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 and culture reporter Tahirah Hairston tackle the eighth episode of season six, “No One.”
In this week’s episode (SPOILERS): Arya finally tells us all what we've known forever: she's Arya Stark of Winterfell, Cersei Lannister is pissed and also stuck in a bind, Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister have so much chemistry we don't know how to react, Tyrion messes up, and mommy Dany has to come home to save them all.
Katie: Arya is no longer no one, thank god. Goodbye Braavos, I will not miss you. Also: Goodbye, Waif. You were mean as hell.
Tahirah: I knew she didn't want that cult life. That life chose her because it was convenient. Jaqen's odd smile at the end told me he knew that this was a possibility too. Arya was stronger when she was Arya Stark, not no one.
Katie: Oh yes, Jaqen with the bad highlights. Bye!
Tahirah: Also, I will say that because of the Arya theories I read last week, I was looking for clues. Her dragging her blood on the walls was when I knew she was going to the little room with her sword.
Katie: Yes! She was luring the Waif back to her little hiding spot for Needle! So damn good.
Tahirah: And, watching the smug look on the Waif's face and then knowing what Arya had planned felt so mischievous, I was like, hahaha, you're wrong.
Katie: The Waif was a little too Terminator in that scene for my liking. I get that she's a trained assassin, but like, maybe calm down a little. The way she was running through Braavos, smdh. But so now Arya makes her trip back to Winterfell, and I am hoping she crosses paths with the Hound en route.
Tahirah: I was a little bummed out that they didn't show Arya and the Waif fighting.
Katie: I have a feeling that we will get to see plenty of Arya's assassin skills in coming episodes. A girl will be fighting her way back home, after all.
Tahirah: Also, this intrigues me: this season in two scenes where powerful women were killing their enemies, a locked door was involved. Dany locked those men into their own room, and then Arya let the Waif lock her into a room. Each woman took a situation where they had no power and made it their own.
Katie: OK, so we have Arya liberated from the death cult. On the topic of cults, recently inducted cult member Tommen the First of his name has abolished trial by combat in King's Landing and Cersei is like, pissed.
Tahirah: Cersei is so, so pissed. Especially when Tommen was like, "actually we're not doing the trail by combat anymore. Sorry mom."
Katie: And about to burn the whole place down with Wildfire, right? Because Bran was not actually having a flashback when he saw King's Landing ablaze in green. He was having a flash forward.
Cersei no longer has the Mountain to save her, so she's scheming again. I can't tell if it's going to be a glorious revenge that puts Cersei back on top, or another one of her shitty miscalculations that ruins more than it fixes.
Honestly, my guess is the latter. We know, from the prophecy made at the beginning of Season 5 to little baby Cersei, that none of her children will survive. “Six-and-ten for [the King], and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds.” If she manages to light up the Wildfire that the Mad King stored throughout King's Landing, Tommen is outta here.
Tahirah: This is a great theory. I agree. But, do you think she would risk killing her own son regardless of the fate she was told?
Katie: I feel like it might be accidental. Because even though Tommen betrayed her by eliminating her only real hope of getting out of this Faith Militant mess by abolishing trial by combat, Cersei is a woman who has said from the start that she would do anything for her children. I don't think she'd mean to take him out, but wildfire is nasty business.
Tahirah: And Tommen is so wrapped up in his new cult, he would try to save them before he saved himself. And what would Game of Thrones be without the death of a child?
Katie: Lol, yes. Or poor dumb old Tommen would just be like walking around drinking a baby bottle and he'd step into a pit of wildfire like a dummy. On the topic of willing the deaths of children: We miss you Kelsey. Enjoy vacation!
Tahirah: I hate how easily swayed Tommen was and now he speaks with conviction about something he JUST learned about. Typical child.
Katie: Dumb baby.
Tahirah: I also think that there is also going to be another scheme going down at Westeros in addition to whatever Cersei has planned because even if dumb baby Tommen is willing to get his mom killed, Margaery is not about to let her brother die. The grandmother is about to come back with something.
Katie: Oh hell yes! I had forgotten about Olenna the schemer! She will be back with her Tyrell army. Now I am really excited!
Tahirah: I can’t wait to see what happens. I think Margery is a better schemer than Cersei. Cersei is like violence and Margery is like no mind-games and then maybe violence.
Katie: Yes, the master schemer this season is definitely Margery.
Tahirah: Rooting for you queen!
Katie: I propose the all-ladies roundtable start shipping for Jaime and Brienne. Their scenes together last night were too much.
Tahirah: See, I think Jaime loves her but he's selfish and also in a deep twisted love with his sister. Brienne does not need that drama in her life
Katie: True. Incest blinders.
Tahirah: She needs to be with hottie Tormund who I hope doesn't die in the next episode. I'll cry.
Katie: Omg if Tormund dies I will need a month to recover.
Tahirah: Seriously, just kill Jon Snow he was already dead.
Katie: Yeah, let Jon snow die so that hot Tormund might live.
Tahirah: Jaime and Brienne's interaction was so like, typical ex but we still have feelings for each other but we could never get it back and I am forever indebted to you for those good times we had. That is what I took from their glances.
Katie: Omg that is exactly it. Damn.
Tahirah: I like that Brienne brings out this softer human side of Jaime that I'm not even sure we've seen him have for his own kids. Even with Cersei there is less softness because they are always scheming and saying things like: we are the only two that matter, we belong here.
Katie: Yes, they definitely know each other in a whole other way. I just want them to run off. Restart that peace cult that got slaughtered and have a nice time.
Katie: Tahirah our guy Tyrion fucked up!
Tahirah: TYRION!! We called it too. So did Grey Worm and Missandrei. Wait, so before we get into this scene. Where did Dany even come from?
Katie: Dany knew to come home the same way our moms always knew to come home when we were doing bad stuff as teens. Mom sense. Mother of Dragons sense.
Tahirah: Damn, she did. Moms know best.
Katie: Just as Grey Worm is preparing for an ambush, she walks in like, "I leave you all for five minutes and this is the shit you pull?"
Though I was super into Missandei getting a little drunk and Grey Worm roasting them with his subtle joke!
Tahirah: Grey Worm an Missandei are my favorite couple. They love each other so much. A couple that drinks wine together, stays together, or ages together is probably better here.
Katie: So true.
Katie: OK, final thoughts and the Iron Throne of Hotness?
I, for one, am glad that the Hound is back in play. That exchange where he wanted to gut the men who killed his peace pals but the Brotherhood without Banners was like "No, we're not brutes. We hang people." And he was like gdi.
Tahirah: My final thoughts: I am scared shitless for Dany and the boys. I am also scared shitless for boring Jon Snow in the next episode.
Katie: I am scared shitless for myself in the event that Tormund Giantsbane dies in the face off against the Boltons.
Also I nominate Tyrion for Iron Throne of Hotness this week! He may have had shitty judgement when it comes to negotiating with slavers, but he has excellent judgement about facial hair. Man looks good with a beard.
Tahirah: I nominate the Blackfish Tully. I love how he stood his ground even when it was certain that he would lose. That’s hot.
Katie: Oh shit, yes. I tried to get Blackfish Tully on the throne last week and I am here for it again this week. He was also grumpy. Loved that, too.
Tahirah: Yes, so grumpy. Grumpy = hot. But, then when he read Sansa’s letter there was a glimmer of both hope an love in his eyes. I loved that.
Katie: Welcome to the throne, Blackfish! You are dead, but alive in our hearts.
Tahirah: Bye, bye Blackfish Tully. You might have lost to Jaime Lannister, but you have won our hearts.