[Previously!] Hey there! We’re jumping straight into it, both the recap and the show, evidently, so there’s your warning. Also: NO INTRO?!? Instead of my familiar sweeping game board, it’s Ian McShane (!!) leading the construction of… who knows this early but HOLD THE DAMN PHONE. THE HOUND ISN’T DEAD?! The Hound? HE IS ALIVE.
Okay, this season is throwing out the old playbook. Instead of the characters we’re most interested in dying, SOME OF THEM ARE TURNING UP ALIVE. Glory Be! And oh, okay, there’s my intro, and it’s almost anti-climactic after that shocker. (But I clapped and hummed along, because of course I did. Are you new?! Wait…are you?)
HI, NEW PEOPLE. I am Unsullied. We take it seriously here. No book talk. You literally have everywhere else, but this place is Show Only because you guys get to laugh at how emotional I get. WHEE! (No seriously, it’s fun. I get super emotional; it’s totally ridiculous.)
The Hound is hearty and hale and full of sass, seemingly fueled by his frustration over being “bested” by Arya. (ETA: Bested in battle by Brienne, but left to die by Arya.) Still? Well, the guy does know how to hold a grudge. That’s practically been his raison d’être from childhood, grudge holding. And, I should add, with good reason.) He’s kept going all this time because he’s full of hate. Same, Sandor, saaaaaame. Turns out that hate is a great motivator for building a church! (I’ll let that sink in.)Ian McShane is evidently clergy, but for which God? Eh. He wears the 7-Point Star but he doesn’t care what you call the gods or The God. He just believes in something bigger than Man, and I can get behind that. I do love the brief hope on Sandor’s face when he’s told that he’s already been punished by the gods so now it’s time to get on with living Clean.
Speaking of a dude who just wants to have a church built (but with a much larger appetite for the power that comes with it), we turn to Cult Pope and Queen Margaery. Margaery is continuing her long-con of “I have seeeeeeeen the light, hallelujah and pass the peas!” She has the hands held pious and everything. Lord, butter wouldn’t melt on her tongue, she’s so damn cool when talking to Cult Pope.
Everything you need to know about Cult Pope:
CP: Your Grace, why haven’t you made like a Madonna and laid with your pubescent husband to become swollen with his righteous and mighty seed?
QM: Eww? And, well. I’m pious now. I don’t have “desires.” Isn’t that what you guys are always preaching to us lady-kind?
CP: Well, yes, but you’re married now. Your husband wants to use you. I mean, make a baby, a gods-given right. The country and the gods demand you spread your legs and let him have it. Slut it up, but in the name of Jesus and for country and King, Your Grace!
QM: [looks at camera like Jim on The Office]
CP: Now! Let’s have you fix up Lady Olenna to be as pious as you’ve become.
QM: Fake leader says what?
Me: [snickers] …WAIT, WHAT? OH HELL NO YOU DO NOT HAVE OLENNA IN A CELL.
No, they don’t, but Nun Ratchet has to attend all meetings with Margaery, and Olenna is pissed about this intrusion until Margaery manages to slip her a note. It’s… a drawing of a rose. I assume this means something given the smile on Olenna’s face? Like, House Tyrell will vanquish? As they (a.k.a. Margaery and hopefully Loras) are “Growing Strong?” Yes, that seems more likely.
North of Winterfell, Jon and the Wildlings parlay to decide if they’ll join him and Sansa in taking Winterfell back. God, I want Brienne to hear Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër’s (aka Tormund’s) braw speech about Wildlings not being cowards and honor and how if they don’t do this, they deserve to be the last of the Free Folk. Then WunWun stands and sides with Jon, and that’s all the others need to hear, I guess. Hahaha. I love it. Manly handshakes all around with Ser Davos feeling young and excited again to have someone he can admire leading once more.
One of the greatest moments in the history of this show, maybe: Cersei takes an audience with Lady Olenna, who then lists all of Cersei’s faults. 27 minutes later (hahahaha) she says that knowing how alone and desperate Cersei now finds herself is the one ounce of joy in Olenna’s life.
