“A girl has no plot” was a joke I saw made in at least four or five Game of Thrones recaps during the most banal of the Arya/Many Faced God saga. The quip was too easy because, of course, it proved to be true: the conclusion and admittedly triumphant end to “No One” seemed to throw the entire plotline into question, as though Arya’s extended time in Braavos was mostly a placeholder between being lost and rediscovering herself.
This is not to say it wasn’t mostly worthwhile, nor that a girl’s protracted journey of self-discovery isn’t; her struggle with her own identity was both satisfying and worthwhile at points, particularly when she sliced out the eyeballs of Meryn Trant and crossed his name off her list. But the journey, we’d hoped, was always to get to the point where “No One” left off—with Arya renouncing the Many Faced God and reclaiming her own name—and the relatively loping pace of her plot points this season often seemed like time-killers in an arc that was always meant to come to this point. Which is not to say her journey with the MFG and A Man won’t come up again once she travels west of Westeros, but it is to say that I am profoundly glad that Arya finally performed the ultimate facial on the stout and grumpy-looking blonde A Girl chasing her around with seemingly no other purpose. Good-bye, A Girl, also known as The Waif. See you next in Fish Without Bicycles.
Perhaps I’ve seen too many Nora Ephron movies, but this set-up means the time is ripe for an Arya-The Hound meet-cute, in which the former sidekicks reunite and make-up by happenstance somewhere in the woods of Westeros. The Hound is certainly operating with a slightly higher level of moral compass, after having temporarily given up killing people in order to live a modest life as a woodchopper in the area village hippie commune. His taste for blood now, though, seems only to extend to the vagaries of revenge, something our girl Arya knows well. A team-up en route to the massive Stark-assembled army versus the Boltons that we know is inevitable by the final episode would be a nice little denouement for Game of Thrones’s quintessential odd couple, and also a little bit of niceness before 40% of our favorite characters end up flayed at the hands of Locoboy Ramsey!
Speaking of meet-cutes, how about that Daenerys pop-in right as the slavers are attacking Meereen with fireballs? I swear, these writers were truly in a rom-com mood, what with that and a whole extended parlor room scene with Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm cracking jokes. Understandably it was meant to emphasize the normalcy amidst which war can strike, but also it was someone having a little classic fun in a way we haven’t seen much this season. Someone sign up Grey Worm for a night at Caroline’s, stat.
Okay, but imagine you’re Daenerys Targaryen and your last few months have consisted of: fleeing armed mutiny on your dragon child and eating only the full goats it hunts in a barren plain; being captured by the most war-hungry band of nomads in the land and threatened with rape and murder before they realize you should instead just go live in a yurt with a bunch of barren widows; overthrowing an entire government of bros and collecting their troops for yourself, after you emerge unscathed from a flame and stoke their sensibilities like the best army general who ever lived. THEN YOU GET BACK AND THE MUHFUCKAS YOU PUT IN CHARGE HAVE NOT ONLY PRIMED YOUR CITY FOR AN ARMED ATTACK, THEY TOTALLY DRANK ALL YOUR WINE. I love Tyrion Lannister but this dude gotta lay off the juice a little bit, and now that Dany and the dragon are back she’s gonna fully read him the riot act (after she lays waste to the assholes from Slavers Bay). And this, my friends, is precisely why I don’t participate in Airbnb.
Between negotiations for the moderately bloodless taking of River Run for Walter Frey—which worked well but for the Blackfish, who died a noble death in his own home—I found myself contemplating the light sexual tension between Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, to whom he gifted his sword for keeps. When Jaime lectured Edmure Tully about how much he loved Cersei, it was with a fiery passion that, incest aside, frankly doesn’t seem all that healthy; relationship-wise, Brienne and Jaime would coexist as equals (as opposed to twins!!!) and it would be nice to see Brienne having a little love in her life that isn’t the unwanted gestures of Tormund Giantsbane. And yet, there are barely worse feelings than loving an unavailable man, and so we must remain hopeful for a Tarth-Wildling union in the future. (If Tormund sacrifices himself at the Bolton battle to save Brienne I will FAINT ON MY COUCH.)
Also, Cersei and Loras Tyrell will stand trial in front of Seven Septons because King Tommen has become a religious fanatic freako! I still have faith that Margaery will find a way to subvert this grody cult, though.
Boners: NONE! No boning!!
Deaths: SO MUCH KILLING!! The Waif; all the bandits from the Brotherhood Without Banners who slaughtered The Hound’s commune, including freakin’ Lemoncloak; the Blackfish; presumably many people at Meereen; Lady Crane, the most gifted actor in Braavos. RIP!
Images via screenshot/HBO