Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 “The Broken Man” Written Recap Round-Up

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More characters returned this week in “The Broken Man” and even a few new faces popped in as season 6 of Game of Thrones is shaping up to be truly full of surprises.

*Spoilers*

Here atop The Wall, Sue (Sullied) is exuberant for the return of The Hound and guest actor Ian McShane (Brother Ray). She applauds the headstrong Lyanna Mormont and Yara’s revival of broken man Theon Greyjoy. Oz (Unsullied) also savors Ian McShane’s too-short performance and the anticipation created by the Blackfish and Jaime’s parley.

Since this episode contained moments from the book series and the past, some authors are noted as Sullied or Unsullied. Be sure to still exercise caution when reading some reviews for book spoilers.

Myles McNutt, A.V. Club (Sullied) – McNutt basks in the return of Sandor Clegane as he joins the ranks of characters who’ve been reborn.

Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post (Sullied) – Rosenberg reviews those both physically and emotionally damaged in “The Broken Man.”

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – Also rejoicing for the return of The Hound, Collins calls the episode “well-paced and well-packed.”

Rob Bricken, io9 – Bricken states the episode had an “inevitable sense of things falling into place.”

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – Hibberd gushes for everyone’s new favorite 10 year old: Lyanna Mormont.

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian (Sullied) – In line with Bricken, Hughes describes last night as a “well-paced, quieter episode that moved more pieces into place and presented us with a whole array of broken men.”

Neil Miller, Film School Rejects (Sullied) – After initially finding the episode “awful”, Miller steps back and analyzes how “The Broken Man” set us up for the conclusion of season 6.

David Crow, Den of Geek – Crow was beyond shocked declaring this episode “definitely and deftly executed its final movements on the chess board before qrugh hits the fan in the season’s last three episodes.”

Laura Hudson, Wired – Hudson takes a look at how the episode examined the consequences of violence through Theon Greyjoy and The Hound.

Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix – Sepinwall explores the meaning of “The Broken Man” and how it applies to each of our character’s inner turmoil.

Brandon Norwalk, A.V. Club (Unsullied) – Norwalk comments on the adversity often faced by the Starks and how their underdog nature will affect Arya.

Jen Chaney, Vulture – Chaney revels in the two big bomb drops this episode: the return of The Hound and the brutal stabbing of Arya Stark.

David Malitz, The Washington Post (Unsullied) – Malitz laments for the Stark’s turn of fortune this episode and reviews Margaery’s schemes in King’s Landing.

Laura Bogart, Salon – Bogart rejoices for the strong women this episode through Margaery Tyrell, Lyanna Mormont, Sansa Stark, and Yara Greyjoy.

Laura Stone, Hey, Don’t Judge Me (Unsullied) – Stone revels in the return of The Hound (and episode guest Ian McShane) and straight loses it when Arya is stabbed.

David Rosenblatt, Squinty Over Analyzes Things (Sullied) – Rosenblatt delves into the themes of faith and devotion in his review of “The Broken Man.”

Michal Schick, Hypable (Sullied) – Schick explores the nature of our characters presented and tested this episode.

Check back later this week for Bex’s recap round-up with the video reviews for “The Broken Man.”

Another round of satisfied critics as season 6 sets up its conclusion! What are your thoughts? Let us know below!

85 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Why does Davos say the camp they were staying at was good and that Stannis stayed there on his way to Winterfell? Ramsay infiltrated that same camp and burned it. Did Davos forget?

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    2. Hmmm what if it really was Arya and Lady Crane finds her and nurses her back to health and smuggles her into Westeros hidden among the theater troupe?

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    3. Jack Bauer 24: Why does Davos say the camp they were staying at was good and that Stannis stayed there on his way to Winterfell? Ramsay infiltrated that same camp and burned it.

      It is well positioned for supplies and for dealing with an army. It’s not so well-positioned for dealing with terrorism. The assumption probably is that Ramsay intends to crush them.

      Anon,

      That wouldn’t explain Arya running the way that she does in the trailer. Now, obviously: that could be some time later. However, a gut wound such as Arya has sustained often will wind up being lethal. Something weird happened that we have not completely figured out: she is nowhere near as badly hurt as she should be. (Quite frankly, she should have died in short order.) However, she definitely is hurt: perhaps she got semi-lucky, and some protection or prop that she had as a contingency wound up taking most of the damage, but she still sustained a serious gash on her belly.

      But if she did take the wounds that she appeared to take (that is, there was no “blood bladder” prop or armor/money pouch deflecting it or anything like that, then the Red Priests are the only thing we have seen with the sort of power that could save her.

