Throughout season six, Game of Thrones has made a good show of ‘checking in’ with a large amount of characters every episode, but what ‘Blood of My Blood’ does well is that it works to set up the story of a select few characters and their plot lines instead of trying to catch up with everyone, so this episode we didn’t see Jon and Sansa in the North, or Tyrion and Varys in Meeren, or even what Yara and Theon was up to.
But we did get to see Daenerys making an impassioned speech, some old characters returning, Bran having some important flashbacks and Arya making a big decision.
Let’s get into ‘Blood of My Blood’:
Bran, Meera, and the Return of Uncle Benjen
While Meera was dragging Bran through the forest, he was visioning a whole series of events – basically Bran’s version of ‘Previously on Westeros’ with snippets of Jaime killing Mad King Aerys, Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy, the death of the Starks, Daenerys and her dragons, etc. We can understand this to mean that these segments will be important in the future. Most of them ware visions of the past, except one in particular that shows Drogon flying over King’s Landing.
Uncle Benjen’s heroic return as the companion and savior to Bran and Meera is crucial for the characters and the show. Firstly Benjen is an anomaly in Westeros as far as we know – he is a character that was killed by a White Walker and saved by the Children of the Forest so he is hovering slightly between life and death. He was saved using obsidian which the Children used to make the White Walkers. Can only the Children save people like this? And was Leaf the last Child left? So does that rule out our heroes being able to save anyone else in that way?
Before Benjen left the Wall in season one he told Jon Snow that when he returned he would tell him about his mother. Perhaps a reunion in the North between these characters means that Jon will finally learn all about his parentage.
Sam and his problematic family
Poor Sam, dude can’t catch a break. He brings Gilly and Little Sam to his ancestral home where they meet his lovely mother and sister which is probably why Sam is such a genuinely nice person.
Everything goes pear-shaped once the whole family gets together for dinner, and Sam’s father Randyll keeps ragging on about how pathetic Sam is, but Gilly who is the number one fan of Team Sam, cannot sit by, so she lists Sam’s accomplishments which they don’t really believe, until she slips up and reveals she’s a wildling. Randyll, horrible human being that he is, tells Sam that he will raise Little Sam, Gilly has to go work in their kitchens, and that will be the last night that Sam spends in their home. So Sam peaces out with Gilly, Little Sam and Randyll’s prized Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane.
So what was the point of introducing the Tarly’s if Sam and Gilly were going to end up just as they started? Perhaps it was so that they could get Heartsbane, having a Valyrian steel sword on your side is always a plus, but Randyll Tarly does not seem like the sort of person to just let this go, he knows that Sam is heading for Oldtown, he can easily catch up to them – he has an army, Sam doesn’t. I really don’t think Sam thought this through. Also what would happen to Gilly and Little Sam now? What other options does Sam have?
Arya makes a run for it
And other chapter in our stories is closing, as Arya fails at her task to kill the actress who plays Cersei in the play, after the two chat and she reaches out to her. It’s almost ironic that one of the first characters to truly humanize Arya was someone playing the woman she hates the most – Cersei.
In the end Arya could not be no one, she could not let go of herself, of her conscience and what she believed, so she digs up needle, and tries to make a run for it. However, the Waif, who has an insane hatred for her, is hot on her heels, so we’ll probably see some fighting between the two in next week’s episode.
Margaery the converter
Over in King’s Landing, the Lannister/Tyrell alliance attempt to prevent the High Sparrow from letting Margaery do the Walk of Shame, but it seems no violence need be shed as Margaery took some lessons from Daenerys in episode four and got herself out, by ‘converting’ Tommen to the faith.
The question of whether Margaery is a true believer is difficult to answer, because while she seemed sincere and utterly believable, she is also very aware of the influence that she has on Tommen so she might be giving the High Sparrow exactly what he wants so that she might be in a better position to take him down. She has a smart head on her shoulders, it will be interesting to watch her next move.
Daenerys the Conqueror
As she is riding from Vaes Dothrak, Daario tells her that she would need a thousand ships to travel to Westeros (luckily Yara is on her way with a thousand ships!) and in a classic ‘now you see me, now you don’t move’ Daenerys disappeared behind a rock with a white horse and came back riding Drogon.
She makes an impassioned speech, echoing the one Drogo made in Season 1 and urges the Dothraki to fight on her side as they reclaim Westeros. So after five seasons of chilling in Essos it seems like Daenerys is finally going to make the trip over to the West.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO on Sundays at 9pm E.T