On this week’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, I’m already stressed by the episode hints. Whenever they show stuff from old seasons as the teaser, I worry.
We start off on FrankenJon. And Kit Herrington’s booty. Can’t complain about that I guess. Yes, surprising no one, Jon is back from the dead and freaking out about it. Melisandre thinks Jon is the chosen one now, not Stannis. The Wildlings think he’s a god. There’s a lot of manhugging, which is refreshingly lower on the aggressively macho heteronormativity scale than this show tends to be.
Gilly is a sweet precious cinnamon roll and I want to protect her forever. Poor Sam is not handling the ocean well. Gilly insists she stay with Sam, who had plans to take her back to his place. They’re kind of a happy little family, and it’s pretty cute. Other than the puking.
Very confusing cutaway until we realize it’s Bran and the Raven watching history. It’s clearly at some point during the war, and we see young Ned Stark. Casting is ok. Ned is trying to get his sister back, the whole point of the war, really. The Targaryen guards are dual-wielding and it’s an excellent fight sequence, even if the tension is lower because we know Ned stark dies, just not yet. The tension is brought up again by the reveal that Ned won the fight dishonorably.
The Raven yanks Bran back to the present, but not before Bran shouts, making it clear that they can have some resonances on the past, no matter how small.
Dany is being brought to the Obvious Ottoman Empire Analogue – a place where the widows of all Kahls go, never to be touched by men again. Cue gratuitous nudity. She’s upset but the women of this place have clearly seen this all before. And because Dany ditched instead of going where she was supposed to, her future is uncertain.
The women who murdered a bunch of Unsullied is brought before Varys. Varys knows everything and it’s alarming. I like her, though, I have to say — she knows Dany is an imperialist, and I appreciate that somebody is calling my girl out on it. Varys is impressive. He doesn’t need to spill a drop of blood, just make a few threats and a small bribe, and he can find out anything he needs to know.
Tyrion is the drunken uncle who makes bringing your boyfriend home the most awkward. Grey Worm and Missandei are trying really hard to be cool. Tyrion is me: “[you don’t drink] until you do!” “We can play without drinking! …Maybe we can’t play without drinking.” Varys comes back with his bribed news. The two cities that have been conquered and left are causing problems.
Cut to see the Little Birds. Varys’ spy network is a bunch of grubby street kids. They’ve been left in King’s Landing and they do miss Varys, but seem otherwise fine. “Maester” Qyburn has taken over. There’s a state visit as the Royal Blondes, Jaime and Cersei show up, and with them Gregor, the undead knight. We all knew it was Gregor but honestly, I wish they’d found a more subtle, interesting way to tell the audience that.
Olena is back and sassy as ever. YES GIRL. The shade! Jaime and Cersei are pissed and happily crashing the small council meeting. They don’t like Gregor, or the Lannisters, and the Lannisters have obviously lost a lot of their power.
Tommen is trying his best. He wants Cersei to see his sister’s grave. The High Sparrow out-talks him effortlessly, giving him a lecture on religion. Tommen is so easy to manipulate, but you can’t really blame him; he’s just a kid.
On a less boring front: Arya! She’s getting the tar beaten out of her as she learns to be No One. She’s making good progress and I have got to say I am mad proud of my baby. She’s given her eyes back after a montage that suggests she’s blind and getting her ass kicked for ages.
Ramsay Bolton, Golden Child of Benioff and Weiss, meets with some potential allies, one House Umber, and they bring him a little present: Rickon Stark and Osha, minus one Shaggydog. I’m surprised they’d do that with so little foreshadowing, so we shall see.
We pop back to Jon. Typical. Shoutout to the makeup artists, because he’s rocking that rigid collodion (how you make a fake scar). He’s executing the gang that had him murdered. Can’t keep a good man down, and they weren’t expecting it. The really messed up bit is Olly. He’s trying so hard to be brave, and he looks so, so young. The death scene ain’t easy, but at least Jon cuts the rope himself.
And then Jon fucks off. Takes off his coat, says his watch is ended, and marches down the tunnel. Uhm? Guess we’ll find out next week.