Game of Thrones Recap Season 6 Episode 7

Game of Thrones Recap: Stab in the Stark, Plus: Which Presumed-Dead Character Reappeared This Week?

Need to catch up? Check out last week’s Game of Thrones recap here.

Just in case you haven’t perused your on-screen channel guide lately, this season’s Game of Thrones episode descriptions are positively Matthew Weiner-esque in their simplicity/obfuscation.

For those not familiar with the Mad Men creator, whose demands for secrecy in all aspects of his AMC series became legend, prided himself on crafting episode previews and synopses that gave away absolutely nothing about the hour in question. For instance, an installment in which Don would go on a week-long bender might simply say, “Don has a drink.” You get the idea.

So this week’s Thrones synopsis — which includes the phrase “Arya makes a plan” — in no way prepares us for the brutal (and incredibly surprising) attack made on the youngest Lady Stark in the episode’s final moments. Is she dead? Probably not (the recapper wrote hopefully), but plenty of others aren’t so lucky during the hour.

Read on for the highlights of “The Broken Man.”

HOUSE CLEGANE | We open on a community where a bunch of people are building a large structure, and the vibe is very Amish-via-Woodstock: happy faces, communal tables, that kind of thing. Teams of men carry timber in for the job,and when one turns his face… it’s The Hound!

Turns out, the man who seems to be in charge of everyone, a smiling dude played by Ian McShane, was the one who found the former knight and rescued him from almost certain death. In a very pragmatic, non-spiritual way, the man tells the Hound that “there’s something greater than us, and whatever it is, it’s got plans for Sandor Clegane.” But The Hound isn’t biting. “If the gods are real, why haven’t they punished me?” he wonders. “They have,” the man says, walking away.

Later on, the man stands in the center of the group, with everyone listening, rapt, as he speaks of his past sins: murder, theft, all manner of terrible things. Still, he maintains, “it’s never too late to come back” from what you were — and he looks directly at The Hound when he says it.

Just then, a trio of men on horseback ride up and intimate that they could take whatever they like from the peaceful encampment. Though they ride off, they’re still a threat — and Sandor wonders how the man, who calls himself a septon, is prepared to defend his group. Easy, McShepton says: He won’t. Peace and love, man!

And so when The Hound comes down the next morning from chopping wood, he finds the entire group — including McShepton — murdered. So he grabs a nearby ax and sets off. It’s OK, Hound, honey. Chill wasn’t a good look on you, anyway.

HOUSE TYRELL | The High Sparrow walks in on Margaery reading The Book of the Mother, which she can now quote from memory. She reiterates her confession from last episode, that she used to pity the poor but never truly loved them. He’s all, “Yeah, that’s great, but can we talk about how you and Tommen haven’t hit the sheets lately?” She says the desires that once drove her “no longer do,” and she’s met with the super liberated stance that women don’t need desire, just “patience,” which makes me wonder how much mercy The Mother would have for the High Sparrow if I put the two of them in a room.

Game of Thrones Recap Season 6 Episode 7He also mentions that Margaery’s grandmother is an “unrepentant sinner,” and he subtly threatens her, so the next time we see Marg, she and Septa Unella are visiting the old woman. “What have they done to you?” Lady Olenna asks, suggesting that Margaery leave for Highgarden ASAP. Instead, the Queen kneels — surreptitiously slipping her grandma a note — and looks at her strongly as she insists that Olenna return home at once. In the hallway outside, Grandma Tyrell unfolds the piece of paper to see a crudely drawn rose. Chalk up one for Team LongCon!.

Cersei later questions why Lady Olenna would leave King’s Landing while Loras is still imprisoned. She also points out that they need to work together to overthrow the faith forces in control of the town. “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met. At a certain age, it’s hard to recall. But the truly vile do stand out over the years,” the older woman shoots back. So that’s a no? “You’ve lost, Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in all this misery,” Grandma adds.

HOUSE STARK-AND-SNOW | Jon and Sansa meet with the free folk, with Snow pointing out that even if the wildlings don’t come to Winterfell to fight with them, the Boltons, Karstarks, etc. will eventually march north and hunt them all down. When that doesn’t rouse the troops, Tormund points out that Jon ACTUALLY died for standing up for the people north of the wall, and when the giant stands and says, “Snow,” that seems to seal the deal for the rest of them.

