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5. 04 “The Sons Of The Harpy” episode discussion thread

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  • 5. 04 “The Sons Of The Harpy” episode discussion thread

    Wow that was quite the cliffhanger, wasn’t it? Another excellent episode this week, in fact it may be my favourite of the four episodes aired so far. I feel like episodes 5.01 and 5.02 were setting things up and as of episode 5.03 the plot has really started to move forward. I enjoyed last week’s episode a lot as well, especially Cersei and Margaery’s bitch fight and Jon Snow growing into his role as Lord Commander. However, I reserve judgement on Sansa’s storyline. It is so beyond different from the books, I have no idea where D&D are taking it. I get why they changed it, Sansa does not have a lot to do in the later books and for entertainment purposes they had to spice it up a bit. But having her marry Ramsay? I just hope and pray that Sansa (book spoiler)
    Spoiler:
    won’t get the fakeArya / Jeyne Poole treatment because I couldn’t stomach seeing Sansa being constantly raped, humiliated and tortured by Ramsay. However, Ramsay assuring Littlefinger that he won’t hurt Sansa may point exactly in this direction. On the other hand, Sansa is more powerful than Jeyne Poole, she has Littlefinger and his soldiers around her (at least for now), plus there are still people at Winterfell loyal to the Starks (“The North remembers”).
    So I hope that for once in this dark universe a good character such as Sansa will be able to put one over the bad guys (aka the Boltons) and really manage to avenge her family. If this happens and the things mentioned above that happen in the books don’t happen, then having Sansa marry Ramsay will have been a good move on D&D’s part. It all depends on how this storyline will unfold. At the moment I’m rather worried that D&D may screw it up and treat Sansa poorly. We will see.

    But onto this week’s fantastic episode with the gripping ending. I loved that so much stuff happened and so many storylines were advanced.

    As a huge Jaime fan, I was happy and relieved that we finally got to see Jaime and Bronn’s adventures in Dorne this week. I squeed when they sailed past Tarth and Jaime was clearly thinking of Brienne, it made my shipper’s heart happy. Jaime clearly feels guilty about setting Tyrion free and tries to make up for it and get back into Cersei’s good graces by rescuing Myrcella from Dorne. It made me sad to hear Jaime say that should he ever see Tyrion again, he would kill him. It’s understandable but I hope this never happens because I love their brotherly relationship. Seeing Jaime and Bronn kick ass upon their arrival in Dorne was awesome. As expected, their camaraderie and bickering is a lot of fun to watch. I still have no idea how exactly they want to rescue Princess Myrcella but I’m looking forward to seeing more of their adventures.

    Speaking of Dorne: Ellaria Sand being so hellbent on revenge is totally out of character. In the books
    Spoiler:
    she is the one who is against revenge and violence and she would certainly never harm Myrcella. This change from the books really annoys me. I guess they combined Ellaria’s storyline with Princess Arianne Martell’s storyline, a character D&D have apparently dropped completely.
    I hope Oberyn’s daughters, the Sand Snakes, will be portrayed with more nuance in upcoming episodes. They were pretty one-dimensional and indistinguishable in this week’s episode.

    Oh Cersei, what are you doing? She really thinks arming the Faith Militant is a good idea; she is just not very smart. She only sees revenge and putting down the people who have wronged her, but she has no clue about the bigger picture. (book spoiler)
    Spoiler:
    It is fun though seeing Cersei dig her own grave.
    I wondered how Cersei would go after Margaery, especially since (book spoiler)
    Spoiler:
    Cersei could no longer bring up the argument of Margaery’s lack of virginity, like she did in the books, because Thommen and Margaery have consummated their marriage.
    Thus, Cersei couldn’t directly attack Margaery so she went after her brother Loras, knowing full well about him being gay and about how close Margaery is to her brother. Margery was very reckless and careless with her bitching and mocking of Cersei in last week’s episode and she provoked Cersei to take her revenge. Margaery really should have been smarter. Also, as this week’s episode demonstrated, her manipulations of Thommen clearly have a limit. Thommen was not very effective in freeing Loras. This showed that he really is just a young boy and not a confident man (yet). He is being manipulated by both his wife and his mother. I thought it was interesting that he baulked at using violence to free Loras; he is the complete opposite of Joffrey and that was very nice to see. Not that I approve of the Faith Militant’s methods and their homophobic and sexist way of thinking in any shape of form. Lancel for example seems to be completely brainwashed. It just goes to show once again that religion can be abused so easily and used for so much evil, even in a fictional universe. It looks like the High Sparrow is not the kind old man presented to us in episode 5.03 after all.

