NOTICE: I have NOT read any of the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series and I do not plan to! For once I’m going to try and consume an adaptation without reading the source material first. So please don’t spoil future stuff.
It’s taken them the better part of two seasons but aha! Game of Thrones finally explains what exactly Bran is. Bran is a warg, someone who can enter the bodies of animals and see through their eyes. Mance Rayder’s coalition of Wildlings has one as well. Warging (that’s the right term right?) explains young Bran’s dreams about being in the body of a wolf (it’s implied that it’s his direwolf most of the time). This power will apparently grow stronger so that he can be like the wildling and do it whenever. That should make him a little useful, which probably means he’s about to die.
What it doesn't explain is the other dreams. The dreams where is running around the woods trying to kill the three eye raven. Running into past scenes from the show and hearing his father’s voice among the trees. All of this would fall into your normal surreal dream sequence (something that a show like GoT should do more of imo). Then Jojen Reed played by Thomas Sangster aka Liam Neeson's Titanicobsessed son from Love Actually and the Ferb in Phineas and Ferb literally enters into his dream. The three eye raven is Bran, which is why he can’t kill it. The bird is also the bringer of the sight, things past present and future. These visions most likely won’t be the most helpful or else it’ll write them into a corner. It isn’t like Bran and the Reed’s are going to useful to anyone in trouble anyway.
When the Reed siblings (Jojen and Meera (Ellie Kendrick)) are first introduced it seems that’s that for Bran and company. Why should we think otherwise Game of Thrones has made it obvious anyone come across on the road means you harm. The Reed’s are different, they’ve been looking for Bran. Jojen has been seeing him and telling his father, Howland, and old ally of Ned. Looks like Bran is going to be in some sort of Warg apprenticeship now.
The Reed siblings have an interesting dynamic. Jojen isn’t very useful with weapons so he lets Meera handle that. Osha tries to question Jojen’s honor and usefulness but is quickly shut down by Meera. Just because someone needs help doesn't mean they aren’t worth helping she says. An echo of all the stuff Danny has been going through across the sea.
There’s a reason why this lot of characters weren’t shown in the "Valar Dohaeris", they didn’t want to be found. Bran and his people are on the run to the wall, which looks like it’ll be on hold now. Arya Gendry and the fat one are on the run from Harren Hall and Lannister Bannerman. Jaime and Brienne need to get to Kings Landing. All activities that require a certain amount of secrecy. Of course being sneaky isn’t exactly compelling TV on it’s own and well most of these people suck at hiding.
The Brotherhood Without Banners were mentioned in season 2, the Mountain was strapping rats to people in order to get information on them. Arya and her lot come across them, in the midst of leader, Thoros singing “Rains of Castamere”. The Brotherhood are like an anarchist group that won’t bow to any king. All the lords want to burn the countryside, they want to save it and get drunk while doing so. Arya has turned into one of the most badass characters in the show but she gets put in her place after picking a fight with Thoros. Thoros is the right kind of grimy, shifty, type. Not entirely trustworthy but an obvious believer in honor, when he offers the band of young people a meal and then let them on there way you belive him. Things are looking up for once... and then the Hound is brought in. Thoros might be the most honorable person Arya has met in a while but he isn’t her father. How is he going to react now that he has a “Stark bitch”(Hound’s words) in his grasp?
Jaime and Brienne are back, still trudging away in semi awkward silence to Kings Landing. David Sims over at the AVClub made the ap comparison that Jamie is a lot like The Comedian from Watchmen. He doesn't care about societies rules and tradition he just wants to fight everything and everyone and prove his dominance. Even with a year plus of capture Jamie is still clever enough to escape Brienne. The pair have a nice slightly faster paced classic Star Wars style sword fight. With Brienne crushing Jaime literally and emotionally. The flayed men of House Bolton come galloping up soon after. Man the people trying to hide this episode really suck at the whole hiding part.
Hiding isn’t always a matter being in the shadows (but that probably helps). For someone like Sansa, it’s a matter of hiding within plain sight. Saying all the right things, putting on a mask and forgetting you’re wearing one. An act that is very hard when Lady Olenna Tyrell(Diana Redwyne) the "Queen of Thorns" is constantly trying to rip it off and get at the truth. “What is Joffery really like?” she wonders. House Tyrell knows the marriage of Margery and Joffrey is of convenience and purely political, all Margery cares about is beingthe Queen. That doesn't mean they don’t want to send Margery to the wolves and forget about her, something that is expected in Westeros. Sophie Turner has gotten very good at conveying the right amount of fear of saying anything, even as she utters the same expected lines about King Joffery. For her part Olenna understands and Sansa’s inaction is exactly the answer she needs.
Lady Olenna is another fun operator thrown into this game of thrones played in Westeros. Grand Daughter Margery is already working her own angle. In “Valar Dohares” Tyrion and Cerci had a conversation about the convenience of things like the ‘truth” and how malleable a thing it is. Lady Olenna spends most of her introduction dropping truth bombs, burying her husband, son, and grandson in the span of five minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how everyoe reacts to her cavalry attitude. She’s obviously a deft political operator so having her interact with the likes of Tywin, Tyrion, and Cersei should be entertaining.
Theon finally pops up and he wishes he could go into some hide in a hole. Strapped to an X and being tortured by unnamed men isn’t fun. I think it’s Bolton’s men since his bastard was dispatched to take Winterfell and well they’re call the flayed men, torture seems like prep for falaying. Theon tries to be strong and be the Iron Islander his father wishes he was. “Why did you take Winterfell?” One of his captors asks. To rule it and take what I can like a true Islander Theon lies. We know the truth and so does Theon. One twist of the screw later and so do his captors. Theon really wants to please daddy. Daddy won’t be now that Theon says it.
The Bits At The End
- How do you unite 9 clans who speak 7 languages and all want to kill each other? Tell’Em they’ll all die if they don’t get south. What’s that about enemy of my enemy?
- Maybe Lady Olenna is related to Sarah Kerrigan
- Where is Varys?
- Tyrion gets some sexposition, good for him he could use it.
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