After an emotionally grueling episode, Game of Thrones was back this week with one that kind of settled things down a bit, but still had some pretty decent plot movement going on. I’m just happy this one didn’t end up with me in shocked and horrified tears. Anyway… let’s get to it.
Es: Let’s start this week off where the show did, north of the Wall with Bran and Meera getting chased by the wights through the dark and snowy woods. While all this is going on, Bran is still tripping balls and seeing ALL kinds of crazy shit that has happened, and maybe some stuff that will happen.
Due to all the stuff flashing at him through these visions, and due me being the complete and total geek that I am, it took me about 10 minutes to watch the first minute or two of this episode. DVR is both a blessing and a curse in that having it at my disposal made me go back and freeze frame my way through these flashes so that I could see every. little. thing. I won’t get into the clip by clip of it, and if you want to see a decent breakdown of it try here, but there was a whole lot of Starks getting killed (as there have been a lot of Starks who had gotten themselves killed), a bunch of the Night King with the baby and turning said baby into a White Walker, Dany and her dragons, and the biggest and most awesome stuff for me, wildfire explosions, the Mad King and Jaime killing said Mad King.
Bran and Meera are then saved by a mysterious rider, who turns out to be Bran’s mostly dead Uncle Benjen… and who MAY have just confirmed a big fan theory/hope from the books. I won’t get into that here because of the peoples who don’t want anything from the books spoiled, but the point is, even though this scene was pretty short, it gave us (or maybe just me) a LOT of awesomeness.
So, Jim, my questions for you: Were you as geeked out as I was to see the Mad King/Jaime scenes in Bran’s vision? Do you think there was any significance to what they showed in these visions and how they showed it? Do you think this lends any credence to the theory out there now that Bran is the one who caused the Mad King to go mad by uttering stuff at him across time and space? What did you think of Benjen showing up and the big reveal? With Bran’s scenes up to this season being only kind of okay (at least to me anyway), I find that I now perk up when they come on because they are just teeming with fantastic shit in Season 6, do you feel the same? And lastly, what kind of powers do you think Bran has that can stop the Night King and his army? It seems to me that Benjen knows that Bran is SUPER powerful, but other than seeing visions and warging, what could these powers be? Does he have sweet bo staff skills, or nunchuk skills, or computer hacking skills? Just how can he stop the Army of Teh Deads???
Jim: Flaming Ball and Chain Thingy!! Flaming Ball and Chain Thingy!! My research shows that Uncle Benjen’s weapon of choice is called a flail and Flaming Flail sounds incredibly incompetent so I’m sticking with Thingy, despite the alliteration. Even though it was slightly obvious, Benjen’s reveal was still pretty cool, especially for book fans. Has an actor ever waited so long for a recurring role as this dude? Brother was last seen in Season 1! Last time we saw him, all the direwolves were pups. And alive. Ouch.
In light of last week’s Hodor episode it sure seems possible that Bran…or the Three-Eyed Raven… could have driven the Mad King mad, but what would’ve been the purpose of doing so? To what end? I have no idea how Bran could stop the White Walkers by himself unless Bran can develop the ability to warg into everybody at the same time and control a massive army… hmmm…
The Mad King/Jaime flashbacks were awesome and we MUST see more of these, I demand it. And I’m a white male so when Trump is King of America, I’m allowed to demand anything I want. I want more of these scenes. Make Westeros Great Again!
Es: Let us go now to Horn Hill, where Sam and Gilly and Baby Sam show up with the story that Lil Sam is actually Sam’s bastard Son, and that Gilly is NOT a Wilding who was abused by her fatherhusband. As these scenes started to play out, I really started looking forward to meeting Randyll Tarly, annnnnnnd he turned out to be just as magnificent of an asshole as I imagined him to be.
After the Most Awkward Family Dinner Ever, where Sam keeps getting glowered at by his angry-as-fuck father… you know the one who threatened to kill him if he didn’t leave home… and where Gilly comes out as a Wilding (despite her fancy dress), Sam is told that he needs to leave the next day and that he is never allowed to return. Sam eventually doesn’t think so highly of this idea and decides to do something about it by taking Gilly, and Baby Sam, and his house’s Valyrian steel sword with him… which is no doubt going to piss his father off to an outrageous degree.
So, my first question here is, just what is the point of this whole side story? They’re apparently not staying at Horn Hill for long, so there’s nothing really to set up here or anything. Was this just to give Sam and Gilly something to do? I get that taking the sword is significant in some way, but how? Can that be the only reason this plot detour was taken? How do you see this playing out? And lastly, what did you think of the dear Randyll Tarly?
Jim: We need to take a moment to acknowledge the excellent casting work for Game of Thrones. The moment Randyll Tarly appeared on screen, you knew he was an asshole. On top of the assholish look, the man’s acting was superb. Fine work, GoT, fine work.
Assuming Randyll doesn’t come back to somehow play a major role in the war to come, then the reason must involve that sword. That Valyrian steel sword. One of the few things that can kill White Walkers. My guess is that meek old Samwell is going to need that sword in the great battle yet to come. Or, wouldn’t it be cool if Randyll came looking for it and Sam was forced to kill his own father with the ancestral blade?
