Game of Thrones 6×06 Roundtable “Blood of My Blood”

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Sing me a song of a ….wait, wrong show. Blame Tobias Menzies for the mix-up, as he will always, always, be Black Jack Randall to us. Nothing more.

(Not even Frank)

Game of Thrones, however, has much more in store for us than just the return of Edmure Tully, and the possibility of a fight in the Riverlands (with both Jaime and Brienne present). There’s Arya’s break from “No One,” the return of another long-lost Stark, Daenerys and her new army, and of course, the Freys.

Join us as we discuss the 6th episode of Season 6, titled Blood of my Blood

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Arya has finally shed the “No One” persona. She’s Arya Stark, and she’s willing to fight for that name. Can she beat the Waif? And if she does, what’s her next step?

CHLOE

I have to say that I didn’t really expect Arya to be leaving the Faceless Men so soon… Though I guess it makes sense, because if she completed the training properly, there would be no Arya Stark left. While her actions have painted a huge target on her back, I am excited to see Arya – not No One – back in action. I do think she can defeat the Waif – though their past sparring matches would suggest otherwise. It doesn’t feel like her time to die, so winning is kind of the only other option. Anything is possible with Needle! That said, I can only hope that winning will earn Arya enough respect from Jaqen that he decides not to pursue killing her – because having faceless assassins after you doesn’t bode well for your chances of survival. Assuming he’ll leave her alone, I think it’s time for Arya to cross paths with a major player once more. Which direction she will go, I can’t say.

CARYN

I feel like because she is a hero she should be able to beat the Waif even though the Waif has always bested her in previous fights, but then again this is Game of Thrones and when has anything ever worked in our favor? Perhaps she’ll use dirty tricks, maybe she’ll outsmart the Waif, but I can see Arya making her way back to Westeros before long, taking the skills of smart assassinating and fighting with her.

LIZZIE

Finally, finally, finally. I was ready for this storyline to end ages ago. I think it’s way past time for Arya to take all she’s learned and head back home, pick up Nymeria somewhere (because you know Nymeria is around, maybe biding her time), and just go kick some ass. Maybe some Frey ass. Or she can get back to her original list, I don’t care. Either way, despite the fact that the Waif has prevailed every time they’ve faced each other, Arya does have a knack for survival. She’ll survive this one too.

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Sam’s father gave Tywin Lannister a run for his money in the crappy father’s department. Is Ned Stark truly the only good father figure on this show? Who’s the absolute worst in your book?

CHLOE

I don’t think Ned is the only good father figure on the show, but he doesn’t have a lot of competition. We have to acknowledge Sam, Jaime (to an extent)… Okay, I can think of a few others from the books, but I take your point. The dinner with Sam’s father was just painful to watch. With so many awful things happening in Westeros, you have to make things miserable for your own family when you live in relative safety and peace?! Not cool. That said, I don’t think he’s the worst father on the show – though we have to judge more by relative awfulness than anyone truly being better than anyone else. If I had to choose, I would probably give that title to Craster. He raped and bullied all of his daughters and gave all of his sons to the White Walkers. Not a lot of redeeming qualities there.

CARYN

Well, even at that table itself, Gilly’s father Craster is the worst in my opinion. Forcing his daughters to marry him and then giving his sons to the White Walkers as sacrifices and also just being a terrible human being in general, he was one I was glad to see die. I cringed when Sam’s sister said she wished she had a father like Gilly’s.

LIZZIE

I mean, there’s Doran too, presumably, though we didn’t see that much of him before he died. And Jaime hasn’t ever had the chance. Sam is probably the only one who gets a mention other than Ned. But, hey, when there’s Craster, no one else gets to be the worst father in the universe. Craster will always win this battle. See, Tywin Lannister, you thought you had this one in the bag.}

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Margery has seen the light, or has she? Do you think she’s really converted or is this just part of her plan to regain the upper hand? And what do you think is going to happen to Loras?

CHLOE

I think everything Margaery ever does is to gain (or regain) the upper hand. From her conversation with Loras, we saw that she still seems to very much have her wits about her – but she knows how to play the game. She’ll do whatever it takes to get back to the Red Keep with her husband and family, save Loras, and get on with being the queen (with a potential Cersei takedown on the agenda). I’m curious about how far the cooperation with the Faith will go – because Margaery may be playing the game, but Tommen is clearly a pawn, and he’s the one with the most power. Things are escalating quickly in Kings Landing, and things are going to come to a (violent) head sooner rather than later. As for Loras – I don’t think he’s long for this world. I don’t doubt that Margaery can get him out of the sept now, but Loras’ captivity seems to have broken him. He just wants it to stop, and I think he’ll get his wish.

CARYN

I 100% believe that it is part of her plan, no one is playing the game better than Margaery right now, and now that she has Tommen and the High Sparrow on her side, I would be very nervous if I was Cersei. I’m not sure about Loras, he seems very broken right now, if he does survive the Sparrows’ wrath I hope they have the good sense to send him back to Highgarden to recuperate and out of harm’s way.

LIZZIE

Oh, Margery’s playing the game. No doubt about it. She’s playing the game and she’s better than anyone about it. She’s got total control of Tommen, she’s got the High Sparrow on her side now, and though saving Loras might still take some effort, she’s got the winning hand (for now). Now, the question is does she play it or does she hold? What’s more important for her, saving her brother or taking down Cersei? We shall see. Either way, I don’t think things are looking good for Tommen OR Loras right about now.

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Jaime is heading to the Riverlands. Brienne is heading to the Riverlands. And yet, once again, they find themselves on opposite sides. How do you see this going? Is Jaime willing to fight Brienne? Can he even beat her? And, finally, the most important question …do you ship it?

CHLOE

I’m feeling a lot better about the whole Riverlands situation now that we know the Blackfish really did retake Riverrun. Though I still have some misgivings due to Baelish’s involvement, things are looking up. Now, for Jaime and Brienne… Are they truly on opposite sides? I’m not sure I see Jaime fully throwing in his lot with the Starks, but he did charge Brienne to find Sansa – and now she’s going to the Riverlands on Sansa’s orders, to help her cause. Jaime also didn’t seem too enthusiastic about retaking Riverrun. This could be very interesting. I don’t think Jaime will change sides, as much as I would love to see that – he still holds loyalty for the family he has left – but he may well throw the fight, as he’s not that committed to helping the Freys. That’s my hope. If it does come to a real battle, Brienne will be in trouble. I think she could defeat Jaime, especially since he lost his dominant sword hand, but he will have lots of backup and she won’t. So fingers crossed that doesn’t become an issue, and we can focus on the shipping. I think I’m more into Brienne x Tormund, but I definitely wouldn’t say no to Brienne x Jaime either.

CARYN

Oh I’m a long time, back in the day Jaime and Brienne shipper, I don’t think the siege of Riverrun will end in a fight though, perhaps more of a negotiation, I think that the big fight they will have this season will be between Jon and his troops and Ramsay – The Bastard Bowl, and perhaps between Daenerys and whoever comes between her. I hope this does end with Jaime and Brienne running off together to do something, because I feel Jaime is at his best when he is with Brienne.

LIZZIE

I ship it. It’s probably the only thing I actually ship on Game of Thrones, to be quite honest. I like the man Jaime is when he’s with Brienne, and I think that man will come out again when they come across each other. Now, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, of course not. This is Game of Thrones. Easy doesn’t even register on the scale of possibility. I do think Jaime’s heart won’t be in a fight with Brienne, and she’s much better at putting honor above heart. So, if this does come to a fight, Brienne will win. Will it, though? Maybe not. Switching sides I not necessary (or likely) for Jaime, not now, at least. Later on, though, if/when Tommen is gone and he finds out about Cersei and Lancel, well ….anything is possible.

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Daenerys has been on the brink of heading for Westeros for years now, and yet she hasn’t. Is it finally time? What would be her first step? How do you join these two storylines together?

CHLOE

There are still some logistical issues to sort out, but Daenerys’ journey to Westeros seems closer now than ever. She’s done her time ruling in Meereen, she’s acquired an even bigger army, and she seems to finally be synced up with Drogon. As much as I – like Daario and Jorah – want to see what the world looks like when she’s done conquering it, it’s hard to imagine what will happen when Daenerys makes it to Westeros. We’ve seen her overthrow slavers and those who have conspired against her – but will she be able to go through with her grand plan in a place with no slaves, where the people who conspired against her and her family are pretty much all dead? Where will the Dothraki go when she’s done? Thoughts for another time. For now, the world domination plan for Daenerys looks like this: return to Meereen (dragon and Dothraki army in tow), set things straight with the slavers, find ships, strategize, then sail for Westeros. Here’s hoping the ships come from someone other than Euron. Though at this point I’m wondering if the ships will even be needed – they seem to be so difficult to acquire that some other alternative may arise.

CARYN

Oh it’s about time Daenerys crosses the Narrow Sea, it has been 84 years already. I think she needs some ships first and we know that Euron is building 1000 ships. How fast do the Ironborn make ships? But before she leaves she needs to sort things out in Slavers Bay. I also think that Tyrion and Varys will be her links to the other happenings in Westeros. Although Tyrion is still a wanted man, Jorah was a slaver in Westeros and Varys aided and abetted Tyrion, so I don’t know how much help they will be in giving her a good rep. But I think she will arrive in Westeros at Dorne, and that will give her a large amount of support.

