Meera is dragging Bran. Bran is a vision. The winds howl in the snow and Meera falls struggling to pull Bran’s Cart. Meera collapses exhausted on top of Bran.
There’s flashbacks a plenty coming from Bran’s visions but the Wights are closing in until a hooded and masked horseman intervenes.
He rescues Bran and Meera on his horse and rides away with them.
Horn Hill. The Reach.
In a carriage, Samwell Tarly and Gilly are travelling with an escort.
It’s through green, fertile countryside and they approach a massive house/castle.
Sam makes Gilly swear not to say she’s a wildling, but to say she’s from the North as that’s what he wrote in advance to his father.
His mother and sister greet him fondly and fuss over baby Sam.
His father and brother are off hunting.
The Sept, Kings Landing
King Tommen and the High Sparrow light a candle and talk of Margaery.
The High Sparrow asks if he wishes to see her.
Tommen then goes to her room, it’s a room rather than a cell and although plain, it’s like she now seems too.
They talk of prospect of the walk of atonement.
She seems a reformed character, glad to see Tommen but talking of her previous false charity to the poor to mock Cersei and that she’s changed. But she does mention her brother Loran an his plight.
Gilly in a dress!!
Sam is impressed. They go arm in arm into dinner.
Dinner is a strained affair around the table in an impressive dining hall. Sam’s father is clearly being hard going and stares at him, Gilly toils with the cutlery.
There’s small talk of hunting, but then Lord Tarly is relentless in mocking, questioning and humiliating Sam.
His bookish ways, his quest to be a Maester, his service in the Nights Watch, his fatness..
Sam is defended by Gilly, but she slips and reveals she’s a wildling.
Lady Tarly has had enough of the tirade and leads Gilly away.
Gilly and Baby Sam will stay at Horn Hill but Sam is clearly told to go by his father.
Sam is crest fallen at the verbal abuse and later leaves Gilly quietly and ashen faced.
A moment later, in a moment of decision, Sam re-enters the room and decides to leave with Gilly and the Baby for Oldtown taking them with him and in crossing the great hall he takes the Family Valyarian Sword ‘Heartsbane’.
‘He’ll have to come get it’
The Mummers play and this time, the stage is portraying the death of Joffrey.
Arya watches from the front row, then at the change of scene goes back stage with her potion of the gift for the lead actress
But in sneaking out she passes the actors coming off stage and the actress she is employed to kill starts talking with her.
Arya leaves quietly, but returns to stop the actress drinking the poison by knocking the glass from her hand. The Waif overheard what happened from behind a pillar.
Arya goes to where she hid needle and her belongings before entering the House of Black and White.
Jacqen is in the temple removing a face from a body.
The Waif enters and reports to him. ‘As expected’ – The Waif asks if she can do as promised. Jacqen nods.
A large group of armed men are led by Mace Tyrell. They approach Jamie Lannister on the streets, and Mace gives a typically stupid speech to his men.
A crowd has formed outside the Sept anticipating Maegary’s Walk of Atonement.
The troops enter the square and stand ahead of the crowds.
The troops form up and Jamie rides up the sept stairs to confront the High Sparrow.
Margaery will not do the walk of atonement. Jamie threatens the sparrows and his cousin Lancel with the club wielding faith-thugs.
Tommen is then revealed coming through the doors of the Sept with his Kingsguard.
The Tyrell’s are shocked at his appearance, he takes Margaery by the hand.
Tommen announces a alliance between the Crown and the Faith.
The plans of the Tyrell and Lannisters to thwart the High Sparrow have been foiled.
Later in the throne room, Jamie is removed as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard by a certain and far more decisive Tommen.
Jamie is to leave Kings Landing to command the Lannister forces.
Oooh. To The Towers.
Lord Frey’s weasel looking sons are telling their father they’ve lost Riverrun. The minor houses of the Riverlands have turned on the Freys and they think the situation lost.
Lord Frey commands them to get him back Riverrun, his sons ask how, and Edmure Tully is brought back from the dungeons.
Jamie had been ordered to go to the Riverlands to siege Riverrun.
He talks of getting revenge through Bronn and cut-throats .
Cersei tells Jamie to lead the Lannisters ‘as he should’ at the siege and that she has the Mountain for her trial of combat. They embrace.
The Frozen North.
The hooded figure has lit a fire for Bran and Meera. Bran is again in and out of his visions.
‘Why did you help us.’
‘The Three Eyed Raven sent for me.’
Meera starts to say ‘he’s dead’, but the hooded man, indicates Bran is the Three Eyed Raven.
‘I last saw you as a boy, you loved to climb the walls and frighten your mother.’
Uncle Benjen. (But paler)
‘A white walker stabbed me with a sword of ice but I was saved by the children of the forest through dragon-glass.’
He makes Bran drink and tells him he must be ready for the Night King coming.
Dany leads her horse army and orders them to stop.
She talks to Daario about ships and needing a thousand. It is a weeks ride to Mereen.
She rides herself away from the front of the column, saying wait here.
The Dothraki are restless at her going but then, overhead a massive dragon flies above them.
It lands with Dany on its back, she tells the Dothraki they are all her bloodriders.
They are awestruck as she tells them they must sail to Westeros and fight knights in iron.
Benjen and the return of the dragon.
Bran and Meera were truly in trouble after Hodor’s sacrifice.
The character that helps beyond the wall in books is a mysterious hooded figure but unrevealed and Benjen’s fate is still presumed unknown, the timings are different too.
It’s a good use of character and effective device, but clearly being iced and dragonglassed isn’t good for your features.
The dragon was huge.
Massive and it certainly helped Dany get the Dothraki convinced.
The talk of a fleet with Daario was interesting. A clear sign that Dany intends on getting on the road.
As well as the literal reference to the Dothraki, ‘Blood of my Blood’ was about family, obviously another Stark reunion of sorts, the Freys reappear as the ultimate family in a way. The Tarly’s and Sam’s humiliation by his father. I suppose we have a reverse of that with Tommen removing his natural father Jamie Lannister as leader of his Kingsguard.
Arya and the Waif facing off for real looks highly certain unless there’s a twist.
An unexpected pleasure seeing Lord Frey though, it does confirms what Sansa was told in the previous episode by Littlefinger.
No Jon, Sansa, Davos, Melisandre in terms of their movement from Castle Black south.
No Mereen and Tyrion’s little group in the Pyramid.
No Winterfell and our boy Ramsay.
No Littlefinger and unfortunately no Iron Born either.
Most disappointingly Bronn is mentioned but not seen, although we must be grateful for no Dorne and its yawn inducing sand snakes.
I was going to drop in that the next episode title was known last week, episode 7 is entitled – The Broken Man.
This may or may not refer to Edmure Tully who was revealed this week. It may or may not refer to Jon Snow, Benjen Stark, Jamie Lannister or Theon Greyjoy.
All of who might qualify. It is the sigil or shield crest of House Bolton as a flayed man too.
I’ll guess on Jorah Mormont appearing though, there’s much to be found in Volantis…
Sky in Germany has given the final three episode titles unfortunately and they’re a bit spoilery so I won’t indulge you, but they’re out there.