We begin in Braavos, and Lady Crane has been able to rewrite her final speech – it seems to be a hit. She goes backstage for a drink (uh oh…did the Waif poison it?). She hears a sound and finds Arya hiding behind some costumes, bleeding. Lady Crane patches her up – a skill she learned from stabbing boyfriends in a jealous rage and then feeling sorry for them. Ok…
Arya asks about the other actress – Bianca – and learns that Lady Crane got rid of her, ruining her face as a souvenir (apparently you don’t want to mess with her). She prepares milk of the poppy for Arya, which Arya doesn’t want to take – it’s hard to sleep with a trained killer after you. Lady Crane tells her she must rest in order to heal, so she relents and drinks.
Over in the Riverlands we see some outlaws (part of the gang that killed Sandor’s commune I assume). They are talking and displaying some raunchy behavior, so obviously they will die shortly. And here comes Sandor, right on cue. He dispatches them in short order – pretty brutally – and asks the last survivor where to find the leader (Lem Lemoncloak). Sandor doesn’t get an answer, only curses.
In Meereen things seem to have stabilized after Tyrion’s deal with the slavers, and with the red priests singing Dany’s praises. Varys is wary of allying with fanatics (ask Cersei how well that worked for her), but he feels comfortable enough to leave Tyrion to handle things while he heads back to Westeros. Varys wants to drum up support for Daenerys – hopefully that means they plan to go back there soon after she returns to the city.
Speaking of Westeros, the Faith Militant arrive at the Red Keep to take Cersei to see the High Sparrow. Lancel tells her the High Sparrow has commanded her to come to the Great Sept, but she refuses, saying she chooses violence. One of the more foolish Faith Militant swings his weapon at Zombie Mountain, and it gets stuck in his armor. Zombie Mountain is not pleased and rips the idiot’s head off, as Lancel and the others look on, horrified. Cersei walks off, saying the High Sparrow is always welcome to visit.
At Riverrun, the siege is ongoing which Captain Obvious (Pod) helpfully points out to Brienne. Brienne sees Jaime in the distance, and informs the Lannister soldiers that she wishes to speak with him. As she and Jaime are meeting in his tent, Bronn jokes with Pod about Brienne and Jaime’s attraction and Pod’s prowess with the ladies. Inside, Jaime tells Brienne he thought Sansa was dead and says he’s proud of Brienne for finding her and fulfilling her vow to Catelyn. Awww…
Brienne informs Jaime that Sansa is preparing to take back Winterfell, and she is there to recruit the Blackfish and the Tully forces to her cause. Brienne asks permission to speak with the Blackfish and persuade him to give up the castle peacefully; she will take the Tully forces north, and Jaime can return home. Jaime agrees to let her try but doesn’t seem optimistic about her chances.
Brienne offers to return Jaime’s sword, saying he gave it to her for a purpose, which she has fulfilled. Jaime refuses to take it, saying it will always be hers. Before she leaves, she tells Jaime that if she fails to convince the Blackfish and the Lannisters must attack, she will be forced to fight them on the side of the Tullys. Jaime replies they should hope it doesn’t come to that, and the way they look at each other makes me want to get back on board the Braime ship (sorry Brimund).
The Blackfish is as stubborn as Jaime promised he would be, telling Brienne he doesn’t know her and can’t trust her word, or the letter she carries from Sansa. Brienne tries to convince him that they can’t withstand the Lannister and Frey forces. The Blackfish accuses her of being on Jaime’s side, wondering why he let her into the castle and why she has a Lannister sword. Brienne retorts that Jaime entrusted her to protect the Stark girls, to honor his promise to Catelyn. The Blackfish finally reads the letter, stating that Sansa is just like her mother. He understands she wants her home back, but Riverrun is his home, and he won’t go without a fight. Brienne reluctantly tells Pod to send Sansa a raven informing her of her failure.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei enters the throne room, where there is to be a royal announcement. She tries to take her place at Tommen’s side, but Kevan sends her to the gallery with the other ladies of the court (something tells me Zombie Mountain will be ripping his head off soon). Tommen announces the date for Loras’s and Cersei’s trials and says that trial by combat is now outlawed. Instead they will be tried by seven septons, and Cersei looks crestfallen at this news. Qyburn cheers her up a bit by saying that he has looked into the rumors she told him about, and they are much more than rumors. I see wildfire in King’s Landing’s future…
Over in Meereen, Tyrion is having another awkward conversation with Missandei and Grey Worm. He tries to get them to drink with him (to avoid feeling like an alcoholic I suppose). Tyrion tells a joke – which they don’t get – and encourages them to tell jokes of their own. Luckily all of this awkwardness is cut short by the arrival of a fleet of enemy ships. It appears Tyrion’s truce with the slavers didn’t last long.