Later, the Stark siblings visit Lyanna Mormont, the surprisingly hard-assed child who’s the head of her family at Bear Island. They ask for her allegiance, and it is truly awesome to watch this tough-talking… what is, she, 10-year-old? — consulting with her advisers and coming up with the very defensible position: “Why should I sacrifice one more Mormont life for someone else’s war?” But then Davos steps in and sympathizes with her — as someone in a position they never thought they’d have —  and points out that the war that’s coming is her war as much as it is Jon and Sansa’s. The battle “is between the living and the dead. And make no mistake, my lady: The dead are coming,” the Onion Knight says. “A divided North won’t stand a chance against the Night’s King.” She ultimately decides to back House Stark, to the tune of… 62 fighting men. “We are not a large house, but we are a proud one,” she says. “If they’re half as ferocious as their lady, the Boltons are doomed,” Davos says, with affection and admiration in his eyes. (Side note: Oh, it’s gonna hurt when he realizes how little Shireen dies, right?)

But House Glover is not as enamored of being a part of Jon’s army, especially because the bulk of his forces are made up of wildlings. Sansa coldly reminds Lord Glover that his family is pledged to support the Starks. “And where was King Robb when the Ironborn attacked this castle?” he spits. “Taken up with a foreign whore, getting himself and those who followed him killed… I served House Stark once, but House Stark is dead.” Ouch.

Even though things look bleak, Davos later maintains that they still have a chance ,”if we’re careful and smart.” But Sansa disagrees, saying they need more men to retake Winterfell. So she pens a note — to whom?! — and looks very pensive as she prepares to attach it to a raven.

RELATED Quotes of the Week: Game of Thrones, Veep, Gotham, Fear TWD and More

HOUSE LANNISTER | Jaime, flanked by Bronn (!) and the rest of his men, approach Riverrun. During a break in the approach, the “upjumped sellsword” laments that he still hasn’t seen the land, bride, etc. Jaime promised him back in the day. “A Lannister always—” the Kingslayer starts, but Bronn doesn’t wanna hear it. “Don’t say it. Don’t f—king say it,” he sniffs. (Heh.)

The forces set up shop outside the castle, just as House Frey’s men are threatening to kill Edmure if Brynden “Blackfish” Tully doesn’t yield. “Go on then, cut his throat,” the older man says, calling their bluff. (They don’t.) Jaime arrives, regulates, and orders that Edmure be bathed and fed. “The siege is now under my command,” he decrees, with Bronn carrying out ol’ Golden Glove’s orders.

Later, Jaime and the Blackfish meet face to face. “If you surrender, I’ll spare the lives of your men, on my honor,” Jaime says. Still, Catelyn’s uncle is not moved. “As long as I’m standing, the war is not over,” he replies, adding that they have enough provisions to last two years inside the castle walls.

HOUSE GREYJOY | Theon looks mightily uncomfortable in a brothel, and that’s before his sister starts macking on a half-naked honey across the table from him. “It’s a great, big world and we have fast ships. Drink,” she urges him, trying to get him to remember who he is despite his “bad years” — which might be the understatement of the season. In a very Ironborn way, she tells him to either slit his wrists and be done with it or sail with her to Meereen to make a pact with “this dragon queen.” He rallies, they have nice moment, then Yara leaves him to “go f—k the t-ts off this one,” pointing to her waiting concubine. Aww, guys!

HOUSE STARK: BETTER BLED THAN DEAD EDITION | Just after Arya books passage on a ship back to Westeros, leaving in the morning, The Waif pulls a sneak attack — using the face of an old woman — and stabs Sansa’s sis multiple times in the belly. We’re talking twisting of the blade and all. Arya gets away by jumping into the water, but oof — those wounds are no joke.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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63 Comments
  1. Ws says:

    Sansa has to be writing to Littlefinger.. she needs his men after all.

