Game of Thrones Memory Lane 503: High Sparrow


Only 8 days remaining until season 6, and in our #GoT50 countdown rewatch, we’ve reached an episode with an introduction pivotal to Cersei’s future. Walking us through “High Sparrow,” please welcome back Paige, aka GameOverRos!  – Sue the Fury

We’re approaching the end of our walk down Memory Lane! Today, we revisit the third episode of Game of Thrones season 5, “High Sparrow.” It was written by our fearless leaders, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and directed by Mark Mylod, making his Thrones directing debut. Margaery and Tommen marry, Varys and Tyrion arrive in Volantis, and the new Lord Commander deals with a traitor. “High Sparrow” is all about the pieces moving into place, with plenty of exposition and foreshadowing.


We open in the House of Black and White, where Arya Stark has traded a Needle for a broom, and is sweeping floors. She watches as a man is led by Jaqen to a pool. He drinks, then prays. We later see the man being removed on a gurney. Arya doesn’t want to keep sweeping floors- she wants to be a Faceless Man. No one told her that the whole ‘death’ thing comes with serving, too. Jaqen (in his best Sexy Jesus attire) tells her off, as a girl only wants to serve herself.

Over to King’s Landing, and it’s time for the wedding of Tommen and Margaery. Much to Cersei’s annoyance, Margaery doesn’t die. In fact, no one dies. Is this a first in Thrones history? A wedding that doesn’t have, or lead to, a death? No fair.

Cut to Tommen and Margaery in bed. “Did I hurt you?’” he asks. Oh, sweet summer child. You think this is Marg’s first time at the rodeo? But Tommen is happy. He’ll do anything for his Queen, as long as he can do this for the rest of his life. Even send his Mother away? Sure, why not? What’s the worst that can happen?


Well, from the look on Cersei’s face when he suggests returning to Casterly Rock – the shit is about to hit the fan. The smirking whore from Highgarden wants to get rid of her, and she’ll use the power of her lady parts to make Tommen do her bidding. Over Cersei’s dead body; time to confront the woman herself. Margaery is surrounded by her handmaidens, bragging about all the totally amazing sex she and Tommen had. You can just hear Cersei screaming internally.

“I wish we had some wine for you. It’s a bit early in the day for us.”

Damn. Is Marg a Red Priestess? Because that was a burn that R’hllor would be proud of.

Lena Headey. What can you possibly say about this woman that hasn’t already been said? She is an incredible actress. This scene is no exception. You can’t help but feel sorry for Cersei. She has lost Joffrey and Tywin. Jaime is on his way to Dorne, where her daughter is. She doesn’t even have Tyrion to spar with. And now this woman is trying to take away the last thing she has. You can understand why she does what she does, even if you don’t agree with it.


Up to the North, Roose is not happy. Ramsay has got a wonderfully novel way of dealing with lords that don’t pay their taxes – flaying. Then their children pay the taxes. Roose tries to remind Ramsay that they are trying to unite the North, not alienate everyone. There is only one way to unite the North: marriage.

Hear that? That’s the sound of the audience all going “Oh no.”

Cut to Moat Cailin and Ramsay’s bride-to-be, Sansa. And she is not happy. The Boltons helped kill her mother and brother. Why would she marry into that family? Because Littlefinger has a plan. Littlefinger always has a plan, even if the only person that knows it is Littlefinger. And, as we all know, it never involves him getting his hands dirty. It’s always someone else that suffers. Damn, I hate that weasel. Granted, I can’t help but admire his cunning. But I also can’t wait until Sansa realises how awful he is, and chokes him to death with lemon cakes.

But I digress. Littlefinger urges Sansa to avenge her family. She, reluctantly, agrees.


Nearby, Brienne and Pod watch. This small, expositional scene is so emotional. I love it. Brienne talks of how awfully she was treated as a young girl. “I was the ugliest girl alive,” she says. But Renly was kind to her. So she vowed to always protect him. This does go a long way to explaining why she ‘abandoned her post’ in the season finale. Justice for Renly was personal. She felt she let him down by not protecting him, so she had to avenge him. Damn, am I getting misty eyed? I just want to hug her. It’s such a heart-breaking scene. Hand me the tissues.

