“Lots of horrible shit gets done in this world for something larger than ourselves.” – The Hound
JIM: Let’s begin in Mereen, shall we? It must be said that Tyrion, Greyworm and Miss Andi debating the nature of comedy is a spectacular moment of, well, comedy. Their moment of shaky levity is shattered when the slavers begin an all-out assault on the city. I guess they were none-too-happy with Tyrion’s seven year plan. This all takes place after Varys hightails it outta there to go on some mysterious trip. Did he mention in earlier episodes where he was going? His exit seemed oddly-timed, no?
But the big news of this particular plot thread was Dany’s Lois Lane-like reappearance through the balcony after being dropped off by Superman/Drogon. So, the Khaleesi is back but how far behind is her khalasar? When they arrive, will they even be effective against a ship-borne attack? Is it up to the dragons to stop them? Is this where the Iron Islanders arrive and get into Dany’s good graces by vanquishing the slavers? Will Yara then hope to get into Dany’s pants? Do they need the slaver’s ships to conquer Westeros? How do they defeat them without destroying those ships? I have SO MANY QUESTIONS!
Annnnnnnd I’m spent.
ES: Okay, let’s slow the pace before your skull splits in two from ALL THE QUESTIONZZZ, and I’ll take these one at a time so as to not overwhelm.
I’d have to think that Dany’s new horde of Dothraki are not far behind their Khaleesi. Though I guess the question is really more along the lines of: Can they get there in time to completely eviscerate the Masters’ army? Personally, I think this is the moment that Dany does something hardkor and crushes all of her opposition in the region so that she can finally leave the area and head back to Westeros. I had been wondering ever since she said a few episodes back that when they return to Meereen she needs boats because she’s planning on getting the F out of Dodge sooner rather than later. This battle seems to be a way of doing that. I predict that her forces (and, maybe more importantly, her dragons… hopefully all three, because let’s face it 3 dragons >>>> 1 dragon, even if that one dragon is Drogon) crush the slavers so that it all comes to an end and she can move on with all of the slaves finally being free… and possibly with at least several hundred new ships that she relieves the Masters of.
That said, I found the scene with Tyrion, Miss Andi, and Mr. Worm to be an odd insertion into this episode. I thought it went on for a little too long, ONLY because there is SOOOOO much other shit that this show needs to get to, and there is precious little time left for them to do it. I guess it was to add some levity into the situation, to show how Mr. Worm loves when Miss Andi laughs, to plant the seeds of Miss Andi developing a debilitating alcohol addiction, and also to showcase that carnage can hit, even in the most serene of moments.
For a second I thought that this was going to turn into some sort of horrible Afterschool Special “Mr. Worm and the Perils of Drinking” story line where the bad ass soldier is completely laid low because, after all the years of not having any alcohol, he takes three sips of wine and now his reactions are slowed to the point that he winds up the dead. Thankfully they did not go in that direction.
On the flip side, we STILL have yet to hear the end of Tyrion’s walking into a brothel with a honeycomb and a jackass story! This was probably my favorite callback in an episode that had a few of them. (A close second was Jaime’s “The things we do for love.”)
And while I’m on the subject of Tyrion, I’m still wondering how Dany will react to him dealing with the Masters the way he did. I mean, chances are they would have attacked either way, right? His play at least bought the city some peace and normalcy in the meantime. I’m not really defending him here as much as I’m saying that sooner or later the Masters were going to attack and attack with a vengeance.
Oh, and considering where the Greyjoys are, I wouldn’t think that they will factor into this battle at all. But with the way characters are flying ALL OVER THE WORLD this season, who knows? I’m very eagerly awaiting the runaway Iron Born meeting their new queen, though.
