The Waif, finally. The Blackfish, three Brotherhood traitors, some guys at a campfire, who were also probably from the Brotherhood, a Faith Militant and, sadly, Lady Crane.
Most impressive Death?
Got to be FrankenMountain pulling a head from a body like he’s taking a lid off a jar. Easy does it. Lady Crane also looked rather messed up wrapped round that stool. Striking, there were two deaths we didn’t see at all!
Arya fled through a sauna, but there was nothing saucy and, well, it is sauna. People aren’t usually dressed up to the nines in there, are they? The Hound did pop his little fella out when he went for a pee in the river, one would guess, in an attempt to help redress the tits to penises ratio on the show.
Quote of the Week
Varys: I can’t go off on a secret mission in the company of the most famous dwarf in the city.
Tyrion: The most famous dwarf in the world.
Marieke: It had to be Lady Crane patching Arya up. There was a nice bond between the ladies, one of mutual respect and liking. Fortunately, the soup didn’t kill the invalid. Sadly, Lady Crane was still a face to add, so the Waif found them, and Arya found Lady Crane folded up like origami after The Waif was done with her, so she had to run, wounded. Parkour style, these were some high octane, high blood pressure scenes. Arya ran, jumped, fell and eventually led The Waif to her hideout. The blood smears were actually a set up. Before discussing the dark, I would like to go back to last week, where there was a lot of speculation about Arya’s weird scenes. It turned out to be really Arya, acting a bit stupid, because her presence was unavoidable for The Waif. So, ultimately, the directing and acting in the scene might have been off, fuelling speculation wrongfully, and making it stand out like a sore thumb. The writers really missed a beat there. They got it right when they made Arya kill the Waif in the dark though. The logic was sound. Arya is trained as a blind girl and combined with water dancing and Needle, she was able to add The Waif’s face to the wall. Jaqen looked slightly impressed (maybe he was glad the annoying Waif was gone too?), but he also knew No One would always be Arya Stark from Winterfell. I am glad these Faceless shenanigans are over and hope to see another Stark reunion soon. Melisandre predicted she was going to meet Arya again and since she’s near her siblings… . Or maybe she will indeed run into the Hound again. It is all going on up North anyway.
Danielle: In an episode where Catelyn Stark’s mothering skills were brought up, I actually found the scenes between Arya and Lady Crane quite touching. For so long now she’s been completely without her parent’s love and attention, so receiving some TLC from someone of a similar age to her Mother was quite a sight to see and helped to underline the fact that for all her maturity, sass and badass fighting skills, she’s still essentially a child. I also like the fact the actress had incorporated the youngest Stark girl’s advice into her speech during the bit of the play where Joffrey dies. It was all the better for it, and demonstrated the mutual respect in their short-lived friendship. Perhaps it was her own sense of loss and longing for her family that finally spurred Arya to regain her identity and head home? I wouldn’t blame her. Jon and Sansa could do with another wolf to add to their dwindling pack.
Like Marieke, I found the writing so incredibly off last week that I was convinced something else was going on with that storyline, but no, apparently Arya was just daft enough to go marching through Braavos and booking passage back to Westeros without a. expecting The Waif to come after her, and b. carrying Needle with her. Still, what’s done is done. The Waif has been snuffed out like that candle, and her face is hanging in the House of Black and White… Actually, I’m not sure if I find that comforting. We could always see that face again.
Family, Honour and The Threat of Flying Firstborns
Marieke: Ah, the Pod in trouble scene from the big trailer turned out to be none other than Bronn sneaking up on him for a wee reunion! It was nice to see them together again, even though they’re on opposite sides now. Bronn teaching Pod some dirty fighting tricks, could be a Chekov’s gun, and I would love to see Pod rescue himself (or Brienne) with a trick from Bronn’s dirty fighting playbook. This time Brienne was also on the opposing side to Jaime. He still clearly has a soft spot for her. Not attacking her and letting her through, allowed her to talk to the Blackfish and most importantly, he let her get away quietly and safely, with a wave, at the end. Brienne brings out the good side in Jaime, which diminishes as soon as he thinks about Cersei. Their love is unhealthy in more ways than just incest (as if that was not bad enough). Brienne!Jaime is a knight with a good heart and some honour left. Cersei!Jaime is cruel, mean and will even fling a baby at a castle to get his way. That’s the Jaime who pushed Bran out of a window, and is the man I hoped to see less of after his adventures with Brienne. I am glad he let her keep the sword, imagine that, going back North without Valeryian steel against all those White Walkers who are heading South.
