Hallo. My name is Arya Stark. You killed my father. Prepare to die…right after I undergo assassin training that it.Yes everyone’s favourite miniature psychopath made her season debut this episode, reaching Bravos only to find a door slammed in her face- that’s Stark luck for you.
Paths actually cross in this episode just to confuse long term fans- you mean its not another near miss?! What would G.R.R. Martin say?!
Brienne finally tracks down the elusive Sansa, only to have her credentials questioned; pledged to Renly- death by shadow. Pledged to Cat- death by wedding. Thus Brienne finds herself rejected and exits stage right, stopping to rescue Podrick rather artfully on the way. Brienne wages war with her jaw set in stubborn determination, face screwed up and ruddy with effort, every action undertaken as if its result is life or death-which in Westeros let’s face it, it normally is.
Dorne (at this point still invisible) sends Cersai the most beautifully crafted threat in the history of the seven kingdoms. Most wage war with swords, the Dornish with their artisans.
Cersai’s star-crossed sibling routine seems dead in the water, and Jaimie is now merely her personal whipping boy ‘What has your caution brought?!” she demands of the one handed hand…What has your lack of it brought, oh queen? But Lena does condescension so beautifully I’d probably do her bidding too…
Meanwhile Bronn encounters his babbling betrothed and is rudely interrupted from his pre-marital bliss by: “Jamie Fucking Lannister’, yes, that would be his full name. Turns out the guys are off on a field trip to Dorne (still invisible) Watch this space for Season Five’s new comedy double-act- well someone needed to replace Arya and her trusty Hound.
Do my eyes deceive me? It’s …DORNE! Yes the invisibility cloak has lifted. Ellaria Sand wants her vengeance served boiling hot in instant form, whereas the Chair-bound Prince Doran (Alexander Siddig aka Dr Bashir to us Trekkies) is rather more careful – tortured yet calculating. Sidding’s contained yet cunning performance Makes Ellaria seem rather melodramatic and overblown by comparison.
Jon Snow continues to be the coolest man above 4ft in Westeros. Disbelieving joy gleaming silently in his eyes as Stannis dangles his dream before him like a carrot…which he refuses, proving himself a true brother, and Stark. Then follows an excruciatingly joyous moment when Sam gets on his soapbox to promote his friend; Jon’s eyes plead with Sam to stop, but the men of the north want a Snow in command, and thus the bastard boy becomes Lord Crow, and even he can’t fail to smile.
But the high point this episode is…Jaqen H’ghar!!! The faceless man returns to Arya! Jump up and cheer?! Is it just me? Ok…. The door of Black and White closes on the reunited murderers. Awwwww.
Sadly the episode closes on an uglier note, albeit played out in beautiful Valyrian. Dani might not have a gentle heart, but rather a foolish mind- the mhysa kills the misbehaving childlike ally, and runs bloody from the mob. The spectacle is senseless- justice this bloody needs no audience unless the judge courts death. Drogon provides a very blatant wake up call – the renegade dragon provides a rather different take on black beauty. That, Dani is your true child. Right there.
Kudos to HBO on the assassins’ reunion, the dornish prince and bastard hero of the hour, but as for the Mother of Dragons? A little less drama, and little more dracarys please.