EUGOTSOC Committee review of Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3: “Oathbreaker” written by – Haavard Haugvaldstad: Treasurer.

Episode 3 of the season starts right back up from where episode 2 left off, Jon gasping for breath, and Davos looking perplexed, as if this wasn’t exactly what he was hoping for. Even Melisandre can’t seem to believe her eyes. Jon seems just as perplexed as anyone, but after a quick pep-talk from eternal right-hand man Davos, Jon manages to wince his way out into the courtyard of Castle Black. Jon has a touching moment with Edd, and Tormund responds to resurrection in exactly the same way he responds to everything, penis jokes. Later Jon meets four of his killers at the gallows, ready to hang. He hears their last words, Ser Alliser Thorne is unremorseful and has his head held high. Olly says nothing at all. Jon seems to hesitate before he cuts the rope, but in the end the conspirators die. Presumably the rest of the conspirators receive the same treatment. Jon promptly hands over his coat to Edd, saying it’s his turn to be lord commander, Jon’s watch is ended.

Immediately following the Wall is Sam and Gilly spending time under deck as their ship makes its way through a storm. Sam breaks it to Gilly that girls aren’t allowed in Oldtown. Gilly must be getting pretty annoyed at how many places are “boys only” in the south. Sam wants to send Gilly and her son to his home Horn Hill to have his family look after the pair. All in all, it’s a pretty good scene, but I admit I think the scene suffers from having Sam being sick. It feels a bit too much like a cheap joke that shouldn’t have been there in an otherwise good scene. But that aside I certainly look forward to a potential look at Sam’s home town Horn Hill and seeing his father for the first time. Sam was a coward when he left home and I think it’ll be interesting to see how the relationship dynamic between the two will work after all this time.

The Tower of Joy sequence has been highly anticipated by the lore obsessed fans of the series since the season trailer was released, but this episode only teases the Tower of Joy, although we did get a pretty kick-ass fight scene to enjoy. Featuring Arthur Dayne, and Gerold Hightower as the last loyal undefeated Targaryen men, and a young (very northern) Ned Stark and Howland Reed with friends as the opponents. 6 men from Robert’s rebellion vs. 2 of the Mad King’s kingsguard, oh and Bran and the Three-eyed raven are there too as spectators. The scene is interesting in several ways, it shows Ned Stark winning in a less than honourable way with the help of Howland Reed (must be rouge spec’d for that backstab crit dmg), and also it seems that Ned could hear Bran when he called out to him. Exactly what that means is hard to tell as They are clearly viewing the past, could magic have some effect even through time? This is surely a setting we will return to this season I’m looking forward to it a lot. The ToJ hype is real.

Daenerys arrives at Vaes Dothrak this episode, for some reason on foot, you’d think a khal’s widow would be shown a bit of respect even though she ran away and was later captured. The Dosh Khaleen greet her in their temple and inform Daenerys that since she has broken the law and gone into the world rather than return to the Dosh Khaleen as she should have according to Dothraki law, her fate will be decided by the Khalar Vezhven. This is a gathering of the Khals to agree on different matters that concern them. It’s probably a good thing that the dothraki can’t spill blood in their holy city or I imagine this type of gathering of khals could get pretty interesting from time to time. It should be an interesting scene anyway when (if) we get to see the actual meeting take place, but that’s for another episode.

In Mereen Varys struggles with the heat, but persists. He holds a meeting with a harpy sympathiser who has information he wants. It’s a chilling scene as Varys channels Hannibal Lecter and plays with his guest’s mind in a cold and almost cruel manner. The background music in this scene was particularly good, a very low ominous chord for the duration of the scene. But as we find out Varys doesn’t need to kill or torture, he says it himself, he likes to make his informers happy. Meanwhile Tyrion tries to pass the time by getting on Missandei and Grey Worm’s good sides. It doesn’t seem to work. Tyrion cracks jokes and tries to get the others to drink, also unsuccessfully. This scene feels a bit too much like filler to get the run time up, nothing really comes from it plot wise and there’s no real character development. But at least we get to hear who funds the Sons of the Harpy, Astapor (unsurprisingly), Yunkai (unsurprisingly), and more interestingly the slavers from Volantis. We haven’t seen or heard much of Volantis and it could be very interesting to have this large rich player enter the game of thrones.

