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Everything You Need to Know for Game of Thrones Season 5

the-sand-snakesMeet the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.

1. New House & New Location

We met our first member of House Martell, Prince Oberyn, last season.  (Who can forget his sultry voice, his disdain for Lannisters’, and his way with candles?)  Sadly, the Mountain crushed our handsome prince (pun definitely intended) during a battle by combat that resulted in the infamous Oberyn Headsplosion.  For those of you that didn’t read the books, House Martell is the head family in the Kingdom of Dorne ruling out of the castle of Sunspear.  Dorne, the southernmost point of the Seven Kingdoms, has been mentioned in Game of Thrones before.  You may recall that when Tyrion was serving as Hand of the King, he orchestrated a plot to have Marcella Baratheon (Lannister) sent away from King’s Landing.  The little lion princess is currently trapped living in Dorne.

Dorne is different from the rest of the kingdoms of Westeros in that it was never truly conquered by the Targaryen’s.  Dorne swore fielty to the Iron Throne by choice centuries after Aegon’s invasion.  Like their ancestors that came before House Martell, Dornish noble Houses follow gender-blind equal primogeniture, in which the eldest child is the heir regardless of whether they are male or female.  The words of the Martells are “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and bastard children assume the name of “Sand.”  The Martells are deeply resentful of the Lannister family and blame Tywin for the death of Elia Martell, wife of Prince Rhaegar Targeryen, and her children.

This season, we will meet even more members of House Martell.  Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria Sand, will be returning to report the dreadful news of Oberyn’s death to the reigning Prince of Dorne and Oberyn’s older brother, Prince Doran Martell.  We will also be meeting the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.  The Sand Snakes are skilled fighters trained by their father and will most certainly be seeking revenge against the Lannisters.

Rumor has it that Jaime Lannister will be departing King’s Landing and riding south to broker peace in Dorne.  Bookreaders know this is a change in Jaime’s story and I’m interested to see how they fit this into Jaime’s character progression.  Perhaps the Kingslayer will arrive just in time to save Princess Marcella from the deadly grasp of the Sand Snakes?

Sand_Snakes_torture_with_scorpionsSand Snakes using scorpion torture. NBD

2. No Bran, No Hodor.

‘Nough said.  This season will not include Bran Stark or his gentle giant companion, Hodor, as the TV series has caught up to his storyline.  Who will be around to “Hodor” for us?!

3. Who Crossed the Narrow Sea?

When we left, Arya had set her sights on Braavos. For those of you in need of a refresh, remember Jaqen H’ghar? Jaqen helped Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry escape Harrenhal in season two and then he changed into another person like whoosh. That’s because he was a member of the Faceless Men, a trained group of assassins. Arya used the coin given to her by Jaqen to gain passage to cross the Narrow Sea. Is Arya on her way to become an assassin?  Will she soon be just as deadly as Jaqen?

The last we saw of Tyrion, he was being packed into a box by Varys and boarding a ship set sail for freedom. This was all after he killed Tywin on the toilet and strangled Shae with her own necklace. Can we all just have a slow clap for Tyrion?

But, where is he going? Judging by this season 5 poster, we can make one guess:

game of thrones season 5 dragon and tyrion

Also, in recent clips we’ve heard this exchange between Varys and Tyrion:

V: The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.
T: Good luck finding him.
V: Who said anything about ‘him’?”

4. The Wall is Getting Crowded

The Brothers of the Night’s Watch are no longer alone.

At the end of last season, we saw the arrival of Stannis Baratheon at The Wall where he saved Jon Snow from certain imprisonment and possible death at the hands of Mance Rayder. The goal here for Stannis is to protect all of Westeros from the White Walkers and prove himself the One True King.

The Night’s Watch also needs a new leader (RIP Lord Commander Mormont).  Who will be chosen to take the lead?  Will Stannis insert himself, or will he allow a new Brother to rise to the top?

Bonus, rumor has it Melisandre will set her eyes on Jon Snow. Man, this guy’s got a thing for redheads, I VOLUNTEER!

5. And everyone else?

Dark Sansa

Sansa has officially made a deal with the devil, as in Littlefinger. (Reminder: Littlefinger revealed at the end of season four that HE was the one who killed Jon Arryn, which instigated King Robert riding North and setting Game of Thrones in motion).  Now that she’s dyed her hair and decided to join the “game,” what’s next for these two? I don’t know but I bet it’ll be a little creepy.

Third time’s a charm?

Poor Margaery is set to marry a king, again. Will sweet, innocent Tommen survive the wedding? Only time will tell.

It’s a man’s man’s man’s world

…but all her men are gone! What will Cersei do without Tywin, Tyrion, or Jaime to manipulate and whine to, or about?  Will there be anyone to protect her when it’s time for her to pay for her many, many crimes?

This is a real mystery

We already know that Brienne of Tarth’s storyline is deviating pretty dramatically from the books. After taking down The Hound but losing Arya, what’s next for her and Podrick? Will she stay on her mission to find the Stark girls?

Oh, Reek

Things are still pretty bad for Theon/Reek. Our favorite Ironborn has spent the last two seasons as the tortured servant of Ramsay Bolton. Will he ever escape? Sometimes I watch season one of Game of Thrones just to remind myself of cocky, self-absorbed Theon. Gah, so attractive. Just me? Okay.

