Riverlands: Arya tries to kill Sandor with a rock. He tells her she can go ahead and try but if she fails he’ll break her hands. She sulks as they ride off, and he gets prickly, pointing out that he helped her sister. She doesn’t trust him, obviously, but soon he also explains that he’s taking her to the Twins for her uncle’s wedding. (Beautiful shot of the Red Fork here, by the way.) She can’t supress her smile.
Yunkai: Dany meets with Mero, leader of the Second Sons, a group of sell swords defending the city. He is… he is just terrible. He treats her and her advisors rudely and claims he’s unafraid of her Unsullied. His lieutenant, Daario, is more cautious, though clearly shrewd. He’s also pretty obviously interested in Dany, albeit in a less ribald way than Mero. Dany sends them on their way with a barrel of wine to consider her offer to join them.
Storm’s End: Gendry has a less-than-heartfelt reunion with his uncle. Davos, still imprisoned, is still trying to learn to read. Stannis comes to visit him, to gloat/act self-righteously about sacrificing Gendry to the Lord of Light for ultimate victory. Davos, being not a complete cockbag, counsels restraint, pointing out that Gendry (unlike Renly) has done no harm. Davos is good people.
Yunkai: the leaders of the sellswords debate what to do about Daenerys. Mero decides she must be dispensed; Daario is selected for the job.
King’s Landing: Sansa’s getting all done up for her wedding. Before the ceremony, Tyrion comes in to make a very clumsy apology for her getting sucked into this. She’s distraught, but seems to have come to terms with the idea that he’s definitely not the worst Lannister, even though that’s sort of like not being worse than Hitler (Godwin’s Law seemed valid here). Margery tries to cosy up to Cercei, who is having none of that. She instead tells the story of the Reyens of Castamere, i.e. the family that the song Rains of Castamere is about- basically they were once the second-wealthiest family in Westeros, until Tywin ruined all their shit. Then she tells Margie to fuck right off before Cercei slits her throat. Oh and look, speaking of shit-eating grins, Joffery comes to walk Sansa down the aisle, seeing as Ned can’t because Joff His Lord Assbutt had him killed. To add a little more insult to the game, he takes the step stool away from the apse, so Sansa has to kneel when Tyrion puts the Lannister robe over he shoulders.
Storm’s End: Gendry is impressed by the king’s digs. Mellisandre comes in to both commiserate with his condition and to proselytise a bit about his sacred blood. She decides to get his holy blood pumping by taking off her clothes and seducing him, because this is still HBO. After a quick ride on top, she ties him up, because she’s into that sort of thing, and puts three leeches on him, including one on his dick AND WAS THAT REALLY NECESSARY? Stannis comes in (awkward) and takes the blood-plump leeches, casting them into the first whilst saying the names Balon Greyjoy, Robb Stark, and Joffery Baratheon- the three “pretenders” to the throne.
King’s Landing: Tyrion is doing his very best to get entirely shitfaced at his wedding, which I firmly believe is the only acceptable way to handle a wedding, so carry on good sir. Olenna lists off all the weird, complicated incest relationships between the Tyrells and the Lannisters once everyone is wed. Tywin yells at Tyrion for being schnackered; he’s unapologetic. Loras tries to talk to Cercei but she summarily dismisses him in such a way that, even though she’s inarguably a giant cunt, makes me really like just how terrible she is. Joffery stops by to threaten Sansa with a little rape, just to spice things up! He then tries to initiate the bedding ceremony, which Tyrion puts an end to by threatening to castrate him. Tywin intercedes on behalf of his inebriated son, saying it was a joke; to prove the point, Tyrion starts laughing and goes on to drunkenly make fun of himself. It’s actually hilarious; I don’t know why more of the courtiers weren’t cracking up like I was. I guess I’m not fit to be royalty. When they do reach the boudoir, Sansa begins to disrobe, but Tyrion states that Tywin can just go fuck himself, and vows not to touch her until she’s ready… even if that’s never.
Yunkai: Missandei tries to teach Dany how to properly speak Dothraki whilst she bathes when Daario indeed sneaks into the camp. He delivers the heads of his captains, and swears himself and the Second Sons to Dany’s cause. Turns out a dripping wet, naked teenaged girl can be incredibly persuasive.
King’s Landing: Shae brings the newlyweds their breakfast, slamming the tray down and jostling Tyrion for Sansa’s robe. When she goes to collect the bed sheets it’s clear the two of them haven’t slept together; Tyrion and Shae share knowing looks and both look almost pleased.
North of the Wall: Sam and Gilly find a weirwood and an abandoned shack to hang out in for the night. He tries to make conversation with her, but she gets frustrated because of his grandiose manner of speaking- it’s okay Sam, I know that feel. They then discuss names for the baby, and Sam confesses to her that his father, Randall, is kind of a dick, though not the same way Craster was. All the meanwhile, ravens have been alighting upon the weirwood, which is a pretty good clue something bad is afoot. Sure enough, the ravens fall silent and a wright approaches. It easily splinters Sam’s sword and approaches Gilly for the baby; in desperation Sam pulls out the obsidian dagger he found in the north and plunges it into the wright’s back. It turns to ice and splinters, and Gilly and Sam flee in the black flurry of a murder of ravens.
I'm of the opinion that this episode is a solid argument for what I’ve been saying all along- things move along more steadily if you don’t try to be everywhere at once. Since we were mostly in King’s Landing, Yunkai, and Storm’s End, it actually feels like progress has been made. Plus, you know, drunk Tyrion/Peter Dinklage is fantastic, which is really a given at this point.
Next week: Just kidding! No episode next week! But that’s okay because you should be busy watching Arrested Development anyway.