    • At last! says:

      And what do you think will happen once Ramsay intercepts that crow?? Both Robin’s men and Jon’s will be in danger

      • Ws says:

        Hopefully that wont happen.. I want to see Ramsay’s head on a stake this season.

      • Mollymoo says:

        I think Sansa learned at Littlefingers side. I bet that note will make sense to him and not many others

        • At last! says:

          Arya learned at Jaqen’s side, she’s still bleeding to death on the streets of Braavos.

          • Mollymoo says:

            That story isn’t over yet. There’s more to Arya’s story than those few moments.

          • canadian ninja says:

            Yeah, we haven’t been following Arya’s story since she left King’s Landing just to see her die on the streets of Braavos. That would be like Dany dying by falling off her dragon.

          • Rem_Marshall says:

            Dany falling off her dragon… Now that would be really fun to watch ! :D

    • Jane says:

      This letter coupled with the 2 in-your-face-shut-down that she got, are just more proof for me that she isn’t as badass as she thinks she is. She could barely pull a few convincing statements together without putting her foot in her mouth. I mean Jon’s facepalm speaks volume to her and Lady Mormont is right to call her out by her married names.

      • Amy says:

        Sansa is still nave enough to believe this is a beauty contest, which may be good enough to grant her husbands but it takes a whole lot more to earn the support of House Mormont, let alone the rest of the north.

    • nyx says:

      I’m also guessing she’s writing to Littlefinger. But the big question for me, then, is: What will his price be to help her? Baelish never does anything that doesn’t advance his own goal of obtaining power and territory. He may have told Sansa that he wants to help her, but beneath that stated allegiance, I can’t imagine he doesn’t have a purely self-interested motive.

      If I remember correctly, didn’t Tywin Lannister promise Littlefinger that Littlefinger could have Winterfell and be Warden of the North if he managed to unseat the Boltons? — since the Boltons had betrayed the Lannisters by marrying Ramsay to Sansa, who’s still wanted by the Lannisters for (they believe) having assisted in killing Joffrey. The Stark house was supposed to have been joined to the Lannisters (when Sansa was married to Tyrion), not to House Bolton, to consolidate power over the North with the Lannisters.

      The Lannisters, of course, don’t know that it was Littlefinger himself who arranged Sansa’s marriage to Ramsay (in order to orchestrate that very Bolton betrayal that LIttlefinger could then use to get Tywin to promise him the North). Similarly, Sansa doesn’t know that Tywin has promised the North to Baelish.

      Perhaps Littlefinger answers Sansa’s raven call and rides the Knights of the Vale in a storming of Winterfell, under the guise of helping Sansa, in order to take back Winterfell from the Boltons. But once the Boltons have been run out, Baelish will demand his wardenship over the North from the Lannisters — the power play he’s been orchestrating this whole time — once again betraying Sansa and putting him at odds with Sansa and Jon Snow, who want Winterfell back for the Starks.

    • Raygar says:

      She’s writing to Brienne who delivers it to Blackfish.
      Petyr? Eeeeeee-ewwwwwww!!

  2. i’m really disappointed that Arya hasn’t learned the swapface thing before leaving….

    • M3rc_Nate says:

      She did, she used it against the former KingsGuard on her “list” remember? The guy who was looking for young girls to beat and Ayra stabbed him in the eyes and what not. She used a “face” then, and was punished for it by being blinded.

    • DL says:

      To do it, she needs access to the Hall of Faces.

  3. Hellas13 says:

    Wasted 52 minutes I could be watching the NBA Finals. What a waste of time.

    • cnv says:

      The NBA finals were also a waste of time.

    • KCC says:

      I’m not certain why you watched a show that’s available on demand and online (or you could have dvr’d it and watch anytime you want) over a live sporting event you’re interested in. You could have watched the finals then GoT after it. Seems to be poor time management on your part to me. You wasted your own time not the show.

  4. At last! says:

    Don’t die Arya!!!

