Game of Thrones 6.6 – Blood of my Blood

Bran Stark Meera Jojoen

Hey, Bran! Hope it was worth it. I JUST HOPE IT WAS WORTH IT, KID. [gross sobbing]

[Previously] Hey there! Still sobbing and aching where my heart once was every time I see “Hold the door,” how about you??? Welcome to our group counsel. Donuts and coffee in the back.

We pick up immediately where we left off, Meera dragging Bran away on a litter. He’s still Warging, seeing, whatever. Dude, you’re literal dead weight and she’s doing her best. Her best is impressive, I have to say. While Bran is Warging/Time Traveling, whatever, he sees: Ned looking for his sister, Wildfire production, the Mad King, Jaime Lannister standing up to him, and of course, Winter Coming. Maybe most painful is witnessing Robb’s assassination again.

Wait, no, it’s Meera at her physical limit, crying as she tries to get Bran to safety, the Undead hot (cold?) on their heels.

“Burn them,” the Mad King says in Bran’s mind. “Burn them all.” So that’s how we kill the wights and the White Walkers. Which, I feel like we know that, what with dragonfire and the Wildlings instructing folks to burn the dead back in Season One and all, so why is this so significant now? If we can’t get dragons to do the work, Cersei’s insane stash of Wildfire at KL could do the trick?

Bran wakes up and says, “They found us.” Meera cries out an apology. Before they can be taken by the Undead, someone on a horse with a flaming incense thingy (Catholics help me out: THURIBLE, THANK YOU!) a flaming thurible shows up and starts mowing them down. Draugrs are easily taken out by knocking them into trees. (Good to know!) I mean, they are just bones barely held together. The more… fleshy ones burn up with the modified mace filled with fire.

The man and Meera get Bran onto the horse, and all ride away. WHEW. (Look, this is Game of Thrones. I braced myself for them dying just then.) And let’s just get this out there. Is that Benjen??? (Spoiler alert for the end of the recap: YES.)

Sweet Gilly is excited by the green of Samwise Gamgee Red Leader Porkins Tarley’s homeland, and considering she’s only ever seen snow, I bet it’s exciting. She also picks up on how nervous Sam is to go home. Given he’s the disappointment to his overbearing jackass of a father, forced to give up the family name or die, that seems about right. (And Baby Sam looks about 10 months old, so is that how long it’s been?? One day I would like a timeline of events.)

We see the house, and good god. Sam’s rich, bitch!

Sam Tarley Pemberely

“10,000 a year!”

And to the women’s (his mom and sister) credit, they can’t wait to get their hands on Baby Sam, have sweet things to say to Gilly, and squishy, warm hugs for Sam. Gilly’s a bit overwhelmed, but she should just be glad that Sixpence None the Richer didn’t start playing “Kiss Me” while being forced into getting her eyebrows plucked, Spanx tugged on, and a slow-mo in new heels down the stairs.

King Tommen continues to be a hand puppet of Cult Pope as the city prepares for Margaery’s Walk of Shame. (STRIDE PRIDE, DAMMIT. I would give a lot to see one of those feature a chick throwing up some pommesgabels, a “Whoooo!” and flick their tongue at the crowd. I…. don’t do religion right. I know this.)

Tommen’s granted an audience with (a cleaned up for Tommen?) Margery who is so happy to see anyone but Excessively Abusive Nun. Margaery is so damn good. She is so confident and working everyone around her, and this woman is a gee damn Queen. Let’s just get that out. She’s presenting the whole “I’ve really thought about what I’ve done” angle. She’s playing both sides, and it’s masterfully done. Tommen, however, isn’t smart enough to realize this. This… will pose a problem.

Gilly gets all gussied up and while there’s no slow, coy, shy but happy descending of stairs, she does stagger about a hallway, unfamiliar with corsets and fancy shoes, but look: she’s cute. And Sam knows it. And now we all know it. They took the thick glasses and paint-stained overalls off the art student, and she became beautiful. But can we still love her feisty spirit and inability to fit in with the It Crowd? (Spoiler alert: duh!)

Dinner, of course, is a painful affair. All of the Tarley men, back from their outing at Cabela’s (it’s Cabela’s Salute week–all crossbows are 30% off!), are absolute shit at hiding their disdain for the portly, soft, “focused on his mind and not his brawn” Samwell. Sam does the whole, “Oh, you took out a mule deer? 262 points? Nice. I wish I could tell you how I took out an EXPERT-LEVEL WHITE WALKER, totally like forty million points and leveled up nine times because of it, but that would be bragging. But gosh! This venison!” Sam cuts a fresh piece and drags it through the sauce. “This is nice, too!”

#wishfulthinking

And of course Daddy Tarley is all, “Hey. Let me constantly look at you with disdain. Speak to you with disdain. Everything I do is going to remind you that I do not like you.”

Randyll Tarley Samwell Tarley

WHAT AM I SMELLING? Oh, it’s disappointment. In you, Sam. My disappointment of you. Are you getting that? Is there enough hate in my sneer? Are you really getting how much I don’t love you? [WE GET IT, RANDYLL, GOD.]

Gilly: Good god, my dad fucked the lot of us but at least he wasn’t as blatantly rude as this shit heel.

Folks? That’s saying something.

And then the greatest thing ever.

Gilly: [taps mic] So here’s the thing. You shot a deer? Cute. Sam here killed a Thenn. You know what those are, right?
Sam’s Brother: …what?
Gilly: Yep. Did that, saved my life multiple times. Killed a White Walker.
Sam’s Brother (his name doesn’t matter because this family is shit): Those aren’t real.
Gilly: Have fun believing that! And he did. Also? He’s more man than any of you.
Lord Tarley: Now see here! You’re shit, my son is shit, but that Valyrian steel sword hanging on the wall?
Me: OH MY GOD GRAB THAT RIGHT NOW, THAT IS BOSS-LEVEL WEAPONRY, SAM.
Lord Tarley: That will never grace his soft, pudgy lady hands. [points to Gilly] ARE THE SHADES OF PEMBERLEY TO BE THUS POLLUTED?
Lady Tarley: YOU’RE POLLUTED. Come, Gilly. Let’s get you out of that corset and brush your hair.
Lord Tarley: So Gilly can stay because your mom is awesome. And we’ll raise the kid. But you? Don’t ever come back.
Me: GOD YOU ARE THE EPITOME OF DEADBEAT DAD, christ.

