I barely made any progress in reading “A Clash of Kings” in this last week, only getting through 16 pages.
I now on page 382, but since I have more time to read in the summer I’m hoping I can make a lot more progress by the time season 6 ends and finish the book by the end of July.
The first thing about night’s episode that caught me off guard and that there was a scene before the credits started. For a moment I felt like I was watching the wrong show. It really wasn’t clear what was going on since I didn’t recognize any of the characters in the opening scene. At first I thought it was a scene taking place on the Iron Island with Theon and Yara’s uncle having his men build new ships. I was wrong. The whole reason there was a scene before the credits was because the show didn’t want to spoil the fact that a certain character is alive with the cast in the opening credits. And that character is…The Hound!
I was very excited about this reveal. During his time on the road with Arya I came to actually like the Hound and since his death wasn’t truly shown at the end of season 4 I figured there was a chance he was alive, like Rickon and Benjen, and I was right.
Once the fact that the Hound was alive was revealed the show ran its opening credits. I noticed that for the second episode in a row there wasn’t going to be any Tyrion. I have felt that this season Tyrion’s storyline has been very weak and other than the scene when he visited Rhaegal and Viserion he hasn’t done anything interesting. It’s better to not have him in the episode but the fact that he’s missing two episodes in a row for the first time in the history of the show really speaks to how little he has to do right now.
After the opening credits the show checked back in with The Hound. We find that he is with a group of people. The leader of this group tells that The Hound that when he found The Hound that he thought The Hound was going to die. He then asked The Hound what kept him going. The Hound replies, “Hate”. That seemed to be a perfect response for The Hound.
The show next moved down to King’s Landing. Margaery is reading from “The Book of the Mother” when the High Sparrow comes in to visit her. She is continuing to do a great job with her act of having been converted to the faith and the High Sparrow is absolutely buying it. The High Sparrow notes that Margaery and Tommen haven’t shared the marriage bed since her release from prison. This makes sense since Margaery would want to portray herself as somebody uninterested in sex. It’s kind of funny to see the High Sparrow urging Margaery to have sex but at the same time it really speaks to the sexism that even the Queen has to deal with. When Margaery says that her desires aren’t there he tells her that women don’t need to have desires, when you think about it that statement really is grossly sexist. Later in their conversation the High Sparrow mentions that he wants Margaery’s grandmother to follow her lead in finding the faith. The subtext here is, of course, that if Olenna Tyrell doesn’t leave King’s Landing that she’s going to find herself locked up like her grandchildren. This leads to the briefest but subtlest crack in Margaery’s veneer. I have never bought into the idea that she actually converted to the faith. She is far too strong willed and savvy for that. She is pretending because she knew it was her only chance to get out of prison and now that she’s out she needs to keep up the act to ensure that she remains free. Margaery meets with her grandmother who is in fine form with her zingers; among the best things she says about Septa Unella are, “Does it move or does it talk?” and “You could use a good bashing.”
The Queen of Thornes wants Margaery to return to Highgarden but it is Margaery who convinces her grandmother to leave. She squeezes something tight into her hand and urges her to, “Go home.” The sequence with Margaery was a great display of what Natalie Dormer can do as an actress. She gets to play to the pure and proper recent convert, the cunning and manipulative queen and the concerned granddaughter all at the same time. It is wonderful work. Once Olenna Tyrell is a few feet away from her granddaughter we see that Margaery gave her a picture of rose. It is a subtle and beautiful sign of love.
Up in the North Jon is trying to convince the Wildings to fight with him to take back Winterfell. They are worried that if they fight with him they will all die and if that happens there will be no more Wildlings left in the world. He argues the opposite that if they don’t fight with him they are doomed.
Jon’s argument works and they agree to fight with him.
Going back down to King’s Landing we find Cersei checking in on the Queen of Thornes as she prepares to go back to High Garden.
Just like she was with her zingers to and about Septa Unella the Queen of Thornes is at the top of her game with Cersei. She correctly blames the rise of the High Sparrow on Cersei’s stupidity. Among the many great lines Onella speaks to Cersei in this scene were “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met” and “You’ve lost Cersei, it’s the only joy I can find in all this misery.” I will miss Onella Tyrell but I’d much rather see her safe back in Highgarden than imprisoned by the High Sparrow.
One of the reasons Cersei has lost is that she is once again separated from Jamie. The episode next checked in on Jamie and Bronn (who we are only now just seeing for the first time this season) as they approach Riverrun.
