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Three “television enthusiasts,” the dynamic brother-sister duo of Marci and Rusty Buehler and Zac Hirschbeck, watch Game of Thrones each Sunday night and exchange their thoughts on the show’s happenings.
Zac: After a one-week hiatus, WE ARE BACK!
This week’s episode, much like last week, served largely as a set-up episode for looming battles. However, because it’s Game of Thrones, there still is much to talk about.
I think it’s fitting to start with Episode 7’s surprising return. Sandor Clegane (A.K.A. The Hound) returned after being left for dead by Brienne and Arya in Season 4. I don’t know about you guys, but I had completely forgotten about the Hound. After being mortally wounded on that countryside hill so many episodes ago, Arya’s decision to not put her long-time companion out of his misery seemed to signal the end of one of the show’s most amusing characters. However, as it turns out, The Hound rolled down that hill into the care of Ian McShane and his religious followers.
The Hound has long been a character that’s reflected the unfortunate way of life in Westeros. Although he’s committed a long list of despicable acts over the course of the show’s six-season run, Clegane has also appeared to possess redeemable traits. Even the poor character he’s displayed can somewhat be explained by his terrible upbringing (being the younger brother of The Mountain). His reintroduction certainly re-explored that territory. While it seemed he was open to Ian McShane’s pacifist attitude, the Hound’s cynical belief in The Brotherhood’s intentions proved justified when he awoke to find all of his newfound friends slain. Similarly to the cold view of the world that he passed along to Arya, The Hound was provided with a harsh dose of reality shortly after he contemplated a world without awful violence.
What did you guys make of The Hound’s return? And what do you expect from him moving forward? While it seems he’s on his way to murder as many of The Brotherhood as he can in the short-term future, will The Hound re-enter our weekly visits to Westeros?
The other talking point that I’d like to open with here is the happenings in King’s Landing. Between Lady Olenna’s tongue-lashing of Cersei (has anyone ever told off the Queen Mother in such enjoyable fashion?) and Margaery’s apparent plan to undermine the High Sparrow and Tommen (Margaery’s interesting again!), the conflict in King’s Landing seems to be far from over. Whether it’s Margaery, Cersei, or The FrankenMountain, I’m very ready for the Sparrows to be discarded from the show. While last week seemed to indicate that the religious zealots were here to stay after they brokered a deal with Tommen, I’m hopeful that was merely the showrunners utilizing a little misdirection. The High Sparrow in particular continues to grow more and more insufferable with each passing week. His talk with Margaery about her “duties” as queen simply added a bit more kindling to the “I hope the FrankenMountain kills the High Sparrow” fire. We shall see!
Those two plotlines are merely a fraction of what transpired this week!
What did you guys make of Jon, Sansa, and Ser Davos’ attempts at recruiting an army? Will Arya survive her duel with the Waif? Do Yara and Theon really stand a chance at uniting forces with (the absent) Mother of Dragons? And what about The Blackfish’s return to the fray?
Welcome back you guys! And what did you make of Episode 7?
Rusty: Hey Zac! I totally agree that this episode was ‘filler’-y and provided a lot of setup for the last three episodes of the season. However, I thought the writing did a really amazing job of economically moving a bunch of different plots and characters across the board. The Hound’s return was the best out-of-left-field moment of the season for me. He survived!! It’s a shame we didn’t get more Ian McShane time. Then again, he was also quoted as saying that GoT is a show mainly about “tits and dragons,” which may be telling as to why he took this role in particular. The only thing that involved makeup and prosthetics in McShane’s scenes were the Hound’s gnarly Swiss cheese scars. Has that makeup gotten better? He is one scary looking dude. I’m so excited that he’s back!
As to where he is headed… I’d bet it’s connected to where he is on the map. Where were those religious people? If they were close enough to the Blackfish then the Hound may run into Jamie Lannister and Brienne. Ooooh that is my prediction! Another Brienne/Hound showdown.
I also really dug the recruiting scenes with Jon, Sansa, and Davos. Also, I have one message for the child actor who played the Mormont princess: WOOOOORRRRRRRRK IT, GIRRRRRRRRL! She is an instant meme sensation in my imagination:
Her styles takes are KILLING IT. I tried searching for her Instagram handle and then realized she was a fictional character. You know she’d be giving the Kardashians a run for their money. I hope her 62 additional soldiers help out the army. Their next stop is a battle, where Ramsay will (hopefully) finally get his comeuppance.
