Last night, episode 8 of Game of Thrones, titled “No One” aired, and I have some opinions.
And by some, I mean a lot. Some are very good, some are very not so good (I don’t want to say bad, but…yeah, I’m not entirely happy right now). I’m just going to jump right in here.
I’m starting with this one because it made me the most angry.
So, quite a lot is going on in the Riverlands right now, but before I get to the Tullys’, I want to backtrack to Sandor Clegane.
Last week, the Hound was returned to us, alive and kicking and currently being a good boy and not killing people. Of course, all of that changed at the end of the episode when everyone he had been living with was slaughtered by the Brotherhood. This rather sad event sparked hopes in the fans, particularly the book readers. We haven’t seen the Brotherhood for seasons, and now all of a sudden, they reappear? Hold on a minute, are we finally getting Lady Stoneheart!?!? Well, no. It doesn’t look like it.
We met up with the Brotherhood again this episode, and it turns out the murderers were going against the Brotherhood, and about to be hanged when Clegane shows up. And not only is Thoros of Myr there, but Beric Dondarrion as well. You could almost hear the collective disappointed sigh last night.
You see, in order for Lady Stoneheart to exist, Beric Dondarrion gave up his seemingly endless lives for her, for Catelyn. So as long as Beric is with us, Lady Stoneheart can’t be. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but from the sounds of it, their plan is to move North, to fight the White Walkers. CATELYN STARK IS NOT NORTH.
Like I said, I’m not ruling it out completely, mainly because I really, really want it to happen still, but hope is pretty much lost on this book plot.
But that unfortunate turn of events isn’t the only thing happening in the Riverlands right now. At the siege of Riverrun, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne arrive at the Lannister camps. And before we see Brienne treat with her long lost love (who’s kind of in love with his own sister too but I’m going to overlook that for the moment), Podrick is reunited with Bronn! Oh, good old times! That’s Thrones for you. Your favourites will probably be massacred at a wedding, but you never know who will meet up again in the unlikeliest of places.
The greeting itself was perfection. “Podrick fucking Payne! I thought you’d be dead by now.” Bronn laughs after choking Pod, because that’s how he does things. And then he looks at the tent and asks, “Do you think they’re fucking?” I love Bronn. Bronn asks the right questions.
It may be vulgar, but that’s Bronn for you, and he speaks what’s on everyone’s mind. The fans have always wondered, is the relationship between Jaime and Brienne just a friendship, or, for lack of a better phrase, do they want to bang? Well, Bronn basically confirms it here. He has no doubt that Jaime would want to, and then points out the way Brienne looks at him, the way all women look at him. He preferred working for Tyrion in that respect. And then they go on to have a nice little training session which is probably the cutest and best thing ever because Pod is adorable, and Bronn is just hilarious. I’d like a spin off to go, please.
And then we get to Jaime and Brienne. I really hate Jaime right now. Like I loathe him. He is reverting back to season 1 Jaime Lannister, super antagonistic, just wants to sleep with his sister, will push little boys out of windows and cripple them kind of guy. And that is not Jaime!!! But don’t worry, I’ll get to that.
Brienne is visibly nervous at the thought of seeing Ser Jaime again, but is visibly done with him immediately. When Brienne tells him she found Sansa, and fills him in, he says, “I never thought you’d find her. I just assumed Sansa was dead.” When Brienne asks why, he says, “In my experience, girls like her don’t live very long.” Brienne comes back with a straight-faced, “I don’t think you know many girls like her.” YES BRIENNE!!! YES!! Don’t go judging her, Jaime, the hating on Sansa train has long passed, get off of it.
This scene is amazing and intense. We can actually see Jaime shift in his character as it goes on. He starts off as a lion, ready to pounce, to do anything for his sister. While he tells Brienne that he is proud of her for finding Sansa, she is still suspect for Joffrey’s murder, and his sister wants her dead. He can’t just leave Riverrun, either. This is the Frey’s land, and he admits it was given to them for betraying Robb Stark and murdering him at the Red Wedding, seemingly without any emotion. But he sees Brienne’s face, and softens. She tells him that she has seen honor in him. She is not asking him to betray his house, only for the chance to go into the castle under a flag of truce, and persuade the Blackfish to ride North with her to Sansa’s aid. Jaime tells her it’s unlikely he’ll listen, but allows her the opportunity, giving her his word that if he agrees, he and his people will be allowed safe passage through the North.
Brienne is satisfied at this, and takes off her sword, the one he gave to her, and hands it back to him. He simply looks between it and her. “You gave it to me for a purpose,” she says. “I have achieved that purpose.” “It’s yours,” he replies. “It will always be yours.” Was my heart the only one that melted??