If you didn’t know that Gilly was awesome, she later tells an apologetic Sam, “I’m not angry at you. I’m angry that horrible people can treat others that way and get away with it. You’re not what he thinks you are, Sam.” And then Sam nuts up and takes his wee family with him, AND THE SWORD, and they leave.

Samwell Tarley Valyrian steel

[sings the “now that you’re a MAN, A MAN-MAN-MAN!” song]

Gilly: Won’t he come for it?
Sam: He can bloody well try.
Me: THAT IS HOW YOU COWBOY UP, BUDDY. [stands on a chair to start a slow clap]

At this moment, I would take a bullet for Sam. Not like some shoulder grazing shit, I’m talking potential GSW stuff. I am very proud of you, bucko.

Down in Braavos, as A Girl/Arya watches, our actors are performing (Cersei approved?) stories of Joffrey’s magnificence and of Tyrion’s treachery. (Yeah, Cersei is behind this.) Best moment: Arya grinning as actor!Joffrey dies.

Joffrey Lannister Arya Stark

Always gonna reblog any version of King Weaselteat dying. (And whoa, those are some blue eyes. The same blue on the eye stones, amirite?)

Joffrey Lannister Arya Stark

SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME

Then she sees the Sansa-actress practicing the Cersei-actress scenes and yeah, Arya is sure who hired her. As the (I’m sure) Cersei-sponsored play continues, Arya slips backstage and poisons the rum, sure her mark will down it. Unfortunately, her mark spies her and intimates that Arya’s there because she has a desire to act.

WOW, HITTING CLOSE TO HOME. Arya makes her excuses and vamooses. (That was a wonderful moment, btw, especially Arya naming herself Mercy, then saying her father is waiting for her [#allmycries].) Before Cersei-actress can drink her poisoned rum, Arya busts in and knocks it from her hand. “Careful of that one,” Arya says, pointing at the young upstart actress. “She wants you dead.”

Well, then. We knew it was coming. Second chance at being A Girl wasted. (And I couldn’t be happier. I want Arya to BE Arya. But I’m worried about the consequences.) A Waif is there, too, and the jig is up.

Arya finds her buried sword, Needle, and christ, I am so happy about that. We see Jaqen slicing a face off a body to be added to the Hall of Faces. A Waif giddly asks if she can knock killing off Arya from her extensive To Do List. Jaqen says, “Don’t let her suffer.”

I imagine a Waif thinks, “That’s not too specific….” Look, I don’t like women who don’t support other women on principle. I hope that Arya remembers the teachings of her magnificent “dance instructor.” What do we say to Death!?

In King’s Landing, Jaime watches as Lord Tyrell’s soldiers arrive just in time to hopefully stop his daughter’s Walk of Shame. Tyrell gives a mediocre speech and they head to the Cult Pope’s gathering crowd, easily four times the size. Interestingly, the crowd doesn’t seem to be raised in a fever pitch like they were for Cersei–these people actually like Margaery. Plus there’s the whole army approaching thing putting a quell on any loud noises. Awesome moments: Lady Olenna arriving in a litter.

Jaime gives the Sparrow the opportunity to turn over Margaery and Loras, and in a bad ass display of horsemanship (if you know anything about horses, you got super excited by this) Jaime drives his noble steed up the steps of the Sept and turns on a dime, all calm and smiles. “You’re going to want to hand her over.”

Jaime Lannister High Sept

This man is so appealing. He’s Aragorn with a sense of humor. THERE. I SAID IT. Okay, and a penchant for incest. Less sexy, true. Nah, I’d still hit it.

Cult Pope: I’m trapped by my own hubris.
Jaime: LOL, aren’t we all? So… see those armed men?
Cult Pope: LOL, as the kids say? Just kidding. Margaery? You’re free to go. She atoned for her sins. So King Tommen will basically throw himself under the bus for her.
Me: …WHAT?
Jaime:  Dammit, kid.
Cult Pope: Now we’re all religious. See?
Tommen: The Crown and the Faith are the twin pillars. And I love my wife. And Sir Pounce. And also, I miss rumbly tumbly bed time. This is how I can get it back.
Lady Olenna: Gee damn religious assholes.
Jaime: No shit…

To make it worse, Tommen wants to fire Uncle Daddy from his job as Head Badass Protector (not smart, kid) and send him out of Kings Landing. Damn. That’s some Judas-level betrayal. But that’s what you get from karma when you’re a dirty-rotten-sister-fucker. See: Lost. (Okay, he was a step-sister fucker, but still.)

Meanwhile, Lord Filch-Frey on my screen! Students are out of their beds! Blackfish took over Riverrun! Ahaha, I love it. But we learn that the Brotherhood Without Banners is giving everyone grief and draining resources. Aww… [insert gif of someone crying in a sarcastic manner] Filch-Frey demands his men take the castle back. And if they have trouble, show the knife that killed Robb Stark’s baby. Or the knife that killed Robb Stark. Or the knife that killed Cate Stark. ANY STARK KILLING KNIFE, basically. Or the Ace, Uncle Tully, Edmure, cleaned up from Scotland and France. (Outlander reference!)

Edmure Tully Filch Frey

This actor can’t catch a break, can he? WHERE IS YOUR FAT WALDA NOW, BUDDY?

Jaime’s pissed that he’s being sent to assist Lord Frey until Cersei reminds him (with passionate kisses) that he must handle this stuff so that they can be together. What the hell is wrong with me that I’m all V.C Andrews okay with them being in love? Cersei, give him ballerina children and arsenic-dusted donuts to the haters.

