Tonight I want movement, I want violence, and I want Waif to meet her maker at the hands of the Arya Stark via the sharp end of Needle.
Season 6, Episode 8: No One
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed by Mark Mylod
We open in Braavos with the mummers and Lady Crane’s revised speech over Joffrey’s corpse. Gone are the tears, replaced with Arya inspired rage. Crane goes backstage and finds Arya, bloodied and hiding and, hopefully not, dying.
Crane patches her up, feeds her, and talks about a very stabby past. Crane invites Arya to join the troupe but Arya refuses as the Waif chasing her puts everyone at risk. She tells her of her plan to go past the edges of the map, west of Westeros, and Crane gives her milk of the poppy to help her sleep.
In the woods the Brotherhood without Banners talk about the best way to kiss/violate someone with your finger. The Hound approaches and with surgical grace and no shortage of mess, kills them all.
In Meereen, a Red Priestess preaches the word of Daenarys. Tyrion and Varys walk through a peaceful city and Varys says his goodbyes as he heads back to Westeros on a secret mission for ships and support.
Cersei is informed that the Faith Militant have been allowed entrance to the Red Keep and want to speak to her. She goes to see them, with Qyburn and the Mountain. Lancel informs her that the Sparrow wants to see her and she refuses and dismisses them, which they ignore. The Mountain steps forward and they tell Cersei to order her man aside or there will be violence. Cersei chooses violence and The Mountain dispatches one of the militant in a brutal fashion. Cersei tells the others to let the Sparrow know that he is always welcome to visit.
Brienne and Pod have arrived at Riverrun. She is taken to see Jamie while Pod has a reunion with Bronn that involves a lesson in dirty fighting. Brienne explains that she’s come for the Blackfish and his army, and Jamie explains that he’s there for the same thing, in a manner of speaking. They discuss a plan for a truce in which Riverrun goes back to the Freys and the Tully army will be allowed to travel north to join Sansa. Brienne gives Jamie his sword back but he refuses to take it back as it’s hers now.
She enters the castle under truce but finds the Blackfish less than receptive to her plan. Until he reads Sansa’s letter and melts a little. However, he still won’t abandon the castle without at least a fight.
In King’s Landing Cersei enters the throne room for some sort of royal announcement but is told to watch from the gallery instead of the king’s side. Tommen announces the date for Loras and Cersei’s trials, and forbids trial by combat, meaning that Cersei won’t be able to just send the Mountain in to murder someone so she can walk away free and clear.
As the king departs Qyburn tells Cersei that a rumour he was looking into has turned out to be much, much more than just a rumour.
Tyrion drinks and chats with his diminished council of Grey Worm and Missandei. He gives them some wine, much to their disgust. They exchange some jokes and a bell begins to ring. The Masters fleet is sailing on Meereen, looking to get their property back.
At the siege Jamie visits Edmure. Jamie offers him a life at Casterly Rock with the family he’s never seen. Edmure isn’t pleased with the idea of Jamie’s ‘word’ considering the shit Edmure’s been through and the shit that Jamie’s done. Edmure wonders how Jamie can live with himself after all the evil deeds he’s committed. Jamie tells him of his respect for Edmure’s sister, Catelyn Stark, and he explains that he loves Cersei so much that he will do unspeakable things to get back to her side.
Edmure approaches Riverrun and demands entry. The Blackfish refuses him entry as it’s clearly a trap, but the soldiers manning the walls let Edmure in as he is the true lord of Riverrun. Once the drawbridge is lowered Edmure crosses into his castle and ascends to the walls. He tells his soldiers to surrender and open the gates.
The drawbridge lowers and Jamie and the Lannister/Frey army approach. Edmure orders the soldiers to arrest the Blackfish and hand him over.
Brienne and Pod escape by boat from beneath the castle and the Blackfish refuses to join them. He draws his sword and heads back upstairs.
A Lannister gives Jamie the news that the Blackfish died fighting and Jamie sees a boat making its way down the river. He doesn’t raise the alarm.
The Masters are bombarding Meereen from the sea, burning the city. The Unsullied plan to hold the pyramid and let the Masters come to them. A noise on the roof signals that they may be out of time and they arm themselves. The doors open and Daenarys Targaryen, the breaker of chains, the mother of dragons, the Unburnt, marches in, a dragon silhouetted behind her in the night sky.
The Hound walks through the woods looking for the yellow cloaked shit from last week (Lem Lemoncloak). He finds him at the end of a rope facing the Brotherhood without Banners, Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr. The Hound wants justice and Dondarrion offers him one, the Hound wants two, and the Hound gets two. He wants to use the axe but is only allowed to hang them.
They dine together and Dondarrion offers him a spot with the Brotherhood without Banners, an offer which the hound is not keen upon. They offer him a chance at redemption and he considers it.
Arya awakes, her wounds healed/healing. Crane is killed by the Waif, who then attacks Arya. Arya makes a dash for it and leaps from the balcony. The Waif chases her through the street and Arya loses her in a bath-house. She makes her way through a market but the Waif parkours after her. Arya runs for her life and leaps from a wall and rolls down a flight of unforgiving stone stairs. She crawls away and the Waif follows the trail of blood to a dark chamber. She approaches Arya with her knife and Arya draws Needle. Arya extinguishes the candle.
In the house of black and white, Jaqen follows a trail of blood to the hall of faces and finds Waif’s face in the wall. Arya confronts him and he tells her that she is No One. She corrects him, a girl is not No One. A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And she is going home.
Finally, Arya’s time in Braavos is over. It has had its ups and downs and for a while it felt as though they were just spinning their wheels and would never stop. Tonight saw the wheel stop spinning and finally Arya got to use her blindness skills and the sword skills taught to her in season one. Waif was a character we all loved to hate and it was great to see her get her comeuppance.
Otherwise, this was a standard episode of quality Thrones. It wasn’t mind-blowing but it got the job done. It was also a very violently satisfying episode. The Hound dishing out revenge was great to see, as was the Mountain reminding the Faith Militant that prayers and spiky sticks only take you so far again giant zombie genocide machines. The aforementioned ending of Waif was a long time coming and it was awesome to see the return of Thoros and Dondarrion, especially as this gives rise to the hope that the writers will finally pull the trigger on Lady Stoneheart appearing.
The two siege plotlines ended and began tonight. The siege of Riverrun ended in an anti-climactic fashion as Edmure simply entered the castle and surrendered. It was an interesting touch to not show the Blackfish’s death, robbing him of even a big heroic finale. On the other side of the world the battle of Slaver’s Bay began with the Master’s sieging Meereen. With Daenarys returning not a minute too soon we’re going to see some fireworks in the not too distant future.
And what of the rumour Qyburn mentioned? My theory is that he’s heard that the Tyrells were behind Joffrey’s death, a fact that would, if made public, drive a pretty sharp wedge between Tommen and Margaery. And hopefully put the Sparrow at a disadvantage for once.
Nudity Count: 1
Male – 1. A bit of Hound penis
Female – 0
Body Count – 10
Best line: “I choose violence” – Cersei Lannister
Predictions for next week: The ninth episode of the season is always good for some surprises or huge battles. An episode that cuts between the Battle for Winterfell and the Battle of Slaver’s Bay would be just what the doctor ordered.
Featured Image: HBO