This week’s episode shows us what they meant when they said they were changing things from the books. They totally weren’t kidding about that.
She is striving to become no one yet she is holding onto her anger and her past. She continues her prayers and her hoard of treasures that she gathered since her escape from King’s Landing. Jaqen H’ghar is very mysterious here talking about how A Man behaves and who A Man is. I feel like I should start talking like that. “A Woman needs you to take out the trash.” That works right?
There is a young blind girl– or what appears to be a young blind girl who works there who begins to hit Arya when she questions her. Before Arya can kill her though Jaqen points out to her that Arya cannot become a faceless man while still holding on to her name. This leads Aray to throw away all her belongings– well all of them but Needle which she stashes in a crevice.
I’m so glad they left this scene in– in fact I’m going to just quote the book:
“It’s just a stupid sword,” she said, aloud this time…
… but it wasn’t.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows
I feel like if she had given up Needle that she would have been lost for good. One other thing that the show hasn’t done well with Arya is show that she’s still having wolf dreams. This whole time she’s been living through her wolf at night– seeing what she sees and killing with her. Unlike Sansa, who lost her wolf, Arya is still connected to the North through her wolf. And through Needle.
Later on Jaqen takes her to learn how to clean the dead and starts her on her journey to become a faceless man. Which is important too, but not as many feels as the scene with Needle.
Margaery and Tommen
First of all– gross. If we want to cover departures from the books this is one of those. In the books Tommen is a whopping 8 or 9 years old and his favorite thing to do is stamping his royal seal on documents. So obviously they don’t consummate their marriage. Actually Cersei tries to frame Margaery later on in the books for cheating on Tommen. She assumes that an older woman would have a sexual appetite and although she might be right– it back fires on her just a bit. So although some of the resulting scenes are hilarious after their wedding night all I could think was– wow that’s disgusting. I know in the show he’s older, but still not that much older.
Margaery is an amazing manipulator though. She takes Tommen’s virginity and then pushes all the right buttons to begin to push Cersei out of the way. Cersei tries to do the same to Tommen the next day, but he turns it around on her. He’s begun talking about sending her away and that scares Cersei more than anything. Sorry mom– I’m pretty sure that the carrot is going to do a lot more than the stick in this instance. And once again even that analogy grosses me out. He’s a little boy.
Cut to Cersei interrupting Margaery talking about all the sex that she had last night with her child husband. Other than the child molestery comments Margaery is perfection. She issues barb after barb in Cersei’s direction. She mentions over and over again how old Cersei is and how she isn’t of any importance anymore. Well played Margaery, well played. Even if you did just have gross sex.
Disgustingly well played
It rhymes with meek. And grossed out. Poor Theon. The changes to show from the books have actually been in Theon’s favor– I hope for Sansa’s sake that it continues that way.
Littlefinger has arranged for Sansa to marry Ramsey
Snow Bolton and then stands uncomfortably close to convince her to go through with it. The only thing I can hope is that his speech about avenging her family means that he’s going to take the part of Lord Manderly from the books and is really plotting against the Boltons. After all Roose Bolton had a big hand in killing Caitlin Stark– the woman he truly loved.
This is the first huge departure I’ve seen this season from the books. In the books the Lannisters send “Arya Stark” to marry Ramsey Bolton. The Arya they have is a childhood friend of Sansa though that is just pretending to be Arya. Horrible. horrible things happen to this pretender and her situation leads Jon Snow into making decisions that are detrimental to his health. So I’m curious to see where they are going with this.
But in the show Sansa ends up back at Winterfell and Ramsey’s bitches (his term for them) look on– knowing what her fate will be if she marries Ramsey.
Pod and Brienne
We get to hear more of their back stories and we see why these two are how they are. Brienne has been horribly mistreated all her life because of her size and build. Brienne was loyal to Renly because of his actions towards her and I think we all can empathize with that sentiment.
Pod was similarly saved by the Lannisters because of his heritage (Pod is the relative of Ser Ilyn Payne– the King’s Justice who in the books received the Stark’s Valyrian steel sword, Ice. Until it gets melted down into 2 swords that is). He talks of his time with Tyrion with fondness as he’s one of the few people that has seen Tyrion for what he is worth.
This was a nice scene for all the feels– and to keep us from forgetting about these two.
