Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 8 recap: No longer No One
The following is a recap of episode 8 from the sixth season of Game of Thrones, and it contains spoilers. Many spoilers.
David Benioff and DB Weiss obviously don't have the same penchant for blood as George RR Martin does. This episode might just be reflective of a bigger point: that for all of George RR Martin's failings, his ego, his sadism, his tardiness; he is probably a more clever and elegant storyteller than show runners.
So even though they've been great at moving the story forward and reaching certain plot points efficiently, the journey has perhaps been a little less interesting.
Because if you're going to kill the Blackfish - it should have been on camera.
And then Arya and the Waif finally have their big showdown and we don't see any of it?
But maybe my expectations for this episode were abnormally high after two episodes that primarily focused on plot points. Or perhaps HBO decided to save some dough for the stunts for next week's Bastard Bowl.
But it did have some high points: a furious Hound cursing at every one, the end of the siege of Riverrun, the return of Brothers Without Banners and that one shot of Mereen being attacked.
A girl is someone
After a performance, Lady Crane discovers Arya in her dressing room area, bleeding and in desperate need of help.
Benevolent Lady Crane stitches up Arya (after revealing she has a habit of stabbing her boyfriends), and forces Arya to drink some milk of the poppy. But of course Arya wakes up to a find a very dead Lady Crane with the Waif standing over her.
What unfolds next on the street of Braavos is a mix of a some parkour and a chase scene straight out of Terminator 2. (It's a nightmare we all share, right? You're frantically trying to run for your life, while a vicious young lady with a shitty bob cut is trying to kill you).
Eventually, Arya wounds reopen but she manages to lure the Waif back to her hiding spot and with Needle in hand, Arya extinguishes the candle in the room.
Because remember that whole time Arya was blind? She learned to fight in the dark. The Waif did not.
Unfortunately, we don't see any of this fight. Which was so disappointing considering this final showdown has been teased for weeks.
But Game of Thrones has turned us into bloodthirsty monsters, demanding bloody spectacles week after week.
I had also held out hope until the candle part that the entire injury/getting caught was all an elaborate ruse to lure the Waif to her death. But Arya really was injured, really was that stupid in the last episode, and somehow still manages to win.
A quick cut to the House of Black and White, and there's a blood trail that has caught Jaqen's interest. He follows it back to the Hall of Faces, where he discovers that Arya gave the Waif a serious facial peeling.
"Finally a girl is No One," he says to Arya, who raises Needle.
"A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home."
The Hound unleashed
The Hound is not no one, either, as we saw last week. It's nice to see him back doing what he does best: beating the living crap out of people.
Wasn't expecting him to meet up with the Brotherhood Without Banners so soon, but was more than happy to see that Brotherhood is tough on criminals and haven't forgotten their core philosophy.
But if there was ever a time to see Lady Stoneheart, this is it. Her name came up many times in this episode, so it's literally now or never. And most likely never.
The attack of the masters
Across the Narrow Sea, in Meereen, a red priestess is preaching for Daenerys. But Varys isn't pleased at all. "You made a pact with fanatics," he warns Tyrion, before heading off on a 'secret mission' to Westeros.
Tyrion is sad to see his friend go. But Varys points out, "I can't go off on a secret mission in the company of the most famous dwarf in the city."
Tyrion (being Tyrion), can't help himself: "The most famous dwarf in the world," he adds.
Back at the pyramid, a terribly awkward drinking game that Tyrion forces on Missandei and Grey Worm is mercifully ended by masters from other cities returning to claim "their property".
And in a great case of television-style timing, there's a large thump on the roof of the pyramid and lo and behold, it's Daenerys to the rescue.
'I choose violence'
Elsewhere in King's Landing, Cersei isn't having a great time. Tommen seems to be doing everything in his power to make sure she doesn't see season 7.
After she refuses to go and visit the High Sparrow we get the "I choose violence" moment - which meant FrankenMountain happily popped the head off a Sparrow before Lancel Lannister and his brethren ran back to the Sept to tell on them.
That violent moment is exactly why Tommen makes a public service announcement about how disobeying the Faith means disobeying the Crown. On top of that, Tommen sets a date for her trial and outlaws trials by combat leaving her incredibly vulnerable and Cleganebowl fans everywhere screaming.
But the most important bit of information came from Qybern. The rumour Qyburn is speaking of is most likely the wildfire being stored all across King's Landing by the Mad King.
Two plus two =
it's easy to understand what her plan from here on out is, thanks to Qyburn's help if you read between the lines. And recall the wildfire in Bran's visions this season.
In the Riverlands
While Brienne and Jaime meet for a reunion, an even better one unfolds outside their tent - Bronn and Podrick - the bromance we never knew we wanted until it arrived. The pair engage in some good old fashioned bro time, Bronn punches Pod in the face and talks about how everyone would totally get with Brienne if they had the chance (don't let Tormund catch you saying that).
It's not all fun and games with Jaime and Brienne, though. Brienne wants Jaime to allow the Blackfish and his army to leave Riverrun peacefully, and to join her as she travels back north to help Sansa win her war against the Boltons.
It's a neat plan from Brienne, since it allows Jaime to complete the technical parameters of his mission - chase the Blackfish out of Riverrun - without dirtying his hands by killing the kin of a woman he once swore an oath to. Jaime, although he doesn't say so in as many words, agrees, and allows Brienne to enter the castle.
But all Jaimie wants is to get back to Cersei and to do that he has to take Riverrun, and no one, BUT NO ONE, is going to stand in his way. Or so he tells Edmure Tully in a powerful scene while convincing him to hand over Riverrun.
After threatening his family of course. Because "the things we do for love".
And now for the Battle of the Bastards.