'Game of Thrones,' Season 6, Episode 7: The Blackfish and the Kingslayer
Another Sunday, another anticlimactic episode of Game of Thrones with too much talking by characters who ruin everything by simply speaking.
After last weekend's wet blanket of an episode, at least "The Broken Man" had some blood and mayhem.
Every season reminds me that Thrones is a jumble of small, seemingly inconsequential moves and scenes that eventually lead up to some climactic "oh s*** that totally makes sense now" moment tying everything together in a neat, bloody package.
Sunday's episode was another mix of arrogant moves, almost sieges, threats and pleas for help. It's only a matter of time before it all starts to make sense.
Three more episodes, to be exact.
I KNOW. ONLY 10 EPISODES THIS SEASON. Killing us, Thrones.
Blackfish is not impressed
Remember the Red Wedding? Well, besides the brutal slaughter of Catelyn and Rob Stark and his newly pregnant wife, two people actually got married. Catelyn's brother, Edmure married a young Frey girl.
Now he's a prisoner among the Freys, and is being used as bait to lure the Blackfish (Brynden Tully) into giving up his hold on Riverrun. Because of normal war activities and takeovers, the Freys hold Riverrun now. But the Blackfish refuses to let it go.
By order of King Tommen, Jaime Lannister was sent to soothe the tension between the Freys and the Blackfish, a.k.a. take back Riverrun from the Tully army.
The Freys are new to this whole siege thing. They're just camping out in front of the Castle and yelling threats at the Blackfish. Both Jaime and Bronn are utterly embarrassed to be in allegiance with them.
Jaime, looking all Knightly and fresh, requests a parley with the Blackfish to discuss a resolution.
The Blackfish is all "nah, bro, I ain't leaving." Sorry Jaime, he isn't impressed with your glittery army and pretty fake hand.
The North remembers
Recruiting soldiers to take back Winterfell isn't going so well for Jon and Sansa.
The North maybe remember who their allegiance is to, but they also remember what happened when they put their men behind King Rob Stark.
Their families and armies were slaughtered, and some houses are left in ruins in the bitter cold.
Luckily, they now have the backing of House Mormont. And 62 soldiers. Yup, just 62.
But they have the young Lady Lyanna Mormont by their side, the newest bada** boss lady we all need in this time of crusty old men and pretentious young ones.
Jon, Sansa and Jon's most trusted advisor, Ser Davos, sent ravens to the rest of the northern houses with no luck and failed to attract the help of House Glover. Lord Glover reminds them about the last time they followed a Stark leader into battle: his wife and children were tortured, his men slaughtered and they just regained the castle back from the Boltons.
"House Stark is dead," he says.
So far they have 62 Mormont men with a majority of their army being Wildlings. In an act of desperation, Sansa pens a letter to someone in hopes of getting some help. Or maybe to strike a deal. We don't see who the letter is addressed to, but we can assume it's to Petyr Baelish. Asking him for help is like walking into shark-infested waters with a bleeding leg, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
A girl is arrogant
Hours before Arya is to set sail back to Westeros, she gets herself stabbed.
Last week, she abused her last chance to become a Faceless Man by refusing to kill Lady Crane. She realized her future was back in Westeros and dug up her Needle to defend herself from the wrath of Jaqen and the waif.
Overconfidence landed her crawling from the canal bleeding from multiple stab wounds.
We ain't even worried though. This is not the last time you'll see Arya Stark.
Shall we pray
After being spared a walk of atonement, Margaery seems hell bent on showing her gratitude and her mission to become a dutiful woman of the gods.
Though back in her clean clothes and crown, the High Sparrow finds her below the sept again reading the Book of the Mother. He's come to her because he's worried about her not fulfilling her duties at a wife and Queen.
Apparently Tommen confided in him that Margaery hasn't "been to his bed" since she was freed. Margaery says she just hasn't been feeling it lately. Who can blame her? She was locked in a filthy cell for months without proper food or a bathroom.
The High Sparrow tells her, well it's your duty to serve him and it doesn't require desire, only patience.
You don't have to like it, Margaery, you just have to let it happen.
Goodbye, any respect I had for the Sparrows.
Margaery's next problem is her grandmother.
The Queen of Thorns is still bitter about her plans to rescue her grandchildren being foiled by the dim boy king. Margaery insists she go back to Highgarden. Partly for fear of what may happen to her since she won't confess and atone for her sins, and because she may make things worse.
Before the Queen of Thorns leaves, Margaery slips in a folded note with a drawing of a thorny rose into her hand. I'm a bit disappointed it's not some secret plot to overthrow both the Sparrows and Tommen, but I'm sure the rose means something special to both of them.
The Queen of Thorns also doesn't leave Kings Landing before giving Cersei a final piece of her mind. Though Cersei pleads for the two families to unite again, the Queen of Thorns says she thinks Cersei is the most vile person she's ever met. Everything terrible that has happened to both their families is because of her. Her stupidity and arrogance got her where they are now.
Cersei lets her ramble her insults, but her face says it all: this is the Queen of Thorns' last chance to ally, and she just blew it.
The Hound returns
Hey there, Sandor Clegane, you seemed to have survived the wrath of Lady Brienne.
The Hound is looking pretty good. He has a nice tan, he's chopping some wood to get the anger out, he has a new friend in Brother Ray to preach to him.
The first word we think of when we hear the Hound is violence. His whole world is violence. He believes nothing great can be solved without a bit of violence.
But Brother Ray's teachings are slowly changing his mind.
Unfortunately, Brother Ray didn't stay alive long enough to get it to sink into the Hound.
In a place relatively far from the madness of the rest of Westeros, the Hound is living peacefully among a small group of nomads lead by Brother Ray. He teaches more philosophy and spirituality rather than just obedience and fear of the gods.
One teaching that seems to spark something in Sandor is about the disease of violence. It's infectious, and like any other disease, won't be cured by more of it.
The episode ends with Sandor hearing screams. He then finds the entire camp slaughtered (probably by the Brotherhood Without Banners men they saw earlier) and Brother Ray hanged.
So much for not spreading violence, Sandor (probably) thinks as he grabs the nearest axe.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham on Twitter.