GoT: Boats, male bonding, spilled booze, monster in law, zealots, the Mists of Avalon, and a horse on a beach (Or… Ep. 5.04 “Sons of the Harpy”)

Here we are again with some more Game of Thrones action!

Once more (with feeling), this is somewhat recappy and somewhat rabbit-holey—as in, this made me think of that, which made me think of that, and back to the show.

So. And, as always, pictures aplenty.

Let’s see. What brilliant observation first occurred to me?

Boats! Yes. Boats. Boats of different sizes. A little boats. A slightly bigger boat. I got whiffs of Vikings, but whatevs.

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Look, here’s someone being pensive on a boat! Boats are made for looking pensive.

Then, in more entertaining news, Jaime and Bronn have a nice chat below deck during which time Bronn pulls several faces. First, when he’s describing the Dornish.

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Sure, Bronn, sure. You love ’em. Then, as Jaime is waxing noble about rescuing his daughter niece, Bronn gives him his rather dubious countenance with eyebrow lift, before double-checking that Jaime is, in fact, referring to Myrcella as his niece. 

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Bronn is all rooiiiiiiggghhhtttt. Whatevs.

Then we have the High Sparrow speaking with Cersei. I’m not sure about him. His character is hard to pin down because he seems so dignified and trustworthy. And yet I/we are rightly suspicious of powerful religious figures, amiright?

Plus, you know zealots are up to no good when they start DESTROYING WINE! Like, WHAT???? Code Red Emergency!

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This is not okay—never okay. I felt echoes of that fear/regret one feels when a recently purchased drink is spilled.


And these guys are just DESTROYING casks of this divine beverage.

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Although, to be fair, those casks probs weren’t priceless.

wine-spill-stain-etiquetteLike, there’s this story of this one dude a few years ago who dropped an 18th century bottle of cognac worth over 70,000 dollars. And to think, I’ve panicked at breaking a wine flute?! Lawd. Can you even imagine??

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.20.19 PMCrazyness. I actually had difficulty getting passed this, as you can tell by now.


Anyways. I haven’t made it very far in my review post. I think probably only like five minutes have passed in the episode.

Now that I’m trying to move past the wanton destruction of the alcohol, let us move to the equally much more heinous acts of violence.

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Quick, where should the religious zealots go?! Obviously to the houses of ill-repute!! Forget any other concerns. Forget about helping people. Quick, leave the soup kitchen and head to the brothels! Anyways. They are all hopped up on their (masculine) righteousness. So. Annoying. (And extremists of every creed are always so homophobic. Which, again, so typical and unoriginal.)

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Whawhaa with the scarring of flesh? Dear, sweet, misguided, overcompensating, Lancel.

Then we have a rather piss0-poor performance from Loras. Dude, if you weren’t pulled out of bed coitus interruptus, and if you were captured holding a weapon and surrounded by presumed friends, then, well… it’s kind of embarrassing for you :/

Margaery is naturally on the war path as a result of Loras being apprehended by the overzealous Sparrows cum Faith Militant.

I loved this scene when she bursts in on him just tucking into a healthy and well-balanced meal. (Side question: Why are grapes the standard fruit of royalty/rich? Is it simply because of their association with wine? Something else?) Also, he is sitting there so properly. Cutting his food. Sitting with good posture. Can you imagine any of the other kings dining alone like this? 

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.23.10 PMAnd of course the lil wee bebe kinglet is befuddled and confused. I mean, HE THOUGHT MARGAERY AND HIS MOM GOT ALONG?!

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.24.09 PMIt’s so ridiculous.

And, yet, it also seems like such a standard husband response. Like, what? You, my wife, have a stressed relationship with the other primary woman in my life—my mother??? main-qimg-62becb9563deecd0a6bd9ff9b935cafeColor me shocked! I had no idea?! I can’t imagine why you don’t get on together because you should be able to bond over how much you both love me!!

(It was also very Marie and Debra in Everybody Loves Raymond.)

Later, after a pathetic attempt at actually asserting his power (at which he failed miserably, natch), he gives Margaery his best horny-teen-puppy-eyes. Like, dude, you can not still think she’s going to come back to your bed tonight?!

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… No.

Hmm… then, back to the wall. There are some nice scenes with Stannis, his wife, his daughter, Melisandre, Jon Snow, and Sam. Almost too much to parse. And I am wearying of my work. BUT! There are a few observations I must share. I simply must. (I’ll call it a recap-consciousness-raising.)

