Game of Thrones Review by John Keegan

Game of Thrones 6.08: No One

Game of Thrones 6.08: No One

Written By:
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Directed By:
Mark Mylod

The pieces continue to fall into place as the story inches its way towards the fateful battle for the North.  It’s unclear if there will also be a battle at Meereen as anticipated, at least in terms of this season, but the seeds are being planted for a lot of major shifts in power.  Meanwhile, more than a few expectations have been subverted, though it’s still hard to tell if that is a good or bad thing in the end.

 


 

King’s Landing: Considering that everyone was anticipating a duel between the Mountain and the Hound before much longer, Tommen’s decision to eliminate trial-by-combat is a bit of a twist.  It also takes one of Cersei’s easiest ways of regaining control of her destiny off the map.  Suddenly Margaery’s strategy seems a lot more reasonable.  Tommen is entirely under the thumb of the High Sparrow and until that changes, nothing will end well for Cersei.

 

Something tells me that trial is not going to go as the High Sparrow plans, but Cersei isn’t necessarily helping her own case by having the Mountain rip people’s heads off.  She’s going to need something to change the game, and that “rumor” Qyburn said was true might be the game-changer.  Could it be a stash of wildfire still left hidden somewhere in King’s Landing?  That would align with the visions that Bran had of wildfire actually being used in the city, and could wipe out the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant in one handy stroke.  The question is what the cost might actually be.

 


 

The Hound: Not to be outdone by his brother, The Hound is running around introducing an axe to various members of the Brotherhood Without Banners.  Lots of decapitations in this episode!  This scene takes a lot of time to play out, with the end result essentially being an invitation from Beric to join them on their quest to fight the real battle up in the North.  One must assume they mean the White Walkers, but I imagine there will be an eventual stop in Winterfell.  Could a certain reunion be in the cards?  More on that in a moment.

 

Riverrun: I had the feeling that Jamie and Brienne were going to end up working things out to the betterment of all at Riverrun, and sure enough, that’s how it went.  Jamie gets to say he fulfilled his mission to retake the castle, while Brienne gets the army needed to support the Stark cause at Winterfell.  And along the way, it’s very clear that Jamie loves Cersei very much, even if he regrets the actions that he must take in the name of a family that has lost much of its supposed honor. 

                                                                                                                                       


 

Jamie is the exception that proves the rule, and while he has done terrible things, he also retains the potential for some measure of redemption.  He could have turned on Brienne and Pod if he wanted, but he chose to honor their agreement.  It doesn’t hurt that I believe his affection for Brienne is genuine; he simply loves Cersei more. 

 

Meereen: Tyrion is still trying to keep Dany’s little queendom from falling apart at the seams in her absence, but as anticipated, his gambling was inevitably going to backfire.  With Varys off to Westeros to gather more support for Daenerys, Tyrion is on his own to face the consequences of his actions.  (My guess is that the coup in Dorne is finally going to factor into the story, since the Sand Snakes would probably back Dany before they would support anyone else.)

 


 

An awful lot of time was spent with Tyrion trying to party with Grey Worm and Missandei, which was funny in its way but also added to the sense that not much was happening in the episode.  But then the slave masters came along in droves to attack the city, just in time for Dany to get back and ask some questions.  Perhaps she should raze the fleet in her harbor with dragons first?  Regardless, this introduces a wrinkle when Yara’s fleet eventually shows up.

 

A Girl is Named Arya Stark: Having Arya survive those wounds to the gut took a bit of narrative hand-waving, but who wanted to see the girl dead (other than The Waif)?  And that’s one way to resolve the plot thread with the theatre troupe, isn’t it?  I was wondering if this was supposed to be a way to introduce a certain plot thread from the source material, but that’s looking a lot less likely.

 


 

But I could hardly complain when Arya and The Waif decided to play Assassin’s Creed and start jumping around Braavos.  Perhaps best was the revelation that Arya was slowly but surely leading The Waif into a trap.  Couldn’t she have done that without being an idiot and letting herself get gutted first?  I would think so, especially if this is supposed to be proof that she’s learned everything that the Faceless Men could teach her, but the end result is satisfying enough.

 

The upshot is that Arya will likely be reunited with Jon and Sansa (and perhaps even Rickon, should he survive) with the benefit of a lot of skills that most Houses simply wouldn’t have.  If one subscribes to the theory that Syrio Forel was, in fact, Jaqen, then it might make sense that he saw the raw talent that she possessed to be something a lot more dangerous in the future.  Arya knows all the skills of the Faceless Men and it’s almost certain she’ll use those skills against the enemies of House Stark before all is said and done.

 


 

It seems like most of the preliminaries are over, since the next episode is the ninth installment for the season, and that is usually when the major events take place.  It’s hard to imagine that the Starks won’t somehow manage to win; the question is perhaps what the inevitable cost will be.  My money is on Rickon, since he seems to have little or nothing to do in the story beyond dying.  I also hope that Sansa ends up being the one to introduce Ramsey to a world of agonizing pain.

 
Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • Everything about Jamie and Brienne
  • Arya’s journey seems to finally be progressing
The Bad:
  • The Tyrion “party” scene took way too much time for little point
  • The Mountain and The Hound will need more time for that fateful confrontation, it seems

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Game of Thrones by - 6/14/2016 12:06 PM293 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: B-
Agree that the Brienne and Jamie scenes were the best. I'm still not a fan of the Arya storyline. Seems like a big waste of time to have her go through all that just to add ninja powers to her resume. I did enjoy the twist of taking Trial by Combat off the table, even though I loves me some trial by combat. Guess it's been done to death at this point anyway.

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