  5. JA903 says:

    Arya better not be dead.. 😕

  6. Mollymoo says:

    Naw, the trailer for next week had the waif with a “oh crap” face and what looks like the back of arya leaping. She’s not dead yet. It’s hard to keep a good Stark down. . .or it is lately. I think Sansa is writing Littlefinger. He will bring the Vale with him. Maybe a few Riverland troops… HR ,an even do his Baelish stuff and rally some more former Stark allies back to the fold. I just want the Hound to show up and kick everyone’s butt now…..

  7. A says:

    Besides the opening scene when Hound is discovered alive, there was nothing overly exciting to me. However it did set up many things to make future episodes interesting.

  8. MsE says:

    Anyone else wondering where exactly Arya’s story is going? Will Yara and Theon pull her out of the water? Will she wash up in Dany’s backyard? Dorne? (Lord, please no.) She just seems so far away from everyone else.

  9. MsE says:

    I was happy to see Marg playing a long con, and I wonder how long it will take her to pull the rug out from under Cersei

  10. Lisa G says:

    Looking forward to a reunion of Hound and Arya. :)

  11. Ian says:

    It’s clear from trailer footage from sincw before the season premiered, that Arya is leaping across rooftops at some point, so she survives, I’d just love to know how though. That was awfully deadly. And why wasn’t she expecting to be assassinated after she botched her last mission? Careless, show.
    And honestly, I couldn’t care less about the Hound. MVPs are Lady Lyanna Mormont (I have a new fave child actress!), and of course Olenna for her power to make anyone want to go crawl under a rock and die like nothing. She ate Cersei for lunch.
    And I’m not mad at that scene with Yara and the whore, I actually found it rather sweet and think its nice Yara gets in some “romance” when she can when we may have else never seen, but there’s now a definite double standard I wish would get sorted.

    • rowan77 says:

      Maybe Arya DID know they were going to try to kill her. MAYBE this was part of her plan to get away by letting them think they did kill her, so she can be free. Maybe the show isn’t so careless. Just sayin’…

      • Walkie says:

        Arya is smart but I don’t think she is smart enough to think that she could FOR SURE survive getting stabbed multiple times.

      • Will Benson says:

        I think what she’ll do is try to get to that pool in the middle of the faces place. It appeared to have some healing properties. She’ll fight her way in and then ‘A girl has earned herself a life…’

  12. Kevin K says:

    Wonder if we’re going to see a showdown between Theon FKA Reek against Ramsay.

  13. VJ says:

    I do not like the High Sparrow arc but Lady Olenna was awesome. I’m also interested to see how exactly Margaery plans to come out of all this mess (and I presume she tries to save her brother and secure the future of her house…).
    Other than that a rather dull episode but still better than most of last season.

  14. Lala says:

    Ok fine Sandor clegane is alive…but yet again, was all that time spend on him necessary.
    A defeated Cersei is no fun at all. Ever since Tywin died House Lannister is a mess…but I’m loving that Marj is playing the High Sparrow..I wonder if Tommen is in on it. Arya’s plot is definitely picking up…Loving Jon & Sansa. I think she was writing to Lord of the Veil aka Little Finger.

    • Ryan says:

      No way Tommen is in on it. Margery is incredibly bright. She knows he’ll run to mom. No, I think she’s working this long con alone right now, but she’s two steps ahead and a master manipulator.

      and if we want to give Lyanna Mormont a spinoff, I could live with that…..

      • Lala says:

        This show has a history of hurting little girls…..I see Lyanna went with her men to the battle camp, this can’t be good, hope she’s not actually thinking of going into battle. Hope Ramsay is killed before he gets his hands on her.

    • Yeah I think all 3 Lannister arcs are the weakest storylines of the season. Cersei’s is a bit better but Jamie and Tyrion both have really boring storylines. I think Tyrion’s might get better now though because of the new Red Woman who I think will be a lot of fun xoxo

      • Lala says:

        Yeah Meereen has been absent in the last 2 episodes and I have not missed it/noticed. Tyrion & Varys are wasted this season, maybe when Dany & the Dothraki get there, things will get interesting again. Cersei is depressing to watch…Watching Olenna rip into her like she did was not as satisfying as I wanted it to be. I can’t wait for Jamie & Brienne next week

    • patrickmaloney33 says:

      When is Cersei ever fun?! They need to stop trying to make her more sympathetic because it’s just making me want the High Sparrow to take over!