Trouble in Paradise

At the conclusion of the season, Daenerys finally learned the truth about Jorah Mormont’s original reason for seeking her out and “protecting” her.  (He was a spy for King Robert working to regain his freedom in Westeros.)  Dany banished Jorah from her encampment and sent him to the #FriendZone4Life.

Breaker of Chains Used Chains

After Dany learned that the dragons committed the horrific crime of killing a child, she was forced to put them in chains and lock them away. Something tells me this is not going to end well considering Drogon is MIA.

Budding Romance?

When we last saw Greyworm and Missandei she was teaching him the Common Tongue. As their lessons progressed, they bonded over the loss of their homelands. While swimming, Greyworm noticed Missandei bathing naked. When she notices him watching, she stands up slowly to let him get an eye full before covering herself. Later, he apologizes but she says she wasn’t uncomfortable. Is this the Westeros version of flirting?

And lastly…

Where in the Seven Kingdoms is Gendry?!

gendrymoving

6. In Memorandum

To the characters that didn’t survive season four, we remember you fondly (or not so much).

Tywin Lannister
Joffrey Lannister
Shae
The Hound (maybe, maybe not? I don’t believe it until I see him dead.)
Lysa Arryn
Oberyn Martell
Jojen Reed
Grenn and Pyp
Ygritte
Lord Commander Jeor Mormont

Game of Thrones recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera and Elizabeth Bond.  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.


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Game of Thrones 4×4 Recap – Oathkeeper

danymeereen

House Targaryen

We open with our favorite translator, Missandei, tutoring Grey Worm in the Common Tongue (GOT version of English).  We learn that Grey Worm comes from the Summer Isles but doesn’t remember that life.  “Unsullied.  Always Unsullied.  Before Unsullied, nothing,” he says.  Missandei can relate – she was taken as a 5-year-old child.  It’s no wonder these two, along with the hundreds of thousands of freed slaves, love and worship Dany.  She’s their liberator and the first person that has been nice to them and treated them with an ounce of respect in decades.  Their loyalty is unyielding, unlike the armies of Westeros, who appear to be loyal to gold and that’s about it.

Dany enters and with two words (“It’s time”) her plan to sack Meereen is set in motion.  Grey Worm and a small group of Unsullied, disguised as slaves, infiltrate the castle from a secret gate near the water.  They climb through the tunnels of the city at night while the Masters are resting and head to the slave headquarters.  The slaves are already meeting, discussing Dany and her horde and what it could potentially mean for them, but they are afraid to rise against the Masters.  There have been many unsuccessful slave rebellions and they have no weapons to fight.  Even chains are better than death.

Cue Grey Worm and Co.

“Valar morghulis,” Grey Worm says.  He tells the slaves of his enslavement, his life as Unsullied, and finally, his freedom thanks to Dany.  “Now I fight for Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains.”  He then surprises the slaves with bags of weapons and continues, “No on can give you your freedom, brothers.  If you want it, you must take it.”  You go, Grey Worm.  I’d fight with you.

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We cut to a Master and two soldiers stumbling upon “Kill the Masters” scrawled in blood on a wall.  In the sky, they spot something black and red – a flag with a red dragon – hanging over their statue and then armed slaves surround and trap them.  We cut again to Dany walking in a shower of broken slave chains with hundreds of thousands of newly freed slaves lining the roads shouting “Meesa, Meesa!” and raising their arms toward her. (Sound familiar?)  Beneath Dany, the Unsullied surround the Masters of the city.  Dany asks Ser Jorah how many children were nailed to mile posts.  One hundred and sixty three.  Dany signals.  Barristan asks for a word and warns her that it is best to answer injustice with mercy.  “I will answer injustice with justice,” proclaims Dany and then stares Barristan down.  Stop questioning her, Barristan.  She’ll breathe fire on you eventually.

Dany has the masters crucified in the same fashion as the slave children and stands watch over the city, underneath the dragon flag hoisted on the top monument, and listens to the moans and screams of the Masters.

House Stark

Sansa – As we saw last week, Sansa was “rescued” (I use rescued lightly) by Littlefinger. He informs Sansa that they’re en route to her crazy Aunt Lysa Tully’s castle. You may remember crazy Aunt Lysa from Season 1. She’s most memorable for breastfeeding her child, NOT infant, but child and setting the stage for the lovable bromance between Tyrion and Bronn. I’d also like to point out this is the same place Arya is going (fingers crossed!).

Now, it’s time for some answers. Littlefinger admits he killed Joffrey, “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects,” eck. “If they don’t know who you are or what you want, they can’t know what you plan to do next,” he says while looking seductively at Sansa. You can see Sansa taking a scared gulp before asking what he does want. Littlefinger responds, “Everything,” while creepily running his hands down her arms while I physically shudder.

Can we pause for a second? We all know that Littlefinger was a bit obsessed with Catelyn. And Littlefinger has always treated Sansa like the next best thing. And Littlefinger is a spiteful bitch. Remember last season when Sansa chose her potential nuptials to Loras over escaping King’s Landing with Littlefinger? Something tells me that Sansa is NOT safe right now. End pause.

But there is no way Littlefinger acted alone. He tells Sansa that he has a new, top-secret, powerful alliance. Ser Dontos was too easily swayed and not smart enough to pull this off. Who killed Joffrey Baratheon?! As we find out in the next scene it was the very powerful House Tyrell. More on that later.

