Whew! That was an episode. After last week's table setting/walk down memory lane hour, tonight's Game of Thrones was chock full of new information and old faces.
The Riverlands: This season's major players appear to be converging in the homeland of Catelyn Stark, the Riverlands. This episode opened with another take on the followers of the Seven--the hippie-dippie, hammer-and-a-nail set, the kind of religious folk who actually want to foster peace and love and charity in the world. I like these folks! They seem swell!
The leader of the group is Ian McShane--whose name is never uttered, but I believe it to be "Ray" or "Rey," if he's a big Star Wars fan. Ray and his followers are building a temple in the middle of a field. They're a bunch of happy, loving peacemakers. And there's a familiar face among them--Sandor "The Hound" Clegane. Exclamation points.
When we last saw Sandor, he was in the process of dying after having been felled by Brienne. As we all know, however, what is dead offscreen may never really die, and it was just a matter of time before we'd see the Hound again. But in what state, we wondered? Many of us assumed he'd be a newly resurrected Hound, like Jon Snowheart, but nope. It appears Sandor never actually died. The gods (or god or whoever--maybe they're all the same god!) left him to live. It appears the universe is not done with Sandor Clegane. Because he has to marry Sansa!!
I loved every bit of the stuff between the Hound and Ray. These are two men who lived very similar lives--they were soldiers who did as they were told, which resulted in them performing some pretty unspeakable acts. Ray long ago left that life--he refuses to spread violence in the world and will not even protect himself if attacked. Clegane is still a little too close to the old life. He knows that you can't be the change you want to see in the world if you're dead.
In the end, Ray gets hanged by the brotherhood without banners, his followers are brutally killed, and Sandor Clegane is once again left alive--for what reason (to marry Sansa)? Why are the gods not done with him? What does he still need to do (marry Sansa)?
Elsewhere in the Riverlands, the Freys have surrounded Riverrun, where Brynden "Blackfish" Tully has barricaded himself and his people, along with two years' worth of supplies. Jaime and Bronn show up to take the castle back for the Freys, and Jaime and Bronn are appalled by the terrible job the idiot Freys are doing with the whole thing. Not classy at all, Freys! Jaime just wants to get in and out, so he can return to his sister (barf, give her up, Jaime--Brienne is coming!), but the Blackfish will not yield. He doesn't give two figs about Edmure Tully, who's being used as a pawn here.
Jaime and Bronn are stuck for the foreseeable future in the Riverlands, which, honestly, is a huge improvement over Dorne.
Braavos: Arya wants to get the hell out of Braavos. She books herself a room (damn it!) on a ship that leaves tomorrow for Westeros. But Arya, being a terrible student of the many faced god, forgets the cardinal rule of many facing--that the followers have many different faces! The Waif swoops in looking like a crone, and stabs Arya in the stomach. Arya escapes alive--for now.
King's Landing: Margaery is up to something. She's playing the High Sparrow's game, making him (and the septa who follows her everywhere) think that she's a devout student of the Seven. But in reality she's working for Team Tyrell. She tells her grandmother to go home and gives Olenna a drawing of a rose. I'm not sure what Margaery's actual plan is, but it's definitely a plan. Whatever it is, it has a very good chance of working better than anything Cersei's tried so far, not that that's saying much.
Cersei continues trying to make nice with Olenna, who's having none of it, especially now that she knows her granddaughter is scheming behind the scenes. Olenna reminds Cersei about how all of this is her fault, that the High Sparrow is her fault. Cersei doesn't have much to say about that, because Olenna is damn right. Cersei should go home to Casterly Rock. She is DONE.
The North: The Wall is still in the opening credits, but when's the next time we'll actually go there? Will we visit Edd? Will Dolorous Edd get his own storyline? We can only hope.
The big story in the North right now is that Jon, Sansa, and Davos are trying to rally their troops. Thanks to Tormund Giantsbane, who's, yes, still hanging with them and not Brienne, Jon has the full strength of the wildlings behind him. Thanks to Davos's stirring words, they have sixty-two whole troops from House Mormont. (Lady Mormont is amazing, and Sansa should try to make a match happen between her and Rickon, assuming Rickon escapes alive from Ramsay "Snow" Bolton.)
No one else wants to fight for team Snark. The North is still a little hurt about how they pledged their banners to Robb a while ago, but then he had to go and break his marriage oath, getting himself and a whole bunch of Stark bannermen (and his mother) killed at the Red Wedding. Many of the houses, like House Glover, are pretty much done fighting for anyone even Stark-adjacent.
Still, the army of misfits (and SIXTY-TWO whole Mormonts) will fight. Sansa and Jon will attempt to take Winterfell from Ramsay in the upcoming battle of the bastards.
On the Docks: Theon is a sad sack. Yara wants him to stop being a sad sack. She also wants to get laid.
- Where was Sansa sending that note? And why did she put the sealing wax on the bottom of the letter instead of on the outside to, you know, SEAL the message?
- Ugh with the High Sparrow and his conservative values! "[Marital] congress doesn't require desire on the woman's part." Get out of Margaery's bedroom, you perv!
- I'm not the *biggest* Bronn fan, but it was nice to see him around again. He always brings the lulz.
- Seriously, Davos and that speech about how this is our war--the war between the living and the dead? The best. Davos is the best. You can keep your Bronns and your Tormunds Giantsbane. Leave me Davos and Sandor Clegane.
- Also, just saying, we saw the brotherhood without banners and a certain character--a-hem!--was mentioned AT LEAST twice this episode. Clear eyes, stone hearts. Can't lose.
- Euron Greyjoy wants to seduce Daenerys. Maybe so does Yara?
- That reminds me, no Dany this episode. The gods are good!
What did you think?
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