We’re only halfway through this year’s Game of Thrones, but it’s already unleashed a multitude of thrills, spills and brutal deaths to keep us glued to our screens. And you know, finally convince us to sever any emotional investment to the remaining series cast. It’s just too painful.
We’ll be kicking off this week’s live blog and commentary at 11.50pm, ahead of the new episode’s airing at 2am on Sky Atlantic (aka 9pm for you wacky Americans), so hopefully see you then! And if not, we’ll just warg into you and make you read this anyway. Pageviews are pageviews.
This live blog is now concluded
03.38: But whatever happens, we’ve got a long seven days to wait until we find out. For now I will bid you my adieu, look forward to the Stark’s bright future and hope that as they charge into triumphant battle they’ll remember exactly what was sacrificed to get them there.
Good night everyone! May your family meals be significantly less awkward than a Tarly reunion, and see you all in seven days.
03.35: Next week seems to be returning to the “main” fan-favourite plot – the Starks take back the North – and by the looks of it they’ll be getting round a few houses. Not sure whether we’ll be picking up with Arya though; seeing as episode 8 is apparently called “No One”, it seems possible she’ll sit next week out and have her big fight with the Waif later.
03.32: Oh yeah, and Daenerys ended the episode with a big speech about how she was going to recapture Westeros, but she often ends episodes like that so I care a bit less.
03.28: I guess to sum up, this week was a great episode that filled us in on a lot of background (Sam’s horrible home life, The Mad King etc) while also advancing the plot in key areas (Arya breaking with the Faceless Men, Tommen bowing to the Faith, Benjen coming back from the dead and the Freys rejoining the, well, fray).
All that, plus we got to watch Joffrey die all over again! truly, a blessed 60 minutes.
03.25: God, so much happened this week that I almost forgot to discuss one of the most important moments this week – Bran’s flashbacks about the Mad King! Very cool to finally see Aerys Targaryen in the flesh, and I can’t help but feel like all those glimpses we got of the deadly wildfire he wanted to use to burn King’s Landing down were intentional.
As we learned in season 2 the wildfire is still held under King’s Landing, so the city could still be ripe for a burning. Perhaps the conflict between the Lannisters and the Faith will boil over and lead to someone taking drastic action – and let’s be honest, it’ll probably be Cersei.
03.20: Forgot to use this earlier for when Bran and Meera were escaping the White Walkers, and since I made it I’m using it. You could say they were lucky not to get…
Totally worth shoehorning that in.
03.18: Guess we shouldn’t be so surprised that Bronn’s back next week, as Jaime can’t go anywhere without him. He’s literally his right hand.
03.14: The trailer for next week’s episode is here, and it’s very exciting!
Looks like we have the return of The Blackfish (Clive Russell, last seen in season 3) AND Jerome Flynn’s Bronn, as well as a surprise guest role for Tim McInnery as a member of Stark-loyal House Glover (they have the fist banner seen behind him.
I really can’t wait – love where this series is going.
03.09: Side note – I bet at some point somebody will come up with a crackpot theory about how the nasty Umbers are backing the Faith Militant, evidenced by their mutual love of crossed chain accessories.
They must subscribe to the same style blog (OK, style newsletter delivered by Raven, maybe).
03.08: Man, two great episodes in a row. Game of Thrones is winning me back.
03.06: Oh and also…NOBODY DIED THIS WEEK! The streak is broken!
03.05: So Benjen was brought back from the dead by dragonglass, which can apparently now kill you, return you from the dead AND make you a race of icy superbeings. If we could fins some way to make it wi-fi accessible, I’d say we’ve got this year’s must-have Christmas gift on our hands guys.
03.04: I had heard rumours that we were going to see more of the Tower of Joy flashbacks with young Ned this week, but clearly that was erroneous. Still, fun as it would have been to see that I feel like the balance worked really well this week, and that might have tipped it too far.
03.00: Nice (exciting) developments in King’s Landing and in Arya’s Murder School, nice character background stuff for Sam and the return of Benjen Stark after five seasons out of the action! Jon Snow was right back in season one – despite appearances, some Starks ARE hard to kill.
02.59: And that’s the end! Really enjoyed that episode – feels like we’ve gotten longer with the characters over the last two weeks.
02.57: Daenerys is hella impressive in this scene. Turns out dragons really help with oratory.
02.55: Come on Daenerys, stop debating your purpose in life – at the moment, I’d say that’s the…
I am sorry, I think that’s the worst pun I’ve made on this blog so far. Just in time for Drogon’s triumphant return! Hello CGI budget. Guess we know why Summer got killed off now.
