Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) resurfaced to introduce us to the entire Tarly clan, Arya (Maisie Williams) had to make a difficult choice between her real family and her Faceless Men family, and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) did whatever he could to protect his kin from the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). It was all about family this week on Game of Thrones.
“Blood of My Blood” also featured the anticipated returns of two key characters who haven’t been seen in years. Read on to find out who they were and scoop on all the other jaw-dropping moments from Sundays’ episode.
Braavos: Thrones finally put Arya’s temporary trip to No One land to rest. After some tense small talk with her intended victim, Arya’s thirst for vengeance is reignited. Instead of poisoning the actress, Arya saves her life and reunites with her beloved Needle. (No lie, this was almost as satisfying and Sansa and Jon’s reunion.)
But of course, that meddling Waif was watching the whole time and immediately tattles on Arya to Jaqen. While her mentor is disappointed in Arya’s choice, Jaqen has no choice and sends the Waif to kill Arya.
North of the Wall: Meera (Ellie Kendrick) has somehow managed to drag Bran’s useless body into the forest while he downloads all of the Three-Eyed Raven’s visions (including our first look at Daenerys’ dad, the Mad King Aerys!). But Hodor could only hold the door so long, and the Night’s King’s soldiers are soon upon them. Just when it looks like Bran’s luck has finally run out, he and Meera are rescued by… wait for it… Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle)!
Ned’s brother, a member of the Night’s Watch, was last seen going on a ranging expedition North of the Wall in Season 1. It’s revealed that during his patrol, Benjen was killed by a White Walker, but saved by the Children of the Forest with a shard of dragonglass embedded into his heart.
TLDR: Benjen is also a zombie, but he’s a good zombie, something book readers have been speculating over for years. (Learn more about Benjen’s book counterpart here.)
Horn Hill: Based on how much Sam dreaded returning home, I sure didn’t expect him to have a mother and sister as charming as he does. However, Sam’s father, Lord Randyll Tarly, and brother, Dickon (Freddie Stroma), are exactly what I imagined. Dickon is an idiot (albeit, a pretty one) and Randyll is human scum, belittling everything about Sam, from his decision to become a maester to his weight.
Sam’s permanent cheerleader, Gilly, doesn’t stand for this and speaks up for him. But the road to Hell being paved in good intentions and all that, during her speech Gilly lets it slip that she’s from North of the Wall. Upon learning this, Randyll becomes so upset at Sam that he doubles down on his hatred, further degrading Sam and even exiling him. But in between his despicable insults, Randyll also lets something important slip – that he has a Valyrian steel sword, one of the few weapons that can kill a White Walker.
This embarrassing ordeal appears to be just the kick in the tuchus that Sam needed. Instead of leaving Gilly at Horn Hill, he decides to steal his father’s sword and bring Gilly and the baby with him to Old Town.
King’s Landing: Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) isn’t the only one who’s been drinking the High Sparrow’s Kool-Aid. During her imprisonment, Margaery (Natalie Dormer) has become a devoted convert to the Faith. And while Maergary’s new world-view doesn’t affect her opinion of her husband, it does change her feelings towards her brother. Meaning, Margaery is now in full-support of Loras – and herself – atoning for his sins.
But just as Margaery prepares to take her own walk of atonement, Jaime leads Mace Tyrell’s troops to demand her and Loras’ safe return. The High Sparrow gives in without a fight, which is the first sign something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. And boy has it! You see, the High Sparrow never was going to make Margaery atone with a shame walk because she already has atoned: by converting Tommen!
As punishment for his charge against the Faith, Tommen fires Jaime from the Kingsguard and sends him to lead a siege Riverrun, where the Blackfish is plotting his rebellion.
This leads to the next big return of the episode. While the Red Wedding is best remembered for who died there, it’s easy to forget that the groom, Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies), survived. It appears that ever since the Blackfish’s nephew and Catelyn’s brother was married to one of Walder Frey’s daughters, he’s been kept prisoner at the Twins. But now that the Blackfish is causing trouble, Walder intends to use his captive to his advantage.
Across the Narrow Sea: As a means to rally her troops, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) descends in front of her khalasar on dragonback. It’s not her best speech, but, dragons!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.