Every week, the ladies of Fusion will join together to discuss HBO’s Game of Thrones, which—with its graphic sex and over-the-top violence—is considered by some to be the most masculine show on television. Today, political reporter Katie McDonough, culture reporters Kelsey McKinney and Tahirah Hairston, and digital video producer Anna Sterling tackle the seventh episode of season six, “The Broken Man.”
In this week’s episode (SPOILERS): Arya has a run-in with an old foe, Margaery continues to be an Olympic-level schemer, Sansa learns that statecraft isn't that easy, and the men of the Seven Kingdoms continue to be, well, broken as hell.
Anna: LADY MORMONT ALL THE WAY.
Katie: Lyanna Mormont: A child ruler who actually knows how to get shit done.
Tahirah: Tommen needs to learn. Also, the shade she threw at Sansa! Are you a Bolton? Or a Lannister? I’ve lost track.
Kelsey: I LOVED that. Because I have been thinking the same thing! Who is Sansa Stark? I feel like that’s the question this season wants us to answer most.
Katie: Can we talk about Jon and Sansa's next attempt at statecraft, with House Glover? I feel like that was a really important exchange both in terms of story and character. The North is war-weary and has been badly beaten in the years since the Starks left Winterfell. Just as Sansa wanted Jon and Littlefinger to really know what had been done to her by Ramsay Bolton, I think this is the North's version of educating the Stark siblings.
Kelsey: One thing I noticed during the Glover exchange is that Sansa just looks numb. I think they are doing a good job of showing that, even though she is on her feet and making moves, she’s still very much processing a deep trauma.
Katie: I really like that they're showing her stumbling and establishing the stakes. The exchange with Lord Glover also felt like a reminder that women's fates in the Seven Kingdoms are tied up with the men they're attached to. Sansa has been defined by the houses she was married into. It was heartbreaking to watch her be confronted with other people's perceptions of the things she had to submit to in order to survive.
Kelsey: I think it really parallels what is happening in King's Landing right now, where despite Tommen’s supposed reign, Margaery seems to be calling most of the shots through deception and secret note passing.
Anna: What did you all think about that rose note [passed from Margaery to her grandmother Olenna], by the way?
Katie: My interpretation of it was: Go to Highgarden, bring back army, thank you, yes.
Tahirah: Margaery is so good at playing this game. She’s convincing to the High Sparrow because she has figured out how to please him while manipulating both him and Tommen. That little rose note was definitely some message to go home and bring some terror back.
Katie: Olenna Tyrell preparing to leave King's Landing also led to her owning Cersei in a pretty brutal fashion. I think my favorite thing in Game of Thrones is when characters are really confronted with the shit consequences of their shit actions. And this was another one of those exchanges: Olenna telling Cersei that her plan to let the Faith Militant loose on King's Landing had backfired terribly and now she was essentially alone in hostile territory. I don't think Cersei's humbling will last, but it felt good to see.
Kelsey: Fuck the High Sparrow for telling Margaery that sex “does not require desire on a woman’s part, only patience." I cannot wait for Margaery’s great revenge.
Anna: How gross was that?
Tahirah: The High Sparrow honestly deserves to die. I was like…so you are holier than thou, but support a woman having sex when she doesn't want to to bring an heir?
Katie: Clearly we are building up to a pretty spectacular revenge scene. My guess is that Cersei will be at the wheel.
Katie: So Arya is definitely not dead. But c'mon, Arya, you didn't think that scary-ass old lady was going to be the Waif?
Kelsey: Also, like, stand with your back to a wall, girl.
Tahirah: Lmao. I just always remember how young these characters are when they do stupid stuff. But I don’t like that the Waif has had it out for Arya from the start. She was waiting for her to fail, and I hope Arya gets her.
Katie: Yeah, the Waif is not familiar with shine theory.
Tahirah: Arya is always quick on her feet, even when facing defeat. I admire that about her. She got stabbed and wasn’t like, let me lay here and die. She was like, what’s my next move for survival?
Kelsey: I’m glad that Yara Greyjoy is sailing to Meereen to join forces with Dany. That’s some shine theory right there.
Tahirah: Omg I want Arya to join the killer all-girl army. Fighting for justice against rude, stupid, and violating men.
Kelsey: Valar Morghulis.
Katie: We also saw poor old Sandor Clegane, the Hound dog, alive again and living on a hippie commune. When the episode opened on people who were happy, I was like, "Oh, sucks, that they will all die in like one second. No one gets to be happy here."
Tahirah: All his friends died. That was awkward.
Kelsey: I have no idea what was happening with Sandor Clegane, and to be honest I don’t care at all. Those deaths meant nothing to me.
Katie: I really love the Hound as a character. I think he's almost Tyrion-level wise.
Tahirah: Same. He’s tough on the outside, thoughtful and deep on the inside. And he just knows things.
Katie: The Hound contains multitudes. While we are touching on the random men littering these plots: Blackfish vs. Jaime Lannister.
Tahirah: It was so good. Those men were in over their heads trying to get the Blackfish to surrender. It was almost comical. What I learned in this episode: Men, not very convincing.
Katie: Men, bad at doing things.
The ladies debate the Iron Throne of Hotness and it is almost as bloody as the actual Game of Thrones
Katie: But the Blackfish was very good at a few things: not surrendering, not caring if his nephew got his throat slit, and persuading me that he should sit on the Iron Throne of Hotness.
Tahirah: WOW KATIE. Who are you?
Kelsey: KATIE WOW. That’s such a claim. My nominee for the Iron Throne of Hotness this week is Yara Greyjoy.
Katie: Wait, shit. Maybe Yara Greyjoy.
Tahirah: I actually agree.
Anna: Yeah, there were quite a few challengers to the Iron Throne of Hotness this week
Kelsey: I liked how she made Theon drink the ale.
Katie: Theon has been through a lot!
Tahirah: She was like, if you can't take it, end your life. I'm over it.
Anna: So intense.
Kelsey: Theon is a baby and I’m over it.
Katie: Theon has been through a lot!
Kelsey: I vote for hot Yara—who totally hooked up with a women this week like it was NBD—and her no-fucks attitude. So happy to annoint Yara Greyjoy to the Iron Throne of Hotness. Sorry, Katie!
Tahirah: She deserves it.
Katie: It's OK, I also love Yara. She may have been unjustly dethroned on the Iron Islands, but not today.
Anna: Did anyone else get chills when she started talking about teaming up with the Dragon Queen?
Tahirah: Omg Yara and Dany. Too much. Double hot.
Katie: Final thoughts before we crown Yara?
Kelsey: I hope Jon Snow dies for real in the next two episodes. I can’t take him anymore. Like, he cute, but he boring.
Katie: Kelsey, you are the Grim Reaper in these chats and I love it.
Anna: The best.
Tahirah: He’s cute but boring: How I describe men I want to stop texting me.
Katie McDonough covers politics for Fusion. She lives in Brooklyn.
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.