GAME OF THRONES RECAP: SEASON SIX, EPISODE EIGHT

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A thoughtful episode shot through with sorrow, violence – và some very clunky plotting decisions indeed


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Spoiler alert: this blog is published after game of Thrones airs on HBO in the US on Sunday night và on Foxtel in nước australia on Monday afternoon. Vày not read unless you have watched season six, episode eight, which airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 9pm, và is repeated in nước australia on Showcase on Monday at 7.30pm AEST.

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You’re a fighter. You were born a fighter. You walked away from the fight – how did that go? You could still help a lot more than you’ve harmed, Clegane. It’s not too late for you.”I’ve always loved the melancholy episodes of trò chơi of Thrones most, và parts of No One were up there with my favourites, although it was ultimately let down by some clunky contrivances. At its best though, this was a thoughtful & carefully paced hour, shot through with sorrow và violence, in which a number of characters made decisions that will impact hugely on their fates.


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The Hound … still seeking vengeance. Photograph: Helen Sloan/HBOThe Hound, still seeking vengeance after the deaths last week, rampaged around the countryside armed with only an axe and a nice line in bitter quips before meeting up with Beric Dondarrion & his Brotherhood Without Banners (and yes, I’m very relieved Beric and Thoros haven’t gone rogue) who offered him another shot at redemption and the chance to fight the forces of evil beyond The Wall. It’s not a particularly enticing prospect, admittedly, but at least if he says no, he got a nice pair of dead man’s boots out of the deal.

Over in Riverrun, Jaime Lannister was also undergoing a long dark night of the soul as first Brienne và then Edmure probed the difference between the insouciant front he presents to lớn the world & the more complex reality lurking behind it. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau hasn’t had material this good since the third season. He made the most of it, from Jaime’s weary conversation with Edmure (which reminded us that, bizarrely, the most faithful man in Westeros is probably the one who sleeps with his sister) lớn the small sad salute he gave Brienne as she sailed away, taking what remains of his tarnished conscience with her.

Oh Jaime, if I didn’t think you were doomed before I certainly vì chưng now. Also I’m not sure I’d hurry back khổng lồ Cersei – either she’ll have burnt King’s Landing khổng lồ the ground before you return, or you’re going khổng lồ hear all about Lancel at her trial, which I can’t imagine going down terribly well.


A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell – and I’m going home.”This was also an episode preoccupied by the meaning of home. Thus the Blackfish chose lớn fight and die for his ancestral pile, while poor Edmure betrayed it to lớn ensure the safety of his baby son. For Jaime, home was a person rather than a place – “Nothing matters to me, only Cersei” – as it is too for Brienne, pledged to Sansa & prepared to lớn fight for her lớn the end. For the Brotherhood Without Banners, long exiled from the life they once knew, home is each other & the cause they fight for. For Sandor Clegane, family and homes are concepts to be bitterly rejected, after he learnt their lack of worth at far too young an age.


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Will we get a Stark reunion by the kết thúc of the season? … Arya Stark confronts Jaquen H’ghar. Photograph: HBOAnd what of Arya Stark? After nearly two seasons of training khổng lồ become a Faceless Man, she finally defeated the Waif before rejecting the Many Faced God, choosing instead to lớn stay true to her house & her family. Not No One after all, not A Girl, and, unlike the Waif, not a weapon to be used at will. Will we get a Stark reunion between Sansa, Jon, Arya và Rickon by the kết thúc of the season? I live in hope.

It’s a trap you idiot … I’ll have your head before I surrender Riverrun.”


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Would the captain of the guard really have lowered the drawbridge for Edmure Tully? Photograph: HBOThough I loved parts of this episode, I can’t pretend there weren’t some very odd plotting decisions. Would the captain of the guard really have opened the door to Edmure? I know David Benioff & DB Weiss were making a point about deeply ingrained feudalism and the fact that Edmure was the true lord of Riverrun, but he was only actually the lord for a few weeks between his father’s death and the Red Wedding, he’s since been held captive for years and these men have been holding out against the Freys và now Lannisters for some time under the Blackfish’s command. I’m pretty sure they’d have a bit more loyalty lớn their grizzled commander than the ineffectual chap who turns up at the gate demanding khổng lồ be let in, especially given that Jaime và his white horse are so close by.

