Ramsay once said that “If you are expecting a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
It seems that advice is finally being heeded.
We start off in Braavos with the actress taking Arya’s advice about being angry when Joffery is killed. The camera pans to the audience that is in tears about the young king’s death. This is an interesting critique on storytelling. The point of view of the story which influences the details of the story affects how we react. Everyone, even the most evil of people, is the hero of the telling of their own story. The actress does an act of kindness for Arya. Kindness for the sake of kindness is never rewarded.
In maybe my favorite scene in the entire show, we see four sellswords around a campfire. We don’t know these people. The director quotes Jaws in his scene setup. The Hound seems to come out from nowhere and just attacks. It’s brutal and violent and satisfying. The Hound has become a favorite because of all the people he is a realist who stands a fighting chance. He is a realist with killer sense of humor. In the later scene, he also shows that he is a realist. However, ending up with Beric makes for intersting questions: Will they get involved with the Battle of the Bastards (raise your hands if you want to see The Hound take Ramsay apart)? Or skip it to fight the White Walkers?
Next, we see Vayrs leaving for a secret mission. I’ll leave his top secret mission to the fan theorist out there.
Cersei confronts members of faithful next. Violence ensues. Cersei again is horrible at playing chess. She understands force, but force doesn’t work here. The High Septon understands how to think ahead. She only sees the moment at hand. At the moment, her display of the Mountain’s power seems the logical choice. What she can’t foresee is that the High Septon probably saw this coming and had Tommen’s decree ready. The look on her face when he mentions the decree is great acting by Lena Headey. Now Cersei is without any allies in the Red Keep except for the Mountain and Qyburn. Again, I’ll leave her secret up to the fan theorists.
Ah, Brienne and Jaime are back together. The more Brienne states her mission the more it seems like a fool’s errand. Sansa, is not a full realist yet, believing too much in duty and honor. Jaime is not a good person, but he his a character I root for and his logic to Brienne is perfect. If he wasn’t so attached to Cersei, he would be ruling through Tommen. He sees any situation that doesn’t involve his sister clearly. Jaime understands the Blackfish. Blackfish doesn’t know Sansa or Jon in any real terms but he knows his home. The fact that he would leave his home to fight for her niece’s husband’s ancestral land is kind of ridicolous. We do get a great scene between Pod and Bronn. Again, Bronn is a real realist who stands a fighting chance of surviving the story.
Tyrion has been out of his depth this season. He has early victories but keeps forgetting to play for the complete win. In the past, he was the realist but he has succumbed to the idea that he is the smartest person. This makes him an idealist. Tyrion’s arc has been the weakest section of GoT this season. The writers have no idea how to write for Tyrion (I mean dialogue not plot). It forces Peter Dinklage to talk louder, to be full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. The joke scene, however, had some great small moments. Tyrion’s folly does set up for Daenerys to be the conqueror.
Jaime and Edmure Tully is the best quiet scene this episode. It’s a great explanation of Jaime’s character (and why I root for him). He is an evil man, a man who has done lots of damage to others. He, however, has done it on his own terms. He has been the hero of his own story. He does not allow feelings, except the ones for Cersei, to cloud his feelings, and when he does think about his sister, it’s with a fierce focus. His motto should be “The things we do for love.” He doesn’t make threats to Edmure, he only recites facts. He reduces a what should have been a two-year siege to a few days. These scenes also remind us how excellent the score for Game of Thrones is with the hints of Rains of Castemere.
Finally, we see the conclusion to Arya’s story arc with the many faced god. This was a fantastic action scene. Arya was always a realist, but now it seems like her training in this field is complete. If she truly goes back to the North, what will she find?
Next week is the Battle of the Bastards. I doubt they will have any non-northern scenes. I am trying not to get my hopes up that the people we like wins.