The scene ends with Brienne saying that if it comes to battle, honor and duty will force her to fight alongside the Tullys’, against him. He nods, and just hopes it won’t come to that. He cannot look away from her. And that’s the Jaime we know. He changes from this man who will throw away his honor just for his sister, to a man who is gentle, kind, and understanding. This is the Jaime we fell in love with. He later threatens Edmure to get him to cooperate. He doesn’t want unnecessary bloodshed, which is good, but he threatens to toss Edmure’s baby in a catapult, into the castle. And while it’s a threat to persuade Edmure to help the Lannisters take Riverrun, I think he actually would have done it. He admits that the only thing that matters to him is Cersei, which we know is not true because of how he acts when he is around Brienne.
While the scene between Jaime and Edmure was fantastically done, and it was wonderful to watch and to see Edmure again, they are ruining Jaime’s character. What was so wonderful about him was his arc. He starts off a villain, but by season 3 he’s completely changed in our eyes. We don’t love the man who pushed Bran out of a bloody window. We hate that guy. We love the man who jumped, one-handed, without a sword, into a bear pit to save Brienne of Tarth. We love the man who leaves behind his facade and admits the truth of his story to Brienne. A man who is no less fierce, but so much more honorable. But being around Cersei so much is reversing his character, and it’s actually horrible to watch. I really hope there is a big change coming for Jaime, because I cannot take this version.
Jaime Lannister aside, Brienne was unable to convince the Blackfish to join Sansa’s cause. And when Edmure comes marching up to the gate, the men of the castle cannot disobey him. Edmure is their rightful lord, after all, not the Blackfish. And though Brynden warns them this is a trap, they allow Edmure in anyway, and he orders them to lay down their weapons and surrender, and to find the Blackfish. And as he is their lord, they obey.
The Blackfish helps Brienne and Pod escape, but doesn’t come with them. He tells Brienne that she will keep Sansa safer than he ever could, draws his sword, and goes to fight off the Lannisters. He dies doing so, and the castle is the Lannister’s. They all seem rather proud of themselves, and I have to say, I’m glad this wasn’t drawn out unnecessarily. It didn’t need to be a big plot, and I’m glad it wasn’t.
The scene ends with Jaime being told that the Blackfish is dead. He is happy with the outcome, they did not have to spill much blood to get the castle, and he looks down at the lands. He then turns his eyes to the river, and his face falls when he sees Brienne and Pod rowing away. He looks absolutely heartbroken. She turns and looks back at him, looking just as sad. He raises his golden hand to her, and she raises a hand to him. A goodbye, of sorts. But they look so heartbroken, both longing for more of a goodbye but knowing there could not be one. And this was proof that there is still something of the Jaime we love in him. He just needs to get away from Cersei long enough to fully embrace his true self. It’s not likely, but I really want him to go after Brienne. Not to fight her, or stop her, but to just be with her. Maybe a kiss, that would be nice because we’ve waited LIKE THREE SEASONS, but whatever. I’m just so angry with what they’ve done to Jaime Lannister, and he needs to stay with Brienne to return to his good, kind self.
To say things are tense here would be an understatement. Tommen allows members of the Faith Militant, including Lancel Lannister, into the Red Keep, and they wait for Cersei, as she has been asked (commanded) to see his High Holiness in the Sept. She tells Lancel that he is welcome to come visit her here, as he promised she would be allowed to stay in the Red Keep until her trial, but Lancel knows that the High Sparrow made no such promise. He threatens that she will be taken by force if she does not come freely, and she simply steps aside, letting the Mountain stand in front of her. The fear is just radiating off of them, and rightly so.
One of the Faith attacks him, but he doesn’t even flinch. It’s almost comical. The Mountain then proceeds to choke him, throw him to the ground, and then literally tear his head off with nothing but his bare hands. Cersei leaves with a nice little, “Please tell his High Holiness he is always welcome to visit.” Well, that’s a threat if I’ve ever heard one. But while she may feel clever, that could have been a huge mistake.
Later, in the Throne room, Cersei stands in the gallery as Tommen recites her words back to her, that the faith and the crown are the two pillars that hold up this world. Lies from Cersei’s lips that have now come to change the way of King’s Landing. But Tommen has conferred with the High Septon, and the day of Cersei and Loras’ trial has been determined. But not only that, trial by combat has been officially forbidden throughout Westeros. YEAH. THAT JUST HAPPENED.
Thank the Gods that Tyrion wasn’t there, he would have been very disappointed to hear that. But this really puts Cersei in trouble, because this is what she was relying on. But Tommen is right of course, it was a tradition created by those corrupted, wishing to avoid their fate. And that is, of course, what Cersei is doing.
