Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 – The Broken Man Recap

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In tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, we find that broken men may be fixed, but they’re never quite the same.

Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section will contain spoilers from the novels! Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you haven’t read the books yet, please check out our non-book-reader recap. Thanks!

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Tonight’s episode unusually had a cold open, and the reason for it was quickly apparent. After all, a long-missing name in the opening credits would’ve been a big giveaway, wouldn’t it? That’s right, the Hound has returned to Game of Thrones.

Well, Sandor Clegane has. The Hound just might be dead, after all.

In “The Broken Man,” we find that instead of dying alone after his brutal fight with Brienne at the end of season 4, Sandor Clegane was discovered by a lay holy man, and is living in a Westerosi hippie commune led by his savior, Brother Ray (Ian McShane).

Sandor Clegane isn’t quite the man we saw last- more contemplative, though he’s as gruff as ever. Ray thinks the gods have something more planned for Sandor, but the former Hound isn’t so sure.

Margaery Olenna Unella

In King’s Landing, Margaery is selling her conversion like a champ. The High Sparrow corners her for another one of his trademark chats on the Bench of Truth to confront Queen Marg about avoiding her marital bed. It’s her duty to provide an heir, he reminds her- and it’s also her duty now to bring the Queen of Thorns over to their way of thinking.

Closely guarded by Septa Unella, Margaery visit her grandmother, and explains that Loras will be released once he confesses and repents of his sins. She strongly urges Olenna to leave the city, and slips a note into her hand. Her perfect mask slips then, and if you thought her conversion was for real, forget about it. Margaery is deep into this game, and I’m not sure she’s going to find her way out, but she is brilliant.

The Queen of Thorns takes the hint, and once away from the septa’s prying eyes, Olenna finds that Margaery has slipped her the Tyrell rose, signifying her true loyalty. Growing Strong, indeed.

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The wildlings Jon has been counting on for his army are asking some hard questions about marching south to fight, especially the ginger fellow who was at Hardhome (Murray McArthur). No, not Tormund- the other one.

Jon tells them that the Boltons will come for the wildlings when they’re done with Jon and his lot. Tormund backs Jon by reminding them that Jon literally died for them, and the Free Folk can’t argue with that. I mean that’s a tough one to beat in any debate.

Wun Wun adds his two cents: “Snow.”

And the wildlings are secured.

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Cersei and the Queen of Thorns have one last quality spat before Olenna heads out of town. Cersei’s attempt to guilt Olenna about leaving Loras behind is a nasty maneuver, but Olenna rightly points out that this is all Cersei’s fault so screw that. The Queen of Thorns knows the High Sparrow is aiming for her, and Cersei is an idiot for not getting out, herself.

Olenna is right about Cersei losing. Cersei encouraging Jaime to take the Riverrun assignment without considering she was in any danger showed a severe lack of foresight. Cersei’s arrogance and her overconfidence in her easily swayed son Tommen will be her undoing. Probably very soon.

Blackfish

Speaking of Riverrun, Jaime has arrived with the Lannister troops and Bronn. Hey buddy, where ya been! He’s still waiting for a rich wife and a castle, but his sharp wit is intact.

The Freys have made an absurd mess of the siege of Riverrun, trotting out Lord Edmure Tully and threatening him with hanging to try and force the Blackfish into surrendering. The Blackfish is an old hand at war and siege, and stonily ignores the threat. (Damn, it’s good to have Clive Russell back in this role, saying more with a long silence than most actors can with a dozen sentences.)

Jaime takes command of the botched siege, and sets up a meeting with the Blackfish.

It’s great to see Jaime in a more kinetic mode, now that the siege is on. He’s been wasted in King’s Landing this season, with stagnant Jaime-Cersei scenes, and now he’s back in action, showing his strengths and reminding us of who he is, separate from his sister.

I don’t think we’re getting the infamous baby-in-a-trebuchet threat, since Roslin Frey is nowhere to be seen, but hey, fingers crossed?

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Up in the North, Sansa, Jon and their retinue arrive at the first house to ask for help, the isolated Bear Island. They find House Mormont less than friendly, with the 10-year-old lady of the house Lyanna (Bella Ramsey) handing them their asses in short order. This is, after all, the same girl who told Stannis Baratheon himself where to stick it when he commanded her house’s assistance.

Davos has better luck, putting himself in Lady Lyanna’s place, using his silver tongue, and speaking frankly about the true war between the living and the dead.

With Davos’ words, Lyanna reconsiders and agrees to share her fighting  men with them- all 62 of them. Jon sucks at hiding his dismay, but Davos gracefully accepts.

Jaime and Bronn

The Blackfish and Jaime parley at Riverrun, and it doesn’t go quite as the Kingslayer had hoped.

The Blackfish is summarily unimpressed with Jaime’s threats, and reminds Jaime of his oath regarding the Stark girls. He also points out that Riverrun can withstand a 2-year siege, and burn two years of Jaime’s life. Not exactly the rush job he thought he was signing up for.

The tough old Blackfish knew he wasn’t going to surrender when he came down to meet, but he tells Jaime, he wanted to get the measure of him. He’s disappointed.

Coming at this from a book reader’s perspective, I’m wondering where they’re going with this, since we haven’t spent a lot of time with the Blackfish, and it may not be apparent to everyone why Jaime would give a damn about this man being disappointed in him. The Blackfish is a legend, a war hero, and someone Jaime looks up to, but I don’t think the weight of that comes across if you don’t know the back story.

But at least we got that reminder of Catelyn, and Jaime’s vow to send the girls back. That should lead to an interesting discussion with Brienne next week.

Sansa Jon Davos

At stop #2 on the Great Northern Recruitment Road Trip, Sansa, Jon and Davos don’t fare as well. Lord Robett Glover only got his castle back with the Boltons’ help, and doesn’t think highly of Robb Stark, who threw it all away and got everyone killed for his foreign wife. Sansa challenges Glover but his refusal is final: to him, House Stark is dead.

Over in Volantis, Theon and Yara are celebrating their getaway from the Iron Islands. Well, Yara and her men are. Theon is shaking and uncomfortable, surrounded by the prostitutes and festivities.

Yara can’t take it any more, him behaving as if he’s broken. She gives Theon a hardcore pep talk, full of tough love. I know some people will give Yara shit for not being sensitive enough but she’s an Iron Islander, not a psychotherapist, and she does love her brother in the only way her people know how.

And it works. Theon chugs his ale, makes a decision, and lifts his head, meeting her eyes. Perhaps he isn’t broken, after all. Theon will have a long road ahead of him, but his way back to himself begins here. Now the Ironborn siblings will be off to approach Daenerys with an offer.

There’s one more check-in with the Great Northern Recruitment Road Trip, as they set up camp. They’ve acquired a few more soldiers along the way, happily, but not nearly enough. After disagreeing with Jon over how to proceed, Sansa makes a decision of her own. She sends a raven, and I’m guessing this is to Littlefinger, because those Knights of the Vale would make a fantastic addition to any army. And they will come for Sansa Stark.

Outlaws

Okay, so let’s get this out of the way. Brother Ray is talking again and this is still not the Broken Men speech. You can’t call it a condensed version of it either; it’s something else, and damn it’s hard sometimes as a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire to let go and take in only what we are seeing onscreen. I would’ve liked to see/hear it performed because it’s a fantastic speech from A Feast for Crows, but once you recognize the feeling, then you have to set aside your disappointment and examine what is there, not what isn’t. And what is there is still very good.

Alright, moving on.

At Brother Ray’s HappyFunTime Commune, a trio of strange men come sniffing around and they’re clearly bad news. (Yeah I see you, Lem Lemoncloak.) They appear to be from the Brotherhood without Banners, only they’re not as fun as they were in season 3. Sandor can see it, and Ray can, being the ex-soldier that he is. But he is still looking to avoid a fight.

“Violence is a disease; you don’t cure it by spreading it to more people.”

“You don’t cure it by dying either,” Sandor replies.

Smart words, on both accounts. So much of the violence in Game of Thrones is the direct result of another act of violence, an endless cycle of vengeance and strategic retaliation that will never end until everyone involved is dead…or simply stops, as Ray has done.

Pacifism is an attractive option, but it isn’t the way of Westeros (that’s ignoring the larger problem of White Walkers who definitely don’t respect pacifism). Ray’s philosophy, while beautiful in its way, is impractical for their current war-stricken society. These people are sitting ducks.

Arya stabbing

In Braavos, Arya is acquiring passage back to Westeros. With that arranged, she has a day to kill. If that day doesn’t kill her first, which it might. Standing on a bridge, she’s approached by an elderly woman who suddenly stabs out at her- it’s the Waif in disguise, of course. She stabs her a few times in the stomach before Arya is able to break away from the Waif, and jump over the bridge into the water below.

She disappears into the water, and the Waif is satisfied she’s done. Arya surfaces nearby, bleeding badly. Staggering through the streets of Braavos alone, there’s no one to help to her, and this may be the end of Arya Stark.

Or so we’re meant to think. I’m fairly sure she’s not going anywhere anytime soon so my real questions are:

Why is Arya walking around undisguised in broad daylight, apparently unarmed, when she knows the Faceless Men intend to kill her now?

Jaqen ordered the Waif to carry out the assassination but to not let Arya suffer. Clearly multiple stab wounds to the gut is suffering, confirming once and for all that the Waif is a lousy Faceless person. So my question, how can Jaqen not be aware of this? I wondered before if he was testing her as well as Arya, and I’m still waiting to find out. I hope this is truly resolved, and not a gaping plot hole.

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Heading back to Westeros, one last time: to no one’s surprise, the sketchy men from earlier return while Sandor is out chopping wood and butcher the entire commune. Sandor comes back to find everyone dead, and Ray strung up.

Sandor walks away from Ray’s body and the peaceful life, and grabs the axe.


Assorted thoughts:

  • Having the Hound back, I just grinned like an idiot whenever he was onscreen. I like that he isn’t exactly as he was, because he’s gone through a lot and change is believable. I’m looking forward to seeing how the old Sandor Clegane meshes with the new.
  • I’m stoked for the show to have Yara be interested in women. It’s not important to the plot but I appreciate it.
  • Ian McShane’s face is a wonderland.  Are you sure we can’t keep him, Game of Thrones? I mean you recycled Dean-Charles Chapman… (yeah, yeah I know.)
  • Lyanna Mormont spinoff, please. Bella Ramsey is amazing. I could watch her tear people down all day.
  • Was that two weeks in a row with no Tyrion OR Ramsay? Is that a record? I can’t say I missed either one of them.
  • The Broken Man- There are several in this episode: Theon, Sandor, Loras, disappointing Jaime, Edmure (so far a shadow of the lord we knew in season 3) and House Stark itself seems to be rather broken. But everyone and everything is fixable, until it’s dead.

640 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. •Lyanna Mormont spinoff, please. Bella Ramsey is amazing. I could watch her tear people down all day.

      I so agree, my whole family was like holly shit that little girl is awesome!

      There was so many good scenes in this episode. Yes, it was a “setup episode” but damn, GoT setup episodes are a lot better then most show’s payoff episodes if you ask me…

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    2. I think there might be one more twist coming in the Arya storyline – perhaps Lady Crane finds Arya and gets her back on her feet – but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to satisfy everyone’s questions. My guess is that they’re going to go with the simplest answer (unfortunately), and try to move Arya out of Braavos as soon as possible. I can’t say I blame them. I’ve actually liked her scenes w/ the Waif this season, but I really just want everyone out of Essos and back in Westeros.

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    3. Did anyone else think the General sitting alongside Lyanna Mormont looked a lot like Stephen Dillane? Not saying it has any meaning whatso ever as obviously Davos would notice, but I couldn’t stop looking at him

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    4. I. Can’t. Even. Right.

      NOW!

      Holy Hound! What a great cold opening…. I almost thought it was a mistake or a preview of another show.
      BRILLIANT D&D

      So many things to think about for the next week,but Keep Calm
      and
      Get The Hound

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    5. Henry Gordon:
      I’ll say it.Is there a good reason to omit the speech?

      Eh, there was no good reason to keep it either, other than fanservice for book readers.
      It would’ve been nice to hear it, but I can live with its omission.

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    6. At the end of season 5, I would’ve given an LSH appearance a 5% chance of ever happening. Now, with the return of a more cruel, murderous Brotherhood, I’m saying 75%.

      Maybe the Broken Men speech was in the original script, but then cut? Does that explain the shorter episode run time?

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    7. I’m waiting for all the people who spent the last week whining about Jon becoming a “secondary character” to Sansa to comment that their initial reaction to a 30 second clip was off base.

      In other news, though it’s more than likely that Sansa sent the letter to Littlefinger, I’m hedging my bets. I’m thinking…or perhaps hoping…the “obvious” isn’t so obvious. Also, I’m not sure why Sansa would sign a letter to Baelish as “Sansa Stark” and attach the Stark sigil to it. Btw, did they mention House Hornwood in this episode?

      Because we know from the banners at the battle that House Hornwood is there. How are they involved? Did they send Ravens to them and I missed it, or what?

      I felt it was a decent episode. A lot of build up. Spent too much time with the Hound (I felt), but ok overall.

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    8. I think I’m the only one who’s not excited about the Hound comeback. Maybe it’s the timing or the circumstances. I don’t know how to analyze all my feelings and put into words like most of ya’ll do lol.

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    9. 1-“I’m stoked for the show to have Yara be interested in women. It’s not important to the plot but I appreciate it.”

      Please elaborate.

      At first I was annoyed at change in general but now I’m on the fence.

      2 – Yes, this is the first time EVER that Tyrion hasn’t appeared in two consecutive episodes.

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    10. The Dragon Demands: 2 – Yes, this is the first time EVER that Tyrion hasn’t appeared in two consecutive episodes.

      Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems like Tyrion’s been onscreen a total of 15 minutes the whole season. Very odd for a character who’s been central to the story for the first 5 seasons.

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    11. Not to sound nit-picky, but shouldn’t the ironborn be paying the iron price? Seems like they just made a convenient pit stop at Volantis

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    12. What if Sansa was writing to Jaime, not Little finger…”fulfill your duty”‘ as in the vow he made to Catelyn Stark to protect her daughters? Lannister troops could certainly turn the tide at Snowbowl.

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    13. ygritte:
      RosanaZugey,

      Well to be clear Rosana, we weren’t happy with it so farand were worried that it would continue in the same vein. But thankfully it didn’t ?

      The show has spent FIVE SEASONS building up Jon and making him the default “Hero Good-Guy” who does no wrong. That you guys have fits over them now building up another character who has spent those same FIVE SEASONS being shitted on by every other character seems a bit greedy.

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    14. The HBO Now thumbnail for next episode preview shows Varys and Tyrion walking the streets of Meereen. Tyrion has acquired a blue cape to match his outfit, and looks magnificent, but amidst the shabby Meereenese, he also looked as odd as Mace did in Braavos.

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    15. So many questions! What’s up with the BwB? I thought they were for the smallfolk and downtrodden. Or is it ok to murder non-Lord of Light worshippers?

      How can Arya possibly be moving around with multiple gut stabbings? Or survive, though we know she will.

      Why doesn’t anyone Jon goes to wonder about his NW vows?

      Where is Ghost??!

      Tune in next week. . .!!?

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    16. “Ian McShane’s face is a wonderland. Are you sure we can’t keep him, Game of Thrones?”

      I’m so in agreement with that statement. I’ve had a serious crush on Ian McShane for years and simply love everything he does. I, also, wish we could have gotten “The Broken Man” speech but I’ll take anything with Ian in it.

      I loved seeing Sandor back, a little subdued but still … um … the Hound. I know he’s gone through a lot and it’s an interesting journey to watch him become who he’s supposed to be. Picking up the axe after seeing Brother Ray strung up, my first reaction was … Oh, Shit! Y’all don’t know the hell you just brought down on yourselves.

      What can anyone way about Clive Russell as the Blackfish? The man has a thousand-yard-stare to beat everyone else and it’s clear he really doesn’t think much of Jaime or the ensuing siege. He already thinks of Edmure as dead so why would he give Riverrun away? I wouldn’t and I’m not even him.

      When I saw the “elder woman” on the bridge with Arya I shouted at the TV! I love Arya but that was just plain stupidity to be walking around Braavos undisguised and in the open. I don’t think she’ll die … I may be wrong. I do think Jaqen knows what the Waif is doing and I don’t think she’s long for this world. Despite his devotion to the Many-Faced God, Jaqen has a real soft spot for Arya.

      Knowing where the Stark army is camped, I’m pretty sure we’ll see Davos finding out about Shireen next week. Let’s hope he does some serious confronting of Melisandre about that.

      One more thought … I was quite pleasantly surprised to learn that Yara is a lesbian. It, truly, does fit her character, don’t you think?

      Enough for now … lots to take in and I’ll need a couple of more viewings to catch the rest of the intricacies.

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    17. Two comments –

      They were trolling us with the anvil, right? They had to know we were thinking Gendry.

      I wondered before if he was testing her as well as Arya, and I’m still waiting to find out. I hope this is truly resolved, and not a gaping plot hole.

      I think there is something I missed in all the Arya scenes this season that would explain what seem to be nasty, fatal wounds. It made no sense she would be so brazen in being in the open. Was that the real Arya? She was almost waiting for the Waif. But the Waif would have known if she had armor on based on the way the blade acted … flesh and steel do not react the same … and it did not look like a fake wound … and the whole scene was almost surreal. And the Waif has not been acting like a FM would be expected to act – too much emotion. I hope this is not a dream/psychotic episode for Arya. I know she will survive but the how escapes me.

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    18. Ravyn: Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems like Tyrion’s been onscreen a total of 15 minutes the whole season. Very odd for a character who’s been central to the story for the first 5 seasons.

      Well his negotiation scenes with the three slave-masters were pretty good.

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    19. Random predictions:
      Cersei decides she SHOULD “kill all her enemies” and is the next one to say “kill them all.”

      Arya gets help from Lady Crane.

      Sansa is this season’s “unexpected Stark death” – in episode 10.

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    20. Yeah that whole Arya-Waif scene was weird. I did consider maybe it was fake blood from the theater troupe, but the Waif was really stabbing in deep and all over, and how did Arya know that the Waif wouldn’t just slit her throat, or poison her or do something else. It doesn’t make much sense.

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    21. aabe:
      The HBO Now thumbnail for next episode preview shows Varys and Tyrion walking the streets of Meereen. Tyrion has acquired a blue cape to match his outfit, and looks magnificent, but amidst the shabby Meereenese, he also looked as odd as Mace did in Braavos.

      Doesn’t the preview for next week show Tyrion in the great pyramid and he here’s a thump on the roof which is probably Dany/Drogon?

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    22. Jack Bauer 24,
      Yes it does. I was speaking of the thumbnail for that video. The image/scene I spoke of does not appear in the preview. The thumbnail for episode 5 had the children of forest from Bran’s vision, but it was also not part of the preview.

      ETA: I’m not confident it is Dany/dragons that cause the chandelier to shake, but some trebuchet action from the harpies.

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    23. Stirring things: Sansa is this season’s “unexpected Stark death” – in episode 10.

      I doubt it. They’d get so much shit from people, after having her come into her own after all of last season’s rape controversy, just to kill her off when she does. And they would probably deserve that heat, frankly. Besides, didn’t Sophie let it slip that she survives this season? Rickon, however, I feel is probably a goner.

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    24. aabe:
      RosanaZugey,

      They did, when they were counting men in the camp. House Hornwood has already joined the Stark army (off-screen).

      Ah. Ok. Thank you. I didn’t really hear what Jon was saying because people (in my house) were talking during that scene (I know…I should have kicked them all out. ? Freaking peeps have a knack for talking during the Sansa/Jon scenes. *Grumbles* ?) Thanks for letting me know.

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    25. Ravyn: I doubt it. They’d get so much shit from people, after having her come into her own after all of last season’s rape controversy, just to kill her off when she does. And they would probably deserve that heat, frankly. Besides, didn’t Sophie let it slip that she survives this season? Rickon, however, I feel is probably a goner.

      Yeah. She said she read through the scrips and saw “death…death…death” but she was ok.

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    26. Loved the episode .

      Loved the actress who played lyanna mormont..a lot of talents in child actors she did an amazing job like young cersei did last season ..loves the look on Jon face when she said how many men she has got .

      Loved that sandor is back and bronn and blackfish is back and get to ian mcshane in GOT .

      Arya definitely had an idea and she was prepared for the attack..

      The cinematgrophy for this has been brilliant than previous seasons.

      Two episodes without peter dinklage .color me surprised I thought that will never happen ..looks like we will be not having dany next episode which means no Emilia for 2 consecutive episodes as well ..if she didn’t appear in next then I think episode 9 will be like hard home..because no way she is going to appear only in 6 episodes ..

