Blood of My Blood is most notable because it features the return of Uncle Benjen, a character last seen in episode three of season one (this show never ceases to amaze me). Benjen has survived a near-death White Walker experience thanks to the Children of the Forest (and he does look half-dead), and ends up saving Bran and Meera in the process. I look forward to seeing more of the character, particularly the manner in which he disposed of the wights with those flaming chains. God knows Bran needs someone to watch over him, and Benjen is immediately quite the badass.
Game of Thrones doesn’t always turn up the comedy, which makes the subplot with Sam and Gilly’s visiting to the former’s childhood home all the more amusing. Although Sam surprisingly comes from an aristocratic background, his father is predictably the devil incarnate, and he completely obliterates his son for being a fat coward, and Gilly for being a Wildling. It’s pretty tough to watch, but a great character-building arc for Sam who finally steps up to the plate and commits to staying with Gilly by taking her along to the Citadel (not before stealing Heartsbane – his father’s Valryian sword which should come in handy when fighting White Walkers).
After watching our crew in King’s Landing tiptoe around the High Sparrow and his ruthless fanaticism, it was oh so satisfying to witness the Tyrell army march into town while Jaime demanded that Margaery be set free. It’s a tension-filled sequenced, perfectly punctuated by the reveal that Tommen has joined the High Sparrow with a newly-religious Margaery. Is the Queen playing out one of her manipulative scenarios? I sure hope so, and that it ends with the Sparrow’s beheading!
The Arya journey also gets a ton of welcome forward momentum as she bonds with her target, Lady Crane, and ends up saving her life. It’s a powerful moment for the character as she commits to standing up to her own destiny and retrieves Needle for the battle ahead (now that the Waif is allowed to take her out). I sure hope she teaches Jaqen’s minion a lesson; I’m sick of watching her get relentlessly beat up.
I need to mention the final scene with Dany because it’s completely pointless. Why give a character a huge speech that doesn’t feel earned after not featuring her for the entire episode? The speech has no buildup (at least show us that the Dothraki were demotivated) and it’s a far cry from all the blood-pumping moments the character has had thus far. It’s a waste of dragon CGI if you ask me, and Emilia’s heart isn’t even in it because the script fails her.
Bits & Beheadings
– How amazing are the visions that Bran has? They include epic scenes of the Mad King screaming to “burn them all”, not to mention Jaime killing him and Dragons flying over King’s Landing. Oh, and the alchemists making Wildfire! Wow!
– Gilly sure looks cute in a dress. There’s also a very amusing moment as she wonders how to use the silverware.
– So it’s The Three Eyed Raven that sent for Uncle Benjen. Makes sense.
– I love that Arya is the only one laughing during Joffrey’s death scene. Even Tywin’s bathroom death is hilarious.
– The fact that Arya calls herself “Mercy”. Foreshadowing I guess since she spares Lady Crane?
– Lady Crane asking Arya if she likes to pretend to be other people was a bit too heavy handed for me.
– I so wanted Tyrion to be there to slap Tommen when he removed Jaime as Kingsguard and sent him off to help Walder Frey.
– Walder Frey and Lord Edmure are back! The former is still spanking his wives/daughters in a disturbing manner. Ick.
– I love how Cersei and Jaime vow to get revenge. These two never cease to amaze me. But who will the Mountain fight in the Trial by Combat?
– Nice touch with Dany seeing a small gust of wind and knowing Drogon is nearby.
Kings & Quips
Gilly: (to Sam) I’m not angry at you. I’m angry that horrible people can treat good people that way and get away with it.
Sam: Get your things.
Gilly: I don’t have any things.
Walder: You’ve lost it?
Black Walder: Yes, father.
Walder: It’s a castle, not a bloody sheep.
Daario: So we ride for Meereen and after that we sail for Westeros. What then?
Daenerys: I take what is mine.
Apart from the mishandling of Dany’s story, the rest of the show is firing on all cylinders.