Full spoilers throughout.
A girl is no one, friends are reunited, the Cleganes do some murdering and Thoros of Myr is back…and he has a top knot.
“What’s west of Westeros?”
Arya is rescued by the actress she almost tried to murder a few weeks ago after being stabbed in the gut a number of times in last week’s episode. Only, she’s obviously not safe from the crazy-eyed girl known only as the Waif, and we’re soon shown this as Arya’s new friend is brutally murdered. Arya is chased by the Waif through the streets of Bravos. I’m not sure why the showrunners left Arya on a cliffhanger from last week, it didn’t really have an impact. But hey ho.
“You’re shit at dying”
The Hound is back after his hiatus being an angry wood chopper trying to redeem himself and leave a life of peace. And he’s in good murdering form, putting his newly found wood-chopping skills to good use to brutally dismember the guys he reckons are responsible for the death of his love-cult. Good to have this guy back.
“I’m going to miss you”
Tyrion and Varys, one of my favourite double acts in the show’s history are split up in this episode because Varys has to go…somewhere. Somewhere very non specific. He’s off to find boats for Daenerys. Perhaps the Greyjoys can help?
“I choose violence”
Perhaps the only thing Cersei has done ever that has made me root for her happened this episode. She’s commanded (not requested, apparently) to report to the High Sparrow. However when she refuses, she is confronted by the Faith Militant and her cousin, Lancel. After being threatened with violence if she does not cooperate, Cersei chooses the former and the Mountain proceeds to rip a man’s head off with his bare hands. That guy would be useful in a trial by combat, I’d reckon.
“Do you think they’re fucking?”
Brienne and Pod arrive at Riverrun, when Pod astutely informs us that a siege is underway. Jaime and Brienne (of Tarth), are reunited and you can see the heartbreak in the eyes of both characters when they realise they might shortly be enemies on the battlefield if Brienne cannot convince the Blackfish to surrender the castle in order to support his niece in the North. Bronn and Pod also get a great scene together. We’ve missed Bronn. Himself and the Hound have been missed because they seem to be the only two characters who don’t give a shit. We need that dry sense of humour and the show has been missing it for a while now.
The only issue with Brienne’s plan is that the Blackfish isn’t keen on giving up the castle and allowing the Kingslayer to walk in without a fight and he doesn’t really give a toss about Sansa’s issues in the North. That’s despite the Tully words being ‘family, duty, honour’. Look’s like the Blackfish is going off that list in reverse order, then. That’s any hope of a peaceful negotiation down the shitter.
“There is to be a royal announcement”
Over to the puppet and his master in King’s Landing and Tommen has announced that trial by combat is to be outlawed from the Seven Kingdoms. Ah, that puts a rather large hole in Cersei’s plan of escaping any sort of punishment by getting the Mountain to rip the face off the Faith’s champion. Cersei, clearly heartbroken at losing her son to this religious zealot, asks Qyburn if there was anything more to a rumour she’d heard a while back. Qyburn confirms that it’s much more than a rumour. My guess is that this ‘rumour’ concerns wildfire, a lot of wildfire. We saw Tyrion use it in season 2 to defend King’s Landing but I’m guessing King Aerys had plenty stored under King’s Landing and Qyburn has discovered his secret stash. Cersei might go full Targaryen and burn the whole place down. Never go full Targaryen. Wouldn’t put it past her, though.
“Why don’t you drink”
Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei share a drink and some truly awful jokes in what makes for an awkward scene between the three. But at least in this episode we’re given some character stuff from the latter two of the group. Until now they’ve been there almost purely as plot points. Their joviality is short lived, however, as a fleet of war ships lay siege to the city. The Masters have come for what is theirs, we’re informed. Tyrion’s truce with the masters doesn’t seemed to have worked out all that well after all.
“Open the gates”
The first of the old Jaime Lannister we’ve seen in a while as he tells the captive Edmure that unless he yields command of the castle (he is the Lord, not the Blackfish) he will catapult his newborn child into the wall of the fortress. I’m not sure Jaime ever meant to do this, but it sure as hell scared Edmure into convincing the guards to open the gate. Once inside, Edmure surrenders the castle, to the Blackfish’s dismay who we learn later dies in the struggle. Brienne and Pod escape, unharmed.
“I was wrong”
Grey Worm tells Tyrion that he’s an idiot and for the most part Tyrion accepts his wrongdoings. Grey Worm pulls rank on Tyrion regarding the defences of the city, saying that Tyrion knows nothing of this sort of thing. Tyrion agrees, seemingly forgetting the inspirational defence of King’s Landing he masterminded in season 2. Just before everything falls apart, Daenerys turns up with Drogon. It’s going to be interesting to see her move from here. Does she take her Dothraki to conquer Westeros? Lets not forget that the Dothraki are rapers and pillagers. Can’t see Daenerys being on board with that, somehow.
“Tougher girls than you have tried to kill me”
In another reunion, the Hound comes across Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr and the rest of the Brotherhood, who are hanging the remaining members of the group that raided Brother Ray’s camp in the previous episode. Thoros and Beric try to convince the Hound to join them, saying that he’s still alive for a reason. Maybe he’s got a point. It would be cool to see the Hound with the good guys. Seeing Beric alive might spell the end of those Lady Stoneheart theories, unfortunately. .
“A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell”
Jaqen H’ghar returns to the temple (?) of the Many Faced God to find Arya placing the Waif’s face on the wall. Eyes poked out and all. Jaqen, oddly, seems pleased about this. He finally says that Arya is no-one, specifically at the point she decides she doesn’t want to be. Is that the point? This guy has no idea what’s going on. I get the impression that he has a book of phrases he has to say, like a call centre worker and he’s not allowed to go off script regardless of whether what he’s saying actually makes any sense. Because nothing he says makes sense. Was the test all along for Arya to kill the Waif? What does being no one mean? Seems to me like it’s just a thing he says to sound mysterious and interesting which doesn’t actually mean anything.
GREAT. Another strong episode that reintroduces the Hound and the Brotherhood without Banners as well moving Arya and Daenerys to a position where we might finally see them back in Westeros.
Check out our reviews of the season so far…