Perhaps the Tarlys were serving up at big old plate of patricide at that awkward dinner.
Es: Next let’s go to Braavos, where Arya sees Part Two of Game of Farts (which is essentially what this play should be called), and laughs her wannabe assassin’s ass off at Joff getting killed in the story, though Lady Crane brings back any of the conflicting feels we may have had when this happened in not-so-real-life, as her speech about her dead son was surprisingly powerful… or so says me and the audience who happened to be watching the play on the show.
Arya goes to poison Crane, but after a nice little conversation with her about pretending to be other people, Arya slaps the poison out of her hand at the very last second before she can drink it. The Waif happens to see this and gets a bit of murderous glee in her eyes, and then we see No One transform back into Arya Stark, as she unburies Needle and hunkers down in a dark place to hide from the folks at Oreo Hall, who are now determined to add her face to the many faces that they have down in the Vault of Teh Faces.
So, Jim, how does Arya get out of this? Was this a good move or bad move on her part? Part of me was a bit horrified that she was actually going to let this “decent” woman get killed by some jealous actress, so I was happy that it didn’t come to that, but did Arya just seal her fate? How can she possibly beat the Waif, who just recently beat the shit out Arya even though she was unarmed and Arya had a bo staff (though apparently not very awesome bo staff skills)? Will Jaqen himself come after her?
Jim: How you neglect to even mention the Face/Off moment in this plotline is beyond me. “He took his face…off…” I don’t even know who you are anymore.
I find it kinda funny that Jaqen and the Waif once had a conversation that went something like this:
Jaqen: We’ve got a new recruit.
Waif: I don’t like her. Can I kill her?
Jaqen: No, she like, just got here and stuff.
Waif: What if she doesn’t work out, can I kill her then?
Jaqen: Yes, fine…if she doesn’t work out, you may kill her.
Jaqen: Sure, yeah, whatevs.
Waif: Pinky promise?
Jaqen: Shit, fine, yes I promise. *under his breath* Crazy bitch.
Waif: You say something?
Jaqen: I’ve got a crazy itch…go pull the wings off a fly or something.
For some reason, I feel like Arya is one of the characters they just can’t kill off. That’s a foolish stance to take with this show but something tells me your girl Arya is around until at least the penultimate episode of the series. She’s the wildcard that’s going to shift the balance to one side or the other in the final reckoning.
Wait! If Ramsay kills Rickon and Arya adds him to her kill list, then carries out Ramsay’s murder as payback, is that considered… wait for it… a Rickoning?
Es: Oh look, it’s that runny turd of a human Walder Frey. He’s berating his sons about losing Riverrun to the Blackfish, and then… oh look, it’s that horrible funeral archer Edmure Tully. During this scene, we hear that several Riverlands houses are revolting against the Freys (imagine that), and, much to my delight, we get a Brotherhood Without Banners shoutout, who I don’t think we’ve heard anything about since Arya and the Hound left their cave hideout back in like Season 3 (or thereabouts).
And, just as a note here, while I didn’t full out run up and hug my TV when I saw the Blackfish on the “Previously on Game of Thrones” jawn, I did unconsciously smile a broad and genuine smile when I saw him, because I know when we actually do see him (think next week!) that he’s going to be dropping awesome all over the joint.
So, do you think we’re going to see the Brotherhood Without Banners this season? Will you be excited to see your boy Thoros again? This leads me to another question about a certain UBER-popular character from the books that people have been jonesing like mad to see (who I won’t mention because spoilers), but without getting specific, what do you think the odds are that we see this person before the end of the season? Considering what happened north of the Wall with another book favorite, this does give me hope. I’ll also take any other assorted musings you have on this scene, as there’s really not much else to ask about here because exposition.
Jim: The actor playing Edmure is able to convey “dolt” with a simple look without going to Jim Carrey-levels of overselling. Fine work by him. I was just having the “do we assume they killed Edmure at the Red Wedding” discussion with my sister the other day (I couldn’t remember from the books cuz I’m old and feeble-minded) and the very next episode we get our answer. Was Bran in the kitchen watching and listening to us? Stop it, creep.
Yeah, I hadn’t considered it but now I think the BWB is coming back this season. We have two Red Priestesses in the mix, so let’s add much more jovial Thoros into that mix. By the way, if we know Melisandre’s necklace gives her a youthful appearance, and that Kinvara was also wearing one, can’t a brother get one and make himself look like Chris Hemsworth or something?
As for your book favorite – oh yeah, I think it’s totally happening!
If they have the stones to do it.
Es: In King’s Landing it looks as if Jim’s girl Margy is about to make her Walk of Shame, and I’m sitting here thinking, “So why did they not cut her hair??” This gets busted up by Jaime and the Tyrell army coming to liberate Margy and her brother Loras, but the High Sparrow, showing that he is constantly a couple steps ahead of ALL THE RULING FAMILIES, says there will be no Walk of Shame, and then brings out the Most Gullible King Ever, who is now apparently one of the religious zealots, which gets the Queen of Thorns to say that the High Sparrow has indeed beaten them.
