One of the defining strengths of Game of Thrones is in its portrayal of women. Showing them in a realistic, multifaceted way, with all their strength, flaws, weakness, beauty being laid to bare. And this week's episode focused mainly on them...from the girl searching for her path to the Queen trying to balance the scales of justice...
The episode opens with Arya, last we saw this young Stark in season 4, she was aboard a ship sailing for Braavos. Well, she has finally arrived, eager to learn the arts that will help her tick of her 'kill list.' She walks to the House of Black and White and asks for her friend the face-shifting assassin Jaqen H'ghar. The old man who greets her by the door tells her that 'there is no man with that name here.' Disappointed, she is forced to wait by the steps, willing away the time by reciting her kill list. Disheartened, she throws the coin Jaqan gave her into the sea.
Back in the west, Brienne trudges to a tavern with Podrick to have a meal. Unbeknownst to them, Sansa and Petyr Baelish are already there, eating at another table. It is Podrick who sights them first, and he promptly tells Brienne. She orders him to prepare the horse, and she goes to the young lady and the current Lord of The Eyrie. She tries to offer her service to Sansa, citing her promise to watch over the Stark daughters as ordered by the fallen Catelyn Stark. But Petyr questions her ability to protects those she swore to, saying that both her liege lords, Renly and Catelyn, came to an untimely demise.
Brienne appeals to Sansa, but the young Stark won't have her, remembering that Brienne was in Joffrey's court. A misunderstanding occurs, and a scuffle starts as Brienne is forced to flee. She and Podrick both end up riding a horse, but they get separated. Tyrion's former squire is nearly killed, but the Lady Knight ends up saving him in time.
In King's Landing, Queen Cersei shows her twin a message from Dorne. It is a serpent, a symbol of House Martell, holding a necklace belonging to Princess Myrcella in its mouth. Cersei knows what it mean--it is a threat! She prompts Jaimie to rescue their daughter from Dorne.The idea of an army is squashed as it is planned that a rescue mission be conducted to avoid conflict. The Lord of the Kings Guard accepts his burden and he goes on and journeys to Tyrion's former henchman, Bronn. He offers him a substantial reward to accompany him south to save his and Cersei's daughter in stealth.
In Dorne , the Queen's fears are confirmed. As Oberyn's lover, Ellaria Sand, is trying to convince Prince Doran to go to war to avenge his fallen brother. Knowing full well the consequence of such a path, the Prince refuses, angering Ellaria, who storms out.
Far to the east, in Meereen , Greyworm and Daarios end up capturing a 'Son of a Harpy.' Daenerys confers in council on what to do with the captive. The former slave Mossador counsels the Queen not to be too soft on the rebel and execute him. But in the end, Barristan Selmy convinces Daenerys to a fair trial by narrating his experience under her father, the mad king Aerys Targaryen. She listens to him, and decides on a fair trial.
Back in King's Landing, another Queen confers with her council. But unlike Daenerys , she is at odds with her counselors. Cersei's uncle, Kevan Lannister, does not recognize her authority to speak for her son, the King. And he promptly leaves, telling the Queen that if the King wants him, he has to say it to him in person.
Up North, Stannis Baratheon offers Jon Snow something which he has always wanted. To be legitimized, to finally be a Stark in name. Stannis wants him to help him unite the North because, after all, he is Ned's son and the people will follow him. But Jon Snow will not break his vows to the Night's watch. The king gives him time to think. But soon the decisions is made for him, because the brothers of the order elect him their leader. And his destiny is now tightly woven with the Wall.
To the east, in Braavos, Arya is accosted by ruffians on the streets. She threatens them with her sword. They think the sword is of value, but she rebukes them. 'Nothing is worth anything to dead men' she says. And before they can advance on her, they see the old man who refused her entry to the House of Black and White, and they flee. Arya follows the old man to the House of Black and White. As she asks him who she is, he throws her the coin Jaqen gave her. The old man then reveals that he is Jaqen in disguise, but he tells Arya that there is 'no Jaqen H'gar here.'
In Meereen, Mossador, under stealth of night, executes the captive Son of Harpy, going against Daenerys' order for a fair trial. This forces the Queen's hand; she orders Mossador executed in public. This does not sit well with the crowd of former slaves in attendance, and they riot. The Unsullied takes their Queen back to safety in her pyramid.
There, Daenerys goes alone to her balcony to ponder on what happened. When she hears a stir, she looks behind and sees her great dragon, Drogon, is on top of the building. He still recognizes his mother, and the dragon approaches. Daenerys tries to reach with her hand, but Drogon holds back and instead chooses to fly away. The Queen merely looks on, wondering if she will ever be able to control her dragons again.