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'Game of Thrones' and the Anticlimactic Arya Storyline

By Lord Castleton | Game of Thrones | June 13, 2016 |

By Lord Castleton | Game of Thrones | June 13, 2016 |

anticlimax def93268.png

Well, that episode kinda sucked.

Here’s the thing about Game of Thrones that’s awesome: they usually get it right. They usually are more in tune with their audience and they anticipate beats properly. Even if it’s not necessarily the resolution you want, you still get some resolution that helps define the parameters of the GOT TV watching universe.

When that happens, you build a lexicon of the rules of a certain world. And with repeated examples of those rules, you can begin to trust a show. So, it’s difficult when that show lets you down. Let’s explore.

Inexplicably, Braavos

We open in Braavos, back onstage with Lady Crane. Right away, I’d say 85% of us are like “Really? We’re back here?” Again, we see the touching and well acted scene where fake Cersei is loving and beautiful, mourning the death of the beloved and innocent Joffrey. Essie Davis is amazing as Lady Crane, but whatevs. As we watch, there’s a certain foreboding to the scene, and there has to be a reason we open on Lady Crane, right? Of course there is. This camera move tells us she’s being watched, in the very wings of her own performance!

So who is that bearded fellow? Is it The Waif in drag-face? Is it another Faceless Man? No. It’s just an extra and the camera move was just a weird camera move. Hmm. Okay! So Lady Crane takes an ovation from the quivering, moved audience. She’s the Bette Midler of Braavos. Then she heads inside to pour herself some rum from the same decanter that was once poisoned as all hell. But no one would hit that puppy twice, right? I mean, it’s not like she recently disfigured anyone enough to merit them possibly spicing her Captain Morgans with a little extra something something. But wait, before she has a chance to even get a drink, something goes bump in the night!

What was that?

Lady Crane moves slowly toward the Baby Gap changing room closet and voila! Our worst fears are realized. Arya Stark is there, wounded, and apparently making thudding noises.

That reveal brings forth a rush of realizations.

Areo Hotah got doinked by a paper knife from Bad Poosi and was dead before he hit the ground. All 765 pounds of him.

Let’s go to the tape:

Seems fairly straight forward. If you get stabbed once with, say, anything bigger than a Danny DeVito Bobblehead, you die. Roger. Now let’s check out Arya’s stabbing:

But that somehow wasn’t lethal. Maybe when The Waif twisted the knife it actually acted as a rudimentary suture that…um…

I don’t know.

What I do know is that Arya then jumped into a river of what’s most likely human waste but somehow that acted as an antiseptic. Ah! The well known cleansing effect of diarrhea. Long may its medicinal power reign supreme! After a bracing swim through the sewage, Arya gush-stumbles through a crowd of creepy meanies and holes up in the Baby Gap changing closet, hoping that Lady Crane is an R.N. when she’s not a rummy.

It also means:

— It wasn’t Jaqen in Arya-face, like I thought
— Ary, trained with incessant beatings for two years, is truly a fucking idiot who went unarmed for a stroll through Braavos. Arya understands that the Faceless Men can just magically make her blind, but it doesn’t occur to her that they could find her on the famous bridges of Braavos walking tour.
— Even though Arya has LITERALLY TOUCHED the face that The Waif wore, she didn’t recognize it when it hobbled up and swung a dirk at her.


— Even though Arya trained in deadly combat every day for years, when she gets slashed by The Waif she doesn’t block, dodge or counter. She just stands there, gets choked up and stabbed.
— Arya was a kick-ass beggar who managed to beg for a small ransom. How else did she get all that money?
— There isn’t any complicated reveal here. There isn’t any super-mindblowing reveal about who the Faceless Men are. Even though Sexy Jesus poisoned himself and then became the Waif, and we saw Arya’s face on the dead Jaqen, that means nothing. You can have a live person’s face and also dead people’s faces. If there are more than one or two Faceless Men, we’re not going to see them. These are, in fact, the droids we’re looking for and they’ve wasted our time for several seasons.