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    27. quick take – despite the lack of the speech I thought overall this episode was full of great dialogue. I’m a little dussapointex it wasn’t there but the dialogue we had was still great. Very good episode overall. I hope arya lives.

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    28. Rory. Ian. Bella. Triple threat.

      I do hope that the demise of Sandor’s new family doesn’t simply plunk him back to his old Hound.

      I’ve missed that voice for 2 years. Benjen, now Sandy, happy me.

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    29. Baby Bear Bella seems to be going to war alongside everyone else, right? We’ll get to see her in the next two episodes, I’m hoping. Please don’t kill Baby Bear.

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    30. I don’t think it was coincidence that the Hound & Arya scenes were back-to-back. ROAD TRRRIP!
      So we’ve had 2 awesome Lyannas this season.

      Lyanna #3 has some big shoes to fill.

      Apparently if your having trouble with a recalcitrant adolescent girl call in Davos Seaworth; he’s the Teenager whisperer. (perhaps we can get him to talk to Tommen, yes?)

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    31. aabe,

      oh yes:

      Olenna: the people despise you … you are surrounded by enemies … thousands of them … you’ve lost Cersei

      Only one thing left to do … burn them all

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    32. It seems there are more than usual that really didn’t like this episode. For me it wasn’t anything outstanding, but still quite enjoyable. I think many of the shots were pleasingly cinematic, I’m happy to find out Margaery is bluffing and who didn’t love her conversation with grandma plus Olena/Cercei was good dialogue. The Blackfish was perfect, Jamie got knock down a little peg for a moment, we got a good feeling for how the rallying is going in the north, nice introduction to Lyanna M and Glover house. I could have done without the long Hound scenes though I did like the little speech about the gods. Even a little thing like Wun wun standing up for Jon, which I didn’t expect. Next week looks awesomely action packed though!

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    33. aabe,

      I know they can fling stuff quite a way but, THAT far? From the base of a pyramid to the top? And a projectile big/heavy enough to make the stones wobble? HTF would you move something capable of throwing stones that big thru the city unseen? I would think/hope that the unsullied would stop the agitators (for lack of a better word)

      Loose dragons nomming on the populace at random would rekindle war in the city though…

      or Tyrions’ buddy from the dragonpit came looking for him “you order an Uber back to King’s Landing?”

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    34. DireWolfHeart,

      Loose dragons nomming on the populace at random would rekindle war in the city though…

      Yes, the two finally took the bait and left the lair … would be so awesome … not for the people … but it would be interesting to see what happens next re dragons and riders

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    35. nandydrew,

      I think they had to quickly go though a transformation from pacifist-like hound to revenge-minded hound and one who is focused on the BwB. Plus they gave us the show version of the Broken Man speech. Maybe a harbinger for Jon if he sees Rickon slain … the Hound was all but dead … Jon died …

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    36. RosanaZugey,

      Yeah we are just greedy little shits. Um, thanks for putting us in our place?

      But… really? Lighten up a little would ya? That kinda pissed me off cause there’s no reason to be so hostile toward people who had only expressed a subjective, impersonal opinion.

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    37. The Manderlys were mentioned a couple times this episode, so when Sansa was writing her letter my first thought was that they may be bringing the Manderlys into the show. I hope they do, but it was most likely that the message was to Little Finger.

      I’m not liking the idea of the BwB now going around murdering innocents.

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    38. Didn’t miss for one second either Evil Overlord Ramsay or another Boring-Meereen-Politics-Discussion-To-Justify-Tyrion

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    39. I just re-watched the cold open again. What an amazing scene, just the combination of those beautiful shots overlayed with Ramen’s score, culminating in the return of the Hound. It was awesome.

      I finally went back and read Ian McShane’s comments and all I have to say is lol.

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    40. RosanaZugey,

      Maybe the other houses are left for the next episode.

      there was also a casting call for a Manderley type character, whose speech will lead to people changing allegience. This has yet to happen. Plus, Davos coming upon Shireen’s pyre?

      All this could be in the next episode.

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    41. Pigeon:
      Rory. Ian. Bella. Triple threat.

      I do hope that the demise of Sandor’s new family doesn’t simply plunk him back to his old Hound.

      I’ve missed that voice for 2 years. Benjen, now Sandy, happy me.

      I am beyond excited to have Sandor back and while it’s easy to think with him grabbing that axe that “The Hound” is back too, it just feels like it will be different. The band of outlaws just killed innocent, unarmed people. In the past, The Hound wouldn’t have given it much thought. It’s a consequence of war. I am kind of feeling like Sandor might be the one to defend the “weak” against these people. He will get vengeance for Brother Ray and save others from that fate.
      It’s a satisfying contrast to his line in the book about “The Gods made the weak for the strong to play with…”.

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    42. Is it possible Arya put her face on someone else? I guess they would have left it with her drowned in the water then and not had her walking around with the gut wounds if that’s what it was. Or was the real Arya watching and then faked the wounds to match and then is now waiting for the Waif to come back to finish the job? That’s too convoluted.

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    43. I would like to express my satisfaction how Jaime’s horse, (named Honor in the books) held his head high when Jaime was riding to the Frey camp.

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    44. What if Arya pulled a switch on the Waif? I know this is probably far-fetched, but imagine that Ayra has somehow given her appearance to the younger, jealous, murderous actress from the troupe. It would explain why she was stumbling around, truly shocked at being stabbed and at bleeding. She looked baffled…. and the last we saw of Arya last week, she was hidden away, prepping for the attack she *knew* was coming. Where was needle? Staring out in the open? No. I don’t buy it for a moment.

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    45. nandydrew:
      RosanaZugey,

      I agree…I wondered why so much screen time for the hound…is this another twust we know nothing of & why would he be important…?

      Everytime I would complain about “ANOTHER” Hound scene, my friend kept saying, “This has to be important. HE has to be important somehow if they’re bringing him back and giving him so much screen time.” I agree with her that he has to be important somehow. And I’m thinking that it might have more to do with the Brotherhood Without Banners than “CleganeBowl” (obligatory: “GET HYPE!!!”). But how, and in what capacity, I’m not sure. Your guess is as good (if not better) than mine.

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    46. Ren Snow,

      Seriously. Mereen has been hit or miss, but I’ve hated mostly everything in Winterfell with the exception of Smalljon Umber’s visit.

      -Ramsey eulogizing Myranda: crap
      -Ramsey’s ensuing chat with Roose: crap
      -Ramsey murdering Roose: crap
      -Ramsey murdering Walda: crap
      -Ramsey murdering Osha: crap

      Just have someone kill Ramsey and be done with it already.

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    47. I’ve watched the Arya scene many times. While she was acting a little different, not to mention really nonchalant prior to the attack, I’m not ready to say anything ‘goofy’ was going on. She took three wounds, a slash and two stabs, with the second being a bad one. I think she finds help and is recovering when the Waif sees her again. That’s when she runs, jumps off the building and eventually finishes the Waif, all while still injured. That explains the trailer image we believe is her arm and smearing blood on a wall. That’s what I’m going with until proven differently – none of the someone else is wearing her face stuff. I could believe a dream sequence, but that’s a total f-you to the viewers.

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    48. I agree with others…the opening blacksmith shot was cruel and unusual punishment.
      – Good speculation from all! I am happy that the Hound dominated this “Broken Man” episode.
      – My expectations were too high for the “Broken Man” speech but it was good to see McShane interact with McCann
      – Still wondering how/if the BwB have become truly disjoint with a serrated agenda. Hmmmmm….something needs to connect the dots here.
      – KL was excellent! Marg is mesmerizing and the Cersei and QoT interaction was quite enjoyable. I can see fire in Cersei’s eyes already
      – Wun Wun makes my day everytime! Great integration
      – Surprised by House Mormont and Lyanna. Children are integrated so well on this show
      – The House Glover interaction was very satisfying and insightful
      – Jon and Sansa aren’t a very solid team yet. Was Sansa’s letter really written to LF or another? Are LF’s earlier remarks starting to fester within Sansa?
      – Great adaptation at RR, to include Edmure’s treatment and the BF-JL parley. All I needed to hear was “Kingslayer”, “Blackfish” and “without Arya or Sansa, are you resuming your role as prisoner then?” (paraphrasing) and I was good.
      – Such Ironborn silliness. I really want R&V to burn their fleet.
      – Arya wasn’t acting very “No One”ish or “Arya”ish and the Waif definitely wasn’t intending to limit the suffering. Hmmmmm. Not all is what it seems…

      Good episode. Last three eps should be spectacular.

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    49. kells: I am beyond excited to have Sandor back and while it’s easy to think with him grabbing that axe that “The Hound” is back too, it just feels like it will be different. The band of outlaws just killed innocent, unarmed people. In the past, The Hound wouldn’t have given it much thought. It’s a consequence of war. I am kind of feeling like Sandor might be the one to defend the “weak” against these people. He will get vengeance for Brother Ray and save others from that fate.
      It’s a satisfying contrast to his line in the book about “The Gods made the weak for the strong to play with…”.

      Very nicely said! 🙂 And true enough, I wouldn’t mind seeing him swinging that axe around a bit. 😉

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    50. I just thought of something (I haven’t read all of the comments, so maybe someone else has come up with this already). Maybe the Broken Men speech could be one of the “History and Lore” videos this season. It would be perfect for that.

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    51. I thought Sansa was supposed to be a master player this season. She is either a total idiot or she is really playing Jon. She does not trust Davos, the man responsible for Jon being alive and then turns around and trusts LF’s info and asks LF for help. After knowing everything LF has done to her and the Arryns. It’s almost like she is trying to drive a wedge between Jon and Davos while at the same time trying to get LF’s help behind Jon’s back.

      And her keeping vital info about a large Vale army from Jon and then berating him for fighting with less men is totally selfish. Why can’t she give him that info and then see what decision he makes? Jon is making decisions based on the limited information he has. Sansa is deliberately limiting that info and his options. I suspect this will be to gain the upper hand over Jon after the battle.

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    52. Loved all the north storylines, as well as KL storyline and the Hound being back.

      But, disappointed and confused with the Arya storyline. Arya has been training with the FM now for weeks, months, may even be years. What was she doing walking around streets of Bravos completely relaxed and unaware? With all her training and experience with the FM, with the warning from Jacen that there will be no third chance, shouldn’t she have been in disguise or hiding or atleast using some stealth? The waif took her completely by surprise. What was the point of all that training and hard work, if the first enemy you face manages to get you and stab you? Aria has been one of my favorite story lines, with Maise among my top favorite actors in this series, but I just don’t get this week’s episode.

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    53. Old Nan's Pie,

      Even Victorian did it in the books in one of the free cities and it irked him but was necessary … perhaps Yara and Theon are a little less rigid than their elders.

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    54. Jack Bauer 24,

      The previews would seem to indicate that Brienne gets the book!Edmure role so he may have very limited speaking time but what happens after the castle is yielded is not clear

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    55. After watching the episode again, it’s surprising that Arya let her guard down. Didn’t she expect the faceless men coming after her? It seemed she was preparing for a fight at least, in episode 6. She better has a plan.

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    56. So watched it twice now. This episode feels like the shortest in the history of the series-but there were some amazing bits.

      The opening was wild. I’ve seen a few other people say this-but I actually looked over at my husband when it started because it was so different it didn’t feel like Westeros. The lighting-men and women smiling-it was a barn raising in the age of Aquarius and all was right with the world. 🙂 And Sandor was there carrying a tree all by himself!
      I loved it.
      Ian was fantastic-great job. I did wonder about Broken Man speech BUT Meribald gave that speech to Brienne and Pod in the books-talking about other people-people like the Hound. This Septon was tailor made for the Hound. No bull, just straight talk. The things he’d done on orders, the shame he felt in the night… Sandor can argue with anyone-but it seemed like this guy got through to him.
      Oh and I adored his Red God, Old God, who knows, but there is something bigger than us and it has plans for you. Just fantastic.
      The BWB obviously doesn’t have Beric anymore. Without the Mountain and wandering Lannister soldiers to fight they’re just criminals now.
      The Hound will sort them out–then hopefully, do something good with his skills, like kill his brother and some White Walkers (Sam? Can he borrow Heartsbane?)

      Marg confirmed her genius and broke my heart in her scenes. It’s clear she’s struggling to keep to script, but she is still playing. She was so good she got the HS to slip. He doesn’t associate himself with the “they” the poor downtrodden. He has the king and queen in his power, why should he? It was subtle, but there. And he is in every facet of their lives, even their bedroom. Marg’s face when he threatens Olenna…

      Olenna threatening to bash Unella around was great. And the rose “I’m still here, growing strong, get out of KL before you make any plans!”
      Marg almost cried when she left, and you knew she wanted to go with her. But I really do think saving Loras is her focus now. It certainly isn’t Tommen.

      Olenna and Cersei was epic. It reminded me of Tywin writing letters when she was trying to talk to him. He shot her down-you’re not as clever as you think you are-about the Tyrells actually. This scene was proof. She tried to guilt Olenna, she tried to humble herself and obligate Olenna–nothing worked. “I don’t know if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met” OMG yes-Queen of Thorns can read my mind. And Cersei was shaking like a rage terrier. She is about the blow and I’m kind of looking forward to it.

      In the Riverlands, Jamie finally got to use his golden hand to pimp slap someone-and every word out of Bronn’s mouth is classic Bronn and perfect. Edmure has fallen into the Princess Bride “I’ll most likely kill you in the morning” and Blackfish isn’t remotely impressed with any of it.

      Arya. That can’t be Arya right? Wtf were all those training montages for if she’s just going to hang out on a bridge in broad daylight without a weapon and wait to be stabbed? This has to be a plan. But…that’s a lot of blood for a plan. And the Waif? Failed her test. She’s a hateful brat. That can’t be what the FM are. The twisting of the knife was very significant.

      The North
      Wildings are the best. Tormund’s speech finally acknowledges that yes, Jon DIED for you, remember?
      Lyanna Mormont needs to rule the world. And Davos needs to be the Hand of whoever rules the world, because he is brilliant.
      The Glovers scene showed the truth behind the last few years. War and betrayal, loss and exhaustion–they aren’t going to follow blindly just because they hear the name Stark.
      I need someone to smack Jon a little and get him out of this slump. He’s still shaken up-it’s obvious-and he needs to remember who he is.
      I’m not saying Sansa’s evil or anything so don’t shoot the messenger, but she is being incredibly rude to Davos–who has thrown himself 100 percent into her battle. You can’t deny she’s coming off as a bit entitled. But she is getting a rude awakening that the North from her memory has been just as abused as she’s been-and it’s changed.
      And I get that Jon saying this is it, this is what we have, made her panic. She is desperate to get her home away from Ramsay and to finally have control over her life.
      But is she really not going to tell him about LF? It’s looking more and more like she’s going to let Jon lose people loyal to him and let LF do LF-wherein the Vale swoops in and saves the day at the last minute and he looks great and loses very little-because that’s how he rolls.
      I hope I’m wrong. The start of this season was perfect for Sansa, but the last person she should be hiding info from is her brother. And the last person she should be trying to handle one on one is LF–because he always has something up his sleeve.

      On a side note: I’ve been so surprised at her lack of surprise. She didn’t react to army of the dead or Jon resurrection or Wun Wun? Am I the only one that finds that odd? IS she just continuously freaking out off screen?

      Yara’s moment with Theon was genuine and really well done imo

      Last bit
      The preview made me angry-and it’s all Jaime’s fault. I might be breaking up with him and voting for Tormund instead. Someone please tell him his sister is crazy so he can hop back on redemption road.

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    57. Davos was right a few episodes ago when he said men will only back you in war they think they can win. That Glover House? He kept insisting on how much men Jon had, but clearly didnt think Wildings were strong enough to beat the Boltons and used that as the final excuse as to why he wouldnt join them. They fear the Boltons, which is why he said “Id be skinned just for talking to you.” Wonder how his tune changes when/if the Vale shows up with their troops.

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    58. I think those outlaws are like 3rd gen BwB. They’ve gone from being well meaning initially to a darker group with the effects of war and turnover of personal. This lot is brutal.

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    59. Still baffled by Arya. What if Jaqen was being Arya to really test the Waif? Still doesn’t explain that surreal wounded walk through the townspeople. Very strange!

      However, hurray for the Hound!

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    60. Can someone help me with filming spoilers?

      does anyone remember which casting call seems to match House Glover? Because I would hope this is not the last we’ve seen of him – does he match the description of someone with more than one scene? It was just such a powerful scene that I can’t imagine that’s it. Is it possible HE is the one who switches sides?
      Also it’s starting to look more likely to me that the Northern lords meet AFTER the battle. It doesn’t seem like Jon is going to meet more people next episode – hopefully he’s dealing with the Vale info – so any other lords I’d think would come after, after he wins??

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    61. In regards to the “does Arya have something planned and is just playing the Waif” argument, I have to tend to think that she does even though it’s hard to imagine that that stabbing was faked. Besides the fact that Arya would be uncharacteristically dumb for not having her guard up at such a time, the only concrete evidence I have is that in the next trailer we see

      she’s doing the infamous jump we’ve been waiting for. How is she running and jumping after taking multiple stabs to the gut?

      Also if Arya leaves Braavos with out having considerable more skill and knowledge than she arrived with and that she can’t even best the Waif without it being a close thing, it would seem like a waste of two seasons. I feel like she is going to best the Waif in a clever way.

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    62. Yeah I was hoping for an end where he would dig all their graves, aka the Gravedigger but a sense that unlike the Hound, Sandor does believe in some small acts of generosity, but I understand the symbolism of “having an axe to grind” literally

      The Waif would be an expert micr-stabber, knows where to stab to get a fatal wound that will take a long time, knows where to twist the knife to get suffering. Think that will be her undoing

      What really struck me of course is Arya wasn’t carrying Needle with her in any of these scenes…

      Great episode for exploring the thematics of Broken Men. Whether this is BwB or a splinter group (great having Lem Lemoncloak in there given he now has the Hounds helmet in the books) or even outright imposters, great it is hinting at the BwB being broken men despite the fact they may be rallying the smallfolk against the Freys as well?

      Great setup for having the Starks right at the same camp as Stannis, we are set for some serious drama next week methinks

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    63. Ravyn,

      No, it’ll be a miscarriage or birth scene…. I’m saying she’s preggo and I don’t mean Italian!

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    64. That… that has now become one of my favorite episodes. SANDOR!!!! I’m SO goddamn happy he was shown within the first few minutes of the opening!!!! I cheered! I hugged my dog (that’s his namesake)! I was expecting some end scene with a slow reveal of his return but NOPE! We got it straight away and I’m so pleased.

      I don’t think they read this stuff but THANK YOU David, Dan, Bryan, and of course the director Mark. I loved this episode. Cannot wait to see the next!

      Yara and Theon had me crying like a damn baby again. I hope they get that pact with Dany. Bella was perfect for the role of Lyanna Mormont. That kid is a badass! Her voice reminded me of another child actor and I can’t quite place it. Anyway I’m not one for long ramblings but yeah I freaking loved this episode.

      Wun Wun: “Snow…” Ah, so great 🙂

      The only thing that I was kinda on the fence about was the Arya scene. Jeez, I don’t know how she’s going to survive all those stabbings. I thought it went by a bit quick. Of course the “No One” episode coming up might make up for that. Maisie was brilliant as always though.

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    65. ygritte:
      RosanaZugey,

      Yeah we are just greedy little shits. Um, thanks for putting us in our place?

      But… really? Lighten up a little would ya? That kinda pissed me off cause there’s no reason to be so hostile toward people who had only expressed a subjective, impersonal opinion.

      Although the choice of words would seem to suggest otherwise, I honestly wasn’t trying to be a bitch in the previous comment or make judgments on anyone’s personal character. It really just upsets me that in the RARE RARE moments this show gives Sansa to be something more than a victim, or someone else’s pawn, that those moments would be frowned upon or taken as some affront to the dignity and importance of another character. Everyone watching this show understands the importance of Jon. He has been…and will be…the ‘hero’ of the story. He’s the “Song of Ice and Fire”, Azor Ahai, R+L=J, etc, etc. His role and his importance in this saga has already been accepted and he’s beloved for it. He is a ‘main character’ and no one is going to take that from him, least of all Sansa. So, why not let someone else shine for a minute or two? Why not let the fans of another character have a moment or two to see HER develop and become something more than a victim, or someone else’s “fucktoy” (literally). This development is 6 seasons in the making. Like…give us that, please. Because we’ve waited a long time for this.

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    66. Nadia:
      Can someone help me with filming spoilers?

      Do seem to recall something about a stirring speech, though that may be Manderly (here’s hoping)

      It is possible that as we’ve had a Kingsmoot, a Khalsmoot so we’ll get a Lordsmoot perhaps?