From one royal court to another, Qyburn has taken over command of Varys’ “little birds” and Cersei wants him to develop a Stasi style spy network to gather information on everyone in the Seven Kingdoms, from lords to common folk. At the Small Council meeting Pycelle voices his disapproval of Qyburn yet again, but that ends when Cersei, Jamie, and undead Gregor crash the meeting. Mace (The Oaf) Tyrell is back from Braavos but makes no mention of any missing Kingsguard (sadly). Also present is the Queen of Thorns and Kevan Lannister. Jamie argues that the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard has a position on the Small Council, and Cersei refuses to leave. It all ends at an impasse as the members of the council all leave rather than continue. Meanwhile Tommen meets with the High Septon to argue on Cersei’s behalf. The High Septon quickly defuses the tense situation with some wisdom and pious talk, and manages to make Tommen leave empty handed again. These scenes showcase the political intrigues ongoing in King’s Landing, and I think they were perhaps the best part of the episode. King Tommen is weak and easily manipulated, he’s in a mess of someone else’s making and he doesn’t know how to get out. Cersei is scrambling to regain some power and pride; Jamie mostly just goes with it but shows that he doesn’t really know how to play the game. But most importantly, I think, House Lannister is split between Kevan and Cersei, and with the Queen of Thorns in King’s Landing House Tyrell is back in the game. The alliance between the lion and the rose is on shaky ground and House Lannister is especially splintered. I think we’re in for a treat this season with the political intrigue in King’s Landing.

Right at the end of the episode are a few short scenes, the first of which is Arya undergoing training to become no-one. We briefly see Arya smell different powders, probably poisons, and as the montage progresses Arya becomes increasingly proficient at fighting blind, and at lying. It culminates with Jaqen-not-Jaqen giving Arya a bowl of the deadly water from the fountain in the House of Black and White, saying that if she truly is no-one then she will live. Arya regains her eye-sight and confirms, she is no-one.

The second scene is Lord Umber meeting with Ramsay in Winterfell, he claims the northerners need to help each other with the wildling threat. Especially if the wildling host is led by Jon Snow. The Lord Umber in true northern style proves hard to work with and refuses to kneel to Ramsay. The big shock this episode is the appearance of Rickon Stark the long lost Stark son, handed over to Ramsay as a gift, with proof of his lineage, the head of his direwolf. The viewers can only shiver at the thought of what might happen to the poor boy.

Overall this was a decent episode, betrayal and dishonourable actions are a central theme throughout. The oathbreakers at the Wall pay for it with their lives, and Jon lawyers his way out of the Night’s Watch on the technicality that he’s already died for it. At the Tower of Joy Howland Reed wins the day with a literal backstab, and honourable Ned finishes Dayne off. Daenerys is a lawbreaker in the eyes of the Dothraki and the prostitute Varys meets with betrays her ideological convictions for the safety of herself and her son. Lord Umber joining the ranks of the traitors by betraying Rickon was a harsh blow, House Bolton and Karstark were bad enough, but the Umbers were supposed to be “loyal Stark banner men”. This episode had a bit slower pace than the first two, like the dust settling after the previous weeks, which by all means is fine, but I felt there were a bit too many filler moments and easy jokes for my taste. Pycelle farting at the sight of undead Gregor in particular stands out. On a scale from 1 – 10 I rate this episode a 7/10, not bad by any margin, but not great either. And great is what we expect from our favourite show. I’m really looking forward to seeing the continuation of the series, all the storylines are interesting and as always there are unexpected twists. I think we’re in for a great season.




This will be the EUGOTSOC Committee review of Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2: ‘Home’ written by myself – Alexander Petkov: Publicity Officer.

When the show-runners announced that after the end of this season they’ll have material left for approximately 13 episodes more, I could not envision this being the case unless every single episode of series 6 had a strong overall plot-propelling nature heading directly into the endgame. Well, it’s been only 2 episodes but that is exactly what we got so far. Episode 2: ‘Home’ was all I could hope for at this early stage in the season and yet it was not what I was expecting. Usually the second episode of each Game of Thrones season is burdened by the task of being a ‘season-opener’ for all the characters not addressed in the premiere. I cannot be happier that that is not the case with S6E2. Especially with a title like ‘Home’ I would have expected to see Sam reuniting with his family at Horn Hill, Daenerys reaching Vaes Dothrak and probably a peak at ‘Blackfish’ Tully in the Riverlands (who I think is going to be in this season). Also still missing from this season are key players in King’s Landing like the Queen of Thorns and Littlefinger. Instead Episode 2 continued the trend started by ‘The Red Woman’ by giving us a brutal, funny, heartfelt episode which not only accelerates the overall arc of the story immensely but also giving the notion of ‘home’ a deeper meaning.

