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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode seven, season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones.]
HBO’s Game of Thrones is well over halfway into its sixth season and viewers can feel the gathering forces that promise a few huge battles to come. This week that meant the return of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) after he took a week off, since the biggest threat is coming from beyond the Wall.
Although the Mother of Dragons (Emilia Clarke) got a little hiatus, her presence was still clearly felt by those who know she’s an integral player.
Here are all the key moments from “The Broken Man,” the seventh episode of Game of Thrones season six.
1. Send in The Hound
Without seeing The Hound’s decaying corpse, we always did doubt that he died after fighting Brienne (Gwendoline Christie). It turns out he was saved by Ian McShane’s character, Elder Brother. He’s always been a conflicted character, burned and abused by his older brother, doing the cruel bidding of the Lannisters and yet showing a bit of mercy to Sansa (Sophie Turner). His choices are always complex and often unpredictable, so we’re happy to see that scarred face of his again, even if it doesn’t seem like he’ll get redemption soon.
2. Trouble Rides Up
Unfortunately, The Hound is not destined to live in peace and chop wood after everyone in the vale is slaughtered following a visit by three roving riders who are followers of the Red God. The Hound is clearly not happy about his new life being stolen from him, and the way he grabs his ax doesn’t look like firewood is the only thing he’ll be chopping. Seeing him back on the trail promises some bloody excitement for the final three episodes that could tip the scales in one player’s favor.
3. Margaery Is Faithful
All of us who doubted that Margaery (Natalie Dormer) suddenly had a change of heart when she became a penitent follower of the Faith of the Seven were right in thinking she was playing a deep game. A note to her grandmother showing that she still loved House Tyrell first and foremost revealed her true colors and simultaneously spurred Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) to act. The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) won’t know what hit him.
4. Edmure Is Still a Pawn
Pitiful Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) really gets no say in his fate. First, his political marriage is a cover for the Freys‘ Red Wedding massacre of Robb Stark and his family, and now he’s being paraded out in front of Riverrun in the hopes that his uncle Brynden “The Blackfish” (Clive Russell) will give up the castle to save his life. No such luck. Maybe Edmure should take some pointers from Sansa on how to escape a wretched situation and find some agency.
5. Bronn Returns
The Hound wasn’t the only rugged familiar face in this episode. We were thrilled to see Bronn (Jerome Flynn) by Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) side again since he’s handy with a sword and also one of the best sources of comic relief on this show.
6. Jaime Fails to Impress
Despite his posturing and confidence, Jaime doesn’t have any better luck than the Freys trying to overtake Riverrun. In fact, The Blackfish all but spits in his face. Jaime’s failure means that Riverrun is still in demand, and judging from the scenes from next week, Brienne is about to join the fray. The former allies left on a rather sweet note, but now they’re once again serving different masters.
7. Davos Speaks Up
Jon Snow may no longer have his Night’s Watch brothers by his side, but he lucked out with Davos (Liam Cunningham) standing by him. After Jon and Sansa’s failed attempts at convincing Lyanna Mormont to lend them aid, it’s Davos who is able to reason with her and appeal to her humanity and loyalty. The Onion Knight knows people, and Jon would be wise to heed his advice.
8. Everybody Loves Dragons
Well, well, well. The bloodthirsty Euron (Pilou Asbaek) isn’t the only Greyjoy who will be seeking out Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. Yara (Gemma Whelan) and Theon (Alfie Allen) have set their sights on Essos too. But what could they offer Dany that doesn’t pale in comparison to Euron’s forces?
9. Sansa Makes Her Move
You can tell Sansa has learned to not just sit around and let other people determine her fate, but it’s a little disheartening that she’s also learned to deceive so well. After so few people join ranks with Jon Snow, Sansa decides to find help on her own by writing a letter and not sharing her plan with her half brother. The last time she lied by omission was when she neglected to tell Jon she learned information from her former mentor in deception, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, whom we all remember sold her into marriage with that bastard Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). We only wish she’d remember that too because there will be fallout from this action.
10. Arya Stumbles
It comes as no surprise except to apparently Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) that the Waif (Faye Marsay) would come after her to kill her. The violent stabbing attack, in which the Waif literally twists the knife in the wound, leaves Arya in a desperate situation and near death all because she was full of pride and felt like she could disobey and then leave the Faceless Men with no repercussions. It appears that Sansa isn’t the only Stark to not have learned her lessons well enough yet.
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