Last night’s “Game of Thrones” Season 6, Episode 6, titled, “Blood of My Blood” was loaded with key moments, the capper being Daenerys on Drogon the dragon. But before we get there, lots of cold Northern ground to cover.
To remember, like a Northerner, read our last week’s “Game of Thrones” recap.
Last week’s demise of fan favorite Hodor leaves our Bran Stark a bit naked for a protector…or not! Welcome back Uncle Benjen! He left early in the series, season one as he bid adieu to Lord Ned Stark and all at Winterfell to head to the wall and then went MIA North of the wall, of course, he was feared dead.
Benjen was attacked and stabbed by a White Walker with a sword of ice and left to die but the Children of the Forest saved him and halted his demise with their forest magic to keep him alive and very much a human. He shared that the Three-Eyed Raven summoned him to Bran’s side and for now, Hodor’s physical guardianship is now Benjen’s calling, as we get a compressed vision quest reel of the horrors past especially for the Stark family including the mysterious Lyanna who may well be Jon Snow’s mother, and present of the North while Bran is in trance state.
This is important to take in as the episode ends with Dany sitting astride a giant glowing dragon telling the Dothraki they are going to rule the Westeros and she will sit on the Iron Throne. It’s going to take those dragons to wipe out the ever-expanding undead hordes from the North. But last night, her bragadoccio about slaughtering all the Westeros made me question her sanity and ultimate intentions.
‘Blood of my blood’ was also a turning point for Jaime Lannister, whose passionate kissing scene with his sister Cersei again reminds us how creepy the whole Lannister dynamic continues to be. No surprise then that King Tommen is a genetically defective dope now being led by the nose with the High Sparrow.
Is anyone else not believing the ‘Queen Margaery Tyrell is saved’ storyline? I think she is more cunning than Cersei here in her hatred for The Faith. A moment of deep praise for Lady Olenna played by Diana Rigg, who is the Downton Abbey Dowager countess doppelganger from House Tyrell who gets great lines to reel off.
The rejection of another faith was also front and center as finally, the awful storyline of the House of Black and White and the faceless god is being jettisoned by a fed up Arya.
She abandons her mission to poison actress Lady Crane and is now on the lam from the Waif, the female minion of Jaqen H’ghar who quite frankly I am tired of looking up how to spell his stupid name. Good riddance I say. She retrieves her buried sword named ‘needle’ and now she is acutely aware she is a hunted person of interest.
Sadness and rebellion happen at House Tarly where one of the worst fathers ever lives. Sam returns to his childhood manse with Gilly and Baby Samwell in tow, warmly embraced by the mother and sister, roundly rejected and humiliated at dinner by his bigoted unloving father Randyll. Gilly stands up for Sam after a blistering attack and fat shaming and is outed as a Wildling, which craps the proverbial bed at the dinner table.
A Valerian steel sword hung over the mantle is a focal point that dad uses to shame Sam, his male heir, denying him the rightful ownership. What dad doesn’t know is Sam is seasoned, still kind, but he has killed and with great sadness but resolve Sam spirits off into the night with Gilly, the baby and that sword pried off the wall!
All hail David Bradley whose detestable Walder Frey is back. No surprise as he and other older English actors like Ms. Rigg are perfectly wrought with their experience and talent to speak George R.R. Martin’s portentous lines for this densely layered tale of family drama and horrific fantasy.
He was the host of the infamous Red Wedding who is bemoaning the falling away of the Mallisters and Blackwoods and the loss of Riverrun to Brynden “Blackfish” Tully – Lady Catelyn Stark’s uncle. The Freys are bonded to House Tully by one man, Edmure Tully, Brynden’s nephew. Also, remember that Sansa Stark is on a fact-finding mission with her aide de camp Brienne to find and suss out the Blackfish for a Winterfell war.
Enter Jaime who is exiled to retake Riverrun at his son Tommen’s request to avoid doing dungeon time like the female characters all seem to earn at the Red Keep.
The late paterfamilias of House Lannister Lord Tywin had an alliance of sorts with the detestable Walder. Which begs the question if there will ever be an alliance between Jaime, Jon, and Sansa to defeat Ramsay Bolton? Bolton is like salt in this teleplay, too much of the flayer of men and it spoils the overall stew of fascinating characters and power plays.
Meanwhile, the great Daenerys is feeling her oats and has the Dothraki wrapped around her finger. They are invited to be her bloodriders and ride the wooden horse across the Narrow Sea. Dragons are super cool as long as they are on your side! She needs at least a thousand ships…does this mean the prolific shipbuilding Iron islanders are still in play? If anyone has a beef against House Bolton it’s Theon Greyjoy. I’d like to see him rebuilt, redeemed and restored from the current shell that Ramsay Bolton created.
Hats off to the writers and actors for compressing so much information and so many storylines artfully, creating a masterful and complex story that we fans have fallen into with such passion. Martin’s vision and words are turned into highly entertaining television, where familiar themes are set dressed with stunning craftwork (art department, editing, cinematography, wardrobe, hair, and makeup) and in the hands of these top notch actors, how could anyone watch a network drama or hybrid fantasy drama broken up with inane adverts and get the same chills and thrills? The stunning Penny Dreadful on Showtime achieves this marvelous state of excellence too.
The coming clash of fire (dragons) and ice (Walkers) is nigh. Will the right forces join together at the hip in the nick of time? See you next week for Game of Thrones episode 7, The Broken Man, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.