Vinnie: First off, pour out some mulled wine for Barristan Selmy, who is officially gonezo. I hate to be that guy but IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU GREY WORM. Ahem.
Drew: It gives you a sense of how small Dany’s inner circle is, certainly. It’s sad, but before we pour one out for Selmy, remember that Dany’s now lost two of her five top loyalists (exiling Sir Friendzone Mormant was her first mistake). Three, if you count Grey Worm out of commission. Now all she has left is that aberration of D’aario, Mr. F/M/K Hizdahr, and Missandei, who is a lady and therefore unreliable. Almost makes you miss Strong Belwas. (I READ THE BOOKS!)
Vinnie: Oh my god, all I’ve ever wanted was a TV Game of Thrones Strong Belwas, possibly played by that dude from Forgetting Sarah Marshall…and no I don’t mean 2008 Jonah Hill.
Drew: Nope. Def this dude.
Vinnie: So, Dany finally remembered she has fucking dragons on her team. Horrifying, fire-breathing atomic bomb level weapons of mass dracarys that she really just has to hint at and people poop in their tokars. I never understood how, in the books, when things went wrong Daenerys’ immediate reaction was always “Oh nooo, whatever shall I do?”
Dragons. The answer is always dragons.
Person cuts you in line? Dragons. Stuck on a particularly hard crossword puzzle? Dragons. Stubbed toe? Dragons. So when a group of highly untrained, mask-wearing street- thugs straight murders your adorable elderly knight friend, the simple answer is dragons. Just sort of point in the general direction of a door where the dragons might be, and that Harpy shit will stop quick.
Drew: Well the Dragons are like the Sparrows, right? (That is literally what Jurassic Park 3: The Hidden World was about, I think?) She can’t control her dragons anymore than Cersei can tell those religious extremists not to terrorize King’s Landing or carve things into their forehead or take away her Angry Juice. Plus, Dany feels bad about Rhaegal (or was it Drogon?) killing that kid, and locking up those gigantic animals that she has little-to-no control was a pretty solid move. Less solid is how Dany can’t spend ten minutes without a man telling her how to live her life. She’s like “Missandei? Advice?” And Missandei is like “Nah, you got this. You are the best at making decisions!” And yet THAT’s what sways the dragon queen to reconsider her position, re: fighting pits AND Meereen’s most annoying lobbyist, Hizdahr?
Vinnie: Every time Maester Aemon “says winter is coming” the only thing I can think about is how much he looks like Cold Miser from A Year Without Santa Clause.
Drew: He looks like the guy who owns the mental asylum in Beauty and the Beast.
Vinnie: So if I remember correctly Hardhome, where Tormund says most of his people are, is a hell-mouth of a horror-show out beyond the wall where at some point everyone was either carried off by slavers or wargs or…cyclops? I don’t know the story is shaky. But if we get some epic, “Watchers on the Wall” level battle scenes out of it, to Hardhome we go.
Drew: Yeah for all the propaganda about how horrible it is north of the Wall, it seems like the residents of Castle Black are always itching to go out there again and just take a head count or something. They’re not even scouting anymore…it’s more like taking an expensed work trip to Winnebeg. Sure, it’s not IDEAL, but as long as the company is paying for it and you can rationalize the underwriting…
Vinnie: For all the moping people do on this show, you know who has the best reason to mope? Olly, man. Remember when his dad got arrow-ed in the neck last season during the most adorable father son time this show has ever done? And still, Olly remains a 13-15 year old badass. When Jon is giving him the whole “I know what it’s like to lose the one’s you love” schtick, Olly is totally thinking “lol yeah because I sniped your Wildling GF brah,” or however the kids are talking these days.
