Shocker, the Hound is finally back in town. The newly reformed patient and non-violent Sandor Clegane. Yeh right, and pigs can fly. Actually he and another fan favourite return this season to muddy the waters just a wee bit more.
I think he manages to stay calm for nearly an entire episode. I have to say I am happy to see him return, because I like his particular brand of sarcasm.
There is a reason you’re still here. – There’s no reason, I’m a big fucker and I’m tough to kill.
Unfortunately the travelling evangelist or soldier turned Septon, played by Ian McShane, who saves and befriends The Hound, is only with us for a short while. I would have liked to have seen more of him in this series.
He ends up tethered by the neck to a branch surrounded by his followers, all of whom have been slaughtered by rogue members of The Brotherhood without Banners. So much for his naive and innocent approach to violence.
Violence is a disease. You don’t cure disease by spreading it among people.
The Hound did warn him. Sandor is a wee bit pissed off by the fact his new friends are now all in the land of the departed, just because he was busy chopping wood elsewhere. Reformed Hound says fuck it and goes to chop off some heads, slice up some balls and chase down a few murderers.
Fuck you! – Those are your last words? Come on you can do better. – Cunt! – You’re shit at dying, you know that.
Only Sandor can pull off lecturing a killer on the merits of having a great speech or last words prepared if confronted with certain death.
He actually barters with members of The Brotherhood to be allowed to kill the rogues instead of letting them kill the rogues. Sort of can I cut off a limb or two?
There was a time when I would have killed all seven of you to get to them. – You’re getting old Clegane. – Bunch of nancies.
They recognise him as the asset he is when it comes to fighting and the upcoming war. They are going to need everyone when push comes to shove. Cold winds are rising in the north. I really do hope we see a reunion between Arya and Sandor. He respects her for being such a tough girl and somewhere in her head, and heart Arya knows he has tried to keep her safe, albeit in his own very warm and fuzzy way.
Jon, Sansa and Davos are on a tour of the North to garner support and extra men from other houses. Lady Mormont of Bear Island is a tough little ten year old. An old head on young shoulders. You’re a Snow, she is a Bolton or is it a Lannister.
I am a Stark, I will always be a Stark.
Ser Davos saves the awkward situation with his impassioned plea to the young girl. Jon is often too quiet and reserved, whereas Sansa is working her way up to being the new Cersei.
The real war isn’t between squabbling houses. It’s between the living and the dead. And make no mistake my lady, the dead are coming. A divided north doesn’t stand a chance against the Night King.
The trio receives a much more frosty reception from the House of Glover. Galbart isn’t willing to risk being skinned by Bolton (good point) based on the small chance they may succeed. Sansa reminds him of his sworn allegiance and pledge to her father and the Starks.
I served House Stark once, but House Stark is dead.
When it comes down to it they just don’t have enough men to be sure of a victory, if and when they try to take back Winterfell. Unbeknownst to Jon, Sansa writes a letter and sends a raven to someone. I’m guessing she is reaching out to Littlefinger again. She should know better than to play with fire. Once again her own agenda and ambitions seem to be taking priority over those of Jon.
Jon has the same issues with the Wildlings. He has trouble convincing them that they have a common goal. The White Walkers won’t differentiate between north, south and wild when it comes to killing. Luckily he has Tormund on his side.
The crows killed him, because he spoke for the free folk. No other southerners would. He died for us. If we are not willing to do the same for him we’re cowards. If that’s what we are we deserve to be the last of the free folk.
It takes the giant to settle the diplomatic discussion between the fur-toting wild-haired people from beyond the wall. A simple ‘Snow‘ suffices as the huge being stomps off. Obviously less is more in such an important debate. Then again I wouldn’t want to disagree with someone the size of a small mountain either.
Meanwhile the Greyjoy siblings and their men are having a short holiday break at a local brothel. They intend to find Dany and make a pact. More importantly Yara gives Theon a pep-talk. He needs to move on from his emasculation and get his groove back on
You’re Iron born Theon. I’m tired of watching you cower. Fuck justice, we will get revenge.
Brienne and Pod turn up to convince the Blackfish to surrender. A line and a boundary is drawn in the sand between them. As always Brienne is all about loyalty and keeping her oaths. It’s something Jamie has always respected. The tension between the two of them is clear to everyone. Bron is convinced it is sexual tension.
Do you think they’re fucking? – What? No!!- I’d fuck her, You’d fuck her wouldn’t you? – I’m her squire!. – Well, he’d fuck her that’s for sure, and she’d fuck him.
You’ve just got to love Bronn’s way with words, such eloquence. Poor Pod is then treated to a lesson is sneaky fighting. I’m glad episode 7 and 8 include a bit of humour. The Hound’s dry wit and Bronn’s quick snarky tongue have both returned to brighten up the dark and bloody scenes.
