Game of Thrones Recap: Drama Queens

Game of Thrones Margaery Tommen Wedding

Westeros weddings tend to be gruesome affairs. But the carnage kicked off by Margaery and Tommen’s wedding in this week’s Game of Thrones is shaping up to prove even more devastating than the Red Wedding and Joffrey’s Pigeon Pie Deathapalooza combined.

Well, for Cersei, at least.

Because even though the queen mother thinks King’s Landing bends to the whims of her prettily coiffed head, the episode makes it clear that the new queen has designs on — and the wherewithal for — ruling as she sees fit.

It’s really too bad that Oberyn Martell couldn’t carry Margaery into the ring last season: Just one of the new queen’s pleasantly delivered, whetstone-honed barbs could’ve cut The Mountain down to a whimpering, red-faced little molehill.

But I digress. Let’s take a look at the action — Sansa betrothed! Tyrion kidnapped! — that takes place in “High Sparrow.”

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HOUSE LANNISTER | Tommen and Margaery’s wedding is carried off with far less fanfare than her previous one, but the groom survives the day, so huzzah! As they face their guests for the first time as man and wife, Marg looks her usual resplendent self and Tommen — who’s never shared his bed with anyone other than Ser Pounce — looks that special mix of terrified and excited that only an adolescent boy in the presence of impending de-virginizing can manage.

Cut to their bedroom later that night, with the boy king sucking wind like he just sprinted for a bus and the new queen satisfied… by the knowledge that she can play him like “The Rains of Castamere.” “It all happened so fast,” he wheezes. “This is all I want to do, all day, every day, for the rest of my life.” (Ha!)

While the poor thing catches his breath, the newlyweds talk about their new titles. “Does ‘Queen Margaery’ sound strange to you?” Tommen asks innocently. What she says: “So strange.” What she means: “Bow down, bitches.”

Game of Thrones Margaery Tommen Wedding The new queen wastes no time; no sooner has she subtly suggested that perhaps Cersei won’t always live in King’s Landing than Tommen is telling his mother that he wants her to be happy, and “Wouldn’t you be happier in Casterly Rock?”

You’d better believe that Cersei Lannister isn’t going out like that. She beelines it to her daughter-in-law’s quarters, where Margaery is recounting the farce that was her wedding night, to the mirth of her handmaidens. What follows is one of the best things you’ll see on TV this week. Tommen’s mom and wife trade increasingly devastating barbs; Cersei seems to deflate a little with each one, while Margaery rides so high from the exchange, she’s about to enter orbit. My favorite line from the scene: Margaery’s “I wish we had some wine for you. It’s a bit early in the day for us.” Golden arbor BURN!

Thank goodness Cersei has something to distract her: When the Sparrows bust the High Septon during a very involved sex game in Littlefinger’s brothel — and then parade him naked through the streets — he lobbies the dowager queen (heh) for help. Nice try, priest: Cersei has him stashed in the dungeon, then visits the Sparrows’ leader in a stinky, poor section of the city. The High Sparrow is a disheveled, shoeless man dishing soup out to his faithful, and he and Cersei work out a tentative alliance. “The faith and the crown are the two pillars that hold up this world,” she purrs. “We must do everything necessary to protect one another.”

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HOUSE STARK | Arya’s been spending her time sweeping the House of Black and White, which is good, because a guy who drank from a pool inside the house just keeled over on the floor. No one will answer Lady Stark’s questions — Did that guy just die? Who’s this “many-faced god” Jaqen mentions? And why haven’t the face-shifting lessons begun yet? — but another girl in the house seems to have at least a mild dislike for her, so there’s that. While in Arya’s sleeping area, Jaqen notes that “all of Arya’s Stark’s things” surround her: To truly be a faceless man, a girl must ditch that ish. So she dons the same dress as her nameless contemporary at the house, then tosses her clothes and belongings into The Shivering Sea — all except for Needle. The thought of losing her beloved swordlet brings tears to Arya’s eyes, so she hides it under a bunch of rocks. Oh Arya, a man has seen through every damn thing you’ve done so far. What makes you think this will work?

Far away, Littlefinger, Sansa and their entourage pause on a bluff. She recognizes Moat Cailin — the northern stronghold the Boltons took by force — and understandably starts to freak the flay out when Baelish casually drops that she’s going to marry Ramsay Bolton (aka the sadistic creator of Reek). Even though Sansa’s not privy to her betrothed’s proclivities, she knows enough about the family — Roose killed her brother, Robb; the Boltons are besties with the Lannisters — to balk at such an arrangement. And even if she didn’t have a problem with all of that, the fact that the Boltons have decorated the place with flayed corpses is probably a bit of a red flag. (Seriously, it looks like the staging area for Bodies: The Exhibition up in this piece.)

