Thoughts I had while watching this episode:
Well, I certainly didn’t expect to be watching an episode mainly about the Hound, that’s for sure.
Davos Seaworthy is my spirit animal.
That little girl is the balls.
Jaime Lannister is a handsome man.
I told you Margery was up to something!
Of course Asha/Yara’s a lesbian! With good taste in women.
Yeah, she’ll meet you there at dawn…if she can survive ten fucking minutes without getting stabbed by the Waif. Oh, there she is.
The Hound is about to kill some Brotherhood pricks with an axe.
That was an hour?
That about sums it up. I thoroughly enjoyed yet another episode of Game of Thrones in which no known character died. What is this world coming to?
So many pieces were moved into place this week, and the tension key has been turned and twisted to the point that soon‑like, next week‑ blood will start to flow in earnest. They tipped that hand in the scenes from next week, when Cersei says, “I choose violence.” The Mountain is going to start killing some people again, which was always his greatest life skill. Is it still a life skill if you’re an undead warrior?
But, to this week. Much of this episode was spent with The Hound and the septon who saved him. As a reader of the novels, I was a little stunned by this. The Hound is reliably dead there, and he seemed similarly done in the series. And yet, here he is. But, despite my cognitive dissonance, the story was handled pretty well, and provides yet another plot line to explore one of the central questions the series deals with: how can one stop using violence in a world that rewards violence? The septon suggested that such violence is a product of humans turning against their nature. But, this show (and the novels it’s based on) seem to belie that assumption. If everyone in the world is violent, is it really against human nature to be violent? It would seem that violence is the natural order of things though, perhaps, one can use violence for justice in limited scenarios. The Hound is about to test that theory.
We were kept up on Arya’s story. I still feel confident she’s going to make it out alive, though I’m also fairly certain she’s going to miss that boat at dawn. I have no idea how she will get out (maybe Lady Crane?), but I think she will.
We also see Bronn and Jaime take over the siege of Riverrun for the inept Freys. The Blackfish is a hard old man, and, while we did get one good conversation on a drawbridge out of it, this story should be a slow burn.
The Greyjoys have become important enough that they need to be addressed. First of all, why the hell did the show change Asha’s name to Yara? Apparently to avoid confusion with Osha, but that seems like a slight benefit, and it just confuses me. Leaving aside her (totally obvious before now) sexual preference, she gives Theon what amounts to a Viking intervention. Her message is basically, “Drink up, and don’t be a pussy, even if you don’t have a dick anymore.” Oddly enough, that seems to work to some extent on Theon. But, the bigger deal is that she told Theon, more or less in passing, that they are on their way to Slaver’s Bay to make an alliance with Daenerys, which should be interesting, seeing as Euron is headed there too. Whatever happens, it seems likely that there will be two fewer Greyjoys by the end of the season, as I can’t see both Theon and Asha/Yara surviving.
Margery is very good at acting pious. She has fooled the High Sparrow, her husband, the Lannisters, her septa, her grandmother, basically everyone. But she slips the Queen of Thorns a drawing of their sigil to say, basically, “I’m still in here, and I’ve got a plan, so GTFO.” She’s protecting those she cares about. I think, if I’m reading the situation carefully, her plan extends up to her brother being freed, and then she will attempt to wrest control from the High Sparrow. To do that, she needs the love of the people, so she needs the Sparrows’ blessing…for now.
Finally, Sansa has made a pact with the Devil, and his name is Littlefinger. She and Jon, aided by Ser Davos, traipse around the North seeking support. The little girl in charge of House Mormont is a tough nut, and she is awesome. But, Ser Davos convinces her. As I’ve said before, I love Ser Davos. He really seems to be the clearest voice of reason in the whole of Westeros. “The real war is between the living and the dead, and make no mistake, the dead are coming.” That argument should sway everybody, but it doesn’t.
Seeing how few men they have, we see Sansa write a letter, signing it “Sansa Stark,” which is, of course, a giant middle finger to the Boltons. It is also, though, important for her as she reaches out to the army of the Eyrie. By using that name, she reminds Littlefinger of her anger and hatred, even as she seeks his help. There’s no way this goes smoothly. Peter Baelish is a slippery son of a bitch. But, the army he brings is large and well-trained, which makes them necessary. We may get to see a spike through his smug little mustache before the end, but it will not be soon.
Things are about to get bloody.