In the latest episodes of Game of Thrones, life goes on without Hodor.
Since I am so far behind on the episodes (sorry), I’m going to break down all the goings on by each House. Let’s. Go.
The last time we heard from the Mother of Dragons, she was burning all of the Khals to a crisp and taking over the Khalasar like a boss. To make things ever better, as she was leading the Khalasar back to Meereen, she made a quick pit stop so she could grab her baby Drogon and remind her people who the hell they’re dealing with. Dany rode in on Drogon and declared the Khalasar her army. Not only does Dany have her dragons and the Unsullied, she now has a Dothraki horde behind her. Tell me she isn’t the baddest chick in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond and I’ll slap your face (not really, but I’ll have the urge to do it).
Back in Meereen, Varys and Tyrion decided to make a pact with the Masters in order to keep the peace while their Queen was away (seven more years of slavery!). They also joined forces with a woman named Kinvara, who was a Red Woman like Melisandre. Only she seemed to be the real deal. How, you ask? When Varys doubted her skills, she promptly reminded him about the voice he heard when he was cut as a young boy. Kinvara shook the Spider in a way I’ve never seen before, especially when she asked him if he wanted to know what the voice said. That was a big fat no on his part, and all doubts were erased. But the agreement with the Masters proved to be a bad one, as they came to Meereen with a fleet of ships ready to take what was theirs just as Tyrion was feeling pretty good about how things turned out. Varys was on a secret mission and left Meereen so he missed out on the action. Grey Worm took control of the situation and told Tyrion he’d heard enough talking from him and it was time for action. He secured the pyramid and vowed to defend it. When it sounded like the Masters had entered the pyramid, Grey Worm, Missandei and some of the Unsullied got into position. But it wasn’t the Masters who entered but the Queen herself. Dany had Drogon drop her off at the pyramid and she entered with a look of “What in the holy fuck happened?” on her face. Now the fun can really begin.
Queen Margaery and her brother Loras were still in religious jail thanks to her weak ass husband Tommen. I swear, if Joffrey had been alive, the Faith Militant would never had risen to power much less have the gall to take Cersei or Margaery prisoner. That psycho would have killed the High Sparrow and his henchmen so fast and so brutally, no one would have ever dared try that mess again. Unfortunately for everyone, King Tommen is a bit of a punk which is perfect for the High Sparrow. With Tommen’s constant uncertainty and insecurity, he has been unbelievably easy to manipulate. Cersei, on the other hand, has grown tired of this crap and decided to seek Lady Olenna Tyrell’s help. Cersei told her that her granddaughter would be doing her own Walk of Atonement, and Lady Olenna was like no. Hellllllll no. So House Tyrell and House Lannister joined forces, with Jaime in the lead, and took their armies to the Sept of Baelor. When the army arrived, the High Sparrow and Queen Margaery were already at the steps looking like two vagabonds. Jaime told the High Sparrow to let the Queen go or there would be bloodshed. But that man didn’t become High Sparrow for nothing. He told the crowd there would be no Walk of Atonement because the Queen had brought another into the fold. Who could that be? King Tommen, of course! The King basically said that the Crown and the Faith were one and any who opposed the Faith opposed the Crown. The High Sparrow had King Tommen by his insecure balls, along with Houses Lannister and Tyrell. But none of them knew that Queen Margaery was plotting something the entire time. After she was released, the Queen met with Lady Olenna, who was annoyed by Septa Unella’s constant hovering. The Queen urged her grandmother to go back to Highgarden, not because she wanted her gone, but because having her grandmother out of King’s Landing was part of her plan. When she hugged Lady Olenna goodbye, Margaery handed her a slip of paper with the House Tyrell sigul on it. Lady Olenna knew what that meant and the relief on her face was amazing.
Nothing has really happened with them ever since the Sand Snakes killed Prince Doran Martell and his son. What gives?
