Game of Thrones 6.07 - The Broken Man
If this season of Game of Thrones has shown us anything, it's that nobody ever really dies. If a character died seasons (read years) ago, they will quite happily walk back onto screen as if nothing has happened. This week's episode of Game of Thrones entitled The Broken Man shows us this in spades with one character returning that I for one, thought would never be seen back in this world.
A new story idea for this season is the concept of a 'cold open' the act of showing a scene before the main titles. Game of Thrones in my memory has never done this before, or if they have, not this effectively. Almost immediately we are introduced to Ian McShane's character of Brother Ray (someone in the writers room is surely a WWE fan), a classic actor bringing another character to the screen. It's great to see such an iconic actor thrown into the mix. Before we can breath in though we are reintroduced to one of this writers favourite characters, that of Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane. For my money this character is the ultimate anti-hero of the Westeros world. He is vicious not only with a weapon but with his words as well. I'm looking forward to the inevitable showdown with one Lady of Tarth. The script is fantastically written when Brother Ray assumes a man felled The Hound, The Hound replies that it was no man, but a woman, I got chills, thank god Game of Thrones doesn't have a mid season break, the anticipation is killing me.
Elsewhere we find the brainwashed Margaery talking to The High Sparrow, now I for one never thought Margaery was completely brainwashed ala Reek by Ramsey Bolton in seasons past. No, here in a scene observed by her ever present Septa Unella, she talks to Olenna Tyrell, played majestically by Diana Rigg "you need a good bashing" , and hands her a hand drawn rose, the Tyrell sigil, its a captivating scene, infused with drama and intrigue. When Game of Thrones answers one question, it throws another two into the mix. Its exhausting but intriguing, dare I say it perfect TV.
We can feel the stress and strain of leadership this weeks with Lady Sansa, Jon Snow and Ser Davos trying their best to gather an army to get back what is rightfully theirs and attack Ramsey Bolton at Winterfell. With a visit to Lady Mormont, a precocious 10 year old child, to gather more fighters, playing out with little humour and played seriously. These scenes can live or die on the acting talent of the child actor. If they are bad, ala Emma Watson in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone , they are really bad, but the actress who plays Lady Mormont is quite the little actress and holds her own against the more seasoned cast. The scene does have a small piece of comedy when she replies that they can spare "62 men", I and all the characters were waiting to say at least "hundred" after but a moment realised that, nope, this wasn't the case. The look on the face of Jon Snow is priceless.
One set of characters I feel we haven't seen enough of this season are the Greyjoy's, especially Alfie Allen's Theon and Gemma Whelan's Yara. Here we find them at rest, not all uptight, but letting their guard done at a brothel, which Theon finds hard at first. We also get to see a different side to Yara, normally so brave and stoic. Here she lets her hair down and embraces the decadence of the night. Before embracing it, she asks Theon if he is ready, and a wonderfully emotional scene plays out with Theon confirming that he is by his sisters side.
A summary of other characters, Jaimie and Bron (another returning character) besiege Riverrun but are ineffective against the Tully power. Cersei and Olenna Tyrell have an almighty power play conversation which is exhausting to watch.
The last notable sequence plays out at the episodes end with Arya having now found a passage back to Westeros takes one last walk around Braavos, but is attacked by The Waif and stabbed multiple times before escaping by jumping into a river. Here we yet again find a character so close to achieving their goals to have them taken away in one fell swoop, or stab in this case.
To conclude, another strong episode from Game of Thrones but when is it not> With the announcement that Season 7 will consist of only 7 episodes (down from 10) clearly the show runners and writers have an imminent end game, which although I would hate to see this show finish I am awaiting to with baited breath.