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Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!

Posted June 22, 2017 into Raven On by girlclumsy

Bless you, HBO. Bless your glorious cotton socks. Delivering us a heart-pumping, loin-girding, ab-touching cracker of a trailer right on the Winter Solstice.

Of course it’s the summer solstice up past the equator, but we here in the Antipodes need no imagination to picture the depths of chilly misery they must be now enduring in Westeros. In Brisbane alone the temperature has been dropping to 11 or 12 degrees at night (roughly 54 in that ridiculous Fahrenheit), and that’s so arctic I had to put on slippers.

Not unexpectedly, the payload in this piece is a heck of a lot bigger than in last month’s HUGE WAR ROOM FLOOR MAP trailer.

The war room floor map doesn’t make a reappearance, but I’m not surprised. As I mentioned back then, that trailer focused on the human relationships, threats and alliances, with not much attention paid to the supernatural threat beyond The Wall.

By contrast, this one lets rip with battles and skirmishes and beat-ups galore, and slams the apocalyptic reality of the White Walkers right back into our gaping, drooling faces.

So let’s do a quick breakdown of the voiceover sequences and then hone in on some key flashes of “WHAT” and “WAS THAT JUST” and “HOLY CRAP” from the montages.

We start with a tracking shot of the Lady of Winterfell, walking past a weirwood tree in what we assume is the Godswood. Strong, determined, unblinking, she is taking her cues from 2009-era Beyonce. She Is…. Sansa Fierce.

"Uh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh, oh, oh oh oh"

But whispering, always bloody whispering, in his stupid bloody whispering voice, is Petyr Baelish:
“Don’t fight in the North, or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always in your mind.”

If we assume he says this in person to Sansa, it’s an interesting focus on the internal struggle that must be won before any victory in the field can be had. It’s about removing the physical constructs of each battle and placing strategy, confidence and belief first and foremost. With the greatest match still ahead of Sansa, the Starks, the North and essentially to humanity as a whole, Littlefinger is starting to sound like a sports commentator. I mean, what I call him certainly rhymes with Rex Hunt.

Meanwhile I must find out where to obtain a copy of that introductory cello-with-choir underscore. I want to download it to my iPhone so I can walk around in slow motion with the music playing in my ears, pretending I’m an epic hero about to face danger and battle and stuff when really I’m just about to face feeding the foster kittens.

Other images seen in those opening moments: a long shot of Meera and Bran at The Wall, giving hope they will find some security with the rump of the Night’s Watch; Daenarys and her table top gaming board; Arya on a horse; Baelish in the shadows (maybe a dungeon?); and that weapon being sharpened again like a character on the “Who Shot Mr Burns?” episode of The Simpsons.

There’s also some shots that add weight to the idea we could be going to Casterly Rock this season, with the Lannister banners hanging in a stone keep filled with smallfolk seemingly welcoming somebody in, and Jaime seen from behind in armour striding around a battlement. It could be the King’s Landing, but perhaps not? There’s also a low-key beach landing, and later on, a glimpse of Grey Worm in a helmet approaching a rocky cliff - could it be Unsullied troops looking to take The Rock?

Good luck with that.

The second voice we hear is Jon’s:

“For centuries our families fought together against their common enemy. Despite their differences… together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy is real. It’s always been real.”

The first half of this grave declaration runs over shots of Dany walking along the beach at Dragonstone, then pulling down what looks to be like an old Targaryen banner, possible revealing a throne, or maybe some sort of family secret/inheritance. We see those magnificent dragons tearing it up like teenagers on a Contiki tour, and Tyrion looking pensively out over the sea.

Other characters pop up: Theon looking grim as usual; Brienne and Pod look awesome as usual; a flash of a snowbound Hound. There’s a series of shots involving Lannister soldiers, with Jaime and Bronn overseeing a team of archers, in what can only be described as a bromance-turned-bowmance.

There’s also a glimpse of a wheelchair-bound Bran (possibly with Bloodraven, the old dude from the cave, watching on) warging just as a bunch of ravens fly over a battlefield, seemingly sparking the interest of the Night’s King. As Jon’s voice sounds out “The enemy is real. It’s always been real”, there is a pause, fade to black, and then THIS MOTHEREFFING SHOT:


Holy flipping heck, it’s Beric Dondarrion carrying a flaming sword! But as we remember, it was Thoros of Myr who carried a flaming sword. SO WHERE IS THOROS? WHY DOES BERIC HAVE HIS SWORD?

A bit further on, there is another shot of my beloved fighting on a bluff (he can fight on my bluff anytime etc) and LOOK THERE IT IS AGAIN:

So the Brotherhood Without Banners (and possibly now Without Thoros of Myr) will at some point team up with Jon, Tormund and co. for more adventures fighting...wights, I assume? Unless Jon’s foreboding talk about coming together to fight the evil was aimed at other houses who have yet to sign on to the new reality of winter life and the coming icy apocalypse. They all seemed to acknowledge him as the “White Wolf” King in the North at the end of last season. But who knows, there could still be some hold outs.

That final montage before the Sansa voiceover contained a plethora - yes, El Guapo, a plethora! - of frames/shots/glimpses/sightings/moments that had my heart beating against my chest like a Looney Toons character looking at another Looney Toons character in drag. Moments like this:

Jaime Lannister racing on horseback across a field of fire, lance in (remaining) hand. This surely must involve the stampeding Dothraki army, with dragon accompaniment, as seen in other sections of the trailer. But who is he aiming for? A human… or a dragon? And could he fell a dragon? We know historically Jaime was a fine jouster at tournament, and it’s a credit to his thighs that he can still seat his horse so ferociously with the reins in his golden hand, while his left hand grasps his mighty spear OK wow I have totally distracted myself and need a moment.

I loved seeing Jon standing sexily next to Ser Davos almost as much as I fretted seeing him fight off one of the head honcho White Walkers; I did a little dance seeing Missandei plant her linguistically deft lips right on Grey Worm; and of course seeing Tormund Giantsbane lunge at anybody is delightful (and hopefully with Brienne, consensual).

There’s the Greyjoy fleet approaching King’s Landing, Yara and Theon looking at fireworks/fire, and a glimpse of old mate Euron getting ragey as ships burn; and as he accompanies the Dothraki warriors, a close-up of Drogon so severe you can smell his lizard breath.

But there’s also some things that weren’t clear to me. For example, is this Theon looking wrecked on a beach? Or Euron? Or an Unsullied?

Oh gods, it's Gendry, isn't it? He finally got out of the boat.

And this guy. Who is this guy?


As we see a sole rider hot-hoofing it away from camera, the voiceover concludes with Sansa throwing up some Grade A metaphor and/or allegory.

“When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies…. but the pack survives.”
And we get this breathtaking shot of our King in the North, from one of his greatest angles:

His back hump looks so soft.

Now I must admit, when I first heard that phrase, my immediate response was “LONE WOLF WHAT ARE YOU REFERRING TO JON IS THIS INSINUATING JON COULD DIE NO NO NO”. Please understand I’m a little sensitive when it comes to the mortality of my beloved.

But it’s more likely Sansa’s singing from the same song sheet as Jon - that all petty human squabbles have to be put aside to ensure victory, that the time for individual glory is over. Indeed, Jon has been proof of that over and over again - his early days of wanting to be a kickarse Ranger are long gone, and he has become one of the most well-rounded (and #junkmounded) diplomats in the series. It wouldn’t surprise me if their dialogue here occurs in the same scene.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the sartorial splendour of our King in the North? Decked out in designer whites, he’s practically Fursace. Or Furberry. Or Salvatore Furragamo. He’s also really embraced that man bun. I mean, it makes sense - all of those luscious black curls would get in your face while fighting, not to mention getting wet and sticky in all that snowy weather. Of course I long for the return of the mop top, but for the moment I can live with the “Jon Snowcone”.

Well, kittens, that’s about all I’ve got for now, but if I have any strokes of genius about this trailer I’ll get back to you. We’re closing in on a month out from S7, E1 - will we get a third trailer before it hits? Whatever happens, I will be here for you, my beloved Throners, always your devoted recappespondent and ab connoisseur.

A special shout out this week to all my Patreon subscribers for your generosity and loyalty, including Tarryn K, Jamie E, Cath G, Alison M and Elana M. If you want to find out more about my Patreon campaign, and why I ask people to consider paying $1 per recap, head over here.

Valar morghulis!

4 Responses to ‘Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!’

Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted June 23, 2017
I am allowed to go 'Squeeee!' I don't care - I'll do it anyway.

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Abbey ducks in to say...

Posted June 23, 2017
"Oh gods, it's Gendry, isn't it? He finally got out of the boat."

Snorted. Loudly. Still chortling haha

I only listened to your podcast with Stu talking about this the other day and I'm still picturing Gendry going round and round and round and round and round ..... you get the idea. So funny.

spankee has opinions thus...

Posted June 26, 2017
There's a podcast?

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Seakla mutters...

Posted June 25, 2017
Here's a link to that piece. It's "In the Light of the Seven", from the previous season.

I also love this piece :-D

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Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!

Posted May 25, 2017 into Raven On by girlclumsy

War! Homecomings! Stabbings! Nude Grey Worm!

The Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer contained so many delights, that of course I must put pen to papyrus and recap the seven hells out of it.

But there was one thing in that 1 minute 35 seconds of glorious GoT bounty that thrilled me more than any other.

“Oh, yes, here she goes again, ranting about Jon Snow like a sad obsessed cat fancier,” I hear you say.


I mean, yes, I am obsessed with Jon Snow in a sad, cat fancier kind of way. And we’ll get to our beloved King in the North later.

But the cutaway in that trailer that gave me the most joy was...


Jaime is all at sea.

I have been waiting seven years for this, and it’s everything I ever wanted and more.

I have now placed a call to a home decorator to rip up my large format charcoal grey tiles and install a FANTASY MAP OF WESTEROS in my living room so I can walk over it pointing and plotting tactical army movements and supply routes because I am a FICTIONAL QUEEN OF EVERYTHING.

Oh, it will be grand. Setting up the foster kittens to represent the different warring families, instructing them on when and how to attack each other, STOP RUNNING UNDER THE COUCH MICAH YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE TULLYS OF RIVERRUN AND HAZEL GET DOWN FROM THE SCRATCH POLE DOTHRAKIS DON’T LIKE HEIGHTS.

It will be epic times at my place, people.

But back to the trailer. Let’s make like biodegradable shopping bags and BREAK IT DOWN, starting with everybody’s favourite super villain, Darth Cersei. Her voiceover goes as follows:

“Enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies to the south, enemies to the north. Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it. We are the last Lannisters. The last ones who count.”

This is delivered while shots of the Lannisters’ many enemies are spliced in with a tracking shot over a 3D map of Westeros (and the WAR ROOM MAP!). Did anybody else notice that when she said “enemies to the south” it passed over the Vale of Arryn, which is totes NORTH of King’s Landing, but then you don’t want to ruin the momentum of the shot, do you?

The enemies pictured are Grey Worm (not yet nude and at the head of Daenarys’ army), a large sailing ship in the gloomy mist (Iron Islanders, either Euron or the Yara/Theon alliance?), an axe being sharpened (really could be anyone), and ARYA FRICKING STARK.

There’s a brief glimpse of marching Lannisters flying the golden lion, and then a throne room sequence, with Jaime standing by his murderous usurper sister lover lover (mmmm). Cersei has always been scary, but the underlying mismanagement of her grabs for power have always grounded her in some reality. Now that seems to have gone, and she appears utterly terrifying. YOU GO GIRL.

Darth Cersei with some dark side of the force hand moves.

I loved the fact that immediately after we hear Cersei saying “We are the last Lannisters”, it cuts to a shot of Tyrion. “The last ones who count.” ZING. Of course Tyrion has more than a few things that make him count in the great game - there’s his faith in his new Queen, Daenarys, and her reliance on him as her Hand. Then of course there’s those enormous dragons, we which see slicing up through the air beside the cliff Tyrion is seen striding towards (more brilliant advertising for Northern Ireland).

We transition to hearing Dany’s voice, as she gazes on the opening gates of what we assume is Dragonstone, her birthplace, and formerly the seat of Stannis “Fewer” Baratheon.

“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms,” she intones. “And I will.” Strong Churchillian language there from Our Dany, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Wearer of Less Revealing Clothes This Season, Somewhat Disappointingly. We see her touching the sand (Kevin Costner’s return to Dover in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves remains the gold standard of touching the sand, best movie ever, no arguments please), and sitting on her angular, rocky throne.

It’s sad to think we won’t have the luscious Maario Doharis standing by her, quietly flexing, and as for Ser Jorah, there was no sign of him in this trailer at all. Hopefully he’s finding that cure for Stoneman’s Disease - I would hate to find out halfway through the season that he just turned up dead at the Oldtown docks and nobody noticed because he looked like part of the jetty. For devotees of the “Ser Jorah is Azor Ahai” theory, it would be positively disastrous.

There’s also what looks like a raid on the Red Keep - or at least I assume it’s the Red Keep, given all those archways are giving it much more of an Alhambra vibe than in previous seasons. We see some helmeted heavies fighting in a courtyard and on a balcony. This is about as much analysis as I can do on that one:


“King in the North!” comes the resounding cry as we flick past Jon’s beautiful, brooding face in the Winterfell Great Hall, Sansa and Brienne watching from behind, and a flash of what looks like a war council of Northern lords. You can just about make out the side of Lyanna Mormont's face. SO keen for more of her, please.

Then it’s time for Mr Snake in the Grass himself, Petyr Baelish, to get all Wormtongue or Wormtail (but not Grey Worm) up in Sansa’s grill. “Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand - the last best hope against the coming storm.” I know his control of the Vale knights saved Jon and co in the Battle of the Bastards, but I do wish Littlefinger would go away. Or at least get a clue and realise there’s no point in playing his stupid power games anymore.

Luckily at that point we hear Littlefinger’s total opposite in character chime in, and once again, it’s Davos Freaking Seaworth who brings the true emotional punch to proceedings. “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die,” he says. “And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”

PREACH. Once again Davos represents the everyman, the pragmatist, immune to the trappings of power and much more concerned with basic survival. If you did a poll of most loved characters in the show, the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS AND THREATEN VIOLENCE.

It’s at this point of course that the trailer builds in speed and pace and frequency of shots included. Here are some of the things I noticed:

*Jon Snow outpacking Tormund in a snowbound steeplechase.

*record scratch* Yep, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation.

*Kate Bush looking quite sad in a castle somewhere, watching soldiers go running up that hill, or rather, ramparts. It looks too nice to be the Iron Islands, and not nice enough to be Dorne, so where could it be?

*Jon Snow grabbing Littlefinger and shoving him up against a wall, in a totally non-sexual but still highly sexy way.

*Ellaria Sand snogging Yara Greyhoy in a totally sexual and highly sexy way.

Just make sure she took her lippy off first, Yara.

*Missandei ripping off Grey Worm’s shirt. Finally, some action in their relationship beyond courtesies and low-level chit chat.

*A burning ship, bodies falling into water and Theon Greyjoy surrounded by licks of flame - an attack on the combined Targaryen/Greyjoy army, or perhaps a dragon fart with follow through?

*Arya all alone and making a fire - come on Nymeria, you come back now, good doggo.

*Cascading packs of rampaging Dothraki.

*Rugged up northerner types running away from something, and forming a circular guard.

*The Mountain, helmeted, but I’m pretty sure it was him.

*Dany and Tyrion checking out Stannis’ old tabletop role-playing board on Dragonstone.

"Has this been disinfected? Anybody?"

People we didn’t see in that trailer include: Sam and Gilly (on SWOTVAC), Ser Jorah (MIA), the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners crew (revenging), Bran and Meera (defrosting), White Walkers (ice cold), Olenna Tyrell (cheese, bitch) or any flashbacks to Ye Olde Times Like Twenty Years Ago.

The crescendo of music builds until we see a majestic wide shot of barrelling Dothraki on horseback, with the stupendously huge Drogon carving up the sky above. It’s the greatest fly-by since Top Gun.

After this, a quick game of shirtless volleyball.

But then we fade to black, and my beloved’s sonorous words remind us of the *snort* gravity of the situation.

“The Great War is here.”


For me the focus of this season is Daenarys’ transition from hot weather slavery-busting conqueror to winter homecoming queen. She has never stepped foot on Westeros; is it ready for her? Does it want her? She seems all-powerful, but her father’s rule sparked revolution and there may not be the appetite for the Mad King’s daughter. Cersei is nobody’s favourite, but then she’s proved time and again how resilient she is. Can she consolidate her power in King’s Landing and prove that a Queen Regnant can do what so many King Repugnants couldn’t?

Jon Snow is being heralded as King in the North, but is it a job he really wants? After his whole death-and-reanimation experience, he’d kind of given up on being in charge. But like Monkey, Jon Snow’s nature is irrepressible. He can’t help being a good guy, even if he has the odd sulk along the way (let me comfort you and your abs, beloved).

This trailer definitely seemed more focused on the Great War of families, rather than the Ever Greater Holy Crap War Against Monstrous Armies of the Undead. I kind of want them all to win, in my own special way. But of course there’ll have to be some losers. As long as they don’t KILL anyone, I’ll be fine.


See you on July 16, beloved Throners!

28 Responses to ‘Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!’

Nocturnalist would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2017
You have a point. If HBO and GRRM haven't got a merch deal for huge Westeros-mapping carpets ready to go when that trailer dropped then someone's asleep at the wheel.

(Anyone else think "wait, they're going to settle this with a game of Azad"?)

Surtac would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2017
Yes. Where's Jernau Morat Gurgeh when you need him?


Terry ducks in to say...

Posted June 23, 2017
Oh please oh please let there be a swordfight there so someone can reprise one of the greatest lines of movie dialogue ever (from Dr Strangelove): "You can't fight here. This is the War Room!"

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Sousy Wench puts forth...

Posted May 25, 2017
Could the place with the lions and dead Lannisters be Casterly Rock?

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2017
"Your suppose to be the Tully's...." brought it all back to me - I miss the Blackfish.

Needless to say if the trailer is any indication the series 'living at home with Grey Worm and Missandai' is going to need an adult raiting.

I also want to see more of my favourite witty banter between Varys and Tryion.

Surely your war room map can be next to your library with the clockwork model of the 7 kingdoms.

Outstanding recap and can only imagine how much more awesome it will be once you start doing the episodes.

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Sam Clifford ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2017
I suspect the Alhambra Lannister place is either Lannisport or Casterly Rock. I don't think even Cersei is vain enough to paint a golden "L" above an archway in King's Landing. There's a handful of Lannister cousins left, but yeah, none that matter.

Half-man! Half-man!

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girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 25, 2017
Good pick-up on the Casterly Rock/Lannisport observations, peeps. We've never seen it, so it didn't occur to me initially that they might actually place some action there. Also Cersei is clearly in the Red Keep, as evidenced by her sitting on the Iron Throne.

Back in the day, Robb Stark's plan was to GO WEST (life is peaceful there) and beat the Lannisters on their home turf. Maybe Jon, or Dany, is going to try that strategy?

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Tony Leggett mutters...

Posted May 25, 2017
Wow. Such prose and analysis from less than two minutes of footage.

