TV Review: “Game of Thrones” – “High Sparrow”

Written by Jesse Gelinas April 27, 2015

The High Sparrow himself

Cersei meets the High Sparrow

Fanatics are everywhere, and Westeros is no different. This week’s episode “High Sparrow” introduces us to some religious crazies in Kings Landing known as the Sparrows, while also furthering our traveling characters’ journeys, revealing some deceptions, and bringing down some real thunder at the Wall. All in all, it’s an intriguing and satisfying episode.

Arya’s training at the House of Black and White finally begins in a very “Karate Kid” way with her sweeping floors. Irritated at with the lack of progress, she is encouraged to become no one, and so discards her clothes and possessions, save for Needle. In the North, Littlefinger reveals to Sansa his plan to marry her to Ramsay, the most psychotic of the Boltons to forge an alliance between the North and the Eyrie. Whether Littlefinger knows of Ramsay’s actions is questionable. At Castle Black, Lord Slynt finds out what happens when you disobey the new Lord Commander’s orders. In Kings Landing Tommen marries Margaery. But this is overshadowed by The Sparrows, a fanatical religious sect have begun raiding, and punishing those who offend their faith. In response, Cersei seeks out their leader, the High Sparrow and offers to work with him. And across the sea, Tyrion and Varys stop for a drnk in Volantis, only for the little Lannister to end up captured by the exile Jorah Mormont.

“How is it no one came to be surrounded by Arya Stark’s things?”

The episode moves briskly, and I found myself disappointed when it was over, a common problem with “Game of Thrones,” it always leaves you wanting more. It also ends on a particularly jarring cliffhanger, which doesn’t help matters. With Tyrion’s journey to Dany being expedited by Jorah, we should be pleased, but now we know he will appear before her in chains, not as a new ally. It just seems like Tyrion can never catch a break, and sadly, it gets a bit tiresome to see such a likable character get beaten down so often.

Tyrion in "High Sparrow"

In a particularly powerful scene, Jon Snow executes Janos Slynt (who betrayed Ned Stark back in season 1), mirroring his father’s actions in the pilot episode, and showing him to be a true Stark by blood. “The man who passes the sentence should wield the sword.” It should be a while before any more brothers challenge the young Lord Commander’s rule. After saving them from the Wildlings, we also finally see Stannis leave the Wall on his way to Winterfell. Hopefully this will means some enjoyable battle scenes soon, and perhaps a real rescue for Sansa Stark. But that is yet to be seen.

“I’m exhausted, actually. But what could I expect? He is half lion, half stag.”

The episode’s only real slow point is an extended scene between Brienne and Pod where the lady explains her love for the late Renly Baratheon. It’s a rather pointless scene so long after the fact, but it is the only filler of the week, which is a plus. But I feel the time could’ve been better spent with an update on Jaime or the situation in Dorne. Of all the threads in Westeros, I feel the Dornish are so far getting the short end of the stick for such an interesting place with engaging characters.

Jon Snow in "High Sparrow"

Overall, it’s just another week in Westeros, complete with a most satisfying beheading. And while most of the scenes work and entertain, “High Sparrow” does have a couple pointless moments, stopping it from topping the previous two episodes. The cliffhanger ending will surely lead to some exciting developments next week, but for now, we’re left to make due with a lot of unanswered questions, and promises of more to come.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

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