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    4. Been re-watching that bizarre Arya scene. I think she might have faked her death, to throw off the Faceless Men. She could be using a bodysuit of blood and guts, so that she can escape from Braavos without the FM on her tail. It would explain why she’s standing around in broad daylight as if she WANTS the waif to find her. She could have been given a theatre prop by Lady Crane in the theatre troupe (fake blood). The more I watch it, the more I’m convinced. She does’t seem to be in much pain, for someone who just had a knife literally twisted inside her stomach. She also should be passing out from so much blood loss, but she’s walking normally. Her clothes look a bit chunkier than usual, like she’s put on a bit of weight since last week. And if the trailer is to be believed, she will soon be leaping from tall buildings, which seems a bit unlikely for the victim of a life-threatening stabbing. I’m predicting that she faked the whole thing, and the plan will be going great until the Waif spots her next week….but if she manages to kill the Waif before she leaves, then she can go back to Westeros without Jaqen on her heels, because presumably the Waif will report to him that Arya is dead. And last but not least, the next episode is called No-One….”Arya” died in Braavos, and No-One will now return to Westeros.

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    5. I’ve got a bit of depression kicking in. We only have three episodes left. If this was next season it would be over already.

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    6. One way or another a face will be added to the wall…(paraphrase)
      *Jaquen

      If the waif killed Arya but returns to the FM with no face, then what? There has to be a clue there.

      And as mentioned above the next episode is titled “no one”.

      #AryaLives

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    7. I really loved the number of reviewers who are not just critiquing, but are actually analyzing and considering what broken man means for the characters and show, esp from the Wired, AV Club and Hitflix As usual Hibbert on EW is fine. haven’t read the others but Im liking what I read

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    8. Bob Warren:
      Been re-watching that bizarre Arya scene. I think she might have faked her death, to throw off the Faceless Men. She could be using a bodysuit of blood and guts, so that she can escape from Braavos without the FM on her tail. It would explain why she’s standing around in broad daylight as if she WANTS the waif to find her. She could have been given a theatre prop by Lady Crane in the theatre troupe (fake blood). The more I watch it, the more I’m convinced. She does’t seem to be in much pain, for someone who just had a knife literally twisted inside her stomach. She also should be passing out from so much blood loss, but she’s walking normally. Her clothes look a bit chunkier than usual, like she’s put on a bit of weight since last week. And if the trailer is to be believed, she will soon be leaping from tall buildings, which seems a bit unlikely for the victim of a life-threatening stabbing. I’m predicting that she faked the whole thing, and the plan will be going great until the Waif spots her next week….but if she manages to kill the Waif before she leaves, then she can go back to Westeros without Jaqen on her heels, because presumably the Waif will report to him that Arya is dead. And last but not least, the next episode is called No-One….”Arya” died in Braavos, and No-One will now return to Westeros.

      Arya will return to Braavos. The whole reason this is happening is because she doesn’t want to be no one.

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    9. This from Sepinwall was particularly apt:

      R

      esponding to the sight of his mentor hanging from the frame of the church he’ll never deliver a sermon inside, the Hound grabs his axe with the determination of a man who is planning to use it for chopping something other than wood. It’s portrayed as simultaneously a fist-pumping moment — Give ’em hell, Hound! — and one to lament, because Brother Ray wouldn’t have wanted him to take up arms again, and because the Hound seemed relatively at peace with himself during his time as a lumberjack(*). But even if the show wants us to admire Ray’s pacifism, it also acknowledges that it’s out of place in this nasty, cruel world. We don’t want our heroes to become more like the villains, but the villains keep winning because they’re always prepared to do worse than their opponents will.

      And the solution to this? Do we just continue the cycle of violence? Should’t we defend ourselves from violence? How do we defend ourselves while at the same time call for peace? How do we break the cycle? These questions have probably be asked since man’s ancestors first picked up a club, and I suspect will not be answered in our lifetimes. Still interesting to think that there might be a way, someday.

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    10. Hey All! I’ve been unable to check out all the comments so I’m just gonna post on the latest forum. One random tidbit that I keep thinking about from last night are those supposed BwoB raiders. When that one dude said, ” the night is dark and full of terrors”, I thought without a doubt they were former Stannis soldiers gone rogue, roaming and raiding…. but The Hound seems pretty certain they are brotherhood men. I’m hoping he is mistaken. I rather liked the brotherhood from the show. I was especially interested in the

      Frey assassin/ LSH led Brotherhood from the book too.

      Who knows, maybe Sandor is being misled to the brotherhood.

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    11. I am generally wondering why melisandre seems to be taking a backseat role after all she has done early season why isn’t she with Jon and Sansa doing more prophecies and supporting and stuff

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    12. Jack Bauer 24,

      He explained it the mountains are there to protect their backs. Yes a few men infiltrated but don’t forget the Stannis army was tired, hungry and cold. There were other circumstances that allowed that to happen.

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    13. Mike,

      It would not be smart to bring someone who believes in the Lord of Light to the northern houses that believe in the old gods.

      But I do agree she has not had much time this season and there have been other characters that seem to have had the same fate. For example Tyrion has not had much screen time this season.

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    14. Ian McShane seemed to be channeling Dennis Hopper there. I liked his performance and the writing, but we barely got to know his character (perhaps not a bad thing really), so when his time was up I was wondering a lot more about how far downhill the Brotherhood Without Banners’ standards have gone than feeling sorry for Brother Ray (who alas will never get the chance to sing “Georgia On My Mind”).

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    15. Gotta wonder which side the Iron Bank is backing. Probably all of them at this point. When all is said and done, the banks always come out ahead. Unless a giant dragon happens to come along and melts them down, which would be ironic and lots of fun.

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    16. I love reading everyone’s ideas on what happened with Arya. I am leaning towards it not being her but someone pretending to be her. Maybe Jaquen?

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    17. MiaMoon,

      There has to be more to it than what we saw. She might as well have taken out the first Bravosi billboard advertising her exact location to the waif. As far as someone pretending to be her, what would be the incentive? Why pretend to be Arya when it means an assured attack?

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    18. The Arya/Waif scene on the bridge in Bravos reminded me so much of the Shakespeare course I took in college. My professor told us that actors in Shakespeare’s time would often use bags of pig’s guts attached to their abdomens for realistic fighting scenes stage.
      Arya has just watched a play in which Robert Baratheon is gored by a boar and displays his fake guts hanging out. Afterwards Lady Crane asks Arya if she enjoys pretending to be other people.
      Fast-forward to a few days later when Arya knows she is on the hit list for the Faceless Men. She parades around in broad daylight as … Arya Stark! A noticeably exaggerated version of Arya Stark, like a character in a play. So like a Shakespearan actor she stands on a bridge and invites the waif’s attach with a BAG OF PIG’S GUTS ATTACHED TO HER STOMACH.
      All the world’s a stage …

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    19. I thought Jaqen told the Waif not to let her suffer, to make it quick. A stab wound to the gut is not what I consider a quick death by any means. I think Jaqen will be mad at the Waif and he will nurse Arya back to health

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    20. ramses,

      I believe it was Jaqen as Arya, and when we see her next, walking down the street, she will have morphed back to the Waif and she will die.

      It couldn’t have been Arya. No Needle. Where did the 2 bags of money come from? Her entire cavalier attitude. No way. Unless it was a dream but that would be lame.

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    21. Where to start with this episode! I know it was kind of a filler episode, but it’s easily one of my favorites this season.

      Starting the episode off with that anvil.. I can’t have been the only one thinking Gendry?!

      Ian McShane perfect casting to be Septon Ray. Every scene with him and the Hound was great! Cleganebowl hype!

      Margaery up to her usual schemes. Glad that they confirmed she has not become a mindless religious fanatic like her puppet husband.

      The QoT sparring with Cersei was hilarious. “You’ve lost Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in all this misery.” Can’t wait to see her unleash the zombie mountain on all of KL. “I choose violence.”

      The Blackfish is such a BA. “Kingslayer. Do you wish to resume your captivity?”

      Jaime finally pimp slapping someone with his golden hand

      Riverrun as a whole probably my favorite clips of the episode, should be interesting to see what happens when Brienne and Pod show up

      “You promised me a lordship and a castle and a highborn beauty for a wife.”
      “And you’ll get all three. A Lannister always..”
      “Don’t say it. Don’t fucking say it.”
      Bronn showing again why he’s a fan favorite!

      Sansa started the season off strong for me, but I am not a fan of her self entitled “Do what I say cuz I’m a Stark” attitude recently. Why does she feel the need to keep Jon in the dark as far as her dealings with Littlefinger? Does she plan to betray him in some way after the Battle of the Bastards? Frustrating

      I know the ships Yara and Theon stole were the “fastest in the iron fleet” but finding them already in Volantis seems a bit rushed. Not complaining though, the faster all the characters meet up the more time we’ll see everyone in every episode again.

      Also funny how all the uguuless individuals run to support Dany. (Unsullied, Varys, Theon) Are they doing this on purpose?