Let’s go somewhere happy now: Castle Black, where Stannis, Davos, and Jon are talking. They are being waited on by Olly, who is Jon’s new steward. Jon has decided to reject Stannis’s offer of making him Jon Stark. There’s information concerning food supplies- and winter is coming. Then Davos and Jon talk privately. Davos thinks that Jon should be fighting with Stannis, helping him because the North is suffering under the Boltons’ rule. Do I smell a set up ahead of the next season? Come on, Jon Snow/Stark/Sand/whatever you’ll be called in season 6. Make Davos your Hand. There is no one better for the job.


We return to the House of “Bring Out Your Dead,” where Arya is in her room. Another girl enters, and asks ‘Who are you?’ I know! I am Ser Grissom, and this is CSI: Braavos. [Spoiler Alert: the killer is Arya.] Right? Wrong.

Time to get whacked with a stick. “Who are you?” No one. Wrong. Whack. Honey, you just went right to the top of Arya’s list. She’s ready to cross the name off when Sexy Jesus enters. He calls her out- a girl cannot be No One if she is still dressed as Arya Stark. She knows what to do. She walks down to the docks of Braavos to toss away everything- her clothes, her coin, Needle. But she just can’t throw away Needle. “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.” And viewers everywhere start crying. She can’t do it. She hides it away, knowing that she, and we, will meet Needle again.


Back to Winterfell. Welcome home, Lady Sansa. Meet your new family. One may be a vampire, the other demands his victims rub the lotion on the skin. Makes you almost miss Queen Drunk and King Crossbow. Well, at least there’s Fat Walda.

In her old room, Sansa meets an old lady. “The North remembers,” she says. Sansa is not alone. Hey, she said The Thing! Stop giving me hope, dammit. I know this is all going to end badly. Meanwhile, Littlefinger and Roose talk. Littlefinger is plotting again. Just what we need. Damn, can this episode get any more miserable?

Then it’s time for Jon’s first decisions as Lord Commander. Some poor redhead is assigned to dig a new latrine, and Jon names Thorne as First Ranger. A nice move, given that he’s been a Thorne in Jon’s side since the beginning. Not so nice for Slynt, who is ordered to go to Greyguard. Nope, Slynt is having that, and Jon can stick the assignment up his cave. Tut tut, Slynt. Disobeying a direct order from the Lord Commander? There’s a punishment for that.


It’s at this point that Slynt falls apart. Just as he did during “The Watchers on the Wall,” he shits himself. He begs for mercy- he’s just afraid, you see. It’s all bravado. A swing of the sword, and Slynt’s head falls. Justice for Lord Eddard at last. Stannis watches this, and nods with approval. Yay! Something happy.

Stannis nod

Back to King’s Landing and a familiar place: Littlefinger’s brothel, where the High Septon is surrounded by workers dressed as the Seven. And he is very much enjoying himself. But not for long. Lancel and his fellow Sparrows burst in. The High Septon is making a mockery of the Faith, and that cannot stand. He is dragged naked into the streets and forced to walk. Any attempt to cover himself results in getting whipped. Ding! Shame! Damn the nudity warning. Old Septon ass is not what I envisioned.

His humiliation over, the High Septon goes to Cersei to complain about his treatment. He wants the head of the High Sparrow on a pike. Slow your rolls, Seppie. That freaky stuff in the brothel wasn’t the dance of the seven veils. There will be no priest’s head on a platter here. But it does give Cersei an idea. She travels down to Flea Bottom to meet the High Sparrow. She’s impressed by him. So much so that she wants an alliance. No, Queenie. Think about this for a moment. He’s really nutty. But it’s too late. The High Septon is already out of the way, and rotting in the Black Cells. The High Sparrow naturally accepts. Shit, meet fan.

red priestess

In Volantis, Tyrion and Varys have reached the Long Bridge. Seven Hells, it’s impressive. Tyrion should be in hiding, but he’s got cabin fever, and there are no Muppets around to sing to him. So he and Varys do a little sightseeing. Among the attractions is a red priestess, preaching that the Dragon Queen is Azor Ahai reborn. To Tyrion’s horror, the priestess looks straight at him. Time to find somewhere more comfortable.

Where better than a brothel? And we have a whore dressed like the Dragon Queen herself! Usually, Tyrion would spend a happy time in the brothel, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. Don’t worry, Ty, I’m sure there’s something that can help with you that. Milk of the Bamboo – makes your stalk stand up. This better be addressed in an episode in season 6.

Tyrion excuses himself to go to the bathroom. Nearby is Jorah, clearly there to see Whoreleesi. He grabs Tyrion and declares that he’s taking him to see “the Queen.” But which Queen? Cersei or Daenerys?

