All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As you can tell, I’ve failed at keeping this episode/season specific. Onwards!
6.6 Blood of My Blood
“Blood of my blood” is commonly uttered from a Khal to his loyal bloodriders- and in this case, a Khaleesi to the entire population of Dothraki. After her last spectacle of burning down the temple, Dany wins over every single Dothraki in Vaes Dothrak by sitting atop the strongest steed any of them have seen. The Dothraki traditions and superstitions have kind of dropped off the map since Dany got further away from the culture in Season 2, but let’s remember that Drogo was basically abandoned by his followers when he could no longer ride- the Dothraki will pledge themselves to whomever they think is the strongest rider, has the strongest horse, and well… they might look down at women, but no horse can beat a dragon as far as I’m aware of.
Ugh, this episode’s recap has one of Roose’s line in that deep voice and I’m again reminded how much more sense he would have made instead of Ramsay leading the Bolton forces. Oh and the Hodor thing- we’re still sad about that too, even though we are really beating ourselves up to get through this season.
Speaking of which, the episode opens up on Meera struggling to carry Bran through the woods- man, they really took Hodor for granted, huh? Bran’s still buffering and is unconscious- we get treated to a montage of images. I’m not going to put them in order or repeat any, but we see:
- The several tubs of wildfire sitting under King’s Landing, from Season 2- and then the same tunnel exploding. And pyromancers pouring it out.
- A dragon flying (looks like Drogon if we’re being super flashy)
- A bird’s eye view of King’s Landing- and as the montage continues, a dragon flies over it
- An old dude on top of the Iron Throne- it’s the Mad King!
- The shot of the Night King raising his arms from last season’s Hardhome
- Bran falling at the end of the pilot episode
- Uh… North of the Wall. It’s pretty!
- Cat getting her throat slit (sobs)
- Naked Dany with baby Drogon at the end of Season 1
- The White Walker baby getting carried out from Craster’s Keep to the White Walkers in Season… 3? Halp. It’s all blending together.
- NED getting is HEAD sliced off!
- Meera stumbling!
- Lots of ravens flying out of the woods
- The Mad King yelling “Burn them all!” before Jaime approaches the throne, unsheathing a sword! Slices and dices the Mad King.
- Young Ned asking where his sister is, followed by a clutched hand covered in blood
- ROBB getting stabbed by Roose Bolton, followed by another shot of Robb falling to his knees.
- Leaf stabbing one of the First Men to make the first White Walker, probably the Night King
- The White Walker who almost killed Jon at Hardhome but then got sharded
And then this eventually just waters itself down to the Mad King, images of Hardhome, Bran’s vision prior getting touched by the Night King, and the Night King holding up his arms and asking for a dance.
And this ends as Meera finally gives up and turns to see the wights closing in on them. She accepts her fate and hugs Bran, when he finally wakes up and states the obvious that the wights have found them. They’re saved by a mysterious figure on a horse, who unleashes a long flail and just mows the wights down with a little ball of fire and then later, a hatchet. They ride away off into the not-sunset.
He “Come with me if you want to live”s Bran and Meera and one grown man and two young adults ride off on one horse. Cool.
Down south, a clueless Sam and Gilly are in a carriage and on their way to Horn Hill and Sam starts rattling off the names of trees because he’s a giant nerd. And a nervous talker, as Gilly points out. Sam hasn’t told his family how far North Gilly is from, and he’s intent that his father never finds out as his father despises anything North of the Wall.
We get a shot of Horn Hill and it’s an Italian Renaissance style castle the size of the Red Keep. Seriously. Maybe not as tall, but wide. Shit’s huge. It’s about five times the size of Winterfell. I’m assuming the male Tarlys are compensating for something. Sam’s mother and sister welcome them both with open arms, but Sam’s father and brother couldn’t be bothered and is out hunting.
Down at King’s Landing, Tommen lights a candle to pray for Margaery’s atonement. The High Sparrow is adamant that the queen is well loved by the people and she would never be treated in the same way as Cersei. Apparently Margaery’s been keeping the faith as the High Sparrow allows Tommen to go visit her- but her demeanor has changed simply from cheery to happily obedient and she speaks highly of the High Sparrow. She has nearly everyone fooled in her religious awakening- and especially Tommen, so in love and wanting to keep her happy. He conveniently also changes his tune on the High Sparrow once he sees how “appreciative” Margaery is of his leadership.
