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Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 8: “No One”
Lady Crane took Arya’s advice to change Cersei’s reaction to her son’s death to a great feedback from the audience. Taking revenge is exactly what Arya intends. Crane finds the wounded Arya in the dressing room, waiting for her. At this point, Lady Crane is the only person that Arya trusts. Arya gets to know her on a deeper level as Lady Crane stiches her up. She got good at stitching wounds after she’d stabbed her lovers multiple times. Beneath the lady-like surface, Lady Crane is a bad girl. She even roughs up Bianca, the actress who hired assassins to kill her, to the point that she’d probably never find acting gigs again. She never adhered to the housewife role with never learning to cook, though she did know how to sew… a body. Lady Crane invites Arya to perform with the acting troop. Arya insists she isn’t safe as long as Waif is out there looking for Arya. Arya the Adventurer wants to go to he edge of the world, where no one else has gone before. Lady Crane gives her milk of the poppy to sleep. After an initial refusal, Arya submits to the sleep inducement, and Lady Crane holds her hand, as if she were a daughter. This is the most care Arya has received since she left her own mother. It’s a tender gesture that Arya doesn’t even witness to appreciate.
Arya begins to stir, and Lady Crane looks for some medicine. Sh turns around to find a young man staring at her. Arya wakens to stumbling sounds and sees Lady Crane dead in a pool of blood. Waif tells Arya that she had to die because the Many-Faced God was promised her name, and now he’s been promised another one: Arya’s. Arya escapes and runs through the city like her last name is Bourne. Her wound opens as she tumbles down stairs over fruit she spilled. She leaves a purposeful blood trail to her home, where Needle awaits her. Waif enters to find Arya sitting, hiding Needle beneath her. Arya looks up, pulls Needle out, and slices the candle, putting out its flame and leaving the room pitch black.
In the House of Black and White, Jaqen approaches a tower of faces by a trail of blood. He looks up to see Waif’s bloody face. Behind him is Arya, holding Needle to Jaqen. He tells Arya that finally she is No One, but Arya says that she is Arya Stark of Winterfell and is going home. Jaqen smiles, and Arya leaves the Hall, not murdering him. He is the reason she is alive, after all. Finally after all this time, Arya decides what she wants, who she wants to be, though we all knew it all along, which was the worst part of her story. She learned crucial fighting techniques and managed to strike one person off her list. We learn that Arya was purposeful in almost everything she did. Perhaps she purposefully lost to Waif time and time again, making Waif think she could defeat Arya when it came time for Arya’s escape. She knew she’d always be a Stark. The closer we got to this moment, the closer she got to returning to her roots, believing that people who are awful deserve to die rather than ones out of pitiful feuds and jealousy. RIP Lady Crane; for you were a character worthy of living longer.
The Hound goes on a bloody rampage looking for Lemoncloak with entrails and heads following him. He finds him strung up by Beric Dondarrion as a traitor, mucking up the Brotherhood’s good name. Beric is taking on Lady Stoneheart’s role from the book, much to my disappointment. Beric makes a deal that the Hound is allowed to kill two of them. As the Hound is about to chop them up with his ax, Beric forces him to hang the two of three. As the life slowly and painfully chokes out of Lemoncloak, the Hound takes his boots. The Brotherhood offers the Hound to join them and go North. Will he go North with them? Likely. There, he’ll likely run into Brienne and Arya, both with whom he has not-so-great history. More than half of the cast will now be at the Battle of the Bastards, and Jon will have no idea that he’ll get support from every place in Westeros to take back Winterfell and then fight the Undead.
As Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne approach Riverrun, Pod declares that it looks like a siege. Brienne sarcastically comments, “You have a keen military mind, Pod.” Brienne spots Jaime in the distance and requests to be brought to Jaime Lannister, for she has his sword. While she meets with him, Bronn acts like a frat guy, wondering if Brienne and Jaime will have sex and if Pod has taken up with Brienne. This is a pointless conversation that adds nothing to the plot or to the characters, except making Pod into a faithful and sexless squire. But Bronn promises to teach Pod how to fight with more stealth, rather than knightly fighting as Brienne is teaching him. Lessons begin with a slap to Pod’s face. Inside, Jaime tells Brienne he’s proud of her and that she’s fulfilled her duty to Catelyn, whose name has been coming up an awful lot this season, much to my scarred pain. He does note that Cersei wants Sansa dead, however. Brienne informs him that she’s here to take the Tullys North with her to help retake Winterfell. She wants to strike a deal: that she enter Riverrun and persuade Blackfish to submit the castle to the Freys and allow Blackfish to lead the Tully forces north. Jaime thinks it won’t work due to him being even more stubborn than she is, but he allows her to try. She attempts to give him his sword back because she fulfilled her oath, but he tells her to keep it in an earnest and tender moment. Brienne makes the moment heartbreaking because she must protect House Tully by honor if she fails to persuade Blackfish, which means she must fight Jaime.
When Brienne does meet Blackfish, it’s like they’re looking in the mirror, both stubborn to their cause. Blackfish finally submits to reading Sansa’s letter to her and notes that she is exactly like her mother, which proves every one of my points about Sansa becoming more and more like her mother. Catelyn knew every bit about being a Lady of the home, but also knew how to run a castle. She knew how to rally troops, knew how to make dishonorable people honorable, knew how to cut deals, and knew how to strategize war through knowing allegiances and personalities. She’s witnessed the major personalities of Westeros, a valuable asset to Jon Snow’s army. It doesn’t matter how much Sansa reminds him of Catelyn though; he refuses to relinquish his castle to Jaime Lannister according to Brienne’s plans.
After Brienne fails to persuade Blackfish, Jaime takes to another plan concerning Edmure. Jaime whole appeal is to familial devotion, and he admits to Edmure that he respected the hell out of Catelyn, more than almost anyone, reminding him of Cersei. This relation of Catelyn and Cersei is evident in Arya’s own simultaneous experience with Lady Crane taking on the motherly role of Catelyn for Arya and the motherly role of Cersei for the stage. He’d do anything for Cersei, and Edmure would do anything to protect what’s left of his family, including the son he hasn’t seen yet, which Jaime would launch over the wall with a catapult. Edmure appeals to Jaime’s sense of honor, of being a good person. Edmure is then forced to do Jaime’s bidding. The soldiers obey Edmure’s command to enter the castle, since he is the Lord of Riverrun. Blackfish realizes the soldiers have turned against him now in support of Edmure, who orders the gates open to the Freys and Lannisters. Blackfish disappears to the canal that leads out of the castle to help Brienne and Pod escape. Brienne attempts to persuade him to come along to help protect Sansa. Blackfish says that she could protect Sansa more than he ever could and wants to die fighting, which happens off screen, which is such a disappointment and a disgrace to his character. After the effort he went through in taking back his home, in defending his home, and in defending his family’s honor, he dies. Off. Camera. Edmure, you piece of trash person; you betrayed your family for your own life and that life of Frey trash. Go away, you dolt. Even though Brienne did not persuade him, the plans came through anyway. It should be reward to Brienne to gain a host of Tully forces to bring with her, but it didn’t happen as part of the deal. Jaime and Brienne wave goodbye to each other, as Brienne and Pod float down the river. Will they see each other again? Probably, if Jaime lives that long. The war will be forced to be taken to the North. Their relationship is one of my favorites. It’s one in which Jaime is able to show that he is a decent person somewhere there. In a way, Brienne is also his channel to honoring Catelyn Stark, the woman who gave him a second chance, the woman who made him into an honor-bound man, allowing him to start to heal himself after breaking oaths of slaying the King he swore to protect.
A red priestess preaches to the people of Daenerys’s role as the promised one in the streets of Mereen. She presses that they must all stay faithful to the Queen and her advisers so that no man will make slaves of them again. Tyrion advises that his plans were a success, but Varys still does not like that he made a deal with religious zealots. Varys bids Tyrion farewell to leave on a secret mission in Westeros to retrieve ships. I suspect he’ll be going to the Iron Islands to seek Euron. If only he’d stay just one more day, he might see the better Ironborn come in with their fleet.
Tyrion insists that Grey Worm and Missandei drink with him and enjoy life for once. He asks them to tell jokes as he forces them to drink, accusing of disobeying the queen if they don’t drink to his toast to her. The joke telling goes slowly. Grey Worm eventually tells a joke flatly. Missandei begins to laugh. As Tyrion’s plan starts to work, Mereen’s alarm bells ring. The Slavers Bay ships come, and Missandei says, “The Masters have come for their property.” The ships launch fiery bombs at Mereen with catapults. At least they aren’t babies, like Jame had planned. Grey Worm insists they stay there in the pyramid, where it’s the best stronghold. Just as he does, the pyramid shakes. An Unsullied soldier goes outside in the dark and kneels. Daenerys enters the room silently and boldly with Drogon flying in the background, shooting fireballs at the Slavers’ ships. What will become of Tyrion after he admits fault in this deal with Slavers Bay? Will Dany trust him, even thorugh her dragons trust him?
The Faith Militant, led by Lancel Lannister, wait for Cersei at the Red Keep to take her to the High Sparrow. She refuses to leave the Red Keep. Lancel threatens to take her with violence if she does not come willingly, and she chooses violence. At that, one of the Faith Militant charges at Zombie Mountain, getting his beak-like ax stuck in Zombie Mountain’s chestplate. The Mountain throws him down and rips his head off his body to the Faith’s surprise and horror and Cersei’s delight. Cersei lets this be a message to the High Sparrow that she will not bend to his word. He must surrender to her terms.
Cersei enters the throne room to wonder why she wasn’t informed of an announcement. Her uncle Kevan then informs her that there is an announcement... right now. She begins to walk to take her seat by the throne, but Kevan tells her she must sit with all the other ladies of the court to the side. Tommen begins by once more using Cersei’s own rhetoric against her and declaring that a trial by combat is now illegal due to it not being just according to the gods. Therefore, Cersei and Loras will go to trial on the First Day of the Mother. This is a direct response by the High Sparrow to her choosing violence against the Faith Militant earlier. Qyburn informs Cersei that the rumor they’d heard of turns out to be true. What rumor is this? Does it concern the High Sparrow or Margaery? What card will Cersei play now that she has been stripped of her defense strategy, sure to win?
All Roads Point North
As we wind down the sixth season, all roads point to the North. Arya, Riverrun, the Eyrie, and the Wildlings are all brought into the War in the North to take back Winterfell and defend Westeros from the Army of the Dead. It will be an action-packed seventh season, which is probably why it’s shortened, so as to save on the budget cutbacks, like having actors die off screen but no names die on screen from disgusting ax murders. In this episode, the Hound finds purpose anew in joining the Brotherhood without Banners, Arya finds her purpose of going home, Cersei finds purpose in destroying the High Sparrow with all her force, Blackfish relinquishes his purpose for life after he relinquishes his home, and in his Freyspawn family Edmure Tully finds purpose to give Riverun to the Freys.
Who is winning the Game of Thrones?
Who is winning the Game of Thrones, as of this episode?
© 2016 SE Andres