Game of Thrones: The Broken Man   Show Only 
June 5, 2016 6:55 PM - Season 6, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The High Sparrow eyes another target. Jaime confronts a hero. Arya makes a plan. The North is reminded. SHOW ONLY THREAD.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (178 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
So... Unless he comes back somehow, that seemed like a huge waste of Ian McShane.
posted by TwoStride at 6:58 PM on June 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


Arya! Get thee to a red lady.
posted by dis_integration at 6:58 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, I'm bummed that Arya's plan apparently did not include CONSTANT VIGILANCE.
posted by TwoStride at 6:58 PM on June 5, 2016 [21 favorites]


Srsly though if Arya dies I'm done with the show.
posted by dis_integration at 6:59 PM on June 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm sure McShane will be fine. He just needs to rub some dirt on it.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on June 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


Bunch of Hoopleheads in this episode.
posted by drezdn at 7:01 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Srsly though if Arya dies I'm done with the show.

There's approximately a 0.0% chance Arya dies. The only question is who heals her. I'm trying to think of who we know is in Braavos. Uhhhh... hmmm. Was Theon's Boat Party in Braavos?
posted by Justinian at 7:02 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh HELL NO, Arya.

Agree that this was a total waste of Ian McShane.
posted by zarq at 7:02 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The return of the Hound is beyond pleasing. I always thought the character had great potential and its great to see him possibly living up to it.

Lianne Mormont was incredibly amazing. Young as hell, but a helluva head of household. Was strange to see Jon and Sansa stumble over words about their position.

Amazing acting by Alfie Allen as Theon. That look he gave Yara after her pep talk was powerful. His entire presence changed.

Arya stabbed and on the run, with no one to help her. Funny how the world changes.

The Blackfish had Jamie dead to rights.

I do wish Bronn and Grandma Tyrell could meet, that would be a hoot.

Margaery Tyrell, how about that? She just might end up ruling them all.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm glad they didn't drag out the "Is Mags faking her conversion?" thing. It seemed almost certain that she was and I hate when shows/books/movies drag out fake mysteries where the answer is obvious.
posted by Justinian at 7:04 PM on June 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Arya dying would be an interesting twist. I don't think she will, but I'm intrigued by the possibility and almost hope for it, just for that narrative daring.

But that would mean she doesn't meet the Hound again and that would be a lost opportunity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Having only seen a couple episodes of Deadwood, I was just like "HEY, that's the guy who's going to be Mr. Wednesday!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:11 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


The wife and I yelled "COCKSUCKER," in unison, because YOU KNOW.

Also, was this the first time the show went straight into the scene and then rolled the credits?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:13 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


The wife and I yelled "COCKSUCKER," in unison, because YOU KNOW.

I was so sad that we were watching at my sister-in-law's house with her sleeping children down the hall because if not I'm sure my husband and I would have done the same.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:17 PM on June 5, 2016


We also may have mentioned the southron cocksuckers and hoopleheads, and as a point of distinction I will note that we also mentioned that motherfucking black darjeeling.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:27 PM on June 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


How many Broken Men did you count in this episode. Theon and the Hound were the obvious ones, but I'd place Jamie in that category also. Yet he was more alive than we've seen him in a while as he took command of the siege. Yet the Blackfish was right, there is a certain disappointing brokenness to Jamie. He has talents, but his love of Cersei has destroyed everything he holds dear and he's also either either helped or failed to prevent that destruction.

Sandor and Theon found a way back from the mess they've made of their lives. I doubt Jamie will, he's not capable of doing so. Hell, he may not even want to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on June 5, 2016


Gosh, I find myself thinking halfway through the episode, the last time we had anybody to root for as much as I'm rooting for Jon and his people right now, they got totally Red Wedding'd

(The other things I am thinking right now are 1. thank god Margery actually has a plan of some kind and 2. I'm glad they gave the Queen of Thrones some grade-A sass to lay down before she goes)
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:29 PM on June 5, 2016


There was a brief moment, when Arya went over the bridge, that I was convinced she'd hidden, like, a pig's bladder fully of blood under her shirt and had tricked the Waif, but the staggering walk of helplessless seems to put that pet theory to shame. I'm guessing the actress she saved will help her out. Perhaps for her next skill set Arya will join the theater troupe!
posted by TwoStride at 7:31 PM on June 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's also good to see Bronn back, but my heart belongs to The Hound and that cocksucker.
posted by carmicha at 7:35 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]




"I'm disappointed" from the Blackfish was way too obvious a burn to be as effective as it was. I might have actually said "oooooh!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:46 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also I love love love the Lady of Bear Island!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:47 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, the Lady of Bear Island was awesome! I hope we see her again.

I admit, I totally fell for it and was all, "she's gonna have like 1000 men to offer!" so that delivery (and reaction to) "... 62" was fantastically played by everyone in the scene.
posted by TwoStride at 7:50 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Swearengen's best pal Wu used to always say "hang die". In this brief appearance on GoT, McShane's character is "hanged" and "dies". IS THIS A SUBTLE CLUE ABOUT THE NEW DEADWOOD SHOW?
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:53 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am all about this Yara/Theon scene, it's the most I've cared about them in a while.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:54 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I figured she'd say a small number. Also, when The Hound appeared, I yelled "Daaaaaaaaamn" for a good ten seconds. However, how did those people get killed so quickly that by the time The Hound made it back up there, they were all dead. Quick workers those Brothers Without Banners. Speaking of which, I thought the Brothers Without Banners were kind of good guys. As I typed that, I remembered that the Stark men also raped and murdered people, but the assault on the religious group seemed to be a sanctioned action by the Brothers (or Brotherhood? I don't recall). Anyway, great episode. It pains me that I will only be able to watch two more episodes then I will be banished to the forest, unable to watch.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 7:55 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yay for smart lesbian Yara! Have they hinted at that before, aside from her being a kickass woman in a man's world? Because everyone else in the room I was watching in said, "Duh" and I seemed to be the only one happily surprised they went there.

So many great dialogue-driven scenes this time - Jamie and the Blackfish, Oleanna and Cersie, Brother Ray and the Hound, both of the Sansa/Jon recruitment attempt scenes. It's sad, but every time I get the feeling of love for the show back this season, all it does is make me mourn all the lost time from last season. Can you imagine if they'd written season 5 with the same sense of urgency they've written season 6? God, what a better show it would have been.

That said, they really shit the bed with the cliched spaghetti western Hound/Brother Ray plot. What a boring, completely predictable storyline. Oh, a pacifist in a violent world! Oh, a murderer tempted to renounce his ways! Oh, a brutal episode that proves violence is the true path, and puts the murderer back on the bloody path of vengeance, which we all wanted to see anyway! What a yawner.

This show can be so good, and then so completely stupid, in such rapid succession that it almost makes you wonder if there's some strange kind of talent there for balancing beauty and idiocy.

Almost.
posted by mediareport at 8:28 PM on June 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


I knew the people in the religious camp looked too happy to survive.
posted by FallowKing at 8:33 PM on June 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


Love the hound. Love the hound!

Who was it here that noticed that Brienne didn't state she found the hound's body? Kudos.

Theon's look was killer.

I'm glad that Dany's getting her ships.
posted by about_time at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dany and Yara sitting in a boat k-i-s-s-i-n-g.
First comes marriage, then comes love, then comes Dany riding a dragon carriage!
posted by FallowKing at 8:50 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


It was a real pleasure to see the Hound back, Rory McCann is fabulous and I missed him. I only wish we'd had more Ian McShane. Though I understand the Deadwood movie is greenlit AND American Gods isn't far off now so we should be seeing plenty more of that cocksucker post haste.

Also, really? 30 comments in and no CLEGANEBOWL GET HYPE? I have to do it? Okay, fine.

