Episode 41: "The Wars to Come"
This episode is more of an introductory episode to the second half of a show than the opening of s season, as there is a marked difference in tone.
It opens up with something unheard for this show at this point -- a flashback. One of the strengths of Game of Thrones was that the monologues were so richly written and delivered that one did not need to see flashbacks. The closest we got to a flashback was Bran's dream. In this case, though, Incest Queen is a little Incest Princess and sees a witch to learn her future. She finds out that she won't marry a prince, and that she will marry a king, but she and the king won't have children together. She then flashes forward and then goes seee her dead father's body.
Interestingly enough we see a character we haven't seen since Season 2, the Kissing Cousin. Now if there had not been the helpful reminder at the beginning of the episode who Kissing Cousin was, I would not have realized it was him as he has found religion. It isn't the religion of the fanatic firestarters, but he is walking around with his hair chopped off (and darker) and with bare feet.
Also, interestingly enough, there's a lot of male nudity in this episode. In one of these scenes the Flower Knight is getting hot and heavy with Oliver Twist, but Faline comes in. She is still trying to become queen. When the Flower Knight reminds her that without Incest Queen being forced to marry him, Incest Queen will be staying at the capital, Faline suggests that may not be the case, hinting she has sinister plans for the queen of her own.
Also, Sansa and Don't Trust Me, Bro leave Robin in the care of someone while they ride across countryside...somewhere.
In Mereen, there are three issues. The Unsullied are visiting brothels, masked people are killing the Unsullied in said brothels, and Daenerys has lost control over her dragons. She also is petitioned to bring back the fighting pits, and she denies it, only for her boy toy Dario to convince her otherwise with his body.
Anyway the real meat of the episode is in two plots. The first is with Tyrion, who has been whisked away to across the sea. It turns out that Varys had a purpose; he wants Tyrion to meet up with Daenerys and help her out with the whole conquering Westeros deal. That's right. Varys has been supporting Daenerys all along.
The second plot is at the wall. Jon Snow is recruited by Stannis to tell Nanook of the North to kneel or else. Nanook chooses "or else." Madam Red starts setting him on fire, but John shoots an arrow at Nanook, killing him to spare him the pain of being burned alive.
- Both Sansa and Madame Red have dyed their hair darker and are wearing darker colors. Is this a sign Winter is Coming?
- I do feel bad for King Tom Thumb. Unlike Joffrey, who was a lost cause, this boy did have a chance as long as his grandfather was around. Again, if only there were a way to convince Stannis to spare him and marry him off to that daughter of his while killing off the Incest Twins. Tywin would still get his posthumous legacy, the houses would be united for real, and they could get rid of the Tyrell Corporation.