Another week begins and another episode of Game of Thrones airs for me to fangirl over. I’m a little off the mark this week, because bank holidays always end up getting away from me – but better late than never, right?
Warning: as always, this post is dark and full of spoilers. If you would like to avoid spoilers for this week’s episode of Game of Thrones – ‘Blood of my Blood’ – then please, click here to enjoy other pop culture delights.
The dead don’t rest
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones opened with a direct continuation from last week’s tragic Hodor-focused climax. Meera is seen dragging a still-unconscious Bran through the treacherous conditions of the North, in an exhausting, yet valiant attempt to save them both from the clutches of the pursuing White Walkers.
After last week’s episode, I did wonder how on earth they were going to survive, given the speed of the White Walkers and the only escape being expanding wilderness. It did look pretty touch and go for the pair, with Bran awaking just in time to utter, ‘they’ve found us’ – whether this was a not to the very obvious fact that both he and Meera were about to die, or if Bran is beginning to exhibit some proper three eyed raven wisdom still remains to be seen, however.
Also, as an aside: what is with Bran’s visions in this episode? I felt like it was a slight transferral of knowledge from one three eyed raven to another, given that it was relatively haphazard and didn’t reveal much, other than snippets that can’t quite be stitched together yet. They were certainly interesting, though; particularly the appearance of the Mad King and some pretty potent green looking stuff, and even the potential of Lyanna and Jon Snow sitting atop the tower Ned Stark began ascending a few weeks ago – I really can’t wait to see more.
I called Uncle Benjen
I’m not one to boast (read: I am), but I did call the identity of the masked figure galloping in to save Bran and Meera’s life in the last moments – giant fireballs blazing in the darkness – as soon as he appeared on screen. Given the fact that in the past six seasons of Game of Thrones, we haven’t been able to forget the Stark uncle’s disappearance, I knew he had to reappear at some stage, and in some form.
It was also an interesting re-introduction to a potentially forgotten character. I felt that it echoed Brienne’s rescue of Sansa in the first episode of this season of Game of Thrones, and without sounding rather poetic and potentially crazy – both Brienne and Benjen’s heroic efforts in saving a Stark feels a little like the resurrection of the family – and I’m REALLY excited about it!
The manner in which Benjen revealed what had happened to him after he disappeared was also pretty interesting – especially when considering the long-term effects his place in the show would have. I like the suggestion that he isn’t 100% alive, and thus not a real human; not only does it explain his pale complexion, and rather frost bitten face, but also provides Bran with a pretty foreboding bodyguard – I’m really looking forward to this development!
What is Margaery’s deal?
The last time we saw Margaery, she was given a rather upsetting few moments to reunite with her broken down brother, which ended with her looking relatively frantic about the situation they both found themselves in. So, I was pretty surprised to see this shift in her character during this week’s episode of Game of Thrones.
The main question, I think, that should be on everyone’s lips is: Is Margeary Tyrell playing the Game of Thrones? What does this all mean – and why is it so horrifically frustrating?!
I simply don’t believe that Margaery’s character could go through such an overtly religious rebirth and I don’t think I want to acknowledge the likelihood of her becoming a true and devout member of the sparrows. Given her loyalty to her brother, I’m assuming that this is simply a well thought out ploy to defeat the High Sparrow at his own game.
After all, in previous seasons of Game of Thrones, Margaery Tyrell has always been deliciously scheming, and this may all be a plan to save her brother, and defeat the sparrows from the inside. However, there is the question of Tommen’s seemingly honest and true desire to see church and state mix harmoniously – he has already distanced himself from his family, and banished uncle Jaime from the city, seemingly, as he was stripped of his ceremonious titles.
Overall, it was a pretty frustrating end to the Lannister/Tyrell moments in this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. The only saving grace of ‘Blood of my Blood’ being, of course, the fact that Cersei is now even more pissed off and desperate for revenge than before – plus, she has also rekindled her twincest romance with brother Jaime. Honestly, I feel that Cersei is at her most scheming when she has some kind of disturbing sexual longing for her brother – so without sounding too supportive of sibling sex – let’s get it on, petal, I love diabolical Cersei!
Also, it does look like Tommen will end up dying in this season’s Game of Thrones, which given his recent behaviour, is also fine by me.
Gilly, meet the parents!
