Hey there Thronies, thanks for joining me once again as I give you my in depth episode breakdown and gaze into my crystal ball at the future of the realm. So without further ado I give you; Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7: the Broken Man
Somewhere in the Vale a group of commoners apply craftsmanship to a wooden structure apparently building a sept for their small commune. They are led by a man with philosophy in his heart and the strength to share it. He teaches morality above all else and wears a 7 pointed star around his neck.
This persona played by famous character actor Ian McShane, is a composite of George Martin’s characters: the elder brother & septon Meribald from A Feast for Crows.
This man known simply as brother Ray, takes special interest in a large hulking fellow with very obvious physical and emotional scars. No longer being referred to as “the Hound”, Sandor Clegane has much and more to offer the gods than merely chopping wood and digging graves, but it takes someone uniquely observant like brother Ray to realize this, let alone convince him. No, Sandor is not convinced, at least not yet.
However, when his newly found way of life is upturned and his community literally slaughtered unmercifully, Sandor takes up his axe and sets out on a new path.
His target; the same men that slayed his community: the Brotherhood without Banners, and specifically Lem Lemoncoat.
So surprise, the Hound is not dead. Didn’t see that coming? Well in the aforementioned A Feast for Crows, we are introduced to a very similar scene, in Brienne’s chapters no less, we see a place called the quiet isle where a very suspicious looking man referred to as grave digger bears striking resemblance to Sandor. So what changes can we expect from this new Sandor in the show? Is he out for redemption, to save and protect the innocent, or will he be just a spirit of revenge? Has he seen the light? Is he a believer of a higher purpose? Only time will tell. However it is exciting to have him back in the story.
Now we get our beloved title sequence, and oh look,Rory McCann's name is back in the intro as well as RiverRun. Fantastic.
Speaking of RR, Jaime and Bronn long with a hefty brigade arrive at the sight of the siege at RiverRun, where the Frey’s are making an ill attempt. They threaten to hang Edmure if his uncle the Blackfish refuses to surrender the castle, to which he does not flinch. Even when they remind him of their massacre of his niece Catelyn Stark, they elicit no response from his stone cold demeanor. The Frey’s fail to carry out the execution and instead fall to the command of Jaime, who berates them for neglecting to follow through on their threats against the Blackfish. Jaime willfully teaches them this lesson the hard way, and asserts his command emphatically.
Jaime initiates a parlay with the Blackfish in order to negotiate his surrender but the Blackfish is ever stern and stubborn even going so far as to insult Jaime to his face.
Interestingly enough the BF mentions Jaime’s vow to Catelyn: the exchange of his captivity for the return of Sansa & Arya. Seeing as how Jaime neglected his end of the bargain that makes Jaime an oath breaker, an oath breakers make very poor negotiators.
Oath breaker: surely a term that haunts Jaime from his days protecting King Aerys as we witnessed the gruesome end to that just last episode.
I’d like to note that Jaime calls for the civil treatment of Edmure. This is undoubtedly a nod from when Jaime was a prisoner and surely remembers what it was like to be treated poorly.
This confrontation is the best scene in the episode in my opinion. It reminds Jaime that he is on borrowed time, and that his freedom comes at the cost of the safety of Sansa & Arya and thus Brienne. He is reminded of his promise to Catelyn and that without her generosity or perhaps desperation, he would be either aging in a cell or dead on the floor. Now more than ever Jaime is taught he is only as good as his word and his promise, as he no longer has the prowess to intimidate or impose his will by force. Even Bronn knows that Jaime is no match for the Blackfish. Jaime may have just blown his only shot at victory by failing to impress the Blackfish. At this point Jaime has to consider if this effort is really worth the lives of thousands of the king’s troops. Even if he were to recapture the Castle, would it be an achievement that is appreciated? Or would he just be admonished for the losses? Advantage: Blackfish
So in my previous post I surmised that Sansa and crew were heading to RiverRun to treat with her grand uncle’s men. Now whatever gave me that idea? Well instead of ranting on how misleading the writing is, I will just chalk it up as the show needing more development time. This is probably a subplot that lays in wait for a better day. However if and when Sansa reports to the Blackfish, and especially if she mentions Brienne, Jaime just might have a bargaining chip. That is only if Jaime manages to convince the Blackfish that he sent Brienne to safe guard Sansa.
