“I choose you all.”
Hodor’s noble sacrifice from “The Door” lasts roughly five minutes as the Night’s King’s wights stalk Bran and Meera. They’re saved at the last minute by a mysterious rider who takes out the undead with the utmost ease. Bran stays unnervingly calm throughout the ordeal. Moments before, he has an expedited greensee adventure, and zooms through the entire GAME OF THRONES series, as well as a few new scenes that have only been talked about up until now. Some notable images:
• Ned getting beheaded. Sad face.
• Our first appearance of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen who bellows, “Burn them all!” and then an explosion of what looks to be wildfire (the same substance that destroyed Stannis’s fleet in the Battle of Blackwater) rushes through a corridor.
• Jaimie approaches King Aerys, and as we heard as he recapped his memories to Brienne, Jaimie stabs the king in the back before sitting on the Iron Throne himself.
• The White Walkers storming the gates of Hardhome from last season.
Turns out, it’s Bran’s uncle Benjen who rescues the duo. Benjen hasn’t been seen since the entire series’ second episode, but back in season two, we did see his unmanned horse stumble back to the Wall, insinuating something sinister had taken place. Turns out, he was on patrol in the great north and fell to the White Walkers, only to be saved by the now dead Three-Eyed Raven. Before his icy transformation was complete, the Raven stabbed him with a piece of dragonglass which prevented him going full zombie. Now? He seems to be something in between. What powers/limitations he has aren’t yet known, but he does throw a mean flaming mace.
Since it is dragonglass that created the White Walkers, and dragonglass that can prevent a man from being turned into a White Walker, one wonders why when Valyrian steel touches the creatures that it crumbles them to pieces instead of reverting them back to their former selves. Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly surmised that dragonstone was an ancient relative of the powerful steel, but perhaps it boils down to the Walkers being far too old to ever again resemble a human, so instead they crumble into icy pieces.
Finally some meat about Sam and Gilly! The two make it back to his home, and are greeted warmly by his mother and sister. Dinner is another story altogether. After Gilly spills the beans of her heritage, Randyll Tarly says Sam has dishonored his name and exiles him from the castle. But never stand in between a man and his wildling lover. Sam at first leaves but then comes back into the room, takes his wife and adopted son and they depart together, along with his father’s Valyrian sword. But where the hell to?
Arya’s story has been a little lean this season. She is tasked to murder to the actor who plays Cersei, but instead befriends her and ultimately saves her from the poison she herself placed in the wine. The Waif sees this and tells Jaqar, who gives the green light to kill Arya, who has seemingly exhausted her opportunities to join the Many Faced God’s tribe.
Arya has clearly chosen to be someone with a name. She retrieves Needle which she hid amongst the rocks. With the Waif on her trail and out for blood, Arya has a tough road ahead. But I think Jaqar will ultimately save her. You could sense the reluctance in his execution order for the young Stark, even saying, “Don’t let her suffer.” I think he sees something in her.
During last week’s “Hold the Door,” Jaimie, Cersei, and Olenna Tyrell plan a coup to get Margaery back from the High Sparrow. And it comes to perfect fruition! Mace Tyrell uses his kingdom’s guard to storm the High Sparrow’s fortress; Jaimie expertly rides up the stairs on his horse and flaunts his apparent superiority in front of the old man. Yet, once again, the Sparrow is a few steps ahead. As Jaimie and the Tyrell army demand the Sparrow to step down and release the Queen before she can take her confessional walk through the streets of King’s Landing, King Tommen strolls out of the front door, and stands beside the religious enthusiast, giving him a newfound power that freezes Olenna and even the Kingslayer in his tracks. Now that is power.
And speaking of, across the Narrow Sea, Danerys begins to ride back to Meereen with Daario and her new ultimate Dothraki horde. Daario tells the Mother of Dragons that she isn’t mean to rule, only conquer. A fantastic scene follows as she rides ahead, telling no one to follow. She turns the corner, and nothing happens, until suddenly she dramatically returns on Drogon, delivering a fiery speech about what her followers can and will do for her. To be honest, her words fall a little flat, especially after the drop the mic moment when she stood their nude bathed in the flames and the dust of the fallen Khals. Regardless, her power is absolute right now. Her followers have seen her survive an inferno, and now she rides on the back of a dragon. They will follow her to the ends of the earth, or at least across the narrow sea.
• Tommen continues to be a useless twat. My question is, what is Margaery’s long game here? I think it’s clear that she’s hasn’t fallen in line with the High Sparrow’s thinking, but why bring in Tommen to that side at this point? What’s to gain?
• It’s cool (and gross) to see that the faces of the Many Faced God are actual faces, instead of some sort of voodoo magic.
• No Ramsey this week, which meant that my dinner stayed down.
• I believe Samwell now possesses the fourth Valyrian sword (Heartsbane) that we know about in the GOT universe. The others are Jon Snow’s Longclaw, Brienne’s Oathkeeper, and Tommen Baratheon’s Widow’s Wail. Am I missing any?