Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Book Club | Spoiler Discussion of The Broken Man, Season 6 Episode 7

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Welcome to the Game of Thrones Book Club, the Post Show Recaps podcast that talks about HBO’s Emmy-winning series from the perspective of those who have read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels and related material. You are listening and proceeding further at your own risk.

Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) returns this week and discusses the latest episode with Josh Wigler (@roundhoward), focusing heavily on the return of the Hound, the possible return of another major book character, some quick Arya Stark theories, the possibility of King’s Landing burning to the ground, and more.

Send questions for the next Book Club using our feedback form, over e-mail, or by tweeting at Josh and Terri.

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  • Paul

    What is hype may never die!

    • Lance Davis

      This podcast is dark and full of terrors.

  • Brian Hough

    ok, so I’m one of those weird people who have always liked book club w/o reading the books and usually can’t remember half the details (especially in the early season-ie when the RW came up in season 3 I remember thinking ‘weren’t they saying something about a wedding?’
    Any rate I love the theories but I have a few modified versions-
    1)Lets resolve the Arya/faceless man story by simplifying what would need to happen to stop JH from continuing to try and kill Arya and in the context of Arya and the Waif undergoing tests- what if the failed by both failing to kill Arya and failing to make it quick, meanwhile Arya, unbeknownst to herself, passed because right before she left she called out the understudy on her plot to kill to Lady Crane, which then set off of events that leads to understudy’s death (retaliation or hanging) giving the faceless god a face. This could also be part of a reveal in which we realize that in becoming a faceless person you can always choose not to kill someone but someone has and will always die. As such becoming ‘no one’ isn’t something that you must do to become a faceless person but something you become as a result of becoming a faceless person and always having to carry the burden of knowing that when in service to the faceless god no matter choice you make, death will always follow in some form of another and to be a faceless person you must accept that and accept that one day you will become ‘no one’. And if we want to get real fanficy- what if the ‘powers’ associated with being a faceless person are less about being a ‘ninja-assassin’ but a kind of ‘fatehacking’ magic.

    2)Sansa’s letters- how much is Sansa aware of what’s happening in King’s Landing? With Olenna leaving and the Lannisters collapsing, (and in a very ‘girl power’ season) could Sansa be writing to the Tyrells? ie you help me retake winterfell and I’ll marry Loros and make him warden of the north and cut off the Lannisters’ northern power base. OR (and dare I ‘ship) could she promise to name Jon a Stark and to marry him to Marjery (you know, in case something should happen to Tomin…)

    3 (and I promise finally,) speaking of something happening to Tomin- instead of Cersei burning KL down, what if after losing everything- power, name, her father, (Jaime?), her children and even ‘spiritually’ losing her last son, and convinced that the witch’s prophecy will be inevitable, (not too mention, being drunk a lot), Cersei decides to just fastforward on fate and get it over with- killing Tomlin and possibly herself. Think about it- on the one hand, its a trope that is deeply written into the history of tragedy, involves a very taboo and difficult subject in contemporary times, allowing the show to take on fantasy/mythic tropes through lens of studied contemporary and gritty realism- which the show loves so much.
    Also, as i write this, I keep thinking back to Blackwater and how close Cersei came to poisoning Tomin- foreshadowing?
    regardless of how credible these theories are, I’m hype AF

    • Brian Hough

      actually simpler version of Lady Crane- at some point between The waif’s attack and now, the understudy dies as a result of Arya calling her out, thus appeasing the faceless god thus not requiring her death, though failing in the test to become a faceless man. She then gets picked up by a Water dancer (I picture them seeing Arya stumbling and the WD finding and taking her in their arms and as Arya begins to lose consciousness she says ‘not today’ signalling to the WD that Arya know’s what’s up.). This then sets up the remainder of the season with Arya montaging though water dancing retraining and returning to Westeros at the end of the season 6 as a Water Dancer with many of the skills, if not magic, of the faceless men. It would carry some poetry as it would represent Arya returning to her original love of ‘dancing lessons’ and carrying out her revenge through that rather than dark, nihilistic path of the faceless men.

  • Paula

    As much as I enjoyed Jessica and Fishback on the book club, it’s great to have you two back. <3

    Terry, I'm totally with you in the lack of cleganebowl hype, it was never something I truly cared about and i just can't find myself being excited about it. I also think you explained so well why I don't think bringing Lady Stoneheart now makes sense, we have other ways to get our revenge, we don't need her anymore and I think it would be kind of cheap to bring so many characters back in the span of a season.

    Regarding Lannisters dying, I think we may have the minor ones dying so Kevan and Lancel. I can't see Jaime and Cersei dying so soon (also because I'm in the camp that believes that Jaime is the valonquar that kills Cersei).

    • susan appleby

      I’m all in on Cersei but it might be a cliffhanger for next season. Cersei doesn’t get her trial by combat. Jaime rushes and takes whatever castle that is: River Run? Cersei blows the place up, Jamie gets there just as the fire he killed the king to prevent destroys the city or a good part of it. Tommen dies somehow. Cersei goes mad. Jaimie comes in, then cliffhanger.

