Summary: The High Sparrow, Kevan and the Tyrells gather in the Sept of Baelor for Cersei's trial. Cersei blows up the Sept and kills all of them. Tommen commits suicide in grief. Sam arrives in Oldtown. Davos reveals what Melisandre has done and Jon banishes her. Jon is declared King in the North. Bran visits the past and discovers that Jon is actually the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar. Dany secures allegiances with Dorne and Olenna. Tyrion is named Hand of the Queen. Dany finally heads towards Westeros.
The Good: This was a great season finale with a number of stand-out moments which delivered. It's a big step up from the debacle that ended season 5.
The destruction of the Sept was a stellar sequence. As this show has gone on, the production has gotten better and better. With the spectacle of the previous episode and now the fantastically artistic sequence in this episode, it seems hard to imagine any other show ever pulling of cinematic feats like this. I appreciate that so much attention was given to this one moment as it was a massive event which changes the story significantly as Cersei has suddenly put herself in a position where she holds all power, getting sweet revenge on all of her enemies by blowing them up. Except Septa Unella, who she has much "better" plans for. It was in-character for Cersei to do something as crazy as this and it provided a fitting conclusion to the Margaery/Cersei feud. Margaery was great at playing the game, so to beat her Cersei destroyed the game. It's a great bit of storytelling. Also, I thought the musical piece composed specifically for this sequence was superb and darkly beautiful. Finally, I'll spare a thought for Pycelle who died a brutal death which was a long time coming.
The fallout of the explosion was handled well too. I appreciated seeing Jaime come back to Cersei sitting on the iron throne, having murdered many innocents with wildfire. She committed the very crime that Jaime sacrificed his honour to prevent and I'm sure that this will lead to some big conflict between them.
I enjoyed Jon's storyline too. Davos exploding at Melisandre was terrific and I really felt something for him, brought forward by Liam Cunningham's outstanding performance. He was so good here that it makes me genuinely confused why he wasn't given more time to mourn Stannis and Shireen's deaths last season. Hopefully there will be more for Davos to do next season but I'm not too sure where he goes from here. Jon being crowned King in the North was a great moment and a nice callback to Robb earning his men's loyalty back in season 1.
Speaking of Jon, we finally got to know who his mother was! Of course it wasn't a particularly big surprise as many people had already pieced it together, but I still really appreciated the reveal. The cut to Jon's face with a music cue was a tremendous way to give us this reveal without saying a word of expositional dialogue. I have been hard on this show for the past two seasons for being weaker in the details, but I admit that this was exceptionally well done.
I'm glad to see that Dany has made some allies in Westeros. Naturally, Cersei being on the throne has angered some of the kingdoms and so they have thrown in their lot with Dany. Gaining the allegiances of Dorne and the Reach is very big for Dany, and I look forward to the strategies which will be involved in her inevitable clash with Cersei. Also, we got some nice scenes of Olenna being Olenna which I will never complain about. I'm beyond pleased that Dany is finally heading to Westeros, and I can't wait to see what will come next season.
Sam's story was brief but very good. It was nice to finally see Oldtown and the Citadel, plus it gave the show another reason to show off its lovely special effects. I really liked Sam's glee at finally having access to the library and I got a laugh out of him trying to say something to Gilly, only to excitedly shuffle away to the library.
The Bad: I thought Tommen's death was a sad and powerful moment, but it was hurt by a weak follow-up to it. Namely the fact that Cersei didn't really react at all to his death. We know that Cersei values her children above everything, so why didn't we get more? Surely that story warranted a bit more focus as it could have led to a great realization for Cersei as she faces the consequences of her actions. Instead, we have been given the story that she no longer cares and appears to have completely lost it. I am fine with that story, but it needed to be built up in prior episodes, more than just some moments of foreshadowing.
I wasn't happy with Dany making Tyrion her hand. What reason has Tyrion given to her for her to award him this position? Tyrion failed to rule Meereen while she was gone and caused a siege, so why does she put her faith in him? If Tyrion had been more successful and had the two of them shared more than three scenes together, this may have had greater impact. For example, if Jorah was in this scene instead it would be very emotional. Instead, we get Tyrion being made Dany's hand simply because it's a cool moment.
I did not like Walder Frey's death at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see him dead but the way it happened was extremely unsatisfactory. It's very disappointing that the two men responsible for the red wedding, Frey and Roose, both died lame deaths. The problem with this death is that it made no sense. Arya left Braavos two episodes ago. Yet somehow she made it all the way to Westeros and crossed half the continent to get to The Twins. And after that she was able to easily infiltrate the place with her new abilities and murdered the Freys and took out Walder with total ease. Why should we care? This doesn't feel like a character journey for Arya at all. She just killed him and there was nothing to it. No relief, no specific satisfaction for Arya after a executing a tough job. All we are left with is "oh good Walder Frey is dead". That is nowhere near enough for the man responsible for one of the most brutal moments in TV history.
Cersei was told to confess as soon as she was thrown into her cell. Did Loras not get the same option? He was broken a long time ago, so why didn't he just confess back then?
The Unknown: What will Sam learn at the Citadel?
Where will Melisandre go now? To Cersei? Dany? Perhaps she will secure an alliance with Dany.
How will Jaime react to Cersei's actions?
Best Moment: The entire 10 minute sequence of the destruction of the Sept was outstanding. The production made this really feel like one of the great TV moments.
Character of the Episode: Cersei.
Conclusion: This episode delivered an explosive ending to the season which changed the story in big ways and sets up season 7 very nicely. There were some issues with this, but as a whole it was tremendously exciting and exceeded my expectations.
This season was thankfully a big improvement over the last but it still feels like something is missing from the show that was there before. This season was consistent and aside from "No One", there wasn't anything particularly bad about it, except the obvious flaws for each individual episode. However, the show does feel changed. This was perhaps the most eventful season to date, yet it was my second-least favourite. I believe this is because the show has run out of book material to adapt, and without GRRM's impeccable writing, the storylines have become simpler, less poignant and at times rushed. However, none of these flaws feels like they ruin the season. The biggest blessing for this show is that it has already invested me in its characters and storylines. Because of that, I still get a lot of enjoyment from these 10 episodes, and while it doesn't live up to the high standards of season 1-4, I can still say it was a good, fun season. Now with 13 episodes left, its time to see if "Game of Thrones" can have a final act that lives up to the high expectations.
Summary: Dany attempts to get the masters to surrender. They refuse so Dany unleashes the Dothraki and her dragons on them. Tyrion brokers a peace agreement, killing the 2 head masters in exchange. Dany meets with Yara and Theon. They form an alliance. Jon and Sansa make final plans before battle. Both armies confront each other. Ramsay kills Rickon which infuriates Jon. The battle starts and Ramsay quickly gets the advantage. Littlefinger arrives with his army to turn the tables. Ramsay retreats to Winterfell but the door is broken by Wun Wun who dies. Jon defeats Ramsay and takes Winterfell. Sansa lets Ramsay's hounds eat and kill him.