    The scenes at the Wall were again interesting this week. So far the Wall scenes have not bored me once, unlike in previous seasons. But then there was luckily a lack of Gilly and I like Sam when he is hanging out with Jon. But eww, Melisandre, stop coming on to Jon Snow and keep your dirty paws to yourself! He is not interested! I was so glad that Jon rejected her and told her that he still loved Ygritte. Melisandre using Ygritte’s signature line (“You know nothing, Jon Snow.”) was so creepy though.

    I cannot wait to see Stannis march on Winterfell and hopefully take care of the Boltons once and for all. The scene between Stannis and his daughter Shireen was so moving and well-acted. This may have been the first time that I actually liked Stannis. Seeing him so devoted to his daughter made him come across as an actual human being and showed a whole other side of the character, who is usually so rigid, dull and joyless.

    I loved that they brought up both Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen in this week’s episode. This cannot be a coincidence. (Huge book spoiler!!!)
    Spoiler:
    Hopefully, this is foreshadowing regarding Jon’s lineage, as so many book fans speculate. It would be awesome if we finally got some information on this on the show this season since it will be a while until the next book comes out and GRRM has apparently told D&D most plots and storylines of the books to come.


    It sucks that Littlefinger leaves Sansa alone with the Boltons and returns to King’s Landing. Hopefully, he will at least leave some of his soldiers behind so that Sansa has protection from the Boltons. Once again Littlefinger is very well informed about the going-ons in the seven kingdoms. He knows that Stannis plans to march on Winterfell and hopes that Stannis will get rid of the Boltons so that Sansa can became Wardeness of the North. We will see if things unfold this way but the sooner we and Sansa are rid of the Boltons, the better. And eww, no more Sansa and Littlefinger kisses please!

    I’m glad that we got confirmation that Jorah (aka Ser Friendzone) wants to take Tyrion back to Dany to get back in her good graces and not to Cersei. I loved how Tyrion put things together and figured out Jorah’s plan and who he was. It’s always fun to see Tyrion’s great mind work. And I’m with Tyrion, this is the most pointless kidnapping ever since Tyrion was on his way to Dany anyway.

    Aww at Ser Barristan telling Dany the story about her brother Rhaegar, I love that he knows her family so well. And of course, this being Game of Thrones, something bad had to happen to Ser Barristan only moments later. Sometimes this show is just so dark. The fight between Ser Barristan and the Unsullied on the one side and the Sons of the Harpy on the other side was so brutal and tense; I was on the edge of my seat throughout. Please, Show, don’t kill off Ser Barristan and/or Grey Worm (who also appeared to be seriously wounded)! I don’t want Dany to lose any more trusted advisors. But even if Ser Barristan dies, at least he went out like a true hero, showing the Sons of the Harpy what a knight of Westeros is truly worth. Oh man, this cliffhanger is so evil!

    At this point, the show is so far removed from the books, I have no idea what D&D will do next. Maybe they should change the “based on the books by GRRM” thing to “inspired by the books by GRRM”. However, at least GRRM told D&D what he has in mind for the characters and since it will still take ages for the next book to come out, I expect to be spoiled for the books by the show pretty soon.

    So what did you guys think of this week’s intense episode? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

  • #2
    I enjoyed it a lot, and I'm starting to appreciate the differences -- not because "better" or "worse" or "true" or "false", but just that, when I finished Season 2 and then read through "A Clash of Kings" and then just barrelled right ahead to the end of Book 5, I was worried I was ruining the show for myself.