I’m still a little perplexed by this storyline, and I’m not really sure if I’m enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, Sam Tarley is adorable and his sense of nobility and honour – as well as his romantic and chivalric behaviour toward Gilly – is really refreshing. However, I was a little peeved that this storyline took up so much time in this week’s episode of Game of Thrones didn’t offer much in terms of Sam’s progression in the overall story-arc.
The awkward inner that ended when Sam’s father, Randyll, fumed that his first born was still alive, still fat and now involved with a ‘Wildling whore’ was perhaps insightful, in the sense that we now truly understand how Sam ended up in the Night’s Watch – although, it doesn’t explain why he’s so nice, I’m pretty sure I’d have taken a leaf out of Ramsay Bolton’s book if my dad treated me like that. However, it does also offer us further insight as to why Sam wants to succeed in becoming a Maester – not necessarily to prove something to his dad, but maybe to also prove something to his dad… like don’t mess with canny Sam!
I think the only real significant thing to take away from the Sam and Gilly storyline this week, is probably the fact that Sam Tarley is now in possession of his family’s sword, which is made of Valeryian steel – which I think may be significant to Jon Snow and probably White Walker fighting?
Walder Frey: still alive, still shit
In the most awful Game of Thrones revelation – Walder Frey is still alive and still being a dirty old creep and relatively awful human. I’m not really sure why it was important to bring him back, other than to remind audiences what happened both during and after the Red Wedding – and the fact that both of his sons are hopeless.
Let’s face it – the only real card that Frey has to play in this season of Game of Thrones is the fact that he’s had Edmure Tully rotting in his dungeons for a few seasons. I’m guessing he’s going to try and use him as some kind of bargaining chip for the Black Waters, which will hopefully fail once Sansa and Jon arrive to speak to the remaining Tullys. With Sansa’s recent character transformation, I’m expecting a rousing speech that propels the Tully army into fighting against the Freys; both for the Red Wedding and the return of Edmure – which will of course end with the death of Walder Frey. In which case, I accept his return and look forward to his demise.
Arya, stick ’em with the pointy end
All I can say after this week’s episode of Game of Thrones is, ‘finally!’ After a few weeks of truly disappointing and repetitive storylines in season six, I was pretty disappointed in what was turning out to be a poor season for Arya Stark.
This week saw Arya watching another rendition of the Lannister storyline being acted out by the bawdy troupe of Shakespearean type actors – a continuation of her assassination task appointed by the Faceless Men.
Following a pretty rousing conclusion to the Lannister play, the actress portraying Cersei moved Arya to the point where she realised she couldn’t kill someone who was inherently so good. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that the play she was witnessing perpetually reminded her of her own family history, as well as the reminder that she vowed to kill Cersei, as per her kill list. Either way, it sets her in poor stead with the rest of the Faceless Men and the nasty girl who was always hitting her, is now desperate to kill her – which is nice, isn’t it?
I can’t really say I’m too worried about Arya, though, given the fact that she has successfully managed to find her faithful sword – I would like to see a proper Arya Stark revival – after all, it does look like season six is focused on the return of the Starks.
Daenerys Stormborn finds a dragon, inspires an army
Although we only saw her for a few moments in this week’s Game of Thrones, Daenerys did not disappoint. With Ser Jorah being now a distant memory, we see Daenerys and her army of loyal Dothraki soldiers traversing the desert on their way back to Mereen – a journey that will take them a week.
Following a conversation about Khaleesi being a conqueror – and not someone who simply sits prettily on a throne – Daenerys wanders off, only to return with Drogon, of all things – where’d he come from? I have to admit, when I saw Drogon flying over the Dothraki army, I was smiling – it’s quite a nice addition to her storyline, having dragons show up to make her look even more impressive; you can only rely on being resistant to flame for so long, after all. I also think that fire-breathing dragons almost guarantee Khaleesi success in her quest for the Iron Throne, which is way better than Cersei’s mountain, at least. Plus, if she does make the trip to Westeros, she could just fire-breathe the shit out of the High Sparrow and be done with that whole mess too.
The only thing that worried me about this week’s interaction, however, was the fact that Daenerys mentioned the fact that they need boats – at least 1000 of them – which falls a little into the Greyjoy plan that was hatched last week. I’m hoping that she keeps her ‘all men must die’ mantra alive, if she is to ever come face to face with the big bad uncle Greyjoy.