While Sunday’s episode name might be all about the men, the actual episode was teeming with women being in power. In Meereen, Dany is showing the Masters and the Sons of the Harpy that she means business and revenge for the death of her esteemed friend (RIP Ser Barristan Selmy). Back in Winterfell, Sansa is keeping calm and collected in the presence of people who murdered her family. Even Ramsay’s girlfriend is being political and sizing up Sansa. But our Lady of the North isn’t entirely alone, since “the North remembers” and Brienne is watching from afar. Though they weren’t shown in the episode, we also know the Sand Snakes are gearing up for war in Dorne. Arya is attempting to become a faceless woman. Margery is at odds with Cersei in King’s Landing. Women all over Westeros are ready to throw down the gauntlet!
The title of the episode comes from Maester Aemon, with whom Jon seeks counsel. Is it just me or do men get hotter at the Wall? Or maybe it’s the power? But Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon were looking dang good this episode. Though Jon won’t go with Stannis to clean out the North, he’s taking his new position seriously and attempting to fix the breach between the Wildlings and the Night’s Watch. After all winter is coming, and so are frozen zombies that would like to eat you. When he seeks Aemon’s counsel, the Maester tells him to “Kill the boy,” and let the man come forward. Meaning Jon needs to leave the past and think like a leader and commander. He does just that…much to the dismay of most of the Watch. Tyrion and Jorah are still trucking along towards Meereen to meet Dany, though Tyrion still remains shackled. But even in binding, Tyrion sees some incredible sights.
Two things in the episode stuck out to me as needing some explaining. Firstly, we know of and meet Ramsay (nee Snow) Bolton’s girlfriend Myranda, played by Charlotte Hope. I say girlfriend, though I’m sure that isn’t entirely the nature of their relationship. What is it when two psychopaths fall in love but can’t get married? I mean, side piece is just rude. In any case, Myranda is not thrilled about Ramsay’s impending nuptials with Sansa. She expresses this to Ramsay who of course restates that now he’s an official Bolton; the kennel master’s daughter isn’t an appropriate wife. Then they have some rough sex. What else do you do when you let someone down? Well Myranda takes it in her hands to meet with Sansa and reveal Reek’s true identity. Now the fear and intimidation bit I understand, but something else about it seemed off. Maybe it was her marking her sexual territory like the dogs with which she works. But really, who else would want Ramsay? I’m just hoping Sansa finds a way to off him before they get married. If Ramsay marches off with his dad to take on Stannis, here’s hoping the creep meets his end.
The other item that I found needing explanation is greyscale. As we know from last episode, Stannis discusses with his daughter Shireen how hard he fought to save her from the disease and his refusal to send her away to die. She has lasting scars on her face, but is still walking and talking and living without difficulty. Living with judgment, yes. But still living. Tyrion and Jorah encounter Stone Men on the way through Valyria and someone doesn’t make it through unscathed. To me, it’s fairly equatable to zombie-ism. Get a bite on your foot, chop that puppy off asap! But as an article pointed out, that could raise more red flags than it soothes. So we’ll have to watch the infected person slowly turn to stone. Or die more quickly by some other methodology. In any case, this season has been picking up some action and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next! I’m also willingly ignoring that the season is half over, because soon it will be the ever-crushing time of scouring the internet for information on the next season. But let’s focus on something nicer: the next episode.