So Arya is taken to the home of Lady Crane, where we find out she’s a jealous lover. We see her wrapping Arya in some sort of dressing. What luck! She’s a healer! By the gods, it’s a darn lucky thing that Arya didn’t poison her! How did she learn this ability to mend a person who has been slashed once and stabbed with an ice-pick twice. Once with a half-turn?

“Bad men would poke me, and then I’d poke them.” Or something. I might be paraphrasing.

Then Lady Crane boils her socks and gives the broth to Arya to drink.

“I never learned to cook, though.” Wink. Tee Hee. “But drink it anyway. You’re going to be running off those stitches pretty soon!”

So Arya drinks the boiled socks.

“This play is opening in Hoboken soon.” Says Lady Crane. “You should come with us. You seem like a liar to me. You’d fit right in. Plus, I need a replacement Sansa the Whore. How big are your knockers? Would you like to join us?”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?” Asks Lady Crane.

Because. I am from the immortal house of Stark, a family cut out of the great northern ice floes that carried the First Men. I am the daughter of a betrayed father and mother. I am locked into a destiny for which I’ve trained my whole life that I’m only now lethal enough to complete. I am the fury of a thousand Northmen. I am the River of Ice. I am She Who Can Not Be Punctured, and my fate awaits me in a great city called Winterfell!

Was that how she answered? Um, no.

“Why not?” Asks Lady Crane.

“I couldn’t ruhmember the lines!” Arya snorts, wiping snot from her nose.

Then they talk about the edge of the world for a bit, but Arya winces, because the strain of talking while lying immobile in bed is too great for her. Lady Crane pours some ex-lax into a tumbler.

“What’s that?”

“Milk of the Poppy.”

“Oh! I don’t want that! It would dull my senses, and there’s a killer after me. I mean, I’m hidden in a cool flat somewhere in the old city, one of several thousand like it, but there’s a chance The Waif could find me…”

“If my boiled socks didn’t kill you, nothing will.”

“Good point. Well, I shouldn’t, but fuck it!” Arya drinks


The Riverlands

As Arya (why does everyone pronounce it EYE-ya, by the way? That drives me nuts. Why have the R, anyway?) drifts off to a blissful, unprotected sleep, we head to a scene with four bandits, one of whom almost manages to stick his finger in another one’s BUTTHOLE. Sandor Clegane walks up with an axe and murders them. The least sympathetic characters are the ones that put their finger in one of their friend’s buttholes and sniff it. Now we know that’s the recipe for an audience to immediately wish them dead.

So The Hound abides.

“You’re shit at dying!”

Oh, The Hound. Where have you been all our lives? Thank god you’re back.


Speaking of relief, we’re back in Meereen, the Hartford of Essos. Mmmmm. You can almost smell the slave pits from here.

So the city is back in full swing. Tyrion has Hand-Of-The-Kinged the shit out of the place, and by making a pact with religious fanatics, Lannisters have now Isis’ed both major continents. Who knew the Imp and Cersei had so much in common?

RULE #31 OF THE LANNISTER PLAYBOOK: When in doubt, see Waco, Texas.

So as the Red Priestesses preach the gospel of Daenerys, Lord Varys has had enough.

“I better jet out before the baddies get here.” He says to Tyrion.

“What baddies?”

“Never you mind.”

I didn’t know Varys was leaving, and while the timing of his departure was fortuitous, I don’t see any angle where he would gain from not informing Tyrion. Though, honestly, you have to wonder about the quality of his little birds in Essos if no one mentioned that a hundred ships loaded for bear with catapults and barrels of pine tar had launched from Slaver’s Bay. No caramels for those little birds, I’m thinking.

