FULL SPOILER REVIEW AHEAD
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Two weeks ago, Game of Thrones gave us one of the very best scenes of the show to date. Last week, we were given a revelation that made even book readers gasp, cry, scream and mourn. This Sunday, I was looking forward to Game of Thrones, a feeling I haven’t had since season 1 and perhaps season 2, a feeling I haven’t had in a long time, and although this episode cannot be compared to the previous ones, Game of Thrones continues to show that it may have learned from its mistakes, after all.
We begin where we ended at with the previous episode. Meera is still running away from the army of white walkers, still pulling a vision induced Bran along with her. Bran’s visions are scattered, his fall from the broken tower back at Winterfell, Daenerys and her freshly hatched baby dragons, his father’s execution, and the Night King. Meera is struggling, I’m surprised she even got that far considering, well, everything. She trips falls, screams, she is exhausted, she is cold and isn’t really going anywhere. Bran’s visions continue, the Night King, the white walkers, the visions are so scattered that I can’t tell if what Bran is seeing is part of the past, the present, or the future, and I don’t know if this is intended. When Meera seem to give up, Bran awakes and says that they have been found, which hints at Bran perhaps controlling his power in a three-eyed-raven type of way. Although the white walkers do indeed find them, they are saved by a very obviously Benjen Stark. Although the internet spoiled this one for me, I must say that it would take an especially forgetful person to forget those eyes. Benjen’s fight with the walker is swift and shows experience, and I wonder how long he’s been out there, fighting white walkers like a boss ass bitch. (BTW WHY IS BRAN NOT MOURNING SUMMER OR HODOR?!)
I had to look at my map of The Known World to pinpoint Oldtown and look at Sam & Gilly’s journey from Castle Black to Oldtown that is way down south, and I am surprised that they made it before the season’s last episode, to be frank. So, Sam explains to Gilly that they have to pass baby Sam as Sam’s son in order for him to not be kicked out at the door and perhaps received a tiny bit of respect, which doesn’t make all that much sense considering how little respect his father, Randyll Tarly, has ever given him, his first son, but fine. Gilly gets it, but we realize very quickly that Sam also omitted to say that Gully is a wildling, which she took quite well and I am happy about that considering how silly it would have been to share that information with someone who likes fantasizing about killing wildling for sports. When they arrive, they are welcomed by Sam’s mother, Melessa Florent, as well as Sam’s sister, Talla Tarly. The welcome is surprisingly warm, for Sam and baby Sam but also for Gilly who looks like she indeed need a bad and maybe 5 nights of sleep (don’t we all?). I was actually looking at the Tarly’s family tree in order to double check Sam’s mother’s and sister’s name and I must say that I was pretty shocked at seeing that technically, Shireen was actually Sam’s second cousin.
Back at King’s landing, Tommen is talking with the high sparrow and is worrying about Margaery’s walk of atonement because we all know how that worked for Cersei and it’s not like a woman walking naked in the street has ever been a safe activity. The high Sparrow offers Tommen the chance to talk to Margaery, and Margaery surprises Tommen with a really good speech about how she indeed is/was sinful and the high sparrow changed her life, and his way of thinking is great and on and on. Either Margaery has been played, or she is playing the game so good that she’s making me doubt her. It has been established very clearly that Margaery will do anything for Loras, and I believe that she is one of the top players out there so I am quite curious to see where this will be going.
In Oltown, Gilly received a “makeover” aka she had the chance to bathe, put on a dress, and curl her hair (how?!), and somehow that is enough to make the internet explode as they are now calling Gilly “pretty woman”, comparing her to Julia Roberts in that god awful movie that I wish I’d never seen. She looks good, but then Gilly always looked great considering the circumstances, so I’m not impressed. They then have quite the awkward family dinner. They talk about hunting and Sam’s brother, Dickon, asks Sam a few casual questions about hunting at the wall, which resulted in still quite the awkward exchange. When Sam’s father starts to show how much of a dick he is, like how his son is fat and isn’t a man and never will be, Gilly, being the boss queen that she is, protects her man, stating that not only Sam killed a white walker, but that he is more of a warrior than any of them will ever be. But in her speech, Gilly makes some missteps and outs herself as a Wildling, which Randyll noticed. He further shames Sam, who stays quiet at the abuse, and Gilly is just quite frankly fucking amazing. When Sam is instructed to leave Oldtown and leave “his son” to be raised “properly”, he almost does, but then comes back and decides that that is bullshit, steals his father’s Valyrian sword and basically doesn’t give a flying fuck because Sam and Gilly are a family and all belong together. I smiled.
