I Rewatched “Game Of Thrones” Season 5 And Noticed Some Interesting Details


In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, I’m rewatching and recapping every season that’s come before. So far I’ve dived deep into Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4 – and now it’s on to Season 5. I’m going to need a lot of wine for this one…

Episode 1: “The Wars to Come”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• The season opens with a flashback to Cersei as a young girl, going to visit Maggy the Frog, a fortune teller. Cersei receives a prophecy that informs a lot of her attitude moving forward (more on that below). In the present, Cersei arrives at the Sept of Baelor for Tywin’s funeral. She has words with Jaime, who she partially blames for Tywin’s death. Meanwhile, Lancel Lannister is back for the first time since Season 2, and has had quite the makeover. He’s joined the religious group the Sparrows.

• Loras is still hooking up with Olyvar, who admires his birthmark shaped like Dorne. Margaery interrupts them because Loras is late for dinner.

• Tyrion and Varys arrive in Pentos at the home of Illyrio Mopatis (the merchant Daenerys and Viserys were staying with in Season 1). Varys tells Tyrion about Daenerys, his last great hope for a decent ruler for Westeros.

• In Meereen, the Sons of the Harpy have begun killing Unsullied. Daario and Hizdahr return from their mission to Yunkai. Hizdahr pleads for Dany to reopen the fighting pits and she refuses. She visits Viserion and Rhaegal, who are still chained up in the catacombs but have somehow grown a lot bigger.

• Jon trains Olly in how to fight. Stannis asks Jon to convince the wildlings to fight with him to get Winterfell back, and Jon is shocked (which is interesting considering he will later go to the wildlings with the same request himself). Nevertheless, Jon urges Mance to acquiesce to Stannis’ request and bend the knee. Mance refuses, and Stannis sentences him to death by fire. Jon shoots Mance with an arrow to give him a quick death instead.

• Sansa and Littlefinger depart from the Vale, leaving Robin Arryn with Yohn Royce.

• Brienne is depressed after Arya rejected her help. Pod suggests Sansa might still need it.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• The Bolton sigil is over Winterfell in the opening credits, and oh boy it hurts.

• Cersei asks Maggy the Frog if she’ll marry “the prince” – she’s referring to Prince Rhaegar (Dany’s brother and Jon’s father). Tywin had hoped to marry Cersei to Rhaegar, but the Mad King refused. Maggy, of course, tells Cersei she’ll marry “the king” – by which she means Robert. She says the king will have 20 children (his bastards) and Cersei will have three – that’d be Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. If Cersei really is pregnant in Season 8, it’s very unlikely she’ll actually have the baby – although the show might retcon the prophecy. Maggy also predicts the children will all die (which has happened) and that Cersei will be queen “for a time” until “another younger, more beautiful” comes to cast her down and takes all she holds dear. This could have already happened – Cersei did think it was Margaery – although Cersei became queen again, so perhaps Daenerys or Sansa will cast her down all over again. The other interesting thing about Maggy the Frog’s prophecy is that in the books she also says the “valonqar” (little brother) will kill Cersei. It’s curious that the show cut this out – perhaps they’re not following this plot, or maybe they thought it was revealing too much?

• As Cersei walks up the steps of the Sept of Baelor, it looms large above her, indicating the impact religion will have on her soon. It’s significant that the season is bookended by Cersei entering and exiting Baelor, with drastically different circumstances each time.

• Jon says to Olly, “keep your shield up or I’ll ring your head like a bell”. This is something Ned Stark clearly said to him, as we see a young Ned say it in a flashback in Season 6.

• When Jon tries to convince Mance to bend the knee, he says “isn’t their survival more important than your pride” – the exact same argument Dany will later use on him (which is what helps to change Jon’s mind).

Stray observations:

• The best thing about this season is Dany’s incredible cape dresses.

• Am I the only one who finds Lancel a lot hotter thanks to his cult makeover? Whoops.

Episode 2: “The House of Black and White”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Arya arrives at the House of Black and White in Braavos. She asks for Jaqen H’Ghar and is told there’s “no one here by that name” (“no one” hmmmm?). Later, the man at the House of Black and White appears with Jaqen H’Ghar’s face, but tells Arya that he is “no one” and says “that is who a girl must become”.

