Article by: Anthony Florez
Spoilers ahead! Spoilers ahead! Spoilers ahead!
I got a little caught up in the fan theories about Arya getting stabbed and the one that made the most sense had to do with what hand she was using during that whole idiotic traipse through Braavos. She’s always been left-handed, this has been emphasized before and all throughout her unarmed trip in broad daylight she’s using the wrong hand to do things. I thought it would have been a clever and interesting tell leading up to a clever and interesting twist, that it was actually someone else wearing a mask because the whole thing was so incredibly out of character. With all that Arya has been through at this point and all her experience with the No Name Assassin guild and with all we’ve been through as an audience slogging through watching this great character get beaten down and built up, it made literally zero sense that she would just walk out the door without a care in the world, I thought they had to be up to something. It turns out, nope, this is just bad writing. And for the final showdown with the waif to happen off screen? Come on. She tells Jaqen what’s what and decides to head back to Westeros. Huzzah!
…Except…we kind of already had that triumphant moment in the last episode when she blows off the murder assignment and breaks out her little knitting needle. Did we repeat this in order to earn an admiring smirk from Jaqen, which seemed to say, “Well, I did take you in and train you and reveal all kinds of ancient secrets about our incredibly creepy magic assassin guild thing and then you just killed one of my acolytes that I use to train people with… she’s dead and hanging on the wall like a painting in a cheap hotel room. Now you’re going to just take that all that knowledge and experience wherever but…..you got heart, kiddo.” Also, I don’t remember the part where he said to the Waif, “Don’t let her suffer….but chase her around in public without any subtlety or tact at all and be really creepy about it. Like, you know how we sneak? Don’t sneak. Be incredibly obvious about your effort to murder.” And I’m not even going to comment on the fact that Arya was a human pincushion only a few days earlier (at most) but somehow managed to parkour her way around the city . Because this is turning into Complain of Thrones.
I’m getting a little bit pissed at the previews for next week, they really implied that Cersei was going to let the Mountain off his leash but alas, he only got to wet his beak a bit. Instead, we find out that Little King Tommen has continued the family tradition of incest by screwing his mom for some reason. Now that trial by combat is off the table her mysterious ‘rumor’ that she’s had investigated is going to be her primary option and I think I know what that option is. And if I’m right, bring it the hell on. The High Sparrow’s smug face is really starting to irritate and I love me some Jonathan Pryce. Stop making me hate Jonathan Pryce, Game of Thrones. Isn’t it enough that you gave Ian McShane a job and then killed him off immediately? Like some kind of magic trick that ends in sadness instead of joy and wonder?
Speaking of which,….damn…the Hound doesn’t mess around, folks. Not that he ever really did, but, I mean. Geez. That’s what happens when a high level character encounters a bunch of low level characters in a video game, he just mowed through them with an axe. And it looks like he made some friends afterwards, which is nice. I’ve mentioned before that in spite of some of his actions, Sandor Clegane really seems to be harboring a conscience somewhere in that horribly scarred head of his that burdens him like a bum knee. And random massacres by errant Brotherhood Without Banners aside, this seems like a good group for him to associate with. Real salt of the earth types. I’m hoping they all become best friends and go on adventures.
So the Seige of Riverrun is really looking like it’s going to be knockdown, drag-out fight between Tully and Lan-… oh.Okay. It’s over. Did that feel like the ending of Monty Python and The Holy Grail to anyone else? I’m still not sure I understand how Jaime was able to turn Edmure so easily by simply mentioning his son. How had no one else thought of doing that? Also, and this is important, Edmure sired his son on the night of the Red Wedding. And there wasn’t a lot of downtime between wedding and massacre, so when exactly was Ed getting it on? While the Starks were being perforated? How creepy is that. And all Jaime had to do to renew my hatred of him was repeat that line from the first episode, the things we do for love. And his unsettling, rapey love for his twin sister is once again the core of his motives. I am deeply unsettled by the fact that I like this guy when he’s interacting with Brienne and loathe him around everyone else. Also, how bad ass is the Blackfish, right? With all his glowering and stubbornness and etc. Surely, he’s going to make a-…oh. Okay. He dies off-screen. Well, alright then. So now Riverrun is re-lost, the Tully army is disarmed….what are we even doing anymore. The biggest letdown, however, is unbeknownst to you casual fans, you non-book readers and if you still plan on reading them some day, skip the next little part plx. In the novels a certain someone who is associa- (BERIC, it’s Beric Dondarrion, Brotherhood guy BERIC DONDARRION!)…okay, so Beric who has been resurrected multiple times sacrifices himself after the Red Wedding to bring back to life a certain- (LADY CATELYN STARK! Forthwith know as LADY STONEHEART!!!)….okay, so yeah. Basically, a cogent zombie version of Catelyn comes back in order to stalk the countryside and exact revenge on the Freys. It’s not gone into a lot of detail in the books but it’s a cool idea and if there were any potential for it to wind up in the show that moment has passed. So let’s wave goodbye to it like it’s Brienne and Pod paddling away in defeat.
I’ve made my concerns known already about last minute heroics this season and once again I’m calling BS, this time on the Dany’s storyline. Tyrion’s plan worked not at all and the masters have arrived to raze Mereen to the ground using flaming bomb hurling trebuchet. Well, Daenerys shows up just in time with Drogon and he’s going to-…oh, no, there he goes… Hopefully to start lighting some ships up? The levity between Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm (can we get this guy a nickname please, something that reflects how absurdly good looking he is) was a welcome reprieve from their stilted, awkward interactions. Also, where is Varys going? What are they even doing? I wanna know what it is.
I did a lot of complaining about this episode and I stand by all of it. I think that it sucked. Thanks to the preview for next week and the not so subtle title of that episode The Battle of the Bastards, I think we’re in for a…well, this whole season’s budget, apparently. The good news is the last two episodes are directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who is not a Mexican-Soviet secret agent as I originally suspected, but rather the absolute hero who directed the best episode of last season, if not the whole series, Hardhome. So methinks I’ll be doing a little less kvetching come this time next week. Me-hopes, anyway.
Bonus: Here is the cast of Game of Thrones adding lyrics to the epic theme song we all love irritating other people with.