After a pair of episodes mostly concerned with setup, the third episode of Season 5, “High Sparrow,” began to make good on the promise that characters long separated by distance would finally meet. The producers have packed the show full of gunpowder. All they need is a match.

Episode MVPs

Sansa Stark was always a tragic figure. She fell for Joffrey Baratheon because he was cute and courteous. By the time she realized he was also a psychopath, he had already killed her dad and doomed her to live in what amounted to a very fancy prison cell. Joffrey’s dead, but in “High Sparrow,” we learned that Sansa is to be married to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, who might be even worse.

But Sansa has learned a lot in the meantime, and she’s walking into this new danger prepared to give as good as she gets. When she politely curtsied to Roose Bolton, the man who stabbed her brother at his own wedding not two seasons ago, it was the opening volley in what promises to be a prolonged battle.

While Sansa embraced her new identity, her little sister Arya struggled to preserve her old one. Arya wants to join the Faceless Men, an elite league of assassins. To do that, she has to throw away her old possessions, but she couldn’t bring herself to discard Needle, the sword Jon Snow gave her in the very first episode. No matter how much Sansa and Arya change, they’ll always be Starks, and they’re both getting ready to take revenge on those who have decimated their family.

Our watch for next week begins

Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister was kidnapped by Jorah Mormont, who intends to bring the dwarf before Daenerys Targaryen in the hope that she’ll rethink her exile of him from last year. The show has already done a great job of compressing Tyrion’s meandering journey from the books, and pairing him with a mismatched character like Jorah should help the remaining time pass that much quicker.

It's a pirate's life for 'GoT'

“Game of Thrones” has always been popular among pirates. Last year’s finale was illegally downloaded 7.5 million times within a week after it aired. That number was impressive, but it has nothing on the 13 million times the Season 5 premiere was downloaded. No matter what it does, HBO can’t seem to keep its piracy problem in check.

As the editor in chief for Winter Is Coming, Dan Selcke spends his time writing about the latest Game of Thrones news and preparing for the long night that will have no end. Read more of him at