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Over the course of six seasons, Game of Thrones has pulled the resurrection trick in a few different ways, from legions of ice monsters rising from the grave beyond The Wall, to Melisandre (Carice van Houten) bringing Jon Snow (Kit Harington) back to life with fire magic.
But in “The Broken Man,” viewers witnessed a different kind of afterlife: Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), thought dead after his last scene in season four, now living a quiet life free from violence. But nothing is “free,” not in life, and certainly not on Thrones. The Hound is back in action now, and firmly at the heart of the conversation following the episode.
Here are the biggest topics in Thrones from throughout the week:
The Broken Speech
The Hound’s return comes courtesy of Brother Ray (Ian McShane), a devout man who nursed Sandor back to physical and spiritual health. Unfortunately, the spiritual revitalization didn’t last terribly long, after Ray and his flock were brutally killed. Equally tragic for readers of A Song of Ice and Fire, the show omitted one of the most powerful passages from the books, uttered by Septon Meribald, a character who provided the basis for Ray. Despite its omission from the show, McShane’s very own Deadwood collaborator David Milch provided a dramatic reading of the passage as a strong consolation prize.
Battle of the Brothers
As great as it is to have the Hound back in action right now, it’s what might happen in the future that should get Thrones fans excited. For years, readers of the A Song of Ice and Fire books have hoped to see the Brothers Clegane battle it out in an event often jokingly called “The Cleganebowl,” which would see Sandor and Gregor (Hafthor Bjornsson) duke it out once and for all. With Sandor alive and well — well, alive, at least — the possibility of that Cleganebowl coming to fruition is stronger than ever.
Terror in King’s Landing
While the Hound stalks through the Riverlands, his brother prepares for battle in King’s Landing. After weeks and weeks of buildup, it appears the Mountain is finally about to crack down on everyone in his path — potentially including House Lannister and the Faith Militant’s very own Lancel.
“He doesn’t want to be vulnerable, he doesn’t want to be weak, he doesn’t want to be exposed,” Eugene Simon told THR about his character’s arc. “And he doesn’t want to have anyone experience what he experienced really. He’s willing to go to incredible lengths to do that. I think that he is sort of fully consumed by it.”
The Bronn Medal
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) prepares for his siege against Riverrun, accompanied by none other than Ser Bronn of the Blackwater (Jerome Flynn), the “up-jumped sellsword” who has served House Lannister ever since the very first season of the show.
“He’s going along with the strong belief that Jaime is going to provide him with an even better version of what he was about to step into,” Flynn told THR about why Bronn’s still getting in on the action. “A beautiful wife and a bigger castle is on the table, and a bit more adventure. So he’s pretty sure he wants to have that castle and some sons that he can boss around and have the father role with.”
Across the Narrow Sea
In Volantis, exiled Greyjoys Theon (Alfie Allen) and Yara (Gemma Whelan) are licking their wounds, among other things. They plan to head to Meereen to forge an alliance with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), beating their uncle Euron (Pilou Asbaek) to the punch — but that’s only if they get there first, and only if their sales pitch is more powerful than Euron’s.
“I don’t think flowers would be enough, but if you could present a kingdom, if you could present power in a Shakespearean way, maybe you can woo her with that,” Asbaek told THR about Euron’s plans. “That’s what I love about Game of Thrones; it’s about power. That’s what I love about Shakespeare; it’s about gaining power. There’s an old saying from the sports world: ‘It’s not difficult to become No. 1. It’s difficult to stay No. 1.'”
The Journey Ahead
As the season moves closer to its conclusion, several heads are set to roll, beginning with the denizens of King’s Landing. But perhaps it’s more instructive to look at the episode title: “No One,” a clear callout to the name bestowed upon all Faceless Men. Given that Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) nearly died at the end of “The Broken Man” and is seen leaping for her life in the preview for episode eight, it’s a fair bet that the Braavosi story will reach its bloody conclusion this week — or at least come bloody close.
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