CLEGANEBOWL GET HYPE

posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:50 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was very disappointed that Brienne didn't appear to be in the Wildling scene to hear Tormund's eloquent rallying on Jon's behalf... perhaps it would have warmed her heart a bit?
posted by TwoStride at 8:51 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sansa sent Brienne to Riverrun.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:52 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oooooh Brienne and Jaime are buddies and Brienne's going to beg the Blackfish to come North while Jaime's besieging him ...

Also Sansa needs some Fight Club type rules and the first rule of Sansa Club needs to be DON'T DO ANYTHING THAT MIGHT EVEN PLAUSIBLY MAKE LITTLEFINGER HAPPY IT ONLY ENDS BADLY FOR YOU

Also I knew that the Blackfish wasn't going to want Edmure back because that actor (Tobias Menzies) is always playing schmucks because he has such a punchable face. I mean, he played Brutus, he played Frank/Blackjack Randall ... nobody is ever going to rescue him unless legally obligated and well-paid and then only because it's utterly unavoidable. And that's why you cast him, to be the schmuck who somehow ended up in a position of power but now nobody wants to help out because he's too punchable and you can just tell that he's a schmuck no matter how well he's hidden it until now.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:21 PM on June 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Theon: I have Nothing. Nothing. holding me back now.

or at least, I hope that's his response
posted by porpoise at 9:24 PM on June 5, 2016


This felt like one of the stronger episodes. It had chess pieces actually moving and doing thing. Though one thing that occasionally rears its head when I watch this show is the sense of time and how slippery and elusive it is. Did weeks pass, months? Who knows? Best not to think about it.

Stray thoughts/observations:

• Jamie's armorer is on point. Give him a raise. Sexy and strong as fuck.
• Lianne Mormont is my new favourite.
• Ian McShane was indeed wasted.
• Loved that scene with Olenna and Cersei was perfect. I love watching Cersei realize her place in the world. It hurts doesn't it.
• Bronn and The Hound both return. All I want is a buddy cop film set in Westeros with these two having to solve crimes and getting caught up in hijinks.
• Poor Arya. Get thee to the local chemist or witch. It'll cure what ails ya.
posted by Fizz at 9:37 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Speaking of which, I thought the Brothers Without Banners were kind of good guys. As I typed that, I remembered that the Stark men also raped and murdered people, but the assault on the religious group seemed to be a sanctioned action by the Brothers (or Brotherhood? I don't recall).

I didn't catch much indication that the three jerks on horseback were actually affiliated with the Brotherhood Without Banners we know (Thoros etc.) - isn't it possible that at this stage the organization is starting to "franchise" the way terrorist groups do (people claiming to be ISIS or Al-Queda, for example)? Alternately - the Brotherhood Without Banners are also religious fanatics who follow the Lord of Light. They may be tussling with the newly militant followers of the Seven and these folks just got caught in the crossfire.

And yeah, who the hell hires Ian McShane for a one episode part? Sheesh.

I enjoyed the recruitment negotiations (successful or failed) of Mormont, Glover and the wildlings. It did seem that Mormont and her advisors bought the Night King/dead rising thing with less skepticism than I would expect. Its been kind of bothering me over the last couple of seasons how people's reaction to news of the Others seems to depend too much on plot and not enough on plausibility - Mormont believing this supernatural stuff implicitly while brothers of the Night's Watch didn't at the end of the last season, for example.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:52 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


GET HYPE
posted by mwhybark at 9:54 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


We're talking about how much this season is all about the women taking over from a failed patriarchy: Margaery replacing Tommen as the true ruler of King's Landing, Lady Olenna taking her paper rose and her silly fop of a son back to Highgarden, Yara fucking and swearing and pirating, but also LEADING LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER; not to mention the Waif getting the drop on cocksure Arya (lbr, she ain't dead, Lady Actress is her only safe harbor in a Braavos full of potentially faceless men); Sansa making the dreaded raven's last stand with inbred cousin Robin and his puppetmaster, Littlefinger, who actually DO have a formidable army thanks to the mostly rested and well-fed Knights of the Vale (and as previously mentioned in-show, are basically already headed there to help her out); Dany finally transforming into the true incarnation of R'hollr's promise of blood magic producing legendary leadership and subsequently conquering/subjugating the Dothraki patriarchy via a horse-shaped Drogon snack; even tiny Lady Lyanna of Bear Island was NOT to be fucked with -- she really brought gravitas to that 10-year-old queen. Can you imagine what's going to happen with Bear Island when puberty hits? JESUS!

Add in Lady Brienne being the likely future Kingsguard of the North and Meera being the only true protector of Bran, the Nu-Three-Eyed-Raven, and we've got... well, a lot of men standing around waiting for the women to tell them what to do and help protect the next generation of queens and sorcerers.

Especially Jamie Lannister. Every time he rides up on his golden stallion, it's so much show, yet so little action. That right hand loss really was his undoing, innit? Watching the Queen of Thorns dress down Cersei made me cackle like I was reading the Burn Book from Mean Girls. WOW.

Shout out to my biggest crush on the show, Wun Wun, who surely counts as 100 regular men in Jon Snow's army (and hey, Jon wouldn't even BE ALIVE without Melisandre -- again, adios, patriarchy!). :)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:08 PM on June 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


Sandor Clegane has no right to be alive. Arya left him for dead. By the bleeding kraken.


I dunno, Rory McCann's a deep enough actor to do something with the role. I hope there's something written for him instead of GET HYpe squish.
posted by porpoise at 10:09 PM on June 5, 2016


Very weird that they would tease Arya's death. If she dies then all the time spent on her will be completely wasted. Nobody knows she's in Braavos. Nobody knows what she's doing; her stakes remain entirely personal, and all this time spent with her was predicated on the promise of her life eventually meaning something If she dies here she may as well have died at the end of the first season for all she ever impacted the sweep of the plot.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:00 PM on June 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


The idea that Arya will die from this episode's wounds is ludicrous! I would bet the farm on it.

I'm ready for Sandor Clegane to go whoop up on some evildoers.
posted by Justinian at 11:25 PM on June 5, 2016


As I said in the other thread: If Arya dies, we riot.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:29 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Unless Arya dying allows the waif to take her face and head to Westeros for the greatest faceless reaping ever.
posted by fatbird at 11:34 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


When we saw that woman come into frame, I may or may not have yelled AAA THE WAIF ITS THE WAIF A GIRL SHOULD RUN NOW
posted by KathrynT at 11:39 PM on June 5, 2016 [24 favorites]


I was hoping Arya had a sirloin hidden in her robes for protection. Like, those stab wounds were from a decoy blood bag.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:42 PM on June 5, 2016


Aprocryphon: This is the show-only thread and non-readers don't know about that character. But please post your comment in the books thread so we can discuss it there because OMG.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:44 PM on June 5, 2016


Glad the last seasons are supposed to be shortened. Impressive amount of redundancy this episode.
posted by edeezy at 1:14 AM on June 6, 2016


Arya probably won't die but when you piss off a cult full of faceless assasins death does seem like the logical outcome and the logical outcome is what GOT gives you most often.
posted by rdr at 2:34 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Arya is really the only Stark left that I feel like I am truly invested in - it would be a criminal mishandling of the story and the past six years of everybody's time if she was to die.

I also feel like it would be nice if, just once, one of our heroes was competent enough to see that something bad was about to happen, and unleash an appropriate level of whoop-ass to put a stop to that. I don't recall that ever having happened.

