She’s a wolf. Forget that at your peril.
Quick takes: ARYA MOTHERFUCKING STARK. It took me way longer than it should have to figure out what was happening but the moment I did I cheered so loud I woke up Kick. Not only was it more efficient to poison all the Freys than hang them one by one as happens in the books, it was also WAY MORE AWESOME.
Conversation number one of the episode:
Littlefinger: Sansa, your parents and sister are dead, you’re wearing several raccoons, about three weeks ago I sold you to a people-skinning rapist who you had to feed to murder-hounds, your little brother just got turned into a pincushion, this place has no indoor plumbing, and it’s been snowing for 19 and a half days straight. Why are you not happy?
Sansa: Primarily? Because you keep talking.
Conversation number two is just the eyeroll Brienne gave Tormund when he told that kid he should be honored Brienne touched his face with her fist.
DRAGONPIT. DRAGONPIT. DRAGONPIT.
Euron! I figured we were gonna just ditch Euron, which is okay, but I’ll take him questing after a dragon’s head to throw at Cersei’s feet. In the books he’s in Old Valyria hunting mystical shit, I think. We’ve thrown so many storylines over the side sometimes I forget which ones we’ve kept.
I have President Roslin/Jennifer Goines-level feelings about Beric Dondarrion. He’s so goddamn tired. The Brotherhood Without Banners has been riding in the Riverlands for years by this time, trying to keep a few of the common people safe. How many have they actually saved? How many made it out? If you did that, if that was your war, wouldn’t you want it to end? Every true believer I’ve ever known hates their god just a little, a lot of the time.
Every war is just somebody trying to stay alive.
I had lunch with a friend this week, one of maybe four people with whom I can stand talking about religion, and we talked about radical theologies, about the church insurgent, the church fighting, the church when it was a dozen scaredy cats whose best friend had just been put to death for breaking rules. I thought about that conversation when the Archmaester turned up all, “Look, I get that there’s an undead army marching on the Wall but that’s not enough to make me revise the Visitor Policy Manual, mmkay?”
Cersei, Danaerys, Littlefinger, they’re building dynasties. They’re drawing out futures for children who don’t exist anymore, talking about grand destinies and birthrights. They’re trying to find ways out for their own, against the odds arrayed before them.
The Citadel is thinking in millennia, past this winter, past the next one, casting as inevitability something dearly bought. Every winter that has ever come has ended, the Archmaester said, and of course it has. People died for it, people who didn’t know about the last winter and the one before that. They thought they could keep their children alive.
They thought they were holding back the end of the world.
Maybe they were.
Sandor Clegane, Thoros of Myr, lay the dead gently down. The ground has to be close to frozen, where the Hound is digging. No one will ever visit the graves. No one will credit what he’s done. The Lord of Light’s doctrine is not one of reward, of storing up riches in a far-off heaven. Clegane won’t earn anything from the others by it, either, and he’d deny to the end of time that he cares.
You can watch the houses of the Seven Kingdoms spin from the center of the orrery, and comfort yourself that all of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.
You can take the long view, if it makes you feel better.
As for me and House Clegane, we will bury the dead.