Entertainment TV Game of Thrones recap: Sons of the Harpy

Game of Thrones recap: Sons of the Harpy

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“You know nothing Jon Snow.”

No, Ygritte isn’t back from the dead. Rather, her famous line has been revived by another redhead – Melisandre.

She doesn’t quite have the same delivery.

In this episode we learn that Jon Snow might know nothing, but neither does anyone else.

Game of Thrones recap: The Wars to Come
Game of Thrones recap: The House of Black and White
Game of Thrones recap: High Sparrow

Perhaps as a reminder that this show is beholden to no one, episode four ends with the probable deaths of two of the show’s more likeable, morally sound characters.

The whole thing leaves us feeling a tad seasick – figuratively and literally (there’s plenty of cross-water voyaging).

Here’s how it went down.


Lock up your daughters, Dornishmen. The dasterdly duo of Jaime Lannister and Bronn have arrived in town.

While their next move is unclear, an unexpected encounter with some Dornish horsemen proves the team make a formidable fighting force.

We leave them burying bodies.

Meanwhile, the Sand Snakes are here! We finally get to meet Nymeria (Jessica Henwick), Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti-Sellers), the daughters of Oberyn Martell.

Ellaria Sand rides to an unidentifiable spot in the desert to rally them around her, encouraging them to disregard their uncle Doran’s peaceful way and instead fight back, using Myrcella Baratheon as a bargaining tool and declaring war on their father’s killers.

With spears and sass, they obviously pick the second option.

Look out, Jaime.

Nymeria Sand, one of Oberyn Martell's three daughters.
Nymeria Sand, one of Oberyn Martell’s three daughters.

King’s Landing

As per usual, Cersei is busying herself by removing all of her enemies from her sight.

She ships poor old Mace Tyrell off to Braavos to deal with the Iron Bank and enlists the help of the High Sparrow to imprison Loras Tyrell for being homosexual.

She also gives the Sparrows an army, allowing them to uphold their piety with weapons and violence, which is surely an oxymoron.

Of course, Margaery Tyrell isn’t happy and sees right through Cersei’s plan to “relocate” her entire family.

She turns to little Tommen – possibly the cutest King we’ve seen on the show – but he is helpless in the face of the Sparrows, men who willingly carve logos into their foreheads.

Thus, Loras is stuck in a cell for the time being. This is going to get heated.

Tommen Baratheon is torn between his mother and his wife.
Tommen Baratheon is torn between his mother and his wife.

Castle Black

We know Jon Snow has a thing for redheads, but it appears his loyalty to his late love Ygritte still prevails.

This becomes clear when flaming redhead Melisandre tries to seduce him. He’s tempted, but ultimately shoots down her offer to “create life”, explaining that he’s still in love with another. Awww.

The highlight of the episode is undoubtedly Stannis’s little father/daughter moment with Shireen.

Long sidelined and ignored because of her Greyscale affliction, Shireen is constantly seeking her father’s approval.

In this episode, she finally gets it: Stannis explains how he refused to let her die from Greyscale, instead keeping her by his side because she is “Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon and … my daughter”.

Maybe he does have a heart after all.

Shireen Baratheon enjoys a rare moment of parental affection.
Shireen Baratheon enjoys a rare moment of parental affection.


We find Sansa Stark in the crypts, perusing the graves of only some of her many, many dead relatives. Sorry to rub it in.

Of course, Littlefinger is lurking not far off and the two strike up a conversation about Sansa’s future.

While Lord Baelish is off to King’s Landing thanks to Cersei’s summons, Sansa must stay put in her former home, waiting to either woo Ramsay Bolton or get rescued by Stannis Baratheon and his army.

Lord Baelish has confidence in his prodigy, urging her to stay strong and out-manoeuvre Roose Bolton to become “Wardeness of the North”.

Essentially, he’s become her really creepy career counsellor. The pair share a kiss, before Sansa reminds him she is set to be a “married woman” soon.

Baelish’s subsequent smirk hints at another possible encounter between the two, one actress Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa) has also alluded to.

“There was one scene that I did do which was super, super traumatic, and I love doing those scenes,” Turner said in a red carpet interview at the British Independent Film Awards.

“It was just really kind of horrible for everyone to be on set and watch.”

Sansa visits the crypt of her late aunt, Lyanna Stark – an important figure from the past.
Sansa visits the crypt of her late aunt, Lyanna Stark – an important figure from the past.

Importantly, the pair also discuss a memory Littlefinger has of Sansa’s late aunt, Lyanna Stark.

In Littlefinger’s retelling, Rhaegar Targaryen beats Ser Barristan Selmy in battle, riding past his wife Elia Martell (Oberyn’s sister) to present a flower to the beautiful Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister).

Despite its conversational tone, this backstory of the Tourney at Harrenhal is pretty darn important as book fans will know.

The accepted story is that Rhaegar then went on to kidnap and rape Lyanna – who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon – igniting an ongoing war and pissing everyone off.

But if Littlefinger’s telling look is to be believed, that’s not all there is to the story.

This is only further emphasised by Ser Barristan Selmy’s chat with Daenerys in which he describes her brother Rhaegar as a fairly amicable man who liked to sing in the streets and get drunk. Not exactly a rapist.

Basically, we’re veering into serious twist territory. Stay tuned.

Daenerys Targaryen is losing supporters by the second.
Daenerys Targaryen is losing supporters by the second.


Speaking of Ser Barristan, it appears as though he is no longer with us.

Once the greatest fighter in the kingdom, we see him defeated by the masked Sons of the Harpy who can seemingly not be stopped – not even by an army of Unsullied.

After a prolonged combat scene, the episode ends with Grey Worm and Ser Selmy passing out next to each other, severely wounded.

They did manage to take out most of the masked crusaders though, which is a bonus.

If neither of them make it, that marks the loss of two moral strongholds on the show along with two of Daenerys’s most trusted warriors and sometime advisors.

Team Dany is diminishing by the day.

As for everyone else…

• Ser Jorah Mormont is steadfastly continuing to smuggle Tyrion Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen, despite Tyrion’s repeated explanations that that’s where he was going in the first place. Ser Mormont isn’t keen to team up and would rather travel with a conscious Tyrion rather than a chatty Tyrion (can’t say we blame him).

• Where. Is. Gendry. Seriously – we haven’t seen Robert Baratheon’s bastard in forever. Did he just up and leave? Understandable in these trying time, but still!

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