(Guys? Y’all missed a lot by not participating in the full spectrum of literature, let me tell you. Oh, spoiler alert: Flowers in the Attic is garbage. But it’s garbage that every woman of a certain age knows, like Clan of the Cave Bear. Just read it. Do it. We’ll talk about it later. It’ll be funny.)

Hey, remember when that mystery guy saved Bran and Meera? Bran wisely asks, “Who are you?”

With brown eyes–oho not blue!–showing, Bran realizes what we all thought: Uncle Benjen! There are marks on his face. I feel like this is important. (Turns out, yes. Read on.)

The Children found him dying from a White Walker stab wound, and through a bit of reverse creation magic, they saved his life: dragonglass plunged into his heart. He knows that Bran better figure out quickly how to fight the Night King, because it’s happening. Bran’s the new 3ER and he’s got a big learning curve to tackle.

Dany, waaaaaaay down south, leads her army along their 40 years in the wilderness, and knows she needs 1000 ships to get to where she needs to be. But who has 1000 ships? (Me: THE IRON ISLANDS. SAIL FASTER, YARA.) Dany rides ahead, alone, and I suspect she’ll find her dragon waiting for her. Before Daario can “check on her”, Drogon shows up. YES. He’s so huge, all grown up looking for mommy. DRAGONS! [heart eyes]

OHO, GUESS WHO IS ON HIS BACK?

Hell. Fucking. Yeah.

Dany tells the Dothraki, “I know you have this ‘rule of three’ thing for the best dudes. But I’m like, why not have you all? So I select you all as my special defense team.” Which is hella smart, okay? Appealing to these guys’ ego?

Daenerys Targaryen Drogon Dragon

them: will the dragon burn us up if we say anything other than YES?

Dany: DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE ME ON A DRAGON? WORSHIP ME.
Dothraki: WE WILL.
Dany: FOLLOW ME.
Dothraki: HELL YES.
Dany: KILL FOR ME.
Dothraki: IT IS ALL WE EVER WANTED, WE ARE SO BLOODTHIRSTY OMG, HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION? WE LIVE FOR THIS STUFF.
Me: OH CHRIST IS IT HAPPENING?
Drogon: I JUST WANT MOMMY HAPPY. And also to burn things. Mostly that last part, sorry? Still a teen.

Okay, so here is what I want:

  • Arya, a Stark, reunited with family, now a lone ranger type who meets up with Gendry when she’s of age, they live happy ever after.
  • Dany, Targaryen, burns out the wicked from King’s Landing etc., reunites the southern lands with Kings Landing and rules fairly.
  • Jon Snow/Sansa Stark, clearing out Winterfell, assisting Dany in an equal partnership to rid the north of the White Walkers. The North becomes its own lands with Winterfell as its capital, good relations with Kings Landing, and
  • the Iron Islands ruled by Yara, distantly governed by Dany to keep fights at a minimum.

I don’t know, a lot is happening and I’ve had a lot of wine. (I’m still reeling from Hodor!)

WHAT DO YOU THINK?? (And you can CLICK HERE for the next episode)

Please like & share:
  • Ana G

    Everyone who commented on my Benjen thread last week was right! I’m glad to see him even if he’s. Well he’s what now? Undead, half wight, what? Still, awesome to see him. And now Sam has a valyrian steel sword! Come through, Porkins. Also, I wonder how he’s gonna deal when told about Jon dying and coming back. Thanks for the great recaps, btw :)

    • Thank YOU! And hahaha, I think Porkins is going to KICK ASS. And take names, obviously, because that’s his inner Maester. ;)

  • MA

    I’m really over Dany screeching.

    • Well in her defense, the dragons screech, too. ;) I think the problem is that her story is DRAGONS BURNINATE THE VILLAGE. And we can’t get there yet.

  • thatchick

    I want Yara to marry Dany, and then I want to see her sitting there with a smug smile when Euron shows up.

    I’m not so worried about Arya because I think the reason she has been losing to bo staff Becky is because she has been fighting not only Becky but herself. I think putting her full energy into the fight she can win. At least I hope so because I can’t handle any other outcome.

    PS I’m still not over Hodor, and I have that End of the Road Hodor song stuck in my head.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      I’m wearing my Hodor shirt today. So not over it.

    • Oh, I love the idea that Arya’s been fighting herself, too. That’s pretty accurate, I feel. I need the Right Outcome (her defeating the Waif), too. And I’ll all in on Yara and Dany. Boy, are they a study in physical opposites, huh?

  • Lyanna Mormont

    So many callbacks to the past in this episode. So many. I mean, just start with no less then THREE uncles of the Stark sibs – Blackfish, Edmure, and Benjen. Two of them last seen in season 3, one last seen in season 1, but here they are again! (Okay, we haven’t actually seen the Blackfish yet, but given how many mentions he’s gotten in the last two episodes, I’m counting him.) Then Bran’s flashbacks – the deaths of Ned, Catelyn, and Robb, Jaime killing the Mad King, Young!Ned looking for his sister, Hardhome, Bran falling… Walder Frey is back. The play Arya watched of the Purple Wedding. Bran had that same vision of a dragon flying over King’s Landing that he had back in season 4. It’s all about the past, baby!

    In general, this was that mid-season set-up episode we didn’t get in ep 4 or 5 this year. It’s all about reminding us of where we’ve been, and preparing for what’s about to happen. I see four main conflicts being set up:

    1. The North. Sansa and Jon gathering forces to take down Ramsay, the army of the Vale waiting in the wings, possible addition of the Blackfish’s army, if he can get away from…

    2. Riverrun. The Blackfish is holding it with the help of the Mallisters and the Blackwoods, Walder Frey is sending his sons there with Edmure as their hostage, Jaime’s being sent there with a Lannister army, and Brienne is coming to recruit the Blackfish for Sansa’s benefit.