The episode opens with Bran sharing a vision of Winterfell years ago with the Three-eyed Raven. We see them observing the courtyard much like Ned and Catelyn did in the Season 1 pilot. In fact invoking imagery from previous seasons of the show is a recurring theme throughout this episode. We also get a nice mirror of Jon Snow training Olly in S5E1 (‘The Wars to Come’) in Ned Stark sparring with Benjen, made complete by the line that both Ned and Jon say: ‘Put your shield up or I’ll ring your head like a bell’. I have a feeling that this character parallel will only get more reinforced this season when we see more of Ned Stark during Robert’s Rebellion in Bran’s visions. We also get a glimpse of Lyanna Stark and a young talking Hodor. This raises the question if the show is going to address the character’s transition to his current state in this season. This whole scene as seen from Bran’s perspective perfectly describes the running theme of this episode. Even though the sight of Winterfell decades ago is not something we’ve seen before, there is this warm nostalgic, familiar feeling about it. When put into perspective you can see why the showrunners have stated that the theme of the season is ‘Homecoming’. This introduces the character’s metaphorical ‘Return Home’ which is part of the ‘Hero’s Journey’ and marks the beginning of the final third act of the overall story arc.

The same idea can be seen in the King’s Landing scenes as well. Jaime’s character seems to have gone full circle. His confrontational scene with the High Sparrow in Baelor’s sept shows the ruthless and smartly impulsive side of Jamie that we haven’t seen much of since Season 1. His assassination of the Mad King is once again referenced in the show, which probably implies that this past event still may come to affect the show’s present (especially now when as show-spectators we may witness it through Bran’s perspective). Another character who deserves some attention is Cersei. She’s lost most of the power she’s accumulated since the first season. Last episode we saw her acknowledge the inevitability of her fate and nowhere is this better manifested than in the scene where she decides to obey her son the King’s orders to remain in the Red Keep restricting her from attending her own daughter’s funeral (Ser Robert Strong is amazing). She’s back to a position of little influence around a powerless king (Her husband Robert in Season 1 and now her son Tommen). This time around, however, her quiet calculating nature is more due to this newfound nihilistic take on life. This really makes me curious as to what will push her over the edge this season when she decides to ‘choose violence’ (as in the trailers) as her character is currently nowhere near that stage. Even though she’s at a completely different state in her development this season from how she started out as, there’s still that nostalgic air around her scenes which is to an extent also due to the brilliant pacing of her scenes which I can’t help but feel is meant to mirror that of Season 1.

The invocation of the imagery of ‘home’ in the context of the ‘Hero’s Journey’ has also some more tragic implications when associated with Theon’s character. His decision to return to the Iron Islands is in perfect contrast to the reminiscing that Sansa and Brianne have together in that same scene. Theon’s character has gone through a lot of change over the series and he’s long since reached the point of considering the Starks to be his true family. Now finally free of Ramsey’s control he decides that he should leave the people he cares most about because he believes he deserves no redemption for the wrong he’s done to them. The only option he sees for his future is to return to the Iron Islands where he knows he would not be welcomed well. This ‘home’ is a metaphorical grave for his character.

In light of what’s going on at the Iron Islands, however, this part of his ‘Hero’s Journey’ is more likely to end up in an endgame call to action (but we’ll have to wait and see). As I started, in Pyke we finally witness the long over-due death of Balon Greyjoy and get introduced to Euron (who I’m really excited to see more of as soon as possible). This scene in particular shows another face of the episode – the incredibly clever and snappy rhetoric that the characters exchanged (In this case mostly Yara and Balon).

Nowhere, however, is the enjoyably clever dialogue more prominent than in the Mereeen scenes with Tyrion and Varys. These two work off each other so brilliantly both in their rhetoric as well as their fascial expressions. If there’s something this episode was abundant in, it was quotable lines such as: ‘That’s what I do, I drink and I know things’ and ‘Don’t eat the help’. (There were also some perfect lines delivered by Melisandre later in the episode but I’ll get to those later). It should be noted that Tyrion’s interaction with the dragons is absolutely priceless as it was both funny and touching. One huge thing that the Tyrion scene accomplished is the freeing the two remaining Viserion and Rhaegal which should have interesting consequences in the future.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Game of Thrones episode without some unapologetic death and violence and this episode has plenty of that as well. Starting from Wun Wun causing some mayhem at Castle Black during the defence of Jon’s body, to Ser Robert Strong being awesome and finally to the events at Winterfell. Ramsey murders his father when the news is delivered that Walda has given birth to a boy. From the lack of reaction of the Lord of House Karstark at the sight of this event it’s safe to assume that this has been Ramsey’s completely thought out plan. Now that he’s in control of Winterfell and has no one to answer to we can only expect his actions this seasons to get crazier and crazier. In the context of the character’s psyche to be ‘home’ is to be alone (or ‘ an only child’ as he puts it to Walda just before setting loose his hounds on her and her baby) and free. This will certainly accelerate the plot in the North so I’m looking forward to see how this unfolds.

