A large part of this episode follows Sam and Gilly going back to his parents’
And it’s not a bad storyline, we see how utterly terrible his dad his, how he constantly demeans Sam, how he hates Wildlings and how he really needs to be stabbed with something repeatedly. I also like how, while Sam utterly fails to stand up for Gilly (that falls to Sam’s mother and sister), Gilly doesn’t hate Sam for that – I think this is important. I know we’d probably all want Sam to stand up to his evil dad, but this is the man who has been abusing Sam his entire life- a lifetime of self-loathing and fear and pain shouldn’t just vanish because Man Now Has Woman To Protect.
Sam decides, somewhat unwisely, to run off in the middle of the night with Gilly, the baby and rhe family sword. This will not end well.
How do I say this without sounding awful? Because I’m sure there’s a lot to unpack in Sam’s story and it’s a very touching little story
But “little” is the operative word. And there’s so much going on in this world with more pivotal characters (Arya) and more world changing events (Daenerys, the Dorthraki, Meeren, Kings Landing, Winterfell, North of the Wall). I’m kind of “ok this is nice… but I’m not sure I care.”
Now to storyline I do care about which better have a twist to it: Margaery has apparently gone all High Sparrow devotee and confessed her sins (her sins are… lying about her brother’s terrible gayness – who is absent, of course, because he’s not a character, he’s a plot point. That’s literally the total extent of them) and is totally ready to do the walk of shame but doesn’t have to because Tommen has also converted
Oh Tommen, the only reason you’re not the worst king is because your family is made of terrible people who are terrible. This also stops Jaime and the Tyrells from massacring the High Sparrow – and gets Jaime banished to go fight in the Riverlands. But Cersei
If this is a genuine conversion I’m just going to scream. Please let this be Margaery plotting. Please let the High Sparrow have a little “accident” and Margaery craftily recruit the Sparrows into her own little minions. Seriously, it’s intolerable that Margaery be beaten down as well. Let this be a plot
Of course, Cersei and Jaime are still planning to burn all the things. And I’m actually backing them. Ye gods.
In the far north Meera is still struggling to rescue Bran who keeps flashing in and out of history as the new Three Eyed Raven and we’re all still deeply traumatised by Hodor.
|Someone's totally going to hell for this|
The undead catch up with them – and they’re rescued by Benjen Stark. Yes, Bran’s lost uncle! Starks are hard to get rid of. He was saved by the Children of the Forest and now feels Bran is essential to save the world from the White Walkers
Speaking of Starks, Arya tries to follow the rules of the Faceless Men but she continues to have moral qualms. Unable to poison the actress who pulls off an awesome performance (more angst of Arya seeing the theatrical re-enactment of season 1) Arya gives up on becoming a Faceless Man, gathers her long abandoned sword, Needle, and leaves. Maybe to return to the main gang again?
Of course, her not so pleasant mentor is now under orders to kill her. 10:1 she gets needled.
Somewhat related to the Starks – while the Tullies have taken back Riverrun, Walder fray the Awful is still determined to take the castle back despite everyone hating him. Jaime running to help and his hostage – Edmure Tully. Meh, no-one cares about him
Over to Daenerys who has dragons and army and a passionate speech for all the brown people to rally around her and die in her name. Pretty much business as usual.