And lastly here, to tie up my long-winded answer (as if we can expect anything else from me at this point other than intense and verbose rambling), I thought for a bit about where Varys is going. I really only have one answer… and it’s not a good one. Dorne. I think he is basically heading to bring that awful plot line back on the show. He said that they need support in Westeros, and really, where else is he going to get it from? (Ed. note: What’s that you say? You need 10cc’s of love, stat? You’re welcome.)
JIM: Within walking distance of Brother Ray’s Camp for Wayward Hounds, four dudes sit around the campfire practicing for future proctology careers when Sandor Clegane hacks them to death with an axe.
Only on this show does that scenario not only seem reasonable, but very much like the right thing to do.
The Hound is on a rampage and eventually stumbles across our old pals Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr. They are not pleased with the actions of some of their rogue Brotherhood Without Banners members so they plan to hang them, but Clegane negotiates the murder rights to two of them. After a meal and peek at the Hound’s hog as he took a leak (they oddly lingered and showed 3 different angles on this, hmmm…), the Brotherhood attempts to talk the Hound into joining them in their upcoming fight. Is it safe to assume they speak of the White Walkers? Will the Hound reconsider and join the Brotherhood? If not, what will he do? Were you expecting a certain someone to show up in that scene? Were you disappointed when they didn’t? Do you think there is still a chance they will? Can I be any more vague?
ES: Another nice callback here with the Hound mentioning that he would prefer chicken over what they’re eating. Anyway, I was relieved to find out that the whole of the BwB did not turn into a murdery gang of assholes, and I found it interesting that they were that cordial with the Hound. It’s like “Oh, dude, I know we tried to kill you last time we saw you but instead you killed Beric….again, and then you stole our high-ransom-getting captive from us, but what are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere… stumbling through the woods… with an axe? Eh, either way, wanna help us kill these jokers and then dine with us?”
Though, that said, maybe he had a look of someone trying to atone for his past? And the BwB definitely knows that the dude can fight, so I guess they figured the best thing they could do is to try to recruit him. Especially because they follow the Lord of Light, and it seems that this particular Lord’s followers are the only ones who are paying any attention at all to what’s going on with the White Walkers and the Army of Teh Deads. So, I feel fairly confident that they are indeed going to head north, and that the Hound will be in tow. Why? Well first because where else is he going to go? And secondly, why interject this scene if that’s not a path we’re going to follow? Now that may seem simplistic and all, but sometimes you just have to invoke Occam’s razor.
If this is indeed the case, this scene shits all over (or so I would think) the fan hankering for a Clegane Bowl (though Tommen’s decree about no more trial by combat does that as well, but we’ll get to that in a bit). Also, I think that this scene may put to rest the fact that a certain someone will not be joining the show, especially considering who was and was not present at this meeting. Two can play the vague game here, James… and I hope those who don’t want book spoilers appreciate our obscurity.
Though speaking of the books, and without giving anything away, I’m a bit disappointed that ol’ Lem Lemoncloak turned out to be a sniveling asshole. From what I recall, I seemed to like him a little bit in the books… though maybe I’m misremembering. It’s been a while since I’ve read them.
Finally here, personally I did not notice that they had three different shots of the Hound’s… er, little Hound? Puppy? I’m not sure where to go with this…. regardless, I don’t think there was any naked breasteses in this episode, so why not make up for it with gratuitous shots of some peen? I appreciate that Game of Thrones is an equal opportunity showcase of nudity… not that I necessarily think that it’s needed, but it’s good to see that it’s not all about nekkid ladies for once.
JIM: Back in King’s Landing, cousin Lancel shows up with some of his boys to take Cersei to a meeting with the High Sparrow. She refuses and suggests the Red Keep as a nice conference room. While that doesn’t seem like something to lose one’s head over, that’s exactly what happens to one of the Faith Militant as the Mountain literally RIPS HIS FUCKING HEAD OFF!!!
Just as it seems Cersei is on a winning streak cuz she chose violence, that mealy little prick Tommen cuts her legs out from under her by banning a trial by combat, seemingly sealing Loras and Cersei’s fates. It’s amazing to think that sweet young Tommen has turned out to be so much more of a nightmare for Cersei than Joffrey ever thought of being.
