Oberyn Martell recaps “Sons of the Harpy”-Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 4

Oberyn Martell here, recapping all the foolishness in the Game of Thrones.

Hmmm, it’s not nice to hit a fisher man. But if you’re doing it in facilitate the kidnapping of Tyrion Lannister, I suppose it’s ok. Especially  for someone like Jorah Mormont.

Down south, Jamie and Bronn are busy sailing to my homeland, Dorne. Bronn’s mistaken though, we’re not crazy. Just passionate. We just realize the joy of fighting and fucking. Judging by Jaime’s open shirt and fighting reputation, he’s familiar with the idea. A shame I didn’t know Bronn better. I think we would have gotten along very well by doing a bit of both.

Their mission to save Myrcella Baratheon is understandable, especially since she is related to Jamie and Cersei. But Jamie still can’t utter the words of what Myrcella really is to him. Niece? If even Bronn knows that’s a deception, then what’s the point of further deluding yourself? When you have family, wherever they, whoever you are, you should acknowledge that and take them. Especially your children. Jamie has ignored his role for far too long. Though with a son like Joffrey, one understands.

Hmm, Jamie is no longer feeling quite so close to Tyrion, since the latter murdered their father. What is it with this family? I fathered eight children from various women, yet we are still family. But the Lannisters wind up not only fucking each other, then fucking each other over and then murder. Surprising that Tywin Lannister died at Tyrion’s hand. I would have liked to have seen that.

Small council

In King’s Landing, Cersei is busy cutting the Small Council down to size. But also bleeding money, still. Sending Mace Tyrell to negotiate with the Iron Bank is a desperate move, but I wonder if Cersei realizes how desperate.

Judging by how she’s attempting to bribe and/or align with the Sparrows, probably not. Her talks with the High Sparrow are manipulative, clumsy and reckless. After all, they’re a pious bunch and growing in numbers. But Cersei’s relationship with her brother is becoming common knowledge, along with Tommen’s true parentage, how might they react to Cersei eventually?

Ah, I see she’s pitting the Sparrows against Margaery Tyrell, through her beautiful brother Loras. For holy men, the Sparrows are particularly violent and driven. The smashing of wine barrels is ridiculous and wasteful, surely! But the wine is from King’s Landing, so probably swill. What a terrible way to treat the city streets of that dung heap, by letting their wine run down its streets. And then arresting Loras for the crime of lying with men? This city is filled with too many sober celibates, no wonder they’re so violently idiotic!  Worshiping the gods is fine, but one can carry it too far. Carving a symbol on your forehead in their name? Oh Lancel Lannister, you’ve fallen quite low. Things were so much better for you when you were fucking your cousin and plotting murder.

I imagine murder is high on Margaery’s mind after Loras is imprisoned. But she’s a very smart woman, who knows how to use her resources. And she’s a queen who has a freshly minted king. Having Tommen go to, what was it, “the dowager Queen”, won’t help matters, as Cersei, quite rightly, notes she had nothing directly to do with Loras’s imprisonment. Poor Tommen. Such a sweet boy, but hopelessly lost. It will be interesting to see how far Cersei will go with this game. She detests anyone else manipulating Tommen, but she has no problem doing it herself.

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When Tommen does go to meet the High Sparrow to discuss Loras, the regular (Low?) Sparrows are not keen to let the King pass. Some of them yell “abomination”. Tommen backs down, despite his King’s Guard being willing to slaughter them all. He does not want violence. He would rather spend his days in bed with Magaery and drinking wine, which is a admittedly good goal. But you’re the King now boy. You don’t always get to do what you want. Sometimes you have to leave the fucking behind and do the fighting. Because if you won’t fight to free the queen’s brother, your bed will very lonely and cold.

At the Wall, Stannis is watching as Jon fights and trains. His wife is by his side, going on with nonsense of being no good to him for having birthed only a daughter. No wonder Westeros is such a cesspool, they can’t even be bothered to value their women. Luckily Melisandre comes along and notes that a daughter of a King is still a daughter of King. Quite right! She may be manipulative priestess who enjoys burning people alive, but Melisandre makes a good point…

Jon, now the Lord Commander, is busy signing letters. Leading is tedious. Far better to have a brother whose the King so you can spend your time fighting and fucking. That’s how to live!

