TV REVIEW: Game of Thrones - Blood of my Blood
Sometimes you just need to slow down, especially considering that this season so far has been a mile a minute. The world of Westeros is turning like it's had several grams of speed, so we needed to stop and reflect, and Blood of my Blood gave us that. This was an episode that had no Jon, no Sansa, no Tyrion, but looked at the other factors either in play now or soon to be.
At King's Landing, there was a surprising outcome that stopped Margaery's walk of atonement, as she appears to have not only joined up with the High Sparrow but also convinced Tommen to do the same, deciding to bring together the crown and the faith. It's a moment that stopped bloodshed, at least for the time being, although Jaime and Cersei are still being their boring old "ooh we'll destroy our enemies" selves. But there's an interesting line here that also links in with the ending, which shows the schism between those still playing the game for the Iron Throne, and those who realise that winter is coming.
Sam and Gilly (and little Sam) made it back to the Tarly home, only for father of the year elect Randyll Tarly to go off at Gilly and his hatred of all wildlings at dinner, which caused Sam to steal his sword (the wonderfully named Heartsbane) and jog off to Oldtown for maester training. I love the way the show (and book) looks at parental units and the influence of them, for good and for bad. And while Bran doesn't have his parents anymore, the closest thing he had appeared this week with the sight of uncle Benjen, coming in heroically to slay a bunch of wights. It was a great moment and I knew within a second that it was him (well sort of - he's kind of undead now), and I guess Bran's visions maybe weren't just building up to R+L=J.
Bran had a quick vision, which went all over time, but interestingly featured the Mad KIng Aerys saying "burn them all". It's hard to ignore this and his parental influence with the episode's end, which saw Drogon return to Dany and a paraphrase of Khal Drogo's speech from A Golden Crown in season one where he said he would take the throne and ride across the salt water in wooden horses. It was another triumphant Dany ending, with her ready to take her Khalasar to take the Iron Throne, but let's also remember Khal Drogo was a barbarian who was ready to have his troops rape every woman in Westeros while general pillaging and so forth. Here we have Dany ready to take deadly fire to those who would stand in her way, while Westeros is about to be hit by the white walkers. The fire versus ice thing is obvious, but who knows what Dany will do when she finds out no one really cares about the throne right now. Or will her parentage make her the "mad queen"?
And with another excellent episode, everything is set up nicely for some big action. Riverrun has been taken by the Blackfish, so Jaime (no longer part of the Kingsguard) is being sent to deal with him. Who knows what will happen when Jon and the wildlings start up, and will Jaime actually see what's going on in the North and see the actual cause that needs to be fought for?
Probably not, but stranger things have happened.
You can read Charlie's look at previous episode, The Door, here.