This past week’s Game of Thrones season 6 episode 6 (S06E06) really pushed the envelope for many of GoT’s families in renewing family ties. Blood is really thicker than water in family relationships in regards to bonding, strengths and even blackmail; as can be attested to by the Lannisters, the Starks, the Targaryens, the Tarlys and the Tullys to name just a few.
Starting up where S06E05 left off
We know from last week that Hodor and the 3-eyed Raven are dead. So are the Children of the Forest and a few White Walkers. However, Meera Reed has just about exhausted herself in trying to save Bran (still in his vision coma) and is about to accept their deaths to the White Walkers’ army of wights closing in, when assistance comes to them in the form of a cloaked mystery man on a charger. He charges mightily; he hurls a flaming mace; he demolishes the wights; he saves them (for now); who is he?
When Bran finally awakens to the horrors around him, he asks their benefactor his name. He reveals himself is Benjen Stark, Bran’s uncle assumed lost and dead north of the wall and who has not been seen since season 1. It turns out he is “half dead”, pierced by the White Walkers, but brought back to life with a piece of Dragonglass by the Children of the Forest. He should be a perfect match for Bran, the new 3-eyed Raven to find out what he can do with his mystical powers.
Samuel takes Gilly home to his parents
Samuel Tarly left his home at Horn Hill, the eldest son of Lord Randyll Tarly, in disgrace. His father disinherited him as being too weak, too soft and too obese to honor the family name and sent him to the Night’s Watch. As Sam returns with a woman and child believed to be his son, his mother and sister embrace him, his brother is neutral and his father is not pleased. Assuming the woman to be a whore, which Randyll Tarly would have accepted, he becomes incensed when the truth is accidentally leaked out that Gilly is a Wilding. He orders Sam to leave by daylight.
Sam says his good-byes to Gilly, knowing her life may not be great, but that because Lord Tarly believes little Sam to be a grandson, they should be okay. But, in a rare explosion of emotion and self-confidence, Sam bundles up Gilly and little Sam, steals the valyrian steel sword off the wall and exits with them all. No doubt all viewers are hopeful he made the right choice.
Arya Stark takes back her identity and Needle
While Arya of the House of no names and faceless men is on her second chance mission to be an assassin (no third chance), she has a revelation which could also be related to her blood ancestry. It could have been influenced by the material the acting troupe is performing about King’s Landing, or it could just be her conscience telling her that killing someone by hire is just plain wrong, but she has a change of heart on her mission to kill the actress Lady Crane. Knowing the waif will now be after her, she digs up her sword needle and the last we see of her, she is waiting in the shadows. Could this be the season for the Stark siblings reunions?
At the very least, viewers hope Arya survives the Waif and hightails it out of Braavos and heads for Meeren where she could meet up with an interesting bunch: Tyrion, Varys, the new sorceress and Daenerys and her dragons.
Back in King’s Landing, a double cross is taking place
The High Sparrow wanted Queen Margaery to make the same walk of atonement that Cersei had to make; naked through the streets, being yelled at, thrown at and demoralized. Both Cersei and Lady Tyrell, Margaery’s mother agree that will not happen. Their plan was to fight the High Sparrows in a bloody battle and win by force; what actually happened stunned them. There was no walk of atonement, but it was due to King Tommen going behind his family’s back and striking a deal with the High Sparrow. By accepting the true light of the 7 with Queen Margaery, the sins have been atoned for and the High Sparrow has now won an alliance between the crown and the faith.
Tommen further destroys Jaime and Cersei’s plans by releasing Jaime from the King’s guard and placing him head of the King’s army and ordering him to leave the city and to head for Riverrun to take back what belongs to them from Blackfish Tully. Viewers at this moment can rejoice in that tidbit; that is also where Lady Brienne is headed. A reunion of those two makes for a good storyline.
The Freys want Riverrun back too
Walder Frey is incensed that his bumbling sons lost Riverrun to Blackfish also. He is also plotting a battle to take it back, with a little blackmail bargaining of another GoT character not seen since the Red Wedding 3 years ago, when he was locked up on his wedding night: Edmure Tully. Edmure is the uncle of both Catelyn Tully (Stark) and Brynden Tully (known as Blackfish). There is the blood connection again.
With Jaime headed to Riverrun, Lady Brienne on her way in advance of Jon Snow and the Wildings to whom Littlefinger has told Sansa that Blackfish is willing to fight with, and now the Freys bringing a hostage for bargaining, one can assume a future episode of Game of Thrones season 6 will include a battle in the Riverlands.
The Mother of Dragons reunites with her first born
As Queen Daenerys marches with her Dothraki followers back toward Meereen, she questions Daario on how many ships she will need to cross the narrow sea to Westeros on her quest to the Iron throne. He says she will need 1000 ships which happens to coincidentally be the number that Euron Greyjoy also believes he needs. Not sure how many ships Yara and Theon Greyjoy escaped with, but they could be headed Dany’s way and be a good start for her should they join forces.
Dany tells her entourage to halt and rides on ahead and just when Daario is about to go look for her, the finale of Game of Thrones S06E06 is a reunion of sorts of another mother and child; Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen riding on the back of her very, very much larger first born dragon Drogon. Things are getting interesting.