The Broken Man – Game of Thrones Episode S6E7




Ok, I know all caps are bad on the internet, but still: CLEGANEBOWL CONFIRMED!!!!!!!
I had heard the rumors, I had hoped for them to be true, his “death” was sketchy at best…
It was all true, Sandor “the Hound” Clegane is back, alive and almost ready to kick ass again.
First, was it the first time we got a scene before the opening credits like that?
Interesting, but indeed, had the credits been first, the name Rory McCann would have spoiled everything.
And know that I’m pretty happy, the Hound has been one of my favorite characters since the very first episode.
So nobody resurrected him, he simply survived all of his wounds despite being left there several days. Now, it’s the usual, trying to live a peaceful life, only to find the people who accepted him and helped him start that new life to be slaughtered.
I’ll give a pass to the clich√©ish story line here, the Hound is back and is angry and that’s all that matters.
How is he going to end up in King’s Landing to finally kick his brother’s ass, no idea, but it has to happen, right? Right?
Now, one thing. Wasn’t the Brotherhood without Banners a group of former soldiers and knights who has decided to fight against all the major families in order to protect the people who are always without defense against those bloodthirsty, pillaging and raping armies?
The massacre of the good people with whom the Hound had found a new home doesn’t really add up with something the Brotherhood would do, quite the contrary, don’t you think?
So, the only logical conclusion is that it wasn’t the Brotherhood, but someone wanting the people to turn against them or something like that.
Who could be that someone? Seeing that we’re somewhere between the Vale and the Riverlands, I’d say the Lannisters or… Littlefinger…. One of those two seems a more likely culprit than the other ones don’t you think?
Thing is that Sandor has already some history with the Brotherhood, so not sure he’ll be willing to listen if they tell him they have nothing to do with that massacre.
Where will all of that lead us? No idea, but it has to be the Cleganebowl, there is no other satisfying answer.
(Yes, I know, I’m not being your usual analyst that, I’m in fanboy mode, sorry, back to serious analysis).

 

In the North, Sansa and Jon (and Ser Davos) are having a hard time gathering the Starks’ former vassals to go fight the Boltons. Jon is only a Snow, Sansa was married to a Lannister and then to a Bolton, Davos – while still very convincing – is a nobody in the North.
In the end, they definitely don’t have enough soldiers, even if we encounter a new kick-ass character in the person of young Lyanna Mormont. I hope she sticks around, and I suspect that she will, and that she probably will end up marrying either Bran or Rickon (if the latter survives), whoever becomes the new Lord Stark when everything has been said and done.
But in the meantime, they need more troops, they don’t have them, and they need to attack as soon as possible.
Sansa has a plan, we all know what it is, and we all know that it will cost her. She has no option other than calling Littlefinger and the Armies of the Vale to join the fight, and she knows better than anyone that the less Baelish is involved, the better.

 

At King’s Landing, Margaery is playing a crazy long con. But if one person can pull it off, I believe it’s her. Her main goal is obviously to save Loras, but there is more. Why hasn’t she spend time with Tommen? He’s obviously not part of her plan, and she obviously doesn’t want to bear his child anymore. Which means that either she has no interest in being the Queen anymore or rather that she feels that Tommen’s days as a King are numbered.
I guess part of her plan if to get revenge on Cersei. So she uses the Sparrows to crush Cersei and hopes that the Sparrows get seriously weakened in the process? What is next? I still don’t see clearly in Margaery’s plan, and I don’t think we were left with many clues.
Cersei, as Olenna pointed out, has messed up badly and has lost. She’s pretty much alone in King’s Landing, she only has the Mountain, Qyburn and the King’s Guard.
Interesting to see how King’s Landing used to be the center of all intrigues and now it’s barely a side story, we barely see the small council because it doesn’t really matter anymore, most houses are gone and the remaining ones have been extremely weakened, and before long, I feel that there will be nobody sitting on the Iron Throne.