Tyrion captured

First Appearances

Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow. Nina Gold did it again. Pryce is perfect as the fundamentalist Sparrow leader. There’s something about him that makes me think there is more to the High Sparrow than wanting to cleanse the realm of sin. One to look forward to in Season 6.

Faye Marsay at the Waif. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. How long before she ends up on Arya’s kill list?


Bye bye, Janos Slynt. I’m sure he’ll be much better at his new job – being a feast for crows.

Slynt death


Petyr Baelish: You’ve been running all your life. Terrible things have happened to your family, and you weep. You sit alone in a darkened room, mourning their fates. You’ve been a bystander to tragedy, from the day they executed your father. There’s no justice in the world, not unless we make it. You loved your family…avenge them.

As much as I hate that moustached weasel, he sure knows how to make a convincing speech.


Brienne of Tarth: Nothing’s more hateful than failing to protect the ones you love.

Oh, Brienne.


Lord Varys: Where are you going?

Tyrion Lannister: I need to speak to someone with hair.

I love these two. And I’m so glad we’ll be seeing more of them in season 6.


  1. One of the better episodes of Season 5. That stare the red priestess gives Tyrion right after he jokes about her “saviour” was bone chilling. I’m surprised there havn’t really been any theories about this scene, I mean she clearly sees something in him, right?

    Janos Slynt’s beheading was great as well. I’m glad they cut/changed “Edd, fetch me a block.”, or at least I’m glad that they didn’t go with the cliche way it was done in the books (“I’m not gonna hang him.” *expression changes to joy*, “Fetch me a block.” *realization incoming*). I was also glad to hear the “beheading theme” used again.

  2. Probably 2 of my favorite “small” moments of season 5, Arya and Needle and Jon beheading Slynt.

  3. I’m usually really happy with the walk throughs but this one seemed… rushed and sort of indifferent to it all or impersonal somehow. Left me a bit sad and uninspired.

  4. Noooo! Where is “Fetch me the block!”? The scene is ruined….

    Just kidding. Amazing episode, especially the Wall and Volantis.

  5. I am Ser Grissom, and this is CSI: Braavos.

    OMFG!!! This one had me spewing coffee all over the monitor!

  6. I always thought Jon looked weird in this BD poster, but now I realize that his shadow is actually Ned holding Ice!

  7. singedbylife,

    Really? I enjoyed the episode. And I had a lot of fun writing about it. I don’t know why you feel that, but it wasn’t my intention at all.

  8. Really enjoyed Mark Mylod’s work on episodes 3 and 4 and am glad to see him back this season. Among other things: the introduction to The House of B & W, Moat Cailin cliff shot of Brienne and Pad, Volantis, etc. etc.

    Also, feel bad for the poor guy who played High Septon. Had little supporting parts until he finally got his big break this episode where he had to be stripped naked and flogged through the streets.

    Great episode overall.

  9. Loved this episode, mostly because of the scenes at the Wall and Arya’s scene on the docks.

    I don’t care what D&D said in the Inside the Episode thing, Needle was Jon Snow’s smile, not just Arya’s instrument for revenge. And that’s why Maisie/Arya was near tears. Hmph.

    I never thought “fetch me a block” was a great line, so I loved the more bad-ass “bring me my sword”. Slynt’s execution was great, from the music, to Jon making everyone wait while he finished his drink, to his slow march down to the courtyard, to Janos’s blubbering, to Stannis’s nod, and finally in Justice for Ned. *wipes tear*

    Ugh, that Sansa & Littlefinger scene. Even before I knew how disastrous the marriage would turn out, I wasn’t buying that Sansa would somehow succeed in avenging her family. Her training at the hands of LF consisted of lying to the Vale lords, dying her hair, wearing black clothes, talking in a deeper voice, and giving people the side-eye. Alone, she was no match for the Boltons. After her freakout, LF played her perfectly in getting her to agree to continue on to WF but made her think it was her decision. The smirk on his face as she mounts her horse says it all.

    Now compare Sansa to a true manipulator in Margaery. Gods, she’s good. Planting the seed in Tommen’s head about sending Cersei back to Casterly Rock and then needling Cersei about her age, her drinking, and her tenuous hold on power. I loved seeing Cersei squirm in this episode. Too bad Marg didn’t hold the upper hand for too long.

    8 days!!

  10. Side note: Why does this article not appear on the main page? Is it an error or what?

  11. I really liked how Jon tried to get Thorne on his side by showing him some respect.

    Also the High Sparrow scene is great.