    • canadian ninja says:

      The time spent with the Hound wasn’t just to show that he was alive but that the Red god guys are going around murdering the Seven god guys.

      • KCC says:

        I think the time spent on the Hound and Septon was to show people change and maybe the Hound has a bigger purpose than just being muscle doing other people’s dirty work. The Septon was like the Hound at one time but changed his ways. His uncompromising non-violence stance was shown to be the end of him but maybe the Hound learned something from him. The whole point of the scenes were character development and/or future motivation for whatever the Hound ends up doing. Some people think that’s a waste of time. Later, when the Hound does something brave or stupid or self sacrificing maybe they’ll appreciate the time they spent on him in this episode. There just was no immediate payoff. Some people find it boring when there’s no action or obvious plot points being advanced.

  15. Azu says:

    I sincerely feel that the Tyrell’s are terrible human beings. There’s nothing they won’t do to gain more power. They assassinated Joffrey without any qualms(great idea) and let the blame fall on Sansa and the dwarf!!! They feel as though they’re the smartest people in all of westeros and have the right to manipulate anyone and everyone. Cersie at least is usually honest in her machinations. Margery and her grandmother deserve to suffer ! Loras, I don’t care one way or the other.

    • Joseph says:

      I dont think of the Tyrell as being terrible , in the context of their world they dont seem to be either wasteful or spiteful , thats not something i have seen of the bulk of the other great families

      • Alycia Swift says:

        And generally its the women who run that family (at least from Lady Olenna onwards). Neither Mace nor Loras are that bright.

  16. AnnieM says:

    Hmm… maybe Arya will be helped somehow by the actress whose life she saved.

    • ScottJ says:

      It looked me as if Arya was staggering through the area where the plays had been performed. And if you can believe the casting notices some of the play actors are in one more episode.

  17. Shaun says:

    Maybe Jorah Mormont or someone else will find Arya.

  18. Ryan Orange says:

    I had seen the episode but flashing the face of the surprisingly not dead character on the homepage of the website isnt a good call on the night the episode is airing, you guys are usually more careful when posting teasers for recaps.

  19. Zoe says:

    If Arya dies I will riot in the street in front of D&D’s house(s) with pitchforks and torches.

  20. patrickmaloney33 says:

    Best episode of the season! Also, are we supposed to be rooting for the Lannisters in their fight with High Sparrow? I mean yeah, the Tyrells and maybe even Tommen… But seriously, Cersei could die at the hand of the High Sparrow and I would cheer. As for Jaime, I was going to write him off along with his sister but seeing him back on the field (along with Bron! How I missed him!) reminded me how great of a character he is!
    Finally, between the return of the Blackfish, Bron and Hound, this might very well be the surliest episode of the entire show!

    • Mollymoo says:

      The High Sparrow story line with Cersei may give us Clegane Bowl. That about makes all this worth it. :) I’m going to need a big foam finger stamped “The Hound” and some popcorn…..maybe no popcorn. I bet that’s going to be a bloody, gory messs.

  21. Azerty says:

    The 3 horsemen that attacked the Hound camp are from the Brotherhood right? Since Clegane seems to be on his way to kill them, could there be a lady Stoneheart apparition down the line?

    • Walkie says:

      No chance. They don’t have enough time left in the series to explain that storyline and give it the time that it needs.

    • T.M. says:

      Brienne and Jamie are going to be both in the Riverrun area at the same time like their book plot. If Lady Stoneheart is going to be a thing now would be the time to bring her in.

  22. George H. says:

    Would love to see The Hound and Arya get back together again and go on a killing spree.

  23. T.M. says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let the next house Jon and Sansa visit be the Manderlays!

    Pie anyone?

  24. Raygar says:

    Sansa sends the stamped letter to Brienne who presents it to the Blackfish (requesting service to the Starks) as seen in the preview. Of course, she remains distrustful of Baelish!! Jaime acquiesces.
    “Arya” (a faceless person) is not Arya. The errant hateful Waif must be offed by Jaqen.