  • Alex Kidwell

    Let’s be honest; the Lady Stoneheart reveal IS cool in the books, but then there’s absolutely nothing there for a whole book-plus! I love the source material, but I’m honestly not sure how it’s really much better than saving the “resurrection of someone you TV-only people love” ace-in-the-hole for Jon, after which anything else becomes fair game. In this age of “the Glen Rhee dumpster dive,” if they did Lady Stoneheart at the end of Season 4, people would be hating on it and calling it one of the biggest plot-holes in TV history right about now IMO. Now is when the show narrative has made both resurrection AND the Brotherhood topical again, so now is when the reveal makes sense. Terri’s awesome, but on this one I think she may need to take a trip to the bridge at the Crossing so she can get over it (SWIDT?)

  • GeekFurious

    YESSS!!!! I was just about to go on a 8 mile walk. Now I will have the Dream Team to listen to!

  • susan appleby

    1. I’m already all in on Cersei and Tommen dying this season. If Jamie dies, there are basically no generals left except Sams Dad and the Blackfish.

    2. I can see Arya playing out the way you said, she’s trapping the waif but didn’t plan on getting stabbed- maybe she expected poison?

    3. The High Sparrow will never allow Trial by Combat as the Mountain will obviously be her protector. I wish Cersei had a little subtlety and a lot more foresight.

    4. If Cersei burns down the Sept to kill the High Sparrow, she will probably take out all of the few remaining Kings Landing players, including Marjorie, Loras and Kevan. Maybe she kills Tommen too which would make her insane.
    Who else is even in Kings Landing now?

  • GeekFurious

    Alright, having listened… let me just say that I posited the exact same theory that Terri delivered… and I am sure it’s going to happen. I too looked at that shot over and over and I won’t even say any more about it because I’m beyond sure it will happen. Next episode most likely.

    And the repercussions will deliver the final note to a prophecy only made real because someone believed it was real and overreacted.

    I also love that Arya theory… and really want it to be the case. I don’t know if it will because it’s too good for this season… and this season has been so much fan-service… ugh.

    Season 6 of Game of Thrones: for people who think a 60 second adult video has too much plot.

  • Beefcake

    I also don’t think there will be a CleganeBowl, either.

    We have to remember that we are watching an edited version of a GAME. The editors are just misdirecting us from the obvious strategic move.

    We know the High Sparrow is a very strategic player. We also know that Cersei thinks she’s a great strategist, but her strategy usually fails. Cersei will make the obvious move of demanding trial by combat and naming the Mountain as her champion. The High Sparrow will then choose the champion of the the Faith: Ser Loras Tyrell.

    If Cersei continues to pursue trial by combat, she will effectively murder the eldest son of her only remaining ally — whose army she conveniently let into Kings Landing. Loras’ sister Margaery is mostly in control of Tommen, so she’ll lose Tommen, too. Therefore, Cersei will be forced to drop her demand for trial by combat.

    The High Sparrow wins and there will be no trial by combat.

  • Beefcake

    Terri’s Wildfire Theory isn’t weird at all. She just missed the rest of the story.

    We know that Cersei is a creature of prophecy. One of those prophecies is that Cersei will be killed by the Valonqar (“Younger Brother”).

    We know Jaime is the younger twin. We also know that Jaime killed Mad King Aerys because Aerys planned to destroy King’s Landing with wildfire. Jaime only broke his oath to protect the King in order to save tens of thousands of innocent lives.

    At some point (not this season, obvi), Cersei will be driven to desperation an try to destroy KL with wildfire. Jaime will kill Cersei in order to stop him. It brings their story to a satisfying tragic ending and it brings Jaime’s story full circle.

    That was the purpose of the wildfire scene in Bran’s vision.

  • Alex Kidwell

    Also, I’m with Josh on Sansa’s letter. She’s obviously writing to Littlefinger, because she’s realized she was hasty in dismissing him without consulting Jon and others who understand military tactics. They need him, and she’s finally accepted that her goal is more important than her pride, which is something Ned, Catelyn & Robb never could. Great character arc. Not everything in the story has/needs a twist on it. This isn’t M. Night Shymamylamm.

    • You mean this isn’t Lindelof.

  • kane

    why is ramsey waiting for them to collect an army shouldn’t he like attack them right now while theyre still weak and how the heck did littlefinger take moat callin without the boltons knowledge and what happened to the iron bank debt and as far as Lyanna Mormont and the northern houses are concerned Jon broke his vow to the nights watch they should’ve beheaded Jon snow on the spot because blood magic is an abomination to them and Davos too once upon a time but oh well and the show completely screwed up the Jamie progression honestly if the hound kills the entire brotherhood just to get them out of the story I’m done .. the show doesn’t seem to make much sense I miss the intelligence of earlier seasons.

  • Lina

    Wow her voice is just like Parvati 😀