When we left Game of Thrones last week, Arya was bleeding on a river bank in Braavos. Apparently, when Jaqen H’ghar said there would be no second chances she heard “parade around Braavos like you don’t have a care in the world.” Why else would Arya walk around Braavos like the cock of the walk? Why else would she think an innocent old lady lady was anything but an innocent old lady? It’s enough to make one question whether she really finished Assassin Training 101.
Jon, Sansa, and Davos weren’t making any headway building an army large enough to face Ramsay Bolton. Jon and Sansa had a little debate on the pros and cons of facing a much larger army. We didn’t hear any commentary from Davos, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine he would have given a speech reminding him the Boltons defeated Stannis who had a much larger force than Jon’s current army.
Jaime Lannister wasn’t doing too well either. He was tasked with taking Riverrun back from Brynden Tully. The last time we saw the Blackfish he was excusing himself from Robb Stark’s wedding to use the bathroom. Was it a coincidence or did the Blackfish know something was going to go down? The only thing Jamie managed was to be embarrassed by the Blackfish. If the Blackfish had a Bugs Bunny glove he would have smacked him across the face with it. Fortunately, Bronn was there to provide viewers with a little comedic relief.
The series returned to Theon and Yara Greyjoy just long enough for Yara to tell Theon to man up. The ten seconds the Greyjoys were allotted weren’t a complete loss. The whole scene took place in a whorehouse with plenty of exposed flesh on display. When she was done with her little speech Yara, pretty manly herself, left Theon to “go fuck the tits off” a whore. The message, it would seem, is that even without a penis a man can be a man.
We also got our required minutes on the state of religion in King’s Landing. It seems Queen Margaery may be playing the High Sparrow for a chump. One moment she’s quoting bible verses with him, the next moment she’s warning her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, to leave King’s Landing before something bad happens to her. The debate of whether or not Margaery is or ever was a true believer paled in comparison to Olenna’s confrontation with Cersei. It’s been a long time since someone put Cersei in her place. In the past, Cersei would have retaliated but her teeth have been dulled since her walk of atonement.
When “The Broken Man” ended the Hound was heading off, presumably, to cleave the Brothers without Banners in half for killing everyone in his new found hippie commune home. The Hound had warned Septon Ray the Brothers without Banners were some mean hombres and would be back. Ray and his followers lived up to the “Make Love Not War” ethos all the way to the grave.
As the title implies, “No One” shifts its attention back to Arya. As disappointed as I am Arya won’t be a Faceless Man it’s about time she got more than few minutes every other episode. She had so little time at the beginning of the season I almost forgot there was a character named Arya.
Arya was bleeding from a nasty gut wound when we left her in “Broken Man.” Of course, there was no way she was going to die-disembowelment only works in mortals. Disembowelment doesn’t work when you have an actress who can stitch you up. It’s unrealistic, but the pay off was worth it.
Just when the Waif thinks she has Arya cornered Arya pulls a Jason Bourne. The chase scene was taken right out of a Bourne movie. It was exciting, fun, and something we don’t normally see in Game of Thrones. Again, she shouldn’t have been able to do any of it with her guts hanging out, but this is Game of Thrones and anything is possible. Anything. Plus, Arya has always been a bad ass. Being a bad ass helps.
Anything is possible in this series. It’s possible this was Jaqen’s plan form the start. He says no one has returned to him, but Arya has different plans. Arya isn’t “No One” she is someone. You have to admire her pluck as she tell him she’s heading back to Winterfell. As Arya is leaving Jaqen smiles. Well, as much as we have ever seen Jaqen smile. Maybe this was his plan the entire time-make Arya ready to return to the fight. Looking in hindsight, it would seem he has always had a soft spot for her. We’ll just have to see if Arya can survive the massive gut wound (Of course she will survive. Benioff and Weiss aren’t going to kill off a major, fan favorite character).