Meanwhile, Theon, Yara, and their army of Ironborn are headed Meereen to hook up with Dany! That means Theon would also be within spitting distance of Varys and Grey Worm. Do you think they’d ever take their hack jobs out and see which one got it the worst? My money is on Theon. I’m really grateful he’s starting to get his groove back, but it’s a little funny to me that all it took was a few swigs on a Narragansett. I equate the Iron Islands as being the ‘Boston’ of Westeros, so a Narragansett or Sam Adams makes the most sense to me. Also, good on Yara for getting a little lady action in before heading out to sea. Love wins! Happy pride, boo!
MVP of the week goes to my man Wun Wun, who got a nice little moment in a scene that didn’t involve battles and/or violently crushing men into a castle wall like a rag doll. Dude showed some pathos and emotion in one pent up word…. “No!” A man of few words, but boy did they resonate. Also totally crazy that the CGI for that scene cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to have a giant say “no,” and then exit. Dolla dolla bills y’all!
Marci, what did you think?
MARCI: Hello boys! I was SUPER HAPPY to see the Hound return! We can only hope that Arya escapes from her assassination attempt and somehow meets up with Mr. Hound once again. Then my favorite buddy comedy can continue! Honestly they had to bring him back, purely for monetary purposes—Arya & The Hound was KILLIN’ IT at the box office and you know Hollywood can never resist a sequel.
I also was really digging the Mormont princess. It’s a good thing she’s here in time for July 4th, CUZ SHE’S A FIRECRACKER! Regardless of how much help those 62 men are to Jon’s army, I’m glad the Princess is along for the ride.
Rusty, when you say Theon and Yara are going to hook up with Dany, do you mean like hook up, hook up? I think Yara would be all about that, especially if they roll into town during one of Khaleesi’s naked speeches. I’m happy to watch How Theon Gets His Groove Back, although I’m not sure he can ever really recover from what happened with Ramsay.
I’m interested to also see what Margaery has up her sleeve – besides that little drawing she made of a flower. Was that to indicate something about her allegiance to her brother? Or their house? I wasn’t quite sure what the flower meant, but it was beautifully drawn. The High Sparrow must have been giving her some drawing lessons along with Bible Study.
My hopes for next week are that the fight with Ramsay might begin, because I’m not sure how much longer I can wait for the satisfying moment where he (hopefully) dies a terrible death, which will probably be way too noble for what he deserves.
Do you guys think that any more Stark children will find their way to one another before the season’s end? And what are you looking forward to next week?
Rusty: The Tyrell family symbol is a gold rose, which is why Margaery drew a rose and slipped it to Olenna when the shame nun wasn’t looking. That’s also why Loras’ nickname was the ‘Knight of the Flowers.’ Olenna wasn’t really feeling Cersei’s appeals to collaborate against the High Sparrow, but I have a feeling she’ll come around because she has no choice!
Cersei needs all the support she can get now that Jamie was sent out to deal with Blackfish. The only bright side to their separation is that it led to the reunion of Jamie and Bronn, who is the Jonah Hill to Jamie’s Channing Tatum. So salty! Bronn tossed out a lot of blue Westerosi humor in his scenes, which I totally appreciated. Jamie’s going to hook him up once they overtake Blackfish, making him a proper Lord and married to a pretty woman of stature. I hope he survives the season… I predict that we will lose three more players over the remaining three episodes. Right now I’m also a little concerned for Arya! Will she survive those tummy stabs from the Waif? To answer Marci’s question, I don’t think Arya will link up with any other Starks this season, but Rickon will either be rescued or killed.
I’m looking forward on checking back in with Bran next week. We still need to get more back story from his flashbacks, and I’m curious to see where Bran’s uncle is taking him. Back to the Wall? I bet we’ll also see Dany catch wind of Tyrion’s negotiating tactics to end slavery in 7 years… Not sure if she’s gonna be cool with that!
Zac, any big predictions as we head into the back end of the season?
Zac: I, like you both, enjoyed the introduction of little Lyanna Mormont. Her genuine ferocity toward Jon, Sansa, and her advisors was an enjoyable moment in the episode. I was a little disappointed by the moment we built to in that scene though. After Ser Davos’ speech and Lyanna’s decision to offer up the Bear Island forces, it was revealed that she could only contribute 62 men. Much like Jon and Sansa, I was a little underwhelmed with that number.