Incidentally, I always get confused about where Meereen and all the other douche-filled cities of Essos are. Here’s a quick map.

essos map 10876106.png

Orange: is where Arya is
Green: is the path of the Master’s fleet
Red: is the flight of Drogon
Blue: is the last known location of the Ironborn fleet

So anyway, Varys is off on a secret mission. My guess is Dorne, but who knows. Though these two are an amazing twosome and I hate to see them torn asunder, everyone not in Westeros is useless. Better to get one of them west.

You also get the sense that this is a permanent goodbye for them. That beauty shot of Tryion calling Varys to make sure he knows who the most important dwarf in the world is? That seemed like a farewell forever moment for these two.

When you consider Tyrion’s plot armor, it’s likely Varys. Then again, in this very episode Tyrion talks about how he would like to someday open a vineyard, which is usually code for “I have minutes to live.” So we’ll see.

Then Tyrion and Varys both walk away, unguarded and unprotected, through the crowd which was once chock full of Sons of the Harpy but is now totally safe

The Red Keep

Qyburn comes in like Igor and is like ::wheeze wheeze:: someone is here to see you madam! ::wheeze wheeze::

Cersei is met by Lancel Lannister, whose overwhelming guilt basically got us into this mess. Yes, sexing up your cousin is not great, but on the Lannister scale that’s like child’s play. This is a family who Red Weddings, Stabs Kings in the Back, and has long term Brother-Sister sex that produces children. This is a family that made Joffrey. A little slip of the willy into Cersei’s mean-bitch riverlands isn’t reason to go branding your forehead! Damn. I wince every time I see that thing. It’s not exactly a tramp stamp. You have to commit to ink like that. That’s not something you fix with a random orbital sander and few shots of Malibu. That’s a permanent choice.

Like Cersei’s choice of violence.

I thought we were going to get a big scene here. Instead we have another anticlimactic scene that we basically inferred from last week’s coming attractions reel. I’d offer that based on how much of it stole the thunder from this episode, it was the worst coming attractions reel in GOT history.

So anyway, rather than a swarm of club swinging crazies, and The Mountain just hacking through them, we see him pop the top off of one of them like a dandelion. I’m pretty sure some spine came out, too, Mortal Kombat style. Then the rest of Lancel’s besmocked tools scamper off.

So, that’s it? Huh.

I guess we have to give credit where credit is due and say that at least Cersei didn’t go with them. At least she’s learned that much. Do you think there’s a series of wigs for Cersei somewhere where they get a tiny bit longer every episode?

And about the Mountain, we see that he doesn’t bleed when his breastplate gets pierced. That’s a clue about what he is underneath. No one is getting to Cersei while he’s around. I get that, but why does Qyburn magically have the run of the castle? It’s not like he has a zombie escort. I’m pretty sure the High Sparrow doesn’t miss details like this, but apparently he has.


Brienne arrives in Riverrun and before we know it, one of our favorite twosomes is reunited. But not before Bronn chokes out Pod for fun. I didn’t know that I loved Pod and Bronn talkin’ ‘bout Jaime and Brienne fucking, but I guess I do. There were a few clear fanservice beats in this episode (like with The Hound complaining that he prefers chicken later on). They’re cheesy but fun.

So Jaime and Brienne are back together. I’ll say this: Jaime is better when he’s with her than he is with anyone else, and more than that, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a better actor for some reason when Gwendolyn Christie is around. Your partner is your performance and she consistently pulls the best acting out of him.

Jaime confesses that he thought Sansa was dead, but that he’s proud of Brienne. They bicker a bit about politics where she’s right and he’s wrong and they both know it, but he changes the subject.

“We shouldn’t argue about politics.”

Then, like Padme, who was also in love with a handsome shithead who turned to the dark side and was internally tormented, Brienne says “I know there is honor in you, Ser Jaime. I’ve seen it myself.”

