Game of Thrones had some big shoes to fill after last week. You know the week where they ripped our heart apart and then slammed a door on it.
So thankfully, this episode seemed to go by really quick. If it feels quick, then it’s usually a good episode.
Of course, we want to know what happens to Bran. Hodor held the door but we know that it was a losing fight. Bran is having break-neck paced flashbacks including those of the Mad King stating over and over to “burn them all”! There are shots of Ned and others. The showrunners seem to be either confirming a few fan theories, or more probably, sending up red herrings. Either way, they are not coherent, and that’s the true point. Bran is clueless what to do with his gift and he just lost his teacher. Remember, everything is Bran’s fault so far. I mean everything. This doesn’t make him a bad character, in fact, for right now it makes him the most interesting one on the show. He is becoming responsible for his actions. The White Walkers are catching up when a mysterious man arrives. NO one should be surprised it’s Benjen Stark. Benjen was stabbed by a white walker and he was saved by the children of the forest by stabbing him with dragon glass. Yeah. I double checked my sources and that’s what happened. Benjen protects Bran and promises him he will be ready for the ultimate showdown with the Night King.
Then we follow Sam to his home. Guess what? Sam wasn’t lying; his dad really is a jerk. An elitist misogynistic jerk. Sam’s leaving his home this time is the bravest thing he does, especially since he steals his father’s sword in the process. By being the bravest thing he has ever done, it also means it is absolutely the dumbest thing he could have done. We will see how right I am. Really, if Sam isn’t with Jon I don’t really care.
Game of Thrones is at its worst when it focuses on religion. I don’t think this is by accident. It seems to be a very clever critique of organized religion. Religion is rarely seductive in the show and in the books. It is just another player in the game. First, we see Jaime try to prevent Queen Margaery being made a fool of, but she beats him to it. The Queen, and in turn, the King have fallen under the High Sparrow’s spell. It was a powerplay and the High Sparrow won. The idea that there is a High Sparrow in the first place goes against everything he preaches. Now, having somewhat control of the throne shows that he power lusts just as the rest of the characters. In other words, this was my favorite moments yet with the High Sparrow. Jaime and Cersei have a great seen after all this goes down. The fact that the twincest pair have become sympathetic (I really can’t see anyone rooting for the Sparrow and if you are please leave a comment explaining why. It’s beyond my understanding) underscores my point about how religion is portrayed in Game of Thrones. Jaime is being dispatched to Riverrun. We finally get to catch up with old Walder Frey. He is still a jerk.
The second religion scene takes place in Braavos. While this one is more seductive based solely on the performance of Tom Wlashiha, it still not a religion you can root for. The no face good assassinates people for money. Thankfully, Arya snaps out of it and does a brave thing. Again most of the time brave equals stupid on Game of Thrones.
And in Essos, we have Daenerys say the speech we have always wanted her to say. She gets the crowd fired up whilst she is doing her best “Once More Onto the Breach” in Dothraki that she can. Emilia Clarke totally nails this scene.
Ending of @GameOfThrones tonight was so metal I threw up the horns, but I poked myself in the eye doing so. Realized I’m Samwell Tarly IRL.
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) May 30, 2016
Couple of questions from the end of this episode:
- Does Benjen need rest since he is a good White Walker technically?
- Will Jaime finally get to run his sword through something? He is itching too. That fact that Bron was in the teaser for the next episdoe makes me think something will happen!
- With all due respect to Peter Dinklage, Jonathan Pryce has been putting in the best work this season. We have had a great Tyrion line, but when will we get a great Tyrion scene?
- Speaking of good actors, was Richard E. Grant’s role just fun couple of days of work for him, or is the fact that he is in that role mean more story lines for him?