Another Sunday another Game of Thrones. Seems the folks at HBO have decided to create some new plot lines for the series. Throw out the book ladies, lords and minor hedge knights; Dem Thrones done gone rogue! Big huge spoilers, the size of gorillas and what not, to follow.
We start off somewhere in Essos outside Mereen, with two ex-slaves (both noticeably black) talking. Missandei, quite grown up from the book, sits in a tent teaching the Unsullied leader Grey Worm to read. Turns out they’re both from the Summer Isles, the small bits of land that black folks in GRRM’s world call home. Missandei relates her own capture and enslavement, and asks Grey Worm if he ever thinks of returning home. He replies in the negative; all he wants to do now is “Kill the Masters.”
They are disrupted by a doting Daenerys (doing her Harriet Beecher Stowe thing) showing up and saying, “it’s time.” The purpose of this turns out to be a covert team of Unsullied, led by Grey Worm and dressed as slaves, who sneak into Mereen. Inside the city, a meeting of slaves (all male) is taking place. They talk about Dany’s arrival and what it means. One of the younger slaves argues that the time is right for a revolt. Some of the older ones however are hesitant. They say they have survived slave revolts in the past. And they have all ended the same: “The masters in power and the slaves dead.”
In the middle of their debate, Grey Worm enters with his covert team. “All men must die,” he tells them. Doing his Dessalines thing, he points out that there are three slaves for every master in the whole city. Can you dig it?! Freedom cannot be given he tells them; it must be taken. When they point out they’re not even trained and have no weapons, Grey Worm shows them what he’s brought–lots and lots of shiny cutting things.
In the next shot we see a Good Master walking the streets of Mereen, coming across words written in blood on a wall- “Kill the Masters.” Suddenly he’s surrounded on all sides by armed slaves. His body guards (wisely) abandon him, and he gets the full Nat Turner.
A bloody slave revolt later, the city belongs to the Mother of Dragons–and she’s once more greeted by jubilant slaves like Abraham Lincoln entering Richmond. As Daenerys watches the captured Good Masters being paraded through the streets, she decides to exact a bit retribution. Asking how many children the Good Masters left along the road to Mereen, she selects the same number (163) to crucify. When Ser Barristan Selmy urges caution and mercy, she replies she will instead answer injustice with justice. Their bodies are left hanging about the city for the slaves to gawk at with interest. When we last catch sight of the young Targaryen conqueror and white savior of Essos, she stands surveying her newly captured city. Above her, the flag the Harpy flying has been replaced with her own standard–that of a dragon.
Across the sea in plain vanilla King’s Landing, Jaimie and Bronn are sparring. The King Slayer seems to be holding his own–until the sell sword snatches his fake hand away and smacks him in the face with it. Pimp move. After a bit of banter, Bronn asks if Jaimie has been to see Tyrion. Shamed into the act, Jaimie goes to see his young brother who sits languishing in the dungeon. After some back-and-forth on current events, Jaimie finally asks if Tyrion killed Joffrey. A flustered Tyrion asks if he really thinks he’d kill his son (guess that’s out in the open); Jaimie retorts if he (Tyrion) really thinks he’d kill his own brother. When Tyrion asks Jaimie to free him however, he says he can’t. He instead asks Tyrion to rely on the outcome of his trial. But Tyrion is well aware, justice is short thrift in King’s Landing–even more so for a disliked half-man.
Somewhere on a ship, Sansa Stark sits as the “guest” of Littlefinger. He informs her they’re heading directly to the Vale as he is to to marry her slightly depraved aunt Lysa. When Sansa straight up asks if he was the one who killed The Monster, he alludes to a missing stone on the necklace of the late drunken Ser Dontos–that likely held the poison that did the Monster in. Sansa can’t believe it, pointing out that Littlefinger owed the Lannisters so much; to be involved with Joffrey’s death makes no sense. Littlefinger retorts, “A man with no motive is a man no one expects.” Ever witty with the speech-a-fyin’, he goes on to say that he’s the type of man who would do whatever he has to–to gain everything. He also tells Sansa he has new allies, who helped him in the act…
We’re taken instantly to Margaery Tyrell and the Queen of Thorns. (Plot thickens!) Margaery is worried of her standing in King’s Landing, with the early death of her late husband. She hopes to be wedded to the next in line, young Tommen, but the Lannisters are keeping her out of the loop. The matriarch of House Tyrell relates her early life of sex and noble intrigue, in which she took matters into her own hands…so to speak. She tells Margaery it’s time to act now, while there are power plays on the move. And in what seems to be a shocking revelation, she hints as well that she may have had a hand in doing in Joffrey. She even plays with a certain little necklace about Margaery’s neck. Suspects a-plenty!
We also manage to see Jaime and Cersei alone again in a room, without a restraining order. Thankfully no twincest rape takes place this time. Cersei questions her brother-lover’s meeting with Tyrion. She also questions why Catelyn Stark let him go free. When she asks however if he would hunt down Sansa and bring back her head, he falters–remembering his oath to Lady Stark for the safe return of her daughter. Tommen meanwhile isn’t able to get much sleep in his grand kingly bed, especially with night visitors–a rather seductive Margaery Tyrell who has what would be generally considered an inappropriate conversation with an underage boy. She says in no uncertain terms that she will likely soon be his queen. And it’s going to be good to be the king. We’re also introduced to the gallant Ser Pounce!
The next morning, Jaime has some touching moments with the lady-knight Brienne, and asks her to head out and find Sansa–a way to keep his oath and perhaps earn some honor for his name as a knight. For her aid, he gifts her his Valyrian steel sword–the very one forged from Ned Stark’s Ice, with instructions that she is to now use it to defend the last remaining (to his knowledege) Stark daughter. Brienne also gets some shiny new armor–none of it breast-shaped it turns out. He also gives her a squire–Podrick Payne. Before she leaves he tells her that swords should be named. She gives it a name then and there—Oathkeeper. As he watches her ride away, Jaime seems to struggle with emotion, almost as if he wishes he could leave the treachery of King’s Landing behind and go off to rescue his honor. But that’s kinda hard to do since, you know, HBO decided to make him a rapist.
Out at The Wall, Jon Snow is training Night’s Watch members on how to fight Wildlings. His class is interrupted by Alliser Thorne (hater extraordinaire) who calls him a traitor and tries to bust him down to a steward. Alliser’s hater-in-arms however warns that Jon is popular. To be on the safe side, Alliser should maybe send him across the Wall to take care of the mutineers—a good place to dispose of him. Oh, guess who’s also among the members of the Night’s Watch–hand cutting Locke. Last we saw, he had been sent out by Roose Bolton to find the remaining legitimate Stark boys. Now he’s masquerading as a member of the Watch? Making all nice and friendly with Jon? Hrrrmm…
In another scene, Samwell is agitated over Gilly’s present accommodations, and says as much to Jon. But Jon is now looking over maps, suddenly quite curious about the whereabouts of Bran and Rickon. He’s called before Alliser Thorne who gives him the assignment of capturing the mutineers at Craster the Molester’s Keep. But he can only take volunteers. After giving a rousing speech, he’s at first met with silence. But then men begin to stand. First Grenn and Dolorous Edd and then others, much to the disgust of Allister and the hater crew. Oh, Locke also stands. Watch your hands Jon!
Meanwhile at Craster’s Keep, things have devolved adequately. The former Crows sit around eating, raping Craster’s daughters at will and drinking wine out of Lord Jeor Mormont’s well polished skull. When one of Craster’s incestuous infant boy-children is brought out to be “offered up to the gods,” the mutineer leader Karl gives him to fellow mutineer Rast, ordering him to go out and leave the babe for the White Walkers. While tormenting Jon’s direwolf Ghost (who for some inexplicable reason has been kept alive and caged), Rast hears crows and things get cold…real quick. Knowing what that’s a sign of, he bounces.
Somewhere near, Bran and Hodor along with Meera and Jojen Reed, hear a baby’s cry–the very one that’s being sacrificed! (We’ve now veered from the books into some unchartered territory—Dem Thrones done gone rogue!) Bran does his Warg thing to send out Summer to find the child. But the direwolf gets caught in a trap. When Bran and company try to save her, they end up getting caught by Craster’s men. DOH! After poor Hodor is tormented (not cool rapey dudes, not cool) and the Reeds beaten, Brandon finally reveals his secret identity.
And finally… somewhere out in the frozen wilds, we see a lone White Walker riding his dead horse with Craster’s baby in tow. We even get some babycam, giving us baby perspective on White Walkers. They don’t get any better looking. Eventually he brings the infant to what looks like the Fortress of Solitude. There, a council of other White Walkers are gathered. White Walker baby care? One of them, who looks quite different from the rest (he got horny thingies in his head!) takes up the baby and touches it with a taloned finger. Instantly, the baby’s eyes turn the frozen blue of a White Walker.
And that Tommy, is where little White Walkers come from…
What does all of us this mean? Haven’t a clue. HBO is in the driver’s seat and GRRM’s on board, so anything’s possible. Who knows, maybe a Balrog will show up. Till next time, where we might get to some pit fighting in Mereen.