Voyeur Mega-Recap: Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episodes 3-8

Welcome to TLP’s Voyeur Recap – a guide for staying conversant with friends, family, and colleagues who are really into a show that you do not have the time and/or desire to watch. The first and so far only series to be included in this feature is HBO’s Game of Thrones. (FYI spoilers abound)

You know, that picture is creepy. Just sayin.
You know, that picture is creepy. Just sayin.

What is Game of ThronesGame of Thrones is a TV show based on a series of Bible-like books where sin and resurrection are major, recurring themes that keep viewers/readers distracted from inconceivably large plot holes and incoherent moral messaging. The series takes place mostly in the kingdoms of Westeros, a place where summer can last for years, but strangely nobody is happy. There is another continent called Essos, a Star-Wars-prequels style land full of thinly veiled cultural and racial stereotypes that serve to establish the story’s intense Eurocentrism. There are also dragons, zombies, a young woman with fire-proof hair, and a lot of really nasty murdering and killing.

What is a Voyeur Recap? A lot of us don’t watch Game of Thrones, but our friends and/or coworkers do. Some of the story is really pretty interesting, so it is nice to follow along and maybe even stay conversant with the folks we know who are into the show (I call them Thronesbros, because reasons). The voyeur recap is here to help you be informed enough to be able to talk to the Thronesbros in your life and navigate the difficult subtleties of this ostentatious fantasy story that wants to not be seen as just another fantasy story: there is mind control, but it is called warging; the difference between properly resurrected people, ice zombies, and improperly resurrected people that are the mindless minions of the ice zombies; there are magical horns, but no magical amulets; they have dragons, but only like three of them; the fact that Khaleesi is a title, not a name (sorry to all the babies with parents who did not get the memo in time). The voyeur recap is a non-viewer’s travel guide to this strange, yet familiar, landscape. Also some jokes are provided. Enjoy.

Which episode just aired? TLP already provided a voyeur recap for season 6 episode one and episode two, then went off line for a while. However, like almost everything else on this season of Game of Thrones, the voyeur recap has decided to come back to life in dramatic – if predictable – fashion. Below is a brief guide to each episode that we missed and what to say about it to the Ice and Fire singers in your life. Episode 9, “The Battle of the Bastards,” is actually airing right now and will get a full recap as soon as possible. (Update: Here it is!) In the meantime, here we go…

What happened in the episodes (and what should I say about it)?

Episode 3, “Oathbreaker”

What happened? Jon Snow finishes coming back to life, hangs the asshats who stabbed him, and then pulls the ultimate legalistic quitter move of leaving the Night’s Watch – which you can only do by dying – because technically, he did die. Recently blinded Arya Stark has her Rocky moment in a montage where she goes from “oh no I can’t see” to “I am a deadly assassin of the dark!” (She is basically Daredevil now.) Daenarys continues to be stuck in a flashback to her season 1 storyline (minus a brother, thank gods) of being held captive by the Dothraki, who are really into horses and ponytails; basically they are the ultimate Bronies. Bran Stark, who gets dragged around by a dude named Hodor and hangs out with trippy elves, has a flashback-vision-thing where he sees a long fabled fight his dad is famous for winning, but it turns out some guy saved his dad’s ass by stabbing his opponent in the back. Rickon Stark and OSHA turn out to be in Winterfell, held captive by the walking-reminder-of-why-I-don’t-watch-this-show, Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay kills people, babies, and dogs horribly and blithely. From what I have read of the show, OSHA has a lot of work to do in workplace-injury prone Winterfell, but it doesn’t seem like a very interesting plot for the show to be developing. And besides it is hard to imagine that the centralized authority needed for OSHA to enforce its directives is anywhere to be found since the disputed throne of Westeros is currently held by a kid named Tommen who has been usurped by religious zealots who are, apparently, fervent believers in wearing dirty nightgowns all the time.

What to say: “During the Arya training sequence, if you mute the TV and turn on Eye of the Tiger, it totally works, other than the whole ‘eye’ thing…”

 

Episode 4, “Book of the Stranger

What Happened? Over in Essos, Daenarys comes up with a pretty good plan to change her fortunes around by burning all the Brony Dothraki kings alive, then walking out of the building unscathed and thus winning the allegiance of their huge, pony obsessed, warrior hordes. Nice move, Dany! On the same continent, but in a bad move, Tyrion makes a deal with the slavers (who are still really mad about Dany’s outlawing of slavery in Meereen) to make slavery legal again for a few years. I don’t know anyone to talks or writes about this show who doesn’t believe Tyrion will get betrayed by these guys, plus his boss, Dany, is going to come back to town with a huge army and probably not be happy about it. Back in Westeros Littlefinger, who is like a one man Ponzi scheme of power, gathers the soldiers of the Vale to go help retake Winterfell, or something. Nobody ever knows what that guy is really up to. The Tyrells and Lannisters, who are two most powerful families in King’s Landing (which ain’t saying much, these days), made a deal to help each other against the Faith Militant (the dirty pajama evangelist people) that probably won’t ever come to fruition and if it did each family will try to betray the other immediately thereafter. Oh and in Winterfell, without so much as a single ergonomic chair purchased of handicap ramp installed, the OSHA program suffered fatal cuts.