    You start the scene by thinking he is a good man, but after every word he says you start getting a bit afraid of him.
    Pryce just…He is a top notch actor.

  12. A fantastic episode through and through. Slynt’s beheading, Arya on the docks, Brienne and Pod’s heart to heart, and the introduction of Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow. So many great moments.

    And then there is the inception of the Sansa-Ramsay marriage. I don’t think this plotline is as bad as many people do, in fact on the whole I found it quite interesting. The major issue I had with it was not the suffering that Sansa had to endure (although that was not pleasant to watch), it was that the scene in this episode felt a bit rushed. Her reaction to Littlefinger’s plan is as I expected: ‘why the hell would I want to marry into the family that betrayed my brother and mother??’ I think it should have taken her a bit more time to come around to the idea. Littlefinger’s speech is wonderful and powerful, but it leaves out the key to understanding why Sansa would end up accepting it. Namely, HOW does marrying Ramsay Bolton enable Sansa to get some measure of vengeance? Aside from having Brienne spin her wheels for the remainder of the season looking for a candle in a window, this is the biggest issue I have with Sansa’s arc in Season 5, they never establish how marrying into the Bolton family will enable her to avenge her family. Instead what ends up happening is she continues to suffer at the hands of a different tormentor (and one that ends up being far worse than Joffrey,) something that the viewer easily saw coming even if Sansa herself did not. And my last thought on this is, are we really supposed to take Littlefinger at his word when he tells Ramsay he hasn’t heard much about him??? I find that hard to believe, but hindsight certainly points to the answer being yes, Littlefinger genuinely did not know how much of a dick Ramsay Bolton is.

    All that being said, thank the gods we didn’t have to see her traipsing around the Vale all season. That would have been painfully boring.

  13. best moment of this episode, grand maester pycelle’s, “A man’s private affairs should stay private!”

  14. Lord Parramandas,

    It does appear on the main page, but since the server has been moved overnight, for some readers the process is still catching up. You might still see odd things here and there for the next day as things settle in.

  15. I’ve been enjoying all the Memory Lanes, and I’ve enjoyed the variety each writer brings. I found this particular one especially entertaining. Beyond the thorough synopsis, there are so many great references to various other tv shows and movies, and it made for a really fun read. Thanks!!!

    On a side note: strangely enough, while some of the articles are working for me in Firefox, some are not, and this is one of the ones not working. I’m currently using IE (who would think IE would work better?!?) to see this particular article. No, this isn’t a complaint, it’s more of an update in case any mods are interested, and in case anyone else is having problems with some articles, but not others, maybe switch browsers, at least for the time being.

  16. I think that “High Sparrow” is an absolutely fantastic hour from beginning to end. I loved it from the first viewing, and if anything, my enthusiasm for this episode has only grown stronger now that I’ve seen Season 5 in its entirety and rewatched it several times. I honestly consider it to be one of my favorite hours of the entire series. It’s either the second or third best episode of Season 5 (it’s close with “Mother’s Mercy”) and it’s in my overall Top 15, for sure.

    It’s not a particularly action-packed episode, but there are just so many scenes that I find dynamic and thrilling, especially in Winterfell and at the Wall. Jon’s execution of Janos Slynt was perfect (I really don’t care that the iconic line was changed). Jon’s sitdown with Stannis and Davos was wonderful as well, especially Davos telling Jon that “The best way to help the most people might not be sitting in a frozen castle at the edge of the world” and “As long as the Boltons rule the North, the North will suffer”. Too true. I wonder if that line will stick in Jon’s mind after he gets his … shall we say, wake-up call? 😉

    Speaking of the Boltons, the scene in which Roose Bolton and Petyr Baelish discuss their tenuous alliance was just cracking. It was a pleasure to watch Michael McElhatton and Aidan Gillen play off one another (and great to see McElhatton finally get his name in the opening credits). But as much as enthusiasm as I have for Roose, my favorite moment in the episode had to be Sansa giving him the death stare for a brief moment before she observed the expected formalities and hid her hatred behind a mask of courtesy. The North Remembers … and so does she.

    All that, and I didn’t yet mention Margaery throwing some expertly-calibrated shade at Cersei as the Queen Mother silently seethes. Or Brienne’s monologue about the ball on Tarth and her enduring loyalty to Renly (a riveting scene that Gwendoline Christie absolutely crushed). Or Arya’s initiation into the House of Black and White. That sequence included both what I thought was the funniest moment of the episode (Arya indignantly exclaiming “Cunt!” after the Waif struck her) and the most emotional moment of the episode (Arya tearing up as she contemplates giving up Needle, and ultimately being unable to do so).

