Recap: GAME OF THRONES Shows How Origin Stories Begin

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Episode 58 “No One”
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed by Mark Mylod

This was not the most action packed episode ever; in fact, a majority of it was a bit of a snooze fest, but sometimes we get to take good writing over action, and this episode was filled with it! Hold onto your seats kids, it’s about to get bumpy.

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The episode opens up to Lady Crane (Essie Davis) performing her finale monolgue as Cersei, and it would appear that she took Arya’s (Maisie Williams) advice and ended her piece in rage rather than sorrow and the crowd ate it up! Pleased as punch with herself, she heads to the backstage and is about to pour herself a drink of rum when a thud stops her. In her closet sits Arya, pale and bleeding from a wound in her stomach. It’s a miracle she is even alive, let alone conscious.

Lady Crane takes the broken girl back to her home and patches her up. Arya is surprised at her skill in doing so, at which Lady Crane tells her history of being a jealous woman with her men, and putting holes in them, then patching them back up. Arya seems impressed with this woman and takes a liking to her. She asks about Bianca (Eline Powell), the actress that wanted Lady Crane dead. The Cersei impersonator smirks with her reply, “…she’ll have a hard time finding work as an actress after what I did to her face…” So basically, Lady Crane is a hard ass, crazy b-word. Nice! I like her more already. The two of them talk of what Arya will do next, and at first Lady Crane attempts to convince her to join the troupe, but Arya refuses, saying it is too dangerous, and has the idea of wanting to see what is west of Westeros. Lady Crane smiles almost in a motherly fashion, and gives her some milk of the poppy to help her sleep, so that she may heal.

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While Arya sleeps, Lady Crane looks on, and a glint in her eye speaks of her fondness for the injured girl. Arya seems taken with the strong, willful actress, and we can see a bond begin to form that is almost matronly. Arya has not had the touch of another mother figure since her escape from King’s Landing, and her decision to trust another person is a large feat for her, as time and time again she is proven how futile it is to trust anyone.

Somewhere in the Riverlands, the Hound (Rory McCann) marches to his own angry tune, swinging an axe. He has a mission: revenge on the men who killed the villagers. He comes upon a group of four men and dispatches them without mercy; he even insults one on his terrible choice of last words. This scene didn’t offer much in the way of helping the story line along, it was really just there for proof that the Hound is still very prone to violence and unbending in changing his ways. Plus it adds some good humor.

He continues on his search for the yellow cloaked man, and is rewarded when he comes upon Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye), preparing to hang the three men that killed the villagers. The Hound convinces them to let him kill two out of the three, and they agree. As Lem Lemoncloak (Jóhannes Hukur Jóhannesson) is dying, the Hound takes his boots for himself. Talk about brutal! He doesn’t even wait for the guy to die before pilfering his things. That’s what you get when you kill a friend of the Hound’s. Afterwards, the Brotherhood without Banners sit down to eat, and invite the Hound to join their cause. At first he seems reluctant, but when Beric mentions it’s not too late to help out more people than he’s killed, it strikes a chord with the Hound, as that is what Ray (Ian McShane) had said shortly before dying. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.

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In Meereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) walks alongside Varys (Conleth Hill) towards the dock where a ship waits. It is not clear why Varys is leaving, though he mentions it being a secret mission, involving Westeros, and needing ships. Whose aid could he be seeking out? Could it possibly be that of the Iron Fleet? They have one of the largest fleets in Westeros, and just so happen to be heading that way. Could it possibly be the not yet mentioned Aegon Targaryen, nephew to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) from the books, that he may be retrieving? Varys mentions that the Queen must come back for he has had his heart broken too many times. Could he be referring to Elia Martell, and her two children, one of which is Aegon, whom were murdered by the Mountain, thus solidifying where his true allegiance lies? The other possibilities could be either that he is on his way to dispatch Kevan Lannister (Ian Gelder), or to make an alliance with Dorne as they are the most hateful to the Lannisters and could prove as deadly allies. I will mention it seems suspect that he arrived in Meereen after Daenarys left, and is now leaving on a “secret mission” before she returns. Whilst we ruminate on the possibilities, Tyrion ruminates on losing the only friend and mental equal he has in Meereen.

He retires to the pyramid and sits with Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and once more attempts to bring them out of their slave-like demeanor and make them act like humans. They drink wine and attempt to joke (terribly, I might add), but it’s progress for Tyrion. He needs someone to be able to speak with, equal to equal, not of course in the stance of status, but in mentality, and having to be in the company of two former slaves, causes him to be bored. One might even think that he has taken it upon himself to help bring Grey Worm and Missandei into the light, which gives him a challenge and he loves those. It’s what makes Tyrion, Tyrion.

