The Dorne Ultimatum
Jaime's heading south to rescue his daughter, but he's going to need a hand. (NO JOKES, GUYS.)
Awwww yeah! This is what we tuned in to Season 5 for: Arya and Jaqen H'ghar are finally getting the band back together! Time for some more awesome scenes of the two of them walking around deciding which assholes need to die and then magically making that happen. I've just microwaved a bag of pigeon pie-flavored popcorn; let's do this.
Except, no. That's not happening at all. Because when Arya politely knocks on the door to the House of White and Black, everyone's favorite third-person-referrer is nowhere to be found. Instead, Arya's greeted brusquely by an older gentleman wearing an oversized robe and the kind of impassive, "Ask me to help you -- I dare you!" expression you find on the faces of DMV employees and tenured English professors.
Arya spends a solid twenty-four hours sitting outside on the steps, reciting her new and improved Death List -- Cersei, Meryn Trant, The Mountain, and Walder Frey -- I can't exactly remember why she wants to kill Cersei, aside from the stock answer of "Who wouldn't?" -- and then gives up and tosses her priceless Valar Morghulis coin into the ocean, as a baroque string quartet arrangement of the sad Charlie Brown music plays in all our heads.
Spin Off Idea
Westeros's Wackiest Equestrian Bloopers
Ha ha! Someone should've taken a left turn at Albuquerque!
Splish splash -- Podrick's taking a bath!
Man! That Brienne can sure be a pain in the neck!
Three Hands Are Better Than One
Who called the meeting? Jaime.
What's it about? The Kingslayer is heading down to Dorne to retrieve Myrcella from House Martell, which was supposed to be a safe haven but is now looking like more of an impending deathtrap. And he wants Bronn to come along for the journey.
How'd it go? Even though Bronn is already looking regretful about his arranged marriage to Lollys Stokeworth -- and rightly so; she appears to be the kind of adult woman who would have her wedding at the American Girl store, complete with cupcake-tinis and a cover band called The Hangin' Toughs -- he's still not thrilled at the prospect of being yanked away from his now-comfortable life, and he's rather peeved to learn that Jaime has already secured a new husband for Lollys. Nonetheless, Bronn's mercenary spirit prevails when Jaime promises him more wealth, a better castle, and a spousal upgrade in exchange for his services. No! Sleep! 'Til Dorne!
Should We Kill Him, Or, Uh...Kill Him?
Alert Type: Mostly-One-Sided Debate Alert.
Issue: Daario and Greyworm have captured a member of the Sons of the Harpy, the group responsible for lethally interrupting White Rat's cuddle session last week.
Complicating Factors: Mossador, himself a former slave, wants the murderer killed immediately because the Harpies pose a threat to the newly egalitarian system in Meereen. Daario agrees, claiming that he's already questioned the prisoner and they won't learn anything else useful from him. And Dany herself thinks that a swift execution could be the perfect opportunity to prove to her subjects that she carries a big stick, even if that stick is no longer in the shape of a fire-breathing dragon. Barristan Selmy is the lone moderate in the debate, but he's strongly convinced that the murderer deserves a fair trial.
Resolution: In private, Selmy tells Dany about the atrocities committed by her father -- who was similarly desperate to demonstrate his power -- and she agrees to let the Harpy have his day in court.
Spoiler: There are still plenty of ways for this whole thing to go wrong.
Booze CruisePeople follow leaders. And they will never follow us. They find us repulsive.I find us repulsive.We find them repulsive, which is why we surround ourselves with large, comfortable boxes to keep them away. And yet, no matter what we do, people like you and me are never really satisfied inside the box. Not for long.You're right. Let's take a walk.No!How many dwarves are there in the world? Is Cersei going to kill them all?
I'll Talk To The King's Hand, 'Cause Cersei Don't Understand
Situation: Cersei convenes the Small Council on Tommen's behalf, informing them that she will be sort of a Hand stand-in (Hand-in?) until her son is old enough to choose one. She also starts announcing new positions for the various Council members, which she dubiously claims were the choices of the Tween King himself.
What makes it awkward? While some of the members are happy with their appointments -- especially Qyburn, who now gets to serve as Master of Whispers whenever he's not busy doing creepy experiments on dwarf heads -- some of them are pretty steamed. Kevan Lannister, whom Cersei appoints Master of War, announces that he's heading back to Casterly Rock until Tommen summons him himself.
How is order restored? Nobody actually goes against Cersei, but that situation doesn't look like it'll last, especially with Jaime out of town.
Okay Fine, But Seriously, One Of These Damn Days I'm Going To Get Someone To Kneel And Pledge Their Loyalty
Who called the meeting? Stannis.
What's it about? Although he's none too pleased with Jon's mercy-killing of Mance Rayder, Stannis still wants Jon's help uniting the North -- and he's willing to remove that frustrating "Bastard of Winterfell" title to seal the deal. That's right: Jon Snow could finally become Jon Stark!
How'd it go? Even though it's an opportunity he's dreamed of for as long as he can remember, Jon later decides not to accept, telling Sam that he can't break his Night's Watch oath (at least, not unless hot naked cave sex is involved).
Which is really unfortunate, because Stannis already had this vanity plate made for him!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Alliser Thorne vs. Denys Mallister vs. ...Jon Snow!
Nothing packs a house like the election of a new Night's Watch Commander, and despite being an unrepentant asshole, Ser Alliser Thorne is clearly the frontrunner; whereas Denys Mallister is the kind of soft-spoken ideologue who does well on college campuses and Reddit but barely cracks the double digits.
But wait! At the last second, Sam gets to his feet to nominate his buddy Jon Snow, and he gives a pretty great speech in his support, listing his many great accomplishments and throwing some much-needed shade on Lord Janos for his cowardice during the Wildling battle! Player Three has entered the game!
The votes are cast, and it's a dead heat between Jon and Alliser! (Sorry, Denys! You can go ahead and launch that Sirius/XM show now.)
TIE-BREAKING VOTE CAST BY MAESTER AEMON!
Winner: Jon Snow!
Ah, I'm Just Jaqen With You
Meanwhile, back in Braavos, Arya has already shifted careers from "revenge" to "artisanal pigeon pie distribution." And she's ready to kill a few guys to protect her ingredients, until...
The surly old man is back! And everyone's scared of him! Could he be....
Yeah! It was Jaqen all along! Well, he's not actually Jaqen; he's "no one," and now he's going to teach Arya the tricks of his trade! IT'S ABOUT TIME, NOT-JAQEN. IT'S ABOUT TIME.
This Public Execution Is Turning Into A Real Downer
Alert Type: Abrupt Loss Of Hearts And Minds Alert.
Issue: Mossador takes matters into his own hands and kills the Son of the Harpy before he can face trial, thinking that this is what Dany secretly wanted him to do.
Complicating Factors: Dany's only solution is to execute Mossador for violating the law.
Resolution: Her decision proves unpopular, to say the least. First there's hissing. Then there's rock-throwing. And then it's a full-scale riot, and the Unsullied have to form a kind of shield-Voltron configuration to get Dany safely back to the pyramid. But then...