Beware! There are spoilers ahead!
With this week’s episode, “The Broken Man,” I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Sixth Season of Game of Thrones is going to be known as the season of surprise and unexpected returns. If the return of Benjen Stark last week wasn’t enough of a surprise for fans, then they got another dose of surprise shenanigans this week as we saw the return of Sandor Clegane, The Hound. That’s right! The Hound lives!
Completely absent for all of the Fifth Season and for most of this season, it was assumed that the Hound had died from his injuries sustained from a battle with Brienne of Tarth and a nasty fall off a cliff, during the Season Four finale. The last we saw of him, he was begging Arya to finish him off so he didn’t have to suffer. Instead, she left him to die. Luckily for us, he lived. It turns out a Septon found him and nursed him back to health.
Now returning for the first time in almost two years, the Hound is fully recovered and has joined the Septon’s community as a builder. After the group is bullied by some rogues who want the group’s supplies and money, The Hound expresses his concerns to the Septon that they need to fight back. The Septon refuses, saying that his fighting day is over. Sadly, while The Hound was away chopping woods, the rogues returned and slaughtered the entire group, including the Septon. Enraged by the murders, The Hound appears to want vengeance.
I can honestly say that I am thrilled that The Hound is back. As much as he was portrayed as a villain over the first few seasons, he really showed himself to be an unsuspecting hero. Now given that he has nothing left to lose, a new lease on life, and goal- I think he’s going to be one of the heroes that the Seven Kingdoms is going to need.
As much fun as the return of the Hound was, much more happened on this week’s episode. Not too far away at Riverrun, we also got another fun surprise as Bromm finally returned for the first time since the end of last season. Bromm has joined Jaime Lannister and his army, as they have arrived to retake Riverrun. Hoping to avoid countless bloodshed, Jaime hopes to speak and reason with the Blackfish. However, the negotiation proves to be unsuccessful. Jaime is left knowing that the only outcome is battle. This has all the making to show whether or not Jaime has grown over the last few seasons. His character, integrity and eventually his loyalties are going to be tested.
Down south in King’s Landing, tension continues to grow as Margaery Tyrell continues to support the High Sparrow, even going as far as telling her grandmother, The Queen of Thornes, to return to High Garden. Secretly though, she is planning something and secretly passes a note with a picture of a rose to her grandmother. The Queen of Thorns is later confronted by Cersei about staying unified, with her Queen of Thorns saying no and that everything that is happening is Cersei’s fault and that she has lost. We as an audience are now seeing these character’s when they are at their most desperate, which will make them quite dangerous.
Up in the North, Jon Snow and Sansa Stark work to build their army to retake Winterfell. Traveling from house to house to gain soldiers, they are met with mixed results, with some honoring their pledges to House Stark, while other’s refused. Jon believing that there is no else to join them, wants to take small army into Battle against the Boltons. Sansa on the other hand believes they can get more men and secretly writes a letter. I don’t want to speculate on who the letter is to… but… I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to Little Finger. This would be the perfect time to stock up on a “Stark” or “The North Remembers” T-Shirts as the Stark Army is going to rise.
Across the narrow sea, Theon, his sister and their fleet have one last hurrah as his sister reveals her plan: To sail to Meereen, make a pact with Daenerys to bring her and her dragons back to Westeros and to take back the Iron Islands! I’m hoping this leads to Daenerys finally making her way to the Seven Kingdoms next season!
But what might be the most shocking part of the night occurred in Braavos. As Arya has secured passage back home to Westeros, she is attacked and stabbed multiple times by the Waif. Before the Waif can finish her off, Arya manages to escape and drop into the canals. The last we see of her is as she struggles through a crowded market place, bleeding to death. Could Arya be this season’s big death? Every season has at least one major death to main character. And as much as I’m afraid to say it, I don’t know if Hodor was it. Usually the death is a major game changer for the series. Season One was Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon. Season Two was Renly Baratheon. Three had the Red Wedding (Everyone died). Four had Joffrey Baratheon and Tywin Lannister. Last season was Jon Snow. As sad and devastating as it was, I honestly can’t see Hodor’s death being a game changer. Could this be the end for one of the most popular characters in the series?
As we know, no one is safe in Game of Thrones, and with only three episodes left until the season finale and tensions being at an all time high, anything can happen.
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