Monday, June 13, 2016

Game of Thrones: No One recap

by Melissa Parkin

Just as the curtain closes on yet another successful play, Lady Crane heads backstage after the show to find Arya hiding amongst the wardrobe. She's still bleeding from the Waif’s vicious attack. Crane patches her up and even offers young Stark a place in the acting troupe. Arya declines, knowing that no one will ever be safe around her as long as the Waif is hunting her down. The actress gives Arya something to sleep and leaves her to rest. 

Meanwhile, members of the Brotherhood lounge around a campfire until an unwanted visitor strolls into the site. Armed with his trusted ax, the Hound storms the grounds, slaying them all in brutal fashion. He’s unhappy however to learn that not everyone is there. The Hound eventually crosses paths with the leaders of the Brotherhood, Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion, just as they prepare to hang the rest of the men who attacked the Sept. The Hound demands that he be allowed to kill them all. Beric consents, letting him kill two out of the three. 

Qyburn breaks the news to Cersei that the Faith Militant is coming to the Red Keep. No sooner do the members arrive, telling the Queen Regent that the High Septon wishes to see her in the High Sept. If she refuses to come at her own accord, they will take her by force. Cersei chooses the latter, siccing the Mountain on the group. The brute proceeds to rip off one of their heads with nothing but his hands. The Militant falls back in sheer terror, in which Cersei concludes their meeting. “Please tell his High Holiness he’s always welcome to visit.”

Later on, Cersei, Qyburn, and the Moutain enter the Throne Room, learning at the last minute that King Tommen will be making a royal announcement. When the Queen Regent goes to stand by her son, Kevan bars her passage and tells her to stand with the other ladies of the court. Tommen declares that Cersei’s trial will take place later that month. To add insult to injury, the King also announces that he is banning the practice of trial by combat. Of course, this places Cersei at a distinct disadvantage. Qyburn then informs her that a particular inquiry she made to him has turned out to be more than rumor . . . much more.

Brienne of Tarth and Podrick arrive at Riverrun, only to be flanked by Jaimie’s men. Brienne asks to speak with Jaimie--she possesses his sword. The two meet, finding themselves on opposing sides of the fight. Jaimie needs to reclaim Riverrun, if he wishes to return to King’s Landing. Brienne needs the Blackfish and his men for Sansa’s army.  Brienne makes a bargain with Jaimie. If she can convince the Blackfish to surrender, Jaimie will offer safe passage to the entire Tully army in exchange for leaving the castle to him. Before leaving, Brienne tries to give the Oathkeeper sword to Jaimie, but he refuses, saying it belongs to her now. The negotiation with the Blackfish goes south. Brienne sends word to Sansa that she failed.

Varys says his goodbyes to Tyrion before embarking on his voyage back to Westeros. He claims they need friends in Westeros along with ships, but Tyrion says they need Daenerys more.  Left now only in the company of Missandei and Grey Worm, Tyrion attempts to break the ice with them over a toast. Though bumpy at first, the trio eventually lighten up, until sirens wail from the city.  The Masters have arrived with their fleets, preparing to attack in order to reclaim their property. Meereen quickly finds itself engulfed in flames as the Masters bombard the city.  Inside the pyramid, Grey Worm and Tyrion try to determine the next course of action when the roof quakes. Daenerys literally flies in on her dragon, bursting into the room to take command.  

Jaimie Lannister visits Edmure Tully, apologizing for the foul treatment bestowed upon him as his prisoner. He schmoozes him into getting Blackfish to surrender, but Edmure doesn’t fall for his flattery or promises. Instead, he asks Jaimie how he can sleep at night, given all the terrible things he’s done. Jaimie tells him that he admired Catelyn Stark for the devotion she had for her children. That same love is what drives Jaimie to do what he must in order to return to Cersei. Lannister threatens to kill Edmure's baby son by slinging him over the wall in a catapult if Edmure fails to convince his uncle to surrender.

Edmure returns to the front gate of Riverrun and demands entry.  The Blackfish tries to stop the Tully army from obeying the order, but a soldier informs him that they must. As the rightful Lord of Riverrun, Edmure’s demands must be upheld.  After entering, Edmure immediately tells the Tully army to surrender, allowing Jaimie to take the castle without bloodshed. Lannister orders his forces to bring the Blackfish to him, but he’s informed that the Blackfish died fighting, after helping Brienne and Pod escape. Jaimie looks out onto the river, seeing the small boat floating away from the castle. He waves to Brienne, who returns the gesture.

Arya wakes up the next morning, only to find Lady Crane murdered. The Waif stands right in front of her.  Arya barely manages to escape the house, with the Waif right on her heels.  After a chase through the city, Arya leads the Waif down an alleyway where she uncovers Needle from her trusted hiding place. The Waif laughs at the effort just before Arya slices the only candle illuminating the small room, cutting the screen to black.

Jaqen walks through the House of Black and White, coming across a trail of blood spatter.  He follows the path, discovering the Waif's face hanging on the wall. Arya appears behind him, pressing the tip of Needle to his chest as he turns to confront her. “You told her to kill me.” He doesn’t deny it. Jaqen tells Arya that, “finally a girl is no one,” in which she says, “a girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.”  Jaqen gives but a small smile and nods as Arya leaves with her head held high.

Okay, let’s call it like it is: Meereen is essentially Benadryl for its viewers. The subplot is proving to be the weakest link in the series thus far. It lacks the political intrigue of King’s Landing and has none of the dangers seen in the North. The Harpy showed us some promise that we might finally see a little action, but that seemed to fizzle out. Now, we have the Masters, which would be great…if we actually got to see them. They storm into the harbor, and what kind of nitty-gritty action are we gifted with? A very, very distant view of catapults hitting the pyramid. Yippee…

Plus, the story is wasting its greatest assets. If Tyrion isn’t your favorite—or at least in your Top Three list--what’s wrong with you? Considering he’s a fan favorite, it makes it all the more painful to see him going to waste in Meereen. Tyrion lured us in with his silver tongue, intellect, and wit. Now, we have to watch him painfully trying to liven up a room full of dullards.

Can we please wrap things up in Meereen and just storm Westeros already?


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