Blood of My Blood kicked off the second half of season six of Game of Thrones with some big reveals and catching up lesser storylines. Overall the episode was executed well, but after the gripping climax from last week this episode fell flat. The episode was trying to advance storylines which haven’t progressed much during the season. The stories didn’t get far, and the ones that did where anticlimactic.
The biggest and best reveal of the night was North of The Wall with Bran and Meera. We picked up right from the conclusion of last week’s episode and saw a mysterious rider save the pair from the wights. It was a good action scene and the fire ball chain mace was a nice touch. The reveal of the rider’s identity solves a mystery from the first season and the first book, the fate of Benjen Stark. We learn Benjen was attacked by the White Walkers and would have died and turned into a wight if not for the Children of the Forrest. The writers of the show then confirmed after the episode Benjen is the same character as Coldhands in the books, which has long been speculated. It will be interesting to see what powers he has in the show, and how well he can protect Bran from White Walkers and wights, until his confrontation with the Night King. The two scenes north of the wall had the most impact on the overall story of the show. The other stories were anticlimactic, just more setup, or not needed.
The story with Sam and Gilly isn’t needed for the show. Sam making a trip to Horn Hill was pointless other than him taking his father’s sword. The only reason Sam took Gilly to his home was to leave her there, and he ended up leaving with her. Sam should have already been at Oldtown learning to be a Maester. They could have easily found a way for his father to visit him, and for Sam then to take the sword. This would have advanced the story of his schooling and wouldn’t have wasted twenty minutes of the episode on pointless humiliation of Sam. We know his father was horrible to him, we know Gilly loves him. There was no point in reinforcing these aspects of the story. The scenes were well acted, and shot well, they just weren’t needed for the show. Hopefully now we can actually see Oldtown and how people become Maesters. This could be another boring storyline, but I’m excited to finally see The Citadel.
I thought we were going to finally see the High Sparrow put in his place, but he outmaneuvered everyone and manipulated poor Tommen. Margery had a hand in his manipulation, because she didn’t see anyone coming to her rescue. I don’t blame her for finding a way out of the walk of shame, but it proves the High Sparrow is out for power, the same as everyone else. It was an anticlimactic way to finish the storyline. It would have been nice to see some fighting, but it had the effect of moving Jaime’s story forward. Jaime’s story has been a departure from the books, and one I’ve most disappointed in. His growth in the books is phenomenal, going from someone you loathe, to someone you want to succeed and overcome his trails. He is now going to the Riverlands to help The Frey’s which is where he spends his time in the books. With him and Brienne going to the same spot the show could introduce a character from the books which has been lacking. The story pointing to this reveal was my second favorite part of the episode.
The other storyline briefly touched on before the conclusion was with Arya. It was good to see her make a decision, and leave the temple of the Many Faced God. She doesn’t want to be an assassin for hire, she still wants to be Arya Stark and take revenge on those who did her wrong. It would have been nice to actually see the conclusion to the story tonight and have her fight. She will surprise them when she puts Needle to use with all she has learned. Her story wasn’t pointless, but it would have been nice to see her reach this conclusion sooner. She has been trained the entire season to this point, and now threw it all away. I was hoping for her to stay in the order, but trick them into thinking she was truly one of them.
The ending of episode was a great conclusion. It was fantastic to see Danny riding her dragon and inspiring the Dothraki. I liked her speech and glad they kept it in Dothraki, but what was the point? She already has united the Dothraki.. She did this when she walked out of the fire and everyone bowed to her. Flying Drogon down and uniting the Dothraki was how I wanted the last season to end. I’m glad we got a Dragon moment, but it wasn’t really needed for the show. We know what she is planning to do, and that the Dothraki are going to follow her. It was still an amazing scene, but was still not necessary with how they have advanced her story to this point.
This episode was my least favorite of the season. It was anticlimactic from where the show was building from last week. The show had setup a great confrontation in King’s Landing, and didn’t deliver. Arya’s storyline could have finished tonight, but didn’t because a chunk of the episode was watching Sam have dinner with his Dad. Still, even with the issues it was still an entertaining hour of television, and most of the problems are nitpicks. A great show can’t be epic every episode. I just wish tonight had more payoff.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you letdown or did you enjoy all the storylines showed tonight? Comment and let me know.