If you have felt like I have this season, then you undoubtedly are just waiting for all the build up to come to a haunt and everything to come crashing down on Game of Thrones. Thankfully, it looks like just that has started with this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. The past five episodes have really helped to set up the season (as they should) and this past week, we saw the fruits of all of the planning finally start to emerge.
Our first large payoff for on this week’s episode was undoubtedly Arya and her quest to become “No One”. This is a storyline that started long ago and we knew that Arya would end up at the House of Black and White. What we did not know was what would happen there and this is where we get a treat this week. Any frustration that Arya felt at having to scrub floors and bodies was undoubtedly shared by the audience. We all love a good mystery and it looks like answers are coming. It seems that it is not all magic and shape-shifting where the Faceless Men are concerned; it has more to do with taking actual faces. It must be horrifying for the people of Bravos to see their loved ones who have long been dead walking the streets occasionally. I was worried at first that Arya would have to give up her identity as a Stark completely, but it seems that what is required of her is the ability to take on new identities (rather convincingly). Whether she will take a vow similar to the Night’s Watch and forsake lands and name is something to wonder about, but we are definitely going to get to that decision. The coming weeks are sure to be interesting as Arya becomes “someone else” and this is one mystery that is definitely paying off. Our next large reward / also more build up was in King’s Landing. Cersei’s arming of the Faith Militant just keeps paying off…for now. Cersei has made horrible decisions in the past but this is probably the worst. If she cannot see what is coming for all the Royals, then she has missed something very big indeed. Thankfully The Queen of Thorns has returned to King’s Landing to help House Tyrell. Her speech to Cersei was some of the best dialogue all season and you can’t help but want Cersei to sit and listen. This talk connected to the conversion that Cersei has with Tywin last season and you begin to realize just how lost she is without his counsel (telling her what to do). When you put her up against a power that is the Queen of Thorns, you really come to see how inexperienced she is. The look of pity/loathing/disappointment that she receives from Dianna Riggs as Margerie and Loras are being taken away echoes what some of the audience may be feeling. While I thought that this was the reckoning of the Faith Militant, it seems that it is not over yet and there is going to be more; a trail is on the horizon and judging from all the trails we have seen, it is going to be a good one. Poor Tommen is lost without someone to guide him and it is a little surprising that he didn’t give the Gold Cloaks the order to defend his queen. But that is to be expected of such a gentle spirit like Tommen. Maybe Ser Pounce can help calm him down.
This week, we also saw the brief reappearance of Theon Greyjoy. Reek has cleaned up and it seems Theon is still in there. Sansa’s reappearance at Winterfell this season has triggered something in him and this week, we saw it emerge a bit more. As beautiful / horrifying as the wedding was, it gave me hope that Theon (who WAS the Ward of Ned Stark) is still in there. But where I really wanted to see Theon truly emerge was in what came after the wedding. Let me start by saying that I have not always like Sansa but I appreciated that she was in over her head from the very beginning and has worked to take control. This plan right now though…I have absolutely no clue what it is doing. I have always had a soft place in my heart for all the Starks and I genuinely hoped there was some master plan that Sansa had. But now…I’m pretty sure this is just madness. I didn’t expect that wedding to come so soon but I am kicking myself because of course it was going to happen. And of course Ramsay did what he did (because he is freaking Ramsay). We have the benefit of knowing what he is as audience members but poor Sansa probably had no idea.
I couldn’t help but wonder which room it was in Winterfell that he took Sansa into. Surely she knew and I prayed it wasn’t previously occupied but any of her family. That thought only made things worse. As the horrifying events started to occur in the original home of this poor girl, I remembered the title of the episode. And that got me thinking about Theon Greyjoy; if there was ever a moment for him to return and claim his honor, I hoped it would have been during that scene. I was pleading with the TV to let him muster the courage to grab Ramsay and claim revenge. I kept thinking, ‘Come on! You can do it!’ But in the end, all I got were very sad tears from him, Sansa and I. This plan…whatever it is…is dumb. But I see hope for Theon Greyjoy in the future. He is still in there and he will be coming back and mark my words…there will be a Reekoning!” Here’s a preview for the next episode: