Spoilers will be sent to all Houses large and small.
What is dead may never die, we’re now three episodes from the finale! This week’s The Broken Man starts with a reveal that I can’t quite postpone. The seven be with you, Sandor Clegane is alive. In a very Stallone-doing-Rambo way, he’s been helping a small community of worshippers of the Seven build what I guess was meant to be a temple. The Hound seems to have found peace, or at least a way to bide his time and repay his saviour, the community’s down-to-earth preacher. With a laid back attitude, the preacher almost convinces the Hound that God – whatever God it is – may have a plan for him too. In an all-too-well known plot, the community and the preacher have their days counted after they ran into three followers from the Brotherhood Without Banners. Guess the Hound is now out of retirement.
In King’s Landing, we get the first hint that Margaery might actually be mind-playing the High Sparrow. She passes a note to her aunt, Olenna Tyrell, just as she learns that the High Sparrow might be gunning for her. The note is just a drawn rose, but Olenna catches the hint quickly. The Queen of Thorns must return to Highgarden before the Faith Militant make a move on her. In all this, we get a scene with Cersei and Olenna, where the matriarch of the Tyrells plainly blames her all that has happened. Cersei seems to keep the facade up remarkably, although the walls start to come down when Olenna remarks on the stupidity of letting the Faith Militant run amuck. Cersei admitting that was a mistake seemed sincere. Even more sincere is her pained look as Olenna points out that Cersei is surrounded by enemies.
In the north, Jon and Sansa are trying to rally an army from the few allies left of House Stark. Fortunately Ser Davos is with them because Jon and Sansa are complete amateurs at rallying. The wildlings throw in with Jon, thanks in no small part to Tormund and Wun Wun the Giant. What’s funny is that both Sansa and Jon get bested by 10-year old Lyanna Mormont. Ser Davos Seaworth seems to at least win back the day, albeit only managing a modest force in support. House Glover is much more brutal in their remarks: “House Stark is dead.”
Jaime Lannister reaches Riverrun along with Bronn (Bronn!) and a considerable Lannister force. They immediately take over the poorly organized siege that the Freys have done. The Freys have not even able to sway the Blackfish, not even when threatening to kill Edmure Tully. The meeting of Jaime and the Blackfish goes as well as you can expect. Jaime believes he’s got the advantage since the Blackfish is an old man. He’s wrong, it’s the other way around. Brynden Tully is prepared to last two years inside Riverrun.
I think Arya’s is the quickest story to tell. It will probably be told in the books with a much longer narrative, but it’s obvious the assassin apprentice wants to return to Westeros. It feels a bit rushed, but the Waif has wasted no time in locate her and stab her in the gut. Seeing Arya escape but quite harmed and losing blood is heart wrenching. She needs an ally – fast. I refuse to believe she’s done for, but I do wonder… Will she go to Lady Crane? Or perhaps Jaqen H’gar will have a change of heart?
- Sansa realizes she can only play her cards so far with Jon. Instead, she acts on her own volition. Where is that raven headed? The only person I can think of is Littlefinger. Ugh.
- Jon Snow might be good in a fight and he’s survived a battle, but can he lead as a ruler? I thought Sansa would be a little better prepared, but it sounds like Ser Davos is the closest thing to a diplomat/consiglieri that they can count on. That being said, Sansa might have a winning ace – albeit underhandedly.
- Arya also got caught like a rookie. Are the Stark children having to relearn all their lessons?
- Margaery Tyrell is playing an extremely dangerous game of cat and mouse with the High Sparrow. Any hints that she’s less than holy and she’s done for. Does the rose scribble she gives Olenna meant more than just an assurance of where her alliances are? Is there a plan forming to bring down the Faith Militant? If there is, it requires Olenna back at Highgarden.
- Olenna Tyrell has to get one of the best lines: “You’ve lost Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in all this misery.”
- Jaime and Bronn’s exchanges. Here’s the first. Jaime: “And you’ll get all three. A Lannister alwa-“. Bronn: “Don’t say it. Don’t you fucking say it.”
- The second. Bronn: “Parley or a fight?” Jaime: “He’s an old man.” Bronn: “And you only got one hand. My money’s on the old boy.”
- Brynden Tully aka The Blackfish is a badass. Sorry, Edmure. He’s not giving up the castle to save your neck.
- Lyanna Mormont is a 10-year old and the ruler of House Mormont. She is not to be underestimated.
- The Brotherhood Without Banners just made an enemy out of the Hound. They will pay dearly for that.
That will do for now.