13 Jun 2016

Game of Thrones "No One" Review

This post includes spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 8, "No One".

Arya is on the run. Blackfish faces a siege while Brienne and Jaime try to resolve it peacefully. Sandor Clegane goes on a mad hunt of revenge. This week's Thrones had a lot of action with some unfortunate writing flaws, so let's get into it. As always, I shall split up my review by focusing on each location/storyline.



King's Landing

MOTHERFUCKING GREGOR CLEGANE! He literally de-spines a guy, like something out of Kung Fury. I couldn't contain my joy seeing this monster of a man fuck that guy up, and it got me excited for Cersei's trial by combat.

Aaaaaand then, the High Sparrow realises trial by combat is a bad idea with this guy, so he decides to ban it. I'm guessing that's why he sent in those men to take Cersei; he knew that Gregor was a badass but wanted to test the grounds so-to-speak. He's a clever one, that Sparrow. He doesn't want Cersei to have the advantage of brutal force. I'm assuming the trial of her and Loras will take place in episode 10, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. It's unclear what Cersei might do, but I reckon it has something to do with the wildfire that's stored underneath the city.

It is, however, disappointing to know that Cleganebowl is effectively gone. Our hype was crazy last week, but this week it's dissipated. The brothers Clegane could still clash with each other in the future, but it won't be this season.


The Riverlands

Gregor's brother, Sandor has a similar bloodshed. I've really missed his quips and zingers. The "you're shit at dying" line had me in stitches. That chopping axe was absolutely fierce, and after the scene where Sandor meets the Brotherhood, it's made clear to him that they are going to go fight the White Walkers up north. They may even show up at the Battle of the Bastards. Nonetheless, I'm excited to see where this leads and the idea of Sandor fighting zombies is chilling, and that's a good compromise to no longer being hyped about Cleganebowl.

Most of the intensity of this week came from Riverrun. Jaime reunites with Brienne while Pod does with Bronn. I enjoyed seeing that, it was like catching up with old friends. Jaime's sincerity with Brienne in the tent was what sold his performance to me. He acts very reasonably towards him and only makes these evil threats when he realises it's the only way he can negotiate. It's like a good cop, bad cop routine with himself. His character arc isn't devolving back to his old self, but the problem is it isn't evolving either. He's still in the "I just want Cersei" mindset, and while that served his character well for a bit, it's a little tiring now.


But Edmure succumbs to the threats and enters the castle with the intent of ending the siege. Blackfish is pissed and goes to sulk. Brienne and Pod go on their way after failing (a pretty pointless arc for them), while the Lannisters and Freys take the castle for themselves. I'm disappointed Blackfish got an off-screen death. He'd been built up over the last episode as a badass swordsman who was a real fighter back in his day. I mean, we all could tell he wouldn't make it out alive. He said "the war's not over as long as I'm standing" to Jaime. I just think they could have at least shown him fighting off the men who came for him. This was the lamest siege ever, and I just expected more from this storyline. He's like "sorry I can't help Sansa, I have to defend my home" BUT THEN his home turns on him and he loses it, and suddenly he has to fight for no reason when he could leave? I don't friggin' believe it. That was almost as bad as the Dorne subplot from Episode 1.

Essos

Probably the disappointing part of the episode. We get some really boring scene with Tyrion. Hey, remember when he was a really intelligent, witty diplomat? Well, now he just talks about drinking and making jokes all the time. It's obvious that the Meereen storyline just wasn't going anywhere for most of this season, but Peter Dinklage is one of the core stars so they had to have Tyrion appear somewhere. Not like this. Hopefully with Daenerys back, and the Ironborn on their way he can finally do something useful.

One of the worst parts of this episodes was trying to figure out how ANY of the Arya storyline made sense. So, last week many theorised that the Arya that got stabbed wasn't actually Arya, but Jaqen disguised as her in order to test the Waif, and some theorised that she was using pig's blood to trick the Waif into thinking she was helpless. But no we just had really pointless filler to get her to do some Assassin's Creed shit, rolling around on a stab wound and fleeing from the T-1000. Did she really just sleep off her injuries?

That's not how it works, mate.
The Waif got an offscreen death similar to Blackfish, which was also disappointing. I just don't get why we needed the filler. Arya kills the Waif in the dark, returns to the Hall of Faces and leaves. It could have been resolved at the end of last episode. You could argue it was so she could get a scene with Lady Crane, but even that didn't really add anything to the episode. It just comes off as really bad writing.

Summary

While there were some interesting scenes, this week's adventure fell really flat for me. It killed the hype for theories such as Cleganebowl and Lady Stoneheart, while also demonstrating that characters' arcs can be ruined with a simple pointless storyline and some dodgy writing. Next week's episode is the Battle of the Bastards, which is going to be a bloody affair. I'm excited for that!

Overall I'd give this episode a 4/10.

In Memoriam

Sparrow
Brynden "Blackfish" Tully
The Waif
Lem Lemoncloak and his band of merry men
Our hopes and dreams for Cleganebowl

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