    3. King’s Landing. We may have the Faith and the Crown walking hand in hand for now, but that’s unlikely to last. (No way is Margaery actually converted. She’s doing it all to get her brother and herself out of jail.) Also, Cersei’s trial. She’s waaayyy too confident that having the Mountain to fight for her means there’s no danger. It can’t be that simple. And if that trial goes sideways, it could be the spark that sets off a whole lot of trouble.

    4. Meereen. Tyrion and co against the Sons of the Harpy, the Yunkish and Astapori waiting for a chance to pounce, the followers of the Red God, Dany, Drogon and the Dothraki heading that way, and at least one Ironborn fleet on its way, possibly two. (Because in GoT, fleets probably get built in a couple weeks.)

    As for the actual events of this episode – Sam and Gilly stole my heart. Also big props to Sam’s mother and sister. (His brother’s name is Dickon, btw. I’m sure you can think of something to do with that.) Randyll Tarly clearly belongs to the same school of parenting as Tywin Lannister. And yeah, that sword – hello, Chekhov! That’s gotta get used before the end of the show – but will Sam head north again, or will the WW get as far south as Horn Hill?

    Poor new wife of Walder Frey. I wonder what number she is – eight? thirteen? Because you know he wears them out. He didn’t get all those kids from just one or two wives, and the one Cat killed at the Red Wedding was younger than most of Walder’s sons.

    Arya back, Arya? Thank heavens. And Needle, too! Remember that amazingly beautiful scene with just her face when she was supposed to throw it away, but hid it instead? A-Maisie-ing. But that one line from the actress was what pushed her over the edge, I think – “Do you like pretending to be other people?” She doesn’t. She just wants to be Arya. (Now please go join up with Sansa and Jon, okay? I need that to happen.)

    Dany… meh. Not an episode-ending moment, I’d say, more of a middle-of-the-episode. It didn’t actually accomplish much that we didn’t already know was going to happen, and for me it just wasn’t all that emotional. YMMV.

    Meera, you have more courage and heart that most of the knights in Westeros put together. My hat’s off to you. And Benjen came to the rescue, Brienne-style. He’s clearly not entirely human or entirely alive anymore, but he knows Bran, he’s on their side, and he’s killing wights. He’ll do. I hope.

    Oh, Tommen. Poor innocent child. Too bad Cersei was focused on Joffrey for most of your life, because she could’ve taught you a thing or two. (Then again, give what she taught Joffrey, perhaps not.) So now Margaery is navigating between the High Sparrow, her family, and her husband, while trying to keep herself and her brother safe. Can’t say I envy her that job, but I have faith (heh) in her.

    Also, gotta point out the absurdity here. We have a lot of poor people demanding that the rich and powerful who make their lives miserable be held accountable for their actions – and we’re rooting for the rich and powerful to get away with it. Oh, and sort-of rooting for the incest twins to be together. (Sort of. Jaime’s heading in the same direction as Brienne, so…)

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Oh, title analysis! First the obvious – it’s a phrase a Khal uses for his bloodriders, and Dany just took all the Dothraki as her bloodriders. But also the bloodlines.

      * Sam returns to face his birth family, blood of his blood, and claims Little Sam is his blood.

      * Frey is planning to use Edmure as a weapon against the Blackfish – blood of his blood.

      * Bran gets a new protector, his uncle, blood of his blood.

      * King’s Landing is all about family, blood. “He stole our son!” “Show them you’re a Lannister.” And Margaery is doing it all for her brother.

      * Arya is done with denying who she is. She is of Stark blood, not No One or A Girl.

      * Bran has a vision of Ned demanding to see his sister, and then there’s a brief glimpse of a bloody hand. I’m sure we’ll return to that later on…

      * Bran also has a vision of the Mad King, and Dany is blood of his blood. Will it begin to show? She is talking about returning to Westeros to “claim what is hers.” The Mad King wanted to “burn them all” and Daenerys has burned her enemies more than once.

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      Hah, yes, why are we rooting for these rich, entitled (literally) mofos? Up against the wall with them!

      Seriously, I know Lady Olenna is a bit of a card, but she’s also a stone cold killer who will happily kill any number of people (especially poor people) to get what she wants. And ditto the lot of them. The Starks are easier to like because we don’t see them being awful to commoners but even they are of their class. However, since every family members has now been dragged through the mud (with broken glass in it), it’s hard to think badly of them.

  • Anthony Gitto

    Bran is totally spiraling out of control in his visions without directionassistance. Get it together Bran!

    The word you are looking for is censor? I think they are called censors, but I haven’t been Catholic since the 90s

    I really liked that they capture the fact that Sam will take daily abuse, fat shaming (DON’T CARB-LOAD SAMWELL) and losing his inheritance and being shipped to the wall with no backtalk, but you talk down to the woman he loves and he shakes that all off and DOES something about it.

    That play is such propaganda! I’m glad Arya took control of her life back, and cannot wait until the face off with the Waif! That pause as Arya reaches into the stones… I was worried for a second there!

    The Standoff at the Steps of the Sept of Baelor was not as I expected…

    How terrible was Mace Tyrell’s armor and speech? He would have probably looked better singing (and we all know how bad his singing is!)

    Did everyone notice the new Kingsguard? They all wear the Star of the Seven now… Compare Jamie’s armor for reference. Tommen is now completely under the control of the Faith.

    Damnit Jamie!
    FIRST the Lannisters displaying solidarity with the Tyrells instead of letting them take the blame? DUMB MOVE JAMIE.
    SECOND The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard not knowing where his king is? DUMB MOVE JAMIE. This is why you lose your job! The scene letting him go was SOOO reminiscent of the firing of Barristan Selmy.

    Yikes! Edmure looks like shit! Almost like he just got stabbed in the nether regions… I know, wrong show, but Outlander is Sooooo good I can’t NOT think it!

    I’ve been looking forward to finding out what happened to Benjen for YEARS (since I read the first book) and it played out about how I expected. Yay?

    I like how they show the bird flying and you think, “is that Drogon?” and then BOOM! HOLY CRAP Drogon’s been eating his Wheaties (Sheepies? Babies? sorry… too soon) Otherwise Yawn. Terrible ending to the episode.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Oh, yeah, the Kingsguard dismissal callback, I forgot to mention that one! Different blond boy on the throne, different Lord Commander, but… definitely an intentional parallel.