Drew: Olly is actually a pretty good argument for how fall Castle Black has fallen that they haven’t sent that kid off somewhere to deal with his PTSD. But actually, the show’s BEST mope is Myranda, who literally CLAWED THE FUCKING WALLS when Ramsay said Sansa’s pretty. Is it weird that when these two were, um, sexy fighting, all I could think of was re-cutting it with the “Crazy Right Now” song to make a way better 50 Shades of Grey trailer.
Vinnie: Something something 50 Shades of Greyscale.
I hope this old woman in Winterfell that keeps dropping in from time to time to interrupt what I can only assume is Sansa memorizing The Cure lyrics to say vague things like “you still have friends in the North,” and the “North still remembers,” turns out to be just a crazy old Winterfell lady who wanders around saying that stuff to everyone.
Drew: Well I hope Brienne just keeps letting the turn-down service in on her plans to reclaim Sansa. Nice one for subtlety, Brienne. “We can’t trust the Boltons, but we CAN trust the first person who walks into our room if he SAYS he knew Eddard Stark.”
Vinnie: ”I’d rather have a mother” – +1 shade points to Sansa Stark, and also a pretty good point in general. But I am just so into this Winterfell stuff, and I’m not even sure why. I think it’s a combination of Sansa needing something good to happen to her for once, and Ramsay needing something bad to happen to him so bad. Even Roose Bolton, who is like a 10 out of 10 on the stoic scale and also I’m pretty sure a vampire (?) is like jeeeez, Ramsay, let’s take it down a notch on the evil, wily bastard scale.
Drew: I love Ramsay. I love him so much. I loved him as Simon on Misfits and I love him now that he’s got the best boyband hair in all the north. I know we are supposed to find him an even crueler and scarier Goffrey-type, but he’s so much more complex and interesting because his motivations are hyper-rational even when his actions are WAY over the line. Like how he got out of marrying Myranda by being like “Sorry, that would have been great, but now that I’m legitimized I can’t do what I want like marry a kennel master’s daughter or use my torture slave to harass my betrothed.”
I love how Myranda tried to pull a Ramsay by locking Sansa in with the dogs. I also love the look on Sansa’s face when she sees Theon. It’s like the look you throw to the cater-waiter at the party when you realize it’s your ex-boyfriend. I know this, because I make sure to take a selfie immediately after every time it happens.
Vinnie: It’s funny because I actually relate to THEON’S face in the scene. Like, nine times out of ten I’ll see an ex and have to say “Oh hi, no, I don’t actually live with these dogs. I’m just between jobs right now. And showers. Listen, you probably shouldn’t be in this stable.” Aren’t exes the worst?
Drew: Also this discussion between Roose and Ramsay about Ramsay’s mom was a nice feint towards humanizing Westeros’ most horrific dynasty (or as Ramsay says “DINa-sty,”) but ultimately I don’t know if Ramsay should trust anything his dad says. Sure, he’s the first-born and thus the legitimate heir to the North, but he should probably kill that Frey girl just in case. Better safe than sorry! #SorryNotSorry #You’reNotMyRealMom
Vinnie: ”I’m sorry I don’t know things” – Gilly, and me most Mondays amirite? But honestly, that scene between Sam and Stannis was a whole big ball of “Huh, well that conversation happened.”
Drew: Just a reminder that along with Winter, the other thing coming from North of the wall is an army of ICE ZOMBIES. Since not a lot of people actually believe in or know about the White Walkers, that Stannis/Sam scene was just good GoT bro-bonding. You know, throw back a couple of brewskis while talking ‘bout that dragonglass in their unheated man cave. Even Stannis’ mention of Melissandre seemed like it was an invitation from this formerly inscrutable character. “Oh, yeah, you know that witch that is always following me around? She’s magic, no big deal. She says there is going to be a BIG fight near the wall. And we are Just Friends, in case you were wondering.”
