Game of Thrones aired The Broken Man last night, and honestly, it felt a little slow for me. This season has been jam packed, and as a result, there were moments that were not quite doing it for me. That being said, that doesn’t mean that incredibly important and exciting things aren’t happening in Westeros at the moment. With episode 7 having now aired, it’s clear the writers are already building up to their huge ending twists. What could these be? Only the Old Gods know for sure, but we fans can sure as Seven Hells hazard a guess. And as always, that’s what I’m here for.
Let’s get started, and as always,
You have been warned my fellow fans.
So, I guess there’s only one thing left to say…
Guess who’s back (back, back)? Back again!? THE HOUND IS BACK!!
A lot of people are freaking out right now, because they think this is one step too far. First Jon Snow, now Sandor Clegane? But here’s the thing, we never actually saw the Hound die, did we? We saw him injured fairly drastically, left to die by Arya Stark, but she didn’t kill him. And we never saw what happened. And while the wound may have almost killed him…well, I’m just going to hand it over to this Princess Bride gif.
Mostly. Big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Jon Snow was resurrected. Sandor Clegane just happens to be really, really difficult to kill. This is a return I did see coming! I didn’t know when it would happen, but like I said, as we didn’t see him die, I found it hard to believe we’d seen the last of him.
I was very excited to be introduced the Ian McShane’s character, but very disappointed that we saw so little of him! The hype and build up around him was huge, so honestly, I was shocked we didn’t see more. We didn’t even hear his name.
McShane played a former warrior, now repenting and trying to bring goodness into the world. He leads a group of people much like himself, Sandor Clegane being one of them. But while this is a man who believes that violence is a disease, and cannot be cured by being acted on, Sandor has not taken on this belief. He may not be violent currently, but that doesn’t mean he believes that the Gods spared him for a purpose, or maybe that there are even Gods to spare him in the first place.
While McShane’s character is preaching, telling his story to the people he leads and saying it is never too late to change, three men ride up. I find myself asking, who are these men? What house do they serve? Where are their banners?
And of course, that question answers itself. Ah. These are members of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Book readers will know that while they seemed a relatively decent folk back when Arya Stark met them, they quickly take a much darker path when they gain a new leader. But I’ll get to that.
We haven’t seen the Brotherhood in quite some time. It’s been seasons, and all of a sudden, they’re back again. I can’t help but ask myself, why? The writers never do things without rhyme or reason, so it’s only a matter of time before the truth is revealed, but I’ve a theory. Because it’s doubtful that the Brotherhood would make a return for no reason whatsoever. And maybe this is just my own hopes blinding me, but I really don’t think so. I think, if we’re very, very lucky, this could be hinting at the introduction to Lady Stoneheart.
Let’s back up for all you non-book readers. Remember when Catelyn Stark was brutally murdered at the Red Wedding? Well, in the books it was even more gruesome. Catelyn goes insane, literally. When she sees her eldest son murdered before her very eyes, something snaps within her, and she claws her face, tearing it apart, absolutely mad with grief. Her throat is cut, as it was in the show, and she looks a bloody mess.
Now, remember back when Arya was running with the Brotherhood for a bit? And the Hound fought Beric Dondarrion and died, but Thoros of Myr brought him back? Well, he did the same for Catelyn Stark. She was resurrected. In a way.
When she died, she died an insane and vengeful woman. And when she was brought back, that hate and lust for revenge was stronger than ever. She wasn’t the Catelyn we knew. People called her Lady Stoneheart, and I think the meaning is clear enough. Her face was hard to look upon, because of her wounds, and she could only speak very quietly, but roughly, since her throat was cut. She’s quite a fantastic villain in the books, leading the Brotherhood Without Banners and taking down everyone who acted against the Starks. This is a plot fans desperately wish was brought into the show. But this season is bringing in a lot of old book plots, from the Kingsmoot to the Riverlands. Why shouldn’t they bring this in now? Wouldn’t it make so much sense!? We’re almost entirely convinced that Ramsay Bolton won’t last the season, and he’s the big villain that’s left, the one that we hate as much as we did Joffrey. But they can’t kill Ramsay without having a successor. One of the reasons this show works so well is because of Westeros’ terrible residents. Wouldn’t Lady Stoneheart be a solution to that problem? Not to mention that it would finally give fans what they’ve wanted. NOT TO MENTION the fact that it would bring Brienne and Jaime back together, as it did in the books! I’ll get to that, too.