This will set high expectations for your recaps, Mother of Kittens.

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Tony Leggett reckons...

Posted May 25, 2017
Followup thought bubble:

I think the screenshot showing what looks like a raid on the Red Keep is more likely just a raid on the (probably only lightly defended) Casterly Rock.

IMHO anyway...

Tony Leggett ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2017
...and guess who went "tl;dr" when scrolling through the comments.

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The White Witch ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2017
Oh how I've missed these recaps - almost (I said ALMOST!) as much as I've missed GoT, and the Beloved Abs-man! But I must confess - I have a dirty secret! I find Petyr Baelish rather sexy, in a sleazy, velvet-voiced way! I don't want him to die or go away, but to turn into a kind of nearly almost nice guy! A nice sleaze, if you will! Oh dear - I fear there is little hope for me!

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted May 26, 2017

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2017
Look at the armour, the spears, the fighting style. The helmeted heavies are the unsullied, expressing their distress at being unmanned by unlifeing the Dragon Queens enemies.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted May 25, 2017
Yep, I've just abandoned my dreams of jarrah parquet flooring and I've totally moved on to GIANT FLOOR MAP as the jewel in my interior decorating crown. Bring on 16 July!

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floki snow reckons...

Posted May 25, 2017
Geez the Lannisters are coping a good old thrashing, early season wins are not always a good sign.
And who's dragonscale arm was poking out of that jail cell?

floki snow is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2017
greyscale i meant greyscale

CatDragon reckons...

Posted May 25, 2017
Ser JM of course! Looking grim.

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2017
Yeah, someone else showed me that as well, and I'm pretty mad I didn't pick up on it. BRING OUT THE SHAME BELL.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2017
and given the magnificent prose of Ms Bochenski stretched to 1,728 words for this piece from a trailer 1minute 48 seconds long. That means for the average 55minute episode were are going to get 52,000 witty and erudite words per episode.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves asserts...

Posted May 25, 2017
Excellent. May the gods, old and new be praised.

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted May 26, 2017

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Graham C mumbles...

Posted May 25, 2017
"...the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS ..."

Well, duh! You always get "all the tears" when ....

You cut onions!

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted May 26, 2017

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Heidi asserts...

Posted May 25, 2017
Great to read your recaps again Queen Nat. SO looking forward to this season! In countdown mode now! Bring on July 16! Woo Hoo!

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JBtoo mutters...

Posted May 25, 2017
So good to have you (and GoT) back

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Morts mumbles...

Posted May 26, 2017

I think your kitties are better thought of as the dragons (just as hard to control) which makes you Dany and you know she's going to hook up with Jon at some stage. Also you could direct your 'dragons' by throwing raw meat on your Westeros map on where to attack and you get the added bonus of realistic blood splatter.


PS Are there VIP packages for those who want to contribute more for the recaps? Maybe we could get them 30 mins before anyone else. :)

Anyway really looking forward to the start of GoT and your rundowns. You're the extra spice that goes into a Walder Frey pie.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted May 27, 2017
These recaps are the hot pies of my soul.

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jl has opinions thus...

Posted May 31, 2017
I do love these write-ups. Keep 'em coming, girlclumsy.

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Sit Down and hang on: analysing the Game of Thrones S7 trailer

Posted April 3, 2017 into Raven On by girlclumsy

Hello, Burgers and Throners! It's Natalie here, your Game of Thrones recappespondent and friendly neighbourhood Jon Snow obsessive.

After HBO dropped a teaser trailer for Season 7 of The World's Greatest and Best Ever Show late last week, I wrote up a piece about it to see if I could flex these old creaky recap muscles ahead of the July premiere. I posted it on my Facebook page, but JB very kindly gave me the go-ahead to post it up here. Enjoy!


That breath! That visible, icy breath! What can it mean? Is Cersei in league with the White Walkers now? Is it a metaphor for her new “ice queen” reign over Westeros, or was the heating just broken in the Iron Throne room?

And Jon Snow! Sticking with that ponytail but still BROODY AF. Boy I’m glad he’s still around now that winter finally has arrived. He’s so steamy, like the series’ own personal hot water bottle. I’d like to place him carefully on my belly to ease cramps.

And a question – where the hell was Daenarys?

Yes, with 100 days to go until the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere, it was only right and natural for HBO to unleash a fan frenzy via a spankingly good promotional trailer.

After all, if this was a normal year, we’d be gearing up for the actual season, which has traditionally begun in early April. So they’ve got to give the thirsting GoT fandom a few drops out of mercy, if nothing else.

Titled “The Long Walk”, it’s the first “new” content since last year, and features three of our favourites striding slowly but determinedly towards…. well, chairs, essentially.
It’s also set to a rather menacing yet oddly comforting version of Sit Down by Manchester rock legends James.

In researching the song I discovered that there was an original longer version that was cut down for a radio-friendly release back in 1989. From that, GoT producers have cherry-picked these highly appropriate lyrics:

Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they're touched by madness
Sit down next to me

In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate

Oh sit down Oh sit down Oh sit down
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down
In sympathy

As those words ring out, we see Cersei stalking the halls of the Red Keep, Jon pacing through the recaptured Winterfell, and Dany….. where the hell WAS Dany?

The array of tree trunks positioned behind her throne reminded me a touch of the Eyrie, but having last been seen at the head of an armada, we can’t imagine her turning up anywhere inland. The best I can guess is Dragonstone, her birthplace. We never really saw Stannis Baratheon in a large throne room on the island – he was mostly in his map room, often shagging Kate Bush on the strategy table. So it’s possible there could be a grand hall for her to set up her alternative court while she makes her final attack plans for the mainland. Dany is definitely somewhere colder – for the first time ever we see here rugged up in dark colours as opposed to her usual bright, light, skin-revealing garb. But I’m still not entirely happy with this answer.

I feel there’s also some symbolism in the fact that both Cersei and Dany actually SIT in their thrones; Jon merely stares at the high table at Winterfell, the place where his *cough* father *cough* Ned sat.

Cersei and Dany believe with every ounce of their being in their innate right to be Queen. Their intentions may differ, but their desire to rule is the whole purpose of their existence. Jon Snow was feted as the new King in the North at the end of last season – but nobody would wear a crown more reluctantly (perhaps Viserys back in S1E6).

The weight of leadership sits heavily and uneasily with him. Unlike the others he’s seen the face of the real enemy, the White Walkers, and knows no crown, no throne, no sense of power or entitlement will save anyone from that. He’s had power thrust upon him, as much as I would thrust upon him etc etc you get the drift.

As the song kicks up a gear, and the women take their seats, there are close-ups of their eyes closing as a wind blows out all the candles in the Red Keep. Cersei then breathes out a visible burst of cold air, and the camera pulls back to show us the eye of a White Walker (the Night’s King by the look of it).

t’s not too hard to decode the cold change/winds of change/cold shoulder subtext.

But it’s interesting that the final moment was given to Cersei, an ice queen who’s always made Grace Kelly look warm by comparison. Cersei has never had any interest in the White Walkers – her motivations have always been about preserving her family’s dynasty and elevating herself above the weak men that surround her. The White Walkers were fairytales, mystical creatures far from the realpolitik of the capital.

Could there be some deeper allusion to a potential link between Cersei’s New World Order and the White Walkers? Or is Cersei asserting her own power, and defying you to consider her LESS of a risk than a bunch of undead blue-eyed forever monsters? In the usual Game of Thrones binary, Daenarys has represented fire, and Jon Snow ice. Is Cersei now greater than the sum of both of them?

Is the clue in those last words “Sit down in sympathy” - that all three are facing a crucible and only together, in sympatico, can they defeat the bigger threat?

Or is in face Cersei just cold and doing that thing where you breathe out hot air and pretend to be smoking?

Questions, questions.

One final point.

In my research of Sit Down, I watched the video clip for the 1989 release. Given that it does contain the phrase “sit down” repeatedly, it’s not that surprising to see a bunch of chairs in the video clip. But one in particularly caught my eye. Tell me, Beloved Throners, does this not look familiar to you?!?!

Coincidence? Almost certainly. But still, it makes you think.

Valar Morghulis!

4 Responses to ‘Sit Down and hang on: analysing the Game of Thrones S7 trailer’

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 4, 2017
Fine words, now the waiting umm....continues

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 4, 2017
Much appreciation having you back recapping.

I will just sit here and wait for your next recap shall I?

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted April 5, 2017
Ok. So I've got nearly 100 days to catch up with all my dvd sets (I'm at least 3 series behind)?

I better get started tonight then.

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Maddoug has opinions thus...

Posted April 5, 2017
The real problem is the unstoppable bad-ass warrior that the Night King just acquired, should be able to give Zombie Clegane a run for his money.......


(Stalking through the snow with a wooden door stapled to his back by the embedded cutlery of a thick covering of wights like so many fleas on a junkyard dog...)

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Game of Thrones Raven On Recap S6E10: The Winds of Winter

Posted June 28, 2016 into Raven On by girlclumsy





OK, I feel like I’m going to bust my Capslock key if I keep this up.

Beloved Throners.

Talking about ending the season with a bang.

Leaving aside big battle sequences and their inevitable loss of non-named-ergo-not-quite-as-important-life, I think we just witnessed the greatest body count in the history of Game of Thrones.

We saw the internet’s favourite fan theory confirmed. We saw Jon Snow hailed a King. We saw the Great Targaryen Fleet set sail for conquest, dragons flying overhead. And we saw the triumph of the greatest supervillain we always knew was coming - DARTH CERSEI.

Before we get into the grit of this episode (and by gum there was so much grit it was basically the Gobe Desert), I’d like to take a moment to address all of those hand-wringing commentators who over the years have Mrs Lovejoyed it constantly about “the role of women in Game of Thrones”.

Yeah, for sure, women were treated badly. Yeah, for sure, they were seen as easily disposable pieces of meat. Yeah, for sure, they were marginalised and dehumanised by a patriarchal system of entitlement and abuse.

But you know what else they did?


And to be frank, the impending slaying of the patriarchy is all the sweeter because of all the shit the Women of Westeros and beyond have had to put up with over the past six seasons.

The only exclusively men’s only club that remains seems to be Old Town, the home of the Maesters, and you just give Gilly five minutes with those bozos and that will soon be sorted.

Of course, there were casualties along the way. We lost Queen Margaery, one of nature’s foremost schemers and plotters; and we saw Melisandre banished just when we expect she’ll probably come in handy.

But that was nothing compared to the sight of DARTH CERSEI on the Iron Throne, Daenarys Ice Cold standing firm on both hearts and prows, and Lady Mormont lay the smack down on a bunch of old white men who utterly deserved it.

The cynic might read my interpretation of this finale as a feminist fantasy or wish fulfilment on my part? My response is oh HELLS yes. We are post-Brexit now, people. You know it, I know it: FALLOPIAN = UTOPIAN.

Season 6, Episode 10 “The Winds of Winter”

Things are looking a little...combustible in King’s Landing. Slow Lorus and Cersei Lannister are due to face trial in the Sept of Baelor, and things could get… explosive.

The whole montage of characters getting ready for the trial was so beautifully done - especially the music, which was of a type we’d never really experienced before in Game of Thrones. The sombre classical score gave the sequence both an operatic sense of scale and Hitchcockian hint of doom.

The music paused for Slow Lorus to confess his sins in front of the High Sparrow and a bunch of other barefooted old religious hacks in sacks. Poor Slow Lorus - from the shiny Knight of Flowers to begging for forgiveness on the floor like the UK in about a year’s time. When he gives up his claim to Highgarden and renounces the Tyrell name, Mace looks like he’s been, well, maced. Sure, he’s been a buffoon the whole time we’ve known him, but even a buffoon has feelings and a dynasty to protect.

Margaery is more pragmatic. When the Faith Militant start carving the sign of the Seven into Slow Lorus’ forehead, she holds back their angry father, telling him the faith is the way. She’s still playing her game - let them think you’re in their power, it’s more important to just survive.

It’s this same instinct that then warns Margaery that something has gone very wrong. The Queen Mother has not turned up, has not even left the Red Keep, in fact. As that haunting music lures us to the edge of our seats, we see Cersei finish dressing, but rather than make for the exit, languidly pour herself a glass of red wine and head to her window, while Zombie Mountain prevents King Tommen from leaving.

The High Sparrow sends Lancel Lannister to find Cersei, but he is soon distracted by a cheeky imp running away from the Sept and into a nearby door. Lancel follows, heading deeper underground, under the Sept itself. The imp has a torch, but Lancel has none - as usual, he just blindly follows.

Meanwhile Grand Maester Pycelle, running a tad late himself due to a morning quickie with a woman he fully intends to stiff out of (at least) payment, is taken by a small child, whom we assume he assumes is in his employ, to Qyburn’s Bond villain-esque lair.

Qyburn, the dechained former Maester, rather relishes his final words to Pycelle, the toff who had looked down on him since he arrived in King’s Landing. “Sorry to off you like this, old bean, but the future is now and what not,” is the essence of what he said, his apology not really ringing true.

Then a bunch of sweet young kiddies pull flick knives and give Pycelle the old Fleabottom Flensing. It turns out you really can make kids do stuff for candy. I’ll remember that, and really hope the police didn’t just read that sentence.

Kids these days, eh?

Lancel is not long for this world either, as the Artful Stabger shivs him in the side just as he realises there’s a big cache of Wildfire sitting right underneath the Sept. Did anybody else notice the fierce organ playing the Game of Thrones theme as a leitmotif as Lancel drags himself away from the fallen torch (which seemed to be to be the clear and present danger) to something green at the other end of the passage.

Kate Middleton meanwhile is pleading with the High Sparrow to stop the trial and GTFO. If Cersei ain’t there, it’s because Cersei don’t want to be there. Which means they’re all in mortal danger.

Of course, being the stubborn old zealot he is, Big Bird refuses to consider that his big trial day might be spoiled by someone he thinks he’s already beaten down with prison and public humiliation. In this sense, Cersei is Robert the Bruce, learning patience from the spider’s web in that Irish cave, while the High Sparrow is King Edward II pre-Bannockburn (I just feel the Scottish historical references are appropriate this week).

I mean, if the High Sparrow just STOPPED for ONE SECOND he would at least hear the Music of Foreboding. Foreboding!

Kate Middleton drops any pretence at respecting the faith, grabs Slow Lorus and makes for the exit. A panic ensues as onlookers try to escape, but are of course held back by idiotic boorish Faith Militant who really make me angry at religion in general. We see Margaery and the High Sparrow exchange looks, and slowly, as if borne by moon gravity, the penny finally fricking drops for Big Bird.

Because’s Lancel’s interpretive take on RuPaul’s Drag Race falls short of the finish line, and he cannot do anything to stop the stub of a candle reaching a puddle of Wildfire on the floor.

Chick chick BOOM.

"I am so jealous of people who are alive right now."

The cellars fill with licks of green hell, and then the High Sparrow vanishes in a geyser of light and heat. The whole Sept goes up in a millisecond, the windows blown out, the bell sent crashing into a street below.

And safe on the other side of the city is Cersei, watching her efforts with the grin of someone who is really having a good day at the office.

"Today I achieved my goals."

It’s not enough for the Queen Mother to have inflicted pain on a citywide scale; she has to have an intimate moment of it as well. And for that, she uses the Septa, the same one who tortured her and walked her naked through the streets, now shackled in her chambers.

“Confess”, she urges, pouring her wine into the Septa’s face. She wants her to own up to being a harsh disciplinarian not because she was pure and motivated by religion, but because she was a sadist. Cersei can say this because she knows the feeling intensely. Whether it’s boozing up, knocking off Robert Baratheon, or just having sex with a blood relative - Cersei does it all because it feels good.

Another thing she finds good - delayed punishment. When the Septa says she’s ready to meet her gods, Cersei ushers in the Zombie Mountain. “This is your God now,” she says, practically sashaying out of the room to leave the Septa to an awful fate. “Shame… shame.”

It’s a moment of victory for Cersei, complete and unrelenting victory. Finally, finally! One of her plans has actually paid off. Everything has totally worked.

Except of course it hasn’t. Because Cersei’s plans always backfire somehow.

In this case, it’s possibly the most horrifying thing in an episode of horror. Tommen, informed of the loss of his Queen, the High Sparrow and a bunch of others, is left alone in his room. The direction here was flawless, leaving the camera locked off on a shot of the Great Sept burning, while Tommen takes his crown off and walks off screen. What feels like months pass, before he quickly walks back into the shot, steps up onto the window ledge and lets himself fall outwards.

The suicide of a king, a CHILD, is not something we’ve ever seen before, and it was completely unexpected. Given the prophecy that’s haunted Cersei about her children, Tommen was always high on our list of “Who’s Going to Die Next”, but who could have seen it would be by his own hand? And yet, now that it’s happened, it makes sense. He was already guilty about betraying his mother by banning trial by combat. Margaery had been released but their marriage wasn’t the same. Already his young shoulders had been forced to bear so much more than they ever should have. Cersei spent so much time trying to save Tommen from other people, she never even considered that the biggest risk to his safety was her.

When we next see Cersei, she is standing over Tommen’s body, insisting Qyburn show her his face. She is grief-stricken, but not demonstrably so as she was with Joffrey and Myrcella. She doesn’t even give his body the respect of the others; with the Sept gone, there is to be no lying in state, no funeral. Just burn his body and bury the ashes where the Sept was, so he can be with his family. She has work to do.

It’s taken them all season, but Sam and Gilly finally reached Oldtown - just in time to see hundreds of white ravens being released from the tower. Officially, that means winter has arrived. Winter, and Sam Tarly.

We’ve never seen Sam as chipper as he was bouncing into reception and handing over his credentials to the chap on duty. He proceeded to play a passive-aggressive power game, making Sam lean all the way over the desk to place the letter in his hand. Sam insists he’s there for legit reasons, but according to the Maester’s book of records, it is “irregular”. There’s been a lot of developments since the records were updated, Sam insists, and eventually passive-aggressive dude relents. Sam will be allowed to use the library, hurrah! But Gilly and baby Sam have to wait outside. It’s funny that Sam, so intent that they stay together, can only manage a weak grin of apology before racing off to see the big book place.

The big book place turns out to be colossally big, which of course it had to be because they weren’t going to string out this half-season plotline into a whole season then not shove us face first into Hogwarts.

"Yep, I'm calling it. This is better than when I lost my virginity."

Of course, this will be a cue for hundreds of book lovers to post screenshots of the Maester’s Library on their Facebook walls with statuses like “My dream home!” and “I’d get through this in two weeks!” We get it, you read books, and you have a home library. You know what else you have, I’ll wager? Dust. Bloody dust. I feel sorry for whoever has to clean that flipping Maester’s library.

Meanwhile at The Twins, celebrations are underway to mark the return of Riverrun to the Freys. Edmure Tully is back in a cell, the Blackfish killed by foot soldiers, so all is right with the world, according to Walder Frey. But Jaime is not impressed with the Lord of the Twins’ bullshit. He asks some pertinent questions about Frey’s own battle record, but he’s fobbed off with platitudes about victory and defeating enemies and how he and Jaime are both “Kingslayers”.