LIZZIE

I’m with Caryn. I kind of want to use that gif from Titanic where the old lady is saying “It’s been 84 years…” – because it really does feel like it’s taken forever. We know she needs ships, and we know the show is winding down, so I say Theon and Yara are going to show up with their ships and Daenerys will be making the journey to Weasteros at the end of the season. One there, though, she might find that the biggest battle is not in King’s Landing, but at the Wall.

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The Freys are back, and we still don’t like them. Give me your top three revenge scenarios as to how you’d like the show to get rid of Walder Frey. Who do you want dead the most, him or Ramsay Bolton?

CHLOE

Okay, Walder Frey revenge scenarios – the question I’ve been waiting for since the Red Wedding. I can come up with so many more than three, but here are a few of my favorites. 3) Murdered by his young wife. 2) Murdered (and mauled) by a direwolf. 1) Murdered by Lady Stoneheart. The latter is by far my favorite, and I’m hoping we’ll see that come to pass by the end of the season. Preferably whichever route the show goes also includes public humiliation of the Frey house (since it’s such a touchy subject), betrayal by the Lannisters (since Walder Frey feels just so secure with them backing him), and/or the Starks taking their revenge. That said, I would definitely rather see Ramsay Bolton dead over Walder Frey. Walder is awful and deserves a painful death (obviously), but he’s predictable, buyable, and only dangerous with someone watching his back. Ramsay is a murderous, sociopathic wildcard ready to watch the world burn. He poses a much bigger threat, and he needs to be taken out.

CARYN

1. Walder Frey killed by Arya, 2. Walder Frey killed by his child bride, 3. Walder Frey killed by Ramsay’s dogs. And as for the last question, I’m still going to go with my number one person to be murdered – Ramsay Bolton – I hate him so much.

LIZZIE

I have to agree, Ramsay before Walder Frey. Just because Ramsay seems much more dangerous, and because, well, we’re fickle creatures, and it’s been a while since the Red Wedding, but Ramsay’s atrocities are fresh in our mind. Also, if he hurts one single hair on Rickon’s head (and he probably will), then I say we feed him to the dogs. That’d be a fitting end.

As for Walder Frey, I just want Arya to kill him. Maybe after her fight with the Waif she can return to the last thing she wanted to do – kill Freys. It’d be poetic. Either that, or I want Brienne to do it, for Sansa. Finally, Lady Stoneheart. We’ve been teased before, and at this point I’m halfway convinced she’s something we’re never going to see in the TV show, but one can hope, right? We don’t even have to make it a long-running storyline, she can come, kill Freys, disappear. I won’t even complain.

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Uncle Benjen is back! How excited are you about this? Did you see it coming? What do you expect from him? And what do you think about the fact that he’s, essentially, half white walker? 

CHLOE

Memo to myself: don’t go on any social media before watching Game of Thrones. This reveal was slightly spoiled for me, but I’m still excited to have Uncle Benjen back. I’ve been trying to figure out if this matches up with the books, because I didn’t think Coldhands was Benjen – but in any case, it’s good to have a familiar face on the show and on Bran’s team. The whole half White Walker thing probably works in Bran’s favor at the moment – Benjen is the best protection he and Meera can hope for north of the Wall, and he may have some knowledge of how this enemy operates. I think we’ll learn some important stuff about the White Walkers, the Children, and possibly the Stark family from Benjen. I also think we’ll see him escort Bran and Meera safely back to the Wall – though I don’t believe he’ll be able to accompany them further than that.

CARYN

I’m so glad that he is finally back, it’s felt like this mystery would constantly be hanging over our heads, even if it isn’t the same as the books, I like the poetry of Uncle Benjen being the one to lead and help Bran. I sort of saw it coming because of the promo for this week’s ep. I think he’s half whyte because the White Walkers killed him, but the children reversed the process with magic. But I think he will know things about the White Walkers, the Children and magic that will be beneficial to Bran.

LIZZIE

Again, this is another one of those AT LAST moments. I swear, there’s a chorus of background music as I say those words, that’s how long we’ve been waiting to hear what happened to Benjen Stark. I can’t say I was really surprised, there had been speculation about him being the book character Coldhands for ages, and even though GRRM said it wasn’t so, it made sense for the show to streamline some storylines. I also get the sense here’s there to help Bran make sense of what I assume is the rest of the Tower of Joy flashback that we haven’t seen – Benjen, after all, was one of the people who supposedly knew about Jon’s origins, the one thing we’re all expecting the Tower of Joy to reveal.

Agree? Disagree? Have any more pressing questions you want answered? Sound off in the comments below.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

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