Ramsey, however, is not the only character whose storyline this week has a distorted concept of ‘home’ attached to it. In Braavos Arya has had enough time to contemplate and understand what is required from her in order to be ‘no one’ as she passes Jaqen H’ghar’s test and appears to have cast aside her identity completely. Whether that is indeed the case we’ll have to wait and see (Needle is still hidden away safely). Her return to the House of Black and White is not a ‘Return Home’ but rather a return to ‘taking charge’. Arya understands the rules of the world she’s submerged in and is ready to continue forward.

Finally, it’s time to address the elephant in the room – Jon Snow’s resurrection. Even without the last scene the episode is quite eventful so I have to admit I was not expecting the ending. The long lingering shots of Jon’s body are confirmation enough that he’s not going to just remain dead but still bringing him back this early into the season is a nice surprise. Jon’s importance to the story is also underlined by Davos and Melisandre’s discussion of resurrection (in which Melisandre has some great quotes such as ‘You interrupt nothing’).  Carice van Houten’s performance of a Melisandre sans-faith is extremely good and emotional. If we draw the parallel to Thoros of Myr, who could only resurrect Beric Dondarrion once he’d lost his belief in the Lord of Light we’d expect that having her faith shaken is what Melisandre would need in order to perform this miracle – bringing Jon back to life. I have to admit that even with that in mind I was expecting her first attempt to be unsuccessful. The fact that it wasn’t in my opinion only testifies to the large amount of story that the show will be aiming to cover this season. The resurrection scene itself is perfectly executed, the long still shots of Jon’s body feel tense and somewhat uncomfortable. Him taking his first breath is such an amazing reveal to end the episode on that I truly believe it’s going to remain one of the most iconic moments on the show. Also it is a nice touch that Jon Snow’s resurrection was perfectly timed with the Orthodox Easter.

Overall this is an absolutely superb episode. I genuinely feel afraid to rank it as it was so good yet it’s just the second episode and I have high hopes for the direction this season is going in and I expect ‘Home’ to be topped pretty soon.

In this episode we see a lot of characters facing the changing world around them and managing to find a familiar ‘place’. You can certainly feel how the show is steadily approaching its endgame and yet in all of the ways it invokes imagery from its first seasons it feels like, well, it feels like home.

Thank you for reading my review of ‘Home’ and I hope you are as excited as I am for the coming episodes.


Alexander Petkov

The Red Woman


This will be the EUGOTSOC Committee review of Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1: ‘The Red Woman’ written by myself – Alexander Petkov: Publicity Officer.

I should start by saying that I consider this to be probably the best and most exciting season opener in Game of Thrones to date and all because of all of the ways this episode feels nothing like a season opener. The place in the story where it picks up allows it to instantly address the big cliff-hangers we were left with at the end of last season and to quickly build up its momentum towards naturally propelling the plot forward.

In order to better explore this episode’s strengths and shortcomings it would, however, be appropriate for me to start from the beginning: that first scene which brings us precisely where we left off a year ago – over Jon Snow’s dead body. What follows is a set of perfectly balanced scenes juxtaposing the few remaining brothers of the Night’s Watch loyal to Jon mustering with Ser Davos Seaworth for what might be their last stand, guarding the deceased Lord Commander’s body, with Ser Alliser Thorne defending his actions and quickly convincing the remaining crows that Jon’s death was for the greater good. The big confrontation between these two forces is left for the next episode and I can say that I am hyped. One interesting moment is Melisandre’s frightened gaze upon Jon’s body saying that she saw him in the flames fighting at Winterfell. Game of Thrones is not a show where characters would drop a line like this without it having a serious significance. Thus for me this is more fuel to the foreshadowing of Jon Snow’s return to life before the end of this season.