 

Cersei Lannister (source: HBO)

Cersei Lannister (source: HBO)

 

Loved the little exchanges at Riverrun. Between the Freys and Jaime. The Freys and Blackfish. And especially Blackfish and Jaime. Those two don’t like each other, they4ve been enemies for quite some time, but you can tell those two have respect for each other (for the Freys, on the other hand… not so much) Also, very interesting scene where we kinda root for the Tullys from a political perspective, but now that Jaime has become a likable character, we want to root for him from an emotional perspective. Not only it reminds us how much Jaime has evolved and changed, but on a larger scope, it reminds us that there are no good guys and bad guys anymore in those wars (well, except maybe the Boltons… and that’s not a coincidence, they’re the antagonists of the current main protagonists, Jon and Sansa), just “guys”… And that the real bad guys are of course the White Walkers.
Actually, even though the war was pretty much over, it’s interesting to see it kinda starting over now. In the past two seasons or so, it needed to be over so that we could focus on each character’s path, but now, we need it again, if we want Game of Thrones to be (and I believe it is) a metaphor of our current situation where everyone is too busy with their petty businesses, and petty politics and is oblivious (voluntarily or not) of the real danger ready to hit us and hit us hard, regardless of politics, beliefs and more. In Westeros, Winter is coming. On Earth, a big bad and long summer is coming. In both worlds nobody cares enough until it’s too late. (In a sense Westeros is the more optimistic world, they have dragons, prophecies and more that will probably stop the White Walkers – on Earth what do we have against global warming? Fewer and fewer options every day)

 

In Volantis, Yara is having a good time, Theon not so much, and he will soon have to kick himself in the butt if he doesn’t want to stay a broken man. At least Yara is more supportive of him now. Finally he’s getting some much needed family love. Funny, it’s only now that I feel bad for Theon, never when he was in Ramsay’s hands. I don’t think I will ever forgive him for attacking Winterfell though. Also Yara reveals her plan: to forge an alliance with Daenerys to seize the Iron Islands. Interesting as Euron plans on doing the same thing to seize all of Westeros… Mmmm….
And by the way, an episode without Tyrion and Varys? Please never again!!! Since they joined team Targaryen, I feel that they’ve both been really underused, I hope that’s gonna change soon.

 

And we finish with Braavos. What happened there just doesn’t make sense. Arya being care-free? Gallivanting in the streets of Braavos, showing off her money, not being paranoid that anyone around could be after her? Impossible!
Also, she got multiple stabs and survived (albeit badly injured)? Fishy…
There is much more than meets the eye here.
Last week I said that the Waif was being tested as much as Arya, and I think that this is what we’re seeing here.
So either this was not Arya (can Faceless Men take the face of living people), and it’s a trap for the Waif. Or it was Arya and she was setting up a trap for the Waif (and her injuries are not injuries, just “protective meat” and a sack of blood on her tummy or something like this)? Or something along these lines.
Arya simply can’t be so silly and careless.
Also, there are many rumors that Syrio Forel never died and is a faceless man. He could have been around the whole time and he could be the one that set up this trap for the Waith. That’s a bit farfetched, but just like many off-screen deaths, his could be a fake one. And while there has been no hint from a storytelling perspective that he could be alive, Jaqen has already made indirect references to him (to Arya: “there’s only one God and a girl knows his name” and similar allusions to what Syrio had taught and told Arya back in the days).
Update: There’s a bunch of theories on the internet about what’s happening there. Two in particular have caught my attention:
What we saw in that scene is that roles have been reversed. Actually, it’s not Arya but the Waif with her face (trying to find Arya by impersonating her) – once again, can Faceless Men take the face of someone alive? And it’s not the Waif, it’s Arya stabbing her. Why not?
Another one, and there were indeed a few hints here and there, is that Arya has gone full on Fight Club and the Waif is her Tyler Durden. In Fight Club, the Narrator finally manages to kill Tyler at the end, here it’s the opposite, the Waif manages to kill Arya, and Arya finally becomes no one.
Both theories make sense, however, the “Fight Club”¬† one seems difficult to “explain” without Jaqen going into a bad expository scene, or strange flashbacks or something. But maybe they can pull it off.
Seeing as next’s episode is called No One, I guess we’ll have our answers then.
Meanwhile, I’ll let you ponder all that. There wasn’t much in this episode to ponder except for the Hound’s return and Arya’s apparent demise, but I believe that the remaining three episodes are going to be explosive.
See you next week.

 

 


About David Billa

David was born and raised in the French South West. After a few years in the US and a few more in Paris, he finally settled down in Japan. He blogs here about his various experiences and travels, with an emphasis on his home country, France.

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