Speaking of younger brothers, Edmure Tully is not as strong as his sister and caved easily to the Kingslayer. It was weird to see the army being loyal to Edmure and not to the Blackfish. Were they mostly demonstrating what true loyal knights would do opposed the things Jaime has done? It felt a bit off to me. I hoped the Blackfish would cave and go North with Brienne and Pod, but it was more his style to go down fighting, which we did not see. It would have been great to actually witness that. That is his style. The dark served a purpose in Arya’s story, but not seeing the Blackfish die was one off-screen death too many. The Hound has created the ‘not seen dying, still alive’ hope, but we did not see Stannis die either and I believe Brienne executed him. The older generation is dying out and the new is taking over, but the Blackfish deserved more. At the very least, a proper death scene.
Danielle: I think that scene between Pod and Bronn was one of my favourites this season. Jerome Flynn really is the master of comic timing and Daniel Portman is always a fabulous straight man, regardless of who he’s paired up with. Funnily enough though, it was Bronn’s comments about what was going on in the tent between Jaime and Brienne that made me think, for the first time ever, that the duo might eventually take things a step further than furtive glances, voiced hopes that they won’t have to face each other in battle and nervous waves. (Poor Tormund will be mortified!) Cersei is definitely the one holding Jaime back from becoming the honourable man it seems he wants to be when he’s in Brienne’s presence. It really appears to be an internal struggle for him, and while his sister still has a hold over him, he will threaten to kill everybody who gets in their way, including Edmure’s son via catapult if he has to, (I shouldn’t have laughed at that threat, but…), even if he’s not the type to relish violence, in stark contrast to his twin. Props have to be given to him for knowing the very thing to take to Edmure though, and forcing the rightful heir to the Castle to trick his way back inside the walls. Not only does it make him a great strategist, but it also led to an almost bloodless re-taking of Riverrun. Sometimes ruthlessness and guile can save lives. He learnt that when he stuck a sword in the Mad King’s back.
I too was disappointed in The Blackfish’s demise. An off-screen death just seemed awfully lacklustre for a man who’s supposed to be a military legend in Westeros. I’m not convinced by his excuse to Brienne that she could serve Sansa far better than he could as well. Why it had to be an either/or situation is beyond me, but at least he managed to send his great niece’s protector off in a boat with her squire before the Lannister and the Frey forces could get hold of her. If they had been publicly caught, Jaime would have been forced, at the very least, to take them both prisoner.
Ain’t No Mountain Strong Enough!
Marieke: Cersei! Cersei! Cersei! Will you ever learn? Playing poker with you must be so easy, being keen to show your hand, or in this case The Mountain, right away. The High Sparrow is smart. He does not want you to win. So by showing your not so secret weapon, the High Sparrow decided to brainwash your son into forbidding the use of trial by combat in his kingdom. A head torn off a body does not go by unnoticed, however spectacular it may have been. You chose violence too soon. You ruined the only fucking chance you had. You are sidelined by your uncle too and now you’re just another woman at the court, and I think you might have been discussing Wildfire with Qyburn, the only person still talking to you? It’s not as if FrankenMountain is a great conversationalist, is it? Are you, as speculation goes, turning into the Mad Queen? Will you go down in flames taking everyone, including your precious son, with you? Do you also know that you stopped Cleganebowl from happening? Cersei when will you learn???
Danielle: Cersei and Qyburn’s faces when their Frankenstein-esque creature unscrewed that religious fanatic’s head, unveiling his spine like he was plucking feathers from a chicken, were pretty chilling. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s slowly going insane after losing two of her children, and not only is that making her sloppy in terms of outmanoeuvring the High Sparrow, it’s also bound to have consequences for the people within a close radius of her. I’m in complete agreement with Marieke about the rumour Cersei and Qyburn discussed being the stashes of wildfire dotted around King’s Landing that King Aerys never got chance to ignite because Jaime killed him before he could. There’s no evidence that they were ever moved or disposed of and we’ve already seen green fire billowing underground in one snippet of Bran’s green dream earlier this season. Couple that with the image of Daenerys walking around a decimated throne room back in her visions in Season 2, and things seem to be moving towards an explosive denouement to Cersei and the Faith’s storyline this year. I’m not sure she’ll be taken out by it, but Tommen almost certainly will be, whether it’s intentional or accidental. Her prophecy from Maggy the Frog has to be fulfilled. That’s sure to lead to one hell of an interesting reunion between her and Jaime.