The Good: Visually speaking, this was the most impressive episode that "Game of Thrones" has ever done. The assault on Meereen and the titular battle were shot spectacularly with gorgeous special effects and cinematography. I have never seen a TV show come as close to producing a movie-quality hour as this one episode. It is a tremendous feat.
The spectacle in Meereen was pretty neat to watch. I will admit that it is extremely satisfying to see Dany finally living up to our expectations and conquering a city with fire and blood, which has been hyped for a long time now. I've been annoyed that Dany has taken so long to start conquering, but the wait has somewhat paid off because the moment feels much sweeter than it would have if it happened back in season 3.
On the other side of the episode, the chaos of the central battle was superbly conveyed. The whole thing was an entertaining and jaw-dropping fight scene which delivered an appropriate amount of thrills and brutality. I especially loved some of the cinematography done in this battle. I really liked the camera following the arrows as they flew through the air into the battle. The sound effects were just as superb as the visuals. Better than that were the artistic shots to take us through the battle. The longshot showing Jon fighting is the battle was incredibly well done and left me really impressed at the co-ordination that it must have taken. The scene itself did a fantastic job of showcasing the brutality of battle by having Jon encounter many close calls while viciously fighting anyone that he could. The other scene I want to point out is when Jon was being trampled by his own army. It was a horrific thought conveyed perfectly as I legitimately felt claustrophobic because of the way the camera constantly showed us the rapidly moving army from the eyes of Jon who was suffering beneath all of it.
The conclusion of the battle was pretty good as well. It was great to see Ramsay get his comeuppance and his brutal death was fitting for his character. It's good to finally be rid of his vile and torturous attitude.
I got a laugh out of Yara subtly hinting at enjoying a wedding with Dany. A lot of the dialogue between Dany and Yara was pretty well written.
The Bad: Unfortunately I found a lot of this episode to be lacking in substance. Sure, it was very pretty and exciting to watch, but there were many gaps underneath the surface.
The first issues come from Meereen. The problem is that I wasn't very invested in Dany conquering Meereen. The set-up to this final confrontation was quite poor and I was never once excited for this big upcoming climax in the previous episodes. It just sort of happened, and then Dany came back to clean it up. It was cool, but what was the purpose of it? No character arcs were furthered and there was no development whatsoever. It was a fun scene but it lacked emotion and depth. Sadly it was not memorable and a few days after watching the episode, the scene has not stuck with me at all. Surely a climax like this ought to have resonated more than it did?
The dealings with Yara and Dany were fine but it had one really dumb moment, and unfortunately that moment is central to the whole scene. That moment was Yara agreeing to abandon her entire way of life to suit Dany's needs. She has lived with the Ironborn her entire life yet for some reasons he thinks they will just agree to stop raiding and pillaging. Has she met them? No way that any of them agree to this. Yara would be kicked off of the salt throne in mere minutes if she goes through with this.
Before I get to my qualms about the battle, I have to address the problem which has plagued this whole season. That problem is that the show has taken a liking for paint-by-the-numbers fantasy cliche scenes. The first four seasons would never have indulged in any generic scenes but this season has been full of them. It's worth noting how extremely basic this season has felt and the show has lost that morally grey feeling it had done such a great job exploring in the first four seasons. This is evidenced in this battle which is more good vs evil than any other human drama the show has done until this point. Where is the complexity of the Battle of the Blackwater or the Battle of Castle Black? I think that complexity helped make those battles feel more pivotal and special than this one. I did appreciate the dichotomy shown between Jon and Ramsay, but things like that have never been the reason why I liked this show. I don't watch this show to see a good vs evil battle, I watch it for the complex human drama conveyed through a variety of different characters in a medieval world.
Speaking of generic scenes, one of the biggest ones in this episode was the Jon/Sansa shouting fight. Instead of staying true to these characters, their scene together features forced drama as both of them argue about the upcoming battle. It's hard to buy into Sansa being the one to do this with Jon considering her character arc and her lack of history in warfare, something the episode even acknowledges. Another generic scene was Sansa telling Ramsay he will die before just riding off. Such basic storytelling. This show is above things like that.
The kick-off of the battle with Rickon dying was really bad. Rickon died and it left me feeling absolutely nothing. They didn't even try to make us sympathize with him or care for him. Hell he didn't even get a single line of dialogue this season! To do that and expect us to care for his death is ridiculous. And I caught the writers resorting to surprise to get a reaction out of us again to try to get us to feel something for Rickon. As I've said for the past season and a half, surprise is not an effective way of getting us to care about the scene that is being presented. We need emotion for that. Of course, Jon reacts very poorly to Rickon's death and stupidly compromises his entire strategy by charging Ramsay alone. What a stupid battle plan.
Some moments in the battle didn't impress me. I was extremely displeased by Littlefinger's sudden arrival (oh look another "surprise!" moment). I hate the idea that Sansa knew about this yet she didn't tell Jon about it. Why on Earth would she keep it secret? Surely she would tell Jon and they would implement Littlefinger's army into their battle plans. It's a key asset, so use it. But instead we need a surprise, so she keeps it secret. Even dumber is the fact that Littlefinger got to Winterfell undetected. Did Ramsay leave no scouts from Winterfell to Moat Cailin? It's dumb enough for him to leave Moat Cailin unguarded, but to have no scouts whatsoever is the height of stupidity. Why should I fear this man who is a total dunce at strategy? The shield wall was a good visual moment but a very impractical one. Are we supposed to believe that every guy in Jon's group just gathered together and allowed themselves to be surrounded? Something like this would never work in real life. Men on foot would never be quick enough to surround an army.
Ramsay killing Wun Wun with one final arrow was such a cartoony moment. We get it, Ramsay is evil.
The Unknown: Will Yara betray Dany eventually? I sincerely hope her agreeing to Dany's terms is just to secure the alliance and not to actually follow through with it.
Has Davos figured out what happened to Shireen? Maybe we can finally see him express some emotion regarding Stannis and Shireen's deaths.
Best Moment: Jon being trampled by his own army was excellent. The suffocation was conveyed magnificently.
Character of the Episode: Jon.
Conclusion: This was one hell of a spectacle which was extremely enjoying from start to finish. But under the surface of the brilliant action, this was a poor episode filled with dumb moments and a basic layout which dampens the score significantly. Out of respect for the way this episode was put together and the fact that it was pretty fun, I won't give this a bad score but I feel like this could have been much, much better.