Back at Horn Hill, Gilly gets dressed in southern finery and Sam is rendered speechless. And dinner is an even more speechless event- no one speaks to each other, despite not having seen Sam in a few years and Sam’s father Randyll is probably the most unpleasant man in Westeros. Meanwhile, Sam’s brother Dickon (insert Bronn face here) is the complete opposite of Sam- athletic, handsome, a good hunter- we can see why he would make the better face of House Tarly over Sam. Sam admits that even Gilly is a better hunter than he is and Gilly’s North of the Wall birthplace is dangerously close to being revealed until Sam’s mother pulls a Margaery and convinces Randyll that women in the North all learn how to hunt. It’s unclear if Momma Dearest truly understands the situation or just senses something is off or is straight up oblivious- but she’s determined to keep her family together and it’s pretty admirable how she inserts herself into the conversation here.
Anyway, it’s all in vain because once Randyll begins to emasculate Sam, Gilly intervenes and starts ticking off all the great things she’s seen Sam do and it would have been a great speech, but Randyll gets hung up on the second checkbox, which happened on the way down to Castle Black. He has a “Dis bitch a Wilding!” revelation and proceeds to ignore the rest, kick Sam out, berate the rest of the family, wave his Valyrian steel penis sword around, and declare his intent to basically kidnap Baby Sam. Sam shuts down, probably the way he used to when he was younger and his father would rant on. Finally, his mother has finally had enough and clears the table.
Sam accepts that he’s driven out of his own home and plans to leave Gilly and Baby Sam behind so he can be raised well, but changes his mind at the last minute but in a “RUDY RUDY RUDY” moment, he turns around, tells her to pack her things, takes the baby, steals the Valyrian sword because he is worth damnit, and makes his way down to Oldtown.
Over in Braavos, we get treated to another rendition of the Westeros play and some fun stage magic going on. We’re up to the bit in Season 4 where Joffrey embarrasses Tyrion in front of his entire wedding feast, but the play renders Joffrey as simply asking Tyrion for more wine and Tyrion cackling and scheming to kill Joff. Joff is… well, he’s just simply the nicest young man there is, according to Braavos. Play-Joffrey runs around, gasping and choking as Arya giggles because Joffrey was the worst, but her smiles go away when Lady Crane as Cersei steps forward and delivers a monologue about holding her dying son. Whether it’s because Lady Crane bears a slight resemblance to Cat or because Arya thinks about her own family- Arya is touched by the performance of a mother weeping over her child and it might be the only time she remotely feels anything for Cersei. Arya also observes that Bianca as Sansa is mouthing the lines behind Lady Crane’s back- she deduces it’s Bianca that might have hired the Faceless Men to assassinate Lady Crane.
As Play-Tywin gets killed on the toilet and ends the play, Arya makes her way backstage, passing by a fake Ned head, to slip the poison into Lady Crane’s rum. Lady Crane notices her on the way out, asks Arya how many times she’s seen the play, and reminisces about seeing a play for the first time and knowing she wanted to be an actress. Arya tells her she’s a good actress and Lady Crane confides that she hates her last monologue over Joff’s body. Arya asks her why she doesn’t just change it herself- and pulling from her own experience, says that someone who lost their most beloved family member before saying goodbye would be angry and seek revenge. Lady Crane can read into Arya’s expressions and it’s the first no bullshit conversation Arya has had since leaving the Hound. Before leaving, Lady Crane asks Arya if she likes to play other people and it only takes a split second for Arya to realize that she doesn’t want to be a Faceless Man and kill for no reason- she wants to be Arya Stark and seek out her own story. Arya says her name is Mercy- what the Mother is known for as she thinks about Cat and her own family.
Evidently, dropping the name Mercy was also a hint that Arya changes her mind about her mission due to their conversation- she returns to knock Lady Crane’s glass out of her hand and tells her to watch out for Bianca, all observed by the Wait. While Arya retrieves her only personal belonging that she truly cared about, Needle, the Waif reports back to Jaqan that she’s gone rogue and asks for permission to kill Arya. Jaqan requests that she doesn’t suffer and the Waif leaves with a little smirk on her face.