After Sansa and Theon escaped from Winterfell, Theon decided to leave Sansa with Brienne and go back to Pyke. When he arrived, his sister was not happy to see him at first and who could blame her? The last time they met, she tried to save her brother but he was so messed up from Ramsay’s torture, Theon woke up the whole house and Yara barely escaped with her life. But Theon wanted to come home. Yara, however, thought her baby brother wanted the throne. Oh yeah, their father Balon was dead. He was killed by his brother Euron, who had been gone for years. He threw that old bastard off of the rope bridge and landed on the rocks below. So the throne was ready to be taken, but it had to be done at something called a King’s Moot where anyone who thought they should rule could make a case for themselves. Theon, who could barely look anyone in the eye these days, told his sister he thought she should rule the Iron Islands. And he said the same at the King’s Moot. When Yara made her case, of course, the men were like, “Yuck, we can’t have a GIRL run the Iron Islands! No, uh-uh, hell no, no way, Jose! You’re a GIRL!” Sound familiar? Anywho, Theon stepped in and said his sister was the best because she was a leader, could fight, and didn’t back down when anyone tried to mess with the Iron Born. And just when Theon and Yara had the men convinced she could rule, here comes Euron’s treacherous ass. Uncle Euron said he could rule because he was Balon’s brother and next in line, has seen more of the world than everyone there and because he killed the King. Wait, what? Yeah, Euron admitted he killed his brother and said he did everyone a favor. No one liked Balon (which was true) and he promised to turn the Iron Born into a people who would be feared. He also told the men that he would forge an alliance with Dany by marrying her (cuz she has no say in the matter since she’s just a girl). The men all drank the Kool-Aid and voted for Euron to be King.
As Euron started his process of becoming King (which literally meant being drowned and coming back to life), Yara, Theon and those loyal to them took the best ships and got the hell out of there. When Euron came to, he was crowned King of the Iron Islands and his first order of business was to kill his niece and nephew. Luckily for them, they were already long gone. Later, the group stopped at a port for some ale and sexy time. Poor Theon, who used to be pretty much a slut when it came to sex, couldn’t do anything but watch and be uncomfortable. Yara, on the other hand, was all too happy to get laid and probably would have done it in front of her brother if she had the chance. Instead, she told her Theon to either come back and be her brother or to just kill himself and end his suffering. Theon decided on the former and I’m glad of it. Theon did some really shitty stuff to the Starks, but he paid the price and then some for it. He’ll need to make peace with all of it sooner rather than later, since Yara told him that they would be heading to Meereen to meet with Dany before their Uncle Euron gets to her first. Yes!
The Lannisters have been suffering greatly since last season, particularly Cersei. Another child has died thanks to the Sand Snakes, she’s been sequestered to the Red Keep and her son is basically ignoring her. Now her brother/twin/lover Jaime has been banished from the Keep because of his attempt at freeing Queen Margaery and her brother Loras from religious jail. Tommen had declared that Jaime can no longer be part of the King’s Guard in King’s Landing (isn’t that the whole point, though?) and instead must head to River Run to take it from the Blackfish. So now Cersei is at the Red Keep with only a resurrected Mountain and Maester Qyburn for company. Unfortunately, things get worse for our hated former Queen. Maester Qyburn informs Cersei that the Faith have requested her presence. She obliges, taking the Mountain with her. Her cousin Lancel is there, demanding she go to the Sept of Baelor to see the High Sparrow. When she refuses, the Faith try to grab her. The Mountain steps in front of her, which would have made any other sensible human being leave Cersei’s ass where she stood. Instead, the dumb-dumbs decided to make a threat. “Order your man to step aside or there will be violence.” Really Lancel? Do you not know your cousin at all? You used to sleep with her! Cersei looks at her cousin for a few moments and then says, “I choose violence.” Of course she does! So one of the Faith attempts to attack the Mountain but that went to hell. He’s basically the walking dead so killing him will take a friggin miracle. The Mountain grabs dude by the throat, chokes him out a bit and then proceeds to rip his head clean off. With his bare hand. Completely. Off. Cersei then informs Lancel that should the High Sparrow need her for any reason, he can come to the Keep.
Later that day, the High Sparrow gets his revenge without even making an appearance. King Tommen gathers everyone in the Throne Room for his newest royal decree. But Cersei is sent to the gallery with the other ladies of the Court, which is a total outrage. Her Uncle Kevan (a second fiddle to Tywin if I ever saw one), had the audacity to send her there himself. I guess Kevan has forgotten the family motto: A Lannister Always Pays His Debts. Anywho, Cersei, the Mountain and Qyburn head to the gallery, where the women shun her (idiots). Then Tommen makes things even worse for his mother by declaring that Trial by Combat has been banned! Cersei and Loras Tyrell will be tried and judged before seven septs like in the old days. Everyone looks at Cersei because they know what that means for her. I’m sure many of them are secretly laughing at her (just don’t do it openly, fools). As Tommen leaves the Throne Room, his mother looks at him because she knows her son is being manipulated. But, as always, Cersei has a Plan B, C and D. She and Qyburn are gathering information, possibly on the High Sparrow. I can’t wait for it to be revealed.
