No Mercy | Game of Thrones “High Sparrow” Review
Game of Thrones is setting up very interesting storylines in “High Sparrow.” Houses are about to unite. We were treated to a rather boring wedding. Rough exteriors were shed. It was an episode of growth and manipulation. We are only a few weeks in, but it is already clear that this season is going to be satisfying. We know that the good guys never seem to win in Game of Thrones, but nothing is black and white in Westeros.
Arya is not enjoying her time in Braavos at the House of the Black and White. Arya is proving that she has no patience when she tells Jaqen that she is ready to serve. He says that she is only ready to serve herself. Arya is surrounded by the statues of the seven gods, but Jaqen explains that there is only one God and “a girl knows his name.” Even though Arya is ready to serve, she is not ready to get rid of everything that has made her Arya Stark of Winterfell. Jaqen reminds her of this, and she tosses all of her possessions in the water. The one possession she can’t part with is Needle, the sword from Jon Snow. I was glad to see she didn’t throw it in the water; instead, she hid it in some rocks.
After more than four seasons, Game of Thrones has finally given us an uneventful wedding. With no build up or hype, Margaery and Tommen have wed. Tommen is the sweetest and most naïve character in Westeros. He doesn’t feel guilty that the only reason he is King and married to Margaery is because of Joffrey’s death. If that’s the worst that we see of Tommen, then he lucked out in the gene pool.
Margaery is back to being Queen, and she is trying her hardest to push Cersei out of the way. She slowly shows Tommen how much Cersei is in his life. She wonders if Cersei wouldn’t be happier back in Casterly Rock, her home. The people still love Margaery as seen by crowds shouting for Margaery. Cersei does not like the new queen and doesn’t try to hide it from Tommen. This time, Tommen disagrees and shows just how smitten he is with his new Queen. He even asks if Cersei would like to go home to Casterly Rock. Margaery just might be one of the most manipulative characters on the show.
Now that Lancel and the Sparrows are in King’s Landing, they are taking it upon themselves to expose sinners for who they really are. They find the High Septon in Petr Baelish’s brothel about to enjoy the comforts from multiple women. The Sparrows drag him out into the streets while he is naked and expose him for who he is. When the High Septon goes to complain to Cersei, he says that the Sparrows assaulted him. Cersei goes searching for the High Sparrow, the presumed leader of the Sparrows. She finds him handing out food to the poor. To his surprise, Cersei reveals that she kept the High Septon locked in the dungeons for his transgressions. We have definitely not seen the last from the Sparrows.
We get our first glimpse of Winterfell and the rebuilding process led by the Boltons. Ramsay is taking his Bolton name seriously. When collecting taxes from northern residents, he has no sympathy for those still loyal to the Starks. When a man refuses to pay saying that a Stark would only ever rule the North and that he wouldn’t kiss the boot of a traitor, Ramsay has his whole family killed and skinned for all of Winterfell to see. Roose Bolton decides this is a great time for Ramsay to get married, and he has the perfect bride.
Petr Baelish and Sansa Stark are still on the road. They stop while overlooking Moat Caitlin. Baelish reveals that the marriage proposal that he was offered in the previous episode was not for him but for Sansa. When she realizes where he is going with his explanation, she is appalled. Baelish thinks it’s a good idea for Sansa to accept the marriage proposal from Ramsay Bolton, the son of the man responsible for the death of her brother and mother. Although this sounds like a terrible idea, Baelish seems to have a few tricks up his sleeve. He tells Sansa that she should stop running and standing by while tragedy strikes. He tells her to avenge her family.
Littlefinger is one of the smartest and most conniving people in all of the seven kingdoms, so it’s not hard to see how he can convince Sansa to go to Winterfell. When Sansa returns home, the women who takes her to her room says, “Welcome home Lady Stark. The North remembers.” We know how brutal and cruel Ramsay can be, so I don’t trust him when he promises to Baelish that he hopes he can make Sansa happy and that he would never hurt her. In the background at Winterfell, Reek/Theon Greyjoy seems to be on the brink of a breakdown. Will Sansa’s return have a profound effect on Reek? Will he ever snap out of it?
Jon Snow has officially assumed his role of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Stannis and Davos go to speak with Jon, still hoping to convince him to fight with Stannis’s army. Even the enticement of the name Stark doesn’t sway Jon. He tells Stannis that even though the Stark name is all he’s ever wanted, he made a vow to the Night’s Watch. Jon begins handing out new work assignments to people. Alliser Thorne is surprisingly given First Ranger, while his main supporter Janos Slynt is being sent to Greyguard to clean up the castle in ruins. When he defies a direct order from the Lord Commander, Jon Snow takes him out to be executed. Janos pleads for his life and agrees to take his assignment. Jon listens to his pleas but executes him anyway. This is definitely a new look for Jon Snow, and Stannis looks on with approval.
Lastly, we get to meet up with the snarkiest dwarf in the seven kingdoms. Tyrion is slowly going crazy after being locked in the wheelhouse with Lord Varys for weeks. He begs to get out while they are in Volantis and goes immediately to a brothel. Tyrion talks to one of the women in the brothel but can’t seem to get himself to go back with her. He’s not sure why but goes off to relieve himself off of the side of the building. We got to see a familiar face this week in Jorah Mormont. Sadly, Jorah kidnaps Tyrion to take him to Daenerys in hopes of some sort of forgiveness from her.