At Riverrun, Jaime meets with Edmure (who finally gets to speak!). Jaime apologizes for the Freys’ treatment of him and vows to have him clothed and fed. Edmure says the Blackfish will never surrender. Jaime talks of Edmure’s wife – and a son whom Edmure has never met – and says he can arrange for Edmure to be with them. Edmure insults Jaime and asks how he can live with himself; Jaime tells him nothing matters to him but getting back to Cersei. He threatens to kill Edmure’s son and every Tully to do it.
Edmure is allowed into the castle, where he orders the Tully forces to surrender. Since they recognize him as the true Lord of Riverrun, they do as he commands. Meanwhile, the Blackfish slips away and helps Brienne and Pod escape. They try to convince him to come with them, but he resolves to die fighting for his home (which is a real waste of his character in my opinion). The Lannister forces take the castle (apparently killing the Blackfish offscreen – a disappointing end), and Jaime stands at the ramparts watching Brienne and Pod row away.
Back to Meereen, and the slaver forces are attacking the city. Grey Worm and Tyrion argues about what the army should do, and Grey Worm convinces him that they should stay in the pyramid and let the slaver forces come to them. Something hits the top of the pyramid… Drogon has landed, and Daenerys has returned (looking none too pleased with this turn of events).
In the Riverlands, Sandor has found Lem Lemoncloak, who is about to be hanged for his crimes by Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr (the true leaders of the Brotherhood Without Banners). Sandor demands vengeance for his friends, and Beric agrees to give him two of the three. Sandor goes to use his axe, but they won’t allow him to butcher them. Sandor must settle for making them hang. He does so, then takes Lem’s boots.
Later they sit down to eat (unfortunately not chicken, much to Sandor’s disappointment), and Beric and Thoros try to convince Sandor to join them. They tell him that the Lord of Light allowed him to live for a reason. They say he’s a fighter, and the real fight is against the darkness. Perhaps he will head north with them – is a Sandor/Sansa reunion on the way?
Arya is still resting in Braavos as Lady Crane watches over her. Suddenly a young man appears (surely the Waif in disguise). Arya wakes to find Lady Crane murdered, and the Waif unmasked. She tells Arya she should have done her job, and Lady Crane would have died painlessly. The god of death has received his due, and he has been promised another name – Arya’s. Arya runs (pretty well for someone recovering from stab wounds to the gut) with the Waif in hot pursuit. Arya ends up in her room at the temple, where she pulls Needle from its hiding place. As the Waif enters, Arya cuts the top off the burning candle, plunging the room into darkness.
We cut to Jaqen, who sees a trail of blood leading to the Hall of Faces. There he finds the Waif’s freshly removed and bloody face on the wall. Arya confronts him, and he admits ordering the Waif to kill her. He is impressed with Arya, telling her she is finally no one. Arya corrects him, saying she is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and she is going home.
There were a few bright spots in this episode (Brienne/Jaime, the Brotherhood, Cersei getting denied her trial by combat), but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. The scenes in Meereen fell flat, and the whole situation in Braavos was farfetched. Are we really supposed to believe Arya was that stupid to be out in broad daylight after failing her final test, that the Waif was so inept as an assassin, and that Arya could be out running and leaping after her wounds (expertly patched by an actress!)? Oh well, at least we have a big northern battle to look forward to next week.
What did you think about No One?