02.54: Guess you could say Joseph Mawle made those wights…
Sad that he’s a sort of half-Wight-dragonglass zombie now.
02.53: Well, it looks like Bran is officially the Three-Eyed Raven now. And OMG, it’s Benjen Stark!
02.51: Incest storylines were never so uplifting.
02.49: Walder Frey finding that treachery doesn’t lead to very loyal bannermen. But hey, Edmure’s back! Tobias Menzies on loan from Outlander.
02.48: Wahey, the Freys are back! Funny that Filch refers to it as the Red Wedding too, good branding that.
02.47: Do the Sparrows have 24-hour armour makers? And no, they’re sacking Jaime! That’s a shame.
02.45: Bet some GoT fans will be sad Margaery didn’t get that walk of shame. Creepy as it is to say that. And oh Tommen, oh Tommen. What are you doing?
02.44: The Tyrells have unleashed their greatest warrior – The Queen of Thorns!
02.43: Uh-oh; looks like there’s about to be a..
02.42: Ahahaha just look at Mace Tyrell’s armour! I love this guy.
02.40: Forgot to say, nice of Sam to get that Valyrian steel sword for the Night’s Watch – that metal’s one of the only things that can kill White Walkers, but Jon and Brienne rode off with their own Valyrian swords last week. So selfish.
02.39: Doesn’t feel like Arya really invested in her weird, unpleasant assassin’s training, and now she’s quit because the woman she had to kill was quite nice. Why did she even want to join the Faceless Men, again?
02.37: Battle of the Doctor Who guest stars – Faye Marsay vs Maisie Williams! Very exciting. Hope we get to see that this week rather than next week.
02.36: Think Arya might just have used up her second chance with the Faceless Men there – but at least she’s got Needle back!
02.35: Richard E Grant as himself, there.
02.33: I like the inclusion of actors into the Game of Thrones world. Also, that it’s giving Arya some empathy for her enemies, which is pretty interesting.
02.31: If Arya is put off killing someone just because they’re good at their job, she’s like the worst assassin ever.
02.29: Yay, more plays! And a return to a happy memory for us all.
Bye bye Joffrey! Arya’s joy was all of us in season 4.
02.28: I do feel like it would’ve been reasonably easy to just NOT say you’re a wildling though, love.
02.26: Gilly and Sam are actually a really sweet couple. Quite believable.
02.25: Man, people in Game of Thrones are super racist to wildlings. Nice nod to Heartsbane on the wall there – possibly setting Sam up to steel the Valyrian steel sword later.
02.24: Go Gilly! Nice to defend Sam.
02.22: Oh God, don’t bring up Gilly’s dad. Sam should have prepped his mum with no-go areas, rookie mistake.
02.21: Have to say, Dickon is pretty hot.
02.20: Well Sam’s dad seems nice.
02.18: I can’t help but feel this Tarly family dinner is gonna be like the one in Shrek 2, and I can’t work out if that makes me a bad person.
(it probably makes me a bad person)
02.15: I think Loras is gonna find a MARVEL-lous solution to his predicament.
02.13: Oh Tommen, you are so sweet. But has Margaery really been brainwashed? I’m not so sure.
02.12: As one reader has pointed out, Gilly’s baby has blue eyes while Sam and Gilly both have brown. Here’s hoping no-one in Horn Hill has Ned Stark’s knowledge of inherited genetic characteristics, or the lie about him being Sam’s son won’t last long.
02.10: Sam’s mum and sister seem nice.
02.09: That Awkward Moment When your boyfriend’s dad has advocated genocide against your people.
02.08: Tarly family reunion. Also, is it weird that Westeros has the same trees as us?
02.07: And yay, this random guy who totally isn’t a significant season 1 character to the rescue! He has good timing…
02.05: I think Bran officially just became the only character to know what’s all of what’s going on in Game of Thrones.
Don’t worry guys, you can blend in!
02.04: Bran, there’s a time and a place for watching series recaps, and this isn’t it. Anyone else spot a glimpse of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen there?
02.03: Don’t think I saw Sophie Turner or Kit Harington in the opening credits, so it looks like we could be seeing a Sansa and Jon-free episode this week. Boo.
02.00: Still hasn’t started. Come on Sky Atlantic, hurry up!
01.58: Not long now…ramping up my typing fingers…stretching out my pun muscles…reloading my meme generator. I’m ready!
01.52: I’m extremely upset that I haven’t thought of this pun before. Basically ruined my whole day.