• Brienne and Pod run into Littlefinger and Sansa at an inn. Brienne pledges her sword to Sansa but Littlefinger is quick to point out Brienne didn’t protect Catelyn, and just like Arya, Sansa dismisses Brienne. Brienne and Pod escape before Littlefinger’s knights attack them.

• Cersei receives a threat to Myrcella’s life from the Sand Snakes, and Jaime promises to get Myrcella out of Dorne safely. Jaime pulls Bronn away from his betrothed, Lollys Stokeworth, and promises him a “much better girl and a much better castle” if he helps him get Myrcella back. Myrcella, meanwhile, is all grown up (and played by a new actor) and in love with her intended, Prince Trystane. Ellaria begs Trystane’s father, Doran, to help her get revenge for Oberyn’s death, but he refuses.

• Cersei places Qyburn on the Small Council, making him the new Master of Whisperers, while Mace Tyrell is named Master of Coin.

• Daario and Grey Worm capture one of the Sons of the Harpy. Barristan tells Dany about how evil her father was, and urges her to practice restraint and give the man a fair trial, and she agrees. But one of the freed slaves kills him, and Dany ends up executing him for disobeying her ruling, which causes all the freed slaves to turn against her. A fight breaks out between the former slaves and the masters. Later, Drogon visits Dany on top of the pyramid but quickly takes off.

• At Castle Black, Shireen teaches Gilly to read, which will be very important to the plot later. Stannis offers to legitimise Jon as a Stark and make him Warden of the North if he promises to help him in his fight for the throne. Jon becomes new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch over Thorne.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Arya’s list in this episode is: “Cersei, Walder Frey, The Mountain, Ser Meryn Trant”. It’s a lot smaller than it was before!

• Cersei echoes her earlier threat and says “I will burn…cities to the ground” if Myrcella is harmed. FORESHADOWING.

• Doran says “we do not mutilate little girls…not here”, which is similar to what Oberyn says in Season 4 when he tells Cersei “we do not hurt little girls in Dorne”.

• Gilly and Shireen discuss how the latter’s greyscale was cured in front of Sam – which will be very important for Jorah later! As part of the same conversation, Gilly talks of how her father killed some of her sisters, and Shireen is horrified that a father would do that to his children. FORESHADOWING.

• Stannis shows Jon a letter from Lady Lyanna Mormont that says “Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark”. BLESS THAT LITTLE BEAR who will say these words to Jon’s face in Season 6.

• Drogon seems to appear because he senses Dany’s distress – which foreshadows what happens at the end of the season.

Stray observations:

• If only Sansa had gone with Brienne when she had the chance.

• I find Ellaria and the Sand Snake’s quest for vengeance specifically for Oberyn’s death so baffling. Like…Oberyn died in a fight in which he made mistakes, it’s not as though he was murdered in cold blood. And the way they go about it kind of goes against everything Oberyn believed in.

Episode 3: “High Sparrow”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Arya is impatient with having to clean the House of Black and White. She wants to get to the killing already. She meets the Waif, who plays the “game of faces” with her. Arya gets rid of all of her belongings so she can become “no one”, but she can’t let go of Needle and hides it under some rocks. She starts washing dead bodies with the Waif.

• Margaery marries Tommen and pops his cherry. She hints that he should send Cersei back to Casterly Rock, and when Tommen brings the subject up with his mother she is not impressed. She visits Margaery, who openly (and perfectly) mocks her.

• The Sparrows find the High Septon in Littlefinger’s brothel and force him to parade naked through the streets. The High Septon complains to the Small Council, and Cersei goes to see the High Sparrow – not to punish him, but to work with him. Which won’t backfire at all!

• Littlefinger tells Sansa he’s arranged her marriage to Ramsay Bolton, and she’s horrified. He convinces her it’s the perfect opportunity for her to get vengeance for Cat and Robb’s deaths. Sansa and Littlefinger arrive at Winterfell and are greeted by the Boltons. An old lady escorts Sansa to her room and tells her “the North remembers”. Ramsay puts on the charm for Littlefinger, telling her he’ll never hurt Sansa (LIAR).

• Brienne and Pod pursue Littlefinger and Sansa. The bond over their origin stories and Brienne promises to train Pod to fight.

