Author’s note: Jamie being unavailable, recap duties fell to me aided by a large glass of brandy.
Before we start, if there is one thing we can be sure of in Game of Thrones, either Arya or the Waif will be dead by the end of the episode.
Preview: Tommen declaring the crown and the fait. Cersei trial by combat. Jamie meeting the Blackfish. Tyrion and in trouble in Mereen. The Hound meets ‘the brotherhood without banners’. Arya fighting the Waif
Episode opens to the play with ‘Cersei’ mourning the death of Tommen. The actress returns to the dressing room to discover Arya bleeding. She nurses Arya The woman who ordered her death, Bianca will have difficulty finding work as an actress after being disfigured.
The company is moving on to Pentos. Arya is invited to join them.
The Hound finds and quickly dispatches four members of the Brotherhood without banners with an axe.
The new Red Priestess is preaching the praises of Danyrys again. Varys and Tyrion discuss the state of Mereen. Varys is skeptical as to the stability of the new peace. He is off on a journey to Westeros to secure ‘friends’ and ships.
Varys “I can hardly go off on a secret mission in the company of the most famous dwarf in the city”
Tyrion “Varys, The most famous dwarf in the world”.
A delegation of the faith militant comes to take Cersei to the Red Keep. This is not a request by the High Septon, it is an order. Frankengregor demonstrates that one of them has a detachable head. The rest decide not to proceed.
Is Cleganebowl, the trial by combat by the brothers Clegane going to happen? We have just seen both demonstrate impressive slaughtering capabilities.
RiverlandsBrienne parlays with Jamie. Bronn and Podrick renew their acquaintance. Podrick is training two hours a day. Brienne persuades Jamie to let her enter the castle to try to persuade the Blackfish to abandon Riverrun to help Jon take back Winterfell.
Brienne tries to give Oathkeeper, back to Jamie but he refuses, it is hers to keep. Brienne tells Jamie that if she fails and the castle is attacked she is honor bound to stay and fight for Sansa’s kinsman, ‘to fight you’. It is evident that both have feelings for each other but they are on different sides of the fight for now.
Brienne enters the castle but the Blackfish is intransigent and she sends a raven to Sansa to say she has failed.
There is an announcement being made from the Iron Throne. Cersei is not permitted to stand next to Tommen as an announcement is made from the Iron Throne. It is clear that she has been demoted, she is no longer a power broker in the kingdom.
The date of Cersei’s trial is set and trial by combat is now abolished. The trial will be in the great sept of Baylor before seven septons. Obviously news of Frankengregor has got back to the High Sparow. Cleganebowl is off.
Qyburn mentions ‘that old rumor’ Cersei asked him to investigate saying that he has found there is more to it, much more to it.
Tyrion is still trying to turn Grey Worm and Misandrei to be his drinking buddies. At the moment it appears he has finally made a breakthrough, an invasion fleet arrives, ‘the masters have come for their property’.
Seems we are never going to find out why Tyrion went into a brothel with a honeycomb and a Jackass.
Brienne having failed, Jamie tries to convince Edmure to order an end to the fight. Edmure has a son now, he was sired on his wedding night. If Edmure surrenders the son will be allowed to grow up as a knight with a castle of his own.
Edmure asks if Jamie considers himself a good man. Jamie will leave the judgements to the gods. Edmure continues asking how Jamie lives with himself, how does he tell himself that he is decent after everything he has done.
Jamie then turns the discussion to Catlyn and Cersei, two women who love their children with ferocity. He says that he will do anything that will allow him to return to Kings Landing and be with his sister and to do that he has to take Riverrun. Including putting Edmure and his son in a catapult and flinging them at the walls. Nothing matters to Jamie except for Cersei.
In the next scene, Edmure stands at the drawbridge of the castle and demands entry. The Blackfish tells the guards not to obey the order but he is ignored. Edmure enters the castle and orders the soldiers to lay down their arms.
Brienne and Pod escape in a boat. Brienne asks the Blackfish to join them but he fights to the death instead. Jamie watches and waves goodbye. Was it really Cersei that he did this for?
Bodycount: 6 (1 named).
The fleet immediately begins an attack with incendiaries. Tyrion attempts to take command but Grey Worm countermands the order. They are to stay in the pyramid as the only defensible location. Before they can act though, there is a crash and the lights dim. All looks lost but it is Drogon landing, Danyrys has returned!
The Hound catches up with the brotherhood who have caught the three men who murdered the septon and the villagers. They are about to hang them. They were members of the brotherhood, they have stained its name. After an argument the Hound is allowed to execute two of them but not with an axe.
“You’re getting old Clegane’, ‘he’s not’.
Bodycount: 9 (1 named)
Beric tries to persuade the Hound to join up: Cold winds are rising in the north. The brotherhood are talking about fighting the other.
As expected, we have the final showdown with the Waif who begins by murdering Lady Crane. Despite being stabbed in the gut last episode, Arya manages to jump out the window and a parcours chase follows. The Waif finally traps Arya in her hiding place, taunting her that she can die standing or on her knees, needle won’t help her. But Arya turns the tables by cutting through the candle.
The sequence ends with a trail of blood in the House of Black and White, a severed head (not a prepared face) is on the wall. It is not immediately clear if it is Arya or the Waif. Jaq’un approaches to examine it. Arya appears behind him with needle.
Jaq,un looks pleased, “Finally a girl is no-one”
Arya replies with the words fans have been wanting to hear for two seasons now, “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I am going home”
Bodycount 11 (2 named)