Summary: Jaime speaks with Brienne who wants to get Blackfish to surrender. Blackfish refuses to do so. Jaime sends Edmure into Riverrun, who convinces the soldiers to open the gates. The Lannisters take Riverrun and Blackfish dies. Brienne escapes. Tommen decrees that Trial by Combat is no longer a valid trial to Cersei's detriment. The Hound meets up with the Brotherhood and joins up with them. The masters attack Meereen with their forces but Dany returns in the nick of time. Arya goes to Lady Crane to heal. The Waif kills Lady Crane and chases Arya. Arya manages to kill her and finally escapes Braavos.
The Good: Some developments were really good. I liked The Hound reuniting with the BWB. We haven't seen Beric and Thoros in ages, and it's nice to catch up with what they have been up to. Presumably they will have a large role to play as the series approaches its climax. The dialogue between them and The Hound was really good as expected and I like that The Hound chose to join them, having lost his purpose when Septon Ray's community was murdered.
A lot of the scenes during the Riverrun siege were very well done. I liked Jaime and Brienne's conversation as they interacted as both friends and enemies in battle trying to follow their own paths. I liked their conversation even though it didn't really amount to much (see: The Bad). Better than that was Edmure and Jaime's conversation. The acting was stellar from Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Tobias Menzies who both put in great work with the dialogue they were given. I thought that this was a terrific scene for Jaime who once again reverted to being the man he pretends to be in order to come off as cold and menacing instead of the good man that we know him to be. I like that Jaime turns to this personality to get what he wants and it was a good way to show that Jaime doesn't care about what other people think about him. He will do the right thing in whatever method necessary no matter the cost, just like he did when he killed the Mad King.
Some other small things were pretty good. Tyrion's jokes were pretty funny and I liked that we got some jokes which are specific to the world of Westeros. I also loved the callback to Tyrion getting interrupted at the Eyrie back in season one. The reveal that Trial by Combat is banned is a significant development that puts Cersei back in danger which adds more drama to the King's Landing storyline. While I didn't like how it happened, I'm glad that Arya has finally left Braavos. That story was starting to drag after taking nearly two seasons to resolve itself. I like Blackfish's armour. It looks like fish scales which is really cool.
The Bad: Arya's storyline in Braavos was terrible television. I felt like I was watching a really bad action movie throughout all of it. To start, The Waif is out of character and stupid as the villain. I forgot to mention this in the previous review, but The Waif's method of attacking Arya was stupid. Instead of slitting Arya's throat and quickly killing her, The Waif lets her suffer which is exactly what Jaqen ordered her not to do. Then she somehow knows that Arya survived the stabbing, which is totally implausible. And then after that The Waif slowly goes after Arya, losing sight of her and refusing to kill her like an incompetent murderer, not a trained assassin. As ridiculous as that is, nothing is dumber than Arya somehow moving around so easily despite having been stabbed multiple times in the last episode. It's implausible, unrealistic and saps the scenes of any tension they could have had. It's genuinely terrible.
Worse than this is how it makes the Faceless Men appear like an idiotic organization. Arya used her wit to kill The Waif, yet somehow in Jaqen's eyes that makes her no one? Really. Then what was the point of all the other training she was doing if all she had to do was murder The Waif. Also, Jaqen looks like a fool for investing so much time in Arya only to let her leave without a fight or anything, allowing her to do what she pleases. He even smiles! It's beyond stupid and undermines any credibility the Faceless Men had.
Tyrion's story has been really disappointing this season. I have enjoyed the dialogue, but I'm incredibly disappointed that it all led nowhere. The Tyrion/Missandei/Grey Worm stuff has led absolutely nowhere and failed to pay off of the time spent on it. Furthermore, I was really annoyed by Tyrion being wrong about the masters. If he can't do his job right, what is the point of him even being there? The whole storyline felt like a waste of a great character.
The end of Riverrun's siege ended up being underwhelming too. While it led to some good scenes, nothing really happened. Nothing has changed for any character and the whole storyline feels like filler. Jaime, Brienne and Bronn did nothing productive at all and we learned noting new. The only thing that happened is Blackfish died, but he hadn't done anything since season 3 so his death made hardly any difference. The fact that such a big siege happened and had no bearing on anything is really poor.
Tommen's motivations are bizarre. Why would he make life so difficult for Cersei doing a trial? He does realize that if Cersei is guilty, Tommen's claim to the throne is gone right? Surely Margaery wouldn't allow him to do this either as it will make her lose all of her power.
The Unknown: Where is Varys going?
What did Cersei have Qyburn investigate? Apparently there was more than she expected which is likely good for her. It's just a question of what she is referring to.
Where are the BWB heading? What is their current goal?
I've noticed that the nature of the show has changed this season now that they have left the books behind. The show doesn't feel quite like itself anymore and it feels like there is much more treading water in the plot than there used to be. Because of that, the show doesn't grip me the way that it used to. I won't call it bad because I'm still enjoying the show and I think this season has been better than season 5, but it is something I've noticed.
Best Moment: Jaime and Edmure's conversation was great.
Character of the Episode: Jaime.
Conclusion: Some things were good in this episode, but other things were really bad. Sadly, the bad outweighs the good for this episode. However, things are still looking good for the final two episodes, and hopefully this season won't end in total disaster like season 5.
Summary: The Hound has survived and is part of a community led by Septon Ray. Ray tries to get The Hound to enjoy a peaceful life, but that is ruined when Ray and his community are murdered by thugs from the Brotherhood. The Hound seeks vengeance. Margaery is still loyal to her family and sends Olenna back to Highgarden for her safety. Jaime confronts Blackfish and wants a parley. Blackfish refuses the offer. Theon and Yara arrive in Essos on their way to meet Dany. Jon, Sansa and Davos travel around the North recruiting the loyalty of the smaller houses. They end up with less men than they were hoping for. Arya tries to flee Braavos but is surprise attacked by The Waif. Arya escapes but is mortally wounded.
The Good: This was another strong episode of set up and things are now very nicely placed for the end of the season. Last season was pretty rushed by its end with too many things to accomplish by the season's end and that resulted in the season ending in a total whimper. This season didn't over-extend itself like the last and looks to be heading towards a much more focused and satisfying conclusion.
The story of The Hound's return was really well done and carried this episode. I thought the opening teaser was very well done and made for a terrific reveal of The Hound. I wasn't expecting anything like that this late in the season, so it delighted me and got me excited to see how his character will return to the overall story and who he would side with (see: The Unknown). Though the story could have used a few episodes to have a greater impact (see: The Bad), I thought it served its purpose well as a small self-contained story of how The Hound almost got to live out his days quietly, only for the cruelty of other's to bring him back to his violent nature. The story was told well and the presence of Ian McShane as Septon Ray added some extra charm to it. I was glad that there were several lengthy scenes dedicated to The Hound's return, making his story arc feel worthwhile whereas a rushed storyline would just come across poorly.
The scenes in King's Landing were very good once more. It was good to get a better idea of how Margaery planned to go about her future. She hasn't abandoned her family and clearly still cares for Olenna and Loras, but she is still bent on climbing her way back up the ranks before she does anything to remove her enemies. I was glad to get plenty of Olenna in this episode, as she was as terrific as ever in two excellent scenes with Margaery and Cersei.
