And yet again we get to start off a review with the return of a character we thought we would not see again – The Hound. Game of Thrones wasted no time in teasing this return however as even before the opening credits, they showed us his enigmatic return.
Alongside our surprising return we got the appearance of Deadwood actor, Ian McShane in a compelling role, Olenna Tyrell spewing out some truths, a beloved character gets stabbed, and we have a surprising MVP.
Let’s get into ‘The Broken Man’:
The Return of Broken Man on the Quiet Isle
So yes, as book readers have speculated for years, Sandor Clegane did not die when Arya left him wounded in the fight with Brienne, but instead he was saved by a priest of the Seven Gods who healed him back to health and he lived and served in peace with them afterwards.
The holy group that he is apart of, is committed to working together to help the people, they seem almost TOO happy for Game of Thrones, in that we know something terrible will follow. We see Brother Ray (Ian McShane) tell Sandor aka The Hound, how he found him and how he simply would not give up on life, saying that the gods aren’t done with him yet. It’s an inspiring speech, and even what he says to his other followers before they are interrupted by the Brotherhood Without Banners shows a man, unlike the High Sparrow, who believes in the true faith, of being better.
However, because we cannot have nice things, Sandor comes back from chopping wood to discover that the Brotherhood has massacred the entire colony and has hanged Brother Ray, the person that had had the most positive influence on The Hound. And we can see his shift back to almost murderous, vengeful rage.
But why bring back The Hound? He has to be an important part of the storyline (or perhaps Ray was right in saying that the gods are not done with him) or else George R.R. Martin and the writers would have just left him to enjoy the rest of his life in peace with Brother Ray and his clan. Will he fight his brother, The Mountain, in the much hyped up Cleganebowl? Or does he have another reasoning to return to the main stage?
Margaery and her Grand Plan
After last week’s reveal, I think a small part of us all feared that Margaery had converted to the side of the High Sparrow for real, but this week we learned a bit more about her grand scheme.
The High Sparrow visits her where she is meditating to talk to her about the fact that Tommen had been whining about the fact that she has not been having sex with him, and the High Sparrow stresses the need for an heir. After the awkward sex talk, he warns her that her grandmother, Lady Olenna might be the next target for the sparrows. Margaery then urges her grandmother to leave Kings Landing, giving her a drawing of a rose, as a sort of signifier that Margaery has got this, her grandmother can hand over the baton.
If anything, Natalie Dormer needs to get the highest praise for her portrayal of Margaery, we never know whether she is playing or being genuine. In a way we kind of have to take it like she is constantly playing the game, always on her guard, always calculating, so skillfully that even her grandmother is outplayed.
Before Olenna leaves King’s Landing (note: she was writing a letter, where is she going to next?) she has some choice words to say to Cersei about how her actions just ruined everything before she was careless and selfish, as well as throwing in a garb that Cersei might just be the worst person that she’s ever met. All hail the Queen of the Thorns!
Jon and Sansa are working with Ser Davos to rally the northern houses to their cause but the North don’t need a reminder, they have suffered so much since the Starks were in power, from the Red Wedding to the invasion of the Ironborn, they are tired. Ser Davos does give a rousing speech however to get my new favorite character, Lyanna Mormont to pledge her 62 fighting men. This character is so badass the way that she sasses both Jon and Sansa, and stands up for herself, at age 10. The little girl who stood up to Stannis last season does not cower for anyone.
Arya, however, is traipsing around Braavos like someone who does not have a price on her head, she does buy passage on a ship to Westeros, but does not board before the Waif, disguised as an old woman stabs her in her stomach. Arya does manage to throw herself off the side of a bridge and into the water allowing the Waif to think that she’s dead, before climbing out and wandering the streets of Braavos with a gaping wound in her stomach and no one to help. Great community Braavos is!
What about the other characters:
- Yara and Theon made a stopover in Volantis for some drinking and whoring (both of which was done by Yara) on their way to Meereen to join forces with Daenerys. Once again, excellent acting by Alfie Allen as he slips between the roles of Theon and Reek, and shows how uncomfortable he truly is in a brothel, my heart clenched watching him. But yay, time for the team up of the Greyjoys and Daenerys.
- Jaime and Bronn are reunited once again (have I mentioned how much I love Bronn lately) and the Blackfish is not at all frazzled by the Lannister and Frey troops camping outside of Riverrun or their threats to hang his nephew, Edmure. You have to admire the Blackfish and his formidable stance, but I can’t help but wonder how Brienne will shake things up when she pops around next episode.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO on Sundays at 9pm E.T