Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 “The Broken Man”

**Contains Spoilers for the latest episode of GoT**

Last week’s episode contained a lot of set up towards what we hope will be a massive pay off and somewhat unhappily I have to report that this episode of GoT had a similar sort of aim. A lot of characters positioning themselves for a massive showdown, not to say there was nothing interesting going on with the return of one of my favourite characters, the introduction of a couple of impressive newbies and the hints of what is yet to come.

Jon & Sansa try to build there army. End up meeting the finest ruler in the North.

So this week Jon, Sansa and Davos attempted to rally the smaller Northern houses to their side. Having successfully won over the wildlings with a reminder of their joint cause (and perhaps more helpfully won over Wun Wun the giant) they head south to try and talk more Lords and Lady’s into following the Stark’s banner. I assumed we would be having a few discussions of the Sansa pleading on the lord’s loyalty and they would take up arms for honour and shizz. However it was far more interesting than that, instead we first met Lyanna Mormont, the Great Niece of former Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Despite being only ten she possesses a sharp wit and an understanding of Northern politics that puts both Jon and Sansa on the back foot. Luckily Ser Davos engages his empathy overdrive and manages to talk to Lyanna as a Lady of a house rather than as small child. To say the least I am highly impressed with the youngster (Brilliantly played by Bella Ramsey) and despite only being able to pledge 62 men I hope we will see plenty more of the young bear.

Unfortunately Jon and Sansa had less luck appealing with Robett Glover (Played by Tim Mcinnery which is always nice to see) who refuses to follow the Starks banner. The North remembers the good and the bad. It seems the Glover’s lost too much following house Stark and having been aided by the Bolton’s in reclaiming his keep he dismisses the idea of taking up arms against them. This prompts Sansa to write a letter to an unknown party (Probably Littlefinger) to call for aid. Will this give them enough numbers to march on Winterfell? I assume we will find out in episode 9’s “The Battle of the Bastards” in a couple of weeks.

The High Sparrow is now Tommen’s wingman apparently.

Margery is now seemingly a reformed Lady who has embraced the faith of seven. The High Sparrow comes to discuss her not performing her ‘wifely duties’ in the marriage bed. Sadly we didn’t get to see the scene where Tommen comes to the High Sparrow complaining that he isn’t getting enough action. He discusses the importance of Margery conceiving an heir with Tommen in order to secure the alliance of the faith and the crown. Has the high Sparrow tipped his hand? Nevertheless he follows this action with a coded threat against Margery’s Grandmother that unless the Queen of Thorns leaves the city her safety cannot be guaranteed. Margery visits her Grandmother and slips her a folded drawing of a rose revealing to us that her true allegiance still lies with her family. As Olenna Tyrell prepares to leave she is visited by Cersei who attempts to convince Olenna to stay in Kings Landing and to help her defeat the High Sparrow. However the Queen of Thorns concedes that she believes they have already lost and more so blames Cersei for the whole ordeal. This leaves Cersei in Kings Landing seemingly unallied but apparently determined to fight on.

Where’s the worst place in the world to take a man without genitals?

So an Iron born Princess and her genital-less brother go into brothel, sorry do you know this one? Anyway Yara and Theon are in a “pleasure house” in Volantis and Theon isn’t really enjoying the experience. Seeing the shell of what her brother used to be prompts Yara into a ‘tough love’ approach forcing Theon into drinking ale whilst she tells him to either man up or kill himself. I don’t think hallmark cards would make great business in the Iron Islands (“I’m sorry you lost your penis, but just drink some ale and get over it you useless shit”). They have decided to try and reach Daenarys before Euron does in attempt to forge an alliance with the Queen of Dragons.

Arya gets stabbed, or does she?

In the last episode we left Arya sitting in the darkness aware of her impending fight with the deadly faceless men of Braavos. However in this episode Arya is prancing through the streets, meeting with ship Captains in the open and jauntily making her way through the city of Braavos. On her travels an elderly woman approaches her with a big wide innocent smile, only to the surprise of absolutely no one; she turns into the Waif and stabs Arya multiple times in the abdomen. Arya jumps into the river and manages to escape for now. There must be something more to this whole scenario? Surely Arya would be far more careful than to wander in the open whilst being stalked by the world’s most dangerous trained killers. When you’re dealing with something as confusing as characters who can swap faces then surely something could be amiss. That being said the final shot of Arya, wounded, walking through the crowded streets at the surrounding faces unsure if everyone is who they seem was very unnerving.

