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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 5.4 “Sons of the Harpy”
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Game Of Thrones 5.4 Cersei Lannister

Game Of Thrones
Episode 5.4 “Sons of the Harpy”
Directed by Mark Mylod
Written by Dave Hill
Starring Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer, Sophie Turner, Dean-Charles Chapman, Jonathan Pryce
HBO
Air date: Sunday, May 4, 2015, 9pm

Spoilers ahead for Season 5 of Game Of Thrones…

Last week’s Game Of Thrones, Episode 5.3 “High Sparrow”, was an exciting installment in the fifth season of the HBO series. We saw Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) marry her third King, the boy Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman), who is so enamored with this new bride that he fell right into her trap for him to try to get his wicked mother, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), out of town. Meanwhile, Cersei teamed up with the newly introduced “High Sparrow” (Jonathan Pryce), whose religious zealot followers made an example out of the sinning High Septon. The dowager queen also sent a curt message to Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) to basically get his ass back to Kings Landing, but Lord Baelish has other plans, such as marrying Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) off to Roose Bolton’s recently legitimized bastard, Ramsey the sadist. Thankfully, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman) are following close behind. Sansa’s younger sister, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), was still in Braavos at the House Of Black and White where she’s growing tired of sweeping the floor, awaiting her “faceless man” training to begin. Over at the Wall, Jon Snow made his first big move as the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, after turning down Stannis Baratheon’s extremely tempting offer to be made Jon Stark, ruler of Winterfell, while in Volantis, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) got snatched from a whorehouse by none other than Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), who plans to bring the imp back to his “queen,” Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who is ruling in Meereen opposed by the murderous Sons of the Harpy.

Episode 5.3 “High Sparrow” took us a long way into the story for this season and gave us a few twists and turns along the way, leaving us satisfied. But Episode 5.4 “Sons of the Harpy” has Cersei’s handprint all over it. Half of what happens in this episode is a direct result of her manipulations.

At the small council meeting, which Tommen doesn’t attend, Cersei is slowly but surely shrinking the membership, and this is after she’s already stacked it with people who are either loyal to her or easily controlled. Now, she’s found a way to get Queen Margaery’s father, Lord Mace Tyrell, who is clearly a buffoon, out of the picture for a while by sending him off to the Bank of Braavos. That’s one less Tyrell in town to get in the way of her obvious plan to bring Margaery down and keep her steady surrogate rule over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

Then there’s this situation with the High Sparrow. Cersei invites the new religious leader to the Red Keep and offers to make him the new High Septon, arming his followers to bring back the long-defunct Faith Militant. The group wastes no time meting out their brand justice throughout the streets and brothels of Kings Landing, going so far as to imprison Ser Loras, brother of Queen Margaery. Of course, this enrages the queen, who asks her husband to free Loras, accusing his mother of being behind the whole thing. Here’s where it gets interesting: When King Tommen confronts Cersei about Loras, she acts innocent, saying she’s not the one who captured him and that he should go ask the High Sparrow to release the King’s brother in law. She sends her young son, who is an innocent and has no worldly experience, out into the mean streets of Kings Landing, where the townspeople shout accusations of sin against the King. Poor Tommen doesn’t know he’s the product of incest and that his position as King is not a legitimate one. Tommen does have his Kingsguard, who are ready and willing to slice down anyone in their path, but the gentle king does not want violence, and explains this to his wife when he returns home without her brother. This is the first time we see Cersei, who’s only redeeming quality thus far has been her love for her children, put her offspring in danger a part of her ultimate plan.

Cersei’s putting Tommen in harms way makes you wonder whether she loves power more than anything else. It would seem so, especially since she also got Jaime — her twin brother/lover and father of her children — out of the way. Jaime, after listening to his sister’s plea that he do something to save “their” daughter Myrcella, runs off to Dorne on what can turn out to be a suicide mission. It’s in Dorne where Myrcella resides, as she is betrothed to Prince Trystane, nephew to the late Oberyn Martell, who was killed in Kings Landing last season. Though Jaime is a trained swordsman and Kingsguard, he only has one hand now and it’s not his sword hand. There also hasn’t been that much time for him to train his left hand, so really, this mission can end very badly for him, but he’ll do anything for Cersei, and she, in turn, only cares about what she wants. Passing by Tarth, the Sapphire Isle where Brienne is from, on a merchant ship to Dorne, Jaime’s segment turns out to be one of the best of the whole episode.

Also in this episode, we finally meet some of the eldest Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of the late Prince Oberyn, the Red Viper. Oberyn’s lover Ellaria Sand wants revenge on Cersei and wants to use Myrcella to do it, even though revenge and war are not the ways of Dorne. Ellaria meets with the Sand Snakes in an effort to get them to go against their ruler Prince Doran Martell’s wishes and get their revenge. While Cersei might be able to manipulate situations to her advantage, these women are warriors and they are dangerous.

Another dangerous women is Melisandre (Carice van Houten), The Red Woman, a priestess of the Lord of Light who can be called an advisor to “King” Stannis Baratheon, but she’s another manipulator. She controls every situation that Stannis is involved in, and now that Stannis and his troops are at the Wall, Melisandre has set her sights on Lord Commander Jon Snow. Watching the priestess interact with Jon Snow is a real treat, as he might be the first person who’s ever come up against her who doesn’t instantly tremble at her touch. Melisandre wants Snow to come with them to the North back to Winterfell and uses her bare breasts to get the point across. But, this is Jon Stark we’re talking about. But, watch as Melisandre leaves – if you’re not convinced she has power, just listen to her departing words.

Speaking of departures, it’s time for Littlefinger to leave Winterfell and run back to face Cersei. Of all people on the show, Littlefinger might be the only character who is more manipulative than Cersei. In this scene in the crypts, we learn more about Leanna Stark and we are also reassured that Littlefinger does care for Sansa. He’s not just dumping her off with the maniac Boltons without a plan.

Lastly, we come to Daenerys Targaryen, who learns some more from Barristan Selmy about her deceased family. These are interesting details that we love to hear, but are always interrupted with some tedious details about how the people of the city want their fighting back and how the slaves and masters have nothing in common without it. Whatever. It’s the same thing every week. Someone comes to complain, Daenerys feels the need to explain herself even though she’s the Queen, someone gets their way, people get killed, Daenerys has no control. So much for her thousands of Unsullied soldiers, who get their ass handed to them this episode by the annoying masked Sons of The Harpy followers. While I grow increasingly bored with Daenerys and Meereen each week, at this time we get to see what Ser Barristan is made of and realize why he should have never been let go as commander of the Kingsguard back in Westeros.

The next episode is entitled “Kill the Boy,” which I’m guessing means Tommen better watch his back. Something tells me that something might happen to make us gasp again.

Video

Game of Thrones Season 5: Inside Episode 4 (HBO)


New episodes of Game of Thrones air every Sunday at 9PM, only on HBO.

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