He’s now the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and is still receiving pressure from Stannis to take Winterfell. Stannis then announces that he is going to march on Winterfell and they discuss the fate of the Wildlings. I have to say I was glad when he left though and he talked to Davos. Davos has a similar sense of honor, but with a pirate/smuggler feel to it and I feel like this is the first real conversation Jon has had with any of Stannis’ camp.
We are mostly on par with what happened in the books here with just a little less detail. This is one of the stories that I don’t understand why they are speeding up. Unless it’s just because the scenes at The Wall are dark and depressing.
Jon later splits up duties assigning a few menial duties and naming Ser Alliser first Ranger. He then tries to assign one of the broken down tower to Lord Janos Slynt. Slynt refuses which doesn’t go quite like he expected it to. Jon beheads him there in the yard for all to see. But really what other choice did he have? Here are some more book excerpts to explain the situation better:
Alliser Thorne smiled a thin smile, his black eyes fixed on Jon. At another table, Godry the Giantslayer began to laugh. “As you will.” Jon nodded to Iron Emmett. “Please take Lord Janos to the Wall— ”
and confine him to an ice cell , he might have said. A day or ten cramped up inside the ice would leave him shivering and feverish and begging for release, Jon did not doubt. And the moment he is out, he and Thorne will begin to plot again . And tie him to his horse , he might have said. If Slynt did not wish to go to Greyguard as its commander, he could go as its cook. It will only be a matter of time until he deserts, then. And how many others will he take with him?
“— and hang him,” Jon finished
Of course that’s not exactly how it ended:
“He would not dare to hang me. Janos Slynt has friends, important friends, you’ll see …” The wind whipped away the rest of his words.
This is wrong , Jon thought. “Stop.” Emmett turned back, frowning. “My lord?”
“I will not hang him,” said Jon. “Bring him here.”
“Oh, Seven save us,” he heard Bowen Marsh cry out. The smile that Lord Janos Slynt smiled then had all the sweetness of rancid butter.
Until Jon said, “Edd, fetch me a block,” and unsheathed Longclaw.
Jon really shows off how perfect he is from here on out. Which of course bodes well right?
I totally wouldn’t want to cut someone’s head off.
The High Sparrow
The High Septon is drug out of a brothel naked and made to walk back in front of everyone nude. He goes to complain to the small council and Cersei sees it as an opportunity to put someone in her debt into the High Septon’s place. So she goes to find the “High Sparrow” or the leader of the refugees that have come into the city.
He is a devout man that follows the law perfectly and stands by what he did to the High Septon. She behaves that she totally agrees and has arrested the High Septon and thinks that her and the Sparrows are on the same page. This will be important later.
In the books the High Septon was actually pulled to pieces during the riots and his crown stolen. The church then flounders for a while and shows it’s corruption while trying to find a new High Septon. This leaves it primed for the Sparrows to step in and take control– which they do.
I was shown a theory about the High Sparrow that I had somehow missed and I really really hope that it ends up to be true. I’ll just post it here though and tell me what you think. That would just be amazing.
We also get a glimpse of Qyburn’s project and are given the impression that he’s working on a Frankenstein like monster– which isn’t too far off.
He is special.
He utters his famous last words about how everything will be fine and he’ll blend in. Which of course he doesn’t at all. They take in a speech from the League of Assassins– I mean a Red Priestess and Tyrion of course draws her attention. So they follow that up with a restful evening at a brothel. A brothel that just happens to have Jorah Mormont in it as well. As soon as he can he snags Tyrion and proclaims he’s going to take Tyrion to the Queen. Now some watchlings might hear that and think that Jorah is going to take Tyrion to Cersei so he can reclaim his home and his title. However they’d be hella wrong. That is unless HBO is taking a huge left turn and really changing the story. Jorah is going to try to take Tyrion to Dany and try win her favor back.
As far as what’s happening on the show versus what’s happening in the books they’ve cut out about half a book’s worth of what Tyrion was doing. I’m not really sure why they did that since they are basing these shows on books that are running out of content. You’d think they’d flesh out what material they have instead, but I’m not in charge of this show obviously so I wonder if they are going to bring it around full circle or if this is one of the areas they also make big changes. We’ll see next week!
Cause Jorah just has ball gags laying around. . .for reasons.