Jessica Henwick-Photo Helen Sloan HBO

Sons of the Harpy, Recap: Episode 4, Season 5

To use a bad medieval metaphor, Game of Thrones is truly beginning to throw down the gauntlet to its would-be rulers. Tommen, Cersei, Jon, and even Daenerys are put through their paces as rulers in the fourth episode of Season 5. Once again, the show is reminding us, “ruling is hard.” Meereen and King’s Landing are both in turmoil as two armed militant factions promise to cause serious trouble. We also meet the Sand Snakes who are on the verge…

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By the Old Gods and the New

In Game of Thrones, people often swear by the “old gods and the new.” So far at least, the southern worshipers of the new gods (that is, the Faith of the Seven) seem to be relatively tolerant of the old gods in the North. (The southerners simply sneer at the primitive beliefs of the northerners; they don’t try to kill the northerners for them.)  There are interfaith marriages (Ned and Catelyn). And, in the books, Sam even converted from his…

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New Identities: “The High Sparrow” (Recap: Episode 3, Season 5)

“The High Sparrow” (Episode 3, Season 5) is all about shifting identities. Many of the characters take on new roles and shed old ones. Transformation is key in this episode. Arya continues her stay with the faceless men of Braavos. Margaery becomes a Baratheon (again) when she marries Tommen. Tommen becomes a married man. Cersei is no longer queen. Sansa agrees to marry again. Winterfell not only has a new lord in residence but its facelift is underway. Jon makes…

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Episode 2: Recap, the House of Black and White

Episode 2 of Season 5 sets up many future plots, but no one storyline dominates it. Cersei is assuming her role as “king.” Myrcella Baratheon may be in danger from Prince Oberyn’s vengeful family. Arya arrives at the House of White and Black in Braavos. Like this season’s first episode, this episode focuses on the difficulties in ruling and the problems in administering justice. While Stannis administers justice too harshly, Daenerys doesn’t have a full command of it yet. It is…

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The Wars to Come: A Fairy Tale Drawn Darkly (Recap E1, S5)

Showing us a fairy tale drawn darkly — Cersei’s flashback to her childhood encounter with a witch in a dark wood — is a fitting way to begin season five. Nothing is going well for the nobility, except for Littlefinger who is the least noble of them. As the season begins, the queen mourns for her father, whom her brother slayed. Meanwhile her brother — Casterly Rock’s heir — questions whether a father-killer is even still legally a lord. The mother of dragons still…

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Just Today: New The Winds of Winter Chapter

An hour ago, George RR Martin released a new The Winds of Winter chapter on his website. It is from Alayne’s point of view. Here is the link. Enjoy! P.S. Please avoid TV spoilers if you leave comments, or preface them with “spoiler” and a paragraph return or two, so the spoiler doesn’t show up in the sidebar feed on our home page.    

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