“Fear is a marvellous thing,” Frey states, aptly summarising his whole petty little personality. He’s driven only by jealously and small man syndrome, a desire for people to think him lofty. And Jaime, bless him, calls him out on it.

“They don’t fear the Freys, they fear the Lannisters,” he says. “We gave you the Riverlands to hold the Riverlands. If we have to ride north and take them back for you every time you lose them… why do we need you?” Without a microphone handy, Jaime instead drops his napkin and storms off.

Much later, Lord Walder sits alone in his Great Hall, the site of the Red Wedding and so much effusion of blood. A serving girl brings him a hot pie, and puts up with his creepy old man groping.

But things get interesting when Walder Frey calls for his eldest sons. “They’re already here, my Lord”, the serving girl says. “What are they doing, trimming their c*** hairs?” Frey replies, proving once again dung is more charming than he is. “They’re already here my lord,” the girl repeats.

Oooooh boy. This is when we knew things were about to get good.

For the serving girl encourages Lord Walder to examine his hot pie more closely, and he finds a finger. “They weren’t easy to carve up,” the girl explains as the creepy old man retches.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who roared when the serving girl removed her face and revealed ARYA FRICKING STARK. Back in Winterfell, no doubt having read Titus Andronicus on the way over, and ready to cook up some sweet, sweet revenge. She sliced open Frey’s throat in an echo of the way her own mother had been murdered in the same place. Arya’s face as Frey’s life ebbed away was just glorious. A little intense and scary, sure, but glorious.

"You know, I really did a good job with the gravy on that hot pie too."

I had so wanted a loving reunion between Arya, Sansa and Jon this episode, but if that couldn’t happen, I will take this long-awaited for piece of frontier justice any day of the week.

Speaking of all things Jon Snow, let’s head to Winterfell, where our beloved is reminiscing to Kate Bush about the pros and cons about being a bastard (con - no head table; pro - still got a feed). But this reverie is interrupted by Ser Davos Seaworth, who finally decides to have it out with Melisandre over Shireen’s death.

The Onion Knight’s grief and anger are absolutely heartbreaking in this scene. Shireen was the one bright light in his former life, which had been shaded by crazy people. She had taught him to read, for crying out loud. She was special, and after his own son had died at the Blackwater, gave Ser Davos something normal to hang onto, and something to fight for. Now he wants answers; and he wants Jon Snow to know who Melisandre really is.

For her part, Melisandre breaks hearts in a different way. We have the knowledge now that she is very old, and has probably committed more than her fair share of abominable crimes. But after Stannis’ loss, she suffered a crisis of faith, a crisis only vaguely ameliorated by that whole bringing Jon back to life business. So she feels the sacrificing of Shireen more keenly now than she did when she encouraged Stannis to burn her. Of course, she still tries to justify it, because the Red God moves in mysterious ways, but it’s a credit to her that her heart doesn’t seem to be in it.

Davos calls on Jon to let him execute Melisandre as a murderer, but Jon insteads opts to banish her. Seaworth backs that up by saying if she ever ventures north again he will kill her himself. Melisandre says nothing, simply accepts her fate and goes. But what will happen now if something happens to our beloved Jon? I was quite into the idea of Melisandre being his Medic On Standby. And with Melisandre heading south, surely she has to meet up with her old friend Thoros of Myr and the Brotherhood Without Banners?

Jon and Sansa had a beautiful scene on the battlements of Winterfell, in which Jon gives credit to Sansa for winning the battle, and Sansa apologises for not telling Jon about Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale. He replies that they need to trust each other, as they have enough enemies outside the family to deal with. He asks her if she can trust Baelish; Sansa replies quite brilliantly that only a fool would trust him.

Later, we see her put this philosophy into practice when Baelish confronts her in the godswood. Now I was all ready to open Littlefinger back with open arms after last week’s hero effort, but when he confesses to Sansa that his real goal is to sit on the Iron Throne with her by his side I remembered why I HATE him so much. SO. CREEPY. Dude, we get you had the hots for her mother, but seriously, this is gross.

Thankfully Sansa has the right response.


But Littlefinger won’t let it go - people will hear about this victory soon, and know he’s declared for House Stark. He asks her to consider who the people of the North should rally around - a trueborn Stark daughter or a bastard. Godsdamnit, Littlefinger, would you STOP planting dirty rotten seeds in Sansa’s head?

Meanwhile north of the Wall, Benjen Stark has taken Bran and Meera as far as he can. It turns out that because he’s technically not totally alive, he cannot breach the magic cast inside the Wall to keep out White Walkers. That explains why he never came back - although you’d think he could leave a message or something.

Given that Bran can’t walk, it seems like the plan is for Meera to drag him the rest of the way, or wait and hope a Night’s Watch patrol comes by at some point. In the meantime, Bran decides to use the weirwood to finish off that flashback he started way back before Hodor died (oh God, I just reminded myself of Hodor, sob).

BANG! All of a sudden we’re back at the Tower of Joy with young Ned Stark racing up to find his sister Lyanna dying in a bed of blood. She’s scared, but glad to see him, because she needs him to do something for her.

It’s revealed that yes, in fact, Lyanna had given birth to the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, and if Ned didn’t protect him, Robert Baratheon would have him killed. Young Ned is then presented with the baby, whose eyes open to reveal black Stark pupils.

"You think I'm broody NOW?"

And with that, half of the internet let off a cheer, and the other half snorted and said “Tell me something I DON’T know.” The mathematical formula R + L = J had finally been proven right, QED.

The show rewarded our success with a jump cut from the baby’s face to Jon’s face in the present, facing down a room full of northern lords, each with their own idea of what should happen now Ramsay Bolton has successfully been turned into Schmackos.

Jon insists they need to stay together to prepare for the invasion of the White Walkers, but he’s not having much cut through. And that’s because he’s not a kick arse pre-teen with more wisdom on her shoulders than an Oxford-educated owl.

Lyanna Mormont gets up and tears strips off Lord Manderly, Lord Glover and Lord Kerwin for not turning up to the Battle for Winterfell. “But House Mormont remembers! The North remembers! We know no king but the King in the North whose name is Stark,” she fires at the crowd.

“I don’t care if he’s a bastard, Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my king, from this day until his last day!”

That, my friends, is a lecture. You just got SERVED.

The traitorous lords front up and grovel and swear their swords to their new King in the North. Jon, rising from his seat, looks freaked out by this development, but exchanges a quick smile of disbelief with Sansa, who seems much more relaxed about it. After all, she’d already told him on the battlements that Jon was a Stark to her. Perhaps now he’d finally believe it.

I can see the glance Sansa and Baelish exchange being interpreted by some as raising the possibility Littlefinger might try to poison Sansa against Jon. He’s taking your seat, you should be the Queen in the North, etc etc. All of that is true - Sansa, as we know, is already a Queen - but I think it’s more like Sansa realising Jon is now an obstacle to Baelish’s Iron Throne goal. Given that Jon is not only a Stark, but a Targaryen, that gives him a claim to the South as well (if and when that information comes out, of course). Baelish has declared for House Stark - but how long can that now last?

Let’s flick back to King’s Landing for the massive climactic scene of awesome. It started with Jaime and Bronn returning with the Lannister forces to see the Sept of Baelor still burning. Frantically concerned for his sister, Jaime spurs them forward.

He needn’t have worried. OK, while he’s been gone, his youngest son has died, but Cersei has implemented Backup Plan B: DARTH CERSEI.

Black dominates this sequence, both in tone and physical colour. The Great Hall is darker than we’ve ever seen it, the windows blocked out. And it seems Cersei’s days of wearing Lannister red and gold or the more usual pastels of the court are behind her. That battle dress seems glued on now.

Having said that, I would also like to put in an order for a bespoke copy of Cersei’s incredible armoured black gown. I NEED that outfit to wear on a daily basis, especially when walking the foster kittens on leashes. Sure, my experiments with the harness have yet to yield results, but one day soon you will witness me walking my cats along the street, literally dressed to kill a la Cersei, and you will fall to your knees in respect, my Throners. For we know there is nothing more fearsome than a cat walker in armoured jacquard.

Except perhaps, Cersei, followed by the Zombie Mountain and the rest of the Kingsguard, walking to be crowned as Queen, the First of Her Name (aka DARTH CERSEI).

Qyburn crowns her, and we see on his lapel his reward: he is the new Hand. Get ready for killer kids in the streets and Frankensteins under the sheets, people.

Despite all this, it was AMAZING seeing Cersei crowned Queen. Sure, she’s a villain, always has been, always will be. But she always was a warrior forced into a domestic life - the true heir of Tywin Lannister. She’s been wife of a loser king, mother of a psycho nut job king, and mother to a king-who-might-have-been. Finally it’s her turn to do what she’s always wanted to do, what always felt right, felt good - rule the Seven Kingdoms herself.

The only slight flaw in her plan (and being Cersei, we know there is ALWAYS a flaw) is Jaime, who has returned just in time to see his sister/lover park her arse on the world’s sharpest chair. Cersei’s look was clear: this is how it is now. Jaime’s was more RLY? Once again, that classical music, with Rains of Castamere stitched into it, gave us more of an understanding than words ever could.

"Is that... is that The Imperial March?"

And so we come to Meereen, for the final section of our recap. It starts there with a break-up - Dany bidding farewell to Maario, her devoted rent-a-hunk of many seasons now. He is to remain behind in Meereen to keep the peace until new leaders can be elected. But he wants to travel with Dany, and he doesn’t care if he’s just seen as a bit of rumpy-pumpy. However Dany needs to do things like arrange marriage alliances and so forth, and it’s just going to be tough with a bit of fluff hanging around. See, I’d be OK with that, but this is obviously where Dany and I differ philosophically.

Maario reckons Tyrion put her up to this, but he does what she asks and pledges himself and the Second Sons in service to her. Tyrion at least knows something of the matter, as he’s the first person Dany goes to after breaking off the relationship. But she’s not sad about it, and that’s where she adds “Ice Cold” to her list of monikers. Dany knows Maario loves her, and he did make her happy. But he’s not what she wants. And what she wants is now closer than ever before - Westeros.

Tyrion decides to undo a few pieces of the psychological armour he’s had in place his whole life and get real with Dany. He confesses that he had always been a cynic, sceptical of belief, having seen what it does to people. But now he finds himself believing in Daenarys, how embarrassment.

He says he would fight for her, but Dany says his counsel is what she needs. She then pulls out a pin from her robe and names Tyrion the Hand of the Queen. The imp bows, deeply honoured. It’s a redemptive moment for him. There’s also parallel with Cersei and Qyburn here - and the lesson that good leaders have good people behind them.

Eventually, we reach the sequence the series has been building to since the end of season one - Dany and her ships at full sail, finally heading towards Westeros. The picture is perfect - we see Theon and Yara leading the Greyjoy fleet, the Dothraki and their horses dealing well with the poison water, and Grey Worm keeping an eye on the Unsullied.

Finally, as the dragons sail in and around the ships, we see Dany, at the head of the force, surrounded by Tyrion, Varys and Missandei.

The winds of winter are taking her home.

"I'm glad Missandei likes the hair clips I got her."


Everything about Olenna’s visit to Dorne was INCREDIBLE. Sure, there’s the old problem of disappearing time what with her getting south very quickly after the death of her family in King’s Landing, but it was worth it for her sass at the young Sand Snakes. “Let the grown women talk!” Then Varys showed up with his jaunty offer of "fire and blood". Oh bring on the Tyrell/Dorne alliance. Smothered in cheese.

Zing! Best Lines

Bronn snarking at Jaime about how all the ladies love him at the Twins was solid gold - particularly since we now know the first chick checking out Jaime was Arya in disguise as the serving girl. He’s changed a bit since she first saw him at Winterfell in season one, so for her it’s more recon than romance. But that doesn’t stop Bronn from needling Jaime, so he does his friend a favour and calls over two other ladies and bigs up Bronn’s hero status.

Bronn: What if I’m not in the mood?
Jaime: …
Bronn: (looks at ladies) F*** it.

Eww, gross

Tommen’s death was the one that made my gut leap into my throat, but a special gross mention to the Zombie being left alone to torture the Septa. Not a pleasant way to go at all.

Boo, sucks

So many people died this episode but the really boo, sucks one for me was Margaery Tyrell. I really like Margaery and I wish she had escaped the explosion at the Sept of Baelor. It would have been great to see her and Olenna team up once more as their awesome Grandma/Granddaughter combo. Slow Lorus and Mace I could deal with - and of course was delighted by the demise of the High Sparrow - but vale Kate Middleton. You were the David Cameron of this episode - you thought your plan would work, but you were routed by idiots.

Things That Surprised Me

We didn’t see the White Walkers at all. At all!

No Hound, which meant no Hound axing people. But could this mean Clegane Bowl in season seven?

No Brienne, which meant no Tormienne! We will have to wait another year before the chance to see sparks fly between those two again (even if they’re sparks from clashing swords, that’s cool too, maybe it’s just foreplay?)

How in the sam hell did Varys get from Dorne all the way back to Meereen to be on the ship with Daenarys at the end? Sure, it looked cool, but it was the most jarring time shift in a show famous for playing fast and loose with time.

What, Jon Snow couldn’t have gotten a just a little bit nude to send us off with a nice memory?

I have now been recapping this show for five years (since Season 2). I cannot quite believe I’ve stuck to it for so long - I’m generally the lazy type who gives up hobbies after a few weeks/days/seconds. But apart from an obsession-bordering-on-concerning with the show, I keep coming back because of YOU, my beloved Throners. You give me the dragon-level strength I need to write these ridiculously long and juvenile articles, and keep me inspired and firing with your comments and theories.

A special thanks to those of you who supported the Patreon campaign too this year, giving me the incredible privilege of being a paid writer. That stuff is IMPORTANT, never lose sight of that. You done good, kittens.

I hope you will join me again next year, and I remain, from this day until my last day, your humble recappespondent.

69 Responses to ‘Game of Thrones Raven On Recap S6E10: The Winds of Winter’

xServer is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Great recap, Nat! Love the show, love the recap, love my fellow Throners. One question for you all: Do you think Arya killed 3 Freys...or did she kill most of them? That banquet hall was dead empty. And she apparently had no fear of being interrupted. I have a feeling our fiercest little wolf spent the night killing sleeping Freys and it fills me with so much joy. (Is that wrong? Should I be worried?) Also: I would have enjoyed seeing more of the Frey-slaughter. I also loved how Arya's actions went back to the story of the Rat Cook that Bran told in Season 3. The gods hate a guest-killer and so does Arya Stark.

she_jedi reckons...

Posted June 28, 2016
I'm totally with you, I suspect she spent the night eliminating the Frey patriarchy, and left the old pervert until last just to savour her revenge. One thing the mummers in Essos gave her was a new list of people to get stabby on. Go Arya!

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Sambit swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thanks again for an awesome recap for an awesome episode! Until next year, Alvida.

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CageySea mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
Fabulous recap as always! One typo: there is a reference to Arya being "Back in Winterfell" which should read "Back in Westeros".

Kelley is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Yeah, picked that up too. Riverrun not in Winterfell. But how exciting to have her back getting revenge - with all the new skills she's learned.

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Cath asserts...

Posted June 28, 2016
I was very happy that this episode ran a little longer - so satisfying in how much it covered.
I didn't mind the time it took to get Oleanna to Dorne and Varys back to Meereen. I felt this episode covered a longer period of time.
Okay Nat, what are we all watching and you recapping next? Happy to subscribe.

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Bloody Hell Arya has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
LOVED.YOUR.RECAPS,NAT! Without them, winter will truly be here (frowny, cold emoji). See you next year for DARTH CERSEI vs DRAGON DANY vs TARGY STARK!

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angelaa is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thanks Nat, Mother of Kittens, for your fantastic recaps of our beloved show!! The very best on the net! xxx

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Holly would have you know...

Posted June 28, 2016
Another cracker recap Mother of Kittens. Thankyou so much for all the effort and passion you out into these - the perfect companion read for an obsessed throner.

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Shame Shame Shame is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Cerwyn not Kerwin - otherwise see u next season Mother of Kittens ;)

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Lizzie has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thank you for such wonderful recaps - I looked forward to them as much as the actual episodes.

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted June 28, 2016
I suspect we may not have seen the last of Septa Shame, Dr Qyburn has done his experiment on a male specimen surely he needs to see how his reanimations work on a women. Bride of Frankenstein anyone? Impressive work on the recaps, I hope we don't have to wait a year until we enjoy you recapping styling's again. You have mooted recapping Outlander. Obviously the current TV series, not the 1981 scifi movie starring Sean Connery, which I assume you have never seen. I'll just add it to the list shall I?

Ken Father of Dire Wolves has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Given Darth Cersie's commitment that the Septa would not be meeting her gods today, I fully expect her to still be experiencing a long and painful death next season.

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Véronique of House Stark has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thank you, glorious Mother of Kittens, for another season of the best recaps this side of Assai in the Shadows! This episode was so satisfying that I'm not instantly upset at how long it's going to be until we see more. That will start soon, no doubt. GRRM or his publisher could help by putting out book 6, which would sell like hot pies with the finest gravy, but noooooo, no books yet.

One of the few names left on Arya's list is the Hound. And they're not far away from each other, at least in GoT distances. But ending House Frey was a worthy use of her new ninja skills. Farewell, Filch!

I think my biggest question, after the Lady Lianna's masterful smack-down of three, count 'em, three lords, is what will they all do whenever Bran is able to tell people that indeed Stark blood runs in Jon's veins, but not Ned's, rather (the late) Lianna's and Raegar's. Will Jon and Daenerys do some better consanguinity? Or will his next death be his last, since Kate Bush is now gone?

As well, I'm curious about what happens if/when dragon fire meets White Walkers. I'm hoping it's mass melting/conflagration.

Happy kitten walking!

Plush Ruckus puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Arya took The Hound off her list. It was revealed in a faceless man sequence with The Waif.

Plush Ruckus would have you know...

Posted June 28, 2016
Arya took The Hound off her list. It was revealed in a faceless man sequence with The Waif.

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Birdman is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
re: How did Varys get back with Daenerys so quickly... Check out this map:

So, let's say he went to Dorne, had his chat with them and then met the fleet as it either sailed past South of Dorne or (more likely) travelled to the east through the Stepstones.

On a related note, check out the map of Westeros again - Daenerys now has allies that control the entire South West of Westeros - The Iron Islands, Highgarden, and Dorne. John has the entirety of the North. The newly crowned Queen of the Andals though? Well, all she has is the bit in the middle - Kings Landing through to Casterly Rock, and she's seriously lacking in allies all of a sudden. She might be happy with herself right now, but Cersei is seriously screwed.

And my final theory... we all know that the Targaryen's didn't mind keeping it "in the family" so to speak. So, how about a marriage between John Snow and (newly single) Daenerys? That'd not only unite the whole of Westeros, but it'd also... put a smile on my face so to speak.

Birdman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
I actually just learnt that the ancestral home of the Targaryen's is Dragonstone (duh) which was (until recently) held by Stannis. So, perhaps Dany wil head up there and use that as her launching pad into Westeros? Nice and close to King's Landing after all.