So, wait. Does this mean Cersei could actually die soon!? Perhaps, but she has a plan brewing. Qyburn and herself have been plotting. What it is, they do not say, but Cersei seems rather confident, and it’s been something they’ve been planning for quite some time, it seems. The popular theory is wildfire, which makes sense. Either she will burn the Sept, or possibly even the Red Keep itself. While many are saying it is Daenerys who will become the Mad Queen, I think Cersei is far more likely. She’s never been the most sane of characters, and her decisions are often poorly thought out. She’s desperate at this point, and if you remember, we have seen the Red Keep burnt to the ground and covered in ashes two times. Once, in a vision of Bran’s, and also in the House of the Undying, when Daenerys walked through it. This could be happening even sooner than we thought!! Again, this is unconfirmed, this is speculation at this point, but it’s definitely possible!
It’s about time. Honestly, Arya’s fantastic, but I was getting really tired of her trying to convince herself she could truly be a servant of the Many Faced God. She is a Stark of Winterfell, and she belongs with her family. And she finally has come to terms with that.
Last week’s episode ended with her (predictably) getting stabbed by the Waif. A lot of people were thinking this scene was more than what it appeared to be, because Arya couldn’t really be that stupid right? Wrong. She really was that stupid. But she learned her lesson, so props to her! She ends up seeking refuge with Lady Crane, who nurses her back to health. She offers for Arya to travel with them to Pentos, but it isn’t safe. This scene is actually really well done, and while I’ve had a little trouble getting into Arya’s plot the last couple of seasons, this scene was topnotch, and I just wish we had been able to see more of Lady Crane.
But Arya should have known better than to come there. She should have known that since she failed to kill Lady Crane, the Waif would come to do it. And come she did. It wasn’t quick or painless, either, like it would have been if Arya had done it. The Waif tells her that the Many Faced God has been offered another name, and the chase begins. It goes all over Braavos, and at first it seems like Arya is simply trying to escape the Waif, turning randomly. But that is not the case. By the end, she is limping, struggling to get there, but she leads the Waif to the place she has been sleeping. To Needle. She stands up and brings Needle down, extinguishing the candle’s flame. They are in darkness.
Jaqen walks through the Hall of Faces, following a trail of blood, which leads him to the face of the Waif, bloody and terrified. Arya stands and points Needle at him. He smiles and says, “A girl has finally become no one.” But no. A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And she is going home.
Again, I’m really happy it ended this way, because as a Stark, she belongs back with her family. And while snuffing out the candle was very dramatic, I kind of wish we had seen the fight. It would have been intense, and I want to see how Arya has improved. But at least she admits the truth now. Maybe we actually will get a bigger Stark reunion!
A lot is happening in Meereen right now! Varys has left to an undetermined destination, but he spoke of making friends (and ships) in Westeros. So where is he going? Who shall he visit? The Iron Islands have the ships, but they aren’t the only ones, and I really hope he won’t be going there, as Euron cannot be trusted even slightly. But I am very excited to see who he’ll be visiting! And it seems the Red Priestess kept her deal, as they are preaching to the people how Daenerys is their savior, and if they support and love her, they will never be in chains again. This is all well and good if not for the deal that Tyrion made with the Masters. It may have seemed good, perhaps the only option at the time, but it comes to the surface later in the episode.
But before that, Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm sit together. Tyrion convinces them to drink by raising a glass to Daenerys, and saying, “Anyone not drinking is disrespecting our Queen!” I cried. Tyrion is perfection.
The scene continues with the telling of jokes. Missandei tries one, about two translators and it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s actually a very lighthearted scene, and the three of them are finally starting to bond with each other. But the fun doesn’t last for too long. Soon, the bells are ringing. The Masters have come, and they will attack and claim what is theirs.
The city is in flame, and Tyrion admits he made a big mistake. Grey Worm accepts this, but he knows strategy better than Tyrion, and he will decide their course of action. They will stay in the pyramid and protect it, fight them as they come. The pyramid is the only place they can defend. Just then, the walls start to shake. Someone, or something is on the pyramid. And I think we all knew who it was!!!
That’s right!! Queen Daenerys is back!!! Hopefully she can clean this mess up, and hopefully she isn’t too hard on Tyrion. That kind of thing would have probably worked in Westeros, he was just doing what he thought was best, trying to save the city. His intentions were good, and hopefully Dany will see that. I’m going to be extremely disappointed if this doesn’t end well for Tyrion and he doesn’t become the second head of the Dragon. But either way, the Mother of Dragons, the Breaker of Chains is back and ready to kick the Masters’ asses! Maybe she’ll even bring out all three dragons this time!
This episode had some great moments and some not so great moments, but I cannot wait for episode 9. Get ready, people, because next Sunday is the Battle of the Bastards, and it is going to be intense!! Who will win? Who will die? I’ll be seriously angry if they kill Jon again. And will Ramsay die? Will the Knights of the Vale come to Sansa’s aid? So many questions, so little time, but as always, Sunday can’t come soon enough.