Tales From Westeros – Season 6 – Episode 8 – No One
What’s going on my beautiful Thrones fanatics? Another entry in “Tales From Westeros” is coming your way. This week’s episode had some pretty big changes, so let’s get right to them. As always, this review is dark and full of spoilers.
Arya of Winterfell
We open up on Lady Crane doing her (apparently) very evocative monologue as Cersei, and when the play is over, she goes backstage where she discovers Arya is bleeding out in the dresser. Crane eventually takes her home and dresses her wounds. Arya asks how she learned to sew up wounds. She goes on to explain that she’s a jealous woman and would often stab husbands or romantic partners if they were discovered to be unfaithful to her. This apparently happened so often that she retained the skill. Crane offers Arya some Milk of the Poppy for her pain. Now, for those who don’t know, Milk of the Poppy is like Westerosi Xanax. It’s a powerful painkiller but also dulls the senses and more often than not, leads to the user taking a bit of a nap. Gregor Clegane was said to drink a lot of it in the books before his Frankensteining, as he suffered from terrible headaches probably caused by his gigantism. Arya is hesitant, even scared to let her guard down, but she eventually takes the medicine and promptly passes out. The next morning, the Waif pays Arya a visit, kills Lady Crane and as she is about to kill Arya, she pulls a Wesley Snipes out the window and onto the street below. The chase is on. Arya’s wound is slowing her a little, but she still manages to get some distance between her blonde assassin and herself. She leads the Waif back to her hideout, where she has one candle lit. The Waif asks her if she would like to die on her knees or on her feet, and Arya rises. We hear the scrape of metal against stone as its revealed Arya has Needle in hand. The Waif tells her it won’t help her, and we kinda knew that. By all accounts, the Waif was the better fighter in all those training scenes, armed or unarmed. As the Waif charges, Arya turns and swipes at the flame with Needle with the room going black. We see Jaquen chilling in the Hall of Faces, and he notices a new one has been added. The Waif’s, with carved out eyes and an expression of pain and anguish, unlike the stoic other faces in the Hall. Arya has Jaquen at Needle-point and says, “You told her to kill me.” Jaquen turns, the point of Needle right at his heart. “Yes. And yet here you are. A girl is finally no one.” Was this all some twisted test for Arya? Either way, the she-wolf has had enough. “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I’m going home.” She says, turning like the queen she is and storming out. Arya finally realizes she doesn’t need the Faceless Men, and has been dragged so far from home that it’s time to return. But little does she know that Winterfell isn’t home anymore.
A big win followed by a bigger loss for Cersei this week. She begins to get pushed around by the Faith Militant, who had orders from Big Daddy Sparrow, now the High Septon, to bring her to the Sept of Baelor. Cersei refuses, and Lancel states that if she does not back down, there will be violence. “I choose violence.” She icily replies, and when some poor unfortunate tries to attack the Mountain, he gets choked out and then his head ripped off. Literally. Cersei, Robert Strong (Zombie Mountain) and Qyburn (creepy guy who made Zombie Mountain) go to the Throne room for a “Royal Announcement”. Tommen, the little dickhead that he is, comes forth and says that trial by combat will be banned from this day forward. Cersei, obviously devastated, goes off, and asks Qyburn about a rumor she had his little birds investigate. He says that this rumor turned out to be “much more”. Cryptic. Could he maybe be talking about a certain character that magically reappeared an episode ago? Either way, this change in plans and policy is a huge blow for Cersei who was pretty much banking on the Mountain, and is now in a pretty rough spot. While this is bad, DID THAT LITTLE BLONDE FUCK JUST CANCEL CLEGANEBOWL??????!!!!?!?! Not hype. Very not hype. Speaking of the other Clegane brother….
The Hound and the Lightning Lord
Sandor is still on his revenge mission against the members of the Brotherhood without Banners that massacred the settlement he was living on, and is going through the woods doing unspeakable things with an axe a la Mel Gibson in “The Patriot”. Sandor disembowels one such Brother and asks him to rat the location of his other brothers. While trying to talk shit and failing, Sandor berates him, saying that he’s “shit at dying”. Pot calling the kettle black there, Sandy. Either way, Sandor meets up with the Brotherhood’s leaders, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr (who is just ROCKING the manbun, might I add), who have the three men who slaughtered the village set to be hanged. They were apparently acting outside of orders from Berric, as he talks about them sullying the Brotherhood’s “good name.” The Hound explains his situation and works out that he gets to kill two of the three for the loss of his village. The Brotherhood however forbids him from using his axe. Sandor is annoyed, but obliges, instead kicking the two men off their posts and watching them choke and strangle to death. He then takes off one’s boots and replaces his own with them. Sandor then rather incredulously asks if he can get some food. We cut to see that Berric and Thoros have obliged, and the three talk about the impending war and try to convince Sandor to join them, in order to wash away his sins. Clegs isn’t having it. “Cold winds are rising in the North.” Berric says, with an air of foreboding. I suppose he means the Walkers are on their way, as he goes on to say that what “we’re fighting” will destroy young and old alike. Anyway, Sandor isn’t convinced, but Berric presses, claiming that he can help more than he’s hurt. We cut away without hearing the Hound’s answer, but given the recently canceled trial by combat, perhaps this is what we will see the Hound doing in the coming episodes or seasons.
