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Game of Thrones: No One

"I choose violence."

This week some plot lines came to long overdue conclusions while others dragged drearily on and on.

Fear and Loathing in King's Landing

Tommen is proving himself to be the most disappointing of his mother's children. Joffrey may have been a sadistic, homicidal little bed wetter, but at least he never sided with Cersei's enemies against her. By siding with the High Sparrow and outlawing trial by combat, thus eliminating Cersei's monstrous Trump card, the boy king has essentially sentenced his mother to death. Is he naive enough to believe that she and Loras are going to get fair trails? All he's done is let the High Sparrow rig the game in his favour. It is time to call for a Great Council and have this ineffective little twerp removed from power for good and, hopefully, end this particular storyline for good.

I'm sure I'm not the only who is ready for Cersei to stop dithering and just have the High Sparrow brutally murdered already. He needs to be stopped before he gains more power, or forces us to listen to another one of his bloody speeches. I swear, if I have to hear another I will be begging for someone to rip my head right off. Fingers crossed whatever Qyburn has discovered leads to his downfall. I don't care if it's a complete deus ex machina, I'll take it, I just want this whole thing over and done with.

How to Make Friends and Execute People

I love having the Hound back. The guy is a non-stop quote machine. I could easily fill the entire quotes section with his every utterance. I would happily watch a spin-off where he becomes the Seven Kingdom's version of the Equalizer, helping the small folk by killing bad people and brutally criticising how well they die. In the meantime, I'm happy to see him join the Brothers Without Banners and head north to fight the White Walkers. Will they make it in time to join the fight against the Boltons? For such a large continent people seem to have no difficulty getting from one place to another. Is Drogon moonlighting as a taxi service without his mother's knowledge? Hey, he's a young dragon and college isn't going to pay for itself.

Don't Tell Mom the City's on Fire

So what'd I miss?
Is the infamous Meereenese Knot finally going to be untangled? Mereen has long been the Hershel's farm of the Game of Thrones universe. A purgatory of never-ending torment, where characters are trapped in their own personal Groundhog Day, forced to repeat the same scenes over and over again until Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, etc, can break the spell and finally take her army to Westeros. Can that please happen now? We've been in Mereen for three seasons now, which is three seasons too long. If we don't get out now I fear we never will. Come on guys, kill the masters, take their ships, team up with the Greyjoys, and, as the Pet Shop Boys say, go west. This is your destiny, Dany. Go west, life isn't exactly peaceful there, but it is a hell of a lot better than fucking Mereen. Go west! While there is still a west to go to.

Drawbridge Over Troubled Water

The siege of Riverrun came to a swift end with only one major fatality (RIP Ser Brynden 'Blackfish' Tully, you deserved better than being killed off screen), but it was overshadowed by Jaime and Brienne's long overdue reunion. I love any scene they have together. They just bring out the best in each other. Hopefully it won't be long before they are reunited again. I actually went "awwwww" when they waved goodbye to each other. Poor Tormund, he might have the mightiest beard in Westeros, but he is never going to equal Jaime in Brienne's affections.

Waifinator 2: Judgement Day

Thank the Lord of Light that this is finally over and done with. Arya's time at assassin school has long been one of my least favourite storylines. I didn't enjoy it in the book and even less in the show.  As with the storylines in King's Landing and Mereen, it has just been a pointless repetition of the same scene with slight variations. But now, after a surprisingly exciting chase sequence, it is over and done with. Arya has reclaimed her name and is going home. Is it too much to hope she gets the express boat back to Westeros and joins her siblings in kicking Ramsey's psycho arse? Probably, I am happy that my favourite Stark is finally getting the fuck out of Bravvos.

Not today, motherfucker.
Notes and Quotes 

--Lady Crane joined the long list of dead Arya allies. That girl should really stop making friends.

--Bronn and Pod's reunion was rather sweet.

--When Edmure ordered the surrender you can see exactly what is going through the head of the soldier who let him in:

--Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr were the latest characters to return after a long absence. Patience, Gendry, your time will come.

--Was anyone else watching the chase scene and thinking of booking a holiday to Girona?

--Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm getting drunk and telling jokes was without a doubt the best scene set in Mereen for a long time. Maybe ever.

Jaime: "In my experience, girls like her don't live very long."
Brienne: "I don't think you know many girls like her."
--You tell him, Brienne.

Arya: "A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I’m going home."

The Hound: "Those are your last words? Fuck you? Come on, you can do better."

Reminder: The comments on these episode reviews are appropriate for newbies. If you haven't read the books, you're safe! If you have read the books and would like to talk about upcoming events, please do so in our Season Six book spoiler thread.

A boy is Mark Greig of Sunderland and he is going no where because a boy thought running was a good idea to get healthy. A boy was wrong. More Mark Greig


  1. What a terrific read, Mark. And I don't even watch this show. :)

  2. "By siding with the High Sparrow and outlawing trial by combat, thus eliminating Cersei's monstrous Trump card, . . ."

    Wow. Who could have known that Game of Thrones was an allegory of the 2016 election?

  3. Excellent review, Mark. It made the episode better, which was sorely needed.

    The best I can say about this episode is that it might be a hint of things to come:

    Will Arya truly travel west at some point? She could help save Westeros and then go on an extended walkabout to explore the world. That might be a happy ending for her.

    Will Jaime and Brienne be forced to fight? That could be an interesting arc for both of them. I hope Brienne wins, although I doubt she feels the same.

    Will we finally get out of Mereen?!

  4. Alright...

    Now, we've seen that little blonde Waif bastard beating up on Arya for what, four episodes or something, and they couldn't even let us watch it on-screen as Arya showed Needle up her arse? How satisfying.

