FULL SPOILER REVIEW AHEAD
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I have procrastinated writing this review for a while now. I got sick the week that followed that Sunday, and then so many terrible things happened that I quite frankly didn’t have the heart to talk about Game of Thrones stuff. My cold has gotten better, the weather is finally picking up, so let’s do this.
This episode doesn’t open up with Game of Thrones’s famous opening animation, but instead, we are sent right away into the Riverlands where we learn (although we were all expecting it) that Sandor aka The Hound isn’t dead but is chilling with a Septon named Brother Ray & his buddies. We learn that Brother Ray is the person who found Sandor near death and saved his life. I notice something…different in Sandor, something a little too different compared to the man we are used to, a softness that is a little off putting in the way that he talks and respond to Brother Ray. I guess I like it, but I don’t know how much I like that difference. Brother Ray, although a cool dude played Ian McShane who I swore I recognised, when I looked at his filmography there wasn’t much in there that I have seen so perhaps he’s just got that kind of face, gives Sandor the basic Septon anti-violence speech and I am so tired of religion. I did really enjoy Sandor’s bluntness in making it clear that the man who beat him was a woman. #teambrienne
In King’s Landing, Margaery continues to play a real good game with the High Sparrow as they talk about love, mercy and all of that religion stuff I could not give less of a shit about. The High Sparrow reminds us that Westeros like our own universe is a Patriarchy that doesn’t give two shits about women as he asks Margaery why she hasn’t fucked Tommen since her “release”, and as she explains that she is struggling to desire sex at the moment, the High Sparrow tells her that it is her “duty” to have sex with Tommen and that “congress does not require desire on the woman’s part, only patience”. I threw up in my mouth a little. He then finishes that lovely conversation by casually threatening Margaery’s grandmother, Olenna, which leads Margaery to meet with her grandmother and pass her a secret note as she aggressively encourages her to leave King’s Landing.
In the north, Jon & Sansa have begun looking for allies to help them retake Winterfell. The Wildings aren’t really interested in helping, believing that this isn’t their fight, but Jon makes it clear that the Boltons aren’t a problem only for the Starks, but will ruin everything for everyone if they aren’t stopped, everyone seems to think that that is pretty legit. Tormund reminds them that Jon did actually die for them and the giant, whose name I completely forgot, declares his allegiance by saying “Snow”, which was kind of sweet.
In King’s Landing, as Olenna prepares herself to get the fuck out of there, Cersei decides that it’s a grand and genius idea to visit a woman that hates her and tell her that they “both need one another”, when Cersei doesn’t really have anything to offer to anyone at this point. Olenna laughed. I laughed. Cersei looks likes a fool as she’s being calling out on her shit and her many, many failures.
Meanwhile, Jaime arrives in Riverrun with Bronn (and I apparently am the only person on the internet who didn’t miss him). The Freys are threatening the Blackfish that if he doesn’t let them in they will kill Edmure, but Blackfish doesn’t give a single shit and tells them to go ahead, they don’t. Jaime calls them out on their incompetence and gives a backhanded slap we all enjoyed seeing.
Back with Jon & Sansa who apparently are able to travel throughout the north from one place to the next in matters of a day or two instead of the weeks it should take them, we meet Lyanna Mormon, the leader of House Mormon and thus Bear Island. This scene was entirely spoiled and ruined to exhaustion to me by the internet who simply HAD to post clips and pictures of this scene at least every 5 minutes, acting like Lyanna Mormon is the best thing that ever appeared on any show ever and how cool she is for reminding Sansa that she lives under a Patriarchal society that puts as much value on her life as is put on cattle. And how it’s fucking rad that Lyanna reminded Sansa that she was given like merchandise from one man to the next to be beaten, abused, tortured and raped, and that she’s got all of these last names and lol isn’t it funny to have your body autonomy completely taken away and have your identity denied because the moment you are given to a man you become his property?! Sooooo cool, Lyanna FTW! Lyanna mocks Jon and Sansa, blames them for a war that affects everyone and that they didn’t start, and although she makes a good few points, the way Sansa was ridiculed left a bad taste in my mouth. The scene is redeemed when Davos gets to talk to Lyanna and convince her to give her allegiance based on necessity.
