Everyone knows how much we love reading here at Knockin' Books. But what you may not know is that we sometimes grudgingly put our books down and watch a little quality TV. (Note how we said quality. You’ll never catch us stooping to the level of reality TV)
With that in mind, here’s the weekly Westeros wrap-up, aka, a discussion of Game of Thrones, Episode 7 (The Broken Man) between Scott (the Design Dude) and Jennifer (Editorial Staff).
Time to get this party started!
Jennifer: My first thought when the show started without the theme music was WTF? I LOVE that theme music. It sets the tone for the whole episode and without it…hey, wait, there’s the guy from Deadwood! Cool, I loved that guy. He was one of the best bad guys ever…hey, wait, there’s the Hound! I knew it! I knew he wasn’t dead! Then the theme music started and all was right with the world. But while I’m thrilled to see the Hound again…was it just me, or did we waste an inordinate amount of time watching him chop wood? I mean, I get it. He’s super strong. Understood. Can we move on?
DesignDude: The delayed show opening was definitely weird. They've probably done it before but a specific instance doesn't come to mind. I was happy to see the Hound back. Always loved that dude. Never really bought the idea of him losing to Brienne. I get why they did it and it was a super cool fight. Just not very realistic. Then again, we're talking about a show with frozen zombies and dragons, so realism probably shouldn't be a huge concern.
As much as I personally love the Hound, in the big scheme of things, it doesn't seem like he's a central character to the overall story. And yet, just like Sam and Gilly in the previous episode, a huge amount of screen time was devoted to a relatively minor character. Also, were we supposed to be shocked by all those people being slaughtered? Did anyone NOT see that coming?
Jennifer: Yeah, innocent people who can’t fight are pretty much dog meat on this show without fail. I wasn’t surprised. I was kind of surprised that they hired an actor of Ian McShane’s caliber and killed him off after one episode, though. So, his whole purpose on the show was to tell the Hound that fate/the gods weren’t done with him yet? Seems like a really long-winded, round-about way to do that. And it seems like you could’ve hired a lesser actor for that role. I wonder if the Hound is going to fight with Sansa now? He always liked her. That would be cool. He’d fit right into the Wildling army.
And speaking of people I’ve missed, I was super happy to see Bronn again. His interactions with Jaime are so much fun. LOVED it when he told Jaime not to “say it” (i.e.: a Lannister always pays his debts).
DesignDude: Totally psyched for part two of Jamie and Bronn's excellent adventure. So far, this one isn't going any better than the first when they were captured and Jamie's niece/daughter was killed. That said, this is another relatively boring storyline. Who cares about Blackfish holding on to a single castle. With everything going on in King's Landing, Mereen and the North, why are they devoting so much time to this pointless standoff? Really odd choices in my opinion.
Speaking of King's landing, I was relieved to see evidence that Margaery is indeed faking her religious conversion. Also enjoyed an extra helping of grandma Tyrell. Probably a good idea for her to hightail it out of Kings Landing, but her verbal beatdown of Cersei on the way out the door was surprising in how vicious it was and also how little Cersei tried to defend herself. Must have taken a lot for Cersei to swallow her pride and offer an olive branch while admitting her mistakes. Having that olive branch and her mistakes get thrown back in her face is yet another wound inflicted on her pride.
That said, Cersei's big mistakes were the result of acting impulsively and emotionally. Her recent humblings seem to have taught her the value of patience and planning. If anything, she may be more dangerous now than before.
Jennifer: I was also glad Margaery hasn’t been sleeping with Tommen. That little turd shouldn’t be given the opportunity to breed. And it shows she’s not forgiven him for abandoning her in her time of need. Good. I hope she eventually makes him suffer. Grandma Tyrell’s beatdown of Cersei was EPIC. But I have no doubt that she’ll eventually regret that. Cersei is not a woman to be fucked with. Everyone will pay, and it looks like the violence starts next week. Yay! Can’t wait.
I’m not sure why the Lannisters vs. Blackfish battle is so important, but I have to think the writers will bring it all together in the end. They always do.
LOVED the little bear clan girl. So feisty! Like her, I wondered if Sansa could really call herself a Stark when she was married to Tyrion and Ramsey. In the end, I don’t really care. I just want Jon to take back Winterfell and kill Ramsey. Slowly. I’m wondering who Sansa sent the Raven to? Little Finger, maybe (hopefully)?
