Game of Thrones No One Review
HBO‘s Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 8: No One was an episode about ‘sense of worth.’ Characters realized their sense of worth for the first time in No One, others re-evaulated long-held believes, and some had their sense of worth and relationships towards others redefined for them.
The most impactful section of Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane (Rory McCann)’s revenge and his subsequent meeting with the Brotherhood Without Banners was not the killing spree The Hound went on but what Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) said to him afterwards. Septon Ray’s words from The Broken Man had stayed with The Hound and Dondarrion reminded The Hound of those words in No One. The Hound started to believe the Septon’s words were accurate in No One: he had been punished and spared for a reason.
The Hound’s character arch has been slow and subtle but it has occurred. The same can’t be said about other characters on Game of Thrones. Two of her children have died, she was humiliated in front of the people of King’s Landing, and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is exactly the same person that she was at the beginning of the TV series.
Her stupidity was evident throughout most of last season and this season but it reached new heights in No One. The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) had been Cersei’s ace in the hole. The Mountain, through Trial By Combat, was how Cersei hoped to prevail at her religious trial. Instead of keeping that ace’s combat ability to herself and not showing it to The High Sparrow’s followers, she did so, they reported back to The High Sparrow, The High Sparrow manipulated the king, and the king made his decree in No One.
Cersei was a fool in No One. She should have controlled her emotions, played the game beautifully like Margaery Tyrell, and gone to the Sept of Baelor when commanded. Now The High Sparrow knows that Cersei has not repented, was not sorry, and that it was all an act.
Cersei Lannister was not the only fool in No One. So was her brother.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) was a fool in Book of the Stranger and that foolishness came to roost in No One. Tyrion blithely thought that words would make a entire society give up their way of life, a way of life that they had followed for generations. Like in the book A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance of Dragons, the Old Masters were not giving up their way of life without a fight. The writers of the Game of Thrones TV adaptation have dumbed-down Tyrion Lannister from the novels to an unfortunate degree. In the books, his penis (and sometimes his mouth) got Tyrion into trouble, his brain, power of observation, and calculation got him out of it. If Tyrion had gathered proper intelligence (the ‘Little Birds’ anyone?) and had known his audience before meeting with the Old Masters, he wouldn’t have dared to make them an offer tantamount to a 180 for that region of the world. It would just be easier for the Old Masters to reject the offer, go to war with their slave army, kill Daenerys Targaryen, and go on with their way of life. If anyone died in the war, it would be slaves (which could be replaced), Daenerys’ soldiers, and Daenerys, not the Old Masters. They would be safe in their homelands. Tyrion Lannister in the book series would have recognized these facts and would have acted accordingly.
The Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) / Waif (Faye Marsay) fight in No One had been a moment many had been waiting to witness. It didn’t disappoint except in its ending. Many wanted to actually see Arya defeat Waif as they had seen Waif attack Arya in The Broken Man. Instead, they received an implied victory by Arya using a skill set Waif had helped her develop: fighting in complete darkness. Fighting in the dark was a very shrewd maneuver by Arya, one Waif had not counted on.
Question 1: What stopped Waif from turning around and running back out the way she came after the lights went out?
Question 2: Before Arya defeated Waif, her stomach wounds had reopened. With Lady Crane dead, how did Ayra stop the bleeding the second time?
At the end of the Braavos scene where Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) seemingly released Ayra from service to the Faceless Men, why did Arya decide to return to Westeros? Winterfell was gone and for all she knew, so was her family. The only one left was Jon Snow and he was at The Wall (from her perspective, though she might have heard different from gossip at the Braavosi docks). When Jaqen H’ghar sent Waif to kill Arya, Arya and Jaqen H’ghar’s friendship was voided but in Westeros, Arya had a bounty on her head. In Braavos, she was free. Why turn in freedom (identical to T-Bag’s idiotic decision in Season 4 of Prison Break) for being hunted again?
Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)’s Riverrun decision and manipulation revealed Jamie’s key motivations: loyalty, self-interest, and his love for Cersei. Jamie Lannister is capable of great compassion or considerable villainy if it comes down to it and in No One, it was women that motivated him towards opposing ends of the humanity spectrum.
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