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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: “The Sons of the Harpy”

game of thrones sons of the harpy

The Lannisters

Picking up right where the last episode of Game of Thrones left off, Jorah drags a gagged Tyrion from the brothel to a boat. Later, Jorah tells him that he isn’t going to be taking Tyrion to Queen Cersei, he’s taking him to Daenerys. Tyrion thinks this is hysterical.

Elsewhere and also on a ship, Jaime Lannister and Bronn-of-Wherever have begun their trip to Dorne. Jaime explains to Bronn that they’re on a merchant trip because he’s trying to be secret about his mission to kidnap — sorry, rescue — his niece and bring her back to Cersei. “Your niece,” Bronn repeats skeptically. This is seriously the worst kept secret in the seven realms, next to Renly and Loras being gay. Jaime goes on to say if he ever sees Tyrion again, he’s going to kill him for murdering their father.

They arrive on the shores of Dorne, only to be surrounded by suspicious spear-wielding Dornishmen. They fight their way out because of course they do, then they continue onward… after digging graves for everyone they just killed.

Cersei sends Lord Mace Tyrell away to negotiate with the Iron Bank about their debts, and appoints one of the Kingsguard to go with him. Hmmm. She then meets with the High Sparrow — whom she has appointed the new High Septon — and suggests bringing back the Faith Militant. Ostensibly it’s to protect the pious and reinforce the Faith of the Seven in the kingdom, but actually it’s so she can assert her power and get revenge on Margaery. This is obvious when Loras is among the first arrested for “breaking the laws of gods and men.”

Margaery makes Tommen release Loras. Poor, meek little Tommen is no match for the Faith Militant who refuse to let him speak to the High Sparrow, and Loras remains imprisoned. Also some commoners heckle Tommen by calling him a bastard and an abomination, which, again, worst kept secret ever.

Castle Black

Stannis prepares to march on Winterfell, promising to bring Melisandre with him this time. He asks her what she needs, and she replies, “To serve my lord,” while staring at Jon training in the courtyard.

Jon’s new job requires sending letters and doing paperwork, because apparently you can’t escape that even in Westeros. One of the letters is addressed to Roose Bolton asking for men and supplies. Jon eventually does sign it — duty over family and honor? As Jon finishes up his work, Melisandre comes in to make a last ditch effort at convincing Jon to come with them by using her bodacious bod. Jon makes her stop because he still loves Ygritte. Cue my ugly sobbing, which is magnified by a thousand when Melisandre says “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” before leaving.

Shireen and Stannis have a bonding moment as Stannis tells her the story of how she caught greyscale, and how he’d refused to send her away. “You did not belong across the world with the bloody Stone Men. You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon. And you are my daughter.”

sons of the harpy sansa


Sansa Stark visits the crypts, and Petyr Baelish creeps up on her (as per his usual) to tell her about her Aunt Lyanna and how Rhaegar Targaryen’s obsession with her started a war. God, listening to Petyr tell a story about obsession starting wars is physically painful, especially since the way he paints the story makes it seem like it was Lyanna’s fault for being more beautiful than Rhaegar’s wife, Elia. Sansa, bless her heart and soul, calls Petyr out on the bullshit: “Yes, he chose her. And then he kidnapped her and raped her.”

Petyr tells Sansa he’s been called away to King’s Landing, but not to worry because Stannis Baratheon will be coming by soon to liberate Winterfell, rescue her, and name her Wardeness of the North. If that fails, she can survive by seducing Ramsay.

Y’all. I’m so worried for Sansa.

Sand Snakes

Our first real introduction to three of the Sand Snakes — Nym, Tyene, and Obara — comes in the form of Ellaria Sand informing them that Prince Doran has refused to start a war and that they must avenge Oberyn themselves. Ellaria still plans to go after Myrcella, and when Obara tells her that Jaime Lannister has come for his daughter/niece, she realizes they’re on more of a time crunch than she anticipated. The Sand Snakes all agree to help her, with Obara going off on a little violent monologue.

Daenerys Targaryen

Ser Barristan and Dany bond over stories about her older brother Rhaegar before she’s called away to do her queenly duties. A noble once again comes to ask her to reinstate the fighting pits, but she refuses… and those scenes are intercut with scenes of the Sons of the Harpy stalking the streets killing Dany’s people. One of the Unsullied patrols hear the screams and are lured into a trap by the same prostitute that had gotten one of their own killed in a previous episode.

The battle is brutal, and a lot of people die — including Ser Barristan, who hears the sounds of fighting and tries to help, and (presumably, I have hope he’s still alive, don’t rain on this parade of mine) Grey Worm, who is overwhelmed by the sheer number of Harpies and collapses while trying to crawl towards Barristan’s body.

Guess some version of the fighting pits were reinstated after all.


  • My heart grew three sizes with that Stannis + Shireen scene.
  • I have no idea what song Tyrion was singing with the gag in his mouth but whatever it was I’m sure it was very a dirty ditty. Also, since we already have one Lannister buddy cop-ing it up with Bronn, I am all for a love/hate snarky friendship between Jorah and the other Lannister brother.
  • Speaking of Bronn and Jaime, all their interactions this episode were on point. “I’m not sure you understand how much people hate your family in this part of the world,” was fantastic, as was “How many?”/”Four.”/”How many d’ya think you can take?”/”One. If he’s slow.”
  • Game of Thrones, once again teaching us that everyone dies, and if they’re loyal and badass and you love them a lot they’re probably going to die very gruesomely. Rest in peace, Grey Worm and Ser Barristan.
  • Nudity Corner time!
    Boob Count: 6 (possibly more? This episode’s brothel scene was a bit hectic)

    Butt Count: 3 (again, possibly more, same reason as above)
    Chest Count: 2
    Penis Count: 1
    Vag Count: 0