      What Lord Glover said was perfectly legitimate, so even as a Stark fan I loved that scene despite him saying no etc, there is a possibility he could change sides, eg it mirrors this idea that Sandor is dead but then he comes back roaring with a vengeance and an axe to grind!

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    67. I read this in a review … interesting

      Also the walk mirrors Cersei’s walk of atonement last season. Arya is the subject to some of the same frosty, callous stares. And what does she have to atone for? Did you forget? She left the Hound dying from his wounds when he was begging for mercy.

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    68. Since I didn’t see Stannis beheaded by Brienne I’ll assume he’s still alive and that the vision of Melisandre’s victory she foresaw will come to play. Maybe he comes in to save the day with an army of his own.

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    69. Clob: I could believe a dream sequence, but that’s a total f-you to the viewers.

      Unless that’s just the first part of her dream, and in the second part she suddenly

      starts dreaming she’s a wolf running through the woods! 😉

      Yeah, I’ve been thinking about the Arya scene a lot, and like so many others, think something is just not adding up.

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    70. Was it just me or is it possible the Lannister army will take up for the Starks? They made a big deal about showing their strength and mentioning their numbers. Maybe Brianne will inspire Jamie next week.

      Also, about Arya, where did she get the bags of gold? WTF is going on in Braavos? Why is she wandering around without Needle?

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    71. Lady Mormont is very pwerfully symbolically

      Not just because “I raise your 20 good men and give you 62” with all that comes with it lol

      But it’s to do with the letter, eg do the Starks come back as Lords, Wardens or do they come back as Kings (and Queens) so it is an up yours to Tommen as much as it is to Ramsay

      This is an important twin to the Blackfish, eg Jaimie tells Blackfish that as a Tully he is “trespassing” in Riverrun according to Tommen

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    72. Pretty dull episode to be honest. Much of it dedicated to the Hound, lets hope its worth it. What gets me most is how the show continue to eff up Arya’s story line.

      The last few weeks they made her go from a blind girl who beat the waif to a non-blind girl who got humiliated by the waif, throwing away development for supposed ‘drama’.

      Its the same once again, sadly. Last week we see Arya recognizing the possibility of the FM coming after her and going to isolation with her needle preparing for the worst. But now all of a sudden, she gets a makeover, its all forgotten and she’s roaming around Braavos freely with little hint of worry. Worst of all she puts on a ‘Surprise face’ when the Waif stabs her…..

      Like wtf? A little bit of continuity and consistency would be appreciated.

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    73. Sansa? She is acting like a teenage girl hiding the identity of her secret-crush from her friends. She really needs to stop this bullshitting and come clean. They are marching for war where their lives are at stake ffs!

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    74. I go back and forth on being totally optimistic and really cranky about Sansa lying to Jon. I can rationalize why she’s doing it, but it’s mostly feeling like stupid drama UNTIL she tells him.

      But I think he’s going to be really frustrated with her. He wasn’t happy with her when she spoke up with Glover and you could tell he was really irritated with how snarky she was being to Davos. In some ways, the things about their personalities that would make them not get along came out, especially with Sansa being a little high and mighty and Jon being stubborn. I don’t think he’s going to be happy that she lied, regardless of whether he accepts Vale help. We got our happy Stark scenes but as Sophie has made very clear, she’s going to do what she thinks is right vs. Jon and Davos, and Jon isn’t going to be happy.

      I wonder how much he’ll trust her even if she tells him the truth, even if in episode 8 she says “ok so I lied I met with LF about the Vale army but I turned it down and lied to you about it and then I lied again and reached out to him but great news I have an army!” I’m sure he’ll be pissed, but he’ll also rightfully ask at what cost this all came at, and the fact that he wasn’t consulted is going to feel wrong to him.

      And like I’ve posted before, in the end Sansa’s story isn’t with Jon, it’s with LF. She’s nowhere near Jon and most importantly there’s zero chance of her getting to Winterfell in the books. So unless D&D have said fuck it all, I don’t think the Jon/Sansa team is staying together. She maybe goes off South with LF while Jon stays North, because I don’t think her story is to sit in Winterfell. I just hope they part well if that happens.

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    75. I really enjoyed this solid episode, even if I am admittedly more excited for the bloodbath that is to come next week. The music was on point for Sandor’s storyline, that idyllic sense that something horrible was going to happen about any second now.

      Lyanna Mormont might be my new favorite contender for the Iron Throne. She’s a badass ten-year-old, even if there is a hint of tragedy at the circumstances that brought her to that chair. i like the slight resentment the show is bringing forth on why not everyone is fawning over the Starks like the audience generally does. It makes quite a bit of sense and helps ground the story, honestly. Thoughts

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    76. Absolutely stoked to have the Hound back! McShane (unsurprisingly) crushed it as Ray. Personally I would have loved a bit more direct a version of the Broken Men speech, especially considering how much screen time the Hound and Co got. Although I guess the overall effect was pretty similar, just lacked the same kind of punch.

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    77. ghost of winterfell:
      RosanaZugey,

      Maybe the other houses are left for the next episode.

      All this could be in the next episode.

      The Manderly thing really has me wondering. To my recollection, they’ve name dropped Manderly 3-4 times this season. Would seem appropriate to have him in the show, but I don’t recall their banners being in any of the battlefield pictures (from filming) or in the battlefield scenes in the trailers (then again, the Vale banners weren’t in the pictures or trailers either, and there’s a fairly good chance that they’ll be at the battle, so who knows?)

      Speaking of the Vale, tell me your opinion. Now, once again, it’s almost 90 percent certain she sent the letter to Littlefinger, so, there might not be some grand twist going on…but let’s entertain the idea that there is. How plausible is it that she sent the letter to Lord Royce, and in it, she tells him that Littlefinger is withholding the Vale troops from helping her…he’s at Moat Caitlyn with them now….please help. If he listens (because apparently, people outside of the North have more respect for the Stark name than Northerners do. Plus, that’s how she got him on her side in the first place, by using her Stark name), then she can end up with the Vale armies without having to ask LF for the help directly. Would be a pretty masterful play. Do you think that’s even remotely plausible, or is that ‘fanfic’ run amok in my head?

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    78. It is a little odd to cast McShane and then NOT do one of the best parts of Martin’s work – even just parts of it?

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    79. RosanaZugey,

      I think in this case the most straightforward answer is what we see – Sansa sees the size of Jon’s army, realizes he’s not going to ask for any more help, and then just makes the decision she needs LF. I’m not sure there’s any time for weird machinations. Plus, if she’s playing LF I’m not sure why that scene of LF in the snow.

      The letter said something like “fulfill your…” and Baelish did vow to her to make things right. At first I thought it was strange she’d sign a letter to Baelish as Sansa Stark – he knows her – but I don’t think they’d make such a big deal of Sansa writing a letter to any other random lord, since Jon already mentioned they’d sent ravens.

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    80. RosanaZugey,

      I will have to mention some Reddit spoilers we have got, I am not sure if you have followed them

      all the spoilers we have got so far, mainly on Reddit say that Sansa rides into the battle with LF. So it looks like it is LF she writes to. Besides, it has been made clear on the show that Lord Royce is more or less powerless thanks to LF’s hold on Robin Arryn. So my guess is it LF she writes to, and the reason she has not yet told Jon is she wants to be sure of obtaining the Vale army before she makes it known. I definitely don’t think she means any ill will towards Jon. I hope once she receives a reply, she makes it known to Jon, before the battle begins ,

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    81. BTW, will Ian McShane get a Curtain Call? Yeah, I know he was only in one episode, but it’s Ian McFreakingShane, and he knocked it out of the park.

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    82. Nadia:
      RosanaZugey,

      I think in this case the most straightforward answer is what we see – Sansa sees the size of Jon’s army, realizes he’s not going to ask for any more help, and then just makes the decision she needs LF. I’m not sure there’s any time for weird machinations. Plus, if she’s playing LF I’m not sure why that scene of LF in the snow.

      The letter said something like “fulfill your…” and Baelish did vow to her to make things right. At first I thought it was strange she’d sign a letter to Baelish as Sansa Stark – he knows her – but I don’t think they’d make such a big deal of Sansa writing a letter to any other random lord, since Jon already mentioned they’d sent ravens.

      So, the most obvious answer is the correct one, in your estimation? Could be, could be. I personally hope for something more than the obvious, but if that’s what I get, that’s what I get. *Sad*

      In other news, we have a death pool going on at work, and I have the High Sparrow dying next week as one of my boxes. Should I be looking forward to a win next week? 😀

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    83. Nadia,

      I think the reason they cut the broken man speech is because, in the books the speech primarily refers to common men who are the pawns of the high Lords who are busy playing their games. The show has not had time to really go into this aspect at all. So since we have never really seen the perspective of the common folk in Westeros, the speech might not have had the same impact on the show only watchers.

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    84. I wonder if the show runners in their mind have change Sansa’s slaying a giant in a castle made of snow from LF to Ramsay

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    85. Nadia,

      In the books, LF plans to unveil Sansa’s true identity after her marriage to Harry the heir, so that they can claim the North in her name. So it looks like Sansa eventually goes north in the books too?

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    86. ghost of winterfell:
      RosanaZugey,

      I will have to mention some Reddit spoilers we have got, I am not sure if you have followed them

      I don’t know that I trust Reddit spoilers. I mean, these people on Reddit have “spoilers” saying Littlefinger kills Ramsay himself in episode 10 to make it up to Sansa for leaving her with Ramsay. *Rolls eyes* Inbesides, I’ve always assumed that the shot of Sansa on the horse looking at someone with a death stare was her and Ramsay before the battle actually takes place. If she’s already on the battlefield, I don’t think she ‘rides in’ with the Vale army.

      Side note: generally speaking, a lot of the things Sophie Turner has said in her interviews have happened this season. But there’s one that I’m still ‘hmmmmmmm’ about. So, after the first episode of this season (after Brienne swears her sword to Sansa) Sophie made the comment that Brienne was the “first of many” (who would swear their swords to her). Now, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t take this episode to fit that description. So, are we still waiting to see that? And do you think it will be before or after the battle?

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    87. Nymeria Warrior Queen

      It was like Arya was wandering around hoping to flush the Waif out. But you’d think she would have Needle with her.

      Loved the Riverrun stuff but it is going to be a long week waiting for Jamie/Brienne’s reunion and finding out what GRRM intended with that cave set up.

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    88. You know someone on Youtube just pointed something out:

      “I don’t think that was Arya at all. That was Jaqen pretending to be Arya. She didn’t have needle with her. She had no scratches on her face. Jaqen asked The Waif not to make Arya suffer — and she did. The Waif has failed her test”

      I would like to believe this but I’m not holding my breath. How would he have her face without her death? I’d kind of like to see it play out as this: Arya is on the verge of death but manages to best The Waif and kill her. As Arya loses consciousness Jaqen shows up to heal her wounds, release her from HoBaW duties, and take The Waif’s corpse back to HoBaW for a facial treatment.

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    89. Arya has been hanging around observing a theatrical troupe (who fake death all the time). saved the actress’ life … who might help her get…. a good change of clothes (from the wardrobe dept?)… Arya walks around unarmed, isn’t trying to be inconspicuous .. flashing a lot of coin where plenty of people can see her… after the stabbing, she wanders about bleeding profusely, still where many people can see her.. Want to bet she was wearing a bladder with animal blood under her jerkin ?
      Remember her hand leaving a bloody trail on a wall in the trailer?

      She’s far from done.

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    90. Where was Ghost? If there was a tim to show him, they better start. It looks like D&D truly don’t like them because if they decided to to do pointless and off screen deaths of Summer and Shaggy. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ghost is one of the casualties of battle along with Tormund, Rickon as beloved characters, in Ghost case animal. If they reveal RLJ even more so bet on his death.

      Lyanna Mormont was the highlight. Such a great performance and I heard we’ll see her again later on. It makes sense as Jon, Sansa, LF must win this. Head of the House Mormont as well as the others might be at some kind of meeting. Really like Riverrun stuff and Blackfish. Somehow missing The Broken Man speech but glad to see The Hound Rory McCann back on the show and getting some revenge.

      Ramsay not in 3 episodes, Tyrion in 2 and Daeny again missing. I guess episode 9 will be 30 to 35 minutes devoted to the battle and rest for others. Jon might get with Sansa some scene in the next episode as LF seems to be meeting someone and planning the battle.

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    91. RosanaZugey,

      OK thanks for explaining where that came from. I really wasn’t sure and slightly puzzled. This fandom is very passionate, sometimes I underestimate it 🙂

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    92. After watching the ep twice, and contemplating the comments here, I am totally convinced that it was Jaquen playing Arya to catch the Waif at her treachery. The reactions of the Braavosi to her staggering down the street bleeding was inappropriate to the “reality” of an injured child. They practically recoiled from “Arya”–just like they did in reaction to the black “faceless man” back in season 5, “House of Black & White.”

      Can’t wait to see this played out!

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    93. Ravyn,

      It could the Vale. Maybe she’ll outsmart Littlefinger but one person on reddit said Jon will be declared King in the North by other houses after the battle and Sansa agrees to it. Not sure how reliable it is but it makes sense as Sansa will hardly lead them into war against Walkers. That is more Jon’s job.

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    94. my lod I really enjoyed it …
      I mean baby mormont was awesome ..not just the usual awesome …like extremely awesome …even greater than that …I fear for her safety though …plz don’t kill her …she is my new favorite…
      Jon was like whoa …what do I say now …hahaha….Davos saved them there ….
      woo and glover guy was intense ….I think Davos gave up as soon as he walked in…..but I agree with Jon and Davos no point hanging around now …He needs to somehow get those men to fight together it’s extremely difficult for them to win the war …which is the way I like it ……….The show runners are playing it nicely I think. …no sansa doesn’t want littlefinger …but she wants winterfell she wants revenge. ..but she knows they are not going to defeat the Boltons with that group of uncordinated …whatever it is ..It’s not an army. ..so she has to call in littlefinger ….
      she wanted to hide it …she wanted to keep littlefinger away …now I think we will see littlefinger again..He will definitely help sansa ….We also know Jon is not going to hang around winterfell even if they name him the king in the north ..Once people start listening to him he will take his army to the wall ….

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    95. Sue the Fury:
      Yeah that whole Arya-Waif scene was weird. I did consider maybe it was fake blood from the theater troupe, but the Waif was really stabbing in deep and all over, and how did Arya know that the Waif wouldn’t just slit her throat, or poison her or do something else. It doesn’t make much sense.

      Watching the episode a second time the way Maisie was directed to walk was just…off. So much so that it had to be deliberate. Why? Guess we’ll find out next week.

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    96. I know it’s realism but I don’t like the dead animal wrapped around Jon’s shoulders. It looks weird and takes me right out of the scene for a few seconds.

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    97. Little Lyanna living up to her name! The Starks should be proud. Well done!

      Khal Tommen:
      Did anyone else think the General sitting alongside Lyanna Mormont looked a lot like Stephen Dillane?

      Yes indeed! I looked twice as well.

      Nadia:
      I go back and forth on being totally optimistic and really cranky about Sansa lying to Jon. (…) But I think he’s going to be really frustrated with her.

      Not in the least because battle preparations would be totally different if Davos and Jon knew about the Knights of the Vale. They risk spreading themselves too thin and losing the battle merely because Sansa is refusing to be honest with her nephew, or half-brother, whatever. If they both come out of this I can certainly see someone bringing this scheming up in a none-too-pleased fashion.

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    98. SerNoName:
      And her keeping vital info about a large Vale army from Jon and then berating him for fighting with less men is totally selfish.

      Fewer

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    99. I’m conflicted about this episode, great stuff and bad stuff. Very nice opening, it was probably a cool reveal for unsullied. Ian McShane is amazing and I’m not going to say they wasted him, nope, great actors might be busy, if they are willing to come for a couple of days on set, than why not??? I also liked a lot the Wildlings scene, cool characters, Wun Wun. Not so much the scenes with the Mormonts and Glovers… what the hell was their plan?? They expected for these houses to fight for a Snow and a Bolton?? why not push the Rickon card, the White Walkers?? Anything… I don’t know, when Jon said that they need a united North for the war to come and that with the Boltons there it’s divided…. I was expecting Lyanna to say: “than why not unite under the Boltons”?? 🙂 Honestly, that would make sense, knowing what’s coming… they are the ones starting a devastating war that will leave the North destroyed… but whatever.

      As for the Volantis scene, as I said good stuff, bad stuff. Alfie Allen is such a great actor, he sells everything he’s given. Why does Yara need her brother? she didn’t before in Season 2. Why make her gay? That’s supposed to be empowering in some way?? Wasn’t it better the way Asha was? that she could have any man in her fleet, that all desired her…

      Anyway, my biggest problem is with The Hound scenes. Was it a great speech in the books? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we needed to have it in the show, not really. Not to mention that if Meribald officiated a wedding as a septon…. we might get him in Season 7. That’s not what annoys me. Why is Sandor 2.0 exactly as the Sandor from previous seasons?? He think the same, acts the same… it’s just as if he took a break. And what was the point of these scenes?? is the message that revenge and violence is the answer?? That’s what it seems like. Why were all those people murdered?? Outlaws aren’t exactly mass murderers…. or were they wiped out because they believed in the Seven, and not Rhllor??? Confusing.

      I also think they missed a great opportunity to connect this with the Faith. From the scenes in King’s Landing it was clear that grandpa is a villain, he threatened Olenna because she’s a woman with power?? He’s overly ambitious…. well, what if Ray had a few lines about KL? That people flock to the faith because of the war, because the nobles don’t protect them from outlaws…. something like that. It would have made the High Septon a little controversial, a little grayer.

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    100. Also theon and yara scene was really nice ….and bronn was back ..I was like yasssss when bronn showed up ….
      not much to say about the hound he showed glimpses of the old hound ,, looks like he has even larger role to play then we think and was really surprised the way the episode started …
      Freys are total idiots …it’ll be fun to see them die
      so much to talk about in effectively a 48 minutes episode ….
      …let me take some oxygen ..
      qot was at her usual best ..and that smile at the end of her first scene …..was of relief more then anything .she trusts Margaery but I’m not so sure ..that cult Pope is extremely smart ..but she made the right choice to leave ….she really summed it up for cersei ….so I like this episode ??
      no …..I love it ….really really love it
      I am done ranking episodes it makes no sense to me anymore ….
      mvp of the episode is lyanna mormont. … Ian mcshane was great but I won’t remember him being there for long …

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    101. Absolutly loved the episode!!

      I know I’ll be in a minority but I liked Rays speech much better then the one in the books. Amazing acting from McShane, just amazing.

      Sandor is back!! Lyanna Mormont!! Amazing episode. a 5/5 from me.

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    102. RosanaZugey,

      I do not recall what Sophie said exactly, what I vaguely remember is her saying Brienne was the first of the people who Sansa would gather around her to do what she wants to do. I don’t think anybody else is swearing their swords to her, unless there is another recruitment drive, this time involving the Manderlys and they are more receptive of the Starks. But I am doubtful of this happening.

      Geralt of Rivia,

      That person has proven to be extremely reliable in everything he has said so far, so I assume he will be right about the coming episodes too.

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    103. Vlad,

      Jon mentioned to Mormonts Rickon and White Walkers along with Davos. Their response was unclear but she pledged their House to them so she might believe in it at least slightly. Thanks to Jeor Mormont name being said. Glover scene with them was more about Wildling issue and Robb’s mistake. It’s not like people will start to believe there are White Walkers and marching on the Wall. Wildlings are more of a issues than the Boltons because while Boltons bertrayd them, Robb had a hand in it too.

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    104. SerNoName:
      I thought Sansa was supposed to be a master player this season. She is either a total idiot or she is really playing Jon. She does not trust Davos, the man responsible for Jon being alive and then turns around and trusts LF’s info and asks LF for help. After knowing everything LF has done to her and the Arryns. It’s almost like she is trying to drive a wedge between Jon and Davos while at the same time trying to get LF’s help behind Jon’s back.

      And her keeping vital info about a large Vale army from Jon and then berating him for fighting with less men is totally selfish. Why can’t she give him that info and then see what decision he makes? Jon is making decisions based on the limited information he has. Sansa is deliberately limiting that info and his options. I suspect this will be to gain the upper hand over Jon after the battle.

      Sansa actually has very little idea of exactly what LF has done to her family its only really the audience who are wholly aware. But she’ll find out soon enough I suspect and it’ll be the end of LF.

      She doesn’t trust Davos for reasons she explained (pretty well IMO and she made a damn good point) and also because, ya know, she kinda doesn’t trust anyone after the horrors that have happened to her- can’t say I blame the girl for that.

