Okay, as promised, the end of my catch up and into the new episodes. I muse on episodes one through six over yonder.
The Broken Man
Oh man. Let’s start with how happy I am that 1) Margaery is not actually brainwashed and 2) Lady Olenna can take a hint and trust her granddaughter. The Tyrell ladies have been rather hamstrung this season, so seeing determination and cleverness (as close as this show can let people get to cleverness, anyway) out of them did a lot for the King’s Landing plots. +10 points.12
The Hound Lives! Huzzah! I’m a fan of the Hound and even if the dialogue for the septon was stilted, Ian McShane gave it his all. +10 points. Which I’m immediately revoking for the last sequence — that much destruction, that quick, with no noise and the sense of distance indicating that he was right there. Plus the “slaughtering everyone” solution is lazy. Come on, folks.
No points yet for the Braavos storyline — I like Arya’s confidence and we all knew that the House of Many Faces was going to come for her. I reserve judgement til the next episode on that one.
Riverrun! The Blackfish is on point, as are the Freys and we got Bronn back. Everything is better with Bronn. +7.
The petite lady Mormont steals the show. +10.
-3 for Sansa still not really getting to be effective. The letter to Littlefinger may redeem that, but making her dependent on the creepy love of the dude who sold her to Ramsay Bolton isn’t exactly the character empowerment I was looking for. There’s a chance to earn back those points later next episode though.
I’m pretty neutral on Yara and Theon’s little adventure. That scene had things I liked and things I didn’t. Calling it a wash.
That leaves us with a score of +17 at the end of the episode. Which is pretty impressive for this show. I’m now tempted to go back and score the rest of the season, but that might be less optimistic. I reserve the right to continue my arbitrary scoring system and to give it the same consistency as Calvinball.
A mixed bag, one might say.
Let’s start with Arya. Thought her chase scene was really quite long. Also think that that’s not how stomach wounds work. Also think that someone has got to tell these guys you don’t have to kill everyone to exit them. It’s not necessary. Really. Another also: I’m not a fan of assassins that linger over their kills. Or completely oblivious populaces. Sigh. I’m trying to think of something nice to say about this bit, but all I can really come up with is that I’m glad the Waif is gone so that Arya can go do something new. I’d like to like what Arya is doing. We’ll be generous -3 all around.
Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei… This ought to have been a character building scene. But we know Tyrion likes to drink, we could have guessed that Missandei would be giggly after drinking, and Grey Worm is still stoic and has a thing for Missandei. Huzzah? It didn’t offend me as I watched, but it was a holding pattern for those characters and two out of the three haven’t been given much in the way of development — so it seems a pity to waste the opportunity. Minus another 3.
The Hound gets back to slaughtering people. And he really does do it well.
A thought occurs: One of the reasons that the dialogue seems so stilted is that after the “point” the writers want to convey is stated, the character receiving the wisdom always seems to be required to look thoughtful and not respond. It’s this sort of “last word-itis” that seems to go around Westeros.
Anyway. +5 for the Hound and for remembering Beric and Thoros.
Cersei finally did what someone should have done right at the beginning of this whole Faith Militant nonsense. Or rather, Frankengregor did. The friggin’ craziness of the lack of Lannisters or goldcloaks still bugs me. Margaery was conspicuously absent and Tommen is a puppet. I’ll call it a wash. -1 because Lancel is not yet on the “Obscure Characters We Are Reintroducing to Kill” list.
Speaking of which. Our second important offscreen fight sees the Blackfish go down. Which was utterly pointless, not to mention against character. Felt very much like a technical choice, rather than a story one. Don’t like seeing those strings so strongly. -3.
Finally, Brienne and Jaime! There wasn’t enough of it, but it was good to see them together in all their super repressed glory. Their conversation and Jaime threatening Edmure were the highlights of the episode for me. +10.
And — dearest Dany — there’s a fleet of ships attacking your city. They are conveniently wooden and it’s night, so they won’t see you and Drogon coming. Would you, ahem, mind HANDLING THAT SHIT? -3.
That brings the episode to a generous 2 Arbitrary Hanna Points.
Next week we get the Battle of the Bastards… which is a hilarious title and had better end with Ramsay’s head on a stick.