We then get to see a bit of McShane who is filling in for Septon Meribald part from the books by playing the man Dabid and Dan called - wait for it - REY - stroll around spreading his charismatic magic among these hippies. He talks a little with Sandor, revealing that he must have been rescued by the Gods for a purpose.
We then move to King's Landing and get a gross scene in which High Sparrow encourages Margaery to bang Tommen because the king needs an heir and the lady doesn't need desire to do it, just patience. Margaery, I judge you for not smacking him with your Bible.
Then Margaery meets with her grandma Olenna while accompanied by her new BFF/Terminatorguard Spoonella. Margaery goes on and on how pious she is and how Loras should give up everything and repent for his sins and Olenna is in disbelief at how brainwashed her granddaughter is. Then Margaery urges her to leave King's Landing and slips her a piece of paper. Olenna then unwraps it and sees that the piece of paper is Tyrell rose and Margaery is faithful to her family and only fooling the Sparrows.
Somewhere in the North Jon is trying to convince the wildlings to fight with him. Wun Wun, the only giant declares his support simply by saying "Snow" and everyone is on board. I'm pretty sure if Lady Bolton Westerosi MTV look at my dress Heiress opened her trap Wun Wun would be like"fuck this shit" and bailed.
Back in King's Landing Olenna is seen writing a letter when boring, subdued Cersei comes along. She tries to get Olenna to fight with her but Olenna basically tells her to fuck off, reminding her that it is Cersei who brought Sparrows to the power. Olenna then tells Cersei that she has no one left to fight for her and the people despise her.
Then we see gorgeous Riverrun, the castle of house Tully, not seen since season 3. Jaime and very much missed Bronn arrive. Jaime is there to aid the Freys with taking Riverrun from legendary hero, Catelyn and Edmure's uncle Blackfish. Jaime chats with Bronn and tries to drop Lannisters always pay their debts motto to Bronn who hilariously shuts him up. Bronn, we all missed you so much, you awesome quote machine.
Jaime approaches and sees the Dumb and Dumber - not Dabid and Dan - Lothar and Black Walder Frey make morons of themselves. Lothar calls out for Blackfish who comes up and watches them from the castle. Then Black Walder threatens to hang Edmure. Blackfish is like "bitch, I don't care". Then Black Walder holds a knife to Edmure's throat telling Blackfish he will cut Edmure's throat just like he did with Catelyn's (I've lost tack of Stoneheart clues. They are now in the numbers of you are torturing us you fucking monsters). Blackfish is still like "bitch, go away".
The Freys don't know what to do. Jaime, while mentally challenged himself since he has been with Cersei for 6 seasons now, 3 seasons longer than it was possibly endurable for anyone including the audience, sees he is dealing with morons bigger than him. He bitch slaps Black Walder and takes control of the siege, also instructing that Edmure gets a bath. Black Walder is like what is bath even and Lothar, being he bigger pussy of the two, is just so happy to bask in Jaime's glory and agrees to everything. Bronn also drops the golden line of Freys protecting themselves so poorly if he and the others were the enemy they would fuck them up the ass.
Jon, Lady Bolton and Davos arrive to the Bear Island, the seat of House Mormont (also Jorah is a Mormont, here is the info dump for casual viewer, and his father, heavily mentioned in this scene, was Jon's first Lord Commander)., There we meet glorious Lyanna Mormont who had more sass, energy and charisma than Sansa Lady Bonton Heiress TM managed to have in six seasons.
The trio is there to get men to fight the Boltons. Sansa and Jon try to make inept small talk but Lyanna cannot stand the shit of Lady Bolton and Jon and shuts them up. She reminds them that she already lost people while fighting in Robb's war. She then, in a move that would make me sale all of my possessions and swear allegiance to House Mormont tells Sansa, straight up that she is not a Stark but a Bolton and a Lannister. Sansa, that human disaster, says "she did what she had to survive" and I'm so close to throwing up in my mouth, you guys.
Jon is trying to rescue the situation and is so bad at it I'm starting to wonder if the part he lost of himself in the resurrection process is his balls (where is Melisandre by the way? Oh well!). Thank God Davos is there, who for some reason hasn't left these two yet and who is so great their stupidity doesn't rub off on him. Davos tells lady Lyanna, with proper respect, unlike these two, what is at stake. This isn't a war between houses but between the living and the dead.
Lyanna is finally won over. When Jon asks how many knights they can take she says...62. Jon and Sansa, classless douche bags, cannot hide their disappointment. But Davos graciously thanks Lyanna and tells her if they are as ferocious as she is, Boltons are doomed. Fuck the Starks other than Arya. Davos and Lyanna should rule this whole kingdom, man.
