Game of Thrones Recap: Auntie Dearest

(Apologies for the late recap!)

This week in Westeros (and beyond – sorry, Dany) is full of twists and turns, and most of them are fairly unwelcome. However, amidst the crowning of the new king (already!) and marriage plots, the man behind the curtain peeked his head out and took credit for kickstarting literally every event in the series. No, seriously, we now know exactly who has been behind EVERYTHING, so there’s that. Let’s get started.

I’ll come back to our mastermind in a moment and focus first on Tommen – I’m sorry, King Tommen, First of His Name, Lord of the Andals and the Seven Kingdoms and yadda yadda yadda (damn, his title is taller than he is). Joffrey is barely in the ground before his baby brother is crowned king, but this king seems a little different. While Tommen sits, stiffly, on the Iron Throne, Cersei and Margaery actually get kind of real, and Cersei doesn’t even threaten to strangle Margaery once! (Baby steps, Cersei, baby steps.) Cersei is way more subdued and far more honest than we’ve ever seen her, telling Margaery that Joffrey would have been “her nightmare” that she was actually shocked by his actions (after asking Margaery, “do I seem like a woman who is easily shocked?”) and offering queendom to the young Tyrell once again. Not only that, but she admits, out loud, that Tommen is kind and decent, and might be the first king in years to hold the Iron Throne who isn’t, well, kind of the worst. Yikes. I don’t think Cersei is doing too well, you guys. In any case, the wedding is on – first Margaery and Tommen in two weeks’ time, followed by Loras and Cersei two weeks after that. Yeah, okay. We’ll see. Cersei continues her gooey streak a little bit later during a casual chat with Oberyn, and this time, she isn’t day-drunk and making fun of him (well, she might still be day-drunk), but asking him to send a ship and her love to her only daughter, Myrcella, who has been in Dorne for quite some time now. (Despite Cersei noting to Oberyn that “they hurt little girls everywhere,” it does seem like Dorne, for all its apparent savagery, might well be the safest place for her right now.) This is an abrupt change for Cersei all around, but Lena Headey handled it well, giving us a rare insight into a vulnerable woman who is missing two of her children and who was just brutally raped by her twin brother. She’s bound to crack sometimes, I guess.

We then come right back to Littlefinger and Sansa, who have finally arrived at the Eyrie, and while Lysa is definitely happy to see her intended, she looks at Sansa carefully, as if sizing her up. Apparently, the only people at the Eyrie anymore are Lysa and her son Robin, whom you may remember as the demented breastfeeding kid who was desperate to make the “little man fly,” and it shows. They’re weirder than ever, which is really saying something. Robin, who is now apparently Sansa’s future husband – though Sansa is no longer in Sansa in public, but gets the excellent pseudonym “Alayne Stone” – leads Alayne/Sansa off to see her chambers, and Lysa, who is creepy as fuck, takes the opportunity to immediately jump Littlefinger. (Her nostrils are so unbelievably huge that I thought he was going to fall into one of them.) And that’s when we get the biggest reveal in Game of Thrones history – one that I’m not even sure we got in the books. As it turns out, Littlefinger was the one who talked Lysa into poisoning her own husband and sending a letter to Catelyn telling her it was the Lannisters, thus pitting Starks against Lannisters, disposing of Ned Stark, and really starting the whole “game of thrones” in the first place. DAMN! So why, in his rampage to gain ultimate power and fuck shit up across Westeros, did Littlefinger show mercy to Sansa? Lysa’s wondering the same thing, and makes sure via a little enhanced interrogation (I made it sound like waterboarding, but it’s really just wrist-twisting) that Littlefinger hasn’t ever, um, “been with” Sansa. (Someone’s got an inferiority complex about their dead sister.) So, Sansa is left to listen to Lysa’s sex screams and wonder what’s up next for her, with only a creepy “uncle” and a crazy aunt who would really like to kill Sansa’s husband. She might be safe at the Eyrie, but safe may not even be worth it.

(Speaking of Tyrion, no Tyrion this episode, which is stupid.)

Let’s quickly cover a few more people. Dany gets a tiny little scene (but it does have the “I will do what a queen does – I will rule” line from the trailers, which is pretty badass, all things considered) wherein she realizes that she can barely control Slaver’s Bay and needs to wrap that up before heading to Westeros. Okay then. Brienne is being pretty rude to Podrick, right up until she realizes he killed a member of the Kingsguard rather than see Tyrion hurt, and upon hearing that, she realizes her squire might be pretty useful after all, even if he doesn’t know how to cook a rabbit. (Also, Podrick is the cutest. I want to pinch his cheeks.) Arya reveals to the Hound that he’s on her Death List Five and tries to fight him with the skills she learned from Syrio Forel, though the Hound isn’t very impressed that Forel was felled by Ser Meryn Trant. (Anyone else think Syrio Forel was actually Jaqen from Braavos with a different face? Just me?) After sending poor Arya flying with a slap, the Hound helps her up, reminding her that in this town, she’ll need armor and a big sword to get her point across. Hitting a kid is obviously really uncool, but he might have a point there.

With all that out of the way, we can get to the big fight scene we were promised last week, where Jon and his men storm Craster’s Keep, not knowing that Bran and Co. are current captives there. Unfortunately, the man Jon sends in first is Locke, who tries very hard to kill Bran, right up until Bran mind-controls Hodor and snaps Locke’s head off like a bottlecap – Awesome Death Scene #1 this episode. (Bye, Six Fingered Man!) Bran and his gang hide behind some trees, and it was agonizing to see Bran so close to his big brother without so much as a greeting, but sweaty old Jojen (seriously, what’s wrong with him? Is anyone going to address why he’s sick?) reminds Bran they need to find the “three-eyed raven” or whatever, so they free Summer and get the fuck out of Dodge. It’s a crying shame, but Jon is a little busy coming face to face with Karl, and thanks to an assist from one of Craster’s wives, he manages to pull off a move I like to call “Harry Potter and the Basilisk” – a sword right through the roof of the mouth. Jon and his men try to get Craster’s weird wives out of there, too, but I guess they’re content to hang out in the North. (It’s not like they would exactly have the easiest time with the Night’s Watch, come to think of it.) Before they leave, they do at least burn Craster’s Keep to a crisp, and Jon pats himself on the back even though he knows nothing, having no clue that his little brother was right under his nose just moments ago. Well, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be, since the Starks are never, ever, ever getting back together. Sob.

Until next week, in which we’ll get to see a little bit of Tyrion’s trial, which I can’t possibly imagine would be rigged in any way, since the Lannisters aren’t a bit corrupt! I’m guessing we’ll see Ice Queen Cersei back in full form, too. I don’t think the concept of a fair and balanced trial extends to Westeros, so this will definitely be more interesting than your standard episode of Law & Order. See you then.

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