Cersei literally stands there swallowing the dust from grinding her own teeth.
Jaime, banished, now leads a massive army (like, have we seen an army of this size? Is it just them going Sandpeople-style, aka, single file to hide their numbers? #nerd) with Bronn (hey!) at his side, on their way to RiverRun. Once there, they find the Frey wonks already there, threatening the gates with Edmure on a rope, added bonus of a knife to his throat..
Lothar, of the
Hill People Twins: Yield, or the wimp gets it!
Blackfish: …get on with the throat cutting. [shrugs]
Lothar: Shit. That’s a hard man, that. [shoves Edmure away]
Edmure: Oh, thank god. Nothing has gone like I’ve thought it would!
Jaime: So! You must be Frey men. No wonder you all stink.
Lothar 2: Uh. I resemble that remark!
Bronn: You resemble… Ah, christ, he beat me to it.
Jaime: Nice job on not following through with the threat, Lothar. What if I threatened to backhand you?
Lothar: I don’t car—
Jaime: MAY I REMIND YOU ALL THAT MY HAND IS MADE OF SOLID GOLD. [batter-batter-SA-WING-batter across the chops]
Jaime should have that place whipped into shape in no time.
Jon and Sansa arrive at Bear Island, House Mormont, and it’s like a fantasy version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House. (So awesome, right?!) Sansa starts out on the wrong foot by approaching the princess? Lady? Of the house, a young girl who is maybe 10, by complimenting her looks. Should have brought Brienne with you, Sansa…
This kid (Lady Mormont) is tough, man. She’s smart, she’s up on the local gossip, the political intrigue, and doesn’t quite ken why she should put any of her people’s lives at stake for another person’s war. LORD I LOVE THIS CHILD. Ser Davos steps forward.
“This isn’t someone else’s war. It’s our war. […] The real war isn’t between a few squabbling houses. It’s between the living and the dead.”
If you don’t love Ser Davos, then you’re living life in an incorrect manner.
Then this beauty of a Mormont child says, “House Mormont has kept faith with House Stark for 1,000 years. We will not break faith today.”
Can I get an amen?
While Jon and Sansa are shocked to hear they’re only acquiring 62 men, Ser Davos rightly says that if they’re half as ferocious as Lady Mormont, the Boltons are doomed. And she PREENS, and I had to roll around on the carpet in a ball like a pill bug to keep from flying into the ether it was so precious. Ser Davos should have been a dad, that’s all I’m saying. HE SHOULD HAVE RUN AWAY WITH SHIREEN AND LEARNED HOW TO READ BEDTIME STORIES AND BRAID SHIREEN’S HAIR AND sob sob sob…
Speaking of ferocious, Jaime, cleaned up and the camp now properly kitted out, approaches the gate with hopes of parlay. And let’s just say this: RiverRun is a hell of a house. That’s a fortress, that is. Blackfish meets him and it’s instantly snarky and hilarious.
Blackfish: You have my nieces?
Jaime: Ha. No. That was several seasons ago.
Blackfish: You going back into captivity?
Jaime: Now that they have me cleaned up? Hardly. The war is over. Surrender.
Blackfish: As long as I’m standing, the war is not over. This is my home. I’m ready to die in it. Ever hear of Doomsday Prep? We did. MREs out the wazoo.
Jaime: Then what was the point of this?
Blackfish: I get bored. You.. didn’t really cure me of that. Sigh. Later, kid.
House Glover gives Jon a hard NO on joining forces because of the Wildlings. Sansa gets yet another lesson in diplomacy when she tries to appeal to his sense of honor, but as far as Lord Glover is concerned, House Stark is dead. Ouch.
Theon and Yara hit Honcho Dori and everyone partakes in pleasures of the flesh (hey-o, Yara with her lady friend! CRAP THAT MEANS THEY’LL KILL YARA, NOOOOOO #SaveTheLesbians) while Theon has to stare and not get his non-existent rocks off. Ugh, some PTSD for him happening here.