Another brilliantly well done storyline (which also ended up being quite touching and surprising at the same time) this week is Sansa’s. The music that accompanies her escape with Theon through the woods is as beautiful as it is intense and haunting. Both Sophie Turner’s and Alfie Allen’s performances were exquisite and I could genuinely feel all their character’s emotions as if they were my own. Of course you’d have to look past their jumping off the tall Winterfell battlements unscathed and their crossing an icy river during cold winter weather without dying of hypothermia. If you can do that you’ll be rewarded by a heart-warming scene of the two hugging in almost blissful relief in order to steady their body temperatures. And all this culminates when the two get discovered by Bolton soldiers and then timely rescued by Lady Brianne and Pod (who apparently has trained quite a lot with her as we see him being pretty good with a sword making me and probably a lot of other people as well very happy). I don’t know how to feel about Brianne’s character right now as she got to avenge Renly’s death last thing last season and save Sansa straight after. It seems strange for the show to give her so many victories in a row and almost unnatural (things are going to get much worse very soon, aren’t they…) but I am happy that Sansa is saved. I also very much liked the oath exchange between Brianne and Sansa perfectly mirroring the one the Lady of Tarth had with Catelyn Stark.

At Winterfell we get to see Ramsey a little less confident than usual after losing control over both his wife and his ‘Reek’.  We also get some brutally hilarious insight into his feelings for the deceased Myranda: ‘Feed her to the hounds’. It seems the central conflict in the North is to revolve around the Boltons’ failing control over the land.

In King’s Landing we get a brief scene with Margery in the Black Cells being bullied by Septa Unella. The real focus of that portion of the episode, however, falls on Jamie’s return from Dorne with Myrcella’s corpse. Lena Heady’s performance in the scene where she runs out to meet the coming boat depicts perfectly the quiet desperation and the tragic understanding of her character’s fate. Her exchange with Jamie about Maggy the Frog’s prophecy I felt serves the characters and the story quite well. When the show first explored it in the first episode of last season it was shown from Cersei’s perspective as closely associated with her fear of and hatred for Margery (‘A queen younger, more beautiful will come to cast you down and take everything you hold dear’). This time around, however, we see Cersei acknowledging for the first time her comprehension that the prophecy implies that she will live to see all her children die. This is an important milestone for the character and it feels like this nihilistic sentiment will be outlining her motivation for the rest of the season.

On the topic of King’s Landing, however, there is a big problem connected with the Dornish characters. It is hardly a secret to anyone that the way Dorne was portrayed in last season was one of if not the biggest miss in the show period (and that being a statement most people agree on). Starting with the sloppy label ‘Dorne’ instead of ‘Sunspear’ during the title sequence and moving through the underdeveloped rushed one-dimensional characters, there was certainly a lot to be unhappy for with Dorne. A positive change is that the showrunners seem to have noticed this weak link and have started actively eradicating that storyline starting this first episode. But at what cost? In the season 5 finale we see Myrcella, Bronn, Jamie and Trystane sailing off to King’s Landing while Ellaria Sand and the Sandsnakes remained in Dorne. In this episode we clearly see Trystane being on that same ship in Blackwater Bay sitting in his cabin and painting eye stones for his deceased love’s funeral. Unexplainably the Sandsnakes materialise on that very ship (whilst having stayed behind last time we’ve seen them) in order to kill the prince. The impossibility of this scenario and the fact that Trystane is not at all surprised by their presence leads me to think that this is a continuity error caused by the showrunners’ frantic attempt to end this storyline. Which is a shame as this is not the only strikingly noticeable discrepancy in this episode (which I’ll get to later when I discuss the ending). An explanation of this seeming error is provided online stating that Trystane was sent back by Jamie with the news of Myrcella’s death and that he’s actually in Dorne at the time of his demise. Provided that is the case then this is more of an editing discontinuity rather than a script one as still the introductory shot preceding Trystane’s fate is one of a boat in Blackwater Bay.

In Dorne Prince Doran and Areo Hotah are murdered by Ellaria and Tyene Sand. On one hand it feels refreshing to see that storyline which was going nowhere last season brought to an abrupt end of sorts but it is a scene meant to be shocking at the expense of making sense. It would be wrong for me to say that it contradicts established character development as there was hardly any to begin with for Doran or Areo Hotah (as they did appear on the show very briefly in season 5) but the clever, calculating nature of the Dornish ruler seems undercut and this scene paints him as an oblivious and unlikable monarch (his guards don’t even move a muscle as he’s being struck down). It is true that these characters were never like their book counterparts but I can’t help but feel like the show has done disservice to some potentially interesting characters even more so after choosing to get rid of them and keep the much less popular Sandsnakes as plot tools. Also this is now the second time we see a legendary fighter get easily killed with a tiny knife before we could get a chance at seeing them in a real fight – the first being Barristan Selmy last season and now Areo Hotah. And, of course, this is a trend I don’t really like.

I should say that despite my rant I did find some enjoyment in these scenes and feel like improvement is coming. And moving on to arguably the most fun parts of the episode – the happenings in Essos. I always enjoy Tyrion and Varys as a pair and this episode does deliver its fair share of witty exchange between the two which I absolutely loved. Truly I am quite interested to see how their combined efforts will affect the city.

