I see you’ve entered my personal Game of Thrones recap room through the unguarded window. Well, then. I’m going to pour a glass of wine, replace it with a slurpee because I’m not actually into wine, and then I’m going to let you do what you do best.
Take off your clothes.
Oh yes, Throners. I’m in control here, and I’m going to be doing a lot of staring at your firm, supple physiques. What’s that you say? Inappropriate in a recap? That’s probably true. I’m valuing your worth based solely on your appearance. I’m treating you like incredibly buff meat. Frankly, it’s offensive. But you know, Throners, I’m still seeing clothes covering your well-chiselled obliques and gently sloping glutes.
Now, that’s better. Pass me my smelling salts.
If you are genuinely upset by sexual harassment in online pop culture blog form, remember my introductions often reflect my theme, which this week is “jokes and lies”.
So you see, I’m only joking about you needing to remove your clothes to read on. It's up to you how seriously you take that joke...
But back on track. There is a housekeeping matter to attend to regarding upcoming recaps as well, so if you do make it to end, please have a look and leave a comment if you can.
In the meantime, let’s kick over some snowcastles and get slappy with another Raven On Game of Thrones recap.
Reminder: spoilers will be included below, so only read on if you’ve seen the episode. We’re discovering the storyline through the TV series (reading the books after each has finished), so no dropping important future plot points in the comments, or we’ll give you what they refer to in the Vale as an “extreme mooning”).
I thought we might launch straight into Tyrion Lannister’s big trial by combat battle royale, but of course, he can’t do that until he finds a champion.
Jaime Lannister is not up for it, despite the temptation to screw over his Dad’s precious family name by fighting and falling for his younger brother in front of all of King’s Landing. He’s annoyed at Tyrion for blowing off the deal he struck with Tywin Lannister to save him, but seems to understand his brother’s rationale that it is still all part of the game of power - that it is a joke, just not a very funny one (insert jokes about this recap series here).
I’m back to almost admiring Jaime again for his complete calmness about the whole “sister-shagging” thing – I mean, there’s Tyrion saying Jaime’s still the golden son even though he does the dirty with Cersei, and he merely replies “Careful, I’m the last friend you’ve got”.
Bronn’s no good either, because he’s gone and picked himself up new threads and a new fiancé (both from Westfield King’s Landing probably), and isn’t much interested in risking his neck in trial by combat again, particularly since his combatant would be the Mountain - a giant killing machine who bulges more than Theon post-chop and speaks in barely perceptible grunts.
This request was stretching their friendship too far and Tyrion and Bronn part with a long handshake.
Now book readers and people with IQs greater than a packet of Mint Slices will probably be rolling your eyes at me, but I’m still impressed with myself for guessing that it would be the Mountain who would be employed to slice Tyrion in two.
Cersei Lannister just rocked up to Gregor Clegane mid gut-skewering duty and said “Yo. Big fight’s tomorrow, Klitschko, how’s the Steelhammer hands?”
Tyrion’s champion, meanwhile, emerges after one of the most heart-rendering monologues the show has seen.
Oberyn Martell, beard glowing in the firelight, recalls his first meeting with Tyrion – when the little lion was a newborn babe at Casterly Rock.
He tells a tearful Tyrion how his childish imagination had been disappointed when the little lion turned out to be just a little different than other babies, not the bizarre, malformed freak that he had been told to expect.
Cersei, though, hated her infant brother, and it turns out put the squeeze on him literally from birth.
Tyrion agrees that his sister will rejoice in his death, but the Prince of Dorne doesn’t see why Cersei should get everything she wants.
Not when there is something our own Inigo Montoya wants: revenge.
Oh yes, Gregor Clegane. You killed his sister. Prepare to die.
And tough luck Cersei – the joke’s on you.
I tell you what did make me smile – Hot Pie! All hail the return of Hot Pie! Looking healthy, happy and surprisingly alive, everyone’s favourite gluttonous minor character was a sight for sore eyes and rumbly tummies.
Grabbing a tavern stool and striking up a conversation, Hot Pie espoused his culinary virtues to an exhausted Brienne of Tarth and squire Podrick Payne, completely oblivious to their pained expressions and desire to be left more alone than Greta Garbo.
It was such a joyous exchange that I now declare “You CANNOT give up on gravy!” my new house motto.
Brienne’s truth tactics proved beneficial too, despite Pod’s fear they could be targeted for publicly voicing their mission.
For while Hot Pie did not know Sansa from a fresh pair of buns, he knew both Arya and Arya’s favourite type of freshly-baked wolf-shaped bread.
Pod’s training in family dynamics set the Tremendous Twosome on a path to the Eyrie, where let’s hope they run into the Deadly Deuce sooner rather than later.
The Arya and The Hound had meanwhile encountered a dying man, a soothsayer and truthsayer who seemed to cast a spell over the burned backyard in which they found themselves.
Everything slowed down, and there was no oxygen for lies, only sombre truth.
There was some philosophy about nothing being better than something or something, or something being nothing but nothing (I don’t know, I didn’t take Advanced Nihilism at uni).
It was inevitable that in this case it would be the dog who put the man out of its misery, but the slow and languid pace of the exchange meant the sharp stabbing into the heart still came as a surprise.
As did the sudden attack on The Hound, who had no sooner wiped the blood from his dagger than was gashed in the neck by a random bad guy.
Quickly dispatching him with a twisting technique called “The Owl”, Sandor Clegane was told by the second random bad guy that there was a price on his head and that King Joffrey was dead.