The return of Bronn and the Blackfish

It’s taken until episode seven but finally Bronn is back alongside best bud Jamie with all the wry quips you would expect from a man seemingly growing tired of hearing all of the Lannister’s favourite one-liners. Jamie and Bronn arrive at Riverrun which is under siege from the Frey’s who are threatening to execute Edmure Tully should the Blackfish not surrender the castle. The Blackfish however is unmoved by the threat towards his nephew and he calls the Frey’s bluff. Seeing the poor state of the siege under the operation of the Frey household Jamie takes command and gives one poor bloke quite the backhand slap with his solid gold hand, quite possibly the finest GoT slap since Tyrion struck Joffrey in season 2. Jamie arranges a meet with the Blackfish and offers to let his men live if they surrender the castle only the Blackfish is uninterested in negotiating and is prepared to hold the castle for as many years as it takes for Jamie to starve him out. It would appear the Blackfish is as staunch as ever, and with Brienne on her way to Riverrun shit appears to be on course with a nearby fan.

The Broken Man

This week’s episode opened with a cold open, a rarity for the show, and showed us guest star Ian McShane in a rare peaceful role leading a group of followers in building a small sept in honour of the faith of Seven. We see a group of four men carrying a log and behind them another log being carried by a single individual with a heavy limp and as the camera pans up to a disfigured face we are reintroduced to a fan favourite in the form of Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, my favourite GoT character. The cold open was used to spoil the surprise of seeing Rory Mcann’s name in the opening credits and it is pleasing to see the character survived his ordeal with Brienne in the Riverlands. We discover Ian McShane’s character Ray came across the beaten body of the Hound and nursed him back from the edge of death and brought him into his peace cult thing. Despite being a part of the group Sandor is still ostracised from the rest of the people, apart from Ray, on account of his fearsome presence. He maintains his brash vulgarity and cynical view but there is a hint of something within. He truly appears to have befriended Ray and respects him. During what basically appears to be the Westeros equivalent of an AA meeting Ray confesses the violent sins of his past, the robbery and murders he once committed and reiterates his belief that a person can never be too far gone to become good. Perhaps the Hound can find peace with a man such as Ray to guide him. However this is Westeros and a group of men, appearing to be from the Brotherhood without Banners, approach the encampment and question Ray as to whether they have gold, steel or food to offer. Ray states they have little of the first two but offers the men supper if they wish. They turn the offer down and ride away and Sandor warns Ray they will return with greater numbers. Later the Hound returns from gathering supplies to find the camp destroyed, the entire group slain and Ray himself hanged from the very Sept his followers were erecting. Alone and angered the final shot of the episode shows the Hound picking up an axe and walking away, presumably to seek revenge.

Death Count

Ray – “A pacifist in Westeros, It’s not surprising he didn’t even last one episode. His whole camp went down with him, but only he was blessed enough by the Gods of casting directors to have a name”

Parting Thoughts

  • So, Lyanna Mormont for Queen of the Seven Kingdoms?
  • Davos Seaworth as her hand? That guy is really good at talking to little girls. No, not like that.
  • A pleasant surprise to see Tim McInnerny in the episode as Robett Glover, surely he will be back. Why cast him for one short scene?
  • Sansa has to be writing to Littlefinger, right? If not him, then who.
  • Also it’s just occurred to me what happened to the Sandsnakes? They killed off half of Dorne in the season opener and we haven’t heard a peep since. What’s going on there?
  • So Cersei is apparently alone in her troubles. But is Tommen secretly on her side? Also don’t discount the giant zombie guard at her disposal.
  • I hope Theon recovers from his ailment of low self-esteem. And Yara recovers from her ailment of poorly written character syndrome.
  • So, conspiracy theory time, what’s happening with Arya? Was that Arya being stabbed? If not, then who? There are rumours abound of the Waif’s identity? Even talk of the return of the long dead Syrio Forel. In the past I would of said no, but this appears to be the season of resurrection with Jon Snow, Benjen Stark and the Hound all back in the game then why not the First Sword of Braavos?
  • Also is Richard E. Grant involved? I’m convinced he must be up to more. His character’s had about ten lines in the series so I’m expecting more. You don’t cast Richard E. Grant as window dressing, do you?
  • The Hound’s return is bittersweet. I would of liked for the character to have found peace following his near death experience, on the other hand the Hound + axe x by vengeance = something Alex really wants to see.
  • With Sandor back in the game could we have the opponent the Faith will put forward to challenge the Mountain?
  • Also why is the Brotherhood without Banners attacking the innocent? Are they under new management?

