The last time we saw Rickon, he was going off with Osha somewhere safe for refuge, possibly to Last Hearth where the Umbers live. The last time we saw Bran, he had traveled way beyond the wall (with the assistance of Hodor, Meera and Jojen) until they finally arrived at the cave where they found the three-eyed raven. Jojen didn’t make it in though; a wight killed him just when they were right outside. After a child of the forest took the remaining 3 inside, the three-eyed raven confirmed Bran’s fears and told him that he will never walk again.
We left Arya in Braavos, serving at the temple of the Many-Faced God. She threw away her things and hid her sword, Needle, so that she could start her training to become No One. The faceless man with Jaqen H’ghar’s face told her that her training, like that of all the Faceless Men, had to start with her learning to serve at the temple. Valar dohaeris did not come easy to her which we saw when she abandoned her mission to assassinate a gambler with oysters, clams and cockles so that she could go and cold-bloodedly murder Meryn Trant instead. Before she got to that though, the writers were kind enough to reveal that on top of everything, Ser Meryn was a paraphiliac who got off on beating up little girls. Sadly for Arya, the Faceless Men are super anal about who you’re allowed to kill so No One (who looks like Jaqen H’ghar) turned her blind as punishment. An eye for an eye hehehe. She still has about a hundred people left on her Kill List though so by the time Jaqen is done punishing her she’ll probably only have an arm and a leg to her name.
Littlefinger spent last season manipulating the Lannisters, the Boltons, Sansa and all the other people at the Eerie. Somehow he got into Sansa’s head and convinced her to marry Ramsay. We watched as Reek, who Sansa still believed killed her brothers, walked her down the isle to marry into the Bolton family. The same Bolton family responsible for the deaths of her mother, brother and sister-in-law. Then came GoT’s most controversial and uncalled for rape scene in which the director, editor or whoever, chose to focus on Reek’s pain rather than Sansa’s as Ramsay raped her. Nevertheless, Sansa really came into her own this season against all odds. I felt like a proud mama watching her because I’ve always had high hopes for the girl. Reek finally turned back into Theon and came around when Sansa needed him to help her escape Winter-hell. At this point, I think Theon has more than paid for his crimes seeing as he never actually killed Bran or Rickon.
Even though neither of the Stark girls seemed to want her protection, Brienne stubbornly persisted in her adventure with Podrick to save them. She sent a message to Sansa telling her to light a candle in the tower if she ever changed her mind yet when Sansa did she was nowhere to be found. She literally had ONE job! At least she got to kill Stannis though which was a nice little nod to Season 2.
The Lannister’s are under new management after Tywin’s death. Cersei sent Mace Tyrell away from King’s Landing to the Iron Bank, something we were all happy for because he is annoying. Like, the man is just as big an oaf as his mother told us. Cersei probably thought that for her to succeed in her schemes against the Tyrells she needed to eliminate the patriarch but she was wrong (as usual) because in the Tyrell family it is Lady Olenna who is a match for Cersei. Loras is gay. Something Margaery and all of Westoros already knew but it is precisely what Cersei used in her plot to shame the Tyrell family and lock up both Loras and Margaery. Margaery’s true colors finally came out and she showed Cersei that she is not, as she likes to pretend, a friendly innocent girl who was brought to a strange city to marry the king. I am honestly very thankful for this side of her. “Get out, you hateful bitch!” is the most interesting thing she has said the whole time she’s been starring on the show.
With everybody gone, Cersei was left to her own devices and she fucked every single thing up. She insisted on ruling, against her uncle’s advice and she ended up proving what her father told her seasons ago when he said she’s not as smart as she thinks she is. She turned out to be just as bad a ruler as Daenerys, if not worse. That was the trend last season with leaders because Stannis, Melisandre and Jon all failed woefully as well. Not only did Cersei allow the Sparrows to wreak havoc in King’s Landing, she actually empowered them and the whole time she was totally oblivious to how deep she was digging her own grave. She confessed to one crime only so that she would be allowed to go back home to await her trial. In a very heartbreaking scene, Cersei was forced to take her walk of atonement from the Sept of Baelor all the way to the Red Keep while she endured peasants in Fleabottom who spat at her, threw things at her and called her all sorts of names. However heartbreaking the scene was, I think we all agree that Cersei had it coming. The look in her eyes when Robert Strong carried her was pure revenge though; King’s Landing is going to burn.
The second half of Twin-cest, Jaime Lannister, sailed to Dorne along with every woman’s second favorite sellsword, Ser Bronn of Blackwater. Apparently Jaime is really mad at Tyrion for killing their father. I guess Tywin had complicated relationships with all of his children but Jaime wasn’t even half this angry at the possibility of Tyrion killing his own son Joffrey. Anyway, he gets to Dorne but Myrcella doesn’t want to leave with him and she wastes time enough for the Sand Snakes to reach them. Before Myrcella died, she told Jaime that she knew he was her father and Jaime got roughly 10 seconds to enjoy fatherhood before she died in his arms. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes were pissed about Oberyn’s death so they tried everything to get Prince Doran to avenge him (not Elia). Their cause is very stupid because no Lannister forced Oberyn to fight for Tyrion and no one asked him to be so arrogant that he didn’t kill The Mountain as soon as he got the chance. Prince Doran seems weak if you’re looking at him through Ellaria’s eyes but I think he’s just not stupid like she is. I get the sense that he is a calculating, long-term thinker. The Sand Snakes are still somewhat badass even though they helped Ellaria infect a child with deadly lipstick poison. I say somewhat because I think the show handled the Sand Snakes badly this season. I’m hoping for better in season 6. I’m not an A Song of Ice and Fire chauvinist in any way, but this time the book really told the story much better.
