Seven save ya, friends. The 7th episode of the newest season of Game of Thrones was called, The Broken Man. As we have learned with the resurrections of Jon Snow; Beric Dondarrion; and The Mountain, Gregor Clegane—Humpty Dumpty can usually be put back together, in strange and sometimes deranged ways. George Martin loves killing his characters, but I think that he likes bringing them back as altered versions of their former selves more. We know the Lord of light can bring back the dead; the night is dark and full of terrors. But, can The Seven actually save you? Spoilers after the jump.
The Hound is back! It was strange when the episode started with a scene immediately rather than the opening credits. I was wondering what exactly it was we were seeing and why it was so important. At first, I thought we were witnessing a greensight flashback to the building of Castle Black, but the scene ended with the realization that somebody put the broken man back together again! An old man wearing the pendant of the Faith of the Seven is directing the building, presumably a church of some kind and the Hound is one of his followers. This has important implications, especially since the Hound was put back together by the Faith! CLEGANE BOWL GET HYPE!
We have finally learned the truth about Margery Tyrell’s conversion; it’s fake! She is playing a long political game. This is a very admirable trait of Margery’s character, she always recognizes the reality that she lives in for exactly what it is. So many of the characters on the show spend time trying to manipulate and change the world, while Margery acts inside of it. She passes a note with a hastily drawn rose, the sigil of house Tyrell, to her Grandmother, the Queen of Thorns—Olenna Tyrell—to signal where her true allegiances lie. She also tells her to leave King’s Landing, a vaguely threatening suggestion, indicating that the Faith might be looking to make further moves to ensure they have no challengers to their link with the Crown. In a brief meeting with Cersei, Olenna tells Cersei she’s lost and that if she were smart, she would leave King’s Landing as well. Cersei stubbornly rejects this idea. The trailer for episode 8 suggests we see Cersei choose violence when dealing with the faith.
The inept Frey’s get their siege taken over by Jamie Lannister and the army of 8000 men that he departed King’s Landing with. Bronn and Jamie watch a scene in front of Riverrun where the Frey’s are yelling empty threats at Brynden the Blackfish Tully, who sits atop his castle unmoved. This scene is wonderfully remniscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Jamie parleys with the Blackfish in an attempt to convince the Blackfish to surrender and save the lives of his men, to which the Blackfish responds that he was born in the castle at Riverrun and he is ready to die in it. While this episode is called the Broken Man, I believe that there is possibly a broken woman inside Riverrun. For a long time, there have been rumors of Lady Stoneheart (a reanimated and ruthless version of Catelyn Stark [Tully]) coming to Game of Thrones and I believe there may be more happening at Riverrun than meets the eye.
Jon Snow and Sansa spend the duration of the episode trying to cobble together an army strong enough to challenge Ramsay Bolton for Winterfell and the North. Jon has a difficult time convincing the wildlings to fight the Bolton’s and help him reclaim Winterfell and the North. Ultimately, he tells them that if they don’t fight they will all die anyway and so they concede. A scene late in the episode shows that House Glover is resentful for how much they have lost following the Starks into war; they refuse to aid Sansa and Jon claiming house Stark to be dead. One of the highlights of the episode was young Lyanna Mormont, head of House Mormont of Bear Island, a legendarily fierce house to whom both Jorah and Jeor belong.
Jon and Sansa are completely unprepared for exactly how fierce this little Lady is. She rebuffs every one of their calls to recognize the allegiance between House Mormont and House Stark; she rightly suggests that Jon is a Snow and Sansa is a Bolton, or a Lannister, depending on who you ask. She is eventually convinced by Ser Davos of House Seaworth, who empathizes with her unlikely position as head of a House, to provide 62 fighting men to the army—which by her math, equates 620 Mainland fighters. It is true that they do not have many fighters; late in the episode, however, Sansa moves behind Jon’s back again by writing a letter that she intends to send by raven to an unknown reciepient.
Yara, Theon and the group of sailors that they left the Iron Islands with have made it to Essos where they are spending time in a brothel. This is particularly hard for Theon, who has made great strides to reclaim the name Theon, but still bears the scars of Reek. Yara levels with him; she needs him. In typical Iron Islander fashion, she suggests that if there is no way for Theon to fully reclaim being an Ironborn, he might as well end his own life. She has no use for a cowering, beaten dog; she needs her brother. There is light at the end of the tunnel for Theon. Perhaps, when they finally speak to Daenerys and he meets the eunuch army, The Unsullied, he will reconceive himself fully.
Arya tries to negotiate her way out of Essos with a Westerosi captain. When she takes a break from wandering around the city she mindlessly stares at the Titan of Braavos and The Waif gets her opportunity to assassinate Arya and stabs her multiple times before Arya dives off of a bridge. The Waif believes that she has succeeded and walks off with a smug smile on her face, but Arya emerges from the river bleeding from the stomach and the scene ends with her dissolving into a crowd of people looking for someone to help her. While the Tyler Durden Theory regarding Arya has been the most popular bandied about, this theory regarding a test for both Arya and The Waif is very compelling.
The common Septon on the hill has his followers gathered, including the hound and he gives a sermon on how it’s never too late to come back. A sermon that seems explicitly aimed at the Hound. He talks about how he used to be a murderer, but now he renounces violence, so much so that he would rather die than become the man that he was, again. At this point, 3 brothers in the Brotherhood Without Banners ride up and make some threatening requests of the small community. The audience understands what has just happened, along with The Hound, while the Septon stubbornly maintains his attitudes toward violence. While the hound is out in the woods, the community is attacked and everyone is murdered. The Hound knows exactly who is responsible, grabs his axe and goes off on what we can only assume will be vicious retribution for the vanquished community. CLEGANE BOWL GET HYPE!