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 Lady Crane, still alive, and on stage performing as Cersei. Her speech above a dying Joffrey brings the crowd to tears. When she is done, she makes her way backstage and finds a bloody Arya in need of her help. She takes Arya back to her home, and bandages Arya’s wounds. Arya asks what happened to the actress that wanted Lady Crane dead, and Lady Crane explains that she will have a hard time finding work as an actress after what she did to the actress’s face. Lady Crane asks Arya to join the acting troupe, but Arya explains that for their safety, she needs to stay away. The Waif will never stop looking for Arya. Instead, Arya plans on discovering what is west of Westros, since that’s where all the maps stop.
In the woods, the Hound happens upon some of the group that slaughtered his friends, and ends them with an axe in one of the goriest scenes we’ve had in Game of Thrones yet.
In Meereen, the priestesses of the Lord of Light are praising Danaerys. Tyrion and Varys are debating whether or not it was a good idea to bring religious zealots in to help. Tyrion stands by his decision to include them, as it seems to be lifting the spirits of the inhabitants of the grand city. They then say a heartfelt goodbye, and Varys departs to make his way to Westros in order to find friends of their cause and ships.
Cersei is brooding by herself, when she is informed that some of the High Sparrow’s men have been permitted entry to the Red Keep. She goes to meet them, and they inform her that she has been commanded to meet with the High Sparrow at the Sept. Cersei refuses to go with them. The militants try to take her by force, but the Mountain steps in and rips the jaw out of the first one that approaches. The militants realize that they will not be successful in their mission, so they take their leave. (The shit-eating grin on Cersei’s face is absolutely priceless)
Brienne of Tarth makes her way to Riverrun, and asks to speak with Jaime Lannister. Bronn meets with Podrick and starts to show him how to fight dirty. Meanwhile, Jaime and Brienne are discussing their predicament. Both of them feel honor towards each other, but they are on opposite sides of the battleground in this moment. Brienne proposes that Jaime allow her to enter the castle, and persuade Blackfish to abandon Riverrun, and to take his troops North in order to help Sansa take back Winterfell. Jaime agrees, but only gives her until nightfall to accomplish the task. Brienne reminds Jaime that if they are forced to fight, that she is honor bound to fight against Jaime, in order to protect Sansa’s kin. Jaime says he hopes that it doesn’t come to that. (I am the captain of this ship, btw.. I ship it so hard..)
Inside the castle, Brienne tries to convince Blackfish to help Sansa, but to no avail. At first he is cold and does not even believe that the letter is actually from Sansa. Eventually, however, Brienne is able to convince him that her words are true. He explains that he doesn’t have enough men to actually do any good for Sansa, and also he is not going to abandon his ancestral home. Upon hearing these words Brienne asks Podrick to find the Maester. She needs to send a Raven to Sansa in order to inform Sansa that she has failed.
In King’s Landing, the city gets ready for a royal announcement. Cersei can’t understand why she wasn’t informed that there was going to be a royal announcement. She begins to make her way to stand beside the throne when she is stopped and told to go to the gallery with the other ladies of the court. Tommen enters and sits on the throne. He announces the day of Cersei’s and Loras’s trial. He also announces that trial by combat is to be banished in the Seven Kingdoms. Tommen states that trial by combat is a brutish practice put forth by corrupt leaders in order to avoid true judgment, and it no longer has any place in the new kingdom. After the announcement is over, Qyburn approaches Cersei and informs her that the rumor his little birds were looking into is much more than just a rumor.
Tyrion is celebrating the increased morale found in Meereen. He tries to get Grey Worm and Missandei to drink with him, and is eventually successful. They all wish that Danaerys would return sooner rather than later. Tyrion also explains that his eventual dream is to have his own vineyard. Once he’s gotten them drinking, he tries to get them to tell jokes. As they are having a moment of leisure, a massive fleet begins to approach Meereen. Missandei explains it is the Masters who have come to claim their property.
At Riverrun, Jaime tries to convince Lord Edmure to help him take Riverrun. Jaime explains that he loves Cersei, and that he will slay every Tully that ever lived if he has to in order to return to her. Lord Edmure eventually agrees, and goes along with Jaime’s plan. Lord Edmure is the rightful Lord of Riverrun, not Blackfish. Lord Edmure demands entry into Riverrun and against the wishes of Blackfish, the army inside acquiesces. Blackfish is not their Lord, but Edmure is. Upon entering the castle, Edmure commands the army to stand down, and surrender Riverrun. They obey, and allow Jaime’s army to enter. Lord Edmure also orders his men to put Blackfish in irons and hand him over to the Freys. Brienne and Podrick are able to escape along with Blackfish. Before they take their leave, Brienne tries to convince Blackfish to come with them. However, Blackfish refuses to leave his home, and tells Brienne to go on without him. He then turns around and dies fighting. Meanwhile, Jaime sees Brienne and Podrick escaping by boat, but instead of calling his men, he waves to Brienne, who waves back.
We are then taken back to Meereen, where the Masters are destroying the city. Tyrion admits that he was wrong, and begins to give orders on how to handle their current predicament. Grey Worm, however, will not have Tyrion telling the army what to do. Grey Worm says that they will stay in the pyramid in order to defend it. At that moment, they hear a strange noise on the roof of the pyramid. The soldiers in the room get ready for battle, but instead of the Masters’ army coming in, Danaerys has returned with Drogon.
The Hound happens upon Beric Dondarrion and some of his men about to hang the three main men who slaughtered his friends. The Hound wants vengeance, however, so Beric agrees to allow the Hound to kill two of the three men. Hound wants to slaughter them, but Beric insists on hanging them. Hound resentfully agrees, and hangs two of the three men. Later on, Beric tries to get The Hound to join them. He says that they have a great fight coming in the North, and that The Hound should be a part of it. Beric knows that The Hound is struggling with his past, but he assures The Hound that there is still time to do much more good than he ever did harm.
Arya is still resting in Lady Crane’s apartment, when a strange man approaches Lady Crane. Arya wakes up, and sees that Lady Crane has been murdered. The Waif is there and tells Arya that if Arya had killed Lady Crane herself, that she wouldn’t have had to suffer. Then, an epic chase scene breaks out between The Waif and Arya. Eventually, Arya makes her way back to the hovel that she has been living in. The Waif walks in and tells Arya that she will make her death swift. Arya stands up, Needle in hand, and then cuts the only candle giving the room light. Back at the House of Black and White, Jaqen notices a blood trail on the floor and follows it. The trail leads him to The Waif’s face in the Wall of Faces. Arya then comes up behind him and questions him about his orders to have Arya killed. We can tell that Jaqen is pleased by the outcome of what happened, and was probably secretly rooting for Arya to come out on top. He tells Arya, “Finally a girl is no one.” Arya replies, “I am Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.” Jaqen watches her and smiles and she walks out the door.
Tonight’s episode was so incredibly epic. So many amazing things happened, and so many fan theories were blown out of the water. I did not see the trial by combat abolishment coming. I was hoping it was going to lead to the Clegane bowl. Also, I was kinda saddened that my ship didn’t sail tonight, even though Jaime and Brienne had more than one tender moment. The return of Danaerys to Meereen is both awesome, and scary. I kinda worry about Tyrion right now, and I hope that she won’t be too upset with him. We didn’t get any Jon Snow or Sansa this week, but by the looks of it from the preview, that will be the main focus of next week’s episode.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO and simultaneously streams on HBO Go on Sunday nights at 9PM ET.