Was it the High Sparrow that convinced Tommen to change the law? Was Uncle Kevan involved? How does Cersei survive any of this? What is the rumor that Qyburn seems to have confirmed? Will it be enough to save Cersei? Who’s head will the Mountain tear off next??
ES: I think it was MOST CERTAINLY the HS that convinced his Tommen Puppet (because let’s face it, that’s precisely what he is at this point) to ban trial by combat, especially since they saw that FrankenMountain can LITERALLY tear someone’s head off! This leaves me wondering that if Cersei went along to the Sept and did NOT choose violence, if the ban still would have happened. Did she seal her own fate here? What’s wildly apparent with each passing week is that everyone else is playing checkers while the HS is playing chess… and Scrabble… and Stratego… and maybe even a few hands of Pinochle… all at the same time.
As far as the rumor that Creepburn has confirmed, I can only fumble a guess at what it is, though I expect to be horrifically off base about it. I do believe that it’s Cersei’s only chance at survival, though, and I’m guessing… PURELY based on the fact that it seemed to pop up again this season… that it may have something to do with a cache of wildfire possibly being stored just beneath the Sept. So maybe she finds a way to set that shit off and get all the Sparrows all blowed up?
And I don’t think that YES WE KEVAN! had anything to do with the ban on the trial by combat, but who knows? I mean, he would essentially be actively turning against his niece, but we also know that there is absolutely zero love lost betwixt these two.
Lastly, I have no idea whose head is the next one to be torn off by FrankenMountain, but really, any of the Sparrows will do. Lancel would be a nice choice from where I’m sitting. That fucking dude… ugh.
Annnnnnd it’s over.
After a fantastic reunion with Brienne and an even more fantastical one between Pod and Bronn, Jaime seems to have learned that since he’s one hand down, he needs to rely more on brains than brawn. Or Bronn. He talks doltish Edmure into recognizing that Uncle Blackfish isn’t worth dying for and just like that the siege and the Blackfish are finished.
Before he decides to go down swinging, the Blackfish helps Brienne and Pod slip off into the night. Her mission was a complete failure and quite frankly, the Blackfish turned out to be a huge disappointment. Though I never trust a Game of Thrones death that occurs off-screen, I must ask—how did you feel about your boy’s stubborn insistence to stay and fight, by himself, instead of going north to help his niece? Do you think the Blackfish is really gone? What is Edmure’s next move? To paraphrase Bronn—will Jaime and Brienne one day end up fucking? Can Jaime get back to King’s Landing in time to help Cersei?
ES: I’m not entirely certain that your assessment that Jaime is the only one who could save Cersei is accurate… and really, who are you to make assessments? I mean, what could the dude do? Sure, he could march back to King’s Landing with the Lannister army in tow, but wouldn’t they then listen to the king…. or even the Hand (yes, we Kevan)?
Anyway… Edmure comes in just in time to fuck EVERYTHING up. That fucking dude is THE WORRRRRST. Like way, way worse than Mona-Lisa Saperstein. Like it or not, he, his wife, and his baby are all doomed… if not directly by death, then by being captives all of their lives. Though Jaime did say that they can go to live at Casterly Rock, but Edmure is the one Tully in all the Tullys that just handed over Riverrun and essentially destroyed the power of his family.
I’m certain that the Blackfish is gone, because he was determined to go down with the ship… er… castle. While I guess I get his reasoning here, his death left me with as much anger as Billy Sole’s did in Predator (yes, his last name is Sole, which I just found out, and is my Fun Fact of the Day for you, reader). Dude was absolutely the best character in the movie, and the way he goes out… also off screen… is also super infuriating. It’s like, “No, dude! Live to fight another day!” I hated, hated, HATED that ending for the Blackfish, and I also really wish that TV and movie writers would stop using that stock kind of death for characters…. mostly because it just enrages me… and really, aren’t these people all writing just for me!!?