So, Melisandre decides to “talk” to (translation: sex) Jon Snow about his plans, at which point he says he will not follow Stannis, because blahblahblah honor/job/etc.

Anyways, she figures that, hey, he is a man, I might as well try to see if my breasts can make him do what I want. She does this all while also engaging in some pseudo-philosophical discussions about life, death, and war. (As one does.) Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.31.18 PM

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Hmmm. What are we fighting for… what are we fighting for…

Family, Winterfell, revenge, the good of the land, the downtrodden, the gods, individual glory…? NAHHHHHH. That’s just sentimental claptrap.

Obbbbbbviously there’s a lot to fight for at this point in time! I mean, that’s not really the problem, is it?

This is what you’re fighting for…!



Or, whatever, maybe she actually has a “point” and this demonstration is meant simply to draw Jon Snow’s attention to her heartbeat… which really means “life”… that’s what he would be fighting for—life. Her boobs just happened to be in the way of her heartbeat!!

It’s honestly not a bad move on her part. As we shall see later, it is a well-known fact that men will always go to war over a fine piece of female flesh. [See: Helen of Troy.] So, why not Melly???

Here she is, pulling a bit of a Sharon-Stone-Basic-Instinct vibe with the widely spread legs.

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And, yet, for all I am mocking her sexual predator image, I can’t help but be reminded of the way in which Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon, 1982) presented and rehabilitated the previously much-maligned powerful religious women of the Arthurian legends.

Yes, it’s the TV adaptation of the book, but, look, women, standing around a fire! Just like Melisandre! #Womyn … All the same!

I think this deserves greater thought and a more in-depth consideration, but I was struck recently thinking about how Melisandre could be a fascinating character if we were allowed even a brief glimpse into her interior mental life. How does she view her relationship with the Lord of Light? How does she see her role in this farce?

In my viewing of the show, she projects a cold sexuality (for all of her talk of fire) that does not do much more than paint her as an insane, ruthless, and conniving conduit for her god. Are sex and sacrifice mere tools in her “lean in” arsenal? Or signs of her unquestioning devotion?

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However, a case could be made (or the story retold to suggest) that she views her attempted sexual coupling as a true act of divine congress or worship. In The Mists of Avalon, those who follow the old ways speak of copulating during the Beltane Fires, for example, and the children that come from these one night stands blessed unions are prized. Furthermore, in that world, the children would not necessarily raised by the father as the child is, ultimately, a child of the Goddess, first, and a child of the mother, second. The biological father is a distant third.

Though I said I wouldn’t get into this, I just want to conclude with the prospect that it could be fun and/or interesting to play with combining some ’70s/’80s-era feminist spirituality (the sort that celebrated a romantic mysticism and feminine spirituality and often seemed to embrace neo-paganism and reimagine an eternal, essential, and powerful feminine in the world) with this undeniably twenty-first-century depiction of the GoT world.


Despite being turned down (Jon Snow’s favorite activity), she gets the last word.

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I, too, know nothing.

Then we have a sweet father-daughter dance!

Then Sansa is wearing a weird necklace (in my opinion). Also, didn’t realize she was taller than Littlefinger. I like that fact.

This is where Peter and Sansa share a few conversational gems:

First, Peter totally slut-shames Sansa’s aunt Lyanna for causing the generally-agreed-upon cray Prince Rhaegar to lose his mind, follow his dick, publicly shun his wife and shower attention on Lyanna.

Because she was so beautiful / because she was wearing a short skirt / because she was alone outside / because she was drunk / because she was asking for it.

While Baelish reflects on how this one woman’s beauty caused so many deaths and so much strife, Sansa rightly reminds him that the blame is not Lyannas.

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Their other moment comes when Littlefinger informs her that he is leaving and, when Sansa rightly expresses some nervous concern, he assures here that she need not worry. She can do it. She already has lil Bolton wrapped around her finger (doubtful, IMO). Plus, as he quips:

“You’ve learned to maneuver from the very best.”

Which is a weird thing to say (and yet so him), and, yet, reminiscent of what I referred to last week as his Peter Baelish School for Political Intrigue.

Then it’s all, smoochyshmoo, and xoxo, Littlefinge.

Gawd. Are we done? I’m so tired.