The last we heard from this crazy house, Ramsay had Rickon Stark as his prisoner and Shaggy Dog’s head as a trophy. Nothing else has happened so far.
This house has been pretty quiet ever since the Red Wedding, but things have changed. It was recently revealed that Edmure Tully (played by the amazing Tobias Menzies, who also plays dual characters on another show I love called Outlander, which I also recap on this site). Edmure has been Walder Frey’s prisoner since then, having only spent the one night with his wife. To Frey’s dismay, the Edmure’s uncle, the Blackfish, escaped and has retaken River Run. Walder wants to use Edmure as bait and commands two of his sons to make it happen. When Lothar and Black Walder arrive with Edmure, the Blackfish tells them to go ahead and kill his nephew cuz he ain’t giving up his home to anyone. Edmure already knew this but was surprised that he wasn’t killed. And since Lothar and Black Walder are basically nimrods, they didn’t know what else to do. Enter Jaime Lannister.
When Jaime and his army of eight thousand troops arrive, he basically takes over the whole operation. And since the two brothers let an army of eight thousand troops enter the camp unchallenged, I think it was a wise choice to let Jaime handle things. His first order of business was to have Edmure fed and taken to a proper tent. Once that was done, Jaime took stock of the situation and strategized next steps. He met with the Blackfish to try and talk him out of giving up River Run, but that was a failure. While Jaime tried to figure out what he should do, he was surprised to see his old friend Brienne arrive to the camp. The two friends talked and Brienne revealed she had found Sansa and returned her safely to Castle Black. Having fulfilled her oath to Catelyn Stark, Brienne tried to return Jaime’s sword to him but he told her to keep it. Brienne then asked Jaime to hold off on attacking the castle until she’s had a chance to speak to the Blackfish. Jaime agreed and Brienne gave Sansa’s letter to the Blackfish after much convincing. He read the letter but refused to help his niece, as he had no intentions of leaving his home.
Jaime, meanwhile, met with Edmure and basically told him that if he didn’t convince the Blackfish to give up River Run, he would send for his wife and child and catapult them over the castle wall if it meant getting back to Cersei faster. Edmure knew that Jaime would do it and agreed. When he arrived at the gate and announced himself, the Blackfish told the men at the wall not to open the gate to his nephew because he knew he would surrender. Unfortunately, Edmure’s men did not listen and opened the gate anyway. Edmure came up to the wall and promptly told his men to lay down their arms, just like the Blackfish said he would. Brienne, Podrick and the Blackfish made their way to a boat to escape. But Tully decided to stay behind and fight til the death. Like he said, he wasn’t giving up his home. As House Lannister declared River Run, Jaime watched as his friend left. Instead of having his men go after her, Jaime waved to Brienne and she did the same. In another life, they probably would have made a good team. But I’m still hoping for Brienne and Tormund!
Jon and Sansa have decided to fight for Winterfell and have been making their way to the other Houses in the North to ask for their loyalty and their soldiers. The two make their way to House Mormont, where the late Lord Commander Mormont hailed from (as well as Ser Jorah). I need to take a moment to acknowledge this particular house.
I’m interrupting my recap on House Stark because I need to discuss Lady Lyanna Mormont (played by the excellent Bella Ramsey). She has to be the fiercest little woman I’ve ever seen on GOT, maybe even more than Arya (maybe). Lyanna runs her House with an iron fist and had no time for small talk. She wanted to know why Jon and Sansa were there and made them look like fools when they didn’t answer her in a way she found satisfactory. If it hadn’t been for Ser Davos, House Mormont wouldn’t have agreed to pledge its sixty-two men to their cause. Yes, she only had sixty-two men but Lyanna was proud of that fact and would not allow them to be disparaged. I hope we see more of House Mormont and its Lady Lyanna.
House Stark (continued)
After securing men from House Mormont, Jon, Sansa and Ser Davos arrived at House Karstark, where there is no love lost between them. As you’ll remember, Robb executed Lord Rickard Karstark after he slaughtered two young Lannister squires. The Karstarks never forgot about that, nor have they forgiven the Starks. They did not pledge their army to Jon and Sansa and would not change their minds. As brother and sister surveyed the army they had, Sansa pleaded for Jon to send a raven to another Northern House to ask for more men. But since Jon thinks he knows more than Sansa, he told her no. Thankfully, Sansa has had enough of men deciding her fate and sends a raven anyway. Hopefully, her defiance will not backfire.
