You think *you've* had bad post-wedding hangovers? Imagine what the folks in Kings Landing are going through. Joffrey's body is barely cold and everyone's dealing with the aftermath in various ways: his family, the Lannisters, move on in their own fashion. From Tywin starting Tommen on his king lessons to Jaime and Cersei, uh, "rekindling" their relationship while their son's body sits in state, literally at (golden) arm's reach.
And then there's Tyrion. Arrested and left cooling his heels in the Black Cells, he attempts to figure a way out of his situation, not yet realizing the person behind Joffrey's death is also the one who's spirited his new wife out of the city.
Locations (* = new): King's Landing, Dragonstone, The Dreadfort, Winterfell, The Wall, Meereen
I'm willing to bet Kings Landing will be in every episode this season. Call it a hunch.
Ser(s) Not Appearing In This Episode: Bran Stark, Asha, Jojen and Meera Reed, Hodor, Theon "Reek" Greyjoy, Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton, any dragons or direwolves.
The agonizingly choked out bile on Joffrey's cheeks isn't even cold by the time The Fool Formerly Known as Ser Dontos has spirited Sansa (Sophie Turner) to a rowboat and a waiting ship, and a waiting Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who expresses his gratitude by putting a few crossbow bolts into Dontos. Sansa, as always, is a bit taken aback by all this brutality, so he tries to assure her by telling her they're going to visit Aunt Lysa in the Vale. This should be fun.
The widow Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) discuss possible futures for the young almost queen. Neither are very nostalgic about Margaery's two failed marriages, with an exceedingly nonchalant Olenna assuring her, "The next one should be easier." Then again, given the frequency with which kings bite it in Westeros, this is probably a good approach.
So Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) is king now, and grandpa Tywin (Charles Dance) asks him what virtues best befit a king: Piety? Justice? Strength? No, no, and no. It's wisdom, duh: "A wise king knows what he knows and what he doesn't." In one swift move, Tywin does a good job positioning himself as Hand for life. Meanwhile Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) pays Cersei (Lena Headey) a funereal visit. She asks Jaime to kill Tyrion, '80s vigilante style. He's got other things in mind (well, just one, really), and is indifferent to Cersei's protests. And here all you people had probably forgiven him for pushing Bran out the window.
Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) and his "paramour" Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) continue to "sample the whares" of Kings Landing. But then Tywin arrives to spoil the fun. He suggests Oberyn's knowledge of poisons might be of interest in the case of Joffrey's death. Then turns around to 1) ask Oberyn to serve as one of three judges in Tyrion's trial, and b) offer him a seat on the Small Council, promising to "serve justice to Elia's assassins." Meaning, we assume, the Mountain. Good luck with that.
Podrick (Daniel Portman) visits Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) , who's to be tried in a fortnight, judged by Tywin, Mace Tyrell, and (breaking news) Prince Oberyn. Bad news keeps mounting, as Pod is being pressured to turn on Tyrion, while Sansa and Bronn are both AWOL, so Tyrion asks his "loyal" (so far) squire to fetch Jaime before getting the hell out of Dodge.
The Hound and Arya continue their How To Win Friends and Influence People tour of the Riverlands. He (Rory McCann) talks of traveling across the Narrow Sea to become a sellsword before Arya (Maisie Williams) talks them into a roof and a meal from a kindly farmer and his daughter. Their table manners are lacking, but they still get asked to stay on to help protect the farm. The Hound has other ideas, robbing the farmer and sneering how they'll be dead by winter. Arya, still improbably retaining some human decency, chides him for it until he reminds her how things work in Westeros: "How many Starks do they have to behead before you figure that out?"
At Castle Black, Sam (John Bradley) is still dealing with disbelief from everyone but Gilly that he killed the White Walker. And since Gilly (Hannah Murray) being the only female around a bunch of rapists (he helpfully ticks them off the himself as he walks by), he feels it best to shove her off to Mole's Town, just south of the Wall. She resents this, even if it is "for the best." I tend to agree, those prostitutes didn't seem like very attentive caregivers.
Stannis (Stephen Dillane) rubs Joffrey's death in Davos' (Liam Cunningham) face, mocks his Hand's efforts to raise an army, especially the suggestion of using sellswords, lamenting he can do nothing to exploit this new development. Davos receives even less sympathy from Shireen (Kerry Ingram), who at least gets in a nice Monty Python reference. Davos hits upon a devilish idea to pull an end-run and enlist the Iron Bank of Braavos against the Lannisters. Call it the Capone Gambit.
The Wildlings are having a fine time, thanks for asking, engaging in their version of a culinary tour. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and the new Lord Commander of the Nights Watch Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) are in agreement about one thing: the Wall must be defended. That is, until Grenn and
Pyp Dolorous Edd return from having escaped Craster's Keep, where Karl is holding court. Jon realizes they need to go kill the rebels, or they'll tell Mance the truth about Castle Black's defenses (hint: they really aren't very good).
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Finally, Danaerys (Emilia Clarke) and her army have reached Meereen. After a momentary pissing match (heh), Daario (Michiel Huisman) proves his mettle against the city's champion (he brings a lance, you bring a throwing knife, that's the Essos way), relegating Jorah even deeper into the Friend Zone. She even calls him friend! I hope next week she says he's "just like a brother" to her.
Well, maybe not the one who sold her to the Dothraki.
Stuff That Will Piss Off Book Purists: The Dontos/Sansa story was much more drawn out; Gilly was never really romantically inclined toward Sam, and she didn't move to Mole's Town; it wasn't Daario who defeated Meereen's champion, but it doesn't look like we'll be seeing Strong Belwas, well, ever; the Jaime/Cersei scene was decidedly less rape-y in the book.
Next Week: Mother should I build a wall?