We are officially in the second half of Season 6, and Game of Thrones is setting up quite a lot of conflict to be resolved in the remaining episodes. When I was first watching this week’s episode, “Blood of My Blood”, I kept comparing it to “The Door” and thinking about how I didn’t like it as much. However, thinking back on it there was a lot of information revealed in “Blood of My Blood” that allows me to speculate about future episodes and seasons.
Watch out kiddos, SPOILERS!
North of The Wall
The opening segment was not with Jon for the first time this season. In fact, we didn’t see Jon at all this episode! While I really wanted to see what was going on with Jon and Sansa, I’ll allow putting that plotline on hold for a week because we got to pick up right where we left off with Bran. If you’ve forgotten, Hodor sacrificed himself holding the wights back behind a door so that Meera and Bran could flee. Bran is still comatose and is in the middle of processing all of the information that the raven shared with him before he was killed by the White Walkers.
Now, the visions Bran has as he processes all this were fascinating and I totally rewound the episode and watched that part again. I found this fantastic breakdown of everything that Bran sees if you’d like to know more specifics. Bran saw so much of the history of Westeros! Wildfire, the Mad King, Jamie killing the Mad king, his family’s deaths, the white walkers, himself falling, Hardhome, the wights currently gaining on them… So much to process! I am going to have a lot of fun speculating what everything means.
While Hodor bought them some time, poor Meera cannot run while dragging Bran forever and she collapses as Bran wakes. They essentially brace themselves for death when a dark mystery rider appears, burns the wights following them with a lantern he was swinging by a chain (he also had a FREAKING SCYTHE), pulls them onto his horse, and rides away.
It is revealed that this is Benjen Stark. In the books, there is a character called Cold Hands, who they are lumping together with Benjen in the show. I think this was supposed to be a dramatic reveal, but it’s been a very popular theory for a while and as soon as I heard him speak with a Northern accent I guessed who it was.
Meera and Bran are both rightfully skeptical about trusting Benjen, who reveals that he was left to die by the White Walkers when the children of the forest saved him the same way the Walkers were created; by piercing his heart with obsidian. He basically gives Bran a pep talk, preparing him for big things to come.
I would like to mention that I loved how Benjen looked. I was really digging the black hands, which was a detail from the books that I was curious to see on screen, and I also really liked how they did the degradation of the skin on his face. Bravo to the prosthetic and makeup departments.
Now let’s go to my least favorite plotline of the episode; catching up on Sam and Gilly’s travels. The two arrive at Sam’s childhood home, which by the way, is HUGE. Apparently Sam didn’t tell his family that Gilly is a Wildling, but for some reason, the two don’t come up with a cover story. They meet Sam’s sister and mother, who are lovely, and Gilly gets to borrow a very uncomfortable looking dress for dinner. I actually really disliked the costumes for the women of Horn Hill. The material and style seemed completely out of place with the rest of the fashion we’ve seen in Westeros, and combined with the stylings of the house it looked that they were in a completely different show.
The next time we joined Sam and Gilly, the entire family was seated at a very uncomfortable dinner. Long story short, Sam’s father is an asshole, has a Valyrian steel sword that he is refusing to pass on to Sam, hates Gilly because she is a Wildling, and bread makes you fat.
Sam’s father tells him that because his mother likes Gilly, he will raise Little Sam at Horn Hill and allow Gilly to work in the kitchens. However, Sam is to leave first thing in the morning and never come back home ever again. Sam goes to relay this information to Gilly, but changes his mind and they flee with almost no possessions in the middle of the night. I guess they’re all going to become maesters now? Not sure how this is going to work out, but on the plus side, Sam stole his father’s sword. This is important because White Walkers can only be killed with dragon steel, dragon glass, or (we assume) dragon fire. I’m anticipating that Sam will need that sword coming up in this season or the next, especially since he gave his entire cache of dragon glass to Meera back in Season 4.
I’d also like to take a moment to say that the baby they have playing Little Sam is adorable. Super cute. I want to squish his little face.