What to say: “Wow, really Tyrion? I don’t think slavery is something you’re supposed to compromise on.”

What to say for a laugh: “I guess I’m not the only one with the hots for Dany this week eh? Eh? SEE WHAT I DID THERE?” (Note: may produce groaning instead of laughter.)

 

Episode 5, The Door

What happened? Euron Greyjoy becomes king of the Iron Islands, promising to sail to Essos and win the heart of Daenarys Targaryen with his fleet and man bits. Unfortunately for him, Yara and Theon are stealing most of that fleet while Euron is becoming king, so that is going to be a big problem for him. Speaking of people after Dany’s heart, this guy named Jorah who has a disease called greyscale that turns people into an instagram filter and/or makes them crazy (I’m not sure), gets sent on a mission to find a cure for the disease. So if you see Jorah on social media, be sure to let him know about #nofilter. Arya Stark watches some bad theater while casing the place to figure out how to kill the lead actress, as is her wont as an assassin intern. Sansa Stark gets to be really mean, and maybe a bit cocky, when she see Littlefinger again. Sadly, Littlefinger is not a Donald Trump like character at all, which is too bad because that would just be the perfect nick name for Donnie. But I digress. The big story this episode is about Hodor. Hodor is this gentle giant stereotype character who can only say “hodor” and has been carrying Bran around since he got his legs all messed up in season 1. Bran decides to do his time travel vision quest thing to see if he can find out how Hodor went from being a regular guy with a real name and words to, well, Hodor. Turns out Bran is the reason why – while Bran is in the past watching young would-be Hodor, the Keebler elf tree house that Bran is hiding in gets attacked by the zombie army White Walkers and Bran wargs (mind controls) the present day Hodor and orders him to “hold the door” so he can escape. In the process, Bran somehow shows all of this to young Hodor, scarring his mind, and leaving him unable to say anything except “hold the door” which eventually becomes “hodor.” Poor Hodor is torn apart by mindless zombies wights while his younger self is forced to watch. It is a pretty awful end for one of folks’ favorite characters on the show. On the upside, during all this fiasco, Bran does learn that the zombies were originally created by the elves to fight against the humans. But now the elves have been wiped out by their own weapon. (It is possible that there is some allegory or symbolism happening here, but it’s just too subtle for me to discern.)

What to say if you want to make a Thronesbro cry any time in the next month or two: “Hold the door.”

What to say if you overhear folks talking about Hodor’s “noble sacrifice”: “Umm, noble sacrifice? He was being mind controlled by an landed lord’s kid who not only forced him to sacrifice himself, but did so in a way that robbed the man of almost his entire life. That isn’t a noble sacrifice, that is this show once again showing that as often as the aristocrat’s die, even more often they get other people to die for them.”

What to say if someone in your life has been trying to get you to eat more bran than you want: “After last week’s episode, I just can’t… …it’s too upsetting. Hodor.”

 

Episode 6, “The Blood of My Blood

What happened? So Bran Stark and Meera, seemingly the next person to die saving him from zombies, ended up being rescued by Benjen Stark when he appeared and killed their pursuers. Benjen is Bran’s father Ned’s brother. Benjen is less dead than Ned, though. I mean he is dead, but he is one of those resurrected people. Not like Jon Snow “all the way back with just some unhealing gashes” resurrected, but still more resurrected than wights or even that Mountain guy that is following Cersei around King’s Landing, making sure nobody messes with her (again). Benjen is going to escort Bran and Meera south now, presumably making it possible for them to appear just in time to confirm Jon Snow is both a Stark and a Targaryen, or some such thing. In King’s Landing, that deal between the Tyrells and Lannisters ends up being useless as Tommen (Lannister) and Margaery (Tyrell), king and queen respectively, end up making a deal with the High Sparrow (the religious zealot guy who doesn’t ever wash his PJs). Some people named Frey are fighting with some people named Tully, although I’m not sure about what, but a town called Riverrun is involved and everyone will probably die. Meanwhile over in Essos, Dany gets one of her dragons back and gives one of her big pep talks to her new army, so she is continuing to just rehash previous parts of her story on her way back to Meereen. Arya Stark decides not to kill that actress, which means now some assassin will be dispatched to kill Arya and another to finish the contract on the actress, so not much good is going to come of that otherwise laudable choice. Although this season, death isn’t what it used to be, so maybe Arya is making better decisions than we think.

What to say about it to impress a GoT fan: “Isn’t this, like, the fifth time Dany has given that speech? Seriously. I don’t even watch the show and I’m tired of hearing it!”