    What this episode proved beyond doubt was that the last episode was really just stupid. Yes, Arya acted totally out of character and just walked around in the daylight taking no precautions booking a trip to Westeros, even though she knew that the Waif was looking to kill her for breaking the contract, and yes, she just got caught completely out guard looking like an idiot.

    Then this episode she somehow survives several stabs to the stomach and a healthy swim in a sewer and falling not once but twice, the second in a manner that would have killed an ordinary man, and yet she not only manages to kill the Waif, but when she faces Jaqen she shows no sign of any injuries.

    Not to mention Arya's entire seasons-long arc only amounts to some "phase" like a teenager getting into Goth music. There's no discernible psychological difference between the Arya that left the Hound for dead and the Arya leaving Jaqen except that now apparently Arya is Super Ninja. This isn't character building, this is character stalling.

    Then we have five seconds of Dany who's... yeah, showing up in the nick of time looking bad-ass and confident. Never saw that before. It's getting cartoonish.

    Then people talk about Jaime "getting somewhere" when in reality everything he does is still just because he "wants to get back to Cersei." His character arc isn't taking him anywhere.

    Oh and don't get me started on that bloody promo. "You don't know him", indeed, Sansa? Way to go putting your "brother" down before the most important fight of his life! Newsflash, just because Ramsay likes to flay people alive and he raped you that doesn't make him the greatest military commander and most dangerous man of all time. Does Ramsay Bolton "know" Jon Snow? Hell, do you?!

    But yeah, of course, he's Super Ramsay! If that conversation isn't totally ripped out of context I'll puke. Even so, I'd bet dollars to donuts that Jon's army will be getting totally massacred and then Littlefinger and the knights of the Vale will show up to save the day, meaning once again Jon loses and only pulls through because of a lucky break, robbing the audience of ninety percent of the emotional satisfaction of the scene.

    Apart from that, I have zero interest in the Siege of Meereen. You already know exactly what will happen. Varys is gone, Tyrion won't die, and Dany is just gonna be bad-ass and save the day with her rapist scum army. The only wildcards are the two former slaves, either of those could bite the bullet.

    Whereas in the North we can only assume with a high degree of certainty that Jon will not die, he will capture Winterfell and Littlefinger will save the day in typical fashion. There are a lot of people's lives at stake. Davos, Melisandre, Wun Wun, Tormund... I don't even count Rickon because I'm certain he'll be flayed alive.

    This was piss poor writing and one of the worst episodes of the entire series.

  5. What Thomas Ijon Tichy said.

    Also: VERY funny review - way, way, waaaaaay, better than the episode (which was totally anti-climactic. Shaaaame! Shaaaame! Shaaaame!)

  6. Thanks for the great review Mark, it was really fun to read.

    I didn't dislike this episode as much as everybody else. It certainly wasn't great, but there were some nice character moments that made up for it.

    The scene with Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm telling jokes was absolutely adorable.

    Jaime and Brienne are fantastic together and, as you said, bring out the best in each other. I totally ship Brienne/Tormund, though.

    Every scene with the Hound was a delight. I hope he meets Sansa again, I loved their relationship. And I want to see him killing zombies. Lots of zombies.

    However, some plots have been dragged on way too long.

    I'm not really interested in what's going on in Mereen.
    I was really excited when Tyrion arrived there, but he hasn't done much, and things would probably have been the same without him. All he did was delay the big fight until Daenerys got her army.
    Let's hope they end the fight quickly, take the masters' ships (and the Greyjoys', unless they're still in Tortuga), and leave.
    And please, not a full season of seasick Dothrakis!

    I didn't care for Arya's arc at all. It went on forever, repeating itself again and again, and wasn't connected to any of the other character arcs. Maybe now she's finally going to be part of the main story...

    What I would love to see is Tommen and Margaery completely taking everyone by surprise and beating the High Sparrow at his own game. I don't know how they'd do that, but it would be really cool. Of course there's also the *other* theory, which I won't discuss here, just in case.

    Also, I'm glad they didn't show the Mountain ripping off that guy's head. I still haven't recovered from Oberyn's horrible death.

  7. Very good review, Mark.

    This is certainly the most convenient season yet. I'm still enjoying it, though. Like I've said before, even the worst episode of GoT is still a head above the majority of stuff on TV.

    What struck me most in this episode was the epic cameo by Steve Love, a master of impressions (especially GoT impressions). He's the BWB member who gets a finger up the ass and an axe to the face. He's awesome:


    Definitely check out his channel. Here's him acting as if GoT characters were played by different actors.


  8. Nice writing style despite the typos ("trails/trials", missing the word "one" in the second paragraph) but I sharply disagree with you, Mark (and Billie and most comments). This intense focus on snarky criticism ignores all the fascinating plot twists and resolutions that occurred, along with some excellent character interactions and development. It was an entertaining and satisfying episode, and I liked it.

    Having Arya lure the Waif into a trap, a dark room similar to one in which she had been practicing with needle, was nice. The previous episode's ending sucked, and I said that, but they recovered reasonably well. The Brienne/Jaime stuff was good. I still think they wandered too far from the books with Jaime, but we'll see what they will do with it. The sword scene was excellent, as was the river departure.

    As for Cersei and the High Sparrow, the Game of Thrones within GoT is fun to watch as the players make their moves and counter-moves. Why do you not like it? Why the rush to end it? The more you understand the situation and how people have gamed it, the more appreciative you are of the resolution, and it tends to be more satisfying. Besides, it's obviously going to be resolved promptly.

    I agree that all the Clegane/Beric banter is awesome, and I loved it. Perfect.

    So if your review was written to provoke, then well done. But the general rush to the next battle is missing half (or more) of the fun. Besides, one battle is coming up next...


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