As per my previous post – don’t read on if you haven’t seen this week’s episode of Game of Thrones yet! There will be spoilers!!! There are also some outright guesses from me based on some info from the books, so again read on at your own peril!
Still here? Ok…
Well after last week’s post about the action finally starting, this week’s episode felt a little flat. Plenty happened in terms of set up for other upcoming stuff (I hope) but I wanted more action now!
Bran’s vision’s at the beginning of this episode might be one of the best we’ve seen so far, even though it was just a mish-mash of time and space, characters and undead. We briefly glimpsed the Mad King giving his “burn them all” order, which feeds the fire (ahem) of theories around Bran somehow being part of a much bigger picture of the Game of Thrones storylines through his time-travel abilities.
There’s a theory that the Mad King only went mad because of Bran trying to give him the heads-up on the White Walker’s and to let him know that he needs to “burn them all”. Here’s hoping that’s not another big whoopsidaisy moment for him (I’ve still not forgiven him for Hodor yet, the ruddy twerp).
There were flashes of young Ned, the Night King and a whole bunch of other stuff. I’ll be watching it again later in super-slo-mo to see what else was being offered out to us!
Ben Ben Ben Ben, Benly Ben Ben Ben
So then there was a bit of a reveal with the return of Benjen Stark (good timing by the way Benjen)… not so much of a big deal necessarily if you hadn’t read the books; I mean, yes it was a bit “wow there’s that guys from season 1”, but as with Jon Snow’s fate, the show is now answering some of the books long standing questions. Coldhands is Benjen Stark.
For those who haven’t read the books, Coldhands appears at just the right time to help Sam and Gilly out of a fix, and later helps guide Bran, Hodor ([icon icon=icon-frown size=14px color=#000 ]) Meera and Jojen to the last greenseer – the Three Eyed Crow (or Three Eyed Raven in the TV series).
But his identity is never revealed. He wears the same colours as the Night’s Watch, but keeps his face shrouded. His hands are black from his own congealed blood (nice) and Bran and his pals know that he is (un)dead, but we’re never told who he is, right up to the point where he delivers Bran to the Three Eyed Crow’s cave and buggers off after fighting off some Wights (White Walkers).
Also, just as an aside, he rides on an Elk in the books, which is infinitely cooler than a horse.
Get on with it!
Next up we had the non-fight between the Tyrells and the High Sparrow’s bunch of fanatics. Just when it looked like things might get tasty, that milk-sop King Tommen ruined it. Boring. Please just start cutting each others heads off again.
I do confess I’m a bit confused by Margery, and whether she’s acting the part of has actually been brain-washed. When we last saw her talking to Loras she seemed set on not giving in to the High Sparrow.
Anyways, tying up the crown with the faith does potentially make things interesting for the future in terms of what happens with the Lannisters. But not necessarily what I wanted to happen with this episode in terms of ACTION!
The coolest part of this set-piece was Jaime riding a horse up some steps.
Who let the dogs out?
Cersei’s mention again of the trial by combat and that she’s planning to use the Mountain for her champion does make me wonder who the Faith may put up against him.
As I mentioned previously, I have a sneaking suspicion that we may well see the return of the Mountain’s brother for an epic big-guy battle. If the Hound does return, that will certainly raise the action stakes for me.
That sneaking suspicion has been built from the couple of mentions of the trial-by-combat (and the fact that Cersei et al are so certain that zombie Mountain will win) along with some of the hints of the Hound’s fate from the books.
Specifically in one of the books, Brienne (who didn’t fight the Hound in the books) visits a Monastery on her travels with Podrick. While there, she sees a huge monk “the Grave Digger” moving as if he has some injuries, and there are some serious hints that the near fatally-wounded Hound may have been taken in by these monks.
Now, I’m thinking, Monks, Religion, High Sparrow, Faith Militant, trial by combat… I could be reading too much into it, but let’s face it, given the stuff that we’ve seen so far, it could happen!