I also don't buy that the Waif is better at anything than Arya is. Not only is she dual-classed into at least level 2 Faithless, she's also got a few levels of Sword-dancer or whatever it was! Plus her background is "hardy Stark"!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:32 AM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


If the Hound can somehow survive an infected wound (and likely blood poisoning), having the crap punched out of him by Brienne, falling off a cliff and a horrifyingly broken, bone protruding leg - all while being in the middle of nowhere in a world without antibiotics - then Arya will have no problems shrugging off what was by comparison basically a couple of pokes with a toothpick.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:46 AM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Ian McShane's role was to palatably present exposition on the Hound--that conversation on how he found the Hound and fixed him up was classic "stuff both characters already know". Once he was done setting the stage for the Hound, he wouldn't serve much use anyway.
posted by cardboard at 4:26 AM on June 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


"If the Hound can somehow survive an infected wound (and likely blood poisoning), ... all while being in the middle of nowhere in a world without antibiotics"

GRRM has given interviews about this -- essentially, he gave the Maesters the power to heal infections of that sort (using natural ingredients/remedies that at least plausibly have antibiotic powers in our own world, harnessed by the Maesters' learning into more effective and reliable remedies) because while it would be true to the underlying late medieval era if everyone went to war and died of tetanus from sword wounds and/or infected papercuts from opening their orders, it would be BORING.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:52 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


cardboard: "Ian McShane's role was to palatably present exposition on the Hound--that conversation on how he found the Hound and fixed him up was classic "stuff both characters already know". Once he was done setting the stage for the Hound, he wouldn't serve much use anyway."

Yeah, that was kind of painful. That whole set of exposition could have been a lot shorter, "You were pretty banged up when we found you, the gods must have wanted you to live."
posted by octothorpe at 5:31 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Glad to see the Hound back, but it felt pretty cheap, and the dialogue between him and McShane was some of the worst in the entire series. "Well, as you know Hound, I found you not two years ago nearly dead, and since then you've come to be a valuable member of our peaceful, idyllic community. What a contrast it must be to your previous life! I hope that contrast may prove to be of some use in understanding your arc, er, life. Of course, I fear that perhaps you have some unresolved conflicts that may draw you away at some point. Perhaps our lives can serve as simple instruments to provide motivation for you to pursue the resolution of those conflicts?"
posted by skewed at 5:32 AM on June 6, 2016 [27 favorites]


Well, as you know Hound, I found you not two years ago nearly dead, and since then you've come to be a valuable member of our...

If you read this in Ian McShane's voice it sounds legit. Which must be why they cast him. That buttery baritone can make up for the worst flaws in a screenplay.
posted by dis_integration at 5:47 AM on June 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Arya-fangirl side of me hopes the Waif gets punished. I imagine that a pretty important rule of the Faceless Men is "always confirm that your body is actually dead."
posted by TwoStride at 5:53 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Part of me is wondering if Arya went staggering through the city to help sell the idea that she's dying/dead - y'know, making sure that people see it so that the Faceless Men's intel network gets back that yeah, she got whacked.

But then she disappears. Or something.

The other thought was that she makes it back to the temple, and since the waif failed in her duties (remember the order was that Arya should not suffer) then perhaps the Red God has been deprived a death and thus is owed one. J'aquen then whacks The Waif, heals Arya, but cuts her loose, thus ending the lesson.

At least, that's what I'm hoping for.
posted by Thistledown at 6:13 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I found it baffling that Arya wasn't more paranoid. She knows they can wear any face! And yet she turns to the old woman as if she's automatically harmless!
posted by lullaby at 6:23 AM on June 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


KathrynT: I also yelped that. Didn't Arya see the framing of that shot? It was obvious!

At the moment, I am, frankly, bored by "Theon's redemption" story line. It's getting less annoying as we get more time watching Sansa being badassed, since so much of her story was centered around Theon's experience of it, so I'm happy to see more things centered around her. Yara, though. Hell, yeah, Yara.

Maybe Yara and Daenerys and Sansa can all team up and rule Westeros with Brienne as their military general. Then Arya and the Hound and Jamie and Bron can all have road adventures.

Lady Mormont was such a delight. I spent the entire seen cackling.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:39 AM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ian McShane sounds good in the god-damn Hercules movie. The one with The Rock in it. Ian McShane is like armorall for bad scripts, he make everything sound good.
posted by French Fry at 7:04 AM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


If the Hound can somehow survive an infected wound (and likely blood poisoning), having the crap punched out of him by Brienne, falling off a cliff and a horrifyingly broken, bone protruding leg - all while being in the middle of nowhere in a world without antibiotics

You know, there's a non-zero chance that the Hound actually died and has resurrected, and that Septon Swearengen was the catalyst. In addition to Jon, the faceless armor zombie we all assume to be The Mountain 2.0, the flaming sword guy, and Dany's hubs (let alone the wights and the White Walkers and the skellingtons at weirwood.net), we have other in-show reboots that amount to resurrection, including Euron and Theon and Dany herself (if we count the first pyre as a symbolic resurrection). It also seems pretty clear that Melissandre doesn't really know if it was her specific faith or magic that brought Jon back, and we as viewers can't really know either. So it's not possible to rule out a veritable plague of resurrection descending on Planetos, all willy-nilly.

Maybe Arya's next.
posted by mwhybark at 7:07 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Attached flashed a bunch of money near the docks and then went and stood on a bridge. Whatever else is going on she intended to draw an attack.
posted by rdr at 7:11 AM on June 6, 2016 [13 favorites]


Suprised that no one else commented on the cold-opening before the credits. They've never done that before, have they?
posted by skewed at 7:15 AM on June 6, 2016


Longer, deeper thoughts, feel free to skip:

Margaery made an understandable error via withholding sex from Tommen. She just didn't realize how closely he would confide in the High Sparrow (EWWW), but now she knows and will play the game harder. The Sparrow clearly suspects Margaery is playing him and the faith and his pressure on her to have sex with Tommen is probably a test of whether she's really converted. Those two will definitely be cat and mousing each other for a while.

I wonder what Margaery's longer term plan is? To play Tommen against the Sparrow, probably via sex? To wait until Cersei's trial and then start pushing to edge the Sparrow out? I eagerly await to see what she'll do, hopefully it'll end with sword in the Sparrow's chest.

With Brienne heading to RiverRun, where Jamie and his 8K troops have arrived, I wonder if she'll convince him to use those troops against the Boltons. As it is now, the Blackfish can't volunteer any troops, because he's now sourrounded by a more experienced commander. There's not much he can do, so Brienne is stuck, but she does have influence on Jamie, even if she's probably not savy enough to use it. If anything Jamie will sort of melt under her personification of everything he's wanted to be and he might offer to help by sending some troops. Doubtful, but the show did take pains to mention how many he had, so who knows. He could spare 2k.

I am disappointed with Sansa's role in this episode. The character has such potential and the showrunners seme aware of it, but they sort of jerk her around, depending on what the plot needs. So she's being secretive with her newly reunited brother and somewhat (though understandably) foolish about using the Baelish's troops.

Previously she had such fire about the Stark name, but she just stands dumbfounded when faced with the Little Bear of Lyanna Mormont and then is talked into silence by the other House, who are afraid of Ramsay. I was waiting for her to remind them of how the Starks never abused their Vassals or caused them fear, that she herself intimately knows just how abusive Ramsay can be, thus she's there asking for troops because there's no reasoning with him, he has to be put down. But she remains quiet and lost in her own turmoil. She and Lyanna should talk, become friends. And Sansa should quit not trusting Jon!

Anyone else get Shireen pangs when Davos began speaking to Lyanna? Also, if you need Lyanna memes, you can start here.

Curious about the Hound, is he off to avenge the villagers or does he now see himself as some larger force for good in general. It could go either or both ways, just glad to see him back, he's one of the best characters of the series. Hopefully he and Arya will meet again. With her stumbling around, bleeding and alone, that parrellels he "death," so she'll probably get some help and come back 'reborn'. But she can't go to the actress lady, right, that's too obvious and the Waif would be keeping an eye on the actors? Very curious to see how that's resolved.

