I will start every one of these posts off with this warning about spoilers. There will be plenty of spoilers. Seriously, if you have not watched the episode, do not read this post. I will also be mentioning stuff from the books. These are not straight up recaps of episodes, nor are they reviews. I will just mention the stuff I liked/disliked and probably give some opinions about what could happen next.
I guess none of us were right on our Arya theories. The show just decided to go the straight up route. Waif versus Arya. No mental tricks where this is actually Arya fighting herself, no elaborate plan to trick the Waif by using pig’s blood from the actress. The chase scene was actually awesome. It felt like a Bourne movie or something. The fight ends though with Arya retrieving Needle and before the Waif can attack, Arya takes out the candle and forces her enemy to fight her in the darkness (wouldn’t it suck for Arya if the Waif had already been through blindness training?). Jaqen then finds the Waif’s face on his cool face storage facility and Arya puts a sword at his back. She tells him that a girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and that she is going home. Did Jaqen smile when she left? Is he proud of her? He is a strange guy.
The real question after the episode is what is in store for Arya now? She is leaving on a ship to Westeros and presumably heading to Winterfell. I wonder if she will get there before the battle between Jon and Ramsay? Maybe she will use her new skills to sneak into Winterfell, rescue Rickon, and poison Ramsay? Or maybe Jon will be captured by Ramsay and Arya will end up saving the day? Probably not, that seems to simple for GRRM. Arya will probably somehow end up on a ship to Westeros that gets taken over by pirates. You know, Yara and Theon. Arya will realize her best bet at returning home and crossing names off her list will be to join Daenerys. No? Ugh, seriously, who the fuck knows where this story will take her. She will probably get shipwrecked in Dorne and be forced to fight the Sand Snakes.
If I had one complaint about the episode it was the whole Riverrun story. It was a bit anticlimactic. Jaime convinces Edmure to surrender his men. The Blackfish allows Brienne and Pod to leave, and Jaime learns that the Blackfish was killed making a final stand. People have already begun to speculate whether or not he is actually dead. Who cares? He does not want to help Sansa, plus he has no more troops (although, maybe he could get the people to rally behind him again? Seriously though, why push that story any further?). Honestly, I think this was just a chance for us to see that no matter what task is set before Jaime Lannister, he will go to any means necessary to get back to his sister. EXCEPT, I think he was lying once again (probably to himself). I feel like if Brienne asked him to bring troops to help Sansa retake Winterfell, Jaime would do it. Or perhaps he could order Edmure to take his Tully troops to fight Ramsay (that way Jaime would not be fighting against an ally, but also helping Brienne).
We did get a crazy demonstration of the strength of FrankenMountain. Lancel and his Faith Militant friends show up at the Red Keep to take Cersei to see the High Sparrow, but she does not want to go and Lancel makes a comment that she can either come with them or there will be violence. Cersei says “I choose violence.” It was pretty cold and AWESOME. One dude attacks and FrankenMountain rips his head off. Then King Tommen makes a proclamation that Trial by Combat is no longer allowed. Hmm, I wonder why. Also, Cersei has some trick up her sleeve. She asks Qyburn about the rumor she had him look into and he says that it is “more, much more.” Everyone seems to think this means the city is wired with Wildfire (remember the stuff from the Battle of Blackwater Bay?) and that Cersei will pull a Mad King and try to destroy King’s Landing. However, I thought Tyrion had used most of it for his defense of the city? I could be wrong. I wonder if Qyburn has found something out about the High Sparrow? Something that Cersei thinks would really damage him and in the end it will just backfire against her…
The Tyrion/Grey Worm, Missandei drinking scene was funny and a nice breakup from all the tension of the other stuff happening. Unfortunately before any more hilarious jokes could be told, the Masters return with a navy and decide to start bombarding the city. Then Daenerys returns and I am guessing she will end the Masters once and for all. Or will she capture the ships to help her transport the Dothraki to Westeros?
Oh geez, I almost forgot to mention the Hound stuff. Beric and Thoros allow him to hang the guys who killed his friends (they were already about to hang them). They want Sandor to join them as they head North to fight the White Walkers. Could the Brotherhood (with Sandor Clegane) stumble into a battle at Winterfell and be the deciding factor? Could Thoros see Jon Snow and be like “we must aid him, he is Azor Azai!” Okay, I could see that, but I do not see Sandor going with them. He really does have to fight his brother. It just makes no sense in life if they do not fight.
Also, anytime the show cuts to random people you have never seen and one of them sticks a finger in another guy’s butt, you can just assume something terrible is about to happen (or awesome, depending on your POV). Sandor killing them with his ax was very satisfying.
Next episode looks to be the epic battle between House Bolton and House Stark (seriously, the Starks should have removed those assholes years ago, if Ned would have taken over the Bolton lands and given them to a family that did not enjoying flaying people so much, would the common folk really have minded so much? Obviously Ned would never do such a thing, too much honor). The preview shows Jon challenging Ramsay to a one-on-one fight for Winterfell. I am actually nervous about this fight.