Things get tricky as Sam places a letter meant for Roose Bolton before Jon. It’s a request for troops, which is being sent to all the Houses. But Bolton is the man who betrayed the Starks, resulting in Robb and Catelyn Stark’s death. To ask such a man for help must gall, but again, when you’re in charge, your own wishes are not always important.

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Melisandre enters the chamber and Sam leaves. She asks Jon to ride to Winterfell with Stannis. After all, he knows it better than anyone. He refuses, citing his oath, so Mel offers herself to him, to remind him that he’s fighting for fucking. She says many words about the Lord of Light and other things, but really, it’s pretty straightforward: she promises sex in return for his allegiance. A lovely offer, but the price is high.

Luckily Jon is not so easily turned, again citing his vow and love for Ygritte. When she’s leaves, Melisandre says “you know nothing Jon Snow.” Ygritte said that often to him, when she was alive. It’s disturbing to hear it uttered by another. I am intrigued and would probably be tempted to have her at this point, if I wasn’t me and thus already had her.

Stannis’s daughter Shireen visits him in his chamber. She makes a bit of small talk but then gets to her main worry. She asks if Stannis is ashamed of her, because of the greyscale that has disfigured part of her face.

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Stannis recounts the story of a trader who brought a doll to Dragonstone soon after Shireen was born. But the doll was burned in a short time once the greyscale appeared. Others advised Stannis to send her away, but he did not. He called in every maester that he knew and they managed to stop it, saving Shireen’s life. He reminds her that she did not belong anywhere but with him, for she is a princess and his daughter. She hugs and after a time, he hugs her back. Family is a powerful thing and the love of a child even more so. It is strange and wonderful to see that it affects even Stannis. Say what you will about Stannis, his lack of warmth and inability to get the people to love him. He does not forget family and stays true to them.

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In the tunnels of Winterfell, Sansa is lighting candles to her ancestors. Baelish enters and finds her before the statue of Lyanna Stark, who was promised to Robert Baratheon. Sansa recalls the story of how Rhaegar Targaryan kidnapped and raped her, causing Robert to begin the rebellion that made him King. But Baelish looks thoughtful at that account and instead tells Sansa of an incident that occurred before the kidnapping. After winning a duel, Rhaegar rode right by his wife, my sister Elia Martel, and instead placed flowers in Lyanna Stark’s lap. The dog made his intentions and feelings clear. But those are not the actions of a man who would kidnap and rape someone. Hmmm.

They move on and talk more. He lets her know he’ll be going to King’s Landing because Cersei has summoned him and he doesn’t want to make the paranoid lady suspicious. Sansa is worried, she doesn’t want to be left alone with the family that murdered her’s. So Baelish reveals his plan: He believes Stannis will attack Winterfell, defeat the Boltons and unite the houses of the north to attack King’s Landing. Since Sansa is the last known Stark, she’ll be made Wardeness of the North, achieving a level of power she could only dream of.

But what if Stannis does not do that or he fails to take Winterfell? Baelish doesn’t see that as a problem, since Sansa can just seduce Ramsay. But does he know what a monster Ramsay is? It’s always hard to tell with Baelish, he has a very good poker face. Sansa is worried, but Baelish helps her steel her resolve. Then he kisses her lightly on the lips before leaving. I see he has more plans for the future!

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Off the coast of Dorne, Bronn struggles to row while Jaime sits quietly and shrugs. A one-handed man isn’t very useful. But they manage to reach the shore and make camp for the night.

In the morning, Bronn appears to ready to stab Jamie, but instead strikes a snake that was near his head. They talk about how they would prefer to die. Bronn would like to go quietly, in his old age. Jaime would like to go in the arms of the woman he loves. Bronn asks if she wants the same thing. There is no answer, which is answer enough.

They start walking and come across Dornish soldiers on horseback. Facing poor odds, Bronn talks a good game and appears to give up, but instead surprise attacks. He kills three, while leaving one for Jaime, who barely manages to take him, and only by using his fake hand as a guard. Finally, a use for the damn thing! Perhaps he’ll stop moping around now.

