The War of the Five Kings may be over, but conflict still thrives in Westeros. This week’s episode focuses on resolving some of the tensions that have been building for in regards to purpose and intention. By resolve, I mean make things ten times worse. These resolutions come with very real consequences, which our most beloved and most hated characters will not doubt reap. With a child-king on the throne, dragons growing larger by the year, brothers choosing sides and fighters moving forward, Westeros is no closer to a long-term king than in season one. Did you notice we heard 3 would-be rulers introducing themselves as rightful ruler of Westeros? Yeesh. These are the Seven Kingdoms, friends.
Stannis and Davos sail to Braavos from Dragonstone to meet with the leaders of the Iron Bank. And then I’m all ermergerd Mark Gatiss!! Finally, we find out that Mark Gatiss’ role is as Tycho Nestoris, the gate keeper of funds for the Iron Bank. While Stannis is his usually, unfriendly self, Davos continues to be the champion for his king even as the bankers refuse to hand over gold to fund a war that is considered over. While the pragmatic banker declines to give Stannis funds initially, it seems he may have been swayed. In the scene directly following, Davos finds his pirate friend, Sallhador Saan, and asks for his help. When Sallhador jokingly laments that his friend Davos is no friend at all but an enemy who wants him dead and poor, Davos throws down an impressive amount of gold, which I’m assuming means the Iron Bank is now backing Stannis instead of the Lannisters. It is nice to see Davos working to unify these dueling parts of his personality represented by Stannis his just King and Sallhador, Davos’ smuggler friend. Audiences may have forgotten how Davos came to be so true to Stannis, but Davos has not. Stannis is just and honest and Davos does not question Stannis’ intentions (except with the Red Woman) because he trusts his King’s judgement and is quick to say when he does not. I do appreciate Stannis’ claim to the throne and Davos’ arguments for his right, but Stannis is such a surly man, will the funds of the Iron Bank be enough to buy him loyalty?