Game Of Thrones: 5.04 Sons Of The Harpy

Mild spoilers ahead, don’t read on if you want to see episode four blind.

Having missed a couple of weeks of episode round-ups here’s the short versions: The House Of Black And White was all about power and the challenge of holding power, while High Sparrow was about not having power and the challenges of getting power.

This week Sons Of The Harpy showed the consequences of both of those things. Over in Meereen Daenerys is still really stuck in the rut of hosting people that want something from her. The pity is that Emilia Clarke ha grown into the role of Dany but the script is not doing anything interesting with her at the moment; the sooner Jorah and Tyrion make it to Meereen the better, both in terms of plot and in terms of the story and the Sons of the Harpy are getting stronger and taking down each of the Mother of Dragons trusted generals, meaning what looked like an untimely demise for Ser Barristan. But what a demise, with the litheness of a much younger man the former head of the Kings Guard took out loads of the Harpys.

Meanwhile in King’s Landing the King is getting weaker by the day, that poor lad Tommen is over his slightly age inappropriate meeting with his Queen last week and is now stuck in the middle of a huge bitch fight between his wife and his mother; an age old story right? The significant development this week was Cersei arming the High Sparrow and his followers which leads to many killings and the arrest of Queen Margaery’s brother Loras. Surely the Queen Mother will come to regret arming a legion of religious fanatics? That can’t end well for the twincestuous mother and her “abomination” of a son.

Some light relief comes in the form of Jaime and Bronn in Dorne, the well written banter and thought-through fight scenes are good enough but the performances of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jerome Flynn are delightful. Their scenes are some of the best on the show.

Also important this week was the short scene with Littlefinger and Sansa Stark. Lord Baelish is playing the long game and his reveal that Stannis Baratheon, not Roose Bolton, is the prize for Sansa show that this is a man that knows what he wants, knows how to get it, and plays to win. Will his own words of warning come back to haunt him though; “But even the most dangerous men can be outmaneuvered.”

And talking of the one true King it looks like Stannis Baratheon is actually turning into one of the best characters on the show. After spending at least two seasons moping about in the dank shadows he’s been given a new lease of life with his arrival at The Wall and sparring with Jon Snow. Add to that the imminent march on Winterfell and this is a character and storyline reborn. His scene with his daughter was one of the most touching on the show for a good while and showed a softer side to the character and allowed Stephen Dillane to stretch his acting chops for once. With Jon Snow now Lord Commander the best scenes of the show are happening in the North right now.

Four episodes in and it feels like Game Of Thrones is living up to its name, it’s moving its pieces around, setting up events to come, and pushing its themes of leaders, power, and corruption, hard. The season has been intriguing so far but it feels like it’s still waiting for that moment where it explodes.

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