Game of Thoughts – Blood of My Blood (6.6)

1 Jun

Hello and welcome to Game of Thoughts! This is a feature in which I recap the latest episode of everyone’s favorite grimdark fantasy, Game of Thrones. We do things fun around here so for more in-depth coverage of big themes, check out Patrick Sponaugle‘s incredibly witty and fun blog posts. Note: These recaps WILL contain spoilers.

Let’s DO THIS!

NOTE:  I am under several deadline rocks at work and my laptop is misbehaving so I’m banging this out super fast at work. Apologies for typos and or leaps in logic, as I had to watch the episode on my phone with my head under a towel – the latter because my house began sucking in all light and making the glare on my phone incredible. It was the Black Hole of East Orlando, but I still got my notes!

  • BENJEN STARK HAS REENTERED THE GAME – Dear everyone who ever said he was coming back and I said ‘Ha ha, that’s not happening’ – you were right and I am a jerk. This scene was great, we had a very harrowing escape and Meera was really putting in the work at both yelling at Bran to wake the hell up and dragging that bigass sledge. She made a great effort, but a diet of cave water and moss probably didn’t do her any favors where heavy lifting is concerned, and the wights almost had them – UNTIL. My only gripe – sure Benjen can lift both of them like empty lunch bags, but is his horse also undead? They had to have made a good little run away from those wights who, as Benjen points out, never get tired. Where the hell could they have gone with three people on a horse IN SNOW to get away? Anyway, gripe over. Welcome back Benjen, you’re still hot even if you look like forty miles of bad road.
  • Sam’s Hot Take on Trees  – Maple? Oh, nice. And willow? Go on you smooth talker, you had me at ‘Let’s go meet my psycho family.’ Gilly is really the emotional core of these scenes, and we need to give that actress a hand. Horn Hill did not look like what I expected, but I guess the showrunners wanted a Greek Temple vibe rather than another thatched long house. Sam’s family are delightful, minus one.
  • Tommen And the High Sparrow  – Maryrgeryryr (sp?) has apparently drank the Kool-Aid of this wacky cult and I worry for poor little Tommen, who’s basically had an ‘Insert your agenda here’ sticker on his forehead since he was first introduced. Since Maeryagryary (sp?) has shown she has more sides than a bag of D&D dice I never know what to expect from her, so I wonder if she’s up to something.
  • Dinner With The In-Laws – Gilly is my hero, and she cleans up SO. GOOD! However, in a show with a lot of terrifying fathers, I feel like we struck gold with Tywin Lannister (hur!) and we’re down to gold paint now. We’ve been getting lesser and lesser terrifying dudes ever since season 4. Randyll Tarly  didn’t come across as that frightening and this is a man we’ve been hearing about since Season 1, and I was so over his posturing and bullshit that I was disappointed Sam didn’t stand up and slap the gray out of his hair. Sam has grown too much for some balding goblin to frighten him, so this scene felt like a step back. Except Heartsbane, which I knew Sam would take the MOMENT it was first shown. SAM HAS STOOD UP sort of, and if we don’t get a big ‘Fuck you dad you never came to my baseball games and you chained me up in a dungeon’ moment I will be very disappointed.
  • More Westerosi Home Movies – YASSS!!!! I loved all this. Richard E. Grant is bringing it and I love him. I knew Lady Crane was moving Arya, and it was interesting to see the effect of Cersei grieving over Joffrey on her. I didn’t love Arya coming back at the laaaaast minute because I feel like she should have made up her mind WAY before now, but she’s done with the House of Black and White Pancakes and now she’s heading home. I am not thrilled with Jaqen sending the Waif after her, but I also suspect Arya’s final job is to kill the Waif because the Waif is clearly taking way too much pleasure in her job and Jaqen is not a firing boss. A big hand for Essie Davis, who has come in during the third act of a complicated, character-heavy show and still managed to make an impression – nice to see some more strong female characters who aren’t mothers or whores.
  • Mace Tyrell Is A Glorious Boob – Jaime waiting politely for him to finish his speech was hilarious. Also, congrats to the show for throwing me because I was SURE Loras Tyrell was going to walk out the Sept’s doors with his brains all freshly washed and ready to do battle with Dead Mountain. Instead we had Tommen, which is WORSE. His Mom is going to be So. Mad. And when Cersei gets mad, terrible things happen to other people.
  • And We’re Back In The Riverlands! – I know Walder Frey is one of the great monsters of Westeros but there’s something about him I absolutely adore. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Is it his refreshingly open hatred of everyone? Is it his gross yet earnest enjoyment of 16-year-old girls? Is it that the field of his fucks has been barren for so long no one can remember a time when it bore crops? I don’t know! All I know is I kind of enjoy his cantankerousness. I started rewatching the show from the first season and his line ‘She’s my little flower, and her honey’s all mine’ made me want to laugh and barf at the same time. Bless that actor, he is a gift.
  • All You Had To Do Was Whistle – I was disappointed by the way Drogon came back, which wasn’t at all clear. Where the hell was he? How did Danaerys summon him? Can she control him now? I have questions. I guess they are skipping the Dragonbinder Horn storyline – I won’t miss it, but I’d like to know how she found him. Maybe the point was that she could have called him back at any time but didn’t because she had some shit to figure out. I don’t know, the scene didn’t quite land right for me. We’ll see how this plays out.