Jon and Sansa's storyline was really good too and they made something special out of their attempts to gain the loyalty of the other northern houses. Jon's awkwardness was great as he had never been groomed to do any of this "lord" business being a bastard. He was simply improvising using experience from the Night's Watch and failed to be convincing on a number of occasions. Sansa had more promise, and I particularly loved her sternly reminding Lord Glover of his loyalties, showing that she has learned at least a little bit about getting people to do what she wants. But both of them were evidently quite poor at doing all of this, and so the much more experienced Davos had to step in to assist them by doing what he's best at. I loved the way he played to Lyanna Mormont's character and managed to convince her to send her men to Jon's cause. Speaking of which, I thought that Lyanna Mormont and Lord Glover were very good side characters. They had specific personalities and made logical decisions when accepting/refusing Jon's request for loyalty.
The Riverrun scenes were pretty good. Jaime shined as we got to see a combination of the kind-hearted man we have come to know and the witty prick that he pretends to be. His leadership was great and I appreciated his attempt to get Blackfish to parley only for Blackfish to put him in his place and refuse to surrender.
Theon and Yara had a really good scene as well. I was glad to see that Theon is still struggling to find himself after everything Ramsay did, and I liked seeing Yara help him return to the man he used to be. Theon's discomfort in the brothel was exquisitely acted by Alfie Allen and conveyed his struggle in a way that made it very easy to sympathize with him. Theon's like a recovering alcoholic now, a man who is suffering but knows he has to go through it to get better. Lastly, I like the development that Theon and Yara are heading to meet with Dany. It's a rare treat for us to see Dany interacting with Westerosi characters. Let's hope Theon and Yara make it to Meereen alive.
The Bad: The Hound's story would have been better if we had an episode or two before he lost his new home. With it being a single episode story, it feels like almost unnecessary and doesn't carry the emotional weight it could have had otherwise.
I found Arya's stabbing to be quite poor. Surely she would be a bit more careful knowing that the Faceless Men would be after her to kill her. But instead she walks around without a care in the world and gets stabbed for her foolishness. I can hardly buy that Arya even survived that (a similar stab wound almost immediately killed Talisa), but to have her jumping into the water, swimming and then walking around while bleeding so heavily is just absurd.
Did none of the lords bring up how odd it that Jon is even int heir presence to begin with? Surely they would be more suspicious about why the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch suddenly deserted his post. Or do they know that Jon came back to life and they just don't care, because nobody else seems to be acknowledging how insane that is.
The Unknown: Why is The Hound alive? Does he actually have a purpose for being back like Jon, or is he just lucky? Who will he side with now that he has nowhere to go?
What is Margaery's plan? Does she plot to take out the sparrows? Take out Cersei? Both? Or does she plan to cement her position a little more first?
Will Dany accept Theon and Yara's proposal or will she refuse them?
Best Moment: I really liked Sansa reminding Lord Glover of his pledge of loyalty, only for Lord Glover to rebuke her viciously.
Character of the Episode: The Hound.
Conclusion: This certainly won't be remembered as one of the show's best episodes, but I thought this was pretty good with several stories getting the time they needed to deliver. Another solid episode.
Summary: Bran and Meera are saved by an undead Benjen in their escape. Sam takes Gilly to his family's home. He tries to keep Gilly's wildling heritage a secret but it gets out. His father tells him to leave and that he will never be allowed back. Sam prepares to leave and decides to take Gilly with him at the last moment. Arya follows through with assassinating Lady Crane but stops at the last second. Arya escapes and tries to leave. The Waif reports this to Jaqen who is disappointed. Jaime and Mace confront the High Sparrow to stop him from going through with Margaery's walk of atonement. However, the High Sparrow reveals he never intended to since Margaery converted Tommen to the sparrows' side. Jaime is relieved of his position in the Kingsguard and sent to besiege Riverrun. Drogon arrives at Dany's location, completely winning the loyalty and support of the Dothraki.
The Good: It was nice to see Sam's family. The scenes were good for the most part and I was pleased that Randyll Tarly lived up to being the monster that Sam said he was. The conclusion of the storyline was pretty great as Sam continues to showcase his newfound courage by escaping with Gilly and taking the family sword along with him in hilarious fashion.
I really enjoyed the developments in King's Landing. The reveal that Tommen had joined forces with the sparrows was a legitimate surprise to me and I thought it was a terrific twist. Margaery is extremely charming and opportunistic, and she saw an opportunity to gain even more control. After some well-timed moves she has gained total control over Tommen and the sparrows, while also being beloved by the people. She has made the best out of a bad situation and positioned herself to be more unstoppable than ever. It was a perfect example of the political scheming that made me fall in love with this show to begin with. I'm really excited to see how the sparrows will be stopped since they have gained an insane amount of power.
Arya's storyline was really good and it appears that her Faceless Man training has ended. Arya tried to swallow her emotions and kill Lady Crane, but she failed. She saved Lady Crane but it appears that she may pay the price for this. Even though she has escaped, Jaqen has sent the Waif against her, and with her face-changing abilities, you get the sense that Arya will never be safe no matter where she goes. This should lead to a really exciting and tense cat and mouse game to span out the rest of the season.
I was glad to see Walder Frey again. I had almost forgotten about his awfulness. He has sat in power for a long time, and is still abusing his children unsurprisingly. I do hope that the siege of Riverrun goes badly and that Blackfish marches straight to the Twins and executes him but that may be hoping for too much. I am intrigued by Edmure being brought back into the story. Would the Tully heir be enough for Blackfish to surrender to the Freys? Also, Jaime is heading to Riverrun, so this siege may end up being more important and climactic that it initially seemed. I am excited to see what happens.
The final scene with Dany rallying the Dothraki was pretty good. It wasn't anything new, but it was good to know that the Dothraki know exactly what they are getting into by supporting Dany so they aren't just blindly following her. Dany's speech was very good and it made sense that the Dothraki would follow her after that.
The Bad: I'm still annoyed that we haven't been given more information about the sparrows. Apparently they have the support of the people, which doesn't make sense to me at all. last we saw, they were ransacking the city in search of sinners, so how did the people start supporting them? We need to see developments like these occur instead of having the people be loyal to whomever when the plot demands it.
We spent a bit too much time with Sam for my liking. His story didn't need to get so much focus, especially since we didn't learn anything important by seeing the Tarly household. It's a fine side story, but it shouldn't be given more time than every other storyline in the episode.
It's awfully convenient that Dany says she needs 1000 ships an episode after Euron announces that he will make a thousand ships.
The Unknown: What were Bran's visions while Meera dragged him away? I saw the Mad King in there which is interesting. What will Bran learn next in the past?
