Warning: spoilers ahead!
I still haven’t recovered from last week’s episode. #holdthedoor
But back to this week’s episode! Will the High Sparrow finally go down? What is Arya’s final decision? This week feels like a break, like the deep breath we’ve needed to take before the plunge into the final few episodes of the season.
It picks up where we left off with Meera struggling to drag Bran through the snow in the dark with the wights closing in on them. While asleep, Bran has visions with cutscenes of pivotal events across the seasons such as the deaths of his family, the battle of Blackwater Bay. But the most important glimpse we get is of the Mad King and his love for wildfire as he screams, “Burn them all!” This alludes to the theory that Bran was the one that drove Aerys mad.
The wights are still chasing Meera and Bran through the forest. Just as the wights are upon them, a cloaked figure on a horse leaps to their rescue, a swinging chain of fire in his hand. He carries them away on his horse, and from the look in his eyes, I could have sworn it was Benjen Stark.
The episode cuts to Sam and Gilly, who are riding in a carriage to his home town. Sam makes his anxiety over returning home known, but the future of Little Sam outweighs it. Gilly questions Sam on whether he told his father about her being a wildling, to which he responds his father doesn’t quite like them. Oh dear.
Sam’s mother, Melessa and sister, Talla greet him and Gilly with open arms. Gilly seems to be in awe of their way of life, especially when Talla asks her what her colour is: “Midnight blue or silver?”
Back in King’s Landing, the High Sparrow converses with the boy king Tommen, who has convinced him Margaery’s walk of atonement will be done in grace. Tommen seems to be in the High Sparrow’s grasp, listening intently to everything he says. He allows Tommen to see Margaery where they both seem to have fallen for the High Sparrow’s words. But the chances of Margaery being brainwashed are minimal – she is too fierce for that. However, we get the impression she has been defeated as Margaery acknowledges her past deeds of fake goodness and how the High Sparrow has helped her realise who she really was.
At Horn Hill, Gilly is pampered and dressed up for dinner with Sam’s family. It’s about as awkward as any family dinner and to be completely honest, I was expecting it to go down like the family dinner in Shrek 2.
Sam brings up Gilly’s brilliant hunting skills, pretty much alluding to her heritage. Sam’s father Randyll is… not a nice person: “I thought the Night’s Watch would make a man out of you… but you managed to stay soft and fat.”
Gilly slips up on her wording to defend Sam, to which Sam’s father realises she is a wildling. He shames Sam in front of the family and insults Gilly, calling her a whore. Melessa, angry at her husband’s behaviour, takes Gilly and Talla away. Randyll tells Sam his “bastard” will be raised here and Gilly will work in the kitchens. This will also be the last night Sam will spend in Horn Hill.
Back in their rooms, Sam apologises for not sticking up for her. Gilly is understanding: “I’m angry that horrible people can treat good people that way and get away with it.” Sam nearly complies to his father’s demands but at the last minute, grabs Little Sam and Gilly to take them with him to Oldtown: “We belong together. All of us.” On their way out, Sam takes his father’s most prized possession, Heartsbane, a Valkyrian steel sword passed down through generations. Gilly is concerned that his father will come after them for the sword but Sam isn’t too worried: “He can bloody well try.”
In Braavos, Arya is back at the theatre where an act of Joffery’s death is performed. Fake Cersei, played by Lady Crane, gives an emotional performance. Arya, seemingly moved, starts the applause. As the performance continues, Arya sneaks backstage and poisons Lady Crane’s rum flask. Arya is caught leaving by Lady Crane, who connects with her. Lady Crane asks: “Do you like pretending to be other people?” Well, she has to if she wants to be No One. At the question, Arya leaves.
Just as Lady Crane is about to drink the rum, Arya, who had returned, knocks the cup from her hand. Well then… looks like she has failed the task. Arya warns Lady Crane her of the younger woman in the room before leaving to retrieve Needle. Oh, how I’ve missed you, Arya! You are back!
The Waif, disguised, sees her failure and reports back to the Faceless Man, who is in the process of taking another face from a dead body. He tells the Waif to not let her suffer, but as she walks out, a smirk tugs on her lips. I highly doubt she will be anything but merciful.
In King’s Landing, House Tyrell arrives with forces to prevent Margaery’s walk of atonement. They march in during the High Sparrow’s speech with the head of the Tyrell house and Jaime leading them. Jaime demands both Margaery and Loras be handed over, but the High Sparrow explains it’s not up to him and he would die before succumbing to Jaime’s terms. However, he backs down. For a moment, we believe we have won. But hey, you know how it is. The allusion from The High Sparrow reveals he has King Tommen in his claws. With a triumpant smile, he announces there is “a holy alliance between the Crown and the Faith.”
the cheers of the crowd, the Queen of Thorns admits defeat to the Sparrows. Tommen, clearly manipulated by the High Sparrow, strips Jaime of his position as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, ordering him to lead the Lannister army to Riverrun which has been retaken by the Blackfish.
— Micah Tannenbaum (@mjtbaum) May 30, 2016
Lord Walder Frey AKA Mr Filch from Harry Potter resurfaces for the first time since the Red Wedding (I’m still not okay). He is furious they have lost control over Riverrun. Despite his anger, he has a plan. He wants his men to return to Riverrun and taunt the Blackfish with the weapons that murdered his family: Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark, and his unborn child. There’s going to be a party at Riverrun! They will also take the groom at the Red Wedding, Lord Edmure, who has been in chains the whole time. Looks like Tobias Menzies is on loan from Outlander.
Back in Cersei’s chambers, Jaime is furious the Sparrows have torn their family apart, declaring he will assassinate the High Sparrow. Cersei acts as his voice of reason, insisting this action will result in his death. She tells him to listen to Tommen: “Show them what Lannisters are, what we do to our enemies.” The twins share a passionate moment (which I still cringe at).
AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW? I WAS RIGHT! BENJEN IS BACK!
Starks are hard to kill, you know? As the last surviving member of his generation, Benjen accounts for his lost time to Meera and Bran, how the White Walkers found him and his men and how the Children saved him by plunging a shard of dragonglass into his heart to stop him from turning. He’s not quite human and not quite wight. This alludes to idea he is the character Coldhands, who is speculated to be undead Benjen. I guess we will have to see how it unfolds. Benjen informs Bran he is now the Three-Eyed Raven and must learn to control his abilities.
Across the Narrow Sea, Dany and her troops are still a week away from Meereen. Daario tells Dany she will need at least 1000 ships to carry her army across the Narrow Sea. You know who is going to have a 1000 ships? The Ironborn. Dany notices the winds picking up and Dany tells her khalasar to wait with Daario. After a few moments of waiting, Drogon finally arrives, glorious and freaking huge soaking above them. Did he eat an entire population while he was gone?
— Mic (@mic) May 30, 2016
On his back is Dany, proud and every bit the goddess she is. The episode’s title ‘Blood of My Blood’ all makes sense when she delivers probably the most motivating speech I’ve ever listened to. Her whole khalasar will be her bloodriders and she asks them to join her in conquering the Seven Kingdoms. The sounds of Dothraki war cries fill the air. This is no surprise. This is just the Mother of Dragons
getting ready for the war of wars.
It was nice to have an episode where nobody died. I’m sure they’ll make up for it soon enough.
Stay tuned for more Game of Thrones recaps!