After two relentless episodes, we finally see the show slow down its pacing. That is not to say it wasn’t filled with tons of new material. HOwever, there were some really slow and seemingly insignificant moments and they really drew out some of their big moments. All that being said, this was a still a good episode because they dropped several bombs on us and gave us a lot of good developments for a lot of characters.
At this point, it’s hard to tell what is or isn’t a major plot development, so I’m going to organize this review geographically from the Southeast to the Northwest.
Although I still love the characters we have in Meereen–Missandei, Greyworm, Varys and Tyrion–I am disappointed by how slow the development is. Considering how long their scenes were, all we got was some development for this Sons-of-the-Harpy woman and the completely unsurprising knowledge that their enemies from Astapor and Yunkai are funding their enemies here. Plus, we got a completely pointless one-sided conversation about conversations. We know they need to make a big move. They know they need to make a big move. Let’s just get on with it.
B. Vaes Dothrak
In this episode, Dany arrives at the Dosh Khaleen and joins a bunch of depressed widows who dreamed of greatness, but were sorely disappointed when their Khal died. Although we don’t get much practical development, I see so much potential based on their very enlightening conversation. Game of Thrones has always uplifted underdogs who know how to take advantage of their strengths and the strengths of those around them. It is evident the Dosh Khaleen have a desire to do big things and there is an upcoming meeting about the Dothraki’s next big moves: what cities they will sack and what they will do with Dany. If Daenerys can give the Dosh Khaleen renewed hope and tempt the Dothraki to take down some big fish like the slave masters of Astapor and Yunkai, they may all come out on top.
C. Tower of Joy
I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t get more insight into this famous encounter, but they are definitely setting us up for the idea that everything may not be as we have been told. Bran’s main revelations were that his father lied about defeating Arthur Dayne and that he may be able to speak to people in the past. No major developments here, but we are definitely being set up for bigger things.
D. The Ocean
Finally, we catch up to Sam and Gilly and he is in pretty bad shape because of that storm. Although Gilly hasn’t scored a lot of “strong woman” points in the past, I appreciate how she addresses everything with a proper bluntness. On the one hand, we are inclined to agree with Sam: the situation is complicated and sometimes you need to lie to make sure everything goes as planned. On the other hand, why can’t he be true to his word or not lie in the first place? It’s not as if she is an idiot who isn’t aware of their circumstances.
I’m not sure how I feel about Sam going back to Horn Hill, but I am excited to meet his father. He is supposed to be similar to Tywin Lannister and Stannis Baratheon in that they are all stern, unyielding and brilliant military commanders. Though those characters tend to be frustrating, I also have a ton of respect for them.
E. King’s Landing
My second least favorite scene in this episode goes to Qyburn and the little birds i.e. little beggar children who are bought by sweets to spy. I really didn’t care that Varys was Sherlock 2.0 and I didn’t need to see Cersei once again try to destroy anyone who speaks ill of her. Once again, she’s too self-absorbed to see the bigger picture.
Of course, this segways into a slightly better scene of Cersei, Jaime, and Franken Mountain trying to butt into the Small Council. Again, I don’t need self-absorbed, I-still-think-I’m-the-queen, pay-attention-to-my-problems Cersei. However, I fully appreciate Lady Olenna and Kevan Lannister’s return. Lady Olenna is one of the best characters on the show and I appreciate how low of an opinion they have for Cersei. “You’re not the queen because you’re not married to the king,” says the Queen of Thorns. Then, Kevan Lannister goes, “We can’t make you leave, but you can’t make us stay either. Unless you have that thing kill us.”
Tommen. Sweet Tommen. I hope you’re just tricking us all and you’re actually the bravest, most intelligent of them all. If not, just listen to the awesome wordsmith that is the High Sparrow. The way he explained how Tommen has felt the Gods through the Mother’s love was absolutely brilliant. Overall, I appreciate the High Sparrow’s stand: It’s not about being sin-free. It’s about atoning for your sings and appreciating what the Gods have given you. I don’t know what direction the High Sparrow is trying to take Tommen, but if the network is as good as the one for Lancel Lannister, I’m game.
At last, we get to see Arya strengthen up and stop getting beat by the waif. I loved that after two episodes of misery, they throw a training montage at us. On top of that, they also catch us up on Arya’s understanding of the world and her infamous list. Then, after becoming super OP, she also regains her eyesight. I’m happy she is gaining strength. Though none of us want to see Arya become No one, we needed her to become the killer she always wanted to be. Now that she has some new moves, it is the perfect time to introduce another character that became stronger on her own. Perhaps, a leader of a super pack of wolves?
It pains me to see another Stark in the hands of Ramsey, but so it is. To go along with the theme of the episode, Smalljon Umber breaks his oath and turns Rickon and Osha over to Ramsey. Plus, we need to mourn another direwolf. R.I.P. Shaggydog. I really hoped Sansa would be able to reconnect with Rickon, but unfortunately, Dan and Dave loves torturing us. I don’t even want to predict what Rickon’s fate will be, but at least we have Osha back!
H. The Wall
Jon Snow is back! Of course, many of us saw this coming, Jon Snow did not. In fact, he saw nothing. I like that they went for a minimalist return. We didn’t need dialogue to understand that Jon is absolutely shocked to be alive. I liked his hugs with Tormund Giantsbane and Dolorous Edd. I like that we had a peck at his pecker from Tormund and a little joke about Jon’s usual seriousness. “That’s funny. You sure that’s still you in there?”
Can I say that I am so so happy the traitors are dead? I need to give some props for Ser Alliser Thorne’s last words. As annoying as he was, he alway gave 100% of his devotion to his beliefs and he never let his fear of consequence get in the way of vocalizing them. However, Olly was a little f**ker and I’m glad he’s gone.
Last but not least, we get the best development of all. Jon Snow’s Watch has ended. Thanks to the traitors, his oath has officially been fulfilled. I’m so excited to see Jon go to new places and perhaps reconnect with Sansa!
Top 5 Predictions
- Margaery Tyrell joins the High Sparrow!
- Jon Snow meets up with Sansa.
- Tyrion buys some help from sellswords.
- Daenerys gets the Dosh Khaleen and the Dothraki on her side.
- The Superpack!