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Zosha has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
"Ramsey Bolton successfully turned into Schmackos" hilarious!

Loved the recaps Nat, will miss them as much as the actual show over the next 10 months.

Look forward to 2017!

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Matthew Schiavello is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Your recaps are great and I proudly pay for them! I cannot wait till GOT Season 7 and for more of your recaps. Did anyone else notice that the 'light' fixture/reflector in the Maester’s Library looked very familiar? And is the phrase Valar Morghulis ("all men must die") a hint to the ending of the show? Will the seven Kingdoms become a testosterone free, safe haven for women? As you so rightly pointed out- "FALLOPIAN = UTOPIAN".

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Lorn mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
The next best thing to watching the show itself? ...why these recaps of course! You cannot do one without the other and you've slayed it again MoK, fab recap of an awesome finale. Thanks for another rousing recappespondent season, I'll be there for season 7 (or another show you choose to recap?) ...bring it on!

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Justin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Brilliant, absolutely Brilliant!!!
Thank you Nat for the recaps, makes it all so much better. and they are NEVER too long and rambley.
I thought Sansa's "Winter is here" joke would have got in on the best lines, was quite amusing.
For me the best line of the season was;
A wise man once said the true history of the world is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms. - Tyrion Lannister
until next year, Vallar Morghulis

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wendyemily ducks in to say...

Posted June 28, 2016
I salute you Mother of Kittens for an excellent recap and for all the hours of hard work you've put in this season! I look forward to these recaps almost as much as the actual ep!

I'd have to agree that this was a freaking awesome way to end a freaking awesome season. How good is this show? It blows my tiny little mind sometimes. A good friend of mine has just decided it was time for her to watch GoT as I keep raving about it and I think she is frankly sick of me. So she is up to season 3 and is now a fellow addict. I wonder if we need to form a support group? Having to wait till next year for another hit is going to be so painful! Guess it's time I bought the DVDs. Still I have Outlander till it finishes it's season as well!

As to everything that happened, it was pretty much what fans had wanted in most ways. Jon Snow is King of the North and should be King of All. Dany with Tryrion & Dragons by her side is heading home to kick some Lannister arse! Arya starts on her revenge. The religious nutters got what was coming to them, though I was shocked to see Margery die. That was a bit rough GoT writers! And I was not expecting Tommen to "step outside". Still we expect brutal endings for some characters in GoT. That is one of the reasons we love it.

Again, thanks, Nat for your recaps. Until next year!

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Ms. Naughty has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thanks for an excellent season of recaps. I've enjoyed all of them and have been keen to read your take - and your jokes - after each episode. This one was truly epic and I was legitimately relieved at the end that I didn't feel heartbroken or stressed or shocked for once. Sad to see Margaery go but I think all the other (named) deaths were pretty satisfying. And I'll admit that Tommen's leap out the window had me giggling, mainly because it was just so similar to Reynholm's end in the IT Crowd and that joke still makes me laugh: Someone on Twitter said they'd be totally up for a spinoff just featuring Lady Olenna and Lady Mormont throwing sass and I think I'd agree.

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Dux Ripae mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
time shifting issues are minor imo compared to Arya's survival of the Waifs assassination attempt a few episodes back. How can some kiddie with an apparent sweet tooth manage to get the job done on Lancel with one consummate thrust whereas a practiced killer like the Waif failed! Maybe i'm underestimating the tyke because the old maester dude needed full pin cushion treatment to get the same result.

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Lori is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Any chance that John Targaryen was bought back by the Lord of Light because of his dragon blood? And not because of Kate Bush at all? Will miss you, Mother of Kittens and your genius recaps. Almost as much as I will miss the Game.

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Nyonyua ducks in to say...

Posted June 28, 2016
Re: Varys, the fleet contained ships from the masters, Tyrells and Dorne (you could see all the different sails) so he obviously took the Dorne ships back to meet the rest of the fleet (a bit fast and loose with the timing so we didn't see the boring bits).
Great recaps thank you!!

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Procrastinati mutters...

Posted June 28, 2016
To echo the NMFC song, I shall "join in the chorus" of praise to the MoK, though I must correct the self deprecating description of her recaps as "juvenile". They contain wit, have consistently followed themes throughout the seasons and not only make cultural references, they make relevant cultural references. Did I say they are funny? They are funny.

So, thank you Nat. Thanks to all the commentators, who supplement your skills and talents. And thanks to JB for having the foresight to host you. Not entirely selfless I'm sure, as he now has an extended audience.

I will now endure 10 months of my new favourite form of torture, wine-boarding. I'll pass on the postprandial visit from The Mountain.

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Dogrooterfirstofthatname mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
Who would like to see Dany and Yara find happiness together? After all FALLOPIAN may well = UTOPIAN, but surely can also = TROLLOPIAN.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted June 28, 2016

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Blue puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Shamelessly stolen from another site, but I have to share:
Tommen's leap has added new meaning to the name "King's Landing". (Boom!)

I enjoyed the episode, but I don't think it really had the impact of the red wedding, Joffrey's death, Jon's death, or even Ned's beheading. Maybe that's because we all knew the explosion was coming, and although Tommen's death was a surprise he really hasn't been a major player (neither a hero not a villain - just a weak puppet).

What was with Lancel chasing the kid? Wasn't that a bit pointless? He's been told to go collect Cersei, and instead he goes chasing after some street urchin? If the show really wanted some excuse to show the viewers the barrels of wildfire, why not have Pycelle get suspicious of Qyburn's scheming and go down for a look. Then he could get killed down there instead of stupidly being summoned to Qyburn's dungeon.

Is Jon henceforth to be known as Jon Stark? Is the Snow moniker history?

No more mention of the Hound. I wonder why they bothered to bring him back in this season when they weren't going to do anything with him in this season. Obviously he will reappear next season, but they could have explained his reappearance then when it was more contextual.

And no white walkers in this episode either. Considering they were the opening scene of S01E01, they have been doing an awful lot of not much for many years. Children have grown into adults; dragons have been born and matured; yet the white walkers are still just bumbling around with barely a mention each year.

It was great to see Cersei coming back into power. Her character had dwindled from its once great villain status, and as we saw with Tommen having a bit-part killed off is not all that exciting. We needed Cersei to become powerful again before she gets killed off. Loved seeing her taking her place on the iron throne!

Sadly, I will never now see my most hoped for scenario - a lesbian scene between Daenerys and Margery. *sigh* Oh well, at least I still have my imagination. And photoshop.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Bwahahahaha Kings Landing, love it. As for Jon Snow/Stark/Targaryen I think Snow is still suitable as he IS now the King of the North, in Winter. Much symbology going on I believe. Or not, I tend to overthink.

Blue has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Except... "Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark". Not Snow. Not Targaryen. Not even Stargaryen.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Wouldn't that be Jon Targaryen?

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
All hail the Mother of Kittens, Queen of the North, Queensland is north of me. I find myself awaiting recaps with as much anticipation as the show itself. Please maintain your dangerous obsession. I had twigged what was afoot as soon as I saw Cersei transform into a Sith Lord. There's been too much talk of Wild fire scattered beneath Kings Landing to miss that. Well that and all the foreboding. Great to see such a profligate presentation of awards. I haven't sent so many since Abbott's Australia Day. Walder Frey's all consuming passion for his dynasty finally repaid with him consuming his dynasty. Note: Life aim #1 never piss off Arya Stark.

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Beth McKinlay mutters...

Posted June 28, 2016
Embarrassed to admit it has taken me until the season finale to work out how to get a comment on here. But I have been faithfully reading your recaps and loving them as always. Great ep, but it left me baffled about the Westerosian rules of inheritance. Just because Cersei is/was the Queen Mother does not make her in line to the Iron Throne. So I'm assuming she's sitting on it by reason of blowing everyone else up, rather than because of rightful bloodlines, and everyone left alive is jyst accepting that for now? As far as I can work out, my beloved and sorely missed Gendry is the only Baratheon left and therefore the rightful heir. Natalie, great work as always, your dedication to the Throner cause is indeed Danaerys-like, both obsessive and glorious. Until next year.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted June 28, 2016
I can see how that conversation went .........Minor noble in crowd "Long live queen Cersei" .......(other person next to said noble) "but she isn't in the line of inheritance, surely the next in line is...." "She just burned with Wildfire people who gave her a hard time" (delivers icy stare) ......" Long live Queen Cersei".

BigRed (but not as red as Tormund) swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Yes I think most would have got the hint not to question Cersei's position after frankenmountain was persuasive with the joker in the alley earlier in the season... Long live Queen Cersei (until frankenmountain meets his brother's axe)

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Mother of Dragons aiming to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, currently single and looking to build dynasty through marriage alliance. King of the North, currently single, needs to keep dynasty going. Both with loyal armies and claims don't conflict. Both Targaryen by blood. Oh the possibilities. Continuing the traditional family sex in Kings Landing, but removed enough to not be icky. A vast army with Dragons and Dire Wolves to combat the frozen horror from beyond the wall. Oh please.

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Surely Lady Mormont is a future Queen. I mean she makes Boudica of the Celts look tame.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
With so many enemies now either set to claim the Iron throne (Daenerys), Varys pro Daenerys, the Tyrells headed by the terrifyingly capable Lady Olenna who poisoned a child king who was a threat to her grand-daughter, imagine what she has planned for who burned her. The Martells who I am not sure if they had had their fill of Lannister slaying. All gunning for the Iron Throne/ or the house who currently sit on the throne.

I can see how Cerise may just end up wanting to burn them all.

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Sousy Wench reckons...

Posted June 28, 2016
So many feelings. Margaery, damnit! Tommen, sort of sad for the poor doomed kid, but as he pulled a Denholm Renholm #itcrowd, the seriousness of the moment eluded me. Arya, yay - but how do the logistics of that epic presentation work, butchery and pie making is time consuming and when did she learn to cook? Tower of Joy, they strung it out so long, was pretty anti climactic, really wish they'd finished the vision much earlier, not like there is anyone for Bran to tell. House Mormont, queen of the north - fuck yeah! Saddest moment of the Ep, which reduced me to tears, that beautiful library full of incarcerated books - the locks, the chains the maesters are monsters.

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Bondiboy66 has opinions thus...

Posted June 28, 2016
Bah! So many months to wait for MOAR! And I do so want MOAR.

Especially Arya the Assassin knocking off more baddies in brutal yet inventive ways.

While I'm wishing....the next book or two would be nice also. Preferably this century.

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Di mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
All Hail Queen Lyanna Mormont. You know it has to happen.

(and Nat. Thanks so much Nat)

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flöki snöw would have you know...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thank you for another stellar recap season MoK, and now to business, Arya truly is a faceless killer now, she might look into her preys eyes and tell them she is Arya Stark but then she can meld into the crowd and become no one again and if she doesn't leave a calling card that makes for some Darth Cersei paranoia as one by one she bumps them off. And Edmure the "son in law" old mate Walder still called him, he must be the only possible heir for the Twins alive, the Tullys get the last laugh. Then there's Euron sure he's mad as a cut sandsnake what happens when his fleet meets Dany's so much to ponder so much to look forward to.... thank you Nat, Queen in the North Queen in the North Queen in the North Queen in the North Queen in the North Queen in the North........

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dakingindanorf swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Hi Natalie have loved your recaps the last couple of years at SMH and now over here at Cheeseburger gothic, just wondering if that patreon pledge thing is still working i just and signed up but it says it only charges when you post new content so not sure it will allow me to pay for this years recaps.


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Raven asserts...

Posted June 28, 2016
Thanks for all the recaps this season, Nat! Tuesdays are always a little better thanks to them, very happy to sling some $$.

Couple of points I slightly disagree with (shock! horror!):

1) Can we say for absolute certain R+L=J is confirmed? I mean, it's strongly implied, but we never actually heard the Targaryen name mentioned right? Only that "Robert would kill him". Am I being too nit-picky? I guess they can't exactly come out and say it explicitly and still maintain that Hollywood integrity.

2) I don't agree with Robert being a "loser king"; clearly in his last few years he was a stubborn, drunken womanizer but I think his Kingsmanship for want of a better word was pretty good, amirite? Considered one of the strongest fighters to ever live, brilliant tactician, etc. but he was just fed up with the realm and what it had become, allowing him to let himself go.

Sousy Wench puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Totes agree on point one, I think they are just trying to stretch it out. A pity as it looses some impact. Re: Robert, it seems to be pretty universal that he was not a good King - even he acknowledges it, that's why he delegates everything. He spends his whole 17 year rein drinking and whoring, it's not just a few years. (Hence his many, many bastards and why he never notices that Cercei never put out after she killed his only true born son.)

Sousy Wench swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
I'm rewatching, just got to Ep 3, where its also mentioned that Roberts excesses have bankrupted the Treasury and the crown is in massive debt.

Raven reckons...

Posted June 28, 2016
Hah! Perhaps I give the man too much credit. I am probably too caught up by the legend of the man in his prime. Clearly *ahem* mistakes have been made by him.

Sousy Wench has opinions thus...

Posted June 29, 2016
Looking back, with the old nostalgia he does seem decent I suppose. Compared to the Mad King - burn them all, Joffrey - torturer and killer of small animals and hookers, Tommen - too sweet to function, allowing the rise of the Faith Militant and now Good Queen Darth Cersei... Of course Robert seems like the bestest guy ever. :-)

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BigRed (but not as red as Tormund) mutters...

Posted June 28, 2016
Loved it all! Great to see the Sparrow met a fiery end, wiped that smug look off his face for about 2 seconds... A pity that poor twisted mouth queen had to be collateral damage, not that her mother-in-law ever took a shine to her.
Next series should be wonderful, will Jon take the throne as it's rightful heir? Which dragon will he ride? Will he marry his aunty Daenerys??
But I'm curious to see how they time compress Apprentice Maester Tarly's training into a couple of episodes so that he can actually have an influence on events. And can someone please explain why the Nights Watch aren't obtaining as much dragonglass as they can carry, I mean, surely now that winter is here there should be some stocktake sales going on somewhere!

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Dany's Brown Eyebrows reckons...

Posted June 28, 2016
Soylent Frey is people! Uuuugghghghh!

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Kylie mutters...

Posted June 28, 2016
I haven't commented all season but I have been reading your recaps for the last couple of years and just wanted to say thank you for writing them and let you know how much I have enjoyed them (almost as much as the show, I look forward to Tuesday once the kids are at preschool so Mummy can drink her coffee and read about her shows in silence!).

I found this last episode as satisfying as the one before. I loved the feeling of closure we got with a lot of it. It feels like now the real story can begin and I can't wait to see what happens next!

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Stephen puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Nat, I've had your recaps as essential reading ever since Season 2. They are several cuts above anything else. Thanks so much for another terrific season. See you next time.

Oh, and props for the Robert The Bruce reference. Obscure. Apropos. Nice.

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Arnold Layne mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
I can't help wondering if Cersei actually anticipated that Tommen would throw himself out the window. It would have been a bad look and an obvious regicide had he gone to the Sept, but keeping him there and letting him do it himself absolves her of blame. I know that sounds like a really callous theory but it hit me while watching it and I couldn't shake it. Perhaps the ambiguity of it all is what they were after, and the score certainly helped that. Damn cellos.

Although the episode played fast and loose with time, I felt the clue was in Sam's arrival at Oldtown and the size of Gilly's son. He was huge and clearly a lot older. From that I figured that we were meant to assume that time has passed. I think more broadly that we have never been meant to assume that events are happening at the same time. Some clearly do, but others don't necessarily have to.

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
I don't think she planned for him to suicide, but having had it fall out that way I don't think she was too bothered. Between the prophecy that all her children would die, and him burning her on the "oh yeah, we've totally outlawed trial by combat" thingy, I think she'd decided Tommen was dead to her well before he went out the window. He could either live and be her puppet, or join Big Bird and Margarey in the "nobody messes with Cersei and lives to gloat about it" column. Either way it was going to be a win for Darth Cersei

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South-east of the Wall reckons...

Posted June 29, 2016
The last two episodes have been awesome... but like all TV shows, it has to end sometime. Looks like they have set up the next season to be the the final one? Having dealt with so many characters via the old "blow them up" plot device, i get the feeling next season will be a bit predictable.

Arnold Layne would have you know...

Posted June 29, 2016
On the face of it yes, but they still have the white walkers to deal with. I wonder if next season will be sorting out Westeros but that there might be one more that is focused on the threat from the north, It has been building for so long that it would be cheap if it is dealt with in one episode.

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TerryO mumbles...

Posted June 29, 2016
Wow MoK, congratulations on another season of excellent recaps!

Terrific finale. I'm very sorry to see Margaery go "I don't want to be A queen. I want to be THE queen."

Lady Mormont... like a boss!

Was too little made of Benjen saying he couldn't get past the wall because of magic built into it that stops undead? How will White Walkers pass?

AGirlHasNoName reckons...

Posted June 30, 2016
How did White Walkers get into Ol' 3-Eyes' treehouse? It looks like wherever Bran goes, the Night King can now follow- and Bran is about to go past the wall...

TerryO reckons...

Posted June 30, 2016
At least the roothouse was north of the wall!

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Brent puts forth...

Posted June 30, 2016
Lovely writing Natalie.

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Still not watched has opinions thus...

Posted June 30, 2016
But I don't care! I will watch, and enjoy it all the more.
Lenny Ann low is doing the recaps at fairfaxmedia, not a patch on yours kitten mother.
Very sad now. Now more recaps til next year.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, though, from the very bottom of my credit card.

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Still not watched puts forth...

Posted June 30, 2016
But I don't care! I will watch, and enjoy it all the more.
Lenny Ann low is doing the recaps at fairfaxmedia, not a patch on yours kitten mother.
Very sad now. Now more recaps til next year.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, though, from the very bottom of my credit card.

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TerryO is gonna tell you...

Posted June 30, 2016
Farewell Kevan, the Aussie Westerossie!

TheWah mumbles...

Posted July 3, 2016
Im Kevan from Casterly Rock and I'm here to melt

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Lady EFL ducks in to say...

Posted June 30, 2016
Too. Much. Going. On. What an episode! A season finale that was immensely satisfying and didn't leave me shouting and throwing things at the TV because of annoying cliffhangers. It was only a tiny moment but how awesome was it seeing the Stark wolfhead returned to Winterfell in the opening credits? Oh, and Lyanna Mormont totally shaming the other Northern Lords (owned by a 10 year old - gentlemen, you are undeserving and should all just turn in your Lord cards right now). Thanks for another wonderful recap in a season of terrific recaps MoK. Until next year (*sigh* so long to wait)

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Barks is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11, 2016
Cracking stuff, Nat. I do enjoy your recaps and podcasts.

I was sad to see Margaery and Loras go, I felt they had more to offer. I hope they're not dead, but it would be a bit improbable for them to survive.

I would just point out that Varys' line, "Fire and blood", is the Targaryen motto.

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Respond to 'Game of Thrones Raven On Recap S6E10: The Winds of Winter'

Raven On Game of Thrones Recap S6E9: Battle of the Bastards

Posted June 21, 2016 into Raven On by girlclumsy

My loving Throners,

I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the season, to watch and gasp amongst you all; to lay down for my Red God, and for my seven kingdoms, and my Throners, my honour and my bad puns, even in the dust.

