Kidnapping a dwarf should not look cool. In fact if your friendly neighbourhood half-man is snatched bound and gagged, the appropriate emotional response should be that of horror and disbelief, as opposed to comical joy. Yet Jorah has abilities us mere mortals lack, and he conducts his crime with such panache he might as well be wearing a leather jacket upon a Dornish motorbike.
Even a gag cannot contain the wit of Tyrion, he reads Jorah like one of his many books, provoking the Mormont bear until he swipes with half-hearted annoyance, then resumes his stance of the least-bothered- I told you this double act would delight.
Cersai continues her scheming game of chess, but does she realise the High Sparrow is playing too? She gives him the faith militant and his side of the board strengthens tenfold: hellfire and damnation rain down on the sinners of Westeros as they beg for mercy from a militia that knows none…and imprison the little queen’s brother. Cersai’s move may be check for Margaery, but the checkmate is within reach of the Sparrow’s wings.
Across the Narrow Sea Bronn and Jamie wash up on Dornish shores straight into a tremendous battle sequence- blood stains the sand and Jamie finds his golden hand comes in handy. Witticisms and capital choreography aside I am beginning to fear Jamie is not all that bright. He claims he doesn’t want to start a war, yet he is invading and kidnapping/rescuing his niece/daughter… He has not thought this through.
By contrast on the same shores the Sand Snakes prove a great disappointment. The predatory women feel toothless and contrived in comparison to the richer characters woven into the bloody tapestry, all shoe-horned exposition and melodramatic pronouncements. We can but hope these vipers have a hidden sting.
From fire to ice, and The Wall is yet again home to the episode’s greatest scenes. Stannis is thawed into humanity by his disarming progeny- his tale of death, dolls and paternal devotion reveals a hidden heart in a beautiful exchange with the intimacy of a play. His red women offers no such sentimentality in her attempted seduction of our favourite bastard, but the commander while tempted rejects her advances with the dregs of lost love still clinging to a furrowed brow.
The spurned sorceress may creepily echo Ygritte’s refrain in parting, but we all know that Jon here has proved he knows more than Ygritte ever hoped. That’ll do Snow, That’ll do.
However this is Westeros and the credits cannot roll without a final fatality to mourn.
The harpy’s many heads rise again striking at those Daenerys holds most dear- farewell Sir Barristan, we only saw your talents as they failed you- if Grey Worm follows him to an unexpected grave i am going on strike. Harpies beware, here be dragons.