There are so many spoilers in this review that Varys’ head would turn. Read with caution if you are not yet caught up on the show.
Stannis Baratheon is pretty much having the absolutely worst day of his life. He just burned his own daughter alive to ensure a victory, but half of his troops have left and taken all the horses. Things get even worse when he finds out that his wife has taken her own life. Then a messenger tells him that Melissandre was just seen riding out of the camp. So, great. What’s a man to do? That’s right, ride for Winterfell and try to take it over.
Jon Snow is back after the horrific Wildling/Walker battle. He spills his guts to Sam about everything that happened (pun so intended). Sam asks to flee to Oldtown so he can learn skills that will help all of the Night’s Watch for the impending battles with the White Walkers. He also wants to take Gilly and baby Sam so that they will be safe. Jon Snow agrees and Sam rides off with the other two in tow.
At Winterfell, Podrick sees Stannis’ men approaching and runs to tell Brienne of Tarth. Sansa wants to leave all the nightmare behind, so she lights a candle in the high tower as told.
Stannis Baratheon is the worst tactician ever. Basically the lesson of this story is, if everyone hates the person you’re dating and tells you that she or he is crazy, don’t decide to take crazy military or life advice from said crazy person. Ramsey Bolton’s army rides on Stannis’ and in a move that surprises no one ever, defeat the Baratheon army like the tiny force with no horses that they are. Somehow Stannis escapes into the woods. Brienne of Tarth finds Stannis injured in the woods. She tells him that she saw Renly die by a creature with Stannis’ face. She kills him as Stannis makes the best “who the hell is this” face ever.
Myranda comes out with a bow and arrow and tells Sansa she’s going to walk her back to her room or kill her. Theon is with her and begs Sansa to go willingly. Sansa refuses and as Myranda goes to attack, Theon pushes her off the wall. Myranda is now very dead. Sansa and Theon jump from the wall when they see Ramsey Bolton’s troops return. We have no idea if they are dead or really good at landing on soft things.
Amory Lorch whips three little girls, but one of them refuses to flinch. This scene is difficult to watch, as children being hit is not the easiest thing to see. Lorch sends the other two girls out to punish the third for not giving him the satisfaction of showing pain. This little girl has a secret; she is Arya Stark. She blinds him, cuts him deeply and tells him who she is. She tells him this is for killing Yoren in the first season. It’s bloody. It’s intense. Proud of herself, Arya returns to the Hall of Faces, only to discover that she is in trouble for taking a life. Her teacher swallows poison and falls to the ground. As Arya runs to him, she discovers he is standing behind her and the body in front of her seems to be shedding faces like some sort of flashback to Return to Oz. Arya gets to her own face and suddenly loses her sight.
Myrcella and her fiance are leaving Dorne with Jamie and Bronn. Bronn and one of the Sandsnakes do some highly disturbing flirting. The mother of the Sandsnakes kissed Myrcella goodbye for far too long to be normal, but everyone is so happy no one seems to care. On the boat, Jaime tells Myrcella that she is his daughter and a product of incest. Myrcella admits she sort of always knew and takes it really well. Well, she starts to until she starts bleeding to death out of her nostrils.
Back on shore, Mommy Sandsnake drinks an antidote and smiles. Murder lipstick, you guys. Murder lipstick.
Tyrion, Darius and Jorah Mormont are all sitting on the steps wondering where the heck Danerys has gone. Darius questions Tyrion’s abilities and decides that he and Jorah should go find Dany. Grey Worm wants to go, but physically can’t. He, the translator and Tyrion remain behind to care for the city until Dany returns. Varys comes to talk to Tyrion, and decides to continue their information sharing bromance in order to protect what Dany has built.
Meanwhile, Danny and Drogon are hanging out on a mountain somewhere. Drogon is not doing so hot and ignores Dany to take a dragon nap. Dany goes to check out her surroundings, only to be swarmed by a tribe of Dothraki.
Cersei Lannister admits to her crimes, but denies the incest charge. Her hair is shorn off and she is forced to walk naked through the streets to return to the Red Tower. Her hair may be cut, her eyes down, but she still has the queenly posture. The people call her the worst names imaginable, but all of them relate to sexual terms. She makes it back to the tower with tears in her eyes, but is quickly wrapped up and carried by the new and improved Mountain. He’s back from the dead and ready to mingle, ladies.
Melissandre rides into Castle Black and refuses to make eye contact with anyone. She goes off to do her thing. The little boy who lost his parents to the Wildlings runs in to tell Jon Snow they think they know where his missing Uncle Benjen is. Snow runs out to speak with man who supposedly knows and is murdered “For the Watch” by being stabbed in the gut over and over again by the members of the Nights Watch.
Fade to Black.
Like everyone else on the internet, I’m still processing what I just saw. Characters we loved and hated met their ends. I do know one thing for certain, if that’s the Mother’s Mercy I’m really glad I don’t follow their gods. What struck me was the fact that no one really seems to care that Cersei had Robert Baratheon killed, but rather they are more concerned with her sex life. They call her whore and other names I won’t write in case your children are reading over your shoulder. Is being a whore really the worst crime in Westeros? We’ve seen far worse crimes in this episode alone.
Put on your mourning garb, all.
What was your favorite part? You biggest crying moment? Let us know in the comments.