I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman (I really need to get back to the gym), but I have the heart and stomach of a recappespondent, and a recappespondent of Game of Thrones too, and think foul scorn that any prince of Westeros should dare invade the borders of my column; to which rather than dishonour, I myself will take up arms; and with those arms, type.

Of course I’m sure if the great Elizabeth I had been fighting Jon Snow circa 1588 she probably would’ve back-ended her speech to the troops at Tilbury with a jaunty “But Jon Snow can invade my borders anytime, hur hur,” before waggling her eyebrows and making the sexy finger in hole gesture. There’d be no more Virgin Queen after that, I can tell you.

Anyway, beloved Throners, I bastardise the words of Queen Bess for three reasons: one, I feel rather like a warrior leading the charge into this recap; two, because WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!; and three, because there were no great speeches to the troops in the Battle of the Bastards. There was only a state of not fighting and a state of fighting. And in that, we saw the real truth of war - no heroics, no subtleties, just blood, sweat, adrenaline, death, and occasionally a bloody miracle.

Now normally one of these recaps would start with a whole load of hooting along with phrases like “NO!”, “NOT THE FACE!”, “YES!”, “GOT ‘IM!” “SANSA IS MY QUEEEEEEN” and “LET ME LICK YOU BETTER JON SNOW”.

But I am legit physically and emotionally exhausted after this episode. It hit me like a wrecking ball, Miley-style.

I even stripped down to my undies and workboots too.

I don’t even know if I can come up with a coherent theme, beyond “GARRRARGHHHARGH GHGHHHHAAAARRRGHH THIS SHOW”.

But perhaps, given the full moon and the Winter Solstice upon us here in the southern hemisphere, it might be time to hand over to the twin faces of war: majesty... and lunacy.

Season 6, Episode 9: The Battle of the Bastards

We only had two locations in this episode, so let’s start over in Meereen and summarise Daenarys’ latest QUEEN SLAY manoeuvre, for it ‘twas magnificent.

Meereen, as we recall, had been under attack by the Masters, freshly returned to betray their deal with Tyrion and reclaim their profitable slave-selling ways.

Tyrion, bless him, intersperses the thudding and smashing noises of enemy projectiles hitting the Great Pyramid by insisting Meereen is on the up and up. Of course, not everybody supports his plan for jobs and growth, but then, you’re never going to please all the voters all the time.

Dany’s combat strategy is straight out of The Children’s Big Book of Brutal Dictators 101: kill them all, raze their cities. It’s Tyrion who reminds her that just because the Mad King was her father, doesn’t mean she has to be his daughter. That particular truth bomb lands just as another flaming missile crashes through the nearest window.

Tyrion suggests an alternative approach, which sees the Meereen Team talking surrender treaties with the Masters somewhere just outside the city.

Tsk-tsk, the Masters say. You could have left when we first offered peace, lady. Now as punishment we’re going to kill your dragons, sell your Unsullied Army and make you take part in The Briefcase on Channel Nine.

“We’re here to discuss YOUR surrender, not mine,” Dany throws back, far too languidly for someone not in total control of the situation. It’s at these moments that Dany most reminds me of a crocodile, and not just because her flawless skin would make an amazing handbag. It’s the uneasy air she creates as she lies in wait, letting her idiot opponents mansplain themselves right up to the water’s edge, before being chomped on like Linda Kowalski in that g-banger.

The keen-eyed among you would have spotted the initial appearance of Drogon as a blurry collection of CGI pixels behind one of the Masters. It was an ironic sight gag worthy of The Simpsons.

Drogon heralds his arrival with an almighty screech, and soon Dany is up and onto his back, flying high across the bay towards the attacking fleet. Along the way she collects Viserion and Rhaegon, who’ve busted their way out of their dungeon prison (one hopes they left papier-mache dragon effigies behind, Escape from Alcatraz-style). Together, the soaring reptilian trio turn their attention to the ship leading the attack - and on Dany’s call of “Dracarys!” let fly with the biggest flaming upchuck since I overdid it on the Hot and Spicy wicked wings last Christmas.

Meanwhile around at the city gates, a bunch of Sons of the Harpy are getting their stab on when all of a sudden they hear a great rumbling approach. It’s not a dragon, rather, it’s every fricking Dothraki warrior currently living headed straight for them. Plus Maario, whose use of an arakh to decapitate a bad guy not only engendered whoops and cheers, but made me feel a little bit disturbingly sexy.

It really is amazing how violence done to your favourites is gut-wrenching and traumatising, but violence done to your enemies can have you punching the sky and laughing like a ticklish hyena on nitrous.

That’s a recurring feature of this episode, and it crops up again when Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei insist that one Master will have to be killed for breaking the agreement they had. In a wholly expected move, two of the cowardly Masters push their third compadre to the front, saying he’s low-born and doesn’t speak for them. He also wears a lot of eye make-up, so that could also have been a factor.

Eyeliner Master begs for mercy, but no sooner has he fallen to his knees then Grey Worm whips out his dagger (euphemism not applicable in this situation) and slices the throats of the other two Masters.

Tyrion's just sitting this bloodspray out.

It’s left to Tyrion to pass on the key learning from today’s events to the trembling Eyeliner Master. Should any of the other Masters have fanciful ideas of trying again to reintroduce slavery, “tell them what happened when Daenarys Stormborn and her dragons came to Meereen”. To quote those 90s philosophers, Wayne and Garth, if she were President she’d be Babe-raham Lincoln.

And then the Greyjoys show up.

I loved the sudden appearance of Theon and Yara in the Throne Room, with Theon being dressed down by Tyrion for telling dwarf jokes back when they last met at Winterfell.

Theon’s keen to move on from both his youthful and serious adult indiscretions, but Tyrion wants a bit of a gloat. It’s Dany, resplendent in a moss-green toga that would add “Queen of O-Week” to her many titles, who gets negotiations back on track.

The Greyjoys have offered 100 ships from the Iron Fleet, which coupled with the remaining ships from the now-defunct Masters is almost enough to get her entire army over to Westeros.

The biggest threat to this plan is Euron Greyjoy, their mad and murderous uncle who intends to offer Daenarys big wooden ships and, well, big wood.

The recent revelation of Yara’s Sapphic tendencies paid off big time when Daenarys joked that her offer would not come with marriage demands. “I never demand, but I’m up for anything really,” Yara sasses back with extra sassy sass. It really was wonderful to see both Dany and Yara enjoy some cheeky banter about having mad Dads, usurper troubles, and misogyny dramas.

Somebody tell Eddie McGuire this is how you do banter.

Dany resolves that everyone there has a duty to leave the world in a better state than they found it - unlike their respective fathers. So Yara may claim the Salt Throne once Dany is restored to the Iron one, but on the condition that they respect her rules. No more raiding and reaving for the Ironborn, it’s time to settle down and grow up. “But that’s our way of life!” protests Yara. But she can see the writing is on the wall, and it’s kudos for both women that they can see the potential for a better future. As we’ve said in the past, the Ironborn need to diversify their economy. “Coastal raping” should not be a line item in a country’s budget.

And so on a firm handshake we leave Meereen with the exciting promise that the Mother of Dragons might soon launch her ships and head towards Westeros. It’s only been eleventy million years, but we’re getting there, guys!

All right.

It’s time to head to Winterfell, and to the inevitable showdown between Jon Snow, Ramsay Bolton and their respective armies.

The two sides have an initial meet and greet on the prospective battle site outside the castle. It’s the first time we’ve seen Ramsay in a fair few episodes, and he hasn’t improved. Captain Smuggy McEvilSmugface demands the immediate return of his bride Sansa, and for Jon Snow et al to bend the knee and swear allegiance to him as Warden of the North. I’d try to describe my face as I listened to Lord Slimebucket ooze words, but Lyanna Mormont pretty much summed it up.

"I'm ten and can tell this guy is full of crap."

The Starks, of course, are having none of it. Jon even offers to take Ramsay on mano a mano, an offer Bolton is super quick to turn down on account of knowing Jon would KICK his measly backside. Of course, Ramsay wouldn’t be Ramsay without a creepy trick up his sleeve, and it’s at this point he throws down the head of Shaggy Dog as proof he has their brother Rickon.

It's Sansa, wonderful, badass Sansa, who shuts him down.

“You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” And then she rides off and doesn’t look back, because she is a Queen.

Ramsay laughs and describes her as a cool chick, then tells everyone he looks forward to feeding them to his dogs. Now just keep this bit in mind, as there’s a slight continuity snafu here that I’ll bring up later.

That night, we see Jon, Sansa, Tormund and Davos doing some mind mapping vis-a-vis their battle plans. Tormund is hilariously unaware of the rules and manoeuvres of open warfare, and Davos reinforces the need to make Ramsay charge first.

But after they leave, Sansa lets rip, telling Jon he’s completely overlooked her insights, having actually been subjected to Ramsay's "personality" for more than five minutes. He lays traps, he plays with people, and he will make you make a mistake.

The pair have a right proper argument, and it’s a joy to watch. Here are two siblings, who’ve both gone through so much, trying to solve the same problem but coming at it from different angles. Jon is trying to retain the honour of the Stark house by wanting to save Rickon and use strategy to boost their meagre numbers. Where Sansa is a revelation is when she urges him to cut Rickon, her own brother, loose. He’s the legitimate heir, more valuable that she or Jon. Ramsay won’t allow him to live. It’s the kind of cold insight that only someone who had been at the Bolton bastard’s mercy could know.

Not being battle-hardened, Sansa can’t offer much in the way of advice on what he should do. But she’s clear on one thing - “Don’t do what he expects you to do”. Ramsay plays with people, he knows how to hurt them, how to make them make mistakes. Jon would be wise to heed this advice.

When Sansa makes for the exit, she tells Jon if Ramsay wins she will top herself rather than go back into his custody. Jon promises he won’t let Ramsay hurt her again, but Sansa is resolute. “No one can protect anyone,” she says, almost mournfully. Remember that prissy little girl who believed in knights and honour and being an adored lady? Nope, I don't either.

Jon’s inherited Ned Stark’s honourable streak, and while I adore it like I adore my foster kittens when they’re asleep and not destroying stuff in my house, it’s something that we will see come back to bite him squarely on the backside come battle time (Oh! If only I could bite Jon Snow … you get the drift).

Meanwhile, Davos and Tormund are taking a turn about the campsite. The bushy-bearded wildling has the confidence of someone who doesn’t know what a “pincer movement” is, and the two trade stories about their former kings, Stannis Baratheon and Mance Raydar. Neither turned out to be the Prince they were promised to be - although the Onion Knight does have to explain that Stannis’ demons weren’t actually real demons.

"Are you SURE they weren't real demons?"

Tormund invites Davos in for a sour goat’s milk libation, but Davos turns him down. I’m not surprised - I had sour mare’s milk in Mongolia once, and seriously, I can still taste it. That stuff burns. Davos instead opts for his pre-battle routine of pacing around the campsite so nobody sees him, well, requiring a change into brown trousers. Tormund farewells him with a cheery “Happy shitting!” and Davos heads off.

Then, in an amazing coincidence, he finds the pyre upon which Shireen Baratheon was sacrificed. He finds her little stag doll, and instantly knows something was very wrong about the manner in which she died. Of course this spells doom for his recently patched up relationship with Melisandre.

Meanwhile Jon has gone to see Kate Bush, who doesn’t even attempt an inspiring version of Don’t Give Up, but just looks bored and majorly bummed out.

Jon wants her to stay out of things if he happens to get deaded again, but the Red Woman is #sorrynotsorry about it.

"Look, if the Red God says you have more lives than Super Mario, then I'm sorry but it will never be game over for you."

Melisandre can’t answer Jon’s question about why she was able to bring him back from the dead, only that he may just be needed for this particular battle and then bang, dead again. “What kind of god would do that?” he asks, and Kate Bush answers with possibly the smartest four-word lyric she’s written since Running Up That Hill: “The one we’ve got.”

Yep, it’s a nice reflection on a lot of religions and some of their more… interesting… beliefs.

The morning of the battle dawns, and Jon Snow does a very dishy impersonation of Henry V while inspecting the troops on horseback. But anybody expecting a bit of “Once more into the breach” talk is to be disappointed; Jon, as we know, has always been a man of meaningful, not flowery, words. And given the size of the army they’re up against, it probably is best to stick to the adage that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

At this point, Ramsay Bolton initiates his most fiendish plan ever.

We see him on horseback walking through his troops, while dragging something on a rope. We know, we just KNOW, that it’s poor Rickon Stark. Once again, he’s a character who’s shot up in height, but he retains enough babyish innocence to remind us he is yet another innocent victim of the Bastard of Winterfell.

The show messes with us here; first by having Ramsay brandish a knife high in the air, and Rickon bow his head waiting for a killing blow, then by having Ramsay cut Rickon’s bonds and send him off running towards Jon.

If you were anything like me, you felt icy fingers slide their way down your throat and snake around your heart. Rickon was doomed, but I didn’t want to accept it. Jon’s solo ride out to save Rickon was too noble to fail, surely?

The pacing here was incredible as we watched Ramsay fire arrows in a seemingly indifferent manner towards the vanishing Rickon, and as Jon galloped his steed towards his brother, hand out and down ready to lift him up onto his back. It would have been a golden moment, a superhero rescue.

But this is Game of Thrones. Superhero rescues are the exception, not the rule.

Jon and Rickon got close, so close, then Ramsay finally aimed to hit his target, and the arrow speared the youngest Stark through the back. It may as well have hit Jon in the heart too, as he goes numb for a moment - the first time he’s seen his littlest brother in years and he’s in his death throes.


Sansa warned Jon about this, but even if he did listen it’s a forgotten memory in this heated moment.

Looking on, Tormund urges him to remember the plan, with the simple utterance “Don’t.”

But it’s too late. Jon has fallen into Ramsay’s trap, and he charges forward. Davos sends the rest of the cavalry after him, but Jon has a bit headstart. Eventually his horse takes too many arrows and collapses underneath him.

Jon, survivor of Hardhome, draws his sword and faces these enemies, such different enemies, but sharing the same intent to kill him.

A beautiful slow motion shot captures Ramsay’s cavalry bearing down on Jon, sword drawn, one man ready to take on an army.

Thankfully the rest of his mounted forces catch up and the two sides begin a brutal, visceral clash that is possibly one of the most extraordinary fight sequences ever committed to film.

The camera places us primarily with Jon in the middle of the quagmire, illustrating how a medieval battle quickly divulged from being two one-dimensional sides clashing to a three dimensional mess of men, horseflesh, blood, mud, and flashing steel. There is no sense to be made of the slaughter, no battle rules, only the biological fight response in full flight.

Ramsay continues to run his military operation so sadistically that the Marquis de Sade would turn in his grave to hear his name so besmirched.

While Ser Davos holds off his archers because there’s a risk they might hit their own men, Ramsay has no such compunction. He has his archers fire on the battlefield, happy enough to kill his own men as long as Stark forces and free folk are copping it too.

Before long the whole landscape of the battlefield has altered, with previously flat ground replaced with piles of bodies, flesh mountains that take your breath away - figuratively and literally. For a while Jon is trampled into one of the death mounds, his senses and movements constricted and his body fighting for air. Despite all the blood sprays, the removal of limbs and the horror unleashed on the horses, this remains one of the most horrifying experiences of the battle, because it leaves Jon so utterly helpless.

Meanwhile Ramsay sends in his foot soldiers to surround the remaining Stark forces in a manoeuvre best described as a giant spiky donut. Every few moments the Flayed Men shields squeeze inwards, followed by a thrust of their pikes.

Tormund, insane with awe-inspiring rage, hurls himself at some of shields, encouraged by the leadership of Stampy the Giant, who just starts sweeping some of them aside.

Unfortunately the spiky donut continues to choke the Stark forces, their clever plan to draw the Boltons to them now a bitter regret. In a bright moment, Tormund bites the neck right out of Smalljon Umber, and Jon manages to push himself upwards, inhale, and keep battling...

...and then the Knights of the Vale show up.

We knew they were going to, of course, as Sansa had sent the letter to Littlefinger two episodes ago. They cut it damn fine, but I can’t tell you how happy I was to cheer “Finally! The Knights of the Vale have FINALLY done something decent in this series!”

In a magnificent aerial shot, we saw the mounted Arryn knights both break the Flayed Man spiky donut, and surround it from the outside. It was like the most violent depiction of a sperm impregnating an egg you’ll ever see.

Just bloody amazing. Well done team.

Best of all, it wiped the smug grin off Ramsay’s face for the first time ever:

"I'm boned."

Knowing his time was up, Ramsay fled back to Winterfell. But Jon, Tormund, and Stampy the Giant were hot on his tail. Thanks to Stampy’s efforts they crashed through the castle gates and took the fight right up to Ramsay. Wildlings flooded in, killing Bolton forces, although poor Stampy finally gave out from one too many arrows.

Ramsay and Jon finally faced off in one on one combat, and sure, you could be forgiven for wondering why one of the other Wildlings didn’t just fire an arrow or throw a knife at Ramsay. But then we wouldn’t have an awesome sequence in which my bruised, bloodied and beloved Jon Snow walked determinedly towards Ramsay, shielding himself from arrows, then took the bastard down and BEAT THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF HIM.

He stopped, eventually.

In 1815 the great Duke of Wellington said “My my! At Waterloo Napoleon did surrender.” That of course hasn’t been historically corroborated, but he did say “The next worst thing to a battle lost, is a battle won.”

Never has that been more clear than here, with so much bloodshed, so much death. Rickon’s small body is brought in, and Jon sends him to be buried in the crypt next to Ned. We also Ser Davos throw dark looks at Melisandre, while cradling Shireen’s stag.

But there is triumph too - in seeing the Flayed Man sigil ripped from Winterfell’s walls, and the Direwolf of Stark returned to its rightful place.

Finally, Ramsay Bolton.

Sansa demands to see him, and is shown to the cell where the hateful monster is being kept tied to a chair. “Is this where I live now?” he asks, altogether too cheerily.

But Queen Sansa, my amazing hero, absolutely slays when she tells him his words, his house, his name will all disappear. And then we hear the growling.

Ramsay doesn’t believe his loyal hounds would attack him. But as Sansa points out, they’re now starving.

Now if you were playing along earlier I mentioned a small continuity error. Here’s where it comes into play. Sansa tells Ramsay “You haven’t fed them in seven days, you said it yourself.” But she’d actually ridden away from the parley before Ramsay SAID that. So how did she know? Did John or Davos or Tormund mention it? I would have thought they’d be too tired or caught up to do so. But I guess someone had to place Ramsay in the cell, maybe they discussed it then.

One of the doggies starts to lick Ramsay’s face, and then bang, they all attack. Ramsay trained his dogs to do this, he set them on Lady Walda and her newborn baby, and it is only right that he go out like this. It is horrific, utterly deserved and immensely satisfying.

For her part, Sansa walks away from the cells, never looking back. In fact, she leaves with a tiny twist of a smile, a Mona Lisa moment, but one in which we know exactly the reason for the grin.


