Episode 43: High Sparrow


“There’s no justice in the world, not unless we make it.”
– Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish

In season 5 episode 3, High Sparrow, sees Margaery finally achieves her goal of becoming Queen of Westeros with her marriage to Tommen. Cersei senses a power shift and looks for new allies in King’s Landing. Jon faces challenges to his command at the Wall and his top spot on the leaderboard. While in Braavos Arya gets drawn further into the world of the Faceless Men.

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In the House of Black and White, Jaqen offers a man a cup from the temple’s fountain Arya grows impatient serving the Faceless Men, asking when she will be trained. Jaqen explains that they serve the many faced god. Arya is confused seeing many effigies to other gods of the world in the temple, but he tells her that they are all one god, Death. She looks back to the man who drank from the fountain who is now dead. His body is removed and Arya asks where they are taking him, but receives no answer.

In King’s Landing Margaery and Tommen are wed. Cersei is irked by the people calling Margaery’s name and ignoring her entirely. Tommen and Margaery spend their first night together and seem well suited to one another. Margaery sets to work planting seeds for Cersei’s dismissal mentioning how she admires how Cersei will always see him as her baby boy in need of protection. He speaks with Cersei offering she may be happier at Casterly Rock, but she refuses seeing Margaery’s hand in this she pays her daughter in law a visit. Margaery is all too pleased to receive Cersei with her ladies, making pointed comments that it is too early for them but she could have wine brought for her. Cersei parts telling Margaery to come to her with anything she needs and hears the ladies laughing as she leaves.
Margaery Tyrell earns 3 Alliance points for marrying Tommen and 3 Crowned points for becoming Queen of Westeros.
Tommen Baratheon earns 3 Alliance points for marrying Margaery.

To the north the Bolton men are at work repairing Winterfell, it seems Ramsay has also been at work as flayed bodies are hung in the yard. At dinner Roose admonishes his son telling him they cannot rule the north through fear alone. They were backed by Tywin Lannister, but Tywin is dead and the southern armies cannot be counted on for aid. Ramsay must marry and Roose has found the perfect bride to solidify their hold on the North.

Sansa and Littlefinger arrive at Moat Cailin to her surprise. She deduces that the marriage proposal Littlefinger received was not for him, but her. She quickly becomes distressed declaring she will not marry her brother’s murderer, but Littlefinger calms her telling her it is his son she would marry. He tells her it may be hard to live among enemies, but it is far from Cersei and a chance for revenge. Brienne and Pod watch from a nearby hill, she is confident she knows where they are going.
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish earns 3 Alliance points for arranging Sansa’s marriage to Ramsay.
Roose Bolton earns 3 Alliance points for arranging Ramsay’s marriage to Sansa.

Brienne and Podrick make camp and Brienne asks how he found himself in service to Tyrion. He explains it was a sort of punishment for them both, though it never felt that way. Brienne takes his comments as a slight against her and apologizes that he is forced to squire “for such a nasty person.” He surprises her by saying he’s not sorry as she’s the best fighter he’s ever seen and if she wasn’t hard on him he wouldn’t learn anything. Brienne promises that she will train him to become a knight. He asks how she came to serve Renly and Brienne tells him how Renly had shown her kindness and it forever endeared him to her. She knew he was gay, but that did not temper her devotion. She still feels guilt for being unable to save him, but vows she will avenge him by killing Stannis.

At Castle Black Stannis and Davos meet with Jon, now Lord Commander, he has made Olly his steward in hopes he may one day succeed him. Stannis again offers to make him a Stark, but Jon declines. Having been made Lord Commander his place is the Wall. Stannis is displeased and announces he will be riding for Winterfell shortly, but there is still the question of the wildlings. Stannis would still have them in his army if Jon can convince Tormund to fight for him.

Arya is visited by the Waif who begins playing “the game of faces with her.” Jaqen says she is not ready and when Arya argues he points out that she cannot be no one as she is surrounding by the belongings of Arya Stark. That night Arya goes out and drops all her belongings in the river, with the exception of Needle. Unable to part with her sword she hides it among some rocks. Back at the temple Arya is allowed to accompany the Waif as she takes a dead man into the back room and washes the body.

