Previously on Game of Thrones: Arya got gut stabbed by the Waif, Jamie besieged Riverrun, and the Hound is alive and out for some revenge.
Lady Crane is onstage, giving a standout performance that brings the audience to tears. The applause and cheers are plentiful, and she bows and retreats backstage, where she hears a noise. Understandably wary, she goes to investigate and finds Arya on her bed, holding her wounded belly.
Lady Crane tends to her, bandaging her wounds (a skill she picked up after having inflicted a few herself, on unreliable lovers). We learn that the actress who went after Lady Crane is no longer with the company, and Lady C messed her face up pretty good, so she’s probably not going to be acting again anywhere soon. Lady C offers Arya a job with the company, now they’re down an actress, but Arya declines, choosing instead to explore the world.
The horrible creatures who killed all the villagers are sitting around a fire, joking about women and kissing and teasing each other. They’re surprised by the Hound, who comes in with his axe and makes short work of all but one. That guy gets an axe straight to the groin, and while he’s slowly bleeding out, the Hound asks where their leader, the man in the yellow cloak, is. The guy just reels off an ‘f-you’ and the Hound’s like, ‘really? That’s your last word? You suck at this.’ And then he kills him.
Now that the red priestesses are telling everyone how awesome Dany is, Meereen is once again peaceful and prosperous. Riiight. I find it a little hard to believe it would have happened this quickly, but fine. I find Meereen a bit dull anyway, so let’s move this along. Tyrion heads down to the docks with Varys, who’s off on some mission to secure friends and ships in Westros. Tyrion’s sad to see his buddy go. I’m sad to see him go too. These two have both been really wasted this season.
Qyburn goes to see Cersei and tells her that several members of the Faith Militant are demanding to see her. She goes out to the courtyard, where they’re waiting, led by Lancel. He summons her to the Great Sept to speak to the High Sparrow. She refuses to go, reminding Lancel that she was told she could stay in the Red Keep until her trial. She orders them to get out, so they prepare to take her by force. Clegane steps forward and Lancel warns her that this will mean violence. She’s fine with that. One of the men tries to attack Clegane and has his head ripped right off. The others wisely decide not to press the issue.
Brienne and Pod arrive at Riverrun, where Brienne notes Jamie’s presence from a distance. A contingent of soldiers ride over and demand to know who they are and what they want. She sends them to Jaime with a message: she wants to meet.
In the camp, Bronn playfully sneaks up on Pod and marvels that the kid’s still alive. Bronn tells him he really needs to start learning about dirty fighting, if he wants to continue to survive, and they start right in on the first lesson.
Inside Jaime’s tent, he’s also surprised at a survival: Sansa’s. He congratulates Brienne on a job well done and asks what she’s doing there. Brienne informs him of Sansa’s plan to go retake Winterfell with the help of the Tully army.
Jaime: They’re a little busy at the moment. Try back after the siege.
Brienne: You know it’s kind of shitty for you to try and wrest control of a family’s home away from them for no real reason, right?
Jaime: Eh, politics.
Brienne: Give me a try: I’ll go have a chat with the Blackfish and convince him to hand over Riverrun so he can take his army and go fight for Winterfell. This plan makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, because why would he give up his own home explicitly to go and fight for someone else’s? But I’m going to propose it anyway, because strategizing is clearly not my strongest suit.
Jaime: Well, no harm in trying. Good luck with that!
She then goes to give him back his sword, but he tells her to keep it, it’s hers now. Wow, that’s a super generous gift.
The Blackfish, unsurprisingly, flat-out refuses to just give up the castle, even though Brienne’s got a letter from Sansa and everything! Brienne reminds him that the place can’t stand against the Lannisters and the Freys forever but the Blackfish thinks they can stand a siege long enough for it to matter. She tries to appeal to his fondness for his late niece, but it’s still a no go. Brienne sadly tells Pod to send a raven to Sansa, telling her they’ve failed.
Apparently there’s going to be a royal decree, and Cersei has only found out about it at the last minute, which doesn’t please her at all. She appears in the throne room, along with Clegane and Qyburn, but is barred from taking her place beside Tommen. Kevan instead sends her to stand with the other ladies, in the gallery. Tommen does not intervene. Why is Tommen so against her now? Is this the Sparrow’s doing? Margaery’s? Kevan’s? I feel like I’ve missed something.
