Have you seen Game of Thrones (GOT), Season Six Episode 6 (S6/E6), “Blood of My Blood”? If not, please turn back now. There are spoilers ahead.
You have been warned!
Once more for good measure. Right then…
1. Meera is a good friend to have. She might lack Hodor’s physical strength, but she makes up for it in determination. Luckily, just as her strength failed her, she and Bran got some welcome assistance from a long lost Stark. Welcome back Benjen. The writers did a good job with this scene. It is safe to say that most GOT followers figured someone would have to come to their rescue, and that there was a good chance it would be Benjen. Even though the element of surprise was at least partially gone, the writers and actors did a great job of making a scene worthy of Benjen’s reappearance and Meera’s heroic efforts.
2. I hope that they do not make Bran into a mystical, recurring, time traveling character who has existed in multiple ages in multiple forms. For example, there is some speculation that Bran was also Bran the Builder. Time travel, reincarnation, inevitable cycles – it usually gets too convoluted.
3. Sam, hate to break it to you, but you are not going to be a maester. I suspect that Sam’s maester trajectory was a plot device to put Sam and Gilly in motion. And while it was fun to see Horn Hill and meet the very unpleasant Lord Tarly, I also got the sense that the real significance of that interlude was Sam’s theft of Heartsbane, an ancient sword that will surely be used against the White Walkers. A few additional notes. Horn Hill was impressive. It seemed like a fantastic Roman outpost overseeing the conquest of Britain. I’m not sure how Lord Tarly developed such a loathing for Wildlings, but it seems analogous to the Romans’ likely disdain for the Scots and Picts. Lord Tarly definitely does not deserve such a kind-hearted wife. Was that Sam’s brother at the dinner table? Way to stick up for your brother, dude.
4. Arya wasn’t able to shake off that Stark streak for justice. Was that where the title of the episode came from, then? Seems Arya may finally become relevant again and rejoin the fray (pun intended). There are some interesting theories about the role she may play. But first she will have to contend with The Waif. I got the sense from Arya’s final scene that she knows The Waif is coming for her. This should be good. As for The Waif, her behavior seems inconsistent with the Faceless Men’s requirements for lack of emotion and identity. The Waif definitely appears to be carrying around plenty of “self” in her hatred for and resentment of Arya.
5. Back to the title, “Blood of My Blood”. I incorrectly assumed we’d finally learn more about what actually happened in the Tower of Joy. Count me in the camp who believes R+L=J (and M?). Assuming that’s correct, I’m looking forward to learning what prompted Rhaegar Targaryen to abduct Lyanna Stark. My guess is that it was more than the villainous whims of an impulsive, greedy rapist acting with a mistaken sense of impunity.
6. Just what is Margaery Tyrell up to? Is she the only one who is outfoxing the High Sparrow? Watch out for that one. Natalie Dormer, a fantastic actress, is doing a great job maintaining that mystery and intrigue. Have you seen The Counselor? Dormer turned in a small but very good performance in that movie.
7. Cersei should probably have seen that the High Sparrow was setting an ambush for her by telling King Tommen about Margaery’s impending walk of atonement. Shame, shame! Initially, I was disappointed. Cersei is clever and cunning, after all. But I eventually came around. Cersei is fiercely protective of her children, but they can also be the cause of blind spots for her. Tommen had better start channeling some inner Tywin if he wants a shot at holding that throne.
8. At long last, the much anticipated March on the Great Sept. Too little, too late. Jaime was finally allowed to demonstrate that he is more than a witty, pretty face who has the hots for his sister. Still, I think the show has gone a little too far in making him a swashbuckling, wise-cracking Han Solo type. Now it’s off to Riverrun to battle the Blackfish. I need to go back and re-read a little (I gave up on the books at about #3 I think), but I think Jaime has led a siege against Riverrun before. Robb Stark pulled a clever feint and attacked Jaime’s forces instead of committing them all to the battle against Tywin’s army. According to Jaime’s uncle, even though Jaime lost the battle, he fought and led well. I hope that we get another glimpse of Jaime’s battlefield prowess. Since we’re discussing the scene at the Great Sept, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Mace Tyrell. It’s hard to think of a cooler name than Mace Tyrell. The Tyrell family must feel that he hasn’t quite lived up to the name.
9. I’d bet a King’s Landing Copper that the High Sparrow had a hand in influencing the King’s decision to kick Jaime out of the Kingsguard, and that Jaime’s absence from Tommen’s side will cost the Lannisters. Cersei assures Jaime that she’ll be safe with The Mountain at her side. Anyone else think that confidence might be misplaced? There are some interesting fan theories about who might be called on to challenge The Mountain should there be a trial by combat. I won’t mention them here, at least not in this post.
10. Drogon apparently has been eating well and exercising. Have any of you got any thoughts on how the White Walkers could possibly defend themselves against the threat of fire breathing dragons? Unless the White Walkers stopped by Laketown and zombified some Bards and Legolases, it seems like they will be at a disadvantage against the dragons. Of course the Night’s King may have some other tricks up his sleeve.
Bonus Round: Aerys, the Mad King. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I reckon there’s a good chance that we’ll soon discover that Aerys’ “Burn Them All” was not the maniacal order to murder the city’s population that it seemed to be. The explanation is plausible given the Greek Fire-like substance beneath the city and the king’s purported madness. But there’s something about the way it has been presented. Aerys kept repeating it, similar to Hodor, and he had his back turned to Jaime, the soon-to-be Kingslayer. (Note: I just searched on Mad King, and it looks like there are only about, oh, a gazillion people who have already mentioned theories about this stemming from the flashback scene.)