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Mother of Dragons! The Derriere Affair: Game of Thrones Episode 5 Recap

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.

Another Cave:


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.

King’s Landing:


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!

King’s Landing:


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…

Outside Astapor


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.

King’s Landing:


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…

King’s Landing:


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.

King’s Landing:


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!

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[Story by Dan Shorr]


Mother of Dragons! Old Valyrian: Game of Thrones Episode 4 Recap

Mother of Dragons!

Old Valyrian: A Game of Thrones Episode 4 Recap

By: Dan Shorr


Joffrey meets the people, Mormont meets his maker and Daenerys Targeryen finally gets her army.

A Forest:


Jaime Lannister thought he used to have it all. A loving (sociopathic, illegitimate, product of incest, doesn’t-actually-know-Jaime-is-his-father) son. A great (physical) relationship with his twin sister (lover). And, of course, one of the most famous and lethal sword-wielding right hands in the entire world. Now look at him. He’s got corns on his feet, he’s dehydrated and he’s got the Addams Family’s hand butler dangling from his neck. At least Jaime isn’t getting stomped into the mud or tricked into chugging horse urine. Oh.

King’s Landing:


Tyrion wants his old eunuch buddy Varys to help him prove that Cercei tried to have him killed during the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys is much more interested in lecturing about what happens in Myr (it stays there). For everyone that bet big on Varys’ castration being the result of a sorcerers’ bizarre penis sacrifice, congratulations – you got it! If you doubled down and bet that Varys was keeping that same sorcerer in a crate with his mouth grotesquely sewed shut? Even more congratulations as you must be a wealthy person involved with a very quirky gambling ring.

Craster’s Keep:


Sam checks in on the Keep’s newest baby mama, Gilly. She is not in the mood for Sam’s uncalled for cheeriness as her son is inevitable sacrifice fodder for Craster. “Can you save my baby’s life?” she asks Sam. He gives her a look like “not if it involves any long distance running.”

Dream Forest:


Speaking of which, Bran is running. Conditional logic has taught us this also means Bran is dreaming. The kid from Love Actually is hanging out with Bran in his dreamworld and urges the young Stark to go climb a huge tree in search of the perpetually squawking 3-eyed crow. Because that always goes well. Bran gets to the top of the tree and, well, look who it is! Maintaining her reputation as the least fun character on Game of Thrones, Catelyn Stark shows up to enforce her strict “no climbing!” policy and send her son plummeting to the ground. Even Bran’s subconscious recognizes how awful Catelyn is.

King’s Landing:


Varys assumes the illiteracy of all prostitutes, both former and active. Ros teaches him the ignorance of stereotyping as her ability to READ has led her to discover that Littlefinger has requested not one, but two feather beds for his journey to the Eyrie. Yeah. You heard her. TWO feather beds. Lord Baelish stays in first class. But is the second bed for Sansa? Varys thinks so.

King’s Landing:


“[the dragon] ate her, while her son watched!” Getting exuberantly riled up on some violent historical anecdotes, typical King Joffrey. While the Queen Regent and the Queen of Thorns, Cercei and Olenna Tyrell, trade quips and check out potential wedding locations, Margaery leads Joffrey into uncharted territory. She brings him face to face with…pedestrians! Meet the 99%, Joffrey, they are just like you – only without the homicidal tendencies and custom crossbow collection. Margaery waves to a massive crowd of King’s Landing commoners as Joffrey initially looks on bewildered. He studies her motions. Short, subtle movement of the wrist. Ever so slight cuppage of the palm. Bright, wide smile. Hey, I can do this! Joffrey waves at the crowd as Cercei looks on horrified and yells: “How did she finally teach him how to wave?!?!?!”



Theon opens up. He admits Ned Stark was essentially his real father and acknowledges how low he has fallen. Whoops! Theon is preaching to the wrong guy as he finds himself victim to the Westeros version of Punk’d with Ramsay Bolton playing the Aston Kutcher role: you get tortured, you get freed – but guess what!! You’re not actually free. And you go back to being tortured.

