We’re heading into the home stretch of season six of Game of Thrones, and there are still so many questions to be answered. Will Sansa strike down Ramsey and retake Winterfell? Will Cersei best the Sparrows? Will Danaerys set sail for Westeros? Will someone get Arya the fuck out of Braavos? The next three weeks are about to be a rollercoaster of emotion and hopefully together we come out on the other end with a semblance of sanity and an ounce of tears left in our bodies.
To save you all some time and effort, I’ll ask that you wait until the end of the season to compile a full list of spelling concerns. Kindly address them to:
66 None of These Are Real Fucking Names Ave.
c/o I Get It, You Read the Books
P.O. Box #I Will Probably Continue to Spell Them Wrong
I Don’t Care, NY, 10016
In my humble opinion (that you all willingly subject yourselves to each week), last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was kind of boring. Sure, there was a big return and the introduction of the single betchiest ten-year-old to ever grace Westeros, but the majority of the plot was just set up for the many show downs to come in the next three weeks. Whatever, I guess all this diplomacy will tide me over until we get to watch the highly anticipated bloodbath that is CLEGANEBOWL. Speaking of…
The episode opens on a disarmingly peaceful valley where a ragtag group of puritan-looking people are working together in harmony. Men laugh and cajole about as they build what appears to be the beginnings of a church. The women smile on as they prepare a hearty meal. The sun is shining, birds are chirping. Everything is serene and happy, which only means one thing in this show: an inevitable swift and brutal death.
But why are we getting a glimpse into this utopian camp with no recognizable characters, all before the forty five-minute snack break known as the title sequence, no less? One very important reason: THE HOUND IS BACK, MOTHERFUCKERS.
After being nursed back to health by Ray, a reformed murderer turned faith leader, The Hound has been living in only slightly disgruntled harmony amongst this cultish gathering of peacemakers in the Riverlands.
Ray: So how many men did it take to cut you down?
The Hound: Actually, it was one woman and a supremely angsty teenager but DETAILS.
He spends most of the episode (and presumably the entire time that he’s been there) brooding over his life and the violence that has dictated it while Ray discusses things like faith, the Gods, and the Hound’s purpose in this ceaseless hellhole. It’s the most emotion we’ve ever seen from The Hound without chicken present.
The Hound: If the Gods are real, why have I not been punished yet?
Ray: I mean…have you seen your face?
Ray’s entire commune is built upon a single idea: It’s never too late to become a good person. This is news to The Hound, who has spent his entire life being told he’s a piece of shit with a very particular skillset: murdering everything. It’s also an ideology that goes against just about everything that Game of Thrones is built on. Let’s be real, the only thing people in this show like less than change is honesty. Ray’s outlook is refreshing, hopeful even, which means it must be extinguished immediately, because this is Westeros and there is no joy here.
The commune’s fate is sealed when they are happened upon by three lone riders from the Brotherhood Without Banners, who quickly recognize an easy and completely defenseless target when they see one. Seriously though, if someone ever said “Stay safe. The night is dark and full of terrors” to me, I would know without a shadow of a doubt that I was mere minutes from death. Hippie faith or not, it’s time to GTFO or at least give the murder machine you rescued an axe to defend you with.
But nah, Ray ain’t about life. So it’s no surprise that when The Hound returns from chopping firewood he discovers the entire camp slaughtered and the septon hung from the rafters of his partially built temple. Tbh, this is what you get when you think faith alone will protect you in a country that’s like The Purge every day of the year.
The last shot in the episode is of The Hound picking up an axe and presumably setting off to seek vengeance. Ah, something new and refreshing for him.
Having supposedly switched allegiance to the Sparrows and their Faith last week, Margaery is still going strong on her reformed piety act. The High Sparrow comes to her chambers for a casual chat about things you normally discuss with your priest: Bible verses, opinions on the poor and misfortunate, and whether or not you’re fucking your fourteen-year-old husband.
Idk if church has changed since my forced servitude at Vacation Bible Camp back in elementary school, but this seemed to cross a line or two. It also means that Tommen is openly bitching to his faith advisor about his sex life, which is pathetic even for him.
