By Florianne Humphrey
For a character who has done a Bran and gone AWOL for most of the series, Game of Throne’s producers gave Samwell Tarly ample screen time this episode.
Samwell arrived at the home of his wildling-hating father with his wilding girl and her baby. Samwell obviously researched the perfect recipe for disaster because he brought all the right ingredients. It started off as a typical comic scene of how Gilly the wildling struggled to assimilate into polite society as she staggered about in formal attire and held her knife and fork the wrong way up.
Then, typically of Game of Thrones, the comedy ended swiftly when Lord Tarly pretty much told his eldest son to go to Fat Camp. Lord Tarly needs a lesson in subtlety because if he had said that to his daughter Cuntry Living would be on his tail. In swept Gilly the I-can’t-hold-my-tongue wildling who managed to reveal her true heritage, the one that is the wrong side of the Wall.
As if there wasn’t enough tension, just when the viewers thought that Samwell would abandon Gilly, they are off on the run again, this time with Lord Tarly’s precious sword. This domestic dispute was like an episode of EastEnders set in Medieval England, with possibly violent deaths as a consequence.
Arya, meanwhile, was still fangirling over that play. However, as a minion of the Faceless Men there is no such thing as entertainment. Arya is on the kill but, for a girl who falls asleep reciting a list of victims, she is not very good at actually going through with murder. All it took was for her target, one of the actresses, to exchange a bit of banter and suddenly Arya was knocking the poisonous drink out of her hand and blaming the assassination on someone else.
Obviously, this failure meant that Arya was no longer welcome among the Faceless Men. Arya digging out Needle, the sword that her father gave her from a pile of rocks was surely a symbol of her return to the real world. Maybe she is finally going to drop her abstract nickname ‘the girl’ and make a long-awaited return to Westeros as Arya Stark, avenging angel. Get on that boat, Arya, and wreak havoc. We’ve got the popcorn ready.
Whilst Arya has escaped her imprisonment, Margaery’s has just begun. Reading those religious quotes has worked because the High Sparrow has finally crushed Margaery’s resolve and converted her to his cult. Hand in hand with her newly reunited and creepily youthful husband, Margaery and King Tommen declared their allegiance with the High Sparrow to the despair of their elders, who were all ready with an army to annihilate the cult. Pacifism, not rebellion, is apparently the agenda of the younger generation. Hopefully this is all part of Margaery’s plan because I can’t imagine her getting cosy with a group that punished her brother for being gay. If not, it is her loss, because she will just have to listen to more of the High Sparrow’s monotonously lengthy anecdotes.
As always, the Game of Thrones checklist put a big tick next to ‘epic ending’. We were reminded of how large Daenerys’s army is when she was told that she would need a thousand ships to cross the sea for Westeros. As long as Tyrion has managed to maintain peace in Meereen, then Daenerys will be able to launch her attack on her homeland and be queen of the Seven Kingdoms. If only it were that easy. But the girl has dragons and they’re not tiny anymore. In fact, they are absolutely humongous, which must have cost a lot in CGI. Daenerys also found the missing third out in the desert and gave a rousing speech to her army atop its back.
Who needs an iron throne when you have a dragon?
It also begs the question as to who will ride the other two, so bets are on and the long wait continues.
Sadly, Florianne is away (on holiday) for the remainder of the season. So any budding writers please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to fill in for Florianne.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia.