Hell hath no fury like Cersei scorned. As we suspected, Margaery’s mocking of the Queen Mother came back to haunt her this week, with her father being sent off to Braavos (with a menacing-looking Meryn Trant in tow, so don’t expect his journey to be a safe one) and brother Loras being arrested.
However, in arming the High Sparrow’s Faith Militant solely in pursuit of settling a score with her daughter-in-law, it’s classic Cersei, acting on emotion rather than rational thought. In opening up her son Tommen to ridicule, she in doing so makes her own position less secure – and considering her own secrets, it seems short-sighted at best to arm those best placed to bring her to justice.
Moreover, with Margaery off to contact her formidable grandmother, it’s fair to say that Cersei almost certainly doesn’t comprehend the can of worms she’s opened.
Nor too do Jaime and Bronn perhaps comprehend the hornets’ nest they’ve disturbed via their entry into Dorne – despite the latter’s worldly worldview – via the first introduction of the Sand Snakes.
By measures unhinged and lethal, it’s safe to say that they will be major players in the battle to come. However, considering how well Jaime aquits himself in battle despite the loss of his fighting hand, the outcome of the battle might not be as clear-cut as once envisioned.
One of the major criticisms of Game Of Thrones so far is that is has been too much build-up, not enough payoff. For fans of build-up and world-building this shouldn’t come as a problem – we see that Jon is still conflicted, Stannis has a warm and fluffy side after all, and Littlefinger has a plan (again) – although there isn’t all that much here to assuage purveyors of this particular criticism.
Until the ending, that is, with a particularly violent street battle taking place that sees the death of Daenerys’ sworn sword Barristan Selmy (of particular significance, considering that he’s still alive in the books).
Other than this shock, it presents yet another setback for Daenerys after two seasons of things almost exclusively going her way. She’s already lost Jorah (even if she probably hasn’t seen the last of him, judging by his activities here), and now her last link to her family. We sense that we could see the return of the Dany who killed the masters.
In summary, it’s another episode of chess pieces being moved into place. In this episode we lost a rook, but the game goes on.