The following recap contains massive spoilers (DUH). Please don’t read ahead unless you are perfectly ok with that fact or have seen the episode.
This week’s Game of Thrones begins with an alive Sandor Clegane, the Hound, helping some villagers build a house. The people he is helping seem to be a friendly and happy lot. The leader of them is particularly nice to the Hound. Through their conversation, we learn that the leader of the people found the Hound and believed he was dead. The man was about to bury the Hound, when the Hound coughed. The man then nursed the Hound back to health. While they are talking, the Man tells the Hound that the gods must have some purpose for him. The Man says that he doesn’t know the gods’ real names, or how many they are, or which religion is right, but he knows that a higher power exists, and that higher power still has work for the Hound. The Hound then asks why the gods haven’t punished him for all the wrong he has done in his lifetime, and the Man informs the Hound that they have, in fact, punished him.
We are then taken to Margaery reading the Book of the Mother. The High Sparrow walks in and begins to question her about what she is reading. He also reminds Margaery of her duty to her King. She has not lain with him in their marriage bed since she has returned, but High Sparrow tells her that it is her responsibility to give the King an heir. He also tells her that she needs to bring her grandmother, Lady Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns, to the new way of thinking. High Sparrow believes her to be an unrepentant sinner, and Margaery needs to show her the error of her ways.
Margaery, accompanied by her Sept, goes to speak to her grandmother. The Queen of Thorns does not want to speak to Margaery unless they are alone. She threatens to have her men come in and beat the Sept unless she leaves. Margaery asks her to calm down. Margaery then goes to Lady Tyrell’s lap and quickly slips her a piece of paper. As she does so, she begs Lady Tyrell to return to Highgarden to pray. Lady Tyrell realizes that she hasn’t lost her granddaughter completely, and agrees. After Lady Tyrell leaves the room, Margaery immediately turns to her Sept and asks if she would like to pray. Outside the room, Lady Tyrell opens the paper that Margaery gave her, and opens it to see a picture of a rose.
The Wildlings are debating as to whether or not they will help Jon fight at Winterfell. Many don’t believe that the fight has anything to do with them, and don’t understand why they should get involved with Southern affairs. Jon points out that the families that he is going against won’t stop with just him, but will eventually make their way north to finish off the Wildlings. Tormund reminds the Wildlings that Jon died because he stood up for them to the other crows. Since Jon died for them, Tormund believes that the Wildlings should be willing to do the same for him. Upon hearing Tormund’s words, the Wildlings agree, and are ready to go into battle with Jon.
Cersei approaches Lady Tyrell to accost her for leaving the city. Cersei knows that she made a mistake by allowing the High Sparrow to have any power in the city, but she believes that together, she and Lady Tyrell can take the city back. Lady Tyrell, however, is having none of Cersei’s crap. Lady Tyrell has nothing but disdain for Cersei, and plans on leaving the city as soon as she can, before the High Sparrow can throw her into one of his cells. Lady Tyrell suggests to Cersei that she does the same. However, Cersei refuses to leave her son.
Bronn and Jaime arrive at the siege on Riverrun to find the Freys already there. The Freys have Lord Edmure and are threatening to hang him if Blackfish doesn’t yield. Blackfish doesn’t back down, and tells them to go ahead and kill Edmure. Upon having their bluff called, the Freys begin to walk away. Jaime approaches them and informs them that he is taking over the siege. Jaime lets the Freys know everything that is wrong with their tactics, and begins to give instructions on how to fix their mistakes. He begins by telling them to bathe and feed Lord Edmure. After the Freys walk away, he tells Bronn to get a message to Blackfish asking for a parlay.
Jon and Sansa make it to Bear Island to ask Lady Mormont, who is 10 years old at most, for support in taking back Winterfell. She is resistant at first to both Sansa and Jon’s pleas. However, Ser Davos interjects and begins to speak to her as a sympathizer. He says that he understands her position, as she probably never imagined that she would hold the responsibility of so many lives at such a young age. He explains that he never thought that he would be in the position he is in, either. However, he lets her know that regardless, the war she feels has nothing to do with her house actually does, because it isn’t a war among the living, but a war between the living and the dead. Ser Davos tells Lady Mormont that her uncle knew of this war, and fought bravely against the dead. Upon hearing Davos’s words, Lady Mormont agrees to help the Starks take back Winterfell. She won’t be able to send many men, but she assures them that every one of her fighting men fights with the fury of ten.
Jaime approaches Riverrun in order to have his parlay with Blackfish. Jaime tries to convince Blackfish to surrender, but Blackfish refuses. He was born in Riverrun, and he is prepared to die in Riverrun. Jaime asks why he agreed to meet, if he had already made up his mind. Blackfish says that he wanted to size Jaime up, but he was disappointed in what he saw.
Jon and Sansa go to House Glover to try to gain support. However, the Boltons assisted them in reclaiming their ancestral home from the Iron Born. They refuse to go and attack them now. Sansa tries to remind them that they are pledged to House Stark, but it does no good. In their eyes, House Stark is dead.
Theon, Yara, and the other Iron Born that fled with them have made their way to a brothel. Theon is clearly not comfortable with everything that is going on around him. Yara makes Theon drink some ale, and then asks where the real Theon is. She understands that he’s had a hard time, but she needs him to toughen back up. She wants to go to Mereen and make a pact with Danaerys to take back the Iron Islands, and she’s going to need Theon, but not in the state he is currently in.
Jon, Davos, and Sansa are taking inventory of the men they have to storm Winterfell. Jon feels that they need to act soon, or they are not going to have another chance. Sansa, however, doesn’t think they have enough people. She wants to ask Castle Cerwyn for help. Jon puts his foot down and says there’s no time. Sansa writes a message to send by crow, anyway.
The Hound is listening to his new friend (whom the subtitles call “Ray”) give a speech about how it is never too late to turn your life around. As he is speaking, three men ride up and basically threaten the camp. Ray keeps a cheerful manner the entire time he speaks with them, however, and eventually the riders take their leave. Later in the day, the Hound is chopping firewood to blow off some steam. He isn’t happy about the way Ray handled the situation, and feels that Ray should have fought them. He lets Ray know this, but Ray insists that violence is a disease and shouldn’t be spread. Ray stands by his actions, but the Hound is not convinced.
Our last two scenes are as devastating as they are short. We see Arya book passage back to Westeros, however, not long afterwards the Waif, who was appearing to be an old lady, stabs her on a bridge. She’s bleeding and alone in the city, and realizes that she cannot trust anyone she sees. We are then taken back to the Hound, who discovers that the men who threatened earlier had returned while he was away. The entire encampment, including Ray, has all been slaughtered.
Every week I feel as if the ending can’t be as mean as the previous, and every week I’m proven wrong. I’m so worried about Arya I can’t even. Also, seeing all those innocent people slaughtered broke my heart. I’m really hoping that the Hound gets revenge for them. This week is definitely going to be a long one.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO and simultaneously streams on HBO Go on Sunday nights at 9PM ET.