    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tyrion’s time in Volantis (love the Red Priestess, and another Stone Men reference!) and capture by Jorah. Knowing which queen he’s actually taking Tyrion to does take a slight bit of air out of that cliffhanger … but Tyrion doesn’t know that. His terror in that moment is very real.

    And, of course, I wouldn’t dream of overlooking the debut of the legendary Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow. His introduction was, by design, fairly innocuous, but everything in that scene set him up to become a major player. He and Lena Headey work together extremely well.

    All in all, this episode is just impeccably crafted TV.

  17. singedbylife,

    I got the exact opposite feeling from this memory lane. Others seem in comparison either more matter-of-factly or having a more intellectual approach. This seemed personal and based on the all range of emotions one experiences when watching those scenes.

    Hey, but let’s agree to disagree 🙂

  18. I think the problem with the whole Sansa-Ramsay marriage is that we think Littlefinger is telling her the truth when he’s saying she’ll get her revenge by marrying Ramsay. Sansa will get her revenge – but she won’t be the one to lead it.

    Littlefinger’s whole plan is to put Sansa in Winterfell and make her marry a Bolton. Therefore, the Boltons will be traitors in Cersei’s eyes. Baelish then will ask for a royal permission to lead the Vale’s army, wait until Stannis attack and leave the Boltons weakened, and then finally attack them and get Sansa back, and his beloved title of Warden of the North.

    In the next episode, Littlefinger tells Sansa he believes Stannis will defeat the Boltons and name her Wardeness of the North, but I think he’s lying. Sansa’s only role in his plans is to divide Lannisters and Boltons, leaving the North for himself. If he was so sure Stannis would win, he would simply wait until the battle is over, and then hand over Sansa. I also don’t think he wants Sansa to be in a position of power without him – She’ll only have power if she’s dependant on him.

  19. That Slynt scene is one of my favorites. Also we are in the home stretch everyone! Its finally real this season is practically here!

  20. One of my favorite episodes, particularly for the scenes in the North.

    Shows the chilling new order at Winterfell under it’s new…management. Theon’s look of horror and guilt as two flayed corpses were being strung up as the new rulers demonstrated their policies for all to see. Can’t get enough of McElhatton’s voice, and his interactions with Baelish and Ramsay are always sinister and intriguing. Great dialogue everywhere in this episode.

    I think when Baelish arranged Sansa’s marriage to the Bolton heir, he signed his own death warrant. She’ll remember how someone who claimed to love her simply moved her as a chess piece and brought her to a monster. And she’ll show him that she’s learned the game after all, by taking his head. Herself.

  21. The best 3rd episode and one of the best in S5. Pryce is phenomenal as well as Headey. I think that this episode is one of her best if not the best in the whole series…

  22. LF’s plan is still ludicrous. The mental gymnastics everyone makes to justify it are amusing.

    I loved the execution scene and I’m glad Jon went straight for the beheading in this one instead of changing his mind like in the books. You truly see how Ned’s teachings have shaped him. It’s also the only wise execution scene in the series (besides Ned and the deserter, which was an obvious decision) and says a lot about Jon as a leader and knowing how to assert authority.

  23. I wonder why Qyburn needed to kill those rats. Maybe it’s better not to know.
    I swear that when the Mountain moved under the blanket I almost got a heart attack.
    Also, having Qyburn call the Mountain “friend” reminds me of when we first saw him, when his throat had been slit by the Mountain men.

  24. I always enjoy the Memory Lane, but this one was especially good!

    “Yay! Something happy!” in relation to Snow/Slynt made me grin like mad. I like your style!

  25. BunBunStark,
    Vincent Stark,

    Sansa’s ensemble was almost exactly the same as LF’s … it’s Eyrie … I mean eerie … bad pun … but seriously it’s a little over the top … almost exactly the same … with the dyed hair .. she could have been his daughter … that’s what they were aiming for … Sansa emulating the master LF … but she hadn’t yet figured out that the master manipulater was still manipulating her …

    Yes, this is my one compliant with an otherwise great choice to replace fArya with Sansa … I never did feel that LF’s arguments … stop running … stop being a bystander … we only have justice when we make it … .were ever tied to marrying Ramsay … how was she to serve justice as the daughter by law of the man who killed her brother (and mother). Was she to poison him? Get Ramsay to reject him? I agree that LF is setting it up so that she will have to depend on her for her revenge