• Jon has made Olly his steward and wants to mentor him the way Jeor Mormont mentored Jon. Stannis repeats his offer to make Jon a Stark and he refuses, saying he’s committed to the Night’s Watch. Davos tells Jon that Stannis sees something in him, and briefly bonds with Olly because Dadvos will not be kept at bay. Jon makes Thorne first ranger and sends Janos Slynt to Greyguard. Slynt refuses to go and Jon executes him.

• Tyrion forces Varys to go to a brothel with him in Volantis but finds he can’t bring himself to have sex. Instead, he’s kidnapped by Jorah (who I sure hope wasn’t there to see the “Daenerys” sex worker).

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Margaery’s wedding dress has armour woven into it – she clearly took Cersei’s advice about its usefulness to heart. It also indicates she’s feeling less secure than she was at her wedding to Joffrey.

• The High Septon’s nudie walk of shame paves the way for Cersei’s later in the season.

• Cersei says, “The faith and the crown are the two pillars that hold up this world. One collapses, so does the other”. Considering she literally blows up the faith in Season 6, hopefully the collapse of (her) crown is incoming?

• Ramsay talks about how he flayed Lord Cerwyn and made his son watch. This comes up again in Season 6.

• The fact Arya can’t get rid of Needle indicates she could never completely let go of her Stark-ness.

• Tyrion and Varys see a red priestess who proclaims Daenerys to be the saviour of the word. It’s an indication that, even if Dany isn’t, Melisandre’s interpretation of her visions, proclaiming Stannis as the Prince that was Promised, isn’t necessarily the right one.

Stray observations:

• I was deeply, deeply uncomfortable watching Tommen and Margaery in bed together.

• It was awful watching Sansa arrive home to find it invaded by Boltons, and then having to smile at them in greeting.

• It’s never made sense to me that Littlefinger would marry Sansa off to Ramsay without knowing anything about him. It’s so out of character for him.

Episode 4: “Sons of the Harpy”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• The Iron Bank wants some of its money back from the crown, so Cersei sends Mace Tyrell to Braavos along with Meryn Trant to negotiate. Meanwhile, she makes the High Sparrow the new High Septon after imprisoning the old one, and she allows the High Sparrow to reinstall the Faith Militant (because giving fanatics weapons is always a great idea!). They immediately destroy Littlefinger’s brothel and arrest Loras. Margaery is furious and Tommen attempts to see the High Sparrow to negotiate Loras’ release, but the Faith Militant prevent him.

• Melisandre tries to convince Jon to come to Winterfell by showing him her boobs. It doesn’t work because he’s still in love with Ygritte (SOB).

• Stannis and Shireen have a nice father/daughter moment that isn’t at all setting us up to have our hearts broken, uh-uh, not at all. Stannis talks about how determined he was to save her life when she was infected with greyscale (he really did love her!), and then says to her “You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon…and you are my daughter.”

• Sansa visits her dead family in the crypts at Winterfell, and Littlefinger joins her and tells her he’s leaving because Cersei has called him back to King’s Landing. Sansa doesn’t want to be left alone with the Boltons, but Littlefinger says Stannis will soon come to the rescue. Another thing he was wrong about.

• Jaime and Bronn try to sneak into Dorne, but the Sand Snakes are aware they’ve arrived.

• Jorah reveals he’s taking Tyrion to see Daenerys, which Tyrion naturally finds hilarious since that’s where he was going himself.

• Barristan Selmy is killed and Grey Worm is gravely injured in a brutal Sons of the Harpy attack.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Jaime says if he ever sees Tyrion again he’ll split him in two as revenge for killing their father. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen.

• Cersei says the Small Council is “not small enough” but she eventually gets her wish, seeing as the only person around to advise her now is Qyburn.

• When Selyse comments that Jon is “a bastard by some tavern slut” Stannis says “perhaps, but that wasn’t Ned Starks way”. Stannis was onto something.

• As is Melisandre – she tells Jon “There’s power in you…power to make life, power to make light, and power to cast shadows”. Considering she previously needed king’s blood to ~cast shadows~, it suggests she senses his true bloodline.

• Also, Melisandre saying “you know nothing, Jon Snow” is an obvious callback to Ygritte. Boy does it shake Jon up!

