Blood of My Blood & The Broken Man
A large number of the storylines between episodes 6 “Blood of my Blood” and 7 “The Broken Man” seemed to half-start with the first and flesh-out in the latest episode. As such, I am covering these stories together:
In King’s Landing, Margaery has safely made her way out of jail and into Septa Unella house arrest. As with Joffrey in season two, we see that our crafty little Tyrell Rose is doing whatever she needs to do to survive, even if that means drinking the High Septon kool-aid, or appearing to, anyway. It’s a shame to me that she is not a point of view character in the novels. It seems that much of that has transferred to the show, as her machinations are much of a mystery to us. She formulated her own contention plan to escape imprisonment, likely because she did not figure her family was working with the Lannisters to bust her out Jesse James-style. While I am sure the path of less death is preferable, I wonder if there’s no regret on her part from allowing the Lannister and Tyrell forces to bring the pain to the Faith Militant. That being said, I am sure her plan is far from over, and I am excited to see more of it.
Lady Olenna has also been given more screen-time in Episode 7 than the rest of the season (blessed be the 7!) While she has never minced words, Olenna still has the sense to calculate what she can conceivably get way with and when: it seems like she will heed Margaery’s warning and leave King’s Landing. Moreover, her more caustic lines to Cersei are taking place now that our Queen Regent has been knocked down a few pegs. Kudos to Olenna for not being intimidated by the largest bodyguard anyone has ever had either. She’s got more backbone than those pissant Kingsguard members, at least.
All the Former Night’s Watch
Benjen is back! He has been confirmed, at least where the show is concerned, as Coldhands. I must say that everyone has a lot to learn from him in the wight-killing business.
We also get to meet the Tarlys with Sam and Gilly, in the Most Awkward Family Dinner Ever. Papa Tarly was pretty much just like I’ve always imagined him, with the rest of the family being rather sweet. Dickon is nice, but blithely unaware, much like a privileged upper-class boy who has always been handsome, good at everything, and always in the running for homecoming king. I am glad Sam stole the family sword, which was a bit heavy-handed in its introduction (there were candles around it for christsakes!)
She has had many opportunities for a downhill trajectory. As it stands, she has had to witness some of the most harrowing events of any character on the show. She has been in the crowd during her father’s execution and she was moment away from reuniting with her brother and mother before their untimely slaughter, as well as having to see Grey Wind’s head on her brother’s body in the aftermath. Considering all that, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that she would be a clear nomination for going off the deep end. That being said, she continues to surprise. She refuses to kill Lady Crane and instead elects to go into hiding–her own sense of morality intact. Naturally, however, no good deed goes unpunished, and we have left Arya at the end of “The Broken Man” bleeding and stabbed by the waif, wandering through the streets of Bravos. Perhaps for a kindly and grateful actress to take in?
The Riverland Gang
Well, as much as I hesitate to be hopeful about a certain character returning to the show, it seems the time is ripe for Lady Stoneheart to make her debut. Brienne and Podrick are heading to Riverrun (where Jaime is, of course) which is where they were when we met the awesome mystery character in the novels. I do feel bad for Jaime, however, when he realizes his woman was stolen by Tormund’s charms. Jaime has been attempting to deal with the Blackfish and take control of the situation at Riverrun, which has been satisfying in three ways: 1) we get to see the Blackfish hilariously and adamantly defy any attempts to get him to relinquish his hold on the castle, 2) we get to witness Freys positively sucking at everything they do, and 3) Bronn has returned and he wasted no time before throwing his voice of reason at everyone, delivering even more sassy lines at people than Olenna mustered in her screen time.
When it comes to Jaime, I am worried about his character. In the novel, Jaime’s positive changes were well underway at this time. He had started to take his position on the Kingsguard seriously, as he was making plans to live up to his predecessors and their worthwhile accomplishments while serving the realm. Tyrion had revealed to him (while Jaime was helping him escape) that Cersei had been sleeping with everyone in King’s Landing while he was imprisoned by the Starks. Fidelity has always been a point of pride with Jaime, which was most notable during his exchange with Catelyn Stark in season 2 episode 7 “A Man Without Honor”. As such, Jaime begins to sever himself from Cersei, who I think has the most detrimental influence on his character. We have not seen such a development on the show yet, unfortunately.
The Door to Door Evangelists
In the meantime, Jon, Sansa, and Ser Davos are trying to rally the North to their side. They meet the precocious Lyanna Mormont, who steals the whole show for me. In the end, it is Ser Davos who wins over he support and her 62 able-bodied men. She is not lying when she says this number is not insignificant; House Mormont is almost Spartan-like, and their men are legendarily large and strong, while the women have all been trained to fight in equal measure (and we were not told how many of them we are getting, if any).
After they have visited the Northern houses, and are still concerned with the numbers they have, we see Sansa writing, perhaps for help, perhaps to Littlefinger. Whether such help will come remains to be seen in “Battle of the Bastards”, the penultimate episode of this whole season.
So Cleganebowl confirmed!? The Hound is back in “The Broken Man”, and I did “whoo” out loud. Yes, I became a “whoo” girl for a moment, and I am unashamed. His return was also debuted in one of only a couple pre-intro scenes the show has ever done. After the people of his peaceful haven (including his new mentor, played by Ian McShane) were murdered by members of the Brotherhood without Banners, the episode ended with him picking up an axe and hopefully re-entering the path of the bloody rampage. From the previews for next episode, it also looks like Zombie Mountain is going to be released on the Faith Militant, which means the brother may carve out their paths back to each other with rivers of blood and bodies littered everywhere–tastefully, of course.
Khaleesi and Company
Well, Drogon is officially world-conquer size, and our lady has herself another khalasar. She also has, unbeknownst to her, two different Greyjoy fleets sailing to her: Yara’s fleet and the faster-than-physically-possible-built-from-nonexistent-trees-fleet headed by Euron. Hopefully when it all comes to a head, we will get a massive naval battle here. If a Kraken shows up to the party I won’t be disappointed. I mean, we have gotten all other creatures to appear, surely the sigil of an important family should too? Maybe I am being greedy. Either way, we can marvel at Drogon’s beautiful self until he can kill some more things.