      She’s clearly concerned about the lack of men they have, and expressed these concerns and is seeking the aid of the Vale by asking LF for help because she has no other choice. Not because she’s trying to drive wedges or betray her brother- why on earth would she want to do that when their very survival is at stake? She’s trying to save the day as best she can, I admit I don’t really understand the secrecy (yet) but I’m sure there’ll be a reason for this that we aren’t yet aware of. It’s clearly a very bitter pill for her to swallow.

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    105. Clob,

      I’m still very confused abut the Arya scene. Her behaviour is a little different, as is the hair and she isn’t carrying Needle, so in that sense I would suspect a switcheroo. BUT… why would anyone change faces with Arya to be killed like that? And would an innocent victim and an untrained person be capable of back-headbutting the Waif and escaping by jumping in the water?

      The FM don’t know that Arya has Needle, so it would explain a patsy to take the fall… and where the Hell would the real Arya leave Needle in storage. And most importantly: WHY? The last time we saw her in the previous episode, she even took Needle with her to bed. She wouldn’t leave Needle behind, especially in a strange and potentially hostile city as Braavos.

      About the wounds: one slash (we never saw the damage / cut and how deep it was) and two bad, deep penetrating abdominal wounds. The last one, with the twist, is very grave indeed. It was a small blade though, compared to the knife that Ellaria used to stab Doran. (although it doesn’t seem to make sense that a big, muscular guy like Areo Hotah would go down without a fight from one stab wound and here a tiny girl would survive three wounds). Abdominal wounds bleed heavily and it can take a person a long time to die from. The Waif’s desire to draw out Arya’s death might just be the thing that saves her. Blood loss and shock would quickly do her in, though. As would infection from polluted water (the canals of Braavos aren’t probably the cleanest). They kinda overdid it with these wounds, because they would – realistically – be fatal, barring a Deus ex Machina. But hey, if Sandor Clegane can survive his wounds…

      So, the first thing I’m thinking of is: bad writing / plot hole (unlikely, but it has to be taken into consideration *cough* Dorne *cough*). Otherwise, ther are two options: it was the real Arya or a decoy / patsy.
      Either a Arya that is very naive and lets herself get stabbed without her own beloved weapon present, or it was someone else (“no one”). Along those last lines: maybe Jacqen could be behind it, perhaps to find out if The Waif would try to make Arya suffer – as a test?) I have thought about the possibility that someone requesting The Gift at the House of Black and White was asked to stand in for Arya. But wouldn’t that person just collapse and be satisfied with death? Every scenario seems unconvincing and unrealistic. Survival for Arya seems assured anyway. Her entire plotline would be quite pointless if she would die now.
      There is more than meets the eye here and that in itself is exciting. We’ll probably find out right away next week, since the episode is called No One and we got a glimpse of a startled looking Waif.

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    106. “I’m stoked for the show to have Yara be interested in women. It’s not important to the plot but I appreciate it.”

      AV Club’s unsullied reviewer thinks Daenerys might marry Yara…

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    107. Cersei wanted Jaime out of King’s Landing for a reason.
      Margeary wanted Olenna out of King’s Landing for a reason.
      Both women have a plan.
      I would love to see them working together in secret against the High Sparrow, now that they have a common enemy.
      Maybe Margeary will accept the offer Olenna declined.

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    108. Nadia: the idea that there is. How plausible is it that she sent the letter to Lord Royce, and in it, she tells him that Littlefinger is withholding the Vale troops from helping her…he’s at Moat Caitlyn with them now….please help.

      The broken man speech is far too long for a 51 minute episode, the audience would get border very quickly, and also it had little relevance to the Ray character (remember this guy isn’t Septon Meribald) or indeed show Sandor. So I can totally see why they left it out.

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    109. Just a friendly reminder that the Hound hasn’t ”repented/changed” in the books.
      We simply see him digging graves, just like we see him here helping the people build the sept.

      We have no idea what he thinks.

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    110. SoCalGal:
      Loved all the north storylines, as well as KL storyline and the Hound being back.

      But, disappointed and confused with the Arya storyline.Arya has been training with the FM now for weeks, months, may even be years.What was she doing walking around streets of Bravos completely relaxed and unaware?With all her training and experience with the FM, with the warning from Jacen that there will be no third chance, shouldn’t she have been in disguise or hiding or atleast using some stealth?The waif took her completely by surprise. What was the point of all that training and hard work, if the first enemy you face manages to get you and stab you?Aria has been one of my favorite story lines, with Maise among my top favorite actors in this series, but I just don’t get this week’s episode.

      This!

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    111. Sword of the Morning,

      Weirdly, I agree. Though I’ll put it at 50%, not 75%. With all the unlikely characters returning, and many of them from the dead, it seems like David and Dan aren’t shying away from resurrection. Maybe their whole idea was to wait for Jon to have his special moment and then open the floodgates with Benjen, the Hound, the Mountain, and Stoneheart.

      Resurrection really is a theme this season. We’re getting so many cameos, it’s crazy. There’s one that was incredibly disappointing though, and that’s Osha and Rickon. Literally nothing came out of them. Osha was simply brought back to be killed, and I’m afraid Rickon may also have.

      If they’d have given her a couple more scenes and then have Ramsay kill her, and give her a scene with Rickon as well, and Ramsay a scene with Rickon (no torture!) I would be 100% on board.

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    112. I have a bad feeling that Margaery will die in the big wildfire explosion which Cersei has planned to destroy the Sparrows. Foreshadowing from Olenna to Cersei: “You can’t kill them all yourself.” Oh but she can, Queen of Thorns, she really can…..I wonder if Tommen will also die, at the hands of his mother, either by accident or because Cersei has lost the plot and regards his death as inevitable anyway? That would certainly be enough to turn Jamie against her forever….

      (PS: This is total speculation, of course; hopefully Margaery has a plan which gets her out of KL, but I’m convinced that big explosion we saw in Bran’s vision will turn out to be a scene they already filmed; they tend to reuse shots in visions, not make new ones).

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    113. My baby’s back! Fun episode all around. I didn’t even realise how much I’d missed Sandor and Rory. He’s still as gorgeous as ever! Also, SanSan shippers rejoice! We had a Sansa and a Sandor scene back to back, that has to mean something, right?

      Yeah, the Braavos storyline was (possibly) full of plot holes. What else is new? I don’t think much thought has been put into Arya’s storyline these past two seasons. Such a shame, loads of great potential wasted there. We could’ve had an epic Jaqen-Arya mentor/protégé relationship, but instead we got two adolescent girls bickering about, well, we don’t know yet why the Waif hates her so much. I hope Arya tricked the Waif but I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t.

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    114. In my opinion Arya being stabbed isn’t Arya. It’s actually Jaqen acting like arya, as long as he knew and basically gave permission to the waif to kill arya. This assassination-for-personal-issues isn’t typical Faceless Men lifestyle and Jaqen wanted to see if the waif would kill arya. And on top of that the waif did let her suffer despite his orders and even did the attack sloppy and on full site. The waif is going to pay for that and we all know how FM solve their issues.

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    115. RosanaZugey: The show has spent FIVE SEASONS building up Jon and making him the default “Hero Good-Guy” who does no wrong. That you guys have fits over them now building up another character who has spent those same FIVE SEASONS being shitted on by every other character seems a bit greedy.

      It is not about being greedy, it is about the storytelling. I like both Jon and Sansa as characters, but it seems like the show is struggling a bit with managing so many bigger characters together. I am not just referring to Jon and Sansa I am also referring to Melisandre and Davos. The balance was a bit better in this episode. But it feels like they are taking a long time for Jon’s character to move forward.
      Perhaps it could have been better for the development of both characters if their stories were kept apart.
      As I said for me this goes back to storytelling. Jon being stabbed to death was at the end of the season and it was the big event and climax of the season. (The same could perhaps be said of Cersei).
      He has now been resurrected for 5 episodes, and his death has served no purpose yet.
      As things stand now his death at the end of season 5 was only a moment that was added for shock value. (It is the same thing with Cersei as well, we haven’t seen any revenge, she hasn’t done anything against the faith, and her trial has seemingly be dragged to out to episode 10).

      I don’t expect Jon to suddenly become Azor Ahai and have a complete personality change, but there should at least be something he could use from that situation or that experience, and so far I haven’t seen anything yet.

      Nadia: does anyone remember which casting call seems to match House Glover? Because I would hope this is not the last we’ve seen of him – does he match the description of someone with more than one scene? It was just such a powerful scene that I can’t imagine that’s it. Is it possible HE is the one who switches sides?
      Also it’s starting to look more likely to me that the Northern lords meet AFTER the battle. It doesn’t seem like Jon is going to meet more people next episode – hopefully he’s dealing with the Vale info – so any other lords I’d think would come after, after he wins??

      I think we will see the Northern Lords such as Lord Manderly in episode 10, after the battle.

      Overall it was an enjoyable episode, it was obviously a setup episode.

      I must admit I have always been completely indifferent to the Hound. But his scenes at the start was nice, it added a different atmosphere to the usual somber Westeros. Of course it did not last very long. It was fun to see Lem Lemoncloak.

      Arya’s scenes were strange, there is obviously some mummery involved here. I do wonder if some of her scenes isn’t perhaps out of sequence.
      Last week we saw Arya retrieve needle, and then she went into a small room and waited mostly likely for the Waif. This week we saw Arya paying for a cabin upon a ship bound for Westeros.
      I wonder if the small room that we saw Arya in last week, isn’t actually the cabin aboard the ship. That means that the scene in this episode where she paid the Captain of the ship was actually earlier than last week’s scenes.
      I don’t really know what the purpose for this would be but it seem plausible.
      Perhaps the waif stole Arya’s face, she might have been jealous of the fact that Arya is a highborn Lady. Perhaps she wanted to reclaim or steal Arya’s life.
      Or she wanted to assassinate someone by using Arya’s face, iow someone Arya knew. So when “Arya” was stabbed on the bride it wasn’t really her, and Arya was really the old lady.
      I guess we’ll see next week what truly happened.

      It was good to see the Blackfish and Bronn again, both of them lived up to expectation.

      Things are certainly one big struggle up in the North. I really get the sense that Jon is bone weary. I get the feeling that he knew exactly what type of reception and answers they would receive from the bannermen. He is afterall a bastard, he is used to Lords talking down to him or looking down on him.
      But he went along and he goes through all of the motions, because someone has to do it. He seems resigned to his fate, at the moment it is almost impossible for the Stark forces to win. And if they do win things will only become more difficult with the approaching White Walkers. For Jon right now it must all seem like an impossible task, and there really isn’t anyone else who is going to step up and do something about the situation. It all seems like a lot of responsibility and an unthankful job.

      Sansa obviously doesn’t want anything to do with Littlefinger, she never wanted to use his offer of the Vale army. But after she had seen the amount of troops they were able to muster, she knows she is going to need Littlefinger’s help.
      I do understand her motivation of not wanting to get involved with Littlefinger. But I don’t think it is a good idea that she is lying to Jon.

      I am not sure it is really a good idea to antagonise Cersei that much, that is exactly what Margaery did before Cersei decided to take revenge on her by using the High Sparrow. At least Margaery is doing a good job of acting as a newly religious convert.

      Lyanna Mormont was fierce, but to me it seems a bit over the top. I am not sure a 10 year old would act like that.
      Practically every actor did a phenomenal job during this episode.

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    116. I’m still very confused abut the Arya scene. Her behaviour is a little different, as is the hair and she isn’t carrying Needle, so in that sense I would suspect a switcheroo. BUT… why would anyone change faces with Arya to be killed like that? And would an innocent victim and an untrained person be capable of back-headbutting the Waif and escaping by jumping in the water? That’s fishy as well.

      The FM don’t know that Arya has Needle, so it would explain a patsy to take the fall… and where the hell would the real Arya leave Needle in storage? And most importantly: WHY? The last time we saw her in the previous episode, she even took Needle with her to bed. She wouldn’t leave Needle behind, especially in a strange and potentially hostile city as Braavos.

      About the wounds: one slash (we never saw the damage / cut and how deep it was) and two bad, deep penetrating abdominal wounds. The last one, with the twist, is very grave indeed. It was a small blade though, compared to the knife that Ellaria used to stab Doran. (although it doesn’t seem to make sense that a big, muscular guy like Areo Hotah would go down without a fight from one stab wound and here a tiny girl would survive three wounds). Abdominal wounds bleed heavily and it can take a person a long time to die from. The Waif’s desire to draw out Arya’s death might just be the thing that saves her. Blood loss and shock would quickly do her in, though. As would infection from polluted water (the canals of Braavos aren’t probably the cleanest). They kinda overdid it with these wounds, because they would – realistically – be fatal, barring a Deus ex Machina. But hey, if Sandor Clegane can survive his wounds…

      So, the first thing I’m thinking of is: bad writing / plot hole (unlikely, but it has to be taken into consideration *cough* Dorne *cough*). Otherwise, ther are two options: it was the real Arya or a decoy / patsy.
      Either a Arya that is very naive and lets herself get stabbed without her own beloved weapon present, or it was someone else (“no one”). Along those last lines: maybe Jacqen could be behind it, perhaps to find out if The Waif would try to make Arya suffer – as a test?) I have thought about the possibility that someone requesting The Gift at the House of Black and White was asked to stand in for Arya. But wouldn’t that person just collapse and be satisfied with death? Every scenario seems unconvincing and unrealistic. Survival for Arya seems assured anyway. Her entire plotline would be quite pointless if she would die now.
      There is more than meets the eye here and that in itself is exciting. We’ll probably find out right away next week, since the episode is called No One and we got a glimpse of a startled looking Waif.

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    117. I loved this episode, and one thing in particular really stood out for me… I think this might be the first episode all season without a fart joke! Anyway, I’m bored, and have time to kill, so a few thoughts.
      1) I’m not totally on board the the BwB simply slaughtering everyone just because. I know they were devolving into a wayward band of outlaws, but this looked more like a party led by Ser Gregor than it did a few thieves with no reason to kill 30 people who weren’t fighting back.
      2) Lyanna is awesome, and Bear Island was freaking gorgeous.
      3) Jaimie gold-hand bitch slapping the Frey was wonderful.
      … and I can’t remember enough about the rest of the episode. I was partially saddened by the trailer for next week, though. Jaimie’s arc in the books is wonderful, I looked at my friend with disgust when he told me that Jaimie was becoming one of his favorite characters, and then I eventually figured out why. One of the lines in the trailer was him saying something like “I love Cersei…” and that is just depressing. He can’t move forward as a character so long as he’s still clinging to her, and the very fact that he is, makes him petty and hard to care about.

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    118. dwm,

      He’ll break from her the moment he kills her. Then in 1 scene he will have the same character development as in a entire book.

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    119. dwm:

      I looked at my friend with disgust when he told me that Jaimie was becoming one of his favorite characters

      Oh come on….

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    120. Saw Brienne’s interaction with Jamie in the preview. Just a thought: Will Brienne convince Jamie to send the Lannister army to Winterfell to help Sansa and fulfill his oath the Lady Catelyn?

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    121. Boudica:

      He has now been resurrected for 5 episodes, and his death has served no purpose yet.
      […]
      I don’t expect Jon to suddenly become Azor Ahai and have a complete personality change, but there should at least be something he could use from that situation or that experience, and so far I haven’t seen anything yet.

      His death did serve the purpose that he left the Night’s Watch, which he would have been too honourable to do otherwise.

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    122. Ren Snow:
      Didn’t miss for one second either Evil Overlord Ramsay or another Boring-Meereen-Politics-Discussion-To-Justify-Tyrion

      Same here.

        Quote  Reply

    123. Geralt of Rivia:
      I guess episode 9 will be 30 to 35 minutes devoted to the battle and rest for others. Jon might get with Sansa some scene in the next episode as LF seems to be meeting someone and planning the battle.

      I think the producers finally realized the right formula for the epic episode 9 battles. Do other storylines / set-up in the first half, do the big battle in the second half.

      Dedicating the entire episode to Blackwater in S2 worked because it was the cumulation of multiple storylines (Sansa, Cersei/Joffrey, Tyrion, and Davos/Stannis). Plus there were some secondary characters as well (Bronn & Hound, for example.) And even then they still needed to pad it a little bit.

      They tried to duplicate that in S4 with “Watchers on the Wall” and that fell a bit flat because at that point the Wall had only one major character (Jon) and one secondary character (Sam). We didn’t get enough insight in the wildings’ perspective to make that battle truly well-rounded.

      They then did the half set up, half battle formula for Hardhome, and that is widely considered to be the best episode of GoT up to this point. The other “best episode ever!” episode, the one featuring the Red Wedding, also had this same formula (although it was more 2/3 set-up, 1/3 wedding).

      That formula, I think, works better than dedicating entire episodes to one single event. So that’s what they’re going to do with Battle of the Bastards. The first half will be set-up and the second half will be the battle itself.

      My guess is that the Manderly loyalty-changing speech will be in the top half of Episode 9.

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    124. I’m guessing since they had Hound return and spent a lot of time on him then he probably is Azor Ahai, will be acquiring Valaryian steel sword and helps fight WW after going in and sweeping Sansa off her feet after she settles in the Vale and gets all kind of verbal abuse from that petulant Robin, Hound will make her forget her desire to be a lady in a castle, they’ll run off together and I think she’s probably been made sterile by Ramsay’s abuse so they’ll just adopt some of the orphans that are left after the wars. It will beauty and the beast story there. Joking.

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    125. Okay, I’m probably in the minority but one of the highlight (among many) of this episode was the Theon / Yara scene for me !
      Great acting, solid dialogue (coherent with the characters), great dynamics, fun and sad at the same time !

      Well done for that ! I can see why some might see it as superfluous but I really think it was a very strong scene !

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    126. The thing I loved about Lyanna Mormont was that as soon as Sansa tried to praise her by saying she would be a beauty, she was having none of it. Screw being pretty, my mother was a warrior! And her ‘talk to the hand’ when her maester tried to advise her again. I thought it was great – they showed that such a young lady would have influential advisors (it eminded me of Bran being ating lord at Winterfell with Maester Luwin by his side) but they still made her tough like a Mormont woman would be.

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    127. Homplomplomo: His death did serve the purpose that he left the Night’s Watch, which he would have been too honourable to do otherwise.

      I dont quite agree with that.

      In the books he decides to leave the Nights Watch by himself. It actually would have offered Jon more character development if he left the Nights Watch without a loophole.

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    128. Lyanna Mormont is the only queen I mean to bend my knee to.

      They spent a lot of time on those scenes with The Hound. I hope the payoff is good enough to justify it.

      Too bad we didn’t get a scene with House Hornwood.

      I want The Blackfish to adopt me.

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    129. ghost of winterfell: That person has proven to be extremely reliable in everything he has said so far, so I assume he will be right about the coming episodes too.

      Add the fact that Sue the Fury has done a great job of shooting down various fake spoilers that were floating around before the season started and wouldn’t / couldn’t shoot this particular set of spoilers down. That’s when I realized the Reddit guy was most likely legit.

      I feel for Sue the Fury. It can’t be easy, being essentially the “face” of GoT spoilers. She’s basically responsible for separating the chaff from the wheat in regards to GoT spoilers. I see why she shoots down fake spoilers. As we’ve seen here, people can and do become outraged about events based solely on their speculation without waiting for the events to play themselves out (see; Sansa is betraying Jon Snow and wants to seize Winterfell for herself!!!). So whenever people make up spoilers deliberately designed to piss off GoT fans, I see why Sue wants to put those flames out before they spread.

      But when legit spoilers come out that upsets the fandom, such as that Reddit spoiler, and Sue doesn’t deny it … Uh oh! That’s pretty much as good as actually confirming it.

      I don’t envy Sue her job.

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    130. Jack Bauer 24,

      Edmure will. In the preview you see he has a scene with Jaime in the tent (likely an adaptation of the scene from AFFC).

      As for the episode, I really liked it, overall, but the most exciting thing was the preview for the next episode, which shows that we didn’t get any real pay-offs. Not really a problem, but we got used to it this season. Other thoughts:
      – I’m so, so happy they included Riverrun and I loved everything about it: Blackfish vs Jaime (Clive Russell is so great!!!), Bronn, Jaime slapping Walder. The Tully’s really got to come back in a big way. Perfect. Looking forward to see it continue next week.
      – King’s Landing was excellent again, after last week. Margaery and Natalie Dormer are both great actresses. Happy to see Olenna live another day, and in the case of the show…another season. It’s telling they wanted her out of the city before whatever’s going to happen, and they have a plan for her.
      – Braavos was nice, visually, but storywise I think it’s quite empty, and they had better combined it with what’s going on in the next episode. Now it just feels a little weird.
      – As for the North, I’m never a fan of recruitment-like scenes. They’re always kind of predictably structured, which showed in the Wildling & Glover scenes. However, the scene with Lyanna Mormont was fantastic.
      – I liked the Hound story, but I must admit I was too much focused on my anticipation for the speech that I have to watch it again to really judge this part. Right now I feel it was a little too isolated, and should’ve been connected to Brienne’s story. If this scene takes place in the Vale, that wouldn’t have been possible, though.