Jaime and Bronn get to Dorne.

More buddy-adventure-bonding…

Bronn is all:

“I’ve had an excited life. I want my death to be boring.”

And after Jaime says he wants to die in his lover’s arms, Bronn is quick to ask:

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Classic Bronn insight.

There there’s another buddy-hijinks moment about sharks and dolphins.

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These guys are great at improvisation.

And then they fight.

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Fake Hand for the win!

Fake hand for the jokes!!



Cut to the Sand Snakes!

I had several non-GoT-related thoughts at this point:

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Mostly, this feels familiar.

It seems like Hollywood always has horses galloping along a beach in and out of the rolling tide. Horses. Beaches. Nights of Rodanthe? Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.26.04 AM

Was there a horse riding scene in that film? Perhaps not. 

Yeah, not quite,

But there were horses on the beach!

How about National Velvet?! And then there’s Black Stallion!


So, Ellaria arrives at the impromptu desert pavilion that is truly quite chic. (Who set it up, doyathink?)

Mostly, I’m still not sold on the Sand Snakes as characters on their own (in the televised version).

They’re all:

“We don’t need an army to start a war.”

#true  (But you need one to win a war. Yes? No?)

Also, that story from Obara was just too much! Just, stop. What are you, twelve? These people are your family members. They know your story. I think? Maybe it’s the first time she has strung so many words together. 

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Mostly, all I got from the Dorne scenes was an uninspired checklist: Sand. Check. Snakes. Check. Scorpions. Check. Whip. Check. Spear. Check. Tortured male prisoner. Check. Women in Xena garb. Check. Over the top demonstration of bloodlust and prowess. Check and check!!


Tyrion is busy being a captive. La-dee-da.

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(I will definitely be asking for wine the next time I’m kidnapped.)

Then, what?

Meereen! Masks! Scary!

I’m tired.

So, the following are my unedited/unabridged thoughts as I watched the final scenes (as typed into my iPhone because I was watching with my friends at their apartment).

Those gold masks tho.

Masks are creepy. Masks with the same face? Creepier.

Worm-whats-his-name is fighting.

Orgy of violence.

Old man!


Demographics of sons of the harpy?

Ser…Blah…To the rescue.

Why’d the harpies pause just for Him? Tbh, he looks old. I mean, we know he’s a bad ass. Did they? 

Everyone down for nap time.


3 thoughts on “GoT: Boats, male bonding, spilled booze, monster in law, zealots, the Mists of Avalon, and a horse on a beach (Or… Ep. 5.04 “Sons of the Harpy”)

  1. Very entertaining review. Thanks for the references to MZB’s Mists of Avalon, which I’ve not read, but I’ve heard is excellent.

    Thumbs up on the Obara speech being over the top.

    Ellaria: Obara, are you in or out?

    Obara: When this man came to my house, and said he was my father…

    Tyene, Nymeria: Oh no, not this story again…

    Ellaria: Really, it’s a yes or no question. I know your life history pretty well. I think I’ve memorized your speech by now.

    Obara: He laid a spear at my feet…

    Tyene, Nymeria: Skip ahead…


  2. I love your recaps, Colleen! Perhaps there’s a future collaborative post about the way the show is RUINING DORNE!!!! Sand snakes: so awkward and stilted. Doran: angry in his chair. They’re essentially riding on the popularity of Oberin and Ellaria from last season.

    I understand that they didn’t want to introduce too many new female characters (heaven forbid), and in the past few months I’ve gotten over the fact that they wrote out Arianne and therefore eliminated the great backstory that Dorne allows the first-born child to rule, making it the one great house in Westeros where ladies can rule. But if they’re going to take that away from me, then they better make the Sand Snakes fucking epic. Rant over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had an identical reaction to the final fight scene! Almost word for word.

    Also, much as I support all efforts to keep Nights in Rodanthe culturally relevant, it’s a little crazy that it’s your go-to horse movie. It’s the go to bad-hair-on-leading-lady movie (it just barely beats out Amy Adams in Julia & Julia), and one of the top five medical-mispractice-romantic-dramadies, but it doesn’t even rank in terms of horses. Runaway Bride, anyone?

    And finally, that picture of Sansa with the murder/rape quote over it got me. I could go into why, but it would definitely make me sound like I want to violate Sansa, so I’ll just say it’s emotionally resonant & leave it at that.


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