Game Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 3 “High Sparrow”
Heads are rolling fast and furious in as many episodes. And there was a wedding that the writers deftly glossed over. “High Sparrow” does a good job at moving certain story lines along, giving characters a new sense of purpose in ways that we haven’t seen from them so far. The best example of that is in Sansa’s choice to avenge her family by getting in cahoots with the enemy. Littlefinger has a way of making things appear like a choice when it’s really him pulling the strings. Littlefinger does care for Sansa is his own twisted way. If there was an award for Best Creepy Character that leaves you wanting to take a shower every time they are on screen it’s the way Littlefinger always stands so close to Sansa.
Okay, let’s discuss the top five best storylines of this episode.
#5. Brienne The Beauty
The writers have bypassed a season of Brienne and Pod wandering around the country side aimlessly by finding Sansa very quickly last episode. I get a sense that Brienne and Pod are headed in a specific, purposeful direction even if I’m not exactly sure where their story will end up, I mean what will happen when they get to Winterfell and beyond.
Brienne’s back story about Renly is one that would have been helpful back in Season 2 to explain why she was so loyal and smitten with a man she barely had any scenes with. By sharing her story at this point, it seems to suggest that avenging Renly is on her mind and that her storyline will eventually intertwine with Stannis who’s also in the North.
#4. Jorah Kidnaps Tyrion
The show does a great job at consistently changing up the character pairings. Tyrion with Jorah could be very fun to watch. Tyrion with a cardboard cut out would be entertaining, the writing is always on point with Tyrion no matter who he’s paired up with. It’s interesting that Tyrion is changing in ways that are surprising even to him in the brothel. Both Jorah and Tyrion have lost the things that they cared the most about, in particular Jorah reeks of a man of desperation.
Jorah says “I’m taking you to the queen.” I think it’s pretty clear which queen he’s referring to. By fast tracking certain story lines, it suggests the writers know which are the most important plot points to the overall end game. At the same time, the show runs a risk of creating small plot holes when putting characters on a certain trajectory such as when Brienne didn’t tell Sansa that Arya is alive.
#3. Cersei Vs Margaery
The back and forth maneuvering between Cersei and Margeary is off to a great start. I loved how Margeary delivered her barbs at Cersei with sweetness and smiles. It would have been funny to hear Cersei’s inner thoughts while Margeary was basically saying “Hey grandma, I’m banging your teenage son nightly. Don’t let the door hit your old drunk face on the way out.”
However, Margaery is poking at the lioness. We’ve seen Cersei consolidate her power in the small council but arming the High Sparrows is sort of like playing with wildfire because their leader is a man of principles, he won’t be manipulated or controlled. It’s a risky power play that we can understand she’s taking because of the prophecy shown in the season premiere.
#2. Lord Snow Vs Slynt
Unlike Dany, Jon got his position by election not conquest. Jon may have been a reluctant nominee for the Lord Commander at first but he’s refused Stannis’ proposal and is coming into his own as a leader. There are obvious parallels between Jon beheading Slynt and when Dany ordered Mossadors execution last week. There are differences too which I won’t go into details. There was no bluff to be called, Jon was decisive and rightly so about beheading Slynt from the moment he called for his sword. Perhaps there was a brief hint of hesitation but he was already past the point of no return and couldn’t afford to show weakness. It’s also nice that Ned’s influence is still being felt on the show when Jon did what he was taught the Stark way.
#1. Arya And Needle
Of the many great storylines, Arya’s is one that I’m most emotionally invested in. When she held Needle in her hand above the water, there didn’t need to be any dialogue because we could feel the weight of her decision. I cheered when she didn’t throw away Needle. In many ways her identity is tied to Needle, something that she’ll come back to when she is ready. One of the things that Needle and Arya’s apprenticeship represents to me is a means for vengeance. It’s interesting though that The House Of Black and White see giving death as a gift.
What are your top scenes from this episode? Who made the best power move or decision in this episode?