Jon Snow may be a hero. But Sansa is a Queen.

Also, I've learned a valuable lesson - never let the foster kittens go hungry.

Yay! Best Moments

There are SO many this episode that it’s hard to nail down. But I reckon just Sansa’s face. Whether it was resolution in the face of Ramsay’s threats and Rickon’s potential death, despair at not being listened to by Jon, fear that her brother’s army would be overrun, and intense pleasure at seeing the Bolton forces and Ramsay himself brought down, it was the most captivating thing of the whole shebang.

Zing! Best Lines

Jon: We’re digging trenches all along our flanks. They won’t be able to hit us the way Stannis hit you, in a double envelopment.
Tormund: …
Jon: A pincer movement.
Tormund: ...
Jon: He won’t be able to hit us from the sides.
Tormund: Good.

Ew, gross

Pick a moment from that battle, people. Pick any moment.

Boo, sucks

While Rickon’s loss was shocking, Stampy the Giant’s was actually heart-breaking. Who among us didn’t love that big guy? Short on words, tough on idiots. His actions during the spiky donut sequence saved so many of the remaining soldiers, and he single-handedly broke the Winterfell gates to let Jon and the wildlings in. He took so many arrows and kept fighting, and the look he gave Jon just as Ramsay shot the coup de grace with a King Harold special made tears come to my eyes. Vale Stampy. We hardly knew ye, but boy did we love the way ye beat tens tons of shit out of everyone.

Also, there have been a few commenters already asking "Where was Ghost?" I think we can all agree the answer is "in his CGI kennel". With SO much to plot, plan and execute with that battle sequence, throwing in a fake wolf would have been too much. Yes, it was sad to not have him bite some faces off, but at least he's alive.

Next week!

I cannot believe there is one episode left of this season. What on earth am I going to do without you, beloved Throners? Why yes, I probably will sit at home rocking back and forth singing “All by Myself”. But until then, there are a few things we need some resolution on next week:

Will Dany head to Westeros? Will Varys have teed up some friendly faces?

Where is Bran? Will he be reunited with Jon and Sansa at Winterfell? Will we see the end of the Tower of Joy flashback?

Will Davos take revenge on Melisandre for sacrificing Shireen?

Will Arya return, perhaps meeting Nymeria along the way?

Will Cersei face her trial, or will Jaime return in time to rescue her? Will the High Sparrow get his comeuppance?

Will the Hound axe a lot of dudes? Where will he and the Brotherhood end up?

Will Sam and Gilly make it to Old Town?

And perhaps most importantly….Brienne and Tormund. Will they or won’t they?

Thank you all SO much for bearing with me during this incredibly long recap.

I've been running a Patreon campaign this season, and it's been doing amazingly well. Thank you to everyone who's signed up. Check it out via if you want to get involved for the final week.

Otherwise I look forward to your comments here or over on my Facebook page:

Valar Morghulis!

92 Responses to ‘Raven On Game of Thrones Recap S6E9: Battle of the Bastards’

Rhino mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Awesome. Just freaking awesome.

Nice job.

girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
Thanks Rhino. Imagine what I could do with a full day and a good night's sleep behind me. :P

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Andrea asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
Holy heckmonkeys. Watching this reminded me why I'm a pacifist...

Sousy Wench mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
I am also generally a pacifist - real world violence and blood sports turn my stomach. I say "generally" because tonight I was shouting bloodthirsty advice at Jon whenever he was anywhere near Ramsey. I'm reliably informed by my mum, that said advice included "Just kill him", "Fuck honour, just shoot him in the head" and during their final punchy scene "Stop playing with him, kill him and cut off his head to be sure". I'm pretty sure I now need to surrender my pacifist card.

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
Yep. We get violent when we get passionate ladies. It's acceptable. Ramsay Bolton is, after all, the patriarchy. WE MUST KILL THE BEAST.

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PM is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
I'm a bit concerned about that little smile on Sansa's face as she left Ramsey 'feeding the dogs'. Is she starting to enjoy the exercise of rough justice just a tad too much? Might she be moving too far towards the dark side?

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
Pfft! Sansa is a QUEEN.

If you'd just seen your rapist and tormenter get their just desserts, you'd feel entitled to a wee smile yourself. :)

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xServer would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
That battle...that was hard to watch. Intense and brutal and everything I have to assume actual battle is really like. Also, and I should probably feel badly for saying this, but it makes me happy we're not using horses in battle any longer. They really did die by the fistfuls, didn't they?

I am glad that Sansa got the last word with Ramsay. His house, his name, his words, his sigil - all are going to be lost and forgotten. He was so desperate to be recognized as a Bolton and now the Boltons are dead. Also, this makes me think all the fan-theories about her being pregnant have to be false. If she was having a baby then the death of House Bolton would be the last thing on her mind (unless she's headed for a nice cup of moon-tea after their chat).

I also have to admit that I am so damn disappointed in the Umbers. I really thought that handing Rickon and Asha over to Ramsay was a feint. But no. Shaggy-Dog is dead, Asha is dead, Rickon is dead and the Umbers are traitorous c-u-next-tuesdays. I hope they get what's coming to them.

I think next week is the episode Cersei unleashes fiery armageddon on King's Landing. Tyrion just confirmed that there are stores of wildfire hidden under all of the big, important buildings including the Sept of Balon. I think she's ready to burn it all down rather than see The Sparrow get anything over on her again. And she'll probably kill Tommen accidentally in the process, fulfilling that prophecy from long ago.

Also, do you think Walder Frey gets it next episode? I almost hope not...I want that to be the beginning of Season 7. My greatest hope is Lady Stoneheart shows up for his feast right after his "The Lannisters and the Freys send their regards" and boom, go to black. That's a way to end a season! But I'll probably be OK with someone feeding him his own tongue.

This show brings out the best in me... ;-)

Timmo would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
It is perhaps fateful that House Bolton are no more largely thanks to Ramsay's own hand.

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Excellent point about horses in battle. No doubt countless millions and millions gave their lives over the millenia.

nerbit has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
Sadly GRRM has confirmed that Lady Stoneheart won't make it into the shows....although he has lied before!

Bart ducks in to say...

Posted June 23, 2016
The wildfire was used to defend Kings landing against the fleet a few seasons ago.

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Jane asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
Ahhhhhhh -pass the fags Nat!

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Loz puts forth...

Posted June 21, 2016
Best. Episode. Ever. I have no words, so thank goodness you do.

Thank you so much for these witty recaps, they're such a pleasure to read and really add to the enjoyment of the show, being able to re-live it all again and pick up on things I missed. Keep up the amazing work. x

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Naww, thanks Loz! Believe me, I struggled for a lot of words after this one. I was REKT.

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Fiona ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Get thee into Outlander post GoT Nat, you won't regret it!

Awesome recap btw, always love your work.

Muddy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
I have been going to suggest that Natalie recaps Outlander but I fear the sight of Jamie in a kilt and bare chested may push her over the edge.

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted June 21, 2016
It's my plan - I haven't watched any Outlander so it'll be interesting to come in cold to a recap (you may recall I began recapping GoT in season 2, so had a rough idea of characters, stories etc).

I keep hearing about the dishy men, so I'll get myself some smelling salts at the ready.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Your friend Tobias Menzies is in Outlander, and he's absolutely brilliant in it, such a talented man :)

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted June 21, 2016
Indeed! My friend! A guy I met once ten years ago! We're totes besties.

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Bendric Dondarrion would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
Can someone explain, apart from laudable dramatic purposes, why Sansa wouldn't tell Jon about her Littlefinger arrangement? One can imagine Jon at Winterfell, in Adam Sandler voice: "From a military strategy perspective that would have been useful information BEFORE THE BATTLE!"

xServer swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
How was she supposed to know that LittleFinger would even show up? Ravens can't find people on the move, they fly to buildings, not mobile camps. Jon had already said that he wasn't waiting any longer, she tried to get him to hold off but he refused. Was she supposed to dangle the possibility of creepy Petyr backing them up? Not really. If Jon was set to do battle then he had to plan with the assets they actually had. And if he'd listened to Sansa and not fallen for Ramsay's trap, they would have been in a much better position. But nope - just like Ned, he can only do the thing that's noble and not the thing that's smart.

vitas mutters...

Posted June 21, 2016
Did she ever get confirmation that they were coming? Littlefinger could easily have been doing a Stanleys and sit on the sidelines

Ms. Naughty would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
I too was wondering why Sansa wouldn't at least mention it. I think it would have made Jon delay at least a little. In another comment thread, someone suggested it was strategy on Sansa's part: if Ramsey knew they had a bigger army, he would have simply withdrawn to Winterfell and ensured a siege. This way, they drew him out and ensured a victory. But it's one hell of a risky strategy. I've also seen suggestions that Sansa may be in for conflict with Jon in the future, since she will probably take on Littlefinger as an advisor and rule Winterfell... the smile at the end suggests she is on her way to becoming a no-nonsense kind of queen.

Bendric mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Adam Sandler voice: She did not even mention the POSSIBILITY of support coming. You know, maybe WAIT A WHILE!

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted June 21, 2016
Excellent discussion point.

I feel that Sansa knew Baelish would come with the pride of Arryn. After all, he did offer in the first place.

I think the avoidance of a siege idea is a great one.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Sansa held back because it was an ace up her sleeve, but if it didn't pan out she would never have had to mention it.

And I think even if she takes Baelish on as an adviser, she will still be wary of him. You can't forget that level of being-left-in-the-shit-by-someone.

Springfield Fats reckons...

Posted June 22, 2016
Cause she's a Stark and wherever they go, death and ruin follow? I think it was meant to be a another step in the 'Sansa gaining her independence' arc, just one that showed her to be a moron rather than anything else. Not as stupid as Jon mind you, but stupid nonetheless.

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
steel, blood , organs, battle and fkn sexy as wenches...any wonder my Monday nights are fkn GOT GOT GOT!. It was wicked and yes, NOTHING BEATS Knights/ Heavy CAv or the likes. I really got into some of the fight scenes, especially when it was a horse screaming past to slam some poor bastard that was about to cap snow...>FKN THUMP!

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
Havock! My God man! It's been ages! So good to see you still the King among men of the Capslock Key. A great inspiration to me in my recaps, you know.

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vitas ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Holy shitballs

Looking to the future, it looks like it will all be about the women. Daenarys and Yara, Sansa rising in the north, Arya about to fly in under everybodys radar, the winner or Celebrity Deathmatch XVII - Cersei vs Margery. I think Varys is paying a visit to the Sand Snakes in Dorne (remember them?). For this reason I fear for Jamie next week. Walter Frey, the double crossing bastard, can do anything. Jon will do domething stupid next seres and sacrifice himself for the greater good, or something silly.

But only one more episode before 10 months of staring into the darkness

flöki snöw mutters...

Posted June 21, 2016
There's good reason to fear a Frey soiree , when the music stops something unpleasant happens, lets hope Brons on his game.

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted June 21, 2016


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Lizzie is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
Fantastic episode - fabulous recap. And to think in earlier seasons I thought Sansa was a whinging and whining waste of a character! Re the last episode - I fear the whispered exchange that Qyburn had with Cersei that his "little birds" had finally given him information (or words to that effect) may not bode well for Varys.

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Yep, Sansa's journey has been magnificent. I'm so glad I've been on Team Sansa since the beginning - well, since Joffrey started torturing her and she wised up. :)

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Zosha puts forth...

Posted June 21, 2016
Arya, what about Arya, she has to return to Winterfell in a music swelling, tug at our heartstrings, to embrace Jon and Sansa,in a fade to black, end of season moment.

Brilliant recap as always.... One of the best episodes on the small screen ever.

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted June 21, 2016
Such a great episode - and yes, forgive me, I initially left out Arya, but in my defence it was 3am.

I've included her again. She must return, and there must be much clinging and crying and triumphant whooping.

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Ms. Naughty asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
Such a tense episode, I was a nervous wreck by the end of it and in dire need of your recap as group therapy. I'm sure I wasn't the only one yelling at Rickon to "ZIG ZAG YOU FOOL!" And for once I wasn't surprised by his death. He had no real character of his own which is a shame. Like you, I was sadder for Stampy the Giant. And also rather frustrated that they didn't make better use of him in the battle. I feel as though he could have broken through the shield wall, or at least stomped down the spears a bit. Entertainment Weekly has a great article with the director of this episode, discussing how he planned the battle sequence. Interestingly, the bit where Jon is suffocating only happened because it rained for 3 days and they were out of time and money. I think it was the most impressive thing they shot, so useful to have a different perspective.
Anyway, am feeling sad that next week is the last one for the year. Your recaps are such a highlight.

Ms. Naughty mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Forgot to add: I had a very tense few moments when I thought we might lose Tormund and thus our opportunity to make endless shippy memes about Tormienne. Thank god for his bitey, stabby Wildling ways which ensures he lives to raise his eyebrows another day.

Verimaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
I was shouting for Rickon to do a crazy Ivan!
Loved the suffocating scenes, so effective.
By the end I did think that Jon is really going to need some help in the hot springs in the gods wood to clean up....

Back in Mereen I broke into a bit of "sisters are doing it for themselves..."

Timmo has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
Absolutely not on your own there Ms Naughty!
It was very much a horror movie moment - "Jesus, don't DO that!"

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Yes, the internet seems to be very sad about Rickon never having learned to zig zag. I suspect he's got something similar to Zoolander.

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wendyemily has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
Wow! I barely have words after that ep. I loved the beginning of the ep with Dany & her magnificent Dragons showing just what an unstoppable force a tough, kick ass Queen can be especially when she has Dragons to back her up. And I also loved how Tyrion seems to be set to become her voice of reason when the blood of the Mad King comes seething up. He is nothing but logical and sensible and she needs someone like that beside her. And now she has another new alliance it's time to set sail and take back what is hers.

As to that battle, I was sitting at the edge of my seat and praying that our beloved Jon would not die yet again and that this time Bolton would get all that is coming to him. It was a chilling reminder of how nasty that world can be as we saw the bodies pile up and I could barely watch. Though I knew they would have to win in the end.

The end of poor Stampy the Giant was sad, though I was kinda hoping that he would do to Ramsey what he did earlier in the battle to some soldier. Pull him apart and toss his battered corpse into the wind. Still it was a chillingly apt end for Sansa to get her revenge and throw the bastard to the dogs! Literally. And perhaps Sansa enjoyed it all a bit too much, but who could blame her?

Sansa, Queen of the North. Dany, Queen of the South. Ice and Fire indeed.

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
OH MY GOD - I completely forgot to mention the bit where Stampy the giant totally ripped that guy in half. You see, this is what happens when there is SO MUCH in an episode!

And yes - Sansa and Dany, Yara and Brienne and Arya - 'tis the season of the estrogen ascendencies. Booyah!

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Veralc would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
The final scene I got a strong sense that Sansa was talking about herself. They used to be loyal, but now they are starving... The dogs, like Sansa, will do what they have to do to survive. She's been abused, but she still got bite.

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
Poetic observation, and I dig it. :)

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Procrastinati puts forth...

Posted June 21, 2016
Ahhhhh, MoK. Each week you set the recap bar higher and each week you saunter in, leap and clear. A gold medal at Rio beckons.

Procrastinati mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
I enjoy the fan theories, the speculation, the vast array of complexity that arises from such contemplations. All come from the POV of the GoT consumer. Post midnight, unable to sleep in anticipation of a MoK recap, I attempted to warg into a GoT producer. Bear with me.

Procrastinati is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
A TV production company is as much about making money as it is making art (if not more so). The GoT production team have assets, be they physical or CGI related. The current storyline has a finite life, however many seasons that may be. What happens with the assets? I speculate... Is it possible that Bran's storyline and time shifting is as much a production plan as it is a plot shifter? Via this we've already been introduced to a sans Bean Ned Stark. A young Hodor. A Mad King. Are we looking at a post GoT prequel?

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
Thank you for your kind words, Stormy. Honestly, every week I sit down and think "I do not know HOW I am going to do this one." And somehow it comes. Any side-effect of quality though is pure coincidence.

I love your conspiracy theory though - hasn't there already been some talk of a Robert's Rebellion prequel show?

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Muddy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
Sansa needs a lover who won't drive her crazy. Podrick Payne perhaps.
That scene, Jon Snow standing sword in hand, Ramsey's cavalry thundering towards him like an equine tsunami was the greatest scene in the history of television. Then, just when Jon is about to get crushed, THUMP, the horses collide and a billion breaths around the world exhale.

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
OMG Muddy, Sansa and Pod. It makes PERFECT SENSE.

But then, she is still a teenager. I'm happy for her to just have a rest, and wait a bit, and fully heal. But damn, Pod. That is a GREAT idea.

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coz reckons...

Posted June 21, 2016
wow that was an intense episode.

I loved Dany looking back at Tyrion for approval when she made the deal with Yara - "Look, I'm doing it, I'm doing politics - am I doing this right?".

Was that the first political deal she's made without direct guidance from advisors? Apart for all the 'I'm freeing your slaves, taking your land and killing you all' deals she's big on.

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
Another great moment that I missed in the recap Coz - it was lovely to see Dany and Tyrion working together. Long may it continue!

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Gingernuts mutters...

Posted June 21, 2016
Did anyone else notice the hint hidden in the exchange between Sansa and Ramsay, when he told her that she was basically stuck with him for good, because "there's part of me inside you" (or something like that)? Could Sansa be pregnant? Eew...

flöki snöw ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
A bolton bun in the oven?

Lady EFL mutters...

Posted June 21, 2016
That would just be the final lemon juice in the paper cut wouldn't it?! One certainly hopes she is not in a family way. It could also mean that because of what he did to her, she will never forget him and thus he will always be a part of her. At least that's what I'm hoping .... fingers crossed because the Boltons and their nasty genetic insanely savage cruelty need to be deleted from the Westeros gene pool for good. Along with the Umbers and Karstarks for being traitorous dogs!

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
My response to the "Could Sansa be pregnant?" question as usual is to stick both fingers in my ears and scream NOT LISTENING NOT LISTENING NOT LISTENING.

It's the mature approach.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
I told a male coworker that if I was Sansa and I was pregnant with BOO HISS Bolton's baby, I'd strangle that kid before it could draw breath. This led to a very long, very awkward pause in our discussion. I think I frightened him :)

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted June 22, 2016
I think - more like I'm hoping - Ramsay means that in order to defeat him, she had to become like him a little, develop a bit of a sadistic streak, so in a way he survives as long as a sweet girl like Sansa has to do stuff like have his dogs eat him. But it is not entirely out of the question that she's pregs.

I would like Sansa to end up with Pod. I am a huge fan of Brienne and Pod. What is Littlefinger's price though? Marriage to Sansa?

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Lady EFL mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Wow ..... just wow! There are no words really (and you used what little there were for another awesome recap Nat. Captain Smuggy McEvilSmugface and Lord Slimebucket - I'm still laughing! But who shall we hate with the fire of a thousand supernovas now? I suppose there's still the Freys). Loved the poetic justice of BOO HISS Ramsay being eaten by his own dogs. Serves you right Ramsay - if you live by the dog, you die by the dog. Sansa's face said it all. In fact all the women in the episode had amazing facial expression moments - Dany, Yara, Missandei, Sansa and the gloriously sassy Lyanna Mormont. And I must say I loved seeing a bit of the old Theon back - not the smarmy little git but a bit of confidence and eye contact back in his demeanour. One thing I do want to know is: where are all the portals in Westeros? You know, the ones people seems to be slipping through to be somewhere the plot needs them to be but defying all known laws of time and physics - I'm looking at you Greyjoys and Littlefinger!

