Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 6- Blood of My Blood
With returning long lost family members, devoted Khalessar's and many themes of Family honor, Blood of My Blood certainly lived to its billing in many ways...All except the actual blood, but after last week's emotional antics, that was probably for the best...
The episode starts with Meera struggling to get Bran away from the Wight army pursing them. Ellie Kendrick gives a fantastic performance here as Meera, backed by the great writing of Bryan Cogman. All the previous sacrificies appear to have been in vain as the Wights approach, until a hooded stranger appears out of no-where and uses fire to gain enough time to get Bran and Meera. The Stranger seems familiar....
Its later explained this stranger is Bran's Uncle Benjen, missing since early in Season One, when he went ranging beyond the wall. As fantastic as it was to the talented Joseph Mawle back on our screens, (and lets be honest, its always great to have more Stark's around ), I was mainly particularly excited to see a change in the dynamic here. Benjen obviously knows more than he's been letting on, although he does admit to having been saved by the Children of the Forest. Benjen also seems to have some sort of connection to the Three Eyed Raven which hopefully will get explained in the future.
On a side note here, it needs a completely seperate section to talk about the Vision's Bran experienced at the start of the episode when he was processing all the information sent to him by the Raven. In between the old information we've seen, we get some glimpses into some past and future events. Some are probably best leaving for another time ( The Bed of Blood for example) but I did want to touch on the looking back on the Mad King's death at the hands of Jamie Lannister. I never expected to see this in the show so this was a real surprise, as was seeing the image of Jamie sat on the throne for a brief second. I also found it interesting how this scene was mixed in with the White Walker scenes, symbolising the fire and ice theme and the fact that all these wars between Men are pointless in the scheme of things.
We do see a potential glimse of the future here when the Wildfire is shown exploding. Is this a potential other timeline that Jamie saved Kings Landing from? Or is this from the future? After all, Cersei has threatened to burn the city down on a number of occasions. Perhaps Dany's dragons will ignite the Wildfire? Either way, that image certainly doesnt bode well for the people of the capital.
Speaking of the capital, the storyline picked up this week with Jaime and the Tyrell Army marching to the sept to rescue Margaery, only to find Margaery and King Tommen have already converted to the faith. This comes to a surpise to all concerned, except the High Sparrow who simply grins at Jaime in the smuggest way possible. Tommen questions the loyalty of Jaime and sends him away from the city to take back Riverrun from 'The Blackfish' and the rest of the Tully's. Before leaving Jaime discusses the situation with Cersei, who is unusually calm, suggesting that she has something up her sleeve. Its very unuual to see the Jaime/Cersei dynamic the other way around, as its normally Cersei who is drunk,impulsive and angry while Jaime plays the calming influence.
With the mention of Riverrun by King Tommen, it seemed only natural that we should re-visit with the dastardly Walder Frey and his happy family. Walder doesnt seem too bothered that one of his daughters has been murdered by Ramsay, but instead seems to be pretty annoyed his lads have 'lost' Riverrun to 'The Blackfish', who seemingly disappeared after the Red Wedding. Walder then reveals his trump card, that being a slightly worse for wear Edmure Tully, the Blackfish's nephew and long term Frey captive. I loved this scene, David Bradley slips effortless back into the role of Walder Frey and we remember straight away why we hated the Frey's so much. It was also great to see the immensly talented, Tobias Menzies (last seen in the Night Manager on BBC1) back as Edmure Tully.
Nearly as odious as Walder Frey, we get the opportunity to finally meet Sam's family, and in particular his Dad Randyl. Needless to say that after one dinner, Sam decides he cant leave Gilly alone in that place with those people, so off they go, new Valerian Steel sword in hand. I must admit I thought this might be one unnecessary character journey we didnt need to go on, but the actual meal itself was so well acted, written and indeed cringeworthy that it made you understand why Sam is the way he is. It is ironic, in some ways, that he has battled White Walkers, Thenn's etc but cant stand up to his father in the family home.
Elsewhere, Arya makes a career choice and decides her dad probably wouldnt want her to be a Faceless Assasin and decides to go on the run. We will see where this goes, but it would appear that the middle stark child is on her way back to Westeros sooner rather than later, that is if the Waif doesnt get to her first!
In a final scene of note, Dany decides that walking through Flames wasnt enough to rally her Khalessar, so delivers an impassioned speech on the back of Drogon. The speech is very reminisant of Drogo's speech in season 1, with many similar lines, and the Dothraki eat it up.....Emilia Clarke once again does fantastic work in this scene as the inspirational leader who relies on the unconditional support of her adopted people. Is she beginning to sound a bit like her crazy father????
Blood of my Blood, was on the surface, lacking the action scenes of certain other episodes from this year. However, I feel this episode will be pivitol in having set up some of the major moments we will see before the end of the season. I've said it before and I'll repeat, I feel GOT is strongest when people like Bryan Cogman are just able to write very human scenes for very flawed individuals like Jaime and Cersei and in that I loved tonight's episode. I enjoyed the feature of fatherly disappointment as well, displayed by Jaime, Randyl,Walder amongst others. Overall, this episode displayed well crafted human emotion, interchanged with some very welcome returns....
P.S Jamie owned that ride up the Sept's steps!!!!