"Game of Thrones" is keeping the family affairs nice and creepy, while Daenerys Targaryen's game plan needs some fine-tuning.
Check out a recap of season 4, episode 5 of the hit HBO fantasy series, based on the books by George R. R. Martin - includes seven highlights. Spoiler alert!
1. Poor Sansa
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) can't catch a break. She even sums it up nicely herself-- she notes that her mother, brother and father have been killed -- a little exposition for those of you just joining us in the realm. And this time, it appears to be shaping up into an "Out-of-the-Frying-Pan-and-Into-the-Fire" situation.
So Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (the wonderful Irish actor Aidan Gillen) has smuggled her out of King's Landing, while her husband Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is awaiting a "trial" after being wrongfully accused of killing the evil teenage King Joffrey (and Sansa's ex-fiance) at his own Purple Wedding. Sure, Littlefinger wants to help the girl avoid getting blamed for the assassination, but the cunning royal council member (and, as she is reminded later, pimp) likely has other intentions.
Did I mention Uncle Roy -- sorry, Littlefinger -- is still obsessed with Sansa's late mother, Cat, who friend-zoned him years ago? Anyway, he's brought her to live with her creepy aunt, Lysa (Kate Dickie), his fiance, who is pretty aware of his fixation with the teenage girl.
Sansa's new secret identity to non-family members? Alayne, Littlefinger's "niece." In Martin's third "A Song of Fire and Ice" novel, "A Storm of Swords," she's introduced as his illegitimate daughter. Later, over dessert (before dinner -- yes!), Sansa's creepy aunt accuses her of fulfilling Littlefinger's desires, which shocks the teen, who insists she is still a virgin. Creepy Aunt switches back to syrupy-sweet in an instant and casually informs Sansa she'll soon be a widow and will marry her son, who's a child (and a really annoying one, too).
2. Seriously, poor Sansa
Lying in bed, trying to get a good night's sleep, Sansa gets to hear Creepy Aunt and her new "uncle" (oh yeah, she made him marry her within hours) getting it on -- or rather, just her aunt. Fun!
3. Dany is naive (what else is new?)
Fledgling, over-confident leader Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons, has freed slaves during her quest to claim the Iron Throne but her work appears to have been in vain, as the evil people have risen up in the lands she left behind. Now she is forced to decide -- does she go back and correct her oversights or does she press on with her journey with several hundred ships that may or may not be sufficient, according to her adviser?
"I will do what queens do. I will rule," she says.
4. Bran wargs out again
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and his friends are taken captive at Craster's Keep and Nights Watch member / evil Bolton spy / Six-Fingered-Man-Lookalike Locke shows up and violently (did you really have to slice a disabled kid's leg? Uncalled for) tries to abduct the boy. Since there are no direwolves or eagles or other cool animals hanging around, Bran takes over the body of tied-up adult pal Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and kills him. His hair is totally out of control, but his powers are clearly not!
5. Somewhere, out there ...
Bran Stark gets THIS close to being reunited with a family member, half-brother Jon Snow. Literally a stone's throw away. But Jon is busy kicking the crap out of Karl's gang of rapists and demonstrating some excellent sword-play and Bran has a quest his older bro likely won't let him pursue -- finding that darn three-eyed raven.
6. Did I mention Jon Snow?
Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the pensive man who "knows nothing" apparently knows a whole lot about kicking butt and has gone all Madmartigan on us, taking on a bunch of baddies and rapist gang leader Karl (Burn Gorman), who learns it's rude to talk with your mouth full. As for Snow's newfound bravery, maybe it's heartbreak from his Wildling love affair that's driving him, maybe he's just continuing to try to prove his warrior and leadership skills to the Night's Watch, or maybe he's just proving to be a Stark.
7. Damn, Arya
Speaking of Starks, Arya the Warrior Princess (Maisie Williams), long-lost sibling of Sansa, Bran and Snow, demonstrates some impressive sword-fighting moves herself -- although as The Hound demonstrated, she may need to focus less on her fancy footwork and twirling and more on ... costume? Sometimes, it's all about logistics.