We join Arya as she is once again watching the play of past events in the Seven Kingdoms. This time, the actors are portraying Joffrey and Margery’s wedding. Arya loves watching “Joffrey” die. After all, he is on her list. As the actress playing Cersci, Lady Crane, delivers her monologue, we see the actress playing Sansa mouthing the words behind her. As the actors take their bows, Arya sneaks backstage and pours the poison into the actress’s drink. Unfortunately, that same actress catches her as she’s leaving. After talking and bonding with her, Arya goes back to knock the glass out of the actress’s hand just in time to save her life.
Unfortunately for Arya, the Waif saw the whole thing and goes to Jaqen H’ghar who regretfully agrees that Arya must be killed. Arya, now reunited with Needle, is in some serious trouble.
Down in King’s Landing, Tommen is certainly getting comfortable around the High Sparrow. The two are talking in the great sept, and it seems like Tommen doesn’t want his wife walking naked through the streets. The High Sparrow insists that the walk of atonement is necessary, but does allow Tommen to see his wife. Margery is pious now, and spouting some straight up zealousness while not actually saying anything at all about The Sparrow.
Meanwhile Jamie and Lord Tyrell are preparing to march on the sept with the Tyrell “army”. I was expecting a lot more soldiers, it seems like there were only about 20 or 30 of them. Lord Tyrell, who was wearing a very fancy helmet, gave an extremely awkward speech and they entire company arrived at the sept just as the High Sparrow was announcing the events of the day. As everyone arrived, including Olyenna Tyrell, it was interesting to note the look on Margery’s face. I couldn’t tell if it was relief or horror. Margery has usually been so in sync with her grandmother’s plans, but Olenna certainly wasn’t expecting what came next.
The High Sparrow announced that the walk of atonement was canceled and unnecessary because Margery had atoned by bringing another into the faith. The doors to the sept opened and Tommen marched out as Sparrow announced a new alliance between the crown and the faith.
Back at the Red Keep, Tommen banished Jamie to The Riverlands, sending him to River Run. Jamie, of course, goes to Cersci. According to her, everyone has forgotten how great their family is. She sees this as an opportunity for Jamie to go and show people how powerful they are.
We haven’t been to The Twins in a while, and I had almost forgotten how much I love David Bradley as Walder Frey. Apparently the Frey’s have lost control of River Run to The Blackfish, and many people in The Riverlands have been rallying together against them. Walder’s plan is to use Edmure Tully (the guy who got married at the red wedding) as a bargaining chip to get back control of River Run.
Basically, this is just setting up the information that we need leading up to River Run. Brienne, Jamie, and the Frey’s should all be there potentially by the next episode.
We join Dany as she is leading her Dothraki over to Meereen and passing the time by doing some math with Daario. They are discussing how many ships they will need (conveniently mentioning 1000, which remember is how many ships Euron Greyjoy promised to build) and Dario is trying to convince Dany that she was not meant to be a ruler, but a conqueror instead. I thought this dialogue was super clunky. Also, what else has Dany been thinking of for the past 5 and a half seasons if not exactly how many people she has fighting for her and how many ships she will need? This conversation was definitely to catch the audience up, not the characters.
Dany insists that the entire company wait while she rides ahead, and after enough time that the Dothraki are wary and have their weapons out and at the ready, she reappears on the back of Drogon.
Dany then delivers a speech that is very similar to the one that Khal Drogo gave back in season one. She lets her army know that she intends to take the Iron Throne and they all promise to follow her across the Narrow Sea. Dany comes of as pretty bloodthirsty here, and even Daario looks uneasy. She also seems to have a lot more control over Drogan than she did before. Ether that or she and the dragon are a lot more in-sync with each other. One final note on the dragon, I love that you can see holes on either side of his mouth where he spits fire. I thought these were some pretty great visual effects.
If you want to read about a theory that relates to Dany’s new conqueror mindset that I am a huge fan of, go over to Vanity Fair and check out this article.
Also, if you want some live tweets to follow, I cannot recommend Leslie Jones enough.
What did you think of “Blood of My Blood” this past week? Are you ready for tomorrow’s episode?