Game of Thrones “Blood of My Blood” 6×06 review: Part 1

“Blood of My Blood” demonstrates how Game of Thrones excels at character development and driving complex and compelling storylines forward. The episode was light on violence, and there was no sex or nudity, but in a way it provided a refreshing change of pace while navigating fascinating sections of certain storylines. Part 1 focuses on the episode’s storylines with King’s Landing, Walder Frey and Riverrun, Bran, and Daenerys.

The lack of violence was a complete shock for me when it came to King’s Landing in this episode. I expected Jaime, the Tyrell army and the Mountain to unleash their fury and obliterate the Faith Militant. A sick part of me looked forward to seeing the Mountain strangling and hacking apart sparrows (that’ll come later this season). The situation culminated in a way I was not expecting, a way that proved not only how clever and manipulative the High Sparrow can be, but how out of depth the Lannisters and Tyrells are in dealing with such a man. Tommen is completely suckered in by him. Cersei, Jaime, and Olenna Tyrell have all overestimated him. The only person who’s starting to figure out how to deal with the High Sparrow is Margaery. Taking on the attitude of a former sinner turned into an atoning believer while making him seem like he still has the upper hand . . . that is the way to go. Now that the High Sparrow believes Margaery is a pious woman, she needs to continue building that trust. And I believe she will be the undoing of the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. Unless Cersei loses her patience and decides to unleash the Mountain and as many other soldiers as she can to crush the sparrows once and for all. It would be more interesting to see Margaery be their undoing, though the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m curious to see what the dynamics are between Margaery and Cersei now, and if there’s any way they’ll work together to bring down the Faith Militant.

North of King’s Landing, Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, other Houses in the Riverlands and the Brotherhood Without Banners have all played a role in taking back Riverrun from the Freys. The Freys’ control of the Riverlands is slipping. It’s the perfect time to bring Walder Frey, Edmure Tully and the Blackfish back into the show. Between the insurrection the Freys are facing, the army Ramsay Bolton and the Karstarks are about to face in the North, it’s fantastic to finally see those who were responsible for and benefitted from the Red Wedding starting to suffer. “The North Remembers” is finally coming to fruition. I hope to see Ramsay Bolton and Walder Frey die by the end of this season. Ramsay will die in the battle for Winterfell. I’m less certain about Walder Frey. Jaime and the Freys will probably take Riverrun in a similar manner to the books, especially with the hostage Edmure at play. Though instead of just the Blackfish escaping, he and many of his forces may escape and head north to aid Jon and Sansa. But after that success, I believe during a celebration of the recapture of Riverrun, Walder Frey will be slain Red Wedding style as he’s killed during what appears to be a triumphant and positive time for him and House Frey.

It’s also worth mentioning that with Jaime headed to Riverrun on Tommen’s orders, Brienne and Podrick on Sansa’s orders, and the Brotherhood Without Banners still prominent, the seeds for finally revealing Lady Stoneheart are being planted. Even if Lady Stoneheart doesn’t pan out, a Jaime-Brienne reunion seems likely, and that prospect alone is almost more exciting than Lady Stoneheart.

Speaking of reunions, a huge one happened north of the Wall as Bran and Meera are saved from the wights and we finally find out what happened to Benjen Stark. I like how Benjen is connected to the Three-Eyed Raven, Children of the Forest, and the White Walkers, thereby making his return more meaningful and believable. He ensured that Hodor’s heroic sacrifice was not in vain.

Let’s also take a moment to acknowledge how cool Bran’s visions were. While most of the visions are things we’ve seen, we do get out first glimpse of the Mad King at the height of his madness, and even the moment when Jaime Lannister stabbed him in the back. It’s no accident the episode begins with a glimpse of the Mad King and ends with his daughter Daenerys showing further strength in her conquests. While we tend to root for Daenerys, I believe life is going to become an absolute nightmare for her in Westeros. When she reaches Westeros, she will not be treated like the savior we’ve seen her so often treated as. Somewhat similar to what’s happened in Meereen but on a larger scale, she will be treated and viewed as a foreign invader. She cannot keep control of three dragons, the Unsullied, the khalasar, and the Second Sons. She will lose control in Westeros. The people will not support a woman they don’t know or trust that brings all these formidable forces to their land, especially the khalasar that’s used to raiding and raping and enslaving. This episode ends with Daenerys appearing triumphant and strong, someone to believe in and root for. But ultimately, I believe she will be like her father, descending into madness. As Daario said, she’s a conqueror. As a conqueror with so many powerful forces that she will be unable to control and so many people fearful and turning against her, she too will descend into madness and tyranny.

More about this episode and the show as a whole in the Part 2 review . . .





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