Jon Snow – Seriously Castle Black, you NEED to prepare for the Wildings. And hey, one of your men has been with them for the past couple of “months” (I don’t know time is weird in Westeros). Why don’t you use his insider knowledge to prepare? Yea. No? Okay.
Jon Snow is training the men on how to fight Wildlings. Ser Alliser Thorne interrupts him because his rank doesn’t allow him that kind of superiority. Janos Slynt suggests sending Jon on the mission to Craster’s Keep to get rid of Jon Snow. That’s smart, let’s get rid of our biggest asset against the Wildlings before they attack (rolls eyes).
So Jon is off to Craster’s but only if he can gather enough volunteers to take down the Night’s Watch rebels that have taken over the Keep. He delivers a big speech and slowly, one by one, the volunteers stand up.

Wait a second, who’s that guy hanging around Castle Black? It’s Locke, the guy that chopped off Jaime’s hand. After episode two, we can also think of him as Ramsey Snow’s sadistic BFF. You may remember, Locke was asked by Roose Bolton to travel north and find Bran and Rickon. Speaking of…

Bran – Meanwhile, at Craster’s Keep it is a shit show (pardon my French, but really). We catch up with Karl Tanner (portrayed by Burn Gorman, I bring this up because the guy’s real name is SO MUCH cooler than his GOT name and that NEVER happens), as he’s drinking wine from a HUMAN SKULL and wallowing in his surroundings, which include rape and brutality. The wives and daughters of Craster have gone from being abused by one horrible man to several, awful, no good men.

Karl is rambling on and on about his glory days as a hired killer in King’s Landing. I honestly can’t pay attention to any of this because the surroundings are too disturbing.

And if this couldn’t get any worst, they have Jon Snow’s direwolf, Ghost, outside in a cage.

Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds make their way to Craster’s Keep, only to be quickly captured by the mutineers.

(side note – I ran a Tough Mudder two weeks ago. There is an obstacle called the Warrior Carry where you have to carry another participate. The guy next to me who was doing the carrying kept saying ‘Hodor! Hodor!’ – end note)

Karl torments his new prisoners and threatens to rape Meera. It’s then that Brad finally declares, “I’m Brandon Stark of Winterfell!” I’m not going to lie when he did this I was sitting on my couch going “YES! YES, YOU ARE BRAN!” It’s been a while since we’ve heard pride in declaring the name Stark. Shortly after Jojen starts seizing, no idea why. Stay tuned.

We have Jon Snow on his way to Bran. Will he get there in time? We have Arya and Sansa also potentially going to the same place. ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A STARK REUNION? For the love of god, please give us a Stark reunion. I can’t handle anymore Stark deaths. Don’t tease us like this!

White Walkers – Also at Craster’s keep, a baby boy is born and at the urging of the wives/daughters a mutineer leaves the baby outside in the snow for the “gods.” It’s not long before a White Walker comes along and picks the baby up. Is this what Jon witnessed in Season 1?

The White Walker carries the no longer crying baby to the White Walker circle of doom and lays it down as if an offering. The White Walker “king” makes his way to the child. The whole time I’m clinching my blanket hoping I’m not about to witness the king eat the poor sweet baby. He picks up the baby and with one touch of his finger he turns the child into a White Walker. So wait, is that where White Walker’s come from? They’re transitioned by the king when touched? So wait, are there a lot of infant White Walkers crawling around? Do they grow at superhuman speed? I have so many questions.

article-2614655-1d694d4f00000578-263_634x351-game-of-thrones-spoilers-did-the-show-just-spoil-the-winds-of-winter

Okay, so now I want to talk about the White Walkers for a second. I pretty much hate them, and not because they’re ominous villains, just because they exist. First of all, I’ve never been able to jump on the zombie train. When we got to the big reveal at the end of season two my reaction was, “ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME? ZOMBIES? REALLY?!” Secondly, I just don’t understand where they fit in the story and I don’t really care to know. I’m too involved in everyone else and their storylines to care about White Walkers. And it pisses me off to think about those compelling stories will eventually have to stop so the focus can be on the White Walkers. And then I find it even more annoying that eventually each of these characters might have to unite to fight a common threat. I love the conflict as it is. Can we just not? Can winter just not come? Ugh.

House Lannister

Jaime Lannister trains with Bronn, who is clearly enjoying kicking the Kingslayer’s ass.  He even slaps Jaime across the face with Jamie’s own golden hand.  After last week, Jaime deserved that, just saying.

After Bronn informs Jaime that he disrespects Tyrion with the same crude tone he uses with him, the pair discuss Tyrion’s implication in Joffrey’s death. Neither think Tyrion is guilty and Bronn finally calls Jaime out on failing to visit his brother. Bronn reminds Jaime that Tyrion called for him to stand in his trial by combat at the Eyrie; Tyrion is Jaime’s brother and he loves and adores him.  How dare Jaime turn his back on him in his time of need.  Jaime appears to leave like he doesnt care what Bronn has to say but…

He immediately goes to visit Tyrion Lannister in his jail cell.  The two brothers compare their different prison circumstances and Tyrion calls Jaime out for being Cersei’s bitch.  They discuss the dreaded trial and the fact that most people think Tyrion really did kill Joffrey.  Tyrion knows Cersei doesn’t care about the outcome of the trial and will kill him no matter what.  Tyrion asks if Jaime will do it himself. Jaime rebuttles by asking if Tyrion has joined him as a Kingslayer.  “Are you really asking if I killed your son?” Thank you, Tyrion, for addressing the elephant in the room and acknowledging that Joffrey was Jaime’s son, too.

tyrionjail

Jaime offers to help Tyrion but the only thing Tyrion wants is freedom.  Jaime can’t give him that.  It’s treason to help a Kingslayer.  Jaime then clues Tyrion in to Cersei’s threat on Sansa’s life but Tyrion assures Jaime it couldn’t have been her.  “Sansa’s not a killer.  Not yet, anyway.”

