Greetings, and welcome! My name is Ben, and you have stumbled upon the ONLY Game of Thrones recap on the entire internet. Week to week I will be breaking down each episode of season 6, giving out highly prestigious awards, and wrapping everything up with a haiku.
Season 6, Episode 8: “No One”
Since the closing moments of season four, when Tywin Lannister died on the john, the demise of Cersei seemed inevitable. For decades she fancied herself a clever person, and that was true to an extent, but like so many in Westeros, the source of her power was not her cunning nature but her name. As her family has weakened, so has she.
She has now lost two children to political assassination, and one to the Faith Militant’s ideology. During her descent, the showrunners have thrown one (literally) giant red herring at us. The Mountain has been built into a creature that no living man or woman in Westeros could likely defeat. No matter what happened to Cersei, she could request a trial by combat and Sir Gregor Clegane would step in and vindicate her. This has been discussed and hinted at so many times, I should have seen last night’s development coming: due to royal decree, Trial by Combat is outlawed. King Tommen, a boy she loves more than anything else in the world, may have sealed her fate. The bad news is, this is quite possibly the end of #CleganeBowl—but at least we got to see the Mountain rip that guy’s head off with his bare hands, right?
Jaime Lannister was not in King’s Landing to witness any of this, as he was still leading the siege effort on Riverrun. He has a brief reunion with Brienne, who he agrees to let ride into the castle under a flag of truce to try to talk the Blackfish into taking his army north to help Sansa and Jon defeat the Boltons. The scenes that follow are a microcosm of what I love most about this universe. It would be easy to have the Blackfish take his forces to Winterfell to appease the larger narrative, but at the end of the day, that is not who this character is. After Jaime convinces Edmure to walk into the castle and promptly surrender it, Brynden Tully has a chance to ride out of town with Brienne and Podrick, but prefers to die where he was born. It’s as if he wants to say to them, “well that all sounds very exciting, but that’s main character stuff—I’m just going to die here”.
As a side note, Jaime’s simultaneous attempt to identify with, brow beat, threaten, and reward Edmure made for one of the better scenes of the season. The Game of Thrones roster has a lot of well-rounded characters, but likely none more so than the Kingslayer.
Jaime’s little brother Tyrion, on the other hand, has had a rough season. The writers seem to be struggling mightily with what to do with him. The dynamic between him, Grey Worm, and Missandei was funny at first, but there are only so many times that we can be hit over the head with the same joke. Thankfully, this is interrupted by the slavers returning to town to reclaim their property. Wow, that was a horrible thing I just typed. The slavers siege on the city is, to the surprise of literally no one watching, interrupted by Daenerys’ dramatic return. Can we please just get the narrative as far away from Meereen as humanly (dragon-ly?) possible?
One character I am decidedly not tired of is the Hound, whose dialogue is too loaded with swears to make my “Quotable Quotes” feature below. Unlike a lot of people in Westeros who have seen their friends die, Sandor Clegane only ever had one friend, so he’s a bit irked. He makes this known by hacking a few of the bandits to pieces. Eventually he meets up with the Brotherhood Without Banners, who are ready to hang the rest for bringing shame to their name. While they let Sandor do the honor for a few of them, he is rather grumpy that he can’t disembowel them first. Never change, Hound. Never change. The Brotherhood’s pitch to Sandor is more or less, “We still want you to be a bloodthirsty killer, but do it for God.”
I will end this re-cap with the Hound’s former road trip buddy, and the inspiration for the episode’s title. After the internet spent the whole week explaining how it wasn’t actually Arya who was stabbed at the end of last week’s episode (with an impressive amount of evidence I might add) it turns out that it really was. This is disappointing, because it means that Arya was just gallivanting all over town throwing money all over the place and not being remotely careful while one of the most dangerous assassins in the world was after her. Arya has been reckless in the past, but this doesn’t seem to fit. Once we’re past that storytelling hiccup, the action is fast and furious during her arc this episode.
When we find Arya again she is hiding in Lady Crane’s dressing room. After being nursed back to health by the woman she was originally tasked with killing, Arya finds Miss Crane dead. The Waif is responsible, of course, and does her best T-1000 impression chasing Arya all over the city. Eventually Arya lures her pursuer into what appears to be the same dark room in which she was clutching needle a few episodes. She turns out the lights with the previously mentioned sword, and the director attempts to make us believe that Arya’s survival was in doubt. The slow pan up to reveal the Waif’s face on the wall is a tad insulting, but for what it’s worth, it still looked cool.
Jaqen H’Ghar tells her that she is now officially No One, and gets the official No One merit badge, and she promptly corrects him and states that she is Arya Stark and she is going home. It could be a cool moment, if it wasn’t so contrived and simultaneously obvious/confusing. The concept of No One makes sense to…approximately no one at this point.
“The way all women look at him is frankly irritating” – Bronn, confessing a bit of jealousy for Jaime
“I choose violence” – Cersei, echoing my sentiments when I turn on the TV every Sunday night
- The “Potential Spin-off Idea of the Week” award goes to Bronn and Podrick. The former teaching the latter about life would be a great time. Another acceptable answer would be, “Bronn and any other character on the show.” I love Bronn, is my point.
- This week’s “We Miss You and Wish You Weren’t Murdered in Horrifying Fashion” award goes to Catelyn Stark, who is mentioned so often this episode that the last remaining Lady Stoneheart believers likely crapped their pants.
- Against all odds, we have another “Frat Boy Pledge of the Week” award. This one for Tyrion Lannister, who really wants his cohorts to drink.
- The latest “Weak Sauce of the Week” award goes to Tommen for banning Trial by Combat. What’s next, banning beef jerky or muscles?!? A nation weeps today for the death of Cleganebowl, you little twerp.
And Now, a Haiku by The Mountain
I like to murder
Murder is my favorite
Murder murder whoo!
I will be back at it next week, when at least we get a #Bastardbowl!