Always disclaimer, disclaimer always. This post is SPOILER BOUND, read at your peril!
Sons Of The Harpy
Anyone up to date on proceedings must have been waiting in with baited breath hoping to know what happened to our favourite bitter fugitive last week when disgraced knight Jorah Mormont swept him away like a, um, thief in the night. But what kind of thief, and to which Queen is he delivering him? Turns out Tyrion’s luck is, for once, in check, as Jorah plans on rowing him all the way to Meereen in hopes of reacquainting himself with Daenerys. Not that the two are on good terms; after correctly guessing Jorah’s identity, the knight swiftly shuts him up with the back of his hand. Either way, Cersei’s platter will have to wait for his head a while longer yet.
In our new duo’s destination, and the Sons Of The Harpy are running rife on Daenerys’ Unsullied, ambushing her warriors when they least expect it. As skilled as the Unsullied may be, without the order of the entire army, they appear almost gullible to the sleuth of the ill-willed free people in Dany’s new kingdom. None more so is this proven than in the epic final scene where, in our similarly trusting ways of late, Game Of Thrones reminds us why we should never get too complacent when it comes to the fates of our favourite characters. For once, I won’t delve any further, but just rest assured that my heart bled and I was sat clutching my face after the credits ended.
Over in Kingslanding and Cersei’s exercising of Tommen’s power as King is slowly extrapolating for the worse, and who would have guessed that the capital would become a far more adverse place so quickly after Tywin’s demise? He had his uses in being the cunning devil he was, it seems, after all, he managed to keep that cruel bastard Joffrey in check. But with Cersei acting ruler and the Small Consul slowly diminishing (Lord Tyrell is sent to the Iron Bank) the damage control is unravelling pretty rapidly. She still has Grand Maester Pycell at her side though, much to her delight. This week, she gives the High Sparrow permission to arm the Faith Militant, which leads to them arresting Loras Tyrell in their purge of supposed homosexuals. With Margery’s prodding, Tommen goes to challenge the High Sparrow on this conduct, only to be turned away. Where Joffrey’s bullish arrogance would have seen the Sparrows dead long ago, Tommen’s kindness currently is his weakness, and he walks back to his quarters with his tail between his legs. Symbolic carving, ensue.
Down South in Dorne, the other Lannister is off on his quest to Dorne in an attempt to regain Cersei’s respect, accompanied by good ol’ Bromm. Seemingly, this will be a pairing that we will all grow fond of. Jamie’s metal hand comes in, er, handy (I’m sorry!) as he discovers it is good for catching sword blades. Which is lucky, otherwise he’d be dead. With Ellaria Sand – Oberyn’s paramour – getting increasingly pissed off with Dorne’s lack of action following his head being crushed for public entertainment, she takes things into her own hands. Enter the Sand Snakes, Ellaria and Oberyn’s bastard daughters who seem to be aptly good in combat. Well, isn’t that convenient.
In colder climes and after last week’s beheading, things are a little slower up in t’North. Sansa is getting reacquainted with the crypts now she is back in her home of Winterfell, and we are treated to some poignant backstory (context below) thanks to she and Littlefinger, who is getting a bit overfamiliar as he prepares for his departure to Kingslanding. He informs her that she won’t be in the Bolton’s clutches for long as Stannis is preparing to claim the North. Ultimately, if things go to plan, she will be reunited with Jon, but then again, when has that ever happened.
Talking of Stannis, his stony facade is slips a little in a touching exchange with long-suffering daughter Shireen as they recount how she almost died as a baby when a doll she had been gifted had infected her with the Greyscale we see on her face. She asks Stannis if he is ashamed of her, to which he replies that he called upon all the Maesters and healers he could find who managed to save Shireen’s life. It is a rare and touching moment that works in the favour of humanising Stannis.
Lastly, it took Jon Snow three seasons to have his first stroke of humanness, and today he returns to his inhuman state as Melisandre gets her baps out over his paperwork. Reassuringly, it’s a struggle, but he declines her advances as he is not over Ygritte, something made incredibly more creepy as the Red Woman tucks her nipples back in and utters ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’…
Episode 4 was the best of season5 so far, yay?
Who the f*** is Rhaegar Targaryen and why is he important?
If you have not read any of A Song Of Ice And Fire then you would be forgiven for being incredibly confused as certain points in episode 4. As of late, there is a lot of Targaryen backstory floating about. I love Targaryen back story. If you want to be a Targaryen swot like me, last year’s release of The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones will certainly make you just that, taking you from Aegon’s conquest all the way to the beginning of Game Of Thrones. It is the events just preceding the series that both Littlefinger and Ser Barristan have made reference to as of late.
Robert Baratheon – he who got speared by a wild boar, husband to Cersei and “father” to Joffery, Marcella and Tommen – was known as The Usurper as he ended the Targaryen dynasty after almost 300 years of rule with Robert’s Rebellion. Robert rebelled against Aerys Targaryen, the final Targaryen king who was known as the Mad King for his cruelty. He was killed by Jamie Lannister – his Kingsguard – and is the reason Lannister is known as the Kingslayer. Aerys had three children; Rhaegar was the eldest and was followed much later by Viserys and Daenerys. Due to there being no Targaryen female for Rhaegar to wed (the Targaryen’s had the tradition of marrying brother to sister to keep the bloodline pure), he married Elia Martell – the sister who Oberyn intended to avenge – and in doing so benefitting relations with Dorne. Rhaegar and Elia had two children Rhaenys and Aegon. What spurred Robert’s Rebellion however, was Rhaegar’s conduct during a tourney.
Rhaegar beat Ser Barristan Selmy in a joust, subsequently winning the tournament. This meant he had the privy of crowning the most beautiful woman there with a wreath of winter roses. Docorum would have led him to his wife Elia Martell – except it didn’t. Instead, he passed her and presented it to Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned Stark (wonderful Sean Bean) and the betrothed of Robert Baratheon. It is stated that the Rebellion began when Rhaegar abducted Lyanna and raped her – a line which Sansa repeats in this episode – but one which is largely perceived with scepticism with fans.
Ultimately, as we all know by now, Lyanna dies during the Rebellion. Robert Baratheon wins the Rebellion by putting his hammer through Rhaegar’s chest. The Mad King is killed by Jamie Lannister after threatening to level the city. Elia Martell was raped by the Hound’s brother, the Mountain (who crushed Oberyn’s head last season), before she and her two children were murdered, supposedly under Tywin Lannister’s orders. After the end of the Targaryen reign, Robert Baratheon was crowned King of Westeros. Daenerys and Viserys are alive because they were holed up on Dragonstone – where Stannis resided until recently – and lived as fugitives.
For fans, this progression of revealing backstory is exciting, especially as it is shared so early on in A Song Of Ice And Fire – book 1 to be exact. This can only mean one thing; it is going to become important soon.