NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Enter Sand Snakes

It feels like each episode of this season of Game of Thrones features an exploration of a different theme from week to week. Unlike past season, when plot machinations were paramount, season five has been able to be a little more artful in how it sets up each episode. Maybe that has something to do with the show finally diverging from the books in significant ways — I wouldn’t know having never read the books. If anything, this episode, “Sons of the Harpy,” was about how a select few radicals can bring down a whole kingdom.

Let’s start in King’s Landing.

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: What’s in a Name?

More than any other series on television, an episode of Game of Thrones can often feel like 48 minutes of watching players set up a chessboard wherein, to paraphrase another classic HBO series, “all the piece matter.” Last night’s episode, “High Sparrow,” was no different. And in the case of the dueling queens — Margaery and Cersei — they were literally moving a pawn around the chessboard in the form of King Tommen. But despite brief detours following the Lannister siblings’ plights in both King’s Landing and Volantis, the episode was mainly about (three of) the surviving Stark children and each one’s struggle to accept, reject, or reclaim their name.

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: They Might Be Giants

Episode Nine, “The Watchers on the Wall,” starts with an awkward discussion between Jon Snow and Sam Tarley. Sam presses Jon for details on what sex with Ygritte felt like and wonders whether the vows they took called for strict celibacy or just forbidding marriage and children. Jon, as per usual, mumbles and cannot express himself eloquently (nor properly dry his hair).

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