Lots are complaining about Arya's foolishness on not being wary, but I buy it. Previously she had been so focused on revenge, but now she's off her game, wondering about her family name (and probably Sansa). Getting taken in by the gorgeous sunrise for moment fits, as does the Waif using that moment to strike. Arya became wary of the woman, but was just a few seconds too slow.

I guess she could be faking about bleeding out, but I hope not, it would be too much of a gimmick. So it's probably whats actually happening.

Suprised that no one else commented on the cold-opening before the credits. They've never done that before, have they?

The very first episode did it and I think the season 3 first episode did, where Sam is attacked by a white walker, but is saved by Commander Mormont's raiding party.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 AM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wait, what if Arya has already visited the actress and her troop? So she's gotten a costume, some fake blood and other props to appear wounded as she acts so? Doing so might make the Waif unguarded, so Arya can attack. The bridge pause doesn't bother me, but Arya openly walking around the market flashing money in clothing that doesn't quite seems hers does on further thought. So maybe she spots the Waif and then decides to pause on the bridge and wait for an attack, runs off and hobbles through the market so it gets back to the Faceless men that's she's mortally wounded?

THAT would seem very Arya like. Plus the episode synopsis specifically says "Arya makes a plan". Just sailing home doesn't sound like much of a plan.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:31 AM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


she intended to draw an attack

If the Faceless Men are after you, there are worse plans than faking your own death at their hands, and now the whole mummer's bit is seeming very convenient.

OTOH, I kind of feel like the Faceless Men totally would not fall for bullshit tricks like a pig's bladder full of blood over chainmail under your shirt. If there's anyone in Westeros who wouldn't fall for it, it would be them.
posted by fatbird at 7:36 AM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


They wouldn't, but the Waif might!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 AM on June 6, 2016


Margaery made an understandable error via withholding sex from Tommen. She just didn't realize how closely he would confide in the High Sparrow (EWWW), but now she knows and will play the game harder. The Sparrow clearly suspects Margaery is playing him and the faith and his pressure on her to have sex with Tommen is probably a test of whether she's really converted.

I dunno about this. I got the impression that she was playing the game by not having sex with him - pretending to be a pious woman who had seen the error of her former wicked ways and was now disgusted by them, to the point where she needed to be gently reminded of her duty. It seems clear from this episode that she knows exactly how she needs to consolidate her power - by getting pregnant with the heir to the throne. In the conversation with her grandmother, that seemed to be the subtext.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:53 AM on June 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


I got the impression that she was playing the game by not having sex with him

Yeah that seemed 100% intentional. A test to see what Tommen would say to the high sparrow, to show her piety, and to see what the sparrow would say to her, also tweak the boy King by him seeing a downside to this new found faith. She can't trust him with any true parts of her plan.
posted by French Fry at 7:56 AM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Wait, what if Arya has already visited the actress and her troop? So she's gotten a costume, some fake blood and other props to appear wounded as she acts so? Doing so might make the Waif unguarded, so Arya can attack. The bridge pause doesn't bother me, but Arya openly walking around the market flashing money in clothing that doesn't quite seems hers does on further thought. So maybe she spots the Waif and then decides to pause on the bridge and wait for an attack, runs off and hobbles through the market so it gets back to the Faceless men that's she's mortally wounded?

Only problem with this is, the Waif could easily have just slit her throat. Arya had no way of knowing she wouldn't. (I WANT it to be true because I don't want Arya to die and gut wound + canal water = bad news, but what a risky plan if true!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:57 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Only problem with this is, the Waif could easily have just slit her throat. Arya had no way of knowing she wouldn't.

Mentioned this in the other thread, but it bears repeating. Narratively, it seems like the best fit is that Arya was playing a con on the waif. Her helpless walk through the market was 100% completely out of character, and only makes sense as a way to broadcast her condition. But the idea that part of her plot was letting an assassin stab her, and hope that the wounds were survivable is too stupid to excuse.

I'm probably the biggest D&D apologist on metafilter (okay, maybe Justinian), but if Arya is revealed to have orchestrated this, I will, I don't know, be disappointed or something.
posted by skewed at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else think that the rose was fucking genius to pass? Like if Margaery got caught she could be like "I am reminding her of Highgarden" but it is just enough for Olenna Tyrell to Know?"
posted by corb at 8:10 AM on June 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


Only problem with this is, the Waif could easily have just slit her throat. Arya had no way of knowing she wouldn't. (I WANT it to be true because I don't want Arya to die and gut wound + canal water = bad news, but what a risky plan if true!)

Ah, but Arya would know that the Waif wants her to suffer, so a throat slit wouldn't make much sense. But multiple gut shots would. Assassins would know this.

Rewatching the scene, the Waif even had a clear shot for slitting her throat and chose not to do so. Plus Arya's expressions seem overly dramatic and she doesn't seem very affected by multiple stab wounds i.e. her headbutting the Waif. Plus the walk through the market, while not asking for helps seems staged now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


corb: "Does anyone else think that the rose was fucking genius to pass? Like if Margaery got caught she could be like "I am reminding her of Highgarden" but it is just enough for Olenna Tyrell to Know?""

And if she was seen drawing it, it's a perfectly natural doodle for a Tyrell.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:04 AM on June 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also on a side note, is Yara the happiest brothel participant ever or what? She's just so delightful. I am now officially okay with brothel scenes if they involve Yara.
posted by corb at 9:20 AM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe Yara's epilogue can be she just travels the cities of Planetos fixing up shitty brothels Gordon Ramsay style, all putting abusive managers to the sword and instituting good labor practices, profit-sharing & retirement plans, etc
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:26 AM on June 6, 2016 [22 favorites]


"Like if Margaery got caught she could be like "I am reminding her of Highgarden" but it is just enough for Olenna Tyrell to Know?"

And it carries a message in itself and in the manner by which it was delivered. It says, 'I am watched constantly. There is danger. I cannot communicate anything else. I am still myself, but I cannot help you." And the way she gave it, secretly, says, "I would do more for you if I could, but even this is the limit of my latitude. I love and trust you. I am sincere."
posted by amtho at 9:50 AM on June 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


Plus, remember that Grandma Tyrell is very proud of her own manipulation skills (rightfully so), but she commented back in season 3 that Margaery was even better. No wonder she was quick to leave, she trusts and respects what Margaery is doing, even if she doesn't know the exact plan.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:25 AM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


> GRRM has given interviews about this -- essentially, he gave the Maesters the power to heal infections of that sort (using natural ingredients/remedies that at least plausibly have antibiotic powers in our own world, harnessed by the Maesters' learning into more effective and reliable remedies) because while it would be true to the underlying late medieval era if everyone went to war and died of tetanus from sword wounds and/or infected papercuts from opening their orders, it would be BORING.

Late medieval era, bah, it would be true in the 1800s! A little consistent acknowledgement that infection is a thing would be nice, if we're going to pretend this show is about actual humans, and it could certainly be worked in to the story in non-boring ways. In fact, it would play very nicely with the oft-repeated "left for dead, did they really die?" plot device.
posted by desuetude at 10:29 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


> Mentioned this in the other thread, but it bears repeating. Narratively, it seems like the best fit is that Arya was playing a con on the waif. Her helpless walk through the market was 100% completely out of character, and only makes sense as a way to broadcast her condition. But the idea that part of her plot was letting an assassin stab her, and hope that the wounds were survivable is too stupid to excuse.

Anya pulling this as a con on the waif would be pretty out of character for both of them, I think. "Planning ahead" is not really what Arya does.
posted by desuetude at 10:41 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


A little consistent acknowledgement that infection is a thing would be nice, if we're going to pretend this show is about actual humans, and it could certainly be worked in to the story in non-boring ways.

