Photos courtesy of Home Box Office (Game of Thrones)
A couple of friends told me that they found No One, the eight installment of Season 6, as anti-climactic. I suppose it was because of the epic episode we had last week (click here for our The Broken Man review). However, I think No One is able to hold its own because it has its own set of surprises and important plot developments.
Highlights of No One:
- We finally get a conclusion to the Arya-Braavos storyline we have been eagerly waiting. Admit it, you know she’s spent an ungodly amount of time there already! Indeed, Lady Crane ends up helping Arya recover. That part, we were able to get right during last week’s review. We just didn’t count on her getting butchered by Waif though. In hindsight, she was too good for the show anyway. Remember, all decent men and women must die! Anyway, when Waif was chasing Arya in the streets (which somehow is reminiscent of Prince of Persia), we get confirmation that Arya is not the Waif as she physically shoves people whom Arya has already passed. A theory circulated recently about how Waif could actually be just Arya’s split personality.
- This turns out not to be true, thankfully so as Game of Thrones is confusing enough as it is without this mind-boggling scenario. In the end, Arya, with her newfound mastery of the darkness and her sword Needle, emerges victorious over Waif and delivers her face to Jaqen. Instead of getting mad, Jaqen actually seems amused about what Arya has done, and says she is finally no one. Was it all an elaborate test? Nonetheless, Arya is now en route to Westeros, where she obviously belongs. A reunion with the Hound is now more than likely!
- Speaking of the Hound, he seems to have been referring to Arya or Brienne (or both) when he said he had faced tougher girls than the man pointing an arrow at him. Earlier in the episode, Sandor took a man’s head off his shoulders with an axe and exacted revenge on the men who killed Brother Ray and the rest of his group. That beheading is a reminder that Sandor is still as murderous as ever. He again crosses paths with Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr (last seen in Season 3), only now they share a meal and not a swordfight. Despite all the hullabaloo before, they invite him to join the Brotherhood Without Banners. Now that other ghosts from the past are coming back, does this mean long lost Gendry will resurface soon? Let’s hope so!
- Game of Thrones is a very heavy show so I appreciate the fact that there was time for funny moments in this episode. We get bits and pieces and different antics from characters such as the Hound, who clearly doesn’t give two bleeps about peeing in the lake. Pod and Bronn have a merry reunion and go on a mini-sparring session, which mainly just involves Bronn suckerpunching Pod. While waiting for Danaerys (why does the girl always take her time), the trio of Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei finally get to bond over jokes, the quality of which are highly questionable. Haha. Tyrion succeeds in making them drink wine, which is a very big achievement for someone who drinks and knows things.
- Game of Thrones’ favorite non-couple Tormund and Brienne were given a rest this episode. Instead, we get reminded of the relationship between Jamie and Brienne. Brienne updates Jamie about her completed mission (rescue Sansa) and asks permission to try to convince the Blackfish to relinquish his hold over Riverrun. Brienne fails to recruit Blackfish to Sansa’s cause. Meanwhile, Jamie unleashes his Season 1 self, says his famous line “the things we do for love,” and uses Lord Edmure’s daughter to threaten him. Well played, Sir Jamie.
- Faced with an impossible choice, Edmure decides to open the gates for the King’s army and betrays everyone inside the castle. His men surrender their arms, and the hunt for the Blackfish begins. Perhaps the most disappointing moment in this episode is the Blackfish getting killed off screen like what they did with Stannis. Couldn’t they have given him his one last chance to defend Riverrun and die in a glorious battle? We see Brienne and Pod rowing away empty-handed. Jamie waves from above and Brienne waves back. Aww, Romeo and Juliet, anyone? Just kidding, Tormund fans.
- Although there was no siege at Riverrun, at the other side of the world, Mereen gets attacked by the Masters’ ships. This pretty much looks like the Battle of Blackwater Bay Part 2. Will Tyrion find a way to defeat invader ships again? Well, they may not have wildfire, but they have dragon fire. That has to count for something! Daenerys makes a cameo and swoops down with Drogon to save the day. I’m curious how they can win this fight. Meanwhile, Varys does a Jorah and goes away. Who knows when he’ll be back? It’s a shame since Tyrion and Varys make an interesting pair, the Dwarf and the Eunuch.
- The Lord of Light is getting more prevalent this season. Is there something we’re not seeing here? There are so many religions in GoT that it gets kind of confusing (like in real life, I suppose): the Lord of Light, the Old Gods, Faith of the Seven, Many-Faced God, etc. The High Sparrow is already effecting changes in King’s Landing much to Cersei’s chagrin. Lord of Light priestesses are now supporting Daenerys in Mereen. Are we gearing up for a holy war?
- King Tommen has lost his mind and damned his own mother by removing the Trial By Combat option to prove one’s innocence. He has a point about the barbaric nature of TBC but we know this decision was heavily influenced by the High Sparrow. Although Cersei seems to be in hot water right now, she and Qyburn still have something up their sleeves. She will not go down easily, especially with the Mountain by her side.
- How about that faith militant head bashing, eh? Lancel Lannister may have gotten lucky this episode, but his time is coming, and so is Tommen’s. This whole mess will probably end in Tommen’s death, especially with Cersei’s decision to “choose violence.” This scene eerily reminds us of a previous altercation she had with Littlefinger, where she said “Power is power.” Cersei may be lagging behind in the game recently, but don’t count her out just yet.
BEARDICT: No One has its lull moments, but it does its job in whetting our appetite for the last two episodes of the season. I don’t regret using up one hour of my life to watch this!
Next week will pit bastard versus bastard. Two more episodes to go! What will we do once we run out of Game of Thrones? Maybe we can take a page out of Tyrion’s book and drown ourselves with wine and corny jokes.
Catch Game of Thrones every Monday night at 9pm (Philippine Time) on HBO.