Mother of Dragons!
The Derriere Affair: A Game of Thrones Episode 5 Recap
By: Dan Shorr
Five rear ends, three jarred babies and one execution, oh my!
“The night is dark and full of terrors” croons Thoros of Myr, an ominous (albeit previously copyrighted) introduction to the Hound’s impending trial by justice as the accused Clegane brother prepares to face the one-eyed Beric Dondarrion. Arya watches anxiously. The Tale of the Tape heavily favors the Hound and he certainly looks like he is feeling pretty good about his chances – until Beric lights his sword on fire with his own blood! The Hound shuffles back with a quick three step – whoa! A friendly reminder: the Hound doesn’t blink an eye when it comes to murdering children or running blindly into combat but even a camp-sized-marshmallow-roasting-fire irks this man something fierce.
The two fight an intense battle throughout the Brotherhood’s lair as miscellaneous items and individuals go flying left and right. The peanut gallery proves to be unfamiliar with the standard WWE policy to never mix a lumberjack match and an inferno match; that’s how bystanders become victims.
The Hound manages to bring his opponent to his knees and cuts through Beric’s flaming sword and half of his torso for good measure. The bad guy wins again. Arya decides na-uh and lunges after the exhausted Hound to try and kill him herself but – he won his trial – and Arya is restrained by the Brotherhood members accordingly. Meanwhile, Thoros works some fire magic and Beric Dondarrion, who undoubtedly was just killed moments ago, is back up and running. The audience doesn’t even bat an eyelash at this point. Resurrection? Yeah, sure!
Arya is furious as Beric frees her dreaded enemy. “Go in peace Sandor Clegane, the Lord of Light isn’t done with you yet.” If it is any consolation for Arya, the Brotherhood takes all of the Hound’s gold and leaves him with just a few swords and a post-war IOU.
Orell the Impolite Warg and Tormund Giantsbane play 20 questions with Jon Snow. Jon adamantly states that there are 1000 men at Castle Black (in case you missed the ice zombie massacre and the Craster’s Keep riot, this is clearly not true as Castle Black is almost totally depleted of soldiers). Tormund tells Jon that if he is lying: “I’ll pull your guts out through your throat.” Somewhere in King’s Landing, Joffrey guffaws at Tormund’s lack of creativity Ha Ha, what an amateur!
Ygritte playfully leads Jon away for a much needed refresher/ breather/ loss of virginity. Just because it is a million degrees below freezing outside doesn’t mean there aren’t nearby hidden caves with steaming hot tubs! Life beyond the wall ain’t so bad when you’re working with the Playboy Grotto blueprints. Ygritte gets naked (Episode 5 Derriere sighting #1) and has a short four word debate with Jon Snow in which they ponder the merits of their hypothetical actions.
Jon: We shouldn’t.
Ygritte: We should.
They do. “You know nothing” she says to Jon as he proceeds to offer a counter argument. Later, after confirming Jon is no longer a “maiden,” Ygritte starts listing her former lovers, a major faux paus that even newcomer Jon Snow recognizes. “Yeah, thanks, I’ve heard enough” he says as he ignores sanitary concerns and goes skinny dipping in the hot tub (Episode 5 Derriere sighting #2).
Jaime and Brienne arrive at Harrenhal and are greeted by Lord Roose Bolton. Bolton wants to know what happened to Jaime’s hand. Locke, the man that severed Jaime’s limb, makes the joke we all have been saying for a week (he didn’t lose it, the hand is right there lol) and is promptly dismissed. Clearly, the dismemberment was not an approved course of action. Lord Bolton immediately sheds his initial pleasant vibe of hospitality as he answers Jaime’s meek request for an update about Cercei by showing the captive Lannister that he shares the Bolton family’s sadistic sense of humor (his son is Theon’s giddy torturer after all). “You haven’t heard… your sister, how can I put this, your sister is…alive and well.” Got ya!
Jaime then goes to the most poorly lit doctor’s office in Westeros for a much needed check-up. Introduced in the season premiere as the thirsty prisoner begging Robb Stark for water, disgraced former Maester Qyburn (he lost his credentials after some of his experiments were deemed too bold) performs a rather grisly operation. Sans anesthesia, Jaime watches as Qyburn uses a pair of pliers to remove the rotting flesh from his injured arm. Hopefully Jaime didn’t notice the creepy surgeon’s bulging eyes – not exactly a comforting pre-operation visual.
Cercei tracks down Littlefinger before he departs for his journey to the Eyrie. She wants him to utilize his “good working relationship with the Tyrells” to get some dirt. One last scheme for the road!
