“No One,” although criticized for being a rather anti-climatic episode, answered a lot of questions about the rest of the season and set us up for a dramatic battle.
We had some stunning performances from Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Nikolai Koster Waldau (Jaime Lannister) as the battle for Riverrun begun. Prepare yourselves:
The big issue at hand is: what’s Arya’s fate? I had my guesses about this episode (a reappearance of Syrio Forel), but it turns out that I was completely wrong.
We open on Lady Crane on stage, portraying Cersei again as she swears vengeance over Joffrey’s dead corpse. The crowd loves and admires her, and it’s apparent that she’s equally as moved (seriously, can we just have a spin-off show for her?). She returns backstage, takes off her wig, and hears something in her quarters. When she investigates, she discovers Arya, bloodied and looking a bit too pale behind a rack of costumes.
Lady Crane tends to Arya’s wounds, which she seems to be really good at (maybe she played a doctor on stage?). “I’m a jealous woman. I’ve always liked bad men, and they’ve always liked me…so we’d fight, and then I put a hole in them.” Oh, okay….so, on your resume under “Triage” you’ve put self-experience. Good to know.
Remember that girl who wanted Lady Crane dead? Her name is Bianca (an allusion to Taming of the Shrew/Kiss Me Kate, perhaps), and Lady Crane has apparently done quite a number on her face: “She will have a hard time finding work as an actress after what I did to her face.”
Lady Crane asks Arya to come to Pentos with the company, and Arya admits someone is looking for her. Maybe she’ll go to Esssos or Westeros…but what’s left of Westeros? Just a 62 member army of your half-brother’s, that’s what. It’s apparent that Arya is still in pain, and Lady Crane has just the remedy for that: milk of the poppy to help her sleep. Arya’s hesitant at first, but Lady Crane calms her down: “If my soup didn’t kill you, nothing will.”
Arya sleeps through the night (can I order some of that poppy milk, please?). She stirs to hear Lady Crane receiving a male visitor. Crane goes to get something on a top shelf, and turns to find a man staring at her. I don’t know about you, but I immediately figured this had to be The Waif. The man just looked…waif-y. Obviously The Waif.
Aria gets out of bed to find Lady Crane dead on the floor, and poof, there’s The Waif. As anyone is want to do with a freshly stitched belly wound, Arya jumps out a window and runs like hell through the streets of Braavos. The Waif has a dogged determination to catch her, and she gives off quite the Ramsay Crazy Pants vibe with her evil grin. At one point, Arya throws herself over a wall and right down a set of stairs, which reopens her wounds and leaves her trailing with energy. The Waif corners her in her room where she’s been hanging out with Needle. It looks like curtains for our heroines, until she slices through a lit candle with her sword, plunging the room into darkness.
Meanwhile: we cut back to The House of Black and White, Jaqen H’gar is following a blood splatter trail through the sanctuary, and for a few minutes, it is very unclear who survived the encounter between Arya and The Waif. The trail leads him to the pillars of faces, and finds The Waif’s there, freshly sliced. Arya appears behind him, Needle in hand. The conversation goes something like this:
Arya: You tried to have me killed.
Jaqen: Yep, that’s fair.
Arya: I’ve settled my debt with the Many-Faced God.
Jaqen: Yep, I see that too. You must be No One now!
Arya: I’M ARYA STARK, BITCH. AND I’M GETTING THE HELL OUT OF HERE.
It went something like that.
The Brotherhood Without Banners men are sitting around a campfire, swapping secrets on how to get to first base, when this happened:
The Hound approaches the small slumber party and proceeds to kill the shit out of them: he slices off someone’s head, delivers an axe to the chest, slits somebody else’s throat, and plants an axe blade right up the yoohoo. The next bit of dialogue is extremely important to the plot:
Man About to Die: “Fuck you.”
The Hound: “Those are your last words? C’mon, you can do better. You’re shit at dying, you know that?”
See? Extremely important.
