That was, perhaps, the most telegraphed plot twist in the history of story-telling. But I’m exaggerating: it wasn’t a twist. More on Jon Snow the White in a minute.
This week’s episode was chock full of interesting plots, big and small. There was well-constructed dialogue, solid acting, and great production design. Dorne was also completely out of sight, which always helps. Many of the characters went home, either literally or metaphorically. But, really, the whole thing was a bit choppy and disjointed. Each individual story was well-told, but it didn’t feel like a unified whole.
So, for a choppy episode, here are my choppy thoughts.
The Dragons speak the common tongue. That’s good to know. I would have expected High Valyrian, but sure. I’ll go with that. This subplot needs more screen time.
Arya’s training was a bit quick, but the point was made. She’s lowered herself, proving her debasement of the ego which had her kill without permission, so she gets to come inside. This subplot needs more screen time.
It was nice to see Bran again. Briefly. That storyline could be fun and provide some back story that even the books only allude to. It looks like it will be our path to context for the current strife. I look forward to it. This story got the right amount of screen time.
I want to root for the High Sparrow. He wants to topple the structure of power that keeps the few rich at the expense of the poor. But a medieval Bernie Sanders he ain’t. He’s cruel, and severe, and without mercy. His zealotry makes him terrible, and forces me to sympathize with Cersei and Jamie. I want Tommen to rip some shit, and she has certainly gained control of him again. I expect blood in the streets, and soon. Oh, and The Mountain is a scary motherfucker as a zombie automaton.
I don’t understand why Theon decided to head home, except to transition us into the Iron Islands story. And we met a new character. That could be interesting, which would be a nice change for Pyke.
Now, for the main events: Ramsay and Jon. The bastards rising. I feel like I should have expected Ramsay to stab Roose right then, but I confess, they got me. I don’t think Roose actually understood who his son was. I used to think he just didn’t care what a sadist Ramsay is. Now, I think Roose saw Ramsay as a man lacking a little self control. In reality, Ramsay, in my opinion, is fully in control. He’s just sadistic and sociopathic. Add to that his constant feeling of inadequacy as a bastard in a patrilineal system, and you’ve got an angry, sadistic, but actually methodical man. After Roose was dead, Ramsay looked like Michael Corleone after he shoots Sollozzo. “It’s just business.” Given Ramsay’s character, it was obvious that Roose’s wife and baby were toast. Having the dogs attack them, that was just for Ramsay’s own enjoyment. And his control of the dogs is directly at odds with his father’s description of him as a “rabid dog.” He’s not rabid. He’s the alpha.
And then there’s Jon. After the wildlings save the day (that’s a weird sentence to type), Davos finds Melisandre in a shame spiral. Davos – a man of wisdom, in my opinion – says that the gods don’t matter, because they’re all the same, but she’s the woman who showed him that miracles were real. All of this is, and what follows, is pretty cheesy, if we’re honest. I mean, it doesn’t work, they all leave. Then the wolf knows. It’s pretty well-worn territory. Besides, everyone and their mother pointed out as soon as last season ended that the Red Woman was right there. Everybody’s super excited that the thing we all knew was going to happen happened. And yet…I’M SO EXCITED THAT THE THING WE ALL KNEW WAS GOING TO HAPPEN HAPPENED! It’s cheesy, sure. But so is a finely aged gouda.
What is dead may never die.