Spoilers will be sent your way.
We’re going to start early. Arya ended up seeking Lady Crane after all. Much to my chagrin, this means the Waif once more tracks Arya down and kills her healer. Nevertheless, our assassin-in-training seems to have gathered enough strength to give us the equivalent of what goes for a high speed chase in Essos. Things look grim for Arya as her wounds open up due to a bad fall. Still, she manages to make it to her hiding place. Here’s where we finally see the point in Arya’s time as a blind fighter. With Needle on hand, Arya extinguishes the candle. We don’t see what ensues, but the aftermath with Jaqen H’gar. It’s a bit of a weak conclusion for Arya’s arc with the Faceless Men. Are they really satisfied with her killing the Waif? I choose to belief so, because the man with the face of Jaqen doesn’t seem to scared of Needle poking at his chest. He seems rather proud actually.
We also get the resolution to the siege at Riverrun. This includes a meeting between the Blackfish and Brienne of Tarth. It goes as well as you think, without any support being pledged to Sansa. More important to the overall plot, Brienne reunites with Jaime for a brief moment. Oathkeeper (which I will remind you, was a sword made from Eddard Stark’s Ice which means it’s made of Valyrian steel) almost changes hands but Jaime insists that it’s Brienne’s. Jaime has made up his mind up about how he wants to play this and threatens Edmure with the only thing that will reach him – his son’s life. The solution then becomes to free Edmure Tully just so he can walk into Riverrun and command his forces to let down his weapons. It all hinged on Riverrun’s forces loyalty to Edmure which is tested by the Blackfish not willing to have any of it. Unfortunately, he loses but manages to at least secure an escape for Brienne and Podrick. Whether he’s really dead or not, that’s a tale of another time.
After going on a rampage with some stragglers left behind, the Hound finally runs into the real Brotherhood Without Banners. We haven’t seen Beric Dondarrion or Thoros of Myr in an age. Yet they seem friendly enough with Sandor Clegane to agree to let him kill two of the three remaining leaders of the band that killed his community. The fact that they were about to kill them because of that crime lends some credence to Beric and Thoros being on the right path, as well as sharing a meal with the Hound afterwards. However that talk about them serving something greater than themselves almost seems to make me think that the show might just decide to spring Lady Stoneheart on the world.
It’s the first time in a long time that I find myself rooting for Cersei. The Faith Militant is in the Red Keep and only Qyburn thinks to alert her. Of course the encounter is inevitable but Cersei almost invites it. Lancel Lannister leads the eager sparrows, who are confident they can bring her back to the Great Sept of Baelor. One of them drives his weapon right into the Mountain, only to have his head ripped from his shoulders. Cersei will not come quietly. Then again, she will face greater odds as Tommen announces both Ser Loras and Cersei will be judged by a council of septons and abolishes the practice of trial by combat. Even though he’s not in the Red Keep, the High Sparrow is shown to be calling the shots in King’s Landing. Qyburn chooses this moment to let Cersei know he’s been following up on that rumor that she told him about and how it might not be a rumor after all. Whether this will be Cersei’s hidden card to play at her trial only time will tell.
Over in Meereen, Tyrion is left alone as Varys departs for Westeros. He’s on a mission to garner support for Daenerys, which might turn out to be even more troublesome than winning it for the Starks. That leaves Tyrion trying to crack a joke with the likes of Missandei and Grey Worm when the Masters bring their entire fleet for an all out attack. Strangely enough, Tyrion was celebrating as the city seemed to have gone back to its days of commerce and trading while stories of the Lord of Light talked about Daenerys as the true ruler. All that goes out the window as the large ships hurl fire arrows into the city, some reaching the pyramid. It’s here that a noise alerts them than someone has invaded the pyramid from the top. Daenerys is back. Drogon is seen in the background, flying away.
- Arya’s story line with the Faceless Men is wrapped up a little too nicely. Didn’t Arya just take back her name and identity? How is this becoming No One? Then again, it’s obvious Jaqen H’gar is pleased with the developments as if he wanted this all along. If the only thing that results from all of this is Arya becoming a better fighter, we’ve really thrown entire chapters out the window. The best outcome would be for the Faceless Men to follow Arya back to Westeros. The House of Black and White can’t be done with her yet.
- Cersei’s life is in danger. I’m not sure who’s going to remove Ser Richard Strong aka the Mountain aka Qyburn’s creature to bring her to justice though. Qyburn is Cersei’s only ally here, and he might just have found something to help her – but we don’t get to know. Which means, the show might just pull something out of its sleeve to even the odds. I just hope it’s something that has been mentioned before and it’s not a last-minute-made-on-the-spot thingamajig.
- Jaime finally embraces who he wants to be. It’s Cersei he loves so everyone else he makes irrelevant. He’ll make an exception for Brienne, as he catches a glimpse of her escaping with Podrick. The salute is awkward. They won’t be in the same side after all this. They both know it.
- The Blackfish dies off screen. Did they film this and simply left it out because the episode was running long? Or was this another ruse we’re supposed to believe just so we can bring him back at a later stage? I’ve changed my mind a couple of times even while writing this if it should happen. We can’t just repeat the same trick over and over again with every character. It has be limited to very few to be effective or everyone will start doubting each death.
- Meereen has been dull. Stop it already. We’ve been waiting for Daenerys to come back, but if she doesn’t bring something new to the table (and I don’t mean the Dothraki horde) we’re going to start to dread seeing her and Tyrion on screen. Is Drogon gone? Couldn’t he just spray the Masters’ fleet with some fire and brimstone on his way out?
- Two episodes to go. Are we getting a full out battle for Winterfell next week?
That will do for now.