Game of Thrones 607 recap/ review
The Broken Man
Spoilers everywhere, as this is a recap. Summaries are broken down by region, continuing with our coverage format for the sixth season of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
SALT PANS: Although the “Gravedigger” character appears in “A Song of Ice & Fire” at the Quiet Isle’s church of the seven-pointed star with the Elder Brother, the series returns Sandor “The Hound” Clegane to all the madness in a church settlement somewhere, presumably, around where Brienne and Arya last left him around the Salt Pans of Westeros with “Brother Ray,” played with depth and compassion by Ian McShane (John Wick, Hercules), to become some streamlined combination of the Elder Brother and Septon Meribald. We learn Brother Ray was “the maester hiding behind that rock” whom the Hound predicted would appear and save him after his epic combat with Brienne at the conclusion of the fourth season.
The Hound seems to have adjusted well enough, but has problems with the thought of giving up his violent nature. A few reps from the Brotherhood Without Banners (including the unmistakable yellow cloak of Lem Lemoncloak) approach this settlement and try to shake them down. When the Hound warns Brother Ray that, in his experience, these men will return to attack, kill, and rape, the holy man shrugs it off. The episode ends when the Hound, the titular “broken man,” returns to the village from chopping a tree down to build the church and finds every last citizen slaughtered by the BWB, with Brother Ray hanging by the neck from the top of the frame of the church under construction.
NORTH/ BEAR ISLAND: Jon and Sansa, with Davos in tow, spend their scenes of the episode recruiting Northern houses to fight with them to take back Winterfell after finalizing an alliance with the wildlings. Only the 10-year-old Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island agrees to send soldiers with them as we see an unsuccessful side of recruiting in another scene with House Glover at Deepwood Motte, more loyal to House Bolton. The fight to save Rickon will be hard-won. Jon refuses to delay a fight with the Boltons despite their small numbers, pushing Sansa to a point where she crafts a letter—presumably to get help from Littlefinger, Robin Arryn, and the knights of the Vale. Unfortunately for Cersei, Littlefinger already promised her these soldiers last season.
VOLANTIS: Theon and Yara stop by a brothel for supplies among other things on their way to beat their Uncle Euron to meet Daenerys Targaryen. Yara wants to enjoy the company of prostitute, but Theon’s dour expression bums her out completely. She makes him pound the ale he drinks, trying to get her brother back out of there somewhere while simultaneously trying to dispense of the “Reek remnants” he’s buried deep down in himself. Yara tries to push her brother’s guilt away to let revenge come out and have its day. She’ll need the strong bowman we saw earlier in the series, not the broken man that Ramsay made.
KING’S LANDING: The High Sparrow visits with Margaery as she reads from the seven-pointed star and mentions that she hasn’t joined her husband in the marriage bed for quite some time. He points out that this is her royal and religious duty to produce an heir to the throne, slightly threatening the arrest of Lady Olenna if the Queen won’t sleep with Tommen. Margaery and the unblinking Septa Unella meet with Olenna in the next scene, and while it seems like Margaery has fully bought in to what the High Sparrow is selling, the Queen slips a drawing of a rose to her grandmother, assuring her of the loyalty she still has for House Tyrell. As Olenna prepares to leave, Cersei appears to talk her into staying; however, Olenna understands her granddaughter’s warning and can at least appreciate that the whole mess with the Faith Militant was Cersei’s fault.
RIVERRUN: Jaime and Bronn take the Lannister army out to the Riverlands after Tommen’s order last week. Upon arriving at the Tully’s castle, they notice the Freys bringing another broken man out for execution in the form of Lord Edmure, the unfortunate groom/captive of the infamous Red Wedding in the third season. When Brynden “Blackfish” Tully refuses to hand over Riverrun, the Freys choose not to execute Edmure as it was all a bluff. Jaime assumes control of the siege and later treats with the Blackfish, who won’t deal until Arya or Sansa’s names come into conversation. Blackfish also admits he has provisions to last two years and that the Frey/ Lannister armies probably do not have that amount of food/ weapons/ supplies. If Jaime wants that castle, thousands of his men will die to take it.
BRAAVOS: The episode hit the pinnacle of excitement when Arya, on the run from the Faceless Men, books passage back to Winterfell with quite a lot of coin. Shortly after this, an old woman comes out of the shadows and stabs Arya, who ducks into the river off of a bridge. The old woman reveals herself to be the Waif. Arya surfaces and staggers through the markets, bleeding, as nobody pauses to help her. Some world, right?
It was a clever reveal to show the Hound before the credits revealed Rory McCann’s return to the show. While the episode’s “surprise” didn’t end the episode, it’s nice to see that beginning with a twist can present another type of suspenseful hour-long narrative. “The Broken Man” stands as the best GoT episode to date that features a single-story character arc in its plot with the Hound’s return to society via Brother Ray’s help. There were quite a few broken men this week, but none more than Sandor Clegane.