Amidst their revelry, a bell tolls, and Grey Worm launches into action. Tyrion and Missandei follow after and out in the sea thousands of ships belonging to the Masters sail towards Meereen. Fear crosses their faces as the realization that the pact they made will not be honored. Misssandei and Grey Worm warned him, but Tyrion refused to listen, believing he knew what better served the interests of the Masters and now they have come to collect what they believe is rightfully theirs. The fleet of the Masters begins attacking the city. Tyrion and Grey Worm argue over strategy but ultimately it falls to Grey Worm. As he begins to give orders, a large crash is heard nearby and the Unsullied take position to defend. Instead of facing an attack, in storms their Queen Daenerys, a dragon flying over her shoulder in the distance. She is not happy. In fact she gives her advisor a look that could kill, as if to say “I was gone for a few days and you set my city to war.” If I was Tyrion, I would be a little scared right now.

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Off in King’s Landing, Cersei (Lena Headey) is confronted by the Faith Militant with Lancel (Eugene Simon) leading them. She is ordered to appear before the High Septon (Jonathan Pryce). Hold up! He’s High Septon now and not High Sparrow? Just more proof that this man’s goal was never about spreading the word of God, but to take a position of power that not even the King himself could disobey. Now the septon believes he can start bossing around the Queen Regent. Give a man an inch, he’ll take a mile. Cersei refuses to come along, and Lancel warns that they will resort to violence if she does not obey. Ha! These poor fools don’t know what they just got themselves into. The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) steps up and in a moment, rips the head off of one of the Faith Militant. The rest about pee their pants in fear, and Cersei offers her famous smirk before telling them the High Septon is welcome to visit her at the Red Keep. Cersei won this battle, but it’s not near over for her.

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Later in the day Cersei, accompanied by the Mountain and Maester Qyburn (Anton Lesser) enter the throne room to a large crowd. An announcement is to be made by King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), and Cersei is the last to know. She attempts to stand next to her son but is refused by her uncle Kevan. Instead she must retire to the Gallery with the other ladies of the court, a major step down for her as Queen Regent. I’m not one to sympathize with Cersei, but darn it, hasn’t she had enough already? Apparently not, for after consulting with the High Septon, the King has decided that trial by combat will no longer be allowed, and instead Cersei and Loras (Finn Jones) must be judged by the council of the Seven.

This is the largest blow for Cersei. She was counting on the Mountain to be her champion, for none could compare to his brute strength. Cersei is in massive trouble, and it’s all at the hands of her only living son. I bet she wished she had gone through with poisoning him back in the battle of the Blackwater right about now. It’s at this point that Qyburn decides to let her know that he looked into the rumor she told him about, and it looks good for her. The rest of us are screaming at our television screens “What rumor?” There are a couple of theories circling the interwebs. One of which is the green fire used during the battle of the Blackwater, another (one I feel is less likely) is the news that it was indeed the Tyrells who murdered her son, and she wishes to use this information to dispatch the rose family. A theory I am entertaining is that Varys has been in contact with Qyburn and is on his way to King’s Landing to dispatch not only Kevan but Maester Pycelle and ultimately assist in the downfall of the Faith of the Seven. It just seems interesting that Varys is leaving so quickly on a secret mission, and Qyburn has secret information. Coincidence? I think not! Although it’s a stronger likelihood that Cersei is looking into the Wildfire, for she needs a larger weapon than the Mountain to defeat the High Septon, even if it means taking the majority of King’s Landing down with him.

Far off in Riverrun, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) arrive upon the Lannister and Frey siege. Finally Pod gets to speak! After appearing a smattering of times alongside Brienne this season, this is the first time he actually gets to speak and be present. That’s not the only exciting thing to happen, however, for Brienne sees Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and it’s as if seeing a long lost lover for the first time. Brienne goes to meet with him while Pod and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) reunite. Grab the tissues guys, it’s a sentimental reunion for everyone here in Riverrun. No, but seriously, while Bronn schools Pod on a different type of fighting, we are all secretly chanting “Kiss kiss kiss” to Jaime and Brienne.

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They talk like real respectable human beings and Brienne comes up with a plan to convince the Blackfish (Clive Russell) to hand over Riverrun as long as he is allowed safe passage to Winterfell to assist Sansa (Sophie Turner). Jaime agrees and gives her until nightfall. Brienne goes to hand him back Oathbreaker but Jaime refuses, saying it’s hers, it’s always been hers. We all hold back tears at the sentiment, and pray that they finally seal their forbidden love with a kiss, and maybe some hanky panky. It is a very big gesture however, as Oathbreaker is made from Valyrian steel, and only a few swords even exist anymore. Brienne goes to leave, but stops and tells Jaime that if she is to fail, honor dictates that she honor her oath to the Starks and fight alongside their kin, meaning, if Jaime is to attack while Brienne is inside, she will have to kill him. Jaime simply tells her, “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.” We agree with you Jaime. Don’t fight with your non-incestual lover please, we like her more than Cersei.