The fact of the matter is, I could very well be clouded by my lust for this brilliant plot to come to life in the show. But it makes so much sense for this to happen. And they may change it. Perhaps it isn’t Catelyn Stark, but another character entirely to take up the position of Lady Stoneheart. But she could be the villain they need. And by the Lord of Light, I hope she is.
Either way, the episode ends with the slaughter of McShane’s people, and McShane’s character himself, hanging from the structure he and his people were building. We see that anger flash in the Hound’s eyes as he picks up an axe. No doubt it was the Brotherhood’s work, and if Sandor finds them, there’s a good chance we’ll get our answers. There’s also a good chance he won’t live past the encounter, but one problem at a time. One problem at a time.
Bronn is back!! Jaime’s right hand man (I’m sorry, it’s just too funny), and the two couldn’t be a better pair. But their relationship is a slightly volatile one. Bronn brings up the fact that he was promised a castle, a wife, and a lordship, and Jaime is about to say, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” But Bronn interrupts and says, “Don’t say it. Don’t fucking say it.” I guess it’s understandable. When he worked for Tyrion, he did always pay his debts. But with Jaime…well, no doubt he will eventually but as of yet, he hasn’t. For book readers, the scenes in this episode weren’t anything new, and perhaps that’s why I found The Broken Man to be a little slow. Basically, the Freys are really bad at the whole siege thing, as Jaime pointed out they let an army of 8000 march straight into their camp, unchallenged. Whoops.
Jaime takes over, taking a parlay with the Blackfish, who’s disappointed with the Kingslayer. He expected more. He tells Jaime that as long as he draws breath, the war is not over. This is his home, and he will fight for it. You have to give it to the Tullys’, they are a stubborn bunch.
While I wasn’t a major fan of the plot in the book, and not intensely immersed in it in the show either, I am excited to see Bronn again, and am hoping he’ll become a prominent character in the episodes to come. And as far as Jaime goes? Well, this all ties back to my Lady Stoneheart theory.
The Riverlands plot is not new. The fact that they are bringing this forward gives me more reason to believe that this isn’t the only book plot to be visited.
But Brienne actually has a run in with Lady Stoneheart. She gets captured, and L.S. accuses her of betraying her and her family. She swore allegiance to the Starks, and yet befriended Jaime Lannister! A Lannister! But there is still a chance to prove her loyalty. L.S. offers Brienne a choice. Kill Jaime Lannister, or die. Brienne refuses to kill Jaime, obviously, and is strung up on a tree. As the noose tightens around her neck however, she chokes out a word. We don’t know what that word is, but later, Jaime comes across Brienne, and she leads him away, on a new quest. While we aren’t given details, we are led to assume that Brienne is leading Jaime to L.S. Her intentions are unclear, so suffice it to say we’re more than a little worried for that ship.
As we know, Brienne was sent off by Sansa to go talk with her uncle, to convince him and his men to help her take back Winterfell. So, Brienne would be in the neighborhood for all of that to come into play, right? Not to mention she’ll be near Jaime! We know they reunite next episode, but the reunion doesn’t seem all that happy. But with Thrones, it’s hard to tell for sure.
I’m not saying Lady Stoneheart is definitely going to happen. I’m just saying it would make a lot of sense, and this may just be my deep yearning for this plot to appear clouding my judgement, but that’s what people said to me about Jon Snow. And look where we are. This is Westeros. Who knows what could happen?
