I’m going to start by saying that this episode did something that not many episodes of Game of Thrones has done for me. That is have something that after watching the episode, I absolutely hated. That is massive credit to the show though because not often does a show go for 6 season and only have a few moments that really bug me.
The part that really had me angry in this episode was what happened with Riverrun. Here Jaymie is trying to take it from Blackfish but Blackfish is refusing to stand down, even after Brienne gives him and opportunity to help his family. So what does Jaymi decide to do. He decides to send in his prisoner, who is the rightful king of Riverrun and gets him to go clear the place out. While I get that he wasn’t always Jaymie’s prisoner and all that, the fact that he was the prisoner all episode, even when Brienne goes into Riverrun, and they only decided to send him in at the end. For me it was just a sloppy writing moment where I think they had this grand plan of a fight but had to be dealt with quickly with the events coming in the next couple of weeks.
Apart from that though this episode was the typical Game of Thrones amazing. I thought yet again they wrote Tyrion and all his supporting characters fantastically. The whole sequence with the jokes and wine was hilarious. I feel that what they have done this season is taken the characteristics of Tyrion we all like and started to spread them to his supporting characters which I think is a really smart move.
The Hound story line was again great. I feel like it’s been a while since we had a slightly comedic slaughtering and we got 2 great ones this episode. The best one was from the Hound with the axe, the second being his brother, the Mountain, killing one of the High Sparrow’s men. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Hound back into the frame and playing a big part in the back end of the series. I can see another Ayra/Hound team up coming and it’s going to be awesome.
Speaking of Ayra, her faceless assassin arc has now officially ended. I really loved what they did with her being chased through the city all the way to her cave, before ending it in the darkness. What I thought was really smart about this was it represents how much Ayra has changed and learnt during her time there. At the end of last season you would never think she would be able to fight blind but now she can. While that isn’t the best skill in the world to have, it was there purely as a way to show how she has evolved as a character. The girl has a name and it is Ayra Stark of Winterfell.
Something not many of us saw coming was Tommen’s announcement that there would be no more trial by combat. As an audience we were all waiting for that moment that zombie Mountain was pitched up against the Hound for what could of been one of the most brutal combats we have seen since the Mountain went full pimple popper on Oberyn. While it’s a disappointment, I think that in recent episodes that the story arc being played out at Kings Landing has been really solid and I’m interested to see what twists it shows up in the last few weeks.
Apart from a sequence that gave me the blood boils, it was a pretty great episode like always for Game of Thrones. I thought in many ways this episode was tying the knots of a few story arcs so that we could bring our focus towards the big ending. Episode 9 is next week and we all know that chances are, this could be one of the best episodes of TV we have ever seen.