Salty Dog in New Boots
Marieke: The Hound knows how to use an axe. Ball slasher! The Brotherhood, was to my delight, still the Brotherhood. They don’t kill for the joy of killing, but they punish the ones who do. Beric and Thoros returned and it was nice to see them again. The Hound got his revenge, partially, and not the way he likes it, but he did manage to acquire some new boots! Swings and roundabouts! His comment that everyone dies ‘except this one’, was golden. The idea of the sword in flames must still haunt The Hound. It was nice to see Beric getting through to him though. It would be a great boon to the cause if The Hound would go fight the Walkers with them (in the Stark’s backyard!). The Brotherhood knowing about the White Walkers says a lot. Not being tied to a house, but swerving in between trying to do the right thing (and getting money along the way..), gave them information other houses (apart from Starks) lack, because they’re too busy playing siege and war.
Danielle: Like Bronn, The Hound is still incredibly funny, even when he’s getting revenge. That line when he told off the renegade member of the Brotherhood he’d just de-sexed that his last words were crap was sheer brilliance, as was him taking the boots of the man he’d just hung. Who’d have thought he’d become a consummate advocate of recycling after living on a commune? I’m actually glad they finally seemed to have killed the Lady Stoneheart speculation with this episode. I just don’t think Catelyn’s reanimated, turned evil corpse would have come across as anything other than silly on-screen. Having Beric and Thoros back makes much more sense, and praise the Lord of Light that their Robin Hood-esque band of not so merry men seem to realise the real threat comes from the White Walkers. As much as I would have liked to see Sandor take on his zombified brother, Beric is spot on that he can right more wrongs by going with them to fight in the North. Speaking of the North, isn’t Arya heading back there to Winterfell? Innnnnnteresting!
An Imp, A Eunuch and a Translator walk into a bar…
Marieke: Jokes… Weirdest scene ever? At least Missandei likes the wine now. The show needs to end with Tyrion on his own vineyard. He painted a fantastic picture there. It would suit him. He has in the meantime turned the Masters on Meereen. His plan might have been the best they had, so they truly had nothing. At first, I thought it was the Greyjoy fleet arriving, but sadly that hasn’t happened yet, nevertheless, Drogon will no doubt take care of the ships now after unexpectedly creating a Daenerys ex machine. Ex dragonia. The looks of surprise on our jokey threesome’s faces! Now give her a glass of wine too! The bigger question was asked in a smaller scene. Who is Varys going to visit in Westeros? Has he heard about the Greyjoys? Is he going to pay his old ‘pal’ Littlefinger a visit? Is there someone else returning/appearing we do not know about yet? What is Varys going to do?
Danielle: Oh God! They really couldn’t have made worse use of Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm if they tried since Dany went off with Drogon and got herself into another fine mess with the Dothraki. The Meereenese plotline has dragged like hell this year, so no-one was more pleased than me to see that our very own Mother of Dragons is back just in time to witness her city under attack by the Slavers, who want it back for themselves. Tyrion really is out of his depth in the East, and I get the impression that his Queen is going to be rather pissed with him, to the point that she may be giving him the boot as one of her advisers. His only saving grace might be that he bonded a little with Rhaegal and Viserion, who are still captive under the pyramid and they may, in turn, be pissed off with Dany for a. putting them in chains and b. leaving them for so long. It’d be pretty amusing if they obey his commands, but not hers now. Regardless, they’re obviously going to be key in fighting against the Slavers, just as their brother Drogon is. Still, I’m not entirely sure that they alone will be able to finish them off. This is when a fleet of Iron Islanders, who live for sea battles, could come in very handy. I just hope Yara and Theon get there first, and Euron doesn’t know a shortcut.
As to where Varys might be heading, well, he could quite easily be on his way to Dorne. He’d no doubt be able to find allies against the Lannisters there with the Sand Snakes and Ellaria Sand now in charge, and Dany will need some friendly territory to land her dragons and start her conquest of Westeros from. Why not add to her alliance of fearsome women?
Our Fezzy Score:
So what did you think to the episode? Let us know in the comments…