Tonight was a packed television evening, but, as usual, “Game of Thrones” ended up being the best of the lot. The Cleveland Cavaliers got destroyed, Miss USA failed when it came to rewarding the girl who should have won, Miss Hawaii, and ultimately we were all left watching Arya bleeding as she wondered through the streets of Bravos.
It wasn’t even a great GOT episode, but it was pretty outstanding.
You can see our discussion of the show here, but here we go:
1. Al Swearengen’s back!
Okay, you cocksuckers, so it wasn’t actually Al Swearengen, but we can dream, right? (If you haven’t watched “Deadwood,” do it. The show is a revelation. Al Swearengen is my favorite character ever in an HBO drama, which is saying something. I love this dude. His voice is so melodic everything he says is perfect.)
So Swearengen and his followers are building some sort of temple in a bucolic river valley and it’s pretty clear that they’re fucked from the moment we meet them.
But that’s when it strikes me, wait a minute, we’ve got an opening scene without the kingdom reveal and the music. This doesn’t happen very often it has to be a big reveal when we suddenly see — THE HOUND, MOTHERFUCKERS!
The Hound is back and he looks the exact same as when we last saw him on that hillside after Lady Brienne kicked his ass except he has a limp. After a “The Revenant” style revival the Hound now spends his time chopping wood and seeking redemption for his past sins.
“What kept you going?” Swearengen asks.
“Hate,” says the Hound.
2. Is Margaery faking her religious epiphany?
I told you guys I believed she was too smart, funny, and sarcastic to be this dumb so quickly. So I’ve been waiting to see that this is all an act.
We finally get a clear sign when she passes her grandmother a secret drawing of the rose, the family symbol, after demanding that Grandma Tyrell go home. Yep, Margaery’s a double agent, working from the inside to try and disrupt the High Sparrow’s plan.
Her goal has to be to seduce the High Sparrow right? Especially since we know the High Sparrow used to let his freak flag fly. Once a freak always a freak. She has to be setting him up for a seduction.
And you know what that means, right?
MARGAERY BOOBS ARE COMING!
Speaking of which, can you get any more PC Bromani than Tommen begging the High Sparrow to get his wife to sleep with him? Every time I think Tommen can’t become more of a pussy, he one ups all of us with new extremes of pussiness.
I can’t even think of a more pussy move than whining to an abstinent religious leader that your wife won’t sleep with you. At least be a man and take your wife’s refusal to sleep with you in stride. You’re a king, Tommen, you might not have PornHub like the rest of us loser married men, but you’ve got something much better — a harem.
3. Jon Snow makes his pitch to the Wildlings to join his army.
Tormund points out that, “He died for us,” which, as causes go has been enough to create the biggest religion in our world. As the decision hangs over the camp the giant stands up and utters a single word, “Snow.”
I can’t wait for the Giant to start wrecking people at Winterfell.
Tormund — who hopefully we’ll get to see have sex with Lady Brienne before the season is out just because I think if Tormund bangs her the castle walls at Winterfell may fall down — then responds to Snow’s question as to whether or not he can rely on this pledge of loyalty with this line, “We’re not clever like you Southerners. If we say we’ll do something, we do it.”
4. Cersei argues that she and Grandma Tyrell need each other.
Grandma Tyrell isn’t having it, “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met,” she says.
The Mountain is standing behind Cersei and I seriously hope he gets paid per show appearance in his contract. Because I’m not sure anyone has ever had an easier job. He’s been in like six episodes this season, including one last season, and all he’s done is slam one dude’s head into the wall.
That’s my kind of gig.
But it’s past time for the Mountain to finally start wrecking sparrows.
Several of you, by the way, have been arguing that the Hound is going to end up back in Winterfell and fight the Mountain in the trial by combat.
I love this theory.
5. Jaime and BRONN converse as they advance upon River Run with 8000 men.
This marks Bronn’s first appearance in the show this year. Given that Benjen Stark, my doppelganger, and coincidentally the sexiest man in “Game of Thrones” show history, came back last week all we need now is for Gendry to stop rowing in that boat and for the Sand Snakes to actually do something in Dorne and we’ll have everybody back in the show.
The Frey army leaders are threatening to kill Lord Edmure Tully, first by hanging and then by slitting his throat, but his uncle, the Blackfish, has no real interest in saving him. “Go on then, cut his throat,” the Blackfish says.
Having his bluff called the Frey leader gets pimp slapped by Jaime — with his steel hand, no less — who announces that he is taking over command of the army’s attempt to reclaim River Run.
6. Sansa and Jon Snow attempt to convince House Mormont to support their war against Ramsay.
But in order to do so they have to convince a ten year old girl.
Then Davos, who has a way with words when it comes to young girls — at least until they get burned at the stake — argues that House Mormont has always supported the Starks. (Is child sex the only taboo character flaw that “Game of Thrones” hasn’t featured? I think it is.)
“The real war is between the living and the dead and make no mistake, the dead are coming,” he says.
This seals the deal.
Unfortunately it’s only 62 soldiers.
(Remember, Jorah, our buddy over the seas with greyscale, is from House Mormont, but has been banned from ever returning.)
Unfortunately House Glover declines to join the Starks, “I served House Stark once, but Houe Stark is dead.”
Northern army mic drop there.
7. Jaime requests a conversation with the Blackfish.
The two men meet after the castle bridge is lowered to connect with the castle entry bridge that ends on the edge of the moat. (This is a pretty badass scene as the bridge lowers.)
