**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.
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”
- 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.