“I’m a Lannister.” He says, which trumps all else. And there’s the rub. She is the walking personification of integrity. She is everything Jaime should rightly be. Except that he’s a Lannister. He was raised by a sociopath who wiped out every man, woman, and children in a famous House to make a point. No bar is too low for a Lannister. No method too cruel. No stratagem too dastardly. Winning at all costs, even at the expense of your soul, is the rule of the day.

In that vein, Brienne offers him her priceless sword back, and Jaime refuses. “It’s yours,” he says softly. “It will always be yours.” He’s not only talking about the sword, is he? But what is it with these two? We’ve been watching this goddamn show for six seasons and I have yet to see the tiniest iota of chemistry between Jaime and Cersei that rivals he and Brienne. Is he just that used to people falling for him? Brienne takes the sword and heads out, but not before turning for one last beat.

“One last thing Ser Jaime.” she says.

“Yes, Lady Brienne?” He says with a smirk at her formality.

If you attack, we’re going to have to fight each other. She basically says. Honor compels her.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.” He says.

And Brienne’s lip twitches as she fights off tears and pulls herself away.

God, it must have been excruciating for her to walk out of that tent. She adores him. But her honor comes first to her and Jaime’s loyalty to his family comes first for him. Even though his family is little more than a duffle bag full of cocks.

In the castle, Brienne can’t convince The Blackfish, which is actually good because he’d have to be an insane person to trust someone with a Lannister sword who gives the word of Jaime Lannister. That would have felt somehow wrong. In the end, it would have ultimately saved The Blackfish, but it wasn’t to be. He says no to Brienne and we’re away to the capitol.

King’s Landing

Kevan Lannister ushers Cersei to the bleachers, while Tommen condemns her to death. Even on Joffrey’s worst day, he wouldn’t let anyone lay a finger on his mum. That’s how fucking awful Tommen has become.

As for the rumor they were talking about, as you’ve no doubt heard, it’s Wildfyre, which is supposedly being stored secretly under the Great Sept of Baelor. How convenient! Is Cersei’s scorn large enough to burn King’s Landing and everyone in it, including her own son?


Frat House Meereen

I make a joke!


Listen, this scene was painful and I don’t even want to deal with it. I love Missandei and always will and that’s pretty much the end of that.

What I don’t love is the harbor defences of Meereen. So, the ships of the slavers have ballistae and catapults but the sea walls of Meereen have nothing? BULLSHIT.

Also, everyone is mad at Tyrion because he negotiated with the Masters and…lost? Somehow? Grey Worm said they would play him. But how have they? Tyrion made the pact to stop the Sons of the Harpy from wholesale terrorism in the streets of Meereen and it worked. You’re telling me that a fleet of armed men coming up in plain view of everyone in Slaver’s Bay is Tyrion’s department? Nah-uh. That’s you, fucking Grey Worm. That’s an army. That has nothing to do with insurgency in the local populace. That’s an INVASION FORCE. That’s about conquest.

Anyway, Tyrion tries the honeycomb and jackass joke, just like he did in the Eyrie in season one when he was shouted into silence by Lysa Arryn. That joke better be the thing that kills the Night’s King. Six seasons of buildup for a punchline. It better literally kill.

But Tyrion doesn’t get to finish. Because the attack of Meereen begins. Good! Goooooooooood! That’s me as the Emperor. I couldn’t give a single solitary rat’s ass about the fate of Meereen or anyone in it not named Tyrion or Missandei. Grey Worm’s star has really waned for me.


Now we see why Tobias Menzies was cast as Edmure Tully. Because it takes talent to play a piece of craven shit convincingly. (Though, it could be said, possibly, that his actions have secured the Tully line.)

Initially, this looks like Edmure is resilient, talking down to a morally-challenged Jaime. But then Jaime does this thing where, with the musk of Brienne’s amazing aura still on him, he thrice proclaims his undying love for the most hateful bitch on the show. Huh? Is that a negotiation tactic?

I’m not a monster, but…I’ll shoot your youngster over the wall!