Then there’s Meereen: when the boats first appeared, I thought it was the Iron Born và some sort of actual plot resolution. But no, it was the Masters attacking & … stop me if you’ve heard this tuy vậy before. At this point, I rather want Drogon to burn the lot of them khổng lồ the ground before flying off khổng lồ freedom. Finally, we come lớn the resolution of Arya’s storyline – sadly, given the number of brilliant theories advanced below the line last week, sometimes the obvious answer turns out khổng lồ be the right one. Yes, Arya did act stupidly last week and get stabbed in the gut by the Waif. As to lớn how it played out this week – it was clunky và far too Hollywood movie (all that running & jumping with a gut wound) but I’ll forgive a lot for the line about Winterfell và I think it makes sense that Jacqen agrees she honoured the debt on her own terms.

Additional notes


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Tyrion Lannister has been a bit adrift this season. Photograph: HBO Tyrion has mentioned jackals and honeycombs before when confessing his “crimes” to lớn Lysa Arryn.

Jaime also reused his most famous line “the things we do for love” – last heard when he pushed Bran out of a window back in season one – as well as referencing cities being burnt to lớn ash again.

My favourite callback of all though was the moment Arya sliced the candle with Needle, thrusting her và the Waif into darkness. Something in the delicacy of that movement instantly recalled Syrio Forel. (Although yes, I did also yell “Feel the force Luke” but I bởi that a lot during Arya’s storyline.)

It makes sense that the High Sparrow outmanoeuvred Cersei. If you parade around with a brutal killing machine, sooner or later your enemy is going to come up with a way of neutralising him.

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I quite enjoy the animosity between Kevan & Cersei. If she makes it to trial I suspect he’ll try & bury her.

Who is Varys heading off to meet in Westeros? My money is on Littlefinger. My money’s always on Littlefinger when nefarious backroom đơn hàng are on the cards.

I might not believe that they would have opened the gate for him but I did enjoy Tobias Menzies’ performance as Edmure. It combined just the right amount of despair và desperate attempts khổng lồ be heroic. Plus I think at least a couple of his jabs made it through Jaime’s defensive wall.

The scene between Bronn và Pod was fun – I liked the idea of Bronn teaching Pod how khổng lồ fight dirty.

I think Bronn’s wrong that the relationship between Brienne and Jaime comes down to lớn sexual attraction. It’s more complicated than that: Brienne reminds Jaime about the person he could have been, while Jaime validates Brienne because he sees her as a Knight.

Missendei clearly can’t hold her booze, though I lượt thích her bad jokes. However, that scene went on too long & felt out of place. I can’t help feeling that Tyrion has been a bit adrift this season.

I do, however, like the idea of him running his own vineyard.

Violence countA pretty brutal episode saw four men taken out by one axe swung by the Hound, one member of the Faith Militant have his head ripped off by Ser Gregorstein, three outlaws hanged, the murder of Lady Crane & the end of the Waif.

Nudity countA brief glimpse of some men enjoying a steam bath before being interrupted by a fleeing Arya.

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Random Tasmanian of the weekFarewell then Essie Davis. I liked Lady Crane, & Davis did a lot with minimal screen time.

What bởi you think? Did the best moments outweigh the worst? Would they really have opened the gate lớn Edmure? What did you think of Arya’s storyline? và who has a better shot at redemption – Jaime or the Hound? As ever, all speculation và no spoilers are welcome below…

Episode 1: WinterfellEpisode 2: A Knight of the Seven KingdomsEpisode 3: The Long NightEpisode 4: The Last of the StarksEpisode 5: The BellsEpisode 6: The Iron Throne

Season seven

Episode 1: DragonstoneEpisode 2: StormbornEpisode 3: The Queen's JusticeEpisode 4: The Spoils of WarEpisode 5: EastwatchEpisode 6: Beyond The WallEpisode 7: The Dragon và the Wolf

Season six

Episode 1: The Red WomanEpisode 2: HomeEpisode 3: OathbreakerEpisode 4: Book of the StrangerEpisode 5: The DoorEpisode 6: Blood of my BloodEpisode 7: The Broken ManEpisode 8: No OneEpisode 9: Battle of the BastardsEpisode 10: The Winds of Winter

Season five

Episode 1: The Wars to ComeEpisode 2: The House of Black and WhiteEpisode 3: High SparrowEpisode 4: Sons of the HarpyEpisode 5: Kill the BoyEpisode 6: Unbowed, Unbent, UnbrokenEpisode 7: The GiftEpisode 8: HardhomeEpisode 9: The Dance of DragonsEpisode 10: Mother's Mercy

