Watch CBSN Live

"Game of Thrones" recap: Sand Snakes and "Sons of the Harpy"

After three weeks of setup, the action kicked into high gear on this Sunday's "Game of Thrones," complete with a big battle scene and some even bigger plot twists.

Read on for all the biggest moments from season 5, episode 4, "Sons of the Harpy," broken down by all the locations where those moments took place. [Warning: Episode spoilers lurk ahead.]

King's Landing

Cersei scores some points in her battle vs. Margaery, but at what cost? First, everyone's favorite Queen Mother/Scene Chewer dispatches Margaery's father, Mace Tyrell, away to Braavos to negotiate new terms with the Iron Bank, with her henchman Ser Meryn Trant in tow. Then, after getting him out of the city, she meets with the High Sparrow and decides it would be a great idea to arm his religious fanatic followers, who raid Littlefinger's brothel and arrest Margaery's brother, Loras, for being gay.

Margaery, understandably, doesn't take too happily to her brother being thrown in a cell and demands Tommen have him freed. He goes to his mother first, who feigns helplessness -- she didn't have him arrested, nope, had nothing to do with it -- and sends him to Flea Bottom to speak to the High Sparrow himself. For someone who's always talking about protecting her children, this seems like a huge mistake on Cersei's part. Tommen could have easily been killed.

As it happens, he isn't -- but after the Sparrows won't let him into the sept he slinks away, afraid of starting a riot should his men attack. To make things worse, the crowd yells out that Tommen is a "bastard" and an "abomination."


While Cersei makes those questionable moves in King's Landing, Jaime is sailing to Dorne on his semi-covert mission with Bronn to collect Tommen's sister, Myrcella. He lies about helping Tyrion escape King's Landing and refers to Myrcella as his niece -- to which Bronn gives an Are you kidding me here? look - but is candid about one other thing: If he ever sees his brother again, he vows, he'll split him in two.

They make it to Dorne on a merchant's ship, and Bronn is worried the captain will sell them out to the Martells. They're found by a patrol of four horsemen and pretend to be capsized sailors, but Jaime gives them away by talking about the shark-infested waters (Dorne doesn't have sharks, FYI). They fight, and Bronn takes on three of the men and leaves Jaime to the fourth. It doesn't look good for him for a moment there, but then he surprises his attacker (and himself) by blocking the other guy's sword with his gold hand. That gives him enough time to get stabby and save himself.

Here's where we meet the Sand Snakes, the weapon-wielding bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell (RIP). The late prince's lover, Ellaria Sand, wants to know if they'll choose Doran's plan for peace or her quest for Lannister revenge, which would include some kind of nefarious/deadly action taken against Myrcella.

And, by the way, Bronn was right -- the ship's captain did tattle to the Martells about transporting Jaime to Dorne. But, not happy that he brought their enemies there in the first place, they bury him up to his neck in sand and cover his face in scorpions.

Castle Black

Jon Snow, as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, is learning one of the things about being in charge means having to deal with paperwork -- signing documents requesting men from area leaders, including Stark family-betrayer Roose Bolton.

The paperwork party stops, though, when Melisandre enters and tries to draw Jon to their cause in a way that Stannis and Ser Davos couldn't: seduction. But not even a naked redhead sway tempt him - or, at least, not this one. He swore a vow, he tells her, and he still loves another. Melisandre walks away, using Ygritte's favorite line as a parting shot: "You know nothing, Jon Snow."

There was also a sweet moment between Stannis and his daughter, when he tells her how he searched the world for a healer who could save her when she became infected with greyscale. It's also worth noting that when Stannis' wife, Selyse, spoke harshly about her daughter, Melisandre shuts her down by pointing out that her father's blood runs through her veins. She definitely has a plan for that little girl.


Sansa, now officially back at home in Winterfell, visits her ancestors in the family crypt. Littlefinger follows her down there and gives her and shares a bit of family history involving her aunt, Lyanna, and Daenerys' late older brother Rhaegar Targaryen. But, more importantly, he shares with her another part of his master plan: He's betting that Stannis will take Winterfell, overthrow/kill the Boltons and install Sansa as Wardeness of the North, as is her birthright as the oldest surviving Stark.

But, he adds, he's about to hit the road to visit Cersei in King's Landing at her request. As a parting gift, he gives her some advice -- regardless of Stannis arriving and winning or losing, she should get Ramsay Bolton under her thumb. As he reminds her, she learned how to manipulate from the very best.


Dany's problems with the Sons of the Harpy just keep getting bigger. One of the night's biggest moments began when a group of the masked men descended on a city square and kill the guards they find there. When a group of Unsullied come to investigate, the same prostitute who got that solider murdered in the season premiere (fake) tearfully points them down a passageway where a group of Sons of the Harpy fighters ambush them.

A battle ensues, and Ser Barristan Selmy hears the melee and throws himself into the fighting. He takes down fighter after fighter before being mortally wounded himself. Also among the injured: Grey Worm, and while his injuries seem serious it's not completely clear if they're fatal.

At sea

Ser Jorah commandeers a rowboat and tells Tyrion he's taking him to Daenerys, in hopes of regaining her trust and getting back in her good graces. "What a waste of a good kidnapping!" Tyrion deadpans, seeing as that's where he was planning to go anyway, and quickly deduces why Jorah was cast out and is looking for redemption. At any rate, if one (and potentially, two) of Dany's closest allies are now gone from this world, there may be a place open for him again in her confidences.