Jaime wants the same thing as Brienne, well nearly. He wants Riverrun and she just wants the Tully rebel army to leave Riverrun and go with her. She tries to return his sword, but once again their special bond is tightened when he gives her Oathkeeper to keep. Somehow in some strange way I believe Brienne is Jaime’s walking talking conscience.
Jaime asks Edmure to betray his own by convincing his guards, Edmure is technically Lord of Riverrun and not the Blackfish, to surrender. Edmure reminds him that the House of Lannister has massacred his family, taken his land and imprisoned him for years.
How do you sleep at night after everything you have done?
One can argue that what Jaime convinces Edmure to do results in a success for him and a defeat for Brienne. These scenes are quite important, because we get to see both sides of Jaime. The caring friend, who lets Brienne and Pod escape, and then the man everyone knows as the ruthless oathbreaking killer.
I love Cersei. She needs me, and to get back to her I have to take Riverrun. I’ll send for your baby boy and I will launch him into Riverrun with a catapult. Because you don’t matter to me Lord Edmure. Your son doesn’t matter to me. The people in the castle don’t matter to me. Only Cersei, and if I have to slaughter every Tully who ever lived to get back to her- that’s what I’ll do.
These scenes show a similarity to Cersei that is quite frankly frightening. Is this just for show, a wee bit of hardcore Lannister to scare Edmure into betraying Blackfish and his own house? Or is this the fanatical, dangerous, murderous and completely ruthless genetics talking?
In King’s Landing Cersei is running out of options. There is no one left to blackmail, manipulate or even just ask for help. Tommen and the High Sparrow have just removed her last hope of winning the trial by banning Trial by Combat, which means she can’t use The Mountain. The same Mountain who has only just literally ripped a head off one of the Sparrow’s minions. Granny Tyrell says it straight.
You’re surrounded by enemies, thousands of them. You’ve lost Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in the misery.
Olenna Tyrell is taking the first boat out of Dodge. Her number is up next. Margaery has managed to pass her a message about the High Sparrow’s intent. She intends to scarper before she ends up locked up like her grandson.
Margaery needs to watch herself. The High Sparrow is a lot smarter than she is, smarter by a long shot. Learning to quote scripture isn’t enough to convince him. He tells her to resume her place in the marital bed to ensure there is an heir to the kingdom. One wonders why an heir is so important, unless of course he is planning to get rid of Tommen?
Dany only makes a short appearance this time, albeit to save Tyrion from the mess he got himself and everyone else into. The masters have turned up to retrieve their slaves. When you make deals with fanatics and dictators you can hardly expect them to play fair, so they are in the middle of an attempted coup when Dany plus dragon turn up.
After the first failed attempt Waif is back again for another try at killing Arya-formerly known as Arya, is supposed to be no one, but is now back to being Arya again. Waif disposes of Lady Crane like a fleck of dust and attempts to finish the job.
The many-faced God was promised a name. He must always receive what is his. You can’t change that. I can’t change that. No one can. And now he’s been promised another name.
Needless to say, despite Arya looking like she is on her last legs, she and the Needle give the Waif what she deserves. Arya returns what is left of the Waif to her rightful place in the House of Black and White.
The thing about Jaqen H’ghar is, no matter what happens he always seems to be in control. He always acts as if whatever happens is exactly what he planned in the first place. Not sure if that is actually the case or if he is a smug piece of psycho assassin training shit.
You told her to kill me.- Yes, but here you are and there she is.
Arya is rightly just a wee bit pissed off by the fact he sent The Waif to kill her. In his defence he did say not to torture her though. As she stands with The Needle to his chest he just grins as if he had planned this as part of her training.
Finally a girl is no one. – A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I’m going home.
Or was his entire purpose to make her strong enough to endure her destiny and birthright? He always looks as if he is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-dancing.
Begs the question of course, did and does George RR Martin know who is going to sit on the Iron Throne at the end, before he started writing, or is he just going with the flow with the rest of us and waiting to see where the series takes us?
Read Game of Thrones: Hold The Door, Game of Thrones: Mother of Dragons, Queen of Fire, Game of Thrones: Dead or Alive, Game of Thrones Et Tu, Olly?, Game of Thrones Rise of the Dead, Game of Thrones Bend the Knees, Game of Thrones Bite of The Littlest Lannister Lion, 42 Game of Thrones Chrome Themes, Game of Thrones The Little Lannister Lion Roars, Game of Thrones The Red Viper Bites,Game of Thrones Historical and Geographical Influences, Game of Thrones Here There Be Dragons, What makes Game of Thrones so compelling?, George R R Matin Doesn’t hate the Starks or Winter is coming to a desktop near you.