      And the wildfire under King’s Landing we see in Bran’s visions. We saw it used in Blackwater, but there must still be tons of it left under KL. Potential weapon against the WW, or potential disaster capable of destroying an entire city? (Burn them all!)

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      Censer! Thanks, that really bothered me. As much as I like the idea of a Censor being filled with incense and set on fire, it’s Censer.

    • CENSOR. That’s it! Thank you.

      I’m okay with the ending. I know there’s a contingent out there who didn’t care for it at all, but I’m always pro-dragon. (Even if a bit ready for the dragons to DO something. Problem: we’re not there in the story arc, so there’s a lot of posturing.)

    • Olive

      Ahaha, censers! I came here to say the same thing!

      And also to shriek about Samwell’s godawful father (seriously, I can’t imagine the younger Tarly boy’s life is that much better than Sam’s; his every waking moment must be devoted to pleasing that horrible, rigid man, whether he likes it or not. Performative masculinity can be such a bitch.)

      And now I’ve done both those things. Yay.

  • Julie Martin

    “What makes a man, is it the Gilly on his arm…?” Thanks for getting that in my head, I feel like the day will be productive as a result ;-)

    This felt like a table-setting episode, but it definitely had some great moments. Two people grabbed their swords today, so THAT is happening soon. Sam’s dad is the worst, and I look forward to watching him pee his pants when winter heads south. I have visions of Gilly doing a great job running a household that size some day in the future.

    I am sooo happy we have Arya back, now with ninja assassin skills! The montages were getting to be a bit much. Meanwhile down south, Daario irritates me but he has a valid point about Dany being great at conquest, not so hot at governance. I am not sure how that will play out long term. Speaking of not great at governance, NOTHING good is in Tommen’s pious future. Though I see the move as wise for Margaery, who now is not indebted to a Lannister plot for her release. She can have her cake and eat it, too, while poor Tommen is likely to choke on it.

    I enjoyed the return of Uncle B and old Walder, though again I have no clue where the fit into the big picture at this point. The fun will be in the discovery!

    • Dany needs to settle in one place and learn how to lead, tbh. Meereen is a good jumping off/starter kingdom. Hahaha.

      AGREED ON THE DISCOVERY BEING FUN. Look at us all enjoying ourselves with GoT again! I’m so happy about this season…

  • Andy Street

    How relieved would Ed be at this point to see Benjen Stark riding in through the gate? No matter what state of not-quite-dead he might be.

    This season’s been going a mile a minute and it was inevitable that they would need to slow things down a bit to set things up for the finale. There was still tons to like in this episode, although Dany’s stuff isn’t really firing for me at the moment. Are we definitely sure that bringing all these barbarian rapists and man-eating giant monsters over to Westeros is a good idea?

    Arya’s story is finally going somewhere! And she showed a weird moment of understanding regarding Cersei of all people. Although the faceless death cult don’t seem like people you want to be on the wrong side of.

    I love Mace Tyrell’s buffoonishness. It’s all the little touches like his massive ostentatious helmet and the fact that he needs a flunkey to lead his horse.

    Has Jaimie actually been kicked out of the Kingsguard? Tywin would be so happy that he can now inherit (and marry!) again. As far as I figure, with all his other male relatives dead or members of a crazy religious cult, Jaimie could well actually be Tommen’s legal heir by this point?

    I would agree that Margaery’s conversion is likely to be a ruse. What’s going on with Loras? Can he come out of jail now? Has he converted too? Are they going to make him fight the Mountain?!?

    It’s amazing (and realistic) how after everything that Sam has been through, he’s still reduced to a humiliated, tongue-tied mess by his horrible abusive bully of a father. Glad he found his balls again although I’m sure Randyll is going to want his sword back.

    Anyway – really looking forwards to the riverlands stuff, and hopefully a Jaimie/Brienne reunion. Poor Tormund never had a chance…

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      Wow, that’s a difficult question: if (when) Tommen dies, who’s next in line to the throne? The Baratheons have pretty much died out so I guess it’s..nobody since the queen’s family is out of the picture because lady parts.

      • magnusk_98

        Actually it would be Margaery. Being a woman doesn’t technically disqualify you from being ruler in Westeros, as far as I know.

        She also has consumated her marriage with Tommen, so there should be no legal problems there either. Still, it’s a patriarchical society, so if she is smart, she’ll try to get pregnant ASAP, so that she can rule in her childs name until it comes of age.

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          Of course you’re right. There’s some precedent for widows continuing to rule as queens, although if there’s an heir available they usually transform into dowager queens and are shunted off.

        • Lyanna Mormont

          Margaery wouldn’t be the legal heir by any law in Westeros, because she’s not – ahem – blood of Tommen’s blood. He gets the throne from his (supposed) Baratheon heritage, which also rules out any Lannister inheriting. In the absence of any children, siblings, nephews, cousins, etc, it would either go to some distant Baratheon cousin we’ve never heard of, or it would be up for grabs. Of course, if it’s up for grabs, the Tyrells are in a pretty good position since they have an army right there in King’s Landing…

          But yeah, Margaery getting pregnant would be the best solution from her perspective. In fact, if Tommen were to die soon, she’d probably try to grab the nearest blond guy and drag him off to bed, hoping he’d impregnate her so she could claim it was Tommen’s child.

    • magnusk_98

      It could well be that Benjen physically cannot ride through that gate anymore. Remember, he got magic-fied by the Children of the Forest and the White Walkers cannot cross the wall.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        Ohh, good point. So just fill in all the gates and tunnels and it’s checkmate for the WWs?

        • magnusk_98

          There is a good chance that they will pass on a technicality… like for example Bran getting south of the wall and having been marked by the Night’s King.