Lastly here, Jaime still seems to be super-duper committed to his sisterlover, so I don’t see anything happening with him and Brienne, though the scene they had together was a very nice moment in this episode. It was also nice to see Jaime being Jaime in basically convincing Edmure to do the Edmure thing and give up his castle. Fucking Edmure.
JIM: Which brings us to the big story of the night—Arya Stark is back, bitches! Lady Crane, after another moving performance, finds Arya has found her way into her dressing room. She attempts to nurse Arya back to health and offer some words of wisdom.
Annnnnnnd she’s dead.
Schwarzenegger would be proud of the way the Waifinator calmly and relentlessly chased Arya through the streets of Braavos and it appeared this may indeed be the end of the line for your WolfGirl. Bleeding and weak, she stumbled back to the place she’d hidden Needle to make her final stand.
Obi-Wan was smiling in a galaxy far, far away as Arya sliced the candle and used the Force to finally take down her nemesis. She then returned to Oreo Hall to place the the Waif’s face among the rest.
Jaqen: “Finally, a girl is No One.”
Arya: “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I’m going home.”
The music that underscored this moment was brilliant and intense and the actors were note perfect. I’ve watched it several times now and there is so much going on in Jaqen’s expression. At first he seemed surprised at just how, for lack of a better word, cocksure she suddenly was… then he seemed proud, even though it meant he’s losing a protégé. Is there any chance that Jaqen somehow knew her true destiny was to stop running and go back to Westeros and kick ass and he’d been working towards this moment the whole time? Does he join her on her quest or is this where they part? Where does WolfGirl go from here?
ES: I have to say that when Arya started talking to Lady Crane about how she would like to see what’s west of Westeros, that she was on her way out, if not from the wounds she had, then from the Waif coming to finish the job off. It seems that characters often seem to talk of wild things and grandiose plans just before they bite it. I’m happy I was wrong here and that GoT did not do this.
While this was all pretty exciting stuff that unfolded with the Wolf Girl over the past couple weeks, I still think that the writers fumbled this a little bit, starting with how Arya was just nonchalantly walking around Braavos last week. Like did she expect to lead the Waif back to her dark murder room when she eventually found her, and did her plan go awry when she got repeatedly stabbed? Good thing that Play Cersei was there to patch Arya up…. though it seemed apparent that Arya knew that she was marking the actress for death.
Also, while I know the show plays with how fast time passes, how the hell did Arya run through all the streets and do some Hardkor Parkour with gaping holes in her breadbasket. I mean, that alone is enough, but then after the super-amazing running jump she did when she tumbles down the stairs (which was FANTASTIC)… like seriously, how the HELL did she get up from that? And then she looks kinda fine when confronting Jaqen at the end?
Anyway, I’m nitpicking here, because overall there was some great action and some wonderful scenes involved in this whole story, and the Waif’s “I’m gonna murder that bitch…look how pleased I am about it” face is going to be missed. I’m also glad that the Wolf Girl will be back again at some point, though on that Needle-drop note (as you so eloquently put it, James) I wonder if we’ll see her again this season.
My bet is that she tries to make her way back to the North… because, let’s face it, at this point in the story, pretty much EVERYONE is going to wind up at the Wall to fight the Army of Teh Deads. I also bet that Jaqen will not be with her, though, really, who knows where a man may appear again? This writer certainly does not. Nor does this writer know if Jaqen knew that Arya was destined to NOT become a permanent member of Oreo Hall. I would think that he did expect her to, but this is freaky-deaky (like the Dutch) magic shit going on here, so maybe he knew how the plan was going to play out all along? It’s a great topic for debate, and we do happen to take comments on here…. you know, if our ones and ones of readers would like to do discuss it amongst themselves. Just sayin’.