    (I agree I thought he was lying about thinking Stannis would win) … because Stannis despised LF and Vayrs and I think both would have ending up a head shorter had he won (that was clear in the books I don’t recall on the show but it stands to reason they were Lannister supporters)

    But she thinks about it for 30 seconds and decides yes … I agree … they could have come back and had this decision in a later scene after she had time to think

    Jon/Stannis/Davos … amazing .. the show version of this was much better than the book for the reasons stated already – I loved the wordplay around keeping your enemies close … this was a nod to Melisandre’s constant warnings to Jon about enemies in the dark, death all around him …

    Brienne and Pod – great scene

    Tyrion/Varys … agree … excellant … the look the Red Priestess gave Tyrion …

    The sparrows – i know Kevin L mentioned them in Episode 1 but I thought their introduction was a little rushed given how much the Iron Bank had been discussed (name dropped) before Stannis and Davos travelled there and how much greyscale has been foreshadowed … even just 3 minutes encounter with a group of sparrows by Arya and the Hound the season before (in lieu of on as part of the bit with the dying man) … with some humerously sarcastic comments by the Hound – certainly not the laborious detail with Brienne and Pod in the Riverlands

    When the Sparrows were first introduced in the books, it appeared they were a possible instrument for good … the Faith seems rather hollow and political … almost a perfunctory belief by most of the characters (Catelyn excepted) … and when they whipped the Kettleback and elicited his confession regarding Cersei you knew the game was up … they hadn’t in the books

    become to me, yet, the funadmentalist group they are on the show …

    This is one area where the book plot made more sense to me … Tommen had not been crowned … Cersei had eliminated the previous High Septon as he was Tyrion’s creature and there was a vacancy … she goes to negotiate and ends up getting Tommen crowned and the Crown’s debts foregiven (which were quite substantial) for the reestablishment of the Faith Militant and the Faith’s ability to judge its own … it doesn’t seem as utterly stupid as what she ends up doing on the show … generally the show presents a more positive version of Cersei but this was one time to me that the presented her as less cunning then the books.

    But Jonathan Pryce … amazing … once this gets rolling you can so easily see the other hypocrisies that are going to be boiled

  26. Darkrobin,

    I agree 100% with you. I’ll elaborate on it tomorrow, but when I first saw the first episodes, I was more bothered by the Sparrows adaptation than Dorne’s.

  27. Flayed Potatoes: LF’s plan is still ludicrous. The mental gymnastics everyone makes to justify it are amusing.

    Just because you choose for whatever reasons you may have to not believe what is presented to you, does not make it ludicrous. I don’t think viewers need do any sorts of gymnastics in order to understand his plans. They were all perfectly laid out for us on screen in the following episodes.

    RooseApologist: I think when Baelish arranged Sansa’s marriage to the Bolton heir, he signed his own death warrant.

    He is the one who sets her on a path for revenge. I just hope she won’t stop with the Boltons 🙂

    HousePotterz: I think it should have taken her a bit more time to come around to the idea.

    I can see what you mean. I think the follow-up in Ep4 where LF tells us more about his plan (waiting for Stannis to defeat the Boltons while Sansa tries to make Ramsay hers), makes it easier to understand.

    And surely I think that she thought LF would stay with her at least until the wedding. She looked very surprised in the crypts when LF told her he had to leave for KL. But that was import for her arc. She had to face the enemy alone.

  28. The character of High Sparrow was so meh for me. Every single line of dialogue that he recites is some boring cliche regarding The Seven. And I know Jonathan Pryce is a legend, but he added nothing to the role for me. Was completely disinterested in the character every time he was on screen.

  29. HousePotterz,

    Well, he told her in E4 about Stannis. That was their first option. The second option is to manipulate Ramsay and control the North through him.

    But it all BS of course, because LF wants the take the North for himself with the Vale army.

  30. Are people taking the “avenge them” line too literally? As in, I don’t think he literally means for Sansa to take out the Bolton’s, I think he means “we can avenge them” i.e. with her inside Winterfell, they have an in now. Later on he even tells Sansa to take Ramsey and “make him yours”.

  31. brown ben romney:
    best moment of this episode, grand maester pycelle’s, “A man’s private affairs should stay private!”

    Yep, that was comical! Pycelle must have been recalling the time when Tyrion, Bronn and Shaga burst in on him in bed with a whore and threatened to cut off his manhood!

  32. Is it just me or has the vibe changed here a bit all of a sudden? There’s an underlying sense of melancholy (for lack of better word cause I suck at finding the right ones dammit) for some reason.