Up in the north, Stannis and his family spent time at Castle Black before descending to Winterfell in order to take hold of it from the Boltons. The whole time we fell in love with Shireen before her parents, at Melisandre’s bidding, fucking burnt her alive. Sweet Shireen whose only crime was loving her deadbeat parents. Sweet Shireen whose affliction of a father was always far worse than her greyscale. If I wanted to be fair to Stannis I’d say that it took a while for Melisandre to convince him to do this but there is no reason for me to be fair to someone who watched his daughter burn and did not even have the grace to recoil while she screamed and begged for him to save her. Now every Baratheon is dead (if we don’t count Gendry and Cersei’s imposters). When it became obvious that Stannis was going to lose, Melisandre abandoned him and conveniently *wink wink* rode to Castle Black. We can rest easy knowing that the necessary characters are in their place at The Wall, ready for the R’hollor black magic resurrection we’re going to watch in Sunday’s episode.
In the most pointless subplot of all time, Gilly and Sam continued their love last season. They finally had sex a few moments after Gilly was almost raped by two guys. I guess nothing puts you in the mood quicker on this show. If you remember, that was how Tyrion met his first wife, Tysha. Sam accidentally killed a White Walker and that made him gain exactly the sort of confidence you would expect from a nerd who has been the butt of fat jokes his whole life. He has a big mouth now. Like, he has the balls to tell people in the common hall at Castle Black to shut up. Sam made Jon the Lord Commander but it’s unclear whether he did it for himself, for Gilly or for Jon. After Maester Aemon died, Sam went off to the Citadel to become a maester himself which is just as well because they would have killed him right next to Jon and no one cares enough to expend the effort required to bring him back.
Jon died but not before he became Lord Snow and made free-folk-freedom the hill he literally died on. Jon Snow, first of his name, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, wildling lover and 7th choice for Lord of Winterfell. He started his lordship off strong when he beheaded Janos Slynt for refusing to take an order but that still didn’t keep his enemies in line. I guess he should have known it was a futile idea once Stannis approved of it. Mance Rayder is dead which leaves Tormund as the next best thing. Jon too ambitiously decided to unite the forces of the free folk and the Night’s Watch. Right before the coolest battle we’ve seen on the show, Jon gave an aggressively inspirational speech à la Tyrion’s right before the fight on Blackwater. Jon fought well and discovered that his Valyrian steel sword has the power to defeat White Walkers. The boss White Walker noticed the same thing and gave Lord Snow come-hither eyes then he raised the dead and double-dared Jon. I’m surprised by how much I care about this storyline because I hated the Night’s Watch. I used to say that I wish Game of Thrones episodes had two links: one that included the Night’s Watch, and one that didn’t. In the last scene of the season, Alliser Thorne, Bowen Marsh, Olly and a bunch of the other brothers murdered Jon right next to a post that had “traitor” written on it. Something that was only possible because all of Jon’s friends had either died, traveled, or stopped supporting him after they found out about his wildling fetish. When Olly put that knife through Jon’s heart I actually cried. The season ended with snow drinking Snow’s blood.
Varys transported Tyrion to Pentos and then to Volantis where Jorah kidnapped him at a brothel before they were sold to slavers who took them to the fighting pits in Meereen. All in all it was an interesting season for Tyrion who kept getting captured by people that wanted to take him to the same Meereen he was headed to in the first place. On their way there Jorah contracted greyscale but he kept it a secret, proving that he still hasn’t learnt his lesson on the consequences of dishonesty. His biggest mistake with Daenerys was that he didn’t confess his betrayal on his own. Rather, he waited until he was caught. Jorah is a humorless charmless man who might seem like that loser who cannot take no for an answer but his situation is more complicated than that. He lost his home once before for a woman he loved only for him to love again and lose both again. It took a long time for him to let go of his dream to be pardoned and allowed back into the Bear Islands and it was the only reason he betrayed Dany in the first place. He proved in the pits that he’s still devoted to his Khaleesi and that he meant it when he said he’d kill for her.
Daenerys spent a lot of time exploring what it means to be a queen but the Sons of the Harpy proved difficult to control. They killed Barristan Selmy and wounded Grey Worm but before he died, Ser Barristan made sure to tell us a story about how great Rhaegar Targaryen was. Selmy’s death was and will remain a great loss to Dany and it accentuated her dire need for divine help ruling that city. Maybe Meereen is especially difficult, but more likely it’s that Dany is a great conqueror but unfortunately not a good enough ruler. Not yet at least. She couldn’t control her dragons and she couldn’t control her people. She even decided to marry Hizdahr zo Loraq a.k.a. son of the harpy in an effort to mitigate the circumstances. Things got so bad that the slavers conspired to kill her and her supporters in the fighting pit (which is what Hizdahr went to arrange beforehand and that’s why he was late). It hasn’t been confirmed that Hizdahr was part of the insurgency group but we all know the truth, don’t we? It doesn’t matter that they killed him. That was obviously done just to tie loose ends. Anyway, Dany climbed on Drogon’s back and left all her people to die for all she cared then when she landed in the Dothraki sea and it was obvious the Dothraki were about to capture her, she dropped her ring in the grass, using it as a breadcrumb so Daario and the others could trace her if they go looking. This was just plain ridiculous. A world in which a dragon exists is honestly more realistic than a world in which Daario has even the slightest chance of just happening upon that ring. After Dany gets herself captured by the Dothraki, Varys comes back to us. Finally.
I’ll leave you guys with this meme that cracked me up for weeks last year.