Last night’s episode was mainly a refresher course on where all the characters are and what they’re up to, with a bit of setup for the six remaining episodes. That’s right, we only get seven episodes this year. Six next year. Why they didn’t do the whole thing in one go is a question that can probably only be answered by HBO’s accounting department.
We got Arya in the Twins killing all the Freys and then again meeting up with the Lannister soldiers for a quick reminder that just because they’re all wearing the same color doesn’t mean they should all be killed. I expect this’ll inform the rest of Arya’s arc this season as she struggles between a “kill ’em all” attitude and basic morality.
We got Jon being honorable as King in the North and Sansa reminding him that this is the exact flavor of stupid that got Ned and Robb killed, along with Littlefinger smarming around and crushing on Sansa. Tormund and Brienne flirted while Brienne kicked Podrick’s ass and seriously, guys, if Tormund and Brienne don’t end up hooking up at the end of this, I’m going to be kind of sad.
Daenerys made it home to Dragonstone which was apparently left completely empty when Stannis lit out for the North. That seems unlikely and it’s not like that in the books (I seem to think Jon Connington’s there? Maybe? Or someone to do with the fake Targaryen Varys had shipped in), but it made for a nice scene in the show so I’ll allow it.
Cersei and Jaime are in King’s Landing stomping all over some hard working painter’s latest masterpiece. Cersei is a hot bag of wine-drinking crazy and Jaime’s… concerned, but that’s okay, because Euron showed up with ships and a wedding proposal. A quick reminder – Euron in the books is all eldritch horror and Lovecraftian doom, whereas TV show Euron appears to be a bad nightclub DJ. I have a feeling the show’s going to Dorne this guy, which is a damn shame. Cersei turned Euron down, so Euron’s off to get her a “priceless gift.” Mind your head, Tyrion.
Meanwhile, the Hound is hanging around with the Brotherhood Without Banners – IE, Thoros, Beric Dondarrion, and a handful of redshirts, and they appear to be making their way North. The Hound has visions of the Night King’s army and does a little work dealing with his past, which actually made for a really nice scene. In case you missed it in the episode and haven’t heard any of the umpteen billion explanations, those two corpses the Hound buried were the father and daughter that the Hound mugged for their silver back in like season four when he was dragging Arya around Westeros.
Sam Tarly’s in the Citadel learning to be a maester in between emptying chamber pots. He breaks into the restricted section of the library and finds out Dragonstone is basically built on a mountain of obsidian – dragonglass – and then dashes off a quick note to Jon to let him know.
Overall the episode was understated and dramatic in a quiet, somewhat ominous sort of way. We got a lot of setup and some really nice character work. Good episode. Solid open.
- It’s no secret that HBO is planning spin offs and whatnot for Game of Thrones. I’d just like to let them know that I’ll happily watch whole multiple seasons of Lyanna Mormont sassing grown men.
- I could have done entirely without Sam’s chamber pot montage, but it did make a nice point of how soul-crushingly tedious life at the Citadel must be.
- Hey, Jorah’s still alive! Dammit.
- Those dragons got big. Jim said he didn’t realize how big until he saw them flying around Dragonstone.
- Did Tyrion have even one line this episode? I can’t imagine that guy keeping his mouth shut for whole minutes at a time, and particularly not after having to hike up two miles of stairs to an abandoned castle.
Line of the Night Award
Thoros: Why are you always in such a foul mood?
The Hound: Experience.
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