Game of Thrones 6.06 - Blood Of My Blood
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Family plays a major part in everything that happens in Game of Thrones . Week in, week out we see our rag tag bunch of characters all trying to complete their goals all in the name of family. From the Starks trying to get back what is rightfully theirs to the Targaryens trying to reassert their name back on the Iron Throne. Everything is done in the name of family. This weeks episode entitled Blood Of My Blood is no different with long forgotten family members returning to the fray.
In a nice narrative turn here, we don't get to see the most popular characters much (Daenerys) or not at all (Jon Snow, Lady Sansa, Tyrion) although a romantic beat between Brienne and Tormund is sadly missing this episode. We mostly get to see the 'B' characters, and have their story fleshed out. An example being Sam, Gilly and baby Sam journeying to the Tarly stronghold. For a character so meek its interesting to see this weakness play off against the rest of the Tarly clan as they are so over bearing and aggressive, especially Sam's father. The dinner scene is a particular highlight of the episode, a stretch of the episode that makes your skin crawl and wince with every word or change of body language.
If those scenes are the highlight of the episode we yet again get to see the pantomime scenes of old episodes playing out yet again with Arya watching on. Maisie Williams plays Arya with a tomboyish and aggressive manor but these scenes and her whole recent storyline is frustrating. I don't want to see endless scenes of her getting angry at pantomimes or fighting with sticks. I want the Arya of old, chanting names and getting to spring into action. I can feel its getting back to that point with her having reached rock bottom recently. But with the 10 episode run of most seasons, I fear the storyline will be given short shrift.
Continuing on from last weeks heart-breaking ending, Meera is pulling Bran through the snow being pursued by the White Walker army. A hooded cloaked figure helps them out with a flaming chain and ball combo. Its an effective weapon against the undead hordes and the scene plays out like a scene from Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow with the figure cutting down attack after attack. Effectively shot with a fantastic cinematography (when is it not). The figure is revealed to be Benjen Stark, brother to Ned, Uncle to Bran. Its a revelation of a character reveal, leaving it until the last moment as he unmasks. The character hasn't been seen since episode 3 of Season 1 entitled Lord Snow , it'll be interesting to see what the writers do with the character having not been seen for at least five years.
Elsewhere we see Daenerys increase her power over the Dothraki with the ultimate show of power with her dragon dance display with Drogon (who looks fantastic here and not like a bad PSOne graphic in earlier seasons). A rousing 'William Wallace' speech can motivate any army and here is no exception. With Drogon in full flight surely when the great battle comes (and it is coming) this will be a major factor in who lives or who dies.
To round out other characters elsewhere in our world , a good walk of shame is hard to come by in recent episodes and Margaery is no exception, here held to ransom by the Faith Militant and the ever maniacal High Sparrow, used in a pawn against Jaimie and Cersei, his plan works this week, but for how much longer is anybody's guess.
An episode based around character development and exposition, an episode like this is needed every now and again. Personally, I'm not sure I could take another major character death and if rumours are to believed, a certain Red Wedding foe glimpsed in this episode is about to get their comeuppance from another resurrected character, if that is the case, its going to be another water cooler moment, you mark my words.