New plans are made, new alliances are formed, and Cersei becomes madder. All par for the course on Game of Thrones.
It was Bronn who saved Jaime!
After they’ve sputtered out all the muddy water they’ve inhaled, Bronn asks Jaime what the fork he was doing, and forbids Jaime to die until he gets what he’s owed. Bronn also says that dragons are where their partnership ends, so if Dany brings her dragons and starts burning King’s Landing, he’s saying goodbye. Jaime has to face the daunting task of telling Cersei the bad news (about the dragons, not Bronn leaving. Cersei doesn’t care about Bronn).
Tyrion walks through the ashes of the battlefield morosely. The little remaining soldiers are herded defeatedly to face Dany, who gives them the “I’ll be good to you if you love me” speech, with an added incentive of “bow down or die”. A lot of soldiers are unwilling to kneel, but many do when Drogon roars at them terrifyingly. There are still some holdouts though, including Randyll and Dickon Tarly. Randyll refuses to yield to a foreigner with a horde of savages overtaking their lands. Tyrion tries to save his life by suggesting that he be sent to the Wall to become part of the Night’s Watch, but Randyll insists that Dany can’t do that because she’s not his queen. Dickon Tarly steps up too, nobly but foolhardily, and joins his father. Tyrion is upset to see these unnecessary loss of lives and the loss of a great House, but he can’t dissuade Dany, who orders Drogon to burn them alive. The rest of the soldiers are so terror-stricken by this fearsome display of dragon power that they all bend the knee.
Back in King’s Landing, Jaime gives Cersei the bad news. Cersei is obstinate, and says they can still win the war with mercenaries. In this desperate position, between fighting and dying or submitting and dying, Cersei wants to go out fighting. Jaime also tells her Tyrion didn’t murder Joffrey, Olenna Tyrell did. As expected, Cersei regrets listening to Jaime in giving her a merciful death. (Will she stop listening to him soon?) Still doesn’t care about having wrongfully blamed Tyrion.
Jon is on a clifftop watching Drogon and Dany arrive. Jon is terrified as Drogon nears him, but he still tentatively pets the dragon, who recognises a Targaryen when he sees one, and doesn’t chomp his head off! Dany is shocked that Drogon is so docile towards someone who isn’t her. Jon has tears of wonder in his eyes, but is still about to describe her dragons in less than complimentary tones, when he sees Dany glaring at him and quickly changes tack. 😀
Dany tells him she has less enemies now, which Jon doesn’t know how to feel about, but Dany reminds him that he also killed thousands of his enemies to take back Winterfell. She then is about to clarify what Ser Davos meant by Jon taking a knife in his heart for his people, when Ser Jorah returns! Dany is overjoyed at how healthy and hearty he looks (and so am I!) She introduces Ser Jorah to Jon, who looks unsure about this new arrival Dany is hugging.
(Northern Ireland must be absolutely freezing. Look at the gale of the winds on that cliff! The costume designer has put furs in Dany’s costume, which I’ve never seen her wear before, and given her leather gloves. I haven’t seen Ser Jorah, or the Dothraki, so covered up before either. But hey, Winter has come to Westeros, so it makes sense.)
Bran uses ravens to see what’s happening beyond the Wall. White Walkers nearing Eastwatch, the castle closest to Hardhome, that’s what. He gets Maester Wolkan to send out the ravens, one of which reaches the Citadel.
Sam overhears the Maesters talking about Bran, and vouches for the truth of what he said. (Also, it was him who led Bran through the Wall years ago??? When did he even meet them?) Sam proposes that the Archmaester use his revered standing for good to get everyone in Westeros to fight against the Army of the Dead. But the Archmaester decides to take a wait-and-see approach, which upsets Sam. After Sam slams the door on his way out, the Archmaester reveals that he still hasn’t told Sam that his father and brother were burnt alive. I’m sure that when Sam finds out it was Dany who did it, and his best friend is now
flirting working with her, and the man he just saved from terrible death by greyscale is also her knight and in love with her, he would be furious at them.
Varys and Tyrion have also gotten the raven. Tyrion is trying to assuage his guilt in being unable to stop Dany from burning the Tarlys alive, but Varys tells him that’s what he used to do — unsuccessfully, as he tells it — when Aerys the Mad King burnt alive the enemies he brought to him. Varys tells Tyrion he needs to find a way to make Dany listen.
Jon receives the message and finds out Bran and Arya are alive. But he is more preoccupied with the fact that Bran saw the Night King heading towards Eastwatch. He wants to go back, but he has not enough men, and Dany doesn’t want to lose the advantage she has gained in the war to Cersei. Tyrion then suggests bringing one of the dead to Cersei, so she’ll know the threat is real and focus on vanquishing the White Walkers first. How to get Cersei to listen? He’ll talk to Jaime, who is the only one Cersei might listen to.
But how to get a wight? Ser Jorah asks Dany’s permission to go beyond the Wall to get it. Jon sees her looking upset at that thought and is jealous? Whatever it is, he suggests that HE go get a wight instead. Dany now looks torn at the thought of possibly losing him too, and says she hasn’t given him permission to leave yet, but Jon says he is a King and doesn’t need her permission. He asks her to trust in him, as he did her when he didn’t even know her, and she finally agrees.
In Winterfell, the Northern Lords are speaking ill of Jon, and clamouring for Sansa to lead them instead. Sansa sees Arya looking at her, and maintains — not very convincingly — that Jon is doing the best he can. Afterwards, Arya confronts her and accuses her, in a fairly creepy manner, of wanting power. Oh no, the sisters are at odds again! This time, the stakes are higher, and no longer their childish quarrels of yore.
Ser Davos smuggles Tyrion to King’s Landing, and throws in a mention of his son who died at the Battle of Blackwater. I do not recall him at all! :-O Even after googling him! (Btw, “Ser Davos son” is the first suggestion that popped up when I googled him this morning!)
Bronn tricks Jaime into seeing Tyrion. There’s an angry reunion between the two brothers, with Jaime still blaming Tyrion for killing their father, even though he knows Tyrion’s grievance against Tywin Lannister was justified. But they’re not there to talk about that; Tyrion is there to offer Cersei a truce.
Ser Davos is in Flea Bottom. Guess who he’s looking for? Gendry! Whom we haven’t seen since Season 3! Honestly, I can’t remember how Gendry went from the Brotherhood, where Arya left him when they parted, to almost being killed by Melisandre and Stannis. But anyway, he’s back in King’s Landing, hidden in plain sight under Cersei’s nose, and he’s ready to go where Ser Davos points.
On their way back to the boat, they encounter two soldiers, who could have saved their own lives if they hadn’t been so nosy (or greedy) and kept poking. Seriously, they almost got away scot-free, but they *had* to turn around and ask after Tyrion. Gendry bludgeons them to death, showing just how seriously he meant business.
Jaime tells Cersei he met Tyrion and tells her his proposition. Cersei then asks Jaime — with a mad smile, I must add — if he’s going to punish Bronn for tricking him. Jaime is taken aback at that cold statement, and the fact that she knew and allowed it to happen. (Be careful Jaime, she’s turning more and more into the Mad King!) But he is quickly distracted when Cersei tells him she’s pregnant again, and he is touched that Cersei is willing to acknowledge him as the father. He hugs her, but Cersei adds in a “Never betray me again”, which dampens his mood a little.
Ser Davos tells Gendry to keep his identity secret, and Gendry pretends to agree, but immediately blurts out everything Ser Davos told him *not* to say when he meets Jon. Gendry has no filter at all, and Jon is not amused when he calls him short. But he readily accepts Gendry’s eagerness to help. White Walkers, Lannisters, whatever: Gendry doesn’t care, he just wants to fight. Poor Ser Davos is trying to advise them to be cautious and live longer, but he’s completely ignored. Anyway, if Gendry survives the trip beyond the Wall, he’ll most likely meet Arya again, when Jon goes back to Winterfell. Awesome! (Assuming Arya hasn’t fallen out with Sansa by then.)
Tyrion reconnects with Ser Jorah as he’s about to set off for Eastwatch. (Ser Jorah kidnapped Tyrion and brought him to Dany in Season 5, remember? Cause it took me a while to.) And then it’s Dany’s turn to say farewell again. Ser Jorah looks like he’s about to confess his love, but he sees Jon and is cockblocked again. Sad music plays as Dany sees them off! I hope it doesn’t portend ominous things about their trip!
Gilly recites seemingly useless facts to Sam — including another clue to Jon’s parentage — but Sam is barely paying attention as he broods over how the Maesters refuse to listen to him and do anything about the doom hanging over them all. Sam decides to steal some scrolls from the restricted section of the library and leaves Oldtown, but not without bidding a regretful farewell to his dream of becoming a maester.
Arya sees Littlefinger paying off a servant girl, and sneaking around Winterfell talking to the Northern Lords. She breaks into his room after seeing him receive a mysterious scroll from a very loud messenger. (I was so sure that Littlefinger would find her, and though he didn’t, it *was* a trap set by him.) Apparently the scroll was the message Cersei forced her to write to Robb in Season 1 when she was held captive, to persuade Robb to swear fealty to Joffrey. Will Littlefinger’s plot drive the sisters apart again? :S They’re already on the way there.
Jon and gang reach Eastwatch. Tormund asks him why he has such a stupid idea to go back beyond the Wall, before revealing that they’re not the only stupid ones — the Hound and the Brotherhood are in the cells! Turns out everyone has beef with each other some way or another. (Now that Gendry mentions being sold to Melisandre by the Brotherhood, I vaguely recall that happening. But how does Ser Jorah know Thoros of Myr?) Jon says all the beefs don’t matter, because they’re all on the same side against the Army of the Dead. Then the episode ends with them setting off into the icy wilderness to catch themselves a wight!
Only two episodes left! Looks like the showdown between the White Walkers and the living might come to a head by the end of this season! Which leaves Season 7 free to deal with fighting over the Seven Kingdoms!