TV Review: Game of Thrones – High Sparrow

The third hour of season five delves deeper into the mechanisms of Kings Landing and The House of Black and White.

Though the reveal is painstaking – not fast enough for the audience and not fast enough for Arya.

Slowly releasing background lore is something Game of Thrones has done well from the beginning, providing the colour the series needs to thrive and offering a more interesting reason for ‘The Game’.

Book-readers revel in the realisation of the series’ mythology – the various religions are a great addition and in Season Five with the introduction of the Sparrows, the Seven begin to play a bigger part.

Past episodes have shown perhaps that the world of Game of Thrones is less secular than our own and may be the Gods do have something to say.

Melisandre is to many the mother of a demon-shadow-baby but her religious fervour is paying off for Stannis.


This episode sees Cersei pushed even further from the Iron Throne as King Tommen marries his beloved Margaery, who quickly begins to teach him a husband’s duty and plants her own seeds.

Margaery’s flowered words are so much more effective than the claws Cersei uses to keep Tommen on side.

Cersei’s grip on her son is faltering and she tries a different tack to persuade Margaery. Kindness.

Compassion not being one of her better qualities, Cersei is rebuffed by the amount of shade thrown her way.

Margaery is fearless in the face of a lioness.

Elsewhere in King’s Landing, specifically Littlefinger’s brothel, the religious zealots known as the Sparrows are making an example of the High Septon, whose fetishes are not exactly in keeping with his religious role.

The High Sparrow himself is revealed to be a simple man without shoes feeding the poor, no not Jesus, but he may have his establishment toppling power.

Up in Winterfell, the Boltons are flaying their way through the Northern houses. How else are you supposed to collect taxes? 

Littlefinger continues to teach Sansa the rules of the Game and invites her to take her place on the board to avenge her family. 

Meanwhile, Sansa’s own avenging angel is still following her doggedly across moor and vale.

Brienne finally shows her softer side after a little flattery and offers to teach Podrick to fight. At last the two have something to do in the remaining hours before she inevitably tries to murder Stannis.

This is the problem with fan favourites you get stuck with them.

Up in the furthest reaches of civilised Westeros, Jon Snow is settling into his new post as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch by fencing words with stone-faced Stannis and his onion knight who give Jon a spot of advice.

Their advice brings things to a head, if you will. It’s grim up North.

Finally Arya or should it be ‘No one’ gets somewhere. After being provoked by No One, a no one, better known as Jaqen H’ghar, steps in to provide a bit of leadership. Are you following? No? Good.

No One casts off as many of the trappings of Arya Stark as she can bear and is finally granted the exciting task of washing a corpse.

At least she’s not marrying a Bolton.

Volantis looks a lot like Rome in Assassin’s Creed when Tyrion decides he can’t spend one more day in the ‘large comfortable box’ Varys has provided.

The pair head off in search of brothel past slaves, slavers and prophets preaching the glory of ‘The Dragon Queen’.

Tyrion surprises everyone by suffering some slight performance issues and runs into an old bear.

Hour three is infuriatingly slow, the plots are beginning to thicken and more of what’s to come is hinted at, however the wait is agonising. 

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