This scene then leads into Jaime being dismissed from the King’s Guard… which made me think of Barrisatan Selmy’s dismissal (those fuckers!)… then we get some twincest… the first we’ve had in a while… and finally the news that Jaime will also be going to Riverrun to flush out the Blackfish with the Freys.
Jim, I know that you’re still reeling from the fact that a naked and shamed Magpie was taken from you, but hopefully you can fight through your tears and frustration to answer the following questions.
Just how terrible a king is Tommen? Does this boy have ANY bit of a spine? I mean, he’s prone to follow idle suggestions like he’s been hypnotized, so did he have any chance at all to NOT be brainwashed by the High Sparrow and his minions? Do you think that your girl Margy has finally “seen the light” or is she playing some kind of game to get her back to the Red Keep with her dignity in tact? What’s to become of her brother? What the fuck was Jaime doing leading the charge of the Tyrell army when it was decided that the Tyrells would take care of this and that the Lannister Army and the City Guard would stand down and let them???
Jim: Oh man, Tommen is just the worst and yet another argument that incest kids are never a good idea. He’s more easily influenced than those Stormtroopers looking for droids on Tatooine. I have to think my Magpie is playing a game…of Thrones, perhaps…and that her religious conversion is insincere. I do believe she knows that her acts of helping the poor were cynical, but I also don’t think she feels badly about them. She’s smart and knows the best way out is to play the Sparrow’s game… for now. She’s got something else cooking, I guarantee.
One person’s shame walk is another man’s pleasure walk, and while I was bummed the viewing audience missed out on naked Magpie’s humiliating moment, I’m happy to report it took place as scheduled in my head. Different venue, same outcome. [Ed note: Ewwwww, you creep!]
It also jumped out at me that Jaime wasn’t supposed to be involved in all of this, but perhaps he went there on his own? I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that was a boss bit of horsemanship riding that steed up the steps to deliver his threat. While it turned out to be unnecessary, it was still pretty damn cool. It just occurs to me – what if Bran’s visions of Jaime earning his Kingslayer nickname is actually a bit of foreshadowing to him doing it again, but this time to Tommen, his own son? Oooohhh shit, that’s highly improbable but this is the internet and I don’t need proof – just the blind conviction of my beliefs!
Es: Lastly this week, Dany and her new army is heading back to Mereen, she sees something, tells your boy Daaaaaaaaaarrriiiiiooooooo to stay where he is, then she disappears and comes back riding Drogon. She then gives her new peoples a rousing speech that echoes the one that Khal Drogo gave back in season one, and seeing that this is a complete baller move, the Dothraki are ALL IN for their new Khaleesi.
Okay, so all I got here is… when did Dany get her shit back together? Was it when she was captured by the Dothraki? I mean, right before this she was ruling over a city that was completely falling apart, and her and all her closest peeps were almost murdered by the Sons of the Harpy at the fighting pits… and actually would have been if Drogon didn’t show up.
Now, all of a sudden, she kills ALL THE KHALS, takes the entirety of the Dothraki people into her service, and then shouts wildly at them from the top of a dragon, which gets them frothing excited to invade her homeland. For someone who seemed so lost last season, how did she get her shit together so quickly? Does this turn seem at all odd to you? What do you think will happen when she brings these horse lords to Westeros… I mean, it will change the face off that continent forever?
One final note here, she is told that would take “at least a 1000 ships” to bring her army to Westeros. Funny that they should choose that number with what happened on the Iron Islands last week. Oh, and after thinking about what’s going on with the Ironborn, I figure that the only place that Yara and Theon could be going was to Dany. This is because… they can’t go to the North, they can’t go to King’s Landing, they could MAYBE, POSSIBLY go to Dorne (and with the mess down there, god knows they could write them into the plot even if there were severe holes with it), but that doesn’t seem likely. So, where else could they be going but to the Mother of Dragons? Jim, do you agree with my assessments?
Jim: Who are you to make assessments?
You have to assume Yara and Theon want the Iron Islands back and the only way they can do that is by joining up with Team Snowstark and convincing them to help or by heading Khaleesi’s way. I think they could earn their way back into the North’s graces because of the way Theon finally helped Sansa, but I’d have to go with Dany at this point, simply because you can’t ignore the 1000 ships reference.
I found this Rock the Khalasar scene to be an odd one. It felt tacked on and kind of a lame way to bring back Drogon. Yeah, it was rousing but did it seem as though the Dothraki were flagging at that point and in need of a pick me up? They were just riding along and then, like the Invisible Man masturbating to a shame walk, this pep talk came out of thin air. Weird and unexpected.
Oh, and one final note, I lifted the Arya pic this week from the amazing YouTube channel Emergency Awesome. If you’re looking for another great recap of Game of Thones (I say another because ours is also great too, right? RIGHT!!), you should check it out!
Okay, Black Lips, play us out this week…