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted June 21, 2016
OMG, I cannot believe I didn't mention BOO HISS in front of Ramsay Bolton at all this recap! What is happening to me?

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Ms Naughty ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Am in awe: just discovered that shot where Jon Snow faced down the cavalry was real, not CGI. Phew!
Also, they spent 10 hours just shooting the bit where Jon beats the crap out of Ramsey. 10. Long. Hours. Bravo. Apparently Kit accidentally punched him for real a few times.
Official BTS video:

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
I saw that! It is INCREDIBLE that the cavalry charge was real, but SO good.

And wow, 10 hours punching someone. And you get paid?

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Dave has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
What an episode, I have never been so still during a sequence before. The battle scenes were spectacular. Jon being suffocated, wow realistic.

This was what we had all been waiting for, there were screams of delight at the dogs eating the dog. Pure joy in this household.

Will Arya meet Sansa?
Will Jon ever listen?
Will Ser Davros finally find out?
Will the Dothraki finally enter the sea?
Will the White walkers appear?

Will Dany turn sexually?

Only one more episode, how will they fit it in?

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Hur, hur. "Fit it in". Hur hur. Snort.

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Mother of nothing ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
I recently purchased an Apple Watch. No bear with me, this is relevant! I've been tracking my sleep for the last few weeks. I've noticed a pattern of insomnia on Monday nights, and last night was really bad, in the best possible way. Who can sleep after watching that? Clearly you didn't MOK. Great recap ????????????

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
I need an Apple Watch to keep track of my sleeping patterns!

I really don't, I just am a slave to the shiny, much like my host here, Mr Birmingham.

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Lorn mutters...

Posted June 21, 2016
Knocked it out of the park again MoK ...great recap of a great episode!
Talk about edge of your seat stuff, wow just wow GoT. I have a rewatch booked in for tonight, and on the back of this recap I can't wait!

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted June 21, 2016
Totally an episode that needs rewatching.

Join us on the FB page too at 9pm or so if you're done - Stu and I are going to have a live chat about the episode.

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Mick asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
What an episode!!!
Probably the single best episiode of any show I have ever watched.
Is it just me, or is evil-Sansa looking really hot right now.

All I need is for Cersai to get herpes in next weeks episode, and I can die satisfied.

PS- Great Recap, LOVE YOUR WORK.

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Sansa has ALWAYS been hot. But watch your grubby hands, she's still underage! :)

Thank you for your kind words though.

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thecarrotjoke ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Do you think the extras on set have a guess at how many bodies there are on the battlefield? Like guessing how many jelly beans in the jar?

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted June 21, 2016
Wow, I should totally have done this as a comp in my recap. Not that I know what the answer is, beyond "Holy shit that's a lot of bodies."

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Timmo reckons...

Posted June 21, 2016
Yay! Loved the ep, and your recap, GC!
They seemed at pains early on in the piece to set a couple of themes for the episode:
- "Who'll fight for a master who won't fight for them?" Jon said it, Tyrion said it. Seemingly a counterpoint to Daenerys' defense of the slaves against the masters
- "You're ultimately on your own/You've got the circumstances you've got" from Jon in relation to the army they've got, and Red Woman in relation to the Red God. Ultimately a bit contradicted by the incredibly timely rescue by the Vale forces, though.

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Sambit mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
Hi Natalie, there's a request. We've not seen a single limerick of yours this season. So pleaseeee do one limerick for the last episode of this season. Remember you once asked to remind you to write the entire GoT story in limericks! (S05E02 Recap)

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girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 21, 2016
OMG, I totally forgot about my limericks. How about I try to think of one before the live Facebook chat Stu and I are doing around 9pm over on the Facebook page?

And I still have that bloody Dothraki beat poem to finish...

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M'lady asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
Is anyone else a tad worried about how much emphasis Sansa put on the fact that Ramsay's name and house will disappear? It would be just like Game of Thrones to turn around and tell us she is in fact pregnant with his child. Seven hells.

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
What's this talk of feeble woman. There were certainly no feeble women in last nights episode, only avenging goddesses.

Fantastic recap, as always. With the inserting of the humour with the blood and the gore and the screaming and the bone crunching.

My long held desire of seeing a dragon scale overcast has finally been realised with the Queen of innumerable names leading her flock into flaming mayhem. I'm sure there's a burgeoning market in Pirate Bay for adult nappies. Oh and a hint of Blonde on Brunette action on a bed of the bodies of their enemies.

Heartbroken to see Stampy fall, but what a death. Commander Worf would make him an honorary Klingon just so they could enjoy Bloodwine in Sto-Vo-Kor together. The blood, the carnage, severed limbs and the clash of steel and flesh on mounting bodies.
Culminating in learning Ramsay Boltons new name of Pulpy McPulpFace as Jon Snow delivered our love and wishes to him in a most satisfactory manner. But really the day was Sansa's looking her tormentor in the face and creating a new pet food empire of Bolton flavoured dog treats, with extra crunch. Is it wrong to take so much pleasure in the horrific and painful rendering of your enemies? Do I need to increase my meds? Nah he deserved it.

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stara is gonna tell you...

Posted June 21, 2016
What a great recap.. "the most violent depiction of a sperm impregnating an egg you’ll ever see" LOL!

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Moko mumbles...

Posted June 21, 2016
I enjoy your recaps as much as the show. Great work once again.

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Louise would have you know...

Posted June 21, 2016
Hubby can only say oh my god.

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Heidi ducks in to say...

Posted June 21, 2016
Nat - I've enjoyed each and every one of your recaps. This episode was awesome. After next week's recap, I will so miss them!!!

And now only one to go..... :-(

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted June 22, 2016
Naww, thanks Heidi, I'll miss you too!

Seriously, I love GoT time like nothing on earth.

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted June 21, 2016
Wun Wun was a hero and they should retire his shirt and number (he was named after NY QB Phil Simms I think).

not trying to hijack thread but its connected - George R R Martin is doing overseas shipping for signed books from his website- including Thrones but also the SM Stirling signed book of change universe set short stories (with a story by Birmo in!)

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she_jedi asserts...

Posted June 21, 2016
There was a moment in the battle when it looked like Tormund would valiantly and stupidly get himself killed, but his wildling buddies pulled him back and saved him, and I screamed at the TV "TORMUND YOU MUST LIVE! YOU MUST LIVE FOR BRIENNE AND HAVE GIANT RED HEADED WARRIOR BABIES TOGETHER!" And it's moments like this I am really really grateful I live alone :)

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted June 22, 2016
Apart from the kittehs, of course. ;)

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted June 23, 2016
Oh of course! Thankfully they've gotten used to my random outbursts at GoT and no longer bother to wake up and stare at me strangely :)

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HoundDog Day has opinions thus...

Posted June 22, 2016
C'mon Kate Bush, wait 24 hours,
then bring Boo Hiss back to life,
incanting Hounds of Love to make it happen!
'I found a fox
Caught by dogs
He let me take him in my hands.'
Then Sansa can dispose of him again.
And again!

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Brett Coster (not Waldau, though) ducks in to say...

Posted June 22, 2016
Long-time lurker, love your recaps, sad that next week will be the finale. What an episode, from Meereen to Winterfell, watched it twice so far and will do again. Loved Dracarys in the distance as Dany reminded the masters that it was THEIR surrender they were discussing, and Tyrion's dwarfsplaining to the surviving master that he lived by the grace of the queen and should make sure that everyone hears about it. (The "or else" was implied...) And JonSnow fallng into BOO=HISS's plan. The battle was traumatic, as it should have been. As someone above said, would like to have seen Bolton soldiers beginning to desert as the Knights of the Vale appeared and the result became plain to all. Still, lots to see next week and then the interminable months's long wait for the Blu-ray.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted June 24, 2016
OK, so the leader of the burgeoning, nurturing, new world order matriarchy's first political instinct is to raze her enemies cities and salt the earth and yet she later says that they have an obligation to leave the world better than they found it.

Sounds like the matriarchy can speak out two sides of their mouths the same as the patriarchy.

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted June 24, 2016
yeah I reckjon the wench is gunna FKN CAP ALL MEN! Actually now that I think about this some more, that trio is seriously fkn jumpable! IMHO

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BigRed reckons...

Posted June 24, 2016
I'm hoping that in the next episode that an express carrier raven arrives in Mereen with a package for Theon eye-for-an-eye, penis-for-a-penis style. To top it off maybe he could have it reinstated by Salma Hayek, her arrival on the screen drew lifeblood into many a viewers appendage so why not into "Little Theon" (which may need a renaming into "Little BOO HISS Theon" if the magic takes hold). If not her then Qyburn clearly knows a thing or two about reanimating dead things. Unless of course one of the hounds developed a taste for sausage and meatballs...

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Respond to 'Raven On Game of Thrones Recap S6E9: Battle of the Bastards'

Raven On Game of Thrones Recap S6E8: No One

Posted June 14, 2016 into Raven On by girlclumsy

A girl is dead. Long live Arya Stark!

Despite a serious flesh wound, blood loss, exhaustion and severe bruising from a fruit-related fall, it is with great delight that we welcome back Arya Stark, Daughter of Winterfell, Wielder of Needle, Kicker of Arse and The Waif’s Lament.

It was a theme we would see repeated throughout this episode - that in Game of Thrones (and maybe for us too) it is nigh impossible to overcome your nature.

Again, this was a more measured episode, with only a few high stakes moments. But still, it had lots to recommend it. Romance. Tension. Romantic tension. Brutal murder. Returns of the sad and surprising varieties. The Hound’s wang. Of course it didn’t have Jon Snow, and seriously, people I’m getting a bit frustrated by this severe lack of My Beloved and His Abs.

But let’s save that particular argument for another day. It's time to flex my recappespondent muscles (which believe me, are the only ones I have in any kind of condition).

Season 6, Episode 8: No One

They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. By that standard, the Hound is one happy freelance lumberjack. Chancing upon some of the Brotherhood Without Banners camping in the woods, he takes his axe to them so enthusiastically you’d think they were birthday pinatas. He decapitated one of the younger fighters in one blow, slammed his axe into the heart of another, sliced the throat of the third, then appeared to carve the genitals away from the bald, finger-sniffing one’s body like your Dad carves the parson’s nose from the Christmas turkey.

"There goes the other white meat."

The burnt-faced one eventually finds the Brothers He’s Looking For - already strung up and about to meet the Red God in person.

I was supremely grateful to see Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr again after all this time, and I was relieved to have it confirmed that the Brothers who raided the Happy Hillsong Church last episode were in fact a traitorous bunch of greedy bastards. They were not true servants of the Lord of Light; therefore, they were about to be hanged for their crimes.

Sandor Clegane negotiated the killing right to two out of the three of them - but in possibly the most disappointing news he’d had since finding out Ian McShane would only be in one episode with him, Beric and Thoros prevented him from taking to them with Ol’ Faithful. Instead, he was allowed to push the stool out from under them. Pfffft. That’s not justice to a Clegane. That’s basically a mercy killing. On the plus side, it did keep the whole affair bloodless, which meant the Hound could source a nice new pair of boots from the not-yet-dead dangling body. Never let it be said he isn’t resourceful.

Later around the campfire, with some disappointingly non-chicken meat (we remember how the Hound loves his f***ing chicken), Beric and Thoros entreat the Hound to join the Brotherhood, and fight for whatever it is they’re all fighting for. None of them know exactly, they just seem content enough to bumble around the countryside until their purpose becomes clear.

The Hound is initially wary, which is not surprising for a man whose last attempt at friendship ended up looking like Jonestown, and takes a restorative micturation by the nearby lake. Now I thought the camera would cut away at the moment he, well, unleashed The Hound Junior, but they did not. If you missed it, I’ve prepared this helpful and tasteful guide.

Of course it’s not particularly attractive wang, especially since the show seems to delight in showing us a close-up of his stream arcing forcefully into the lake. But apparently unsolicited todger tableaus show up all the time these days, so we should just be happy it wasn’t a close-up followed by a request for nudes.

Despite their previous run-in, the Hound seems ready to be brought around by Beric, Thoros and Co. His nature is to be a big killing machine; at least by joining them he'd be doing at least some of it for the right reason. And that's got to count for something.

Meanwhile the Hound probably doesn’t know that his reanimated corpse of a brother is still kicking on in King’s Landing, protecting Cersei Lannister and picking off Faith Militant like my foster kittens pick off deli meat left unsupervised on the kitchen bench (or indeed, anywhere).

It’s another tribute to the emotionally manipulative power of this show that I have always loathed the Mountain, and yet enjoyed the sight of him totally ripping a dude’s face off a little too much.

"These car steering wheel locks don't feel that cool anymore."

The conflict arose from Cersei refusing to leave the Red Keep to go and see the High Sparrow. Cousin Lancel insists, telling Cersei to have the Mountain step aside, or there will be violence. A quiet pause, and then Cersei says what she was always going to say: “I choose violence.”

Qyburn looked incredibly impressed with his creation as he and Cersei watched the Zombie Mountain dispense with a Faith Militant in gruesome fashion. Cersei threw shade - “Tell the High Septon he’s always welcome to visit me - before turning on her heels and flouncing back inside.

Things take a turn for the worse for Cersei though when she finds out at the last minute that there is to be a Royal Announcement.

It turns out throwing shade runs in Lannister genetics as her Uncle Kevan responds to her inquiry about why she wasn’t told about it earlier with “There’s going to be a Royal Announcement. In the throne room. At this very moment.” He even makes her go to the back of the room rather than take her place near Tommen.

Poor Tommen, having to tip a bucket over his own mother as she looks on impassively. King Squeaky tells the crowd that not only will Cersei and Slow Lorus face trial very soon, but trial by combat will be banned. “The tradition is a brutish one,” he says, adding that they’ll stand trial in front of seven septons, just like the good old days.

As the strains of the Rains of Castamere play, Cersei’s face, usually one of the harder ones to read, quite obviously screams “I’m boned.” The Zombie Mountain was her trump card. She’s got nothing left to play…except that Qyburn has some sort of creepy plan. He dangles the information that a “rumour” he’d been investigating is more, much more, than just a rumour. Then the camera cuts away just before both of them break out into a Dr Evil style evil laugh. Good old Cersei. Mistake after mistake, bad move after bad move, but she just keeps trucking.

Two episodes away from Meereen has given the city time to start repairing, with trade picking up and the convincing lectures of the Red Priests giving a sense of purpose to Daenarys’ conquest.

It’s wonderful to see Tyrion and Varys together again, albeit briefly. The Spider is off on another secret mission, this time back to Westeros to do some sneaky recon about the prospect of a resurgent Targaryen dynasty. He must really rack up the Frequent Spy-er points.

With Varys gone, Tyrion loses the one person who truly understands him, and it shows in his hysterical attempts to start an open-mic comedy night with Grey Worm and Missandei.

Tyrion is not capable of being grim and serious and sober - at least, not all of the time. His wit is his sword; he must keep it sharpened lest it lose its edge. And so, he proceeds to get his two main advisers muntered for the first time purely so they’ll laugh at his jokes (apropos of nothing, why not try reading Raven On after a few refreshing ales?)

The Lannister’s best effort is a “walked into a bar” gag totally ripped out of The Great Book of Scottish Racisms, but at least it’s better than Missandei’s translators joke, which Grey Worm confidently proclaims as the worst joke he’s ever heard. Yeah, but has he seen *insert stand-up comedian of choice* here?

Also, I didn’t think Missandei’s joke was that bad. This is just another example of the “women can’t be funny” myth. Seriously, Grey Worm, you’re not doing yourself any favours slamming on your lady’s humour. Girls like it when you laugh at their jokes, and in return, you boys like it when we have nice cars and money and buy you things. That’s how relationships work, bro. Don’t rag on your sugar mommy.

Dat boi.

There’s a gorgeous moment when Missandei giggles and Grey Worm looks at her with this gorgeous sweet smile - but then the whole thing blows up like a teenager’s party shared on Facebook when the Masters sail back into town intent on reclaiming their lost property.

Tyrion thought he had changed their minds, but it turns out indentured servitude is an idea with deep, deep roots in Slaver’s Bay. I mean for starters, what would they rename the Bay? Think of all those maps that would have to be changed… I mean, the admin is just not worth it. There was no way Tyrion’s seven-year deal to abolish slavery would hold.

With the Masters petrol bombing the city from their fleet, Tyrion is freaking out like aforementioned Facebook-party teenager realising his parents are going to find out about the destruction from the TV news. “Go to the beach!” he yells at Grey Worm, who’s like “Calm the f*** down, dude, we’re just going to stay right here in the pyramid where we’re safe”, and Tyrion’s like “Omg did you flush the shit down the toilet?” and Grey Worm’s like “Nah, man, I smoked it, I’m good,” and Missandei’s like “You guys, look at this Snapchat I just did of the bomb hitting us, I added the dog face filter, it is SO funny.”

Then something lands on the balcony outside, and everyone falls back in a defensive position. A soldier goes out to investigate, disappears, and then BOOM Daenarys stormborns in. Mommy’s home - and don’t the kids look wide-eyed and overawed.

"All right, what the hell have you lot been doing while I was away?"

At the end of the day, Dany is the Mother of Dragons, Mhysa, Saviour of the Day. It’s her job to show up and be there when she needs to be there. She’ll know what to do. Hopefully that will entail setting the dragons on the Masters’ boats.

The reunion of Brienne and Jaime was as deliciously tense and buzzing with sexual frisson as I’d hoped and occasionally fantasised about while showering.

From the moment Brienne sees Jaime, resplendent in red armour atop his white steed, we knew this was going to be epic. “Looks like a siege, my lady,” observes Pod, promptly Brienne to drolly reply that he has a “keen military mind”.

Brienne demands to see Jaime, and is escorted to his tent. Pod, bless his loyal cotton socks, is jumped from behind by Bronn, who proceeds to swear at him in that way only really people who are really happy to see you can. At least, I assume he must be happy. My parents swear at me like that pretty much every time I eventually make it around to their place for dinner, because I’m a great daughter who always answers their calls, is incredibly on top of her life, and they think it’s cute the foster kittens are slowly destroying all of my furniture/clothing/carpets. So it must be good.

Bronn, being the impolite and unashamed sellsword that he is asks Bronn if he thinks Brienne and Jaime are doing it warrior-style in the tent. Pod, being the amazing wonderful young man he is, is respectful and confused. Bronn then delightfully lets us know that not only would he have his way with Brienne, he’s certain Jaime wants to, and is pretty certain she wants to have her way with Jaime. Also - has Pod shown her his wares yet? Why do I get the feeling Bronn would totally be an unsolicited todger tableau sender?

