Shouldn't be so worried - Arya Stark / HBO

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Rallying The Troops – The Broken Man Review

SPOILERS ahead! A review of Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 – The Broken Man.

In the buildup to The Broken Man episode, not many could have anticipated the big reveal in the opening scene. The biggest clues to go on were the books (if you read them), and the name of the episode. Even then, you wouldn’t immediately connect the dots.

The Hound Is Broken Again

The Hound is back! Rumors were flying around for a while now, suggesting The Hound will return. I never believed he was dead, for the same reason I’m not entirely convinced Stannis is truly gone. We never saw them die on screen, which always leaves the door open for a comeback. Nevertheless, it was a welcome turn of events, and rewarded the viewers’ relative patience leading to Sandor’s return. You could almost sense what would transpire, as the leader of the group he was now a part of advocated non-violence. In order to truly change, Sandor Clegane would need at least one more act of violence before he repents. This opportunity is served to him on a platter by some renegade riders from The Brotherhood (Followers of The Red God), after they murder the entire group he was now a part of, including the Septon who took him in.

Those Brotherhood chaps are on borrowed time now, but I can’t wait to see where The Hound is headed next. Will he join the Sept in King’s Landing and fight his brother in Cersei’s Trial by Combat? or maybe go looking for Arya? Hopefully next week gives us some answers.

For all I care, The Hound may now don The Punisher top, and unleash his fury on the baddies.

The Broken Man
The Hound will punish / HBO

A Girl Is Smart

There is something about the Tyrells that just screams intelligence. This time, it is Margaery that pulls all the right strings, and even has her own grandmother, Ollena, confused as to what’s going on. But Margaery obviously has a plan. When the High Sparrow threatens to throw her grandmother in a cell, in his most mellow of manners, Margaery’s top priority is keeping her family safe. She slips her grandmother a note with a rose drawn on it (the house sigil), which in turn, convinces Olenna that it’s smart to keep her distance from King’s Landing for the time being. Margaery plays her cards to the best of her ability, but the Sept is no sucker, and she isn’t out of harms way as long as she’s torn between Crown and Faith.

Later, Cersei again tries to convince Olenna that the only way to free her son is by force, and by working together, but Olenna is a wiser woman, and just tells Cersei the truth as she sees it. Basically, it is Cersei that is responsible for this entire debacle in the first place, so the Tyrells are not going to hand her any favors now, or ever. She even jokes that Cersei is probably the “worst person I’ve ever met. At a certain age it’s hard to recall”. We all know that Cersei IS the worst person she’d ever met. At least she finds some joy in Cersei’s misery.

The Broken Man
A meticulous schemer – Margaery Tyrell / HBO

I must add, for a moment there, I thought she may have taken insulting Cersei to a level too high, considering The Mountain shadowing Cersei the whole time. With a whiff of his hand/blade (certainly wouldn’t be beyond Cersei), he could have silenced her, but thankfully Olenna lives to see another day.


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Forming The Allied Forces

Sansa, Jon, Ser Davos and co. are on a campaign to rally the houses of the north against House Bolton in their upcoming assault on former home, Winterfell. They find that once strong alliances, don’t always withstand the test of time (and death). Jon makes a crucial strategic mistake when he mentions to the lord of House Glover that the wildlings comprise the lions share of his current army. He should know by now, that no one likes wildlings south of the wall, no matter the circumstance. Using them as his bargaining chip is always doomed to fail.

The Broken Man
Natural Born Leader – Lyanna Mormont / HBO

Luckily, Ser Davos was on hand to convince young leader of house Mormont, Lyanna (Named after Ned Stark’s sister), that Jon is someone who is worth fighting beside. The little girl is no slouch in negotiations, barely letting Sansa and co. have 62 of her men. But, as Davos said “If they’re half as ferocious as their lady, the Boltons are doomed”. His time with poor Shireen Baratheon undoubtedly helped in connecting with the young lady, and hopefully her men ARE ferocious. As it stands, the Starks need any help they can get.

I hope that’s that for this journey among houses. We don’t want this dragging like Daenerys’ never-ending quest to reach Westeros. We probably won’t have to either.

A Broken Man Returns?

Could Yara finally bring Theon back from his extinguished state? Still looking every bit the Reek Ramsay made him, Yara may finally have found a way to her brother’s heart. Still, I don’t expect him to go back to being Theon Greyjoy overnight, and not sure he even wants to. He says himself that had he gotten what he deserved he’d be hanging on the gates of Winterfell. Yara even suggested an out for him, and honestly it wouldn’t be that impossible for him to follow through.

The Broken Man
Is that really you, Theon? / HBO

Expected arrival for the Greyjoy siblings at Meereen (or wherever the Mother of Dragons happens to be at that moment), will probably wrap up the season in the final episode. They do have the best fleet in the land, so perhaps it will happen sooner. A meeting between Yara and Daenerys may prove interesting now that we know she likes women, and the Khaleesi also has some experience in that area.

That’s Not How You Siege

Jaime and Bronn arrive on the scene of the siege at Riverrun. Of course, all they see is a failed attempt at one, and rightfully so. What can you possibly expect when you let the Frey brothers arrive first on the scene. Their failed attempt at convincing the Blackfish to surrender just compounded their inadequacy.

The Blackfish in not impressed with Jaime / HBO
The Blackfish is not impressed with Jaime / HBO

Though Jaime is much wiser than the Freys, his attempt at a parley with old Brynden Tully didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. Actually, it was just as much a failure, if not more so. The Blackfish just jabbed one insult after the other at Jaime, referring to him only as Kingslayer, and topped it off with his disappointment in Jaime’s inability to read the situation.

Is Jaime willing to give up on the siege, or will he go berserk after the insult? Bronn doesn’t seem quite happy aiding the “lion” either, and it may very well signal the downfall of Jaime Lannister, and maybe the entire Lannister legacy.

A Girl Is Stabbed

Just as the show led us to believe that Arya is on her way back to Westeros, the girl makes a mistake. The Waif still has the upper hand on Arya at every junction. How Arya wasn’t suspicious of an old lady alone on a bridge is beyond me. As a recent faceless, she should have seen what was coming. Alas, no foresight sees her shivved, prison style, in her belly numerous times by the good old Waif, and left to wander the streets of Braavos half dead. She won’t die, but rumors have already surfaced that she may replace a certain character from the books. I’m not going to spoil anything here, so I’ll leave it at that.

The Broken Man
If that’s not a suspicious face, what is? Arya on the receiving end yet again / HBO

VERDICT AND THOUGHTS

The Broken Man, just like last week’s episode is a bit of a filler. That is not to say that I am disappointed. You need these episodes to advance the plot, and some of the acting was top notch. Lyanna Mormont is a great addition to the cast, and I hope we see more of her in the future. We also got the big reveal we were all craving, with The Hound back in action, and more furious than ever after what he had just witnessed. One of the weaker episodes of the season in terms of plot. If I had to rate the episode, which I don’t, but I will anyway, I’d give it a 6/10.

  • Will Arya survive? Yes. In what form will she return? Exactly!
  • Are we going to have a double feature – Battle of The Bastards & The Hound vs The Mountain round 2?
  • Not sure Olenna is entirely safe as long is she’s in King’s Landing, not to mention her grandchildren.
  • Sandor, Theon, Jaime, and even Jon are The Broken Man for me in this episode. Who will Manage to emerge unbroken is anyone’s guess at the moment. If I were a betting man I’d put my money on Jon. He was already dealt the shittiest hand before.

What did you make of The Broken Man? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Written by Ethan Hall

I watch. I read. I game. I write.

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