Cersei goes to the gallery, where the ladies all melt away from her like she’s diseased or something. Tommen takes the throne and announces that trial by combat is now to be outlawed. Bummer, Cersei. The trial will now be held at the Great Sept before seven septons, who will decide Cersei’s and Loras’s fates. Qyburn sidles up to Cersei and tells her that the old rumour she had him investigate turned up much more than he anticipated.
Tyrion’s apparently bored and decides to get Missy and Grey Worm drunk. He gives them both wine and toasts Dany, so now they have to drink or risk disrespecting her. Tyrion downs his glass and talks about how, one day, he wants to own a vineyard. And then he tells a lame joke about some of the great houses in Westros. This is really all this season has been about: endless time wasting. Missy then tries her hand at bad jokes. More jokes threaten to follow, but thankfully bells start ringing and Grey Worm rushes out. The city appears to be under attack from the sea. Missy darkly observes that the masters have come for their property.
Jaime goes to see Edmure and apologises for the harsh treatment he’s received so far, promising him proper food and clothing. Edmure scoffs at his offer and tells him that his uncle will never surrender the castle. Jaime tells Edmure that he has a son now, sired on his one and only night with his wife, after the Red Wedding. He promises to bring the boy to Edmure and give them comfortable rooms at Casterley Rock, as well as tutors and knights to train the kid. Edmure doesn’t believe the promises of a man who stabbed his own king in the back and had Edmure’s whole family slaughtered. He asks Jaime how he can tell himself he’s a decent man after everything he’s done.
Jaime thinks about it and then talks about Catelyn and how much she loved her kids and how that reminded him of Cersei. He muses about all the crazy things one does for love and says that, to get back to Cersei, he needs to take Riverrun, so he’ll do whatever he needs to in order to win here, even if it means launching Edmure’s son into the castle by catapult.
Apparently that convinces Edmure, who walks up to the castle drawbridge and orders it lowered for the rightful Lord of Riverrun. The Blackfish tells the men not to let him in, because this is clearly a trap, but since these guys are apparently all idiot automatons, they do. And Edmure immediately orders them to surrender the place to the Lannisters. He also orders the Blackfish clapped in irons and handed over to the Freys. Edmure, you suck.
The Blackfish, meanwhile, is showing Pod and Brienne to a secret escape boat. Brienne urges him to come with them, but the Blackfish refuses to leave his home without a fight.
We don’t even get to see that fight. A soldier reports to Jaime that the Blackfish died fighting. Jaime watches from the battlements as Pod and Brienne make their escape, and gives them a little wave.
Meereen is very much under attack. Tyrion acknowledges that he was wrong to try and negotiate with the other masters and tries to give Grey Worm some advice, but Grey Worm tells him to stay out of military matters. There’s a clatter above, and Missy grabs a knife to defend Tyrion as one of the men goes to investigate. The man, and others near the door all drop to their knees as Dany comes in, her face all: ‘I told you kids no parties!’
The Hound comes across Beric Dondarrion and other members of the Brotherhood without Banners. They’re preparing to hang Yellow Cloak Man and two others for participating in that useless raid. Beric tells the Hound they’re really not cool with senseless slaughter, so they’re administering justice. The Hound demands to be allowed to do it himself, but Beric will only offer up one of the men. The Hound negotiates for two and gets it. He’s not pleased he’s not allowed to use his axe, but he goes ahead with the hanging and helps himself to Yellow Cloak’s boots while he’s at it. Hey, waste not, want not.
He joins the rest of the guys for dinner and declines their offer of joining them. Beric and the others say that things are about to get pretty crazy up North and they really need good fighters. The Hound starts to seem like he’s considering it. What else is he going to do, right?
Lady Crane checks on Arya, who’s asleep, then goes to fetch something from an adjoining room. There, she’s surprised by a young man who’s obviously the Waif.
Arya wakes when she hears a clatter and goes to investigate. She finds Lady Crane dead on the floor, the Waif in the doorway telling Arya the Many-Faced God was promised a name and His needs must be met. And now he’s been promised another name.
Arya leaps out the window, landing on the street below and running off surprisingly quickly for someone with a stomach wound and, almost certainly, at lest one sprained or fractured ankle. The Waif gives chase through the city streets and the market. The exertions cause Arya’s wound to reopen. She’s getting slower and weaker, so she leads the Waif to wherever it was she had been hiding out and stashed Needle. It’s time for Arya’s Last Stand.
Later, Jacqen finds a new face at the HoBaW. So long, Waif. You were…kind of a pointless distraction, really. Arya’s still there, with Needle. She tells Jacqen that she is not no one, she’s Arya Stark of Winterfell, and she’s going home. Something like respect flashes in his eyes and he lets her go.