HOLY SHIT, GUYS. This just got SO REAL. Consider the ante upped for the rest of the show, and forget about those dumb books. Who even reads books anymore anyway?! (Okay, I do. Constantly.) Benioff and Weiss have been brewing some serious twists this season – to the point where even the setup is crazy exciting – and I couldn’t be more thrilled about these upcoming five episodes. Let’s DO this.
Pluses, or, Let’s Play Hungry Hungry Dragons
-Happy Mother’s Day from Dany, everyone! Plus 5,000 points for some very welcome badassery from our favorite Khaleesi. I know most moms don’t celebrate their special day by giving her dragon-babies some flambeed man meat, but, you know. Each to her own. Oh, and plus 700 points for the most emasculating marriage proposal of all time.
–Plus 500 points because it looked for a second like Master Aemon was about to reenact “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie for a hot second there. I would have given more points if he had made a clay sculpture of Jon’s face, though.
-Stannis is a grammar Nazi. Plus 1,000 points.
-Brienne, now camped directly outside of Winterfell, has become a single-minded, mission-driven character with an oath-centric catchphrase. Plus 800 points for Brienne becoming the Inigo Montoya of our time. (Do not show up here and argue with me about how Inigo Montoya is the Inigo Montoya of our time. It’s called hyperbole.)
-Ramsay Bolton comes with his own scary score, even when his scene doesn’t have anything particularly terrifying happening. Plus 500 points.
-Somewhere along the line, Sansa picked up FORMIDABLE side-eye skills. I’m giving full credit to Cersei. Plus 2,000 points. (Also, “it’s the people that are strange” is the new “oh wait, I just realized, I don’t care.”)
–Plus 1,000 points for Shireen, who is really growing on me. Plus, her little antler cape pin is fab.
-What is WITH that old woman who keeps creeping into Sansa’s room and delivering cryptic messages?! I get that the second one was probably Brienne’s, but I kind of wish she would just, for once, show up and be like “WE ALL HATE THE BOLTONS LET’S GO STAB THEM.” No points just yet. I’ll be patient here.
–Plus 500 points for Walda’s inevitable son, although I really should reserve judgment here. With Ramsay at risk of losing the family name, I’m sure he’s got something horrifying up his sleeve.
-Holy SHITBALLS. That ending was one of the all-time best sequences I’ve ever seen on this show, and we have taken a turn away from the books that is going to seriously liven up everything that comes after this. Plus 1,000,000 points for Jorah and Tyrion’s Great Valyrian Adventure! First of all, way to go, cinematographer Gregory Middleton. The shots of their boat sailing through broken cities and vast, haunted jungles were stunning, as was the fight scene at the end – particularly the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Stone Man who jumped into the water first. Oh, and that fucking heart-stopping fade to black! We were all waiting for that always-frustrating credits roll, but instead we got a final coda – Tyrion is fine, but Jorah does that stare-at-the-horizon thing that always means something is wrong, and then pulls back his sleeve to reveal (drumroll please!) a PATCH OF GREYSCALE. Christ!!!!! What is even going to HAPPEN now?! Is the secret cure dragon tears or something?? Will Dany send him into the fighting pits once he becomes a crazed Greyscale monster??!? I LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT FOR NEXT WEEK.
Minuses, or, Fifty Shades of Bolton
-I don’t know why I rolled my eyes so hard over the whole Missandei-Grey Worm love story, but I did. I don’t know. It just feels shoehorned and awkward. Also, Missandei sure is crying a lot over a dude with no dick. He must have a great personality. Minus 900 points.
-How do you solve a problem like Ramsay? I have no idea why Roose let Ramsay play his little Theon game with Sansa during dinner, but it was extraordinarily uncomfortable to watch and didn’t seem to really accomplish anything for Ramsay – especially since bringing up Sansa’s “dead brothers” only made the other elephant in the room, which is, you know, that Roose stabbed her brother in the heart. Minus 2,000 points.
-Speaking of Sansa, she is getting older and wiser, but STILL walks down a dark, creepy hallway on the orders of a complete stranger who is beyond menacing and weird. It’s called self-preservation, sweetie. Minus 600 points.
-Roose has a weird nose, but Ramsay’s teeth look like they’re filed into daggers. No points, just talking about how weird they are.
-Oh, and one last thing about Ramsay; by adding in a freshly murdered husband, Ramsay’s conception story just became the worst thing to happen to TV backstories since Olivia Benson’s. No points. No points for anything or anyone ever again.
Well, this week was kind of a flat-out incredible episode – I’ll be writing a piece shortly about this history-making adaptation problem, and I’m glad I waited until after Jorah’s big reveal. See you next week, as long as we’re not all covered in scales!