Sansa arrives at Winterfell and arms herself in courtesy when greeted by the Boltons. Myranda watches with seething jealousy. Sansa is escorted to her rooms and reminded that her family is not forgotten when a serving woman whispers to her “The north remembers.”

Back at the Wall Jon addresses his brothers for the first time as their Lord Commander. He notes Maester Aemon’s absence and Sam explains he is not well. Alliser Thorne waits sullenly expecting to be given humiliating duty such as digging the latrine pit, but Jon surprises him by making him First Ranger. Jon gives Janos Slynt command of Greyguard, another castle on the wall. Janos refuses calling it a ruin, Jon explains this is a command, but Janos still refuses. Seeing no other option Jon asks for his sword and demands Janos be brought to the yard. Taken to the block for execution Janos breaks down in sobs saying he will follow Jon’s command but it is too late. Like his father before him, Jon believes the one who passes the sentence swings the sword and he beheads Janos Slynt.
Alliser Thorne earns 3 Honors points for his new position as First Ranger.
Janos Slynt receives -5 Death points for his execution.
Jon Snow earn 3 Morghulis points for his execution of Janos.

In King’s Landing the High Septon enjoys himself at Littlefinger’s brothel with no less than 2 young women, however his fun is interrupted by the pious Sparrows, among them Lancel Lannister. They decry his sinful ways and force him to make a penitence walk naked through the street. The humiliated leader of The Faith goes to the small council asking that the Sparrows and their leader be punished. Cersei seems intrigued and goes to meet the dubbed High Sparrow. She finds him barefoot serving food to the poor and he explains his view that we are all equal in the eyes of the gods. Cersei tells him of her visit from the High Septon and his plea to imprison the Sparrows. She reveals she instead imprisoned him as she agrees that the High Septon’s actions were corrosive. “The Faith and the Crown are the two pillars that hold up this world. If one collapses, so does the other,” she tells them they must endeavor to help one another.
High Septon receives -3 Defeat points for his humiliating walk of atonement and -1 Captured points for his imprisonment.
Cersei Lannister earns 1 Capture point for imprisoning the High Septon and 3 Alliance points for choosing to ally with the High Sparrow.
High Sparrow earns 3 Alliance points for finding favor with Cersei.

Cersei goes to see Qyburn and asks that he send a raven to Littlefinger in the Eyrie, as she is unaware of his trip to Winterfell. She inquires as to how Qyburn work is going. He says the results have been positive, but there is still much to do. The queen takes her leave and a figure stirs under a sheet. It seems Qyburn’s work has kept Gregor Clegane alive after all.

At Winterfell Littlefinger speaks with Ramsay noting he has not heard much of him which is rare considering his network of spies. Roose interrupts and asks if Littlefinger is prepared for the consequences of betraying the Lannisters. Littlefinger assures him that the Lannisters do not have the power they once did with Tywin dead and Jaime maimed. The Queen Mother may be furious at news of the marriage, but Queen Margaery and Sansa were friends in King’s Landing. Roose still seems skeptical and produces a message that has arrived for Littlefinger from Cersei. He does not attempt to hide that he has already read the message and insists he sees the reply Littlefinger sends.

Tyrion and Varys arrive in Volantis with Tyrion’s cabin fever reaching new heights. Varys fears Tyrion is more likely to be spotted in such a large city, but he cannot talk Tyrion down. The two walk the city streets and Varys explains the Volantis slave system and how each slave is tattooed with a mark to symbolize their work (flies for dung collectors, tears for whores, etc.). They come upon a Red Priestess preaching of Daenerys as the savior, a claim Tyrion finds dubious. He is unnerved when the priestess seems to be staring directly at him and they quickly move away. Unsurprisingly Tyrion insists they go to a brothel. He manages to charm one of the women into bedding him despite his lack of coin, but in the end cannot go through with it. He steps outside to relieve himself on to be surprised by an attacker. It is Jorah Mormont, he binds and gags Tyrion declaring he is taking him to the Queen.
Jorah Mormont earns 1 Capture point for apprehending Tyrion.
Tyrion Lannister receives -1 Capture point for being apprehended by Jorah.

House Teams
5.3-House Teams

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