Two things are certain in Game of Thrones. One, any episode is better when Bronn is in it. Two, any episode is better when Tyrion is in it. “No One” gave us both. Tyrion’s deal with the slavers didn’t pan out. Who would have thought? But before the walls started crumbling Tyrion, Greyworm, and Missandei were enjoying wine and jokes. It was lighthearted moment in a rather dark episode. Lighthearted as the moment may have been it was short lived. Apparently, you can’t make deal with slavers.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone this would be the moment Daenerys arrived in Meereen. The scene was cliched, complete with hair swooping back, and it was telegraphed the moment we saw the slavers attacking the city. I’m willing to forgive the scene only because it promises to continue into something better. Plus, she looks pissed off enough to send a dragon to burn a fleet of slaver ships. Wouldn’t you say? The next episode, or the last and hopefully not next season, we’ll see the Dothraki horde attack the slavers too.
“No One” was also referring to Cersei. Since episode one of season one she has been someone in the kingdom. More than someone, she was the queen. Cersei was still in control of King’s Landing even after Robert Baratheon, the king, died. She controlled, as much as she could, King Joffrey. Even when she couldn’t control Him she was still in control of things around her. She was the ruler, but not in name. All that changed when Tommen came under the High Sparrow’s control. Queen Margaery may be playing the long con, but Tommen is a believer (If he’s not this is one of the best acts in Game of Thrones).
Cersei is now no one. However, for a brief moment her air of superiority had returned. The Mountain, in one of the best moments in Game of Thrones history, ripped off the head of one High Sparrow’s flock. Unfortunately, he let the rest of the flock survive. If he had he killed them all, which he should have done, they may not have reported to the High Sparrow what had occurred. Tommen may have told the court that trials by combat were banned, but it was the High Sparrow’s words coming out his mouth. It would be safe to say Cersei’s time in King’s Landing is over. However, she’s another character showrunners are not going to kill off. Making her no one is death enough for someone who had so much power in the kingdom.
As a character, Jamie Lannister is one of the best in Game of Thrones. In six seasons, no has changed as much as Jamie. He started out as pretty much a son of a bitch. Somewhere along the way, maybe when he was with Brienne, he changed. We could see and hear the change when he returned to King’s Landing. The old Jamie wouldn’t have let Tyrion leave after killing their father. The old Jamie wouldn’t have let Brienne and Podrick leave Riverrun. On top of letting them leave he also waved good bye.
However, Jamie is still the same son of a bitch we grew to hate in season one. He proved that when he was talking to his prisoner Edmure Tully. At times during the conversation he was polite and at times he was down right nasty. Nasty is what got Edmure to lower Rierrun’s bridge. Jamie is more than the one dimensional characters that surround him. We’ve gotten to know and hate (or love) Jamie because of the scenes like the one in “No One.”
The Hound was all most people were talking about last week. The Hound will be what everyone is talking about this week too. He found a few of the people responsible for killing Ray and all his followers. In what can only be described as Houndian (I think I may have invented a new word) he dispatched them with fury and with a few lines only the Hound could deliver.
By the end of the episode, the Hound had caught up with the three most responsible members. He also caught up with the Brothers without Banners who were ready to them. Again, we get some great dialog from the Hound. We also see the return of two characters we haven’t seen for a long time- Thoros and Beric. The last time we saw them the Hound had killed Beric and Thoros was bringing him back to life. This time though it seems they’re offering the Hound a place in the Brothers without Banners. Why not? The Hound doesn’t have any house or country to return to.
“No One” was unlike any episode we have seen in quite a long time. There was action when there needed to be action. The talking not only moved the story forward, but was revealing too. “No One” was also funny. When was the last time you laughed as hard during a Game of Thrones? We’re not supposed to laugh during Game of Thrones, but we did during “No One.” The episode showed that not all the episodes have to be action nor do they all have to be a bunch of people constantly talking. An episode with a mix of both is a nice change of a pace. If the last two episodes are anything like the first half of the season, “No One” will be the best episode of the season.