It was a Jorah-free episode. Which is one of the reasons why it was such an enjoyable episode. But even though we couldn’t see him, we could feel him. Daenerys needs counsel. So it only makes sense that, in about five minutes, which is about how long it takes to sail across an ocean these days in Westeros, one of her most trusted advisors will be soon by her side. But let’s come back to Daenerys in a minute.
Duana is good for at least one bonkers observation an episode. Last week she was wondering whether or not there was some kind of connection between Melisandre and Catelyn. This week she texted midway through the episode asking me if Baelish would turn out to be Snape. Baelish is, perhaps, the most inscrutable of all Game Of Thrones characters. Will he be redeemed in the end? What, by his Lily Potter-style pining for Catelyn? There are two people I hate the most on Game Of Thrones. You hear me hating on Jorah Mormont week after week. The other? That f-cking dumbass Catelyn Stark and I’m glad she’s dead. Littlefinger has transferred his unrequited love for Catelyn onto Sansa. What we’re going to find out is whether or not Sansa is becoming her mother, as easily manipulated as her mother, as prone to making stupid decisions as her mother. As prone to unfairly undermining Jon Snow as her mother. Sansa was the one Stark sibling who wasn’t as close to Jon as the others. This is not an accident. That said, Sansa is a work in progress. I don’t want to doom her yet as her mother’s child.
Duana and I were both delighted by the reunion between Sansa and Arya down in the tombs. I read a recap yesterday by a writer who seemed disappointed by how that went down. Like he expected Sansa to be all like, “Arya, what the f-ck, where have you been?” I totally disagree. It was as awkward and as, excuse the word, tender as it should have been. These are sisters who always came from different sensibilities, who, perhaps like many sisters, didn’t feel comfortable in the same spaces, who often couldn’t relate to each other. And now, after all that’s happened, maybe more so than ever. That doesn’t mean there’s no love. The chemistry, on the other hand, is a different story. It certainly wasn’t the chemistry, however brief, that we saw between Daenerys and Missandei, which Duana referred to as a “slumber party”.
That was an important moment for Daenerys though. Because there are some signs that Daenerys is giving into her dark impulses. The trailer for next week’s episode certainly suggests that both Tyrion and Varys have some concerns over her behaviour. Given her lineage and the fact that one of the main themes of GoT has been about leadership and, specifically, who qualifies as not only the rightful ruler but a deserving one, there is some debate about whether or not Daenerys can “break the wheel” without breaking everything else in the process. And one of my concerns about Daenerys is that she’s always been mentored by men. The only woman she’s spent significant amounts of time with is Missandei. Which is why that exchange between them was so important. And perhaps why Missandei’s exchange with Jon Snow and Ser Davos, about her relationship with Daenerys, might turn out to be important. Missandei insists that she is with Daenerys by choice. But it’s also undeniable that there’s a power imbalance between them. Cersei too has had few rewarding relationships with women, if any. There’s been very little reference to a maternal influence. Every other woman she’s encountered on the show has been seen – in her mind – as an adversary. Cersei rules in the mold of the men who came before her: ruthlessly, toxically, with power before compassion. I worry about this where Daenerys is concerned. If Daenerys is to “break the wheel”, she has to show us that she can govern differently. Daenerys, like Cersei, knows how to conquer, but does she know how to govern? Right now, the woman who is showing us that she’s been paying attention to effective governance isn’t Daenerys Targaryen but Sansa Stark. And it’s Sansa who could learn from her mother’s mistakes, her sister’s mettle, her knight’s (Brienne) courage.
PS. Even though I am so over Third Eye Bran, I appreciate him checking Littlefinger with that Chaos-Ladder comment. Maybe next time Third Eye Bran can tell Baelish to stop being such a perv.
PPS. What is with Jon Snow and the cave porn?
PPPS. Bronn is too smart and too charismatic to waste any more time on Jaime Lannister, God.