Drogo (essentially) died of an infected cut. Arya hounded the Hound constantly about the infected bite on his neck. Qyburn had to do [things which I can't remember exactly but maybe involved cauterization] to drive out the "corruption" in Jaime's arm (without amputating more of it).

Infection/festering is most certainly a known thing in-universe, that people have been shown to have ways of treating (to various levels of effectivity).
posted by sparklemotion at 10:51 AM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Anya pulling this as a con on the waif would be pretty out of character for both of them, I think. "Planning ahead" is not really what Arya does.

Old Arya, sure, who didn't think about the future. New Arya is conscious of it and probably has some sort of plan going here, 'cause those scenes of her buying passage, getting stabbed and then wandering around the market don't make much sense.

The lately theory I've read about is that it was Jaqen disguised as Arya who was stabbed, but that doesn't doesn't make much sense to me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:27 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


The faces change your appearance but I don't think they change your mass...
posted by Justinian at 12:50 PM on June 6, 2016


The lately theory I've read about is that it was Jaqen disguised as Arya who was stabbed, but that doesn't doesn't make much sense to me.

It's been implied that they peel the faces they mask themselves with off of those who have died though?
posted by zarq at 12:51 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anya pulling this as a con on the waif would be pretty out of character for both of them, I think. "Planning ahead" is not really what Arya does.

"Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound."
"Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound."
"Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound. Polliver. The Mountain."
posted by zarq at 12:56 PM on June 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


The faces change your appearance but I don't think they change your mass...

Jaqen and The Waif face swapped
posted by French Fry at 1:19 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm making a prediction: That wasn't Arya on the bridge, and it wasn't The Waif who attacked her. It was The Waif on the bridge, and it was Arya who attacked her. The Waif hates Arya because she's jealous of her old life, so when she's out hunting Arya, she can't resist trying on her face. Or, she put's on Arya's face so she can insinuate herself into wherever Arya is going (the ship), but Arya has set a trap for her. Arya has stabbed The Waif.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:02 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


if Arya was wearing an old woman's face over the Waif's face, I quit the show forever* as that is entirely too many faces for a girl to be wearing

*this vow is non-binding
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:06 PM on June 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think it was really the Waif, but it wasn't Arya, it was a Faceless Man (there are more of them!). I think the Waif was being tested ("don't let her suffer"), and she failed.

This might seem like a waste of a Faceless Man but if you recall, one of them drank poison in front of her just to prove a point last season.

(I also think Arya may have actually passed her own test by refusing to kill the actress, but hasn't been told this fact yet for whatever reason.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:11 PM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Could be. Maybe a faceless man, maybe Arya. Either way, I'm convinced it was The Waif who was stabbed.

It made no sense for Arya to be so surprised by the attack, or to walk through town so surprised at her circumstances. But The Waif - she would be very surprised to be on the receiving end of a hit. She's used to being on the other end of the stabby stabby.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:17 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's been implied that they peel the faces they mask themselves with off of those who have died though?

Yep, you're totally right there. Unless Arya's been killed? Only to be brought back by the Lord of Light, who's sibling with the Many Faced God?! I dunno, it's one of the more bizarre theories out there.

I think outlandish theories about what happened on the bridge will be a thing this week, heh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:38 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


You guys. It was the Waif who stabbed Arya (who either let her guard down because she thought she was on the verge of escape, or was setting a trap but misjudged because the old lady wasn't carrying the waif's ouchstick).

Arya is unwell, but will find herself stumbling into the care of Lady Crane (who has either separated from the acting troupe, or has managed to oust the usurper, and thus can call on the rest of the troupe for aid but now that I keep typing I like the first idea better so actually Lady Crane has left the troupe but has been taken in by some Red Priest(esse)s).

The Lord of Light will heal Arya through his servants, and since the Red People are about to heed Kinvara's call to come to Meereen to preach the gospel of Dany Stormborn, Arya will go along with them.

In Meereen, Arya will be recognized by Varys which will lead to a series of events.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:40 PM on June 6, 2016


Fwiw, and I am far too lazy to rewatch, but I thought the at animating happened with Needle. However that seems unlikely with the reach round stabbys.
posted by Iteki at 2:42 PM on June 6, 2016


It's clearly more than just wearing the faces of the dead as though they are masks, though. There's magic afoot. Jaqen's face was seen on multiple faceless at the same time (when he "died" from the poison). Unless that was just Arya hallucinating.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's been implied that they peel the faces they mask themselves with off of those who have died though?

Arya sees her own face on the corpse of the Faceless Man right before she goes blind, but #magichowdoesthatwork, so who knows what the regular rules are.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:45 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like we've seen enough stabbings in the breadbasket over the course of this show that it's not self-evident that that isn't a reasonable way to kill someone. Roose went out this way and died clean and easy. I mean if the Waif blew her "don't let her suffer" test, they could have made that clear just by having her twist the knife or something. My recollection of the scene is that it looked like she was trying to off her good and quick and conclusively, but got interrupted by that headbutt.

Also if Arya passed her test why would she be made the needs-to-be-killed component of somebody else's test. You're out at least one perfectly good Faceless Person when you could potentially have two if they both pass. Makes no sense.

I am falling back on staged-death-with-mummer's-bloodbag as the least dumb resolution to this cliffhanger.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:45 PM on June 6, 2016


Least dumb resolution is Arya dies. But that would also make way too much screen time completely pointless. Second least dumb resolution is that The Waif was stabbed. This may not be the most realistic plot point, but it does have the satisfaction of - The Waif was stabbed.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:53 PM on June 6, 2016


Didn't the Waif twist the knife in Arya's stomach? I thought I saw knife twisting.
posted by jamaro at 2:54 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


(for values of maybe-not-the-waif's-knife and maybe-not-Arya's-stomach)
posted by jamaro at 2:55 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


well. assuming a spherical Arya, that's the least dumb resolution, but given that we spend what felt like a thousand hours watching her get smacked up by the Waif, ending her storyline this way would, in fact, be the dumbest thing possible by a not-jerking-your-viewers-around-with-bullshit metric
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:56 PM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Didn't the Waif twist the knife in Arya's stomach? I thought I saw knife twisting.

There was knife twisting. In the belly. I've read some youtube comments that are all about which quadrant of the torso which organs are in (which, btw, I fucking love nerds) but I have pretty much zero knowledge of gut parts so I wouldn't be willing to narrow it down to the "stomach" specifically.

From a story perspective: Arya is far, far, far less likely to be dead (right now) than Jon Snow ever was. As much as we all love her, her character hasn't actually moved the overall arc of the story to any major degree. She hasn't done much plotwise, she has no emotional connections to anyone who thinks she's still alive, there's no way that they would spend so much time on a pointless character -- her "moment" is still to come. When Jon was dead, that was right after he saved Castle Black and formed a kind of truce with the Wildlings -- if he died after that, fine.

But then again, I was very wrong about the Hound so maybe take what I say about character arcs with a grain of salt.

If the show needs a self-serving fighter who's kind of a dick and isn't afraid to show it, they can give Bronn some scenes.

At least they take some of my advice...
posted by sparklemotion at 3:14 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also if Arya passed her test why would she be made the needs-to-be-killed component of somebody else's test. You're out at least one perfectly good Faceless Person when you could potentially have two if they both pass. Makes no sense.

If that theory is correct, then it was not Arya who was stabbed, it was another Faceless Man - and we already know they seem to consider themselves perfectly expendable when it comes to their students' tests, because we saw one drink poison and die in front of Arya last season after she killed the wrong target.

And the reason it would have to be (fake-)Arya for the Waif's test is because the Waif has a motive for making Arya suffer, and the purpose of the test would have been to see if she was willing to overcome that urge and give her the clean death as instructed.

