After the surprising changes made in episode 4, we were all excited and a little nervous to see what direction the show was taking, and it’s fair to say it didn’t disappoint, as episode five was the best so far this season. Spoilers to follow.
The episode began with the crowning of the new king, Tommen Baratheon. As different to Joffrey as it is possible to be, it may put some of the Lannister haters in something of a dilemma, as he’s just so difficult to dislike. Cersei did well to veil her contempt for Margaery, because she needed to butter up her father, Mace Tyrell, and one of the judges for Tyrion’s trial. She would also have scenes with the other judges, Tywin and Oberyn, as she tries to get them on her side and secure Tyrion’s execution. During her scene with Tywin, we discover that the Lannister’s gold mines have run dry – an interesting development, as they are the source of all their wealth and power.
Over to the now conquered Meereen, and Daenerys has finally changed out of that blue dress. She was informed of Joffrey’s death, and makes the big decision not to sail for Westeros until she has learnt to rule, and defeated Yunkai and Astapor once again. Emilia Clarke’s acting continues to frustrate many, but I personally think her writing has been pretty sub-par this season.
Then we were back in the Vale for the first time since season one, and re-introduced the the crazy Lysa Arryn and her bratty son Robert. We had the big reveal that Littlefinger was behind the death of Jon Arryn, and that it was Lysa who actually poisoned him – this is a big reveal and it was a surprise that it was revealed so early. Thankfully we were spared seeing Petyr and Lysa’s wedding night in person, but Sansa suffered an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
Over to Arya and the Hound, and Arya’s death prayer has had a few different names added to it – Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr were quite surprising, but given the change to the plot that involved them selling Gendry to Melisandre, it makes sense. The Hound then gave her a reality check about her ‘water-dancing’ – ‘Syrio’s dead, and Meryn Trant’s not, because Meryn had armour, and a big fucking sword.’ Her sister Sansa was having much fun either – Lysa went full insane mode and asked her if Littlefinger had got her pregnant, but she persuaded her he hadn’t.
We had our first introduction to the great double act that is Brienne and Podrick. Podrick’s utter cluelessness is great entertainment, although Brienne’s disdain for him is somewhat out of character. Podrick is becoming more and more likeable every week – kudos to Daniel Portman for his great portrayal of him.
Then we were back to Craster’s Keep, where everyone was keen to say what would happen with Bran and company. Locke scouted the keep, and reported back to Jon, but he lied about the hut that Bran was in, so that he could sneak Bran away while the other’s were distracted. Karl almost raped Meera, but was distracted by the attack by the Night’s Watch rangers. The rangers made light work of the mutineers, but Jon was pushed all the way by Karl, and only saved by one of Craster’s wives intervening. Meanwhile, Locke attempted to kidnap Bran, who warged into Hodor and broke Locke’s neck using the giant’s body. Hodor’s confused and scared expression when he realised what ‘he’ had done was really good – Bran’s use of Hodor like this is taboo, and you had to feel sorry for the big guy. Bran called out for Jon to help him, but Jojen convinced him otherwise – he correcly pointed out that Jon would never let him go north. A huge sigh of relief was released as we realised there would not be a Stark reunion – as nice as it would be, it’s horrible cliche and too big a deviation from the book’s plot. Finally, Jon was reunited with Ghost, and Craster’s Keep was burnt to the ground.