A girl regained her identity last week on Game of Thrones…check out our recap of “No One” below!
This portion of Game of Thrones opens with Lady Crane giving a breathtaking performance as Cersei Lannister. She’d taken Arya’s advice and made her speech after “Joffrey’s” death one full of vengeance and pain. After the show, she finds a severely injured Arya Stark backstage. It’s apparent that Lady Crane was the only person she could trust. In Crane’s apartment, Arya makes a comment that she’s good at medical care, and the actress explains that she’s a jealous woman. When her men were unfaithful, she’d attack them, and then feel so guilty about it that she would patch them up. She convinces an understandably suspicious Arya to take a bit of Milk of The Poppy, which sends the Stark girl into a deep sleep. Crane wakes her gently, and the mother-daughter bond shattered my heart. She goes into the other room to fetch Arya some more medicine and Arya walks in to find her broken and bleeding on top of an over-turned stool. The Waif walks in and Arya dives through a window. The Waif chases her through the streets of Braavos, and Arya leads her to her dark “Hidey-Hole.” When the Waif appears to have her cornered, Arya reveals Needle. As the Waif gets cocky, Arya diminishes a candle – The room’s only light source. At the House of Black and White, Jaqen follows a trail of blood to find The Waif’s head in the hall of faces. He claims that finally Arya is no one, but she tells him “no, I am Arya Stark of Winterfell…and I’m going home.”
Charged with convincing The Blackfish and his men to join Sansa’s cause, Brienne and Podrick find themselves outside the Lannister Army’s Campgrounds. A handful of soldiers circle them and Brienne demands to see Jaime. While Podrick gets playfully bullied by his old friend Bronn, Brienne is escorted into Jaime’s tent. She tells Jaime that she’s honor-bound to fight for Sansa’s family, and Jaime responds that she hopes it doesn’t come to that. She attempts to return Jaime’s sword – OathBreaker – to him, but he tells her it’s her sword now and that she deserves it. In the castle, my favorite big, blonde, beautiful badass is trying desperately to convince The Blackfish to aid his niece. Unwilling to leave his home, even for family, he refuses and leaves Brienne and Podrick in the courtyard. While Brienne is doing her best in the castle, outside the castle Jaime visits his prisoner. He and Edmure Tully discuss their sisters, Catelyn and Cersei, as well as Edmure’s wife and son, the latter of which was conceived on his wedding night. Jaime essentially blackmails Edmure into rejoining his men at the castle. Because he is the rightful lord of Riverrun, Jaime has him order his men to lay down their arms and give up The Blackfish to the Lannisters. Edmure’s Uncle helps Brienne and Pod escape on a boat down the river, but he stays behind and dies in battle. Jaime, overlooking the land from the Castle’s second-floor walkway, spots the two as they row away, and waves goodbye to his friend and her squire.
Still (mostly) confined to the Redkeep, Qyburn visits and informs her that her cousin Lancel, and a handful of other Sparrows, arethere to see her. Lancel tells Cersei that “his Holiness The High Septum” wanted to see her, and when she refuses, he tells her it wasn’t a request. Again she says no, and that the High Sparrow can come to her if he wishes to speak. Cersei demands that they leave, and as she turns her back, the Sparrows step forward and reveal their weapons. Zombie-Mountain places himself between them, and Lancel gives Cersei an ultimatum: Have The Mountain stand down, or choose violence. Of course Cersei chose violence, and one of the Sparrows slams a four-pronged axe into The Mountain’s chestplate. It does little, and The Mountain very literally tosses him aside. Lancel and the others – who look just about ready to cry – prep for an attack. However, their bravado falters when he literally rips the Sparrow’s head off with his bare hands. She, Qyburn, and The Mountain arrive in the throne room for a royal announcement that she hadn’t been made fully aware of. As she stands to the side looking on in disdain, The King announces that Cersei and Loras’s trial will be one upheld in a court of judgement, and their fates determined by seven septums. He declares Trial by Combat to be forbidden, which ultimately means that Cersei can’t nominate The Mountain as her champion. In doing this, Tommen has assuredly sentenced his mother to death. It has been interesting to watch Tommen being gradually manipulated by the Faith Militant; and although he neglected her when she was in jail, this direct betrayal of Cersei, whose primary redeeming quality is the love of her children, is a cutting one. On another note, Qyburn has his children looking into an old rumor that Cersei heard, and informs her of it’s truth. I’m extremely curious to now what sort of dirt she might have on The High Sparrow.
Cersei had a tough time this week, with the highlight Tommen’s announcement that Trial by Combat is to be banned in the Seven Kingdoms, lest the Highborns avoid punishment they deserve. It also sets up episode 9 of the season to begin a dramatic wrap-up on the King’s Landing front (when you add the imminent battle in the North to the mix, we’re in for quite the episode).
As a red priestess spreads the word of Daenerys’ triumphs, Tyrion declares their pact with Kinvara successful. Varys isn’t so sure, and they share some witty banter – for the last time, it appears. Varys is heading off on a secret mission, deciding that they need friends in Westeros, ships, and their queen. They share their goodbyes and part ways.
Later in the throne room, Tyrion is doing his favorite activity: drinking wine. He questions why Missandei and Grey Worm never drink, and hands them both wine. He announces that whoever is not drinking wine is disrespecting the queen. Grey Worm thinks it has gone bad, but Tyrion explains that’s fermentation – when they return to Westeros, he wants his own vineyard so he can make wine just for his closest friends.
Tyrion breaks his daydream by deciding they should tell jokes. He tells a joke about Starks, Lannisters and Martells; it doesn’t go over well. Grey Worm doesn’t even understand the concept of a joke. Missandei tells a joke about translators, and Tyrion laughs – but Grey Worm declares it the worst joke he has ever heard. They point out that Grey Worm lied about not knowing what a joke was, and he slyly claims he was joking. Tyrion begins to tell his “jackass and a honeycomb” joke that was so cruelly cut off by Lysa Arryn over five seasons ago, but it is promptly cut off by sirens. The slavemasters have brought ships and are attacking Meereen!
Tyrion tries to admit he was wrong, but Missandei and Grey Worm will hear none of it, and they will hear none of his strategy to mount a defense. If the Unsullied to the beach, the slavemasters will take the Great Pyramid. If they stay, they can still defend the pyramid. Tension rises as the Unsullied prepare themselves for a fight, and then they suddenly bow. Daenerys bursts into the Great Pyramid as Drogon flies by.
After taking up the axe at the end of last week’s episode, this week the Hound puts it to good use. The Hound we all know and love is back and he’s out for blood. He makes short, bloody work of some of the men from the Brotherhood Without Banners who massacred Brother Ray and his flock of innocents last week. The rest have already been captured by the Brotherhood’s leaders: the living-dead Beric Dondarrion and the Red priest Thoros of Myr. As it turns out, the murderous band of Brothers were renegades and the Brotherhood is about to execute them for slaughtering innocent people and giving the Brotherhood a bad name.
The Hound wants to kill the men himself, though, and he is willing to kill Beric (again) to get to them. They strike a deal: the Hound can kill two of them, but only by hanging. This method isn’t nearly bloody and painful enough for his liking but he takes the deal anyway. The Brotherhood wants the Hound to join them in the fight against the Night King’s army and he doesn’t say no, so we may see him heading North to fight the undead. I, for one, would love to see the Hound’s reaction to Wun Wun the Giant so let’s hope he decides to join the war between the living and the dead. The living could certainly use Sandor Clegane on their side.