Septon Ray and his entire flock of peaceful ‘hippies’.
Most Impressive Death?
Ray was hanging quite well.
The prostitutes in the bar in Volantis during the Ironborn visit. One Greyjoy enjoys them, the other is no longer capable of enjoying them.
Quote of the Week
Septon Ray: How many men did it take to cut you down?
The Hound: Just one.
Septon Ray: Woah! He must have been some kind of monster.
The Hound: He was a woman.
Old Dog, New Axe to Grind
Marieke: As many have expected because we never saw him die on-screen (and because ‘Cleganebowl’ hype has remained at fever pitch online)… The Hound lives! Well, at first Sandor Clegane lived, but soon The Hound was barking again after the peaceful people he was helping out, after being nursed back to health by Septon Ray, were slaughtered. Ian McShane’s part was already talked about a lot, because he was not impressed he was on the ‘tits and dragons’ show. His part was nice however, maybe a bit too short in general, but also a bit too long for serving only the purpose of getting The Hound back into killing mode. Since Clegane recognised The Brotherhood without Banners, he’s surely going after them. The question rose however, why would the Brotherhood slaughter innocent people? We met them in the second season with Arya, Hot Pie and Gendry and saw along with Melisandre how the Lord of Light works in mysterious ways (which we were all glad about after the season 5 finale). They were there to protect the people not affiliated with houses, but also sought money where they could, but they did not strike me as evil. Either they have a new evil leader which has been speculated about a lot, or another house is disguising themselves as them to make them look bad. There is more to this story and The Hound might reveal it to all to us. Of course everyone is also wondering if he will reunite with Arya in some way or another. Cleganebowl theories suggest he is going in another direction, but in GoT you never know. Westeros is huge, but when it comes to accidentally meeting people (or to Littlefinger travelling…), it’s as tiny as the smallest Wildling settlement.
Danielle: I knew from the second I saw the lone man carrying that log with a limp that it had to be The Hound. If anyone was going to survive having their arse handed to them by Brienne and then tumbling off a cliff, it’s going to be Sandor Clegane. Septon Ray was right about him surviving for a reason too, and that reason has to be to ultimately face his brother during Cersei’s trial by combat. It’s been fated ever since we found out The Mountain was responsible for his little brother’s disfiguration way back in Season 1 when he pressed his face to the fire like a ‘juicy piece of meat’ back when they were still children. He’s due some revenge, and not just on his own behalf. Although it seemed obvious that those Brotherhood without Banners members were going to come back and raid the village, it was still shocking to see the unarmed men, women and children so callously killed like that. Like Marieke mentioned, it was especially disturbing after the Brotherhood were portrayed relatively sympathetically a few seasons back. My guess is that, much like in King’s Landing with the Faith Militant, we’re seeing the start of religious fanaticism spread to Westeros amongst those who worship The Lord of Light. In a metaphorical sense, Septon Ray’s death, the man who preached religious tolerance, may symbolise the end of reason in the kingdom and the kind of blind faith that may usher in a religious civil war between those who worship The Seven, and an opposing group who follow the teachings of R’hllor. At least the latter group seem somewhat aware that the Night is indeed dark and full of terrors, even if they are creating some of their own.
The North Remembers, Mostly Doesn’t Care
Marieke: We’ve met two members of the Mormont family. Neither were quite like this one. All hail Lyanna Mormont, leader of the people on Bear island, and super fierce ten year old! This tenacious little woman decided not to support Stannis because there is only one true King in the North, and he is from House Stark. It is nice to see their House trying to rise again, albeit with ups and downs. Sansa claiming to be a Stark betrays her inner strength and strong sense of identity, especially since her two marriages technically made her a member of rival houses (yes, the Lannister one is still questionable). It was endearing to see that Davos from the new House of Seaworth knew how to talk to the little girl. It is clear he misses Shireen (I assume he thinks she is dead, but still does not know how?) and this interaction brought back the ‘NIGGIT’ days. Sadly, he only managed to get 62 men and other houses are not as keen about rekindling the Stark alliance. I am not sure the whole ‘the North is closer than any other region and always stick by each other!’ thing actually is true. Also, there is still too much emphasis on just bringing the Boltons down, instead of defeating them as a means to being able to fight the Night King together. Sansa keeping her talk with Littlefinger a secret does not bode well and she was obviously writing him the letter asking for help. Sansa, getting stronger by the day, still needs to understand the bigger picture and it is a good thing Davos understands.
Also it was nice to see Tormund convincing the Wildings to stand by Jon, but it was Wun Wun’s ‘Snow’ which sealed the deal. A giant of few, small words. Getting all Northeners and Wildlings to fight together and not each other is a big task for Jon, who could use a page out of Mance’s book. The Boltons cannot win this time, and Ramsay’s smirk needs to be wiped off permanently.
