Last week on Game Of Thrones, the High Sparrow made his debut, Arya started her training, and Sansa goes home. This week, Cersei got closer to the High Sparrow, The Sons Of The Harpy got bolder, and Jon Snow got challenged. GOT is all about how people jockey for power, so click through for our season five Game Of Thrones Power Rankings.
Game Of Thrones Power Rankings, Week 4:
1. The Season Of Stannis: His unwavering grim demeanor has been threatening to crack since he arrived at the Night's Watch, and it broke big this week. It goes to show how important a change of scenery can be. Lock him up in Dragonstone for a season (ahem, season 3), and you get a lot of tedious brooding. Throw him at The Wall, and suddenly he's become a mentor, a leader, and most surprisingly, a father.
His scene with his daughter was one of his best ever. "Are you ashamed of me father," she asks. He stands up. He tells her about her childhood doll, about contracting greyscale, about the doctors telling him she would die. He reached out to every corner of Westeros for help: "Because you do not belong across the world with the bloody stone men," he declares. "You're the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon. And you are my daughter." We could feel the hug through the screen.
2. Welcome To Me, Daenerys Stormborn Of The House Targaryen: There wasn't a lot for her to do this week, so you can call this more of a legacy positioning. But it was nice seeing a flash of season one Dany both onscreen (her final conversation with Ser Barristan) and off. All credit to Kristen Wiig and her dragon Carl, but Khaleesi is the meme now.
3. Previously On GOT Ghost Of Ned Stark's Manbun: He's finally back! And he brought along a friend: Previously On GOT Ghost Of Robert Baratheon's Scraggly Beard!
4. Farewell Ser Barristan: He didn't always do enough to make it onto the Power Rankings, but he definitely got to go out like a badass. The final fight between the Unsullied and the Sons Of The Harpy was the most exciting action sequence of the entire season thus far. Let's just hope Grey Worm hasn't met the same fate.
Oh look, all of my favourite Game of Thrones characters !! pic.twitter.com/gRBxbHnpLo
— ΛΛRON HΛST\NGS (@AaronTHastings) May 3, 2015
You can read an exit interview with Barristan at EW: "He had to be seen fighting. He’s been talked about as the greatest knight that ever was, so he’s got to fight. So it’s great that he does."
5. Vital Narrative Dumps (Not Involving Any Sex Acts): As in, sexposition without the sex. In the bowels of Winterfell, Littlefinger tells Sansa all about the only time he saw her Aunt Lyanna Stark in the flesh. OG Littlefinger (season one Baelish-edition) would never deign to describe a childhood memory without at least three women getting it on around him.
There are all these hints piling up in this episode. Stannis raises an eyebrow when questioned about his particular interest in Jon Snow, noting that sleeping with random women "wasn't Ned Stark's way." Ser Barristan suddenly reminisces about Rhaegar Targaryen, the wandering musician. And Littlefinger gives Sansa a look and a shrug when she mentions her Aunt being kidnapped and raped. It's all very meaningful.
6. Cersei, High Sparrow, & Mutually Assured Destruction: This is what happens when you make dowager jabs at Cersei's expense: it's all out war between Cersei and Margaery now. Because as we learned in the season premiere, Cersei is convinced (thanks to that childhood prophecy) that Margaery is her nemesis, fated to take away everything she loves.
We haven't read the books, but the writing is all over the walls with this thing—they are laying on the foreshadowing thick with lines like, "Too often the wicked are the wealthiest. Beyond the reach of justice." There's a great sinner in our very midst? Shielded by gold and privilege? Hmm. "All sinners are equals before the gods," High Sparrow responds.
7. A Close-Up Shot Of Cersei Pouring A Glass Of Wine In The Middle Of The Day: All sinners are tipsy before the gods. Cersei loves wine more than George R.R. Martin loves the Dead.
8. Queen Margaery: She's not really in the mood right now, Tommen. Thanks for nothing, by the way.
9. Tommen, King Of The Andals, Lord Of The Seven Boners, Protector Of The Realm Unless Violence May Be Involved: He's so utterly oblivious right now, he doesn't really notice the people yelling "bastard,' "abomination, and "born of sin" at him. It's only a matter of time before that it gets shoved in his face.
10. Jon Snow's Fantastical Encounters With Melisandre's Persuasive Libido, Pt 2: This is almost exactly what we hoped for coming into this season (just look!). I mean, this isn't romance, it's life. It's shadowbabies. It's little know-nothing shadowbabies.
And don't expect this to be the end of it. Actress Carice van Houten told EW Melisandre will be persistent: "That’s something I like about this season. It’s probably my favorite season for my character. She’s slightly shifting from Stannis to Jon. And it’s not clear it’s just because she’s a woman attracted to a younger, beautiful guy. Or if there’s more to it. And it might be a mixture of both."
— James Hibberd (@JamesHibberd) May 4, 2015
11. The Creepy Kiss Between Sansa & The Accent Formerly Known As Littlefinger: "Except I'll be a married woman by the time you return." Honestly, we have no idea how to feel about their whole thing at this point.
12. Sand Snakes: New character monologue alert. We finally meet Oberyn's three daughters in Dorne (note: only Tyene is Ellaria Sand's daughter), and they decide to go to war with the Lannisters. And there's a guy buried in the sand surrounded by scorpions. Dorne seems chill.
13. The Continuing Adventures Of The Leather Jacket Brothers: Whether they're eating snakes, subtly approaching the topic of incest, or scrapping with a bunch of Dornishmen, Jaime and Bronn are always dressed for success.