      The next 3 episodes are going to be EPIC!!

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    131. Boudica,

      Boudica: I dont quite agree with that.

      In the books he decides to leave the Nights Watch by himself. It actually would have offered Jon more character development if he left the Nights Watch without a loophole.

      “In the books” followed by a personal opinion.

      Well, in the show, he made it very clear to Stannis he cannot leave the NW.

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    132. Boudica: I dont quite agree with that.

      I agree.

      So, when Liam Cunningham talked about a few people mucking up the parlay at Bear Island, in an interview, he was talking of Jon and Sansa, and not some random northerners as we were all guessing, lol.

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    133. jentario: With all the unlikely characters returning, and many of them from the dead, it seems like David and Dan aren’t shying away from resurrection. Maybe their whole idea was to wait for Jon to have his special moment and then open the floodgates with Benjen, the Hound, the Mountain, and Stoneheart.

      Other than Jon Snow, none of them were resurrected.

      The Mountain was gravely wounded, but healed by Qyburn last season. The show skipped that whole “send the Mountain’s skull to Dorne” section.

      Benjen disappeared and was presumed dead, but there was always the (slim) possibility he was out there alive doing his thing.

      The Hound was left for dead, but we never saw him actually die.

      Stoneheart ain’t showing up on this show.

      Jon Snow is the only legit resurrection (other than Bedric and his 6 resurrections) that D&D has done on the show.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Josh L,

      Here, here. I just want to clarify that what you referred to was not purely made up speculation but was based on cast interview and DD inside the episode comment. That said, it doesn’t take much for us to run with something. That is part of the fun of the conversation surrounding the program though 🙂

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    135. I actually disliked the way that Yara ‘was interested in women’ but acted ‘like a man’ in relation to that interest. I read that Theon stated that Ironborn women have “men’s appetites” with regard to sex, but why cater to the male gaze to demonstrate this appetite and why a sex slave and not an equal partner? Just when the feminist in me was defending the show and cheering on the kick arse women, D & D go and prove that the sex scenes and nudity are still after 6 seasons only there to titilate the fellas. The warty penis a few weeks a go was proof of that.

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    136. – Loved seeing the Hound return. Don’t see “Cleganebowl” happening anytime soon though.
      – Jon and Sansa are definitely not great at negotiations and the politics of all of this. I don’t think either of them are fit for a crown.
      – Jon continues to brood. I thought he’d return from death with some sort of spark or fire but he’s just kind of fizzling about. This is the guy who is supposed to lead the living against the dead? Something has to snap in him before that happens.
      – The tough love on Theon was hard to watch, he’s just so broken, but I saw a shade of old Theon there.
      – Cersei is going to kill a lot of people. She’s about to crack.
      – The Arya scene confused me. There’s something else going on there but I don’t have the energy to figure it out. Hopefully we get the resolution of this whole FM mess next episode.
      – Overall the episode wasn’t my favorite. Definitely my least favorite of the season. I know it’s a set-up episode, but so late in the season I just wanted more.

      Previews:
      – I’ve been waiting for Cersei to choose violence!
      – Jaime is back to old Jaime, isn’t he.
      – Dany/Drogon landing on top of the pyramid? What else could make the top of the giant pyramid shake like that?
      – Thank god the next one is a long episode.

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    137. Hello boys and grills, i dont think it was

      Arya stabbed, beacuse where in the seven hells is needle, and also, she is walking same as Jacquen.. another thing, i thing Jacqen is helping her like he did in the first place and he is testing Waif… he told her to not to make Arya suffer, and she did the opposite, so Jacquen paid Arya trip to Westeros, same as he paid her journey to Braavos in Season 4 (with a coin). So i think, and a lot of other ppl think its Jacquen testing Waif, in next episode we see Arya running and jumping, i dont think you can jump that long if you are gutted, so maybe what happens is: Waif stabs Jacqen, she realises that then she gets pissed and she chases actual Arya, then she jumps and Arya kills her, then Arya returns to Jacqen, he dies and Arya goes to Westeros, or something like that. ALSO am i only one that thinks that was Ilyrio Opatis “Arya” talked to ???

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    138. Darkrobin:
      RosanaZugey,

      House Hornwood in this episode?

      No.Did Ramsey marry Lady Hornwood

      and let her starve to death on the show as well?

      Hornwood is in the episode, you can see their sigil in the Stark army camp before Sansa writes her letter. Plus I believe they are listed among the troops.

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    139. Kellie is Coming,

      They are basically pirates! Have you seen any Husband/wife dynamic on the iron islands? People should stop trying to putting modern ‘norms’ on and a medieval fantasy story.

        Quote  Reply

    140. MG,

      Going by next week preview it looks like Cercei is going to Tommen and that’s where we saw them at season trailer in what looked like a face off. I think the boy is truly brainwashed and mom has already written him off due to her knowing he will die anyways believing in the prophecy now, on top of the loss of her most precious children has hardened her heart, the one good thing about her, love for her kids is stripped away.

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    141. Also, i need help from you, even from Sue, please.. where do i find how much episodes characters have and how much episodes last ? PLS :/

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    142. Ravyn:
      Aryamad,

      Also Jaqen is two feet taller than Arya. Changing faces doesn’t change your height and build.

      Does it? I noticed that the Waif’s hands were spotted and old in last night’s scene, so the hands change. Or perhaps that’s because the Waif didn’t change faces IRL.

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    143. IN preview of 8 they are on the water rowing and it looks like Brienne is seeing… a dragon?? What else could it be. OH and Arya is apparently death proof ya’ll. Fatal stab wounds don’t slow her down and she can leap off tall buildings, hit concrete and apparently walk it off.

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    144. I didn’t read the comments yet so if someone else already said it, it’s a case of great minds, not plagiarism: I’m calling it right now; Arya knew that the FM would come for her when she failed to kill Lady Crane. Arya *already* went to Lady Crane for help. She told her some version of “I was sent to kill you but I didn’t, because of that the people I used to work for will send someone to kill me & I need to make them think they succeeded.” Lady Crane hooks her up with some props & clothes. Arya knew FM would figure she’s headed home so they were looking for her at the docks. She knows the waif is following her so she makes a public scene out in the open and then walks away. She purposefully stopped on the bridge and she let the waif approach. She allowed the waif to attack her & left her lower torso undefended because that’s where the layers of boiled leather & bags of blood were. After the waif stabbed her up a bit Arya knocked her back and used her escape route – the canal. When she surfaced she knew the waif would come find her to take her face so she kept up the farce and staggered thru the streets back to wherever she has Needle stashed. When the waif finds the trail she’ll follow it and assuming that Arya is dead, or almost dead she’ll have her guard down a bit & that’s when Arya will attack her full-on.

      That’s my theory & I’m sticking to it until at least next Sunday.

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    145. RosanaZugey,

      And what is stopping you or me or any other fan of her from enjoying this amazing season for Sansa? A few haters on comment section of a fan site? Do you somehow believe that these few people here – or in other fan sites – actually represent a large portion of fandom when it comes to say Sansa for example? NO. People are absolutely enjoying her storyline this season and her character development, just browse through social media and see it for yourself.

      Now let’s have our fingers crossed that at the of this season she will make both of us – and rest of her true fans – proud.

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    146. El-Bobbie,

      Is Daeny better at negotiations? No and neither is Jon or Sansa but they’re learning. This is where Tyrion comes in or Davos. She would most likely start to threaten people if she was in Jon’s or Sansa’s shoes. As to whether Jon is fit to lead living against the dead. What makes you think he can’t do it or is it because of Daeny? It’s not like one person will lead them or if will it will be dissapointing. It has to be a team job, everyone coming together with couple of characters taking on leading roles.

      You want him to unleash his dragon side? Hope not or at least not now. Something will happen that will change him a bit and it could be Rickon/Ramsay. But I like this contrast of Jon and Daeny. One is passionate, impulsive and other one exact opposite more passive, pragmatic, cold. Just like Daeny is all about titles and nothing bad about it, and Jon well he doesn’t care about that. I can so see them clash over how to approach white walkers and all that. They’re good people in the heart, want good things but their approach is different. This is where Tyrion will probably play a key art.

      It can’t be Arya if she will jump like that in next episode. Maybe she stole one of the faces from tha Hall.

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    147. Mihnea:
      FlyingMonkeySoup,

      The Ramsey/Hornwood subplot doesn’t exist in the show.

      redxgod,

      Agreed.

      No saying it does. The question was asked if Hornwood was in the episode because that is who Sansa could have been writing to. Darkrobin is said no. I was pointing out, that YES, Hornwood was there, their banners were at the camp and they were specifically mentioned.

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    148. Okay someone please help me out, has that woman who’s face the Waif used appeared before because she seemed so familiar?

        Quote  Reply

    149. Another cracking episode!

      The Hound is about to f*** up some corrupted BWB members. Loved his conversations with Ian’s character. I knew he’d end up dead, a catalyst for the Hound to be reawakened, but good God let the man live for 1 more episode.

      Also loved the whole Northern plot, both Sansa and Jon getting some rude awakenings and reality checks. Glover and Sansa was intense and brilliant!
      As for her letter, whilst her plot is tied with LF, all is not is as it seems. The way signed she it, I’m veering towards Robin or Royce, or even Manderly. Kudos to her for not listening to Jon.

      Blackfish is a beast, I wil not be a happy bunny if he perishes! I pumped my fist when he reminded Jamie of his vows to Catelyn, let him know he’s a flop.

      As for Arya’s stabbing, I’m not sure it’s even her. I’ve enjoyed her arc this season as a little side-plot, but I’m just not as invested. What I did love was how close she resembled Ned and the shot of the Titan was breathtaking.

      Finally, the QoT is just precious. Her quips at Unella and Cersei were just so cutting, I was gagging. Highlight for me.

      Well done Brian Cogman, you did good.

      For everyone complaining how this ep was another set-up non-event ep, the last 3 episodes won’t disappoint. I feel it in my bones, the conclusion of this season will leave us all breathless.

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    150. ygritte:
      MG,

      Going by next week preview it looks like Cercei is going to Tommen and that’s where we saw them at season trailer in what looked like a face off. I think the boy is truly brainwashed and mom has already written him off due to her knowing he will die anyways believing in the prophecy now, on top of the loss of her most precious children has hardened her heart, the one good thing about her, love for her kids is stripped away.

      Olenna told her, she better get out of King’s Landing. Cersei said no, because of Tommen. Yes, she believes in the prophecy but Tommen is the only person in the world she still has (Jaime too but he is away). She is not leaving him. Yes, he was brainwashed but I don’t think she gave up on him.
      Also, if Margeary didn’t give Olenna the piece of paper, Olenna would have stayed there too for her grandchildren. Actually, Olenna had said the same thing to Margeary as Cersei said to Olenna.
      As for the preview. Yes, most probably Cersei is going to the throne room but I don’t think it will be a face off. In the trailer I thought that it was edited in a way as to give the impression she was coming in while he was leaving. It will be interesting.
      Also, she is yet to be charged officially. She also didn’t demand trial by combat yet.

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    151. It was out of character for Davos to say Fck sakes about the guys arguing. Also why exactly is Sansa hatin’ on the man?

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    152. I haven’t read the books but seen some comments where people were expecting a speech. I think even without the speech, ive heard from show watchers only that the scenes with the hound were too much/too long, and could have done with out some of them

      (I loved every second)

      So they had to adjust.

      ____

      Re: Arya – I am so confused. Not even sure how to speculate.

      ____
      Sansa writing to LF – 150% – and i’m so annoyed. LOL

      ____
      I have other comments but I have to say, wow, at the cinematography in this episode. We saw some amazing views and even my sister was seeing she is loving all these new images of places we are saying and they were just gorgeously made. I also loved the episode so much, and the writing and direction were superb.

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    153. ghost of winterfell,

      Regarding the other houses:

      We still haven’t seen “Boyce” or “Fletcher”, and the former was assumed by many to be Lord Cerwyn. In this episode, Sansa begs Jon to go meet with Lord Cerwyn, but he refuses. I think next episode Sansa must go off to meet with him, and I guess Manderly, herself? Which would further clear the way for her to rendezvous with the Valemen as well, since reports indicate she arrives at the battle with them.

      Boyce is “a callow young nobleman in his 20’s who has been thrust into a position of power before he is ready”, while Fletcher “has a stirring speech during which he unexpectedly shifts political allegiances”. Particularly in the latter case, I really don’t see what the point of the character would be after the battle. With the Boltons already beaten there’s not much in the way unexpected shifts of allegiance to be made. And Manderly has now been brought up several times in the show.

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    154. Hmm it was easily my least favorite episode. I do think that I enjoy episodes less when I participate in specultion and discussion which I did a lot this week. I’ll be too busy anyway to do much this week so I’ll probably enjoy next week more.

      Good:

      Lyanna f**ing Mormont. Everything I ever wanted except a Jorah mention (but it’s ok).

      Margaery being a Baws. I was literally saying I hate you I hate you I hate you please die while to the HS in their scene. UGHH.

      Ollenna: What are you doing to do kill all of them?
      Cersei’s face: That’s a yup.

      Yara and Theon: Aww… they were adorable in their Ironborn way and YES Make a pact with that Dragon Queen! Do eeet! On a side note, Yara’s voice was extremely sexy this episode. O_o

      Meh:

      Hound / Brother Ray. The Hound is an interesting character so glad to have him back. I never ever once understood why people care about some random Septon Brienne meets in her rambling chapters. I found Brother Ray and Meribald both very forgettable. Would rather have had “Hound ex Machina” where he shows up somewhere as a complete surprise. After all none of these other characters matter.

      Jaime / Blackfish: Was really hoping for Brienne. Without her it was a direct book adaptation which I’m so over. This season is supposed to be new and I felt like we were going backwards. Based on the preview (!!!) I won’t be disappointed next week, but this definitely means there’s no time for Brienne to help Sansa & Jon, which makes me sad. Jaime was super hot which helped me cope… 🙂

      Grr:
      The one thing I hate in TV is when people act stupidly or hatefully for no reason other than to increase “dramatic tension”. This is one of the reasons I never got into the walking dead and why I stopped watching LOST. That happened with both Arya and Sansa this episode and I thought the show was better than this bullsh*t. There was no reason for Arya to be UNARMED and out in the OPEN and being cool with Randos approaching her. And there was literally no reason for Sansa not to let Jon know that she has sent a letter to the Vale and plenty that she should (like, preparing their military strategy ya know?). I get that she’s ashamed she has to turn to LF but even so she can say that Robyn Arryn is coming, and not even mention Baelish.

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    155. Sean C.,

      I totally forgot about this. Would be brill to see Sansa rally the rest by herself.

      Also curious as to when we’ll see RW 2.0? Does it even exist?

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    156. Sean C.,

      Yes, that’s what I had thought too,

      especially since Jon mentioned in this episode that they had already sent ravens to the Manderlys

      . From watching the preview for episode 8, however, it seems like there will be no North in the next episode. Based on the previews I have seen so far, they normally cover all the storylines that are set to appear in that particular episode, so maybe we won’t have any scenes from the North in next ep?
      Is it possible for that scene to happen in ep 9 just before battle starts?

      The only other option for a Manderly scene is where he convinces others to accept Jon as KitN. But this would not need any shifting of political allegiance, not after the Starks have won.

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    157. Off topic

      Watched me before you and just loved it …well deserved hit and venture for emilia finally .
      Knew the ending but it still hit me like it did when I read the books ..

      Emilia was so lovely throughout the movie and she lit up the screen everytime she smiled and something we dont get to see in GOT .
      Those eyebrows deserve some awards IMO

      Sam did a good job as well.their chemistry was perfect.

      Its good to see charles dance and neville longbottom acting with emilia as well..

      Apparently its doing well in US and has been rated A at cinemascore as well and it ended up 3rd place behind ninja turtles and x men based on box office mojo and looks like it is set to become blockbuster .
      Very glad for emilia

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    158. Nadia,

      Though I agree on some things. I think she will emerge as queen in the north at the end of the season. My prediction is that rickon will die
      So I think her story IS in Winterfell

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    159. Shaz: As for Arya’s stabbing, I’m not sure it’s even her.

      That was my instinct as well. Those wounds do not look survivable, and the Waif knows what she is doing and wouldn’t have it any other way. Is Arya playing a game of faces? Perhaps with the young actress who put the hit on Lady Crane? Tricking the Waif into killing the person who hired the FM would be a sweet form of justice, and buy the real Arya some time.

      The Arya we saw seemed utterly unconcerned with hiding and didn’t react as a stranger approached. It is all but certain it is some sort of deception.

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    160. Shaz,

      Will all the Turrells and sparrows be dead by the end of the season? I got the feeling Cersies gonna kill everyone who thinks they got one over her or even smiled slightly at her fall from grace.

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    161. Nymeria,

      This is what I considered at first, but couldn’t come up with any reason why she’d do the wandering through the streets thing. Your idea is interesting, but wouldn’t it be much better to have Needle somewhere nearby? Seems like a dumb plan. Also how would she know that the Waif wouldn’t cut her throat or her femoral artery? Or poison her? Plenty of things that the “fake blood” plan couldn’t account for.

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    162. Chad Brick:
      The Arya we saw seemed utterly unconcerned with hiding and didn’t react as a stranger approached. It is all but certain it is some sort of deception.

      This. It is pretty inconceivable that Arya would be so overt at the docks and stand there like a lemon on that bridge for all to see when she knows she is a target. I give the writers a lot of latitude in my enjoyment of the show and – for now – I trust they have something up their sleeve.

      I wonder if we will see one of those back in time montages with dialogue over it to explain what and how it happened.

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    163. Sean C.,

      Regarding the report about Sansa arriving on the battlefield with Vale men, from what we saw in the second trailer, it looked like Sansa was there with other North men at the beginning of the battle itself? So it does not look possible for her to arrive with the Vale army, unless she leaves in the middle of the battle to get them or something. So even if she does go off to meet Manderly etc, it looks like she gets back to Jon and co. before the battle?

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    164. Sean C.,

      rallying those two on her own??? man that would be frickin BRILLIANT.

      Preview didn’t show Sansa or Jon, should i start being worry for their appearance next episode? It would be utterly disappointing if they omit them in the episode before battle. No that can’t be right at all.

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    165. RosanaZugey:
      I’m waiting for all the people who spent the last week whining about Jon becoming a “secondary character” to Sansa to comment that their initial reaction to a 30 second clip was off base.

      In other news, though it’s more than likely that Sansa sent the letter to Littlefinger, I’m hedging my bets. I’m thinking…or perhaps hoping…the “obvious” isn’t so obvious. Also, I’m not sure why Sansa would sign a letter to Baelish as “Sansa Stark” and attach the Stark sigil to it. Btw, did they mention House Hornwood in this episode?

      I felt it was a decent episode. A lot of build up. Spent too much time with the Hound (I felt), but ok overall.

      Well you surely cant deny that since the hanging of the mutineers Jon really became a secondary character this season, they focus way too much on Sansa because feminism rules it seems. I just hope that we will have a main character Jon during the Bastardbowl episode. If not, then where was the point in resurrecting him.

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    166. Chad Brick: Consider that as either a plot hole or a clue.

      If faking the injuries is the way they go it’s a cheapass trick. There’s no way Arya could know the Waif would stab her right in the belly.

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    167. ghost of winterfell:
      From watching the preview for episode 8, however, it seems like there will be no North in the next episode. Based on the previews I have seen so far, they normally cover all the storylines that are set to appear in that particular episode, so maybe we won’t have any scenes from the North in next ep? Is it possible for that scene to happen in ep 9 just before battle starts?

      The previews don’t always cover everything in a given episode. But yes, it’s also possible that they’re super-sizing the North in episode 9 and we’ll see all that stuff then.

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    168. And for the record, as the one of this site’s Chief Purists, I’d like to say that for the third week in a row we’ve had an episode I thoroughly enjoyed and for which I have no complaints that rise above the nitpick or very mild disappointment level.

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    169. DanTheMan: Well you surely cant deny that since the hanging of the mutineers Jon really became a secondary character this season, they focus way too much on Sansa because feminism rules it seems. I just hope that we will have a main character Jon during the Bastardbowl episode. If not, then where was the point in resurrecting him.

      Oh, I can deny it. There’s absolutely no evidence that Sansa is overshadowing Jon in any way this season, except in the imaginations of weirdos.

