Okay, so we’re mid-season, and no, not that much really happened this week. We as Thrones watchers should be used to this by now, especially since we’ll have to inevitably gird our loins for whatever fresh hell Episode 9 will bring. That being said, what did happen this week, while it was a little slower than usual, was prettttttty important. (Some of it.) Let’s get things going!
Pluses, or, Someone Wrote The Phrase “Cock Merchant”
-No, really. Some dude got paid to write a line that basically said “let’s keep the dwarf alive until we find a cock merchant.” What a line. WHAT A LINE. Somebody get that guy a Pulitzer, stat. Plus 5,000 points.
-Oh, Arya. Somehow, you’ve been tricked into playing the least fun game since Monopoly. (Monopoly is boring and I STAND BY THAT.) At least she’s starting to figure out the rules, though. The other girl (who is credited as “The Waif,” which in Thrones speak either means she will be extremely important later or we will literally never see her again) tells Arya her own sad story – her father was also a lord with a succession of dead wives, thanks in part to the Faceless Men – but was any of it true? (I’m pretty sure the answer is no.) Plus 800 points for Arya being clever enough to figure out the rules, which got her into that fucking insane and terrifying Face Room (which really just looks like Futurama, if we’re all honest with ourselves). I wonder whose face she’ll pick next week!! Do you think they have Cher???
-We’re going to talk waaaay more about her storyline in the Minuses column, but plus 2,000 points to Sansa for being a boss bitch last night! If Myranda really thought that telling her some scary stories about Ramsay was going to work, she had her ass handed to her once Sansa decided to open her mouth, saying in a vicious, almost guttural tone, “I am Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home. And you can’t frighten me.” YAS, QUEEN.
-It’s lucky for both Tyrion and his cock that he’s such a quick thinker, so plus 500 points for the show letting Jorah and Tyrion continue their journey to Mereen. I don’t think I could have handled a Volantis backtrack where they find Varys in the same goddamn brothel and they all sneer at each other for four episodes. (My theory about Jorah in the fighting pits is holding water so far, by the by.)
–PLUS 10,000 POINTS for the triumphant return of Olenna Tyrell, who usually goes by “Queen of Thorns” but should probably invest in a bedazzled jacket that says “OG Kingslayer.” (Also, those should exist.) How many Lannister incest-babies does she have to mow through to make a point, people?! (Three, probably.)
–No points yet for this unnerving Littlefinger development. Yeah, it’s looking like he’s about to sell Sansa out hard, but I think it’s likelier that Cersei is the one getting played – Creepmaster General really only has one alliance, and it’s to Baby Catelyn Stark. Littlefinger has never been straightforward even for a second, so I’ll hold off on any judgment just yet.
Minuses, or, How Many Times Can Natalie Dormer Be Dethroned?!
-Seriously. First Anne Boleyn falls from grace, and now we have to watch Queen Margaery go to jail?! (And she’ll have to wear ugly prison robes!!!!) The ONLY perk in this situation is that Olenna is definitely going to poison a bitch. Minus 1,000 points
-I don’t know what any of the Dornish house mottoes are, but they should all be “We don’t think anything through.” (Not that Jaime and Bronn are much better in this regard – did they seriously think they would just be able to like, ride into the Dornish procession and be all “what up, dudes?” and then steal the princess, Mario-style, and no one would fucking notice?) This Sand Snakes plan is basically the Swiss cheese of assassination plans, so now everybody is captured. Great. That was so helpful. Minus only 800 points, because Bronn is still hilarious.
-Let’s talk about this Sansa development, shall we? Obviously, there’s been a ruckus from book readers about how Ramsay doesn’t marry Sansa at all, but marries Jeyne Poole (who’s masquerading as Arya) and tortures the ever-loving shit out of her. I can’t even let myself think that the same fate will befall Sansa, especially since she seems to be pretty hell-bent on the whole retribution thing, but last night’s scene was incredibly hard to watch regardless. A few other recaps have said already that it was extra-gross to cut to Theon crying while Sansa gets raped, as if it’s the man’s perspective on the whole situation that matters most – and I definitely did hate that – but I’m ultimately just sick of the way this show handles rape. Maybe, just maybe, if Dany and Cersei hadn’t had rape scenes shoehorned into the show in place of consensual scenes in the books (at the hands, and hand, of Khal Drogo and Jaime, respectively), then this scene might not feel so gratuitous. Like, did I expect Ramsay to tenderly take her in his arms?! No, and he is kind of doing what’s expected of him – Tyrion was repeatedly ordered to consummate the marriage with Sansa, and he never did because he was actually a good person (something Sansa finally realizes tonight when faced with her new husband). But actually watching the scene, particularly after Thrones has mishandled sexual violence in the past, was not a good experience. Minus 7,000 points.
This episode kept things moving along at a fairly steady pace, but hopefully we can expect a little more action next week, or at least less horrifying action. Until we find a cock merchant, then!