Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Game of Thrones "Sons of the Harpy" (Season 5, Ep. 4) [TV Review]

This week on Game of Thrones...
Many things sort of happen, stuff gets discussed, and a few (lots of) people die. So... no change there from the previous week really.

Gagging Tyrion might actually make him more annoying.
I kid a little.
However that is a hallmark of this show. There are so many characters and so many threads of plot, that in each episode you only advance each plot by a small bit. Sometimes huge events rush things forward, but most of each season is a steady even pace.

4 out of 5 stars
The Sand Snakes. Here's hoping they are important.
This episode is not the best because, in all honesty, as a reader of the books... I spent a huge amount of time wondering how these events are supposed to eventually culminate in the material I'm already familiar with. I know that it is something I will have to come to terms with in this season, but it still feels strange.

Anyways, lets get to the plot.
So... SPOILERS, duh. This is plot, this spoilers.
No, Seriously... today, big spoilers if you have not seen the episode. Do not read on. 

Jon does not do something, and is once again told he is
ignorant by a woman.
We begin with Jorah Mormont stealing a ship and setting sail with a bound Tyrion aboard. This is done in the wee hours of the morning, according to the blue screen night. Then to maintain the sailing motif, we join Jamie Lannister and Bron aboard a merchant ship bound for Old Town. The plan is to row ashore in Dorn.  

Tommen shows how weak a King he really is.
Then we jump to Cersei shrinking the Small Council even further by sending Mace Tyrell to negotiate better terms with the Iron Bank of Braavos. I predict that this is actually a ploy to kill Mace Tyrell. We will see if I'm right. Because at this point I'm not sure how much book material we are following... and not that I remember much about Mace Tyrell anyways. He's actually more memorable in the show.

Well, this scene was a little to realistic. We get enough of
this kind of intolerance on the news.
Then Cersei does something even more stupid. What she does is unbelievably stupid, just breathtakingly stupid. Stupid stupid. She tells the High Sparrow, now High Septon, that she will get her son, the King, to sign a decree rearming the Faith Militant. 'Rearming the Faith Militant,' there can be no single act of greater stupidity ever. What they do after being armed is exactly what you would imagine a fanatical militant religious group would do. They sow terror, they punish anyone they want, they destroy everything in their path. Nothing good could ever come from that.

What is the theme this season? People in power make very very stupid decisions? Because in this episode alone Cersei is not the only really stupid person.

Moving all the way north to the Wall, we see Jon Snow training men of the Night's Watch. Sam presents Jon with papers requesting men from noble houses, including, to Jon's disgust, the Boltons. Jon signs. This is not the stupid thing I'm talking about... that walks through the door right as Sam leaves. Melisandre walks in, and asks for Jon Snow's help in taking Winterfell back. To encourage Jon, she... seduces him. Jon is obviously tempted... but refuses. See... this is the stupid thing again. Sure it's not the same level as arming the Faith Militant, but in many ways Jon is both denying Melisandre and his own rights to power. The very power that could stabilize the north. All because he is pinning for a dead woman. Sure it may look noble, but I wonder... of course the best bit comes at the end as Melisandre is leaving, she looks straight at him and utters a simple five word phrase, one of the show's taglines, "You know nothing Jon Snow."

There is a bit on Stannis and his daughter, some back story and some tenderness, maybe. I'm not really sure what this was about... if it was setting up something or not, or simply a bit of back story. 

Littlefinger informs Sansa a bit about his plots, the coming assault on Winterfell by Stannis. He also tells the back story of how the Targaryens fell. This is one of the MOST important scenes in the entire episode. Watch Littlefinger's face as Sansa recounts the common told story of how Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Ned Stark's sister, Lyanna Stark. As he leaves, Littlefinger tells Sansa that she has learned to maneuver from the very best. How egotistical.

Then down in Dorn there are some battles, Jamie learns that his golden hand is somewhat useful in battle, and we meet the Sand Snakes... 

Jumping over the Esos, Tyrion annoys Jorah Mormont by 'singing' through a gag. It's quite funny. So very much of Tyrion's story is changed from the book. No other dwarves, traveling with Varys... so strange.

Then at last, and the end of the episode, we come at last to the episode's title. First , Daenerys once again puts aside the suggestions of Hizdahr zo Loraq. As he speaks the Sons of the Harpy descend upon the city of Mereen and begin murdering people. They are setting traps for the Unsullied. This whole bit sorta bugged me because the Unsullied did not fight like the impeccable soldiers we are told they are supposed to be. They kinda fought like scrubs. They maybe should have died for the story, but they should have taken many Sons with them.

And then they did this...
Wait. Wait. Wait.
They cannot have just done that. That is screen death number
two that has not occurred in the books. The last occurred in
The Children.
I am so lost now. He was rather important to the story in the books, at least I thought he was... I have some ideas of what might be happening... but I'm just not sure. Ser Barristan Selmy's death was the second non-book important named character death on the television show. Grey Worm is also injured... something else I do not remember. 


Anyways, here is this weeks Death List:

- The Merchant Captain who sold out Jamie.
- Four Dornish Cavalrymen.
- Ser Barriston Selmy.
- Many many Unsullied and Sons of the Harpy.

Previous Game of Thrones reviews:

Season 5:
- The Wars to Come (Ep1)
- The House of Black and White (Ep2)
- High Sparrow (Ep3)

Season 4:
- Two Swords (Ep1)
- The Lion and the Rose (Ep2)
- Breaker of Chains (Ep3)
- Oathkeeper (Ep4)
- The First of His Name (Ep5)
- The Laws of Gods and Men (Ep6) 
- Mockingbird (Ep7)
- The Mountain and the Viper (Ep8)
- The Watchers on the Wall (Ep9)
- The Children (Ep10)

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