          • Lyanna Mormont

            That… had not occurred to me. Must ponder. (oh crap oh crap oh crap)

            • Deceptively Calm Scientist

              “local man ruins everything”

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Yes, Mace! The leading of the horse, his speech, the way he paused a moment after as if he expected cheers, his “What’s happening?” to Olenna… I love it all.

    • I hope Sam gives his dad his sword back straight through the gullet. Look at me, as bloodthirsty as a DOthraki! (I have zero patience with abusive dads like Randyll. Ugh, what a jerk.)

      A Jaime/Brienne reunion would be amazing. More amazing: Tormund challenging Jaime to a duel for his lady love, only to have Brienne offer to stand in Jaime’s stead because of his hand. Tormund: YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. Hahaha

  • crowTrobot

    Incest I’m fine with: Jaime and Cersei
    Incest I’m not fine with: Craster’s Keep
    See? There’s a moral compass in there somewhere.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Consent, baby. It’s all about the consent.

    • HAHAHAHA. How sad that I agree with you. The incest you choose? LOL.

  • SaintsGrrl

    Love Flowers in the Attic!

    In other news, this ep left a bad taste in my mouth. And I guess it’s the Jaime vs the sparrow asshat scene mainly. I was so looking forward to it and so disappointed. The asshat needed to die yesterday. Jaime should have continued riding up the steps (I seriously need a gif of that scene) and ripped that smug smile off his face. No true man of god should ever look that smug about anything.

    • I feel like we’re building to a major moment with the High Sparrow and we avoided having a watered down version of Cersei’s scene. But I don’t know. (And I agree with you re: smugness and men of god.)

      • SaintsGrrl

        Yes. I just hope this continuing of the build up pays off big time.

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    Hmm. Dany…as awesome as it is to see her on her dragon with a gazillion Dothraki loudly expressing their approval of her idea to invade Westeros and kill everyone…that doesn’t sound like a wise queen to me. And her stint in Meereen wasn’t exactly a success either.
    If there’s one point that this story has made repeatedly, it’s that good conquerors don’t necessarily make good kings/queens, a point first made with Robert Baratheon. And vice versa: a good ruler doesn’t necessarily make a good war leader (Doran Martell). Dany is beginning to sound a lot like the Good Conqueror / Bad Ruler type. Also, letting a gazillion Dothraki go apeshit in the lands she means to rule?

    Benjen! However, I have questions, Benjen. You disappeared SIX SEASONS ago. Now I assume your revalidation took some time but still…Where were you? Did you get told “Look, the new 3ER is about to show up and he’ll need his uncle to help him”?

    Tommen. Oy…The Cult Pope so needs to die, but I’m not sure anybody has a plan for taking him out. Why is Cersei waiting for her trial, why not kill the manipulative ass right now and blow off the trial because nobility?

    Arya…ah, now we’re getting somewhere! I so hope she escapes Braavos and heads back to KL to cross some names off the list, but it sounds as if she’s going to have the Faceless Men after her for the rest of her life….this is not good! And hey, it’s Richard E. Grant! Cool!

    Sam and Gilly: Sam’s dad is the WORST! Typical aristocracy, has inherited his pile of rocks and now spends all his time contempting (shut up, this is a word, I’ve just decided) the lower classes and killing animals.

    And Walder Frey. Glad to see he’s still made of Unpleasantness 99.8%, salt 0.2%. Oh you are so going to die.

    And we seem to have a lot of folks converging on Riverrun, including Jaime and Brienne! Tormund wil be so jealous.

    That was a table-setting of an episode, I suspect the last four episodes are just going to be nuts! In a good way.

    • “good conquerors don’t necessarily make good kings/queens” HEAR, HEAR. Dany really needed to put her hours in back in Meereen before trying to take over the world. Hmm.

      Walder Frey is such a shit and a delight to watch. Not to deal with, I’m sure, but on my screen? PURE SALTY BITTERNESS.

      I can’t even imagine the whip-crack speed of the next four episodes. I AM EXCITED.

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    On a COMPLETELY off-topic note (which I hope our Wise Leader will forgive me, and I nearly got killed just now because I mis-typed it as Wide Leader, which is Kim Jong-un, obviously), any good comics recommendations? I don’t do Marvel/DC but I’m turning into an Image fanboy thanks to The Wicked & The Divine, Injection and now Zero. Also, PROVIDENCE! My god, if you’ve read any Lovecraft, GET PROVIDENCE! Alan Moore’s finest work.

    I’m asking because I have this theory (“Shade” call-back) that a lot of these fandoms intersect.

    Okay, I’ll shut up now.

    • MaxwellJames

      If you have not read Saga yet, get on it posthaste, and thank me later. Also Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, and Bitch Planet – all excellent.

      (Love Wicked and Divine, btw, but am not familiar with the others. Will check them out!)

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        Gah, somehow forgot to put Saga on that list. It’s a treasure. And I’ve heard great things about Bitch Planet, will check it out and the other too.

    • Seconding Saga, Sex Criminals, and I’m starting Lazarus. The story looks promising, but I haven’t read that one yet.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        I tried the first Lazarus TPB, but it didn’t snag me. I may give it another try. And Your Awesomeness? If you’ve read any Lovecraft, I BEG you to try Providence. It is beyond creepy, a genuinely horrific horror story.

  • magnusk_98

    That was a much needed breather episode after the happenings of last week and the other events of this season.

    Am I the only one who thinks that they brought back all those characters from past seasons to brutally murder them? At least they are finishing their storylines. ^^

    I really miss Bronn. Where is he, aside from at least finally being mentioned this week? And maybe, just maybe, the writers finally can get Gendry off that rinky-dink boat.

    Also, I have a secret hope. Arya waits out the Waif, *still* gets her butt kicked and is then rescued by… Syrio Forel. Hey, we didn’t see him die on screen!

    I may be wrong, but isn’t technically that burning censer called a battle aspergillum?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Apparently Jerome Flynn was otherwise occupied for most of the time when this season was filmed? At least that’s what I’ve heard. Bronn may yet appear, though…

      • magnusk_98

        We can only hope. :)

    • BRONN!! God, what a fun character he is. I hope Jaime’s able to get him some work and round women post haste.

