Recap: No One (Season 6, Episode 8)

arya-waif-braavos

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

Show open.

Braavos

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

The Hound finds and quickly dispatches four members of the Brotherhood without banners with an axe.

Bodycount: 4

Meereen

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”.

King’s Landing

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.

Bodycount 5.

Riverlands

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Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) arrives with Pod in the Riverlands.

Brienne 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.

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Brienne presents Sansa’s request to the Blackfish.


Brienne enters the castle but the Blackfish is intransigent and she sends a raven to Sansa to say she has failed.

King’s Landing

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.

Meereen

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.

Riverlands

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).

Meereen

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

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.

Braavos

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)

20 Comments

  • Reply June 13, 2016

    Jamie Adair

    First of all, huge thanks to Phil for writing this recap. Thanks!

    Does anyone understand what happened with Arya and Jaq’un Hgar? He looked pleased Arya killed the Waif, but he even seemed slightly pleased when Arya told him she was still Arya. Was his plan along to train her for a different purpose? To return as a warrior to her homeland?

    • Reply June 13, 2016

      Phillip Hallam-Baker

      The producer’s take in the special was that Jaq’un is doing what it is his duty to do as a faceless man, that is recruit and train Arya to be like him. But there is still some human left in him and he is pleased that he has failed.

      My take is that it has been very clear that the Waif is not really FM material. She has the physical skills but she is far too emotional. And Arya tricks her into thinking she is more badly injured than she is.

      I think the open hire of the boat passage was an attempt to lure the Waif out into the open. But it went wrong and Arya got stabbed. But the Waif is incompetent, stabbing someone in the gut with a dagger isn’t actually likely to kill them because the intestines will move out of the way of the blade (different case with bullets). SAS training would be to go for the throat or the back of the neck. In the second encounter, Arya is deliberately leading the Waif back to a location where she knows she can turn the odds to her side.

      • Reply June 13, 2016

        Jamie Adair

        Phil, I’m seriously frightened that you know this stuff about the intestines.

    • Reply June 13, 2016

      Jun

      My take is Jaqen is madly in love with Arya and wants her to be happy. If she wants to go home than good for her. OK that’s ridiculous but your guess is as good as mine.

      • Reply June 13, 2016

        Phill Hallam-Baker

        I don’t think it is exactly ‘love’. I think that it is more professional respect for her skills.

        Arya is not afraid to threaten him as she does when she names him as the next person to kill in Harrenhall.

        • Reply June 13, 2016

          Jamie Adair

          I like Jun’s take better. It is more of a romamtic Bollywood ending. 🙂 Well, minus the assasins.

      • Reply June 14, 2016

        Apocalyptic Queen

        I think he has some affection for her but not in a romantic sense. I think it is more of a case of him wanting to look out for her because she once saved his life.

    • Reply November 6, 2016

      Crassus

      She set him free so he thought that he owed her a debt. The Faceless Ones arose from the oppressed. He probably has some sympathy for her and thought of her as someone who could benefit from their training and was worthy of it.

  • Reply June 13, 2016

    Jun

    I have not seen the episode but just want to point out that a man’s name is Jaqen H’ghar (I know, weird Lorathi stuff). A man is in Citadel rather than Braavos in the novels.

    • Reply June 13, 2016

      Jamie Adair

      Lol. I can never spell his name right. I have to check it every time I write it. (Obviously I should have checked a little more this time! )

  • Reply June 13, 2016

    Phillip Hallam-Baker

    The episode is all about people having a conflict between choosing to be a good or a bad person. This is made most explicit with Jamie but it is the key to the rest.

    We start with the Hound whose attempt to turn from fighting to a good life has just ended in disaster. It is not clear what he is going to do next but it is very clear that he is a changed man.

    We finish with Arya, most likely because she has been the principal catalyst for the change in the Hound. But there is also a conflict in Jaq’un. He has failed to make Arya a faceless man, she has killed one of them, he has ordered her death yet he isn’t going to kill her.

    In the middle we have the conflict between Jamie and Brienne who are clearly attracted to each other but are separated by duty to their family. The Blackfish throws his life away in the pursuit of ‘honor’.

    And then there is Tommen who has just sacrificed his own mother, presumably in return for Loras. Though the small council is probably glad to be rid of Cersei.

    And Cersei is the key to the entire episode. Given the choice, she chooses violence. And she is going to double down and choose violence when it comes to the trial.

    • Reply June 14, 2016

      WATCHER ON THE COUCH

      I don’t want to spoil anything but are you one of those who thinks Cersei is going to go “firecrackers”.

      Sorry the Blackfish died, I liked the book version

      BOOK SPOILER
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      where he escaped by means of an underwater gate.

      Still I was one of the ones who preferred

      BOOK SPOILER

      Jeyne Westerling to Talisa but many people found Jeyne Westerling one note.

