At the start of Game of Thrones's sixth episode of the season, "Blood of My Blood," Bran and Meera are starring in The Revenant, minus all of the visual attempts to override feelings of male inadequacy. As usual, Meera is dragging Bran around on his little yoga mat, struggling mightily to save them both, while Bran is taking a nice nap. Here are the things Bran appears to be dreaming about: that time he fell from a tower; those times half of his family members were murdered; the White Walkers; the Mad King burning his constituents to death. Here are the things Meera is dreaming about: brunch; getting her own goddamn life. She attempts to pull Bran's li'l sled up a hill but cannot. She falls over, despondent.
Bran, whose Ambien is always conveniently wearing off about 67 minutes too late, opens his eyes and calmly tells Meera that the White Walkers are about to go ham on them. Then something categorically insane happens, and I'm not talking about the fetid skeletons who were rendered in MS Paint in 1995. Meera apologizes. MEERA. APOLOGIZES. Meera, who has been ferrying Bran's conked-out ass around in frigid temps for, I don't know, years? Meera, whose brother is dead, who has approximately one line per three episodes, who has only one outfit, whose only wish is to eat a plate of eggs on a patio. This is too.fucking.much.
Anyway, before the wights can descend upon them, a "mysterious" man comes out of literally nowhere to rescue Bran and Meera. First he decimates the stop-motion skeletons with a flaming weapon, then he gruffly tells Bran and Meera to come with him. (Side note: I cannot understand a word this man says, partly because, for a while, everything he says is filtered through a giant scarf.) Do they all hop on his horse together? I really don't comprehend the logistics of this rescue, but regardless, everything continues to magically work out for Bran, and I suppose technically for Meera, but not really, because continuing to live means continuing to lug around a groggy, ungrateful teen who regularly confirms the New York Times's laziest suspicions about Millennials.
Gilly and Sam are traveling to his family's home. Sam is listing trees.
Gilly, demonstrating rare insight, tells Sam he's a nervous talker, and Sam admits that he's terrified to see his dad, who banished him from House Tarly for buying a $28 pleather jacket from Forever 21. Sam also admits that his mother and father believe that Little Aryan Sam is Sam's child, and are unaware that Gilly is a Wildling. Gilly takes umbrage with the latter, but before they can continue this extremely dull argument, they arrive at Downton Abbey.
Turns out that Sam's family is rich as hell, and his mom and sister are kind humans who do not have a problem with fast but cost-conscious fashions. They greet Gilly and Sam warmly, call Gilly "lovely," ask to hold Little Aryan Sam, and do not burst out laughing when Big Hirsute Sam claims the child as his. Sam's father is away on a hunt, the first of many hints that he is going to be another Comically Masculine/Inexplicably Demonic White Dude.
Over in King's Landing, the High Sparrow is playing David Miscavige to Tommen Cruise. Tommen's worried about Margaery's walk of atonement, but the High Sparrow reveals to Tommen that Margaery has devoted herself to the Gods, then allows Tommen to see her after months (? as always, who knows) apart. Margaery has, very rapidly, become Pious As Fuck.
Margaery explains to Tommen that she's let go of being the kind of pretend-good woman who schemes with her grandmother and drinks at lunchtime. Now she's REALLY good, the kind of goodness that demands one to forsake shoes, exclusively wear thrice-recycled bags, and believe all gay people are going to burn in hell. Tommen is, as always, confused; the last time he saw Margaery she was creating Blake Lively boards on Pinterest and climbing up on it nine to 10 times a day. As such, it takes mere seconds for Margaery to convince gape-mouthed, blue-balled Tommen to join the High Sparrow's cult.
Gilly is having a brief Pretty Woman moment at Sam's house. Sam tells her she looks beautiful in his sister's dress, and escorts her to a family dinner so WASP-y and dysfunctional that, somewhere, each member of the Bush family turns away from the screen in recognition. Sam's brother shames him for not knowing the intricacies of venison-curing. Sam's father shames him for his love of eating carbohydrates and his love of eating books. Both Gilly and Sam's mom pipe up to defend Sam's honor — and accidentally expose Gilly as a Wildling in the process — but ultimately, Sam's dad has the last word, and that word is "Horn Hill." LOL.
Upstairs, Gilly and Sam are having another very, very low-key disagreement. Sam has to leave for his Maester lessons at dawn, and Gilly is sad about it. They kiss good-bye, one of two times that the show has allowed them to be openly sexual, because Sam's whole thing is being fat and weak and Gilly's whole thing is being simple and the product of incest. Gilly looks mopily around her opulent chambers and pets the child she conceived with her father.
But wait! Sam is back! Inexplicably, he ignores all of the things he said before about no women being allowed in Maester school and tells Gilly and Little Aryan Sam to come with him. (Unless he is not going to Maester school anymore? Which is possible; perhaps he loves Gilly and Little Aryan Sam more than eating books after all.) Seems like they could've just done this to begin with and saved a lot of time and fuel costs, but Game of Thrones needs to stretch things out for another two seasons, so everyone is hurling rocks onto their own paths. Before they go, Sam steals his dad's fancy sword and draws dicks all over the Horn Hill stationery.
Arya, sporting her Daytime Pigtail Buns, is watching another Shakespearean ripoff in Braavos. We see, yet again, that the actress Arya's been instructed to kill — Lady Crane — is really good at crying on cue and therefore undeserving of murder. Even so, Arya runs backstage and poisons her liquor. Unfortunately, on the way out, Arya's intercepted by Lady Crane, who bonds with her over what she perceives to be their shared love of acting but is actually a one-sided love of carefully slicing off the faces of dead people and wearing them around town.
