King’s Landing: Cersei & Jaime, the Tyrells, the Sparrows
Power has been decentralized for a while in King’s Landing with Jaime gone and Cersei imprisoned. This episode brings a return to the good old-fashioned backrooms politicking that set the fantasy drama out in Season 1. This episode gives peeks behind the curtain of secretive spymasters Varys (more below) and Qyburn, who inherited his network of “birds” aka homeless children.
Jaime, Cersei and FrankenMountain visit him, the four combining for their power base, such as it is. With the brains of Qyburn and the brawn of FrankenMountain, they plot to take back control of the Seven Kingdoms.
Step one is a bit a lame admittedly, as it entails interrupting a Small Council meeting of Kevan Lannister, Olenna Tyrell, her son Mace and Grand Maester Pycelle. The three walk in, demanding their inclusion and demanding something be done about Myrcella’s murder and the coup in Dorne (#DorneSucks). But Uncle Kevan is having none of them, leaving the siblings and their mutant bodyguard behind, shut out of power.
Meanwhile, in the Great Sept of Baelor, King Tommen has a power play of his own against a praying High Sparrow, backed by his Kingsguard. It gets rather heated until the High Sparrow gets the opening he requires to use his supreme power of persuasion and manipulation gets the boy king back under control. Seriously, Jonathan Pryce is awesome, the rare late show addition that works, unlike (say it with me) Dorne.