 

Episode Rating 4/5 – More set up for things to come. But the introduction of Lyanna Mormont, the return of the Hound, some snappy dialogue exchanges and a virtuoso turn from Ian McShane have left me as excited as ever for what’s to come from the rest of the series.

 

 

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 6 “Blood of my Blood”

**Contains Spoilers for the latest episode of GoT**

Following last week’s rather boisterous episode, which culminated in one of the best moments of this season, is an episode more functional than phenomenal. With such a vast volume of characters it’s understandable that we will have to put up with some episodes containing set up sequences for the weeks ahead and with the final few episodes usually reserved for the culmination of numerous storylines it means this week was devoted to putting the pieces in place. However how interesting do these storylines currently look, and are we interested in how they play out. Here’s the Westeros based low down.

A Stark returns

There must be something in the water? Game of Thrones, as it displayed last week, has a fondness for killing off beloved characters but having seen John Snow resurrected we finally saw the return of Benjen Stark, former First Ranger of the Nights Watch. Alone in a blizzard being pursued by Ice zombies and with Bran having a vision frenzy (more on that later) Meera Reed, exhausted, gives up and embraces Bran having resigned herself to their fate. However the pair are saved when a rider in black arrives, wielding a peculiar mace-like weapon and dispatches of the wights with little issue.

 

The rider later reveals himself to be Benjen Stark, revived by the children of the forest having been slain in battle by a White Walker. He claims to have been summoned by the Three Eyed Raven, and with the old Raven dead he is now in service to his nephew Bran. How death has affected Benjen Stark is yet to be seen but he appears to have retained his characteristics and it’s always nice to know there’s another Stark around. They do die so frequently. Also how about Bran’s vision? We got a glimpse of the mad King, and an even briefer glimpse of Jaimie Lannister kebabing him. With Bran’s apparent time travel-like abilities these visions of Aery’s wildfire obsession must be somehow linked to what is to come. Whether Aery’s was somehow directly influenced in his madness by Bran or the previous Three Eyed Raven, or his Wildfyre stores will be somehow important in the future battle against the White Walkers, only time will tell.

We meet another awful father.

Game of Thrones has plenty of awful characters, but fathers seem to be especially horrible throughout the series. Tywin Lannister was a popular character on the show but his treatment of Tyrion was definitely the darkest part of his character. Now Tywin looks a contender for Dad of the year following our introduction to Randyll Tarley, father of Samwell. Having returned to Horn Hill so Gilly and little Sam have a place to stay whilst he trains as a Maester we meet Sam’s mother and sister who are both very pleasant, apparently loving and highly enthusiastic upon meeting Gilly and Little Sam. Having expected Sam to turn up and be treated as an outcast by his whole family it was a welcome surprise to see him greeted with open arms, particularly by his mother. Even when we meet his brother, who has unwillingly usurped his position as heir to Horn Hill, he seems perhaps a little rude but in Westeros a “little rude” could get you a Nobel peace prize. Randyll on the other hand does nothing to hide his disdain for the “fat” and “soft” son he has no respect for and whom he insults constantly in front of his whole family, humiliating him. Sam doesn’t respond, in fear his father may dismiss Gilly and little Sam from the household, so Gilly does defending Sam and angers Randyll even further when he discovers she’s a wildling. For all his cruelty he does allow them to stay, probably because his wife would rip his dick off otherwise. However Sam changes his mind, steals the Tarley family sword ‘Heartsbane’, and absconds with Gilly and little Sam. Whether he plans on taking them with him to the citadel or elsewhere remains to be seen.

