I appreciate The Door a little more whence thinking about it in the week since.
I’m not a fan of the time-travel elements of Bran’s warging, but there were some strong emotions at play, and some exciting twists. There isn’t really anything like that at play in Blood of My Blood. There is some pretty cool character work though!
Samwell Tarly, for example, had a big character moment that had been building for six seasons. We had seen Sam as this meek, weak-willed boy, and over the course of the series (not unlike the women on the show) he has been gaining more courage and taking more initiative. This comes to a head when he takes his father’s sword for his own.
I’m not as hard on the fake out with Margarey’s walk of atonement as some have been, it makes little sense for the High Sparrow to announce to the world that she will be doing her walk of atonement in such a grandiose fashion, yes, but what was revealed to us still represented a seismic turning point in the political landscape between the Lannisters/Tyrells and the Faith Militant.
I also don’t buy that Margarey has been converted by the High Sparrow, she’s got some political angle that she’s playing.
(In an unrelated note, Jonathan Pryce has been *really* good this season as the High Sparrow, he should get Emmy consideration).
We move on to Arya, who has made very dangerous enemies. Ms. Stark has been stuck in place for about two seasons now, not really doing much advancing as a character, and now she’s cutting them off. It’s pretty clear that Benioff and Weiss are setting up the pieces for a confrontation at the end of the season, so I’m excited to finally see Arya’s story progress.
There’s a little more going on with Bran this week! He and Meera get rescued by a masked figure revealed to be… Benjen Stark! — from Season 1!
If there’s anything I appreciate about season 6, as in, really appreciate, it’s the reintroducing of characters who have been gone from the series for some time. It’s clear that the show runners are tying up loose ends to prepare for the endgame and it bloody well took them long enough.
(I assume we’ll probably see Gendry pretty soon as well).
Walder Frey, the perpetrator of the infamous ‘Red Wedding’ is also back. It’s generally a blast to see David Bradley play this role, because he seems to have so much fun chewing the scenery. The Frey’s headed for Riverrun to fight the last of the Tullys, as is Jaime. Between the impending conflict there, as well as the looming battle with Ramsey that Sansa and Jon face, maybe the big Episode 9 climax will cover two battles?
Those that have been waiting for Dany to get to Westeros may finally get their wish, as our cut to her mainly involves her and Daario talking about how they’re going to build the army of ships they will need to sail Dany’s legions into the Seven Kingdoms. Blood of My Blood does give Emilia Clarke an opportunity to give a B.A. speech on top of a dragon, so you take the little things.
Blood of My Blood is a largely transitionary hour of television. Outside of what’s going on with Sam, there really isn’t much to cry home about, Thrones is moving its characters into position for the Season 6 finale, and it looks pretty promising. As far as purely tertiary hours of television go, this is a strong showing.