• In the crypts, Sansa finds a feather near Lyanna Stark’s statue – it’s the feather Robert Baratheon left there in Season 1. We saw it crop up again in the Season 8 teaser trailer. It’s fitting that Sansa finds it just before Littlefinger tells her the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna (a.k.a. Jon Snow’s parents) meeting at the Tourney of Harrenhal.

• Speaking of Rhaegar – Barristan talks to Dany about him, and tells her how he loved to sing and never liked killing people. It’s an indication that what Sansa says (that Rhaegar raped and killed Lyanna) might not be entirely the truth. It also ties Rhaegar to Jon, as Jon tells Dany in Season 7 that he doesn’t like what he’s good at (i.e. killing people).

• Bronn says he wants to die “in my own keep, drinking my own wine, watching my sons grovel for my fortune”, while Jaime says he wants to die “in the arms of the woman I love”. Let’s see how that turns out for them in the final season!

Stray observations:

• Excuse me, yes I noticed you, Jaime Lannister, when you looked longingly and lovingly at Tarth!!!! Ya girl Brienne wasn’t even home and you still wanted to go there.

• Ser Barristan. 🙁

Episode 5: “Kill the Boy”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Devastated by the Sons of the Harpy attack, Dany takes the heads of the great families into the catacombs and burns one as a demonstration of her (and her dragons’) power. She imprisons the others, including Hizdahr. Later, she decides to keep her enemies ~closer~ and proposes marriage to Hizdahr. She also agrees to reopen the fighting pits.

• Jon convinces Tormund to make peace with the Night’s Watch and to fight with them when the time comes in return for the wildlings being allowed safely through the Wall. The rest of the Night’s Watch aren’t happy with the news.

• Brienne sends a message to Sansa via the old woman at Winterfell, telling her to light a candle in the broken tower when she needs help. Meanwhile, Sansa meets Reek and Roose announces his wife Walda is pregnant.

• Stannis and his army leave Castle Black and head towards Winterfell.

• Tyrion and Jorah travel through Old Valyria. Tyrion sees his first dragon, as Drogon flies overhead. They’re attacked by the Stone Men, and Jorah saves Tyrion but secretly gets infected with greyscale.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Sam reads a report to Maester Aemon about what’s happening to Daenerys in Meereen and says “she sounds like quite a woman” (let’s hope he keeps that in mind when he finds out she killed his father and brother in Season 8). Aemon says “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing” JUST AS JON SNOW enters the room. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

• Aemon also says to Jon “you will find little joy in your command, but with luck you will find the strength to do what needs to be done”, which pretty much sums up his plot for the last three seasons.

• Jon tells Tormund “you’re condemning them to death…because you’re too proud to make peace” which echoes what he previously said to Mance, and also what Dany will say to him in Season 7.

• Stannis does his “fewer” thing like the grammar king he is.

• Stannis tells Sam “I know what dragonglass is, we have it in Dragonstone”. Too bad Sam wasn’t paying enough attention and had to read about it in a book two seasons later!

Stray observations:

• Grey Worm and Missandei have a sweet moment which is not that important to the wider plot, but is the best part of this episode.

Episode 6: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Arya is bored washing corpses. Jaqen plays the game of faces with her and she’s not very good at it. A man brings his terminally ill daughter to the House of Black and White and asks Arya for help. She gives the girl poison. Jaqen is apparently impressed because he shows her the Hall of Faces.

• Tyrion lets slip to Jorah that his father is dead, and Jorah is devastated. Jorah then tells Tyrion about Dany emerging from the fire with her dragons and that she made a believer out of him, a former cynic. The two of them are captured by slavers and Tyrion talks them into taking them to the newly-reopened fighting pits in Meereen.

• Littlefinger arrives back in King’s Landing, and Cersei asks him if the Knights of the Vale will fight for the crown. He agrees if he’ll be named Warden of the North. He also tells Cersei he’s “found” Sansa Stark at Winterfell.

• Olenna Tyrell also returns to King’s Landing, furious about Loras’ treatment. She finds a smug Cersei refusing to help. Loras is questioned by the High Sparrow, as is Margaery and Olyvar. Olyvar’s testimony contradicts Margaery’s, and she is also arrested.

• Jaime and Bronn arrive at the Water Gardens and try to rescue Myrcella but she doesn’t want to leave. The Sand Snakes arrive and Jaime and Bronn fight them. Guards capture them all, plus Ellaria.