Back in Riverrun Jaime talks with Blackfish. Blackfish mentions Jaime's oath to Catelyn to bring her daughters back to safety and my hype for Stoneheart have now reach the stratosphere. Blackfish tells Jaime that he has the means to hold Riverrun for two years. He also tells him that he came to take a measure of him and he is disappointed.
Jon is then begging for the support of House Glover. The Lord doesn't want to join them. Sansa interferes that Glovers should respond to the Starks and Jon just groans internally at her making everything worse. Glovers no go.
In Volantis, I think, Yara and Theon are drinking in tavern filled with hookers. Yara makes out with one of them. We get a really lovely moment of Yara asking Theon if he is with her. And Theon nods. Yara's plan is to go find Daenerys and make an alliance with her.
Then Sansa, Jon and Davos set a camp where Stannis set camp before. Sansa disses Stannis and Davos. It's like the writers want us to hate Sansa Hilton. Then she sends a letter to Littlefinger asking him for help.
Seriously, Lady Bolton. Lannister hairstyles in season 1. Tyrell hairstyles in season 3. Willingly marrying a Bolton in season 5. Oh, now she is a Stark! Yes! She has sewed a direwolf onto a dress so she must be! Poor little girl felt so good about herself after yelling at LF and now she needs to eat her words and write to him for help. Oh gosh darn it! The sass didn't work! But she thought it will protect her from psychos and conjure an army! How can it be?! Why does poor lady Bolton has such bad luck? Sad face.
Back to Septon Rey and Sandor, who talks to his followers. Then three riders appear, asking for food. They appear to be the splinter group from Brotherhood without Banners. Then Sandor is angrily chopping wood and Rey comes to talk to them telling him violence is not the way to go.
In Braavos, Arya pays the man to get a cabin in the ship to Westeros. She then strolls around and an old woman approaches her. But it's not old woman. It's Waif wearing a face. She stabs Arya repeatedly in the stomach and Arya jumps into the water. Then she emerges and walks through the streets, bleeding, with no one helping her.
Back in hippie commune, Sandor is still chopping wood. Then he hears something. He walks to the village and sees everyone dead with Septon Rey hang. He grabs his axe and the episode ends.
I was going to take a point away from this episode for the blatant trolling of LSH fans. Hound fans get him back. Euron fans get him. Benjen fans get him even though the excuse for his return is beyond ridiculous. Not including LSH will be the final nail into show's coffin for me - having Benjen, Sandor and others back and not her is just disgusting, misogynistic and will lead to lazy, awful writing (I have an idea how the Frey, Brienne. Jaime, Hound and BwB storylines can be resolved in the show without her and believe me, it sucks if what I predict is true).
Two times in the last two episodes we were reminded of Cat getting her throat cut. All RW mentions, going as far as crediting one of the renegades as Lem on GoT's viewers' guide. Ian McShane's line about never being too late to come back. Davos's line about the dead are coming.
I was so ready to decide they are trolling us again. But then then ending happened. And more importantly the music in the ending happened. It's a creepy variation of Brienne's oath music. A lot of people like to think it is Sandor's theme but it is not - it is played in Catelyn/Brienne, Sansa/Brienne oaths, Brienne and Jaime parting ways in KL and Brienne fighting Sandor scene. It is Brienne's oath music which I really think Ramin Djawadi made creepy in Oathkeeper track and in that ending track specifically for Stoneheart.
The North is in episode 9 but episode 8 or 10. And that show can finally be on the track to greatness again. By exploring the greatest, most morbid twist in the novels. If they are trolling us it's downright evil. Let's just keep the hype alive, for last time, for the next 20 days.
About the episode itself I thought it was splendid - the show, 6 years in, still has the ability to surprise with that clever use of cold open. I missed Meribald's Broken Man speech - in the books they have Sandor as reformed man, but here they clearly want him on the path of violence again. Still having Ian McShane's immense presence created an opportunity for the show in such a short time to show us the horror of violence touching even the peaceful people who don't want any part of the conflict.
Arya's storyline remains the most dynamic one of the show this year and Maisie Williams continuously impresses also playing the only Stark worth giving a damn at this point. King's Landing continues to be stale and whatever points Jaime scored this week are undone by a single line in the promo for next episode. Also did anyone miss Tyrion and Dany? I sure didn't.
This Sunday it's time for No One. Brienne reaches Riverlands and faces Jaime, Arya fights with Waif and Sandor gets revenge.