Danielle: Wasn’t little Lyanna absolutely amazing? She and her army may be small, but they are perfectly formed. I liked the little throwback to Auntie Lyanna Stark, who she was named after too. She may not have shared her beauty, but if the rumours are true and she was also a steely and determined young woman, then it’s not hard to wonder why Lady ‘No Small Talk’ Mormont’s parents were eager to take her name for their daughter. (All these breadcrumbs are surely leading us back to the Tower of Joy in the finale, right?) Robb’s mistakes are also still reverberating around the North. As much as we all wanted the Glovers to join the Starks against the Boltons, it’s understandable why they didn’t. Their allegiance to him cost them family members, and for a time due to the Greyjoy mainland invasion, their castle too. Attacking the very people who’ve just helped you to get back your ancestral home wouldn’t be particularly smart. It’s not difficult to imagine why they’d be so against fighting alongside the Wildlings either. Their only real experience of them is when they attacked Northern villages to steal and pillage. Still, at least Jon can rely on Wun Wun, Tormund and the rest of the Free Folk, and once they make a promise they stick to it. He’s desperately going to need them. About as much Sansa, unfortunately, needs the troops from the Vale under Littlefinger’s command. Let’s just hope that’s a fast raven.
Being Someone is Hard
Marieke: As has been pointed out a lot already by other people, this was a weird segment of the episode. Arya being all confident, walking with her hands behind her back, flaunting her wealth and not being worried about the Faceless Men’s revenge at all. It was obvious the old lady was The Waif (Arya has actually seen that mask before!) so why was there no suspicion? And why did the Waif make Arya suffer? Stabbing the gut is not the swift death Jaqen ordered. The Waif cannot be certain Arya is dead and there was nobody to take the face off, if indeed there is one to be taken off. Also, why was Arya not carrying her precious Needle?? Was Arya actually Arya? I also wonder if she might bump into someone familiar after being ignored by everyone in Braavos when she was walking around bloody and hurt. Maybe it was someone we won’t expect? Maybe it was Lady Crane? Or Jaqen even? Or, what it looked like, the Waif finally coming for her adversary’s face? One thing is clear, Arya’s storyline needs a proper conclusion. If she dies now, it has all has been for nothing. Can’t she at least see her remaining siblings one last time?
Danielle: One thing is for sure, all was not as it seemed in those scenes in Braavos. As Marieke pointed out, Arya brazenly walking through the streets and stopping along the way to book passage home with a Weterosi ship owner seems about a thousand miles away from where we saw her last, cautiously sitting in her room with Needle by her side. I think I was suspicious right from when we saw her in different clothes. I’m really starting to believe that The Waif is about to have the rug pulled out from underneath her when she finds out that Jaqen has been testing her all along too. If that’s the case then she definitely failed the test when she twisted the knife, literally and figuratively, disobeying her tutor’s orders about not making her fellow pupil suffer. Personal vendettas are not a part of being No-one. I’m not sure if Arya is in on it. She could be. There’d be some symmetry to Jaqen sacrificing himself years after the youngest Stark girl saved him when they first met back in Westeros though. Either way, somebody is losing part of themselves to the Hall of Faces pretty soon.
Pit Stop in Volantis
Marieke: So our Greyjoy siblings did steal Uncle Euron’s plan. They’re going to Daenerys to broker a pact. I wonder if the Queen of Dragons is open to this. They are bringing ships, after all! As the Iron Islands are such a patriarchy, it is nice to see Yara liking the ladies (too). She comes across as a very confident woman, but she should not go into the motivational speech business. First we had Davos with his ‘you fail again’, but now Yara suggests Theon should slit his wrists if he just cannot take it any more. It is striking to see the effect that betraying the Starks still has one Theon. But Yara suggested they should seek vengeance instead of justice, soliciting a look in his eyes that hinted that the old Theon was still under there somewhere. He is there for his sister, but waiting for her to finish fucking the prostitute still makes him feel incredibly uncomfortable and small. I do not agree with Yara’s ‘man up’ approach, but it seems to be working, for now.
Danielle: Well, our motorway services are nothing like this! It’s hardly surprising that Yara isn’t full of tact and compassion with her little brother. She is Balon’s daughter and she has grown up around men for whom taking whatever they want is part of their culture. Still, it was great to see her finally getting through to this ‘broken man’. His subservience and guilt are no use to her, nor can they do much for him going forward if they both want to live and forge an alliance with Dany. I’m actually really stoked they’re trying to get to Meereen before their Uncle. Fighting alongside The Unsullied, a group of soldiers who Theon has *ahem* something in common with, could be the making of him. In the past he was always held back by his pride and his dick, and now both of those have gone, he could become one hell of a warrior. I expect sparks will fly between Yara and the Mother of Dragons too. We could have another Tormund/Brienne situation on our hands. At the very least, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be bucket loads of respect between them as strong women commanding armies.