What to say for a laugh: “How much would it suck to be on Tinder with ‘Coldhands’ as your name? You’re not getting any good swiping out of that.”

 

Episode 7, “The Broken Man

What happened? So there are these two big, violent guys on this show, the brothers Clegane. One of them is referred to as the Mountain – he died but then got resurrected, but not the best kind of resurrected, kind of a low-end resurrection, and follows Cersei around King’s Landing now. The other Clegane, called the Hound, got hurt rolling down a hill or something and was presumed dead. In this episode folks learned that the Hound is alive, but not resurrected, he just plainly and ordinarily did not die, but he did fall in with some religious folks and now lives in their pacifist commune somewhere, which for him is at least a social kind of death. But I digress. While he is out maybe bravely trying to remaster rolling down hills, all of his new hippy friends get slaughtered, so he grabs an axe and decides it is killing time again. So I guess we will see him later, killing again. Oh and I found out more about that Riverrun place – it is being held by the Tully family, who are friends of the Starks, and currently lead by some kind of magical fish-man named Blackfish (makes sense that he would choose to hold a city on a river – needs water, after all). Speaking of friends of the Starks… …there aren’t really any others, which is a bummer for Sansa Stark and Jon Snow who are trying to recruit more folks for their army to take back Winterfell from Murdery McMurderface, aka Ramsay Bolton. Apparently some ten year old girl has an army and an attitude, the former of which she gave very little and the latter of which she gave quite a bit to Jon and Sansa. Over in Essos, Arya Stark lost all sense, spent money flamboyantly, then wandered around recklessly doing some touristy shit that you probably shouldn’t do in any city, but especially not if you’re being hunted by assassins who can change their face to look like anybody. In a completely unsurprising development, she got stabbed in the gut by an assassin that had changed faces to look like an old lady. Do they do slow clapping in Game of Thrones?

What to say: “So I guess Arya’s assassin training didn’t include counter-intelligence techniques or even common sense.”

What to say if you want to sound like a GoT nerd: “Oh man, somebody get me some tickets to Cleganebowl! I gotta see these guys fight?”

What to say if you want to get a laugh out of the half dozen people anywhere who will get your reference: “After sitting through six seasons of Lovejoy, I had no idea how much I wanted to see that guy die on screen. Lulz!”

 

Episode 8, “No One

What happened? Starting in Essos this week with some good news – Arya lived! That actress she didn’t murder ended up saving her life, yay instakarma. Bad news – the actress got killed by another assassin right after saving Arya, then the assassin came for Arya. The assassin in question is known as the Wafer; her and Arya hate each other based on incredibly strong disagreements about what kinds of cookies are real desserts and which kinds are just little airy sugar nothings meant as a sweet side item for hot tea. Arya, like a lot of young people, decided to go pop-culture-reference-heavy in her fight and defeated the (very vanilla) Wafer in the dark, all Daredevil like, before getting all Hannibal Lector and cutting the Wafer’s face off (eww!) as a trophy. Arya presents the face to the assassin teacher and he… …congratulates her? These people have fucked up rules! “I did not do the homework, nor did I pass the exam, but I did kill the teaching assistant and cut off her face,” basically gets her an A+ at assassin school. Go figure! Back in Westeros, little king Tommen outlawed trial by combat, which is one of the main ways rich people got not-as-rich people to die for them. The show must really have some exciting material coming up if they’re doing away with one of the most beloved forms of violence as spectacle for fans. Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister catches that magical fish-man in Riverrun and has him gutted, whilst he has a nice (read: pathologically bizarre) long chat with one of the Tully folks and even gets to see Brienne for a bit. (Brienne and Jaime have a coed bromance thing going on, just FYI.) And Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound, found the people who killed his friends. Except it turns out that the folks that killed his friends are about to be killed by their friends for the crime of having killed the Hound’s friends. Anyway, the group is called the Brotherhood Without Banners and the Hound ends up joining them, because he likes going around killing people. He starts with killing the guys that killed his friends. Now he is friends with their old friends. Everybody is friends! That’s nice.

What to say if you want to make them groan: “Wow, Arya vs. the Waif. No one could see that coming. Eh? Eh? SEE WHAT I DID THERE?”

What to say if you want to make them groan again: “Hey, what happened to Dorne? I really like that part of the story.”

What to say if you want to impress a Thronesbro: “I’m worried we won’t see Lady Stoneheart after all. Since Thoros can only keep one person resurrected at a time, and Beric is still around, then he couldn’t also have resurrected Catelyn Stark already, and by now there isn’t much left of her body to resurrect. Bummer.”

Questions?

If you have any questions about the show that you would like to be answered by someone who doesn’t watch it and has never read the books, use the links below to contact TLP.

Tell TLP what you think of this episode!  Send an email, comment on Facebook, or tweet on Twitter. There is also Tumblr and the comment field below, if you’re into that kind of thing. 

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