      Epi 1 & 2: Jon is dead and yet is the center of the action at the wall. Meanwhile Sansa has a big scene in epi 2 and a little one in epi 3 where she decides she needs Jon’s help (so it’s about Jon too).

      Epi 3: the entire thing is about Jon.

      Epi 4: Sansa and Jon are exactly equal in what they do in this episode. Primarily it was about how they are both very happy to see each other.

      Epi 5: This episode was about Littlefinger coming to the North and since Jon doesn’t even know Littlefinger, Sansa had more to do. Because anything else wouldn’t make narrative sense. However, both of them shone at the dinner/pink letter scene. I loved Jon’s reluctance to say the nasty stuff in the letter out of consideration for Sansa’s feelings, and Sansa’s refusal to look away after what she’s been through.

      Epi 6: Neither character was in this episode

      Epi 7: Jon was literally front and center in every scene, and led the negotiations in all cases. Interesting choice since Sansa’s the trueborn but I’m sure it was agreed to by all involved as the best strategy.

      So apparently unless the dude is front and center and totally overshadows the lady in every single scene of every single episode, “feminism rules”. Well ok. I guess I have no problem with feminism ruling then, if it means that men and women take turns being front and center.

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    170. QueenofThrones: If faking the injuries is the way they go it’s a cheapass trick.There’s no way Arya could know the Waif would stab her right in the belly.

      I agree. Especially with a trained assassin like the Waif, who would know if she hit a bag of coins or a bladder of blood, etc. Those wounds are real. It is a question of who is bearing them.

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    171. As for House Stark being dead, I think the quote from the Iron Islands is apropos “That which is dead can never die.” The key player in Westeros is Sansa. In “The Broken Man” she was rebuked for being female, for being married multiple times and pretty much for not being male, all by a little girl. The obvious play is for Sansa to as Littlefinger for help, but what if she is luring Ramsey into an ambush? Arya’s plot line is heating up leading to a cliffhanger for Episode 10, I suppose. As for Sister Unella, anybody betting on who will take her out? Cersei or Margeary? Or will these two bond over their shared enemy and their mutual need to control Tommen? Oh, one more thing: Go Yara! Grrls Rule!

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    172. ygritte:
      It was out of character for Davos to say Fck sakes about the guys arguing. Also why exactly is Sansa hatin’ on the man?

      I’ll be honest- I don’t like Sansa’s arrogance and superiority complex one bit. This might be an exaggeration for some but some of her dialogues in recent episodes remind me of book Cersei, not a good thing. And who does she think she’s kidding making fun of Stannis, Davos et al? It is thanks to the efforts of Jon, Davos and Melisandre that she’s even got a 2500 strong army to fight her battle!

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    173. Shaz: I totally forgot about this. Would be brill to see Sansa rally the rest by herself.

      The story this year is about making implausible alliances. It would be much more in keeping with that story if Sansa sucks it up and writes to the Vale. One thing that yesterday’s episode made pretty clear is that the actions and failures of Starks and Stark scions have cost them the support of the other Northerners: and after those failures, the other Northerners do not have a lot of support to lend, anyway. And for all that viewers have seen “House Evil” in the Boltons, well, the Boltons did help push the Iron Born out, and now they seem to be rallying against the Wildlings.

      QueenofThrones: And there was literally no reason for Sansa not to let Jon know that she has sent a letter to the Vale

      There “literally” are many reasons why Sansa would not do that.
      1) Sansa initially rejected LF’s offer of aid: an untactical but understandable response to what happened with Ramsay;
      2) Sansa was over-confident that the Northerners would instantly rally to support a Stark restoration;
      a) She still has a few romantic notions that oversimplify the concept of “loyalty”
      b) She underestimated how Robb’s and Jon’s actions would hurt her house’s standings;
      c) She seemed unaware that the Boltons had actually been helping other Northerners.
      3) She now realizes that they cannot rally more than a few hundred men (although each Bear Island counts for 10!): and at this point, admitting to Jon that she had access to a large army all along is pretty shameful.

      But this is the biggest point: it is not so much that Sansa was holding out on Jon: Sansa was holding out on herself. We’ve all been through this sort of thing, where the voice in the back of your mind is telling you: “You are over-reacting! This is the smart thing to do!” Well, that little voice almost certainly had been growing in Sansa’s mind as they failed to raise the North.

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    174. Darkrobin: They were trolling us with the anvil, right? They had to know we were thinking Gendry.

      lol… no, that never occurred to me. I assumed it was some camp or another: I had no idea which one. Seeing an anvil makes me think of Gendry about as much as seeing a raven reminds me of Maester Luewin: it’s just too ubiquitous in this world to associate with any one person.

      But did anyone else expect them to break into a chorus of the “Simple Shaker Song” in that scene?

      Dee: I think even without the speech, ive heard from show watchers only that the scenes with the hound were too much/too long, and could have done with out some of them

      Yeah, I don’t remember this “Broken Man” speech in particular, but they needed to cut down on the Clegane time, not add to it. McShane was good, and it’s great that they got him for such a small part, but for the first time this year, it seemed that we were getting extraneous narrative.

      Still, I do wonder if this somehow gets the Hound back into action and perhaps gets him up north or someplace. Obviously, the Hound is not Beorn – one man is not going to change the tide of battle – but they need to start consolidating the 2ndary characters as well.

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    175. Having given thought to the Arya scenes it clearly has to be a setup and not being caught by surprise.

      The previous episode she was aware that her actions meant she should very quickly get her things and hide. Given that she would hardly go out the next day and walk so publically flashing money around like she did. Even if it weren’t her that sort of behaviour would make her a target for thieves etc and a pretty dumb way to behave. So either it was her and she wanted to be seen publically as maybe her plan was to draw the waif out and try and have a controlled “death” or it wasn’t her.

      The troupe angle allows a nice link into the whole acting dead idea and falling into dark water is a classic trick in films when someone does a “switch” as you technically never see her get from the bridge to the shore, you just assume its her as she then is very publically bleeding through a crowd. If she had just survived she would very quickly hide whilst trying to heal her wounds. To do what she did was again a public display of “look I’m dying”. It means the waif will probably go to check shes ok and then the real battle ensues.

      The other option of someone else being Arya is possible but it just seems less logical. Anyone but a FM wouldn’t wear someone elses face on theirs for a start! It could be another FM as surely there are quite a few of them but unless they have crazy healing powers it seems quite a sacrifice unless its a “only death can pay for life” type situation here.

      I fully suspect the chase from the trailer to be the start of the show next week, cant wait!!!!

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    176. It might actually be possible they are ignoring Clegane bowl (straight to Cersei burning the city, would be faster) and set up Clegane to take over Brienne’s storyline.

      So next episode: Brienne will meet up with Jaime, informs him about the Stark girls. Jaime tells Black Fish, he decides to live another day to help out his niece in The North (maybe with an indirect route to Brotherhood without Banners). So Riverrun will still be taken peacefully with The Black Fish swim-escaping the Freys.

      Clegane will track down and kill Lem Lemoncloak and his buddies, leading him into the Brotherhood without Banners camp. Which leads to, surprise surprise… the same Lady Stoneheart reveal from the books, but with Clegane!

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    177. Wimsey: 3) She now realizes that they cannot rally more than a few hundred men (although each Bear Island counts for 10!): and at this point, admitting to Jon that she had access to a large army all along is pretty shameful.

      My point is she doens’t have to do that.

      She can tell Jon, “I have had word from the Vale. My cousin is on his way with a large force to liberate Winterfell. Let’s plan how they will help us in the battle.”

      How hard is that?

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    178. ygritte,

      Don’t know howa is that. Dragons are unchained but still locked in the crypts under the pyramid. Viserion or Rhaegal will be used for battle of Meereen or how can we call it.

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    179. One question, do we have an official synopsis for episode 8 as yet? Other than that leaked one which could very well be fake?

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    180. Shaz: Also curious as to when we’ll see RW 2.0? Does it even exist?

      If a RW 2.0 exists (and I think that on this show, it’ll be more of a feast to celebrate the retaking of Riverrun than an actual wedding), it’ll be in E10.

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    181. Chad Brick,

      I don’t think it would be a plot hole

      One scenario, this is all part of Arya’s plan.

      Another scenario, they are showing us that Arya still has some weaknesses (arrogance, vengeance, etc) that cloud her judgement.

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    182. ….except in the imaginations of weirdos.
      Grrls Rule!
      …In “The Broken Man” she was rebuked for being female..

      How was she rebuked for being female? I thought it was for the families she married into. Maybe I need to watch it again but…

      Ugh why can’t people be nice? And why do they find boogey men (or women if you prefer!) behind every corner?

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    183. Wimsey: The story this year is about making implausible alliances.It would be much more in keeping with that story if Sansa sucks it up and writes to the Vale.

      It’s not an either/or situation.

      And we already know from casting that there are more Northern lords to be seen, whose descriptions match up extremely well with the two Northern houses that have been mentioned several times but not seen yet.

      There “literally” are many reasons why Sansa would not do that.

      None of those reasons apply to her not telling Jon about it once she’s actually decided to send for Littlefinger.

      Now, we haven’t seen the next episode, so maybe she does do that having written the letter, but people are talking about her deciding to write the letter in what is portrayed as conditions of secrecy.

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    184. shane,

      Yes! Would Stannis have believed in a victory if he didn’t actually see himself in the scene? Where is lightbringer? If Brienne had killed him she would have taken his sword and returned it to Davos.

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    185. The least exciting episode for me this season, but I would still rate it 8/10. It was a build-up episode, and I am good with that.
      The Mormont storyline was awesome (and how epic did that castle look like!!!), the Blackfish and Jaime were pretty interesting, as was Arya’s three minutes, but a shame she let her guard down.

      The hound is one of my favorite minor characters, but somehow I felt his scenes and those of Ian McShane didn’t contribute anything.

      Olenna was awesome as always, and nice touch from Margaery with that rose.
      Next week seems a lot more action-packed for King’s Landing, and this storyline needs it – well, in my opinion anyways.

      The High Sparrow bored me again. I prefer ten of Dany’s speeches over any more screen time from this guy. No offense to the actor though.
      I am surprised that Peter Dinklage skipped two episodes in a row. Didn’t see that coming at all.

      Next three episodes are going to be beyond awesome and I can’t wait!

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    186. I think arya was wounded badly no tricks no fake anything …..she will struggle for few days ……I also think lady crane is done …arya will kill the waif all by herself …and will probably pass out …..that will be the end of her story in season 6 ……..

      or when arya kills the the waif jaqen is gonna show up and give a nod of approval ……and she will somehow struggle to the boat and will be on her way back to westeros …..

      those are the two scenarios I see….happening ..but I’m mostly wrong….so ………

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    187. Old Nan’s Pie: I bow to Lyanna Mormont. The Queen in the North!!

      I still think that Sansa should have offered the Mormonts Rickon as Lyanna’s future downtrodden husband! The Starks could use a few of those genes to go with the honor genes that keep getting them killed….

      QueenofThrones: She can tell Jon, “I have had word from the Vale. My cousin is on his way with a large force to liberate Winterfell. Let’s plan how they will help us in the battle.”

      But Sansa does not have that. To do that, she needs to accept LF’s offer: and it would be very hard for Sansa to admit to herself that she needs LF’s aid. She was positive that the North would rise for her family. However, she has just learned a valuable lesson for the first time: loyalty is a two-way street. And she probably is just now getting a good understanding of how devastating her brother’s war was for the north.

      Sansa probably also is sick of relying on other people. And that, too, is understandable. However, this is an important part in learning to become a leader: learning when to do things yourself and learning when to let others do things for you. She’s probably learned her lesson. Again: this is not Tolkien. Jon, Daeny, Sansa, etc., are not born knowing how to rule, but are going to learn to lead from trial and error. This is not quite a Bildungsroman, but it has a lot in common with one.

      Now Sansa has done is basically put a prayer to wing. There is no point in telling Jon about it: chances are that it will come to nothing.

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    188. Im sorry but Arya needs to be done with the FM and the Waif by next episode. If this drags to the finale that would be lame.
      I was hoping she would get to Westeros in this season, but it seems will be seeing her on a boat or something in episode 10. Whatevs.

      I wonder what the title of next week signifies for Arya?

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    189. Wimsey:
      Now Sansa has done is basically put a prayer to wing.There is no point in telling Jon about it: chances are that it will come to nothing.

      Um, no, there’s every reason to tell Jon about it, because it would stop him from marching his <2500 men to certain defeat at Winterfell with all haste. And while there are variables, she knows Baelish wants her; there's every reason to think he'll show up.

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    190. Next week is going to be jam packed!

      KL (I choose violence)
      Braavos
      Mereen
      Riverrun seige
      Hound
      North/Winterfell (probably scene with Davos seeing Shireens pyre or northern speech from filming news) and/or a Ramsay/Rickon scene. Don’t think Ramsay will miss 4 straight episodes.
      Dorne maybe? Haven’t been there since the premeire.
      Maybe a quick Bran scene?

      Will we see the Wall again before seasons end?

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    191. SaveTheWolves:
      Still baffled by Arya. What if Jaqen was being Arya to really test the Waif?

      How would that be a test for the waif? And why would they have a secondary character testing a tertiary character?

      My bet is that this is going to involve Mercy and the theater troupe in some way. My suspicion is that (to reverse the idiom) they just fired a gun that was not obviously hung last week.

      Alternatively, maybe Arya is going to stumble into a Red Priest and get healed that way. That gun certainly has been hung on the Wall, and that would put another character in R’hllor’s debt.

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    192. Dee:
      Im sorry but Arya needs to be done with the FM and the Waif by next episode. If this drags to the finale that would be lame.
      I was hoping she would get to Westeros in this season, but it seems will be seeing her on a boat or something in episode 10. Whatevs.

      I wonder what the title of next week signifies for Arya?

      Maybe this seasons ends with Arya on a boat back to Westeros like Season 4 ended with her leaving Westeros?

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    193. I still having a funny feeling that Brienne will convince Jamie to honor his oath and march the Lannister army to WF to help Sansa!

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    194. Wimsey: How would that be a test for the waif?And why would they have a secondary character testing a tertiary character?

      My bet is that this is going to involve Mercy and the theater troupe in some way.My suspicion is that (to reverse the idiom) they just fired a gun that was not obviously hung last week.

      Alternatively, maybe Arya is going to stumble into a Red Priest and get healed that way.That gun certainly has been hung on the Wall, and that would put another character in R’hllor’s debt.

      We still have to meet Melanie Liburd’s Red Priestess, so that’s possible.

      Now we know the bloody hand in the trailer was definitely Arya.

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    195. Dee:
      Im sorry but Arya needs to be done with the FM and the Waif by next episode. If this drags to the finale that would be lame.
      I was hoping she would get to Westeros in this season, but it seems will be seeing her on a boat or something in episode 10. Whatevs.

      I wonder what the title of next week signifies for Arya?

      What would she do in Westeros though? I mean, we already got Jon/Sansa fans complaining about their favorite being overshadowed by the other. Throw in the Arya fans as well and can you imagine it? Lol

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    196. Sean C.,

      But that would mean telling Jon the whole story. Sansa is not going to want to do that. You are leaving out the human factor here. Sansa suffered a huge trauma at Ramsay’s hands. The emotional upheaval from that has spilled over onto LF and everything associated with that. And in the real world, these sorts of things cause people to do irrational things. They have developed Sansa as an abuse victim this year: and that makes perfect sense.

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    197. I enjoyed the Quiet Isle until Lem butchered the place. I feel like Lem is one of those who left BwB

      unlike the books where he’s one of the few who remains. Reminds me of what they did with Smalljon

      .

      Arya, yeah idk. Maybe this is some twist but atm there are questions with no perceptible answers.

      Asha scene was fine until that last line. I cringed. Why not just have her get up and leave? Announcing your exit (and poorly) took all the weight out of the scene imo.

      Marge and Lyanna. Maybe I just enjoy direct storytelling via subtlety. Those scenes were handled well. I can throw Tormund and Wildlings in there as well for instances where straightforward storytelling can be dramatic.

      BF and Jaime canon asf!! I would have enjoyed a BF joke about a dual being his advantage but Bronn’s gotta do something.

      Hoping for some BwB and FM crystallization.

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    198. As someone watching Ray Donovan, I giggled a bit that Ian McShane took the name Ray for GoT. I´m pretty sure he was allowed to choose that name and thought it to be funny. Either that, or the ones working on this episode had a sense of humour.

      Anyways, great set-up episode, finally House Tyrell (and especially Olenna) isn´t treated like a punching bab anymore, but as the politically apt and cunning house it is. Seing Olenna stick it to the Mother of Madness has to be one of my personal favourite scenes of the season.

      Other than that, it was really sad to see Jaime´s last bit of self-respect shatter when Blackfish called upon the next oath Jaime couldn´t keep. Both actors were great in that scene and I do think that even the most casual show-watchers could feel the emotional impact for Jaime (Oh, and BLACKFISH IS BACK!!!). Thankfully, most likely Jaime will get to set out on his path to redemption when it gets ovious that Sansa is in serious trouble and that she needs the help of as many people as possible –> Riverrun will be surrendered peacefully –> Blackfish escapes –> Jaime gets another shot to fulfill the oath, maybe even going to the Nort himself.

      It´s great to see that one´s two favourite characters will most likely stcik around some time…

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    199. After a little thought the Arya scene seems obvious to me. It’s almost impossible for that person we saw as Arya to survive those wounds. And people already pointed out it’s most likely Arya jumping from roofs in the next episode preview.

      We still think it’s impossible that Arya will die and it would be weird to have her saved by magic or something. We all suspect it’s really the Waif that’s being tested. So we can assume the Faceless Men play all their apprentices against each other. So my best bet is that “Arya” is really a Faceless apprentice in disguise on a mission he might not fully understand. It could be Jaquen himself, but that wouldn’t make much sense, since he knows the Waif will kill fake Arya.
      The only real question here is how did they get her face. We assume it’s only dead people, but who knows, maybe they scanned her face because she already wore someone else’s, or the can make artificial ones of people they know.

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    200. ghost of winterfell:
      Nadia,

      I think the reason they cut the broken man speech is because, in the books the speech primarily refers to common men who are the pawns of the high Lords who are busy playing their games. The show has not had time to really go into this aspect at all. So since we have never really seen the perspective of the common folk in Westeros, the speech might not have had the same impact on the show only watchers.

      With respect to the speech, it wouldn’t have worked on TV, just like the natural dialogue that appears on TV often doesn’t work on the page. What feels and sounds right differs fairly substantially in the two media. Natural spoken language is shorter, full of hems and haws, and has a relatively snappy back-and-forth. When put on the page, though, it can often be annoying to read. Conversely, the “spoken” language in books tends to be composed of longer, more elegant, and more complex sentences that you would normally speak. This works great in print, but sounds stilted and overly formal on screen.

      While I would have loved to have the speech in full, that would have been way too much for the casual audience.

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    201. Henry Gordon:
      I’ll say it.Is there a good reason to omit the speech?

      I haven’t read the books but I read that passage. It’s not great literature people. They’re creating a great show. The expectations you get from mining the book aren’t healthy.

      I found it to be an exceptionally satisfying episode. It worked as a compact, complete episode, while still pointing forward. They actually took their time with the storylines. Had such a nice touch.

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    202. Jack Bauer 24: We still have to meet Melanie Liburd’s Red Priestess, so that’s possible.

      Oh, good catch there! At any rate, there are a couple of obliquely hung guns (the theater group, Red Priests) that might offer ways out. I would still lean towards the theater group: if so, the Arya might have planned on that possibility and might be trying to decoy the Waif into thinking she is dead. One thing that does stand out: Arya was injured, but nowhere near as badly as she should have been. That is consistent with something else (e.g., a stage prop) being the source of much of the blood.

      However, I would not be surprised if it’s R’hllor again, either. Indeed: there is no reason why it cannot be both!

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    203. redxgod: I still having a funny feeling that Brienne will convince Jamie to honor his oath and march the Lannister army to WF to help Sansa!

      I hope so! I think that whatever happens as a result of Brienne and Jaime meeting up, it will be (at least somewhat) redeeming for Jaime. They are teasing us with the “I love Cersei and I’d do anything for her blahblah!!” shit in the preview.

      Brienne is going to be like “Fine, I can’t stop you from throwing your life away on stupid (the gods know love is irrational and so do I), but none of this matters unless we save Westeros. So let me take the Tully army North and save Westeros, damn it, and if you have a spec of honor you’ll bring the Lannister army too!”

      I just hope that Brienne doesn’t have to die to get Jaime to do the right thing. Please.

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    204. Geralt of Rivia,

      Don’t know why you’re bringing Dany up, I didn’t mention her. I’m talking about Jon and Sansa. They let a 10 year old shut them up. They let a man tell them that house Stark was dead, and did nothing.