      The whole Arya scene didn’t stick for me. After all she’s been through with the faceless men wouldn’t she be on constant guard knowing they’d be coming after her? Seemed strange she’d be walking around nonchalant. Don’t think I saw Needle on her person either when the waif attacked, but will have to go back and watch to make sure

      Can’t believe we’re on episode 8 already.. Bittersweet

      The hype for these last 3 episodes couldn’t be any higher!

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    22. imogenkronos: o like a Shakespearan actor she stands on a bridge and invites the waif’s attach with a BAG OF PIG’S GUTS ATTACHED TO HER STOMACH.

      Doesn’t make sense. What if the Waif had cut her throat or stabbed her in the heart or the head? What if she had been stabbed from behind?

      If Arya was faking it, then there would have been no reason to show her in great pain after the attack.

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    23. Isn’t there a scene in the trailer with Walder toasting to a room full of people? I take it the seige will be successful?

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    24. There’s definitely a scene in the trailer with Lord Walder toasting with a bunch of Lannister soldiers in Riverrun. This show really loves to spoiler itself for some reason, for a show that gets so pissed when other people spoiler it. Not only that, but we know Arya is fine because she’s jumping off roofs in the next episode. The very name of this episode was a spoiler, and I didn’t mind, still loved seeing the Hound, but there was no surprise at all. They practically beat us over the head telegraphing the return of Benjen, but that was still pretty satisfying, too. Jon is getting distracted with Sansa’s war and it’s good to see two Starks still fighting the real war.

      The rest of them need to hurry up with this Bolton crap and move on. Somehow the build up to this battle isn’t exciting me like I thought it would. I was pumped as heck for Stannis to take back Winterfell (and crushed when he didn’t), but at this point, it’s going to be anticlimactic. We know with 80 billion% certainty Jon and Sansa aren’t going to lose, as much as the writers are falling over themselves to try and paint them as underdogs. I’m actually more interested in Riverrun now, where I still think the Freys are going down at some point and the Tullys will triumph, but I have no idea how. I hope Lord Edmure gets out of it somehow, even though he seems doomed.

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    25. Bob Warren,

      It would make sense for her to fake her death before leaving, since she knows she might be marked by the FM to the end of her days. What intrigues me is the way she acts, the clothes she’s wearing, the way she’s walking with her hands and the almost stoned look on her face. It’s like she’s playing role and daring someone to come get her. I can see her having gotten Lady Crane to help her, and she staggers to her in the next episode and we find out she’s fine. But before she fully gets away, the Waif finds her again and that’s the chase we see in the previews.

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    26. I can’t get Arya out of my head and I’m convinced that scene isn’t what we think it is. She dressed like she belonged in Westeros-hair like Ned. She threw around huge bags of money in a very public place. She strolled, relaxed, to a bridge and just stood there gazing at the statue and turned without fear to greet the old woman/Waif who stabbed her.
      This isn’t Arya’s normal behavior on her best day. It hasn’t been since she was on the road pretending to be Arry taking the black. She’s been hiding or in dangerous situations since then. Always on alert. And then she’s had a whole 2 seasons of training and FM montages where she was being attacked-even while blind. She (or someone else) is “acting as” Arya Stark from Winterfell.
      And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she’s been watching a play for the last few episodes.
      Don’t ask me how she did it-but it’s not what it seems.
      And I also think the Waif failed her own FM test-because the FM are about mercy and justice with their gifts-not cruelty. That twist of the knife was important symbol that she was aiming to inflict suffering.
      I can’t wait to find out what’s actually going on.

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    27. The Waif only exists in Arya’s mind. The battle taking place is between Arya Stark and truly becoming “No One.” Arya Stark’s mortal wound only exists in her mind – but will kill Arya all the same. Only No One will remain.

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    28. Has House Reed been mentioned as a potential Stark ally? Does HR even have an army (besides Lord Howland himself)? I confess that, as a series-only fan, I haven’t watched 6.07 yet–I like to learn first and then binge-watch three episodes at a time.

      Some interesting Reed-related points raised in other WotW threads intrigue me:

      1) During the WW attack in “The Door,” Meera snatched the sword weilded by the WW she killed. It was speculated that it might be one of the Targaryen’s Valyrian Steel weapons lost during the Blackfyre Rebellion.

      A linked image of the Benjen/Bran/Meera camp scene in “Blood of My Blood” featured arrows pointing to two swords near Meera and Benjen. Meera definitely did not have a sword when the trek to find the 3ER started!

      2) Someone suggested that instead of heading to Castle Black, Bran, Meera and perhaps Benjen would chose Greywater Watch as their next destination in case Bran’s WW “mark” would jeapordize The Wall’s defenses.

