Previously on recapping Game of Thrones… World Championship Wrestling levels of drama and promo cutting. This week…
Season 6, Episode 7: The Broken Man
Wow, Winter really must be coming to Westeros. You can tell, on account of this episode started with a COLD OPENING! Heheheheheheheheheheh.
And what a cold opening it was! First: Cuban Fury‘s Ian McShane! (I would have said Deadwood, but I’ve never actually seen Deadwood, so I didn’t want to be a poser. Anyway, Ian McShane is an actor people like and respect so, cool!) But, just when you thought that that was the cool thing necessitating a rare Game of Thrones cold opening, who is there helping to build shit at Ian McShane’s farmer’s market, but Mr. Sandor Clegane himself, The Hound! Why, when we last saw this cheeky bastard, he was mostly dead after getting his ass handed to him by Brienne, and oh yeah, falling off a cliff. Truly, what is presumed to be dead may never die, unless you actually see them die (and even then, maybe not.) Turns out Ian McShane (who IMDB says is playing a character named “Brother Ray”,) stumbled across The Hound covered in flies with his leg out of place, and was all ready to give him a proper burial, when The Hound let out a cough. IT’S ALIIIIIVE! Now, The Hound works in Brother Ray’s Co-Op (or whatever he’s got going on) helping to build things and frighten all the other men, though I cannot imagine the latter is actually in the job description. He may be a scary-looking monster with a less than savory past, but it appears the Gods aren’t done with The Hound yet. Ray knows, he too is someone with a less than savory past.
He used to be a monster like The Hound, until one day he went one murder too far. He cut a boy’s throat in front of his mother, and has heard the mother’s screams ever since; they haunt him to this day. That’s why he’s doing all he can to help people now. It’s never too late to come back from your dark ways. Then three sketchy-ass dudes on horseback show up, and in typical Game of Thrones fashion, things go as bad as they possibly can. The Hound wants to rough these chumps up, but Ray is done with those days, instead offering to feed the men, and all that nice guy stuff. Presumably blowing off some steam over not getting to resort to violence, we then see The Hound chopping wood in the forest, presumably blowing off some steam, yadda yadda yadda. Then he hears a scream. By the time he gets back to his camp, everyone is dead, including Ray, who has been hanged. So The Hound grabs an ax. The monster in him is awakened. It’s never too late to come back.
Elsewhere, Arya, The Hound’s old buddy who is suddenly flushed with coin, buys passage to Westeros from some guy she randomly approaches on the street. Arya Stark is so flushed with coin, she goes from no ship, to getting to travel to Westeros in steerage, to getting to travel in her own cabin at a time of her choice, in about 15 seconds. Still a highborn at heart. Perhaps she’s in that mindset a little too much however, because apparently Arya forgets that as she didn’t murder Lady Crane, she’s going to be hunted down by a murder cult who can disguise themselves as anyone. If you don’t keep your head in the game, you will be stabbed repeatedly in the stomach by The Waif, who was disguised as a nice old lady. That’s how things work in the real world. Luckily, Arya is able to fight Old Waif off, and eventually escape back into town. Now however, she’s walking the streets all stabbed, bleeding, and (because now she remembers about the Faceless Men) paranoid. This girl just can’t catch a break. Then again, she is having quite the weird go of it at the moment.
Then there’s King’s Landing, which is now basically ruled by the High Sparrow, so let’s call it Bird’s Perch? This week in Bird’s Perch, we see Margaery, reading scripture, already an expert at it, when the High Sparrow enters to discuss why her and Tommen ain’t gotten down to consummating that marriage yet. You know, sex? Because Tommen needs an heir (as presumably does the High Sparrow to continue his religious reign of terror through the years to come.) Margaery has no desire though, and is kind of like, “Actually god is my life now, so it’s gonna be a hard pass.” When the whole “talk about making a baby” thing doesn’t work out for him, the High Sparrow shifts to trying to get Margaery to convert Olenna to the Faith. Instead, Margaery convinces Olenna to leave King’s Landing altogether, secretly slipping a doodle of a rose she did in 3rd grade, signifying that she is still on the Tyrell side. (Turns out this writer can predict the fictional motivations of fictional characters!) Then, to reclaim the World Heavyweight Shade Throwing Championship (that she surely originated) once and for all, Olenna goes to Cersei to let her know she’s bouncing, casually dropping in a tidbit that Cersei may actually be the worst person she has ever met. Granted, it may be recency bias, though granted again, the most vile people do tend to stand out in Olenna’s memory. She will never forget Cersei’s smirk, as Margaery and Loras were dragged off to the dungeons, and now the only joy Olenna can find in this misery is in knowing that Cersei has lost. BAH GAWD! STOP THE DAMN MATCH! SHE HAS A FAMILY!