On another note, I’m glad Theon’s sister is going to Mereen to talk to Dany. I think those two will get along just fine, and they do seem to have mutual interests. (Dany has warriors, Yara has ships…it’s a match made in heaven)
DesignDude: Overall, I was pretty disappointed by many of the characters in this episode. Let's start with Jon and Sansa. They're on this tour of the North to convince the various Houses to rally behind them and take back Winterfell. And yet they don't seem to have a solid reason why these families should take the risk other than, "We're the Starks" and blah, blah, loyalty, blah. Lucky for them, Davos saved the day at Bear Island (if gaining a whole 62 soldiers can really be considered "saving" anything) but he shouldn't have to. C'mon guys, you really need to work on your sales delivery.
Have to believe Littlefinger will be the recipient of Sansa's raven-gram. Any time we can get a devious, backstabbing character back into the mix, I'm all for it.
Yara Greyjoy seems to have a solid plan to team up with Dany. Can't really say I'm shocked she's a lesbian. Who knows, maybe she'll take a shot at seducing Dany before her uncle does. Also liked her speech to Theon. She's right, he's been acting like a whipped dog. Hoping he snaps out of it. After everything he's been through the dude deserves to have something go his way.
Jennifer: I would have to agree that the Starks haven’t had much luck, and Rob was a fairly shitty leader—so, I can see where folks are reluctant to pledge allegiance to Jon and Sansa. But you’re right: they could definitely learn a thing or two about motivational speaking and recruitment from Dany.
I’m a big fan of Yara. She’s a badass, and if anyone can strike a deal with Dany, it’s her. Her speech to Theon was long overdue. Can’t help but feel like he’ll eventually let her down, though.
I’m looking forward to the Jaime and Brienne reunion next week, too. I always loved the two of them together. Although, it looks like they’re on opposite sides yet again.
And speaking of characters who disappointed me this week, what’s up with my girl Arya? She’s betrayed the faceless assassins, and she’s wandering around the city all footloose and fancy-free, apparently unarmed? Did she really think her escape would be that easy? And smirky girl got the better of her AGAIN. Enough already! That little bitch is quickly moving up on my “people in Westeros who have to die” list. She’s not has high up on the list as Ramsey, Walder Frey and the High Sparrow, but she’s on there.
DesignDude: Arya was definitely on my list of disappointments this week. Let's see, I just double-crossed an ancient clan of faceless assassins and booked passage out of the city in less than 24 hours. I should probably lay low and avoid interacting with anyone because, you know, there are faceless assassins who want to kill me. Nope, Arya decides to take a stroll in broad daylight and apparently isn't the slightest bit alarmed when this odd woman she doesn't know approaches her for no reason. Seriously? I would expect that from Sansa but not Arya. I can't believe they're going to allow her to die but she's not exactly doing herself any favors.
Back to Kings Landing for a minute. Am I the only one who thought it was super weird that Tommen is chatting with the High Sparrow about his sex life (or lack thereof)? I've said it before and I'll say it again, that little twit is really pissing me off. I would not be upset if he died in the "violence" Cersei will be choosing for the faith militants.
I've always thought it was strange that Tywin was supposedly obsessed with family and legacy yet didn't do anything to teach his grandsons about leadership.
Jennifer: Tommen is on my list as well. I don’t think Tywin taught him anything because the hope was always that it wouldn’t be necessary. He thought he’d be around to be hand of the king, and Joffrey should’ve been on the throne. Tommen should’ve never been in the game. (And still shouldn’t be in the game, as far as I’m concerned. He was tolerable when he was just useless, but now that he’s actively fucking stuff up, he’s got to go.)
Gotta say, when the Hound picked up that ax at the end of the episode, the look on his face promised such violence that I got goosebumps.
Next week looks interesting. I would think we’re coming up on some BIG episodes, if past seasons are any indication.
Love the weekly Westeros wrap up and want more great Knockin' Books content? Be sure to sign up for the free Knockin' Books newsletter and get links to all stuff—plus five extra Scoop links available only to newsletter subscribers—delivered right to your email inbox. You're busy. We get it. But, there's no sense missing out just because you don't have time to keep up with new posts everyday. Did we mention it's FREE? Won't cost you a thing. Click here to sign up NOW.