Also, after her introduction to the show, I couldn’t help but remember the other Mormont we’ve come to know… Jorah! While it appears the greyscale-afflicted warrior will likely be sidelined for the foreseeable future, I couldn’t help but do a quick dive into Jorah’s relationship with the little princess. It turns out they’re cousins! Also, Jorah has had a rough go of life. Here’s a brief quote from Jorah’s bio on Game of Thrones Wiki:
“His father later voluntarily joined the Night’s Watch, leaving Jorah as Lord of Bear Island and head of House Mormont. Jorah married Lynesse Hightower, but his new wife had expensive taste which Jorah struggled to fund to make her happy. Ultimately he resorted to selling poachers into slavery, which has been illegal in the Seven Kingdoms for millennia and is a great taboo throughout Westeros. Jorah was caught and disgraced. He was stripped of his Lordship and fled to the Free Cities to avoid being executed by Eddard Stark… His wife eventually left him for another, richer man.”
I liked Theon and Yara’s brief involvement in this week’s episode. Yara’s desire for “fucking the tits off” that prostitute was truly heart-warming, and although Theon couldn’t take part in the tomfoolery that his Ironborn brethren were enjoying, it was nice to see him a little more alive. While I’m still not altogether optimistic at their chances of evading their crazy Uncle Euron to join forces with Daenerys, I hope the Greyjoy siblings are successful in their quest. They (especially Theon) have had a rough go of it for a while now.
Lastly, before we move on to finishing by previewing next week, what did you guys make of The Blackfish? Like Benjen Stark and The Hound, Ser Brynden Tully was away from the show for a long period of time (three seasons). He actually was last seen during The Red Wedding. However, he escaped and apparently has been collecting the remnants of Northern armies and taking back Riverrun. Ultimately I hope that he decides to join forces with his great-niece (Sansa) instead of holding firm and fighting Jaime. I did enjoy his dismissal of Jaime though. While it wasn’t as satisfying as Lady Olenna’s takedown of Cersei, The Blackfish’s disregard for Jaime was pretty badass. Also, perhaps most important of all, why is he called “The Blackfish?” Has that story been told already?
Here’s the trailer for next week:
The last frame is quite frightening. It seems very likely that a Sparrow is going to lose his bucket to the FrankenMountain. Gross.
As far as hopes for this week, I hope Arya does manage to escape. Her decision to reclaim her name hasn’t bode well so far, but I have to think she manages to make it out of Braavos alive. Right? RIGHT?!?
Also, R+L=J. It has to happen. It just does.
Marci, care to take us home?
Marci: Wow! Based on the preview, next week looks to be very intense, and quite possibly full of death! Soooo… I’m naturally really excited about it. It looks like The Mountain is finally gonna start murdering some Sparrow Peepz and that’s pretty fun.
Zac, I honestly didn’t remember who The Blackfish was until you just reminded us. I think it’s cool that he’s taken his castle back, but for now that is a bit of a story that I don’t care about unless something more happens with it. I’m sure something big is on the way though – the scene of Jaime and Brienne chatting outside Riverrun about whether to attack the castle or not is quite compelling.
As far as our other big storylines, here are the Debbie Downer predictions I’m thinking will happen:
- Dany will deal with Tyrion next week, and it’s not gonna go so well. By the end of the season she will have met up with Theon and Yara. Sidenote: Theon will really start to get his groove back once he meets up with Dany and her friends, since two of her most prominent advisors also lack wieners (Varys & Greyworm). The three of them will form a Penis-less Trifecta of Super Heroes, combining their powers ala Captain Planet to summon a Penis Super Hero.
- Cersei calls trial by combat and The Mountain starts laying the smackdown in King’s Landing – I’m thinking that if this storyline continues how it’s going, someone is going to kill Tommen as they revolt against the Sparrows – but will it be The Mountain? Lady Olenna? Margaery? Cersei herself? (Probably not) But – I think the prophecy has been set forth that Cersei’s kiddos are doomed, so my guess is Tommen is a goner by the end of this season.
- Bold prediction: Jaime, desperate to get back to Cersei, decides to attack the castle at Riverrun – and in doing so finds himself in a position where either Brienne or him is going to die and in ultimate hero fashion, he sacrifices himself to save her life – leaving Cersei ALL ALONE IN THE WORLD.
- Rickon gets killed right before Ramsey’s demise. (wah, wahhhh) Sansa & Jon retake Winterfell (CUT TO BLACK, END SEASON 6)And lastly:
(BE CAREFUL, THIS MIGHT BE A SPOILER? BUT I’M NOT SURE…)
- There’s some weird fan conspiracy going on that Arya is fight clubbing herself and that the Waif doesn’t exist – I’m gonna go ahead and hope that’s not true because if so I hate it. I do hope she manages to escape the weird land she’s gotten entangled with and somehow run into The Hound once again…and possibly Sansa/Jon?
Okay, that’s about it for my weird dumb predictions today! It’s been fun, you guys, can’t wait to see what happens next week.
Until then, keep brushin’ off the haters, Maisie Williams!