Warning: Spoilers ahead if you have not yet watched Season 6, Episode 7.
The Hound! We knew that Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, was still kicking around somewhere in the Seven Kingdoms and we’re sure glad he’s back. Though it’s unclear how his Game of Thrones storyline is going to play out for the rest of the season (he’s having a tough go of it so far) we’re hoping that he and Arya will reteam soon—they belong together, like Brienne and Sansa. Despite the minor point that Arya left him for dead last season, we can’t imagine The Hound doing anything but reluctantly helping her in the future.
In the meantime, he’s found himself a nice little group of pacifists in the woods. The Hound seems genuinely touched by Brother Ray, the group’s leader, and committed to living a quieter, less murderous life. Alas, minding your own business doesn’t seem to bode well with the rest of the GoT population. A trio of men then show up and wipe out The Hound’s new crew while he’s chopping wood. As sad as this is, we immediately see it reignite The Hound’s anger, and we just know (hope) he will cross paths with Arya again soon.
Over at King’s Landing, Margaery is pretending to be the picture of religious purity. The High Sparrow is impressed with her quick learning and seems to believe that she has turned over a new leaf. But, clearly, she’s got a plan. The High Sparrow reveals his intentions, telling Margaery she needs to do her duty as a wife by sleeping with her husband, King Tommen, and producing an heir. Then he sets his sights on her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell. The High Sparrow doesn’t try to mask his threats: He tells Margaery she needs to get Olenna on his side, or else. This doesn’t sit well with the queen. She makes a beeline for Olenna and insists that Olenna leave King’s Landing ASAP. Confused, and worried that her granddaughter has been brainwashed by the Faith, Olenna tries to argue, but Margaery slips her a note and goes about her prayers. Olenna steps outside, opens the scrap of paper, and finds a sketch of a rose, the Tyrell house sigil.
We now have confirmation of what we suspected: Margaery is playing the Faith and everyone else. She remains loyal to her family, and most of all her brother Loras who is still imprisoned by the Faith. Olenna agrees to leave King’s Landing, but first she has one more heart to heart with Cersei Lannister. Not one to mince words, Olenna says to Cersei: “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met.” This pretty much sums up what we’re all thinking—basically every time we see Cersei—which is why it’s our quote of the week!
Season 6, Episode 7, “The Broken Man”:
“You’ve lost, Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in all this misery,” Olenna goes on to tell her. We won’t count Cersei out though. She, of course, will find another alliance if the Tyrells won’t join forces with her, but she does seem mildly offended by Olenna’s daggers. Maybe because the two women are more alike than they want to believe.
Back at Castle Black, Jon is also having a heart to heart—this time with the Wildlings. He fairly easily convinces them to help him take back the North. After all, he did already die for them so they kind of owe him. Plus, it’s the only way for the Wildlings to keep their freedom. “SNOW,” the Wildling Giant states loudly (he’s a man of few words), casting his vote for Jon and speaking for the Wildlings as a whole.
As Jaime Lannister and his army converge upon Riverrun, home of Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, at the same time as the Frey forces, Jon Snow and Sansa Stark continue their campaign to recruit allies around the North before heading to Riverrun themselves. And with them we come to meet a fierce new character: Lyanna Mormont, of Bear Island. Tough as nails, this 10-year-old little Lady solidifies Season 6 as the season of female empowerment. She’s so badass, in fact, that she shuts down Jon and Sansa rather quickly. Luckily, Ser Davos (who has a solid track record of befriending kids) convinces Lyanna to pony up her whopping 62 troops to help the Stark cause, but only by appealing to her worst fears: the dead are coming. (Sidenote: You may remember that Jorah Mormont, trusted advisor of the Mother of Dragons, hails from Bear Island, so Lyanna may be right when she says that each of her men is as strong as 10 "mainlanders.")
The Starks have less luck convincing the other Northern houses to join them, and we once again see Sansa going rogue by sending a raven to someone behind Jon’s back. This covert plan doesn’t seem like it’s going to end well.
But, let’s talk about Theon. His sister Yara has cruelly taken him to a brothel and he’s having a hard time with it (oh, the irony). Yara is a tough-love kind of woman, and she tells Theon that she knows he’s had some bad years but he needs to pull himself together. Really, Yara? We don’t think you understand the meaning of “tough years” the same way Theon does. Still, her appeals work, and we get a glimmer of hope that Theon will indeed regain some confidence and make his sis (and us) proud.
Finally, in one of the most shocking moments of the episode, we touch down in Braavos and find Arya happily booking passage back to Westeros. As she reflects on her time at the House of Black and White, a sad looking stranger approaches. Come on, Arya, look alive! Before Arya has time to realize this old woman is actually the Waif, she is sliced and stabbed—the Waif even twists the knife! So much for not letting Arya suffer. Loyal viewers know, death is a very real possibility for main characters, so this is a seriously terrifying sequence of events. But, to our relief, this is not Arya’s last stand. She throws herself over the bridge on which the two are standing and stays underwater just long enough to convince the Waif she’s gone. Arya emerges downstream and stumbles through the marketplace bleeding and clutching her stomach. Why is no one helping her?! Next Sunday can’t come soon enough.