Game of Thrones Recap: Blood of my Blood
Well, we got a few developments but no breakthroughs or big twists. As far as I’m concerned, this episode was laying groundwork for the big one coming in a week or two.
BEYOND THE WALL
Well we found out how Bran is going to survive: a little help from the undead. The dead warriors found them but they were saved by none other than Uncle Benjon. A ranger of the Night’s Watch, he was lost beyond the wall on a raid to find and eliminate the white walker threat. Tree man and his tree nymphs turned him into a thinking white walker, one who is dead but his mind is still intact.
It was all a little too convenient for me but I guess there was no other way for this little subplot to play out. Not unless we were going to see Bran savagely killed.
So what next? Bran’s destiny is either to extinguish the white walker threat or to return to Winterfell and take his place as Warden of the North. Given his physical disability and magical powers, he doesn’t seem a good fit for political power.
Maybe there’s a magical battle to come…
Walder Frey is frustrated that he has lost Riverrun. Blackfish Tully is a legendary knight and leader. Clearly the less than capable Freys are over matched. He thinks he has a trump card because he has Blackfish’s nephew, Edmure, in his dungeons. The plan is to use Edmure as blackmail to get him to end his insurrection. “Surrender or Edmure dies!” Frey has also called King’s Landing for help and King Tommen has ordered Jaime to lead their armies north to put down the rebellion.
A couple details came out. A minor house and the brotherhood without banners are also fighting the Freys. With Ramsey Bolton preoccupied in the north, the Lannisters are his only real ally left.
Brynden “Blackfish” Tully and Edmure are last remaining heirs to House Tully. Technically Edmure is the head of the house, which is preferable given that he is already married, albeit to a Frey. In terms of leadership, Blackfish is the far better choice. Only he has no wife and no children.
This subplot could become the most interesting going forward. I definitely want to see more of it. If victorious, Blackfish would almost certainly align with Jon Snow and Sansa in the north. If Petyr stays in the fight, there is the makings of a legitimate force to challenge King Tommen or at least have the strength to declare themselves independent kingdoms.
The big showdown never came to be. Marjaery never made her walk of atonement thanks to King Tommen’s pledge to support the Sparrows. Tommen is now a pious man who wishes to strengthen the alliance between crown and High Septon. Jaime and Cersei have lost their hold on their son. On the bright side, Marjaery is free and returns to his side. Is she a convert? I highly doubt it.
Using religion, Marjaery could become the closest confidant to the king, while his parents are pushed farther away, thanks to their godless ways. Olenna Tyrell thinks they lost the showdown in front of the temple but I think they have actually found a way to increase their influence and marginalize the Lannisters. Remember, King Tommen is technically a Baratheon. The political struggle to date has largely been the struggle to influence King Tommen. On one side is his mother and father/uncle. On the other: Marjaery.
Jaime reluctantly marches north, while Cersei seems unphased by the events in front of the temple. The fate of Ser Loras is unclear. Since he is the future of House Tyrell, Olenna cannot possibly be satisfied. She needs her grandson out as well.
Consider this play: Cersei and Olenna plot to take down the Sparrows, freeing Loras. Both want the Sparrows gone. To avoid reprisals from the king, Tyrell soldiers with the help of Bronn will take covert action, so that Tommen will not know who to strike. Cersei can claim ignorance, while Tyrells leave King’s Landing with Loras.
Even if Tommen suspects the Tyrells, they will be long gone while Marjaery will obviously pressure him to not risk war to punish them.
For those that don’t know (I didn’t know until I looked it up yesterday), the Reach is the name of the southwestern corner of Westeros, ruled by the Tyrells. Samwell Tarly’s home, Horn Hill, lies south of the capital Highgarden.
Samwell brings Gilly to his home, hoping his compassionate mother and sister would take care of her. Unfortunately, his asshole father discovered Gilly is a Wildling. He hates Wildlings. Convinced she would not be welcome, nor safe, Samwell wants Gilly to come with him to the Citadel.
Queen Daenerys gives a display of power, riding her dragon in front of the Dothraki warriors. They are enthusiastic in her support as she declares all of them her blood riders. All of them vow to help her conquer Westeros.
However, she acknowledged one of her major problems: no ships. No solution there yet.
Arya cannot kill the actress from the plays. She respects her and sees the other players as jealous. By preventing the murder, she has crossed the Faceless Men yet again, sealing her fate. With her sword needle, she intends to flee Braavos and the Faceless Men. Given the subject-matter of the play, I think she intends to return to Westeros and seek revenge on her remaining enemies: Cersei Lannister and Walder Frey.
Okay, so here is my own little power rankings of the lords of Westeros:
King Tommen Baratheon (Lord of the Seven Kingdoms)
Olenna Tyrell/Mace Tyrell (Warden of the South?, Small Council)
Kevan Lannister (Warden of the West, Hand of the King)
Petyr Baelish/Robin Arryn (The Vale)
Walder Frey (Riverlands)
Ramsey Bolton (Warden of the North)
Euron Greyjoy (Iron Islands)
Brynden “Blackfish” Tully (Rebel of the Riverlands)
Yara Greyjoy (Rebel of the Iron Islands)
Jon Snow (Rebel of the North)
I don’t really know who is the ruler of Dorne or the Stormlands (ancestral home of the Baratheons, and previously ruled by Renly).
Now, if Queen Daenerys was in Westeros she would likely be at the top. Her combined forces of Dothraki blood riders, unsullied, and second sons is probably a stronger force than any individual great house of Westeros. However, the great houses are likely to unite in the face of a foreign invader. My guess is Baratheon, Lannister, Tyrell, Frey, and Bolton would unite and create a force greater than hers.
As far as allies, it looks like the Greyjoys and Dorne may come to her side. An alliance by marriage would be necessary. There is no male heir of Dorne I am aware of. Euron is going to make a marriage proposal.
Fans would love to see a Daenerys/Jon Snow marriage but he is a bastard. He would have to be legitimized as heir to Winterfell. To move up in the rankings, Jon needs to link up with Petyr and launch a full scale attack on the Boltons and their allies.
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