Game of Thrones Episode 606 Recap: The 7 Most Important Moments – Vanity Fair

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After last week’s barn-burning episode, it’s inevitable that Game of Thrones was going to follow up with something quieter. But while “Blood of My Blood” contains no giant battle scenes or shocking time-travel revelations, it does cover a lot of ground, tying up at least one longstanding mystery, moving several plots forward in interesting and unexpected ways, and giving us a bunch of satisfying character moments– plus the usual helping of ranting, grouchy old men. But most importantly: Arya Stark is back to her old self, and not a moment too soon.

A Girl Has a Name

It’s about time. While Arya’s decision to join an exclusive order of mystical assassins seemed fun at first, it became very tedious very fast. For a bunch of shape-shifting, wizardy killers, The Faceless Men have turned out to be surprisingly uptight.

First they blinded her. Next they a spent a bunch of episodes yelling at her and hitting her with a big stick. But for Arya, the final straw comes when Jaqen H’ghar instructs her to assassinate a nice, talented actress for basically no reason.

Arya just wanted to learn some spells and kill her enemies, so what’s with all these tedious rules? Having finally had enough, she decides she’s getting her sword back and dropping out of ninja school once and for all. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be quite that easy: when it comes to tracking down wayward pupils, The Faceless Men are practically as bad as the Sallie Mae people.

Benjen Stark is Back

The parade of semi-beloved minor characters you’ve either forgotten about or spent the last several years obsessing over continues! Just when things are looking extra-grim for Meera and Bran, who should ride up to the rescue—swinging a fierce set of flaming balls!—but Uncle Benjen Stark himself?

Benjen, if you’ll recall, is Ned Stark’s brother who hasn’t been seen since the show’s third episode, when he rode off beyond the wall to look for White Walkers and never came home. His reappearance will mostly be notable to book readers and other die-hards, who started cooking up theories about Benjen’s fate pretty much as soon as he galloped off the screen five seasons ago.

So what’s Benjen been up to? Well, he’s slightly deader than he used to be, but otherwise he seems to be in pretty good shape.

Margaery is Our Queen

Ignore the distractions: smirky Queen Margaery is the one to be watching in the King’s Landing, as she proves once again that no one in Westeros can match her flair for scheming. Sure, it might look like she’s signed up for the High Sparrow’s advanced course—and the cavalry of extended family that just rode to her rescue certainly seem put out by her sudden religious conversion—but this is Margaery we’re talking about. Surely she knows what she’s doing here. And think about it: she’s just gotten herself out of jail, neutralized the pesky High Sparrow and his followers, and didn’t even have to do the Walk of Atonement or start a big war to accomplish any of it, so what’s Lady Olenna complaining about?

King Tommen, on the other hand? Yeah, he’s still an idiot.

Samwell Gets a Big Sword

Sam thinks he’s just making a pit stop to drop Gilly off with his family before heading to Old Town to become a maester. It shouldn’t be that big a deal, but the Tarlys are the worst. At the last minute, Sam has a change of heart, steals his dad’s giant sword, and decides there’s no way he can leave Gilly in the care of his miserable father. Romantic!

It’s unclear whether Sam and Gilly will really have a major part to play in the rest of the story or if the creators are just giving them time because they like them. Well, it’s fine either way because I like them too. And now that Sam has a sword made from Valyrian Steel, it’s a sure thing that, at the very least, we’re going to see him stab a few White Walkers before long.

Walder Frey is Horrible

Just when you thought it was safe to stop hating Walder Frey, he’s back and just as obnoxious as ever. This time, he’s heaping his long-suffering progeny with the usual crotchety abuse and ordering them to do the seemingly impossible: recapture Riverrun from the Blackfish.

While most of this is what we’ve come to expect from Game of Thrones’ answer to Mr. Wilson, two things are notable here. First of all, the Freys reveal they still have Edmure Tully, Catelyn’s brother, all chained up, to use as a bargaining chip. (Yes, that means two long-lost Stark uncles make their return in this episode.) Second, we get a mention of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Which makes many clued-in book readers strongly suspect that Catelyn herself may be making her undead return before long.

Danaerys Swears She Really Means It This Time

If you can count on anything from Danaerys Targaryen, it’s that she knows how to cap an episode with a rousing, inspirational speech to her loyal troops. This time, she does it astride her pet dragon, who is back and bigger than ever. (It turns out he’s just been waiting around for the perfect moment to make a grand re-entrance. No wonder the rest of the episode looked a little cheap.) Anyway, Danaerys and her Dothraki are finally heading to Westeros. No, they really are! No, they really mean it this time. Now if only they can find someone who can lend them a thousand boats. Who in the world has a thousand boats?

The Mad King is Mad

For the first time, we finally get to witness the pyromaniacal rantings of Mad King Aerys, by way of Bran’s disjointed flashbacks. But what does it mean that Bran is having these visions at this particular moment?


Game of Thrones Episode 606 Recap: The 7 Most Important Moments – Vanity Fair