The Blackfish has a talk with Jaime that reminds me how much I’ve been disliking Jaime since the showrunners decided that he should rape Cersei by Joffrey’s body but still somehow remain a good guy in our eyes. I miss the Jaime that travelled with Brienne and grew to be a better person, his current cockiness and good guy that is actually a dick attitude only reminds me of what is going on with Tyrion at the moment. Blackfish destroys Jaime with words and wasn’t even trying. It was grandiose.
In Deepwood Motte, Jon and Sansa aren’t able to secure House Glover’s allegiance because Robett Glover still isn’t over the fact that had to watch his wife and children, and his subjects be murdered before his eyes because of Robb’s failures. I liked this better than I liked Lyanna, and I wish Sansa didn’t get so much shit from everyone.
My favourite part of this episode hands down was Yara and Theon’s scene. Recently arrived in Volantis after running away from their dick of an uncle, Yara and Theon are taking a pit stop in a brothel and we watch as Yara enjoys the company of a prostitute, a female prostitute, in a way that isn’t to please male viewers but showcase Yara’s queerness. Theon is uncomfortable with the presence of women and expresses clear signs of trauma and PTSD, which helped me remember the big part that women took in Theon’s torture, which as a result obviously traumatised him. Yet, Yara is understanding, she assures him that she would never hurt him and sends the prostitute away for her to join later. Although her speech of encouraging Theon to kill himself if his trauma has fucked him up for good, the rest of it, as she encourages her brother to come back to her, find himself again, and declare that they will look for Danaeryes and make a pact with her was great and I cannot wait to see the what-could-be of a conversation with Yara and Dany. Do I ship them? Maybe I do! If I remember correctly, Dany has slept with women in the books.
Back one last time with Jon and Sansa, they are in the middle of arguing which is something I had not missed and wish wouldn’t be there. Sansa tells Jon that they don’t have enough men but Jon isn’t being understanding and doesn’t really listen to her worries and her fear, they argue, men are being men and are fighting in the background like fifteen-year-olds, forcing Davos and then Jon to go break the fight up. Sansa, understandably afraid of the strong possibility of losing to Ramsay and the consequences that would come from such a loss, consequences worse than death, decides to write to Littlefinger in order to get the knights of the Veil.
Brother Ray gives yet another great speech to Sandor about how it isn’t too late to come back and be a better person, a better version of yourself. Some bros from the Brotherhood without Banners show up and casually threaten the group for goods and food and although Brother Ray doesn’t seem worried, both Sandor and us viewers know that they are all about to be slaughtered.
In Bravos Arya isn’t being very clever and is walking around like there isn’t an association of assassin’s looking for her because she double crossed them. She is also very lucky and finds a Westerosi on what seems to be her first try (?), throws a bunch of gold at him and declares that although he was planning on leaving in a while, he’ll set sail tomorrow. I mean, it’s not like you need preparation and for your many men to prepare as well before sailing, nah. She continues to walk around, goes sight seeing and it thus found by the Waif who is hiding behind the face of an old lady (a face that was shown and worn previously?!) and stabs Arya so many times I’m reminded of Jon’s death and how much I wished he would have stayed dead. (but he’s cool now so I’m ok with it)
We finish the episode with The Hound who is proven right by discovering that his entire group has indeed been killed including Brother Ray. He grabs an axe and I do get a few butterflies in my stomach because I do enjoy seeing murderers being murdered.
All in all, I didn’t think that this episode was as good as it could have been. There were a lot of scenes and too many characters and places to touch up on, from the back and forth of characters and their multiples scenes scattered across the episode, this reminded me a bit of the mess that was season 5.
6/10 – At least there wasn’t any of that Tyrion & Dany mess.