      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/House_Reed

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    29. Jack Bauer 24,

      Brienne will convince Blackfish to take Jamie’s offer and take his army North to support Sansa and Jon against the Boltons….no point sitting there for a 2 year Siege, when he can help take back Winterfell.

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    30. Jack Bauer 24,

      Yes. There may be a play as part of the feast/celebration. It may have the red wedding in it. He may laugh. And he might choke on that laughter. May be a pie or two. Doubt the last part but hope the first is true

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    31. I like Sarah Larson’s recaps at the New Yorker. They are just light-hearted. A good read after the more serious ones.

      I enjoyed Riverrun – the Blackfish, Bronn, Jamie in Lannister armour, the useless Freys. But like Sarah Hughes said in the Guardian recap, they have botched Jamie’s arc. Book Jamie is so much more interesting at this stage.

      ĹyannaBanna
      Interesting ideas.

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    32. imogenkronos,

      The last scene with Arya and the Waif was pure theater. Arya shows up at the docks all “Starked” up to the max. Theater. “Here I am with my Ned Stark hairdo. I’m Arya Stark, hello, hello”

      Then “Arya” flashes the cash and stands on a bridge. “”Okay, time to stab me!” Any Renaissance audience would’ve seen this moment coming. But not the Waif. She was too eager.

      Could’ve been Arya, could’ve been Jaqen Hagar in an Arya mask, could’ve been one of his nobodies. But it was a theatrical set-up from the get-go, and the Waif bit on it. Somebody’s face will end up on the wall soon, and it won’t be Arya’s.

      The bag of pig’s guts was merely the sweet part of the trap, Luke. It was a common theatrical device of Middle Ages and Renaissance theater. You know, get in a sword fight, slop some pig’s guts on the floor of the Wooden O.

      Arya’s gonna become a drama kid for a while.

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    33. Bob Warren,

      I hear you, and my only objection is: how did she know that the Waif will aim at her gut? I mean, she could have just slain her throat. Kind of a risky plan.
      But then again, there is definately something fishy about this whole thing, and it can be that Arya has staged it, as you suggest.
      What troubles me more, however, is that after waiting in the dark with the needle in her hand, she resurfaces with a large amount of money, different clothes, without her sword and with a taste for sight-seeing. Weird.

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    34. Sou,

      Arya guessed right. She sparred with the Waif numerous times, and learned to anticipate her moves. Sometimes combat boils down to who makes the best educated guess. Consider George Patton at the Battle of the Bulge. He guessed right. We won.

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    35. Just before Arya went blind, somebody who looked like Jaqen Hagar took poison and died. Arya removed several masks. One of the masks was Arya’s. Confused the hell out of me. I thought, one mask one dead person. Nope. The real Jaqen said the dude was nobody. Okay. Where’d they get the Arya mask if Arya’s still alive? Beats me.

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    36. imogenkronos,

      Okay here’s my prediction. Arya goes back to Westeros wearing the face of the redhead from the Lady Crane theater troupe. She shows up in the Stormlands, wargs into Nymeria and leads the big wolf pack to the Twins, where they devour the Freys.

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    37. Jack Bauer 24,

      I have a feeling Brienne will convince BlackFish to surrender the castle but negotiate a deal so he and army can all leave freely.

      They will then join up with Sansa and Jon, worry about getting riverrun back later

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    38. jon snow has a tactic he will use at the b0b….he will confront the castle…and ramsay will see how few man he has and charge at them…..then wun wun will hit them with a giant snowball and they will all fall in a heap and get slaughtered

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    39. Sou,

      They used Arya’s face in that rapid switcheroo scene before she went blind. There are apparently more ways to impersonate someone than physically lifting their skin.

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    40. Sou,

      Arya knew the waif wanted her to suffer and the best place to stab someone would be in the gut if they wanted that….the neck or the heart are way too quick

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    41. imogenkronos: The last scene with Arya and the Waif was pure theater. Arya shows up at the docks all “Starked” up to the max. Theater. “Here I am with my Ned Stark hairdo. I’m Arya Stark, hello, hello”

      I agree. The moment that scene started, I knew it was some sort of trick (whether by Arya or Jaqen is still unclear). I am surprised by how many of the reviewers indicated that they didn’t pick up on it right away, or even at all.

      You nailed on the head. She may as well have had a blowhorn announcing her presence, given how obvious she appeared. She (or he?) wanted to be found. I am also baffled that some reviewers really got upset about that kind of cliffhanger. I find them fun, because we get to spend a week trying to figure out the game. Obviously, like anything else, the show could overdo it, but they haven’t.