Jokes on You, Dwarf
Tyrion and Varys walk the now bustling streets of Mereen, the dwarf seeming very pleased with himself at revitalizing the city. The Red Priests are praising the name of Dany to the common people and it appears to be working. The propaganda campaign in Mereen is working swimmingly, but Dany is still missing. Varys appears to be leaving, and the two share a somewhat solemn goodbye. Remember, Tyrion and Varys have been together for the most part since Tyrion killed his father, Tywin back at the end of season 4. This is kinda sad, two respected colleagues, even friends saying farewell. We don’t know what Varys is exactly up to either, since his entire life’s work was dedicated to getting Dany on the throne or at the least keeping her alive, we don’t know what’s good with him. Tyrion continues to torture himself trying to get Missandei and Grey Worm out of their dutiful shells. He suggests they drink and tell jokes. Eventually, they accept the wine and Missandei attempts a cringe worthy joke. This jovial beat is interrupted by alarm bells, Grey Worm rushing off back to duty. It’s very cool to see Grey Worm in such control, we all knew his role as the martial might of this governing system, but we never really see him in command. Tyrion and Missandei go outside to see many ships on the horizon. “The Masters have come for their property.” Missandei laments. Tyrion’s dun fucked up. Later, we see fiery projectiles being hurled via trebuchet at the city of Mereen. The slave masters are taking their investments back by force. Tyrion attempts to apologize, but Missandei and Grey Worm have had enough of his shit. Grey Worm informs us that the pyramid is the only real area they can defend. They will have to wait for the masters to come to them, and there’s no telling how many citizens they will kill or enslave on the way. The group hears something on the roof, and the nearby Unsullied go on guard, Grey Worm himself drawing two hilt-less daggers, making him look like a level 1 Dungeons and Dragons rouge. A single soldier goes to investigate, and then, all of them kneel. Daenerys walks through, stunning her advisors. The Queen of Mereen has returned, and that means Drogon has returned. These slave masters are about to have a very, VERY bad day.
Blackfish Isn’t Biting
So the siege at Riverrun is…eeehhh, about the same as it was. Both parties are hesitant to make a move. Blackfish doesn’t want to incite, but is ready for a siege. Jaime wants to save lives and have Blackfish surrender, but neither appears to be working. Brienne and Podrick ride up to see the siege, and are quickly surrounded by Lannister soldiers, who query her identity. She tells them that she’s here to see Jaime Lannister. “I have his sword.” She says. Now, Brienne’s sword, Oathkeeper, is a Valyrian steel longsword with a golden lion’s head as the pommel. Why is that? Because it was made from Ned Stark’s sword, Ice, into two swords by Tywin Lannister, making Oathkeeper and Joffery’s old sword, Widow’s Wail. Now Jaime gave his sword to Brienne after losing his hand being that he basically became terrible at sword fighting and as a gesture of their friendship/weird unrequited romance. So now, Jaime and Brienne meet again and discuss their dual vow to Catelyn Stark to protect her daughters. Brienne claims that she’s done that and tries to give Jaime back Oathkeeper. Jaime denies, telling her that it’s hers now and it will always be hers. Brienne gets Jaime to agree that if the Blackfish surrenders, that the Tully forces can be allowed to ride north, and he accepts, which may come in handy next episode. However nice of a gesture that is, Brienne informs Jaime that if it comes down to it, she is honor bound to fight for the Blackfish, being that he is one of Sansa’s relatives. Jaime merely says, “Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that” and she leaves. Its clear Jaime thinks highly of Brienne, but would probably fight (and get wrecked by) her if it came down to it. We also get a hilarious reunion of Podrick and Bronn. Podrick informs Bronn that Brienne is teaching him to fight, and Bronn claims that if he could sneak up on him, he isn’t doing so well. Podrick claims it’s a different form of fighting, and Bronn offers to teach him that fighting. Bronn and Brienne are two of the best fighters in Westeros, so Podrick is just getting a clinic. Brienne goes to see the Blackfish while Jaime visits Edmure Tully. Brienne does not convince the Blackfish to surrender, and Jaime convinces Edmure of something by threatening the life of his wife and son. It seems we know who is the better negotiator, but for maybe the wrong reasons. Jaime releases Edmure, who gains access to Riverrun and as acting Lord of Riverrun, tells his men to lay down their arms. Blackfish helps Brienne and Podrick escape. Brienne pleads for Brynden to come with them, but this old trout isn’t done yet. “I haven’t had a proper swordfight in years. I suspect I’ll make a damn fool of myself” are the last words of the Blackfish as he charges up the stairs, sword in hand. We learn later that he has died off-screen. Jaime, up on the ramparts of Riverrun sees Brienne and Podrick escaping via rowboat. While well within the means to take her hostage or send his men after them, Jaime instead waves to Brienne, and Brienne waves back. I mean, it’s not the long, torrid kiss we were all hoping for, but it touched my heart. That aside, Jaime Lannister just re-took Riverrun with one casualty. Edmure really dropped the ball for me, I mean, he completely cow-towed to Jaime’s demands. However, to play Devil’s Advocate, the guy has been in prison, and just wants to see his wife and child. Let’s hope the Tully forces can help out come the Bastardbowl. A victory there with the Tully forces and the Knights of the Vale is really all I’m hoping for. And if you sadistic bastards kill my boy Tormund Giantsbane, I will…write a very strongly worded letter to HBO. You got that B&W? I’m not playing around this time.
In summary, a somewhat of an expedient episode, however next week (or in a few days because I’m late with this review…I was in Vegas, sue me) we have the episode titled “Battle of the Bastards” and the showdown between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton. This SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!
Thanks for reading, berate me in the comments.
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