Game of Thrones – High Sparrow

Game of Thrones

Poor, poor Sansa. Really the abject awfulness she has had to put up with just does not quit. Quite apart from being held captive in King’s Landing, then betrothed to both Joffrey and Tyrion she now has to curtsy to the man who killed both her brother and her mother. She did some real growing up last season so I hope she will now take Littlefinger’s words to heart and stop being a perpetual bystander to misery.

For the first time in a long time – perhaps the first time ever – I actually admired Lord Baelish this episode. Not just the massive rug pull he delivered to Sansa (That marriage proposal…it wasn’t for you was it?) his alliance with the Boltons and perhaps the whole of the North was really rather inspired.

Maybe I am being overly optimisitic but I feel deep down he may be in the Varys camp of having the interests of the realm at heart above all else.

Scene of the Week
For the second week running my nominated scene took place in the meeting hall in Castle Black. Jon had a lot to prove in his first meeting as Night Commander but he handled it magnificently. The electric air when he joked about the latrine job, with all eyes on Ser Allister then the announcement of the former acting commander as First Ranger was spectacular.

Watch the scene again and see his chin lift ever so slightly when that announcement was made; you just know then he is Jon’s man. The head to head with Slynt and the following execution (itself a fabulous callback to the first ever episode) was good but to me it was the turning of Alliser from foe to ally in seconds flat that was really something.

Very nearly chose the Brienne backstory moment for the best scene. As a standalone scene it was really good: compassionate, heart-rending & haunting but it also spoke to one of the great themes of the show, that actions taken years before echo through the years. That one monent of compassion from Renly fostered a lifelong bond. Stannis killing Renly? We’d all sorta forgotten about that, right? Brienne hasn’t. That blue touchpaper has been lit and Brienne ain’t stopping until Stannis is gone.

A very close third for best scene was the supreme passive/aggressive head-to-head Margaery had with Cersie. The latter’s power is crumbling by the day and it looks like the witch’s prophecy is coming true after all. Is she finally being outplayed? Probably best if she ducked out back to Casterly Rock now.

Fashion Watch
Not much to write home about since so many scenes took place in the dingy darkness – Winterfell, House of B&W, Volantis knocking shop – but I really dug the helmets the Knights of the Vale wore. Admittedly they were far to close to the head and sorta make the wearers look like they are sporting Beatle bowls and lamb chop sideburns but they also look like they can afford excellent protection.

Stray Observations
Tyrion can speak High Valyrion?

So, I’m guessing the creature under the sheets in Qyburn’s lab is The Mountain whose poisoned wounds he was treating post Oberyon fight last season. Not quite sure what hes up to. Some sort of Brothers without Banners resurrection nonsense?

Loved Roose Bolton’s line when Baelish said he needed to send a raven back to King’s Landing. “I should like to see your reply”. Never fully trusting anyone those two.

Oh, and speaking of ravens, what a superb touch during the rebuilding of Winterfell to see the ravens being restocked, after Winterfell’s original conspiracy was deliberately killed off when the Iron Island scum took the castle.

A few seasons ago I called the Greyjoys the Al Qu’eda of Westeros. Tonight’s ep seemed to mirror another real work political tie-up, notably the House of Saud with the wahabi mullahs of the Arabian peninsula. That was a deal that still keeps both in a position of power. It looks like Cersie is embarking on the same path. High Sparrow for High Septon next week? It would not surprise me.