Watching Daenerys’ scene reminded me how much I missed the Dothraki. Especially the classic line: ‘It is known’. The dialogue during that scene is funny and refreshing and yet has a certain feel of nostalgia to it. I think most people are glad to see Dany outside of Meereen and I must concur. I can’t wait to see her storyline develop this season.

On her trail the duo Daario – Ser Jorah appear for quite a short time onscreen this episode, not nearly enough to explore their new dynamic, but that’s one more thing to look forward to in the future as it may be quite promising.

In Braavos we see Arya struggling to overcome the impairment that is her blindness as her training is resumed by the Waif. Her scene is quite brief and mostly serves to demonstrate that she has a long way to go before she can take charge. In any case I would love to see that storyline progress further in the coming episodes.

Finally, last but certainly not least is the time for me to discuss the ending. One cannot really talk about the episode without addressing it and all its implications. The very last scene of the episode shows Melisandre removing her choker revealing her true appearance – that of a centuries old crone. And that scene alone says so much about the character. After the events of last season, when she realised that Stannis’ victory as she’s seen in the flames will not be, she seemed confused and afraid. It is only natural to assume she has a crisis of faith. Yet during her many year she’s bound to have seen plenty of proof of the Lord of Light’s power (and as show-watchers we’ve witnessed a few too – courtesy to our Red Woman) and the biggest proof is always in front of her in the mirror – the illusion of her youth. Her age and true appearance bring much insight into a lot of her actions in the past and explain her utter surety in her doctrine and her easy dismissal of human life. The scene where she disrobes herself of her glamour provides a different perspective to this fascinating character. During that scene all I could think of is a line she said to Gendry in Season 3 while she was undressing before him: ‘A God is either real or not – you need only eyes to see’. The removal of her glamour is a moment when she’s not questioning her Lord but herself in her quality as his conduit. It is a moment when she feels she needs to see who she is – who she really is without her God. I think this scene was executed perfectly and I absolutely loved it (mind you removing myself from commenting or dwelling on its unapologetically naturalistic nature).

Here, however comes in the second discontinuity in the episode as we’ve already seen Melisandre without her choker once – whilst she was taking a bath in the same room Selyse Baratheon was standing in. This is not as big of a deal as because of the magical nature of the glamour explanations for this discrepancy can be easily found. It is possible that the choker is not the only thing that keeps Melisandre’s glamour. In the bath scene she was using a lot of potions in the water so they could have had an effect. Another interesting theory is that Selyse could always see Melisandre’s true appearance (which explains her weird behaviour and the strange looks she was giving the priestess during the scene). It is further enforced by the following line spoken in that same scene: ‘You don’t need lies. You are strong enough to look into the Lord’s light and see his truth for yourself’.

Overall this episode brilliantly explores the theme of identity for many characters and does a great job at setting the stage for this year’s season whilst also acquiring serious momentum in a few of the main storylines. Seeing as next week’s episode is titled ‘Home’ one may expect that the theme of identity will be further explored in this season for the foreseeable future. I would give this episode a rating of 7.7 (But only so I can leave myself the chance to rate future episodes higher as I really liked this one).

Thank you for reading my review of ‘The Red Woman’ and I hope you are as excited as I am for the coming episodes.


Alexander Petkov

Brand new Game of Thrones Steelbooks (Season 1 and 2) release TODAY!

As members of the Exeter University Game of Thrones Society we all know how long the wait is until season 6 and welcome any chance to drop back into our favourite universe. HBO takes us right back to Westeros with their new limited edition Steelbooks box set in a way we’ve never experienced before.

The Box Set looks absolutely stunning and features new artwork designed by Elastic, the people who created the famous opening credits, and we all know how good they are; Emmy Award winning good! Its minimalistic design gives a classic feel to the new box sets and would be the pride of anyone’s collection. Each series artwork features a different house specific to the season. For instance, season one focuses on Winterfell where we meet the Starks and get a taste of the North. One of our favourite aspects of the design is the corresponding sigil magnet that comes with each box set.

Not only do they look the part, they are the very first TV title to feature Dolby Atmos on Blu-ray. This is Dolby’s new audio technology that has been used in cinemas for the past couple of years and has finally come to a TV box set. We were lucky enough to test out the sound for ourselves down in London and it was genuinely incredible! We watched the Battle of Blackwater and Dolby Atmos really made the episode come to life. It epically teleports you into the chaos of battle; the sound of arrows raining and the clashing of swords surrounding you. The moment when Bronn shoots the arrow was brought to a whole new level as the sound travelled across the room, placing you on the walls of King’s Landing.