Margaery: Since giving myself over to religion, I don’t really feel the desire to have sex anymore.
High Sparrow: lol since when has female desire ever played a role in sex. THIS IS GAME OF THRONES, HUN.
The Sparrow asks Margaery to try and reason with her grandmother, the only person on this show who can rival Lyanna Mormont in terms of low tolerance for bullshit. Lady Tyrell is pissed that she was outmaneuvered last week, and even angrier that her viciously manipulative granddaughter has appeared to have been brainwashed. Oh Olenna, ye of little faith.
After very emphatically telling her grandmother to give up on Loras and GO HOME ROGER, Margaery passes her a note right under the Septon’s watchful eye. Bold move, but no one gets beaten with a ladle so maybe they got away with it. The message: a Tyrell rose, which means that Margaery is very much in control of herself and her allegiances are right where they need to be. Olenna catches on right away and prepares to leave, but not without one more showdown against her favorite nemesis, Cersei.
Honestly, all I want from this show (other than the happy ending that will never come) is a Grace and Frankie style spinoff featuring Cersei and Olenna. Benioff and Weiss, feel free to slide into my DM’s so we can get this started.
Cersei is shocked that Olenna is throwing in the towel so easily. While these two may agree on nearly nothing, they share an unrelenting dedication to family even in the face of sure defeat. Olenna takes this moment to remind Cersei that literally this entire situation is her fault, but never lets her hand slip about Margaery’s true motives.
Olenna: I wonder if you’re the absolute worst person I’ve ever met.
Cersei: Oh, easily top three.
Cersei’s attempts at getting Olenna to stick around for one last hurrah seem sincere, but her post-Shame Walk diet of Xanax and wine has dimmed the fire that used to emanate from her every word. She really wants the Tyrells to help her battle this out, but she sounds like she’d accept a foot rub and a nap as a solid consolation prize.
Olenna’s parting words: “You’ve lost, Cersei, and that’s the only joy I can find in all this misery.” While we know that she’s definitely not down for the count, you bet this statement is still 100% true.
Jon, Sansa and Davos spend the entire episode traveling the North in an attempt to recruit other families to their cause. There are some wins, some losses, and some insane amounts of shade thrown by a ten-year-old. Overall, a solid trip.
First stop: The Wildlings.
You know shit is getting bad when a diplomatic meeting with the Wildlings seems tame. Another red-headed leader who looks like the poor man’s Tormund is decidedly against storming on Winterfell. To be fair, this is not the battle they agreed to. Why this man is more willing to fight virtually invincible zombies rather than a bunch of easily murdered men is beyond me, but whatever.
A recurring theme on this journey, Jon has to explain why this battle is more than just a fight for Winterfell. Jon can’t rally the Northern families to fight the White Walkers until the Boltons are gone, and they can’t get rid of the Boltons without the Wildlings. It’s a simple case of the Transitive Property- COME ON, WILDLINGS. Now is no time to forget your basic geometry.
In case this logic wasn’t enough to drive their point home, Tormund came in with one pretty important reminder: Jon has literally already sacrificed his life for the Wildling cause.
Tormund: We’d be cowards to not risk our lives for Jon as he did for us
Wildlings: Uh yeah, but is some fire witch going to bring us back to life?
Wun-Wun, a giant of few words, settles the discussion with a simple “SNOW” before he strides off to do whatever the fuck it is giants do. This is all the encouragement the Wildlings need, and they’re officially on Team Stark.
Second Stop: Bear Island
As Bear Island is the home of Jorah, I assumed I would be underwhelmed and annoyed by the entire discussion that took place there. And BOY, was I so incredibly wrong.
Look up “take no shit” on the Internet and you’ll find a photo of Lady Lyanna Mormont, the ten-year-old ruler of Bear Island who has no time for small talk or Jon Snow’s whiny resurrected ass. Same.
