Welcome back to Game of Thrones, just me again. I will do my best! I won't be doing gifs, I almost kilt my gif-maker last week, so I will use word pictures. Maybe hand gestures too. So much happened last week, I hope this week is just the same. Rolling after the break!
Let's see what Previously On tells us will be coming up! Tommen's conversion, Riverrun and the Freys / Lannisters, Euron Greyjoy's ascension, Arya's defection (YAY!!) and subsequent signing of her death warrant, the War of The North picking up and Sansa's bold strategy moves. Ready?
I didn't even mention Samwell and Heartsbane, I will really hoping for them, but that's fine, fine. When they're ready.
We open in a beautiful valley, is this Riverrun? I miss Veronica. Veronica knows everything and I'm just here for colour commentary. Plus I watched a wrenching show earlier and I just feel like hammed shite. Sorry, sorry, back to the show. Ian McShane walks around smiling at everyone while they build a high tower? I would think there would be less smiling in Riverrun, what with all those armies coming for them. Lots of logs being carried and OH MY GOD. THE HOUND IS BACK!!!
I legit screamed. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Go find Arya, Sandor!!!
Ian approaches The Hound, who is chopping up a massive log, moar smiling and joviality: who cut the Hound down then? Must have been some kind of a monster, but no, "he was a woman" and that's RIGHT!! It was our lady Brienne of Tarth and this other guy smiles too much. He also doesn't have a name in IMdB, so Imma call him Ian until someone looks directly at the camera and spakes his nameth. Fanks!
Ian approaches the Hound, he's got a lovely accent and I could just listen to it for days. I think Sandor's been listening for a bit longer than that, this is the person who rescued him. They have a super interesting conversation about whether there are old gods or new gods or Seven or something (I miss Veronica). Ian doesn't know, but he believes there's something bigger than them and more blah-ing and then he uses Sandor' full name, bringing his head up. Sandor asks why the gods haven't punished him, knowing what he did back in the day. Ian figures he's been punished all right; big fcuker and tough to kill or not. I would agree.
Margaery and the High Sparrow are going to read together today! She memorizes quickly, as I did as a child. He calls her on it, saying that she's a quick learner, but knowing the words doesn't mean you're pious and I can testify to that as well. Every once a while someone wanted to take me to bible study and I got alls the prizes for memorization, which was pretty impressive for a godless heathen. Okay, Buddhist, same thing in small towns, ifyouknowwhatImean.
He says there are poor people who understand the word of the gods much better than those with good memories, they discuss how gross but important poor people are, but he has something personal to talk to her about. Wee Tommen has complained to his new messiah that he isn't getting any (from his 35 year old wife), is that the case? She has a duty, says the High Sparrow, to the her husband, her king, the country, the gods, everybody's in bed with this woman, and it sounds like everyone BUT her is ready to throw down.
She says she isn't driven by the same desires she was, he counsels her to not be so silly, you don't need DESIRE in this situation, just patience. If he hands her a small tub of lube, I am not responsible for my actions.
She apologizes (eeeerk) and promises to try harder. He threatens Lady Olenna next, that's Margaery's next conversion target. Did he SERIOUSLY just threaten my Lady Olenna??? You best check thyself lest thou wreck thyself, High Sparrow. She will eat you for breakfast.
Margaery is meeting with Lady Olenna but Septa Unella won't leave them alone. Margaery talks a good game, but I am SO RELIEVED when she passes a note to her grandmother secretly, I was worried she was really Moonie-ing the eff oot. Septa Unella's face changes, so I'm worried she may have seen. I hope not! In the hallway we see what she gave Lady Olenna; a drawing of a rose, the house sigil of Highgarden. (I fink, given that there's a Lord of Flowers and all that) Lady Olenna smiles, also relieved, although personally I would have liked a great big "GET ME THE EFF OOT OF HERE!!"
Most of the Wildlings don't want to fight in this War of the North, it's not their battle. Tormund reminds them that none of them would be alive if not for Jon Snow letting them through the wall, Jon tells them they would be the next targets if he was defeated, and Tormund seals it all up by calling them cowards. Done! The giant's in, then an older red-haired Wildling shakes Jon's hand to call it a deal. I can't be the only one who flinched, hoping there wasn't knife going in same time, can I?