      SYRIO!!! Waaaaaaah, I would love for him to have made it, too.

      And because I love the sound of it, I’m calling it a battle aspergillum, too. THAT IS AWESOME.

  • Donna Mugavero

    Weird how certain things stick with you… even in my late stage of Catholic recovery, I can confirm that Anthony is correct- the swinging incense burner is called a “censer”.

    I think that you and the tribe here pretty much covered all comments. I just want to weigh in on how Margaery almost had me believing she was scientologied into the Sparrow cult. And then I remembered she’s Margaery and badass and unshakeable. That woman has an iron brain.

    Just one more thing: when I saw “10,000 a year” I laughed to myself because I could hear Brenda Blethyn’s voice saying that and couldn’t imagine that’s who you were actually quoting because that is so granular but then I saw “ARE THE SHADES OF PEMBERLEY TO BE THUS POLLUTED?” and I am virtually hoisting you into the air and onto my shoulders because no one does the burn like Judi Dench and your references are amazing!

    Gorl, I adore you.

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      And didn’t Margaery’s pious expression crack just a little when she saw all the Tyrell troops trooping in to free her? It’s an act. The woman will outlive them all.

      • Donna Mugavero

        Y’know – for a moment I thought I imagined that her expression faltered! My father always said that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree — she is def Olenna’s granddaughter.

        • Lyanna Mormont

          Definitely not imagination, I saw it too!

    • I ALMOST FELL FOR MARGAERY’S BS IN THE BEGINNING TOO. Then I went, oho!! She’s a canny, braw lassy, ain’t she??

      I LOVE YOU DO MUCH FOR GETTING MY P&P REFERENCES and I am SHOCKED more people didn’t!! D:

      Heee. I mean! It’s just what he was doing!!! Hahaha.

    • OH, and that image? Actual Pemberly, not Horn Hill. :D

  • Rebekah Fletcher

    1. Did Dany feed her horse to Drogon?
    2. Did Bran just drink a cup of rabbit’s blood?
    3. Can Arya cut faces off people and use them for disguises now? Assuming she survives the night.

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      1. Hah! She totally did, didn’t she?
      2. Yup. A very slightly sough-after delicacy, to quote Douglas Adams.
      3. My guess would be no, since she’s only been a passive user of them. I suspect there’s more to it than cutting them off and gluing them to your face, becaue they would just rot. Magic!

      • Lyanna Mormont

        My worst fear right now, however unlikely it may seem? That the Waif kills Arya, takes her face, and we get to see Maisie-as-Waif travel to Westeros and pretend to be Arya while on a mission to kill someone Arya would be able to get close to – like Sansa or Jon.

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          aaagh!

        • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

        • Anthony Gitto

          UGGHHH not cool idea, but creative?

    • 1. OMG, I bet she did feed it to Drogon! D:
      2. tastes like chicken
      3. OOOOOOH. I love that idea (because it’s dreadful!)

  • Rebekah Fletcher

    I like to think Sam’s conversations with Jon had something to do with his decision to not leave baby Sam with a man who would only call him “the bastard.”
    “It’s not a good life for a child.”

  • Sean Vieira

    I personally found it really interesting they started the episode with flashbacks of the Mad King shouting to “Burn them all!” and ended the episode with Daenerys shouting to “Kill them all!” (well, basically). If that was wholly intentional, I actually quite like where that is going.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      In an episode named “Blood of my blood” no less! That Targaryen bloodline… Fire and blood…

      I’m not sure she’ll go fully mad like him, but at the very least I think it’s something that’s going to come up, something others will say of her or something she’ll struggle with.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        And no more Ser Barristan to remind her not to go nuts.

        • Olive

          Although Tyrion could probably fill that role for her. He’s not old enough to remember much of the Mad King’s reign firsthand, but his brother DID kill her dad, so I’m guessing he’s heard PLENTY about the Targaryens and their tendency to slash and burn. Plus, he’s wise af. :)

          • Deceptively Calm Scientist

            A lot will depend on whether Dany actually respects Tyrion. Ser Barristan was easy to respect, particularly for a woman who tended to like the warrior type anyway. Tyrion is a bit of a hard sell in that regard.

      • Sean Vieira

        Yes, that was something I found quite satisfying. The expression Daario wore during the speech was pretty telling!

    • I’m a fan of bookends, too, and they definitely were making a parallel, now that you pointed it out! GOOD WORK

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  • Danarya

    Anybody else not feel sorry for Edmure Tully because in another universe he’s Black Jack Randal, he of the vicious man and boy raping. Yeah, let’s torture that guy!

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      I know, I know and while I’m not an Outlander fan (*sharp intake of breath*) I get it. But Edmure is such a lovely doofus! Okay, a lovely ENTITLED doofus, but still…

    • OMG, lol

  • KG

    Catholic here. If it’s a mace-shaped incense dispenser, it’s a censer. If it’s hanging from a chain, it’s a thurible.

    You’re welcome :D

    • Oh! You’re the first to offer the thurible, so thank you very much!

    • Anthony Gitto

      I’ve never heard that term, but after a quick google… OK I concede. You either have WAY more of a Catholic background than I (k-5 catholic school + confirmation) or you are just THAT much better on your period terminology!

  • menomegirl

    Hey sweetie. Just stopping for a drive-by to say how much I still love your recaps and the wonderfully civil discussions that go on here. You are all awesome!

  • rtavi

    *delurks to tell you that I really enjoy your recaps*

    I recently saw a recap for ep5, where it was posited that the Game of Thrones might change from a War of the 5 Kings to a War of the 5 Queens (Dany, Sansa, Cersei, Margaery and Ellaria) and personally I’m all for that. And we got a nice bit of fore shadowing for that because when Missandei told Dany “valar morghulis” back in season 3 or so, didn’t she answer “I’m not a man.”