Margaery is being a good little girl, reading The Book of the Mother, and reciting it to the High Sparrow. She plays her part well, I have to give her that. Margaery, in my opinion, is actually one of the most clever and calculated people in Westeros. She knows how to play the game, and she knows how to adapt when it changes.
Margaery is seriously killing this act, the High Sparrow seems to truly believe she has made great progress. She admits that she hasn’t slept with Tommen since she returned to the Red Keep, and the High Sparrow tells her that she must do her duty, and be patient. She acts the innocent little flower and asks for forgiveness.
And then of course, the High Sparrow starts saying how she must lead her grandmother onto the true path, as she’s a sinner, blah, blah, blah. So, Margaery being clever as she is, tells Olenna to leave, go back to Highgarden as it is her home. She herself must stay, as she is the Queen and has her duties, but her grandmother can be home, in comfort. Olenna insists on staying, refusing to leave Margaery or Loras, hating what the High Sparrow has done to her and about two minutes away from beating Septa Unella herself. But Margaery pleads, still in character, and kneels by her side, shoving a piece of paper inside Olenna’s fist without the Septa’s knowledge. The piece of paper contains a drawing of a rose, I believe to symbolize that Margaery is still loyal to her house, not to the Sparrows. Margaery knows that if her grandmother stays in King’s Landing, the High Sparrow will have her thrown in a cell soon enough. And Margaery won’t have it. By doing this, she may have spared Olenna. But the Queen of Thorns isn’t out of King’s Landing yet, so we’ll see.
Cersei later visits Olenna, wondering if the rumors are true that she’s leaving King’s Landing. She asks if she’ll really leave, with Loras still rotting in a cell. Olenna then points out that, excuse me, Cersei, he wouldn’t be in there if not for you. None of this would be happening if not for Cersei. It was her that brought both house Lannister and house Tyrell in danger, a danger that they still face. Cersei, surprisingly enough, admits that this is the truth, that she made an idiotic and terrible mistake. But she will never leave Tommen, which puts her in danger of the High Sparrow. But Olenna has no sympathy for her. She talks of the way Cersei smirked when her grandchildren were locked up. And that the only joy she can take from all of these events is Cersei’s suffering (she represents the entire fandom). But like I said, Olenna isn’t out yet, and a lot can happen in a short time. I don’t have a good feeling about this.
Jon, Sansa, and Davos are travelling through the lands, trying to recruit as many houses as they can, and they start with the wildlings. They’re hesitant, understandably so. They swore to fight with him against the White Walkers, not against some Northern house. They are the last of the free folk, so if they lose this battle, there will be none left. But Tormund points out that if not for Jon, they’d already be dead, a part of the army of White Walkers. And then Jon says the smartest thing he could have said.
He tells them that if he doesn’t win this battle, they will be the last of the free folk. The Boltons know they’re here, and after they finish with Jon, they’ll come after them, knowing that many of their numbers are women and children. Jon knows they shouldn’t have to fight with him, that he shouldn’t be asking, but if they want to survive, this is their only option.
AND THEN TORMUND WHO IS THE BEST PERSON ON THIS SHOW STEPS UP. He looks at the wildlings, points to Jon and says, “The crows killed him, because he spoke for the free folk when no other Southerners would. He died for us. If we are not willing to do the same for him, we’re cowards. And if that’s what we are, we deserve to be the last of the free folk.”
BEST SPEECH EVER!! And a true, true point. Of course, if there’s anything the wildlings hate being called, its cowards. So while some may seem a little on edge still, they agree. They will fight with Jon and help him retake Winterfell.
And they aren’t the only ones. They visit house Mormont next, that’s right, Jeor and Jorah’s house. And Lady Lyanna is the head of this house now, and WOW!!! The entire fandom is just freaking out right now. This girl, young as she may be, is a complete and total badass! Seriously, let’s just put her on the throne and be done with it. This lady knows what she’s doing. Sassy and strong, she asks Jon why she should let more of her men lay down their lives for the Starks, for someone else’s war. Not to mention the fact that technically, Jon is a Snow, and Sansa is a Bolton, Lannister, etc.