Inside the keep, Brienne addresses the Blackfish, pleading with him to join Sansa’s fight and leave Riverrun to the Freys. The Blackfish proves how stubborn he truly is, and even after reading Sansa’s letter, refuses, for if he is to die, he wishes to do so inside the home he was born in. Brienne has Pod send a letter to Sansa telling her she has failed, and we see the utter disbelief on her face.

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In the Lannister encampment, Jaime confronts the captive Edmure (Tobias Menzies), and even attempts to be decent, having dealt with being a captive at the Tully hands and knowing how horrible it can be. Edmure tears down Jaime verbally, asking about how he can justify what he does to people. Jaime then admits what we all know to be true, and that is his love for Cersei. Jaime then goes on to make the most believable threat we’ve heard yet, and it involves Edmure’s infant son, whom he hasn’t even met yet. While we feel a little pity for the situation Edmure is in, we get a little tingle down our spine from the sheer impressive intimidation by Jaime Lannister. Is it hot in here? No, just me?

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Night falls and Edmure is released back to Riverrun. He orders the gate down, and the Blackfish argues with the captain of the army to not listen. Unfortunately for the Blackfish, Edmure is the rightful Lord of Riverrun, and his word is to be obeyed, no matter how long of a captive he was. The gate is lowered allowing him inside, and immediately Edmure orders a lay down of arms, and to surrender the keep to the Freys. The Blackfish leads Brienne and Pod to the canal and puts them in a row boat in order to escape. He refuses to join them and instead dies an honorable death fighting for his home. His blood was the only shed in the siege. As Brienne runs, she looks up at the keep and sees Jaime watching her. He looks about to make sure no other soldiers have noticed. He could order for them to be captured, it would be easy, but instead he lets her go, and she knows this. I’m thinking Cersei may have some competition. Obviously if Cersei was the only one Jamie cared for, he would not have hesitated to have the enemy of his sister captured.

Back in Braavos, Lady Crane checks on Arya, and goes to retrieve something on a high shelf, but she feels like something is not right. Turning around she finds a young man standing in her doorway. We hear a crash, and Arya springs out of bed, still very wounded and in pain, to find Lady Crane sprawled on the floor, blood pooled beneath her, and standing in the doorway is Waif (Faye Marsay), a knife in her hand.  She tells Arya that the Many Faced God had been promised a name, and he always gets what he is promised, and that he had received another name. Arya flees out of the window, jumping down at least a story if not two. First off, how she is even able to move out of her bed after the wounds she inflicted is beyond me, secondly, that jump should have rendered her immobile, but this is film and anything can happen. Arya takes off down the crowded streets of Braavos with Waif in hot pursuit. She is fast, and mean. You can see the flashes of pleasure for the chase in her face, and we all feel a little fear clench in our bellies for Arya. She makes a leap without looking and falls a long way, rolling down the markets steps, knocking over produce and leaving blood in her wake from opening her stitches.

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Clumsily she hobbles away, Waif slowly following, enjoying Arya struggle. She follows her into dark stoned cavern where Arya had made her home. She sits there panting and pale, blood seeping through her shirt. Waif sneers, telling her whether she stands or kneels she will die. Arya pulls Needle out from under her bed, gathers her composure, and cuts off the candle, throwing the room into darkness. Yes girl! Go Daredevil/Matt Murdock on Waif’s sorry butt, stick her with the pointy end! I will say that I’m a little disappointed we couldn’t see the actual fight unfold. After countless times of Arya getting her butt handed to her, it would have been so nice to see how she ended Waif.

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In the temple of the Many Faced God, Jaqen (Tom Wlaschiha) finds a trail of blood and follows it to the hall of faces, where a freshly killed and still bloody face sits. It’s Waif’s. Arya comes behind him holding him at Needle’s point. He is impressed, and tells her finally a girl is No One. Arya stares him down, and states, “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.” YES! Cheers, and hoorahs! She said the thing! She finally said it! Jaqen lets her go, for her debt is paid to the Many Faced God and she has accomplished what she needed to do in Braavos. It was all one big test for her to find her true place. Only two episodes are left in this season and I am not prepared for it to end. It feels like it has only begun.

 

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on HBO.

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