'Game of Thrones,' season 6 episode 8: There will be violence
Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones was full of attempts at compromise, two somber deaths, three vengeful deaths and King Tommen ruining his mother's plans.
The three deserving deaths came from those Brothers without Banners we saw last week murdering a Sept camp full of innocent people. The Hound Sandor Clegane gets his hands on and his axe in four of them, and then gets to witness the hanging of the three who orchestrated it.
The hangings are set up by none other than Beric Dondarrion, the Lightning Lord who's been killed and brought back to life too many times. He's part of the Brotherhood without Banners, but mass murder is definitely not something they stand for.
Beric offers a spot in their group to the Hound, who not-so-politely refuses. Beric tells him he was born to fight, but he's run away from it. He's a much different man than when the Hound killed him way back when.
But he also tells him the Brothers serve the Lord of Light, and that it's not too late for Clegane to do something useful in this world.
Cersei chooses violence
Still seething over her son's decision to unite the Faith Militant and the Crown, Cersei is once again summoned by the High Septon to leave the Red Keep. Another blow comes when she finds out the Sparrows are now allowed in the Red Keep, but the High Sparrow won't visit her.
When he cousin/fanatical Sparrow Lancel and his cronies come to escort her, she has the Mountain to show them who's really in charge.
Lancel tells him to step out of the way or there will be violence.
With her signature smirk, Cersei says, "I choose violence."
Aaanndd the Mountain rips off another head.
Don't worry, it wasn't Lancel's head, but he should really be next.
No one told her there was going to be a royal announcement. Though she still claims and acts like she has some bit of authority in King's Landing, King Tommen and his subjects see differently.
She's reminded of her place when she's told to join the rest of the ladies of the court in the gallery, rather than at a place next to her son.
Tommen's announcement is yet another crushing blow to Cersei's plan to regain power. Both her and Loras' trials will be held during the Festival of the Mother.
But trial by combat is now forbidden.
There goes Cersei's plan to have the Mountain fight for her.
But we know Cersei always has a backup plan. Now that she's been backed into a corner by her own son, she will have to take drastic measures to regain power or seek vengeance against those who've wronged her.
As the court files out of the throne room, Qyburn tells her he's found some answers to a little rumor she asked him about.
The rumor is true, but is so much more than they expected.
They don't elaborate, but we could assume they're talking about the rumor that the Mad King hid stores of Wildfire under King's Landing. We see him shouting "burn them all!" from the Iron Throne in Bran's flashback in "Blood of my Blood."
Would Cersei even think of burning down a whole city for vengeance those who've destroyed her world?Absolutely.
The Lord of Riverrun chooses surrender
Back in Riverrun, Brienne and Pod arrive and the Blackfish still refuses to give up the castle.
Such an interesting predicament: Brienne needs the Blackfish to surrender so she can use the Tully army to help Sansa gain back Winterfell, and Jaime needs to take back the castle so he can stop dealing with Frey mistakes and get back to Cersei.
"I will slaughter every Tully to get back to her," Jaime says.
In the middle of all this is Edmure Tully, the rightful lord of Riverrun held prisoner by the Freys in hopes of swaying the Blackfish to surrender.
But the Blackfish doesn't give a you-know-what that his nephew is prisoner. He refuses to give up his home even after attempts at compromise with Jaime and Brienne.
In the end, Edmure betrays his house to be reunited with his wife and child, who he hasn't seen since his wedding night. As the true lord of Riverrun, he orders the Tully men to lay down arms and let the Frey army take over.
The Blackfish dies fighting one last time for his home, but not before he helps Brienne and Pod escape so they can continue to help Sansa.
But with the siege of Riverrun now over, Brienne walks away with not even one more soldier for Sansa's cause.
Tyrion chooses jokes and admitting mistakes
Meereen seems to be doing better.
Daenerys' administration compromised with the masters and the streets seem to be full of life again. Tyrion gets Grey Worm and Missandei to loosen up, drink some wine and share jokes. He tells them his dream of owning his own vineyard one day and creating a wine called "Imp's Delight."
Tyrion and Varys even employed the help of the fanatical Red Priestesses of the Lord of Light to be Daenerys' new marketing team. The last bit of support they need is from Westeros, and Varys chooses to take on that task himself by sailing home.
It's all going smoothly until a fleet of masters ships attacks Meereen to claim the property they believe was stolen from them.
While an assault and fireballs rain down on the rest of Meereen, Tyrion, Missandei and Grey worm hole up in the Pyramid waiting for the masters to get to their doors.
Clearly terrified and being scolded by Grey Worm, Tyrion actually admits he was wrong for not preparing for something like this.
The sound from outside sounds like they've already arrived, but in walks Daenerys fresh off a ride from her dragon Drogon.
She sure knows how to make an entrance.
Arya chooses Westeros
Sunday's episode "No one" opened with the fantastic Lady Crane playing Cersei in the village play. The audience is silent, almost breathless watching her at work mourning over the actor playing a slain Joffrey.
After her scene, she retires backstage to find a bleeding Arya hidden behind her curtain.
Lady Crane takes Arya into her home, patches up her wounds and tells her a little about herself. She says she knows how to patch up wounds because she use to surround herself with bad men.
They would drink, cheat on her and she would put holes in them.
Oh, and don't worry about the younger actress who wanted her dead. She won't be able to find much work after what Lady Crane did to her face.
What a queen.
Unfortunately, we don't get to enjoy Lady Crane much longer. The Waif set out to kill Arya for failing to kill finds them. Arya wakes up groggy after a long nap aided by milk of the poppy to find her new friend slaughtered.
A race and chase through the village streets ensues. The Waif is quick and cunning, but Arya barely stays one step ahead of her. She's lucky she walked away with a bloody, possibly broken hand after a balcony jump and nasty landing into barrels of fruit.
The chase ends and the two finally face off behind a closed stone door. The Waif's weapon is a knife, but Arya has Needle.
Later we see Jaqen strolling through the House of Black and white. Drops of blood on the floor lead him into the Hall of Faces where he discovers the newest face is the Waif's.
He turns around to find Arya sticking her sword at his chest. He's actually pleased.
"Finally a girl is no one," he says.
But Arya quashes his hopes.
"A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell," she says. "And I am going home."
Arya has her name back along with a fierce will to live and get back home. Let's hope she's able to channel that ferocity into helping Sansa take back Winterfell. If she even makes it there.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham on Twitter.