Previously on Game of Thrones, “The Broken Man”
Since the end of last season, I’ve been saying that season seven of Game of Thrones should be its last. If the rumors are true, the final seasons will be split into a shortened seventh and eighth at seven episodes each. It certainly feels as though that’s the case as we near the end of season six. I’m trying to not get my hopes up, but the characters I want to be on the right side of the great war to come (Arya, The Hound, Jon, Sansa, Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, etc.) all seem to be moving into place to make that happen. Of course, this is Game of Thrones so at least three of those characters could be dead in the next two episodes. We’ll see.
“I’m good at putting holes in them.”
Arya was Arya. No tricks. No glamour. No face wearing. She carries her wounded self to the one person in Braavos she is certain won’t try to kill her and owes her a favor: Lady Crane. She stitches Arya’s wounds and says Arya should travel with her and be an actress. Arya has had enough of pretending to be other people and says her future lies elsewhere – west of Westeros, possibly the end of the world, to be exact. But first, Arya must sleep and Lady Crane’s Milk of the Poppy helps her do just that.
This is a sweet moment and supplied Arya with some much needed maternal care.
When she awakens, she finds the Waif has killed Lady Crane and she still has one more name to collect for The Many-Faced God. The Waif chases Arya through the streets of Braavos where no one bats an eye at all the running, jumping, stitches busting, and bleeding going on.
Arya eventually leads the Waif to the small room she’d been bunking in, and she seems resigned to die fighting. Armed with Needle, Arya extinguishes the candle in the room, bathing them both in darkness.
Later, Jaqen follows a trail of blood the Wall of Faces and finds the Waif’s face has been mounted there. He doesn’t seem too broken up to learn that Arya killed her. He tells Arya she is finally no one.
“I am Arya Stark of Winterfell,” she says, “and I’m going home.”
Jaqen just nods and smiles like: “You right.”
“You’re shit at dying, you know that?”
The Hound did not come to play around with these heauxs. He finds four of the BWB and cuts off heads and slits throats. The one with the yellow cloak isn’t there so he continues to hunt. He eventually finds his prey about to be hanged by Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr and his new man-bun, and the other Brotherhood Without Banners.
They negotiate a deal: The Hound can have the honor of killing two of the three men, but only by hanging. No chopping, slicing, or gutting. Reluctantly, The Hound takes what he’s given and then joins the BWB for a meal, during which Beric tries to talk him into joining their cause. Since he uses much of the same language as Septon Ian McShane, it’s a safe bet that The Hound will say yes.
“I choose violence.”
The Mountain is finally allowed to flex more of his considerable muscles when members of the Faith Militant (led by Lancel) try to take Cersei to the Sept against her will. Before anyone can say, “Now, now. Let’s not go losing our heads,” someone loses his head and the FM are sent back to the Sept without Cersei and down one in number.
Almost immediately Cersei regrets her decision when Tommen makes a royal announcement: Hers and Loras’ trials will begin soon, and after much prayer the crown has decided there will be no more trial by combat.
Cersei isn’t completely out, though. Qyburn informs her that his little spies have confirmed a rumor is true, and this pleases Cersei. Anything that pleases Cersei is usually bad for everyone else. My guess is that they’ve discovered the caches of Wildfire the Mad King hid under and throughout Kings Landing. And wouldn’t it be just like Cersei to decide if she can’t have the capital, no one will? I wouldn’t be surprised if Cersei dies this season or early next, killed by Jaime much like he had to kill The Mad King to keep him from making everything go kaboom.
“Do you think they’re fucking?”
Upon discovering the siege at Riverrun, Brienne seeks an audience with Jaime. She offers a deal: Allow her to speak with the Blackfish and she’ll convince him to give up the castle in exchange for safe passage to the North to help Sansa. Though this is goes against anything Cersei would want, Jaime isn’t keen on staying away from his sister longer than he has to, and it appears as though he truly would like to have this done without bloodshed. He agrees and also understands that if it doesn’t work out, Brienne is sworn to defend Sansa’s kin.
While Pod catches up with Bronn, Brienne meets with the Blackfish. Despite learning that Jaime did keep his word to Catelyn by sending Brienne to find Sansa, the Blackfish still refuses to leave. His men won’t be much help to Sansa and he’s not giving up his home. Pod sends a raven to Sansa informing her she shouldn’t expect assistance from the Riverlands.
Jaime tries one last attempt at a peaceful resolution by threatening to kill Edmure’s son born to him and his Frey wife. Sooo, somewhat peaceful. Edmure is sent to the castle gate where he demands to be let in. Blackfish is smarter than your average fish and instructs the men to ignore Edmure, but he’s the Lord they answer to – not Blackfish. Sure enough, once inside, Edmure orders his men to stand down and turn over the castle and the Blackfish. The Blackfish is busy providing Brienne and Pod with an escape from the castle, then returns inside to die fighting, which he does.
Jaime sees Brienne and Pod paddling away. Instead of turning them in, he and his former captor exchange head nods and waves.
They’re never going to see each other again, right?
“The most famous dwarf in the world.”
Tyrion is feeling quite proud of himself. Meereen is thriving once more and a new Red Priestess spreads the word that Queen Daenerys is the Lord of Light’s chosen one. Seems making a pact with fanatics has worked out better for Tyrion than it did for Cersei.
After a sentimental goodbye to Varys, who’s heading off on a secret mission meant to gain support in Westeros, Tyrion finally peer pressures Grey Worm and Missandei into a drinking game. The game goes like this: Everyone drinks and tells jokes. Just when I thought I was going to at last hear the punchline to Tyrion’s honeycomb and jackass joke (I’ve been waiting for that since season one!), the Great Masters put an end to the good times by attacking Meereen.
Like Arya and The Blackfish, Grey Worm, Missandei, and Tyrion prepare to die fighting, but Daenerys returns via dragon just in the nick of time. Now someone needs to explain why her kids are off punishment, her ships are gone, and why the lawn is on fire.
Game of Thrones S6E8 = 8.5/10