Game of Thrones is an HBO show with an abundance of characters who find themselves in terrible situations. Soon, the audience finds ourselves with fewer characters and a greater sense of shock and awe. But not every character deserves the treatment that author George R.R. Martin and producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have given them. Here’s a look at who we truly pity after the fourth episode of season 6, “Book of the Stranger.”
Warning: Spoilers aplenty.
Loras is frightened out of his sanity.
Ser Loras Tyrell is the handsome former lover of the late King Renly Baratheon and the brother of Margaery, the pretty former wife of the late King Renly Baratheon. Both Loras and Margaery are prisoners of the High Sparrow of the Faith, the primary religion of Westeros.
The High Sparrow removes Margaery from her cell and tells her the tale of how he came to find religion. Then, he sends her to Loras’ cell, to speak with him. She finds her brother lying on the floor in filth, a broken shadow of his former self.
[Pictured: Happier, less filthy, times.]
Margaery tells Loras to remain strong. But after weeks, perhaps months, of an unknown fate (beatings? starvation? having their Bible read at him over and over?), Loras no longer cares about his position as the heir to House Tyrell.
“Just make it stop,” he says, crying. Poor Loras.
Jon and Sansa
Jon Snow and Sansa Stark are half-siblings who share a father (or so they think, see this Geek & Sundry article about Jon Snow’s birth), and in this episode, they meet for the first time since season 1. (In the show, they never interacted; in the novels, Sansa regards him as her bastard half-brother and nothing else.)
Sansa wants Jon to retake Winterfell. Jon doesn’t. “I’m tired of fighting….I’ve killed men I admire, I hanged a boy younger than Bran. I fought and I lost.”
[We consider being stabbed to death “losing.”]
But when they receive a threatening letter from Ramsay Bolton, they know they have to take action. No matter what happens, it’s going to cost lives. I’m happy to see Sansa safe, and I’m happy to Jon alive. But I’m already infused with a sense of dread.
Once upon a first season, Osha was a Wildling, captured by House Stark and made to serve them. But in time, she and the Starks grew to trust each other, and she was tasked with keeping young Rickon Stark safe.
Last week, we saw her and Rickon captured by Ramsay “Crazy Eyes” Bolton. This week, Ramsay asks her to explain herself and her loyalties, and she goes for a sexy distraction while eyeing Ramsay’s dagger.
Ramsay, who had heard Theon’s tale of Osha’s fealty to House Stark, doesn’t fall for her womanly wiles. Ramsay dispatches Osha with a knife swipe to her throat. The loyal Osha bleeds out onto a floor of Castle Winterfell.
The Young Khaleesi
The crones of the Dosh Khaleen are the former wives of the Dothraki khals, and they dispense wisdom from their permanent home in Vaes Dothrak. Daenerys has been unwillingly brought there, where she waits judgment on whether or not she will stay (alive).
I would feel sorry for Dany, but it’s impossible, because every problem is actually an opportunity for her to grab life by the testicles and squeeze. However, I did feel sorry for the young Lhazareen Khaleesi (currently unnamed) who befriended Dany, because the girl had been married by force, then had her ribs broken when she bore her Khal a girl. But now that she’s met Dany, it seems her her luck has turned for the better.
We would feel sorry for the Khals, but they threatened to rape Dany. I cheered when she burned them to death.
[Daenerys eats the hearts of her enemies.]
Ser Yohn Royce
Yohn has long been a loyal friend to House Arryn, helping the late Jon, the late Lysa, and now the current young lord, Robin Arryn.
When Petyr Baelish appears (finally!), he gives the unintelligent/disturbed Robin a gift of a falcon. Baelish then hints that Yohn hasn’t so been loyal, after all. That’s all it takes for Robin to threaten to give Yohn a short push off a tall cliff.
Petyr soothes Robin’s bloodlust and redirects it toward helping his cousin Sansa against Ramsay Bolton. This shows Royce that even though Robin has the official power, Petyr has it unofficially.
Royce now knows, in no uncertain terms, that the hand that rocks the crazy cradle rules the Vale.
[Such a pleasant child]
I feel sorry for Margaery after this episode, not because of what she has done, but because of what Cersei, Jaime, and the Small Council are about to do: They plan on rescuing her from the High Sparrow. Specifically, to send Tyrell troops against the Faith.
Do Cersei and Jaime really think their plan is going to work? Really? Because the best-laid plans of Game of Thrones characters go oft awry as do all of Cersei’s. And the person who will bear the brunt of this will be Margaery.
[Margaery was married to Joffrey. Hasn’t she suffered enough?]
For the first time since Bran and Rickon split up, Jon and Sansa’s meeting was the first time that two Starks shared a scene together.
Jorah and Daario seek out Dany in Vaes Dothrak. A few murders in, they find her. Lucky for them, she’s the brain and the brawns of her own escape.
Theon is back home, where he learns his father is dead. His sister Yara (Asha in the books) pretty much spits on him—Theon had been too brainwashed to follow her rescue attempt—at his arrival. But he may be back in his sister’s good graces when he tells her, “You should rule the Iron Islands. Let me help you.”
Against the feelings of Missandei and Grey Worm, Tyrion compromises with the masters of the nearby cities: They will keep slavery, but only for seven more years.
Davos asks Melisandre what happened to Shireen—not knowing that Melisandre was the one who killed her by having her burned alive as a sacrifice. Melisandre doesn’t have a chance to answer. I can’t wait to see his response when he learns the truth.
Brienne tells Melisandre and Davos that she was the one who killed Stannis. And a good day to you both. Good day.
What did you think of the episode? Who’s going to get the short straw next week? Let us know in the comment section below.
Featured Image Credits: HBO