    Though I do foresee a bit of a problem when Dany and her khalasaar arrive in Meereen. All those slave-taking, slave-using Dothraki in a city full of freed slaves. There’s gonna be problems.

    • Aww, thanks for that. I really appreciate it. <3

      I could TOTALLY be here for a war of 5 queens. And yes, Dany was very clear about "But we are not men." Excuse me while I pump my fist in the air and do a little celly…

      Great point about bringing slavers to Meereen. I mean, I guess they get grandfathered in on the 7 years? [tugs neckline]

  • house threepwood

    I’m getting an ”Alexander the Great’ vibe from Dany.Given that, I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened to her before she reached Westeros,same as Alexander died a conqueror and not a king.But that’s just a feeling I have.Also Mace Tyrell is everything(Jaime’s face as he was boasting,was fuckin’priceless).

  • JCDavis

    Hello there Laura Stone. As ever a greatly entertaining review of Sunday. I have to say that at the moment I am filled with more “what the hell happens now” thoughts than “what the hell just happened”, like the last few episodes have given us.

    To start. I am thinking of Arya (Ayla?) Even if she does manage to off Staff Becky, which I think she will do, what then? Won’t the faceless men be after her like…oh I don’t know…the rest of her life???? Where is Ben Gazzara when you need him for advice?

    Sam and Gilly and babysam. The dad is gonna be some sort of rip shit when he realizes the sword is gone, doncha think? The shades of Pemberley aren’t the only thing he has to worry about. So we understand that Gilly will have no where to go in OldTown while Sam pursues his Masters in Maester. What the hell happens to Gilly?

    I swear to all the Gods I thought Jaime was actually going to cry losing his job and leaving Cersie. He was so boss Hog striding up the steps of the Sept…how it all went wrong, so fast.

    Why do so many people think that Danaerys is going to go all Arys on Essos/Westeros? Rhaegar wasn’t a twisted mister, why should she be a twisted sister? She believes she is doing what is her right to do and in a sense IT IS!!! I think she must be Xena in the beginning, she must be brutal – but in the end….will she see that it is better to fight the bigger fight and deal with the IT later?

    And Benjen. Fookin’ Benjen Stark looking like rigor sat in and decomposition has begun. Dude could well play the part of the dead guy in the desert on CSI!!! Would you want to follow a guy who has a piece of dragon glass in his heart? OKAY so he has a horse!!! I’ll give him that. But, Meera isn’t stupid. …..

    So many questions….that was this weeks “leavin’ ya with more questions than answers” Game of Thrones. How much more could I love this show? Love it more than my luggage!!!

  • moata

    First up, keep those “She’s all that” and Pride and Prejudice references coming.
    LIke most everyone I am pleased to see Arya’s story gaining a bit of momentum now. Although this has dragged in a way, perhaps it needed to. It took quite a while for cutie pie Arya Stark of Winterfell to morph into a seemingly amoral killer who would leave The Hound to die a slow death and who would abandon and her familial ties (or what was left of them) in Westeros in favour of a new life.
    Now that’s she’s been exposed to truly amoral killers, and seen what that is, I feel like she’s recalibrating her moral compass. She IS Arya Stark again. She does not wish to kill indiscriminately. She does believe in some form of justice. To be believeable I think that process has had to be drawn out to some extent. Also, she’s picked up some badass fighting moves along the way. I have no doubts whatsoever that she will utterly waste the waif and head back to Westeros to finish off her shitlist (by the way, I have bagsed “Arya’s Shitlist” as my band name when I start a band which will surely be happening soon *cough*)

    Also, my fiance picked that it was Benjen and I was all “is it though? Because it doesn’t really look like him” but in the end I think we were both right. Though mostly him, obviously.

    • You know I almost put in a reference for a choreographed dance move at Prom JUST FOR YOU, right?!

      And yeah, Arya is no amoral killer. She’s just not. Never was going to be, and A Man knew it. But maybe he’s okay with giving her the training to be who she’s SUPPOSED to be? MAYBE A MAN WAS SYRIO. O___O

      Okay, probably not. but that last three seconds was a wild ride. :D

  • ars_belli

    Can I just drop in to note how lovely it is that there’s a corner of the internet reserved for people who enjoy the show? An Unsullied corner, no less! Book readers (mostly) have the same attitude towards the show as the Mad King to KL…

    Is that a Richard E. Grant cameo on the Cersei-sponsored Richard III play? (Talk about “Now is the winter of our discontent” this season!) I can’t believe that the skilled writing in the Braavos storyline came from the same pen as the as-lazy-as-Mace writing for KL. Maybe Arya will defeat Bigger, Meaner Arya, peel off her face and use it to off Faceless Cult Pope and dissolve the House of Broken Moral Compasses, but that might be wishful thinking…

    “Cult Pope” is embedded in my head so much that I forgot he was actually called the High Sparrow until Jaime ranted about it. And I suppose now we have a reason for Myrcella dying at the end of S5, or the incest twins would just remove newly-religious Tommen from the throne and put his older sister on it. Next in line after Tommen is the eldest son of Robert’s closest cousin, or the eldest daughter in the absence of any male heirs at all. We’d need Ned’s book from S1 to find out precisely. (Given the long number of Baratheon-Lannister marriages in that book, maybe it’s Cersei in her own right. Irony in the extreme…)

    Good call on the “kill them all”/”burn them all” bookends, I didn’t notice! Dany will probably end up as the Mad Queen (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, right?), but by then the White Walkers will have zombified everyone in Westeros, so that won’t matter so much.

    • Yes, you absolutely can!

      And ha, my goal is to have people forget Tormund and only call him Gjödkr. :D

      • ars_belli

        Sadly, I can’t spell Gjödkr–whether Baer Fucking or Chicken Eating–with any reliability. I did happily adopt King Weaselteat, to the confusion of everyone else!

        I’m up to Robert’s great-grandfather in the family trees and still haven’t found any living descendants. Is it just me wanting Tommen’s heir to be “King Brad of House Lannister, First of His Name etc etc.” just for the bizarreness factor?