First, she mused sarcastically about Tyrell flatulence smelling of roses. Next, she mocked the artistic design of her chamber-pot. In this episode, Lady Olenna, the Queen of Thorns, requests some afternoon figs as they “help move the bowels.” Who would have thought Queen Margery’s grandmother would have replaced the man she is sitting with, Tyrion Lannister, as the go-to potty-humor expert on Game of Thrones? Olenna is far more than an additional comedic reprieve from dismembered limbs and incest. She is the brains behind the Tyrell operation and is knowledgeable about everything from their war strategy to the amount of sheep they have provided King’s Landing for the winter (50,000!). She also understands the necessity for the supposedly-magnificent royal wedding as it represents a much needed distraction for the restless people. She gives Tyrion a hard time but ultimately makes the Master of Coin an offer he can hardly believe. “We’ll pay for half the expenses and the celebrations will go on as planned.” Hooray!
Yet Another Cave:
Arya’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day gets worse as her blacksmith buddy, Gendry, joins the Brotherhood without Banners. Having seemingly taken a sip of the Khaleesi Kool-Aid, Gendry decides he wants to work for someone he actually believes in; he already is growing a goatee to try and fit in with the gang of outlaws. Arya is devastated and feels as though Gendry is abandoning her. “I can be your family” she pleads. Although Gendry has a lot of love for Arya, he ignores her appeal and sticks with his plan.
Later: Most people tend to keep the list of people they want to kill to themselves, but Arya prefers to orally recite them one by one in public. Beric interrupts her casual death wishes and shows us that he has been resurrected 6 times in a variety of ways. Show off.
The North’s two preteen Lannister hostages (Tywin’s nephews) hear a commotion. Strange men burst into their cell. “Is this a rescue?” Not at all. The defenseless boys are brutally murdered by Lord Karstark and some of his men.
The dead bodies and the now imprisoned Karstark soldiers are brought before Robb, his wife, his mother Catelyn (ugh) and her family. The bearded prisoner calls Robb “the King who lost the north” as Robb temporarily sends him to a dungeon and his men to their death as he contemplates his next move. Robb knows that if he kills Lord Karstark, he will lose a significant amount of his army. But, perhaps thinking of Bran and Rickon, he refuses to simply leave the child murderer alive as a prisoner.
Later: An execution held outside amidst a moderate and dreary rainfall, the only thing this depressing scene is missing is an ominous death wish. Never mind– we got one! Lord Karstark’s last words before Robb beheads him: “kill me and be cursed, you are no king of mine.” Not a very remorseful closing statement from a child murderer, but if he was going for dramatic effect, he knocked it out of the park.
Lonely without his mistress, Stannis visits his wife – Lady Selyse – who he has not seen in a long, long time. As Stannis walks in, his wife is praying to fire – a very popular activity on Dragonstone. We also find out why Stannis took his sweet dear old time visiting his wife and why he is even more awkward and socially uncomfortable than normal. Selyse keeps their three dead stillborn sons in jars. In her bedroom. Not really the decoration you’re looking for in a royal palace. Kudos to the GoT team –
Producer #1: We only have two minutes to introduce the ten-thousandth character on the show.
Producer #2: And we need the character to stand out as being especially weird.
Producer #3: I know what we should do.
Producer #1 & #2 (simultaneously): What?!
Producer #3: A morbid visual of floating infant corpses.
Producer #1: Bingo.
Producer #2: Perfect.
Producer #3: Should we have her address one of the jars and say something like “my sweet boy?”
Producer #1 & #2 (simultaneously): Genius.
Stannis tries to confess about his affair but Selyse already knows – Melisandre told her! Not only that, Selyse wept for joy when she learned of the shadow-demon-son, not something traditionally celebrated from someone in her position.
Stannis gets out of that mess and goes to visit his daughter, Shireen, who is not in a jar (phew). Shireen has greyscale; it’s like Westeros acne but permanent and occasionally fatal. She asks about Davos, last seen hogging screen time in the season premiere and attempting to stab Melisandre the Fire Mistress. Stannis demonstrates his inability to communicate delicately as he updates his young daughter with a rather grim, blunt prognosis. “Ser Davos is a traitor, he’s rotting in a dungeon cell for his crime.” His grimace after uttering this statement is one of the great highlights of the episode. Maybe that was a bit harsh.
An all-time great scene as we not only get Derriere sightings #3 and #4 (!) but also gain invaluable insight into Jaime’s sympathetic backstory.
Stealing Jon Snow and Ygritte’s swag, Jaime strips down and hops in a hot tub with Brienne and proceeds to deliver an epic monologue about the final days of his former employer, King Aerys Targaryen – the Mad King.“[Aerys] loved to watch people burn. He burned anyone that was against him… before long half the country was against him.” Not a charming individual.
