Season 5, Episode 8: Hardhome. Season 4, Episode 8: The Mountain & The Viper. These are the quality episodes we’ve come to expect this late in the season. “No One” was set up for a spectacular show down and convergence of great story lines, but we were left with a piecemeal episode of off-screen deaths and unsatisfying realizations. The season continued to push characters in certain directions but the week’s worth of anticipation was unfulfilled by the longest Game of Thrones episode to date. Jump below and we’ll quickly cover our top 5 this week.
5. Dany’s Return
Short and sweet just like the scene. Varys is leaving Meereen on a secret mission. Varys has always been one of the better characters on the show and he has great chemistry with Tyrion. It’s a shame he’s leaving right before Dany comes back but hopefully he’s off to better things.
It was a fun but useless scene with Tyrion and the others, and while culminating in the dramatic return of Dany, it could’ve probably waited till we could have some pay off, because overall it became underwhelming since we didn’t return to Meereen the rest of the episode. Ultimately it’ll be interesting to see how she deals with the crew after they’ve apparently made a mess of everything.
It would have been awesome to see the dragons take on the Slavers army, but alas it had to happen off screen. A reoccurring theme this episode.
Clegane Bowl 2016 is currently on hold because Tommen is an ass, although it doesn’t seem the Hound will be making his way to Kings Landing quickly. He’s met again with the Brotherhood of Bannerless men. It was nice to know they haven’t taken a turn for the worse with the murder of the sect last episode, as we’re reunited with them as they’re punishing those responsible. It was good banter between the Hound and Beric Dondarrion but ultimately did nothing to move forward the story line. It was amazing the Hound go crazy with an axe.
Jamie reminds us this week he’s the villain and he’ll do whatever it takes to get back to his lover or sister, which are both the same. Jamie stop being so creepy, we really, really, want to like you! However, he took the castle with very little blood shed. He provided some of the best dialog of the episode between his chat/manipulation of Edmure Tully, and his discussion with Brienne of Tarth.
The real problem was the Blackfish. Talk about a character you’re rooting for but just does stupid things. I understand honor and loyalty, but he provided none of those and was another off screen death. He could have been used perfectly up North as a councilman for Sansa and Jon, but again we’re left with zero pay-off and a fight scene death we’ll never see.
No more “Trail by Combat”! TOMMEN! You’re brainwashed by the High Sparrow. Stop doing what you’re doing, because you’ve just ruined the Clegane Bowl 2016! Stop it! You’re becoming worse than Joffrey.
The great part about King’s Landing was the Zombie Mountain. Did you see him rip off that dudes head? Straight out of Mortal Kombat and onto the screen. It was great and I can’t wait to see much more. However, since Tommen sucks, I wonder how long we’re going to have to wait.
We did find out that Qyburn’s little birdies have been searching for something for Cersi, and they’ve found it. What ‘it’ is remains to be seen, but it’s a safe assumption it is the rest of the wild fire chilling under the city. Cersi has lost everything, even her child, how long till she just blows up the city…
Arya, Arya, Arya… what were you doing? After some crazy theories, the show took the safe route. Arya was the one who got stabbed. Arya was the one running around flaunting money. Arya was the one who didn’t carry Needle around even though she clearly knew they would be hunting for her. It’s out of character for someone who had clearly planned to be hiding, as her current bed was in the sewers of Bravos. She really does know better and it’s disappointing they took the route they did.
Maybe it’ll have some payoff later but it feels like poor writing for a character who should know better. Lady Crane is now dead and so is the Waif. If you guessed that both their deaths happened off-screen, you’d be correct. Let’s give Arya a little credit with cutting the candle. That was one of the most awesome parts of the episode.
Ultimately, Arya is free. Jacqen let her walk away. He smirked a little. Maybe he knows something we don’t, maybe he’s just impressed he couldn’t make her No One. Overall, Arya is on her way back to Westeros and that is the most important thing, it is a shame to have such poor pay-off on a 2 season arc. Maybe there is more here than we currently know, but it is a little depressing to never see her become a faceless man.
Overall a poor episode by Game of Thrones standards, but hopefully there is more than meets the eye. 2 episodes left and the Bastard Bowl is next. Leave your thoughts below or let me know if there is something I missed!
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