But luckily, Ser Davos knows what’s up! This is his strong suit, and relates to Lyanna, telling her his story. She allows him to continue, intrigued. He tells her that the real war isn’t between a few houses, but between the living and the dead. And the dead are coming. If the North is divided, the world doesn’t stand a chance. But together, they may be able to stop the White Walkers once and for all. And so Lyanna agrees, and gives them 62 Mormont men, apparently one of which is worth ten ordinary men. Every soldier counts, and by the end of the scene, we were less concerned with how many men they had and more concerned with, why haven’t we met this girl sooner!? Lyanna is younger than I pictured her, but she is a fierce girl, and honestly, I think Westeros would be much better off if they just put her on the Throne. Let’s do it. Petition, maybe?
But while they have the support of the Mormonts, the Glovers stand firmly against. They do not have enough men, but Jon won’t make the same mistake Stannis did. He won’t wait for the snow to kill them. And so they will march on Winterfell immediately. Sansa tries to tell him they don’t have enough, but Jon says they can’t wait. They have no time. They definitely aren’t on the same page (I’m blaming Littlefinger for that). And speaking of, it looks like Sansa has a plan brewing. We see her looking at the ravens and writing a letter. She signs her name and gives her seal, but we don’t know who it’s to, or what it’s regarding. That doesn’t mean we can’t guess, however. If I had to place a bet, it would be on Littlefinger. He may be a terrible person, but he’s been one of her greatest, sometimes her only ally over the years. My guess is that she wants the Knights of the Vale. If this pans out, I’d say that during the battle, when things are going south for the Stark side, the Knights of the Vale will ride up and help them destroy the Boltons. As far as Petyr Baelish himself goes, who knows what that man is up to. But as long as he feels Sansa is his best bet, I think we can trust him. Perhaps. Maybe? Gods know with Littlefinger.
I’m not sure where this takes place, but Yara and Theon are back on land for a night. They visit a whorehouse, and while Yara’s having the time of her life with another woman, Theon is just looking very depressed. Yara tells him, kindly, to stop. He escaped. He wasn’t set free, he escaped and got out of there, and he’s never going back. She knows that the real Theon Greyjoy is still in there, and she needs him. And then she reveals her plan, and I knew it!!! They’re sailing to Meereen to make a pact with Daenerys. And as I’ve said previously, if it’s Yara, I think it could happen. Woman to woman, I think it could work. And I hope it does. It will allow Yara and Theon to take back the Iron Islands and exact vengeance against Euron, and it will give Daenerys the ships she needs to sail to Westeros with her army. Could this finally be happening!?!? It only took 6 seasons, jeez.
If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention.
Arya manages to book passage to Westeros for the next morning, and everything is looking up for this Stark. But we know that the Waif is after her. And we also know she isn’t stupid enough to go after Arya obviously. She’ll take a face from the Hall. She’ll be in disguise. But Arya doesn’t think, and so when an old woman approaches her, she isn’t prepared for the knife that is driven into her stomach multiple times. She manages to escape, fleeing into the sea and out into the streets later, but she’s wounded. Whether the Waif will come after her again is unclear, but one thing’s for sure. This scene was not emotional. Probably for two reasons.
One, where’s the shock? Like I said, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know this was coming. This isn’t Jon Snow, or the Red Wedding, or HODOR. This was clear, obvious. No twist there.
And two, it’s doubtful that will kill her. It takes a lot more than a couple of stab wounds to kill a Stark, and she’s still walking. Limping, but still. For right now, she’s alive and…well, she’s alive. What comes next is unclear, but don’t worry. That wasn’t the last we’ll see of Arya Stark.
While this episode felt a little slower than most, that was probably due to the fact that the writers are building up to the final twists and huge moments of the season. Hey, no complaints here! But, if it isn’t too much to ask, PLEASE GIVE US STONEHEART!!
Thanks for reading!
Sincerely, Fiction’s Mistress