Hark, is that you, Sir Lancelot? Nope, it’s just Jaime Lannister. The guy with the most confusing character arc on the show.

So, Edmure walks to the moat and and despite The Blackfish having, y’know, marshalled all the forces, organized them, and successfully pushed the Freys out of Riverrun, the Tully forces have their motto as “Duty. Honor. Family.” Clearly not “Intelligence.”

Edmure is admitted, he makes everyone give up and The Blackfish is killed offscreen.

rubbish def.png

Some people will point to this being a better end than, say, Barristan Selmy, who was given a final action sequence as an homage. And there’s the inherent problem about whether your fight would have been The Sword of the Morning or the Bad Poussies. But, if I had me druthers, I’m always choosing fight over no fight. I don’t tune in for just the fantastic chamber scenes in Meereen with Grey Worm.

Jaime then sees Brienne fleeing in a rowboat, like Gendry, which pretty much means we’ll never see her or Pod again. Oh well.

Fucking Jaime. What a goddamn disappointment. But I will say this: were Tywin alive, he would have never been more proud. Riverrun taken without unsheathing a single sword or loosing a single arrow. That’s the Lannister way. That’s a way to not overtax the now-empty Casterly Rock mines. Jaime is his father’s son, at long last.

It just sucks that when we saw The Blackfish and Kingslayer on the bridge, the Tully was so so so so so much more of a kick-ass badass than Jaime was. And like nine minutes later, The Blackfish is dead. The Tully’s banners are trod upon and the Frey’s are raised. As long as The Blackfish is alive the War of the Five Kings isn’t over! And now he’s dead. Fighting his own men. Men he, and only he, led to victory so recently. Is this why he was so carefree about Edmure being killed by the Freys? Because he knew this scenario could come to pass?

This show is a total mindfuck.


…iiiiiiiis burning. Meanwhile, Tyrion and all his wine are locked up with the Unsullied in the Pyramid while all the people of Meereen burn below.


But ho! A sound upon the roof of the pyramid! Have the Masters brought grappling hooks? Have they invented the Ethan Hunt Mission Impossible Granite Suction Cup? No! Because in strides Daenerys in her new Stitch Fix outfit.

“I leave for ten minutes and I come back to this?”

Uh-oh! Someone ‘bout to get Khaleesee’d!

Side note: Drogon could be Smaug, but instead he’s just Uber. Where you going, fucker? Turn around and burn some ships, baby!

The Riverlands

The Hound is looking for the twat who killed Friendly Friend Al Swearengen in the last episode, and he doesn’t like people aiming arrows in his face.

“Tougher girls than you have tried to kill me.” Literally

Now we finally get back to the real Brotherhood, and our favey-fave Ronin Samurai:Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion.

Beric looks so awesome. His outfit rules. Thoros’ man bun is visual torture, but he’s great.

They hang the dicks who killed Al, and then they have a fireside chat. The Hound has some absolutely fantastic lines, delivered perfectly. And we get to see his dick, which is great. This is exactly why Pornhub’s numbers tank during Game of Thrones. The promise of houndcock.

They pitch Sandor on joining them, and he doesn’t say no.



Then we’re back in Braavos. Lady Crane is rubbing Arya’s sleeping face while she groans. That’s how badly hurt she still is. She groans in her sleep. Lady Crane goes to retrieve something from her medicine shelf when some weirdo from the Hitler Youth appears in her doorway.

Crash! Arya sits up. “Lady Crane?”

She turns the corner and Lady Crane has had her back snapped. The Waif has now taken off her swedish gummy fish character mask.

“This wouldn’t have happened if you were a mindless drone and just killed whoever the Faceless God told you to kill.”