Speaking of Sansa, her campaign with Jon to acquire more troops is going awry. They don’t seem to be very good at convincing many to join their cause. Arguably, they should be making a much bigger case for Bran and definitely Rickon being alive. I mean really that’s their biggest selling point. I’m also a bit surprised that Jon didn’t show the Mormont’s his sword long claw which is actually an heirloom of their house, this would have cemented the fact that Jeor Mormont saw Jon as, trustworthy, and a leader.
Despite gaining 62 soldiers from the Mormont’s their effort really seems to be all for naught as they are still grossly outnumber by Ramsay’s forces ( and let’s not forget about those “20 good men”) So, Sansa pulls an ace from her sleeve, and sends a Raven to someone out of desperation no doubt petitioning for military support. I will give you 1 guess as to who she wants to bail them out of trouble.
In Braavos, Arya books passage on a ship back to Westeros on the morrow, ready to flee from her troubles and realizing she can not escape who and what she is. However, abandonment is not as easy as she thinks ,and every sin comes with a price. The Waif has come to collect this price as Arya misdeeds in House Black and White (League of Shadows) must be answered for. The Waif stabs Arya in the gut before she manages to escape while bleeding profusely through the streets. Can I get a doctor? Anybody here a surgeon? How bout a band aid? Where’s a red priest when you need one?
Oh Arya, you can’t die, not like this, not when there’s so much more to be done; places to see, people to kill. If Jon can do it, so can you.
Anyway how’s that for a twist? Bet you didn’t see that coming. Admittedly I was pretty stunned. I didn’t even think we would see Arya this time around. That was a pretty good disguise even though the Waif always wears black. Well the show definitely has me by the balls, anxiously wanting to see what happens to her next.
As for Yara and Theon’s scheme, if you can call it that, well not so much. I mean granted Theon and Greyworm, and Vary’s will share a common bond but, I don’t think that will be enough to translate to an alliance with Daenerys. I’m also not even going to blink an eye over Yara’s preference for females. Moving along.
In King’s Landing Marg is definitely doing her best tongue in cheek routine to keep her enemies closer. Meanwhile the creepy ol’ sparrow encourages her to get her freak on with her 12’ish year old husband. He is no doubt eager to get his mitts on a son or daughter of the king and start the brain washing early. Later, Marg discreetly convinces her Gran mum to get the hell out of dodge because the shits about ta hit the fan. Olenna takes the hint and gets busy writing her resignation letter?( I have no idea) but is awkwardly confronted by Cersei about abandoning her grandchildren. Olenna basically laughs in her face. Yes, screw you Cersei, very much go screw yourself. Most of this is absolutely your fault. I believe Marg has things in land and is just about to land a checkmate on the faith. I’m just curious how Tommen will play into this.
This episode had some strong tension and nice character development. We got to see quite a few new faces, and dramatic locations. Bear Island, looking appropriate, Deepwood Motte although only an interior, and a grand, striking exterior of RiverRun.
Very surprisingly no Bran this time, as I felt this season was heavily focused on catching up and moving Bran’s story forward. Where was Brienne and Pod in the middle of all the hustle and bustle at camp? Speaking of; funny that Davos notes that they setup camp in the same space as Stannis once did. Ohhh boy, Davos, your whole world is about to come crashing down so hard and so fast. Oh the pain and anguish that awaits you any given day now. Mel, I’m looking at you too. SHAME !
Was all that sawing and building in the beginning of the show meant to make us think the Ironborn were just about done with those thousand boats? Don’t make me laugh. But seriously at the rate Sandor chops wood, he would be considered employee of the month if he were to join up with them. They might even have a few dozen ships made by season eight. Alas, I feel Sandor’s wood chopping days are over, time to go chop down a Mountain.
Join us next time on Days of our Lives in Westeros.