Much like college students that need to hand in an assignment, the writers this episode discovered a whole host of things they should have paid more attention to earlier, because the number of hours they have to get everything to where it needs to be is limited. Which is why we have plotlines emerging from the depths of a very confused bowl of plot soup and impromptu trips/exiles to the other end of Westeros.
-Arya is officially Arya again. I never had any doubts, but seeing her making the moral decision when it came to the murder of someone innocent was as much a sign of her true character as her retrieval of Needle was. The moment where we see her empathy for Cersei is also a gorgeous slap in the face of anyone who has reduced her to her kill list (you may have noticed that this is a particularly sore point for me). I can’t wait to see where she heads off to next and I’m not particularly worried about her chances of survival. She’s got this.
-Daenerys! Dragon! This is the extent of my analysis. My excitement over the awesome dragon-riding has taken the wheel and any rational thought was stranded in the middle of nowhere many miles ago.
-Loved the parallel between Jaime and Barristan’s removal from the Kingsguard, though I would have liked for it to be actually acknowledged, especially since the Jaime I know was obsessed with the guy.
-Sam’s homecoming was handled well as a whole. His father was awful which means the rest of his family might have come off as slightly too saintly, especially his mother and sister, but that didn’t particularly bother me cause it made it more bearable. Sam stealing the sword was cathartic in a way I snobbishly think only book readers can understand and I’m happy that Sam the Slayer has a special sword on his way to get armed with knowledge.
-There’s no doubt in my mind that Margaery is simply playing the atonement game, but I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the writers for making Loras a “sinner”. If she did in fact mean everything she said we are talking about character assassination the likes of which we haven’t seen since Ellaria.
-I am growing exceedingly tired of the Lannister anthem of “Let’s kill our enemies while we bask in each other’s loving light!”. It seems like the only conversation they are capable of having anymore. I actually love the Lannisters, but it’s because they put the fun in dysfunction, not because they constantly threaten to kill everyone. (That’s just Cersei, don’t steal Cersei’s thing or she’ll threaten to kill you.) Even when I do want them to go on a rampage I don’t get my wish. I’d been so excited for baby Tommen finally getting to roar, but this is obviously not the road the writers are taking.
-The reveal that Coldhands was Benjen all along might be good news to book readers, however it’s extremely out of place on the show, doesn’t have any build-up whatsoever -not even a recent mention of Benjen never having been found- and is ultimately a Deus Ex Machina that falls flat. That flaming flail was awesome though.
-So far the League of Assassins has had very few rules, the main one being complete impartiality when it comes to killing. How come Arya’s head was promised to someone who clearly has a grudge against her? Weaksauce.
-Why for all that is Holy in the name of the Seven has Jaime still not found out about Lancel? This season has been bad about having necessary conversations happen (e.g. Jon finding out Arya’s alive), but this particular “secret” is so clearly connected to the story, that the absence of it’s reveal is a plot hole deeper than the Pacific.
-Better late than never Coldhands! Better late than never Freys! Better late than never Edmure! Better late than never Riverrun!Jaime minus the Cersei hate!
-No but seriously, is Arianne going to pop up next episode to avenge her father?