GoT Recap: Snakes Out for Pain

Game of Thrones

We knew Oberyn Martell’s daughters were going to be badasses. The much-missed Dornish prince (sniff!) put forth such a deadly sexy combination of swagger and combat skills, it makes sense that his kids inherited both his hotness (and his hot-headedness). In this week’s Game of Thrones, we get to see exactly how badass Martell’s offspring — known as the Sand Snakes — are.

Elsewhere, Melisandre is still hella shady, two of Daenerys’ closest advisors might not be long for their jobs (or their lives), and the High Sparrow now has an exuberant army.

That last one is no cause for worry at all, right? Read on as we review the events of “The Sons of the Harpy.”

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HOUSE LANNISTER: I’M-ON-A-BOAT EDITION | Let’s start with Tyrion, whom Jorah tosses into a small, stolen seacraft. Not even a gag can stop Tywin’s younger son from talking, though, and he eventually makes sounds so annoying that Jorah takes the cloth out of his mouth. Naturally, Tyrion immediately demands wine. (Heh.) When the disgraced knight says the queen he referenced last episode is Daenerys, Tyrion finds that amusing. “What a waste of a good kidnapping,” he jokes, and I’d laugh, but the bobbing of the boat is conveyed so well in this scene that I’m getting a little queasy. Tyrion’s sharp eye for detail helps him deduce that his captor is Jorah Mormont; when Tyrion remembers that Jorah was spying on Dany for Varys (and, in turn, the Lannisters), he also correctly guesses that “Now you hope to win back her favor with a gift.” A drunken, mouthy gift. When Tyrion points out that the venture is risky and not likely to work, Mormont knocks him out to silence him.

Meanwhile, Tyrion’s brother (still looking yummy in that leather jacket, in case you were wondering) is on a sea voyage of his own. Jaime and Bronn are traveling on a merchant ship — the better to sneak into Dorne, he explains. When the boat passes Tarth, Brienne’s birthplace, he gives it a look of longing that’ll keep fanfic authors busy until the wee hours.

Down below, Bronn and Jaime have a conversation in which the older man makes it clear he knows that Myrcella isn’t just Jaime’s “niece” and that Jaime was the one who let Tyrion out of his cell the night that Shae and Tywin died. “Varys set him free,” Jaime says. So pretty, yet so deluded: No one’s buying what you’re selling, honey. But the Kingslayer isn’t lying when he angrily talks about his fugitive brother. “He murdered my father. If I ever see him, I’ll split him in two.”

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The rest of the pair’s travels include paying off the merchant ship’s captain for his silence (a move Bronn thinks is foolish, given how much the Dornish people hate Lannisters), nearly being bitten by a snake (can you blame the reptile for wanting to draw near to that golden head? The snake’s last words: “Sssssssssssssso ssssssssssstunning.”) and getting caught by a quartet of men on horseback. When a story about being shipwreck survivors falls flat, Bronn starts the killing — and Jaime’s fake hand winds up being an advantage when one of the men’s swords gets stuck in it, allowing Jaime to use his opponent’s distraction to land the mortal blow. Once all the men are dead, Bronn’s all for moving on, but Jaime insists that they bury them. “Corpses raise questions. Questions raise armies,” he reasons.

Little does the duo know, Oberyn’s bastard daughters are already asking a lot of questions. As Ellaria Sand arrives at the women’s camp, she announces that Doran Martell won’t be any help: “We must avenge Oberyn ourselves.” The Sand Snakes (Nymeria, Obara and Tyene) are one step ahead of her: They’ve captured the captain Jaime paid, and they’ve buried him in the sand as scorpions climb his face. “You must choose: Doran’s way and peace, or my way and war,” Ellaria says. Now, what do you think they pick?

Game of Thrones Sand Snakes HOUSE LANNISTER: YOU-AND-WHAT-ARMY? EDITION | Cersei gets rid of one more pesky small council member by sending Lord Tyrell to Braavos to deal with the Iron Bank, which wants King’s Landing to pay up on a fraction of its debt. Ser Meryn Trant is Tyrell’s guard on the trip, so good luck making it back, dude. That guy will do anything a Lannister commands, and Cersei looks at you the way she looks at the bottom of an empty goblet: with derision and disgust.

