The title for Game Of Thrones’ Season 6, Episode 7 was “The Broken Man.” Like other episode titles, this one could apply to a number of characters. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re down and out. There are only three more episodes left and plenty remains to be seen. However, the chess pieces are moving rapidly across the board and it’s anyone’s guess where we’ll wind up by finale’s end. Let’s explore this further …
Guess who’s back?
One thing you learn in soap operas is that unless there’s a body, a character is not dead, and on Game Of Thrones, a character might STILL not be dead even when there is a body. (Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrion anyone?)
The fact that the recap was not immediately followed by the opening credits signaled that something huge was going to be revealed, and it was, in both a literal and figurative sense with the triumphant return of fan favorite, the Hound!
When we last saw the Hound, Arya had left him bleeding on a hillside after his fight with Brienne. She had sentenced him to a long and drawn-out death until he was rescued by Ian McShane’s character (probably a hybrid of Elder Brother and Septon Meribald from the books since there’s currently no character name for McShane under the credits). All we learn is that he found the Hound, nursed him back to health and welcomed him into the community McShane’s character had established in the countryside.
If you didn’t cheer when you saw him, then we can’t be friends. (No, seriously, we can’t.) Despite his brutal nature, the Hound’s a softie at heart. We saw it in his relationship with Sansa, then with Arya, and again tonight after the Brotherhood Without Banners slaughtered everyone in the community and hung McShane’s character. The Hound had been chopping wood when he heard the screams, but it was too late by the time he reached them. Ignoring McShane’s character’s advice to avoid violence and find a way to help people, the Hound picked up his axe and took off to find Lem (the guy with the yellow cloak) and the other Brotherhood members.
Naturally, I was upset that a likable character was killed. Why I was surprised though, I don’t know. A) Fans can’t get attached to anyone on this show. B) You can be sure that whenever there’s a heartwarming moment (in this case, the Hound becoming friends with McShane’s character), your blood will run cold next.
However, I’m definitely confused as to why show writers had the Brotherhood commit such an atrocious act. These villagers were no threat, and the Brotherhood was created to help the poor and downtrodden, the Westerosi version of Robin Hood if you will – steal from the rich and give to the poor – NOT kill the poor.
UNLESS Beric Dondarrion is no longer in charge and they’re following the book plotline. It wouldn’t make what happened here right, but it would mean that something exciting is on the way …
The born-again virgin …
I don’t know what Margaery has up her sleeve, but I hope we’re going to be let in on it soon because I really can’t stomach much more of her devout resurgence of faith. I personally didn’t buy it in “Blood Of My Blood” and I’m not buying it now. The question is whether the High Sparrow and Septa Unella have fallen for the act. It seems like they have, but I won’t get my hopes up.
The High Sparrow has now turned his sights on Lady Olenna and Margaery’s pious façade definitely cracked when she heard that. However, she continued her “drinking the Kool-Aid” act perfectly, to the point that Lady Olenna thought that Margaery had become totally brainwashed. That is, until Margaery slipped her a piece of paper.
Why Lady Olenna chose to read it right outside the door, instead of going someplace private, I don’t understand, but even if it had been confiscated from her it was only a drawing of a rose. However, we all know that it means that Margaery hasn’t forgotten who she is and that her responsibility to Highgarden will always take priority over the rest of the realm.
That’s unfortunate for Tommen who complained to the High Sparrow that Margaery hasn’t gotten back in bed with him yet. What? Did he think that after all he failed to do to get her and Loras out of prison that things would go back to the way they were before? Tommen, you clearly have a lot to learn about women!
Who’s with me? Anyone?
Jon Snow really does know nothing – when it comes to persuading people to help him, that is. He and Sansa are planning to win back Winterfell, but they can’t do that until they get hold of an army.
First, he approached the wildlings. The wildlings argued that was not part of the deal Jon had made with them and that if they sacrificed themselves for a lost cause, that would mean the end of the free folk. Thankfully, Tormund spoke up to remind them that Jon had literally died for them. If they abandoned him in his moment of need, then they were no better than cowards and deserved to have their kind die out. Wun Wun (the giant) was the first to agree, and the others followed suit.
