My Game of Thrones Review: Return of the Hound
When this episode ended, I was initially dissapointed. The reason is because after five and a half seasons of Game of Thrones, I’ve become accustomed to huge death scenes and excessive violence every week. But, after taking a step back, I realized that despite not having a Game of Thrones signature death, there was a lot to like about “The Broken Man.” The Hound returned, Jon and Sansa recruited, and Arya got stabbed a few times. Good times, right?
It was great seeing the Hound again, but his time on screen felt bittersweet. I say that because even though I was estatic to know he was alive, all of his scenes left me wanting more. We really didn’t get to see him be the Hound we’ve grown to adore because we had to find out why he’s not dead and who his new companions are. That being said, I feel like his return is something the show desperately needed.
Not because Rory McCann is a great actor (although he is), but because the Hound is one of the few characters who doesn’t have a goal that he’s actively pursuing. He’s doesn’t want the throne, he doesn’t care about wealth, and he doesn’t have a family to protect. His lack of aspirations make him a wild card on this show. A wild card who’s story can go anywhere, which is very exciting. I would personally love for him and Arya to reunite. Arya and the Hound traveling together in Season 4 were some my favorite moments in this series to date and it would be great if it happened again. Seeing the Hound’s new group killed by the brothers without banners wasn’t shocking at all. However, it did set up what will inevitably be an amazing battle between them and the Hound.
While meeting up with the Hound was great, the time we spent with Arya was probably my favorite part of the episode. I’ve spoken ad nausem about my dissapoitment with Arya’s lack of progression this season, so I’ll leave that alone because those complaints have been dealt with. Although it was a short scene, it was nice to finally see a confrontation between Arya and the Waif. I have to admit that when Arya got stabbed, my heart sank.
Not because I actually thought she would bekilled, but because I’m use to Arya doing the stabbing, not the other way around and seeing her stabbed in the stomach repeatedly caught me off guard. When it comes to Arya’s next move, I’m undecided on what I want her to do next because while I want her to get on the boat that’s sailing to Westeros, I really, REALLY want to see her kill the Waif before she leaves–I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
As far as everything else that went on this episode, it was mostly your standard Game of Thrones politics. Jon snow convincing people to join his Army, Jaime confronting Blackfish, Olenna and Cersei joining forces, and Yara giving Theon a much needed pep talk–even though it was around hookers. It’s always fun when Cersei and Olenna bounce off each other, but out of all these interactions, the two involving Yara and Margaery stood out the most to me.
The introduction of Lady Mormont was also a pleasant surprise. When it comes to child leaders on Game of Thrones, they’re usually either really gullible, or just psychopaths. Thankfully, she was neither. Hearing her go back and forth with Jon Snow about the quality of her men was a great moment not just for the character, but for the young actress as well.
Now, was this the best episode of the season? Absolutely not. But, despite it being a lighter installment into the series, there was enough entertaining moments in “The Broken Man” to keep your interest.