• Myranda bathes Sansa and washes the black out of her hair. She tries to scare Sansa, but she dismisses her. Reek/Theon escorts Sansa to the godswood, where she’s married to Ramsay. Ramsay then brutally rapes Sansa and makes Reek watch.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• The girl Arya mercy kills in this episode is the one whose face Arya uses when she kills Meryn Trant in the season finale. Also, the old woman’s face that Arya touches in the Hall of Faces is the one the Waif uses to attack Arya in Season 6.

• Littlefinger advises Cersei to “let the enemies of the throne slaughter each other”, talking about the war in the North. Clearly she took this advice to heart.

• Cersei pulls a Tywin move and makes Olenna wait to talk to her.

Stray observations:

• Arya says she hated the Hound and Jaqen hits her because IT’S A LIE. My heart!

• Sansa saying “I am Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home. And you can’t frighten me” is a WONDERFUL moment. If only it wasn’t undercut with what happens to her next – which I’m still mad about, by the way.

Episode 7: “The Gift”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Jon, Tormund and Edd leave Castle Black, headed for Hardhome to bring back the wildlings. Sam gives them the dragonglass.

• Sansa is locked in her room, bruised and crying in bed. Reek brings her food and she begs him to help her. She asks him to light the candle in the broken tower for her, and Reek takes it straight to Ramsay. Ramsay flays the old woman who gave Sansa the original message and makes Sansa look at her body.

• A storm has created problems for Stannis and his army, and some of the sellswords he’s hired abandon him. Stannis refuses to retreat to Castle Black because Melisandre’s visions have assured her of his victory at Winterfell. Of course her visions are actually about Jon’s victory in Season 6 (which indicates her other incorrect visions about Stannis being the Prince that was Promised were actually about Jon too). Melisandre suggests Stannis sacrifice Shireen to ensure her visions come true, and Stannis is horrified.

• Maester Aemon becomes one of the few characters to die of old age.

• Gilly is sexually harassed and Sam and Ghost fight her attackers off. Gilly and Sam then have sex (“oh my!” as Sam says).

• Dany attends the first fight in the fighting pits, and SURPRISE Jorah is there. He’s the victor but Dany tells him to get out of her sight – until he reveals he has brought her Tyrion Lannister.

• Olenna visits the High Sparrow and asks him to free her grandchildren but he refuses. She then meets with Littlefinger and tells him if she goes down she’s taking him with her. Littlefinger gives Olenna the “gift” of a “handsome young man”, which is likely a reference to revealing the truth about Lancel and Cersei’s relationship.

• Tommen is distraught and wants to start a war to get Margaery back, and Cersei convinces him she’ll talk to the High Sparrow on his behalf. Cersei visits Margaery and is super smug about it, but her smugness is soon wiped away when she sees the High Sparrow and PLOT TWIST he arrests her. He reveals that Lancel has confessed to their sexual relationship and also the plot to kill Robert Baratheon. The Shame Nun chucks Cersei in a cell and Cersei tells her that her face is the last thing she’ll see before she dies.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Cersei once again says she would “burn cities to the ground” to protect Tommen. FORESHADOWING.

• Cersei also calls Margaery “sister” which is a callback to when Margaery called her “sister” – something Cersei hated.

Stray observations:

• Aemon’s death made me cry, especially the way he calls out for his brother Egg (a.k.a. Aegon) and says “I dreamed that I was old”.

• Cersei really played herself big time huh.

Episode 8: “Hardhome”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Tyrion tries to convince Dany he’s not her enemy, and that he can work for her. She asks his advice on what to do with Jorah, and Tyrion says she should banish him again, which Dany does. Jorah, of course, just goes straight back to the fighting pits, because he is relentless. Meanwhile, Tyrion and Dany share a drink and swap stories about their terrible fathers. Tyrion suggests Dany would be happier staying in Essos than heading to Westeros, but she says she wants to go home and then makes her famous “I’m going to break the wheel” speech.

• Qyburn visits Cersei and tells her Pycelle made Kevan Lannister the Hand of the King, and also that Tommen is unwell and can’t visit her. The Shame Nun tries to get Cersei to confess and Cersei throws more threats her way.