Cersei has come to see Lady Olenna, who is planning to return to Highgarden (yay!); surely she wants to see her grandson freed first? Lady Olenna lays into her; the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant are Cersei's fault and her fault alone, their two ancient houses lie on the precipice of extinction because of her. Cersei admits to it, but they need each other, don't they? Lady Olenna wonders aloud if Cersei's the worst person she's ever met? I do feel the need to point out that Lady Olenna DID kill Cersei's oldest son, however, that sadistic little shit Joffrey, so it must have taken Cersei a lot to come ask Lady O for help. Lady Olenna refuses, saying she's leaving as soon as possible, suggesting Cersei does the same, she's lost. She's lost everything, and there is no-one to protect her any longer.
We go to Jamie leading the charge towards Riverrun, LOOK!!! Bronn made it!! He's not wearing any armour, and looks almost relaxed next to Jamie's ornate goods. He makes fun of the Frey's siege, "someone needs to teach these twats how to build trenches." Jamie agrees, *long side eye* "someone" does. Oh no, not me, says Bronn, I'm just an upjumped sell-sword, but no, he's been anointed as a knight now. Jamie wants Bronn as his right hand man (heh), but Bronn's not susceptible to Jamie's flattery, he wants his lordship, fancy home and high-born wife, when's that gonna happen, hey? Jamie reiterates the Lannister motto: they always pay their... Bronn doesn't want to hear it.
Lot of throwback stuff, hey? The flower, and I don't think I've heard "a Lannister always pays his debts" in years!
And here's the play with Lord Edmure, the Freys have him on a platform, ready for hanging, unless Blackfish yields the castle. I don't think Blackfish liked Lord Edmure any more than I did (remembering his look of disdain at Edmure's inability to light a funeral canoe on fire) so we should probably light a candle for Edmure.
And no. Edmure will not die today, but Blackfish doesn't give a shite either way. I told you yakking about using the same knife that killed Catelyn wasn't going to win you any favours.
Jamie and Bronn have been watching from a ways away, they approach the surprised Lothar (the one shouting), he didn't know they were coming because he hadn't set up a proper perimeter. I am torn again, on one hand I really appreciate good organizational skills and Jamie is very experienced, but on the other hand, they better not take that fecking castle, you know?
Jamie handily takes over (heh), smacking Walder in the face and sending Lord Edmure for a bath and grub. Bronn directs the rest of the group as to what will happen and Jamie wants a parley with Blackfish. I DO NOT want them to take that castle! Bugger off, Bronn, join the right side for once!
Jon et. al have made it to Bear Island, where they meet with feisty Lady Lyanna Mormont. She must be Jorah's little girl? She's tough, though, brooking no charm or ego stroking, calling her mother not a beauty but a great warrior. She told Stannis before that Bear Island knows no King but the King of the North, which is Robb Stark. Jon tentatively presses forth, Robb is gone, but they are here, do they have House Mormont's allegiance?
She talks to her adviser; from what she understands, Jon's a bastage and isn't Sansa a Bolton? Or is it Lannister? Oh I LIKE her! Not because she's giving our heros shite, but because she doesn't offer the lives of her people freely. Jon has no words to meet this tiny fierce ruler.
Ser Davos steps forward, he understands how she feels. He's in a position he never expected to be in and responsible for so many more than he ever knew. He tells her of the real war, the war against dead by the living, and if the North is divided by the Boltons, they will lose.
I was WONDERING how they were going to bring the White Walkers and the Night King into this most prosaic of wars for town and country, that's a good hook, Ser Davos! It might even be true!
Lady Lyanna doesn't need any advising this time; the House of Mormont has held faith with the House Stark for 1000 years, it will not be broken today. Jon sighs with relief; how many men can he expect?
*Whispered consultation* 62. Jon almost swoons. You can see him thinking "Bloody hell, 62 men? I just took ALL that shit for 62 men? 6?2? Really?" but she swears each of those men is worth 10 mainlanders and Ser Davos compliments her on her ferocity.
Wouldn't they have a good idea of how many men they could expect before they went hat in hand? 62 men?
Parley time! Excellent! Jamie walks up to Riverrun alone, awaiting the drawbridge. Maybe Blackfish should just put him out of his misery; what does he have to look forward to, really? Sure, Cersei is all cuddly NOW, but she has the attention span of a gnat's fart and she'll be on to the next power struggle or blonde Lannister as soon as his back's turned, all in the name of their wee unholy cursed hooligans, 2 out of 3 of which are dead. So. I'm just saying. It wouldn't be the worst thing.
