Welcome back The Hound! In the very first cold open of the series, we discover that The Hound, left for dead by Arya at the end of the Fourth Season is indeed alive and well! Apparently, a repentant Al Swearengen found The Hound in a putrid state and nursed him back to health! Yes, it was a quick hello and goodbye to Ian McShane of Deadwood fame, who does a one episode and done cameo. This is reminiscent of what LOST did in the Season Six episode ‘Across The Sea’ when they cast Allison Janney for a one episode cameo.
We find The Hound in a lovely green clearing with a bunch of happy, simple people building a temple. It was kind of a Game Of Thrones version of ‘Witness’ with The Hound as the Harrison Ford character. McShane’s character, Brother Ray is a man with a violent past who has changed his ways and become a septum. He wears the same necklace as the High Sparrow so he must belong to the Faith Of The Seven. He sees a lot of himself in The Hound and since he’s physically healed (he chops a lot of wood) he begins his spiritual healing.
“The gods are not done with you yet.” Brother Ray tells him.
“If the gods are real why haven’t they punished me?” The Hound asks.
“They have.” Brother Ray tells him.
Brother Ray gives a nice sermon, testifying about how he was such a bad man but he turned his life around. “It’s never too late to come back”, he says, looking directly at The Hound. Just then some riders come along, members of the Brotherhood Without Banners, followers of The Lord Of Light. Brother Ray offers them supper but they want more. Of course, while The Hound is out chopping wood, they return and slaughter the whole community.
When The Hound returns to the camp he finds them all dead and Brother Ray hanging from the rafters of the unfinished temple. He picks up his ax and wanders off. Will he be seeking revenge from The Brotherhood? Is there still a chance we will see Lady Stoneheart?
“You deserve a good bashing!” Lady Olenna to Septa Unella
Lady Olenna had the best lines in this episode, no question. Margery is playing up the repentant woman with the High Sparrow. They have another heart to heart and HS even lectures her on her duty to have sex with her husband, the King. Tommen’s been talking to HS too and is none too pleased that since she got religion he ain’t getting any! But I’m also worried HS may be on to her game. He tells Margery that she must teach her grandmother the new ways and that he fears she’s in danger both spiritually and physically. Of course, Margery tells Lady Olenna to high tail it back to High Garden but Lady Olenna won’t have it and she’s about had it with Margery’s constant companion, Septa Unella! But Margery is adamant about her leaving King’s Landing and presses something in her hand, a note with a drawing of a rose, their family sigil. Lady Olenna agrees to leave and is relieved that her granddaughter has not become a religious nut.
Meanwhile Cersei pleads for Lady Olenna not to leave, that they need to stick together to fight HS and the Faith Militant. Lady Olenna tells Cersei that it’s all her fault that they’re in this position in the first place.
“I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met? She says to Cersei.
“You love your granddaughter and I love my son and that is all that is real to me.” Cersei says.
Lady Olenna reminds Cersei that she is all alone and surrounded by enemies and that she best get out of town while the getting is good.
“I’ll never leave my son.” Cersei says. She may have sealed her fate. She should have listened to the old gal.
“You’ve lost, Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in all this misery.” Lady Olenna closes with and she is outta there!!
The Wall and The North
“SNOW” Wun Wun
Jon, Sansa and Ser Davos begin their Northern Tour to build up an army. They start with the Wildlings. They were fine with going to battle with the White Walkers and their wights but not so keen on going to war with the Ramsey and his massive army.
“He died for us. If we’re not willing to do the same then we’re cowards.” Tormund stands up for Jon. But it took the giant Wun Wun, to stand tallest and declare “SNOW” to convince the Wildling leaders to agree to be part of Jon’s army.
The next stop was Bear Island and House Mormont, Ser Jorah’s family. They are led by an adorable young lady who is as tough as nails and sharp! When Sansa tries to charm her by saying she was named after Sansa’s Aunt Lyanna, Lady Lyanna Mormont shoots back, “Who am I addressing? A Lannister? Or a Bolton? I get conflicting reports.”
“I did what I had to in order to survive but I’m a Stark. I’ll always be a Stark.” Sansa responds
But it takes that old rascal, The Onion Knight himself, to woo the young Lady Mormont.
She agrees to stand with the Starks once again. But Jon and Sansa are disappointed to learn they can only offer 62 fighting men.
“If they fight half as ferociously as their lady, the Boltons are doomed.” Ser Davos says. He does have a way with the ladies.
Their next stop on the tour did not go as well. House Glover is still sore about Robb Stark marrying a “foreign whore” and getting everyone who followed him killed. Come on! That’s so third season!
Jon has made camp at the same spot old Stannis did when he was planning his ill fated assault on Winterfell. They got 2000 Wildlings, 62 Mormonts, and a couple hundred more from other Northern families. Jon is all for attacking Winterfell with ‘the army we have’ (very Donald Rumsfield of him) but Sansa says they need more men. I agree. So she gets an idea. She writes a letter and sends a raven. It looks like she’s going to need Little Finger and the Army of The Vale after all.
