Saturday, June 4, 2016

Game of Thrones 6x06 Review: “Blood of My Blood” (The Season Takes a Breather) [Contributor: Melanie]

“Blood of My Blood”
Original Airdate: May 29, 2016

Well, the Game of Thrones streak has been solid this season, so much so that it took six episodes for the show to finally show some weakness. And it wasn’t even weakness per se, it was simply the closest thing this show has to a fluff episode. Next week will likely be the same as we gear up for the penultimate episode (hello Battle of the Bastards) and the resolving finale that will likely involve a cliffhanger. It’s crazy that we’re already over halfway done and that much closer to waiting another 10 months for more GoT.

This episode did see some interesting turns. So far I haven’t really given much care (or any really) to Sam and Gilly’s storyline but the Tywin Lannister levels of awful parenting and Sam’s bold decision to openly defy his father was actually pretty satisfying. And Gilly’s steadfast belief in Sam has made them possibly the healthiest couple we’ve ever had on this show. Baby Sam is also cute AF. Benjen Stark’s return (predicted by a friend of mine and some others) was well played (though it’s been five years so the satisfaction might have past my statute of limitations on caring). There’s a chance he has knowledge of Ned’s time in the War of the Usurper that might be useful and he does seem to have unfortunately intimate knowledge of the White Walkers.

Arya’s 180-degree turn on the Faceless Men was among the best things that happened this week. I was 50-50 whether she’d truly become No One, or abandon her chances at becoming a full-fledged assassin and take her training with her (and Needle). Maybe she can hitch a ride with Dany back to Westeros and start hacking some people up.


The episode opens with Bran (still in his warg state) and Meera fleeing from the encroaching wights. Bran has visions of Aerys’ murder, wildfire in the capital, Craster’s son becoming a White Walker, his fall from the tower, and a dragon flying over the Red Keep. Benjen Stark then appears to fight off the wights and lead Meera and Bran to safety where he explains that he nearly became a White Walker before being saved by the Children of the Forest. He tells Bran he must control his abilities as the Three Eyed Raven to stop the Night’s King (in the show referred to as Night King) from coming south.

Sam and Gilly arrive at Horn Hill where Sam’s mother and sister are ecstatic at the sight of Gilly (whom they believe to be a northern common person) and baby Sam. His father, however, is less kind. Over dinner Randyll berates Sam until Gilly challenges him and inadvertently reveals herself to be a wildling. Randyll is offended but Sam’s brother and sisters defend them and excuse themselves from the table with Gilly. Later that night, they sneak off with the baby and the Tarly ancestral sword Heartsbane.

In King’s Landing Mace Tyrell leads the Highgarden forces into King’s Landing on the day of Margaery’s Walk of Atonement. Jaime joins him and they confront the High Sparrow, who reveals that Margaery has atoned in private for her sins and she and Tommen have formed a theocratic alliance with the Faith Militant. The Tyrells realize the High Sparrow has won and Jaime is relieved of his duties as Lord Commander and ordered to capture the Blackfish at Riverrun. At the Twins, Walder Frey is likewise concerned by the Blackfish’s hold on the keep and orders his sons to use the Blackfish’s nephew, Edmure Tully, as a way to sue for control of the castle.

Across the Narrow Sea, Dany and Daario discuss her role as a conqueror as they march to Meereen. They note they will need 1,000 ships to ferry her consolidated forces across the ocean. She spots a gust of wind and rides ahead alone before return astride Drogon and declares she chooses all the Dothraki as her bloodriders instead of the traditional three. She asks them to give her the Iron Throne in exchange and the entire khalasar unanimously agrees.


We’re well past the point where anything from the book is truly useful but it is interesting Daario pointed out 1,000 ships specifically, considering that number of ships was floated by Euron Greyjoy an episode or so ago. I think the connection there is obvious at this point and we do know Victarion Greyjoy (who seems to be omitted from the show at this point) was sailing Dany’s way with that many ships last time we checked. It’s possible Yara and Theon will do the same and arrive in Meereen just in time for the siege of it.

We did get to see a cool look at the events at the end of the War of the Usurper this week, in quick bursts anyway. Back in season 1 they did film Rickard and Brandon Stark’s death scene in the throne room but ultimately omitted the footage, so we might actually get to see that this time around after we got a quick glimpse of the Mad King himself seconds before Jaime committed the kingslaying. We also had a tiny throwback to the Tower of Joy (which still needs to be resolved). And that dragon flying over King’s Landing has been a vision Bran’s seen since back in season 3 and might be one of the only ones that is a look into the future, rather than the past.


This episode didn’t do much to further or disprove any theories, really. It confirmed Benjen Stark is alive and pseudo confirmed the theory that he became a White Walker (at least partially before being saved). Since GoT hinges on duality, I’d postulate the dragons themselves may have been created as an antithesis to the White Walkers. The creation of the snow zombies is likely what threw the seasons out of balance (years of winter is a massive nope) and the dragons are their natural opposites. We know that the Night’s King and his other three (two? didn’t we lose one?) horsemen cannot be burned by normal fire so it’s possible dragon fire might do the trick. Traditionally, the dragons were discovered in the Fourteen Fires in Old Valyria and taught magic to the shepherds who became the ancestors to ancestors to the Valyrians. The rest of it is shrouded in mystery and leaves room for some speculation. No matter what, we could really use those three dragons up north right about now.

Brienne and Jaime reuniting at Riverrun is going to be EVERYTHING. Maybe Jaime can finally leave the twincest behind, or at least reaffirm a bromance with Brienne. It’d be extra cool if Jaime and his army went rogue, joined the Blackfish, and marched up to Winterfell to give Jon and Sansa a hand. It’s entirely possible, and would be cool AF, but also be super complicated. So we’ll see on that front. Either way we may see the demise of Ramsay Snow and Walder Frey in one season, which would be amazing.

Check back every week for more updates!


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