Sandor “Voorhees” Clegane has quickly caught up with a group of the Brotherhood Without Banners men, while on his barefoot vengeance quest. He kills them, but Lem isn’t with them, so he continues on.  When he does find Lem, he’s at the end of a rope.  Beric and Thoros are there.  They explain to the Hound that part of their group went rogue.   In the novels, the entire group goes a bit rogue once Lady Stoneheart becomes their leader.

However, they kill only people associated with the Red Wedding, and their families.  Thoros and Beric, after some discussion with Sandor, agree to let him kill two of the men they are about to hang, but only by kicking the stump out from under them, which disappoints the Hound, since he’s blood thirsty.

After, Sandor is told he’s meant for something bigger, that he survived battle with Beric for a reason.  The obvious reason, according to Sandor, is that he beat Beric because he’s better than he is, and always has been.  No one asks about Arya’s whereabouts, which is strange.  The BwB is travelling North to join the fight against the undead.  Sandor scoffs at this, but he looks intrigued.  If there was any doubt that LSH would not be returning to the show, Sandor pissing in the river where she would have been found, seals the deal.

Image courtesy of HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Tyrion and Varys are stroll through Mereen, pleased with the red priests and priestesses preaching about Dany- Mereenese PR. Varys is leaving town.  He says he’s going back to Westeros in order to find friends for Dany.  This has never been mentioned before on the show, and really, there’s only one place he could go to look for help, and that’s Dorne.  Remember Dorne?  Ugh.  This leaves Tyrion, Greyworm, and Missendei to their boring banter.  Instead of Selmy preparing for the second siege of Mereen, what will surely be his last great fight, we get more lame jokes.  Always time for lame jokes, but not time for actual plot development or exciting book characters.  Got it.  Chaos erupts.

The masters have shown up with a shit ton of ships, to “collect their property,” according to Missendei.  After a tiff between Tyrion and Greyworm, but they decide to hold up in the pyramid.  A loud noise outside startles them- it’s Dany being dropped off by Drogon.  She walks in and doesn’t say a word, just looks at the group.  She might be pissed?  Can’t really tell.  Interesting that as soon as Varys leaves, the city is attacked.  Was Varys the Harpy?

Bravos opens with Lady Crane giving her altered, more vengeful version of the play, (Arya’s suggestion). After the play, she finds Arya hiding backstage.  This is apparently where Arya was making her way to after being stabbed by the Waif/BobCut.  Lady Crane takes Arya home and stitches up her wounds.  When Lady Crane suggests that Arya join their troop, Arya informs her that she is being chased, and as long as she is, the actors will not be safe.

An undetermined amount of time later, the Waif/BobCut appears in Lady Crane’s doorway, and murders her as she reaches for a bottle of medicine atop a small cabinet while Arya sleeps.  The noise wakes Arya, and a chase ensues.  A ridiculous chase.

BobCut’s T-1000 head turns and head down charges, are comical.  Second, how was it possible for Arya to go from stumbling and near death, to running and leaping off of buildings?  Arya lures BobCutT-1000 back to the hovel she first slept in upon leaving the House of the Undying, and takes out needle.  BobCutT-1000 is like bitch, you know you won’t beat me.  Arya slices the candle, leaving them in darkness.  Apparently the BobCut version of the T-1000 does not have night vision, as Arya was able to slcve her face off.

Image courtesy of HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Somehow Arya was then able to make her way all the way into the Hall of Faces without being seen.  She confronts Jaqen, who has finally noticed the trail of blood throughout the HotD, and is like “Hey!  You’re finally No-one!”  Then Arya is like “I’m Arya-fucking-Stark, and I’m going home!”  Dude just nods his head like, “Touche.”  WTF?  So any of those theories about Arya having a plan, whether it was faking her death using a pig’s bladder and luring the Waif, or Jaqen sacrificing himself using Arya’s face, didn’t happen.

She was written to be an idiot running around with bags of money, talking to old people…while being chased by an assassin.  After all of that training.  WTF?  And Jaqen is pleased?  She created a huge spectacle in front of hundreds of people, (who, by the way, were more concerned with smashed oranges than they were by a murderer chasing someone through the streets), involved an outsider, (Lady Crane), in Faceless Man business, and drug a bloody face across town…and he’s okay with it?

Had she said she was Arya Stark the 8 million times he gave her the option to do so, things would have been cool and she could have made her way to Westeros back then?  Was there any point?  The fact that she is a Warg was never showed on screen, at least that discovery would have made this crap worth watching.  And how the hell is she just allowed to leave?  You’re just gonna just let someone go after putting in that effort to train them?

A person who knows your secrets and ways- the secrets and ways of a very mysterious assassin religion, is just allowed to leave?  It’s doubtful Arya leaves Braavos in this way, in Winds. (PS- If you like the actress who played Lady Crane, get on Netflix and watch Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries).

While there was dialogue from the novels in the Riverrun scenes, the siege didn’t play out as it does in the novels.  There are significant changes.  Edmure is used by the Frey’s, and by Jamie, to end the siege.  However, this Jamie is drastically different than the one we have in the novels.  This Jamie would have a baby tossed over a wall.  Jamie in the novels would not.  This change in Jamie is mainly due to the difference in show Cersei.  In the novels, she’s a much different person.   Jamie is through with her, not pining away and willing to destroy everything in his path to get back to her.