We catch up with Olenna and Margaery Tyrell during what appears to be their last stroll through the gardens because Olenna reveals she is leaving King’s Landing.  The Tyrells have proposed a match between Tommen and Margaery but the Lannisters haven’t answered yet.  Olenna tells Margaery to be patient and then tells her a story about her first love. He was originally supposed to marry Olenna’s sister but he fell victim to Olenna’s seduction since she was apparently very, very good.  But Olenna claims Margaery is even better and needs to move in on Tommen fast before Cersei turns him against her.  Luckily, Cersei is distracted and wrongfully accusing Tyiron of murder.  Margaery wonders how she knows Tyrion is innocent.  “You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?” Olenna responds.  Margaery is confused but Olenna tells her not to worry while she FIDDLES WITH HER NECKLACE. (ASIDE: Did Olenna seriously just admit to murdering the King?! END OF ASIDE)

Jaime visits his sister-lover Cersei on official business as Lord Commander of the Night’s Guard. Cersei questions the number of guards stationed outfront of Tommen’s room and also is curious about why Catelyn would set him free.  Was he telling the truth when he made the sacred vow to the enemy? Of course not.  Jaime claims he was lying and saying whatever he needed to get back to Cersei. Not convinced, Cersei wonders what would happen if she told Jaime to leave the capital, go find Sansa and bring Cersei her head?  She also wonders why Jaime would visit the creature that murdered their son.  Cersei mocks Jaime for pitying Tyrion and then orders him to increase the number of guards for Tommen.  She dismisses the Lord Commander as she drowns herself in wine and misery.

Tommen stirs and looks frightened when he hears a noise in the dark. Don’t worry King Tommen, it’s just Margaery popping in for a (secret) midnight visit.  She emerges from the dark and Tommen wonders why he’s there since mother doesn’t allow evening visits. Margaery assures him it’s okay since she’s going to be his new bride.  Margaery tells Tommen how lucky they are to know each other prior to an arranged marriage and they should take advantage and get to know one another.  Suddenly, Ser Pounce jumps up and interrupts the intense moment.  Tommen starts to confide in her and tell her about Joffrey’s sick plans for his poor cat.  Margaery lets him know that she thinks Joffrey is awful and asks him if he knows what happens when they marry.  “I become yours, forever,” she says.  Poor Tommen. He looks terrified of what that means but also intrigued and excited as Margaery bids him farewell and promises to visit again.  “Remember, our little secret,” she whispers before disappearing into the dark.

margtom

Jaime gives Brienne a new suit of armor and his new Valyerian steel sword, claiming that since the sword is made from Ned Stark’s sword and she will be using it to defend Sansa, she has to take it.  Brienne promises to find Sansa and take her somewhere safe, for Catelyn and for Jaime.   Jaime also gives her Pod as a squire.  Poor Pod.  He’s such a good, innocent lad; he can’t figure out how to properly address Brienne.  Jaime also gives Pod Tyrion’s axe from the Battle of Blackwater, per Tyrion’s request.  Hooray for Pod!  Another nice guy who seems to have survived the Game.  Now if only we could find Gendry….

So Jaime disobeyed Cersei and did everything he could to help Sansa, not kill her.  What does this mean about Jaime?  What does he feel for Brienne, if anything?  Is he a Lannister or an Oathkeeper, as Brienne so aptly named the sword?

House Baratheon

No news here. Where. Is. Gendry.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 4×4:

Jenn’s Pick – “Kill the Masters.”  – Grey Worm to the slaves of Meereen 

Elizabeth’s Pick – “There’s nothing more tedious than a trial. Except perhaps these gardens. If I have to take one more leisurely stroll through these gardens I’ll fling myself from the cliffs.” – Lady Olenna (like viewers) is also annoyed that she’s only allowed to hang out in the Gardens

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.


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‘Game of Thrones’ Mystery – Who Killed [SPOILER]?

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS from Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones. DO NOT READ if you haven’t watched “The Lion and the Rose.”

Let’s go over what we know. King Joffrey Baratheon [finally] met his maker during his wedding to Margaery Tyrell aka the Purple Wedding on Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones. After consuming some wine, courtesy of his Cupbearer, and indulging on the Pigeon Pie, Joffrey began to choke. His choking quickly escalated until he suffocated and died. But Joffrey didn’t just choke to death – it was too quick, too painful, too brutal. Joffrey was poisoned, and Cersei knows it. Now the big question is who killed the King? We break down our list of suspects below.

Olenna Tyrell

olenna-tyrell

Lady Olenna has the means, the motive, and the opportunity. She despises Tywin; she wants to protect her granddaughter from the twisted Joffrey; she provided all of the food and drink for the wedding, making the pie and/or wine all the easier to poison. During the Purple Wedding, she flitted around the High Table and fiddled with Sansa’s hair and necklace; the same peculiar necklace that was given to Sansa by Ser Dantos, the fool from GOT 4×1. One of our RPW writers noticed an interesting fact – when Sansa first wore the necklace, it sported seven purple jewels. After Lady Olenna played with her hair, there were only six crystals hanging from the necklace. Did Olenna swipe a crystal filled with poison? Is she in cahoots with Dantos?

