The Second Watch is a weekly Game of Thrones recap column by Focus Editor Erin Yarnall. Read more here.
“Not all can die in glory” says Hizdahr zo Loraq to Daenerys Targaryen, trying to convince her to reopen the fighting pits in Meereen. Although Hizdahr was referencing the former slaves who are watched and cheered on fighting to the death, his statement rings true for other characters as well.
For some, there is a choice about whether they will die in glory. Jaime Lannister has made his choice: he doesn’t care. On his way to save Princess Myrcella in Dorne with Bronn, the only concern Jaime has is getting Mycella back to Cersei. Because he feels the most guilt for his father’s death, he feels that it is his duty to save another member of the family, even if he isn’t recognized from it. Bronn notes that there will be songs made about them, and Jaime responds that he doesn’t want a song about him.
The Sand Snakes are not going to let Jaime and Bronn get their song easily, though. The daughters of Oberyn Martell (whose skull was crushed in season four) are prepared to get their vengeance, and their hatred for the Lannister family should continue to make their appearances incredibly interesting, as the four women are preparing for war against an entire kingdom. A difference from the book was that some of the Sand Snakes, especially the younger daughters of Oberyn Martell, were playmates with Myrcella. They’re much more brutal in the show, with no compassion for Myrcella, which could potentially lead to another war for the Lannister family to fight.
My favorite scene from “Sons of the Harpy” involved a character that normally makes me groan with boredom when I see him on screen. Stannis’ scene with his daughter, Shireen, changed my entire view on the character. Due to Shireen’s disfigurement resulting from greyscale — a disease normally fatal, which leaves the flesh stiff and dead — Stannis’ wife Selyse is disappointed in her and herself for giving birth to Shireen.
Instead of sharing Selyse’s disdain for her daughter, Stannis tells her about when she contracted the disease, and how he would not allow anyone to send his daughter away, despite the fact that greyscale is contagious. Stannis reassures his daughter, one of the sweetest characters on the show, that he loves her by saying “You do not belong across the world … you are my daughter.”
Even though he did not smile during his entire conversation with Shireen, or even hug his only child back, the slightest bit of care and love shown from Stannis is a major change from anything viewers have ever seen before from the notoriously cold and bitter character, and it’s a tremendous improvement.
The episode ended with the Sons of the Harpy — an underground group fighting the rule of Daenerys attacking and killing the Khaleesi’s soldiers throughout the city of Meereen. It seems as if everyone in the city has turned against Daenerys, especially after the events of “The House of Black and White,” when even the slaves she had freed turned on her. Barristan Selmy, just after bonding with Daenerys, runs to the fight in time to slay close to a dozen Sons of the Harpy, before he in return was killed.
Prediction: I couldn’t have been the only viewer of “Sons of the Harpy” who audibly gasped when Melisandre repeated Ygritte’s famous words, “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” to the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. This occurred directly after he rejected her advances because he’s still in love with Ygritte.
Somehow, while Jon burned Ygritte’s dead body, Melisandre and Ygritte connected because Melisandre is a red priestess and has a connection with fire. This may be my most bizarre prediction yet, but it’s “Game of Thrones”: there’s dragons, there’s giants and I believe there are weird spiritual connections with people through fire as well.
Kill: Four Dornish soldiers and their poor horses, the man who smuggled Jaime and Bronn into Dorne, countless numbers of the Sons of the Harpy and masses of the Unsullied. Sadly, Barristan Selmy was killed in this episode, just as the audience and Dany were really starting to warm up to him. Grey Worm also might be dead; it’s unclear at this point, but fingers crossed he’s just badly injured.
Screw: Jorah and Tyrion are both screwing each other over currently. In the previous episode, Jorah captured Tyrion and told him he was taking him “to the queen.” In this week’s episode, “Sons of the Harpy,” Tyrion finds out the queen he’s being led to isn’t his sister who is offering a lordship for his head, but Daenerys Targaryen — the queen he was already on his way to with Varys