As the credits of “No One” rolled and I was thinking about the episode; thinking about how it was now three episodes in a row of place-setting, subtle piece-moving and more table-setting I came to the realization that halfway through season six Game of Thrones had become a television show. Now you may think, it had always been a television show. Yes. That’s true. But because of the rich and thick source material it had at it’s disposal, it always felt like something more. With that source material now lagging behind it, the TV show is starting to feel like more of one. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just something I noticed. We never really had a stretch like the last three episodes because there was so much world-building happening that such space, such room to breath seemed inconceivable. But now I think things are starting to constrict, meaning that oddly enough, there’s more room on the margins if you’re so inclined to use it. And the show seems inclined.
And I’m okay with it. I’m mostly okay with it because I have confidence that these last two episodes will help the show regain the momentum it had in the first half of the season. Game of Thrones has a lot of trust equity built up. If we stuck with them after the Red Wedding and after Jon Snow was killed, we can certainly be okay with three episodes in which gasp, no one dies.
With that out of the way, here’s the song of the week, dedicated to our girl Arya.
Nice to have you back, girl.
Now, onto this week’s rankings.
Giddy Up America’s Game of Thrones’ Power Rankings: Week Eight
1. Keeping Up with the Lannisters
With Jon and Sansa 2.0 taking the week off, presumably to do more apologizing for their brother’s poorly-planned rebellion, the Lannisters take the top spot. For Cersei and Jaime it was a little bit up, a little bit down. In King’s Landing Cersei has been waiting notice about her trial. Her trial for what? Uh, I think incest. But I don’t totally remember. Maybe it’s for parking tickets. Could be for public intoxication. Just because you’re
Queen Queen Mum, doesn’t mean you can flout King’s Landing’s strict open containers laws. This isn’t New Orleans for crying out loud. Although to be fair, Cersei would love New Orleans. You know, minus the people.
I got side-tracked. It happens. Just ask my Darling Wife.
Cersei has been on stand-by, waiting for a date. She’s cool with it though because she’ll naturally accept trial by combat, select the Mountain has her champion and bing, bong, bomb, problem solved.
Oh wait, her son has been masterfully brain-washed by the High Sparrow. The High Sparrow is no fool, he just has no shoes. There’s a difference. And the last thing he needs done to accomplish his takeover is to remove Cersei from the equation. With Cersei having the Mountain in her corner, you can scratch off trial by combat. Bottom line here, Cersei is screwed. Are we sure Cersei survives this season? I’m starting to have my doubts. I also want to punch Tommen in the face. But not because of how he’s treating his mother, because yeah dude, that’s great you found religion but THAT’S YOUR MOM! She’s most likely on trial for having you. Do her a solid, man. Oh yeah, I want to punch Tommen in the face because his voice sounds like curdled milk.
On the other side of the coin, Jaime pretty much yadda-yadda’d the seige of Riverrun, getting Edmure to flip by promising to reunite him with his son, who he has never seen. Aw, that’s nice. Who cares. That was anti-climatic. And humiliating for the Blackfish. A sobering reminder that his generation is donzo. It’s all about the kids now, buddy. The Blackfish was part of the old guard and where is the rest of the old guard? Dead. He’d have been able to see that if he were able to open his eyes.
You can’t even see the trees, let alone the forest for the trees, if you can’t open your eyes. R.I.P. The Blackfish. You had a cool nickname.
Not cool, though? Riverrun’s secret escape route – the one taken by Brienne and Pod as Riverrun was being casually invaded by Lannisters and Freys. As they boarded that little dingy, you expected them, or at least I did, to row their way into a nearby marsh or something. You know, something secretive. Instead they found themselves rowing right past the main gate. It’s a good thing Jaime saw them and not someone else or they’d be eff’d. What the hell Riverrun? Make better escape routes for crying out loud.
2. A Girl Must Get Her Act Together
Before celebrating the return of Arya, can we at least wonder when the hell The Waif became the Faceless Man’s version of T 1000?
Stone cold, Waif. Stone cold. And now you’re dead. That’s dope. You sucked. You fell for the old “follow the trail of blood” trick too. What kind of assassin does that? The dead kind. Hey yo!
Arya rejecting the Many Faced God and the House of Black & White was a long-time coming. Thank God. It was generally exciting when she ended up in Braavos last season and generally disappointing by how it turned out. How did we not see that coming? We should have been down on the whole deal from the jump, seeing as how Arya was going there to stop being Arya. That’s a bummer and thankfully, we can say that in the past tense because that would have been a bummer. Now hurry up and get to Winterfell Arya! No more weird detours please. Steer clear of old men, waifs and theater folk. It’s for the best.
3. Damn, Danys
Let me just say that I was already a fan of Missandei. However, a lil’ tipsy Missandei is a pure delight!
Oh and Daenerys came back. Cool. She stormed into the crib like a mom breaking up a party of underage kids drinking. All that was missing was Tyrion frantically trying to stash his decanter under his pillow.
But otherwise…eh. Not feeling this right now. I’m kind of curious where Varys is headed though. Also, I’d like a raise of hands for who, when they showed all those ships in Slavers’ Bay, at first thought they were Yara and Theon. Don’t lie. You totally thought that.
4. The Hound…not dead yet
Something the Hound is good at: killing people.
Something the Hound is bad at: swearing off killing people.
And now the Hound is being recruited by the Brotherhood without Banners to help fend off the White Walkers. I’d recommend getting homeboy some chicken because heading north to fight an army of effin’ zombies is a big ask. Two chickens at least.
Two episodes left! Next week is the Ramsey vs Jon throwdown. Get excited.