Jamie and Blackfish's parley is FUN! For Blackfish, anyway, he's got provisions for two years. Does the Kingslayer have two years? Jamie is left frustrated, perhaps those ditches won't do as much as he had hoped.
House Glover will NOT help House Stark, they only just got this castle back from the Ironborn, thanks to House Bolton, so who exactly else is in this army they're being asked to join? Er-ooh, some Wildlings, mostly, and that was it for House Glover. He strides away, to be called back by Sansa, who calls for his allegiance to House Stark. He is NOT having it, though, and this little bottle drive is going to be much harder than Sansa thought. Her name doesn't count for as much as she hoped.
Theon is stuck in the happiest brothel EVER, freaking out while watching his sister get her share (side note: it weirds me out entirely when they show people kissing breasts in non-pornographic movies. Vinyl kept doing it, they know that's for people who don't actually act, right?). Yara forces him to drink. She needs Theon, not Reek, and if he can't do that, then he should slit his wrists and call it done. She needs him with her, REALLY with her, and he finally nods. She kisses his forehead, but since it's her last night ashore, she takes her leave to "go fcuk the tits off of this one." It's like poetry, really, or whatever the opposite of poetic is.
Back at camp, Jon, Sansa and Davos are going over their plans; they just don't have enough people. And who they do have is currently fighting against one another in the ranks, buncha Wildling bastages not willing to drop the fisticuffs for solidarity. Davos goes off to break it up, Sansa sneers: he's your new most trusted adviser because he talked a ten year old out of 62 men? Sansa wants to approach more families, but Jon doesn't think they have the time. Sansa watches Lady Lyanna over by the raven cages, which is she looking at? Will she be calling in her chip with Littlefinger now?
I guess it was the ravens, she's written a letter and sent it
Ray! Ian McShane's name is Ray! Thank you, closed captions! He's holding forth about his past crooked past, including the murder of a young boy in front of his mother and you know the Hound is thinking of the Butcher's boy. This is a wicket therapy group! It's never too late to come back, Ray says, staring at the Hound.
Three men ride up then, bandits most like, offering Ray and the group protection (from them, one assumes); early hippie Ray offers them a meal, but declines to give them any extra food and they have no gold or silver. Be safe, says the one bandit, the night is dark and full of terrors.
I'm telling you, this episode is all throwbacks! Lannister always pays his debts, Bronn and Jamie side by side again, the Hound and Edmure kicking around, all this revisiting what happened with Robb Stark, it's like we're all riding around in a giant Tardis! If anyone tells Jon he knows nothing, I'm throwing something heavy.
Sandor's chopping away at more wood. How he interacts with Ray is kind of funny, I like them together. Not as much as when Sandor was traveling with Arya, you could see these little peeks of humanity. I loved them. Ray tells Sandor "violence is a disease" and that you don't cure it by spreading it around. Sandor retorts that you don't cure it by dying either. I'm reminded of the words of Alan Turing; people are violent because it feels good. Take away the emotion and focus on logic. Try THAT!
Speaking of Arya, she's wandering around the market looking to find a Westerosi ship to take her home. She finds one, but is attacked by the Waif dressed as an old woman and stabbed several times before managing to jump in the water. The Waif waits until Arya's been underwater awhile, blood flowing up through, then nods, satisfied, and leaves. Arya pops up a little while later and struggles on and, bleeding profusely while everyone watches and keeps a safe distance. I was mostly worried she kept all her coins with her, but now I'm wondering if she will make that dawn ship after all.
The Hound is preparing for a war, clearing away vegetation and chopping more wood when all of a sudden it's quiet and he's spooked. He runs back to the encampment; everyone has been murdered and everything has been taken, his grisly walk ending at Ray, hanging from the very structure they were building in the opening scene where he was smiling so much. He's not smiling any more, and neither is the Hound, who grabs his axe and sets off; he's found his purpose after all. We're oot.
So. Brutal ending to an otherwise quiet show; even then, we didn't have to see the murdering and pillaging, so I will take. So many throwbacks in this episode! Aside from that, I really don't know about the triangle offense being led by Jon, Sansa and Ser Davos, however, or have any idea how Cersei will manage to flip this script back into her favour. It's all looking very grim, but I LOVE that the Hound is back. He even has a shot at atonement, and how often does one get a chance at that? Not nearly enough, I'm afraid. Until next time, when Veronica will be back, thank the old gods and the new, cheers!