I was hoping Arya would have more of a reaction to this news, given Joffrey had been numero uno on her big list of mega-douchebags that must perish.
But it turned out random bad guy number 2 wasn’t so random (although to be fair he was a massive number 2). Learning his name, Arya promptly pierced him through the heart in a flurry of Needlework that would make my grandmother envious (not because she's into knitting, more than she's finder it hard to wield the rapier these days).
Did anybody else want to give Arya a standing ovation for copying the Hound’s blood-wiping action?
Always do it on their clothes; don’t get your own bloody if you can help it.
Speaking of clothes, or rather the lack thereof, it was great to see fire god priestess Melisandre - aka Kate Bush - quietly bobbing in the bathtub on Dragonstone.
She’s preparing to accompany Selyse and Shireen Baratheon on a journey – I imagine to join Stannis in Braavos.
Melisandre’s sense of humour might not have captured Selyse, but her Live Nude Chemistry Show certainly perked everyone up.
It turns out the Red Witch’s magic is all smoke and mirrors; smoke from the powders she uses to frighten men; mirrors from the shiny milky skin she stuns them with.
But did Melisandre need potions to lure Stannis into bed?
Oh no, darling, she purrs. This is all me.
OK, Melisandre actually said “It’s just flesh, it wants what it wants”, but that’s what a totally hot person WOULD say. I doubt Melisandre's ever had to wear Spanx to disguise bloat.
Selyse tries to push down her jealousy, saying hot shadow-assassin-making-table-top nookie can’t be a sin, and petition Kate Bush to leave daughter Shireen behind.
But Shireen must be there, the priestess answers. The Lord of Light needs him.
Oh HELL. When the Lord of Light needs someone, it’s generally about as fun as a porcupine sandwich.
I tell you what is fun – giving Jon Snow a hot stone massage with sensual oils and steam treatment. Just putting my hand up to volunteer for the task, given I noticed him limping back into Castle Black after the raid on Craster’s Keep.
Despite his success, Thorne and Slynt continue to be complete arse faces about the impending attack by 100,000 wildlings, and reject J-Sno’s proposal to block the castle’s tunnel.
Even the chief builder, who frankly looked as confident as a large-busted woman in a soft-cup bra at a skipping contest, agreed that they should leave it open. Poor Jon is relegated to night patrol with Sam Tarly, which dramatically reduces the chance he might be shirtless next episode. It's cold up there on the wall.
Finally, to the part of the program that I’ve been putting off because I just can’t bear it. I just ... ugh. Shudder.
OK. Rip it off like a bandaid.
PETYR BAELISH KISSED SANSA STARK and by all the seven gods it was the most repulsive thing ever.
Things for Sansa had been looking up, if only for a few minutes. She realised that her new home was pretty much Hogwarts, high in the mountains and covered in snow.
She even got to slap that little gimboid cousin of hers went he went all Godzilla on her snowy Winterfell.
But then, ugh, Baelish appeared, and started doing all of the worst moves from that sleazy pick-up book The Game at once, plus adding his own lines in like “I loved your mother more than you could know” and “You’re more beautiful than your mother” and “Please call me Petyr” and ARGH HE’S KISSING HER I JUST THREW THE REMOTE AT THE SCREEN.
Of course, like any good soap opera, an illicit kiss never goes unwitnessed, and Sansa is summoned to see Lysa Arryn, who’s casually hanging out beside the giant open moon door with the uninviting kilometre drop to the rocky ground below.
Pretty soon Lysa has shoved Sansa over the gap, yelling that she was a whore and she was going to kill her and basically being Chief Lady Batshit Cuckoo Crazy.
Then Baelish, ever the strategist, appears to save Sansa, convincing Lysa that she had no cause to fear, and that he’d only ever loved one woman. Relieved, Lysa threw Sansa aside and cried to Baelish that no one will ever love him like she does.
And she was right, no one will ever love him like she does, as Littlefinger, evil yet inscrutable, told her he loved Catelyn then pushed her backwards. Bye bye, Lady Lysa. Turned out you'd pledged your troth to the ultimate Joker. And there ain't no Batman to scoop you out of the sky.
Yay! Best Moments
Everything about Daenerys getting freaky with Dario Naharis was fabulous. His romantic-in-a-stalker-way entry. The crumpled flowers. Dario’s declaration that his only talents were war and women.
Daenerys' erotic wine-pouring. Dario’s abs. Dario’s buttocks. Daenerys' eyes trailing down from his eyes to his … well, yes, quite. It was superb.
Daenerys' dark side may have had a good night, but by light of day, it was white knight Jorah Mormont who helped her remember that brutal revenge was perhaps not a sustainable strategy for government.
Zing! Best Lines
“If I wanted wit I’d marry you.”
In Tyrion and Bronn’s final sweet scene, they were able to drop the lie of their employer/sellsword relationship, and acknowledge that they are, in fact, friends.
SERIOUSLY, BAELISH KISSING SANSA WAS SO THE CREEPY I’M PEELING MY SKIN OFF WITH MY NAILS
Friends, I need to ask your opinion regarding upcoming Thrones recap coverage. Next week there is a break for the US Memorial Day holiday. Then on Monday June 2, I shall be away for Episode 8. I will be in China, and while I'm hoping HBO might be on the hotel room cable subscription, I can't be certain. I will still recap the episode (it's an addiction), but it will probably be delayed. However I know most of you love to read your Game of Thrones breakdown the morning after. So would you like me to recruit another writer for that episode instead? Let me know in the comments. And never fear, I shall be back for episodes 9 and 10 as usual. Valar Morghulis!