Game of Thrones 6x6: Blood of my Blood
After a five episode streak of shocking endings, Game of Thrones cooled down for the ramp up to the second half of the season. We witnessed three specific characters have drastic twists in their lives. Sam, Arya, and Jaime all show they have guts in the episode, to varying levels of success.
As the title of this episode suggests, there was going to be some intense family drama. What we start off with is somewhat of a Meet the Parents set up, where the grumpy father makes the new couple's life a living hell. Sam returns home to a big welcome from his mother and sister. However, when it comes time for dad to enter the picture, we get a buttload of fat-shaming, Gilly being outed as a wildling, and Sam being rebanished by his father.
The entire scenario feels so off this late in the series, and this late in the season. With such dramatic battles about to unfold, it was odd to have this grounded story at the heart of this episode. It goes to show us, I suppose, that Game of Thrones is really about family relations. And, with so many father figures down for the count in this series, this relationship reintroduces us to that dynamic we used to have between, Tyrion and Tywin, or Theon and Balon, etc. Yet, with such small stakes (whether or not Sam gets to become a maester) it seems all irrelevant in the grand scale of the story.
Anywho, Sam manages to backtrack on his plan to keep Gilly and Little Sam safe, and escapes his home with a nifty Valyrian sword. Not much that will do for him in Maester school, unless...
Bran and Meera made their escape from the tragedy that was the previous episode, only to find themselves still about to get gangbanged to death by wights. But, lo and behold, the Three Eyed-Raven summoned help from Benjen Stark, the second best uncle return of this season, and one much foreshadowed in Bran's visions. Benjen "Cold Hands" was nearly killed in a Nights Watch expedition seasons ago, and was nearly turned into a wight, before being saved by the Children of the Forest. Now, he replaces the Hound and Shireen as the obligatory half-mangled face person. His appearance gives Bran a little hope, as he now knows that dragonglass can both kill, and possible turn wights and Whitewalkers. How he didn't learn this in his high-speed flashback to history of the universe, we'll never know.
After two whole seasons of prepping to be a Faceless Person, Arya has finally decided it isn't really for her. Tasked with murdering a talented actress, she decides murdering her would be a shame, and backs out of her task. She makes a run for it, now with a new bag of tricks. But, she knows she isn't safe, because the Waif is hot on her tail.
Going back to the play she witnessed, Arya seemed quite pleased with the depiction of Joffrey's death, as she should be, but was she stuck out like a sore thumb. The majority of the crowd seemed quite distraught that Joffrey had died. Considering this is the Free city of Bravos, and they hold no allegiance to the Kingdoms of Westeros, it seems odd how they felt so badly for Joffrey. The seemed quite delighted before to see Robert Baratheon die. Perhaps the play billed Joffrey as the hero.
Elsewhere in Essos, Daenerys is spewing a very different type of propaganda. Mounting Drogon to give a rousing speech, reminiscent of Khal Drogo, she reminds the Dothraki that they have a destiny to tear down the stone houses of the people across the sea. The speach is quite inspiring, but seems dishonest on Daenerys's part. The Dothraki are used to raping and pillaging, yet, Daenerys is attempting to get them to embrace their ways. With a force of such "barbaric" nomadic warriors with their own culture, fighting alongside her ever-faithful unsullied army, hijinx are bound to ensue. In fact, Dothraki values being as strong as they are, it is not hard to see this blowing up in Daenery's face if they are to go out of control.
All there really is to say is, after such an intense set up to watching the King's Guard bash some religious fanatic skulls in, the High Sparrow has slowly already won. Through his expert manipulation, he has managed to put both Tommen and Maergery in his pocket.
The Lannister used to be the biggest threats in the game, which we were reminded of with a quick look at Walder Frey, perpetrated of the Red Wedding under the Lannister's bidding. However, since the death of Joffrey and Tywin, Tyrion's escape, and Cercei's Walk of Shame, Jaime has been left to run things. Unfortunately, Jaime holds very few cards. His role used to be the fierce kingslayer, but without his hand, he lost his one talent. He is nowhere near as witty and manipulative as the rest of his family, and it is easy to see how he got played by the High Sparrow.
But, this only leads us towards an even bigger battle set to happen. With the King's Guard now siding with Tommen, and thus, the High Septum, Jaime is sent off to go fight the Blackfish.