“The Broken Man”
Original Airdate: June 5, 2016
I just want to open this by stating that I can very much see that Jon Snow still has his man bun and I’m still waiting for someone on the show to acknowledge it. Come on.
That being said, last week’s episode was a breather. Similarly, this one was still mostly an episode of peace, if not for one or two pretty major GASP moments. As expected, this episode is prep for the last chug of the season into the final two or three episodes. Generally speaking, Game of Throne’s biggest episode of the season is the penultimate one but thanks to last year’s “Hardhome,” we’re primed to see some dramatic action in the eighth episode as well. Between Riverrun and the Battle of the Bastards, it seems we may have a two-for-one in epic battles to end the season, though I know which of those I’m more looking forward to.
There’s not much analysis to be done here, given that this was a gear up episode with more moving parts than substantial sit down moments. But there are certainly some theories brewing for sure.
We open in the Vale where we see none other than Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. the Hound, alive and mostly well, living among a group of villagers. The village leader, a septon named Ray, found Clegane and nursed him back to health, though the Hound still feels guilt for his past. The Brotherhood Without Banners comes to the small camp and attempts to extort the villagers unsuccessfully before leaving. Later, while Clegane is chopping firewood, he returns to find the entire village slaughtered. He picks up his axe and heads after the Brotherhood for revenge.
In the North Jon and Sansa are making unsuccessful attempts to petition the northern houses to their cause. The only house they (barely) persuade is House Mormont, headed by Lady Lyanna, who promises all of her 62 soldiers. The rest of the houses refuse and Sansa pens a letter in secret and sends it, by raven, to an unknown recipient. At Riverrun, Jaime, Bronn, and the Lannisters take control of the Frey siege of the castle. The Blackfish refuses to relent, calling the Frey bluff when they threaten to execute Edmure, and notes he has two years worth of provisions inside.
In King’s Landing, the High Sparrow tells Margaery she must provide Tommen with an heir and subtly threatens Olenna’s safety if she does not convert. When Margaery meets with Olenna, she tells her to flee back to Highgarden and slips her a note with the Tyrell sigil on it, indicating her continued loyalty to her family. Olenna leaves and is confronted by Cersei who insists she stay to help fight the Sparrows. But Olenna claims they’ve already lost, leaving Cersei with no allies in the city.
Across the sea, Theon and Yara have docked in Volantis and intend to head for Meereen to offer their fleet to Dany in exchange for help in reclaiming their home from their uncle. In Braavos, Arya books passage on a ship home to Westeros, but minutes later, she is attacked and repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen by the Waif. Wounded, she wanders the streets, paranoid of the faces around her.
Warning: possible spoilers ahead for those who did not read the books.
It’s just a theory, but there’s a possibility a plotline from the books is making an appearance finally and it’s a doozy so if you’d rather be surprised, skip the following paragraph.
So, many of us have been waiting for years to see if Lady Stoneheart will be making an appearance. And as we plowed through the events of Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons, it seemed they were not going to return to that particular storyline, and many interviews indicated that as well. But there seems to be a convergence on Riverrun, and the Brotherhood Without Banners has made a sudden reappearance. Not only that, but their position as followers of the Lord of Light has also been specifically pointed out twice now. What does this mean? There’s a real possibility that the revived Catelyn Stark, whose postmortem anger earns her the name Lady Stoneheart, will be making an appearance. Everything is set for it, especially with Brienne now conveniently at Riverrun. Get hype, kids — we could finally see this plotline come to fruition!
Spoilers over, there’s not much else to tell on this front. My theory that Yara and Theon would take Victarion’s place to meet up with Dany was correct. Let’s hope Dany gets back to the city in time not to miss them. Speaking of Meereen, it’s clear at this point Aegon will not be appearing. In the books, a young man claiming to be Dany’s nephew Aegon, Rhaegar’s son, appears to claim his ancestral birthright. While internet fanboys love this guy because how dare a woman be a queen in her own right, most people and in-world characters agree he’s a fake. And his omission from the show seems to prove that.
Besides the spoilertastic theory from above, I don’t have many too bombastic ones. If Jon and Sansa have any hope of retaking Winterfell, it’s probably going to be in the form of a deus ex machina at this point. Maybe the forces from Riverrun will get there in time, but considering the plotline that’s setting up for, I doubt they’ll have time. Perhaps some of the other northern houses will join them. Maybe Dany will swoop down from the sky and burn Ramsay to a crisp. Or maybe they end up losing at the end of the season. But honestly, I don’t think I can take another season hiatus knowing I’m going to be seeing Ramsay’s face again.
As for Dany, it’s possible Theon will also become her second husband (as prophesied in the books) but that also might muddle the plot a bit. And it doesn’t seem like Yara is interested in forming a marriage pact with the queen. If anything, they’ve both got something the other wants and that seems to be enough: ships for help retaking the Iron Islands. Boom. And as for Benjen and company above the Wall? We can only hope we get more of those Aerys and Ned visions to fill in those blank spaces we’ve been dying to see revealed.
Check back every week for more updates!