Protect your chickens kiddies, it’s the HOUND! Time to get hyped for Cleganebowl! As in all of the episodes the title often refers to more than one interaction or character and The Broken Man of this episode can definitely be directed towards Sandor Clegane who seems to have settled in a quiet religious sect, doing honest work by hand. Whilst he hasn’t lost any of his attitude he has definitely stopped the rampant head knocking that seemed to be a big part of his MO in the past. The leader of the sect is non other than Ian McShane who gave away some spoilers pre-season and then referred to the show as just ‘tits and dragons’. Well, after the decimation of his sect by the Bannerless men and his character hanging at the end of his only episode I think that McShane may have been throwing a little tantrum that he didn’t get more screen time. On finding the dead (how long was Clegane away and how quiet were their deaths?) The Hound picked up an axe and it looks like he will back to his violent self. For more analysis on the Clegane brothers relationship and upbringing, check out their post.
Margaery seems to be towing the line for the High Sparrow but with her leaving a message for Olenna in the form of a drawn rose indicates that she is doing what she needs to for the family and that there will potentially be a twist coming in her relationship with the Lannisters and the Sparrows. Could Margaery go 2-0 for her marriages to Lannister boys?
Jaime has made it to the Blackfish and the Blackfish isn’t interested in giving up at all, he would rather die in his family keep than give it up to the Freys. There was something very Monty Python about the whole situation as someone else has analysed here. Whatever way you look at it, it looks like Jaime and his crew are probably going to be hanging in there for a while to get the castle back if at all.
Jon and Sansa did their best Dickensian impression, going from house to house asking ‘please sir can we have some more (soldiers)’ which didn’t do too well. The stand out of this, and potentially the episode, was the child Lady Lyanna Mormont who drove a hard bargain and despite being a child really forced the issue of whether she should hand over her soldiers to the cause. After much consternation and debate and a massive effort from Davos, Jon and Sansa they were finally triumphant in securing her support with her massive 62 soldiers…hardly a world beater, but she assures that they fight with the strength of 10 regular soldiers each.
There doesn’t seem to be any need to go into it any further, but the scene with Yara and Theon in the whorehouse indicates that Theon is no longer Reeking and he is ready to back his sister no matter what their future brings.
The most shocking, yet not shocking, part of the episode came in the final minutes – Arya is around the docks for her boat and is approached by an old woman who is no more than the Waif in disguise. A short struggle and some stab wounds later, Arya pulls herself out of the water bleeding profusely from the stomach and getting no help in the market place. I can’t see that Arya will be killed off, as it makes the whole story line pointless, but I do wonder what will happen from here.