It’s really hard for him to let loose and not be constantly on guard–being tortured for a while will do that to you. Yara’s method of getting him to be better is to get him drunk and say that he escaped and he can get revenge. Hmm. I… really want him, not Sansa, to be the one who kills Ramsay. Sansa can watch, but Theon needs to have that. (God, this show has made me so bloodthirsty.)
“If you’re so broken that there’s no coming back, cut your wrists and end it. But I need you. We’re going to sail to Meereen and make a pact with this dragon queen and take back the Iron Islands. Are you with me?”
Theon looks up, eyes burning, and nods. FIRST OF MANY IMPORTANT STEPS, THEON. I AM ROOTING FOR YOU.
Sansa, growing frustrated with the (small) size of their army, takes it upon herself to send a raven. Oh, Sansa. Be smart. She signs it with her name. Shit. I said BE SMART, dangit.
Back wherever Sandor is, Ian gives a casual lesson to the crowd about shame for all the killing he did. It’s the old, “I can’t undo the bad I did, just try and do better” spiel. The “It’s never too late to come back” sermon.
But. Are you there, 7 Gods? It’s me, Sandor is happening, and I am here for it.
Three men approach on horseback and Sandor is immediately on guard. They want to know what they’re doing here. Just living, you know. (Hmm.) The three horsemen realize there isn’t anything to take and ride off. It’s ominous, though, and Sandor knows it. The night is dark and full of terrors, after all.
Sandor knows there’s being pious and then there’s surviving when bad shit keeps showing up at your door. I… feel pretty confident in which direction Sandor leans.
We have an Arya sighting! She approaches a Westerosi man to book passage home in two days. Nah, son, she wants to leave at dawn. Oh snap, I love her and I’m hoping she gets out. PLEASE BE SMART. HA. Ha. Universe is all, SCREW YOU, LAURA as an old woman approaches and oh shit, oh SHIT SHE STABS ARYA OVER AND OVER NO.
Arya manages to get out of A Waif’s embrace and flings herself over the wall into the water and hopefully to safety??
GUYS I AM LOSING MY SHIT.
I AM LOSING MY GEE DAMN SHIT.
She staggers about the city looking for help. Can she trust anyone? No. SHE CAN’T!! Oh my god. Arya, you fucked up. YOU FUCKED UP.
Sandor continues his diligent work in the woods cutting down trees when he hears people screaming. Let me guess. The three horsemen come back? God damn, they did, and they killed everyone. GOD. WHY. WHY? He finds Ian McShane hanging in his unfinished chapel because of course.
The day is dark and full of terrors, too.
Sandor grabs an ax and walks off. Oh, shit, y’all fucked up. YOU FUCKED UP.
OKAY. I need the show to ease the hell up off the gas pedal for a second, because I am holding the “oh shit” bar and freaking out.
ARYA. Guys, I had tears in my eyes and hit pause and stared into nothingness for about five minutes, not sure what I’d just watched. My daughter came out, took one look at me and said, “Uh oh, who died?” HOPEFULLY NO ONE. Then I hit rewind and watched it again, and Arya has to make it. NO, HEAR ME OUT, SHE HAS TO. Because she’s the kind of spunky kid who Ser Davos would love and there’s still Gendry and she needs to see JON and get a HUG and I just need that, okay?
I NEED THAT.
…so who was the broken man? Theon? Jon? …Arya? The Hound? I feel like it could be anyone, really. I assume on the surface it’s Ian McShane but Metaphor and Literary stuff and I drank a lot of wine and had a freak out about Arya and my hands were shaking when I typed this.
And I need Dany to fall in love with Yara so that Yara stays safe. I just have a lot of feelings right now? This was one of those episodes that shouldn’t be as exciting as I’m reacting, but it laid a LOT of groundwork. GUYS. Guys. Arya’s spleen is jacked.It is straight up jacked. Wait, that was her liver. Bowels? You don’t mess with innards, and her innards are MESSED UP.