Also, we finally saw Benjen! He was apparently made into an undead by the Children, and has resided beyond The Wall. What is his purpose? Does he fight the White Walkers? Where does he live? How does he survive?
Cersei's trial is coming and Jaime has left. While Cersei has The Mountain and is confident, this show has trained me not to expect that to go well. I get the sense that something is going to happen to prevent Cersei from using The Mountain in her trial. But now the question is, what will happen?
Best Moment: The reveal that the Faith have allied with the Crown was really well done and caught me off guard.
Character of the Episode: Margaery.
Conclusion: While this was a really quiet episode, the developments were good and there weren't any major issues with this. It was an enjoyable episode throughout. It was around this time that season 5 started to sharply decline in quality. This season has had very strong set-up, so hopefully we can have a stronger climax this time around.
Summary: Sansa meets with Littlefinger and refuses to accept his help out of anger. Jon, Davos and Sansa plot to turn the Northern houses against the Boltons to gain an army. Arya gets a second chance to prove herself. She discovers the woman she has been assigned to kill. Theon supports Yara in the Kingsmoot. Euron suddenly arrives and wins the approval of the Ironborn, becoming king. Theon and Yara escape with a fleet. Jorah reveals his Greyscale to Dany who orders him to get better. Jorah leaves to find a cure. Bran uses his powers alone and accidentally gives the Night King access into the cave. The wights attack and the Three-Eyed Raven and the Children all die. Hodor holds a door so Meera and Bran can escape. In the past, Hodor interacts with Bran and witnesses his own death, rendering him unable to speak anything other than "Hodor" a slur of "hold the door".
The Good: This was an excellent episode, focusing on just 4 primary locations which allowed each of the storylines enough time to breathe and get the most emotional impact out of what happened.
Sansa's confrontation with Littlefinger lived up to my expectations. I'm really glad to see that Sansa despises Littlefinger for what he did and that she is smart enough to not fall for his tricks again. I liked the contrast with the last time Brieen, Sansa and Littlefinger met together as Sansa is now in full control and firmly trusts Brienne as opposed to Littlefinger. This time it isn't Brienne who is threatened, but rather it's Littlefinger, which is a good way to show progress in Sansa's story. I also like the idea that Jon, Davos and Sansa are turning to getting loyalty back from the North in order to get an army to defeat the Boltons. It makes sense and should lead to some good development as Jon and Sansa will get a good chance to prove their mettle as leaders by attempting to gain fealty from the other houses.
Arya's story in Braavos was really good and allowed us to realize that Arya will never properly be no one as aspects of who she was will always haunt her. The play showcasing the War of the Five Kings was a great way to show this as she is visibly upset by the portrayals of Ned and Sansa which remind her of her past and her desire for vengeance. She has swallowed those emotions for now, but they will never truly be gone. I really enjoyed that play as well. It was a perfect example of Medieval comedy which provided a very enjoyable and jokey retelling of the war that has happened.
The Ironborn have never been more interesting than they were in this episode. The Kingsmoot was very enjoyable to watch and I liked that the Ironborn followed power, sort of like the Dothraki which fits what we have learned about them over the seasons. I appreciated Yara's claim to the throne and I thought Theon's conflict was staged terrifically. He could have tried to claim the throne for himself and people would have followed him, but he finally makes the right choice and stands by Yara's side. But naturally Euron had to come and ruin everything as he took total control by using his experiences around the world as an advantage. I liked the crowning quite a bit. We have seen precious little of how the Ironborn operate, so to learn more about their religion and the Drowned God was very welcome. I thought Euron's "rebirth" to become king fit the religion very well and was a lovely bit of world-building.
The few scenes across the Narrow Sea were pretty good. I really liked Kinvara's appearance. She hinted at the truth about Varys' mutilation which really interests me (see: The Unknown), and also allowed Varys to display his hate for magic again. Dany's farewell to Jorah was a touching scene and it effectively conveyed all of the emotions we should be feeling about Jorah with his Greyscale.
Bran's story was the best part of this episode. The set-up for the wight invasion was really tense, particularly with Bran walking through the army of wights. It became genuinely scary when the Night King noticed his presence and the wight army all started looking at him. After that, the wights arrived surprisingly quickly, so fast that it totally caught me off guard. This led to the extremely exciting ending sequence as the wights raided and the situation looked extremely dire. The action was great and the scene had me at the edge of my seat the whole time.
Then there was that heartbreaking ending sequence which delivered in a big way. Hodor's death was really surprising and I was downright stunned by what caused him to say "Hodor" for the rest of his life. The concept that Hodor had his whole life ruined by Bran because Bran needed him to keep a door closed to save his own skin is an awful fate, and to live one's own life whilst knowing how they would die is a real curse. The reveal of the origin of Hodor's name combined with his tragic death made for a really emotional gut-punch to end the episode. The final sequence had to be one of the very best moments of the show, and certainly the saddest.
The Bad: Littlefinger can apparently teleport now. How did he get to Molestown so quickly when he was in the Eyrie an episode ago? Also, how did his army set up camp at Moat Cailin? Did Ramsay stupidly leave the place undefended? That's downright unbelievable.
The reveal that the White Walkers were made by the Children is really significant. But it was so rushed and didn't seem to serve much of a purpose aside from providing an explanation, and a vague one at that. I want to learn more but I don't think we will which is really disappointing. Furthermore, the Three-Eyed Raven was a total disappointment. We spent seasons building up to Bran meeting him and he really didn't do much. He was just a device to get Bran to gain the time-travelling ability and immediately afterwards he was killed.
The Unknown: I have tons of questions from this episode.
Will Blackfish enlist his army to help Jon? Will he be able to head north in time? Hopefully he doesn't simply teleport like Littlefinger.
Euron's decision to go after Daenerys is a huge deal. Will she accept an alliance with him? She has been looking for friends in Westeros so Euron's offer may entice her. But I can comfortably say Euron is not a good person, so is he trustworthy? Will he betray her?
Also, I'm curious about Euron's crowning ceremony. Has a king ever died in that ceremony before?
Where are Theon and Yara going to go with their fleet?
So what was the voice that talked to Varys? What did it say? Is this important? I sure hope it is. I want answers.
So it's been confirmed that Bran can interact with the past. What else has he actually done? I'm sure that Hodor isn't the only instance of Bran interacting with the past. What other significant events has he been involved in?
Will the wights still catch up with Meera anyways? Hodor can only hold them off for so long, and Meera can't possibly be as fast as Hodor was at pulling Bran along.
Best Moment: The final scene inter-cutting between Hodor's death and Wylis having a seizure was extremely sad. Heartbreaking stuff.
Character of the Episode: Hodor.
Conclusion: This was a terrific return to form. A strong episode with good storylines focused on character which was capped off by a tense climax with a heartbreaking ending. What more can you ask for?
