Episode Review: Game Of Thrones – High Sparrow (Spoilers!)

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I was pretty hard on Game of Thrones last week after being disappointed by the first two episodes. In fact, I wasn’t planning on watching episode 3 as soon as it was available but Silicon Valley and Veep were not online yet. This episode, however, finally delivered on all of the excitement I was craving.

Tommen and Margaery are wed and the marriage is quickly consummated. The new queen is already working her claws deep into to Tommen. I’d feel bad for the little guy but I don’t think he minds too terribly much. It was nice to finally see Cersei receive her comeuppance after so many cruel encounters with Margaery. Though, I believe Cersei is already developing a plan to wrest some control back into her hold.

Arya is now inside the house with Jaqen and is learning that the outcomes she desire are not to be obtained quickly. She is reminded of the importance of service to others — “valar dohaeris” — rather than service to self. To truly become nobody Arya must rid herself of her family pride as well as the goal of avenging all she has lost.

At Winterfell, the Bolton’s are breathing life into their newly-acquired castle in the North. We finally see Ramsey again and he’s already begun using torture as a means for controlling other Lords in the area. Roose chastises the little Lord warning him that pain might not be an effective tactic in this case given that the Bolton’s lack the manpower to adequately hold the North. According to Roose, the best means of forging an alliance is through marriage. Cut to Sansa — Dun dun duuunnnn!

The North Remembers

Much more interesting than her love of lemon cakes, we learn that Sansa’s hand in marriage has been promised to Ramsey Bolton by Petyr the-most-terrifying-denizen-of-the-seven-kingdoms Baelish. Roose seems concerned the plan might not work and I give Little Finger the Big Finger. With Stannis heading south from The Wall in the coming weeks, it would seem that Roose’s ability to hold the North is definitely questionable.

Slightly further north, we see Jon in action as the Lord Commander of The Night’s Watch. He re-affirms his commitment to honor and pride in two ways. First by (again) turning down Stannis Baratheon’s offer to join his ranks as “Jon Stark”. Second, by lobbing off Janos’s is head for defying and insulting his leadership. It was a great scene that, for me, echoed all the way back to the very first episode of Game of Thrones.

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Finally, we see Tyrion and Varys sowing their wild oats in the city of Volantis. Though I’m not sure what Tyrion sees as inconspicuous about a dwarf and a eunuch hanging out at a brothel. Shockingly (read: Contrived Coincidence) “Sir” Jorah Mormont is at the same brothel. He kidnaps Tyrion with plans of bringing him to “the queen” though I’m not entirely sure if he’s referring to Dany or not given that Cersei has put a price on Tyrion’s head.

Overall, this is easily the best episode of the season and possibly one of my favorites in the series. If you’re on the fence about this season so far, I definitely recommend giving this episode a look.

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