With such a long history between many characters, and backstabbing happening as is seen fit, it is sometimes hard to know who is on whose side. Something which gets the slightest bit more complicated as some go, return, and sometimes even say goodbye.
Murder (Hanging), Blood
Major Characters Mentioned
Arya | Daenerys | Tyrion | Blackfish | Edmure | The Hound | Cersei
Main Plot (with Commentary)
To begin, let’s get a minor plot out of the way. The known leader of the Brotherhood without Banners, Beric Dondarrion comes face to face with The Hound once more as The Hound seeks vengeance. Something slightly given, with Beric allowing The Hound to kill two of his men who went against their code. However, what perhaps is the more interesting thing here is the idea of these two joining up. For while The Hound did kill Beric, they know winter is coming and it seems the Brotherhood without Banners plans to fight. Something The Hound is quite good at and, in Beric’s mind, The Hound’s life didn’t really turn to poop until he denied himself what comes natural. So maybe it is time to pick up a weapon, put on some armor, and return to what he does best – killing people.
Switching over to Arya, Clegene’s (The Hound) old friend, somehow, someway, after Lady Crane (the actress playing Cersei in the play) helps her recover, and dies for her efforts, she kills the Waif. Now, I say somehow, someway, since, for one, the Waif chases Arya through the marketplace and the chase leads to Arya opening up her wound. On top of that, the Waif, multiple times, had the opportunity to sneak up on Arya and just gut her, but she didn’t. Then comes the final part which sort of pissed me off: We don’t get to see how the Waif dies. All we know is Arya brings her into a room, one in which she was hiding Needle, and with a cut a candle things go dark and next thing we know Arya is face to face with Raqen. All the while, the Waif’s face hangs. Now, in a similar manner to Brienne and Jamie, the meeting between Arya and Raqen isn’t necessarily on the best of terms. Yet, despite things which have happened in the past, there is this admiration from the male side of things. For Jaqen, he sees the little girl who could barely survive on her own now have all what it takes to be the nameless. However, despite her perhaps finishing her training, she rejects him. Thus leading to a moment of mixed emotions as Jaqen finds himself saying goodbye to a pupil he pushed hard and saw succeed perhaps past what his initial expectations were.
Same goes for Jamie. Him and Brienne have an odd relationship. One which, from the outside, may seem sexual, yet in truth it is a complicated mutual admiration. Brienne has come to accept Jamie and has seen him change from a pompous ass to something close to human, and Jamie sees Brienne as more than a woman trying to break away from being a lady, he sees a soldier, a potential knight even. This leads to him allowing her to talk to the Blackfish, try to have him give up Riverrun, but even with him having a moment as Sansa makes the case for him helping her take back her home, the problem is that he hasn’t even secured his own. So, flat out, he denies her. But, unbeknownst to him, Jamie has a second plan. One which isn’t to involve any real bloodshed, for all that is required is pulling a page out of Catelyn Stark’s playbook. Said page is releasing the man you held captive in an attempt for peace. Something which didn’t work well for Catelyn, see The Red Wedding, but for Jamie the plan works wonders. If only because Edmure Tully is nothing like the Blackfish. With a threat of sending his baby in the air, thanks to a catapult, it seems Edmure became broken – even after the Freys punishing him. Thus leading to Riverrun technically returning to the Freys, though, when Walder dies, perhaps something could be done, if Edmure grows a backbone, where he can fight to get his home back. After all, it would be in the family so technically it would be his.
Speaking of “in the family,” let’s talk about the family problems in King’s Landing, but specifically the Red Keep. Jamie’s goal in the whole Blackfish thing is to as quickly as possible return to Cersei, and for good reason. After all, as Lady Olenna said, Cersei is without friends or allies really. Especially in terms of her cousin Lancel being the hand of the High Septon, and trying to get her to meet with him against her will, and then there is her son – King Tommen. His alliance with the faith, and the influence over him, has brought him to the point of thinking a trial by combat is no longer just. He wishes to return to the old way of things and with that comes Cersei’s plan to avoid embarrassment coming to an end. That is, unless the woman who always put her child first decides that she is no longer going to let any man, be it her lover, a family member, or even her child, put her in harm’s way and force her into desperation. Meaning, she may just have to kill the king and, unless I’m forgetting someone, making it so the kingdom goes into chaos as Margaery tries to defend her position.
Thus leaving nearly everyone’s two favorite people: Tyrion and Daenerys. Now, despite all the peace Tyrion thought he brought to Meereen, by the episode’s end it seems that they will be under siege and Daenerys overthrown. But what makes this whole situation interesting, as a reddit user said (I read it on my phone so give me some time to find the source), is that Varys leaves for Westeros, supposedly to shore up allies, before the siege goes down. Which is interesting if for the sole reason, as the reddit user said, because Varys is supposed to be the master of whispers, the guy who knows every rumor and fact going on, yet he supposedly didn’t know about a masters’ rebellion? He couldn’t have warned Tyrion to prepare? Could it be, like he told Ned Stark in season 1, his loyalty is to the realm and maybe he has lost faith in Daenerys, especially with the Lord of Light now on her side? Or, could it even be, he has lost faith in Tyrion’s abilities to guide Daenerys for now, with him trying to handle a different type of persona, he feels this has become a lost cause? It is hard to tell. However, with Daenerys flying in with her dragon, who can make short work of the masters, it seems Meereen may once again heel to the crown, as well as Slaver’s Bay. Though this has been said countless of times and yet Daenerys still finds herself unable to maintain her position of power.