After last week’s doozy of an episode, this week initially felt like it lacked the same emotional punch. However, a closer examination of last night’s Game of Thrones, “Blood of My Blood,” laid the groundwork for some powerful reveals and huge developments coming up.
Plus, if you dig a little deeper into the source material, there are even more tantalizing tidbits that may come to fruition in the not-so-distant future.
Put down the rum (it’s poisoned!) and read on for our SUPER SPOILER-Y recap, below.
Meanwhile, North of the Wall …
Meera is hauling Bran’s warged out body through the snow. You know when your phone forces you to install an update and then it goes black and the Apple logo and that little gray bar pop-up takes forever to load and you’re so mad because it’s always at the most inconvenient time when you’re like nearly sealing the deal on no less than like three Grindr conversations? It’s kind of like that! Bran is processing the full past, present and future of Westeros as he’s being dragged in a one-Meera open sleigh, and it is taking forever.
He’s getting visions of the Mad King, Daenerys, the death of his family and a whole mess of wildfire. When he comes to, he tells Meera that they’ve found them, and it’s not too long before they’re set upon by wights. It’s looking not so great for these two until a mysterious horseman comes riding in with a totally badass fire mace.
Once the wights have been disposed of, our savior reveals himself to be Benjen Stark — Ned’s brother who’s been missing from the Night’s Watch since season one! He was set upon by wights and was almost turned into one himself until he was saved by some dragonglass. (In the books, this character was known as Coldhands, but his true identity had yet to be revealed.) Now that Benjen and Jon Snow each received a new lease on life, how many other fallen members of the Stark clan might we get to see again?
Meanwhile, In the Riverlands …
Gross old Walder Frey is being old and gross. Things have gone kind of south for him since his big Red Wedding coup. Catelyn Stark’s uncle, the Blackfish, has retaken Riverrun. Worse yet? A few other local houses are turning against the Freys, probably because they are disgusting. Just a guess.
They do have one ace up their sleeve: Catelyn’s brother Edmure — the groom from the Red Wedding that’s been held captive ever since. Maybe seeing him will motivate the Blackfish to hand over Riverrun peacefully. Who are we kidding? That’s not how things happen around here.
While we’re talking about Catelyn Stark, now that we’ve brought back two pseudo-dead Starks (though Jon Snow’s lineage is still up for debate), I’d be remiss not to dangle the tantalizing prospect of Lady Stoneheart. For those of you who haven’t read the books/Internet, Lady Stoneheart is the vengeful reanimated Catelyn Stark now leading the Brotherhood Without Banners (whom also got a convenient shoutout in this episode). Fans have been clamoring to see Miss Stoneheart (if you’re nasty) for years, but with Jaime and Brienne on course to meet at Riverrun, the overlaps with the Lady Stoneheart stories are too many to ignore.
Meanwhile, At King’s Landing …
Tommen goes to visit Margaery ahead of her scheduled walk of
shame atonement. Margaery is looking a lot more cleaned up and cared for since her days in the Sparrows’ dungeon, and she starts to probe Tommen about his feelings on the High Sparrow. Isn’t he just swell? Tommen, the little dummy, takes the bait perfectly. He’s been talking to the High Sparrow himself, and he doesn’t think he’s that bad! You can almost see the Regina George machinations flashing behind Margaery’s eyes. So you agree? You think you’re really pretty the High Sparrow isn’t so bad? The young queen reveals that she’s seen the light, so to speak, and she’s ready for her atonement.
When the time comes for the High Sparrow to introduce Margaery’s walk of
shameatonement at one of those huge rallies the mainstream Westerosi media refuses to cover, Jaime comes riding in with the Tyrell army right behind him.
Just when it seems Jaime’s going be roasting some Sparrow for dinner, the religious leader is one step ahead. Jaime threatens that either the Tyrell siblings are released or he’s going to go straight-up Medieval. No need for violence, assures the High Sparrow, and then out comes King Tommen to be all “Hey, Uncle/Father” and reveal that the crown and the Sparrows are now total besties. Margaery is repentant. Tommen is in cahoots with the Sparrows, and the Lannisters’ plans are foiled again. Lady Olenna, never one to mince words, states it plainly: “He’s beaten us.”
But has he? Margaery was never a fool. She wasn’t fooled by Joffrey. She wasn’t fooled by Cersei. She won’t be fooled by the High Sparrow. She knows how to manipulate people, perhaps better than anyone in King’s Landing.
Later, Tommen sits Jaime down to thank him for his years of service to the King’s Guard, but he’s going to have to let him go. He’s being transferred to a new department over in Riverrun where he will need to deal with the Blackfish, who’s taken back Riverrun from the Lannisters’ ally Walder Frey.
That means Jaime will likely miss Cersei’s trial. He’s furious, but she assures him it’s fine. She’s got the Zombie Mountain, remember? It’s cool! He’ll go show off how strong the Lannisters are by defeating the Blackfish and everything will be cool. Then they make sexy brother-sister sexy time.
You know who else is heading to Riverrun? Brienne. Boy do she and Jaime have a lot to catch up on.
Meanwhile, At Horn Hill …
Sam’s bringing Gilly home to meet the family, and, at first, it seems to be going well. Baby Sam is adorable. Nana and auntie Tarly already seem to love him. The Tarly compound is actually quite lovely, and Gilly cleans up real nice.
It’s not until they all sit at the table with Papa Tarly where things get a little nasty. It’s like the Westerosi version of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. First, daddy berates Sam for being a nerd, then for being a fatty and eating carbs, and once he figures out that Gilly is a Wildling, he really lets loose.
Having suffered one too many indignities, Sam decides to whisk Gilly and Baby Sam away with him. And he’s taking his father’s Valyrian steel sword with him. Unclear how these two are going to tie into the bigger battle ahead, but at least he’s got some protection once the long-promised winter does arrive.
Meanwhile, In Braavos …
Arya has really become quite the theatre buff. She’s watching her target, Lady Crane, once again take on the role of Cersei. She also sees the young actress playing Sansa standing in the wings mouthing Crane’s lines. Arya sneaks backstage to poison Crane’s rum, but on her way out, she runs into the actress and the two have a moment. Lady Crane tells Arya that she also used to sneak in to see the plays before running off and joining the traveling actors herself. Arya also gives Crane some advice on how to add some real gravitas to her performance (as someone who, you know, knows all the real-life inspirations).
Before Lady Crane can drink the poison, Arya knocks it out of her hand and warns her that the little Nomi Malone over there is after her Gina Gershon.
The Waif catches Arya bungling the assassination and tells Jaqen. He’s disappointed but the Waif is positively giddy for the chance to track Arya down and punish her. Only this time, Arya doesn’t have a stick to defend herself. Instead, she uncovered her trusty sword, Needle. She’s not yet a woman, but she is no longer just a girl anymore, either. Our little Arya Stark is back.
Meanwhile, Outside Vaes Dothrak …
Daeny, Daario and the Dothraki are riding back to Meereen. The Khaleesi and Daario are just kind of shooting the breeze ahead of the horde. “How many ships do we need, Daario?“ “
The exact amount Euron Greyjoy is building One thousand.” Dany gets the urge to ride ahead and tells Daario and the riders to hold tight. She returns riding Drogon, of course, and gives a passionate stump speech to the Dothraki claiming they are all her bloodriders and they will ride with her and destroy all those fancy-pants one-percenters across the sea. #IMWITHHER!
What did you think of last night’s episode?