Synopsis: Meera continues to drag Bran through the cold, and he’s still out of it, flashing throughout time. He sees himself falling out of the tower, the mad king Aerys shouting “burn them all,” Jaime stabbing Aerys in the back, Ned’s beheading, Robb’s death, and many other events. The wights move in closer and Bran awakens saying “they found us.” Meera apologizes. As the wights attack, a cloaked man on a horse with a flaming weapon stops them. He tells Meera to follow him. Sam, Gilly and baby Sam approach his home. Gilly notes Sam is nervous, and he admits he never thought he’d be back there. She also figures out he never told his family she was a wildling. Sam and Gilly enter the massive Tarly estate where he is reunited his mother and sister. He tells them Baby Sam is his son. The High Sparrow and Tommen meet in the Sept, discussing Margaery’s conversion to the faith. Tommen finally gets to see his wife and they share a warm embrace. Margaery admits she’s made mistakes but Tommen says she’s a good person. She hopes that Loras will get the same chance at freedom. Gilly, all made up and in a dress joins Sam for dinner where we meet Lord Randyll Tarly and Sam’s brother Dickon. Dinner is quiet and tense. The elder Tarly is cruel and vile towards Sam, and Gilly sticks up for him, referencing his killing of a White Walker. Randyll figures out Gilly is a wildling, and he is the opposite of ecstatic. He points out the Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane, that has been in their family for 500 years, and vows that Sam will never have it because he has dishonored the family. He tells Sam he has to leave in the morning and never come back. Instead, Sam takes Gilly, baby Sam, and Heartsbane and leaves in the middle of the night.
Another play and we skip ahead to season four, with Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery and his death, poisoned by Tyrion, so the people believe. Everyone is aghast, but Arya giggles as the actor playing Joffrey “dies.” Backstage Arya poisons the actress’s wine. Lady Crane notices Arya and thinks she’s a wannabe actress. Before she can drink her wine, Arya knocks it out of her hands and warns Lady Crane of the other actress and that she wants her dead. Arya leaves and recovers needle. The Waif (ugh, the Waif) witnesses Arya’s failure and returns to Jaqen who agrees she can kill Arya. Mace, Jaime and the kingsguard march to the Sept, where Margaery is set to give her walk of atonement. Jaime demands the return of Margaery and Loras. The High Sparrow stares him down and they have a tense standoff until the High Sparrow declares there will be no walk of atonement that day. Margaery has already atoned for her sins by bringing another into the faith: King Tommen. Tommen walks out taking Margaery’s hound and the Sparrow announces a new day with the unification of the crown and the faith. Jaime is disappointed in his nephewson. The Tyrells recognize that the High Sparrow has beaten them. Back in the throneroom, Tommen dismisses Jaime from the kingsguard and banishes him from King’s Landing. Walder Frey admonishes his sons for letting Brynden take back Riverrun. He demands they take it back, and if they must, use their prisoner Edmure, as a bargaining chip.
Jaime talks with Cersei. He is supposed to assist Walder Frey in taking back Riverrun. He doesn’t want to go but Cersei urges him to. He wants to be there for her trial, but she says it will be a trial by combat and she has The Mountain. She kisses Jaime. The cloaked man reveals himself to Meera and Bran as Bran’s uncle Benjen. He says the Three-Eyed Raven sent him and that is Bran now. He tells them he was stabbed by a White Walker but saved by the Children. Dany and Daario ride towards Meereen discussing her future plans. Dany rides ahead, ordering her followers to wait. Before long, she appears, riding Drogon, who is a lot bigger since last we saw him. She rallies the troops to continue their journey, back to Meereen, and then across the sea take the Iron Throne.
Comments: Baby Sam has to be the cutest baby to ever grace a television. Neither here nor there, just saying. The title of the episode, “Blood of my Blood” is a Dothraki salutation, but in the context of this episode, we have a lot of familial reunions. First off, Benjen Stark has returned, though he’s not the same as when we last saw him all the way back in the first season, when he rode off and never came back. He’s changed, and he’s reunited with Bran, also changed, as he is now the Three-Eyed Raven, something Benjen knew before he rescued them. Though they don’t share words, Margaery is seen by her father and grandmother. Samwell returns home to bittersweet reunion with his family. His father providing the bitter. It was uncomfortable to see Sam just sit there and take the abuse, but it was nice that Gilly jumped to his defense. After the craziness of the last episode, it’s nice to get a bit of a breather, although the constant power shift in King’s Landing continues to be interesting. The High Sparrow is such an interesting character because he never appears in word or deed to be anything other than benevolent, and maybe it’s just my Catholic upbringing, but I’ve always gotten an evil vibe from him though there’s really no signs to confirm that. Jonathan Pryce does such a good job walking that line. Tommen, for all his authority, is still just a kid, and making mistakes that continue to confound and upend his family. Still, loads better than Joffrey.
Walder Frey: It’s a castle, not a bloody sheep. Presumably you still know where it is. You didn’t lose Riverrun. You let the Blackfish take it from you.
Mace Tyrell: What’s happening?
Lady Olenna: He’s beaten us. That’s what’s happening.
Foreshadowing: Bran’s vision, while mostly showing the past seems to show a cut of the future a few episodes from now. Sam gets another Valyrian steel sword, now the fourth to be seen (after the two made from Ned’s sword, one of which Brienne has, the one Jon got from Jeor, and the dagger used in Bran’s attempted murder).
Title: see above, in comments.
Deaths: We see Aerys’ death in flashback, and Benjen takes out a lot of wights, but technically this is only the third episode in the series where no one dies.