My recollection of the scene is that it looked like she was trying to off her good and quick and conclusively

If that's what you want, then you slit somebody's throat, you don't gut-stab them over and over again.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:18 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm so annoyed with the whole concept of Faceless Men rn
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:35 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Honestly -- I think the Waif wanted to end her relatively quickly, but also enjoy it.

So, she aimed for the gut instead of the (available) neck. It would have worked too, but she got caught up in her gloating and underestimated Arya. She thought she had her (at 0:08) and wanted Arya to see her face as she twisted the knife. That cliche was enough to give Arya the chance she needed.

Like, I get why theorizing that what we say wasn't really what we saw is fun, but to me the straightforward reading seems like the least dumb (even if that means that Arya was being stupid and cocky because it's not like we've never seen Arya be stupid and cocky before).
posted by sparklemotion at 3:49 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


True, she's been stupid and cocky before, but I guess for me, if Arya learned nothing from the Faceless Men AND we don't use the conceit of the Faceless Men for any kind of game-of-cups, sleight-of-hand razzle-dazzle, then it all seems rather pointless to me (except of course for the point in her gut). Like, I'd rather they had left her blind than that the whole trip made no difference one way or the other.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:58 PM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't think that Arya learned "nothing." She knows how to take and use faces. She might even know how to make faces. That's on top of the poisoning techniques that she knows now (which she could have learned elsewhere, I'm sure).

If she ends up dying next episode, then yeah, this would have been pointless and stupid. But we know she's going to live, and I think there are places that the story could go with this that are more interesting than head-faking The Waif.

Think about how influential the Faceless Men are in Braavos (they founded it, apparently, and every Braavosi knows the magic words and what it means when they see a coin). Now, there is someone who is Faceless-trained, but not one of them running around. She could shake thinks up, if she stayed in town.

And part of me kind of wants her to, if only to figure out what the link between the House of Black and White and the Iron Bank is.
posted by sparklemotion at 4:18 PM on June 6, 2016


I could totally see that, and it would be an interesting way to take it for sure. But I suppose at some point in the not too distant future I'd just want to see all this training pay off in Arya survival skills. And if she needs rescuing, yet again? Well, that's more disappointing than a one-handed king-slayer at a pointless siege. She had better instincts than that back when she was making a buddy picture with Sandor Clegane. And at some point, don't Jaqen and The Waif have to start taking some responsibility for just plain being shit teachers? What is this, Trump University?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:59 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think it was arya that was stabbed and it was the waif that stabbed A Girl. I think arya was meant by the waif, Quentin Tarantino style, to wander and "suffer too much", just what A Man asked the waif not to do to A Girl.

My guess is she's going to find the actors and they are gonna fix her up.

Separate topic: is anyone watching After the Thrones. I think it's enjoyable. It's "show only".
posted by about_time at 6:15 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I tried watching it for this episode and had to turn it off because the female guest? Host? didn't know what the hell she was talking about. Plus the show looks ridiculously low rent, so its hard to take seriously.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:47 PM on June 6, 2016


We're watching After The Thrones and, yes, enjoying it. They do sort of rush around alot, think it would be a better show if it weren't as scripted (as my husband remarked), but it's fairly entertaining and those 2 guys totally are channeling the Siskel and Ebert vibe. (Animation graphics are cute, and that shame bell is a good gimmick.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:54 PM on June 6, 2016


I mean basically HBO looked at Talking Dead and said 'we could do that but pared down', but it's still worth tuning in.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:55 PM on June 6, 2016


I tried watching it for this episode and had to turn it off because the female guest? Host? didn't know what the hell she was talking about.

Mallory Rubin? I assure you she very much knows what's she's talking about. That whole crew did a GoT podcast (part of the defunct Grantland) last year, and Mallory and Jason have encyclopedic knowledge of the books.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:58 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Jaqen impersonating Arya, sets Waif up to violate her conditions, as wounded-Arya lowers Cersei-actress' guard, fulfull contract that Arya failed.

Theon + Arya, Jaqen sees Arya leave and is sad.
posted by porpoise at 8:36 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


No, I assure you she didn't know what she was talking about. The books don't matter, she was talking something about the show that plainly had not occurred on the show. It was bizarre.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:51 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Specifically she called Grandma Tyrell a hypocrite for supposedly letting her personal feelings get in the way of joining forces with Cersei. But neither her nor the others mentioned the crucial bit about Oleana knowing that Margaery is faking her conversion. That's a huge piece of information that the experts just simply don't mention, yet it shapes Oleana's response to Cersei in that she sees no need to align because Margaery is playing the game and is much more capable of getting shit done.

Then she talks about Sansa being petty for wanting to shove "a paring knife into Ramsey," which Sansa hasn't talked about doing. Her stated goal has been to take back Winterfell and rescue Rickon. While she no doubt wouldn't mind Ramsey being killed, she hasn't framed taking back Winterfell as personal vengeance for herself, so Mallory framing it in that light was just odd nonsense.

Then she implies that Sansa is foolish for writing to Baelish for troops, saying she's making a mistake by trusting him. That struck me as one note and not very nuanced. Sansa doesn't trust Baelish at all, she's simply being practical in terms of getting more troops.

The guys weren't much better either, seemingly more concerned with being clever and showing off their knowledge of tv show and movies, rather than saying anything interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:27 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Arya will now decide that sometimes the smartest thing is to not try to get revenge on the person who stabbed you. This will show how much she has learned.
posted by RobotHero at 10:30 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Anya pulling this as a con on the waif would be pretty out of character for both of them, I think. "Planning ahead" is not really what Arya does.

"Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound."
"Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound."
"Joffrey. Cersei. Ilyn Payne. The Hound. Polliver. The Mountain."


That's not planning. Planning is figuring out the "how."

Look, I like Arya as a character very much, I'm just saying that she's more of a gritty adapter than she is a cunning strategist. She accomplishes her goals through her strength of conviction, not prescient calculations.
posted by desuetude at 10:31 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Arya Stark: Not Batman.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:07 PM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: Not Batman.
posted by amtho at 4:11 AM on June 7, 2016


I think there is something else going on with Arya and the Faceless men. The whole thing just doesn't make sense. If the Waif is Arya's senior, and the Faceless teach dispassionate, non-identity as their core skill, then it makes no sense for the Waif to hate Arya so much. It just doesn't. There's no reason for it, and it's inconsistent with how things are supposed to be.

Also, isn't it weird how Jaqhen just showed up at Harrenhall to help Arya?

There's some weird Stark destiny thing playing out for Arya, and this whole situation is more than just her learning how to be a ninja and then escaping (or dying).
posted by natteringnabob at 4:36 AM on June 7, 2016


If the Waif is Arya's senior, and the Faceless teach dispassionate, non-identity as their core skill, then it makes no sense for the Waif to hate Arya so much. It just doesn't. There's no reason for it, and it's inconsistent with how things are supposed to be

This is why I believe the theory upthread that this was a test for The Waif and The Waif failed.
posted by GrapeApiary at 7:29 AM on June 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Hmmm...I'm coming around to this being a test for The Waif (who failed it, because she is the worst). BUT, I still think it was Arya who got shanked.

I'd say its a toss-up as to whether it is Jaqen or Lady Crane who ends up helping her out.

plot twist: Is there any reason why Jaqen couldn't have been Lady Crane all along?

Also, isn't it weird how Jaqhen just showed up at Harrenhall to help Arya?

Jaqen did owe a girl a life debt. I could believe that he followed her to Harrenhall.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:38 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Theon and Yara are going to find Arya. The show wants to condense plot lines/locations not expand them. That's where I'm placing my bet.