Jaime demands surrender of River Run, but the Blackfish won’t relent: “As long as I’m standing the war is not over,” he says.
Then he says Jaime can attack or starve them out. Only Jaime should know they have enough provisions to last two years.
Then he looks at Jaime and basically calls him a bitch.
8. Yara takes her dickless brother to a whorehouse, where she proves to be the star of the episode.
First, she makes out with a whore and then remarks, “Nothing on the Iron Islands has an ass like that.”
Then she tells Theon, who remains mopey, probably because he’s surrounded by topless women and doesn’t have a dick, “Drink the goddamn ale,” and encourages him to either kill himself or be a man and join her quest to meet up with Daenerys and take back the Iron Islands. It was exactly this kind of behavior that led to that Tennessee fraternity butt chugging, by the way.
Finally, Yara says, “I’m going to go fuck the tits off this one.”
I love Yara.
Criticize “Game of Thrones” for being misogynistic and what do they do? Have a girl be the biggest misogynist on the show.
But, wait, whose empathetic music is that? It’s our favorite PC Bromani, Travis Clay, who wants to opine here.
“It’s clear that Yara, even though she’s in a position of relative power, remains ensnared in the overarching and endemic patriarchy of the kingdom. The kind of patriarchy that leads to such stultifying career options for women in Westeros.
Once women are objectified it’s impossible for all women not to objectify as well. #yesallwomen
Yara isn’t actually interested in sleeping with a prostitute — though it speaks to the power of men that no one is ever arrested for solicitation in this show; sex is free if you have the money or power to pay for it — she’s just projecting the societal objectification on to women that she sees men in positions of power display. Ironically, her very interest in “fuck(ing) the tits off this one,” reflects the same denuding of her sexual power that was established by the patriarchical ruler of the Iron Islands, her murderous uncle Euron, when he was named King over her despite the fact that she deserved it more. (We saw this same result in America, of course, when Barack Obama, misogynist in chief, cracked the glass ceiling with his penis and left Hillary and her boobs and vagina staring up at his ascent, a goldfish in golden handcuffs, left, as always, to do all the hard work of the president, burnishing his credentials across the globe as secretary of state.)
In order to seize power, Yara has to project the swaggering self-confidence of a man with a large member, even when, as here, she has no actual penis. While Yara believes that she is in a position of power in this sexual relationship she will soon find out that her power is nonexistent, the only gender identity she demonstrates in the end, is none at all. Shame on you, “Game of Thrones,” you and your writers should be embarrassed for your role in continuing the objectification and exploitation of women everywhere.”
Travis Clay, ladies and gentlemen!
9. Jon Snow tells Sansa, “We fight with the army we have.”
But that army isn’t enough for Sansa so she sends a raven to…who?
The easy guess here is Little Finger.
But what does Little Finger have planned? He told Sansa about Blackflish taking over Riven Run so he clearly intends her to travel there. But remember that Little Finger said it was time to “enter the fray.”
Was this a play on Lord Frey?
It sure seems like it now.
My best guess is that Little Finger is planning to advance on Lord Frey’s defenseless castle and take it over it while Frey’s army is outside River Run.
Of course there’s also the possibility that Little Finger is on Frey’s side against the Starks. But for now I’m inclined to expect Little Finger to attack Lord Frey with the Knights of the Vale and then join up with Jon to march on Winterfell.
Given the previews that we saw next week, I also suspect that Lady Brienne will demand that Jaime Lannister either join the Stark army to retake Winterfell or leave the Blackfish at River Run to join up with the Stark army. Failing that, she’ll threaten to kill him in a trial by combat.
Could we end up with Bronn against Brienne? That would be outstanding. Just to hear what Bronn would say.
10. Al Swearengen preaches to his flock.
His goal, above all else, seems to be nice. And we all know where that gets you in this show.
“It’s never too late to come back,” he says. (If so, come back “Deadwood,” we miss you so.)
Ironically enough the guys from the cave come back. Including the one guy who, thanks to the Lord of Lights, can’t die and keeps coming back again and again.
These men murder everyone while the Hound is chopping wood on the hillside. (The Hound doesn’t hear anything at all? That seems strange.)
Regardless, he grabs the ax as the episode ends, he’s back, bitches!
(Potential book spoiler — Catelyn Stark comes back to life in the book and lives with these men in the cave. So as season six ends is it possible that the Hound travels back to this cave to extract revenge from these men and sees Catelynn there? That seems likely.)
11. Arya tries to head for Westeros, but gets stabbed by the mean bitch.
This entire scene is unsatisfying.
First, because Arya’s too smart to believe she’s not going to be attacked for failing to commit her murder. So wouldn’t she she be watching for this or demanding the boat leave immediately? Second, because Arya suddenly has a great deal of money. From where? (Did she steal it when she murdered the man in the whorehouse). Third, she’s stabbed too many times BY A PROFESSIONAL KILLER to survive. Fourth, it seems likely that Arya is looking for the actress who will nurse her back to health. That feels too planned.
I actually wish Arya would just die here.
Because this story line is boring as hell.
(There’s also the possibility this is a dream sequence, but that is somehow even less fulfilling.)
Do you really think Arya’s entire meandering story ends this way? Of course not.
Read our prior episodes of “Game of Thrones” season six review here.
Season six, episode six.