No one no more.

Following all those weeks of stick fighting to become no one Arya gives it all up when her conscience gets the better of her. Watching the mummer’s play once again (presumably so she can at least see someone dressed as Joffrey die having missed out on the real thing) Arya sneaks backstage and poisons Lady Crane’s rum bottle. Whilst leaving she is stopped by her target and finds herself engaged in a conversation that draws similarities between the pair. Arya manages to talk her way out without arousing suspicion only to return in the nick of time to stop Lady Crane drinking the poison and warn her that Bianca, another member of the company, wants her dead. The Waif is nearby and witnesses Arya’s failure of the set task. Arya goes back to the beach where she buried Needle and retrieves her precious sword whilst the Waif reports back to Jaqen H’gar who grants her permission to kill Arya, under the condition she doesn’t suffer. Having flirted with the idea of being faceless for so long Arya’s inability to perform the execution was not surprising. She’s been instilled with a powerful sense of retribution, vengeance and perhaps hoped her transition into the order of the Faceless men would aid her vigilantism. Having being tasked to murder a woman guilty of no crime, on the behalf of a jealous co-star, went against Arya’s, admittedly brutal, sense of justice. Going against such a dangerous group will no doubt put Arya in danger, especially considering the Waif’s staunch dislike of her, but it was pleasing to see that Jaqen, so heavily devoted to the many-faced-God, at least gave the order of her death with the caveat of mercy.  How Arya will deal with the aftermath of this will be an intriguing prospect.

Have you heard the good news?

Following weeks of power plays between the High Sparrow, Jaime Lannister, Margery and Tommen we finally found ourselves awaiting Margery’s walk of atonement. Jaimie leads the Tyrell army into the city and confronts the High Sparrow on the steps of the sept with the threat of liberating Margery and Loras by force. With an apparently unnegotiable stand-off insight the High Sparrow announces that Margery will not have to make the walk and Tommen then emerges from the sept to publically join forces with the faith militant. In the previous scene we see Margery is now firmly dancing to the High Sparrow’s tune following her realisation that she will have to co-operate in order to free herself and her brother. It appears the price set for her freedom was swaying Tommen’s support to the church using her manipulative skills, a task she performs with ease.

Tommen then strips Jaimie of his Lord Commander title and orders him to help Walder Frey retake Riverrun from the Blackfish. An angered Jaimie tells Cersei of his understandable frustrations and even threatens to get Bronn to assist him in performing a ‘hit’ on the High Sparrow (perhaps a notable line because of Bronn’s non-appearance so far this season). Cersei calms him and persuades him to retake Riverrun, telling him not to worry about her trial by combat as she has Ser Robert Strong fighting on her behalf (something she seems too confident about, considering this is GoT and even the slightest misjudgement can result in a sword up the bum).

We Welcome Back Lord Walder

Walder Frey is a despicable character, let me just say that, his part in the deaths of so many beloved characters along with his putrid manner make him a top contender on my GoT deathlist (Which I obviously recite each night before bed). That being said David Bradley is terrific as Walder Frey, perfectly cast; his acidic barbs are darkly hilarious especially in this episode where he directs his formidable toxicity on his own family. He announces his intent to retake Riverrun revealing his ‘ace in the hole’ Edmure Tully alive, and in chains. Let’s hope Edmure’s return to the series has more longevity than that of Osha, who lasted about 3 minutes following a 3 season absence.

Blood of my Blood

Dany pops up for the episodes finale discussing her intent to sail for Westeros (FINALLY), before waltzing off on her own for a little bit, only to return of the back of Drogon to give another big speech about how she’s going to go to Westeros (FINALLY). The speech is touching in parts, Dany forgoes the tradition of naming three blood riders and simply makes her whole army her blood riders. Talk about empowering your people. The scene has a lot of Dothraki waving their swords about and one poor guy who got short changed with a knife by the prop department. Fair play to the actor as he waves that thing around as passionately as he can, but he does look pretty damn ridiculous. This leaves Dany, having been stuck in shit creek a few episodes ago, with a massive army, a dragon she can seemingly wield and now just lacking the transport to invade Westeros.