The Iron Born Twins
“I know you’ve had some bad years.” Yara with a straight face to Theon who does a spit take.
Yara and Theon take a pause in their journey for a little R & R at a seaside bordello. Poor Theon is surrounded by naked, beautiful women and is probably having a phantom hard on. Yara, meanwhile has her face planted in a lovely bosom and tells Theon to have a drink at least. In all seriousness, Yara, needs Theon to be Theon once again. She says if he wants to end it then open his wrists but if he’s staying he needs to find the Theon of old.
“We’re going to sail to Mereen, make a pact with this Dragon Queen and then we’re going to take back The Iron Islands“, she tells him. Drink up, Theon! Maybe Yara will let you watch.
“Good thing we’re friends or we’d be fucking you in the ass right now.” Bronn to the idiot Frey brothers.
Jamie leads his army of eight thousand to River Run to help take it back from The Blackfish, Brynden Tully. Of course, he has Bronn by his side. Jamie and Bronn have a sweet bromance going on. The Frey boys threaten to cut Edmure Tullys throat if The Blackfish doesn’t yield River Run. The Blackfish stands, stone faced from the castle wall and says, “Go on, do it then”, and walks away. Just a bluff. They don’t kill Edmure. Jamie witnesses this incompetence and tells them he will take over the siege and to bathe and feed their prisoner. Bronn arranges a parlay between The Blackfish and Jamie. Jamie promises not kill his men if he gives up River Run but he has broken his promises before. Jamie tries to tell him the war is over and this is all nonsense.
“As long as I’m standing the war is not over. Either attack or starve us out. We have provisions for two years. Do you have two years? The Blackfish is not budging. A battle is brewing.
I was hoping to see Brienne and Jamie be reunited but it looks like that’s going to happen next week. They’re going to be on opposite sides of this River Run thing.
Arya makes arrangements to sail back to Westeros. She’s wearing her hair like her father now. A sure sign that she does have a name and it’s Stark. As she walks along a bridge and looks out at the statue of the Titan of Bravos, a sweet old lady approaches her. Who’s this? Then one of my friends yelled “It’s The Waif!” and sure enough this old lady starts stabbing Arya! NO!!! The bloody Waif! It was like a horror movie! Somehow Arya head butts her and gets away, jumping off the bridge into the river. The Waif seems satisfied that she’s done her duty. Arya comes up and walks ashore, badly bleeding from the knife wounds in her stomach.
Well, she had to know they come for her. And they could be anyone! Will she make it to morning? She will seek out Lady Crane. They will smuggle her out with the acting troupe as I’ve always suspected.
Charlotte, what are your takeaways from Episode Seven?
Hey guys! So we started off this episode by learning that- hallelujah- the Hound is alive. That bearded muppet is now building stuff for Father Yod in a sustainable commune, where unnecessarily belted tunics run rampant, and everyone wears brown because they know they’re going to get dirty anyway. Oh, the Hound, nothing expresses how hard you are to kill like a seersucker shirt and a vest. You will survive the Jonestown massacre though, so well played, the Hound.
Also, can we talk about Margery’s hair? Gorgeous! If you’re not having marital relations with your 14 year old husband, you should have time to consider a side part. Just saying.
Moving on to the Wildlings, my favorite NHL playoff team, I’m excited by the concept of using oyster shells and rat tails as armor but I mostly hope they choose the giant as their goalie. Anyone else notice there are no female giants? How does this genetic anomaly continue?
Back in Winterfell Jon Snow is still killing it with the man bun, thank goodness, and Sansa is rocking a pelt worthy of a Bergdorf window display. Love those two. Still though, no winter hats. Winterfell looks cold! Get some pelts on your heads!!
I leave you with the unfortunate vision of the Waif being every girl I hated in high school. They were way better at soccer than I ever was and I am so grateful they weren’t allowed to stab me in the stomach and push me over a bridge. Seriously though, why does the Waif look like my high school rivals?
Three Things I Think I Know:
1 Jamie and Brienne will make an alliance with The Blackfish and against Walder Frey.
2 Tyrion needs to deal with those two dragons he let loose on the playground.
3 Arya will be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life.
Three Things I Want To See:
1 The Mountain let loose! Let’s see what he can do!
2 Walder Frey die! How long do we have to wait?
3 Rickon. Bring me the body of Rickon Stark!!
My Favorite Quote:
“You deserve a good bashing!” Lady Olenna, of course!
Who Is Next To die?
Based on the preview, I’m think Cersei’s kissin’ cousin, Lancel.
Things are ramping up, people. Three episodes left! I can’t believe it! So much to do still! And it looks like they’re breaking up the next two seasons into seven episodes each. Enjoy them while you can!