      I follow the show as a separate entity to the books now – there are some things I like the show for and some things I like the books for. Book Jaime still thinks of Cersei but he’s not so besotted with her at the corresponding stage in the books because he had learned of her “infidelity”.

      Maybe show Jaqen is grateful to show Arya for saving his life when he was in the cage with Rorge and Biter when the fire broke out back in season 2.

      • Reply June 14, 2016

        Phill Hallam-Baker

        I suspect that the reason that the Blackfish was killed off is that the action is converging on Winterfell. It is unlikely that Season 7 will have any significant action outside Westeros and I suspect that the only places of consequence will be Kings Landing, Winterfell and the Wall. Sam will find whatever he is looking for in Old Town and return.

        The convergence of characters on Winterfell creates something of a traffic jam. there is room for Edmure or the Blackfish but not two Tullys unless they are going to argue.

      • Reply June 17, 2016

        Jamie Adair

        I really liked the book version where the Blackfish swims away. I thought that was cool and fitting. I like the way he gave himself the black fish name after his brother’s black sheep comment (or was that black goat?). And I loved the black scaly armor he wore on the show. I don’t know why they didn’t let the Blackfish swim away… it would have left the door open for intriguing possibilities, if not stories in our minds.

    • Reply November 6, 2016

      Crassus

      or kidney. Colonel Bull Simons always said the kidney was the best target for a knife.

  • Reply June 13, 2016

    Jamie Adair

    And speaking of romance… were the scenes with Brienne and Jaime not awesome? Call me a sap, but I loved that bit.

  • Reply June 14, 2016

    Apocalyptic Queen

    Great recap.

    Interestingly, did I detect a bit of parallel foreshadowing going on in this episode?

    Jaime compared Catelyn to Cersei Lannister which thoroughly displeased Edmure Tully. What was interesting to me was this line: “they’d burn cities to the ground to protect their children”.

    There has been more than one mention of Cersei using fire to get what she wants. She mentioned fire in season 4 (when warning her father not to manipulate Tomnen for his own gain) and again in season 5 (“I’d burn their city to the ground before I’d let them hurt him”).

    Ultimately, I think Cersei will burn Kings Landing – either to “protect” Tommen or to wreak vengeance.

    Speaking of Tommen, he reminded me in this episode of the boy King Edward VI (son of Henry VIII).

    Like Tommen, Edward became pious and devout (something I am beginning to see occurring with Tommen). He was also a somewhat lonely and isolated boy, alienating himself from his closest family members (he seems to be extricating himself from Cersei, much like Edward did with his uncles, Edward and Thomas Seymour). Like Edward, it has been remarked by Cersei and Tyrion that there are many who wish to wield power by manipulating him (the Seymours and possibly the Northumberlands with Edward, and the Faith Militant with Tommen – I am not convinced that Tywin, Jaime and Kevan were not acting in the boy’s best interests though). Finally, like Edward, I believe Tommen will die young, leaving the succession in a quandry with a number of female successors vying for his place (remember Lady Jane Grey and Mary I?). Just as with the Tudors, Westeros is experiencing a bit of a sea-change where all the male claimants have been extinguished and only the females survive – Cersei, Daenerys with a potential queen in the North in the shape of Sansa Stark and Yara in the Iron Islands.

    I was gutted with the death of Lady Crane though. I’d oddly gotten used to the prospect that Arya might eventually renounce Westeros and settle in the more idyllic, Braavos, perhaps joining the theatre troupe. I flso thought she was starting to engage in a sort of role-reversal with her sister, Sansa, that might see the latter take up leadership of the Starks and avenge the Lannisters, with the former turning to acting and renouncing violence.

  • Reply June 14, 2016

    Apocalyptic Queen

    Also forgot to add Sand Snakes in Dorne and Margaery in Highgarden. Mirrors Tudor history when for the first time, the heads of major houses were women – Mary queen of Scots, Jane Grey, Eleanor Brandon, Mary Tudor, Margaret Pole etc.

  • Reply June 17, 2016

    Argie

    Curious if there is a bit of foreshadowing in the recap, when Phil states that ‘Cerci’ in the play is mourning Tommen, when it should be Jeoffry, no? We know his days are numbered, as the witch foresaw so many years ago, and that will surely set Cerci ablaze- no pun… The “rumor” she spoke of with the maester could have to do with some famous flammable material hidden away somewhere.
    There is a fan theory that Jaqen is actually Syrio (or vice versa), which is where his affection for Arya might come from. Could be interesting.
    Is there is a historical inspiration for the Hound? Perhaps he will reunite with Arya now that he is with the Brotherhood, which was started/inspired by her father.

    • Reply June 18, 2016

      Apocalyptic Queen

      I agree about the rumour and Jaqen. I think any affection he has for her is paternal. I think he had the power to see she would triumph over the Waif. With the Hound, could the men leaving to join the ME crusades be the inspiration? Also read that Rasputin could have inspired Qyburn.

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