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Game of Thrones Becomes Three Ring Circus of Religion, Power, Death

Cersei (Lena Headey) suddenly finds religion on Game of Thrones, Episode 3, hoping to shore up her power base in Kings Landing. But that's not her only problem.

Cersei (Lena Headey) suddenly finds religion on Game of Thrones, Episode 3, hoping to shore up her power base in Kings Landing. But that’s not her only problem.

“Game of Thrones” is becoming more like a three ring circus of religion, power and death. In the latest Season 5 episode, desperate times call for desperate measures, including embracing a higher order–if it can be used for strategic advantage. Even Cersei has become a believer…

With the demise of her father (and rescuer), Tywin Lannister, at the hands of son, Tyrion, she’s feeling more isolated and vulnerable than ever.

Margaery’s marriage to neophyte king Tommen certainly didn’t help. Margaery is finally positioned to grab power with her influence over the young king and it appears that neither want Cersei around, anymore.

“Should I call you Queen Mother or Dowager Queen?” says Margaery. It’s her not-so-subtle way to let Cersei know her days in power are over. But Tommen is blunter.

“Wouldn’t you be happier in Casterly Rock?” he asks his mother? The words must have felt like the cold blade of the axeman on her neck. No wonder she seeks out the mysterious High Sparrow.

The group has suddenly emerged with the death of Tywin and the obvious power vacuum that has created. Cersei can see their growing influence on the people, what with their good deeds and all.

But she’s there to remind them that religion and the crown, meaning her, go hand-in-hand. “The faith and the crown are the two pillars that hold up this world,” she reminds him. “One collapses, so does the other.”

It’s an alliance the Sparrows may want to consider after they seize the High Septon mid-dalliance in a brothel. They throw him into the street naked and ridicule him with chants of “sinner, sinner.”

He later goes before Cersei and the small council demanding the High Sparrow’s head. Fat chance of that happening; you know where he ends up.

Who knows? Maybe Cersei sees herself becoming a high priestess and using the Sparrows as her power base. After all, she has bigger problems to worry about.

Stannis is busy in the North trying to enlist the Wildings in his campaign to claim the Iron Throne, or at least seize Winterfell, the first step on the road to Kings Landing. With Mance Rayder out of the way, his plan seems to be falling into place.

That’s not the only power shift. With Stannis in control of the North and Jon Snow in control of Castle Black, you know more heads were going to roll. Jon exacts his revenge on Janos Slynt, the evil hand behind Joffrey’s massacre of Bratheon’s bastard children. And good riddance.

Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen is moving closer and closer to crossing the Narrow Sea to assert her claim on the throne. Although she was out of sight for most of the episode she wasn’t out of mind.

Tyrion hopes to join the dragon queen’s crusade, because he and Lord Varys believe she would be the most just ruler of the kingdom. But along the way they meet up with the disgraced Ser Jorah Mormont.

Tyrion decides to make a pit stop at a brothel in Volantis on the coast of Essos, after telling Varys no one will recognize him so far from Westeros. Wrong…

Jorah spots him and kidnaps him. Jorah apparently plans to deliver the Lanister to Daenerys as a way to get back in her good graces, but Varys may have something to say about that. After all, he and Jorah go way back.

In the Seven Kingdoms, religion is another word for sorcery. Stannis has Melisandr, the Red Priestess of the Lord of Light, in his corner. Now, Arya Stark has her own super-natural ally, the Faceless Man. She wants to become one of them.

Jaqen H’ghar puts her to work cleaning the Black and White House. “I didn’t come here to sweep floors,” she objects. “Teach me how to be a Faceless Man.”

“All men must serve, Faceless Men most of all,” he says.

He’s got that right. Choose your God wisely.

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