Who killed Joffrey Baratheon?

Who killed Joffrey Baratheon?

It doesn’t help Olenna’s case that she also gave sage advice to Sansa during their chat. “War is war, but killing a man at a wedding, horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing?” In the GOT world, things aren’t usually spelled out so clearly but when murdering a king, what better way to avoid suspicion? Killed Joffrey: Highly Likely

Oberyn Martell

game-thrones-tyrion-lannister-oberyn-martell

“The Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts,” said Oberyn to Tyrion during our Season 4 opener. We know that Oberyn isn’t in Kings Landing for a friendly hello. He’s here for revenge. Oberyn’s sister was Elia Martell, wife to Rhagaer Targaryen. During the war, the Lannisters sacked King’s Landing killing Elia and her children. Rumor has it, Elia was raped by the Mountain and then split in half. If this is the case, Oberyn holds the Lannister’s, specifically Tywin, directly responsible for the death of his family members.

Wouldn’t killing Joffrey be an eye for an eye? Killed Joffrey: Highly likely

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion-Lannister

Cersei’s #1 suspect is her baby brother, but did Tyrion really poison his nephew? We all know Tyrion hates Joffrey and that all Lannisters pay their debts. And Tyrion definitely owes Cersei quite a few debts at this point (Shae, his wedding to Sansa, just to name a couple). But is Tyrion stupid enough to poison his nephew at a public gathering, especially after he made numerous threats [including the most recent one in GOT 3×10] on Joffrey’s life in front of the Small Council? I doubt it. Many can argue that Tyrion was the last person to give Joffrey his wine cup, but Tyrion had no way to anticipate being made a fool of by his uncle in such fashion. If Tyrion is the culprit, he must’ve been carrying poison around for weeks waiting for an ideal moment. But to me, that’s still too far-fetched. Killed Joffrey: Not Likely

Tywin Lannister

Charles Dance is a man for austere seasons in Game of Thrones

Let’s face it, Joffrey was like a wild dog that Tywin was trying to keep on a leash. With him out of the picture, the Iron Throne passes to Joffrey’s younger (and easier to control) brother. This means that Tywin is back in charge. And we know he fancies killing people at weddings. But, is the man cold blooded enough to kill his own (horrible) grandson? From a war perspective, it’s not a very smart move since it makes the Throne seem weak. Killed Joffrey: Sort of likely

Sansa Stark

sansa-stark-sansa-stark-30730753-1024-576

If having reasons to kill Joffrey was a contest, Sansa would win. He was responsible for killing her direwolf. He killed her father. He repeatedly humiliated her in public. He tortured her endlessly. His family was responsible for the death of her mother and brother. Then he pushes her off to his uncle. If the poison was in the cup, Sansa was indeed the last to hand it to Tyrion. But would Sansa have the guts to kill Joffrey? It’s not likely. She’s always been too terrified of him to act. Killed Joffrey: Really Not likely

Margaery Tyrell

margaery-tyrell-and-king-joffrey

Sure she’s marrying a psychopath and may want to protect her own skin. Yes, she did feed the pie to Joffrey but Margaery is such a public relations expert that I doubt she would willingly kill off her second husband. I mean, the girl is now two for two. She’s got two dead husbands and is officially damaged goods. Who’s going to want to marry her now? Killed Joffrey: Really Not likely

Cersei Lannister

gotCersei-Lannister

Bottom line, Cersei hates Tyrion. She so quickly pointed the finger at Tyrion, some would assume she orchestrated the death of Joffrey to take Tyrion out herself. You can even argue that Cersei so self-motivated, she saw married-Joffrey as a threat whom she could no longer control.  She could have orchestrated his death just to retain her own power.  But wouldn’t it have been easier to kill Sansa? I mean, two birds with one stone. Also, the Lannisters aren’t ones to act impulsively and killing your own son would be pretty impulsive. And as much as Cersei hates Tyrion, she loved Joffrey more. Throughout his reign, she was constantly trying to steer him in the right direction and make him a good leader (not possible). Killed Joffrey: Really Not likely

Melisandre

got-melisandre

While the Red Priestess was not present at the Purple Wedding, we can’t write her off as a suspect just yet. Recall in Game of Thrones Season 3×8 “Second Sons,” Melisandre tossed leeches filled with Gendry’s blood into a fire calling for the Lord of Light to kill Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, and Baelon Greyjoy as usurpers. Two of those men have now met their end. Can we give Melisandre credit for these deaths, or is it mere coincidence? If I were Baelon Greyjoy, I’d be very careful. Killed Joffrey: Not Likely

On a similar note, WHERE IS GENDRY? gendrymoving

 


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Game of Thrones 3×1 Recap


Welcome back Game of Throne watchers!  This is it, the highly anticipated Season 3 has officially started.  Was it everything you hoped it would be?  We recap it below; feel free to share your opinions in the comments sections!

House Stark

At the start of Season 3, we find the Stark family even more disjointed and distant as Winterfell now sits abandoned.  Did you notice the smoke at Winterfell during the opening credits?  Or how about the addition of Astapor (more on that later)?

The episode picks up moments after the Season 2 finale with Sam running as fast as he can in that shag carpet of a coat from White Walkers.  Sam finds one of his Night’s Watch brothers dead in the snow, CRADLING HIS OWN HEAD.  (Commentary from GOT Viewing Party:  Whoa, he’s holding his own head, that’s so badass.  And he looks like Jesus.) But there’s no time to dwell; the zombies are coming!  Thankfully, Ghost is there to attack the White Walker and the remaining members of the Night Watch set the creepy thing on fire.   It’s official; the White Walkers are coming.

Jon Snow makes it to the wildling camp called Frostfangs and it’s time for him to meet the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Raydar, but not before seeing his first giant.  After mistaking Mance for a wildling named Giantsbane and bowing embarrassingly, we finally meet the King Beyond the Wall and former Nights Watchmen.  Hello Cirian Hinds, welcome!  (Note:  Did anyone else watch USA’s Political Animals last summer?  He’s fantastic and I’m so excited to see him in this role!)  I’m already in love with Mance as he ever so observantly points out “The girl likes yah, yah like her back?” (Check yes or no).

Jon seems to prove himself to Mance (for now) when he reveals his search for freedom stems from the desire to fight White Walkers and the disdain he feels for the Lord Commander complicity with Craster’s baby-sacrificing ways.

Did you know notice Snow hobbling?  I tried to look for it but nothing stood out.  Kit Harrington hilariously broke his ankle after losing the keys to his London flat.  He fell from a window while trying to break in, inconveniently, right before filming was set to start.  His production schedule was pushed back as much as possible and body doubles we’re used for several walking or fighting shots.  I’ll be obsessively looking for clues to the injury all season, care to join?

Robb and Catelynn arrive at Harrenhal, the previous base for the Lannister army and brief home to Arya (there’s something sad about this, they almost had her!).  The soldiers are tired and frustrated, they want to fight, but the Lannisters continue to lead them on a wild goose chase.  The only opportunity for battle in the future would be at King’s Landing. Are we going to see the Stark vs. Lannister showdown soon?  I hope so.

At Harrenhal (now owned by Petyr Baelish), they find 200 dead Northerners.  Since Catelyn allowed Jaime to leave last season in exchange for Sansa and Arya, this only increases Robb’s rage towards his mother.  In his eyes, the blood of 200 men is on her hands.  Among the bodies, they find a survivor named Qyburn, something tells me he will be important later.

We catch up with Sansa at Kings Landing.  Her and Shae are watching the ships, Sansa is making up stories about the ships, where they’re going, and what it would be like to escape onboard.  Shae asks “why should I make up a story when I know the truth?” and Sansa replies “because the truth is always either terrible, or boring.”  Quite a change in Sansa, she’s no longer hopeful or optimistic.  Witnessing the evil at King’s Landing has changed her and now she’s just trying to survive.

Where is Bran?  Where is Arya?  I’m going to need an update on the rest of the Stark clan ASAP.

House Lannister

The Lannisters are back and badder than ever. We open with a touching scene between brother and sister, Tyrion and Cersei. Tyrion has clearly become a paranoid man, but who can blame him? His own sister attempted to murder him, she employs hundreds of spies, and his father hates him. Unfortunately, Tyrion didn’t realize the extent of that hate until he paid Lord Tywin a friendly visit. Tyrion tried to make it seem like the visit was driven by love, but really it was driven by greed. No surprises there – Tyrion is, after all, a Lannister. But Tywin cruelly reminded Tyrion that he is only his son by law, and that Tywin despises Tyrion and blames him for the death of his mother. Poor Tyrion. My heart broke for him as Tywin so callously dismissed him, but not without one last threat to Shae. Something tells me Tywin wouldn’t be as stupid as Cersei to collect the wrong whore.

I find myself once again admiring the work of Charles Dance. You may recall he similarly ripped into Jaime Lannister in Season 1, while ripping into a stag carcass. This scene last night felt oddly reminiscent of that scene, except this time the carcass was Tyrion. No one can deliver a powerful monologue quite like Mr. Dance.

Elsewhere in the Lion’s Den, King Joffrey and Queen Margaery find themselves in Flea Bottom [is this a reference to our beloved U.S. capital?!]. Margaery decided to stop her wagon to visit the children who are now orphans after the Battle of Blackwater. The scene was touching, and I sense she is somewhat aware of what the Lannisters are really like, and plans to do some serious damage control for their reputation and the throne.

The next time we see the Lannisters, Cersei planned a family dinner for herself and Joffrey, and Margaery and Loras. I must say, what an awkward family dinner! But this scene was fantastic. Not only did we have four major characters in one scene together [which is such a treat!], but we had King Joffrey freely making fun of Cersei and Margaery proving to be as perfect, if not more so, than Lady Sansa. I sensed tension and jealously brewing within Cersei. We all know Margaery wants to become Queen. Now, she is betrothed to the King of Westeros and the Queen Regent will soon no longer be needed. Cersei knows what Margaery is doing. Lord Tyrion may just be safe for now, as Queen Cersei just set her sights on a new threat.

The only Lannister we didn’t catch up with was Jaime, who is currently on route on King’s Landing with Brienne of Tarth. We need to find out what the Gorgeous Kingslayer is up to ASAP!

House Baratheon

Our favorite bearded captain, Davos ended up surviving the Blackwater Battle and is stuck on a pile of rocks. (Commentary from GOT Viewing Party:  OH HEYYYY, it’s that guy!  What is wrong with his face?  Is that fungus or really bad sunburn?)  Thankfully, he’s rescued by the pirate, Salladhor Saan.  From the pirate we learn that Stannis is licking his battle wounds at Dragonstone with his creepy witch lady.  They have been burning people alive for the Lord of Light.  Davos vows to takedown Melisandre and get Stannis on track (good luck).