Beware the Jabberwock, my girl!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub waif, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

And whoosh! Adrenaline! Arya is off, jumping off of a balcony. Like you do when you’ve been mortally injured and recently sutured. Fine, so then Ayra is off, parkouring the F out of the streets of Braavos, the same streets she walked leisurely through just a day ago. Parkouring, dare I say, for her very life. Now we get Faye Marsay running after her like some kind of hyper-focused murderbot. Lucky, because I was planning on watching T2 again, but with this scene I was basically able to see it anyway. Is it me or is the whole “Unseen Faceless Man Super-Secret Assassin” thing a bit undone by one of them running through the streets brandishing a knife. In a video game, you’d fail the stealth portion of the mission right away and the Templars would already be up in yo shit.

But Arya ducks in aaaaaaand out of a steam room. Huh. I thought walking through the mist would have had a purpose. Just some super horny shots of fatbellies. And then, she’s out on the street again and T2 is back on her ass like white on rice. Arya Carl Lewises off a high wall, lands on the stairs from the The Untouchables, but instead of a baby carriage rolling down the steps it’s Eye-Ya, ooh oh ow ee oof owf ahhhhh. She rolls to a stop, leaving a citric holocaust of besmirched fruit behind her. Oh, Eye-Ya! Don’t you know what happens when an orange rolls into frame? Didn’t they teach you pop culture references at Faceless Man Film Academy?

T2 takes her time. She can smell the blood in the water, like when Eye-Ya first jumped into the water after T2 stabbed her and there was, like, a huge bloom of it because she was bleeding so badly. But now, it’s just a trail of blood that’s leaking out of Eye-Ya with the speed of a punchbowl with a huge crack in it. No biggie. Eye-Ya leads T2 to her lair, where she draws Needle from its hiding place under the Tumtum tree and stands to meet her fate.

“I have literally never taught you bladed weapons for this very reason.” Says T2.

And, as in uffish thought she stood,
The Waiferwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey door,
And burbled as she came!

Arya cuts the light off with an Erroll Flynnian swish of her wrist and then we get to see the most KICK ASS FIGHT SCENE WE’VE EVER WAITED TWO YEARS FOR. Master and student. Vader and Obi Wan. They circle like caged jaguars-

Or not. I mean, why kill off two important characters in the same episode off-screen when we can have The Hound just axe one in the pecker, amirite? We’ll just have to imagine…

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
She left her dead, and with her head
She went galumphing back.

We cut to The House of Sand and Fog, where, apparently no one is Holding the Door. Sexy Jesus returns from his mani-pedi to find blood on the floor. He follows the blood trail to the main hall, where he finds not Eye-Ya’s face, but The Waifs, mounted in all her bloody glory.

So Eye-Ya won.

And, has thou slain the Waiferwock?
Come to my arms, a beamish girl!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his best sexy voice.

Sexy Jesus:A girl is finally no one! I mean, remember when you were blind and I gave you that fountain poison? And you were kind of like: wait, is this poison? And I was like ‘if a girl is truly no one, then you have nothing to fear?’

Eye-Ya: Yeah.

Sexy Jesus: And then you got your eyes back? From the liquid that wasn’t poison even though it is for everyone else?

Eye-Ya: Yeah.

Sexy Jesus: Well, you weren’t No One then. I was joshing.

Eye-Ya: Okay. And I’m No One now?

Sexy Jesus: Yep.

Eye-Ya: Because I killed The Waif or because I’m holding a sword to your chest and you’re the one that sent her to kill me?

Sexy Jesus: Both.

Eye-Ya: So there’s really no plan here. You’re just making all this up as you go along?

Sexy Jesus: Pretty much. I’m not great with rules.

Eye-Ya: Roger. I’m gonna head out.

Sexy Jesus: Peace.

Sexy Jesus smirks with pride. I was never really training you anyway.

