Subtitle: various people try to throw their weight around to varying degrees of success
The action of King’s Landing is centered on mourning Tywin Lannister starting with a corpse-side chat between the twins. Jaime shows hitherto unrealized insight (everyone in Westeros hates us and the only way we survive is to turn turtle) but Cersei is a tornado trapped in a volcano as per usual and ignores his advice in favor of blaming him for their father’s death.
The funeral is pretty much entirely about scheming in plain sight, which is a perfect tribute to Tywin. Margaery shamelessly flirts with Cersei’s son King Tommen. Cersei glares. Loras hilariously memorializes Tywin to Cersei’s back. Cersei glares. Lancel wanders in dressed as a beggar priest (called ‘Sparrows’) to save Cersei’s soul. Cersei glares.
The episode began with a young Cersei having her fortune told: she will marry the King (Robert), not the Prince (Rhaegar). He will have twenty (bastard) children and she will have three (bastard) children. She will be Queen until another “younger, more beautiful” comes to take everything important to her away, including her children: “gold will be their crowns, gold will be their shrouds.” This dramatic and ultimately tragic future is enfolding on schedule and it’s clear Cersei is scared. She spends the episode distancing herself from everyone, not even taking the time to insult anyone. She stands tall and alone and glares.
The ‘younger Queen’ is generally considered to be Margaery and it’s certainly her plan. She interrupts her brother’s sexy times to plot and plan. In an unwitting parallel to Jamie and Cersei’s earlier scene Loras tells Margaery what’s what (with Tywin dead there’s no one to enforce the ‘marry Cersei to Loras and send her to Highgarden’ plan, haha) and Margaery glares.
On the road Brienne and Podrick are whining because Arya ran away from them and Sansa is nowhere to be found. In one of those near-misses the series is known for, Sansa is actually driving past them at that very moment as she embarks on the new new best worst road trip with Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger. I love that they ditched Robyn as soon as possible and I love that unlike every other best worst road trip, they are travelling in a carriage. Only the best for Sansa!
Not so Tyrion who spent the trip from Kings Landing to Pentos in a box. Now free he wants to get drunk and complain about his family. Varys wants him to stop feeling sorry for himself and do something useful: travel to Mereen and help Daenerys take back the Seven Kingdoms for House Targaryen. Tyrion agrees as long as he can still get drunk and complain about his family.
In Mereen, a group of assassins called the Sons of the Harpies are attacking Daenerys’s army of Unsullied. Possibly because she had the golden harpy statue removed from her pyramid palace? The murder of her guard took place in a brothel which leads to poor Missandei having another awkward conversation about castrated men and sex — where are we going with this, show (I’m scared it has something to do with Theon)? I’m all for Missandei having a storyline but this one is weird.
Anyway, Darrio gets naked and mansplains ruling to Dany, advocating for reopening the gladiator arenas and showing off her dragons. Dany goes to visit her babies chained in the dungeon but they answer her with fire. Khaleesi is not having a good day.
Finally up at the Wall, King Stannis wants the Wildling army to join his side and take back the North. He enlists Jon Snow to convince their leader, Mance Rayder, this is the best plan for everyone. Jon does his darnedest but Mance refuses to kneel or consign his subjects to a war that has nothing to do with them. So Stannis gives Mance over to his high priestess, Melisandre, and she sets him on fire. Angry at the whole situation, Jon Snow gets his Katniss Everdeen on and defies the King by sending an arrow into the rebel’s heart, granting him a swift death instead of a slow burn.
Next week: Arya and Dorne!
Winning: Loras Tyrell