‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6, Episode 7 Recap: The Broken Man
Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) is back. After Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) left him for dead in the Season 4 finale, there were rumors that the Hound was still alive. Folks claimed that they saw him in various places, both in Game of Thrones and in the book series the show is based on, A Song of Ice and Fire. But the start of this episode surpasses the books, and we gladly discover that the rumors are true.
I’m sure no one guessed that Sandor was living with a ragtag group of hippies and God worshippers, though. Chopping wood and building septs and prayer circles seem to be Sandor’s cup of tea (or rather wine) now — and can you blame him? A near-death experience would spook anyone into rethinking their lifestyle. Sandor has always been known as a murderer, but he’s shown throughout Game of Thrones that underneath his burnt, scary exterior is a good guy. We saw it when he rescued Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) from the mob in Season 2, and in looking after Arya (Maisie Williams) in Seasons 3 and 4.
“It’s never too late to stop robbing people — to stop killing people — and start helping people. It’s never too late to come back,” says Brother Ray (Ian McShane) and leader of this religious cult. Well, except when three strange Lord of Light lovers kill Brother Ray and his group while Sandor’s off chopping wood. Naturally, he’s overcome with anger and storms off with an axe. All signs indicate that he’s quickly reverting back to his murderous ways.
Farther north, Sansa, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) are on a quest to gather more troops for their battle against Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) and the White Walkers. First Jon solidified his pact with the Wildlings (thanks for your input Wun Wun), then he and his clan headed to Bear Island where Lady Mormont (Bella Ramsey), a 10-year-old girl, talked smack to Jon and Sansa.
The fact that this feisty child called them out on their petty small talk was pretty entertaining. It’s not often people in Westeros actually say what they mean or want, and her frankness was refreshing. But the rest of their talks with the northerners don’t go over so easily. Unfortunately, Sansa realizes that she needs Littlefinger’s (Aidan Gillen) help. She has a bad feeling about seeking his aid, and so do we.
If the Blackfish (Clive Russell) ever decides to leave Riverrun, Sansa and Jon might have a chance at assembling a real army that could defeat that bastard Ramsay. (Defeating the White Walkers, on the other hand, is more ambitious, unless Jon, Sam Tarly (John Bradley-West) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) somehow come together and wield their Valyrian swords and dragon glass-tipped spears.) It’s hard to say what will happen, especially now that Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and the Lannister army are waiting for him outside the gates. I mean, if Brynden Stark won’t even leave his post when his nephew is being (idly) threatened, what’s to say he’ll leave to help Sansa and Jon?
Meanwhile, in Braavos, Arya is strolling about the streets as if she’s invincible — like she doesn’t suspect she’ll be killed for failing to obey orders like a good servant. So it’s no surprise that an old woman, or rather the Waif (Faye Marsay), immediately finds her and stabs her multiple times. Arya manages to get in a good head butt before jumping into the river, but will she survive her wounds? It’s hard to imagine that she’ll die, since it didn’t happen right away in this scene, but if the Braavosi commoners continue to just stare at this bleeding girl walking down the streets, who knows. They clearly don’t know the meaning of southern hospitality — or just common human decency.
This scene was incredibly short, but even so it was the most exciting part of the episode. We know that such dull, dialogue-heavy episodes are necessary to set up more action-packed future events, but that doesn’t make them any easier to get through.
In light of that, it seems like Margaery Tyrell’s (Natalie Dormer) plotline thus far has been all talk to set up some major power shift against the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). In this episode, we see her continue to play the “I’m-religious-now-and-have-changed-my-ways” card. It’s difficult to tell if the High Sparrow is buying it, and perhaps he’s not since he threatens her grandmother. “You must teach her the new way as she taught you the old, or I fear for her safety, body and soul,” he says.
Margaery is quick to urge her grandmother to leave, giving her a secret note while their mute bodyguard, Septa Unella (Hannah Waddingham), stares at them (probably thinking “shame” the whole time). But what does the picture of the rose mean? The Queen of Thrones (Diana Riggs) seems to know. I hope her departure is short-lived; otherwise we’ll miss her biting wit. “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met. At a certain age, it’s hard to recall. The truly vile do stand out through the years,” she tells Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) before she leaves. Cersei could use to be insulted more than once; after all, it’s her fault that the High Sparrow is in power.
“I made a terrible mistake, I carry it with me every single day,” Cersei says. Let’s hope her mistake is rendered one way or another because the High Sparrow’s pious power plays are feeling monotonous.
One power play that does pique our interest, however, is Yara (Gemma Whelan) and Theon Greyjoy’s (Alfie Allen) ambition to meet Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and seduce her with their ships — Yara might be more fit for this task, les-bi-honest.
But when we catch a glimpse of the old Theon that had been lost for so long, it makes us think that there’s still some fight left in him.
Video courtesy of “Game of Thrones.”
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