Next on the Queen Mother’s To-Do list: Grant the High Sparrow a holy army, known as the faith militant, “in service to the gods themselves, and to you of course, as the chosen representative of the Seven.” And after she tips him off to the fact that Ser Loras is a knight who really likes swordplay, so to speak, the High Sparrows’ thugs — including the Lannister cousin we were re-introduced to a few episodes back — abscond with the Knight of Flowers.

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“Why is my brother in a cell?” Margaery demands of Tommen, who has no idea what she’s talking about but will do whatever it takes — including confront his highly scary mother — to make sure that his wife doesn’t again give him the raised eyebrow of “Say goodbye to your new favorite pastime.”

Tommen’s meeting with Cersei is reminiscent of a kitten staring down a bulldozer, and it turns out to be just as productive: She reminds him that, as king, he can demand that the High Sparrow do whatever he likes… in theory. Because when he goes to visit the faith leader, his goons stop Tommen and his guards from passing. The Kingsguard offers to lay waste to everyone in their path, but Tommen says he wants to find another way. Congrats, son! You’re already 100 times the king your terrible brother was. Unfortunately, the new queen doesn’t feel the same way. Upon hearing that Loras remains locked up, the new queen sweeps out of the room, icily adding, “I have to send word to grandmother.” Look , I want to avoid holy war as much as the next guy, but anything that brings that awesome old lady back to King’s Landing is OK by me.

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THE MEN OF THE WALL | Up north, Melisandre watches Jon Snow practice fighting with a Night’s Watch brother. The look on her face is one that Gendry probably still sees in his nightmares, which is why it’s not surprising when she shows up in Jon’s office later. She tells him to come with Stannis and his army when they march south. “Winterfell was your home,” she purrs. “Don’t you want to chase the rats out of it?” There’s more back and forth, but honestly, all you need to know is that she eventually plays to the cheap seats by opening her robe and putting Snow’s hand on her bare chest. “Do you feel my heart beating?” she asks. Oh he’s certainly feeling something… and that something is one of the red priestess’ perky holy places under his thumb. Though she straddles him and talks about the power of “joining,” he turns her down. “I swore a vow. I loved another,” he says, adding that he’s still in love with Ygritte, despite the fact that she’s nothing more than plucky molecules on the wind by this point. Melisandre puts her lords of light away and leaves him with this chilling thought: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” The Lord Commander is shaken by her invoking Ygritte’s favorite saying, but somewhere, Gendry shakes his head and thinks, “No leeches? Dude, count your blessings.”

Meanwhile, Stannis makes me like him a little when he assures Shireen that he’s not ashamed of her and her greyscale-afflicted face. We learn she got it from a doll that a Dornish trader gave him, and that everyone wanted him to send her away to die. “I told them all to go to hell,” he says, embracing her. “You did not belong across the world with the bloody stone men. You are Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon. And you are my daughter.” Aww.

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HOUSE STARK | Littlefinger finds Sansa in the Winterfell crypt, tells her he’s going to King’s Landing at Cersei’s request, and then forecasts a future in which Stannis takes Winterfell and names her the Wardeness of the North. “You are the last surviving Stark. He needs you,” Lord Baelish says in that way of his that makes everything sound really creepy. Sansa’s all, “Oh, someone’s going to do something to me about which I have absolutely no say? MUST BE MONDAY.” Littlefinger also has a contingency plan for her: If Stannis doesn’t show up, take Ramsay “and make him yours.” Then he kisses her on the lips, and can someone cover the eyes of the statue behind Sansa? Lyanna’s been through enough; she shouldn’t have to witness this.

HOUSE TARGARYEN | Barristan Selmy and Daenerys share a lovely scene in which he tells her that her brother Rhaegar used to go out into the streets and sing for money. It’s cute and touching and… oh god, Selmy’s gonna die soon, isn’t he? Though it’s not clear by the end of the episode, both the elderly knight and Grey Worm wind up taking some terrible blows in a Sons of the Harpy-orchestrated blood bath in the city. They wind up laying unconscious next to each other, bleeding profusely among the carnage.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? 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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24 Comments
  1. Liz says:

    Sir Barriston nooooo!

  2. Kristine says:

    Khaleesi’s entourage is fading quickly.

  3. Dawn says:

    Don’t know if I’m really liking this season so far….feels a bit flat.

  4. Homesick says:

    Jaime looking at Tarth for the first time must have been the sweetest thing since Brienne called him Ser Jaime!

