As Jon prepares to leave the wall, Brienne and Sansa arrive as Jon reunites with his half-sister. She urges Jon to take back Winterfell but he’s tired of fighting. Later a letter appears from Ramsey dictating the return of Sansa or he’ll murder Rickon and storm the wall. Sansa convinces Jon to take back Winterfell. In Winterfell, Ramsey has Osha brought to him and though she tries to seduce him he murders her. Theon arrives at the Iron Islands and tells his sister Yara he wants to help her become the ruler. In the Vale, Littlefinger convinces young Robin to help Sansa take back Winterfell with his men. In King’s landing, the High Sparrow allows Margaery to see Loras but his brother is broken and wants the punishment to end. Jaime and Cersei convince Olenna Tyrell and Kevan Lannister to bring their armies and end the High Sparrow’s jurisdiction in the city. In Meereen, Tyrion attempts to broker a deal with the slave masters by giving them time to end slavery within 7 years. Missandei and Grey Worm are against it but follow Tyrion’s plan. In Vaes Dothrak, Jorah and Daario find Daenerys but she has a plan to take the city. When brought to the Khal for judgment, she declares she’ll rule and sets fire using the torch bowls within, killing everyone as she’s unaffected. As she emerges, the dothraki people once again kneel in awe of her presence amidst the inferno.
Whether George intends for it to happen or not the writers saw fit to being Jon and Sansa back together. Ironically, they never shared a scene together until now (show-wise) but considering his loss of purpose and her rise in conviction, this will make for a very stellar pairing as already she’s instilling a calm but focused demeanor on getting Winterfell back from Ramsey. Tonight’s episode was a singular improvement over many rough and borish topics covered as of late. With the exception of Dany’s repeat performance in redefining her role within the Dothraki, many aspects of this arc are beginning to solidify the show’s progress and foundation as the armies have begun to move. Are they moving in the right locations though? For now, it’s getting momentum going and that alone will guarantee epic turnouts.
Critiquing a show like Game of Thrones with an objective view is one thing but I have to say, watching Jon and Sansa finally see each other again was one hell of a sight for a fan well back in the book days. I honestly thought they’d postpone the reunion all throughout the season and put us out to dry like they did when Bran saw Jon beyond the wall but said nothing for the worst reasons. It didn’t take long for business to set in though but by the end of it Jon and Sansa were on the same page. He has a clear purpose now and that’s to save Rickon and return Winterfell to its proper heritage. The Starks will fight on and if any storyline has it’s short conclusion, Ramsey will be removed from his position by this season’s end.
Tyrion is now doing what he’s good at and that’s engaging with those that have self-interests at heart. The trust is very shaky with Grey Worm and Missandei and it very well should be, but Tyrion is nothing if not resourceful in his own ways and manages to start negotiations on a rough bit interesting start. No doubt things will turn worse later, but for now we’re seeing him perform as he’s intended. There will be some undermining before Dany returns, but rest assured Tyrion will do what he can until the real civil war starts.
Cersei and Jaime are moving things in the right direction, but the problem with King’s Landing is it doesn’t know what to do with itself. The political and religious separation is so far removed that whether things get settled by trial of combat or by two raging armies obliterating the High Sparrow and his forces it won’t matter. The only real surprise is if the Lannisters are completely dethroned. It’s a not between the Tyrell’s and Lannisters as it should have been, but here in the midst of armies being placed in King’s Landing to we forget that Dorne is probably going to try some invasion angle. They’re in this season for a reason and we shouldn’t forget it. Armies are merging after all.
Daenerys once again shows she’s a critical thinker and will get her hands dirty if need be. I’m certain there’s a bit of poetry with the way she emerges to the entire city of Dothraki but we’re also given the same impression that she’s so ungodly important that of course she’s going to come back to Meereen with the Dothraki in hand, of course she’s going to lead the larges army back to Westeros, of course she’s going to do all this by next season or the season after. It’s just getting there has become uncomfortably dull, but at least she’s progressing this easy-to-figure-out arc forward.