Out of nowhere, Arya doles out some solid acting advice; a few minutes later, she rushes back in to knock Lady Crane's glass from her hand before she drinks the poison. The whole thing is meant to demonstrate that Arya isn't cut out for that #assassinlife, that perhaps someday soon she will leave the fast-paced world of assassinating strangers and take the natural next step: Hollywood. This makes perfectly no sense, but this is what we ordered. We must keep eating until our plates are clean.
Naturally, this bitch is here.
Oh, sorry, I meant this one.
Sensing that This Bitch is going to come after her, Arya runs to her secret pile of rocks and retrieves Needle. This Bitch, whose only personality traits are "hating Arya for reasons that are never explained, resting on dated stereotypes about female competitiveness" and "once gave herself a bad Lob," tells Jaqen that Arya didn't do her Murder Homework, then reminds him that he "promised" she could kill Arya. He's like, "Yeah, OK, do you need my stylist's number? I really recommend the highlights."
Across the world, Jaime and his bros are gearing up to fight the High Sparrow, who is gearing up to march Margaery around town so the poop-loving citizens of King's Landing can throw their poop at her. Jaime rolls up with his cadre of death merchants, invokes Tommen's name, and makes a sexy speech about how he will stab everyone to death unless Margaery and Loris are released. The only problem is that Tommen is officially Tommen Cruise now, the hand puppet of the High Sparrow. This is what happens when you fuck your sister, conceive a child, then parent him like he is an original-model Tamagotchi. Tommen walks out and tells the rapt crowd of mouth-breathing heathens that church and state are no longer separate, and that he cannot comment on Shelly Miscavige's whereabouts at this time.
Tommen Cruise, high on his own idiocy, sits on the Iron Throne, humming the Mission: Impossible theme. He tells Jaime that — thanks to the rebellion that they both planned together 14 seconds ago over the corpse of his sister — Jaime is no longer part of the Kingsguard; instead, he'll be sent to Riverrun, where he won't be able to mount his siblings or adorably stampede around the city on his majestic horse. Again, sort of a foregone conclusion considering the whole incest/extremely permissive parenting combo. Them's the breaks.
Surrounded by his legion of child brides, Walder Frey is yelling at two white dudes — Kleebop and Breadfub — who allowed Blackfish to take Riverrun. An aside here: Until this episode, I thought Benjen and Blackfish were the same person. I'm still not fully convinced that they aren't. I'm also not fully convinced that I'm not Blackfish. Kleebop and Breadfub halfheartedly defend themselves, but Walder insists that the two return to take back Riverrun. A man Google reminds me is named Lord Edmure pops straight out of the dungeon to help with this new, exciting rebellion.
Jaime and Cersei have their first truly intimate scene since he raped her next to their son's corpse. He suggests that they go back and violently slaughter the High Sparrow to save their Tamagotchi before it's too late and he shits himself. She's like, "... No." Instead, she suggests Jaime go to Riverrun, win back the rinky-dink castle, then come back, and THEN they can take down the High Sparrow. It will be fine then, because the show will be close to its finale and then all the stuff can finally happen. They smooch passionately, aroused by the thought of thousands of innocent men dying in the streets.
Back in the North, the mysterious hooded man is cooking a rabbit for Bran and, secondarily, Meera. Meera asks the man why he's helping them, and he says that the Three-Eyed Raven sent for him. Meera and Bran snuggle near a tree. Meera has Stockholm syndrome. Bran asks the man who he is, and the man reveals his face, which is caked in blue powder. It's Uncle Benjen, whom I'd totally forgotten about, and who is not the same person as Blackfish. Nope.
Uncle Benjen tells the kiddos that he looks weird because he was stabbed by a White Walker, then saved at the last minute by the Children of the Forest, who plunged a shard of dragon glass into his heart. Same. But enough about Benjen, a medical miracle who speaks like he has just eaten 16 jars of hardened peanut butter. Back to Bran. Bran has to learn how to be a better Three-Eyed Raven, explains Benjen. Then he can take down the White Walkers. I.e., then Meera can do all the work for $.78 on Bran's dollar and Bran will get all of the credit and glory and blow jobs. Benjen gives Bran some hot tea. Meera doesn't get any.
The last scene of this episode is the first and only time we see Daenerys this week. She's riding back to Meereen with her new Dothraki friends, wondering aloud to Daario about how she's going to get 1,000 ships (get in line!!) to sail her massive army to Westeros and seize the Iron Throne. Rather than solve this difficult quandary, she decides to put on a fun and spontaneous show. Dany is admirably good at procrastination. She summons one of her dragons from the sky, hops on its back, does a few aerial stunts, then lands in front of the Dothraki and does her favorite thing: a yell-y speech about how fucking great she is (very fucking great). The Dothraki yell back. Everyone is yelling. It looks very hot out.
Now Dany just has to figure out the whole 1,000 ships thing. Hmm. What a pickle. Perhaps first she will have a pee. It's hot. A quick nap. Maybe she will change her hair today. When was the last time she ate? One really works up an appetite perching atop a dragon in 100-degree heat whipping 10,000 shirtless, swarthy barbarians into a queen-worshiping frenzy. Yes, a snack.