Thoughts!

As I mentioned  I’m rewatching the show from the beginning and seeing a lot of stuff that has me thinking. None of this is original but it’s been so long since I really got into theories that I can’t remember what I’ve already read and what  I’ve come up with, so here are some thoughts.

  • Tyrion’s Saddle – Say, that would be a good thing to tie on a dragon’s back and thus allow Bran to ride a dragon. I wonder if that moment is coming up?  Is Bran going to be more like the air traffic control tower at the airport and route flights?
  • Brienne’s Vow to Catlyn – The show is sending both Brienne and Jaime to the Riverlands and setting up for the Riverrun/Edmure Tully storyline it looks like we’re getting the Sheriff Jaime storyline. I am SO excited about – maybe Jaime will finally continue the cahracter development he began in season three and then stopped in season four. I was pissed they sent him to Dorne for whatever that was, but it looks like we’re getting back on track – but what track? The showrunners have been saying for years they aren’t doing the Lady Stoneheart storyline but they are also dirty, dirty liars so who knows?
  • The Targaryen World Tour Is Ending – Looks like Danaerys is finally done with fooling around in Essos and is heading to Westeros and THANK GOD because I am so tired of seeing Emilia Clarke in deserts. I hope she gets to walk around in the Reach before winter sets in.
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6 Responses to “Game of Thoughts – Blood of My Blood (6.6)”

  1. Carlos Diaz June 1, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    I was also excited to see Benjen Stark return! Even more so now that he’s like half a white walker…!

    The theater group was just a joy to watch! I love watching actors, and especially “special” effects translated for the stage! It makes me want to do acting again.

    The scene at dinner struck a louder chord with me. Randyll Tarley was every bit a monster that Sam talked about and feared for five seasons. I don’t think you truly understand how a relationship between a son and an almost criminally overbearing father can have such a dire effect on a son’s ability to feel like he is not only a master of his own fate, but a man himself, regardless of the level of experiences he had. There Randyll was, sitting there in toxic judgement, unwilling to entertain the idea of Sam’s notable achievements, and Sam, head down, still a terrified eleven year old wondering if his dad will kill him. I thought it was brilliant that Randyll was presented as a bit more aged and less robust than imagined in the books by this point, but that made his menacing presence even more pronounced, because you can see that if Sam really wanted to, he could probably take him; or at the very least, Randyll would probably have a tougher time killing him than he had imagined from his “soft” son. Yet, the damage is done, Sam won’t do anything; he’s too terrified. The icing on the cake is him stealing Hearts Bane! Because that showed more than anything, Sam is willing to claim his manhood despite his father’s palpable disdain. It’s a big moment, too make that decision in your mind to damn the consequences, you gotta do what you gotta do, for your family and for yourself. The crucible of adulthood is often painful…ask Tyrion.

    I agree with Daenerys storyline; just go to westeros, already! The dragons are big enough, you can’t do anything else with the dothraki, let’s just start the game! The logistic angle of needing a thousand ships will keep them in Mereen a while longer so Tyrion and Varys can finish whatever they’re doing, but I’m chomping at the bit to see some real action that affects the entirety of westeros! I understand that “setup” episodes like this are necessary, but I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season!

    So many storylines! There’s not enough space in the HBO season to contain everything! They should run a standard network season of 23 episodes. They made Dorne make some big decisions in episode one, then nothing. And is Gendry still rowing somewhere!?

    I love this show.

    • jennnanigans June 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

      I guess they’re not bothering with the Coldhands stuff – I am definitely glad Benjen is back, although I miss his giant elk. It’s just so exciting to see him back!