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    42. I don’t think the blood was a prop, where would she have got a blood bag from? The theatre groups props consisted of confetti and dogey costumes.
      Very excited to see how it plays out.

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    43. its prolly jaquen…..and he dies for her like he did when she fucked up the first time
      “there wont be a third chance”…for him

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    44. ash:
      These questions have probably be asked since man’s ancestors first picked up a club, and I suspect will not be answered in our lifetimes.

      The most common answer to this is that the monopoly on violence rests with a party regarded by the vast majority of the people as the legitimate authority. It is then by overwhelming force, or the threat of such, that people are kept in line. But large parts of Westeros are less like a kingdom and much more like an anarchy (that is, leaderless) and thus lack any such legitimate authority. All they have are roving bands of murderers and other thugs.

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    45. jymion:
      That was the waifs test….he said dont make her suffer
      she failed

      Actually he asked her to not make her suffer, not demanded it. We don’t know the Waif’s rank, but considering how she speaks to Arya, I think she already passed the tests, possibly a while ago. And I don’t think Jaqen impersonated Arya because he is much taller than her.

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    46. jymion:
      its prolly jaquen…..and he dies for her like he did when she fucked up the first time
      “there wont be a third chance”…for him

      Remember, she chose him for her third life to claim back in Season 2. That may be playing a role in this.

      I think we actually saw Jaqen. Seems more plausible than Actor-Ayra somehow guessing exactly where she would be stabbed, and the Waif not noticing she was stabbing blanks.

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    47. Anyway…that theory is winning it for me seein as she’s leaping tall buildings in the next episode in different clothes

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    48. Lord Parramandas,

      in season 5 episode 2, when jaquen was disguised as someone when Arya first goes to see him, Jaquen is taller than the guy he is impersonating. I think when you wear the face, there is magic involved to change everything
      I don’t know.

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    49. i think he dies…..and the waif goes nutso….chases arya thru the streets and ends up doing something stupid and get killed….cuz of rage

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    50. Night Walker,

      And it wasn’t only a stab wound, the waif even twisted the knife a couple times to cause Arya more suffering. Jaqen won’t be happy about that so the waif’s face will be the next one on the Wall.

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    51. maybe they were the last of the assassins……and in the end…arya goes back to the h0baw to keep it going…the same as john snow may end up as the 1000th lc of the nw in the very end

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    52. Ravyn:
      Bob Warren,

      It would make sense for her to fake her death before leaving, since she knows she might be marked by the FM to the end of her days. What intrigues me is the way she acts, the clothes she’s wearing, the way she’s walking with her hands and the almost stoned look on her face. It’s like she’s playing role and daring someone to come get her. I can see her having gotten Lady Crane to help her, and she staggers to her in the next episode and we find out she’s fine. But before she fully gets away, the Waif finds her again and that’s the chase we see in the previews.

      I’m sure Arya was goading the Waif, and wants her to track her down, thinking she’s injured. That’s the only way I can reconcile Arya putting a target on her back.

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    53. Dee,

      I expect tons of deaths for the last three episodes … It seems the only purpose of the Siege of Riverrun was to take Jaime out of King’s Landing. That dinner between Freys and Lannisters celebrating in the trailer is a bad sign …

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    54. I think there is a magical element to the faceless men and taking on persona’s. They tell Arya she isn’t ready… to what where a mask??! There is definitely more to them than that..

      An ancient order of assassins that began in the mines of old Valyria, they almost certainly use magic. I think Jaqen needs Arya for something and all of this is part of her initiation.

      “To be a Faceless man is something else entirely”. All is not as it seems, trust me.

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    55. Mag,

      when I saw the trailer I didn’t notice who they were celebrating with.

      ugh!
      I knew they would bring back awesome BF only to wack him. Just like Osha

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    56. Hate to be late to every party but it’s where I live and stupid things like work intefering. Just watched ep 7, and liked it, some of it a lot… but maybe not a top-ranking ep this season?

      First things first.

      I could watch 50 minutes of NCW galloping on a white charger looking sexy and Rory McCann chopping wood looking sexy and I’d be happy. 😀

      (BTW – did anybody notice. Jaime is not riding the same white horse that he so famously rode up those steps in ep 6, he seems to be riding Sansa’s cute grey/white horse ? OK, OK, I know, the sept steps stunt horse was in Spain and and this white stunt horse is in NI, so for filming NCW and Sophie Turner both rode it in turn. 😀 )

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    57. Put me down for the “blood bag” theory.

