Warning: contains spoilers!
Last week, Game of Thrones took a breather. This week, with the season coming close to an end, the pace has picked up and the characters are on the edge.
Game of Thrones is a show that takes precious lives away, but this season is turning out to be the season of returns. Today’s episode didn’t bother with the opening credits sequence – instead, we see guest star Ian McShane, a septon leading the construction of a tower. Before the confusion settles in, he appears, lugging around some timber: Sandor Clegane, the Hound himself. That’s right, bitches. The Hound is back! But what is the purpose of his return?
We last saw him badly wounded by Brienne of Tarth; Arya had refused to kill him and left him for dead on the side of a mountain. He seems to be living a completely different and simple life. He’s still a grumpy man, choosing to stay separate during meals. However, the sept is adamant to reach out to him. “What kept you going?” the sept asks. “Hate,” Sandor replies. The holy man, named Ray (of light, right?), wants to save him and reminds Sandor he has been punished for his sins after being wounded by Brienne.
With the topic of salvation in the air, the episode cuts to Queen Margaery reading from a holy book, looking clean and regal. The High Sparrow pokes her with questions on whether she will be serving her duty as queen to Tommen (in other words, give him a little bouncing baby). He’s probably as sceptical about her conversion as we are. He also picks at Margaery’s grandmother, the Queen of Thorns, claiming she is a sinner who must be converted. If she’s been acting all this time, she’s doing a hell of a job. We get a glimpse of this when the queen tells the Queen of Thorns to leave but not before placing something in her hand – it’s a note with a drawing of a flower, the noble sigil of House Tyrell.
Before the Queen of Thorns leaves, Cersei intercepts her to reach a mutual understanding. The Queen of Thorns has no time for Cersei’s pressing of Lannister-Tyrell unity. “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met,” she sneers at Cersei before listing all the things lined up against Cersei. “You’ve lost,” she reminds her, urging Cersei to leave King’s Landing as she had before. But Cersei will hear none of it, believing she is in the right. Her bitterness has been strong since the beginning of the season.
As for the other twin, Jaime is has been sent off to Riverrun to deal with Brynden “Blackfish” Tully. The Freys are already there,