Death Count

No one – Seriously no one dies. No named characters. In fact the only extras that go down are wights slayed by Benjen and they’re already dead. There is also the brief glimpse of Aery’s being stabbed in a flashback but that is it. The last episode where no one died was Season 3 Episode 7 “The Bear and the Maiden Bear”.

Parting Thoughts

  • Benjen Stark’s return brings to an end a twenty year mystery regarding his disappearance, if you’re a book reader. Hopefully we will get more details in the upcoming episodes.
  • Following Randyll’s insulting of Sam and Gilly it’s safe to say he’s in the doghouse with his wife, Melessa.
  • Will Arya end up in a stick fight to the death with the Waif? I hope not, I don’t think I can surmise in the English language how sick I am of all the stick fighting.
  • Is Jaqen truly done with Arya, or is there a larger plan at work? He said a face will be added to the wall no matter what. But does he care what face Arya brings him?
  • Richard E. Grant has to be doing something in particular in this series right? There has to be a reason he was cast.
  • Is Tommen the easiest character to manipulate ever? He literally does whatever any character asks him every episode. Littlefinger would have a field day.
  • Having said that is Tommen now under the guidance of Cersei? They had that talk a few episodes ago about her helping him, is he making this pact with the Sparrow under her orders?
  • Jaimie been stripped of his Kingsguard title is interesting. Does this allow him to become Lord of Casterly Rock in the future?
  • Mace Tyrell should give all the pre-battle speeches. All whilst wearing his feathery helmet.
  • Cersei’s trial by combat is coming up. She’s been championed by the Mountain, but who is going to fight for the faith? Perhaps Lancel Lannister, for shits and gigs? There are rumours of a once thought dead character returning towards the end of this season who could be up to the task. We could find out next week in “The Broken Man”
  • Dany needs a thousand ships. Last week Euron said he wanted a thousand ships built. Coincidence?
  • I hope Dany gets to Westeros before my body is forfeit to the passage of time.

 

Episode Rating 3/5 – A lot of interesting plot set ups, but with little actual action this week. Still a good episode and I’m clamouring for more.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5 “The Door”

**WARNING** This review contains Spoilers for GoT Season 6 up to, and including, the latest episode!

It’s peculiar looking back over the previous seasons of Game of Thrones and thinking about the countless deaths of beloved characters that have befallen us hardened viewers. Barely an episode goes by without a supporting character or two getting sent to their death and yet each season there is always at least one moment of utter heartbreak that sends the internet into a rapturous frenzy of woe. So far this season we have bid farewell to Prince Doran, Areo Hotah, Trystane Martell, Roose Bolton, Walda, Walda’s new born babe, Balon Greyjoy, Ser Alliser Thorne, Othell Yarwyck, Bowen Marsh, Olly the little creepy kid, Shaggy Dog, Osha, Khal Moro and if we include flashbacks Ser Arthur Dayne and everyone else who got cut down at the Tower of Joy in episode 3. But this was a big one that for me sits aside some of GoT’s most emotionally crushing moments. Before we get to the unpleasantness there were plenty of other items on the agenda in this week’s episode.

Sansa takes control, whilst Tormund continues to put the moves on Brienne.

Sansa receives a message from everyone’s favourite husky voiced manipulator who has apparently travelled by jetpack in order to get to Molestown in his attempts to reconnect with Sansa. Ignoring the questionable logistics of his travel arrangements it was an interesting scene watching the once naive Sansa, so long a chess piece for others, tear into Littlefinger with a brutally blunt line of questioning. A less thoughtful Sansa may have commanded Brienne to shove Oathkeeper up Littlefinger’s backside but Sansa too now plays the game, and it’s perhaps wise of her to keep Baelish alive as even though she no longer trusts the man his information and command over the Vale could yet prove useful. She lies to John about how she came across the information she has (That the Blackfish, last seen going out for a perfectly timed piss on a tree at the Red Wedding, has retaken Riverrun) not revealing it was Littlefinger who informed her. Meanwhile Brienne, having dealt with Tormund’s suggestive chicken eating in the last episode, gets a look of pure wildling glee from the man who once claimed to have sex with a bear. Clearly he likes the look of Brienne and though a little critical voice inside my head tells me that the show is just using this relationship as fan service this image is so far my favourite of season 6, and the meme’s that it has inspired make me all kinds of happy.