Queen of Thorns Pricks Cersei
Marieke: Oh Margaery. All devout and besties with Septa Unella, who is continuously proving to be the most annoying septa EVER without saying a word! She has finally learned her ways and even if Grandma doesn’t want to, she has to go. But not without smuggling a piece of paper into her hands with a rose on it. Margaery is, as we suspected, playing along to deceive the High Sparrow and her new BFF. By asking for marriage advice from the High Sparrow, she might even enlarge her influence on little Tommen. She is playing a risky game, but I hope she will come out on top. Sending the mighty Olenna away for her safety was clever and in the scheming stakes Margaery might even outdo her. Littlefinger, beware, there is another Tyrell who mastered this underhand business!
The scene between Cersei and Olenna was delicious. Olenna outwits Cersei every time and she was spot on. Besides FrankenMountain, who is on Cersei’s side? Tommen has been brainwashed, Jaime left, the citizens loathe her… Cersei thinks she is a great trickster, but she cannot look past the truth staring her in the face. She armed the High Sparrow, got herself, Margaery and Loras in trouble, and now the whole situation is heading towards a big bang. I could see Cersei taking everyone and herself out if it would save her precious little boy who is basically destined to die and for her to witness it, so how is this going to play out then?
Danielle: That scene where the High Sparrow basically told Margaery to lie back and think of Westeros was pretty nauseating, and betrayed the insidious misogyny at the heart of the Faith of the Seven. Of course, he’s trying to consolidate his hold on the throne by making her produce an heir so that Cersei would be yet another step away from power. It really is fascinating to see his piety slowly stripped away week by week to betray the fact he’s just as power hungry as the rest of them. The Queen is playing him like a pro, however, saying all the right things and thankfully getting her Grandmother out of harm’s way by sending her back to Highgarden. Thank God! Diana Rigg is not a cast member I want to lose any time soon. She was astonishingly good in her verbal jousting session with Cersei, as was Lena Headey. Although, I couldn’t help but wish she wouldn’t have given her ideas when she sarcastically asked if she was going to kill all her enemies by herself, especially now that the remaining members of her family have either defected to the Faith, or are heading up sieges away from King’s Landing. A Cersei that’s backed into a corner with nothing else to lose is a very dangerous woman indeed.
Blackfish Reels in the Kingslayer
Marieke: The Blackfish is a glorious character. The way he both talked to and measured Jaime, whilst being unimpressed and not bothered by a siege was mesmerising. Oh and let’s not forget that he thinks Edmure is basically already dead, so let’s just get it over with. The Blackfish does not give a fish’s arse and would rather die where he was born, than give in. The Frey army looked like amateurs (who rightly deserved some golden hand slapping) and did not frighten him at all. But the more organised and nicer looking Lannister army also would not be able to withstand a two year siege. They have no leverage either. Jaime had a bad day, with Bronn not being impressed by him and putting him down whenever he could, and then the Blackfish smacked him down. I never heard anyone say ‘Kingslayer’ with such disdain as the he did. I hope he will align himself with House Stark again, after all he was expecting Jaime to fulfil his oath and hand over Arya and Sansa. Please Sansa, send a raven which will make it past the Lannister/Frey defending lines! Next episode Brienne will arrive and I for one cannot wait to see how that will play out. This whole castle stealing idea does look unnecessary in the grander scheme of things. The Lannisters need to find out about the White Walkers at some point, don’t they? Not that they will care, or believe it. Even the North mostly does not. In the meantime, more Blackfish, please!
Danielle: It was fabulous to see both The Blackfish and Bronn back, not least of all because they were both dropping zingers like there’s no tomorrow; verbally bitch-slapping Jaime just as hard as he backhanded Walder Jr. Sometimes metal hands are more of a blessing than a hindrance. (Speaking of the Freys, they really did look like they belonged on Blackadder. I kept on expecting Baldrick to pop up with a cunning plan!) I’m not entirely sure Jaime expected the short change he got from The Blackfish, but it was quite funny to see him so crushed after their parley. His Tully counterpart is a renowned fighter, and no doubt the type of man he’d like to at least have the respect of. Straight away, The Blackfish popped the bonnet on his enemy’s insecurities, chiefly the revulsion people feel towards him because he broke his oath as a member of the Kingsguard, and also that he has no other great deeds to his name, throwing them scornfully back in his face like he was a boy playing at war. Brynden definitely has time on his side as well, whereas Jaime is intent to get back Cersei as quickly as possible. This is all likely to change after the arrival of Brienne with her request for help from Sansa, however. Let’s see what twists are going to happen along the way.
Our Fezzy Score:
So what did you think to the episode? Let us know in the comments…