• An angry Olly asks Sam about Jon rescuing the wildlings. Sam says “sometimes a man has to make hard choice” to do what’s right, which Olly really takes to heart, although not in the way Sam intends. This is the second time Sam has inadvertently planted an idea in Olly’s head that results in someone’s death.

• Jon and co arrive at Hardhome and after some tense words with the wildlings, Jon makes a rousing speech and convinces them to come south with him. They’re evacuating onto the boats when the army of the dead arrives and a huge battle breaks out. Jon fights a White Walker and both of them are shocked when Jon’s Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, can withstand the White Walker’s weapon – and Jon then kills the Walker with it. He, Edd and Tormund escape with Wun Wun the giant and as many wildlings as they can help – but not nearly enough. They have to leave the dragonglass behind. Jon and the Night King have a stare-off and then Jon is shook to watch the Night King raise all of the dead wildlings with the wave of his arms, turning them into wights.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Tyrion tells Dany “not a single person who shares your blood survives to support you. The Starks are gone as well.” Which is wrong on both counts. It also makes Tyrion’s wariness over Jon and Dany’s bond even weirder. He should be glad she is building such strong ~alliances~.

• Sam says Jon “always comes back”. Let’s hope this stays true in Season 8.

• The wildlings mention the old stories about GIANT ICE SPIDERS, which is something Old Nan brought up in Season 1. Kind of hope we don’t see them in Season 8.

• Karsi says to Tormund “I fucking hate Thenns”, which is exactly what he said to Ygritte in Season 4.

Stray observations:

• Dany’s criticism of murder as entertainment felt a bit hypocritical within the context of this show.

• It’s quite shocking to see Cersei Lannister licking water off the floor. How the mighty have fallen.

• Engrave Jon Snow saying “at least we’ll give the fuckers a fight” on my tombstone.

• Karsi was on the show for such a short time but damn she was great.

• Was the Night King always going to attack Hardhome at that moment or did he come because he knew Jon was there?

• Why can’t the wights or White Walkers swim?

Episode 9: “The Dance of Dragons”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Jon and the wildlings arrive back at Castle Black and Thorne begrudgingly lets them in. The wildlings travel through the gates and into the Seven Kingdoms, and pretty much everyone in the Night’s Watch is pissed, including Olly.

• In Dorne, Doran and Jaime negotiate and Jaime agrees to put Trystane on the Small Council and let his engagement to Myrcella stand, in return for being able to take Myrcella home. Ellaria has a tantrum and slaps Doran, but later apologises (she has a bigger plan in mind).

• Arya is in disguise as an oyster seller. She’s meant to be killing a bookie, but she spots Mace Tyrell and Meryn Trant arrive in Braavos. She follows Meryn to a brothel, where he purchases an underage girl.

• Ramsay and “20 good men” sneak in to Stannis’ camp and light all his food stores and weapons on fire, and kill most of his horses. Stannis sends Davos back to Castle Black to get more supplies, but really it’s to get him out of the way because he’s now desperate enough to agree to Melisandre’s plan to sacrifice Shireen. Before Davos leaves, he gives Shireen a stag he carved as a thank you gift for teaching him to read. Shireen doesn’t get to play with it for long, though, because Melisandre burns her alive. Selyse, bizarrely, changes her mind at the last minute and tries to set Shireen free, but is held back. The whole thing is awful.

• In the Great Pit, Jorah appears in another fight and wins. He kills a Son of the Harpy just before it attacks Dany, and it’s then revealed the terrorist group has infiltrated the whole crowd. A slaughter begins and Dany seems about ready to accept death when Drogon arrives at the last minute. He kills a bunch of the Harpy guys but they attack him in return, and to save him (and herself) Dany gets on Drogon’s back and the two of them yeet out of there.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• Thorne telling Jon “you have a good heart” reminded me of all the times Jorah said to Dany “you have a gentle heart”.

• Davos says “my son was always on me, trying to teach me to read” – we saw Matthos doing this back in Season 2.

• Shireen says “I’m the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon. And I’m your daughter”, which calls back to Stannis’ talk about how much he loves her earlier in the season. Just to make the whole thing hurt that bit more.

• The way Dany pulls the spear of of Drogon’s shoulder mirrors the later scene in the battle against the Lannisters in Season 7.

Stray observations:

• Doran really should have locked Ellaria up. It would’ve prevented a lot of heartache.