    • Bluewinterrose says:

      Yes, that was so sweet. I almost cried, I mean I generally don’t ever get moved by the Lannisters except Tyrion but that scene was short but incredibly sweet. Its not your conventional love but there is this trust and endearing mutual feeling for each other and that is rare in the world of Game of Thrones. The only other time I felt that was in case of Arya and John.

  5. lily says:

    Jaime look Thart and my inner fan Girl just screamed and faint 😍

  6. AddieM says:

    I never thought I’d get choked up and shed a tear at any scene with Stannis in it. Stannis and princess Shireen scene was my favorite of the season so far.
    Loved Little Finger and Sansa, I’m not sure whats happening there but I like it..
    The sand snakes were awesome, Obara was just amazing with that spear cannot wait to see more of them.

    • Homesick says:

      Say what you want about Stannis, but he’s a great father. I’ll give him that much.

      • Veronica says:

        I’m still terribly afraid her mother is going to make her a sacrifice to the lord of light.

        • Shannon says:

          That woman needs to be tossed out to the white walkers like, yesterday. She is suuuuper creepy. You know it’s bad when Melisandre looks like the reasonable one.

  7. Cece says:

    Probably shouldn’t have glossed over the little chat Baelish had with Sansa about Lyanna and Rhaegar. It’s really important to the overall mythology that the show hasn’t spent a lot of time on (probably because it’s all exposition). I’m hoping that, plus Melisandre’s fascination with Jon and Melisandre, and Stannis saying that having a bastard with a tavern whore wasn’t “Ned Stark’s way” is a step forward in answering something the books haven’t even gone about doing yet. Maybe GRRM finally spilled the beans to the writers. **Crosses fingers its true**

    • Cyndi says:

      Alright what is it that the books haven’t touched upon yet? You’ve got me curious.

      • Joey says:

        Its hinted at throughout the whole series. It just hasn’t been spelled out by GRRM yet. A little Google search on R+L=J should shed some light, I assume.

        • Isobel says:

          Given JR is still alive in the books and is going home, hopefully next book we meet HR. Littlefinger’s silence suggests he at least possibly doesn’t believe the official R and L tale.

    • Lmnj says:

      Agreed. That bit of backstory is not a gloss over bit. :)

    • CourtTV says:

      If the show hasn’t spent time on it, then glossing over it is perfectly acceptable.

    • Shannon says:

      The look he gave Sansa when she said, “and then he kidnapped her and raped her”, referring to Lyanna was pretty much all you needed to know to confirm there is MUCH more to the story here. I haven’t read the books but I’ve suspected that Jon Snow is “the bastard of Ned Stark” for his own protection. Which leads to even more questions for me- I always hated the way Catelyn had such disdain for Jon Snow and wondered if this was truly the case, why wouldn’t Ned tell Catelyn the truth about his parentage? I kind of don’t want Jon to be the son of Rhaegar because I have this fantasy of Jon Snow getting married to Daenarys and having lots of broody, beautiful children.

  8. Joey says:

    D&D are aware that Barristan is still alive in the books, right? And that his role only grew /more/ important as time went on?

    • Martin himself said this is pretty much where the books and the show are really going to start to split. Plus he pointed out they’re more willing to kill than he is (thus why that kid died last season who is still alive in the books).

      • Joey says:

        Killing a character who isn’t important now but becomes important later is a bit different than killing a character that is currently important and whose importance only grows. The show is already in fanfiction territory. Hopefully it doesn’t spread into /bad/ fanfiction territory.

  9. Mr. Tran K says:

    The Sand Snakes are becoming TV’s new “eye candy”.

  10. rachelle says:

    I’ve been waiting for the Sand Snakes! I was so happy to see these badass ladies.

  11. mr.plow says:

    The season is almost half done and nothing has happened…. Last year, there was always something to discuss the next day after a new episode. This season? Not so much… It feels like the story thus far could have been cut down and fit into 60 minutes, maaaaybe 2 episodes. No one needs to die to keep things interesting, so this isn’t my blood lust talking(although if Sansa happens to lose her head somehow, so be it) but let’s move things along here.

    • Shannon says:

      I agree. With so many characters I feel like we see about 5 minutes of story development per plotline. Considering we are this far in I hope this doesn’t turn into another season of buildup for all of the big scenes condensed into one or two episodes. Do we really need Tyrion traveling through boxes and brothels for 5 episodes before he even reaches the queen? Jorah could have captured him by the second episode without diminishing the storyline.