The next part of The Hound’s Big Day Out finds him stumbling upon Lemoncloak, who seems to have gotten himself in a bit of trouble for all of those brutal killings in the field. The Brotherhood Without Banners is not pleased, especially Beric Dondarrion (the only other man in this series to claim resurrection by sponge bath…probably).
Beric is preparing to hang Lemoncloak and his men for their crimes, but The Hound wants to chop them up Sweeney Todd style. When Beric insists they be hanged, The Hound says what everyone is thinking: “Bunch of nancies.” He does get to kill two of them, which is like letting your friend have the corner piece of a buttercream frosting cake. Oh, and The Hound also takes Lemoncloak’s boots as he’s doing the Wriggle of Death.
Clean sits down for supper with them, and Beric actively tries to
get him to read the Book of Mormon recruit him. “You can still help a lot more than you’ve harmed,” says Beric, and then The Hound promptly whips out his pee pee and tinkles in the lake.
The marketplace is bustling in Meereen again, and the Red Priestesses are preaching the good word of Daenerys. Tyrion and Varys are surveying the grounds, and it’s apparent that Varys is about to set sail to Westerns to recruit more men and ships. He and Tyrion have sort of a Casablanca moment:
Varys: “I’m going to miss you….the most famous dwarf in the city.”
Tyrion: “The most famous dwarf in the world.”
I’m not gonna lie…this got me a little choked up. I’ve enjoyed these two together, but don’t worry: I have a new favorite pair:
Let’s get the big fat elephant out of the room rather quickly: all of these drinking scenes in Meereen this season have been DREADFULLY awkward. Plus, isn’t every scene the exact same scene, but with more wine each time?
That being said, Tyrion is again trying to get Missandei and Grey Worm to drink. Tyron says drinking will make them happy, but the Fun Police claim that they “will be happy when our queen returns.” When Tyrion pushes the issue, Missandei explains that wine “made me feel funny.” “That’s how you know it’s working,” responds Tyrion. “If you don’t drink, you’re disgracing your Queen”
That does the trick, and the trio drinks. Tyrion tells them how he longs to make his own wine called “The Imp’s Delight.” Can we PLEASE make this a national priority right now?
Tyron tries to get Missandei to tell a joke, but she doesn’t know any, and apparently, neither does Grey Worm. Tyrion tells a joke about the Lannisters/Starks/Martells to get the ball rolling. The joke (and the wine) must work, because Missandei offers a feeble joke about two translators stuck on a sinking ship. Then, Grey Worm annihilates the room when he says “That is the worst joke I ever heard.” SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE THIS A GIF NOW.
Then, there’s a beautiful moment of levity when everyone is laughing. Grey Worm is laughing. Missandei is downright giggling. But it’s not long for this world: warning bells start ringing and Grey Worm goes off to investigate. It turns out that the Masters of Volantis, Yunkai and Co. have come for their property with an enormous fleet.
A barrage of fireballs start reigning on Meereen from the ships, and Tyrion is backtracking like crazy. Grey Worm advises that they stay in the pyramid and fight their way out, but noises from the…roof (can a pyramid have a roof?) turn their attention elsewhere. They prepare for a confrontation, not expecting Daenerys to burst through the door, Drogon flying away in the background. Awe, hellz yeah.
The Faith Militant have entered the Red Keep. They demand to see Cersei, and the King is absolutely okay with it (he’s praying). Cersei goes to talk to Lancel with the Mountain and Maester Qyburn by her side. The High Septon commands Cersei to come to the High Sept to speak with her. Cerise refuses, because he promised her she could stay in the Red Keep until her trial. When she commands them to leave, the Faith Militant advances, as does the Mountain. “Order you man to step aside or there will be violence.” And then, the line of the episode: “I choose violence.”
Remember how you had almost forgotten the battle between the Mountain and the Viper? Yeah, your lapse in memory won’t last for long. The Mountain basically rips off a guys head with one hand, and I’m still not sure if he ripped off his entire head or just the part above his upper jaw. The Faith Militant is absolutely terrified as blood seeps into the sewer. Cersei barely bats an eye.