GoT leather jacket game is on point.
— Lindsay Applebaum (@lindsapple) May 4, 2015
14. Tyrion's Topsy-Turvey Rollercoaster Of Emotions: At least he got a good chuckle in at Jorah's expense before being knocked out again.
15. Ser Friendzone: Punching out fishermen, stealing boats, gagging Lannisters. Based on his half-baked plan to get back into Dany's good graces, we think Jorah's been spending way too much time with Mother Of Dragon lookalikes.
Full Suicide Squad revealed. pic.twitter.com/HKcMYLZDHT
— Charm Offender (@marcbernardin) May 3, 2015
The Viserys Targaryen Memorial Least Powerful Person Of The Week Award: As we wrote in the season premiere, self-awareness doesn't mean Ser Loras isn't clumsy, and his sister's words have come back to haunt him now that he's been arrested for breaking "the laws of gods and men." Even the king can't save him for now.
Pit In Our Stomach Of The Week: "You will take this Bolton boy Ramsay and make him yours," Littlefinger assures Sansa, and we feel like we're falling through a moon door. We've all seen what Ramsay is capable of. Alfie Allen, who plays Reek, isn't reassuring us: "There's something that happens about halfway through this season that is really going to make huge waves. And people aren't going to be happy about it. It's hard to watch," Allen told Huffington Post. "I bear witness to this thing, and it's crazy, sort of having to portray how messed up everyone's situation is through my own reactions to what happens. Get ready for it."
The Ser Pounce Memorial Most Powerful Pet Of The Week Award: Hey, remember Ser Pounce? The kitten who secretly rules Westeros while using Tommen as a prop? Actor Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen) told MTV everyone knows we miss him:
People were obsessed with him. He was a bit of a diva, but at the end of the day he’s only a cat, so when the director and the trainers are trying to get him to stand in position on the bed, or run off in a certain direction, it was a bit of a obstacle to get him to do it. But in the end, the final shot looks great, and he doesn’t really look like a diva. In truth, he was a bit of a bugger on set. But I’d like to see him back, I would. It’s down to the showrunners.
One Sentence Theater With Grand Maester Pycelle: "The small council grows smaller and smaller." "Not small enough." "B-but..."
Poor Pycelle pic.twitter.com/8nl3fPiSaT
— Natty (@nataliemalloy17) April 13, 2015
Hey, Remember That Thing That Happened? Of The Week: Regarding those vital narrative dumps...the story Littlefinger tells Sansa goes a long way toward explaining the origins of the Stark/Martell/Baratheon/Targaryen schism. It's a bit like Helen of Troy: Elia Martell, Oberyn's sister, was meant to marry Rhaegar Targaryen, who instead favored Lyanna Stark, who was promised to Robert Baratheon. Then Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna, sparking Robert's Rebellion. Or as is strongly, strongly implied here, he didn't actually kidnap and rape her. Which has all sorts of implications. Implications which you can explore in more depth here if you're into that sort of thing.
I'll say no further, but the next GAME OF THRONES will make some heads explode among adherents of a certain huge-if-true fan theory.
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) April 30, 2015
The Lord Oaf Of Highgarden Oafiest Glimpse Of The Night: "House Tyrell could front the gold and the crown would pay us back in time, or I'd have words with my daughter!" [pause for laughter & applause, get rewarded with his own kingsguard and a Super Crackers franchise]
We've never seen a more apt analogy.
Mace Tyrell is the Ron Donald of Westeros
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) May 4, 2015
Rickon Watch 2015: Is Rickon Still On This Show? We have started a movement. The Corn Moon knows all.
lmao remember Rickon Stark? Wonder what he's up to.
— Sabs F. Kennedy (@sabsgotuscurred) May 4, 2015
Where is Rickon Stark?
— John Jannuzzi (@johnjannuzzi) May 4, 2015
Guys, where the heck is Rickon?!?!?!?!?!?
— Zeke Morgan (@realzekemorgan) May 4, 2015
Am I the only person who wants to know where lil' Rickon is?
— Nicco.D (@NiccoDMusic) May 4, 2015
DAE think the show legit forgot about Rickon Stark?
— ZARBEAR (@mountainpew) May 4, 2015
@LifeLoveWine lmao rickon! Hello, rickon? Anyone in the realm see a rickon anywhere?!
— I Thee Wed (@I_TheeWed) May 4, 2015
Way Beyond The Wall: Arya had the week off, along with those Face-Shifting Assassin Monks Who Speak In The Third Person. Brienne Of Fucking Tarth & World's Oldest Squire Podrick Payne were nowhere to be seen, nor Those Lovable Boltons, Varys, Ser Davos, or Prince Doran of Dorne.
No Previously On GOT Replay Of Joffrey Baratheon's Death, Queen of Thorns/Olenna Tyrell, and Pirate Of Stannis Salladhor Saan. There was obviously no Bran/Hodor/Tree Wizard (duh), no distant Tully relatives (Edmure, Blackfish) and no Brotherhood Without Banners. We do remember who Hot Pie and Gendry are, but we only sorta remember what they look like.
As ever, we don't know what's the status on The Hound or The Mountain (unless he was the thing that groaned in Qyburn's lab last week), both of whom seemed to be in various states of mortal danger last we saw.
This was the last episode we (and apparently thousands of other people) had screeners for, so we'll be watching live on Sunday nights once again for the rest of the season. As for next week, according to the HBO loglines, Dany makes a difficult decision in Meereen, Jon recruits the help of an unexpected ally, and Brienne searches for Sansa. Until then, enjoy a game of frogs.