“I’ll do it myself, if I have to.”
I’ll be honest; the preview of this week’s episode was the least exciting of all this season’s previews. It had Littlefinger yes, but it didn’t have much to indicate any wild movement in the paths and destinies of the characters on the show. And boy, what a surprise this week was. So, without further ado, let’s move on to what is now the best episode this season,
1. Strong, Female Characters: For a show often in the limelight for its questionable treatment of women, it would seem Game of Thrones this season is going into overdrive to reflect its strong feminist credentials. And, it is glorious.
Consider the biggest WTF this week, that of Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, ……. (That’s a long business card, btw) torching the Khals alive to emerge unscathed (And without clothes and no, that ain’t a body double). I have never been an avid fan of her storyline (even though Dany herself is a wonderfully charismatic, if a bit naïve) but, the payoff at the end is reminiscent of the goosebump-inducing moment back in Season 3 when she torched the masters of Astapor. Sure, it is fan service to the first season finale but, the finalf 1 minutes were GoT at its magical best.
Even on the other side of the world, it is another formerly mopey woman who surprises the audience by finally turning a leaf and declaring war on her enemies. Sansa Stark does not have a lot of fans (Largely due to her treatment by D&D last season) but, Sansa finally taking an initiative to take back her home has me intrigued. What was better was the fact that it was she who came up with the idea, even though it was Ramsey’s ‘Pink Letter’ which would become the catalyst for Jon tipping over in support. War is looming in Westeros and I’m pretty sure Episode 9 will be the Battle of the Bastards.
A lesser winner, but winner nonetheless has to be real Queen, Margery Tyrell. She doesn’t have a POV in the books, nor a lot of screen time but, her disposition and her character and Natalie Dormer make us and the High Sparrow easily forget the fact that she has actively manipulated a troika of kings. If I were the High Sparrow, I wouldn’t underestimate the granddaughter of the Queen of Thorns.
2. Uneasy alliances: There is none more so than a mutual enemy to bring together people flying at each other’s throats. This is a fact that dawns upon both the Lannisters and Tyrells as the twins propose a plan to evade Margery’s walk of atonement. They need each other, for the time being, at least. And yet, needless to say, I don’t think any of it will go to plan (RIP Tommen). I’ll wait and see how badly the shit hits the fan.
Speaking of uneasy alliances, we now have two of the Starks, Ser Davos, Melisandre, Brienne, and the Wildlings lining up against the Boltons. In retrospect, they aren’t really an uneasy alliance (Not until Davos learns the truth about Shireen, anyway but, they certainly are an odd one).
3. Family Reunions: I honestly think that Jon and Sansa meeting at Castle Black has to be the kindest moment GoT can give us audiences. They are brother and sister, siblings who have never spoken to each other on-screen, now brought together and changed by times and circumstances. Alas, we all know it’s not going to last.
Oh, and Theon met with Yara back in the Iron Island. But, you don’t care much about it, do you?
4. Book Readers: The show is diverging far, far from the source material of Martin’s books. But, a few callouts here and there don’t seem to do any harm. Last week, it was Tower of Joy. This week, it is the Pink Letter, almost as it is in the books (If not in terms of context). I’ll take that.
1. Meereen: I’d hate to put Tyrion on this list again. So instead, I’ll add the city he sort of represents. I honestly don’t know where Tyrion is going with this, cozying up with the Slavers, going Abe Lincoln with the slavers by accepting a transition period. Surely, Tyrion risks losing support of not only his Small Council but, also the support of the few common people who still stand for their Queen. And surely, Tyrion does not think the Wise Masters will stick to their end of the bargain? If War is coming to Westeros, Civil War is coming to Meereen. And Tyrion will be at the center of it. I wonder what the Queen will say when she realizes that he just relaxed the ban on slavery.
2. Stannis: No news on the One True King. Except confirmation from Brienne of his execution, and Melisandre’s declaration of Jon as ‘The Prince Who Was Promised.’ (R + L = J, again. Yayy!)
3. Euron Greyjoy: Kingsmoot is next week and no groundwork or context for the baddest man on the Iron Island this week? Shame.
4. Osha: Who? My thoughts exactly.
MIA this week: Bran (Even Greenseers need rest), Arya and Dorne.
Speaking of Dorne, George R.R Martin released the Arianne Martell sample chapter this week. And it is great. Shame HBO chose to kill the entire Martell clan. Now, we are stuck with the Plastics from Mean Girls.
Best scene: Tormund Giantsbane staring lustily at Brienne while eating a chicken as Edd looks on. I’ll miss Edd when he dies.
Random thoughts: Episode 7 title is ‘The Broken Man.’ That, and the High Sparrow’s monologue on graves and graveyards and all that is dead should be an Easter egg for Cleganebowl (I hope).
Oh, and I think Daario might re-evaluate his safety with Dany next time around.
Here’s the preview for next week,
Until next week, Hodor.
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