Littlefinger cunningly makes it seem like she has a choice in the matter. “You’ve been a bystander to tragedy from the day they executed your father,” he says. “There’s no justice in the world, not unless we make it. You loved your family. Avenge them.” A nice sentiment, but silly Sansa: You NEVER have any good choices. Regardless, she turns her horse toward the outpost and pastes on a smile when she’s introduced to her future hubs. Theon/Reek, meanwhile, recognizes Sansa but says nothing.

Game of Thrones Margaery Tommen WeddingAnother time Theon/Reek says nothing: When he’s privy to the Bolton men discussing how they don’t have enough men to hold the north if the other houses rise against them, and how they can’t count on the Lannisters, who’ve never sent forces that far north. Sansa and Ramsay’s nuptials, Roose explains, will strengthen Bolton’s forces by allying them with the most revered name in that part of the land: Stark. And it seems he may be right: When a maid leads Sansa to her room, the older woman softly says, “Welcome home, Lady Stark. The north remembers.”

Meanwhile, Brienne and Pod are following Littlefinger & Co. at a distance. One night around the fire, she apologizes for always snapping at him, then promises to teach him the proper way to wield a sword. The atmosphere is such that she feels comfortable answering his question about how she ended up serving Renly. The short version: He was exceedingly nice to her at a ball her father threw for her potential suitors, dancing with her when all the other boys played a nasty prank on her. “He saved me from being a joke that day until his last one. And I couldn’t save him in return,” she says softly, vowing to avenge him. (Side note: Damn, Gwendoline Christie kills it here. Reminds me of Jaime’s bathtub monologue. So finely done.)

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THE MEN OF THE WALL | Jon Snow’s first order of business as new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch? Give Stannis the subtle heave-ho; after all, there’s only so much food to go around, and Baratheon’s troops are gobbling up a bunch of it. Second on the To-Do list: Dish out new assignments, like naming the defeated Alliser Thorne First Ranger (which he accepts) and offering Janos Slynt another command (which he vociferously and rudely rejects). (Side note: Anyone else notice Olly, Jon’s new steward, pick up his head like “What?!” when Janos was being an idiot? Watch it there, old man; as Ygritte can tell you, you do not want to cross that kid.)

Much like Daenerys last week, Jon then must decide what kind of ruler he wants to be. Also like Daenerys: He decides to be a brutal one. So with Stannis looking on approvingly and Janos blubbering his apologies with his neck literally on the chopping block, Jon raises his sword and lobs off the cowardly brother’s head. At least he did it himself, like Ned taught him.

HOUSE LANNISTER: ON-THE-ROAD-AGAIN-ALWAYS EDITION | Despite Varys’ protests, Tyrion throws a scarf over his head and successfully lobbies for a day out in Volantis. While strolling through a slave market, they see a red priestess preaching to a rapt crowd. Tyrion mocks her from a distance… until she turns and pierces him with her gaze. He beats it out of there quickly, winding up at a brothel featuring an employee who strongly resembles Daenerys… if the Mother of Dragons were prone to walking about in a butt-less blue gown. Oh, what a coincidence: Ser Jorah is there, too, drinking heavily! (Side note: I don’t want to know how many times he’s paid Faux Khaleesi to fondle his dragon eggs.) Tyrion talks a good game with another one of the ladies, but when she makes to lead him away, he gets choked up and just can’t do it. He steps to a balcony to pee off the edge, and that’s when Jorah sneaks up behind him, slips a rope over his body and a gag into his mouth. “I’m taking you to the queen,” the older man growls.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? (That’s totally The Mountain under the sheet in the maester’s workshop, right?) Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Cersei may have thrown her support behind the wrong priest, and she’ll soon learn the Pryce isn’t always right!

  2. Joey says:

    Never thought I’d be jealous of Tommen, but the sight of Natalie Dormer…erm, Margaery in those bedsheets….

    Nice to see that Alfie Allen still does wonders with the mere scraps of script that D&D are “generous” enough to toss his way in what should be his greatest season but probably won’t be because its D&D.

  3. Jerseygirl says:

    A little not thrilled about real Sansa marrying Ramsey vs the, forgive me for mentioning it, book’s approach. Would love to know what was in cersei’s raven-mail to Littlefinger.

    • L says:

      They seem to be trying to give Sansa more to do on the show than in the books where she really doesnt have much plot left by this point… combining her storyline with the Bolton stuff allows them to consolidate stuff a bit.

      • arianeb says:

        Another prominent character from book 3 who does nothing in book 4 or 5 is Brienne. So it seems fake Arya will now be played by real Sansa, and Mance Rayder will now be played by Brienne.
        Books can get away with bringing characters in and then forgetting about them later, but TV shows do not have that luxury, as we need to have closure on the characters we have been following. These kind of changes make perfect sense from a TV writing point of view. Sansa and Brienne are popular characters, Mance and Jeyne are not.