Quick reminder: Stannis wrote to Lady Mormont back in Season 5 when he was trying to garner support to his cause. Her response was a terse “House Mormont knows one King, the King in the North. And his name is Stark.” We should have known then that the girl who out-gruffed Stannis Baratheon would show up a season later to steal our collective hearts. Jon and Sansa are hoping that this steadfast loyalty to the Stark name will be enough to bring the Mormonts to their side. They would be wrong.
After reminding Jon that he’s actually a Snow and basically calling Sansa the Julie Cooper-Nichol of the North, she lets them know that House Mormont has had enough Stark drama to last a lifetime and will gladly be staying away from this mess as well. It seems callous, but honestly this is the question that I’ve asked myself every time some stranger has offered up his entire bloodline for the sake of another family’s petty bullshit throughout the entire duration of this show.
Surprisingly enough it’s Davos who comes in to save the day. He starts by talking to Lyanna like she’s an adult, a strategy that goes a long way with people who aren’t actually adults. Inversely, the best way to get me to do anything these days is to bribe be like I’m a spoiled eleven-year-old, which is probably why I would have died in the pilot.
As another stranger with zero connection to Stark or Bolton, Davos convinces Lady Mormont that this fight is worth her time for one very important reason: The army of undead marching their way give zero fucks what your house is, they just want you dead.
Davos: This is a war between the living and the dead, and the dead are coming.
Lady Mormont: Pretty sure you just altered this show’s entire catchphrase, but continue.
When trying to recruit a child leader to your cause, 10/10 would recommend scaring her with ghost stories. Lyanna quickly offers up the entire Mormont army: a staggering 62 men.
Lyanna: Each one is a strong as ten warriors from the mainland.
Davos: Woah, m’lady, that’s a lot of math. I learned to read like a week ago.
Third Stop: House Glover
The sigil of House Glover is an iron fist, aka a silver glove. Hopefully what they lack in creativity they make up for in brute strength and loyalty to the Starks.
Or not. Lord Glover is still not all that psyched about his last Stark venture, in which Robb’s uncontrollable dick got them all murdered and left House Glover at the mercy of the Greyjoys. Finding out that the Stark army is comprised mainly of Wildlings is the final nail in the coffin for this final recruitment attempt. Team Stark heads back to their camp, which should look familiar to you.
Davos: The one true King Stannis Baratheon chose this camp for his—
Sansa: Bruh. We’re past that.
It would appear that our loving reunion could only last so long before the sibling bickering set in. Jon is determined to march on Winterfell ASAP, while Sansa wants to wait and rally more troops. In a very male move, Jon shouts his opinion over Sansa’s and then stalks away assuming victory. Fool.
Firmly ensconced in her bad bitch phase, Sansa sneaks away to send a raven to summon the army at the vale that Littlefinger promised her. There’s a lot of Internet speculation that this move will result in Sansa winning Winterfell but ultimately losing her life. Much like Krum catching the Snitch but Ireland winning the World Cup anyways, only with infinitely more tears from me.
Fresh from being banished by his nephew/son, Jaime arrives at Riverrun to help the Freys regain the castle from The Black Fish. The good news: We are blessed with the reunion of Butch Lannister and the Sundance Bronn. The bad news: The Freys are worse at holding a perimeter than they are at hosting weddings, and Jaime feat. his 8000-man army just waltz right in completely undetected.
Bronn: Just a quick reminder: I want nothing to do with you, this war, or this show.
Jaime and company arrive just as Walder Frey’s sons are threatening to hang Edmure if The Black Fish doesn’t surrender. To say that he is unmoved would be an understatement. Odds are it's because he knows it’s all bluff, but it probably doesn't help that Edmure has proved pretty useless thus far. Quick reminder that men on this show don't show a lot of sympathy towards sons who manage to get themselves captured.
Frey: I will literally slice your nephew ear to ear just like I did to your niece.
Black Fish: aight.
Predictably, the Freys don’t actually do anything to Edmure and The Black Fish wanders back inside, probably to make a sandwich and kick back with the NFL network because holding this castle requires zero effort on his part.