What a bastard (no, not Jon Snow)
Sam’s been telling us all along what his dad was like, what did you expect? Again, book-readers will know that Randyll Tarly is as bad as Sam makes out.
I did think for a moment that we may be seeing the end of Sam and Gilly’s storyline’s in the show. If they split up, Sam going off to the Citadel and Gilly living as a kitchen-maid, then what really would be the point in following them any more (to be honest I don’t necessarily think that it would be the worst thing ever).
Now, I really have no idea what they’re going to be doing. They don’t appear to have any real plan or objective in mind, but since he’s stolen his father’s precious sword (bit of an idiot move I imagine, though well deserved) things could get a bit nasty for them.
Well Arya messed up, didn’t she? I’m not sure I like how quickly Jaqen seemed happy to sentence her to death, especially since that bloody sour-faced know-it-all girl will be doing it.
This foray into the house of the Faceless Men now seems a little redundant to me. Granted, Arya has picked up some skills in how to fight with a stick, how to fight without her eyes, but not much else, and she hasn’t been given the ability to change faces. Sorry to keep going back to it, but in the books (so far at least) Arya is a successful member of the Faceless Men, carrying out her first assignment for them rather than chucking it all in and going all “Stark-y”.
That being said, I do like the fact that she’s got Needle back out and seems to be thinking about personal revenge a bit more… that’s what I like to see!
I’m a-Frey-ed not… (sorry)
We got to see that old git Walder Frey again this week – been a while, but the old bugger’s still up to his old tricks, slapping girls arses (urrrgh), being angry at having such a crap place to live and generally being gross.
He and his two dimwit sons bring to mind the baddies from “Maid Marian and her Merry Men” – for those that don’t know, it was a UK 90’s kids TV show where everyone lived in filthy squalor and its hapless bad guys were the Sheriff of Nottingham (played by Tony Robinson) and a couple of numbskull henchmen.
Anyway, at least he’s annoyed at losing Riverrun. Fingers crossed the Blackfish keeps hold of it and we start seeing some good-guys winning at stuff soon.
Edmure also came out of his chains momentarily, as the upcoming bargaining piece for the Riverrun siege (as per the books! Sorry again!), but personally I don’t think Edmure has had a big enough part to warrant the sort of “who’s that” reveal that they gave him.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a bloody great big dragon you idiot.
Yep, the big boy Drogon is back with mummy and ready to give her a platform for a kick-ass speech. The speech itself was great (or depending on your point of view, terrifying) but the timing seemed a bit off. It could have been saved for a better moment, as to me at least she seemed to be preaching to the converted. Its not like they were abandoning her was it?
Maybe I missed something there, but Daenerys’ appearance in this episode was a bit “so what”.
So again, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode, and this time I think there will likely be a bit more in the way of ACTION!!! With only 4 episode’s left of the season, I can understand why this week we felt a bit of a lull… they’ll be building us up for the finale, and from here on out I think we’re likely to see things accelerate.
That being said, it seems all to soon to be saying that we’re heading toward the end of the season.
Are we actually further along than the books?
Before this season began, it looked as though we were going to be heading out into the darkness, with the shows’ writers and producers going it alone as they had caught up with the source material. I was a bit nervous to be honest.
But compared to other seasons its feels as though not as much has happened thus far. Yes, we’ve had a couple of big wow moments (see my previous post for more) but given how much appears to have come from the books anyway (all be it from different times in some instances) and that we know George R.R. Martin had given the shows’ creators some major plot points to stick to, I’m wondering whether they’ll have strayed too far from the storyline’s we can expect to read at all now.
Season 6 may only see us part of the way through the plot of the next book, and Season 7 may tie up again with the end of it. That might give Martin some breathing space to get the seventh (and potentially final) book done before the subsequent seasons of the show.
Having said that, judging by the time between “A Song of Ice and Fire” book releases, I’m not holding my breath!
By the way, I’m not a book-snob about it at all. Coming late to the party on both fronts I read the books and watched the show concurrently, so whatever happens I’m happy. Just as long as they keep coming (and we get an awesome finale at some point!) in both formats!