‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Dragons vs. Sparrows

'Game of Thrones' Recap: A Beloved Character Meets Their End
They are always saying no one is safe of Game of Thrones, but this death has us reeling a little bit

If you’re the betting kind, put your money on the dragons. Just sayin’. [SPOILERS AHEAD so stop if you haven’t seen the episode].

Well, well, lots of different pieces are moving into place in this Game of Thrones episode, titled “Blood of My Blood” – a welcomed respite from last week’s heartbreaking death of Hodor. Still trying to get over that.

Let’s start with the High Sparrow’s hold over King’s Landing. He is a sneaky one, this guy, and it looks like Queen Margaery has swallowed the Kool-Aid. She and King Tommen are finally reunited, and she explains to him that she believes in the High Sparrow’s philosophy to fess up to your sins and know who you are. She wants to let go of the lies. What about her brother Loras? She thinks he needs to atone for his sins. “The gods have a plan for us all.” Is she really won over or is she still playing the game?

When Jamie Lannister shows up with a Tyrell army to stop Margaery’s walk of atonement, the High Sparrow reveals it won’t happen because Margaery has already atoned by bringing another one into the light: Tommen. The young king declares to the cheering crowd that there is now “a holy alliance between the crown and the faith.” The High Sparrow slyly smiles at Jamie, who is appalled, and when Margaery’s dad asks, “What happened?” grandmother Oleanna replies, “He’s beaten us, that’s what happened.”

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CREDIT: HBO

Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen is making her way back to Mereen with the Dothraki army following her. She asks Daario what it would really take to go across the sea and “get what is hers” in Westeros. He says it would take about 1,000 ships. She doesn’t even blink at that, and then says to hold on, she’d be right back, riding ahead in the desert. She returns riding one of her dragons, and the Dothraki are in awe. Dany then gives one hell of Henry V-type speech, inciting the Dothraki to fight for her and win the Seven Kingdoms. Yeah, it’s a little impressive to ride in on a dragon. What are they going to say, no?

This whole whose-going-to-win-the-Iron-Throne thing is quite honestly up for grabs at this point. The Night’s King and the White Walkers seem unstoppable (and bringing winter with them), while Dany and her growing dragon masses seem invincible (and able to melt that winter?) Jon Snow and the growing-tougher younger Starks (Bran, Sansa, Ayra) have to a part of it. The Red Witch and the Lord of Light followers are important, as are those fffing Sparrows. But you can’t count out the Lannisters and the Tyrells, oh no. That would be foolish. And then you’ve got the Greyjoys and the Salt Throne, the Sand Snakes in Dorne – it seems endless and too many theories to think about. Let’s just continue with Sunday’s episode.

Here are other doings this episode:

– Reeling from Hodor’s death (like us all), Meera is trying hard to drag Bran’s sleigh through the snow to safety while he’s still in a trance. It looks like Bran is seeing it all, the whole history, as he becomes the new Three-Eyed Raven. When he finally wakes up, it’s just as the White Walkers are closing in. Suddenly, someone in a hooded cloak shows up and rescues them. Is it Ned Stark’s brother? It is! It’s Uncle Benjen, who way back in Season 1 was written off as dead when Jon Snow goes to the Wall and discovers his uncle had disappeared beyond the Wall. Turns out, he did almost die at the hands of the White Walkers, but the Children found him and saved him with Dragon Glass (which is what they used to make the White Walkers to begin with). Benjen has gained some insight, and he tells Bran he’ll be ready for the Night’s King when he comes.

– Samwell takes Gilly to his home at Hornhill. He never thought he’d be going back because his father disowned him, made his give up his heritage and sent him to the Wall. Not the most warmest of regards for Sam, to say the least. Sam also warns Gilly not to tell his father she is a Wildling. Sam’s mother, however, is so very happy to see him, as is his sister. And they also welcome Gilly and their “son” with open arms. Then they have dinner with the elder Tarly, Randyll, who still only has the most contempt for his eldest son. “I thought the Night’s Watch would make a man of you. But you’re still soft and fat.” Poor Sam. Gilly tries to stick up for him, “He’s a greater warrior than you’ll ever be,” but lets it out that she’s a Wildling. That doesn’t go over well. You really wish Sam would grow a spine and let Randyll have it, but no. Randyll banishes Sam and says Gilly and the “bastard” boy can stay as servants. But wait, Sam does have a little moxie, and he decides he isn’t going to leave without them – and he’s going to take the precious family sword with him.

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CREDIT: HBO

– In Braavos, Arya is again watching the local theater group do their play about the Lannisters, this time when Joffrey is poisoned by Tyrion. Ayra thinks it’s funny but is moved when “Cersei” – played by Lady Crane, the one Arya is supposed to kill – delivers an emotional speech. Arya also notices the younger actress, in the wings, reciting Lady Crane’s lines and realizes it is she who hired Jaqen to kill Crane. Backstage, Arya does poison Lady Crane’s drink, like she has been instructed, but before she can leave, the Lady notices Arya, and the two have a conversation. Arya likes her, and she sees how Crane isn’t respected by the others in the troupe; they’re jealous. So, Arya stops her from drinking the poison, and warns her the other actress wants her dead. Oh Arya, she just can’t be the “girl with no name.” Waif sees the whole thing and goes to Jaqen. He is disappointed but sends Waif off to kill Arya. Arya has other plans and has already dug up her sword, Needle; she’ll wait for Waif to show up. She is a Stark after all.

– Walter Frey is pissed that Brynden Tully, uncle to the Stark children, has now taken back the Tully castle, Riverrun. To recap, it was Frey, working in cahoots with Tywin Lannister, who hosted the “Red Wedding,” where Catelyn Stark’s brother, Edmure Tully, married one of Frey’s daughters. The same Red Wedding where Catelyn, son Robb Stark and his pregnant wife, were all murdered by Frey’s men, to end the Northern rebellion. Brynden Tully escaped and now he is making trouble again.

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CREDIT: HBO

– And now that Tommen is a faith-based king, he basically banishes [his dad] Jamie, who has been summoned by Frey to help him win Riverrun back. Jamie rants to Cersei he’d rather give his best hitman Braun a ton of gold and take the High Sparrow’s head, but Cersei wants him to lead the Lannister army, go support Frey and “take that stupid little castle back because it’s ours and because you can.” She’ll be all right without him; she has the Mountain. Then they kiss… ah it’s been awhile.

And so we wait until next week when surely something awful is going to happen to someone we love.