Previously on Game of Thrones: Things in Meereen seriously went to shit, so Dany escaped on one of her dragons and wound up in the hands of the Dothraki, while Tyrion was left in charge of the city and Jorah and Daario went looking for their queen. Jamie went to Dorne to fetch his niece/daughter, only to have her die on the way home, courtesy of the Sand Snakes. Sansa was married off to Ramsay, which went as horribly as you can imagine, but she and Theon escaped while her husband was off fighting Stannis. And Stannis? He got desperate enough to burn his own daughter at the stake at Melisandre’s urging, and that wasn’t enough to save him, let alone ensure his victory. Arya went off-book during her training at the House of Black and White, engaging in a little freelance revenging, and was blinded for her pains. And finally, Jon tried keeping both the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings happy, and only got himself stabbed to death.
No new locations this week! Yay!
The camera lingers on dead Jon for a while, just in case anyone was in any doubt that he might have survived being stabbed several times at point-blank range. Ghost howls mournfully, finally getting Davos’s attention. Davos goes out to see what’s up (he didn’t hear the commotion of the crowd stabbing Jon to death?) and is shocked to see Jon lying there in the snow. Some of Jon’s friends materialise and are just as surprised. They move his body inside, setting it on a hastily cleared table, and realise he’s beyond all help. They all quickly agree that Thorne was behind this and start making plans, fully aware they can hardly trust anyone and need some more help.
Melisandre arrives and sadly looks down at the body. She whispers that she saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell.
Davos: That seems an unlikely outcome just now
Meanwhile, Thorne is sitting at the head table while the men of the Night’s Watch bicker. He calls them to attention and announces that he, along with several others, killed Jon, Murder on the Orient Express-style. Many of the men are not delighted to hear that. Thorne admits he was no fan of Jon’s but never disobeyed him, because he believes in his duty and he’s given his life to the Watch. But he believed Jon was going to destroy them all by letting the Wildlings below the Wall, so naturally he had to kill him.
Back in the room of the dead, Jon’s friends are all for getting some sweet, sweet revenge, but Davos points out they’ll be butchered if they do, so collecting some help first would be useful. One of the men goes to fetch said help (the Wildlings, I guess?), leaving the others behind with the body.
Ramsay is also standing sadly over a body: that if Myranda, his dead lover. He reminisces about how he first met her, when they were both kids. He fondly talks about how fearless she always was. Wow, who knew he was capable of some sort of human feeling? He promises her that her pain will be paid for a thousand times over and he wishes she were there to see it. I’ll bet she does too. The master asks if he should have a grave dug, but Ramsay says that she’s good meat and should be fed to the dogs. Fitting, I guess, and also a nice bookend to her introductory ‘not so pretty now’ moment, right?
Ramsay pedeconferences with his dad, who compliments his handling of the cavalry but scolds him for having lost Sansa. Ramsay says he’s got his best men and hounds out looking for her. They need her, to keep the North on their side. Also, so Ramsay can get an heir. Without one of those, his presumed little half-brother will inherit Winterfell.
Theon and Sansa race through the woods, pursued by Ramsay’s men and hounds. They come to an icy river and Theon forces Sansa to cross it, to lose the dogs. She wails that it’s too cold but he says this is the only way to break the trail, and he’s seen what those hounds can do to a person. What’s better, to be ripped apart by hounds or to freeze to death? You know what? I’d go for freezing over being returned to Ramsay Bolton.
[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]What’s better, to be ripped apart by hounds or to freeze to death? You know what? I’d go for freezing over being returned to Ramsay Bolton.[/cryout-pullquote]
They make it across and hide out in the woods, huddling together to keep from freezing, but apparently those hounds are seriously good, because here they come again! Theon offers to go lure them away, telling Sansa to head north, to Jon.
He meets the men and dogs on the road and tells the men that Sansa’s dead. The dogs aren’t fooled and immediately sniff her out, but before she can be dragged back to Winterfell, Brienne and Podrick come galloping in, swords a’swinging, and start slashing away. Hey, Pod’s improved! He’s at least holding his own, which is better than we’ve ever seen him do before. Between the two of them (with a last-minute assist from Theon), they manage to kill all of Ramsay’s men. Once it’s all over, Brienne kneels before Sansa and offers her service and loyalty. This time, Sansa sensibly accepts.
King’s Landing. Cersei is told a ship from Dorne is arriving in the harbour, and she excitedly goes to greet her daughter. But she sees Jaime on the deck with a golden coffin and her face immediately falls.
Later, the two of them grieve together, talking about how great Myrcella was and what a sweet girl she was. They pretty much agree to go ahead and take revenge on the whole damn world.
One of the Sparrow’s septas is reading their version of the bible to Margaery. Margaery begs for news of her brother, but the septa only orders her to confess, then threatens to beat her. Sparrow comes in and sends the septa away, then sits down beside Margaery and apologises for the septa’s harsh methods. He, too, does not give Margaery news of her brother, but he does tell her that her husband really misses her and she should go ahead and confess so she can go home. She claims not to have done anything worth confessing to and he asks if she can really claim to be free of sin. She can’t, so he tells her to keep working on that, then leaves her.