Cersei then attends a royal announcement held in the throne room, but she is not allowed to stand with Tommen. She is told “your place is in the gallery, with the other ladies of the court,” by Kevan. Then, Tommen comes out and announces that the trial for Loras and Cersei will begin on the Festival of the Mother. He warns his people: “If you break his laws, you will be punished,” and completely outlaws trial by combat, calling the tradition “a brutish one.” Lords and Cersei will stand trial against Seven Septons.
As Tommen walks out of the throne room, Cersei tries to get his attention, but to no avail. She’s given a morsel of hope when Qyburn tells her that his birds investigated the rumor she wanted him to look into, bringing back “more…much more.”
Everyone’s favorite Calvin & Hobbes combination, Brienne and Podrick, await on top of a hill outside Riverrun, surveying the scene. Podrick becomes Captain Obvious and says he observes a siege about the take place. “You have a keen military mind, Pod,” Brine says sarcastically, as she spies Jaime from afar. His men intercept them, and Brienne tells them to tell Jaime that she has his sword.
Bron and Pod have a reunion of sorts, as Bron notes that Pod is “getting too old to be a squire.” Bron then pries into Podrick, Jaime and Brienne’s relationship, noting that Bron is the one with the magic pee pee.
Jaime and Brienne reunite, and Jaime reveals he wants the Blackfish and Cersei wants Sansa dead. Brienne tests Jaime, claiming that there is still honor in him. She wants him to allow the troops at Riverrun to leave with no bloodshed, and she wants to speak to the Blackfish herself. She tries to give Jaime back his sword, but he refuses. “It’s yours. It will always be yours.”
Just before Brienne leaves Jaime’s tent, she offers a warning. “Should I fail to persuade the Blackfish to surrender….honor compels me to fight for Sansa’s kin…to fight you.” Jaime responds: “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Brienne doesn’t have a lot of success withThe Blackfish, and by not a lot of success, she’s completely shot down. That is, until, she presents him with a letter from Lady Sansa, which stirs something in The Blackfish’s heart. “She’s exactly like her mother,” he says, with a hint of melancholy. It’s one of the only times he lets his guard down, with an obvious soft spot for Catelyn. However, he still won’t send his troops to Sansa, and Brienne has to send a failure raven to Sansa. I just have to know: are these like the Howlers from Harry Potter? Do Failure Ravens just get to squawk at you for 8 hours until they keel over and die?
Jaime goes to see Edmure, who continues the honor barrage where Brienne left off. “Do you imagine yourself a decent person?…Do you understand that you’re an evil man? How do you live with yourself?” Jaime seems to falter, but responds by saying that we all do crazy things for the ones we love. And he’s about to slaughter Edmure’s kin and troops unless he walks into the castle and demands their surrender.
So, like a good parrot, Edmure walks up to castle, demands entry, but The Blackfish denies him. The captain of the guard wants to let him in, citing “My lord has given an order.” The guard demands the drawbridge be lowered because Edmure truly is the lord of Riverrun. The Blackfish is overruled and the drawbridge comes down.
Edmure (keeps auto-correcting to “Demure”…I find this funny) walks into Rivverun, demands the troops put down their weapons and walk out. Everyone generally finds this to be a great ideas and complies with his orders….except The Blackfish.
As Lannister banners go up around Riverrun, Brienne and Podrick get into a boat with the help of the Blackfish. He will not go with them, opting to stay and fight for his castle. As Jaime surveys the fields surrounding Riverrun atop the castle, he is informed that the Blackfish was killed in battle. Sadly, he spies Brienne and Podrick escaping in a boat and waves to Brienne as they paddle away.
Next week…”The Battle of The Bastards”
- Who will win “Bastard Bowl?”
- Will Sansa call on Petyr Baelish for help?
- Will Melisandre ever stop moping?
- Will we see more of Queen Sass, Lady Mormont?