In the end, Eye-Ya’s time in Braavos was extremely well spent. Yes, the lovely and innocent Lady Crane was a necessary sacrifice. At least she wasn’t raped. It’s true that Eye-Ya was never taught things like in-battle face changing, swords, daggers, silenced weapons, shuriken, the Quart of Blood technique, Kung-Fu grips, invisibility, archery, knife-throwing, wrestling, karate, or poisons. But she is a solid B/B- with the Bo Staff. And she can clean a dead body like nobody’s bidness. After her time at The House of Sand and Fog Arya is qualified to:

Play Sansa Stark in a company of travelling Braavosi
Travel through time to Sherwood Forest where she could knock staves with the likes of Will Scarlet
Mortician/Coroner: something that will be in great demand in Westeros against an army where the dead wake up again.
A professional smeller of bottles. Arya was pleased when she was blind and able to smell something from some bottle. A Girl Can Sniff.

And what do we make of Sexy Jesus being pleased with her? Well, he was always smitten by Arya. He liked her from day one back in Harrenhal. And no matter how tricky his Jedi questions got, he was always pleased with her.

Are you angry?

A Girl Feels Nothing. Jaqen smirks.

Would you like a second helping of Fruit Loops?

A Girl Needs No Loops. Jaqen smirks.

Are you ready to finally be No One?

I’m Arya Stark of Winterfell. Jaqen smirks.

I don’t feel jerked around. Do you feel jerked around? Maybe. Well, when you’re feeling low about all of this, and you have the sense that the verbose and much maligned but ultimately solid writing of George R.R. Martin is slowly turning into a collection of frat-house segments and fermented tripe, just take comfort in the fact that you didn’t name your children Eye-Ya or Khaleesi.

Next week we have the penultimate episode of the season, which looks set to be a big set piece and is being framed as a huge letdown on every level. John Snoo has spent every minute since he woke up from his dirtnap looking confused and kind of bored and kind of confused and mopey. The North is the most popular plotline of the series and we’ve only been there one of the last three weeks. Not cool. At least we get Wun Wun and the Bastardbowl.


So what did we ultimately learn in this episode? This was the most anticlimactic episode I can remember. The Mountain killing that dude was in the previews and it was a smaller scene than it looked like it would be. There was no siege of Riverrun and no battle of Riverrun and The Blackfish, one of the last noble men in Westeros, dies offscreen. Arya surviving those wounds is the single shittiest thing in show history, story-wise, and her detour to Braavos was a complete and utter waste of time. It was the textbook definition of filler. Jaqen H’gar amounted to Jack Shit. The Hound’s mini-hunt was partially shown in the previews and the rest of it was handled by someone else. Meereen always always sucks. Varys and Tyrion leave each other. And Jaime and Brienne part with more smoke than fire. This show is so good that it deserves a mulligan from time to time, and -this season- this episode was clearly it. There was more than enough mulligan to go around.

There also seems to be a through line this season of sheeple. Edmure gives Riverrun to the enemy and no one does anything. Ellaria Sand and the Bad Poosis wipe out the royal family of Dorne and no one does anything. Some blonde chick incinerates the entire Khalasar and no one does anything. Ramsay Bolton, someone everyone hates, murders his father in cold blood with witnesses and no one does anything. There may be more that I’m forgetting. But we’re down the rabbit hole a bit, and there’s a dearth of strong leadership anywhere. Most of us are looking for some passion and fire out of Jon Snow but he looks emo as fuck and more scared and poopyfaced than ever before. In the previews he tells Melisandre not to raise him if he dies.


Next week, The High Sparrow’s calm smirk of unflappable confidence transfers to Ramsay. Even though he’s the toughest man North of Castle Black and beat the Lord of Bones to death in one second with his own bone-mallet, an oofing shield wall makes Tormund look afraid. Jon Snow has 62 men that fight like 620, but it looks like he sends them into a 300-esque Persian arrow cloud. And Ramsay, of course, only needs twenty good men.

This next episode better right some wrongs or I’m gonna go buck wild on the whole operation.

See y’all next week. (Fingers crossed)