In Bravos, Arya is really sucking at this whole being “no one” thing. She watches the play for the third time and is the only one laughing at Joffrey’s death, which got me confused since it was pretty well known how awful Joffrey was. She is touched by Lady Crane’s sad faces and sad speeches but poisons her wine anyway. Since being “no one” really isn’t something Arya is good at, she continues to creep behind the scene and is noticed by Lady Crane who turns out to be a pretty nice lady. Arya gives her advice on how Cersei would have really reacted to Joffrey’s death, so Lady Crane asks Arya that has expressive eyes and eyebrows and asks her if she likes to pretend to be someone else which Arya doesn’t respond to. A little later, as Lady Crane is listening to men mansplaining her what screenwriting is, while also talking down to her because something with tits can’t possibly have an opinion, Arya saves her from drinking the poisoned wine, and outs Bianca at being the ass who wants her dead. Unknowingly to Arya, the Waif sees this and tells Jaqen H’ghar, who orders her to kill Arya. We watch as Arya retrieves Needle (I’ll be honest, that bit gave me the feels) and hides someplace. I can’t express how happy I am that this version of Arya isn’t really down with being no one, all that I want at this point, now that Sansa and Jon are back together, and Bran and Rickon are back (although only for now) is for Arya to get back to her remaining family.
In King’s Landing, Margaery’s walk of atonement is stopped by her father Mace Tyrell’s army, her mother Olenna, as well as Jaime, who all agree that organised religion and the concept of sin is a fucking bummer, I couldn’t agree more. It is made clear however that the high sparrow is a few steps before them as he reveals that Margaery’s talk with Tommen and her speech about religion being cool and all was successful (at least that’s what it appears to be), and Tommen declares that the crown and faith will now be one. The crowd rejoices but Jaime, Mace and Olenna are bummed. Margaery looks like she’s got this in her pocket, but I’m still bummed because this high Sparrow business is boring me to death. Tommen strips Jaime of his title as Lord Commander of the King’s guard and orders him to leave the city.
Talking of Walder Frey, Lord Rapey scolds two of his men for losing Riverrun, reminding them of how well their betrayal worker at the Red Wedding, all while slapping a 12-year-old child’s ass. We know, we get it, you like raping little girls, moving on. It is revealed that Edmure Tully is still alive and Walder Frey announces that “he will be going home.”
That night at King’s Landing, Cersei and Jaime talk. While Jaime wants to retrieve Bronn and hire assassins to kill the high sparrow and all of his servants, Cersei, finally being clever again, advice him not to, and instead tells him to follow his order to help Walder Frey retake Riverrun from the Blackfish. They kiss, it’s still weird, whatever.
Back with Bran, it’s “revealed” or rather confirmed that Meera and Bran’s saviour is Benjen, which surprises Bran but doesn’t surprise me. Benjen explains that while they were sent to find white walkers, they found them. He was stabbed and left to die until the children found him. He explains that the children stopped him from turning the same way they created the white walkers in the first place, by putting dragon glass in his heart. It confuses me and sound over simplified. Benjen tells Bran that he is now the three eyed raven and that he has to learn to control his powers in order to stop the Night King.
On the road to Mereen, Daenerys asks Daarios a bunch of questions I feel like she should know the answer to. She gives her “I’ll take what’s mine speech” when told that she isn’t meant to sit on a throne, but to conquer, and that nobody has enough ships to take all of her armies to Westeros. But Dany doesn’t care because reasons. She goes off and returns with Drogon and I will admit that the music, the scene and all of it together gave me butterflies in my stomach. Daenerys gives a speech to the Dothraki that she will not be choosing only three Khals to be by her side, but that she chooses all of them. As Drogon screams, she asks the Dothraki for their loyalty (as if that wasn’t already gained?) they yell, she yells, Drogon looks cool and then it ends. I sat there for a second wondering what was the point of her scene and speech beside to look cool, and then settled on accepting that the show runners just wanted Dany to look cool for a second or something of the sort.
8/10 – I would have given this a 7 to be honest, maybe less considering Daenerys’s useless speech, and the lack of Sansa in this episode, but I particularly enjoyed Sam and Gilly’s scene, so I gave it one extra point. +1 brownie point for reaching episode 6 with still no rape scene!