Dany sacks the unsackable city. How? By tearing up Illyrio’s ships and making weapons, battering rams, and shields. She also sends Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan with a group of men through the sewers to free the slaves (causing an uprising/rebellion within the city itself). She is ruthless – slaying men and hanging their bodies from the walls just as they did the slaves in a greeting to her. Dany doesn’t play – she keeps shit real. She sees it as a hard justice. I do think she questions her actions though – I believe she wants to be merciful, but fears it will make her weak.
Reports from her previously sacked cities are not good. The same old corrupted systems are being rebuilt. She’s beginning to feel like she doesn’t actually know what she’s doing. She doesn’t want the same to happen here in Meereen. She knows the people have heard of these other cities and will want to follow her. She has neither the food nor experience to lead this many people. Dany’s inexperience is beginning to shine through.
Dany summons Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan to come before her and answer for their crimes. She sort of wishes they had never returned from the sewers because facing them is difficult – especially Jorah. Ser Barristan is kind, honest, and honorable in his intentions towards her and she forgives him easily. Jorah is the opposite – cocky, argumentative, and feels like she owes it to him to forgive him. She banishes him – a hard decision, but one she believes in.
Finally, Dany decides to end her conquering march through these slaver cities. She wants to rule the city of Meereen and learn how to be a queen. A good decision, I think.
I think this was one of the best Jaime chapters and honestly, one of the best character development chapters we’ve seen. Jaime sits with the new King Tommen as the young boy signs many parchments and royal decrees. You can kind of see Jaime’s mind spinning – understanding this whole kingdom and ruling faction as a complete farce. He’s been out secretly practicing sword fighting with Ser Addam and realizes just how miserably weak he is. The beating he takes is really more symbolic than physical (even though he’s sore as a son-of-a-bitch).
He discovers that Tywin has found a fake Arya Stark and is sending her off to marry Roose Bolton’s son Ramsay.
Jaime feels like his new sword is a kick in the gut and a mockery of the man he now is.
Tywin is in a bit of a position with Prince Oberyn dead and demands Pycelle save Ser Gregor’s life, but Gregor is near death.
Cersei is waiting in Jaime’s chambers ready for some disgusting lovin’. Jaime, for the first time, really doesn’t want Cersei and sends her on her way. I mean, he does want her – badly – but as a wife, not just a whore sister. She really is convinced now that he’s lost his mind. He also informs her that Joffrey probably sent the assassin after Bran and that he believes Tyrion is probably not guilty. Cersei is livid.
Jaime summons Ser Loras to bring him Brienne. Loras has had a change of heart after speaking with Brienne and believes she could be innocent of killing Renly. Jaime wants Brienne to hunt down Sansa Stark and take her somewhere safe. He wants to try to do the honorable thing now. Not sure how much we can trust this because Jaime is very deceptive – but something really rings true here – he just seems tired of all the scheming and game playing. He gives Brienne his new sword and sends her on her way.
He pulls out the White Book to update his entry and writes the truth – ugly though it is and I respect him so much even if he is having a whiny pity party.
Slynt and his cronies still think Jon a turncloak. But since Aemon and the other swear to his innocence he’s giving Jon one last chance to prove his loyalty – by going beyond the wall to parlay with Mance Rayder who wants to talk. Jon thinks this is a bad idea, but he basically has no choice. Off he goes.
Tormund rides out to meet him and bring him to Rayder. Can I just say that I love Tormund and his ‘Har’s! I think he’ll be a super fun character in the show – as long as they cast him properly. You can tell that Tormund and Jon have a mutual respect for each other which is nice.
Mance Rayder isn’t super happy to see Jon. Dalla is in the corner giving birth – no big deal. Rayder shows Jon that they do have that magical horn thing and will use it unless the Watch agrees to his terms. Basically, this horn possesses the power to bring down the Wall, thus allowing anything and everything into the Realm of Westeros. Not good. Rayder wants he and his people to be allowed to cross the Wall peacefully. Jon knows this will never happen.
Very suddenly, an attack is upon the Wildlings – not from the Wall, but from the north. Rayder thinks he’s been betrayed, but Jon swears he doesn’ t know what’s happening. Essentially, Stannis and his men (thank you, Davos!) have come to save the Wall from the Wildlings. A battle breaks out and Stannis is obviously going to win. A fun little twist – and one I predicted at the end of Davos’ last chapter.
Like Jon, I miss Ghost. Hopefully, he’ll reappear soon enough. I also still like Mance and the Wildlings. I think everyone should learn to get along and that each group can really learn something from the other.
Janos Slynt is a sleazy bastard.
Oh – and I kind of want the horn to be blown. Is this wrong?
Arya and Sandor find themselves at an Inn and are reacquainted with the likes of Polliver and The Tickler – some of the men are on Arya’s hitlist. I love that her hitlist is also her prayer list. They end up fighting. Arya kills two of them herself and Sandor is seriously wounded. Arya also reunites with Needle!!
They also discover that Joffrey’s dead – perhaps by Sansa’s hand!
Continuing on their journey, the Hound grows weaker and weaker. Arya tries to take care of him and even removes his name from her hitlist which surprises her. Eventually, the Hound is so weak that Arya decides killing him will be best, but when she goes to do it she can’t – despite the fact that he asks her to. Instead, she just goes off on her horse, leaving him for dead under a tree.
She makes her way to the coast, hoping to pay her way onto a ship that will take her to the Wall. She sells her horse and then finds a ship. The ship won’t take her to the Wall because they are sailing for Braavos and the waters around Westeros are too dangerous. Arya remembers the coin Jaqen gave her, pulls it out, shows the captain, and speaks the magic phrase – Valar morghulis. The crew stares at her in wonderment and invites her aboard – no questions asked. AWESOME.
Sam and Gilly make their way to Castle Black after leading Bran and the others through the gate and swearing not to tell anyone they are still alive. Sam is astonished at how devastated the Castle is but so happy to be back among his friends again. He is especially happy to see Jon.
Sam is obviously smitten with Gilly. Jon tells Sam he can’t keep her (what is she, a dog?). Sam has this idea of writing to his family, asking them to take her in by saying the child is his own. Jon’s not sure a bastard upbringing is such a good idea.
Jon, despite capturing Mance’s son and the Horn of Winter, is still seen as a traitor by Slynt and his men. The Brothers are currently voting on the next Lord Commander. Each night at dinner they vote – the winner has to receive a huge majority and so far none have achieved this feat. Jon knows that Slynt is destined to win. Sam is desperate for this not to happen and begins to plot a way around Slynt’s victory. He’s terrified though.
I love Sam.