      The Tarly dinner scene – I can see what they were doing, but the scene wasn’t working for me. Compare it to the scene in season one where Tywin Lannister is skinning the elk and dressing down Jaime- THAT was a good scene, and the tension palpable. It seemed like the dinner scene was more about showing Gilly standing up for Sam. Also, the rest of the family weren’t cowering in terror of Randyll Tarly at all, not the way you’d expect. Sure, WASPs like to hide fear and there was some tension, but there wasn’t a sense of real danger.

      I’m sure the burnt ships in Meereen had some huge consequences. The people that the ships belonged to couldn’t ALL have been supporting the Sons of the Harpy.

  2. patricksponaugle June 4, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    Another wonderfully detailed analysis with charming commentary!

    I will comment on your commentary in my usual style. (Set me on fire if I do too much Patsplaining)

    Your not a jerk for thinking that the show had skipped past Coldhands, since they did skip past the two logical times to introduce him, either in saving Gilly and Sam, or to save Team Bran along the way from the Wall to the Cave. Although, technically, in the books Coldhands might not literally be Benjen, we’re still waiting on the final details, but I’m fine for undead uncle B to be in that role.

    That wasn’t a horse, you silly. It was a giant elk that just happened to look exactly like a horse. Must I patsplain everything???

    Horn Hill is a fantastic place to visit, especially when Randyll is off hunting or at war or something. Sam’s mom has my vote for Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Even his brother Dickon seemed to have some sympathy for his big brother. He’s still a jock, but he didn’t seem to be busting on Sam, and would probably enjoy hearing about Sam’s experiences. I mean, Sam has seen some shit.

    – massive ranging from the Wall into the North.
    – ancient cache of dragonglass, and what it can do.
    – army of the dead
    – mutiny at Crasters.
    – killing the White Walker
    – breaking into the Nightfort via a secret passage he’d read about
    – The attack on Castle Black, killing a Thenn
    – Stannis’ attack on the Wildlings
    – Heck, Stannis in general
    – Being Jon’s campaign manager in the election

    Sam needs to write his memoir. There and Back Again [there might be some confusion with a book written by another chubby stout fellow.]

    I love how you spell Margaery. Clearly, the welsh way or something.

    I’m going on record that there’s more House of Black and White storyline, and that Arya might not have totally failed her unpaid internship. I could be wrong, and I’ll admit it if so.

    I was delighted with the compications in the King’s Landing storyline. It justifies a lot of High Sparrow speeches. I can’t be convinced otherwise. So happy when Jaime got fired, that Tommen chided him for figuratively attacking the crown. When in Bran’s visions, we saw Jaime literally attacking the crown (Mad King Aerys. SO AWESOME)

    Neither you or I are Team Frey, but we both love seeing the Freys in the show. I could watch Walder Frey yelling at his sons ALL DAY.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. Great post.

    • jennnanigans June 4, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      Ha ha, thanks! And nope, I do not take umbrage at your Patsplaining, which isn’t really happening anyway.
      Coldhands – True. There was a point a few years ago when I would have cared a lot about who Coldhands really is but now I’m just happy we have Benjen back and having some of these loose plot threads tightening up. Resolution! I have missed it!
      Horn Hill – Yes! Sam’s mom and family, so pleasant! And having read Sam’s resume in bullet form now I feel confident he’s a bright young go-getter with upper management written all over him. Kind of hilarious that he’s rocketed right past his brother AND father in terms of badassery.
      House of B&W – Oh totally. When Arya finishes killing the Waif I’m sure Jaqen H’Gar will jump out of laundry basket and give her a gold star. I wonder if she’s off to off Melisandre? There was a moment between them in the 3rd season (which I am rewatching) that seemed to be setting up a conflict, but it might have just been a throwaway thing, or maybe they’ll team up. Who knows?
      King’s Landing – There’s so much juicy setup! I can’t wait!

      In terms of drama, emotional beats, humor, and character development this season is really reminding me of Season 3 – also known as THE DREADED SEASON. I’m wondering if the showrunners are giving us the delicious candy to lure us into the mental bad touch van again. I guess time will tell!

      • patricksponaugle June 4, 2016 at 10:52 am #

        Good callback to Arya and Melisandre. Since the show invented that meeting between the priestess of R’hllor and our adorable avatar of the Stranger, I think it won’t be a throwaway.
        So looking forward to tomorrow. I think I have to start writing some of my post-S6 articles today and get some scheduled.

  3. rnmckinnon June 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    I think the dragon just does what it wants but, like a sixth sense, she can tell when it’s near. Creepy mom style.

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