Davos finally makes it back to Stannis (Commentary from GOT Viewing Party:  Stannis seems to have gotten a lot of gray hairs, no?) and wishes to discuss evil witch lady with him in private.  Tough luck man, us ladies are smarter than that. After pushing his buttons enough, Davos turns on Melisandre by drawing his dagger.  Stannis has Davos arrested.

What is this ladies game?  What does she get out of Stannis sitting on the Iron Throne?  Is our bearded captain going to be the hero that brings Stannis back?

House Targaryen

Say it with me now, DRAGONS!!!!!!!

Dany’s scenes were my favorite last night. The dragons looked incredible, her script was on point, and the special effects were amazing. Not only can the dragons swim (I was shocked!!) but they can catch gigantic fish, fry their food, and eat all in 5 seconds!  The dragons are growing quickly, and it’s no wonder considering their efficient diet. The Dothraki on ships was priceless – it’s like a ship full of babes!

Dany and her Khalasar soon landed in Astapor, another beautiful set location added to Game of Thrones. Dany is finally going to have to prove how far she will go to reclaim the Iron Throne. Dany found herself in front of The Unsullied – a eunuch slave army full of men who fear nothing, and apparently men that don’t need nipples. But The Unsullied are terrifying. Each one had to kill an innocent newborn baby in front of their mother to join the ranks.

Dany may appear to have the determination of a warrior, but she has the heart of a mother. She was noticeably bothered by the thought of 8,000 dead babies.  Now, she must choose whether to take on these fearless slave soldiers as her own, or dismiss them based on her maternal instincts.  Dany’s gentle heart again gets the best of her as a cute, young village girl rolls her a ball and playfully urges her to open.   Inside is a deadly scorpion, spider thing.  The girl smiles with her yucky mouth, revealing it to be a trick from the warlocks.  Luckily, Ser Barristan Selmy arrived just in time to save our Dragon from the deadly trick.

In Season 2, we saw Dany learn valuable lessons in trust. If she wants to survive Season 3, and become the Queen of Westeros, she needs to learn to keep her emotions in check. Her gentle heart proved to be her weakness in Season 1 when she trusted the evil witch which ultimately led to her losing Khal Drogo and her unborn child. If she keeps behaving as she did in last night’s episode, it could prove to be her ultimate weakness. To gain the loyalty of an army, even a slave army, Dany has to prove that she is strong and powerful like a true ruler, not weak and gentle like a woman. It’s time for Dany to embrace her ruthless side, and become the true Dragon.

I LOVED the scene where Barristan pledged his allegiance to Dany and I can tell that this will be a very pivotal move for her. This moment was also super emotional. It proves to her that there are still people who are loyal to House Targaryen in Westeros and that the Targaryen’s still have faithful servants in powerful places. If someone like Barristan Selmy supports her claim to the throne, who else in Westeros will do so? More importantly, will Barristan shed light on Jorah’s true reason for initially joining Dany?

One thing is clear, Astapor is a dangerous place and The Unsullied are terrifying. Dany needs to be smart and cunning to survive in this city. And, if she can prove that she is smart and powerful and become the leader of The Unsullied, can anyone stop Dany and her army from retaking the throne?

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quotes of 3X1:
“If I wanted to kill you, do you think I’d let a wooden door stop me?” – Cersei Lannister to her brother, Tyrion

There you have it! Season 3 has officially started and we can’t wait to see where it takes us. Did anyone else find the timelines confusing? The wildling story picks up right after Season 2’s finale, so does everything going on at Kings Landing. But, Dany’s dragons seem to be years older than when we last saw them?

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the third seasons premiere (no book spoilers please!) in the comments below.

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.


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Countdown to GOT Season 3 – #2

#2 Tyrion Lannister – “I much like my head. I don’t want to see it removed just yet.”

tyrion-lannister-1024

Our countdown is almost over and I hate to admit that I’m happy about that fact. That’s only because it means we will finally be watching a new episode!! It feels like an eternity since I’ve done that.

And I digress. Our #2 quote in our countdown for most anticipated moments of Season 3 comes from Tyrion Lannister. I have to admit, this is my favorite character in Westeros. It shocks me considering how I feel about everyone he’s related to, but I think most people would agree that Tyrion Lannister is The Man. So when we found Tyrion in a small and dirty chamber, stripped of his titles and powers, I was shocked and upset. How could Tywin not recognize that Tyrion saved the city? Without Tyrion, King’s Landing would have fallen before Tywin showed up and we would have a Baratheon sitting on the Iron Throne [not that I’d mind, but where’s the fun in that?]

We all know what happened to the last two Hands of the King. Recap – one killed by mother, the other by son. What will that mean for Tyrion? We already know that Cersei hates him, and I think Joffrey would execute him if he slapped him one more time (you can see the slap at 44 seconds!). So, my third most anticipated moment of GOT Season 3 is finding out if Tyrion keeps his head. I sure do hope so, because I’d like to see Tyrion get back into the game. He was better at playing it than anyone short of Lord Varys, no pun intended. Tyrion is smart, savvy, and somehow manages to stay one step ahead of everyone. He’s even managed to keep Shae alive, despite Cersei’s attempts at her life.

