Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 4 -OR- Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

Okay, HBO, you got me. I thought I was spoiler-proof, but you got me.

On with the recap:

If “sexposition” is the term we came up with to define scenes that clumsily weave backstory into porn-grade sex scenes, what are we going to do about this season’s new trend of “shoehorning in backstory while teaching your bestie how to read?” Tonight we have Missandei telling Grey Worm about her experience with enslavement while teaching him his letters, which will pay off later on when he writes what is sure to be Theon’s favorite book: “How To Be A Badass When You Ain’t Got No Genitals.”

When we see how freedom has affected these two former slaves, it’s easy to understand how Dany’s abolitionist campaign can inspire her soldiers to be loyal. Like super loyal. Shit-wadingly loyal. As in those are Meereen’s sewers Dany’s spies are swimming through to sneak into the city, and I’m surprised the Meereenese slaves didn’t kick Grey Worm out of their totally-not-suspicious, top-secret slavey meeting just for smelling like an actual toilet. Smelly or not, Grey Worm and his spies convince the Meereenese slaves to start an uprising against their Masters and Dany is welcomed into the city as their beautiful and benevolent dragon queen…

…whose first order of business is to crucify 163 slavers, which Ser Barristan has the balls to question because he’s the only person who remembers that Dany’s father was Stark-roastingly crazy…and that madness runs in families. Oop, there it is.

Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Jamie and Bronn are testing out their bro-feels for each other while sparring. Bronn needles Jamie into being a decent person with all the grace of an elephant in pointe shoes, and by that I mean he slaps Jamie with his own golden hand and guilts him into visiting Tyrion in prison. All in a day’s work for everyone’s favorite sellsword.

Everyone is wondering “Where in Westeros is Sansa Stark,” and the answer is that she’s on a boat to the Vale where she’ll be under the protection of her screeching, breast-feeding harpy of an aunt. This is supposed to be an improvement over her current situation. I expected it to take way longer for the show to reveal the secret behind who conspired to kill Joffrey, but I guess it was too tempting to have Littlefinger’s mustache-twirlingly evil speech cutting straight into a scene of Olenna walking in the gardens with Margery. I think they can afford to be a little more obvious with the next regicide, perhaps adding a character named “Ser Misdirection” who waves his hands around all spooky every time someone has a motivation-revealing speech.

And oh yeah, Olenna did it. In the gardens, with the poison necklace gem. And Colonel Mustard, for all I know.

Now it’s Margery’s job to seduce a pre-teenage Tommen so he’ll marry her and secure her pseudo-queen status, a process that begins in a scene that is important only because it confirms the existence of Ser Pounce, Tommen’s pet kitty cat. People have gone so far as to develop extensive fan-theories that “prove” Ser Pounce is actually a dragon in disguise/the rightful king of Westeros so this is a very big deal. Oh, and by the time she leaves his room Tommen is halfway to infatuated. Teach me your ways, Anne Boleyn I mean Margery.

Jamie makes good on his promise to protect Sansa Stark by sending Brienne out into the world to look for her. He gives her one of the Valyrian steel swords that was reforged from Ice, Ned Stark’s greatsword, and also gifts her with a suit of armor and a very, very loyal new squire. Has anyone on this show ever looked as happy as Poderick Payne was in that moment? I mean, that smile, that nervous stammer, that giddy little hop-step he performs before running off to saddle her horse. It’s too cute. I can’t deal. It almost made up for how heart-wrenchingly sad it is to see how Brienne and Jamie felt about leaving each other, potentially forever.

Up North, Jon assembles a ragtag team of Black Brothers to storm the keep and kill the mutineers at Craster’s Keep before Mance Rayder finds them. While Jon is on his way up there, Bran and Co. also arrive at the keep because Bran saw while warging into Summer that the mutineers have Ghost, Jon Snow’s direwolf, captive. They are discovered and captured, an event that seems especially unnecessary when you remember that Bran is traveling with someone who CAN SEE THE FUTURE. Bet you didn’t green-see that one coming, did you Jojen you piece of shit?

And speaking of things that no one saw coming: that ending sequence.

We find out what is going on in the Land of Always Winter, learn how Others are made, AND find out what happens to Craster’s sons in one fell swoop- all three of which are questions that book-readers hoped to have answered in “The Winds of Winter,” the unreleased next book in the series. This marks the first time that the series has actually managed to spoil a major plot point from the books, and the internet exploded!

Oh, and to answer those questions: The Land of Always Winter is a freezing wasteland with signs of intelligent development, Others are made by magic when the Night’s King touches his grubby fingernails to human skin…and Craster’s infant sons are kidnapped, not eaten, and turned into Others to be raised in the Land of Always Winter.

We know this because the final sequence involved the creation of what twitter is already calling the @BabyWhiteWalker. Run for your lives.

Other things that happened:

Why are we still calling him “Grey Worm” when “Blue Steel” would suffice?

There are three slaves for every Master in Meereen, but it takes roughly 35 slaves to take down a single master. Slowest. Revolution. Ever.

They rely really heavily on the uh…color contrast between the super-pale Dany and the…not as pale slaves to create what I call the “Mysa” effect, which is better described as the White Savior Trope. It was uncomfortable the first time and it’s equally as uncomfortable now.

Jamie and Tyrion face off in the prison with a conversation that covers pretty much everything you need to know about the Lannisters, and it boils down to “everyone is having sex with and/or trying to kill each other.” That’s pretty much it.

Tommen: “Joffrey threatened to skin my cat and mix his innards up in my food so I didn’t know I was eating him.”
Margarey: “…that’s very cruel” #understatementofthecentury

Cersei yells at Jamie. All I hear when she opens her mouth is blah blah blah more wine blah blah.

There’s a new Black Brother coming up to join the Night’s Watch, and if he looks familiar it’s because he’s Locke, Roose Bolton’s right hand (GET IT?) man. He is not there to make friends, despite the fact that all he does in this episode is make friends.

I don’t care if Westeros sinks into the ocean or bursts into flames, as long as the mutineers at Craster’s keep let Hodor go. Poor Hodor! It’s going to be ok bb I promise. Ilu Hodor.

Is nobody else wondering why they don’t just have Bran ride his direwolf? That thing is the size of a mini cooper. At least hook a brother up with a dogsled or something.

The mutineers at Craster’s keep are led by Karl, who is played by That Actor who plays That Douchebag in That Series/British TV Movie you marathoned on Netflix in 2012. He and his pals are solidifying their status as bad guys by drinking wine out of human skulls and engaging in the ludicrously violent phenomenon known as “casual background rape.” Because if there’s one thing Game of Thrones needs after last week’s episode, it’s more extra rape. Seven hells.

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