Game of Thrones - The One
Game of Thrones - The Door S06E08
This episode has left me with really mixed emotions.
My normal post episode process is; review the preview for the next episode, start watching the current episode again while making notes of key points, and then I start writing the review.
Though I had such mixed emotions about what happened tonight that I had to walk away from it for a couple of hours to mull it all over.
I think my frustration came for a couple of reasons...
On one hand - This was awesome
- The Hound seeking retribution for his friends being killed
- The Hound getting some new boots
- The Hound re-uniting with the O.G. Brotherhood without Banners
- Robert Strong defending Cersei
- Bron and Pod's reunion
- Jamie and Brienne's reunion
- The Waif chasing Arya through the streets
- Arya using needle to cut the candle and fight in the dark
- Jaqen H'gar giving Arya 'the nod' at the end of the episode
- Arya saying to Jaqen H'gar "A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I'm going home" (drops mic)
On the other hand - This was frustrating
The Blackfish choosing to stay at Riverrun. He would have been a fantastic asset for Jon and Sansa
Tommen banning trial by combat, in fact just Tommen in general
Meereen being back in turmoil (surprise, surprise)
Not getting to see Arya fight the Waif
And It felt like another setup episode
Ok when I break it down like this, the awesome definitely outweighed the frustrating. Though I'm expecting big budget action scenes next week given the notable avoidance of fight scenes in this episode. This very much reminds me of when Brienne was fighting Stannis and it just faded to black - Clearly I'm not over that either.
I choose violence
"I choose violence" is a statement that has been promoted in several Game of Thrones trailers and previews this season. And tonight when the Faith Militant tried to take Cersei away she was finally able to make the choice that's been talked about all season - violence.
Robert Strong made quick work of one of the Faith Militants and reminded us (we didn't need reminding, though we loved seeing it) how strong he is. And that he also seems to be immune to pain.
I'm expecting Lancel Lannister is on Robert Strong's naughty list for a future episode.
King Tommen's new partnership with The Faith also put an end to trials by combat. Which puts a dampener on a potential Cleganebowl any time soon. This is why we can't have nice things.
I'm not sure where this Riverrun story is heading. Though I I know that I really enjoyed seeing Jamie step into the anti-hero role further. Brieene being the most by-the-book-knight ever and Bron teaching Pod some new fight moves. The whole gang is back together!
It was a shame to see Riverrun back in the hands of Edmure Tully - That guy might as well be a Frey. RIP Blackfish, you would of made a great advisor to Jon and Sansa.
Arya & The T-1000 (Waif)
The internet (myself included) was a-frenzy with fan theories last week about how Arya was secretly laying a trap for the Waif with the help of Lady Crane. Or that she was Fight-Clubbing herself this whole time, and the Waif was actually her alter ego. All of this to put ourselves at ease as to why Arya was so easily attacked in the last episode.
Well all fool us - it turns out she was just unprepared and a little naive. Sure, she managed to eventually leave a blood trail for the Waif, though she was actually hurt - only semi intentional. Not quite the epic assassin I was expecting.
That being said, I did enjoy the Waif hunting for Arya through the streets of Bravos, it played out like a scene from Casino Royale and had me on the edge of my seat at every twist and turn.
When Arya eventually reclaimed Needle and faced off with the Waif, it was very badass when she put out the candle with her sword and chose to fight in the darkness. Though in the same token we've followed this storyline for almost two seasons - I expected more, I expected a show down, I expected blood.
If nothing else, Arya is at least free to move on from Bravos, as she even closed things off with Jaqen H'gar. It actually makes we wonder - who is the real Jaqen H'gar, is he actually the 'Dancing Master' - There is a certain kindness about his demeanor, something that implies this all worked out just how he wanted - she is the one (as the episode title suggests).
Meanwhile in Meereen
Meanwhile back in Meeren Varys headed away on a secret mission to secure allies in Westeros. And once again Tyrion found himself a little bored in Meereen - much like the audience I imagine (zing).
Daenerys also returned to Meereen for the first time since season five. Though unfortunately for Tyrion it was right when one of his decisions to try and reach a settlement with the Masters of Yunkai backfired. I think Daenerys might be needing that dragon back that she arrived on.
I don't think the attack on Meereen will last long, and it actually could be a good opportunity for Yara to arrive and show her loyalty to House Targaryen.
Next week - Battle of the Bastards | S06E09
As the name suggests, it looks like 'the' battle is going to be taking place next week between Jon Snow and Ramsey Bolton (formally Snow). Snow being the bastard surname of the North.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones has long been the big budget episode, and by the looks of things this won't disappoint!
Predictions for next week
Just for fun - here's a few predictions for next week:
The episode will mostly (if not entirely) be focused on the Battle of the Bastards
The Knights of the Vale will arrive at the last moment to save the day
The giant, Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, will sadly die in battle
Ramsey will die at Sansa's hand, though maybe not till episode 10, and as a prisoner (it's a big call)
Overall I actually think I enjoyed the episode more than I first realised. It closed off several key story lines, reunited old friends and freed up other characters for the battle ahead.
Next week should be incredible.