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GAME OF THRONES Recap: The House of Black and White is Read All Over

Hello friends of the Realm and otherwise! Welcome to our Game of Thrones recap. And by “recap” we mean “very wordy thing with ALL of the spoilers” so if that’s not your bag, turn away now or go back and read last week’s recap to catch up. We go hard on that front so don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Do our eyes deceive us? Has Game of Thrones actually managed to do a female-centric episode that didn’t put all the boobs and bush of the Known Realm out on display? Well glory be this day! We’re still lacking in nude equality (that dong da-dong dong dong) but this is something, isn’t it? Sunday’s episode of the HBO epic was all about the girls in power — and the lengths they’ll go to keep said power. Or in the very least establish it.

From Arya, to Dany, to Brienne, even Sansa (Oh yeah and Cersei was there, too) — it was pretty much the opposite of a sausagefest [Editor’s note: An eggfest? No?] and we’re far from complaining. It’s about time we saw more development in regards to the female machinations and how they’re vying for supremacy (or at least a non-death-wish). And even though it wasn’t the most exciting episode overall, it definitely set the stage for what’s to come. So let’s get down to it!

First things first: Cersei Lannister. Oh Cersei girl, Cersei child — why aren’t you taking that crazy witch from your past more to heart? I mean I know why: because she’s Cersei and she thinks she knows literally everything and has the world’s biggest penis-shaped chip on her shoulder. But that witch clearly knew a thing or two about a thing or two. Like, maybe bowing out gracefully from your Queen Regent duties would allow for a nice little life for you, C. You could become a beekeeper back at Casterly Rock, find yourself a nice dude that’s not your brotherlover (but looks like him since we know your ultimate attraction to him is the fact that he’s a version of you with a dick and we’ll give you that because we’re far too generous even though ew, Cersei, ew) and quietly slip into a more boring life.

But this is a prideful lion we’re talking about, so of course the only thing she cares about is amassing more allies and trying to hold onto what very little power she and her family have left in Westeros. Maybe if she wasn’t so obsessed with power and wronging those as thoroughly as she feels she has been wronged (the victim complex is strong with this one), things wouldn’t be so precarious for her. Instead she spent much of the episode trying to marginalize and manipulate the Tyrells (Oh, Mace) as best as she could, stack the King’s Council with people that will put up with her garbage and are acutely clueless as to what it actually takes to do a good job running a country, and generally pissing off her uncle — Kevan Lannister — who is super-not going to stand for this ish.

Homegirl better be careful, is what we’re saying. But considering this is Cersei we’re talking about, we’re fairly certain her life is on the chopping block this season. But I mean, all Lannisters should be on notice in that regard at this point.

This is also why we were also a bit concerned to hear that Jamie Lannister and Bronn (BRONN!! YES!) are now en route to Dorne to rescue Myrcella from the grasp of the Martells and the Sand Snakes, who seem to be champing at the bit for vengeance. While we’re thrilled for this duo to make their quixotic mission to the southlands, we’re also a little bit concerned. See, Ilaria Sand is not taking Oberyn’s death lying down (nor should she, frankly, with a wardrobe and attitude as fierce as hers), so a lion entering the snake pit is very much a suicide mission on their part; haven’t you learned that these f–kers don’t mess around AND they play with poison? Careful, lads! Careful!

Up on The Wall, Jon Snow proved he knows at least one thing: how to unintentionally end up a leader. Our favorite northern bastard is now Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch: Samwell Tarly and Maester Aemon for the win, you guys! (#NAILEDIT). Sure, he won’t be given his familial name of Stark and the lordship of Winterfell like Stannis Baratheon wanted, but we’re just happy our little bastard lord has finally scored a win. After burning and burying Ygritte (to say nothing of losing his entire Stark family), he could use a notch on his belt. Though we’re sure it won’t be easy — none of the Night’s Watch elders are particularly pleased with Lord Commander Snow’s new title, but they’re just going to have to put on their big boy pants and deal because, say it with me now, folks: WINTER IS COMING. Besides, sending him back there was probably, for all intents and purposes, a bit of a masochistic death wish considering that the Boltons are now ruling that roost.

Speaking of the Boltons, is that where Sansa’s headed? Why are she and Littlefinger running around, lying about where they’re going? He clearly has a plan at play here; we just wish Sansa wasn’t so quick to trust him. It was heartbreaking to see Brienne and Pod run into her, only to have Sansa be all “thanks, but no thanks” when Brienne pledged her fealty. How does she not realize how amazingly badass Brienne is?! Why does she not want to make herself in a bit more of an independent badass lady’s image? Oh, Sansa. That said we really can’t complain about how she’s developing overall as a character. She has pushed past being that damsel in distress she was for so many seasons and, for better or for worse, Littlefinger is teaching her how to manipulate people. Granted, it’s a skill that likely would’ve come in far handier when she was in the Red Keep, but we’re sure will come into play wherever the heck those two are going. (It’s GOTTA BE WINTERFELL!)

But perhaps the biggest moves were being made across the Narrow Sea in Essos, where the strongest ladies are learning things the hard way. In Meereen, storms are abrewing and the Sons of the Harpy are growing anxious. It’s all very “the Sons vs. the slaves vs. Dany,” meaning our Queen has decided the only answer is justice. But, is it really, though? I mean, really? Isn’t mercy sometimes the better option? After all, killing a freed slave because he killed one of the Sons before a trial — while definitely not a good thing — should not necessarily warrant that slave’s death. The fact that she didn’t even have the courage and wherewithal to do the deed herself, or at least watch it as it happened, was not a good sign. Somewhere in the netherRealm, Ned Stark is facepalming. (Also in that netherRealm, Ned Stark’s head is reattached to his body, so he’s able to do that.)

It’s probably also the reason why Drogon — who has been on a sort of self-imposed dragon Rumspringa or something — took one whiff of her and flew off. She’s becoming more of the same when she needs to be better than her father, the oft-mentioned Mad King. Don’t be blinded by justice, Dany! A good ruler is a steadied one. SO JUST BE COOL, DANY.

Also hurry up and GET THERE ALREADY, TYRION. Jeez.

Last but not least, there’s Arya. Over in Braavos, everyone’s favorite budding serial murderperson has finally found her way to the House of Black and White. The homestead of the Faceless Man we met in season two, Jaqen H’ghar. And OH WHATTA TWIST IT WAS to see his face revealed at the end of the episode, huh? Arya’s self-reliance has gotten her so far, and we’re sure will prove to be an asset in her training, but we can’t help but feel slightly sad, too, considering the extent to which its necessity has destroyed her humanity. “Nothing’s worth anything to dead men,” she utters to the street toughs who try to steal Needle. It is at that moment Jaqen knows she’s ready, and it’s the very moment we see some of the last vestiges of Arya Stark escape her.

Just don’t ever get rid of Needle, girl. Then we’ll know you’re too far gone.

Stuff and Things and Other Loose Ends:
– Ummm, Creep Maester Qyburn needs to cool it — what sort of monster is he trying to create with the Mountain and a buncha dead dwarf heads?
– Stannis’ wife is full-on nutter butters; straight, no chaser.
-SAMWELL 5EVA! Also please let him marry Gilly they are the cutest. They can adopt Princess Shireen and live happily ever after in their adorableness.

What’d you think of tonight’s episode? Let us hear it in the comments.

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