They discuss burying the bodies. Jamie wants to hide them to avoid questions. Bronn doesn’t give a damn about them, but Jamie points out that dead bodies raise questions.

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At another spot in Dorne, a rider returns to a camping site. It’s Elissa Sand and my daughters, the Sand Snakes. Elissa’s still fiery, attempting to avenge my supposed death. Quite right. As long as Lannisters are dead, and lose everything they have, the world will be wonderful place.

Ellaria is in no mood for my brother Doran’s desire for peace. She wants war and vengeance. My daugther Nymeria, mistress of the whip,  reveals the ship captain who sailed Bronn and Jamie to Dorne. He’s buried in the sand, with just his head showing. Ellaria asks if the three daughters are with her in getting vengeance. Nymeria and Tyene, who wields daggers,  immediately agree. But Obara, my oldest and master of the spear,  pauses and tells the story of when I came to claim my child. Her mother was tearful and did not want me to take her. But I threw down a spear and pointed to her mother and told Obara to choose her own path. It’s obvious which way she went, and it’s obvious when she’ll go in terms of vengeance. I could not prouder of them all! It’s definitely time for fighting!

Back on the stolen rowboat, Tyrion is trying to talk to Jorah, but being gagged presents a difficulty. So he begins humming annoyingly and the gag comes off. Jorah refuses to say who he is. Tyrion notes that they’re going the wrong if he’s to return to Cersei. Jorah informs them that he’s taking Tyrion to Queen Daenerys. Poor Jorah, still stuck on her.

Then Tyrion figures out who Jorah is and why he was kicked out from Daenerys court. He notes that Jorah’s scheme is a desperate one and there’s no guarantee that Daenerys will pardon Jorah for bringing her a Lannister. So Jorah smacks him. I understand the urge, the Imp can be so annoying, even when he’s right.

In Meereen, Ser Barristan tells Daenerys about Rhaegar Targaryen. Evidently he loved to walk among the common people and sing. He had a beautiful voice. Barristan would often be with him, for protection, but also to gather any money people would give. Sometimes they’d spend keep the money or spend it one wine. Again, Rhaegar doesn’t sound quite so bad, despite having betrayed my sister for the Stark woman. Then Daarios enters, mentioning that people are waiting to plead their case before her, so off she goes.

Hizdahr zo Loraq is there, again pleading for the opening of the fighting pits. Daenerys is still against it. She sees it as inhuman, but it’s one of the few things the former masters and slaves of Meereen both want. People do love their sports and having an outsider deny this to them only inflames things. She still has so much to learn. Unlike Tommen, she has the will to put what she wants first, but in this case, she is terribly mistaken.

For throughout the city, Sons of the Harpy gather. Then they enter a market and begin killing people. The Unsulied rush to the scene, where they’re led into a trap by a woman. It’s a slaughter, with the Unsullied being gruesomely defeated. They may be excellent fighters, but overwhelming numbers can still kill a force.

The trapped Unsullied fight hard, but their numbers dwindle. Eventually it’s gets down to several against Greyworm, who’s badly wounded. Ser Barristan arrives in time to help hold of the Harpies off, but he himself is badly wounded. He saves Greyworm, but at the cost of his own life.


I have seen many battles, but this one was truly bloody. That it occurred in Meereen, the seat of Daenerys powers doesn’t bode well. If she can’t rule a single city, then there will be no Seven Kingdoms for her.

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Musings over wine…

Daenerys does seem to collect helpful men. I look forward to Tyrion meeting her. Perhaps he can teach her how to use her power?

Ellaria Sand, I do love her passion. I am thrilled to see her with my daughters. But will they truly be able to skirt my brother’s wishes? Won’t it be wonderful to see them fight Bronn and Jaime? Will they remember my gifts of poison?

I have thought there were many in the kingdom as dangerous as myself. But Littlefinger has a lust for power that makes him quite dangerous. What will he do when he returns to Kinds Landing and his religiously ruined brothel? 

Though I am reveling in seeing Cersai make a terrible mess of her pitiful kingdom, I begin to look forward to her downfall. I hope it is spectacular.