By the way, my new TOTALLY UNFOUNDED theory about this show is that Stannis is going to eat it pretty soon and it’ll be the first major departure from the books. Otherwise, why go through all the trouble of reinventing him as this noble (if misguided) father figure for all of Castle Black. Like, go back to last week’s episode and count all the Ser Barristan references. Even Littlefinger had a fond trip down memory lane about Barristan losing a jousting match. Just so we felt it all the harder when a guy we haven’t really seen all season bites it in the last five minutes.
Vinnie: One one hand, yes, this whole season has seemed like a humanizing PR campaign for Stannis 2016. And part of that makes me think he might die. But is there not a chance that they drafted up this season, noticed Stannis was a huge part of it, and said “maybe we should have him do something other than scowl?” And the writers looked around until one said “daughter hug?” And the others murmured in agreement. “Yes, daughter hug.”
With that said, I am literally shocked Stannis and Jon didn’t at least do a subtle fist pound before Stannis left.
Drew: It’s okay, he slipped a little present into Stannis’ satchel when he wasn’t looking.
Vinnie: Ugh. Okay, as simply adorable as Grey Worm and Missandei are together, and how bad I feel about saying Grey Worm should have died back there (sorry GDubs), I just, well, like, well…it just can’t work out between them. Right? You know? Because of…you know?
Drew: Also, Missandei, girl, it’s called reading the room. I know that the fear of losing her crush made tongue mashing a top priority for her, but Grey Worm is basically emo-ting his unsullied heart out. Now is not the time to see if he can french as well as he fights.
Vinnie: That was a real quick total 180 from Dany, no? Remember when re-opening the fighting pits was literally the worst thing that could ever happen ever? You know, one episode and like two half-hearted advice sessions ago?
Drew: Yeah, all the chicks in the episode were acting a little too thirsty, IMHO. “Oh, I hate you, I’m going to feed you to my dragons…unless you put a ring on it.” Hey Dany, I’ve got this daughter of a kennel master I want you to meet. You two are going to get along like a house on fire. (Because of the dragons? But also Myranda is totally the sketchy pyro girl that’s a little bit older than everyone else in class and the rumor is she was held back after setting her mom’s new boyfriend’s Mitsubishi on fire.)
Vinnie: There was so much to love about the last ten minutes of this episode, though. 1) This justifies how much time, which was so much time, was spent talking about Greyscale this season.
2) lol at that first Stone Person who just walked off that ledge straight into the water and sank like a, well, you know.
3) Jorah’s deadpan “Stone Men?!” when the first one landed on the boat.
4) Me, a BOOK READER, thinking for a minimum of five seconds that they decided to just kill off Tyrion.
5) The fact that they did (incoming book 5 spoilers….are those still a thing?) decide to sub out Jon Connington for Jorah, and Jorah’s amazing “so close yet so far” look at the pyramids of Meereen and then at his burgeoning Greyscale.
Drew: What about Tyrion seeing his first dragon?!! Also, if Greyscale can be transmitted through stuff like dolls, shouldn’t they be burning all their clothes off? And perhaps most importantly, how much does Jorah look like a Hank/Walter White mashup with this face?
Vinnie: Now he knows that even if he reaches Meereen, and even if Dany forgives him, which are both longshots to begin with, he still has a very good chance of dying anyway because not everyone has that Stannis money to cure Greyscale. And that is so sad.
Drew: Wait can we go back to Greyscale for a moment? I’m not sure if I know how it works…if Jorah has it, will he turn INTO the Stone Men? Does that mean anyone can now catch it OFF of Jorah? Or Shireen? And the most confusing part: How was Stannis able to stop it from spreading, and why isn’t he rich from teaming up with THAT maester and starting a pharmaceutical company?
Vinnie: Um, well, ummmm…for the answer to that let’s go back to Gilly.
Drew: In all honesty I found the Stone Men and their hissing, shambling debut on Game of Thrones to be kind of a letdown. They’re just like more temperate versions of the White Walkers? I thought the saddest part about them was that they were still recognizably human (except, well, slower) and were more like depressing Easter Island heads than rejects from The Strain.