For a show that doesn't always treat its female characters too well, Game of Thrones' Sunday, May 15, episode was a total hardcore girl-power hour.
From the grand dames of two warring houses agreeing to unite against a common enemy, to Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) plotting a vengeance-fueled return to Winterfell, to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) burning down the House of Horse Lords to become the uber-khaleesi, the ladies of Westeros were in top form this week.
A Stark Reunion and a War for Winterfell
After five years and countless near misses, two of the original Stark kiddie clan finally ended up in the same zip code this week, as Sansa met up with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) at Castle Black — where contrary to usual Game of Thrones tradition, they actually got to share a heartwarming reunion hug and nobody got flayed or beheaded. Yay!
But the warm-and-fuzzy stuff was short-lived, because Sansa wasn't satisfied with having simply escaped Winterfell; she wants her home back, and she wants Jon to help her. Jon, who would like to go just five minutes without being asked to kill someone for a cause, politely declined … until a letter arrived from Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) with the news that little Rickon was now a prisoner at Winterfell. Here's hoping Jon doesn't wait too long to assemble an army and storm the castle, because Rickon's last ally, Osha (Natalie Tena), just died in the most horrible way imaginable: with one hand down Ramsay Bolton's pants. Sad/gross.
The Reappearance of Littlefinger
We hadn't seen Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen) yet this season, but this week found him back on screen and manipulating Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli) as per usual — this time encouraging the twitty little lord to send the armies of the Vale to the North. And since Robin, for his part, will do basically anything Littlefinger asks, as long as there's a chance of seeing someone, somewhere, eventually get pitched out the Moon Door to his death, he's down! In short, it looks like Jon Snow won't be alone in his march on Winterfell … that is, if he's willing to trust Littlefinger after he betrothed Sansa to the worst person in the Seven Kingdoms.
An Uneasy Anti-Sparrow Alliance
Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Cersei (Lena Headey) dropped a bombshell on Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg): If they don't put aside their grudges and team up to overthrow the Sparrows right this minute, Olenna's granddaughter, Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer), will have to make her own naked, poop-stained walk of shame through the streets. And so, an unwilling alliance was formed, at least for now. Because for all their differences, Cersei and Olenna still share the mutual distaste of powerful women for crazy, sadistic, misogynistic public shaming displays.
Dany Did That Cool Trick Again
Across the sea in Mereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) took a new, diplomatic tack and struck a deal with the disenfranchised masters: They get seven years to wind down their human trafficking activities, and in return, they quit colluding with the sons of the harpy. Daenerys' other advisors weren't exactly thrilled with this plan, but it might not be necessary. Because while Tyrion was busy negotiating, Daenerys was doing what she does best: Setting rude men on fire.
In a firelit hut surrounded by arrogant khals, Dany expressed her dissatisfaction with the existing Dothraki leadership and declared herself HBIC of all the horselords — who have to be kicking themselves right now for never thinking to ask why she calls herself "The Unburnt." Or rather, they would be kicking themselves if they hadn't just been incinerated to death in Daenerys Targaryen's latest, greatest power grab. Which they were. Because Daenerys takes what is hers with fire and blood, and don't you forget it.
Tell Us: What did you think of Dany's blazing victory?
Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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