In King’s Landing, the Tyrell and Lannister forces make their way to the sept to rescue Margaery and Loras. The disillusioned Mace pauses to make a Theoden speech and it’s just delightful. He’s delightful. He and Bobby B would have made a great fraternity. They arrive just as the High Sparrow is announcing Margaery’s sins, but it turns out Margaery doesn’t have to make the walk at all, as she’s successfully convinced Tommen to join the Light of the Seven. The faith now has deep roots in the crown, which no character with a full name is happy about. Margaery has been released, Tommen has his wife, the Tyrells don’t have to suffer the same embarrassment as the Lannisters, and possible street violence was prevented- all due to this alliance.
Tommen fires Jaime as Lord Commander as he attacked the faith which is now technically the crown, and orders him to return to Casterly Rock- just what Tywin wanted! Man, he is STILL pulling strings from the grave!
Back at the TWINS, Walder Frey has a new young wife! She looks about 15 and that is gross. Two of Walder Frey’s sons report that they’ve lost Riverrun to the Blackfish (huzzah!) and Walder says that Brynden Tully will yield once they remind him what happened at the Red Wedding and once he realizes that Edmure’s life is still at risk. Everyone is putting all their eggs into this Blackfish basket- there are a lot of expectations of Brynden Tully.
Instead of serving at the Red Keep, Jaime is sent to help out Walder Frey at Riverrun because the Freys are incompetent and can’t hang onto castles. Pissed that the High Sparrow has torn his son from him, Jaime swears to kill him but Cersei says if he does that, he would never make it out of the sept alive because the Sparrows would swarm him. She convinces him to become the face of House Lannister and show them all what the Lannisters can do. Suddenly turned on by the talk of Lannister power, they get down and dirty, proclaiming they are the only two people in the world that matter.
Back with Bran and Meera, the mysterious savior reveals himself- it’s Uncle Benjen! He’s alive with new scars. Benjen’s story goes like this- suspicious of the rise of the White Walkers, he went too deep into the North looking for them, when he was stabbed by one- not by any weapon, but with a sword made of ice. Those motherfuckers wanted to turn Benjen into a White Walker. He was saved by the Children of the Forest just before he was about to turn into a White Walker- by plunging dragonglass into his heart. Apparently, the disease is also the cure. Lazy!
Benjen tells Bran not to worry, as he’ll be ready when the time calls for it- ready how!? Tell me more! How does he need to be ready!? What does he need-
BACK TO VAES DOTHRAK- but wait- NO, VAES. DOTH. RAK.
At the end of the episode, Dany’s riding her Khalesar, does some math, and realizes that she needs to inspire a lot of people. She climbs atop Drogon to show off her new steed to the Dothraki and they are all on board. It’s a cool little monologue, dotted in with phrases Khal Drogo would shriek, but it feels a little repetitive as she’s proven that she can’t do much else but yell, cause inspiration via visuals, and we just came off a “Worship Dany” moment with the burning temple. On top of that, she’s just coming off a conversation with Daario where he tells her point blank that she’s no good sitting in a chair and ruling, she’s better at conquering. HE AIN’T WRONG. She’s yet to prove that she can actually lead, why she has earned people’s respect and loyalty… it’s the same argument we’ve been having since Season 2.
I’d like to shout out the showrunners who try their darndest to have you believe that there’s this mystical connection between Dany and Drogon and she can sense him even though she clearly could not control him at the end of Season 5 and had no idea of his whereabouts for most of this season rather than chalk it up to, “We’ve run out of steam for this character and we needed to remind everyone that she’s on her way to Westeros and this would make a good speech.” I don’t deny that Dany has a closer relationship with him than the other two, but let’s just admit plot convenience when we see it, ok D&D? On top of that… I love that they’re pushing character decisions like “Dany chose the same language as Drogo,” instead of “We wanted to show that Dany still remembered what Drogo promised her and still felt her connection to him and the Dothraki, so we incorporated the same phrases into her speech.” This is an adult show. We are adults.
Up next, we’re slowly getting through Season 6 with episode 6.7 The Broken Man.