Jorah finally tells Dany what we’ve known for five years.

Seeing Jorah reveal his greyscale to Dany was a little heart breaking in itself, but we have somewhat made peace with the fact that Jorah is living on borrowed time. But seeing him finally tell Daenarys what she already knows, that he loves her, was powerful in its simplicity. It was devoid of passion or energy. A statement of fact from a tiring, dying man who in this episode reveals he plans on ending his suffering before he goes full stone man. Seeing her return his admittance with her typical passionate furore, the desperation of a woman who has finally forgiven one of her closest confidantes only to discover his doom, was a nice moment for Jorah. Whether her ordering him to find a cure will come to anything I’m not sure. Usually in Game of Thrones a slight cut is a death sentence but with Red priests becoming more abundantly numerous could Jorah have a shot? Especially if the Red priests truly do support Daenarys.

Iron Islands election coverage: Man shows up and admits murder, crowned instantly.

The Iron Islands have always felt like a murky, boring Segway for me. I’ve never much cared for them since the end of season 2 finding their occasional appearances nothing more than a reminder that their still around. However with the arrival of Euron, the death of Balon and the re-emergence of Theon it seemed like the King’s Moot (the choosing of the new King/Queen or the Iron Islands) could be an interesting sequence. Yara declared her intent to become the first female leader of the Iron born and following a rousing speech of support by Theon things are looking good for her claim. However Euron shows up talks about reaching out to Daenarys, mocks Theon a couple of times for not having a penis anymore, then admits to the murder of his brother King Balon and is crowned almost instantaneously. Euron then gets drowned for a little bit (Imagine how awkward it would have been if he hadn’t coughed that water up) before having the most underdressed ceremonial crown in the seven Kingdoms placed upon his head. Now, thirty minutes later than he probably should have done, he plans to murder Yara and Theon only to discover they have stolen his best ships and have absconded to lands unknown. Have they set off to reach Danaerys first? Or are they heading elsewhere. Even though I wasn’t too gripped by the Kings Moot I am intrigued where Yara and Theon go from here.

Arya Stark, This is your life!

I sure hope all of this endless stick fighting pays off, it’s all Arya is seemingly being trained to do. She gets a bit of a beating from the Waif again, because we’ve been a bit short of that this season, and J’aqen informs her of a new target, her second chance and she won’t get a third (Cue ominous music). Turns out the target is an actress in a play based on the recent happenings in Kings Landing and once again Arya has to stand by and watch her father’s head being removed. The woman Arya is researching in her murder preparations seems to be a kind enough person and this seems to unnerve Arya slightly. Considering the content of the play this seems like a test for Arya to see if she can truly become no one and is infinitely more interesting than all of the endless stick fighting. I can’t help but wonder what the theatre troupe manager has to do with all this, he’s being played by Richard E. Grant for Christ’s sake so he must be important for something? Maybe it’s a misdirect, but I doubt it. Also we got a warty penis on display, I’m not sure why. Maybe GoT is trying to even the nudity field for men and women but it seems unfair that I get to appreciate Emilia Clarke stood naked in front of a burning Dothraki hut last week and this week my girlfriend gets two seconds of an ill penis. Just saying, doesn’t seem that fair.

Varys is now speechless, and ball less.

In an attempt to persuade Meereen that Daenarys is the right person to be ruling them Tyrion and Varys attempt to build public support through aligning with a red priestess named Kinvara. When they meet Tyrion attempts to forge an alliance based through mutual respect and belief that Daenarys should rule. Varys however becomes aggressive with the priestess based on his past abuses at the hands of a R’hllor worshipping sorcerer. Kinvara then recalls intimate details of Varys’s misfortunate encounter shocking him into a rare silence. Having seen what Melisandre has been able to accomplish throughout the series for the audience it is not particularly shocking that she would be able to gleen these details from the flame so I can’t say it was too entrancing, again though it will be interesting to see what Daenarys thinks of Tyrion’s pacts with Slave traders and religious groups when she returns to Meereen with a Dothraki horde in tow.