Outside, Jaime lets the Freys know how he feels about their military strategy by backhanding one of them with his solid gold hand. Point made. He then demands that Edmure be cleaned and given a meal, because this may be war but Lannisters are not animals. He sends Bronn to alert The Black Fish that he’d like to parlay.
If the stone cold glare in the face of death threats to his nephew wasn’t enough, two minutes of screen time were all it took to solidify The Black Fish’s place on my list of favorite characters. The only thing he is less impressed by than the Frey’s is Jaime, who last he heard had sworn a promise to Catelyn.
Black Fish: Weird, I thought you were supposed to be off securing Sansa and Arya for my dead niece.
Jaime: Dude, that was like three seasons ago.
Their entire encounter can be summarize by this: The Black Fish doesn’t give a fuck. He’s got the resources to hide out in that castle for two years, which is longer than the Freys could last and about one year and 364 days more than Jaime is willing to. To add insult to injury, Jaime is extra sensitive to people underestimating him, which is exactly what The Black Fish, Bronn, Tommen and just about everyone else is doing. All it takes is a couple “King Slayer” and “Oathbreaker” jabs to break his spirit before The Black Fish strolls back into his castle.
For those of you who were lamenting the supreme lack of brothel scenes this season, fear not. This episode received a healthy dose of boob when the The Greyjoys, who are fleeing for their lives with an entire fleet of stolen ships, decided to stop off for a much-needed break in Volantis. Nothing takes your mind off the impending threat of death like picking up a couple STD’s with your best buds.
Unless you’re Theon, that is, who is having a difficult time enjoying himself seeing as how he not only can’t get it up, but has nothing to actually get up. Or maybe it’s the fact that he has to sit uncomfortably close to his sister while she motorboats a prostitute. Idk, both sound like major boner killers to me.
While I disagree with just about everything the Iron Islands stands for, their progressive stance on lesbian rights is commendable. Just wait until Yara sees Danaerys; we may have another Jorah on our hands.
Noticing the total buzzkill that her brother is being, Yara creates a super fun drinking game where she makes Theon drink every time he’s a whiny bitch. It proves quite effective. She follows up her sisterly pep talk with telling Theon to kill himself if he doesn’t think he can bounce back from his minor bout of depression stemming from the years of torture he suffered at the hands of possibly the most psychopathic character this show was ever seen. So the Yara Greyjoy school of mental health may be flawed, but she means well.
It’s during this rare instance of sibling bonding, or at least as close as the Ironborn get to it, that Yara reveals her plan. She wants to beat Euron to Meereen and ally with Danaerys. Seeing as how she got with with all of his ships, her odds seem good. It takes a couple more gulps from Theon before he can get on board with this plan, but he manages. Yara bids him farewell, off to make the most of her last night of debauchery before they get back to business.
Yara “I’m gonna go fuck the tits off this one” Greyjoy. Give her all the thrones.
Arya balls out and books an entire cabin to herself on a ship back to Westeros. About fucking time. Her ship leaves at dawn, which means she only has to make it twelve or so hours in a city where two people out to kill her could be wearing any face. No problem.
Instead of hiding out or laying low or any number of smart moves, Arya plants herself in the middle of an empty bridge, completely defenseless. It takes all of six seconds for the Waif to find and stab her right in the gut, at which point Arya barrel rolls of the cliff into the river below.
She pulls herself up onto shore and stumbles through the city, soaking wet and seeping blood. Many people look directly at her and proceed to offer zero support. Braavos, the city of hospitality. I refuse to believe she dies, so here’s hoping Lady Crane finds her and offers some sympathy to her would-be assassin.
On a side note, I read a theory that Arya is pulling a Tyler Durden and that she has actually been the Waif the entire time. Of all the fan theories, it seems the weakest to me. But if it is true it will only give me one more reason to resent Fight Club.
MVB: Lyanna Mormont.
Is this even a question? An extreme distaste for small talk, zero respect for strangers or elders, and immediate rejection of any and all compliments thrown her way. Lyanna is not the betch Westeros needs, but the one it deserves.