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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

I have to wonder how much of this is what GRRM told them would happen in the books. Hodor’s name was, the creators mention that last week. Hard to say if his death will be the same. Jon’s coming back was something book fans already knew for sure. The question is will it ruin the books if it turns out much of what they’re doing here is in them? Personally, it wouldn’t. GRRM does plenty in his books that never make the show, or do them better AHEMDORNEAHEM, and I don’t really care if I know some of the future as long as it’s well written. There’s another big reveal in this one, but I don’t know that it’ll be the same in the books. The “Coldhands” character is one shrouded in mystery. This show went nah, no mystery, here’s who he is. Previously on Game of Thrones, Hodor and Summer died bravely to protect Bran, who brought the White Walkers down on their head. Sam and Gilly were traveling to Sam’s home where he could stash her and the baby. Arya was given her first assassination target. The High Sparrow is the worst and the council plus Cersei and Jaime plan to stop Margaery from having to do the walk of shame. Dany has the Dothraki in her pocket now again.

So let’s start with Coldhands. Meera and Bran are about to get slaughtered when this mysterious person shows up. He kills the wights and yoinks the two of them up on his horse. He is revealed to be Benjen Stark, alive all this time. Or mostly alive, as he kind of died but the Children of the Forest stabbed him with dragonglass. So he’s like halfway between a White Walker and a person … ish. He tells Bran he has to become the Three Eyed Raven. Hopefully Bran will learn how to be mature enough to handle that responsibility. Kid makes bad decisions. Meanwhile in Starkville, Arya learns more about the actress she is supposed to kill. She does put the poison in her drink, but after a conversation with her, she decides to save her life instead. She knows this means that Jaqen and the Waif will have her killed, so she’s prepared for that fight. See, Arya Stark is not no one. It’s been fun seeing her struggle through all of this to become more lethal, but it’s also good for her to remember exactly who she is. Where she goes from here is a question mark.

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I like Sam and Gilly, but I found their scenes both uncomfortable and kind of boring? They get to his house and his father is a wretched person. He gets pissed when he realizes Gilly is a wildling, but agrees to keep her and the kid as long as Sam gets out of there. He references the family sword which is made of Valyrian steel. This is incredibly important as it’s one of the things that can kill a White Walker. Sam says to hell with this and runs off with Gilly and their kid, and steals the sword. Go Sam! I do wish he’d been able to tell his father off first though. In King’s Landing, they prepare with a small army to take Margaery and Loras back from the church, but Margaery appears to be brainwashed. I don’t believe it for a minute, she knows how to play this game and she wants her brother out. But she’s influenced Tommen who agrees to partner with the Sparrow. He exiles Jaime for being aggressive, sending him to the Riverlands to retake that. Cersei persuades him to and bring back honor to the house. BRIENNE IS GOING THERE TOO. WE’RE GETTING A REUNION. See in the books, Jaime and Cersei have parted ways. They no longer are a couple. I miss that storyline, but I guess they thought it was better to keep the Lannisters somewhat of a unit. They really need to watch Tommen better, that kid is so easy to manipulate.

Dany jumps on her dragon and inspires the Dothraki to follow her. She’s ready to go conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Now she needs some ships to do it. Hint hint, Greyjoys. Also Walder Frey shows up as a side story to say he plans on going after the Riverlands too and has Edmure Tully in custody still. Eh. So all the chess pieces are still moving. I wouldn’t say this was a very exciting episode, but I don’t mind filler here and there as long as it’s moving the plot forward. We all know that the biggest episodes tend to be episode eight, and everything builds up to that point. I have no idea where they’re going and that’s exciting now, not worrisome. I’ll say it: I like this season! Overall I’m into it, or maybe I had such a low expectation that it works for me. I still am more excited about the book, whenever it comes out, but this has been pretty solid storytelling. Tip of the hat to them.

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