  33. I just loved the Sparrows introduction.

    You can see he’s a kind men. He feeds the poor, he clothes them and so on. But they are also complete fanatics.

  34. Weird quirks! On the main page, the amount of comments for this thread says 3, but it’s actually 50-something.

    I really like this episode. Each part is just absolutely singular. There’s one part that I always have an issue with. It’s after Sansa realizes the marriage they’re attending is hers.. and the moment LF grabs her by the shoulders. The way Aiden and the camera moves a bit joggles the focus. It’s a technical thing that simply annoys me.

    The rest of the episode is mint. Best shot is Jon slamming his empty cup on the table, seen as a shadow casted on the wall. Best line would be Marg’s roast of Cersei “daydrinker” Lannister..

  35. Ser Oromis Locke,

    Maegery’s roast was great.
    I also like how we could hear laughs. They could have been Marg or Cersei just imagined them.
    Agree on that moment as well. The camera does a very weird movement.

    I also have the same problem with the comments. I’m not complaining, just letting you know. 🙂

  36. Sue the Fury,

    I think I admitted straight away in my reply to Paige that I think I was having a bad day and would do a reread wearing a happier hat. I’ve since then tried to enter this site in order to get to delete my initial post as I didn’t want it to be out there but up until now I’ve been unable to access this memory lane post. I am not going to delete it now. I told Paige right after she responded that it was me having a bad day probably. In the meantime, I have helplessly had to read how WoW’s been complaining on twitter about me “whining” etc. It’s been really tough on me because I regretted my first post as soon as I saw Paige reply to me here on WoW and I said as much in my reply. I really do understand that you are all here volunteerily and I love this site. Please remember that readers are only human too – and like I said, immediately after Paige had responded to me, I posted that I had had an off day and would do a reread. 🙁 Which I haven’t been able to until now.

  37. You don’t need to apologize dude. You’re allowed to have an opinion and you weren’t trashing anyone.

  38. Flayed Potatoes,

    LF’s plan is still ludicrous. The mental gymnastics everyone makes to justify it are amusing.

    No mental gymnastics required.

    He offloads Sansa, who is the smoking gun that could implicate him in Joffrey’s murder. Destroys the Bolton/Lannister pact in the process. And subsequently gets the Crown / Lannisters’ backing to invade the North and be installed as Warden of the North.


  39. Huh, all yesterday I was wondering why this post wasn’t up. It seems all the new posts aren’t showing on my Google Chrome browser for some reason.

    But as much as enthusiasm as I have for Roose, my favorite moment in the episode had to be Sansa giving him the death stare for a brief moment before she observed the expected formalities and hid her hatred behind a mask of courtesy.

    That moment is just one of many instances where this whole plot doesn’t make any sense to me. If Sansa thinks she’s supposed to be accomplishing anything in Winterfell, giving Roose a death glare before the “I’m clearly pretending to like you” face makes no sense. Nor does her demeanour at the dinner in 505, which clearly communicates the same. Or the fact that we never see her try to exert any influence over Ramsay. If she’s going to make her dislike of them so obvious, what exactly is she hoping to accomplish? And you might say, well, they wouldn’t believe it, but that just reinforces the issue of, what exactly is she supposed to be doing there if she has no chance of exerting any influence?

  40. Just having finished my rewatch of season 5, it is as good as I remembered, with the Dorne plot as the obvious exception. Whilst this is a very strong episode, it is still only the 6th best episode of the season (I believe episodes 4,5,8,9,10 are better) for me.

    Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow is perfect casting. The guy manages to convey so much with his face, only letting the fanaticism come through the facade sparingly. When he finally apprehends Cersei, the look in his eyes becomes as scary as anything Ramsay has ever done. I have wondered where this plot will go, but it is good that the show has diversified its villains.

  41. Sean C.,

    Sansa may have steeled herself to go to Winterfell and marry Ramsay, but this is still the first time that she’s laid eyes on Roose Bolton since he stabbed her brother through the heart. It makes sense to me that she would have a cold reaction to upon seeing him, be it voluntary or involuntary. (I lean toward the former). Perhaps that look was somewhat inelegant – a TV beat to let the audience know Sansa’s true mindset in that moment. But I love it anyway.

