Game of Thrones: High Sparrow
Game of Thrones
Season 5, Episode 3: “High Sparrow”
Directed by: Mark Mylod
Screenplay by: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Air date: April 26, 2015
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham, Conleth Hill, Alfie Allen, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Dean-Charles Chapman, Tom Wlaschiha, Michael McElhatton, Iwan Rheon, Jonathan Pryce, Julian Glover, Anton Lesser, Owen Teale, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Ben Crompton, Faye Marsay, Daniel Portman, Dominic Carter, Ian Beattie, Eugene Simon, Brenock O’Connor
High Sparrow was a great episode for plot and character development. The progression of events and the growth of characters were more significant in this episode than in the previous two of the season so far. It showed a change of gear in the pace of the show, with the first two episodes picking up from the end of season 4, and establishing where the characters are now. In a way, I believe this could be considered the beginning of events we will see unfold this season.
Jon Snow, who was elected commander of the Night’s Watch is faced with his first test of leadership, and rises to become a genuine leader. Arya commits to and begins training with the faceless men, abandoning nearly everything from her past. Sansa assumes a new role similar to her past engagement to Joffrey and marriage to Tyrion, but this time she is home in Winterfell. Margaery finally becomes the full-fledged queen of Westeros, and Cersei has to begin playing a very different game before she loses power. What might be the biggest shift in character, Tyrion turns down a prostitute. One of my favorite shifts, Brienne changes her tone with Podrick, accepting him as a squire who desperately wants to learn, she even apologized for being mean. There were many great moments in this episode, and I could not pick a single moment as the standout, it was all very evenly balanced. Any episode that contains my favorite characters (Arya, Tyrion, and Brienne) is a good episode.
Here is your spoiler warning.
I’ll rundown what happened. Margaery and Tommen marry, and once they consummate the marriage, Margaery starts convincing Tommen that his mother is no longer needed in King’s Landing. Cersei begins to use the religious order called the Sparrows to further her plans to retrain what power she has. Jon Snow once again refuses to allow Stannis to name him a Stark and name him lord of Winterfell. Instead, he remains with the Night’s Watch. Jon later names Ser Allister as First Ranger, and Janos Slynt to command Greygard, a ruined outpost on The Wall. When Janos refuses a direct order Jon personally executes him with little hesitation. Arya begins her training with the Faceless Men, the first step in this is for her to become nobody, by throwing away all of Arya Stark’s possessions. However, she cannot part with Needle, so instead she hides her sword. In Winterfell, the Boltons struggle to gain control of the north. Most are still fiercely loyal to the Starks. To gain control Ramsay begins to execute the lords that have not yet paid tax, or offered allegiance to the Boltons. This leads Roose to admit to Ramsay they do not have the manpower to hold the north and must do so with a marriage. Peter has offered Ramsay Blolton Sansa Stark. After she reluctantly accepts the offer, she returns to Winterfell. When Tyrion and Varys reach Valantis, Tyrion convinces Varys to visit a brothel with him, where he desperately seeks someone new to talk with. When Tyrion realizes he cannot bring himself to sleep with another prostitute he escapes the watchful eye of Varys, but not from Jorah Mormont, who captures Tyrion while he is relieving himself.
I have no idea what Cersei is planning with the High Sparrow, I have guesses, but my guesses are so ill formed that they are not worth printing.
Arya is going to get herself in trouble with Needle; I don’t think the Faceless Men mess around with disobedient or petulant students.
I still think Jon is going to convince the wildlings to join Stannis.
Sansa is going to destroy Ramsay, somehow; I am going to enjoy watching that.