Summary: Jon prepares to leave Castle Black but is stopped when Sansa arrives. Sansa tells Jon that they need to get the Boltons out of Winterfell but Jon is skeptical. He changes his mind when he receives a letter from Ramsay who lets him know that he has Rickon and wants Sansa back. The High Sparrow allows Margaery to visit Loras. Tommen tells Cersei that the sparrows plan to make Margaery do the walk of atonement. Olenna and Kevan ally with Cersei and Jaime to take out the sparrows. Littlefinger returns to The Vale and gets Robin to send his army to help Sansa. Theon wants to help Yara claim the throne. Ramsay kills Osha. Tyrion strikes a deal with the masters at Meereen but Grey Worm and Missandei aren't pleased. Dany murders the Khals at Vaes Dothrak, gaining the respect of the Dothraki.
The Good: Jon and Sansa's reunion was awesome. It's hard to believe that there hasn't been a single reunion since season 1, and I think the extended time that the Starks spent apart from each other helped make this moment mean an absolute ton. It was genuinely heartwarming to see Jon and Sansa with family again, and their interactions as they caught up with each other again were terrific.
Tyrion's story was great as usual. I really liked him treating with the masters of Yunkai and Astapor in peaceful ways, trying his best to come to a mutual understanding, something which Dany never even considered. It's a good way at showing how useful Tyrion would be as an advisor as his experience helps him understand that to rule a kingdom, you need to make peace and not war. I appreciate that Missandei and Grey Worm don't agree with Tyrion's mindset as they have no reason to trust him and their character arcs have given them no reason to have a desire for peace with the masters. I like the conflict between them and I'm excited to see where the storyline goes, and if Tyrion may end up making enemies in Meereen.
Dany's storyline was very good for the most part and it was the best way to end a storyline which didn't really serve too much of a purpose. Jorah and Daario infiltrating Vaes Dothrak was a fun storyline carried by the characters' interacting with clever dialogue and the tense scene of them dealing with the Dothraki who discovered their presence. I also really like the way Jorah accidentally revealed his Greyscale to Daario. The final scene was pretty good and was a strong moment for Dany who proved to understand the Dothraki really well as she killed their Khals, leaving them no choice but to follow her after this great display of strength.
It was great to see Littlefinger again after a pretty lengthy absence. I really enjoyed the way Littlefinger turned the tables on Lord Royce by accusing him of betraying them after he was threatened for giving Sansa to the Boltons. Littlefinger continues his reputation as a great manipulator in impressive ways. I also love the detail that Littlefinger has charmed Robin so much that Robin will just listen to every word that he says.
The scenes in King's Landing were very good. I liked the High Sparrow's speech to Margaery as he revealed more of his backstory and how he began to embrace his sin. It was a powerful speech and continued to characterize the High Sparrow in good ways, as he remains a decent man despite the terror his sparrows are causing. Margaery's moment alone with Loras was pretty chilling as Loras clearly hasn't had it as easy as her due to the nature of his sins. Loras' tears was a good moment and continues our hatred of the sparrows.
The other storylines were fine. I liked Ramsay's swift murder of Osha, a refreshing change from his usual ways. I appreciate that Ramsay recognized a threat in Osha and dealt with her immediately instead of leaving her alive. Additionally, I like that the writers recalled how Theon would likely have told Ramsay about Osha, which was a very good reason for him to not trust her. Yara and Theon's reunion was pretty good and I like that Theon wants to help her get the crown after Balon's death. The Greyjoy storyline is set up well, so let's hope it ends up being better than the debacle that was Dorne.
The Bad: There were some missed opportunities at The Wall. I was disappointed that we didn't see Sansa learn about Jon's resurrection. I was also perplexed by the idea that Sansa wouldn't really care about the fact that Jon died and came back. She has never seen any magic before now, so surely she would be more shocked. I also thought that Brienne's reveal that she killed Stannis was a bit awkward and out of place. It didn't lead to anything and there was something a bit odd about the way she was written that didn't sit well with me. I also feel that the Davos and Melisandre scene should have happened much, much earlier as Davos has now spent a long time seemingly ignoring the fact that Stannis died.
The coming war against the Faith Militant hasn't engaged me in the way that it should. This is because we have absolutely no idea how big of a threat they are. I was under the impression that they weren't too big of a problem, but the meeting in this episode apparently suggested otherwise. It also makes Olenna and Kevan look foolish for not cooperating with Cersei if the Faith were such a big threat. Well whatever way it is, the issue still stands because I still don't know how much of a threat they are. Do they have friends in the capital? How many are there? How much control do they have? How many forces do Olenna and Kevan have? We need answers to these questions for the coming drama to mean anything.
This next paragraph isn't a knock on this episode specifically but on the show as a whole. I've wanted to delve into Ramsay's insufficiencies for a while now, and I think now is a good time to tackle it. Ramsay has disappointed me so far and I really feel like I have to get into why he isn't delivering for me as much as Joffrey did. For one, Ramsay is too shallow. Joffrey had more to him than his sadistic ways, and he was so loathed due to the fact that he was weak and never deserved his position of power. The horrible thing was that anyone could kill Joffrey, but nobody did because his position of king saved him. That increased our hate of him exponentially. Ramsay does not have these layers. He is just a generic bad guy who happens to torture people. And the torture isn't effective because it is shown too much. I have grown almost numb to torture in this show and that prevents me from hating Ramsay like I should. Joffrey's sadism was shown in bursts, making it effective in disgusting me, but Ramsay's villainy doesn't exhibit this trait, and it exhausts me instead of disgusting me. Furthermore, Joffrey's acts were never done solely to make us hate him more. It accomplished other necessary story beats while also making us despise him. So many things have been done with Ramsay with the sole purpose of making him more vile, including sacrificing entire characters and storylines to just make us hate this guy even more. It's not effective storytelling and makes hate Ramsay's character. I loved to hate Joffrey, but I just want Ramsay off my screen. Iwan Rheon's great acting is being wasted on his character.
It was awfully convenient that Ramsay declared war on Jon right as he decided to stop fighting. It was a bit too easy of a way to get Jon to go to war against the Boltons.
Dany's Khal murder was played for surprise, which unsurprisingly didn't please me. I've been vocal on my displeasure with the show's drift towards wanting to shock us and I stand by that here. I think it would have been more dramatic for us to see Dany set up for this murder instead of it just happening suddenly. I don't know how Dany was able to sneak flammable material into the building with nobody knowing.
The Unknown: Does Tormund like Brienne? Oddly enough, I have no problem with that.
Best Moment: Jon and Sansa's reunion was very emotional and satisfying. It was a scene six seasons in the making.
Character of the Episode: Dany.
Conclusion: This was flawed, like all the other episodes this season. However, there was plenty to enjoy here and I think a lot of the scenes delivered to make this a really good episode.