    Roose is no fool. He knows that regardless of whatever airs of courtesy Sansa puts on, she has no love for his family. Even if he were to credit her with being a political opportunist for marrying into the family that destroyed hers, he wouldn’t expect her to be glowing about it. Sansa greeting Roose with courtesy from the start would have been even more suspicious. I saw their momentary staredown as the two of them taking stock of one another. “I know what you did, and you know that I know what you did. We both have our own agendas, and those agendas don’t align. But we’re doing this anyway. Let the game begin.” To me, Roose’s little smile after Sansa curtsies was both of them acknowledging that reality.

    Whether or not the show delivered on that promise is up to the individual viewer. You’ve made it very clear that it didn’t work for you, in concept or execution. My own feelings on the storyline are much kinder, but I do understand your arguments. For instance, I agree with you about the dinner table scene in “Kill the Boy”. I enjoy that scene, but Sansa’s sullen demeanor does undercut it somewhat. In that interval – post-arrival and pre-wedding night – I thought she should have done a better job of disguising her true feelings. (Obviously, after her wedding night, expecting her to disguise her true feelings would have been unfair. No one expects her to put on a brave face then, least of all Ramsay.)

  42. This episode was pretty damn great apart from the Sansa-LF scene which just makes me head slam in frustration. Makes no sense and just paints LF and Sansa as total retards and undermines their characters. How does LF not know about Ramsay, who flayed and mutilated Theon, something everyone on the Isles knows about now and goes around flaying Northern lords (the PREVIOUS scene we see this example!) yet he knows about Roose who is far more subtle and cunning. Ugh.

    The rest of the bad bits is already covered pretty well by people above me, this entire scene just makes no sense. However I can acknowledge that D&D probably wanted to hurry this plotline up and get it over and done with, I don’t think they are bad writers or producers at all but I really wish they put more effort here. Thankfully it looks like they are getting Sansa’s development back in track and she looks to have a very strong S6.

    Like I said before though, the rest of the episode is pure class by everyone involved.

  43. Bearded Onion,

    Why would LF care that the Boltons flay their enemies. They where their enemies.
    Same with Theon. He was the enemy.
    Also the North doesn’t know of Ramsey’s tendencies. LF isn’t the guy with spies al over Westeros, that’s Varys. He has spies mostly in KL.
    Of course he is more afraid of Roose. He killed his own king.
    Is smart. He is much more dangerous to LF then Ramsey.

    So what did Ramsey do? Hell I doubt LF even knows Theon was tortured.
    He killed 1 lord, a lord who insulted him and refused to kneel to him. So he killed them. Nothing weird. The Lannisters would have done the same.

    There where couple of good comments above as to why LF gave her to the Boltons. I won’t repeat them.

  44. Mihnea,

    That’s one of the weakest complaints I hear about the Sansa storyline: that Littlefinger should have known that the Boltons were monsters.

    Of course he knew. But why should he care what the Boltons do to their enemies?

    The Lannisters murder women and children, torture people, burn their homes and so on.

    The Lords of the Vale fling their enemies hundreds of feet to their death through their “moon door”.

    The Freys are known to have cut off their enemy’s head and sewn his direwolf’s head onto the body in its place.

    People currently believe that the Greyjoys murdered two little Lords, burnt their bodies and put them on display in their captured castle.

    Westeros is full of some pretty vile people, who don’t think twice about punishing their enemies in gruesome ways.

    There’s no actual evidence to suggest that anybody outside House Bolton and House Greyjoy knows what happened to Theon.

    And as for Ramsay flaying Northern Lords, that was only shown to have happened in the same episode. Would Littlefinger have picked up on this news while on the road? Unlikely.

    But even if he did know, it would hardly have come as a surprise, and there’s no real reason why it should alter his plans.

  45. Ramsay's 20th Good Man,

    Agree. It doesn’t change his plans for one simple reason.
    He doesn’t really care about Sansa’s well being. To him she is a pawn he uses to get the North.
    Now not to say he knew of Ramsey but didn’t care. He obviously underestimated how mad he is.
    But to be fair it LF was most likely concerning himself with Roose, Who he saw as the real threat. Ramse was also, to him, just a pawn.

  46. Sean C.,

    Huh, all yesterday I was wondering why this post wasn’t up. It seems all the new posts aren’t showing on my Google Chrome browser for some reason.

    I was having the same problem. Think it had something to do with the changes, plus it was suggested to me I update my browser and clean out the cache. That seemed to solve it. So now I have three posts with a ton load of comments to read……

  47. This website not working or something? There’s been a lot of news over the past few days unreported (interviews, teasers, etc) and I’m hopeful nothing has happened to the mods!

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