If you’ll remember, Oberyn tried to reassure Cersei while also claiming moral high ground for the Martells: “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.” To which Cersei had the heartbreaking reply, “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.”
With Oberyn now dead, the arrival of a snakegram would cause any mother to panic. (As well she should, given that the snake was probably sent by Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria Sand, who has suddenly become a cartoonish villain and begs Prince Doran to “let me send [Myrcella] to Cersei one finger at a time.”) It’s the sight of Cersei in such a terrified state, and not a little guilt about setting Tyrion free, that leads Jaime to embark on a two-man rescue expedition to Dorne. That, in turn, leads the rest of us to squee about the comic banter surely to accompany a Bronn-and-Jaime road trip. It has to be better than discussing wedding menus. Pigeon pie, anyone?
In the meantime, our other favorite road-tripping duo has hit a bit of a setback. Eagle-eyed Podrick spots Sansa and Baelish dining at their pub—“Ready the horses,” orders Brienne. “My lady, we only have one horse.” But Brienne is now 0-for-2 with Stark girls, as Sansa joins Arya in rejecting her offer of protection. “You should leave,” she tells Brienne, sounding like an embarrassed princess dismissing an unwanted suitor.
Pod delicately tries to get Brienne to face facts—“My lady, both Stark girls refused your service. Maybe you’re released from your vow…” But being our bullheaded Brienne, she brushes him off. Their new mission: track Sansa and watch over her from a distance. At this point in Game of Thrones-world, we should know that means Brienne will likely rescue Sansa down the road. Hopefully she’ll have time to give Pod some riding lessons while they wait.
I want to return to the Wall before I hand this off to one of you. And let’s get this out of the way: I know there are a lot of Kit Harrington haters out there. I am not one of them. His Jon Snow—taciturn, poker-faced—seems to me perfectly fitting with a young man who grew up a bastard in the Stark household, knowing his presence was resented by Catelyn Stark. He learned to watch carefully and stay out of the way, while also embracing Ned Stark’s compassion and strict moral code.
Or it could be that I’m just swayed by that glorious head of hair.
Either way, it’s a happy day for Westeros when Jon Snow is elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. It’s the least he deserves after turning down the chance to become Jon Stark, lord of Winterfell. If you don’t daydream about the remaining Stark kids reuniting at Winterfell and being greeted with bear hugs by their big brother Jon, well then, you don’t have a heart.
After a slower opening episode, there was so much packed into this hour that it sent my head spinning around the Seven Kingdoms. I haven’t even touched on the Water Gardens of Dorne, the most promising new setting we’ve seen in at least a season. Or the total catastrophe that Dany’s rule in Meereen is becoming. Or the return of Arya and her mantra of doom.