We are extremely grateful towards HBO to have had the opportunity to experience this brand new feature and look forward to see what they are next up to.

Kelly Connellan, Social Secretary

Quentin De Donder, President

The limited edition Steelbooks (seasons 1 and 2) are available to buy from 26th October on Amazon

Season 1 – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Thrones-Steelbook-Collectible-Amazon-co-uk/dp/B011CFY3EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445528732&sr=8-1&keywords=game+of+thrones+steel+book

Season 2 – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Thrones-Steelbook-Collectible-Amazon-co-uk/dp/B011CFYC9Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1445623577&sr=8-2&keywords=game+of+thrones+steelbook

Sons of the Harpy

A review of Sons of the Harpy by Kelly Connellan.

This week’s episode stepped up the pace in terms of violence with killings and fights dotted through out. Even the first few seconds had Jorah punching an unsuspecting man in the face and stealing his boat.

In King’s Landing we see Cersei’s plans to regain power unfolding through acts such as making the small council even smaller and re-establishing the Faith Militant. The Sparrows took to their new role as the Faith Militant by cleansing the city of perversions against the faith. They definitely go all out; smashing stalls, sacking Littlefinger’s brothel, beating and killing those inside and even arresting Loras Tyrell. I’m intrigued to see what’s in store for this alliance between Cersei and the High Septon in the coming episodes and if it goes exactly how Cersei wishes.

We then journey to the Wall where Melisandre is trying to seduce yet another man: Jon Snow. Jon keeps his vows this time partly because he’s the honorable Commander of the Night’s Watch but mainly because he still loves Ygritte. That sends Melisandre packing but just as she leave she says a line we all know too well…‘You know nothing Jon Snow’. This definitely leaves a gob smacked Jon Snow and us with some questions!

At the Wall we also get to see a different, more likeable side to Stannis. In the scene he tells Shireen of how she came to have Greyscale and how he wouldn’t stop until she was cured, even when everyone said there was no use. I really enjoyed this scene and loved how it ended with an incredibly awkward hug with Stannis giving in eventually.

This week Sansa only features for a conversation with Littlefinger. The topic of their conversation is one that has been mentioned every now and then through the show: Rhaegar and Lyanna. All these references back must be for a reason and I’m interested to see what’s to come. This scene ends with another very awkward kiss between Littlefinger and Sansa much like that seen in season 4. I was again particularly creeped out and this feeling was definitely shared by all those who came to watch the episode in Timepiece with their shouts of ‘ewww’.

Jaime and Bronn make their way to Dorne and within a day of their arrival have some work to do with four Dornish riders finding them. Here we see Jaime’s first proper fight since having his hand chopped and it’s a sloppy one, as it should be. Jaime’s fight ends well with the Dornish man dealing what he believes to be the final blow only to be caught by Jaime’s golden hand giving time for Jaime to stab him through the chest. This clearly shows that their mission to get Myrcella is not going to be an easy one.

In our other shot of Dorne we finally get to meet the Sand Snakes, three of Oberyn’s bastard daughters. Although the scene was short we see they are set on revenge for their father. It will be interesting to see what part they play in the rest of the season.

The final scene brings us to Meereen where we clearly see why the episode is titled Sons of the Harpy as they are seen slaughtering Daenerys’ men everywhere. We cut to a battle with a group of Unsullied where Grey Worm ends up being the last Unsullied standing against many Sons. At this point it really doesn’t look great for Grey Worm but then Sir Barristan appears. This makes me think everything is going to be absolutely fine, after all this is one of the greatest fighters of Westeros. Oh how I was wrong. The episode finishes with dead Sons of the Harpy littering the floor and Barristan and Grey Worm joining them. Are they both dead? We will have to wait for the next episode to find out. I was really disappointed that the first time we see Sir Barristan fighting is the time that he dies, I suppose it was probably about time that a character we liked died. Things just aren’t going well for Daenerys with her trusted advisor now gone. It’s a good thing Jorah and Tyrion are on the way.

I think this was a cracking episode packed with violence and great one-liners. I look forward to next week’s episode as things are starting to heat up in season 5!

High Sparrow

A review of «High Sparrow» by Håvard Haugvaldstad

This episode starts with Arya confused and frustrated at having to sweep floors in the House of Black and White. It appears she is kept in the dark on the workings of the faceless men. This episode sees Arya rid herself of her things in order to become no one, yet she can’t throw away Needle and instead hides it. It seems Arya is unwilling to throw away her precious sword even if that is the wish of the faceless men. I am unsure if going from sweeping floors to scrubbing dead bodies is a promotion in most people’s eyes, but let’s assume it is. Congratulations to Arya Stark on her promotion to morgue employee.