      I think that Arya was acting out of character in order to draw out the Waif and get her to attack. I think that she waited on top of the bridge because it offered her an easy escape position in the canal. I think that she stole or was given stage props in order to fake being stabbed in the torso (if she’s stabbed in the head or has her throat or legs slashed, she dies, so it’s a calculated risk).

      Now she’s slowly walking through a public square, “bleeding out” and gathering a lot of attention. I think the reason that she’s doing this is to lure the Waif to an area where she stashed Needle so that she can use it as a secret weapon when the Waif comes in to finish her off.

      Of course, I also think that Jaqen expected her to save the actress and that her abbreviated training is all part of some long con plan that he has for Arya, though I have no idea what the end game is.

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    58. I loved the cold open, this happy camp building a new sept. Co-operation, mutual respect, happiness, hope… Aw, even the music was happy.

      Those men carrying logs, 4 to a log, except a limping someone, who carried a log all by himself. I squeeeed even before they showed his face!!!!

      After credits. Aw, he had to admit it was some woman who nearly killed him (should we begin a Briendor ship???)

      OK, I have a major problem with this storyline. Ian McShane wasn’t Septon Meribald/Elder Brother and their deeper philosophy, but this happy-clappy septon leading some happy-clappy religious camp in the happy-clappy Riverlands. Happy-clappy doesn’t really happen in Westeros. You knew it was dooomed the moment you saw people smiling.

      I’m a book reader and therefore really sad we didn’t get the “broken men” speech, just some happy-clappy popularist sermonising. OK, there were bits there in the scenes, and the happy-clappy septon had a similar backstory and philosophy to Elder Brother but… Fortunately Sandor Clegane (the Hound is dead) was on the ball. Still cynical and sceptical (and sexy), and still a trained fighter. So alert, moving, when the riders came in.

      Sandor Clegane knows what’s what and told the happy-clappy septon. Those are Brotherhood without Banners men, they worship the Red God. The h-c s asks what should/could they do? Awww! Rory’s BIG shrug. The fuck I know, I’ll just chop more firewood (sexy), for the night is cold.

      I looooved the shot of Sandor pointing the axe at the h-c s when he was telling him (h-c s) some home truths.

      Of course happy-clappy religious camp ends up badly. Sandor is away, still chopping wood (sexy), hears the screams, runs back.
      OK, I think, when Sandor looked at the hanged h-c s, he for a moment looked sad, like for a few seconds he’d allowed himself to believe that it could be different. The dissapointment (in humankind), and then that lovely close-up of the axe… The way it gleams when Sandor picks it up.

      As the h-c s said, gods still have work for Sandor Clegane to do.

      A bit dissapointed in the anticipated Septon Meribald/Elder Brother thing, but happy that Sandor Clegane’s back. And that was the point of this little storyline in the show.
      *shrug*. For that, I can forgive and forget the happy-clappy camp.

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    59. My other favourite part of this episode: Riverrun.

      First scene: Jaime rides in, all swaggering and sexy, and totally owns the Freys, takes command and is very naturally and organically the boss. The Lion of Lannister. (Oh, and I liked that nod to book readers, that he clocks someone with his golden hand, though the reason in the show was different and less romantic.)

      Second scene: Blackfish totally owns Jaime. The Kitten of Lannister.

      I especially loooved the Jaime-Blackfish parley scene. Well, it starts with Jaime cantering through the Lannister camp (well-ordered, as opposed to the shambolic Frey camp). And, really. Can any woman resist a sexy man cantering on a white charger? Really?

      So the scene starts with Jaime as the who-hoo hero. Yay! Yay!

      But. Look at his face when he walks the bridge. It’s not the face of a confident hero. He walks to the end of the bridge and stares into the abyss. Well, the moat, but book readers might feel a bit more here.

      I’m not sure what the show has revealed about Jaime’s vows to Lady Catelyn before she released him, so I’ll put this in spoilers.

      Lady Catelyn made Jaime swear (at swordpoint, and upon his life, honour, everything Cat could think of) to never again to take arms against houses Stark or Tully.

      This explains why Jaime often looks uncomfortable about this siege. Why he wanted Edmure treated well. Why he wanted parley with the Blackfish. He’s trying his best to uphold his oaths and vows. In the show, once he’s away from Cersei, he wants to be a true knight. Honourable and diplomatic, trying to save lives and all that (not what Cersei would want, haha).

      The Blackfish calls him “Kingslayer” twice. The first time, Jaime doesn’t rise to the bait, just laconically nods “Blackfish”. It’s the second time, after Jaime tried to offer very favourable surrender terms (to be a good person) and being refused… Jaime loses his rag and shouts after Blackfish, who’s pleased about getting under the skin of this seemingly cocky near-middle-aged kid. Aaah, Blackfish is so great! I love Jaime but Blackfish just reduced Jaime to the Kitten of Lannister. Eat that. You’re no Tywin. (Which is probably a good thing.)

