Is Game of Thrones turning into a “regular TV drama”? That’s what some fans are asking after the cold open that set the stage for Episode 7 of Season 6. They are asking when Game of Thrones has ever done a cold open. They are wondering why the return of “The Hound” is deserving of such a dispatch from the show’s pattern. Most of all, Game of Thrones fans are wondering if this is the beginning of a troubling new trend, as The Verge reports. Will Game of Thrones stop opening with a grisly murder and 45 or so minutes of figuring out the who and why? Will it become a run-of-the-mill network drama? Say it isn’t so.
I guess we’ll just have to see, especially now that the HBO series has diverged so far from the books.
Here’s what played out in Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7. If you haven’t seen it and are planning to check it out, beware of spoilers ahead.
In Game of Thrones’ “The Broken Man,” fans see Olenna Tyrell return to Highgarden. She comes back after the High Sparrow indicates that he’s going to be chasing her down to bring her to justice after she made the mistake of taking up arms against Faith. That’s just the first in the many chaotic happenings of the action-packed episode. Unlike many Game of Thrones episodes in the past, this one waits until the end to deliver the bloody carnage that rabid fans crave.
They aren’t to be disappointed, but they have to wait. Because this Game of Thrones episode saved the best for last.
In Braavos, Arya Stark has come into her own. She’s not a little girl anymore, and she’s depicted “tossing bags of gold at sea captains as if she were a Lion and not a Wolf,” until she’s approached by an old hag with nefarious intentions who repeatedly stabs Arya in the gut with a dagger. Arya doesn’t let her attacker get away with it, though. Rather, she chucks her battered and bloodied self over a bridge. Oh, and (maybe to prevent a Game of Thrones fan revolt) Ayra survives the encounter and the episode.
Next up in the Game of Thrones universe, we find ourselves in The Riverlands. Catelyn Tully’s lands have been desecrated by war for some time now; she raised her banner along that of Robb Stark to no avail. Both houses were ultimately laid to waste when Bolton and Frey pulled off the Red Wedding massacre, killing both Catelyn and Robb and taking Edmure captive.
Now, though, Catelyn’s uncle has returned to make things right. The Blackfish is already a favorite in Game of Thrones fan circles, and when the enemies threaten to slit Edmure’s throat, he doesn’t bat an eye. This is a character who’d rather see everything the Tully name ever stood for go down in a burning pyre than surrender. He also knows better than to trust the faithless Freys.
Off in the distance, Ian McShane and his minions are building a sept (or Westerosi church) in the middle of nowhere. They are being aided by “The Hound,” who the septon nursed back to health after his nearly fatal fight with Brienne on a previous Game of Thrones episode. The Hound lets his good shine through, at least partially, but the broken man still remains just below the surface.
When the group is attacked by Brotherhood brigands, The Hound wants to engage them, but his rescuer talks him out of it. At the end of the Game of Thrones episode, The Hound responds to pleading cries from the local village. When he gets there, everyone has been brutally murdered. Then the credits roll.
Hence, the bloody final minutes of the Game of Thrones episode, as well as its title “The Broken Man.” One can only presume he will be getting his revenge in upcoming Game of Thrones episodes.
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