To pass the time as Jaime and Brienne do or do not do it in the tent, Bronn offers to teach Pod “real” fighting. This was very telling as far as nature is concerned. Pod wants to be a honest knight like Brienne: tough, fair and plays by the rules. Bronn wouldn’t know a rule if it smacked him in the gob, which is coincidentally exactly what he does to Pod. “They’re all going to want to hit you, everybody wants to hit the squire!” He’s a lovable rogue, and he’s got a point: he survived. He hadn’t expected Pod to.

Oh Brienne and Jaime. So much said, but so much more unsaid. What is the connection between them? A simple bond of friendship, forged by a terrible shared experience? A platonic love? Or something more?

Whatever it is, Brienne’s presence seems to humanise Jaime, and make him a better person. He is kinder, softer, more rounded. She doesn’t call him Kingslayer anymore, that hated nickname that reduces him to a mere traitor (tellingly, the Blackfish still uses it throughout the episode as a way of keeping Jaime that cardboard cut out hate figure). Brienne seems to understand more of his complex inner-workings, and seems to have an understanding that none of the rest of us do.

The scene also had wonderful romantic hallmarks about it - a change of costume and time period and they could be a pair of vexed lovers in a George Eliot or Elizabeth Gaskell novel. Sigh. When Jaime insisted Brienne keep Oathkeeper, I may have inhaled deeply, or squealed, or both, I was that delighted. Also because that sucker is Valyrian steel and heading back north Brienne is going to need that shiz.

Then, as Brienne told Jaime that if she had to take a side in the fight, it would be for the Tullys, against him, I almost heard the Snow Patrol music of a thousand incoming YouTube mash-ups swell in the background. I must Google “how to put the heart-eyed emoji on a picture”.

I failed with the emoji, but still, look how sweet this is! So sweet!

Brienne makes it in to see the Blackfish, who steadfastly refuses to give up Riverrun, even to help his grand-niece retake Winterfell. His heart is softened somewhat by Sansa’s letter (“She’s just like her mother”) but he is a man resolved. He plans on dying in his ancestral home, family or no family. Poor Brienne has to inform Sansa by raven that she’s, gulp, failed, and her heart is clearly broken. This is a woman who lives by honour, and she feels dishonoured. We’re all “Hey Brienne, you’re awesome, you did an amazing job, you can’t help it if the old guy has a death wish” but she doesn’t see that. Bless.

Jaime’s tete-a-tete with Edmure Tully is far more dangerous than his charming chat with the Lady of Tarth. Tully is a mostly broken man - and an absent father to boot. Apparently he knocked up his bride on the very night of the Red Wedding. So wow, they must have been going for it when Robb, Catelyn and co were being slaughtered in the next room. What a cheery thought. No wonder he doesn’t really care about his personal hygiene anymore.

But Edmure isn’t totally defeated. In a surprisingly long scene, he lands a few verbal punches on Jaime, asking how he convinces himself he’s a decent person so he can sleep at night. Jaime has the good graces to look a bit introspective and sad at these accusations. But then the old lion comes out, and all of a sudden we are firmly reminded that Jaime is Tywin Lannister’s son.

He compares Catelyn Stark’s fierce love for her children to Cersei’s, and proceeds to tell Edmure that he must take Riverrun for his beloved sister’s sake, calling back that old phrase he last uttered in the very first episode of Game of Thrones: “The things we do for love.”

“I’ll send for your baby boy, and I’ll launch him into Riverrun with a catapult because you don’t matter to me… your son doesn’t matter to me, the people in the castle don’t matter to me, only Cersei. And if I have to slaughter every Tully who ever lived to get back to her, that’s what I’ll do.”

It’s quiet and deadly and leaves you wondering once again what IS the deal with Brienne? Is he just humouring her? Does he feel some affection? Or is his relationship with Cersei - and the violence it engenders - such an inbuilt part of him that he can never escape it, no matter what other options might present themselves? Is this one of the hardest truths to come at in Game of Thrones - “Is Jaime Lannister evil - or he is just really good at playing it?”

Faced with such opposition, Edmure cannot hold out. The Blackfish called him a coward and he was right; Edmure doesn't have Cat's stomach, or even Lysa's craziness, to hang on. He is set free, and demands entry to Riverrun, which is granted despite the Blackfish’s strong Admiral Ackbar-style protests. The rightful heir of the fortress then demands its defenders lay down their arms, and the Lannister/Frey coalition march in.

I’m quite glad I didn’t see the death of the Blackfish. I don’t think I could have handled it. He was such a firm, clever, sassy old bugger. The last we saw of him was sending Brienne and Pod off to safety in a rowboat out a back entrance - then diving headfirst back into the fray (or technically, into the Freys).He ran from the Red Wedding - which in some way he sees as a coward’s move, although we see it as eminently sensible. But he will be coward no longer. I’m glad the last memory I have of him will be one of steely gruffness.

"Don't worry, I plan on taking half the Freys with me when I go."

Jaime is told about the Blackfish on the battlements at dawn, where he can just make out Brienne in the rowboat. He raises his golden hand in salute, and Brienne waves back. Is it farewell? Will they meet again? By not drawing attention to them, Jaime kept his promise to Brienne to give her safe passage north. So he can’t be all bad…. Can he?

Finally to Braavos, where everyone’s conspiracy theories about Arya face-swapping with the Waif, or with Jaqen H’ghar, or whomever - all turn out to be bunkum. Arya was Arya, she got stabbed, and she asked for help from the only sympathetic person she knew - Lady Crane, aka Miss Fisher, one of the Mummers.

Lady Crane stitched her up, gave her milk of the poppy to sleep, and let her rest. We could see Arya gaining her strength back as Lady Crane asked her to join the Mummers and tour with them to Pentos. Arya, ever honourable, said it wouldn’t be safe to the group with the Waif still chasing her down. It would be weird too, given that she’d be replacing the girl who played Sansa in the show. Fancy that - real Arya playing fake Sansa in a play.

Sadly Arya’s R&R is disturbed by the Waif, whose nature is finally revealed for what it truly is - that of a T-800 series Terminator. Bitch was relentless tracking down our Stark girl through the streets of Braavos, and Arya did well to keep ahead for as long as she did.

Eventually though, the Waif traps Arya in her hidey hole, the one she fled to after her exit from the House of Black and White. And though the Waif looked as cocky as Donald Trump does every minute of every day, we knew Arya had Needle hidden there.

I thought she was going to pull Needle out and stab the Waif, and so I got mighty worried when the Waif started mocking Arya, telling her the sword wouldn’t help. Perhaps not, but Arya did have an advantage - mad blind fighting skills. That’s right, what the Waif helped her learn would now be her own undoing. Arya took a brief moment to collect herself before slashing out with her Needle, cutting the candlewick and plunging the room into darkness.

Next, we see Jaqen H’ghar following a trail of blood through the Hall of Faces. There is a new face on a column. It is The Waif, her eyes missing, blood pouring from the back of the skin. It was a rough job by Arya clearly, but she doesn’t care. She isn’t no one, she’s never been no one. It’s taken her a journey across the sea, blindess, months of hard training and being pursued by a merciless killing machine to realise she cannot conceal who she is.

Arya is BACK bitches. And she's coming Westeros' way.

*Drops mic*

Yay! Best Moments

“A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.” Just 100% gorgeous in every way.

Zing! Best Lines

Tyrion had some corkers of course, but I couldn’t go past the terrific exchange between the Hound and the fellow he de-testicularised.

“Where’s the other one? The one with the yellow cloak?”
“F*** you!”
“Those are your last words, f*** you? Come on, you can do better.”
“You’re shit at dying, you know that?”

Ewww, gross

Lady Crane’s death was genuinely sad, because she was a genuinely nice human being. Not flawless - see her admission of poor decision-making in romantic relationships - but well-intentioned, caring and kind. It was also an incredibly gruesome way to go - impaled on a chair, her head twisted and lolling backwards. I suspect I will have nightmares about poor Miss Fisher.

Boo, sucks

There are only two episodes left in the season, and next week is Episode Nine. You know what that means - Shit. Goes. Down. I suspect we’re finally about to see the Battle for Winterfell, so let’s cross all extremities and hope we see BOO HISS Ramsay Bolton’s head on a spike very soon.

Thank you so much for joining me again this week. I can't wait to read your comments and thoughts, either here on the 'Burger, or via my Facebook

Please note: Stu and I are doing a LIVE Raven On podcast this Tuesday 14 June at 8pm AEST. Simply log onto Facebook and follow the live feed from that time. We’ll be in costume, and feel free to ask questions, mock us, whatever!

Another reminder that I'm running a Patreon campaign this season. If you like the recaps and wish to become a patron, you can sign up and pledge the suggested $1 per recap. Here's the link:

Valar Morghulis!

42 Responses to ‘Raven On Game of Thrones Recap S6E8: No One’

xServer puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2016
Jaime is a Lannister - and he is as grey as they come. Ironic that he spent so much time in a white cloak.

I really think that he cares for Brienne but his first love is and will always be Cersei. He will do what he can to protect Brienne as long as it doesn't directly go against Cersei but if push ever comes to shove, Brienne will go down by Jaime's hand at Cersei's demand. Never think that he's a good guy. Good guys don't really exist in GoT. It's all shades of grey, just like real people.

I hope Danny gets her kids to light up those ships the Masters brought into the harbor. It really is silly to set yourself up in little wooden structures around dragons.

And I hope that Winterfell lands back in the Stark's hands by the end of the next episode. If they fail, my heart will break.

MyCall ducks in to say...

Posted June 14, 2016
I think Bran's flashbacks to the slaying of the mad king show that Jaime does have a moral compass different to the Lannister name.
His most dis-honourable action to stab the king in the back was actually morally sound because the King had gone mad and wanted to burn everybody, men, women and children.
Other than the twincestory, it is very hard to fault him. He keeps his word even to his enemies, he saved his brother, he is proud of Brienn who should also be his enemy, and I'm sure that there are countless other examples.

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Abbey would have you know...

Posted June 14, 2016
I can't believe that the Hound is actually one of the more loveable characters now! He has the best lines, totally agree on his zero ngers this week.
And wow, more wang. I mean I'm all for equal opportunity but couldn't it have been Tyrion's, or even Varys' gash? (Can't believe I just wrote that haha)

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 14, 2016
The mental imagery!

Ms Naughty puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2016
Thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive guide to Hound Wang. I still have to say, we're nowhere near equal nudity yet because it wasn't Sexy Wang. I live in hope for Sexy Wang.

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Martine k Atherton has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2016
Do you think Jamie is going to follow Brienne North?

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2016
Nah - if he's so desperate to get back to Cersei as he says, he'll be off to King's Landing. She is about to get punished at trial, too, don't forget!

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2016
On Jamie and Brienne I have read somewhere the basis for their friendship is that he sees in Brienne the honourable knight he wishes he had been and for her she sees that Jamie considers her a knight where as others see her as an oddity.

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2016
That's a great assessment.

Véronique of House Stark mutters...

Posted June 14, 2016
Spot on assessment, methinks!

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Sparty2 has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2016
To be picky I thought waif was more T-1000 :-)
So Jamie said cersei would was the type of woman who would burn a city to ashes and Cersei is asking about rumours . I say there be wild fire in them hills....

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted June 14, 2016
I was wondering about that too...

And to confess - I actually have never seen either the first two Terminator movies, so I just googled "What model is the Terminator?" and that's what came up.

I know, the shame, the shame. If it helps, I saw the one with Christian Bale in it. ;)

Onceler mumbles...

Posted June 14, 2016
Great analogy work for someone who's never seen T2! I thought that pursuit style looked familiar, but it didn't click until you called it out in the recap.

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2016
To be honest, I'm more familiar with Terminator style running from numerous parodies of it over the years, as opposed to the real thing! Think of Homer Simpson chasing down Flanders. :)

George reckons...

Posted June 15, 2016
I thought of maybe Jason Bourne in period costume during the Waif's pursuit of Arya?

Gilligan is gonna tell you...

Posted June 20, 2016
Couldn't find the .GIF, but...

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Katy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2016
Personally, i am starting to worry about how enthusiastic i was about the Hound getting his axe out and killing those men. And, i too, was cheering for the Mountain when he rearranged that member of the Faith Militant. But, truly it was Arya Stark who made that episode for me, hoping she gets to use these skills on Ramsay Bolton.

Fabulous recap - as always.

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wendyemily is gonna tell you...

Posted June 14, 2016
Damn! I was almost right about Arya. Miss Fisher did save her but she paid for it with her life and Arya will not be joining the Mummers! But oh, so close! I loved the last line of the show with Arya finally owning her real identity and heading off to find her siblings. We hope!

As for Jamie & Brienne, yes it was a lovely moment, kinda spoilt by Jamie morphing into a Lannister and becoming the baddie we either love or hate depending on the day! I have to wonder what will become of him, will he see the error of his way in standing with Cersei through thick & thin or will Brienne's influence eventually come through and will he become an honourable man and stand for what's right? Interesting times in Westeros!

And who didn't love and guess that Dany would land with her trusted Dragon at exactly the right moment. I would have to think that somehow she will end up with that very convenient fleet of ships under her control and sail back with her armies to retake what is hers. With Tyrion at her side. Can't wait.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2016
I do hope the masters ships survive, with Drogon flapping around in the view out the balcony I fear he may get peckish. Let's hope he likes his slavers rare rather than well done.

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Leftarc has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2016
Fully agree with the assessment of the Waif, she was a Terminator. Right down to the running style doggedness.

Lady EFL asserts...

Posted June 14, 2016
Was anyone else just a tad disappointed that we didn't get to see that fight? I was really looking forward to seeing that smug smile fall off the Waif's face as Arya skewered her with Needle and she realised that she was beaten.

Tank asserts...

Posted June 14, 2016
No, it had to be in total darkness – great tactic, Arya. So it would be a bit difficult to see the fight, unless they shot it with an infra-red camera.

flöki snöw ducks in to say...

Posted June 14, 2016
They could have given us the clash of steel in the dark, a squeal, a groan and a gasping last breath, something like Syrio Forel's last stand.

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted June 14, 2016
Nah, I was happy not to see it. We'd seen Arya and the Waif fight before. The candle extinguished was a great visual cue, and then we next saw Arya with Jaqen at the point of her sword. Beautifully done.

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PM asserts...

Posted June 14, 2016
Dany shouldn't set her kittens (sorry, dragons) to boat burning - she needs the transport option they offer. Could the dragons maybe catch (and swallow) the firebombs instead?

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PM reckons...

Posted June 14, 2016
Dany shouldn't set her kittens (sorry, dragons) to boat burning - she needs the transport option they offer. Could the dragons maybe catch (and swallow) the firebombs instead?

Respond to this comment

Mother of nothing puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2016
Great recap, really enjoyed this one.
1: I think that conversation between the Hiund and the guy who suddenly had no genitals was one of the funniest things I've seen on TV for a very long time.
2: I have become team Cersei. That's concerning, but I find the sparrow's lot the most heinous of all (well except Ramsay of course).

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girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted June 14, 2016
Yeah, all of a sudden the Clegane Brothers are the New Hotness. Bizarre.

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Dave is gonna tell you...

Posted June 14, 2016
Great recap, can't believe only 2 weeks to go. Highlight for me was the way the Hound disposed of the enemies like he was putting out the trash. He is the highlight for me while the Mountain ripping the face was a close second. I've found this series has really amped the humour up and you find yourself laughing way to often.
The loving wave from the Kingslayer to his love Brienne was so touching the girls in my household all swooned. I think they desperately would like to look after the kingslayer.
Tyrion was a classic and his face when Grey worm told him what to do was priceless.

Arya was a let down as I made the mistake of reading fan fiction blogs and I had convinced myself it wasn't her stabbed. When it was her I felt like I had wasted my time. The chase scene was straight out of terminator 2, even the running action mirrored Robert Patrick as the T-1000. I love the way in all these scenes the bad guy or girl waits to attack giving our hero time to think of something. Considering she was stabbed in the stomach so many times she drew less blood than Mr Orange in Reservoir Dogs and healed pretty quickly she showed true Stark grit and remembered her roots.

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The Hound's rubber wang mutters...

Posted June 14, 2016
Great job in your usual way Natalie. You even managed to artfully paper over the nonsense conclusion to Arya's Essos misadventures. Benioss and Weiss are beginning to struggle without George's immaculate plotting.

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George ducks in to say...

Posted June 14, 2016
Not the hounds "wang". More like his "peckernese"

Kimmy has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2016

The Hound's rubber wang swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2016
I remind myself of hotdogs.

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Lostbear72 mumbles...

Posted June 14, 2016
Great recap. Honestly thought you would have slipped in a Travolta/Cage reference for the aftermath to the Arya vs Robowaif stoush. The thing I was left wondering as the ships sailed into the harbour was whether Dany had learned how to tell the dragons that their dinner (the friendly ship-giving masters) was to be eaten uncooked. No point them going full bbq mode and sinking all those ships.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves mumbles...

Posted June 14, 2016
I'm sure sashimi slavers would be a nice treat rather than their normal Korean BBQ. Speaking of which, what/who have Rhaegal and Viserion been eating after not eating the help that Tyrion supplied

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rory mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2016
Notice the parallels emerging? Red wedding? Caitlyn Stark loves her children, so does Cersei?
Nice to see that the TV series converges back to the books a little. Mereen under siege, Jaimie rattling about Riverrun with Brienne and Dufus Tully. Dog with the Brotherhood. Can we hope for the murderess to make an appearance, albeit two seasons later?

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PM puts forth...

Posted June 15, 2016
Is there any chance of the audio from the live podcast being posted on Soundcloud for those of us who couldn't get it through Facebook?

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted June 15, 2016
No one saw the Blackfish's body, I am still hoping.

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Springfield Fats ducks in to say...

Posted June 15, 2016
The Arya plot made little to no sense in the end, especially her magically healing wounds that would have killed just about everyone who didn't have access to a surgeon and acute medical care for weeks after. I probably could have forgiven it if I thought her Bravos arc was sound, but really she learnt everything she needed to know in 3 episodes and the rest was just her getting wailed on by the waif. And Jaqen's pronouncement at the end was just stupid given he sanctioned the hit on the basis that she clearly wasn't no one and wasn't going to be. Still, at least the people of Bravos are free of the Stark plague and can look forward to a brighter future.

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Chicken mumbles...

Posted June 16, 2016
"Later around the campfire, with some disappointingly non-chicken meat (we remember how the Hound loves his f***ing chicken).."
I have a cousin, who, when offered a chicken pie, responded with "I HATE f***en chicken." Needless to say, this line of yours brought back the memories.

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Rablet has opinions thus...

Posted June 17, 2016
Just as a left field suggestion, what if the Waif actually killed Arya, and has really been spending the last few months "training" Arya for the purposes of downloading her personality, so she can take Arya's place in Westeros.

Then Jaqen's conversation makes sense: the Waif, who was still in training, has become a faceless man. She has fully taken over Arya's face and personality, and is heading "home"...for whatever purposes the Faceless men might have...

Rablet is gonna tell you...

Posted June 17, 2016
In addition, perhaps the *faceless* men have to cut off their own faces in order to be able to wear the Waif's face without eyes could have been newly skinned - by the Waif herself...

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