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    205. Off-Topic Otto,

      Agreed. People are already ”complaining” that the Hound scenes were too long.

      Now imagine putting a 6-7 minutes long speech in there. It simply doesn’t work on TV.

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    206. The Riverlands (Clegane Edition) (A): I thought this was a nice reintroduction, though the conversations between the Hound and McShane were written like they barely knew each other when, timeline-wise, Sandor must have been there for at least a year, if we’re to believe that a year passes each season.

      The Riverlands (Riverrun Edition) (A): Beautiful location work (the difference between this and the first season is really night-and-day, budget-wise), nice to see Bronn again. The Blackfish’s return was very well-done, and “I’m not impressed” perfectly sums up my attitude toward the show’s version of Jaime these days. Hopefully this is the start of better things.

      Volantis (B): More partying with carefree sex slaves. Yara’s interaction with Theon was effective characterization. Theon seemed a lot less Reek-ish in his previous appearance, but I guess we’re going for him being better on some days than others (this sort of characterization would probably work better in a show that could afford to give him more than one or two scenes an episode).

      King’s Landing (A-): Hey, somebody finally remembered that Cersei caused all of this. No firecracker moments here, but effectively done, and I like Marg’s new pious look (is that the first crown we’ve seen on her?).

      Braavos (?): Honestly, I’m not going to grade this yet. If that really was Arya and we’re to take events at face value, she’s an idiot and there’s no real sign her Faceless Man training led to any improvement. If this is all some complicated gambit, well, that may have plausibility issues, but that would at least be a payoff.

      The North (C+): Davos and Lyanna were great, and I liked the scene with the Wildlings. But this plot is really being weighed down by a bunch of artificial attempts to raise the stakes. Jon and Sansa both come across as totally inept in the latter two recruitment scenes — they don’t seem to have done any preparation even for things that could have been easily anticipated (like explaining the use of the Wildlings), and they leave blindingly obvious arguments off the table (like, e.g., that Ramsay is a lunatic who has canonically murdered other nobles on a whim and cannot be trusted). Jon has now decided to dispense with attempts to recruit even other Northerners, and the prolonged secrecy about the Valemen, if it continues past this episode, would make Sansa look like a total moron. The show is also completely avoiding the issue of Jon’s leaving the Watch, which you would expect the Northern lords to all be asking about, seeing as it’s a major cultural taboo.

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    207. Sword of the Morning: Now, with the return of a more cruel, murderous Brotherhood, I’m saying 75%.

      I am pretty much at zero percent. A cruel murderous Brotherhood has lots of other explanations: such as the effects of years and years of war. At any rate, if they were setting up Madame Petrifica Aorta, then we would have gotten a lot of buildup about a mystery character. (Think of how Doctor Who reintroduced the Master a couple of years ago: something like that would have been in order.)

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    208. As I mentioned in the other thread I really enjoyed the episode. Whilst I was a little disappointed that Meribald’s speech was omitted, I really don’t think it would have suited the scenario at all, so I have no problems with it being omitted.

      The one thing that bugged me was the use of Americanisms in the script. Both Bronn and Yara said “ass” when they actually should have said “arse”. It didn’t fell right coming out of their mouths, and took me out of the story. It is those sorts of things that let down Cogman’s episodes, because they’re incongruous and a sign of lazy writing.

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    209. QueenofThrones,

      From your mouth to God’s ears lol.

      I didn’t see the preview but I heard that Jamie says that shit. As I said in the other thread, he can die for all I care if hes still attached to Cersei after everything. ugh.

        Quote  Reply

    210. Wimsey:
      But that would mean telling Jon the whole story.

      No it wouldn’t. She could easily lie about the details and say they should write to her cousin Robin for help. She already used the information Littlefinger gave her about the Tullys and lied about the source, so it’s not like she hasn’t done that sort of thing.

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    211. Mihnea,

      I thought the Hound scenes were visually great almost idyllic. We all know the chaos going on all around Westeros but here we have a vision of what life could be like and then bang reality intervenes. Beautifully shot.

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    212. El-Bobbie: They let a 10 year old shut them up. They let a man tell them that house Stark was dead, and did nothing.

      Well, what could they do? They are beggars at the door: any threats they might make would be hollow, petulant, and likely to be met with their undoing. Indeed, the one thing that surprised me: neither brought up that Jon was a deserter from the NW, and (by rights) should be executed then and there!

        Quote  Reply

    213. Off-Topic Otto,

      It’s such an iconic bit that I don’t know why they wouldn’t distill the bit about

      a man fighting battle after battle until suddenly breaking like Sandor at blackwater.

      It seems an especially bizarre omission given that it’s the title of the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    214. Sean C.,

      Perhaps if she thought to do that: but you are assuming that a victim of sexual assault would be able to coldly think about someone related to that assault (in her mind) in that way. Maybe some can: but one tragedy in the real world is that victims “over blame.”

      At any rate: this is in keeping with this year’s story. Sansa does not want LF as an ally. She was convinced that she would not need him as one. Now she has learned that she does, and she has to basically suck it up and ask him for help. Sansa being able to swallow her pride and ask him for aid is one of the biggest strides forward that she has taken as a character yet: but you criticize her for not acting like an automaton?

        Quote  Reply

    215. Simon:
      Chad Brick,

      I think Ayas bags of coins saved her. She’ll be in a bad way but the wounds aren’t as deep say they appear.

      I’ve been thinking along the same lines. Perhaps the initial slashing drew the blood but would not have penetrated deep enough to cause serious injury. Then the stabbing penetrated the rather large bag of coins which we know she still had and the blood seen is simply from the first cut.

      If that’s Ayra running and jumping in the preview for next week, then she clearly is not seriously hurt. Had all three of the Waif’s knife strikes actually entered Ayra’s abdomen, there is no way she would be capable of running and jumping. If she only has one superficial wound, then yes.

      I don’t really buy the theory that it isn’t Ayra on the bridge but I’ve no feasible explanation for her blasé attitude to her own safety by wandering around in the open like she was.

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    216. redxgod,

      Actually, I wonder when that was supposed to be happening. Obviously, not everything in the show happens at the same time: and it looked like it was still very summery (rather than impending autumn) there.

      Obviously, in terms of the plot and story, it needed to be now. Still, I agree: that looked like the sort of place I would want to do field work!

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    217. Wimsey:
      Alternatively, maybe Arya is going to stumble into a Red Priest and get healed that way.That gun certainly has been hung on the Wall, and that would put another character in R’hllor’s debt.

      That does have some merit, and with her being angry with Melisandre over Gendry it would give her a personal moral dilemma.

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    218. An anachronism (from the Greek ἀνά ana, “against” and χρόνος khronos, “time”) is a chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition of person(s), events, objects, or customs from different periods of time.

      Interesting, I thought. Saw it on a youtube clip about GoT, basically applying the logic of today’s standards to a period in history, that just doesn’t work at all.

      This most of all applies to religion and the treatment of woman, the show would not be true to it’s feudal setting if it didn’t show things the way they do.

      I don’t really know who this is aimed at, but it’s aimed at a lot of comments I have read.

        Quote  Reply

    219. Ser Not Appearing in this Series: That does have some merit, and with her being angry with Melisandre over Gendry it would give her a personal moral dilemma.

      Snap! That’s a very good insight, and so in keeping with this year’s story. I am embarrassed to admit that I had completely forgotten that possible angle.

      OK, now I’m leaning Red Cleric. 😀

      (Now someone can convince me theater troupe with some other clever insight that I have overlooked!)

        Quote  Reply

    220. Wimsey:
      Perhaps if she thought to do that: but you are assuming that a victim of sexual assault would be able to coldly think about someone related to that assault (in her mind) in that way.

      She was, as I said, already able to do that with his information about the Tullys.

      This is not a trivial matter. It’s the difference between the destruction of their army and them winning. There is no reason not to give Jon this information, when it would stop him from doing something she doesn’t want him to do, and since he will learn this information anyway when the Valemen show up.

      Whether something is “in keeping with this year’s story” doesn’t mean it makes sense or is well-executed.

        Quote  Reply

    221. B-Cog interview

      http://www.ew.com/article/2016/06/05/game-thrones-the-hound-interview

      The title has its roots in the books too, correct?

      [The character of Ray] is a combination of a couple characters in the books – with additional characteristics we added. One of those characters gives a speech in the fourth book referred to as “The Broken Man” speech by A Song of Ice and Fire fans. The speech itself didn’t make it into the episode, but it inspired the character and some of his dialogue. So the title of the episode is a nod to that speech – kind of like when we called episode 205 “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” even though that term wasn’t spoken out loud in the show.

      Another time-related question: It feels like we’re jumping between storylines that have very vastly different lengths of time passing between each scene?

      The timelines between the various storylines don’t necessarily line up within a given episode. For instance, the “Northern Tour” Jon and Sansa embark on would probably take a couple weeks, but Arya’s storyline over the past few episodes only spans a few days. We realized awhile ago that if we tied ourselves in knots trying to make all the “story days” line up between all the characters the momentum would suffer.

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    222. Blackfish´s Ally,

      According to the trailer for episode 8, Blackfish won’t surrender Riverrun, so he might die … I can’t see him running away. I was worried about Pod, but I believe he is in the boat with Brienne, right???. I hope they gave Tobias Menzies a couple of lines.
      Next episode looks with tons of action… Arya Vs. The Waif, Siege of Riverrun, The Mountain Vs. Sparrows, attack in Meereen or angry dragons …

        Quote  Reply

    223. El-Bobbie,

      Same way people bring Jon when Daeny is being mentioned. Is just we have two leaders Jon, Daeny. Two main protagonists. People likes to point out parallels and compare them.
      Lyanna Mormont would wipe the floor with many other characters because you wouldn’t expect that from a kid. Besides they literally needed to beg this or that lord with not much to promise as Stark name lost it’s credit after War of Five Kings. Sansa counted on this that their name would secure them men but she was mistaken. Jon knew this and his look when Sansa stood up to Lord Glover was telling. This was going to be hard job for them. With their reputation, Wildlings there is literally only to beg and hope they agree. White Walkers stories are for kids and not everyone is going to believe that.

      Lady Mormont presented valid arguments. Same as Lord Glover because whether you like it or not but he was right. Jon is a bastard and Sansa Lady Bolton or Lannister. Wildlings are problem, Robb’s own stupidity led them to Red Wedding. Of course the Boltons bertrayed them but let’s not forget Cat let Jaime go, he beheaded Lord Rickard Karstark and lost half of his forces and broke an oath to Freys by marrying Talisa instead of alliance that was agreed.

      People in the North are gonna be mad at them and while I love Starks but people need to look beyond their love for them. Their own mistakes let them to this state of their House, Boltons only capitalize on that.

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    224. El-Bobbie,

      Well seems to be the case if you dont take senior actors like Sean bean .,Lena and peter dinklage .

      Nathalie emmanuel starred in fast and furuous 7 whivh turned out to be a success

      X men is successful right so Sophie scores one

      I liked kit in testament of youth.
      We know how good a performer Maisie is but I don’t think she will be getting big roles like emilia or Sophie ..
      And issac is doing such a good job as bran right now

      So I think they just all need a time to get those hits which are due for them

      I wish to see Emilia and Emma watson in a same movie

        Quote  Reply

    225. Dee:
      QueenofThrones,
      From your mouth to God’s ears lol.

      I didn’t see the preview but I heard that Jamie says that shit. As I said in the other thread, he can die for all I care if hes still attached to Cersei after everything. ugh.

      I think we are supposed to find it frustrating (and boy, do I…), but I also think that his actions this season are understandable. We have no evidence that Jaime knows half of what Cersei has been up to, and since he got back to KL post Dorne, Cersei hasn’t asked him to do a single immoral thing. In fact, she’s asked him to act like a hero on several occasions, which is exactly what he’d like to think of himself as. From Jaime’s perspective, Cersei’s changed from the “hateful woman” as he called her in Season 4 to someone who he can love fully (and who he believes loves him too).

      He’s wrong, for sure, and maybe willfully blind in some ways, but I don’t think he’s “regressed” since he hasn’t actually done anything awful for Cersei.

      Brienne’s been able to bring the best out of Jaime before and she’ll do it again. Fingers crossed.

        Quote  Reply

    226. One other thing is the Jaime redemptive arc ruined comments, these annoy me. Jaime has been in love with his sister most of his life, it is not something that will be cast aside easily, no matter how honorable Brienne is.

      I think it would be much more unrealistic to go from what he was to a completely redemptive honorable character, just because of a 3 month road trip with Brienne.

      I hope he does follow into the Jaime that is an honorable guy, but of course he still loves his sister!

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    227. McShane is a brand new character. You don’t give him a five minute speech and expect audiences to sit through it. Adaptation, folks. And Cogman is a master at it.

        Quote  Reply

    228. Sean C.:
      ghost of winterfell,

      Regarding the other houses:

      That would be an excellent resolution to this situation, it will allow Sansa to play an active role in the Stark victory, as an equal partner with Jon and not as a supporting or leading character. It would also remove the controversial “allegiance” or “reliance” some claim she has to LF if she were able to procure the Valemen on her own. All of these plot points would certainly fit the description we’ve had of Sansa’s amazing arc this season and would silence some of those who have issue with her (well deserved) prominence of late.

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    229. Oh, and the Blackfish is definitely surrendering to come to Sansa’s aid. No doubt about that.

        Quote  Reply

    230. Sacred Lime,

      Not say Cersei in the show is much more human and….normal.

      She is so crazy in the books I had hard time believing Jaime could love her.
      With Lena it’s much, much easier. She does a fantastic job at actually making Cersei’s character a realistic human being.

      That said, I still think the day of reckoning is coming. EP10 is my guess.

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    231. Sansa’s prominence makes perfect sense, as she’s a Stark. But she’s still young and learning. She’s never led before. This is some of the best writing in the series. She’s acting almost exactly as a woman of her youth, with her experience and lineage (and personality) would likely act in such a situation. She’s her mother’s daughter, with fewer years of experience.

        Quote  Reply

    232. Mag,

      Still possible that BF leaves with Brienne to go help Sansa and surrenders Riverrun. Though he did seem quite determined to keep it or die trying in this episode, he hasn’t yet met Brienne so he may change his mind and decide that a pile of rocks isn’t worth dying over.

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    233. Darkrobin,

      Bring on my tin foil hat! I’m wondering if Jaqen was Arya & it was a test for the waif. The FM don’t necessarily need a dead person’s face because Arya saw her own face just before she went blind.

        Quote  Reply

    234. Mihnea,

      Yeah she does do a great job of making you almost root for her sometimes.

      I hope Jaime’s second meeting with Brienne sort of jogs his memory of what he was becoming, she was one of the only people who began to see him as something other than the Kingslayer.

      Unfortunately for Jaime …”We don’t choose who we love”

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    235. In the preview Tyrion looks at a chandalier(correct me here) that’s shaking.

      In the trailer we have the meeting room in Meereen ”exploding”.

      I think Dany is back.

        Quote  Reply

    236. Sacred Lime: I think it would be much more unrealistic to go from what he was to a completely redemptive honorable character, just because of a 3 month road trip with Brienne.

      I hope he does follow into the Jaime that is an honorable guy, but of course he still loves his sister!

      I agree! And though I was half hoping for a Jaime + Lancel conversation this week, it always irked me a little bit that in the books

      the main reason Jaime dumps Cersei is because she fucked other people.

      It’s just a little bit shallow, ya know? When there are plenty of better reasons than that…

        Quote  Reply

    237. Wimsey: Well, what could they do?They are beggars at the door: any threats they might make would be hollow, petulant, and likely to be met with their undoing.Indeed, the one thing that surprised me: neither brought up that Jon was a deserter from the NW, and (by rights) should be executed then and there!

      During the House Glover meeting, I was thinking that it was playing out exactly as we thought it would, per months of speculation, with the expected reaction concerning the wildlings. At the end of the scene, I almost expected Jon, in desperation, to announce he has a giant and a red witch too! 🙂

      It was interesting that Davos & Jon brought up the subject of legend (Long Night, NK, undead, WWs but not wildlings) with the Mormont child and got support approved but only (hesitantly) disclosed the wildling factor to the Glover adult and got denied.

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    238. QueenofThrones: Still possible that BF leaves with Brienne to go help Sansa and surrenders Riverrun.

      I still vaguely wonder if Jaime would join them in order to fulfill his vow to Catelyn. However, at this point, this has become a very (very!) vague wonder.

        Quote  Reply

    239. thurg00d420,

      Well if nothing else he didn’t turn on them, didn’t betray them turn them over to the Boltons… so he’s either on the fence or determined to stay out of more war.

        Quote  Reply

    240. Sacred Lime,

      I also think it’s intentional. They still want Jaime to have feelings for her, when he kills her. It will be much more dramatic if he kills the women he still loves.

        Quote  Reply

    241. Geralt of Rivia,

      Lol you mean when they use them to show how one is superior than another in every aspect and contrast between them.

      Never mind the comment though I am not going to get into this type of arguments but still can’t resist ..
      Hope I will have better restraint hereafter

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    242. Regarding the Jon vs Sansa debate, this review touches on the topic and the point the author makes here is a good reason why so many people are frustrated with Jon’s arc post resurrection, imo.

      http://www.salon.com/2016/06/06/game_of_thrones_recap_not_all_heroines_swing_swords_or_ride_dragons/

      “While I can appreciate the show’s efforts to build the push against the Boltons around Sansa’s quest for a well-earned vengeance, I can’t help but feel that the writers are neglecting Jon Snow. What must it feel like to prepare for war against a particularly brutal foe when you know that the only thing awaiting you once the blade finds your neck is just a black oblivion? And what does it mean to rally these houses around a family name that was never really yours? When considering how the show has so far squandered Jon Snow’s resurrection, I can’t help but think of how “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” handled Buffy’s return from the dead—she was a broken woman, bitterly seeking meaning in the chaos of demon-slaying and violent, house-quaking sex with an enemy. Right now, Jon seems like an appendage to Sansa’s story. Which is in some ways a fascinating and truly subversive reversal of traditional gender roles, but in other ways a sad waste of a unique story—especially when we consider the ways that the writers and performers can add depth and dimension to characters who may be seen as preening or hollow.”

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    243. Hodors Bastard: It was interesting that Davos & Jon brought up the subject of legend (Long Night, NK, undead, WWs but not wildlings) and got approval with the Mormont child but only (hesitantly) disclosed the wildling factor to the Glover adult and got denied.

      Indeed! Did you catch how her Maester immediately leaned over but she hushed him without listening? My immediate thought was that he had been telling her that this was nonsense, but that she wanted to believe her uncle. Still, this shows what an uphill battle they still face with “The Walkers are Coming!” I think that it will take a lot of giant ice cubes to convince them otherwise…..

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    244. Mag,

      Hmm. I normally don´t watch previews to go into the GoT-sessions with a clean slate, but now after your comment, I did watch it. Based on what I saw, it´s rather ambiguous what will happen.

      It could be (and is likely) that the scenes with Jaime and Brienne precede Brienne giving Brynden the letter and the Balckfish will then surrender and escape on his own.
      The second option would be that the Freys and Lannisters commence their assault on Riverrun and the Blackfish doesn´t surrender beforehand –>; he will be killed.
      The third one could be that Brienne actively uses the boat to smuggle Brynden out of Riverrun, regardless of the circumstances. Maybe they do make an agreement to help Sansa somehow, the preview also hints at that by showing Pod/Brienne/Brynden together. That one seems to be the most likely to me since there is the most evidence for it in the preview. He could be killed on that attempted “escape” (escape is the wrong word, he would never just run, but oh well) or Riverrun could fall in the meantime (Brienne´s shocked face?), but I think he will survive this situation and this all will have a rather happy end.

      Truth is, i do not know what will happen, yet the third option seems the most likely to me based solely on that preview.

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    245. QueenofThrones: Oh, I can deny it.There’s absolutely no evidence that Sansa is overshadowing Jon in any way this season, except in the imaginations of weirdos.

      Epi 1 & 2: Jon is dead and yet is the center of the action at the wall.Meanwhile Sansa has a big scene in epi 2 and a little one in epi 3 where she decides she needs Jon’s help (so it’s about Jon too).

      Epi 3: the entire thing is about Jon.

      Epi 4: Sansa and Jon are exactly equal in what they do in this episode.Primarily it was about how they are both very happy to see each other.

      Epi 5:This episode was about Littlefinger coming to the North and since Jon doesn’t even know Littlefinger, Sansa had more to do.Because anything else wouldn’t make narrative sense.However, both of them shone at the dinner/pink letter scene.I loved Jon’s reluctance to say the nasty stuff in the letter out of consideration for Sansa’s feelings, and Sansa’s refusal to look away after what she’s been through.