Then it was on to Bear Island for the most hilarious exchange of the night with the small, but mighty 10-year-old Lady Mormont. The fierce girl wasn’t interested in the small talk Sansa and Jon tried to make. When they finally got to the point, Mormont reminded them that her house was pledged to House Stark, but Jon was not a Stark, and she didn’t know whether Sansa was technically a Lannister or a Bolton.
Davos saved the day this time as he urged her to reconsider. The real war against the dead would wipe the North out completely if it remained divided. The only way to stand a chance would be to go after the Boltons. After all that effort, Lady Mormont could only offer 62 men (the rest having been killed at the Red Wedding), but each one being equal to 10 mainlanders. Davos said it best: “If they’re half as ferocious as their lady, then the Boltons are doomed.” Indeed! What a performance by the young actress! Hopefully, we’ll see more of her soon!
The final stop of the night was Deepwood Motte, the seat of House Glover. Lord Glover told Jon that he had only agreed to speak with him out of respect for Ned Stark. Furthermore, he wouldn’t go against the Boltons since they had helped him reclaim the castle from the Iron Islanders. When Sansa spoke up to remind him of House Glover’s allegiance to House Stark, Lord Glover made it clear that his loyalty to House Stark was what got his family killed thanks to Robb marrying Talisa.
Discouraged by their numbers, the intertroop fighting and the fact that Jon trusted Davos even though Davos hadn’t helped Stannis avoid defeat when he was his Hand, Sansa decided to send a message by raven. There was no indication who the letter was addressed to, only that she signed her name and used the direwolf sigil stamp to seal it. My guess is that she’s reaching out to Littlefinger for more men as a way for him to make up for wronging her with Ramsay.
You can't touch this …
Another favorite who made his first appearance this season was Bronn, now Jaime’s right-hand man (no pun intended). When they arrived in Riverrun, they found the Frey troops in a disorganized mess. The Freys made a big show of pretending to hang Edmure, then slit his throat, but it was obvious that they weren’t going to carry it out. The most satisfying moment of the night had to be when Jaime slapped one of the Freys with his golden hand. Although I’ve been #TeamLannister this season because of the High Sparrow nonsense (which Cersei actually took responsibility for), I’m with the Blackfish, House Tully, and Riverrun on this. I definitely want to see Frey heads rolling as payback for the Red Wedding, although it could take a while, especially if Riverrun does have enough provisions like the Blackfish told Jaime in their parley.
Kill yourself or join me …
Poor Theon. First, he had his manhood cut off and was then systematically tortured by Ramsay. Now, he has to witness the entire Iron Fleet hooking up with prostitutes, even his sister Yara. However, Yara stopped long enough to remind Theon that he is Ironborn, and that she’s tired of watching him cower like a beat dog. She gave him a choice – he could either kill himself and put an end to his suffering once and for all, or he could help her sail to Meereen, team up with Daenerys and come back to win the Salt Throne from their uncle. Theon agreed to help, Yara went off for some fun, and now it looks like Daenerys will have enough ships to bring her enormous army to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne.
Never turn your back …
While I didn’t think Arya would be allowed to leave Braavos without being attacked in some way by the Waif, I wasn’t expecting what happened tonight to … you know… happen. After securing her passage to Westeros, Arya stared at the Titan and had her back to the city. I wasn’t surprised when the Waif (in the form of an old woman – Note to self: don’t trust older women in Westeros or Essos) stabbed Arya. However, I was shaking my head when she just assumed that when Arya fell into the water that she had died. I’m curious to see if Jaqen will be the one to find her still alive though bleeding to death and save her so that she can return home.
So in summary, there were many “broken men” in “The Broken Man,” but they’re all digging their heels in and refusing to give up, building to what should be an interesting finale soon enough!
What did you think of “The Broken Man”? Leave a comment below and let us know!