Last Time on Game of Thrones Season 5
Brienne ready to slay
Stannis Baratheon and Brienne of Tarth
After sacrificing Shireen, Melisandre insists that Stannis press on; this is his right. Half of his troops flees in mutiny, and Melisandre looks shocked and defeated. Queen Selyse hangs herself, and another report comes that Melisandre has fled north. This is not Stannis’ day. All the women in his life have left him, and he is alone. He orders the troops to ready and march onto Winterfell. He will not back down now. He already sacrificed his daughter, and it will not be in vain. Stannis’ march on Winterfell doesn’t go so well. With a worn, ragged, half-dead army, he is no match for the Bolton army, who has found respite from the coming winter within the walls of Winterfell. When Podrick tells Brienne that Stannis has come, she just misses Sansa’s candle in the tower, the signal she’s been waiting for day and night. Brienne manages to arrive after the slaying is done and makes a swift corpse of Stannis, something she had been lusting after since his shadow baby slew her unrequited love Renly. Brienne represents all the karma that caught up with Stannis from the start. She represents the beginning of his downward spiral into power-hungry bad decisions. And Brienne kills him with dignity and formality, like the new Ned Stark, a comparison which is rightful but dangerous. She is his judge, jury, and executioner.
Myranda nocks her bow
Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy
Sansa makes her way back as the battle unfolds, knowing no one is coming for her now. Myranda, with Reek at her side, stops her with an arrow nocked, ready to shoot Sansa, but not any of those baby-making parts. Just before Myranda shoots Sansa, Reek throws her over the ledge to her delightfully smooshy death. They flee as the army returns and jump over the rampart walls into the deep snow. (In the books, it’s quite a snow drift that would allow them less impact and more snow.)
Sam asks Jon for leave to Oldtown with Gilly and the baby to become a maester. The Wall is in need of one now that Maester Aemon is dead. Jon, of course, grants him leave. When Melisandre returns to the Wall, rather (oddly) hastily, I might add, she informs Jon that Stannis is dead and Davos that Shireen is dead. Jon sulks in his office, and Olly rushes into his office to tell him that a Wildling knows where Benjen Stark is. Alliser Thorne leads him to a circle of dudes that is in no way like a group of white dudes at a Trump rally scolding a minority. Jon finds a sign that says “traitor” and is stabbed almost exactly like Julius Caesar, starting with Thorne. Et tu, Olly? This wouldn’t have happened is you’d stuck to the loyal Satin as your steward, like in the books. (It still happened, but in my mind, Satin totally saved him.)
Arya takes a name
Along with two minor girls, Meryn Trant lashes them with a stick. Arya, disguised as a girl who died from an illness early in the season, takes the beatings without flinching. He dismisses the other two girls and begins to brutally beat Arya. Bent over on the floor, she reveals herself and jumps on him. She savagely stabs his eyes out, stuffs his mouth to keep form screaming, and repeatedly stabs his chest. It’s horrifying, yet gratifying. She is able to cross a name off her list. And it was hers to take. She didn’t have the honor of killing any Lannisters, Freys, or Boltons. Like Brienne killing Stannis, Meryn was the first person she’d seen kill someone she loved: Syrio, her “dancing” instructor. She explains all this as he suffers, still alive. She tells him her name and stabs him in the back. She tells him his name is nothing and slowly slits his throat. This is important to her role as “No one” in her lessons at the Hall of Black and White. To her, Meryn is no one. No one means that you are a mere bug. She is royalty, dammit. Arya, despite having given up her clothes, is not ready to give up her identity and killed someone not for the Many-Faced God, but for herself. It’s also why she didn’t toss Needle away but hid it. For her insubordination, she is cursed with blindness.
Jaime Lannister and the Sand Snakes
Myrcella is permitted to go home with her “uncle”, and the Sand Snakes and Ellaria Sand bid her farewell, Ellaria with a kiss on the mouth. Ellaria’s daughter, ever eager to undress for strangers, bites Bronn’s earlobe goodbye, telling him that he wants a good girl but needs a bad pussy. This is by far one of the more disgusting lines in the show, and I can’t quite shake this odd relationship. On the ship, Jaime gets all emotional with her in a one-on-one. Jaime begins to tell Myrcella that he is her father, but she’s smart enough to know that already, just like everyone else in Westeros. And she’s glad he is her father. (Okay, gross, girl.) And then her nose bleeds, and she dies form the poison on Ellaria’s lips. Cut to Ellaria waiting to take the antidote until her nose starts bleeding, cutting it close! She and the Sand Snakes haughtily saunter off, knowing they just waged war on the Lannisters.
The next boy band of Essos
Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister
With Dany gone, her new council forms to rule in her stead: Tyrion, Jorah, Daario, Grey Worm, and Missandei. Jorah and Daario are decided to go look for Dany, while the experienced Tyrion rules with Grey Worm as the face. Varys shows up, then, and joins the ranks of the power in the shadows. A suffering Drogon refuses to take her home and would rather lick his wounds in the circle of burned grass and skeletons he’s made for himself since he escaped. She leaves him to find food, as if she’s going to go kill something with her bare hands. She could use her necklace as a chockram, like Xena, though, because that thing is baller. And for the slightest moment I want to dress like a lady just to wear that damn dragon necklace. She is quickly surrounded by the Dothraki that betrayed her Khal Drogo. She smartly drops her ring in the grass where she is standing so someone (likely Daario) knows where they would be on the right track to find her.
In her cell, Cersei is confronted by her favorite person of evertime: Septa Unella. She orders her repeatedly to confess like a little sibling saying, “Is this bothering you?” as they poke you. And Cersei confesses to the High Sparrow. She confesses only to screwing her cousin Lancel. The High Sparrow questions if her children are Jaime’s and not Robert’s. She adamantly denies it. On the Mother’s Mercy, the High Sparrow allows her to skip a trial and go to the Keep to see her son, but she must go through atonement on the way, shorn and naked for all to see. And Septa Unella is the one to follow her on the path of atonement and shame her with a bell. I don’t know how she manages to keep a straight face, but she does. (I should note that my friends and I use the shame bell app on each other and shout shame when a church bell or clock tower bell rings.) Cersei is forced to be subjected to the masses jeering her and throwing food and feces at her. The moment Cersei returns, she begins plotting as the Dowager Queen/Queen Mother and real power behind the Iron Throne. The first to greet her is her shady-ass pet Qyburn, who introduces her to the new leader of the Kingsguard, who shall go unnamed, but is definitely a revived Mountain. Meanwhile, the Tyrell siblings are locked up like Cersei was. What will the Queen of Thorns do next?
© 2016 SE Andres