It’s hard to believe there are only 2 freaking episodes left of Game Of Thrones Season 6, but when you consider the roller coaster of emotions the cast and crew have us on, it’s easy to comprehend how the first 8 eps have gone by in light speed. And last night’s viewing was no exception. Every twist and every turn is filled with excitement, suspense, angst and a general sense that truly anything can happen. Season 6 has also been the most heartfelt, but it’s important to remember than in the game of thrones, no man is safe! You cannot lull yourself into a sense of false security. Now, hit the fucking music!
We began the night in Braavos. We all knew that Arya would need help after sustaining serious injuries from the Waif last week, and the Lady Crane came through in the clutch big time, son. Nothing like some milk of the poppy to get you back on your feet. After a few days, Arya was stitched up nicely. The only problem, the Waif hunted her down like Agent Smith in The Matrix. She gruesomely murdered Lady Crane and chased Arya all around the vibrant Braavosi trade market. The end appeared near for Arya, but the Waif made a serious miscalculation by allowing Arya to run around town. She ended up back in her underground darkness layer, where she was able to subdue the Waif with some Bane like tactics…
In what was another power move, Arya dragged the Waif’s snipped off face all the way back to the House of Black and White and placed it on Jaqen’s wall of victims. In an odd turn of events, Jaqen proclaim that Arya had finally finished her training and truly became “no one.” In a badass MF moment, Arya defies him, completely reclaiming her name as “Arya Stark of Winterfell” and making the final announcement that she intends to return home. It wasn’t always a smooth road for Arya’s arc in Braavos, but it was a fantastic finish, for sure.
Meanwhile in King’s Landing, we witnessed some pivotal events take place in only a limited amount of time. By instruction from the High Sparrow, Tommen has declared that the Realm has outlawed trials by combat, leaving Cersei shit outta luck in the process. Instead, she will stand trial like she’s facing SCOTUS, in front of a panel of 7 septons hell bent on their own personal agendas.
Alas, Cersei still appears to have some tricks up her sleeve. In a conversation with Qyburn, she asks whether the “rumor” they had spoken about earlier in the season had some truth behind it. Qyburn explained that there was “so much more” indeed. More on exactly what that “rumor” was later… But, it was predictably upsetting to learn that we would not be seeing the Mountain in action. Instead, we’ll continue to be relegated to him squishing people’s skulls with his bare hands. It seems like it’s the only way he knows how to kill nowadays.
In Meereen, it appears as though Tyrion is batting .500 during his term as acting ruler of the land. An all-star worthy clip if you’re playing baseball, but a potentially fatal average if you’re a diplomat. Although Tyrion appears to have hit a homerun by bringing in the faithful priests of R’hollor (for now at least), he most definitely strikeout like he was swinging at a Noah Syndergaard slider on his decision to make peace with the slave masters. Immediately following Varys’s departure from the city to embark on a “secret mission,” we find Meereen under an amphibious attach from the masters. Tyrion eats all the crow in the world for his follies, but at the last moment, Dany returns to the city by way of a dragon elevator courtesy of Air Drogon and hopefully just in time to burn some fucking ships to a crisp.
The Hound was much more successful than Tyrion in his endeavors, however. Armed with nothing but an axe that he was swinging freely with 1 hand, the Hound disposed of each of the Brotherhood’s men that had torn through his pacifist clan in the Riverlands. The twist? The Brotherhood was doing the same thing. When the Hound finally caught up to the last mutineer, he found him set to be hanged by Beric, Thoros and the gang for going against the virtues of the Brotherhood. The major takeaway here is that the Hound could potentially be joining the Brotherhood. After some persistent persuasion and an appeal to the Hound’s sensitive side, Sandor appears to be legitimately mulling the opportunity to protect the people and makeup for all the wrong he’s committed in his life.
But the bulk of the story from last night’s episode came in Riverrun, where Jamie and Brienne made their long awaited reunion, and to a lesser but much more whimsical extent, Bron and Podrick made their’s.
It’s clear, the respect that Jamie and Brienne have for one another still holds strong. She was given an opportunity to treat with the Blackfish and have him escort the Tully army safely to Winterfell to meetup with Sansa’s army. But like many men his age, the Blackfish is ignorant and stubborn. And so when Edmure (the official Lord of Riverrun) demanded entry to the castle (a ploy devised by Jamie), the Blackfish was ousted from power. The Tully army laid down their weapons, the Lannister army marched on in and the Freys regained control. There was no bloodshed, save for the reported fight to his death efforts of the Blackfish (but still, there was no body seen….) We last see Brienne and Pod making their escape in a boat on the riverfront. In the distance Jamie can make them out as he waves to them farewell. Real recognize real, people. Brienne and Pod having bigger concerns in Winterfell now. But as an aside, the scene between Edmure and Jamie was beautifully written and performed. There were many paralells between the bumbling, provincial mindset of Edmure and the abstract, loyalist brain of Ser Jamie. We really did see Jamie come full circle as a character. He maintains his respect for Brienne in her effort to protect enemies of Jamie, but he continues to go to great lengths to protect his own family.
What is Varys’s “secret mission” that he is on?
The way I see it, there are only 3 options for Varys in this situation:
- After hearing rumors of the Iron Fleet in Volantis, Varys has set sail to treat with Yara and Theon. It’s unknown exactly how large the fleet in which Yara commands, but it is known that they made it their goal to sail for Meereen. Perhaps Varys is capitalizing on intel and meeting them in Volantis first?
- The much more likely scenario: Varys is sailing for Dorne to treat with the new regime. Although Doran Martell was assassinated earlier in the season, Dorne remains strong historical allies of the Targaryens. They can provide ships, safe passage to Westeros and a strong ally on the continent for Dany’s pursuit of the throne. She would also potentially expunge any attacks Dorne has made against the Crown since the regime change.
- The conspiracy theory (WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT): Varys is on his way to King’s Landing under shade to take care of some business. This theory is one mainly based upon source material from the books… In the prologue of A Dance With Dragons, Varys returns to King’s Landing under cloak and dagger to murder Grand Maester Pycelle and Kevan Lannister. His motive for doing so, to reestablish Cersei into power of the realm so as to create continued unrest in anticipation of a Targaryen rule. It was a truly dope moment in the books (and yet another reason why GRRM will always trump the show runners), and one in which could conceivably happen based upon the events of this past season…
What is the “rumor” Qyburn and Cersei spoke about?
Said “rumor” is most likely the uncovering of a large stash of wildfire in King’s Landing. It was long rumored that Aerys II “The Mad King” kept a huge depot of wildfire on the chance that he would get the urge to burn the entire city to the ground. Well, based upon that known fact, and the visions that Bran had earlier in the season in which we see The Mad King and King’s Landing consumed in wildfire, could it be that Qyburn’s little birds found the stash…? It seems like every week there’s a Lannister threatening to burn cities down so that they can reunite, and this week it was Jamie reiterating that sentiment to Edmure Tully in his containment tent. Indubitably, Jamie will make his return to King’s Landing just in time for his sister’s trial, and we will find out exactly what lengths they’re willing to go to turn cities into ashes.