(Note: to help clear up the discussion thread congestion, we’re publishing two Game of Thrones recaps this season, one for book readers and one for non-book readers. Doing it this way means those who have read A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows don’t have to begin every conversation with “SPOILER,” or those who haven’t won’t need to worry about learning something they shouldn’t.)
When Tywin gave his speech about what makes a good ruler to Tommen (y’know, that scene right before that THING we won’t mention by name happened, for fear of a million more think pieces), he left out one key attribute: patience. Joffrey didn’t have it — he was the word “NOW NOW NOW” personified — and now he’s dead. Littlefinger, meanwhile, is all self-control, and his plans are slowly come to fruition. His scheming even predates Game of Thrones, technically, and because he practices what he preaches, he’s arguably the most dangerous and powerful man in Westeros, even if few outside the Vale know it.
(Just to clear up any confusion, the awkward bit of exposition that Lysa was referring to before Littlefinger shushed her was that she poisoned Jon Arryn, but wrote to Cat that the Lannisters did it. Thus, the War of the Five Kings came to be, all because of Carcetti.)
Daenerys, too, isn’t charging into anything without the diligence it deserves. She could attack King’s Landing by way of the Blackwater, and possibly even triumph over the Lannisters, but she’s not after King’s Landing; she wants Westeros. And to get it, she needs to prove to herself that she’s a fit ruler. So before Dany and her Unsullied army head north, she makes a pledge: she will “take care of business” in Slaver’s Bay, to keep those who she unchained free. It might not be (OK, it definitely isn’t) the most exciting development for the TV show — “When are they going to get to the fireworks factory and/or King’s Landing?” — but it’s not out of character. Getting what you desire takes time, and Dany knows it. So does Littlefinger. And Margaery, who could have pulled an Olenna and pounced into Tommen’s bed like so many cats before her, but instead, she wisely plays the “we have a secret” game.
The waiting is the hardest part, to quote Tom Petty, but it just makes the moment when I finally make love to Margaery all the sweeter, to quote Tommen.
-Cersei loves her children. It’s her one redeeming quality; that and her ability to c*ckblock Tommen.
-I want this spray-painted on the side of my van.
-The highlight of the episode: Dany wearing a dress that isn’t blue.
-The architect originally called it the Doorway of Doom, but Bloody Gate works, too.
-Sansa looks into the eyes of her aunt, sees an insane future version of herself.
-And they’re all funnier than the last.
-“Will Kill for Money” — Tywin’s personal ad in Westeros Weekly.
-Arya’s list is going to turn into “We Didn’t Start the Fire” before long.
-This is not a flattering angle for the Hound. He looks like a melted Mr. Potato Head.
-“Dear Diary, today, I participated in four orgies. A new record.”
-Michelle MacLaren is a very good director.
-Tywin is not a fan.
-Bran’s coat is made up of a hundred claw machine stuffed animals.
-I have never liked Jon Snow more. (Seriously, I HATED Mopey Snow last season, but in the past couple of episodes, he’s become the likable hero the writers have always wanted him to be.)
-Well, there goes the neighborhood.
Book Readers Spoiler Section: there’s a lot to get into here, too much to be summed up in a single paragraph (the reintroduction of the soon-to-be-down-an-ear Myrcella, sort of; a slight change in Sansa’s story; the hints toward Lady Stoneheart; our first mention of the SAND SNAKES, etc.), but I would like to say: it’s a damn shame we only have Charles Dance’s Tywin for a few more weeks.
And now for Hodor’s Five Least Favorite Songs…