        • jerseygirl says:

          That may be, however, with the written series not complete the televised series may be diverging not just from these plot lines but major arcs not yet revealed. It’s one thing to sub a minor or one whose different path is a little less potentially consequential (mushing Marg’s two brothers into just Loras is an example. Changing up a few support roles in the Night’s Watch. There are several examples that work regardless of the original vs the change) It’d also be a different thing to completely alter a character path if the book series was complete and you knew where it was all headed. personally, this much of a change to a primary character isn’t something I, as a fan of both genre, am happy with.

    • Joey says:

      They’re completely screwing with the arc of my favorite character, Theon, by doing this. Why couldn’t we just have Jeyne Poole!?

      • Sam says:

        Probably cause they didnt establish her in the earlier seasons so she wouldnt mean anything.

        • Joey says:

          They didn’t need to establish her in earlier seasons. All you need a few careful expository sentences from Littlefinger and poof, its all taken care of.

      • jerseygirl says:

        I suppose Theon could easily keep his thread going as it was written w/ Sansa in place of Jeyne.

    • Sara says:

      I’m thinking that they’re going to make Sansa take on not just the (boring) role of fake Arya, but also (to an extent) the role of Lady Stoneheart. Really hoping for a dark twist for Sansa and I think that’s what Littlefinger was hinting at with his “Avenge them” speech.

      • jerseygirl says:

        Hmm, fingers crossed. :0/ Part of me thinks Littlefinger is just giving a pep-talk to get his own way…Another part of me is hoping that during the little ride down the driveway, as it were, he laid out some plans on how to achieve vengeance.

  4. Cynthia says:

    Oh Sansa! Will she ever catch a break?!?! I’m terrified of this storyline and really, really hope that this does not follow the Jeyne Poole story in the book because it will be wayyy too hard to watch!

  5. L says:

    Tommen is really young.. its kinda creepy that hes having sex with Margaery.. something they havent done in the books… i know they tried to age him up the last season or so.. but he shouldnt be any older than 13 or so..

    • Dan says:

      “Really young” in our current, Western terms, under the eyes of our urban, übercivilized society. Boys that age have slept with older women for more centuries before us than not.

    • Samantha says:

      The actor is 17. So… not too young, even by some of today’s standards. I thought the scene was adorable, definitely less creepy than Tyrion/Sansa would’ve been, especially since Tommen was so enthusiastic! Plus, the “bedding” is part of it all, it’s not really something they could’ve skipped…

      • S says:

        In the books the character is only 8 years old so they dont have sex after their marriage.. even on the show, he has to be fairly young to still need to have a regent supervising him and not rule on his own… Joffrey I believe was supposed to be 16-17 and the original actor playing Tommen was just a kid..

  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    Jon Snow has been on a roll in the first three episodes of the season.

    • Mr. Tran K says:

      BTW, Littlefinger is my favorite villain on GoT and the actor who plays him is Aidan Gillen who’s best known for his role as the Mayor in another HBO series The Wire.

      • Isobel says:

        He was also in a Poirot episode as an artist that gets killed off ;) and he’ll be in the next maze runner film

      • Cat says:

        I liked the underlying sensuality of Jaqen much better. He’s probably even more invasive than Littlefinger is in his interactions with Arya, but it feels almost longinly rather than downright creepy.

        Jaqen is not trying to own Arya although he’s basically reshaping her into somebody else. She has agency in her own destiny. And Jaqen doesn’t profit from any of it.

  7. azu says:

    Margery isn’t very wise, is she? Poking the bear on cersi and obviously manipulating tommen. Her only hope is her grandmother to come running back. And cersi isn’t a good ruler either

    • Anna says:

      I wouldn’t put my money on Cersei in that fight though. Margaery seems to be very capable when it comes to plotting and scheming herself.

    • KCC says:

      It’s the age old conflict. Who’s better at manipulating a young man, his mother or his wife. Usually it would be the wife because sex is very persuasive to a young man. Although with Cersei’s history, you never know what she’ll do.

  8. Rook says:

    Margaery throwing shade a Cersi was epic.

  9. AKA says:

    Why do they keep trying to get us to hate sansa stark? Just when she went badass last year they threaten to put her back in damsel in distress mode again. Ramsay is the most hated character since and perhaps more so than Joffrey. Sansa needs to take him out ASAP. I hope this doesn’t play out with her the way these situations have in the past. So far this season is moving a little slow for me.

    • Gupy says:

      Yeah Sansa got the short end of the stick on character development. She was already one step forward, then they make her take two steps back. It’s frustrating,