Saturday, September 23, 2017

Game of Thrones 6.06: "Blood of My Blood"

“I’m not angry at you. I’m angry that horrible people can treat good people that way and get away with it.”

As you might expect from the episode’s title, this episode really was all about family. In fact, the episode really fit with a theme better than most. Family influenced pretty much everything that happened, which I guess isn’t all that unusual for “Game of Thrones,” but the title especially made it stand out to me. Families were fighting and characters were remembering families lost. There’s also quite a family reunion at the end. When “Game of Thrones” can be very fragmented what with the many characters and the diverse plots in which they are involved, it was nice to see an episode that seemed to really be crafted well around a theme and hold up as a piece of the whole. The developments in this episode seemed to really move the plot forward in new ways, too. I think the show is stronger for having an end point to work towards now. It’s also stronger for not having to be quite as beholden to the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, although I have a feeling both the books and the TV show will end up in roughly the same place.

We begin this episode just about where the last one left off. Meera is still trying to drag a catatonic Bran through the forest, and the white walkers are catching up. Bran now appears to have a bunch of history downloaded into his brain, and we experience him having visions of many events that occurred earlier in the series. Meera can’t outrun the walkers, though. Just as they are about to overtake Bran and Meera, a mysterious figure on horseback arrives on the scene and helps fight off the walkers with this pretty cool flailing fire weapon thingy. Later, as the trio are gathered around a fire, recovering from a fight, the mysterious man reveals himself to be none other than Benjen Stark, Bran’s uncle who was lost north of the Wall while serving as a Ranger in the Night’s Watch. Bran, understandably, wants to know what happened to Uncle Benjen. He says that he was indeed stabbed by a White Walker while ranging, but the Children of the Trees saved him, and he wasn’t turned.

Next up, it’s time for a Tarly Meet-the-Parents session. Sam’s plan is to drop Gilly and Little Sam off with his (pretty terrible) family while he goes off to study to be a Maester. Lady Tarly, Sam’s mom, is very friendly to Gilly and Little Sam. She’s extremely happy to meet her “grandson” (of course none of the Tarlys know that Little Sam isn’t actually Sam’s biological son). Sam’s sister also seems happy to see everyone. She instantly takes Gilly under her wing and tries to find a fancy dress for her among her wardrobe. She’s got to be dressed up for family dinner, after all. When it is dinner time, Papa Tarly just wants to talk about “manly” things like hunting. He’s disappointed that Sam is still “soft” and cares the most about books. Gilly tries to defend him, talking about creatures Sam had to kill in the North, but she ends up revealing she’s a Wildling. Papa Tarly hates Wildlings, so he is not happy with this news, and dinner ends abruptly after a big family argument. Privately, Sam apologizes to Gilly for how awful his family is. He’s about to just leave, but then he changes his mind. He leaves all right, but he takes Gilly, Little Sam, and his father’s prized sword with him.

We next head for King’s Landing, where the High Sparrow is still really in charge. He lets Tommen see Margaery. Which is kind of ridiculous considering Margaery is Tommen’s wife and all. In their interaction, Margaery seems super religious now, but she’s sneaky and power-hungry like her mother-in-law, so I’m not buying it. Meanwhile, Jaime lets the Tyrell family army into King’s Landing and accompanies them to the Sept where the High Sparrow and his minions have been hanging out. Unfortunately, Jaime’s gambit fails. Margaery has convinced Tommen to work with the Church now, and Tommen, who is King after all, is totally cool with the High Sparrow controlling his capital city. He kicks Jaime out of the Kingsguard and assigns him to head up the army that is going to help Walder Frey take back Riverrun.

We see Walder Frey, played by the always entertaining David Bradley (yay replacement First Doctor!) for the first time in a while in this episode. He is very pissed off at his sons for losing Riverrun to the Blackfish. He’s holding Edmure Tully (the Blackfish’s brother) hostage, however, and he is not going to hesitate to use him to get Riverrun back. That’s also where Jaime and his supposed new army come into play. In King’s Landing, Jaime tells Cersei about his fate. Instead of attacking Riverrun, he wants to kill the High Sparrow. Cersei doesn’t think this is the best course of action, and she tells Jaime he should be at the head of an army where he belongs. And then they make out. Because twincest never dies, apparently.

Across the sea in Braavos, Arya is still working up to killing Lady Crane. She watches the players again, this time a scene that recreates that beautiful time when Joffrey died of poisoned wine at his wedding. After the show, Lady Crane catches Arya snooping around backstage, and they have a pleasant conversation. Lady Crane tells Arya about how she ran off to join the players at a young age. Arya likes Lady Crane, so when Lady Crane is about to drink the poisoned wine, Arya knocks it out of her hand and saves her. The Waif sees this and reports back to Jaqen, who is not happy. He basically gives the Waif permission to kill Arya. Arya knows her time with the Faceless Men is over, and she goes and retrieves Needle for the fight to come.

Meanwhile, in Dothraki territory, Dany and Daario argue about what to do next. He is skeptical about her plan to rule the Seven Kingdoms, because he thinks she’s a conquerer more than a ruler. Dany, meanwhile, senses something on the wind, and she goes ahead, telling Daario to stay behind with the Khalessar. Daario is about to betray his orders and follow her when Dany comes back riding a dragon – it’s Drogon, no less. She gives a huge speech, reminiscent of one Khal Drogo would give the Khalessar, about how they’re going to cross the sea in wooden horses and fulfill Khal Drogo’s promise to her. Of course, the crowd goes wild.

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