Disregard everything Theon’s fake friend – revealed as Ramsay Bolton – has said. He is a twisted liar that, in the books, has committed atrocious acts that make King Joffrey look like a six year old Sansa Stark. The bastard son of Robb Stark’s stern Lieutenant Roose Bolton, this new character is a depraved man who was willing to murder his own men just to mess with Theon and destroy his morale even further. I don’t foresee these two becoming the next Tyrion/Bronn dynamic duo. Just a hunch.



Brienne is disgusted with the whimpering Kingslayer and calls him a coward. No wonder he doesn’t tell her why he lied to their captors about the Sapphire Isle, named for its blue water and not for its abundance of gemstones. Jaime just looks at her silently like this is the worst road trip ever.

King’s Landing:


Tywin Lannister is a serious man with a penchant for excessive correspondence (dude is always writing letters!) and verbally decimating his children. Cercei, her nervousness obvious, confronts her father. First, she just addresses her typical paranoia concerning her loss of influence on Joffrey, a development Tywin seems to celebrate. But she really wants to get some daddy-daughter issues off her chest; Cercei believes she is the strongest Lannister spawn and wants some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Tywin has none for her. “I distrust you…because you are not as smart as you think you are.” Ouch.

King’s Landing:


Olenna Tyrell gives props to the Stark family motto before noticing “a spider in the garden.” Varys is getting his screen time up. They decide that while they both think Sansa is really boring, they still feel bad for her. Plus, she has that very old last name which makes her the eventual key to the North. Secret matchmaking? I think so!

King’s Landing:


Margaery finds Sansa preying outside and asks Sansa’s guards to give them some privacy. The guards don’t budge until Margaery threatens to tell the King and boy, do those guards get out of there fast. Margaery lays it on thick. “I want us to be friends, great friends.” Not only friends, but sisters! Looks like Margaery is going to try and set Sansa up, good luck to that guy. Also, Sansa gullibly believed that Porridge Plague was a real disease. She really is Catelyn Stark’s daughter.

Craster’s Keep:


Back at the Keep, things get out of hand (where is Jaime when you need him). Following the funeral of one of the Brothers, a contingent of unruly Night’s Watch members unsatisfied with Craster’s treatment finally speak up. Craster slugs through a drum stick while the Brothers watch, near starving – not helpful. Lord Commander Mormont tries to calm the ensuing scuffle, but it is too late. A few vulgarities get thrown around and next you thing you know Craster and Mormont are dead and Sam is on the run with Gilly and her newborn infant.



Thoros and the Brotherhood without Banners escort Arya to their lair, which appears to be the Batcave. There, we meet the Brotherhood’s leader, Beric Dondarrion (he appeared briefly in the first season as Ned Stark sent him to bring the Mountain to justice). Beric, letting the Batcave’s ambiance rub off on him, gives a what-if-christopher-nolan-remade-the-dark-knight-as-robin-hood speech; he basically just babbles crime-fighter jargon. The Hound, after deflecting the various charges levied against him, is accused by Arya for murdering her friend Mycah. The Hound raises a good point, who is he to question princes and princesses, but it isn’t good enough to keep him out of a trail by combat which we will all have to wait until next week to watch.



“I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targeryen of the blood of old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue.” In a scene full of highlights that could very well be the best 5 minutes of Game of Thrones to date, Dany’s language switch was my favorite part. We all watched as the crude slaver called her names and insulted Dany to her face. Guess what? She knew what he was saying all along. Time for a little Astapor BBQ to even the score.  The Unsullied kill their former masters (did anyone else think the Valyrian name for the Unsullied sounded like “spaghetti?”) and now with 8,000 eunuchs, 3 dragons and two senior citizens, the Mother of Dragons is ready to take back her throne.

Tune in Sundays at 9:00 PM and then check Independent Philly the following day for the recap!

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and enter our latest contests!

[Story by Dan Shorr]