Jaime is nowhere to be found during all of this, as he’s off with Bronn (YEAH BRONN!), assisting with the siege of Riverrun. Those two Frey jamokes from last week are calling out the Blackfish, threatening to hang Edmure and his terrible hair if the Blackfish doesn’t yield. When that first plan gets them nowhere, they change it up, now saying they’ll cut Edmure’s throat if the Blackfish doesn’t yield. All the Blackfish can say to that though is, “Go on then, cut his throat.” Bluff. Called. Seeing the Freys to be clearly incompetent at their jobs (not to mention that they let that entire Lannister army ride up on them un-challenged,) Jaime takes things over, gets Edmure some food, and slaps one of them Frey boys with his gold hand. This sets up a meeting between Jaime and the Blackfish, with Jaime trying to be the sensible, honorable type in getting the Blackfish to yield. Unfortunately, Jaime seems to forget that everyone still hates his guts for saving untold innocent lives by killing the Mad King, so the Blackfish basically tells him “Fuck off, I was born here, we’ve got two years of provisions, hope you got two years to wait, punk.” Overall: the Blackfish, not impressed with Jaime Lannister.
Up North, Jon, Sansa, and Davos start canvassing the old neighborhood, going door-to-door trying to gain support for their cause to re-take Winterfell. Up first, the Wildlings, who seem less than eager to help the guy who basically is the only reason their society still exists. Bit of a dick-ish stance, nameless Wildling guy. Not until Tormund steps in to remind everyone that Jon literally died for them, do they agree to help out. Alliance Secured! Next, it’s off to Bear Island, home of the Mormonts, and me oh my. Lyanna Mormont, the 10-year-old Lady of Bear Island is one sassy, bad ass boss bitch! It feels weird and wrong to call a 10-year-old a bitch (endearing or not,) but I mean, here we are. She flat out rejects guff from all comers. Sansa, her own advisors, even Davos catches some of that signature Lyanna Mormont heat. (Yes, after only like two minutes with her, Lyanna Mormont already has a signature way of dismissing people. THIS KID!) That is until Davos works some of his own signature Onion Knight charm, playing up how he’s worked his way from lowly crabber’s son to now addressing the Lady of a great house . Davos convinces Lyanna that the real war is between the living and the dead, so they need to unite the North in order to fight the dead together (though not until they first fight the Boltons, of course.) And wouldn’t you know it, Davos secures the support of House Mormont, netting their cause a whole SIXTY-TWO men in the process. Though according to Lyanna, their fighting skill is worth that of like 10 men, so it’s really 620 men, and as Davos mentions, if they’re half as ferocious as their Lady, the Boltons are doomed, so really it’s like 6.2 million men. Good job Davos! Alliance Secured!
The only real problem our heroes encounter is when the Stark’s themselves try to rally support. Jon couldn’t sway The Wildlings without Tormund (a Wildling,) and Sansa couldn’t sway the Mormonts without Davos (a friend of young girls everywhere.) Together, they can’t achieve jack with House Glover. House Glover supported the Starks long ago, but received no help from Robb (who was too busy messing up his own life,) when the Iron Born attacked them. Danny Glover (I’m assuming that’s the name of the guy they talk to, seeing as how he’s the leader of House Glover) says they served House Stark once, but to them, House Stark is dead. Also, an army of just Wildlings and Mormonts? CHYEA right. Gimmeabreak, pal. With a tiny army (though I think they get the remaining Stannis men as well so, yay?) and also a tiny window, Jon wants to attack as soon as possible. Sansa does not want to attack yet, due to the aforementioned lack of men. This, of course, puts her in a tight spot, seeing as she was offered the Knights of the Vale by Littlefinger, but turned him down for being a horrible human being to her. In the end, she seems to resign herself to sending a Raven for help, presumably to Littlefinger, whose hand she is probably playing right into. Yes, it was his plan to get rebuked, and wait for Sansa to fail to unite the Northern houses, necessitating her having to beg him for the Knights of the Vale all along. I was being sarcastic when I started that sentence, but that really does seem plausible.
Spare Thoughts to unite The North and kill that pesky Ramsay Bolton already:
-Also happening this episode: Theon gets all twitchy and uncomfortable again while hanging out it in a brothel with his sister.
-I’m sure the number was very small, but I did accidentally post this before it was done (with literally one sentence written,) so if you somehow happened to see that, YOU BETTER FORGET IT REALLLLLL QUICK, CHUMP.
-The swelling of the score, with hints of the main theme, expanding into the full-blown theme song upon the reveal of The Hound was simply *MWAH* delicious.
-How far away was The Hound when his entire camp was getting murdered? Or were those sketchy dudes that good at murdering people?
-Any time Bronn shows up on the show, I get scared he is due to die. Hell, he barely made it out of Dorne. #Pray4Bronn.
-Seriously, All Hail Lyanna Mormont. Between her, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, and Jorah Mormont, the Mormonts may be the best House in all of Game of Thrones. We’ve yet to meet a weak link in this family! In honor of them (and their House logo being a bear,) here’s a picture I once took of three bears playing, while a fourth bear looks on in stoic silence: