walder frey

War Returns to the Riverlands

No amount of schadenfreude will ever take away the vicious sting of the Red Wedding, but it sure is nice to watch House Frey squirm. Ruling the Riverlands has not been easy for the “Late” Walder Frey, who has been plagued by the Brotherhood Without Banners and has watched as various houses have risen up against him in support of “Blackfish” Tully, who has retaken Riverrun in his family’s name. Still, taking pleasure in watching that old creep watch his world fall apart around him isn’t enough. He’s still the most loathsome character on Game of Thrones – he deserves whatever dark fate he ultimately meets.

The re-introduction of Walder Frey and his grotesque family serve a number of purposes. They remind us of how horribly House Stark was betrayed during season three, just in case you forgot why Jon Snow and Sansa Stark are so angry all the time. They remind us who the Blackfish is and how House Tully was broken alongside the Starks at the Red Wedding. But most importantly, they produce Edmure Tully, who has been rotting in a dungeon since season three. He was a pawn being used against his will during a wedding massacre and now he’s a pawn once more. He’s the closest thing the Freys have to a bargaining chip. In the battle for Riverrun, he’s their greatest weapon.

blood of my blood recap jaime

The Exile of Jaime Lannister

First, Jaime Lannister had to deal with the death of his daughter. Then he came home to learn that his sister (and the love of his life) had been humiliated by religious fanatics. Then he had to stand by impotently while the king, his secret son, allied with the church against his own family. Of course, the grand climax of this pile of misery came when King Tommen removed him from the Kingsguard and essentially banished him from King’s Landing, sending him to help House Frey clean up their mess in the Riverlands. The Kingslayer has seen better days.

The most devastating side effect of this carefully calculated move by King Tommen (which was surely informed by the High Sparrow) is that Cersei and Jaime are no longer together and can no longer showcase a united front. These two may be one of the creepiest couples in the history of fiction, but there’s no denying their chemistry – when they’re in the same room, stuff gets done. By removing Jaime from the King’s Landing chessboard, the Queen Mother has to face her impending trial alone. Sure, she has the Mountain, but her list of allies has grown terrifyingly short. House Stark may have fallen with more bloody and dramatic flair, but House Lannister is falling piece by piece and brick by brick. Soon, this family will be as broken and scattered as their former archenemies. A new era has begun for Westeros and Jaime and Cersei have no place in it.

blood of my blood recap dragon

Daenerys and Drogon, Reunited

Yep, Daenerys and Drogon have kissed and made up. After several seasons of estrangement, the Mother of Dragons has made peace with her most unruly child, which means she can now command her khalasar from atop a fire-breathing, winged steed. She’s starting to look unstoppable – all she needs now is, oh, about a thousand ships.

But what happens when Dany reaches Westeros with her dragons and her Dothraki horde? She’ll be wading into an increasingly complicated situation where everything is in flux and everything that was certain a few years ago has been thrown from the window like an eavesdropping Stark boy. And Daenerys herself, who has always mixed kindness and justice with her plans of total domination, seems to be shifting her priorities toward the annihilation of her enemies. Maybe it’s no accident that Bran was seeing visions of the Mad King, Daenerys’ father/uncle. Years of Targaryen inbreeding transformed him into a psychopath. Maybe Dany is ready to literally follow in his footsteps.

Game of Thrones - play

Spoiler Corner

Random speculation and book spoilers follow. Read at your own risk.

  • In the books, the hooded companion who assists Bran on his journey through the far north was a mysterious fellow named Coldhands, whose identity remains unrevealed on the page. He was also introduced much earlier in the book timeline, first appearing to assist Sam and Gilly on their journey back to Castle Black. Fans have long speculated that this mysterious figure was Benjen Stark, but George R.R. Martin has denied this. So one of two things has happened. Either Game of Thrones has revealed the truth about Coldhands before Martin could, or they have completely changed the character to re-introduce a familiar face rather than bring a new character into the fray this late in the story. In either case, it certainly looks like Benjen will take on all of the Coldhands business from here on out.
  • I had assumed that the siege of Riverrun would be excised from the show entirely, but it looks like Jaime will be heading to the Riverlands after all (albeit in a completely different way than he did in the books). If the show sticks to the books, this could be one hell of a storyline, with Jaime forced to navigate some treacherous diplomatic waters.

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