The events taking place in Harrenhal are currently making Jaime Lannister’s popularity skyrocket. His pompous demeanor, charm and wit are character traits that we were previously used to and learned to love or hate, but his recent alliance with Brienne of Tarth has turned him into a more empathetic individual. I find myself rooting for the Kingslayer now. Isn’t it weird? I’ve almost forgotten he pushed a ten-year old to his death, and when he miraculously survived, Jaime and Cersei hired an assassin to finish him off. Yeah, I’ve almost forgotten.
Somewhere else in the Riverlands, Arya Stark kicks it with the Brotherhood Without Banners. I inferred we were gonna witness a tipsy Thoros of Myr delivering swift one-liners, Anguy showing off his masterful archery, and Beric creeping everybody out. I was right, of course, but I certainly didn’t expect the beautiful red priestess Melisandre to show her beautifully evil face around those parts. After a few words with Thoros in High Valyrian and a secretive meeting with the red priest and Beric, she expressed her desire to buy Gendry from the Brotherhood by explaining the bastard is needed someplace else.
This doesn’t sit well with Arya (or Gendry, for that matter), who has at this point not only lost a father, a nanny and (unbeknownst to her) a teacher, but has also parted ways with two mentors. Poor Arya just doesn’t seem to catch a break. Only last week she shared an emotional moment with Gendry, and now the duo has been separated. What’s in store for the Stark child? Melisandre foresees a dark future when she looks into Arya’s eyes, but I didn’t need her premonition to know what’s going to happen with the young rogue. Not only is she one of the most popular characters in the show at the time of writing, but she’s also shown she can bring it despite her young age. Her bravery is unmatched, and her determination to avenge her late father is nothing short of enviable, though her immaturity might lead her straight into recklessness.
By the way, it’s official — Obi-Wan Kenobi was wrong about Mos Eisley in Star Wars: Episode IV when he said one “would never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Look no further than King’s Landing. I used to downplay Lord Varys and Littlefinger’s constant exchange of backhanded compliments, as I found a lack of purpose to their competitive bickering. I honestly believed all they did was plot against each other in playful manner, which they in fact do — both have stated they treasure each other’s friendship. Nevertheless, their never ending rivalry ended up claiming a victim in this week’s episode, as poor Ros was found out by Lord Baelish to be working in secret with Varys. The glorified pimp had previously confessed to Ros herself that there was nothing he hated more than a bad investment. The prostitute, who had been wonderfully played by Esmé Bianco since the very first episode of the series, found herself tied to a bed by the end of the episode and was eventually killed by King Joffrey, who used his now infamous crossbow to terminate her.
The weakest link this week was the story involving Tyrion and Sansa, whom Loras Tyrell was initially to marry, though Tywin Lannister finally convinced (or, rather, blackmails) Lady Olenna into consenting the marriage between Loras and Cersei Lannister. A terrible day for everyone involved, I’m sure. The scenes featuring these characters didn’t impact me as much because I felt the show was delving a bit too much into melodrama — Sansa being the main example of a typical soap opera character.
This week’s episode theme was chaos, and it was to be observed everywhere. From Robb’s dreadful errors to the kidnapping of Gendry, chaos seemed to reign everywhere. Littlefinger argued that chaos is like a ladder, and the climb to the top is the only thing that matters when dealing with politics. Even though I found myself hating Baelish for what he did to Ros, I have to admit he is one of the most compelling antagonists in the show. He’s neither strong nor brave, but has demonstrated to be in a different league as Varys in the art of cunning manipulation and espionage. His speech on chaos was followed by a shot of Snow climbing the Wall in a very Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-esque moment. The final shot in the episode is likely to become one of the most iconic moments in the show, despite its formulaic approach.
I’ve probably been too hard on this episode, but it’s mostly because I compare it unfavorably to previous episodes in the season. It is arguably the weakest so far, despite being actually quite decent. I do have high hopes for next week’s episode of Game of Thrones though, I’m interested in knowing what will go down in Danaerys’ story line, whom we sorely missed this week.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.