***Spoiler Warning: This post contains Game of Thrones spoilers through Season 6, Episode 8, and minor Song of Ice and Fire discussion. Spoilers***
Things are getting very strange around the Seven Kingdoms. Since David Benioff and Dan Weiss have gone to a land far off-book, so to speak, there are certain storylines that have clearly suffered. Meereen has dragged on far beyond our mildest dreams, and Arya has spent more than a season running around Braavos just to find herself. Tyrion — though Peter Dinklage makes the most of his every winetinged line — well, let’s just say that by this point, we’d much rather have seen his goofy book antics than most of what’s not happened during his exile. That said, the buddy moments between he and Varys have been a delightful oasis, and their parting last night was such sweet sorrow.
Speaking of a girl in Braavos, while we thrill to champion all of Thrones‘ strong women, it’s slightly difficult to swallow Arya’s recent superhero-ish abilities. It’s one thing to become a great warrior through intensive training; quite another to survive multiple stab wounds to the belly, receive an amateur patching and a solid night of rest, only to be able to fly through the air with the greatest of ease…land without breaking a single bone, bust open your wounds, run like the wind as you’re chased by The Waifinator,
hang in there despite multiple severe falls, become trapped, kill said uninjured, deadly assassin, slice off her face, make your way back to the House of Black and white, climb up a pillar in the Hall of Faces to mount said face, and still be standing when Jaqen finds you. I’m not exhausted; you’re exhausted!
I’m not going to lie, though; I still shouted “Booyah” to the Twitterverse at Arry’s response to Jaqen declaring, “Finally a girl is no one.”
But, the reality of the situation is, there’s no rational explanation for how a girl lived.
Likewise, the non-moment of Daenerys’ incomprehensibly, perfectly timed arrival in Meereen, just the second the city comes under the Masters’ attack, felt nonsensical and needlessly absurd.
Yes, we want our heroines to save the day, but we also want them to be credible. Game of Thrones is too good a show to be pulling out Dany’s fortuitous arrival in such a contrived and silly manner.
Let’s switch gears and talk about the good stuff. Jaimie and Brienne, Bronn and Pod…”Lesson number one, assume everyone wants to hit you.”
The Hound taking his revenge…Cersei and her Mountain, Tommen breaking Cersei’s heart, and Jaime explaining to Edmure that he’ll do anything to get back to his sister.
Brienne’s proposal to Jaime meets with a shrug and his okay that she go for it; “Have you ever met the Blackfish? He’s even more stubborn than you.” And so, Jaime was right, and the Blackfish was as well — Edmure’s uncle knew his nephew was leading the Tully forces into a trap, and there’s nothing to be done but to put up a good last fight.
Clive Russell was golden throughout his too-short run; it’s a shame his fate wasn’t left as it was in the books (although, we never did see a body…)
That melancholy wave shared by Jaime and Brienne as she heads — mission failed — back to Sansa was a thing of beauty (sadly, too dark to gif).
The brothers Clegane each held his deathcourt; Cersei chose violence and to Lancel’s shock and horror, the Mountain proved even the Faith Militant couldn’t move him out of their way.
Unfortunately for Cersei and as usual, High Sparrow had other ways of manipulating his preferred outcome. Her son, the King, simultaneously crushed her soul and forces a mother’s hand. It’s not hard to see there’ll be a different price to pay than the Sparrow imagines at Cersei and Loras’ trials.
The Hound finds some of the group who attacked and killed his newfound friends, and has a word or two with them before…
hunting down the rest of the murderers. He seems to be considering joining revived Beric (Richard Dormer), Thoros (Paul Kaye) and the Brotherhood without Banners, once they agreed to let him have his revenge — to a certain extent. As twisted as this tale has become, some of us have still not given up hope for a Lady Stoneheart appearance. Presumably, the Hound will now head north to join the fight, and possibly run into his brother for the much-anticipated Cleganebowl (that I’m not personally convinced will actually happen).
As with most of Season 6, “No One” was a roller coaster ride of varied ups and downs. Next week, we’ll be treated to Miguel Sapochnik’s penultimate “Battle of the Bastards”; with the high bar his “Hardhome” set last year, I fully expect it will be this year’s best. Only two more episodes to go, and I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see this season over and done.
Though she hasn’t had as much prime airtime as last season, Lena Heady continues to make the most of her onscreen moments. The expressions that played across her face as she understood what Tommen was saying — what the Sparrow had done to her bond with her son — made words unnecessary. Brava!
There’s a rumor that YET ANOTHER long gone face will reappear. **Warning: This link could be a Spoiler*** And it only fuels that theory some of us have about Jaqen’s face not being his own. Though the purported shadow in the promotional photo belongs to another, I wonder if that shadow is hers at all. To me, it makes more sense that another figure is standing behind that person, and that person could be Jaqen, aka the Spoiler. I’m being purposefully vague (confusing) in consideration of those who might not like to be spoiled. If you address this in the comments, please mark as possible Spoilers.
I will so purchase and drink The Imp’s Delight.
What do we think Varys’ mission is?
“Lots of horrible shit gets done in this world for something larger than ourselves.” The Hound