When King’s Landing was under attack from a Tywin Lannister led invasion that was quickly ending the war (the one that led to Robert Baratheon’s reign as king), Aerys ordered his pyromancers to set off hidden batches of wildfire that would burn the city down. Aerys also ordered Jaime to bring him Tywin Lannister’s head. “Kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children are burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?” The answer is obviously no. Jaime has been vilified for a crime that was actually quite noble!
Either the hot tub temperature is set way too high or Jaime is just exhausted after nailing his speech, but he passes out as Brienne catches him and yells for help.
Shireen pays Davos a visit as he sits in his cell. She brings him a book but, unfortunately, he: “can’t read the words.” Stannis’ lotion-starved daughter decides to pursue a career in education and takes it upon herself to teach Davos how to read. She starts by reciting some Aegon anecdotes, a story about a Targeryen with dragons, and that individuals’ “conquest of Westeros.” Sounds like a phenomenal time to cut to…
Team Stormborn! Hey now. Typically after any dosage of epic Mother of Dragons shenanigans we have to wait an extra week or two to catch up with our favorite Targaryen (sorry Viserys) but the GoT producers decided to spoil us (aw, shucks). Dany’s two older advisors have some bro-time as they share pee jokes and war stories. Jorah tests the waters a bit. Remember, he used to snitch on Dany for Varys and was pardoned for doing so. He wants to see if Ser Barristan knows this. “I didn’t’ sit on the small council” Barristan says. Guess not!
Meanwhile, Dany meets Grey Worm, the squad leader of the Unsullied army. All Unsullied are given intentionally unflattering names as a means of further degradation during their years of training. Grey Worm opts to hold onto his even after Dany tells him to pick a new name as his: “is the name this one had the day Daenerys Stormborn set him free.” A likeable and somewhat grammatically confusing addition to the Game of Thrones cast – a considerably more promising character than Stannis’ old lady.
Robb Stark laments the status of his army. The Northerners used to have a clear, defined purpose but: “now we are like a band of bickering children.” That’s what happens when you cut the heads off your own men and put Catelyn Stark in charge when you take a vacation. IT IS ALL HER FAULT, ROBB. WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THAT?!
Robb gropes his wife’s hand and looks at a map – Eurekea! He’s got it! He’s going for Tywin and the Lannister’s home-base: Casterly Rock. “I’m going to take their home away from them.” But to do so he needs to recruit some new soldiers and the only ones he can get are: Walder Frey’s! The creepy old guy formally known as Argus Filch! Robb was supposed to marry his daughter as part of a deal they made in the first season, but he backed out of that one pretty aggressively. Will Walder Frey help him now? Can’t wait to see how that one goes.
Margaery Tyrell is hanging out with Sansa Stark instead of watching whatever crazy nonsense King Joffrey is up to and thus depriving me of a more entertaining segment. Margaery reminds Sansa that she will wed her brother Loras, but it cannot happen until after Margaery has married her psychopathic King. Oliver the Squire gives Loras the eye and – well that wasn’t so difficult – we cut to a bedroom and it seems Loras is well past grieving for his ex, Renly Baratheon. (Derirere sighting #5) Oliver straddles Loras and gets him to dish out some gossip. Later we see…
Littlefinger: “that didn’t take very long.” Oliver the Seducing Squire was a spy! Now Littlefinger knows that Sansa is supposed to marry Loras and man, I just do not think he is gonna let that happen.
Later, he meets with Sansa and compliments her Maergery inspired hair style, even though you know we know he knows he hates it. Litttlefinger gives Sansa one last chance to come with him to the Eyrie. The audience knows this is a cruel test. If she goes with him, Littlefinger will have her trapped and she won’t get to marry Loras. If she refuses, we know she’ll fall prey to whatever scheme the crafty former Mayor of Baltimore has obviously set in motion and she won’t marry Loras anyhow. Bummer.
Neither fatherly one-on-one went well for Tyrion or Cercei, so they figure, hey, why don’t we try and do this together! Well, not exactly. Tyrion learns he is going to be married to Sansa Stark as a means to thwart the Tyrell’s plot to take control of the North. Cercei thinks she is there to have a few chuckles at her brother’s expense and witness his frustrations but that is not the case. Her father looks at her and coldly announces: “Tyrion will do as he’s bid, as will you…you will marry Loras.” Cercei is horrified! She was so happy as a divorcé, seducing random family members and drinking gallons of wine a day, what is she ever going to do!
Tune in Sundays at 9:00 PM and then check Independent Philly the following day for the recap!
[Story by Dan Shorr]