“High Sparrow” – Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 3 – Review ****

Game of Thrones

Yeeeeee…. oh no. This means there’s only 7 more episodes for this season to end. No. Stop. Please!

We start with a tour of a very weird weird place… and then, Arya! Being used as a domestic goddess at the House of Black and White. And cool dude giving drinks around. What is going on, why is it all so mysterious? What do they do in that house? Raves (that would be wicked)? All men must serve, cool dude says. And then some metaphor about death, we got that. Wait, people go to the house to drink and die? What a shitty rave.

King’s Landing, and Cersei is not having a good day. Everybody loves Margery! And – a wedding! Oh my gods it’s a wedding! And… no one dies! WHAT THE HELL. But then, sex scene! King Tommen discovers sex, and Margery has now the bed power! A moment of silence for Joffrey, and then Margery uses her recently acquired bed politics to attack her new mother-in-law. Ohh, the girl is smart like a snake. And then Cersei tries to attack back! But…well, she can’t use the same cards as Margery, can she? I mean, incest and all, but there are limits. So she finds out what her daughter-in-law is trying to do (hint: get her the hell out of King’s Landing).

Margery has a sex talk with her friends, and then mother in law arrives. Much hypocrisy, such friends. Margery remembers Cersei of the passing years and ticking clock, and Cersei makes the most threatening “anything you need” offer ever.


Back to … Winterfelt? Is that Theon? Strange traumatized Theon? And…flayed bodies. Loads of flayed bodies. Father Bolton and Bastard Bolton speak politics, and discuss marriage arrangements! Ohhh, another wedding, let’s hope it’s a Dothraki one. Suitable bride? Who in the hell would marry crazy Bolt- oh no. No no no no.

Westeros’s most unfortunate girl, Sansa, realizes she is once again betrothed to a most despicable man (only she does not know it… yet). Littlefinger works his reverse psychology technique, and Sansa goes willingly into another rubbish engagement. Watching from a distance, just to remember the audience they’re still somehow in the story, Brienne and Podric watch. They have a lovely talk about Podric’s age inadequacy to be a squire, and Brienne promises to train him to be a knight. So he’s like the Knight Kid, and let’s expect sword training montages. Brienne also tells the story of how she met Renly – and how she got the nickname of Brienne the Beauty (some changes here, book readers, it’s all politically correct). She also reveals she knew about Renly’s preferences between the sheets , and how she felt guilty about not being able to protect him. She ends up promising to one day to revenge Renly… into the flesh and bone of Stannis Baratheon.

Cut to Stannis and Lord Commander Jon Snoooow. Jon refuses Stannis’s offer to become a Stark and recover the North, and Stannis remembers him how that kind of graceful and honorable logic killed Ed Stark. Daavos also tries his way with Jon (not that way, perverts!), but on a smarter way – always the diplomat, good old pirate Daavos.


Arya is upgraded from girl with broom to hitting toy. She is told that to become ‘no one’ she needs to get rid of Arya Stark’s stuff – that, of course, includes Needle, which gives a very emotional scene where Arya is incapable of thowing her sword into the river and hides it instead (we’re pretty sure this is plot relevant).  After dumping her clothes and possessions, Arya can now go into Level 2 which, fortunately for her, is not underwater. She just needs to clean up corpses and stuff. Clearly very useful when becoming a killer. Level three she learns how to cover her killing rooms with plastic, and on four she moves to Miami and buys a boat. Or so we’ve heard.

Sansa meets her betrothed, Ramsey, and immediately falls in love with him. He wants her to sign a contract, though, so they can go proper weird in the dungeon, but she’s not so sure about it. Why can’t they have a normal, loving relationship, with no flogging involved?

(The North remembers that thing that happened in season three)

Jon Snow has the “who needs to clean the toilet” talk with his brothers (no passive agressive post is allowed on the Walll). Then he tries to get rid of Lord Janis, but he’s not that keen on going to live in a bunch of ruins (fair enough). Jon then has to prove his authority for the first time, so he goes outside with his big sword and puts Janis’s head on the block. For a moment we think Jon Knows Nothing Snow will hesitate, when Lord Janis asks for mercy. But then, BAM. I mean, SLASH. Big Bad Jon. Stannis is proud. He went full Targaryen on Lord Janis’s head. I mean, Stark. He goes full Stark on his head.


Brothel!! Boobs!! And the naked High Septon. But the lovely scene is interrupted by the Sparrows (remember them from the 5 seconds on the last episode?), that forces the Septon to walk naked through the city roads (extremely important plot point). The Septon complains to the King’s council, but Cersei sees an opportunity (more to be revealed soon) into the whole religious kerfuffle.  So she goes to meet the High Sparrow (episode title, so clearly important plot point), which is a bit like Saint Francis, caring for the poor, being humble and all. Basically, he looks like a harmless old man, which in the Game of Thrones  world means: BEWARE. Oh. Do. Beware. But Cersei clearly isn’t following the series, so she decides to be friends with him and invite him for some power sharing. 

Cersei sends a message to Littlefinger using the strange doctor (clearly there’s a reason for Cersei to enter that room), and we see a Frankenstein like creature in the back – and no, not even the book readers know what the hell is that. Littlefinger and Ramsey have a heartfelt conversation, where Ramsey promises never to hurt Sansa, but that beautiful moment is interrupted by Lord Bolton, who brings Littlefinger Cersei’s message. I mean, wow, such quickness – was it 1st class? Telegram? Who needs email?? Bolton questions Baelish’s motivation to betray the Lannisters, and Baelish goes all hardcore strategy to control of the North.


Tyrion!! We almost ended the episode without seeing him. He finally convinces Varys to let him out in the world, and they have a lovely stroll seeing the strange system of slave casts from the East, and a sexy Red Priest. We speak about greyscale again (clearly not relevant to the future story). The Red Priest does look to Tyrion in a very strange way (soooo not relevant to the plot or to some craaazy fan theories), so they decide to go to a brothel instead. Unfortunately for Tyrion, he needs to use the bathroom which ends up in him being kidnapped by a mysterious knight (not that mysterious, but hey, I can’t tell you everything that happens, right?)

Episode Stats:

Boobs – Ohhh, aplenty.

Sex scenes – 1 (The aftermath)

Decapitations – 1

Tyrion’s favourite witticism: “Who needs wealth when you can make a woman laugh”

Character of the day – Cersei. Because I am a smug book reader and know what’s going to happen next, ha-ha.

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.