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!
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!”
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.”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.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.
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.”
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.
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!)
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?
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)