The final scene of the previous episode showed Daenerys at the gates of Meereen and that is where this episode kicks off. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) is teaching Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) how to speak in the Common Tongue – English for us non-Westerosi – while they both reminisce about their lives before slavery. Grey Worm successfully learns “Kill the Masters” before they are interrupted by Dany ominously proclaiming that it is time.
Grey Worm and a bunch of Unsullied disguise themselves as slaves and interrupt an underground meeting of their brethren. Encouraging the locals to revolt against their oppressors, the Unsullied arm the Meereenese who we see gleefully tearing apart one of the Masters the next morning. With the Targaryen flag triumphantly flying over the city, Dany oversees the city’s liberation. When she asks her advisors, Jorah Mormont (Iain Glenn) and Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney), how many slave children had been crucified on the route from Yunkai, the latter guesses her intent and suggests mercy. The Mother of (absent) Dragons will have none of that though, and the Masters are subsequently nailed to crosses. Daenerys Targaryen means business and it looks like she is here to stay this time.
Back in King’s Landing, Jaime and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) continue their training, the Lannister showing significant improvement but ultimately still losing. They talk about Joffrey’s death, with Bronn expressing his belief in Tyrion’s innocence. He also tells Jaime how much the Imp trusts him and subtly suggests he visit his younger sibling. Taking the hint, the brothers have a somewhat touching reunion. Coster-Waldau and Dinklage definitely have excellent chemistry together and it is a shame that the impending trial possibly means these scenes will be a rare treat.
The two have been considering the danger Sansa is in now that she is suspected of regicide so, naturally, we cut to her chatting with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) aboard his ship. Once he tells her they are headed to the Eyrie, Sansa asks him bluntly whether he had anything to do with Joffrey’s death. He confesses that he did, saying that no one would suspect him given how much he owes the Lannisters. He reveals that Sansa’s necklace was used to transport the poison that was then used by his new, more powerful friends.
Cue Olenna and Margaery Tyrell talking about the question of succession in a cheery garden. Olenna says she will have to leave soon – boo! – but teaches her granddaughter the tricks of the trade by recounting her own youth. Basically, she wormed her way out of an unwanted marriage using her womanly charms and Marge will have to do the same, “befriend” the new King and ensure a position of power and safety for herself. No worries there then.
Jon Snow seems to know something, at least when it comes to sparring, and he helps train Grenn (Mark Stanley) and a bunch of new recruits, including, Locke (Noah Tyler), who we know the Boltons sent to kill the Stark boys. Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) and Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter) do not like Jon’s obvious popularity and, after reminding him that they are supposed to be in charge, quietly plot to get rid of him by sending him off to handle the mutineers at Craster’s Keep on a suicide mission.
Littlefinger reveals that Sansa’s necklace was used to transport the poison that killed Joffrey
King’s Landing again and Cersei reminds us why too much wine is a bad thing as she pours herself another drink while chastising Jaime. Not for his behaviour last week, mind you, but for supposedly not doing enough to protect their remaining son Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman). Tommen, of course, is blissfully unaware of the family arguments; he is too preoccupied trying to go to sleep in his chambers while simultaneously looking for his cat, the adorable Ser Pounce.
Enter Margaery in an appropriate shroud of mystery and temptation. The once and future Queen converses with her betrothed in an ever-so-slightly creepy exchange about the importance of knowing one another before getting married and all that jazz. After gaining his approval, courtesy of spoiling Ser Pounce, and making him promise to keep her visit a secret, she assures him of her impending return before slinking away. You have to hand it to the Tyrells; they seem to be pretty good at playing their cards right.
The next morning, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) meets with Jaime and is presented with a brand new suit of armour as well as the Valyrian steel blade that had been given to him by his father. Telling her to use them to protect Sansa to honour their vow to the late Lady Catelyn, he then does another good deed by convincing her to take Podrick (Daniel Portman) with her as a squire. Pod is also bequeathed a Lannister legacy in the form of Tyrion’s axe from the first two seasons, and the two begin their journey once Brienne christens her new sword ‘Oathkeeper’.
We rejoin Jon Snow as he listens to Samwell worrying about his beloved Wildling in Mole’s Town. Sadly for Sam, Jon has bigger concerns as he worries about the more threatening Wildlings across the Wall. He also wonders where the survivors from Winterfell – whose existence Sam has evidently told him about – will go to. In the dining hall, Jon is given permission to try and silence the mutineers at Craster’s but he is only allowed to take volunteers. Grenn and Edd (Ben Crompton), both survivors of the mutiny, surprise everyone by volunteering, and quite a few others join their ranks, including a determined and opportunistic Locke.
Over at Craster’s, Karl (Burn Gorman) seems to have become the new head honcho and bully. When the women reveal they still have one infant boy left as a sacrifice to the gods, Rast (Luke McEwan) is made to abandon the child out in the frozen clearing. Nearby, Hodor (Kristian Nairn) hears the baby’s cries, prompting Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) to warg into his direwolf to investigate. Unfortunately, Summer gets caught in a trap laid out by the mutineers, and when Hodor, Bran, Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) follow his tracks, they get captured too. As they are being interrogated, Jojen experiences one of his seizures and, when his sister is prevented from helping him, Bran reveals his identity. Karl cannot believe his luck and, frankly, neither can we.
Before we can completely register this rather unexpected turn of events however, we finally see what the White Walkers have been up to with Craster’s discarded children. The infant abandoned earlier in the episode is transported by a Walker somewhere deep into the Lands of Always Winter and carefully placed inside a circle of icy columns. Another White Walker, clearly distinguishable by the unusual horns on its face, then touches the child’s face. Immediately, the boy’s eyes turn blue and we realise that the Walkers have been replenishing their armies with Craster’s sacrifices.
Meereen might have been resolved – rather quickly too – but things at King’s Landing and up North continue getting complicated. Join us again next week as the show hits the mid-season mark on Monday.