I could probably write a novel about how much I love Peter Dinklage. Instead, I’ll keep it simple. Recall the scene where Tyrion made the decision to lead the charge against Stannis after Joffrey fled the battle. His script called for him to declare that he’d lead the charge one time. Instead, Peter decided to ad-lib with the second line – the first one quiet as if making the personal revelation that he’d do it, the second one firm asserting his power and confirming his choice. It was the perfect addition, and it captures everything I love about this actor as Tyrion. He is perfect.

So, what will happen to Lord Tyrion this season? Will he survive in King’s Landing? Will Cersei discover the real Shae? Can Tyrion return to his former glory or will he decide to leave it all behind and flee?

We do know that Tyrion owes Cersei. And I can’t wait to see him pay her back. And I’d bet we can count on that happening soon, since a Lannister always pays his debts.


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Countdown to GOT Season 3 – #7

#7 Margaery Tyrell – “No, I want to be THE Queen.”

Margaery & Joffrey

I swear, whenever I think of this scene in GOT Season 2, where Margarery Tyrell shares with Petyr Baelish her ambitions for becoming Queen, I still get the goosebumps! And now that King Joffrey has taken Margaery as his betrothed, we will finally get to see Margaery Tyrell in all her glory. So, my 7th most anticipated moment of GOT Season 3 is seeing how Margaery Tyrell handles herself now that she is in King’s Landing.

I enjoy Margaery Tyrell because I feel as if she is a breath of fresh air. The women of Westeros have all proven to be of the same mold – highborn ladies who are trained in the skills of femininity, then betrothed to a great Knight or King, and sent away from home against their wishes. They are then wed, bear children, and raise them from the safety of their new castles. Queen Cersei, Lady Stark, Lady Arryn, even Sansa Stark, proved to follow that path. Arya Stark broke the mold a bit, but her story was greatly altered after her father was executed. For Arya, the game is survival. But for Margaery, the game is, and always has been, ambition. Margaery is after one thing and one thing only – becoming the Queen of Westeros – and she won’t let anything stand in her way. I think she proved that when she knowingly wed her brother’s lover, Renly. Margaery sort of reminds me of Dany in this sense, but Dany was ripped from Westeros and she has the Blood of the Dragon, so the conqueror within her is more expected. Margaery Tyrell, however, is more like the men of Westeros. She has aspirtations for power and she will marry whomever, and do [whomever] whatever, to get what she wants.

Perhaps what I am more interested in seeing is the dynamic between Jack Gleeson’s King Joffrey and Natalie Dormer’s Margaery. I am a fan of both of these actors. Both Jack and Natalie have proven to be SO good at being bad. Being a fan of The Tudors, when I saw her on screen for the first time in GOT, I literally jumped for joy. Now I am curious to see the chemistry between them and the evolution of their relationship. Fans of the show are already aware of Joffrey’s demented behavior, and his apparent lack of interest in women. But, fair Margaery has only heard stories of Joffrey and may not realize exactly what she has gotten herself into it. Will she come to love Joffrey as her king and her husband, or will she regret her choice and try to escape?

One thing is for sure, Natalie Dormer is a phenomenal actress who fully embodies her characters and provides depth and intensity. She has burst into King’s Landing with ferocity and has caused quite a stir. With a more pivotal role in Season 3 (which hopefully translates into more screen time!), we can look forward to great acting and mouth-watering drama, it is known!


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Countdown to GOT Season 3 – #8

#8 Sandor Clegane “The Hound” – “F**k the King’s Guard, f**k the city, f**k the King.”

thehound

Frightening us in the eighth position is King Joffrey’s old bodyguard, Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound, played by Rory McCann. Joffrey’s Dog has been terrorizing people on his behalf for two seasons but in GOT Season 3, we see a change for the Hound. As many may fondly recall from GOT Season 2 Episode 9, the Hound left King’s Landing after experiencing a brief panic attack during the Battle of Blackwater Bay. My 8th most anticipated moment of GOT Season 3 is to see where the Hound ends up after he flees the capitol.

The Hound’s departure of King’s Landing is more important than it may seem. King Joffrey’s power as a ruler stemmed heavily from fear of the wrath of his Dog. Now that the Hound is gone, and the King’s Guard is being controlled by Cersei and Tywin, Joffrey is in a bit of a sticky situation. In addition, the Hound was the one thing that stood between Joffrey and Sansa. Now that Sansa is no longer the King’s betrothed, and she has no one left to protect her, what will she do? I still wonder what Lady Sansa was thinking when she refused the rare but sweet offer of help that the Hound offered. That decision may prove to come back and haunt Sansa this season.

Questions to consider when you’re up at night thinking of GOT:
1. Will Sandor Clegane still remain loyal to the Lannisters, along with his brother, or could he possibly bend the knee to the King in the North?
2. Will the Hound seek revenge for the scars on his face caused by the Mountain That Rides?
3. Does the Hound truly enjoy killing as much as he says he does, or was that a fear tactic?

In honor of the Hound’s service to King Joffrey, here are some of his best quotes from Season 1 and Season 2:

“If any man dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his f**king corpse!”
―Sandor Clegane leading his troops in the Battle of Blackwater

“The Butcher’s boy, you ran him down?”
―Ned Stark
“He ran, not very fast..”
―The Hound

“Does it give you joy to scare people.”
―Sansa Stark
“No, it gives me joy to kill people.”
―The Hound

“I lost half my men. The Blackwater is on fire.”
―Sandor Clegane to King Joffrey

One thing is for sure, as long as we see the Hound on screen, audiences can count on blood, guts, and glory!