We've barely caught out breath since our last 'Hodor!' was uttered and yet Bran doesn't seem to bothered. For shame.
A whole lot went on but not that much actually happened this week on Game of Thrones, well except a major revelation six seasons in the making and the freeing of a queen from her ten episode incarceration. Let's dive in.
1. Dad's are still the worst.
Unless your name ends in Stark, being a father in 'Game of Thrones' basically entitles you to be a horrible SOB to any and all around you, especially your children. Why? Well the alternative, as Ned Stark and Jon Arryn taught us, is ending up dead.
This week we finally met Sam's father, Randyll Tarly, who followed in the footsteps of Tywin Lannister, Roose Bolton and all the other fathers we've seen on this show before by being a nightmare of a human to Sam for all his perceived wrongdoings. At least he was sound enough not to kill Gilly on the spot? We'll admit that's reaching though.
Shoutout to Freddie Stroma, AKA Cormac McLaggen from 'Harry Potter ' as Sam's brother, who doesn't seem half-bad despite his father. That may change now that Sam's run off with the family jewels though, which leads us to...
2. Chekov's Valyrian Steel.
For something that can do so much damage and is so seemingly rare, the stuff does have a habit for popping up all over the place. Sam nicking House Tarly's sword (that is sort of rightfully his) on the way out the door is some heavy foreshadowing for more White Walker showdowns for him, although the real question is: who'll be swinging the sword? Sam? Jon Snow? Gilly?
3. Margaery Tyrell is playing on hell of a 'Game of Thrones'
We know that she's denying that she's gone mad in siding with the High Sparrow and getting Tommen on board so she can play her get out of jail free card (do not pass go, do not walk through the streets of King's Landing in the nip), but is she telling the truth? We think so. Margaery's been playing this game a long time, and is three kings in at the moment. There's no way she's being fooled and giving up the crown that easy. This is all one long con to get either the High Sparrow or Cersei and the Lannisters, or both, out of the picture for good. Trust us. This is not the face of a woman who breaks easily.
4. Benjen lives!
After disappearing into the North beyond the Wall in season one, Benjen made a timely reappearance to save Bran and Meera with some fire and horseplay before plucking the pair onto his steed and riding off into the wintry sunset. Someone's clearly been working on their lifts while wandering the North. Well that and he now has dragonglass in his heart just like the Night's King, which was put there after he was stabbed by a White Walker's ice spear and almost turned into one. So what does that make him? We're guessing he's dead but not in the way Jon Snow is, except he's got some fancy super strength now thanks to the Children of the Forest and their magic.
5. Bran's brain really is the most valuable asset in Westeros right now.
No wonder the White Walkers are after him, as he not only holds the knowledge of their creation and potential defeat in his head, but he also now knows everything that ever happened in the world. Not that he really understands all of it as it came in rapid fire vision form, but we got flashes of dragons and wildfire and Danerys and her father, the Mad King Aerys, whose instructions to 'Burn them all' came at quite a fitting point. We can probably expect more of these 'flashbacks as lessons' to come on a reactionary basis, so fingers crossed for that 'Tower of Joy' scene we're all waiting for.
6. Walder Frey is still also the worst.
Between his grossly descriptive recounting of facts from the Red Wedding and general horrible behaviour, the Lord of The Twins really wasn't missed that much. However, he did come with good news, confirming Littlefinger's intel that Blackfish Tully lives and has in fact retaken Riverrun. Fingers crossed the Blackfish or someone Team Stark gets to give the Freys some much deserved payback.
7. Arya has finally made her choice and put a massive target on her back.
By choosing to not be 'no one' but still pretend to be someone else, Arya confirmed to all of us that she's still a Stark and always will be. But grabbing Needle and running away to join an acting troupe? That's not something we reckon a group of trained assassins with the ability to hide in plain sight is going to take lightly, and the Waif is already on her trail. It's a showdown we know will be good, and that Arya (or is it Mercy now?) will hopefully win.
8. Danerys loves a good speech.
Seriously, between burning down buildings and liberating slaves, we reckon this is her favourite activity. It also helps to do it on the back of a dragon. Look how much it impressed Daario?
9. Tommen will be remembered as 'King Tommen the Bleedin' Tick'.
Sorry young king, but drinking the Kool Aid and joining your own army with the Faith Militant? That's a one-way ticket to death's door. Byeeeeeeeeeeeee.