May 15, 2016

Well now. The games afoot, Watson.

After a lot of exposition last week, which was followed by a bit more exposition in this week's episode, the wheels started churning.

[Spoilers Below]

Finally, we have a Stark family reunion, when Sansa, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick make their way to Castle Black and are greeted by a very much alive Jon Snow. It was a meeting that we've waited for since the end of season one and it was glorious to see.

I did wish their meeting would have been more happenstance, maybe as Jon had just left the Castle, but I'll take it? Even though they weren't close as children, and Arya is not in Westeros - tragedy has brought them together with a strong bond.

I did also think that maybe George R.R. Martin and company were going to screw with us again by having Jon leave Castle Black before Sansa got there, just missing each other, so I was grateful they opened up the episode with her arrival.

Sansa wants Jon to take Winterfell back, but he's tired of fighting, "I've been fighting since I left." How could he deny his sister and himself the right to go back to their home, Winterfell and take it back from a sadistic monster?

It seemed he would refuse her until Ramsay Bolton sent a message to the Knight's Watch, proclaiming Jon Snow a traitor to the North by helping the Wildlings, informing them that he their brother Rickon, and unless he sent back his wife Sansa, he'd skin everybody alive, including Jon's eyeballs and feed them to his dogs, "Come and see."

(His letter reminded me of something that Thomas Harris might have written for Francis Dolarhyde.)

That was the nudge Snow needed to get on board with Sansa's wishes. As for his own army, Tormund says he's got about two thousand wildlings that will help fight - and if what Sansa says is true, they'll have every house in the North that is still loyal to the Stark name.

And we can't forget that a despondent Melisandre will have his back, so maybe she'll birth a demon to skin Bolton alive?

The other big moment of the episode came when Daenerys Targaryen once again become The Unburnt, and sandbaged the Dothraki khalasars that were ready to pass judgement on her during the rite of Khalar Vezhven.

It was the highlight of the episode.

With only ten episodes to work with, I guess we have to forgive how easy it was for Jorah and Daario to infiltrate the one hundred thousand Dothraki's - somehow find Daenerys - and then set up her trap at the temple for the Khalasars to be burnt alive by her hands. Overall it was a cool move.

This allowed her to once again exit a burning structure, as the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt and the new Queen of the Dothraki nation.

I only wished Drogon had been the one to swoop down upon the Dothraki leaders and burned the temple down to the ground. That would have been spectacular.

Meanwhile, at Kings Landing, after getting some Intel from King Tommen, Cersei is coordinating an attack on the High Sparrow with the Tyrells to free Queen Margaery before she does her own walk of atonement.

Back at Meereen, Tyrion hopefully brokered a peace deal with the masters of Astapor, Yunkai and Volantis. Even though Grey Worm and Missandei were against it, they backed Tyrion in the end to help sell his deal to the rest of Meereen.

And we cannot forget Petyr Baelish, (who orchestrated the inciting incident for the entire story and has been sorely missed) manipulated Lord Robin Arryn to send his troops to help his cousin, Sansa.

After seeing Littlefinger, I had a vision of him crawling on the floor, reaching out with one hand to the Iron Throne, body bloodied, and just as he's about to touch it, he dies.

Odds and Ends:

*Always great to see the wonderful Diana Rigg.

*R.I.P. Osha. Her character was shortchanged with such a quick death, but at least Ramsay didn't have his real fun with her.

*Methinks Tormund Giantsbane has eyes for Brienne!

*Yes, that was Hannah John-Kamen from Syfy's "Killjoys,"a Dothraki widow, swearing to keep Danys secrets before Daario Naharis could slit her throat.

(Please forgive any mistakes I've made. I don't have the time to re-watch the episode. Phil McKraken, do your thing.)

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