Meanwhile in King’s Landing king Tommen the first of his name happily marries and consummates said marriage with Margaery Tyrell who also seems pleased enough at (finally) getting the entire marriage thing right. The new queen really does show her cunning this episode and seems to know just what buttons to press to get her way. Getting Tommen to talk to his mother about Casterly Rock was clever. And personally I think the scene with Margaery and Cersei was the best scene in the entire episode. Margaery fried an artillery barrage of insults at the Queen Mother and received none in return, well done there.

Cersei goes to see the leader of the “sparrows” shortly after having thrown the old High Septon in the dungeons. Cersei claims she wants the faith and the crown to protect each other. It seems Cersei has plans for the High Sparrow. Cersei undoubtedly wants to secure her power and the old High Septon was not as useful to the Queen Mother as he should have been. I think we are all excited to see what happens in the capital in the future.

In the north Sansa is persuaded to go along with Littlefinger’s plan to marry her to Ramsay Bolton, but I think the most interesting turn of events is Littlefinger and Roose Bolton meeting. These men are calculating and clever, and neither the old gods nor the new know what they’re planning.

At the wall, Jon declines the offer from Stannis to become a Stark. He also gives Alliser Thorne the title of first builder and Janos Slynt the command of Greyguard, who refuses the command. I don’t think many mourn his death. Jon shows he is serious and beheads Janos even though he pleads for mercy.

Tyrion goes on an adventure in Volantis and meets someone he did not expect. It should be interesting to see what happens on the adventures of Jorah and Tyrion. And who knows how Varys will react to losing his travel companion.

As annoying as it is not having any Dorne on the map, I think makes up for its lack of Dorne by being thoroughly interesting from start to finish. I can’t complain and give this episode a rating of 8/10.

House of Black and White

A review of House of Black and White by Jerry Stephen

As good as episode one was, you wouldn’t fault anyone for saying it was a little stale at points. The episode reminded us of what had happened in the previous series and reintroduced us to characters. Episode two firmly left that behind as several plots began to move.

I’ve been looking forward to Arya arriving in Bravos and visiting House of Black and White since it became clear that she would arrive there at the start of this season, and visually it didn’t fail to impress. The imposing building was testament to the ever growing budget of Game of Thrones, and has left me excited about what they will have done with the inside. Whilst I can understand why they showed Arya’s time in Bravos before she was allowed into the House as they did, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a little rushed and could have been better explained.

Bronn’s scene on the beach with his now ex-fiancé was great, and his ready acceptance of his (ex) fiancé’s sister being in line for the main house, or rather, his acceptance of his need to kill her helped to bring comedy to what was at points a very tense episode. That being said, given the hatred that Dorne holds for the Lannister’s following the death of Oberyn I find myself worried for both Jamie and Bronn in their journey, especially given the scale of the task ahead of them.

Dany’s story is becoming a harder watch as it progresses, turning into a spiral of good intention and bad action that highlights her need for an advisor with the political wit of Tyrion or Varys. The clash between the needs of the free slaves and the laws and moral stances of Westeros that Dany holds are bound to happen again. I wonder how long she can hold their love whilst making them follow a system that they do not appear to hold as their own.

The Stark contrast between Jon’s choice to stay at the wall rather than retake Winterfell and his readiness to leave when Robb marched south truly shows how much he’s developed as a character, and we begin to see just how much of a Stark Jon is, especially when it comes to his morals in which he looks more and more like Ned. As much as I enjoyed seeing John become Lord Commander, I was far more impressed by Sam (what is it with fantasy characters called Sam playing the underdog role?) and his speech. His character has changed drastically over the last few seasons, to the point where he is now willing to publicly taunt Janos Slynt and make a speech that won Jon his new role. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will change the relationship between Jon and Stannis, as well as seeing where the storyline with the Wildlings ends up.

In Kings Landing perhaps my favourite part of the show occurred when we saw Cersei attempt to take control of the small council only to be turned down by Kevan. I think this shows just how instrumental Tywin was not only in holding the capital and in doing so the country together, but also the Lannister’s themselves. Whilst Cersei and Jamie’s comments about the instability to come has been left alone for the most part, after the public disagreement between Cersei and Kevan I can’t imagine it will remain the same for too long.

Overall I have been drawn back into the series once again and cannot wait for next week’s episode, although this time it will be with a little trepidation for some of my favourite characters than before.