Summary: Jon wakes up, stunning Davos and Melisandre. He has those who stabbed him executed before declaring his watch has ended. Edd is now in charge of Castle Black. Sam gets seasick on the way to Oldtown. He reveals to Gilly that he plans to take her to Horn Hill. Bran visits the past and watches Ned fight Arthur Dayne. Varys gets more information in Meereen. Qyburn tries to get allied with Varys' little birds. Cersei and Jaime force themselves onto the small council but still don't get any information. Tommen tries to get the High Sparrow to pardon Cersei but fails. Arya's training continues and she gets her eyes back. Ramsay is given Rickon as a gift.
The Good: This was a stronger episode that did a good job of setting up the story for the rest of the season without indulging in the show's worst habits.
Bran's story was the most intriguing in this episode. I really liked the swordfight showcasing Ned vs Arthur Dayne. It was really well done and was probably the best choreographed swordfight in the show. I really enjoyed that aspect, but I also loved the idea that honourable Ned only won the duel when Howland Reed stabbed Arthur Dayne in the back yet got praised as a hero for it. That was a signature "Game of Thrones" moment which I really enjoyed. Furthermore, I like the development with how attached Bran has become with visiting the past. The explanation that it is the only time he can walk makes perfect sense so we can understand why Bran has such a hard time going back to the real world.
I really liked the amount of information we got on Varys in this episode. I enjoyed seeing him getting information by being kind and rewarding people as opposed to torture. It's fitting for his character and a breath of fresh air after we have been subjected to Ramsay for so long. I was pleased that the show actually addressed how Varys' little birds work. The idea that they are a connected network of little children who casually listen in on conversations and report information is impressively brilliant and a logical way to explain how Varys is able to obtain so much information.
The small council scene was terrific. I really like that Cersei and Jaime are still failing to achieve anything as they get completely beaten by Kevan and Olenna who refuse to do their dealings with them. It's great to see Cersei continue to fail in her assertion of power which is realistic for somebody with little leverage on their side. Furthermore, Tommen isn't particularly useful for Cersei either as he is still young, so he falls prey to the wisdom of the High Sparrow who dissolves his anger in impressive fashion. Tommen isn't as vile or stupid as Joffrey so he isn't able to get what he wants in the way that Joffrey did. As an aside, I got a good laugh out of Pycelle insulting The Mountain unknowingly and immediately regretting it. His slow and terrified walk past The Mountain was pretty great.
Arya's training continues to deliver. The montage in this episode was really well done and was put together with expert editing. I really enjoyed seeing Arya's improvement in her training as she gets her vision back and may be back to doing assassination missions once more.
The other odd scenes were enjoyable. Tyrion's scenes were tremendously fun as always. He didn't do much more than make funny conversation in this episode, but I enjoyed it a lot. Poor Sam is seasick on the way to Oldtown. I appreciate that the show may actually be showing us his family to deepen the world a little more. I look forward to that. The execution of Alliser and Olly was a powerful moment. I thought Alliser's final words were very good and consistent with his character.
The Bad: I was disappointed by the reactions to Jon's revival. Davos and Melisandre were fittingly surprised but everyone else hardly reacted at all which was bad. Tormund's joke was funny but his reaction was nonsensical. Jon just came back to life and he doesn't even seem to care! Furthermore, Alliser's final moments were ruined by the fact that he didn't even seem to address the ridiculousness of the idea that Jon is alive again. This is a big deal and I'm annoyed that the show doesn't seem to be treating it as a significant event which it certainly is.
Does Jon really have the authority to just leave now? I would have liked more time to see more people discuss this rather than Jon suddenly leaving without a care in the world.
Arya's training has been a bit repetitive this season. It's not a big problem as I have enjoyed the way the scenes are constructed, but it could become an issue if we don't get anything new for her.
I hope that we don't have to sit through Ramsay torturing Rickon now. Please don't do that, it's not needed.
The Unknown: What happened in the Tower of Joy? Was Lyanna in there? What happened to her?
Also, did Ned actually hear Bran? What does that mean? Can Bran interact with the past? Could this become a big part of the story later?
What are Tyrion and Varys planning? What is the message?
I recall Beric saying that he lost a little bit of his mind every time he came back to life. Will Jon be affected in a similar way?
What will Ramsay do with Rickon and Osha?
Best Moment: The swordfight was very good, my favourite moment of the episode.
Character of the Episode: Varys.
Conclusion: This was a better episode with some good set up and it could have been even better had Jon's resurrection been treated appropriately. Aside from that, this was a solid episode.
Summary: Bran is with the Three-Eyed Raven and is learning to visit the past with his powers. Tommen prevents Cersei from attending Myrcella's funeral as the sparrows would take her into custody again. Jaime confronts the High Sparrow who threatens him with his power. Ramsay kills Roose, his wife and his son to take control over Winterfell. Tyrion tames Dany's dragons to ensure that they can be used as assets. Sansa and Brienne head to Castle Black while Theon chooses to go home. Euron Greyjoy returns to Pyke and kills Balon. The wildlings come to Davos' aid. Alliser is thrown in a cell. Davos has Melisandre attempt to bring Jon back to life. Jon wakes up.
The Good: It was great to see Bran again after he was absent for an entire season. His new ability to visit and interact with the past is a really exciting development and opens up the story in a big way. I expect that we can get some big reveals about the past through Bran and I can't wait to see what the story has in store for us.
Tyrion talking to the dragons was a fantastic scene. Tyrion's character has always been a ton of fun, and his tongue is his strongest aspect. To have him play off of this aspect by speaking with dragons was creative, tense and exciting in a way that Tyrion's story hasn't been in a while. I am looking forward to seeing Tyrion attempt to repair Meereen, and I hope that it can be somewhat similar in quality to Tyrion's time as Hand of the King in season 2.
I am intrigued by the new Greyjoy storyline. I like that we finally caught back up with Balon who finally died (the leeches took their sweet time didn't they), and his death has been used to introduce a new character. Euron is interesting and I suspect that he will become a major player in the story. It's about time that the Greyjoys become a central point in the story once again.
Jon waking up was a good development and a huge moment. I really hope that his relationships with everyone are radically changed now that he has come back to life and I'm excited to see what this will lead to. Furthermore, I am looking forward to seeing Melisandre's reaction to realizing that she actually succeeded in bringing Jon back to life. This could be a huge moment for her character as well, and I'm quickly becoming more invested in her.
There were a few other moments I really liked. The arrest of Ser Alliser was a great moment, and I like the development of the wildlings taking control over the Night's Watch, highlighting that Alliser didn't make a smart move by killing Jon but rather an idiotic and prideful move. I really liked that one guy who was bragging about what happened with Cersei. Of course some people would make stupidly fake rumours about what happened and I thought it was a lovely bit of detail. Having The Mountain kill him was pretty satisfying too. Lastly, I appreciated Brienne telling Sansa about Arya. While Sansa hasn't really cared for Arya in any of her scenes, it's a good way to demonstrate how much she has grown by having her reflect about Arya as much as she does.