Bran and Meera have escaped the white walkers thanks to Hodor’s sacrifice (“Hold the door!”). But Bran is still having visions, mainly about his own family but also about the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, who is seen bellowing, “Burn them all!” while on the Iron Throne. Bran has had to download a ton of information thanks to the untimely demise of the Three-Eyed Raven. When Bran finally wakes, it’s just to tell Meera that the white walkers had found them. The two hug and it’s about to be over when a mysterious rider comes in and saves the day. He battles the white walkers who were closest and then grabs Bran, throws him on the horse, Meera jumps on and they get the hell out of there. So who the hell is the mystery man?
It’s Bran’s uncle, Benjen Stark! We haven’t seen him since Season One when he disappeared beyond the wall. Benjen was killed by a walker, but the Children used their magic to save him, which is why he looks like the walking dead. What does Benjen’s appearance mean for the Bran and the rest of the Starks?
House Stark (continued)
Arya was given another chance to redeem herself at the House of Black and White. Jaqen has ordered her to kill an actress by the name of Lady Crane, but Arya likes the woman and decides at the last minute not to end her life. Unfortunately, it means that Arya’s own life is in danger. But she already knew this and recovered her old sword Needle. She keeps it with her because she knows she’ll be needing it very soon. The next morning, Arya finds a captain to take her to Westeros and tells him she needs passage. She throws a bag of money at him and he tells her that she can sleep in steerage. Arya throws another bag of money at him and she says she’ll take a cabin and they’ll leave in the morning. Then she retakes the money so he doesn’t swindle her. Arya takes one last look at Braavos and its people. Which means her guard is down. Which means the old lady who approaches her can stab her easily. Who turns out to be the Waif wearing one of the many faces. Arya head butts her and jumps into the water. She stays under long enough to give the illusion that she’s died (but we all know that never works). Arya makes her way to Lady Crane, who nurses her back to health. She tells Arya that the young actress who tried to have her killed had her face kicked in so she won’t be seeing much of her anymore. Lady Crane gives Arya Milk of the Poppy, which has to be the fastest sleep-aid I’ve ever seen. That stuff would give Ambien a run for its money. As Arya sleeps, Lady Crane climbs up onto a stool to reach for something. When she turns around, there’s a young man at her door. There’s a loud thump and it wakes Arya out of her sleep. When she checks on Lady Crane, said friend is in broken pieces over the stool, covered in blood. The young man turns out to be the Waif, who is there to finish the job of killing Arya. Our Rebel makes a run for it and the Waif gives chase like the freaking Terminator. No matter where Arya turns, the Waif is right behind her, running like a damn machine. After many turns, jumps and an actual fall down some very hard steps, Arya eventually ends up in the spot where she left Needle. She pulls it out and the Waif thinks she’s got Arya cornered. Next thing you know, Arya remembers her time with Syrio Florel (remember him?) and cuts the candle in the room in half, shrouding it in darkness.
Back at the House of Black and White, Jaqen sees a trail of blood and follows it until he sees the bloody and eyeless face of the Waif among the other faces. Arya beat that ass and left a trophy. She comes up behind Jaqen and points Needle at him. He admits he sent the Waif to kill her and then walks right up to her to see if she’ll stick him with the pointy end. When he tells her that a girl is now no one, she corrects his ass and says this:
“A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I am going home.”
YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT!
Like I said before, the Starks are gathering in the North either by luck or on purpose. But they are coming.
The Returned, Part 2
Before I go, I have to talk briefly about the return of Sandor Clegane aka The Hound. We all thought he was dead, but he was saved by a nice man who fed, clothed and nursed him back to health. The Hound was racked with guilt for all of the dastardly things he’d done in the past. But his new friend (played by one of my favorites, Ian McShane) basically tells him that he can’t change the past but he can change who he becomes. Later, a few men from the Brotherhood arrive looking for food and other things to steal. The Hound’s friend tells them nicely to bugger off and they do. But later on, they come back and slaughter everyone in the village except the Hound. He seeks revenge and boy does he get it. The Hound grabs an ax and tears those dudes up, but there’s still one missing. He goes looking for him and ends up running into Beric Dondarrion and his buddy Thoros. Good grief it’s like a friggin reunion! We haven’t seen those two in a few seasons but they were just as funny. They agreed to let the Hound kill two of the men they were about to execute, including the one he was looking for. He wanted to take a hand or two, but Dondarrion said no, just hang them. Later, they tried to recruit the Hound to the Brotherhood, but he wasn’t biting. Will he change his mind?
Next week is the battle we’ve all been waiting for: Stark vs. Bolton. Next episode is aptly named “Battle of the Bastards” and it’s going to be epic.
Game of Thrones airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Photos courtesy of HBO.