absolutely have to watch the next one. Obviously I can’t do that, but it’s still a nice feeling.


Did you notice Jon Snow was missing from last week’s episode? Well, now he was back only for a brief scene, showing him leaving with the Wildlings’ leader to go on this really dangerous and potentially stupid diplomatic mission. The more important thing about Castle Black is that Maester Aemon passed away. This is sad but not tragic and violent like most deaths in Game of Thrones. Aemon is one of my favorite characters in the show, and he was Daenerys’ last surviving relative (her great uncle), so it’s too bad he didn’t get to meet her. In his last moments he was calling out to his younger brother, Aegon, who was the king a couple of generations ago.


Sam reads Aemon a eulogy, which I thought was pretty perfect: “No man was wiser, or gentler, or kinder.” Pretty accurate. Sam is now left in Castle Black without Jon or Aemon, and he is in a slightly dangerous position because of his lack of allies. He walks in on two of his “sworn brothers” assaulting Gilly, and almost dies trying to defend her before Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, comes to his rescue. Gilly rewards him with sex, obviously, because that’s how Game of Thrones thinks the world works.


Next we go back to Winterfell, where Sansa is going through one of the worst times of her life (and that’s saying something). Ramsay is holding her locked in a room, and “visits” her every night. When Theon comes by to bring Sansa food, she tries to get him to snap out of this Reek thing (like we’ve all been waiting for), and tells him to leave a candle at the window of the Broken Tower, so her “friends in the North” will come rescue her. She shakes him, tells him that he’s Theon Greyjoy and not Reek, and makes him promise that he’ll do it.


For a moment, we have hope. He walks nervously up some stairs and we think that Theon might just redeem himself. But once again, that would just be too easy (I feel like that should be the slogan of this show). Instead of helping Sansa, he tells Ramsay. In response, Ramsay tortures and kills Sansa’s maid, the old lady who told her she still has friends in the North. Theon told Sansa earlier that “It can always be worse,” and who understands that better than her? She is once again trapped in her room, unable to call for help, although she did grab something sharp while she was outside, so there’s some hope there. While all of this is happening, Brienne is still outside the city, looking in waiting for the sign. Just go save her, dammit!


Stannis is on his way to Winterfell (I wouldn’t mind it if he killed the Boltons, as long as someone is going to do it already!), but the weather is proving to be a challenge and his closest advisor tells him to go back to Castle Black until this winter is over (which could be years). Stannis follows the Red Lady’s visions and promises that he’ll win this fight, with one little problem: she thinks he needs to sacrifice his daughter. I have one thing to say to that: HELL NO. I put up with Stannis’ BS because he’s not as bad as some of the other “kings” in Game of Thrones, but this will just be too much.


Now, remember how Tyrion and Jorah were captured by slavers? That storyline is finally moving along, and they are sold to someone as fighters for the fighting pits (note the irony of people of color trading White slaves). Magically enough they do end up in Mereen’s fighting pits, just when Khaleesi visits them with her new fiancé. Jorah triumphs over all the other fighters, and stands with all his pride in front of Dany, but she’s still not having it. I guess she does not forgive easily.


Except he has a gift for her! Tyrion, the gift, introduces himself: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, my Grace. My name is Tyrion Lannister.” Cut scene. OH MY GOD. Who else was jumping and screaming “more, more!”? Seriously, I was freaking out. We’ve been waiting for so long for these two to meet, I really can’t wait any longer to see how this unfolds. Next episode, please come already.


In Dorne Jaime sees Myrcella, who tells him she doesn’t want to go with him because she loves the prince and Jaime doesn’t even know her (this was a cute scene, she might as well have said “you’re not my dad!”). I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. Meanwhile Bronn is in a prison cell next to Ellaria’s bastard gang, and this just gets weird. Tyene Sand, the youngest looking one, weirdly “seduces” Bronn through the cell bars, and makes him say that she’s the most beautiful woman in the world before giving him the antidote to the poison from her weapon. Hmm what was the point of this? To show breasts on the screen? Anyway it was gross and unnecessary. And totally out of character, if you ask me.


Things in King’s Landing are really getting out of control. Olenna tries to threaten the High Sparrow guy to get her grandchildren out of prison, but he’s not impressed. He seems to think that the “people” are with him, although I have a hard time believing that since his boys have been going around beating random people, and like Olenna said, pretty much everyone in King’s Landing sins in some way. She once again threatens to cut King’s Landing off (and point all the hungry people towards him), but he thinks he’s above that. We’ll see. Either way, I’m always happy to see Olenna and I think there should be a crossover show where she hangs out with Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey, because that would be the sassiest duo ever.


Cersi is “advising” Tommen about helping Margaery, who is now in a stinky prison cell. She pretty much tells him that there’s nothing he can do about it and gives him this whole spiel about not always being able to help the ones you love. She then offers to talk to the Sparrow “on his behalf” to try and release Margaery, but she actually just goes to gloat. While you were listening to Cersi talking all about sins and the Gods and all that you were probably thinking that it’s pretty funny, coming from someone who had kids with her brother. And indeed only a few minutes later we find out that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t give power to religious cults that really hate glass houses.


I thought this was a pretty cool twist and I didn’t really see it coming until the very last moments. I was thinking that Cersi’s “fight against sin” might come back to haunt her later, but didn’t think it would be so immediate. So the High Sparrow starts by threatening Cersi with what he knows about her and her nephew, and then throws her in a cell! Cersi Lannister! In a cell! I didn’t think I’d live to see this day. Of course the most ironic thing about this is that Cersi just finished telling Tommen all about how he can’t help Margaery, meaning that now this useless boy thinks that he can’t help his mom as well. I guess that’s what they call karma. I know a lot of people are really happy to see Cersi get a taste of her own medicine, and I won’t deny that I enjoyed seeing her yell “I’m the queen!”, but at the same time I feel a little nervous. With Cersi, at least we knew what her angle is. She was evil but familiar, and now there’s no telling who will gain power and as we already learned: it can always be worse.

Now we’re left with two questions: will Tommen ever step up and become an actual king instead of a silly boy that just dresses fancy? And does the Sparrow really only want to serve the Gods or is he after power for the sake of power? I don’t know which is worse but either way Cersi and Margaery are both in quite the difficult situation here, with pretty much only Tommen and Olenna to save them. I think the only chance they have is if Olenna goes to help poor Tommen and tells him to use that darn army of his, because now Cersi’s and Margaery’s fates are tied together. There’s something beautiful about that, I must admit.

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Written by Yuval

Yuval Idan is a writer, feminist, activist, and pop culture nerd who started loving television because of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and hasn't stopped since. In addition to pop culture, she writes about food, politics, justice, and pretty much anything you can rant about. Follow her on Twitter at @JuvTalks.

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