    Turned out, not so much, because the show clearly follows its own muse in many respects.

    I don't think, based on interviews I've seen around, that the cliffhanger of the episode is as much of a cliffhanger as I'd like to think it was, but it was terribly horrifying to see the Unsullied pinned down like that, Grey Worm fighting for his life, and Ser Barristen finally getting to show off exactly why he was so unimpressed by Joffrey's Kingsguard waa-a-a-a-a-ay back in Season 1. I really feel for Daenarys, but I'm also starting to get the same general feeling the books gave me (and that I think a lot of readers have probably felt over the years), that she should honestly just say "fine, eff this place" and light out for Westeros. You can't fix Slaver's Bay's brand of crazy, there's no point in throwing away years and lives trying. Maybe from atop the Iron Throne with all seven kingdoms brought in line, she could go back and settle accounts, ever think of that?

    In this episode I learned why I would not be a good Lord-Commander of the Night's Watch, because I'd have needed very little convincing more than a minute or so into that scene. Be like "Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell, you got it. Let's go tell Stannis... in a couple hours". I actually think this is an interesting departure from the book and it's making me wonder how much there may or may not be to the theory that (spoiler through Book 5)
    Spoiler:
    Jon Snow is the actual Azor Ahai, not Stannis, and that we're getting some foreshadowing that Melisandre is shining to how special he is but not quite sure how yet.

    Actually, this was a pretty big episode with teasing fans with hints of popular theories about Jon Snow.


    I really hope Sansa is the baller you hope, Cori, that just for once one of the Starks will actually come out ahead in this crapstain of a world. I read one recap that interpreted her line to Littlefinger about being a married woman when he returns as actually an implied come-on on her part, an enticement to not just abandon her up there, since if she's married, and consummated, the need of a virginity won't be an obstacle for Littlefinger to have her (she knows what he wants, as she said straight to his face). I kinda like that interpretation because it presents Sansa as using a bit more guile and running a bit less on fear. This is obviously not the most feminist story setting ever, of course. If that's the case, it's also Sansa maybe remembering Cersei's cynical, besotten advice while they hid in the Red Keep during the Blackwater about the power she has in the world of men.

    I know it was the prior episode, but I also like Theon's clear panic at the sight of her... she's the sort of thing that can make him maybe remember he's Theon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands and not the sad creature Reek, because she knows what Ramsay is capable of.

    The Dorne story isn't doing much for me, but I did love Bronn pressing Jaime more than once about the truth of his... personal life. Heavily challenging both the nature of his connection both to Myrcella and to Cersei on separate occasions. Bronn is a loathesome man in many ways, but he's also probably the most honest soul in seven kingdoms, sort of the Jack Sparrow of Westeros? I would love for Jaime to actually cop to it with him, kinda cement their partnership -- especially since Bronn has to do most of the work. Also loved his wistful stare at Tarth as they sailed by. Awww, he was thinking about waifu. Nicolas Coster-Waldau is really top-notch on this show. Only scene I'm bummed we presumably can't/won't get in this series that I'd love to have heard him deliver is
    Spoiler:
    his speech to end the siege of Riverrun.


    EDIT: I forgot poor Tommen. That kid needed to think "what would my father ('father') do? What would my grandfather do?" Hell, he needed to even think "what would Joffrey do?" The situation actually did call for the City Guard and a couple whitecloaks to carve their way into the Sept and drag... Jonathan Pryce to the foot of the Iron Throne to demand he answer to the Crown for taking his brother-in-law. Robert, Tywin, certainly Joffrey, would never have hesitated. I get that Margaery is pissed and freaked out, but also she didn't take the right tack in how to push Tommen where she needed him to be on this, though. If she'd had her composure, she probably could have had him paint a picture of his valor and heroism rescuing Loras as the biggest turn-on she'd ever have and he might have just done what Ser Appearing in This Kingsguard suggested, just cutting through the rabble.
    Last edited by KingofCretins; 04-05-15, 11:17 PM.
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