I’m sort of 50/50 on this; I generally think everyone’s storylines get less interesting when they leave Westeros, and at the beginning of this season I was pretty bored of Arya being asked who she was. Buttt I did quite like her training montage the other week, and the play last week was terrific. So maybe there’s hope for Lady Stark yet.
She should still come back to Westeros though, right guys?
01.27: I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Jorah memes. So ripe for comedy.
01.22: Man, I seem to keep drifting into dark topics this week. For a bit of light relief, let’s look back at what happened last week when Ser Jorah (aka Lord Friendzone of House You’re like a Brother to Me) finally revealed his feelings to his beloved Daenerys.
01.15: Here’s a fan theory liable to make you depressed – a lot of viewers think that last week Sansa might have been hinting she’s pregnant with Ramsay Bolton’s child, with the character mentioning that she could feel inside her what he did and sewing herself a new dress (which could help conceal the change).
This idea is pretty grim, so we’re hoping it’s not true and that we’re all just getting a bit too over-interested in some nice needlework. Sansa deserves a bit of happiness, and it feels like that development would just bring more trouble and heartache.
01.11: This tweet is similar to how I feel, except it’s what STOPS me going to bed in the evening. No regrets.
01.06: This tweet reminds me of a good joke I heard a few years ago, about why Game of Thrones is exactly like Twitter – there are 140 characters and everyone is awful.
01.00: Still about an hour to go for the episode, and here at RadioTimes.com towers (aka my living room) we (aka me alone) are pretty pumped for an exciting night of Game of Thrones fun (aka me typing in silence, which IS actually pretty fun).
In other words, I’m Jonesin’ for a Thronesin. Bring it on!
00.43: On a lighter note, last week also gave us another beautiful chapter in the Tormund/Brienne romance. A man ships this.
We’re not sure whether they should be referred to as Briemund, Torienne or something else, but we’re sure of one thing – they’re the best (potential) Game of Thrones couple we’ve ever seen.
00.35: Anyway, time for some #truth to be laid down on ya. This year at least one returning character has died every episode this year, including (but not limited to) Prince Doran and Trystane Martell, Roose Bolton, Balon Greyjoy, Alliser Thorne, Osha, Hodor, Summer and the Three-Eyed Raven.
Now of course Game of Thrones has always killed a lot of main characters – that’s pretty much its main modus operandi by this point – but this level and amount of death feels more like some sort of character cull than the normal shocking plot-driven deaths.
Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have previously said that they only want to do 13 more episodes after this series – could this be their way of streamlining the show, cutting down on plotlines and preparing the series for a neater ending by killing off secondary characters? After all they have now overtaken George RR Martin’s source novels, so have a bit more leeway to do what they want and make a TV show that’s easier to manage.
Then again, it could just be that we’re reading too much into it. We’ll just have to see how the death toll rises this week, eh?
00.24: And after a week away from Kings Landing, based on this episode’s trailer we’re about to pick things up with the Lannisters’ war against the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. Will Margaery perform a walk of shame or will Jaime’s army turn to violence? Only time will tell…
00.17: That’s weird, lost a few minutes there. Anyway, other talking points from last week – nice elf-people the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers, Sansa put Littlefinger in his place about Ramsay and Arya went off to be a groundling at one of the Globe’s most transparent bids for mainstream acceptance yet.
Still, they were pretty accurate about the Joffrey slaps eh?
Oh, and Euron Greyjoy became King of the Iron islands, if the Kingsmoot was a storyline you were desperate to keep up with.
00.04: Right, here we go. This shouldn’t be a problem.
00.03: In fact, you know what? I’ve had enough of him. Hodor must be avenged. Time to write a properly scathing post about him.
11.59: Also worth noting, there’s been a lot of Bran-hate after his actions caused the death of Hodor, Summer and the Three-Eyed Raven last week. Whether it’s climbing towers or warging without permission, he does NOT do well at following orders.
11.54: If you want more info on exactly what happened to Hodor last week (and whether it constitutes a time paradox), you can read about it here; but to sum it all up…
11.50: Hello and welcome to another installment of “all your favourite characters will die”, aka everyone’s favourite murder-fest Game of Thrones. In last week’s episode we witnessed the sad death of gentle giant Hodor (aka Kristian Nairn), who was mind-possessed through time travel and forced to lean on a door to death while his younger self had a fit.
Look, it totally made sense at the time, OK?
Anyway, hopefully this week will buck the trend and see no beloved characters get the chop, but we’re not too hopeful. For now, we’re keeping Thrones fan Djentleman Josh’s handy death chart ready…