Game of Thrones: “The Broken Man”

On Episode 7, we saw the return of a long-lost character and a return to GOT’s more dialogue-driven roots. Here is “The Broken Man” as it happened…

“All you need is… hate.” – The Hound

The episode opens with the pre-title sequence of pre-title sequences, our boy, the hound, has come bounding back to our television screens. He’s found respite from the cold, murder-y world in an idyllic hippie community. There’s beautiful weather, all the wood he can chop, and all the chicken he can eat. Could this be the hound’s vision of heaven?

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Of course, knowing Game of Thrones, if it seems too good to be true, it is, but we’ll get to that later. Ian McShane plays a phenomenal Septon Ray, an agnostic do-gooder with a violent past, who drops pearls of wisdom while simultaneously reminding me of a human Shrek. Truly, a layered performance, he really brought the Hound out of the mire: metaphorically, of course.

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Both have impeccable fashion sense, to say the least.

“If the path is hard to find, use Google Maps.”  – High Sparrow

Our next scene takes us to King’s Landing, where Margaery continues to perfectly play the role of the pious queen. She’s testing the limits of the High Sparrow’s patience and the first cracks are beginning to form. The High Sparrow has a vision, and from his less-than-admirable conversation with Margaery, it’s clear he’s not going to let anyone’s feelings get in the way. Meanwhile, Tommen’s balls are bluer than Jon Snow on a rainy day, but he’s still irrelevant, so…

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“g2g ttyl ily” – Lady Olenna

Margaery convinces Lady Olenna to leave King’s Landing after reaffirming loyalty to her house with a REALLY SUBTLE doodle. Now that Olenna has been beaten, it’s up to Margaery and the Sparrow to decide the kingdom’s fate, barring the scenario where Cersei just burns it all down. I believe with her newfound pious image, if something “unfortunate” were to happen to the Sparrow, Margaery would be in an excellent position to co-opt this movement. Cersei is all alone, save the Qyburn and the Mountain, but she’s been hinting all season that she won’t go down without a fight.

“Get off my lawn.” – Lord Glover

The Stark/Snow campaign is off to a rocky start. Neither North-person is very experienced in politics, and their main campaign platform, to prevent the destruction of all humanity, somehow isn’t quite getting the point across, which is oddly reminiscent of global warming.

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“White Walkers are a hoax invented by the Chinese to take our jobs.” – Donald Trump

Jon and Sansa’s door-to-door, house-to-house campaigning brings them to Bear Island, where Lyanna Mormont, the little lady lord, tears through their feeble attempts to evoke sentimentality or read through their resumés. It takes Ser Davos, the savvy campaign manager, to win her allegiance.

Their venture to entreat house Glover does not find similar success. This scene did a lot to remind the audience that while Jon Snow is a god-like hero up at the wall, his deeds mean nothing outside of the Night’s Watch. This really is a new beginning for him.ep57-ss09-1920-1024x576

At the conclusion of the episode, they have a small army and a smaller amount of time. Jon Snow proves himself to be a regular Ned Stark, more concerned with honor and righteousness than practicality. But since Sansa learned her politics from Petyr Baelish, I predict an increasingly sly, manipulative future for her. She sends to Baelish for help, which possibly means a deal with the devil. Only Davos, it seems, has the right balance of intelligence and morality, head and heart, the fate of the world may be resting on his Seaworthy shoulders.

Side note: Jon Snow’s post reincarnation existential despair is really bumming me out, I really hope he returns to his old, cheery self soon.

“Thank you. We’ll handle it from here” –Jaime and Bronn

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Note the Die Hard reference, please. Very important movie.

One of GOT’s best duos is on the road again, and their witty dialogue is magnificent. Game of Thrones seems to be increasingly self-aware lately, which helps it feel fresh even in its sixth season. It seems Jaime and Bronn were very much needed, as we see a monty-python-esque siege scene play out between the Frey’s and the Blackfish, whom we have also forgotten about since season three.

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That slap was for their taste in hats.

Granted, the Frey boys are up against a tough audience, as the Blackfish subsequently makes Jamie look like a fool as well. With Brienne entering the mix in the next episode, I’m excited to see what comes out of this siege.

“No more dick jokes.” – Theon

On their way to treat with the great Khaleesi, Yara makes a pit stop in Volantis for some clubbin’, and Theon is feeling a little left out. He’s clearly a shell of a man, so Yara gives him a little bit of that Iron Born tough love. Part of me wants Theon to regain his confidence, but on the other hand, confident Theon was a total dick.

“Look behind you, you fucking idiot!” – Everyone

Arya, having a strange amount of confidence for having just betrayed an elite murder cult, is arranging passage to Westeros ASAP. A sappy song begins to play, as Arya gazes off into the sunset, representative of her bright future. Then, a nice old lady STABS HER REPEATEDLY. The Waif is out for blood, wants Arya to feel the pain, and seems very willing to take her time. A terrifying sequence unfolds as Arya stumbles through the streets, knowing that any given stranger could be a faceless assassin.

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“It’s not about waiting for the gods to answer your prayers, it’s not even about the gods, its about you” – Septon Ray

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This is the first time I’ve used an actual quote, but I can’t state enough how much I enjoyed that speech. Septon Ray chooses non-violence despite being well aware of its futility. He dies a peaceful man in a violent world, rather than letting it corrupt him. On the other hand, the Hound is still a hate-driven outsider despite the kernel of goodness inside him. He is ready to become the vengeful defender of the weak we always knew he could be. Exciting stuff, and there’s a MOUNTAIN of possibilities for the future.