Season four

Episode 1: Two SwordsEpisode 2: The Lion and the RoseEpisode 3: Breaker of ChainsEpisode 4: OathkeeperEpisode 5: First of His NameEpisode 6: The Laws of Gods & MenEpisode 7: MockingbirdEpisode 8: The Mountain và the ViperEpisode 9: The Watchers on the WallEpisode 10: The Children

Season three

Episode 1: Valar DohaerisEpisode 2: Dark Wings, Dark WordsEpisode 3: Walk of PunishmentEpisode 4: & Now His Watch Is EndedEpisode 5: Kissed by FireEpisode 6: The ClimbEpisode 7: The Bear and the Maiden FairEpisode 8: Second SonsEpisode 9: The Rains of CastamereEpisode 10: Mhysa

Season two

Episode 1: The North RemembersEpisode 2: The Night LandsEpisode 3: What Is Dead May Never DieEpisode 4: Garden of BonesEpisode 5: The Ghost of HarrenhalEpisode 6: The Old Gods & the NewEpisode 7: A Man Without HonourEpisode 8: The Prince of WinterfellEpisode 9: BlackwaterEpisode 10: Valar Morghulis

Season one

Episode 1: Winter is ComingEpisode 2: The KingsroadEpisode 3: Lord SnowEpisode 4: Cripples, Bastards, và Broken ThingsEpisode 5: The Wolf & the LionEpisode 6: A Golden CrownEpisode 7: You Win or You DieEpisode 8: The Pointy EndEpisode 9: BaelorEpisode 10: Fire & Blood

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Season eight

Episode 1: WinterfellEpisode 2: A Knight of the Seven KingdomsEpisode 3: The Long NightEpisode 4: The Last of the StarksEpisode 5: The BellsEpisode 6: The Iron Throne

Season seven

Episode 1: DragonstoneEpisode 2: StormbornEpisode 3: The Queen"s JusticeEpisode 4: The Spoils of WarEpisode 5: EastwatchEpisode 6: Beyond The WallEpisode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf

Season six

Episode 1: The Red WomanEpisode 2: HomeEpisode 3: OathbreakerEpisode 4: Book of the StrangerEpisode 5: The DoorEpisode 6: Blood of my BloodEpisode 7: The Broken ManEpisode 8: No OneEpisode 9: Battle of the BastardsEpisode 10: The Winds of Winter

Season five

Episode 1: The Wars to lớn ComeEpisode 2: The House of Black and WhiteEpisode 3: High SparrowEpisode 4: Sons of the HarpyEpisode 5: Kill the BoyEpisode 6: Unbowed, Unbent, UnbrokenEpisode 7: The GiftEpisode 8: HardhomeEpisode 9: The Dance of DragonsEpisode 10: Mother"s Mercy

Season four

Episode 1: Two SwordsEpisode 2: The Lion và the RoseEpisode 3: Breaker of ChainsEpisode 4: OathkeeperEpisode 5: First of His NameEpisode 6: The Laws of Gods & MenEpisode 7: MockingbirdEpisode 8: The Mountain and the ViperEpisode 9: The Watchers on the WallEpisode 10: The Children

Season three

Episode 1: Valar DohaerisEpisode 2: Dark Wings, Dark WordsEpisode 3: Walk of PunishmentEpisode 4: and Now His Watch Is EndedEpisode 5: Kissed by FireEpisode 6: The ClimbEpisode 7: The Bear and the Maiden FairEpisode 8: Second SonsEpisode 9: The Rains of CastamereEpisode 10: Mhysa

Season two

Episode 1: The North RemembersEpisode 2: The Night LandsEpisode 3: What Is Dead May Never DieEpisode 4: Garden of BonesEpisode 5: The Ghost of HarrenhalEpisode 6: The Old Gods & the NewEpisode 7: A Man Without HonourEpisode 8: The Prince of WinterfellEpisode 9: BlackwaterEpisode 10: Valar Morghulis

Season one

Episode 1: Winter is ComingEpisode 2: The KingsroadEpisode 3: Lord SnowEpisode 4: Cripples, Bastards, and Broken ThingsEpisode 5: The Wolf và the LionEpisode 6: A Golden CrownEpisode 7: You Win or You DieEpisode 8: The Pointy EndEpisode 9: BaelorEpisode 10: Fire and Blood