Game of Thrones is back in set-up mode, and the dominos this season have definitely ended up in interesting places. We’ve finally caught up with Arya, reuniting with an old friend; Dany is still struggling to maintain control of her fledgling kingdom; and, well, Brienne is slaying it. (Literally.) Yes, it’s the ladies swim episode of the season, so let’s get started!
Pluses, or, Ladies Are Doin’ It For Themselves
-It’s no secret that the female characters on this show are pretty kick-ass, and we got to see a whole bunch of them bust it out last night. I was definitely into it. Plus 3,000 points for that whole situation because I’m biased!
-But really, let’s get into specifics. Arya finally seems to be in the right spot, even though it doesn’t immediately feel that way – so let’s give out a bunch of points over it. Plus 500 points for that incredible Braavos set, including the House itself, which is apparently just a different part of Croatia. (This show is the best tourism ad for Croatia ever.) Plus 1,000 points for the gorgeous cinematography, especially during Arya’s impromptu camping trip. (Her PTSD is getting like, really bad, huh?) Plus 3,000 points for that PIGEON DECAPITATION. And, naturally, plus a million points for the return of Jaqen H’gar, especially since it included a silly, face-rip special effect. (I’m a sucker for that thing where someone peels off their face to reveal ANOTHER FACE.) So great. So excited for Jaqen and Arya to bro out.
-We got another huge book departure this week and it was very, VERY exciting. Rather than letting Brienne and Pod sit in the mud and whine about not finding Sansa, Benioff and Weiss went ahead and let Brienne not only find Sansa, but vow to stalk the shit out of her until she agrees to go quietly. YAS, QUEEN. Plus 2,000 points for Brienne making some progress, particularly when that progress involves murdering the shit out of a bunch of dudes while on horseback. With one hand.
-But… what about Sansa? I’m calling it a wash, just for now. Of course we all wanted her to go with Brienne, but we also had to be realistic about this, and she’s definitely got her own stuff in the works. I’ll reserve judgment because I really, truly believe Sansa is done being stupid, but the jury is very, very out.
-Pod is basically Eeyore in armor. Plus 500 points for being adorably bad at stuff.
-Daario, in addition to having the best butt, had that great sequence about how fear is healthy, culminating in him stabbing a guy through a wall. Very welcome departure from Dany’s Very Serious Pyramid Talks. Plus 1,000 points for being a butt with a brain attached.
-I’m usually really irritated by Samwell Tarly for just being Samwise Gamgee with a silly mustache and a fur coat, but that whole getting-Jon-elected-as-Commander move was pretttttttty slick. Plus 800 points for growing a pair. Well, maybe not a pair. But at least one.
–“Gilly, your goddamn illiteracy has screwed us once again!” No points. Just really needed to throw that in there.
-Look, Jaime may be a total sisterfucker, and even a sister-rapist. (He’s certainly not an analrapist.) He is also, incidentally, looking EXTREMELY HOT these days. This haircut and that leather jacket are REALLY doing it for me. Plus 500 points for that, and obviously, plus 1,500 points for The Adventures of Jaime and Bronn.
-We’ll get to Dany being stupid in a second, but that hissing moment was genuinely bone-chilling, so plus 2,000 points for that.
Minuses, or, Ladies are Making Terrible Decisions
-DANY. CHRIST. Why do you even have advisors? Every time you have a meeting, they give you real, concrete advice and you just pace the room and say vague things about “justice” and “what is right,” all of which sound like they’re embroidered on a pillow somewhere. So when one of your councilpeople goes and slaughters the captured Son of the Harpy you’ve got tucked away, you cut his head off amidst a crowd of people begging you, in no uncertain terms, for mercy? Why? That’s basically what Joffrey did, and he started a landwar and ended up poisoned at his own wedding. Just saying. Minus 5,000 points for making a decision that really seemed to benefit no one at all, and minus another 5,000 points for that whole bit with Drogon, where she reached for him like somebody who’s afraid of dogs trying to pet one. Girl, you basically hatched him. Tell him to sit down, or tell him to set something on fire, or whatever. You are literally the only person alive with the power to control dragons. (Well… maybe not, but let’s not get too far into Targaryen conspiracy theories.) When did you get so weak?
-I’m also SUPER done with Stannis’ wife, whose name I have forgotten because I care so little about her and how weird and xenophobic she is – especially when you consider that the “wildling” she’s so concerned about is fucking Gilly. I laughed out loud when she brought up Ygritte, considering that Ygritte was a vengeful borderline loon with some well-aimed arrows and an increasingly silly catchphrase, and Gilly can’t fucking read. Or do anything. Minus 1,000 points, and also, calm down.
–No points once again, but more Dorne, please! Goddamn, Seville is gorgeous.
This episode was just fine – Arya’s plotline and Brienne’s canon deviation were the definitive standouts – but not every episode of this show can be a total mind-blower. I’ll look forward to next week, and in the meantime, I’ll even consider going to see Age of Adaline to get my Daario fix. (Just kidding. I’m not that desperate.) See you next week!