Sansa building her snow castle of Winterfell. ♥
You know, for all the questionable things the show does, when they get certain scenes right, they get it right.
Keeping in mind that this is the first time Sansa has seen snow since she left Winterfell, she has a complete whimsical look on her face, reminiscing about better times. It's sad when Sansa smiles, because you know that whatever joy she feels will be fleeting, so you want her to savor these little moments. She looks peaceful building her little snow castle of Winterfell, trying to piece together the memory of what it looked like before she left. Here we're seeing Sansa able to be a fourteen year old girl, playing outside in the snow. When she was with Sweetrobin it seemed quite sad because, well, these are children and the scene where he accidentally (and then purposefully out of a tantrum) ruins her snow castle and she slaps him, it felt more like children bickering and fighting than an antagonistic kind of situation, as it would have felt with any other character.
And then, of course, everything involving Littlefinger, the pedophile who goes back and forth between seeing Sansa as the daughter he could have had, a mere pawn in the game that he can maneuver however and wherever he chooses in order, and the exact image of the woman he once loved. When he kissed her she obviously wasn't into it. She was confused, disturbed, and uncertain in that moment of what was happening.
(This makes me wish that Shae had run away with her instead, because she would have protected her by making him stop his pursuit of her as she had vowed she would have done, which makes me even more angry about what they did to her character, but I digress.)
And then Lysa's jealousy of Sansa, which is fucked up to be jealous over a child, though considering her history she's just a tragic character who has skewed herself into projecting these insecurities and paranoia onto other people, especially onto Sansa who does resemble her mother. Never mind that she had fallen for someone who never truly loved her. When Littlefinger intervened, it seemed like he was going to lie to make things better, as he has always done, only to tell her the truth. Yes, he loved Catelyn, and he only ever loved Catelyn, and with one push she fell down the Moon Door to her death. This moment was something book fans have wanted to see, and the show didn't disappoint.
Daenerys and Jorah discussing what is to be done about the slavers in cities she had previously sacked was something I quite enjoyed. It's demonstrating how Dany has her heart in the right place, but she has to consider the politics of the matter and that it's not all black and white. Jorah brings up good points about his past, that he once sold men into slavery, and if Dany extends the same kind of mercy that Ned Stark gave him then they would live to redeem themselves and right those wrongs, just like he did. Indeed, Dany has always been about serving justice against those hurt the innocent, and although she has a right to be angry it's not about revenge through bloodshed. She is now understanding that what she's been doing isn't exactly the best method and it shouldn't be the only method, and with her ruling Meereen she has a chance to learn how these politics work.
Scenes like this is a reminder that Dany is still quite naive and inexperienced and needs to have these kinds of discussions with her advisers, to keep in mind that she really hasn't had any kind of guidance on these issues. Her time in Meereen will become a learning experience, for better or worse.
Other moments from this episode:
++ "I was a fool to think she loved me." While the ambiguity of not knowing Shae's true feelings in the book made sense for when she does testify against him, it doesn't work on the show because we have them declaring their love to each other privately, we've seen Shae desperately try to get Tyrion to leave King's Landing so they can be together. Tyrion may be angry, but he's directing that emotion at the wrong person. Shae does love him and he knows that, but he's the one that pushed her away in such a horrible manner, and he knew he was doing that because they were going to be found out, and he must know that somehow his sister and his father got to her first (obviously, I believe, through Bronn through bribery) thus blackmailed and coerced her into testifying against him. Surely, he must be angry with himself, but he shouldn't question Shae's feelings for him because it's been declared more than enough times.
See, this is the issue of trying to play it both ways and that "butterfly effect" that GRRM has often mentioned re: the changes made on the show, in that the things that are altered will be affected later. By changing the way Shae and Tyrion are presented throughout the seasons you cannot then change it back to be exactly like the book version because it just doesn't make sense given the already developed and established in-show relationship that was created. Just, ugh, I still have many feelings about this.
++ However, I did like the scene between Tyrion and Oberyn. Obviously, Oberyn came to King's Landing for a single purpose and he is going to use this opportunity to become Tyrion's champion and go against The Mountain for what was done to his sister, but there was more to it than that. When Oberyn was telling that story about when he first saw Tyrion after he was just born, he was doing so to prove that he didn't see him as a monster as everyone else does. Just as when he first saw him he only saw a baby, he now just sees a man on trial. He sees a man who has been discriminated and hated against and, while Oberyn clearly despises anyone named Lannister, he doesn't show any disdain towards Tyrion. So it was a lovely moment between them that I liked very much.
++ I like the odd pairing road trips of certain characters. Here was have Brienne and Pod, and then Arya and The Hound. I was amused by Brienne's little remarks, especially at the end with the "you were saying?" at Pod, and someone else mentioned that it was like Jaime's subtle snark rubbed off on her, lol. Plus, Hot Pie! We need more random characters crossing paths like that, tbh, but perhaps that's just me. And of course with Arya and The Hound, them meeting with the dying man, Arya getting more and more comfortable with killing others, and then later when they're resting The Hound is telling her about why his brother burned his face. It was a nice, quiet little moment between them, and Arya wanting to help his wound.
++ Now, onto the whole Dany and Daario situation. On one hand it changes the dynamics between them since it's quite different in the books, however I'm assuming it's because they seemed to have aged Dany up. However, I do appreciate that she was the one having all the control in this situation and we see a woman objectifying a man for a change, and we never actually see her undressed and we never got to a sex scene. The only downside is that we never actually see any full body shots of male nudity (thus no cock) whereas we see an unnecessary full lingering shot of a naked Melisandre in this very episode, and this is the unfortunate unbalance that needs to be corrected.
++ When Sansa smiles and agrees to what Sweetrobin tells her about taking her enemies and pushing them through the Moon Door, it really says a lot about her character. Sansa remains kindhearted and compassionate, but after everything she has experienced and suffered and endured, she can still fantasize about punishing those who have harmed her and done wrong by her family. While I cannot see her killing someone in cold-blood, I can most definitely see her serving justice in a poetic manner. Playing the game in a discreet and smart way.
Overall: This episode was very good, perhaps it's because there was very little offensive stuff happening and it was more of a conversational episode than anything. But these conversations are very important. Tyrion talking with Jaime and Bronn and Oberyn, Dany with Jorah, Arya with The Hound, their pieces of dialogue with each other is far more interesting than any flash of tits could ever be, honestly. And while there was Melisandre in the bath fulfilling HBO's nudity quota, there was still a fascinating discussion happening there as well. I prefer these moments and I wish the show would be like this, with the action of course, and less on the unnecessary bits that don't serve any purpose.
Three more episodes to go with this season. The next episode will feature Oberyn fighting against The Mountain, and that will be quite interesting to watch.