Walder Frey’s army is threatening to hang and then cut the throat of Lord Edmure if the Blackfish doesn’t surrender the castle. The Blackfish calls their bluff and the Edmure isn’t killed.
Jon continues to try to recruit for his army to take back Winterfell in the North. This time we check in on him, Sansa and Davos as they look for troops on Bear Island. The ruler in charge of Bear Island is Lyanna Mormont, who is just a little girl.
I really, really liked her. She may be a child but she is a strong little ruler and she isn’t going to take anybody’s shit. Things do not seem to be going Jon’s way when she points out that Jon is a Snow and that Sansa is either a Bolton or a Lannister. Whatever the case she doesn’t want to lose any of her men Then it is Davos who saves the day and convinces her to support Jon. It was a really nice moment and reminded me of Davos’ relationship with the late Princess Shireen. Of course, it all seems a bit silly when Lyanna Mormont reveals that Bear Island only has 62 men to add to Jon’s army.
Back in Riverrun, Jamie meets with the Blackfish who says he isn’t going to surrender. And the top it all off he says he is disappointed in Jamie now that he has met him.
I had to laugh at this because for all of his reputation it seems Jamie hasn’t done anything of significance in quite a while.
The next play in the North that Jon makes to increase his army is not as successful as his trip to Bear Island as House Glover refuses to fight with Wildlings and declares that House Stark is dead.
Over in Essos the episode next checked in with Theon and Yara who are on the Long Bridge of Volantis. I was happy to see this location because my husband and I saw the actual bridge in Cordoba, Spain that is used as the base of the long bridge of Volantis on our vacation last year, check out my blog on that day of our trip. The Greyjoy siblings are in a whorehouse. It was interesting to see Theon in this location because the Theon of the first two seasons would have been all about the prostitutes but having been castrated by Ramsay he is sad and out of place. Instead it is Yara who is ready to get with one of the whores. Theon wonders if their Uncle is hunting for them. Seeing that her brother is all out of sorts Yara tries to light a fire under his ass.
She says that she is tired of watching him cower like a beat dog. She basically gives him an ultimatum saying if he can’t recover from what he’s been through he should just kill himself but if he can she wants him to fight with her. She declares that they will sail to Meereen to make a pact with Dany and take back the Iron Islands. I really like the idea of Theon and Yara working with Dany.
Moving back up to the North one more time we find Jon, Davos and Sansa discussing what to do next. They are camping in the same place that Stannis did at the end of Season 5 before he tried to invade Winterfell. Will Jon succeed where Stannis failed? Jon and Sansa argue over what needs to happen next. Sansa believes they need more troops and Jon just wants to go for it. In a very interesting moment Sansa goes behind his back to write to another house to ask for help.
On one hand I love that Sansa did this. It really speaks to how she’s embracing her power and is no long the meek character that drove me crazy for years. On the other hand I fear what it will do to her relationship with Jon down the line. I also have no doubt that Sansa’s actions are at least partially motivated by Littlefinger’s words to her several episodes ago that planted a seed of doubt in her mind about Jon.
Checking back in with The Hound we find out the leader of the people The Hound has been staying with his named Ray and he recalls his own sins to The Hound. Ray tries to convince The Hound that it’s never too late to come back. Then random mean come riding up.
Although the men don’t take anything or hurt anybody an ominous feeling comes over the camps.
In Braavos, we check in with Arya who wants to buy passage back to Westeros. I love the idea of Arya returning to Westeros because over there she would at least have a chance to be reunited with Jon and Sansa but getting back over there isn’t going to be easy because Waif is after her. After thinking she has her trip home taken care of an old woman approaches her. It turns out the old woman is Waif wearing a face and she stabs Arya multiple times.
Arya jumps off a bridge into the water below to try to save herself. After dragging herself out of the water Arya walking around the streets of Braavos bleeding, possibly to death. I am devastated with the thought of Arya dying but I did find the sequence with Waif kind of dumb. It was very obvious to me that the old woman was Waif. Arya would have to assume that Waif would be after her and nothing screams faceless man like an old woman. It seems to me that Arya would have been much more suspicious of a random old woman walking up to her than she was in this scene.
The episode wrapped up by checking in with The Hound one more time. He finds that the people that he was staying with, including Ray, have been killed.
All alone The Hound picks up his axe and heads off in an unknown direction.
Overall, I like this episode. I liked everything in King’s Landing and the stuff in the North. I am thrilled that the Hound is still alive but I do fell the show spent a little too much time on him. It’s hard to believe that there are only three episodes left in Season 6.
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Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.