Image courtesy of HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Brienne and Pod reach the encampment.  While Brienne meets with Jamie, Pod hangs out with Bronn, who just talks about fucking, and it’s annoying.  It was such a waste.  Every time a scene like that happens, it’s frustrating, because it shows there really was time for more plot development and staying true to the source material.   Bronn is not with Jamie in the novels, so this interaction is strictly a show only encounter.  The convo between Brienne and Jamie is strange.

Jamie tells her that his sister still wants Sansa dead, and Brienne decides that’s a great time to take the opportunity to inform him that Sansa needs the Tully army to take back Winterfell- a castle that the Lannisters gave the Boltons.  They are allies.  So stupid.  I would be so pissed at Brienne if I was Sansa.  Jamie tells her that the Tully army is occupado at the moment, but he makes a deal with her-  If she can get the Blackfish to surrender, the Tully army can leave.  Brienne tells him that if he refuses, as Sansa’s sworn sword, it will be her duty to take up arms against the Lannisters, and Jamie.

Brienne is allowed into Riverrun, and informs the Blackfish Sansa is in need of his help.  He reads Sansa’s letter, smiles, makes a comment about her being just like her mother, then tells Brienne he will not help Sansa.  Uhh, what?  No.  I don’t buy that this would have happened had this situation taken place in the novels (Sansa is still in the Vale with LF, wooing Harry the Heir- as in an heir to the throne if Tommen and Myrcella die), and the Blackfish is MIA.

While Brienne and Blackfish meet, Jamie meets with Edmure again.  Edmure refuses to help the Lannisters, despite Jamie Jamie promising that Edmure’s son will be raised at Casterly rock and live a good life.  This leads Jamie to rambling about their sisters, and how much they love their children- they would do anything for them, including burn down cities (wasn’t there a Mad King/wildfire vision during Bran’s download?).  That leads to Jamie telling Eddie all about his love for Cersei. *Insert hitting head against a brick wall*  It’s insane.

It’s so different than book Jamie, who refuses to even speak with Cersei- he wants the conflict at Riverrun ended, order restored.  Here, he’s a completely different character who threatens to catapult Edmure’s son over the walls if Edmure doesn’t go into Riverrun, and tell the men to lay down arms.  Edmure does, and they do.  It must be said, however, that Tobias Menzies is fantastic.

Blackfish tried to convince the men not to let Edmure into the castle once he realized Edmure had given him, and the castle, up.  They reminded him that Edmure is their liege Lord, not him.  As the Lannister and Frey armies entered the castle, Blackfish helps Brienne and Pod escape through some tunnels, however, he stays to fight.  Through a guard updating Jamie, we learn that Blackfish died fighting.  After the guard leaves, Jamie sees Brienne and Pod rowing down the river.  Brienne looks up, sees Jamie…and they wave to each other.  Sure.  In the novels, Brienne and Jamie do meet, but Jamie is on a journey of redemption, and Brienne is carrying out the orders of LSH, mainly in order to save the lives of herself and her companions, Hyle Hunt and Pod.

In the novels, the Blackfish doesn’t go down fighting, he escapes, and it’s thanks to Edmure.  Eddie waits until he knows his uncle has escaped, and then he surrenders the castle.  Now, there could be the possibility that Blackfish does die fighting later on, but it isn’t because Eddie sells him out.  Not only that, the Blackfish would not ignore Sansa’s plea.  In fact, there’s a theory he’s the hooded man in Winterfell, that Theon runs into, one causing fear and tension among the Bolton camp around the time of fArya’s wedding (Jeyne Poole, Sansa’s BFF, is passed off as Arya.  That’s who Ramsay marries in the novels).

Man: Theon Turncloak. Theon Kinslayer.
Theon: I’m not.  I never…I was Ironborn.
Man: False is all you were.  How is it you still breathe?
Theon: The gods are not done with me.  Lord Ramsay is not done with me.
Man: I leave you to him, then.

So much money had to have been spent on the Rivverrun sets.  They were gorgeous.  And what do we have to show for it?  A dead Blackfish, imprisoned Edmure, still crazy Jamie, and Sansa without an army.  Now Sansa is still without and army, and her plans are now known to an enemy, Jamie.  Speaking of Jamie, it has been mentioned that he is still in love with Cersei because her character is different on the show than in the novels, so no Kettleback brothers affair.  However she does admit to an affair with her cousin, Lancel.  Why doesn’t Jamie know this?  Will he learn of it during her trial?  Will Jamie finally start on his path to redemption?

Lancel and other members of the faith militant show up at the Red Keep.  They are under orders to take Cersei to meet with the High Sparrow at the Sept.  They are so confident that this is going to happen.  They warn her-that if she doesn’t go with them peacefully, there will be violence.  She chooses violence.  unGregor rips the head off of a sparrow and the rest take off…that’s the violence.  What that was, was a soundbite for the trailers. They didn’t accomplish anything on either side.  One dude was killed and Cersei isn’t at the Sept.

She then enters the throne room to find out there’s a royal decree she wasn’t made aware of- there will be no more trial by combat.  There will be a trial by 7 septons for Loras and Cersei.  This does not please her, but Qyburn pops up and informs her that his birds have some info.  She looks pleased, so it’s probably something to do taking down the High Sparrow, possibly wildfire?

Jamie did mention a mother’s love and burning cities to the ground; and Bran did have a vision of wildfire during his 3ER upload.  Kevan looked delighted that Cersei’s plans of using unGregor in her trial will not happen.  It’s strange.  In the novels, Kevan is not a fan of Cersei’s; however, he wants Cersei out of the High Sparrow’s sights, and supports the use of unGregor to achieve this.  This decree means that CleganeBowl is off the table, as far as book fans thought it would go down.