100 of your finest internet fake american dollars.
posted by French Fry at 7:55 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Plus I kind of like the symmetry of Theon+Arya and Sansa+Jon the two not-quite stark boys with the legit Stark sister they liked the least. In both cases the sister has been on this sort of weird tutelage quest while the brother has primarily just been unmade/broken.
posted by French Fry at 8:37 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]




I kind of want Ser Davos to start a group home/support group for Princesses and Highborn Ladies Whose Familes Are Terrible And/Or Dead...
posted by TwoStride at 9:11 AM on June 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think that probably this is a for-the-show simplification of some fifteen page long chase before stabbing in the books we will probably never see. So you have Arya turning her back, because they have only so much time to get to the stabbing when you're also establishing the Blackfish and setting up Winterfell:Rumble and bringing back the Hound. I know I tend to feel like it's so dense that three minutes of fight scene is three minutes of story I'm not getting.
posted by corb at 9:56 AM on June 7, 2016


that seemed like a huge waste of Ian McShane.

FWIW, I thought that this was a perfect use of Ian McShane: a little self-contained story that bridges the Hound back into the story, gives McShane some scenery to chew on, but which doesn't introduce yet another significant-character-played-by-big-actor into the ongoing story.

He was riveting to watch in those vignettes, but at this point it feels like the show needs to be, and is, narrowing its narrative down to the key players. Adding a recurring BIG IAN MCSHANE PERFORMANCE every week would dilute that.

Along these lines, I've noticed that this season is making better choices about focus. It used to be quite choppy in its need to check in with every character in every episode; now it's more comfortable about having characters, locations, plotlines sit out entire episodes. Makes room for longer scenes for the characters the episode is focusing on.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:55 AM on June 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Margaery made an understandable error via withholding sex from Tommen.
That wasn't a mistake. She doesn't want to get pregnant. Because the Lannisters are going to go down hard, Tommen is weak, and she is going to take her sweet self elsewhere ASAP.
posted by bq at 11:35 AM on June 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I mean, seriously, Loras needs to confess, forswear his title, go home and restart his life 'as a free man'? She couldn't am have been more explicit. LITERALLY COULD NOT because sister creepy was right there.
posted by bq at 11:36 AM on June 7, 2016 [2 favorites]



Along these lines, I've noticed that this season is making better choices about focus. It used to be quite choppy in its need to check in with every character in every episode; now it's more comfortable about having characters, locations, plotlines sit out entire episodes
.

Yeah this was the second episode in a row without an appearance by Tyrion. Has there been a single episode prior to this that hasn't shown him?
posted by nushustu at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


And let's not forget that at this point they seem to be hoping that we've all forgotten about Dorne.
posted by TwoStride at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2016


Dorne? Never heard of it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:30 PM on June 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah this was the second episode in a row without an appearance by Tyrion. Has there been a single episode prior to this that hasn't shown him?

If you trust the Wikia
Season 1: You Win or You Die
Season 3: The Rains of Castamere
Season 4: First of His Name, The Watchers on the Wall
Season 6: Blood of My Blood, The Broken Man

(minor spoilers on that particular wikia page if you, like me, have been avoiding episode titles before watching)
posted by sparklemotion at 1:24 PM on June 7, 2016




Did we actually see her send it?
posted by sparklemotion at 2:21 PM on June 7, 2016


It's pretty clear that it was sent.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:05 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dear "Littlefinger, " LOL!

Wassup? Just kidding, before. Bring The Knights of the Vale to Winterfell. You will be "well rewarded," IYKWIM. Among other "gifts," I will personally present you with Ramsay Bolton's prized hunting dogs. I think you'll be impressed.

Winter is Coming,
Sansa
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:05 PM on June 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I know I've been on the internet too much because when I clicked on "What Sansa's probably letter said" I fully and completely expected a picture of dickbutt.
posted by Justinian at 4:18 PM on June 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Justinian, check your mail.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:34 PM on June 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ser Dickard Butt, as he is known in Westeros
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:36 PM on June 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


--(you up?)
(what is it sansa?)--
--(we r on bear island)
--(lyanna is a total badass)
(I know)--
--(but like, they do not have a ton of dudes)
--(we r fuckt)
--(do you have an army or anything?)
(I'll be right over)--
posted by Rock Steady at 5:03 PM on June 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


But it's lazy writing or, more charitably, fan service to have Ian McShane's character direct his exposition soliloquy to the Hound. How hard would it be to have some church-building newb say "What's up with the big guy?" Then subsequent scenes between Brother Bill and The Hound could have laid much more significant groundwork for us to chew on via-a-vis if/how The Hound has changed.
posted by carmicha at 5:04 PM on June 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


But it's lazy writing or, more charitably, fan service to have Ian McShane's character direct his exposition soliloquy to the Hound. How hard would it be to have some church-building newb say "What's up with the big guy?

Brother Ray was an extrovert. A charming one, but still an extrovert, so yeah, it makes sense that he just starts recounting shit that they both know.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:39 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Two random observations on rewatch:
  • Jon channels his inner Rumsfeld when he tells Sansa that "you go war with the army you have"
  • The waif does a perfectly executed Picard maneuver after she watches Arya's blood spread in the river

posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:43 AM on June 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Also, when the Starks were speaking to House Glover and Sansa spoke up, Jon gave her a look like "No don't" and then shook his had as she kept talking. As if he was more savvy about speaking to this particular House.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I caught that Picard Maneuver, too. It was like an extra brush-off.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:46 AM on June 8, 2016


The waif does a perfectly executed Picard maneuver after she watches Arya's blood spread in the river

Oh, this reminds me: that blood-in-the-water shot was THE FAKIEST CGI EVER, and I hardly ever notice things like that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:17 AM on June 8, 2016


If you watch carefully, they used some fancy camera shots to make Sandor look really big. Maybe getting ready for a big fight? Just a guess...
posted by pearlybob at 1:29 PM on June 8, 2016


FYI, the season finale on June 26 will be 70 minutes, so adjust your recording devices.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 PM on June 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been assuming that Sandor will be hired to fight FrankenMountain at Cersei's trial by combat.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:33 PM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The battle will be between the Church's champion and the Queen's champion. Certainly they just spent a lot of time showing us why Sandor might decide to enroll in a fighting church order.
posted by bq at 10:45 PM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not really, they showed us the The Hound somewhere far North, about to get his mad on against the Brotherhood without Banners. He'd have to make it down to King's Landing, which usually requires a character being absent from an episode or two as they travel a long distance and there's only three episodes left. Not saying it couldn't happen, but curious to see how they do it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:48 AM on June 9, 2016


I bet the Clegen Bowl is held back for Ep1 next year. The High Sparrow and Cersei will get to survive into next season.
posted by humanfont at 8:03 AM on June 9, 2016


Late thoughts:
  • I was really looking forward to the Irish Burning Man/Building-Type Event, before all the pacifists were slaughtered for their food and women and iron* to make a dumb point about the world being hard place for non-violence;
  • I love seeing Sansa as assertive, but I feel like she found the limit to her strong assertions about the Stark Name and History, which is a good chance for her to grow as a character. Stark was a strong name and house, but vows were broken and then there was the Red Wedding, and the Starks couldn't play their role as protector for their liege houses;
  • Yara had the best speech this episode, as she actually convinced someone who wasn't 100% on board, though she had to get Theon drunk first (that is either some terrible ale, or Theon has trouble drinking). Sansa and Jon were pretty weak in this field, with Davos only being helpful in one of the two recruiting missions. Where was the talk of the Night King with the Glovers?
* The marauding whoever they were left behind food, (dead) women and axes, so clearly they weren't really there for the listed items, so they were there to make a preemptive religion-driven strike, with the bonus benefit of Motivating a Key Character.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2016


How many Broken Men did you count in this episode. Theon and the Hound were the obvious ones, but I'd place Jamie in that category also.

Edmure and his captors, as they're all living in miserable conditions, not their prior lives of comfort, if not wealth. And then there are the three worshipers of the Red God on horseback who threaten the pacifists, which parallel the general idea of broken men mentioned in the books (NO SPOILERS for the show or the book, just a good long quote that describes men who go off to fight in battles and wars and break along the way, doing terrible things to survive).