The Bad: There were some big problems in this episode which was disappointing. The sparrows remain too murky to pose a real threat. We have no idea about their numbers, who has sided with them and how much control they have over the city. This makes the High Sparrows threat to Jaime lack impact because we aren't sure how much power these people actually have. If I can't figure out how much of a threat they pose, the drama created from their story is lessened.
I did not like Ramsay killing Roose at all. Roose orchestrated the red wedding, yet this is how he dies? It's very unsatisfying to see him die such a lame death with no impact. I suppose it's sort of fitting that he died similar to how he killed Robb, but to have Ramsay do it was just ridiculous. Furthermore, I hate that his death had the sole purpose of making Ramsay even more despicable. We already hate the guy, so this was completely unnecessary. I'm annoyed that Ramsay has been prioritized over the more interesting Roose. Then we had to sit through Ramsay killing Roose's wife and kid. This show has lost all of the restraint that it used to have. We didn't need to see this scene for any reason. Additionally, having Roose get killed in a similar way to Balon in the same episode was a bad idea.
Theon's redemption wasn't as good as it should have been which is disappointing. I wish he was exhibiting more trauma from his time as Reek, but instead he is behaving like a clichéd hero which is not who Theon was. The show has always been good at portraying gray characters and Theon was always one of the best. As such, it's disappointing to see his character go in such a bland, stereotypical direction.
There were some issues with the story at Castle Black. The main one is the predictability of Jon's return. It took away any surprise from the moment and made every scene in this episode feel like it was just building up for Jon's return, preventing the moments from standing on their own. Another issue is the entirety of Davos' character who is behaving in quizzically. As I said in my review of "Mother's Mercy", Davos should be much more affected by the loss of his entire cause, yet for some reason he hasn't even addressed it. Apparently he is just loyal to Jon now and has completely abandoned his attachment to Stannis. I can hardly buy his desperation to get Melisandre to bring Jon back to life, and I feel like he should have been more worried about what happened to Stannis instead of focusing on saving Jon.
The Unknown: What happened to Hodor? Why is he simple? It feels like there is an actual story behind his character which is very interesting. It isn't a story I was expecting, but if there is a reason behind it, I'm curious to learn what it was.
What else will Bran find in the past? Surely there is a reason he has been given this power, and there will be some important things for him to discover.
What is Euron up to? Is he trying to become the Salt King? What are his goals? Will he make the Greyjoys relevant again? Will he raid The North like Balon did?
How will everyone treat Jon when he makes his revival known? What will Melisandre's reaction be? How will her powers be affected by this?
Best Moment: Tyrion talking to the dragons. Even as this show stumbles, I still love Tyrion.
Character of the Episode: Tyrion.
Conclusion: This was a decent episode with some big developments but a consistent amount of flaws in its stories. Like in the last episode, the good and the bad cancelled out and I was left feeling neutral towards the episode. But the story is picking up, so let's hope that there can be better stuff in the later episodes this season.
Summary: Davos, Edd and a few stragglers discover Jon's body and lock themselves in a room with him. Edd goes to secure some help from the wildlings. Ramsay's men track down Theon and Sansa but Brienne arrives to save them. Sansa accepts her service. Arya continues her training blind. Tyrion and Varys survey the conditions in Meereen. Dany is being taken to Vaes Dothrak after she reveals to be a khaleesi. Ellaria kills Doran and the Sand Snakes kill Trystane. Melisandre is using magic to make herself not age.
The Good: This was a fine season premiere. Like most season premieres, the plot was pretty much stagnant here and the story was just inching forward and setting things up.
The fallout from Jon's death was really good. The situation that Davos and Edd found themselves in was extremely tense as they were essentially trapped in a single room with enemies everywhere outside. The fear in their situation is really well executed, making this the most intense storyline in the episode. Furthermore, I was really impressed by Alliser's speech to the men of the Night's Watch. It makes him more than a cookie cutter villain as it proves that he believes he did the right thing by killing Jon. A speech like that was very necessary to keep this story realistic and I'm glad we got it. Furthermore, I'm glad that there was unease over Jon's death and that everyone didn't immediately side with Alliser.
Roose and Ramsay's scene was pretty good. Roose is still fantastic and I love how he subtly threatened Ramsay for his mistake. This scene was effective at making me think for a little bit that Sansa would actually get brought back to Winterfell. I was getting ready to vent about that, but of course that wasn't the case. Brienne came in and saved Sansa, and due to the Ramsay/Roose scene, the moment had more emotional impact as it meant that Sansa likely wouldn't be going back to Winterfell. The fight itself was good and I especially liked Pod fighting and killing. The ensuing moment with Sansa accepting Brienne's service was a really great moment as well (see: Best Moment).
The other scenes in this episode were good but unspectacular. Varys and Tyrion continued to be great as they walked around Meereen, exploring the chaos that Dany has left behind. Their conversations were really well done as always. I was pleased to see Arya continuing her training, and the idea that she had to do it blind is a good way to escalate her training. The final scene was interesting and fairly surprising. I wonder what the significance of Melisandre's true form is (see: The Unknown).
The Bad: This episode was stuck cleaning up the mess that Dorne created last season. The deaths of Doran and Trystane were practically meaningless and dull due to how sloppy the Dorne story has been. Let's hope that we can be done with these characters for now.
Dany's story is pretty much treading water in this episode. The whole Dothraki subplot is hard to care about since we spent so much time with them in season 1 and know almost everything about them. I don't care to explore more about the Dothraki and I feel like we are just biding time until Dany inevitably wins them over for her army.
As evidenced by the short length of this review, not much happened here. Even compared to other season premieres this episode was slow and didn't accomplish much of interest. There wasn't much that was bad, but there wasn't much that was good either.
The Unknown: What does Ellaria do next? Does she have a plan for what comes next? Will she take on a larger bearing in the plot? I hope not.
Will Edd get the wildlings in time? I wonder if they will even come to help Jon if he's dead. Also, is Jon coming back then? The fact that his body is still there seems to suggest that he may be coming back. I suspect that Melisandre will probably be the one bringing him back.
What was with that final scene? How can Melisandre use magic to make herself so much younger? I'm very interested in her magic and I would love to learn more about how she obtained this magic power. Furthermore, what is the significance of this? Is Melisandre immortal? Will this come into play later? Why show it to us now? I hope that this means Melisandre will become a more significant character going forwards.
Also, does this mean all of the red priests are immortal? Does that include Thoros too?
Best Moment: Sansa accepting Brienne's service with vows was pretty emotional. I also liked that Sansa couldn't remember all of them and needed some help getting through them. It's a good reminder of how young she still is.
Character of the Episode: Sansa.
Conclusion: This was a fine season premiere to set up the season. Nothing of importance happened here but there was nothing particularly worrying either. Hopefully this season can be better than the last.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.