When Jon and Sansa hugged. Years and years fans have been waiting for someone to find someone else and the first two are Jon and Sansa. It could have been any Stark pairing and it would have been the same result, but here you can see that they’ve really been through some experiences, but are both grown for it. You can only torture an audience so much before you give them real heartfelt moments and it only took them 5-ish seasons to churn this one out. Thanks though, it’ll go a long way.
This could be a bias choice, but if you really listen to how Sansa inflects her need to take back Winterfell, you can tell they’re trying to assert her role in the smallest of steps as someone who gets it and needs to make some hard choices. Jon will always take the lead if need be, but here he’s given some directive and a lot of incentive considering their brother is being held by a psychopath. Sansa is very through with being anyone’s victim and hopefully by this season’s end, she’ll be in a position to show she’s ready to rule, just hopefully not married to Robin the Vale, that’d be horrific.
A very tense moment between Brienne, Davos and Melisandre. Two concurrent issues meeting at the head. Davos doesn’t know yet that Melisandre has Stannis sacrifice his daughter and now Davos knows that Brienne killed Stannis, at least that’s what she said and at this point, I hope she’s not lying. There’s no reason for her to, but now you have three very different ideologies converging here and while both Davos and Brienne are very loyal and honorable characters to a fault, they are very much on opposite ends of the spectrum and far be it for Melisandre to hold it together as she’s now following Jon to the ends of the earth. Not to mention, Brienne could do something crazy if she decides to mess with Melisandre. This event isn’t over yet.
Osha’s death was the surprise of the night, but the moment she eyeballed that knife, you knew just how things were going to play out. Ramsey isn’t about torture anymore, he’s about setting examples and acting purely on impulse. It’s a shame, but the truth is her part has been played. She was written out of the plot long ago and her one appearance showed she was still capable of doing risky things but it didn’t work out for her this time. I do wonder if this will lead to Ramsey and Rickon sharing any scenes. We still don’t know if Rickon is in any way similar to Bran or becoming his own character until we get more screen time with him.
Littlefinger’s return is interesting. He’s playing right into the hands of the Starks and they don’t even know it yet, which means his devious schemes involves them. This is both good and bad because he manipulates on several layers. His servitude to Sansa was very shallow in hindsight given he’s fully aware of what happened to her and where she’s at right now leaving him to lend that helping hand which will no doubt earn him some proper place in the north when all is said and done. Somehow I just hope Sansa can see past his facade and give him what he deserves by some story’s end.
Margaery to showing she’s still tough as nails but with her broken brother fallen to the Septa’s punishment it’s hard to say whether she’ll give up for her brother or whether she’ll push on because clearly the High Sparrow’s story did no convincing of any sort. And truth be told I tuned him out, not because his past isn’t interesting but because it really doesn’t matter. He’s doing a lot with very little and soon he’ll either need to do a lot more or succumb to the sheer ferocity the Lannisters and Tyrells can muster. Whether this leads to a full on city revolt remains to be seen, but that would be one heck of an ace in the hole if the High Sparrow plays it.
It was good to see Theon back home with his sister and now that the two have a mutual understanding, it does beg the question, what will Yara do if she becomes ruler? What will happen if she doesn’t? And more importantly, what do the Greyjoy’s do in this world? Do they lay claim to the North? Do they join a side when the Whitewalkers come or do they set their sights for King’s Landing?
9 out of 10. Momentum is shifting every so slightly, but all the groundwork for this season has been put down and now all we need to do is see it through. Jon and Sansa have a purpose in reclaiming Winterfell and saving Rickon, Cersei and Jaime are finally shifting their resources where they need to to stay ahead of the High Sparrow’s game, and Dany once more has the Dothraki allied to her which means whatever happens in Meereen should hopefully conclude by the end of this season giving her the original plan to sail to Westeros and start that whale of tale. You know things are progressing when armies are being told to move from place to place but it seems a little too easy to believe that all the “good” guys are going to win out here in the end. Ramsey thinks he’s in control, but is he really or will he get desperate enough to ruin the Starks as Joffrey and others have done in the past. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Stark banner rise, but hopefully it will soon. Very enjoyable episode whether fan or casual, please keep this up.
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