Hold the Door

Up beyond the wall Bran discovers that the White Walkers were in fact created by the children of the forest. Having been such mysterious figures of Westerosi folklore it was a question I wasn’t expecting to have answered anytime soon and an interesting plot development that we will hopefully get more details for. Later whilst the others sleep Brann goes off having psychic visions of his own without the watchful presence of the Three Eyed Raven. He sees a gigantic army of Wights and is grabbed on the arm by the Nights King himself. Bran awakes with a scar on his body and is told by the Three Eyed Raven that he has been marked and must leave now as the cave is not safe anymore (Nice one Bran).

The Three eyed Raven takes Bran into another vision of the past to give him some more information he will need in his travels. Before they can leave the Wights and the White Walkers attack the cave whilst the Children of the Forest attempt to hold them back. Eventually they break through and Summer attacks the Wights but is quickly cut down and Leaf (the seemingly last Child of the Forest) sacrifices herself with some form of acorn grenade thing in order to slow the Wights down. In his vision Bran sees his father as a young boy and his grandfather, oh and Hodor (or Wylis) is there again. The Three eyed Raven can’t run away (Y’know being a tree) and is hacked down mid vision by the Nights King. Meera, a mid-vision Bran and Hodor escape through a secret back door and Meera commands Hodor to “Hold the door”. These echoes can be heard in Brans vision and the young version of Hodor collapses into a seizure screaming “Hold the Door” seemingly witnessing his own death in the future, which then becomes “Hodor” and the origin of his name. In the present Hodor holds the Wights at bay for as long as he can, the screen fading to black before we see his fate. Bran watches on in the past and realises he has all sorts of fucked up (Nice one Bran).

Having seen Summer die I assumed that was going to be the big death of the episode but I was unprepared for the dual reveal of Hodor’s tragic past and his inevitable fate to die at that moment. It was brutally affecting because in a show where agendas and motives are driven by greed or lust and honourable action was often rewarded with a swift beheading it was pleasant to see a character so full of innocence “hodor” his way through six seasons of one of the most brutal shows on television without being struck down by the numerous ass hats that populate Westeros. In a pleasing sense I think the sequence was beautifully directed, with some great writing, and what was quite a convoluted concept (as time travel is oft to be) came across as clearly as it did. We are also left with the information that Bran was responsible for Hodor’s condition and if that’s the case can Bran truly influence the events of the future by changing the past? Or, as with Hodor, has he already affected it and can he have no true baring on these events, as the Three Eyed Raven said “The ink is dried”. Needless to say it was a thrilling end to the best episode of this season so far. We are only half way through so there is plenty more to come.

 

Death Count

Leaf – “Many Children of the Forest perished, but Leaf was the only one credited with a name and she went out with a literal bang”

The Three Eyed Raven – “Cut to pieces by the Nights king, here’s hoping he has taught Bran enough in the time they spent together”

Summer – “Following the shock demise of Shaggy Dog comes another sudden Direwolf death, I know they must be expensive to animate but come on guys this is just mean”

Hodor – “Hodor”

Parting Thoughts

  • If Brienne and Tormund become a thing are we going ‘Brimund’ or ‘Trienne’?
  • Did anyone else buy into Brienne pretending she didn’t know Tormund’s name, I sure didn’t.
  • Will Jorah find a cure, or in the next episode will we see him carve ‘Jorah was here’ on a wall and hang his greyscale ass?
  • 4 Direwolves down, 2 to go. We still got Ghost and possibly Nymeria wherever she’s gotten too, I assume she’s in a boat with Gendry and Benjen Stark.
  • The next time I hold a door open for someone I have a horrid feeling I’m going to cry.
  • Nice one Bran

 

Episode Rating 5/5 – the best of the season so far, evoked memories of some of the classic GoT episodes of the past.