      Or, as Monty Python would say: Go away or I shall taunt you a second time! Ah. Hahahaha! Loved it!

      Also loved it how it was shot, the bridge, the moat, the whole set, the camera angles. By far my fav scene in this ep.

      Aww, poor Jaime. Once the kingslayer, always the kingslayer. The man with shit for honour. Nobody will ever take your word.

      Jaime did what all the rebels wanted done (kill the Mad King) but nobody thanks him, all he gets is scorn and vilification. It’s so convenient for the others, wash their hands and blame Jaime. We had nothing to do with it. It was the oathbreaker, the kingslayer.

      What if Jaime had not killed the Mad King? Well, King’s Landing would’ve gone up in wildfire flames, but let’s put that aside. Would Ned Stark have killed the king? Robert after a mock trial? The Mad King had to die, and Jaime kept the others’ hands clean. And they vilify him for it. No wonder Jaime became a tad cynical.

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    60. Oh, and my take on those Braavos scenes.

      I wasn’t sure she swiped back both of those purses but maybe she did. Good on her if she did.

      I’m glad the Arya/Waif “fight” was handled this quicly. I hope this is the end of it, as the Waif seemed so smug and sure Arya’s dead. I hope Arya gets to her hideout and Needle, and gets better and gets home to Westeros. She may miss the ship she promised to pay for, though.

      I just want something to happen with the Arya storyline!

      Uhm… Does the fact that Sandor Clegane came back, in the Riverlands, mean anything to Arya’s storyline, especially because she’s trying to get back to Westeros, most likely landing in the Riverlands..? Those two were just so great together. The Hound sort of had a bratty daughter he was protecting and trying to teach. The best roadshow after Jaime and Brienne. Oh! And Jaime and Brienne might meet again next episode, but it will not be easy or happy!

      I expect Brienne’s vows, oaths and loyalities to be tested, and Jaime’s, too… Aaagh, I’m crying already.

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    61. Darren:

      Now she’s slowly walking through a public square, “bleeding out” and gathering a lot of attention.I think the reason that she’s doing this is to lure the Waif to an area where she stashed Needle so that she can use it as a secret weapon when the Waif comes in to finish her off.

      My take on the Braavosi just looking and turning away from bleeding, staggering Arya was that they’ve seen so many FM hits, or bravosi blade hits, and can’t be sure which is which, they just know better than to ask, or help. It might be the gift. That’s why they just look and shrug and go on with their own business. This is something that underlies the Braavosi culture.

      I don’t think there’s any conspiracy or grand plan. The Waif clearly thinks Arya’s dead. Now we only need Arya to recover Needle and get on a ship to… Saltpans! In the Riverlands! Because her surrogate dad is there!

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    62. talvikorppi,

      I like your comments, but there’s no way she’s going anywhere until she makes sure Waif is dead. Shes not no one. She is now Arya Stark.

      It would be cool if she meets up with Hound. Wonder if she’d say Im sorry, or if she’d be glad to see him,or if he’d turn his back on her.

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    63. So the Waif returns to the House of Black and White and finds Arya waiting for her. Jaqen the Man removes the Arya mask from his face and tosses a half-empty bag of pig’s guts onto the floor.

      He asks: “What part of ‘don’t make her suffer’ does the girl not understand? And nobody twists a knife on the Man!”

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    64. Look at Matthew Brady’s Civil War photographs, all those corpses with their shirts and trousers ruffled up. When a soldier got hit the first thing he did was check to see if he was gut shot, because that was known to be a slow and painful way to die. Frantic fumbling on the battlefield, and then the guy dies with his shirt tail flapping in the breeze.

      Arya figured the Waif wanted her to suffer, and anticipated a knife in the guts. That’s why the bag of pig’s guts, probably Lady Crane’s idea. Or Jaqen anticipated the same thing and put on an Arya mask.

      Either way the Waif’s face ends up in the House of Black and White. Maybe Arya will use it? That would be the ultimate irony.

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    65. talvikorppi: My take on the Braavosi just looking and turning away from bleeding, staggering Arya was that they’ve seen so many FM hits, or bravosi blade hits, and can’t be sure which is which, they just know better than to ask, or help. It might be the gift. That’s why they just look and shrug and go on with their own business. This is something that underlies the Braavosi culture.

      It looked to me like they were reacting to someone acting crazy or weird – almost like they didn’t see the blood? It was a very strange reaction from the crowd.

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