(NEW YORK) — (SPOILERS AHEAD!) Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones skipped all over the map, and packed a lot of plot into an hour. Plus: dragons! Well, one dragon, anyway. Here’s what happened:
Between Vaes Dothrak and Mereen
Dany and Daario are leading her khalasar of Dothraki back to Mereen. Dany asks Daario how many ships she’ll need to transport all her armies across the sea to Westeros to claim the throne. At least a thousand, he says, but nobody has that many. Dany tells Daario to wait for her and rides off. She returns riding on the back of one of her dragons and rallies the troops, asking them if they’ll stand with her, and “ride the wooden horses across the black salt sea,” to kill her “enemies in their iron suits,” “tear down their stone houses” and give her the kingdom that Khal Drogo promised her. They enthusiastically agree.
The High Sparrow allows King Tommen to visit Queen Margaery, who tells him that she’s seen the error of her ways, and has now turned to the gods. Right before she’s about to make her “walk of atonement” — the naked march through the streets — Jaime, Margaery’s dad and her grandmother show up at the Sept with a huge army and demand that the High Sparrow release both Margaery and her brother Loras. But the Sparrow says that Margaery doesn’t have to make the walk after all, because she’s managed to convert someone: Tommen. He emerges from the Sept, takes Margaery’s hand, and announces a new alliance between the Crown and the Faith, while Jaime and company watch helplessly. Jamie is then ordered by Tommen to leave King’s Landing and help evil old Walder Frey take back Riverrun from the Blackfish, Catelyn Stark’s uncle.
Arya is determined to make the most of her second chance as an assassin and poisons Lady Crane’s rum, but after the actress is kind to her, she slaps it out of her hand at the last minute, and reveals to Lady Crane that another actress in the company wants her dead. The Waif, who is spying on Arya, reports back to Jaqen H’ghar that Arya blew it, and reminds Jaqen that he promised she could kill Arya. Arya, meanwhile, retrieves her sword from its hiding place and starts sleeping with it.
In the North
After Hodor sacrifices himself to allow Meera and Bran to escape, the two are pursued into the forest by White Walkers, where they are rescued by a mysterious rider. He’s revealed to be Uncle Benjen, long-lost brother of Bran’s dad, Ned Stark. Benjen, a member of the Night’s Watch, was rumored to have been lost North of the Wall. He tells Bran and Meera that after being stabbed by a White Walker, the Children of the Forest, who created the Walkers in the first place, healed him. He tells Bran that since he, Bran, is the new Three-Eyed Raven, he must learn to control his powers so when the Night King comes for him, he’ll be ready.
En route to Oldtown to enter the Citadel, Sam, Gilly and Little Sam stop at Sam’s ancestral home, Horn Hill, where he’s warmly greeted by his mother and sister, who believe his story that Little Sam is his son. But his horrible father, Randyll Tarly, degrades Sam in front of his family. When Gilly defends Sam, she inadvertently lets slip that she comes from North of the Wall, and Lord Tarly, who really, really hates wildlings, gets even angrier. He says he’ll raise Sam’s “bastard” and that Gilly can stay and work in the kitchens, but orders Sam to leave and never come back. Sam’s about to, but then decides he’ll take Gilly and the baby with him. Before he leaves, he steals his father’s precious heirloom sword off the wall.
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