What a brilliant season premiere.
Dany’s adventures in Meereen take an interesting detour this week as she faces a new threat in the form of a murderous group called The Sons of The Harpy. The teaser does a particularly stellar job of showing their ruthlessness as an assassin takes out one of the Unsullied as he innocently sleeps in a brothel. Although I wish Dany would just attack Westeros already, it’s still better than having her roam around Qarth looking for her dragons.
I’ve always found Jon Snow to be sort of boring, but this is an excellent hour for the hero (continuing his streak from The Watchers on The Wall). He tries his best to get Mance to surrender, and when all else fails, he shoots him dead so that he doesn’t have to endure being burned alive at Stannis’ request. I can’t stress enough how great it is to have Stannis and company at Castle Black; I just love it when different storylines intersect and previously separated characters begin interacting.
Speaking of intersecting storylines, Tyrion is on a direct course to meet up with Daenerys now that Varys believes she is the one best suited to lead the Seven Kingdoms. It’s a fist-bump worthy moment, and I for one can not wait for our favorite imp to meet the Mother of Dragons. The mind boggles at the possibilities.
Bits & Beheadings
– How great is the young actress in the opening flashback who plays little Cersei? She perfectly captures Lena Headey’s mannerisms and vocal afflictions. It’s also an enlightening scene as the witch predicts that Cersei will be Queen (but not for long, which explains how jealous she is of Margaery) and that all three of her kids will die before her. Uh oh.
– I like how quickly Cersei figures out that Jaime got their father killed by releasing Tyrion. Also those corpse eye stones still freak the hell out of me.
– Hilarious perspective shots from inside Tyrion’s box through the hole.
– The fact that Tyrion gets out of the box, immediately starts drinking, then throws up and starts drinking again.
– Nifty shot of the harpy statue crashing from the top of the pyramid.
– There’s an interesting undercurrent to Jon training Ollie, since the latter is the one who shot his true love.
– Super creepy elevator ride as Melisandre asks Jon if he’s a virgin. Why?
– Melisandre introducing Jon as “The Bastard of Winterfell”. Can you say rude?
– Stannis’ plan is actually quite clever: he wants to recruit Wildlings to take Winterfell from Roose Bolton. In exchange, he’ll make them citizens of the realm.
– Robin trying to fight. Hilarious.
– I’m not used to Brienne being mean to Podrick, but I get her frustrations with everything that’s happened.
– I didn’t notice until reading about it later, but Littlefinger and Sansa’s carriage passes by an unaware Brienne! Aaah!
– Too darn funny: Cersei ignoring Loras as he speaks of her father and then simply walking past a blabbering Pycelle.
– Cousin Lancel is back and he’s a “Sparrow” now. We also got confirmation that he basically killed Robert through the wine although Cersei won’t admit it. I love that this show never forgets its past.
– Margaery made me laugh the way she casually strutted in on Ser Loras sleeping with Olyvar and started munching on grapes.
– Can we just get a sitcom starring Varys and Tyrion? These two are absolutely hysterical.
– It’s always great to discover more backstory about certain characters, and I enjoyed hearing about Daario’s childhood and just why he thinks Dany should reopen the fighting pits.
– How insane is it that Dany’s dragons pretty much attack her when she tries to approach them in the catacombs? And they’ve sure gotten HUGE now!
– The look on Tormund’s face as Mance burns says it all. And notice Stannis’ wife gleefully smiling like the zealot that she is. Nasty!
Kings & Quips
Cersei: (to Jaime) Did you set him free? Tyrion may be a monster, but at least he killed our father on purpose. You killed him by mistake. With stupidity.
Tyrion: Do you know what it’s like to stuff your shit through one of those airholes?
Varys: No, I only know what it’s like to pick up your shit and throw it overboard.
Varys: My lord?
Tyrion: I don’t think I am anymore. A lord. Are you a lord if you kill your father? I don’t imagine they revoke your nobility for killing a whore.
Daenerys: Angry snakes lash out. Makes chopping off their heads that much easier.
Jon: You’re not cold, my lady?
Melisandre: Never. The Lord’s fire lives within me, Jon Snow.
Lord: He’s 13. Boys go to war at 13.
Littlefinger: He has other gifts.
Lord: Does he?
Littlefinger: The gift of a great name. Sometimes that’s all one needs.
Cersei: What could you possibly have done to warrant my forgiveness?
Lancel: I led you into the darkness.
Cersei: I doubt you’ve ever led anyone anywhere.
Tyrion: Eunuch, the Spider, the Master of Whisperers.
Varys: Imp, Half-man.
Tyrion: A drunken dwarf will never be the savior of the Seven Kingdoms.
Varys: Any fool with a bit of luck can find himself born into power. But earning it for yourself, that takes work.
Varys: And you have compassion.
Tyrion: I killed my lover with my bare hands. I shot my own father with a crossbow.
Varys: I never said you were perfect.
Tyrion: What is it you want exactly?
Varys: Peace. Prosperity. A land where the powerful do not prey on the powerless.
Tyrion: Where the castles are made of gingerbread and the moats are filled with blackberry wine. The powerful have always preyed on the powerless. That’s how they became powerful in the first place.
Varys: Perhaps. And perhaps we’ve grown so used to horror, we assume there’s no other way. If you sat on the Iron Throne, would you spread misery throughout the land?
Tyrion: I will never sit on the Iron Throne.
Varys: No, you won’t. But you could help another climb those steps and take that seat. The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.
Tyrion: Good luck finding him.
Varys: Who said anything about “him”?
Hizdahr: Politics is the art of compromise, Your Grace.
Daenerys: I’m not a politician. I’m a queen.
Hizdahr: Forgive me. You’re right, of course. Still, it’s easier to rule happy subjects than angry ones.
Daario: A dragon queen with no dragons is not a queen.
Jon: I think you’re making a terrible mistake.
Mance: The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted.
Packed with terrific dialogue, this is a wonderful season premiere.