• Shireen’s death is truly one of the lowest points of the whole series.

Episode 10: “Mother’s Mercy”

The Big Plot Stuff:

• Arya uses a face to disguise herself in the brothel, and she kills Meryn Trant. As punishment for disobeying orders and using a face before she’s “ready”, Arya is blinded.

• Myrcella, Jaime, Bronn and Trystane depart Dorne. Ellaria seems to play nice and kisses Myrcella goodbye, but she’s wearing poisoned lipstick. On their boat, Myrcella and Jaime reconcile and she reveals she knows he’s her father – just in time for her to succumb to the poison and die in his arms. On shore, Ellaria takes an antidote.

• Cersei confesses to sleeping with Lancel to the High Sparrow and he tells her she still has to have a trial, but he’ll allow her to return to the Red Keep to see Tommen – after a walk of atonement. The Shame Nun cuts Cersei’s hair short, strips her and then forces her to walk from the Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep, ringing that shame bell every step of the way. Cersei is pelted and abused along the way. She arrives at the Red Keep, bloody and crying, and is welcomed back by Qyburn and the now-undead Mountain, who is a new member of the kingsguard.

• Tyrion, Daario and Jorah sit on the steps in the Great Pyramid waiting around for Dany, but then apparently they have enough of that, and Daario and Jorah decide to go off searching for her. Tyrion wants to go too but they convince him he’s more use staying in Meereen to rule the city in Dany’s absense, with the help of Missandei and Grey Worm. Also, Varys finally arrives in Meereen.

• Somewhere far from Meereen, Dany tries to get an injured and exhausted Drogon to take her home, but he refuses. Dany goes searching for food and is surrounded by Dothraki. She drops her ring before she’s captured by them.

• The storm has moved on and the ice is thawing, but that doesn’t help Stannis because half of his men have deserted him, including all the sellswords, who have taken all the horses. Selyse has died by suicide. Melisandre is shaken and abandons the camp. Stannis persists in marching to Winterfell, planning to lay siege to the castle, but Ramsay and his troops ride out to attack. Sansa uses the opportunity to light a candle in the broken tower, but Brienne just misses it as Pod informs her he’s seen Stannis. Ramsay’s army defeats Stannis’, and Brienne finds Stannis just in time to finish him off as revenge for Renly. Meanwhile, Reek kills Myranda and helps Sansa escape.

• Sam convinces Jon to let him go to the Citadel to learn how to be a maester and research the White Walkers. Davos arrives at Castle Black and pleads with Jon to convince the wildlings to fight for Stannis, but Jon says “it’s not their fight”. Melisandre arrives and reveals Stannis is dead – and so is Shireen. You can actually see the second Davos’ heart cracks in two. Later, Olly draws Jon out of his office and leads him to a group of Night’s Watch men, who take turns stabbing him “for the watch”. Olly delivers the finishing blow, and a LITERALLY heartbroken Jon dies.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and callbacks:

• On losing the dragonglass, Jon says “it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, unless we had a mountain of it”. Good thing they find a literal mountain of it in Season 7.

• As mentioned above, the face Arya uses is that of the little girl she kills earlier in the season.

• To Jorah and Daario, Tyrion says of Dany, “You love her don’t you? How could you not?” I haven’t bought into the “Tyrion is in love with Dany” theories, but this line stuck out to me as a result of them. Maybe he will be in love with her after all?

• The way the Dothraki circle Dany is reminiscent of the circular imagery we’ve seen the White Walkers create.

• It’s significant that Olly drew Jon out by saying his uncle Benjen is alive. Jon hasn’t seen Benjen since Season 1, but he’s obviously never stopped caring or wondering what happened to him. If only he got more than two seconds with him in Season 7.

Stray observations:

• Arya saying “I’m Arya Stark…you’re no one” to Meryn Trant before killing him says a lot about her attitude to “no one”. She doesn’t truly want to become “no one” – to her, it’s something bad, a loss, an insult.

• Also, does Arya seriously believe that Jaqen is the Jaqen she knew? Because he very much seems like a totally different character.

• I can’t believe this show made me watch Jon Snow actually die at the hands of OLLY. FUCKING OLLY.

• Oh god I’m not ready to watch Jon Snow die again, please, please, please let him survive Season 8.