On this episode of Game of Thrones, we get to see not one…but TWO fan favorite characters return…and one introduced…and then immediately killed! Wait, there were actually three fan favorite characters! Geez, that turn-over rate is starting to get a little crazy isn’t it, George RR Martin? Joking aside, ‘The Broken Man’ was a little light on action but it served its purposes to set up the epic battles to come…mainly the one for the North! Who would have thought a place dominated by the cold and ice would be the future site of a battle to determine the fate of the world? You would think they would be able to get the Boltons out of Winterfell on that premise alone but then again…they do like flaying people. That says something about their state of mind, doesn’t it?
‘The Broken Man’ episode started off on a slightly different footing than most Game of Thrones episodes in the fact that it jumped right into our re-introduction to Sandor Clegane AKA the Hound. I noticed something amiss immediately because I was waiting for that intro music and then BAM! The Hound lives! I don’t think many of us expected him to be really dead after Arya last left him but then again, Game of Thrones often relishes in the death of characters(see, Ian McShane). Speaking of, his introduction was really awesome and his little sermon he gave was poignant…and then he was slain by what appeared to be Brotherhood without Banners. The result? The Hound’s burgeoning redemption was immediately side-tracked by vengeance. I often get the feeling that the Hound will face Franken-Mountain for Circe’s Trial by Combat but there has to be a good bit of time that has to pass before that happens! Still, I was glad to see the character back…the Hound was becoming one of my favorite characters in that previous season and that was entirely due to that whole ‘chicken’ scene.
We then got to see Sansa, Jon, and my man Ser Davos attempt to rally Northern Houses to their cause. One saw them utterly rebuked while another House featured a stoic 10 year old girl. Honestly, it was a stand out performance for Lady Mormont and it was awesome to see Ser Davos step in and get her to pledge her loyalty…even if it was for only 62 men. If I ever have a daughter, I hope her to be at least as half as bad ass as that little girl. I think Ser Davos misses Stannis’ daughter immensely and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of a relationship develop between the two. I’m sure they’ll have plenty of time to get acquainted as they prepare their siege of Winterfell!
Zipping over to the Riverlands, we get to see somebody else who has been missing from the show as of late…Bron! Ah, Tyrion’s favorite best friend and Jaime’s favorite sell-sword. Tasked with aiding the Freys in taking back Riverrun from the Blackfish(who has also returned from 3 seasons ago). Apparently, the Blackfish took his time after the Red Wedding to claim back his lands from the Freys…and that’s just perfect. Karma’s a real b**** sometimes, isn’t it? It was amusing to see Jaime try to reason with the Blackfish to get him to leave the castle…but I don’t think any of us thought he was going to. He saw his family slaughtered at a wedding…and now they want HIS home back? Pssh! I think I would fight to the death too even if I knew it was going to happen. There’s some righteous anger there in the Blackfish and he holds it well. I’m not sure who I want to win that fight…I like both Jaime/Bron and the Blackfish! Ugh. So conflicted.
Of course you can’t go zipping around the world without mentioned the Greyjoys. In a quick see we get a glimpse of Yara and Theon…and well…Theon still has some Reek about him. Luckily for us, Yara sees that as well and comes down on him hard. DRINK! Sniveling and jumpy, Theon is berated by his sister who urges him to commit suicide if he can’t ‘get it together’. It’s nice to see Theon being built back up considering we’ve basically watched him be a trainwreck for like 3 seasons and I wonder where his story arc will lead him. It sounds like Yara’s plan is to get Daenerys on their side before Euron gets a chance which then provides the Yara and Theon a means to take back the Iron Islands while it gives Danny a chance to get to Westeros. I wonder how the Ironborne will interact with the Dothraki? That’s some serious pillaging about to happen I think…
Some of the loose ends(which I’m sure will be tied up next episode) in ‘The Broken Man’ were both Arya’s attack and the Tyrell’s current plot. As for the Tyrell plot, I wasn’t sure if Margaery was on their side or the Faith but we get a little nod to the Queen of Thorns that Margaery is still a Tyrell…I often wonder what kind of angle she is going to work to come out on top of all of this. I think that she is probably just as manipulative and conniving as Lord Baelish but she just hides it better. Time will tell, no? I think my biggest issue with this episode was the general demeanor of Arya…she’s been getting trained by assassins for how long, she betrays them, and then isn’t on her guard 24/7? As soon as that little old lady started moving to her, I knew what was up…how couldn’t you? At least Arya got away from her and I don’t feel like her life is currently in danger. Sure, she’s bleeding out…but we all know that Arya is going to kill ‘The Waif’. The real question is what happens after that? Either way, ‘The Broken Man’ was a pretty solid episode that brings us back the Hound and we should all be very thankful of that!