In Dorne, Doran talks to Ellaria about how great Oberyn was and how much he envied him for his life of adventure. A message arrives, informing Doran of Myrcella’s death. Just as he reads it, Ellaria’s daughter stabs his bodyguard to death, and Ellaria plunges a knife in Doran’s chest. The other guards just stand there watching. She tells him that his own people are disgusted with him, so he has to go. He lives long enough to beg her to spare his son, but she says that his son is weak and Dorne is done with weak men. In that five-minute scene, she and her daughter displayed more awesome badassery than they did in all of last season, so well done, there.
Back at King’s Landing, Trystane is still aboard his ship, still saddened by the loss of his girlfriend. The two remaining Sand Snakes arrive (wow, they got there fast) and tell him to choose which of them will kill him. He tries to talk them down, since they’re family and all, but they won’t be deterred. He chooses his quarry, but as they face off, her sister stabs him through the back of the skull with her pike. The one who was supposed to kill him pouts and the two of them leave.
Tyrion and Varys walk through the messy, fairly desolate streets of Meereen. Varys is nervous, but Tyrion reassures him that they’ll be fine, since they’re dressed like common merchants. Yeah, but I’m guessing there aren’t too many dwarves hanging out with pudgy bald guys wandering around the city, so I’m pretty sure you’re disguise won’t actually keep anyone from realising who you are pretty fast, Tyrion. Not that there’s anyone around to harass them anyway. The two of them note some graffiti that’s not too complimentary to Dany and comment on how unpopular she is now. They come upon some freed slaves being preached to by a man who urges them to take up their queen’s cause, even in her absence. And also to follow the Lord of Light. Tyrion and Varys continue their walk and Tyrion notes that fear has brought the city to a standstill. They need to root out the Sons of the Harpy and especially their leader. Varys promises his little birds have already flown.
They hear shouting and see people running, which is never a good sign. They head towards the commotion and find the fleet aflame in the harbour. Well, that’s not going to be good for trade.
Jorah and Daario, meanwhile, are still on their Dany-seeking road trip. They find evidence of the dragon in a singed ram skeleton and continue following the trail. They talk a little bit about Dany and growing old and travelling. You know, typical guy talk. They finally come upon the spot where the Dothraki surrounded her and Jorah finds Dany’s ring in the grass and realises she was definitely there, and now the Dothraki have her.
They sure do. She’s got her hands tied and is being jerked along by a man on a horse, who talks to the guy riding beside him about why her hair’s so pale and how he’s going to ask for a night with her ASAP. She gives no indication that she understands them perfectly.
They reach their camp and she’s presented to their Khal. His wives decide she’s a witch and should be beheaded, but he thinks Dany’s hot, so there will be no beheading, just sex. Dany tells him, in Dothraki, not to touch her. She proudly introduces herself, then informs him she’s the widow of Khal Drogo. He immediately steps back and apologises, adding that it’s forbidden to lie with the widow of a Khal. Dany asks for an escort back to Meereen, promising them horses in return for the favour, but this guy’s not done: apparently widowed Khaleesi are forced to serve in the temple in Vaes Dothrak, something which apparently TV show Dany was unaware of, though she sure as hell knew it in the book.
Because life can’t stop crapping on the Stark kids, Arya is now begging on the streets. Along comes the girl from the House of Black and White. She’s brought fighting sticks and tosses one to Arya, who clumsily catches it, then gets totally beaten up. The girl looks down at Arya, confused on the ground, and tells her she’ll be back tomorrow. Let training phase II begin!
Up at the Wall, the Night’s Watch is locked and loaded, with men all over the walls pointing crossbows at the door of the room where Davos and the others are holed up. Thorne goes and hammers on the door, calling through it that he’ll grant amnesty to anyone who throws down their arms before nightfall. Davos himself will be permitted to go back south, taking Melisandre with him, if he wants. Davos politely thanks him and promises to come back with an answer forthwith. Thorne leaves.
Davos: You guys know that as soon as we step through the door we each get about ten arrows in the throat, right?
The Guys: Yeah, that sounds about right. This is a pretty terrible situation. Where’s our backup?
Davos: Maybe we should ask Melisandre for help. It was actually a little dumb of me not to ask her earlier, considering what I know of her witchy ways.
The Guys: But she’s a woman, and the women on this show who aren’t Wildlings are almost all psychopaths or victims. How could she help us?
Davos: I can’t begin to tell you the crazy shit I’ve seen that woman do. At the very least, she may be able to pop out a few more killer smoke-babies that can help us out.
The Guys: Killer smoke babies you say? We’re in.
Melisandre, meanwhile, sits in her room, thinking by the fire. She gets up and crosses to the mirror on the table, slowly strips (because this is Game of Thrones, after all, and we haven’t had a single boob all hour!) and takes off her choker. She looks exhausted. As soon as she lays the choker on the table, the camera pans up to revel that she’s now a very old woman. She stares at her new reflection in the mirror, then slowly climbs into bed. Well, this’ll surprise Davos.