      Epi 6:Neither character was in this episode

      Epi 7: Jon was literally front and center in every scene, and led the negotiations in all cases.Interesting choice since Sansa’s the trueborn but I’m sure it was agreed to by all involved as the best strategy.

      So apparently unless the dude is front and center and totally overshadows the lady in every single scene of every single episode, “feminism rules”.Well ok.I guess I have no problem with feminism ruling then, if it means that men and women take turns being front and center.

      LOVE this!! Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

      Can’t it be Sansa’s season as WELL as Jons?? Some people, LOL

        Quote  Reply

    246. ghost of winterfell: Regarding the report about Sansa arriving on the battlefield with Vale men

      Remember Robin Arryn said that “we should help her” with respect to Sansa- in Yohn Royce’s presence, and LF had Royce assemble the army- Sansa could contact Royce directly and get what she wants/needs – but does she know that? She met him, she knew he was a friend of her Father’s- she knows the Vale men are assembling at Moat Cailan…

      Where was she sending the Raven- to the Eryie or the Moat? If to the Moat the perhaps Royce gets it- and I can certainly imagine him opening LF’s mail under such circumstances – he’s been ordered by his Lord (Robin) to help his Lord’s cousin- Sansa Stark- and here’s a letter with a Stark’s sigil/seal…

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    247. For people wondering about Sansa’s letter, there’s a caption of it online where the legible parts are:

      “…Now you…”
      “…of the Vale are under your command…”
      “…your aid, and I shall see to it that you…”

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    248. Wimsey,

      Pity they can’t somehow get a wight on this side of the wall. They can freeze him like a wight-sicle and put him in a cage and thaw him out for demonstrations for the houses.
      And Jon can maybe do the doubting Thomas thing where he lets them see/feel the wounds he has. (I’m not sure but they didn’t seem to be healing up much last time we saw them).

        Quote  Reply

    249. Mihnea,

      So you think they are going to be having dany break the peace which tyrion masterfully brought ..I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it ended up happening ..

      I can see dany bringing down the pyramid after the battle but not before that …

      But am sure they are going to make dany absent in next episode ..why give her scenes with dosh khaleen or let her have a normal conversation ..and so she will come back with episode 9 and crush those sons of harpy like tywin and stannis did in previous season..

      And What we see on the preview with tyrion is in night I believe and shot from trailer wherewhere dany’s room blown up happens in the day

      Am personally looking forward to amount of time going to be spend on siege of river run and siege of meereen…while that siege and army of yunkai is some of the worst writing of GRRm ..there was an awful lot of time spent on that with multiple povs including dany barristan tyrion jorah and victarion ..I wonder how much time its going to get 15 min max i think

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    250. Blackfish´s Ally: It could be (and is likely) that the scenes with Jaime and Brienne precede Brienne giving Brynden the letter and the Balckfish will then surrender and escape/escape alongside Brienne.

      Preview discussion below:

      Brienne says (if I understand correctly) “If I fail to convince the Blackfish to surrender, and if you retake the castle, honor compels me to fight you.” I’m trying to get my head around why and how this works. It’s definitely not clear to me if she talks to BFish or Jaime first, but it would make more sense that she would talk to Jaime first since she has to go through the seige lines to get to Riverrun.

      OK so if Jaime retakes the castle, presumably that means the Tully men are dead/captured and the Lannisters are in control. Why would Brienne fight Jaime in those circumstances? Honor compels her to get the Blackfish and bring him (and his army) back to Sansa, not to waste time and lives fighting the Lannister/Frey army. And anyway even if honor compelled her, what would it achieve? It’s not like the Lannisters are going to let the Tully’s/blackfish and her go if she beats Jaime in some sort of duel.

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    251. Ravyn:
      Aryamad,

      Also Jaqen is two feet taller than Arya. Changing faces doesn’t change your height and build.

      Wasn’t Jaqen originally a shorter, broader black man when Arya first came to the HoBW?

        Quote  Reply

    252. dragonbringer,

      No, not in that sense. She isn’t destroying the pyramid.

      Just thought that she is getting back and has a ”cool” entrance with Drogon. I thought his wings could do the shot we have in the trailer.

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    253. Duncan:
      The Manderlys were mentioned a couple times this episode, so when Sansa was writing her letter my first thought was that they may be bringing the Manderlys into the show. I hope they do, but it was most likely that the message was to Little Finger.

      I’m not liking the idea of the BwB now going around murdering innocents.

      They had already sent a raven to House Manderly. There is one place Sansa knows she could get a full army, and that is the Vale with LF. It doesn’t make much sense for that letter to go anywhere else.

        Quote  Reply

    254. Sean C.,

      Yeah, I´ve seen that, too. Now I wonder if Sansa has left out her name and just pressed the Stark-sigil on it because she did not want to look too dire in need and thus addressed the letter to Robyn Arryn, not Petyr. It would probably be the same outcome, yet it would save her some dignity to go around Petyr to some extent while still receiving the troops of the Vale for aid.

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    255. QueenofThrones: My point is she doens’t have to do that.

      She can tell Jon, “I have had word from the Vale.My cousin is on his way with a large force to liberate Winterfell.Let’s plan how they will help us in the battle.”

      How hard is that?

      This. There doesn’t seem to be any point to any secrecy. More than ever, they need to be united and well coordinated if they want to win against the Boltons. I’m hoping Sansa would share this with Jon before they march to WF.

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    256. Sean C.,

      I was so excited to see the Hound at the beginning but the northern story just totally ruined the episode for me. Sansa and Jon look like bumbling idiots. Davos, who is not from the north, knows the place better than the natives (including Roose who told Ramsay you can’t rule the north without the Starks). The North is suffering from severe amnesia, turning out to be the most seriously outbreaking treacherous c@nt$ of the seven kingdoms. Even little Lyanna Mormont forgot the awesome letter she wrote last season to treat the freaking Starks who showed up at her door with cringe inducing disdain. I’m just so pissed and disappointed.

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    257. Apollo:
      LOVE this!! Couldn’t agree more!

      Thanks!!

      Can’t it be Sansa’s season as WELL as Jons?? Some people, LOL

      No it can’t!!! Penis >>> Vagina!!!

      (with apologies to the many fine eunuchs in this series…)

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    258. I am not a reader of the books, so perhaps my understanding of Sansa is not deep, I see her as well, very generic a pretty girl who makes pretty clothes, eats lemon cakes and not much more. I find it very hard to believe that she is this strategic, intelligent girl, by no means am I saying I am right or wrong but to me she is a bore, sorry, and I could not careless about her storyline

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    259. Sean C.,

      Woah, I totally glossed over that. Shame shame shame

      Maybe I should not have just read the transcription but looked at the actual picture…

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    260. Sean C.: Um, no, there’s every reason to tell Jon about it, because it would stop him from marching his <2500 men to certain defeat at Winterfell with all haste.And while there are variables, she knows Baelish wants her; there’s every reason to think he’ll show up.

      Yup, he will definitely show up. He already offered her his army! I’m sure he’d be so giddy once he received that letter. This is exactly what he wanted to happen – for Sansa to need him.

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    261. Mihnea,

      I think the chambers is getting blown up with the help of trebuchet ..thats what i have been thinking from the moment i watched the trailer…like i said its happens in the middle of a day so middle of the battle of meereen . I don’t think a dragon wings can do that when they are landing ..

      I can’t think of a scenario how they will have dany not look bad if she lands in meereen next episode before the sons of harpy attacks ..

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    262. Mrs. Podrick Payne: Davos, who is not from the north, knows the place better than the natives

      Actually “rallying support” from various small houses is what Davos is really good at, he’s had tons of experience at it, it was his main job for Stannis- it’s a key piece to his skill set.

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    263. Jack Bauer 24: Maybe this seasons ends with Arya on a boat back to Westeros like Season 4 ended with her leaving Westeros?

      I’d like her to kill Walder Frey by season’s end – during that scene they’re celebrating with the Lannisters. Red Wedding vengeance! Wishful thinking, I know. At the rate things are going though, I’d be happy to see her alive and sailing for Westeros by ep10.

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    264. dragonbringer,

      Just had a thought! After 2 episodes without Tyrion, what if we get back to Meereen and siege has already begun and they are starting to starve…etc.

      It would explain the 2 episode skip.

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    265. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Or maybe that wasn’t actually Arya. We’ve already seen Jaqen has the ability to appear as Arya in the finale last season. I think it was him testing the Waif. If I’m wrong and the writers actually had Arya standing around, unsuspecting and unarmed, that would be very disappointing.

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    266. Mihnea,

      Yeah I think that’s how they are gonna start up the scene there at meereen..

      We still have to see varys leave and tyrion having hallucinations about shae ..i think that all will be happening in this episode ..

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    267. Mrs. Podrick Payne:
      Sean C.,

      I was so excited to see the Hound at the beginning but the northern story just totally ruined the episode for me. Sansa and Jon look like bumbling idiots. Davos, who is not from the north, knows the place better than the natives (including Roose who told Ramsay you can’t rule the north without the Starks). The North is suffering from severe amnesia, turning out to be the most seriously outbreaking treacherous c@nt$ of the seven kingdoms. Even little Lyanna Mormont forgot the awesome letter she wrote last season to treat the freaking Starks who showed up at her door with cringe inducing disdain. I’m just so pissed and disappointed.

      I think this is very realistic. It’s not that these other lords love the Starks because tradition dictate they should. They respected Ned and his ancestors not simply out of tradition or because they were perceived to be greater or closer to God(s) or whatever. It’s not something in their blood/DNA. What this story is showing us is that it’s the power that the Starks had (big castle, large army, money, etc) that made them the respected house to be feared and loved (love = loyalty / fealty) and they don’t have that any more. Sansa is like us because she believed the fairy tale of loyalty as tradition, as a part of culture and not as a social construct enforced my money and violence/power to make and enforce rules.

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    268. Sam,

      Everyone is assuming that the letter went to LF. Could it be that obvious, or is there a twist here? Maybe she sent it directly to her cousin, Lord Robin. Or maybe it went to someone else… maybe it went to the Blackfish and that’s how that situation gets resolved.

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    269. Boston Snow,
      I also am hoping for a twist and that it’s for someone else. Probably won’t be for the BF because Brienne brought the letter herself (the preview shows her handing him a letter).

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    270. Boston Snow,

      She send Brienne instead of a raven to Blackfish. LF will read anything that comes to Robin and as his advisor and uncle. Lord Royce is pretty much powerless. So it has to be Littlefinger and he controls Vale army.

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    271. Boston Snow:
      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Or maybe that wasn’t actually Arya.We’ve already seen Jaqen has the ability to appear as Arya in the finale last season.I think it was him testing the Waif. If I’m wrong and the writers actually had Arya standing around, unsuspecting and unarmed, that would be very disappointing.

      Yeah, there’s certainly something weird about that Arya situation. Also, the people didn’t look like they were seeing a girl wounded. They looked more like they were seeing a girl acting weird. What if she’s not really wounded and it’s just an illusion? Eh, I’m the one sounding weird now. lol

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    272. ArgonathofBraavos:
      McShane is a brand new character. You don’t give him a five minute speech and expect audiences to sit through it. Adaptation, folks. And Cogman is a master at it.

      I guess ymmv, but for me, adaption is what happened to ToJ speeches. It could’ve been done here as well, but wasn’t. Just curious.

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    273. QueenofThrones,

      I assume that Brienne would have to fight Jaime due to him breaking the oath of letting no harm come to the Stark girls in that sense that he is knowingly hindering a whole army that could help Sansa from coming to her aid. He´s on the side that´s working against the Starks so he´s putting Sansa and her troops in a high risk. That´s at least the only relatively reasonable argument behind what Brienne said (that I can think of). Very strange sentence, indeed.

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    274. QueenofThrones:
      Brienne says (if I understand correctly) “If I fail to convince the Blackfish to surrender, and if you retake the castle, honor compels me to fight you.”I’m trying to get my head around why and how this works.

      I think she just means that she is on the Blackfish’s side, because he is Sansa’s uncle. So if she can’t get him to surrender to join Sansa she is forced to join him.

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    275. Boston Snow,

      Because that’s how nobles communicate, quite apart from the fact that she doesn’t like Baelish now and would probably prefer arms-length.

      Blackfish´s Ally,

      Regarding Brienne’s statement, Jaime is making war on House Tully. House Tully are allied with/subordinate to House Stark, who Brienne now serves. If Jaime attacks House Tully, Brienne feels honour-bound, as part of her duties, to side with the Tullys as a result. I think that’s straightforward.

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    276. Cock Merchant,
      Blackfish´s Ally,

      Ok I listened to it again and it might be that Brienne says “If I fail to convince the Blackfish to Surrender and if you attack the castle, honor compels me to fight you.” Which makes a lot more sense – she’s saying she’d Join the Blackfish’s side in any battle if there is one.

      But, I still think Honor compels her to get back to Sansa rather than waste time fighting the Lannisters. Her job was to get Blackfish to come north with his army. If he refuses, then her mission has failed and she should leave. Could be she’s saying this as a way to persuade Jaime. His did look pretty torn TBH, he dones’t want to fight Brienne.

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    277. QueenofThrones:
      Nymeria,

      This is what I considered at first, but couldn’t come up with any reason why she’d do the wandering through the streets thing.Your idea is interesting, but wouldn’t it be much better to have Needle somewhere nearby?Seems like a dumb plan.Also how would she know that the Waif wouldn’t cut her throat or her femoral artery?Or poison her?Plenty of things that the “fake blood” plan couldn’t account for.

      So very true, of course, but I cannot think of a better explanation. Perhaps, knowing that the FM would hunt her forever and eventually win, Arya was willing to gamble her life to fake her death. I hope that we get a very satisfying, plot-hole-free explanation. I won’t be holding my breath, though. One thing I am certain of, however, is that Arya survives this season. She has to.

      She’s one of the Big 5.

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    278. Below average episode in my opinion.

      Turning the Brotherhood heel is a clear cut lame plot point to get Sandor fighting again. You bring McShane on for a cameo and don’t even use a word from the source material, that you by the way named the episode after? Okey dokey. Jon story continues to be a botch for me. Does anyone care that the man they’re talking to was dead and brought back to life? Why does this appear to be a shrug your shoulders event for basically everyone ?

      Listen, I’m not going to whine and complain over every little change from the books. But I will about the speech. Not utilizing this for Ian McShane’s cameo is idiotic. And if they filmed it (which I doubt) and cut it, why? Even if you hate the books with a passion, it remains one of the better pieces of prose GRRM ever wrote. And this is still an adaptation….isn’t it?

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    279. Faceless Men – What we’ve seen

      As others have discussed we have seen the many faces exchanged right before Arya went blind. We have seen Jaqen change faces early in the series, did his build change too? I’d have to go back and watch.

      I do not think this is merely peeling a face and placing it. It is magic. The faceless learn a magic skill. Was Arya the exact height and build of the girl who’s face she used in the whore house?

      I truly think that the things most are missing is that more than the face is perceived by others when it is placed on. I would also guess there are many levels of the skill. Perhaps Arya and the Waif have the basic skill of just the face and Jaqen can morph the body and even exchange without the actual skin of another.

      Just some thoughts.

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    280. So I have a theory that might disrupt the Celganebowl. I don’t think that Sandor is really converted and can’t be called on by the faith to be their champion. I think he will stick to the Riverlands and will not go back to Kings Landing. But we do have one excited new convert, TOMMEN. It could be a stretch but is this how Tommen will die? Will he fight as the faith’s champion? Frankenmountain will win, Cersei will be free, but the price will be the death of her son. Maybe somehow arranged by Margery? The younger and more beautiful Queen mentioned by Maggy the frog?

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    281. Demon Monkey,

      So then everybody, from Ned to Tywin to Roose to old WF lady (not just naive Jon and Sansa) were wrong in their assesment of northern loyalty.

      The writers are backing down from what they have been setting up for 5 seasons just to create some false tension in the Stark camp while Ramsay the traiterous usurper, kinslayer psychopath gets everything handed down in a silver platter. Jon and Sansa for some mysterious reason don’t even mention his insanity in their sales pitch.

      Everybody is coming out looking like morons in this story, including the writers.

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    282. orange,

      Not sure if this will make you feel better

      http://www.ew.com/article/2016/06/05/game-thrones-the-hound-interview

      The title has its roots in the books too, correct?

      [The character of Ray] is a combination of a couple characters in the books – with additional characteristics we added. One of those characters gives a speech in the fourth book referred to as “The Broken Man” speech by A Song of Ice and Fire fans. The speech itself didn’t make it into the episode, but it inspired the character and some of his dialogue. So the title of the episode is a nod to that speech – kind of like when we called episode 205 “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” even though that term wasn’t spoken out loud in the show.

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    283. Homplomplomo: “In the books” followed by a personal opinion.

      Well, in the show, he made it very clear to Stannis he cannot leave the NW.

      This is not an opinion it is a fact.

      Jon renounced his vows when he announced to the Nights Watch that he will ride out against the Boltons by using a Wildling army. He decided to leave the Nights Watch by his choice, there wasn’t any excuses or explanation to fall back on.
      We constantly see that Jon is a person who really values his duty, so this is a significant step for him when he decides to forsake his duty.
      Duty has always been very important to Jon, it has been duty that has kept him grounded in many situations.
      The more experience Jon gains the more he sees that all of these vows and oaths are not always practical, just or very logical to follow.

      In the Nights Watch especially, their own vows and codes have begun to work against them and their true mission. It is a big character development for Jon, because it is a change in his moral foundation. He started to rely less on law and duties, and he started to follow more of his own judgement and moral code. It makes Jon more of a grey character.
      That is a big step to take as a character.
      Obviously it is almost impossible for the show to follow every book example. I am not saying it should have gone the same way in books. But there should at least be something to Jon’s resurrection, he died and was brought back to life. Surely that is a huge emotional and psychological event. He should have gained something emotional from the experience. His Nights Watch vows id not the answer, he did not have to die in order to leave the Nights Watch. Therefore his death has been somewhat pointless thus far

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    284. Ginevra,

      As I have previously written, I think it may have been Jaqen posing as Arya to test the Waif. He showed us last season that he can appear as Arya.

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    285. QueenofThrones:
      But, I still think Honor compels her to get back to Sansa rather than waste time fighting the Lannisters.Her job was to get Blackfish to come north with his army.If he refuses, then her mission has failed and she should leave.Could be she’s saying this as a way to persuade Jaime.

      Well that’s why she mentioned honor. What you said might be her literal mission, or something sensible to do, but certainly not honorable. She is a fighter for Sansa and her allies so one could see why she feels bound by honor to join the Blackfish. Of course that might also be a way of putting pressure on Jaime, but that only works if it’s convincing, which it most likely is coming from Brienne, and Jaime knows that.

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    286. Mihnea,

      So, you can tell how I will think about something? A random internet stranger behind a username? This must be an impressive gift for you.

      Listen I know this will be very difficult for you to take……but it’s okay if some people don’t like something that you do. The world will not end because of it. The flowers will continue to bloom even though we have different opinions. The sun will shine with our different thoughts. It’s going to be okay.

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    287. orange,

      It’s a great gift. I have it from spending years on internet forums.

      I didn’t mean this as a attack or insult or anything like that. I didn’t criticized you about your opinions. I simply said that this won’t make you feel better, and I think I was right, hell if anything I think that makes you even angrier.

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    288. Sean C.,

      I think you are right. The young Lord Cerwyn became the Lord because Ramsay flayed his father. This means his support could go either way – he may support Jon to have vengeance for his father, and to avoid future flaying, or he might be too scared of Ramsay to oppose him. I hope he supports Jon, more so it would prove Roose was right that Ramsay won’t faint allies by flaying men.

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    289. ghost of winterfell:
      One question, do we have an official synopsis for episode 8 as yet? Other than that leaked one which could very well be fake?

      Not really. Here is what IMDb says, but isn’t this the synopsis for “The Door”? I’m sure it is.

      Tyrion seeks a strange ally. Bran learns a great deal. Brienne goes on a mission. Arya is given a chance to prove herself.

      I’m looking forward to comparing the official synopsis to the leaked one to see if there are similarities. After this last episode and preview, I think the three leaked descriptions are looking more and more valid.

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    290. Wimsey: Well, what could they do?They are beggars at the door: any threats they might make would be hollow, petulant, and likely to be met with their undoing.Indeed, the one thing that surprised me: neither brought up that Jon was a deserter from the NW, and (by rights) should be executed then and there!

      Yup, that’s one of the things I was baffled about. The show glossed over that probably because it’s really hard to explain to people, if you think about it. “I died and then I was resurrected. So my watch is ended.” People would think he’s crazy!

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