The Glovers are also broken, to a degree- they were on Team Stark until Robb broke his vow to the Freys and got himself and his followers murdered at the Red Wedding.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would figure that Cleganebowl would be an episode 9 big battle.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:37 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


If the Hound fights the Mountain, I'm worried he might 1) die and/or 2) lose, with seeing Arya and Brienne again. I'm very curious to see how he would handle meeting both of them again, either together or separately.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:46 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The title for Episode 9 seems to indicate that it will be the battle for Winterfell. I think Cersei will try to make a run for Casterly Rock next week. She needs to return to the family home and have some freedom to maneuver her way back to power. She isn't going to be able to do that where she's staying now.
posted by humanfont at 1:41 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The title for the final episode for this season makes it sound like anything or nothing could happen. Or maybe it's just GRRM reading another chapter from his as-of-yet unpublished next novel.

I checked IMDb to read episode titles. WARNING: IMDb LISTS A DESCRIPTION FOR NEXT WEEK THAT SPOILS THE EPISODE. WTF IMDb? IT'S ONLY THREE SENTENCES LONG.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM on June 9, 2016


I'd like to make the case that titles for future episodes count as "events that take place in future episodes," and ask that we not talk about them in compliance with the spoiler policy.

Conjectures around the fact that Episode 9 is always the BIG DEAL episode doesn't bother me, but I had aspects of the red wedding spoiled for me by people talking about "The Rains of Castamere" as an episode title before the air date.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:54 PM on June 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


What sparklemotion said.

(I could also do without all the book-inflected GET HYPE speculation in this show-only thread.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:01 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I checked IMDb to read episode titles. WARNING: IMDb LISTS A DESCRIPTION FOR NEXT WEEK THAT SPOILS THE EPISODE. WTF IMDb? IT'S ONLY THREE SENTENCES LONG.

I've seen people on the asoiaf boards say that it's easy for random people to edit imdb entries, so maybe it's just conjecture?
posted by drezdn at 3:19 PM on June 9, 2016


While cutting up potatoes for potato salad, my mind started wandering about Cersei and how she doesn't seem to have much left. And the wildfire under King's Landing. And she's talked several times about if she doesn't get her way, she'll burn cities to the ground. And if the Hound does fight the Mountain in her trial by combat, Sandor's got an awful lot of hate in him, probably for his brother and he just might win.

What happens if he wins? I don't think Cersei is executed, but a long time in the dungeon sounds like it could happen. What would she do to prevent that from happening? Burn everything? Make a play to sacrifice Tommen somehow? Maybe burn the city to prevent anyone else from getting Tommen? She had seriously considered killing him when the battle of Blackwater looked like it might not go the Lannister way (She was sitting on the Iron Throne and getting ready to feed him poison).

As to Episode nine, that's got to be the Battle for Winterfell, it's the only huge thing they've been talking about for several episodes now. I guessing the Starks win, mostly because Jon knows Winterfell very well and can leverage things so his smaller troop number don't matter as much. Plus everything we've heard about Wildings and Mormonts say they're fierce fighters.

Which reminds me that Baelish's troops are already in the area. He could march on Winterfell with just the troops of the Vale. But he's waiting for Sansa to come to him, not from a position of power, but need, so he can extract more of what he wants from her. A promise to marry Robyn? A promise to marry him? Probably Robyn, as it would unite the Vale and the North. I hope this doesn't go badly for Sansa, 'cause it looks like it will.

Finally, apple cider in potato salad is pretty tasty!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:19 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think "Get Hype" is now show-only compliant, though I recognize it might not have been before we saw the Hound.
posted by corb at 5:47 PM on June 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


And she's talked several times about if she doesn't get her way, she'll burn cities to the ground.

I don't think that we were reminded of the wildfire by Bran's visions for nothing. And Cersei did have a relationship with the pyromancers.
posted by sparklemotion at 5:48 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It would be really interesting if Cleganebowl became disrupted because the brothers refused to fight each other. Like maybe the Mountain feels guilt about burning the Hound... who has learned forgiveness and the joys of peaceful living from Brother Ray. That would leave a Sparrow|Cersei impasse as the cliffhanger.
posted by carmicha at 9:39 PM on June 9, 2016


lol are we watching the same channel

does anyone on hbo ever NOT choose violence? (or sex, if sex is also an option)
posted by Jacqueline at 9:47 PM on June 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


maybe the Mountain feels guilt

Does Zombie!Mountain feel anything?
posted by crossoverman at 10:49 PM on June 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


It would be really interesting if Cleganebowl became disrupted because the brothers refused to fight each other.

The only way this would happen is if Sandor refused to fight his brother. The Mountain is completely loyal to Cersei and will do her bidding and if she says "Be my champion in a trial by combat," then he'll fight whoever is on the other side of the ring.

After witnessing the Hound's return, I'll be disappointed if he does wind up going against his brother, because the narrative leaps to get there are huge at this point. He's far away, has no idea what's going on and it's not even clear that the general public is aware of Cersei's trial by combat.

Plus, it'll mean that Sandor is still full of hate and hasn't learned to let go. He'll still be driven by a lot of his past demons. I'd prefer to see the character stay in the North and eventually land at Winterfell, perhaps in time for the big battle. He would be welcomed by Sansa and he'd probably gain a measure of peace serving her and/or Jon. They'd at least give him a home of sorts, with a code and honorable way of life.

He'd still be a tool (machinery wise, not personality) of sorts, still killing when necessary or ordered for a Great House. But it would be helluva better than being a tool for the High Sparrow and the Faith.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:43 AM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


crossoverman: Does Zombie!Mountain feel anything?

Maybe the squelsch of some random dude's head as he smooshes it against a wall, but that's about it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:04 AM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


someone in one of these threads speculated that Ser Zombie has Joffrey's head and that's why we never see his face. I sure do expect *some* kinda reveal when that helmet comes off. So even though it does seem super-likely and the only reasonable source of a human body of that size and shape was The Mountain, the show has ever-so-carefully shown us precisely nothing about that body and how it came to be reanimated. It would be uncharacteristic of the show not to take advantage of this carefully constructed opportunity to surprise us.
posted by mwhybark at 7:24 AM on June 10, 2016


Nah, it's the mountain's head up there, you can tell it's still his original face in a few cut ups.

If anything, it would be like the show to have Mountain beaten, have helmet knocked off and then beg to be killed, because he can't take being alive anymore and being someone's tool.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:38 AM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Actually, the only way they could make it cool if it isn't the Mountain's head would be if it were Ned's head, still nice and gamy from all the time it spent sitting on a spike. Sewed onto the Mountain's body. THAT would be creepy and shocking.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:57 PM on June 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Any bets on what happens to Arya?

I think she's already connected with the acting troupe and is faking the extent of her injuries to lull the Waif into being over aggressive and sloppy. Arya will lead her underground or to some dark place where she can face the Waif on a more even field and then try to kill her. But she'll fail, because the Waif is also used to fighting blind, and is a better fighter than Arya. The Waif will toy with her a bit before going for the killing stroke, only to be stopped by Jaqen, who will kill her for making this personal. With a death given to the Many Faced God, Jaqen tells her Arya she is free of the Faceless Men and can go back to Westros.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


New theory on rewatch! That wasn't Arya on the bridge, that was someone else impersonating her and yes, booking her passage home. That person's death will be a payment to the Red God, allowing Arya to go free. The Waif lives, stays with Jaqen, having learned a valuable lesson about making things personal.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


It struck me on my rewatch: they put the Hound reveal as the cold open because otherwise Rory McCann's name in the titles would have spoiled the surprise.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:33 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


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