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'Game of Thrones': Lost causes lead a slow week

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“Game of Thrones” episodes that don’t involve battle always feel like sort of a let down, no matter how many characters are brought back from the dead.

Sure, a lot of important events that will shape the rest of the season occur in this episode, but when there’s so much bloodshed waiting on the horizon, it’s hard not to feel a bit like “The Broken Man” while watching this episode.

It’s a fitting title for an episode. Fans broken because of the absence of violence while several characters fighting for lost causes try to repair as much of their lives as possible.

Prepare for spoilers of “Game of Thrones” Season 6, Episode 7 “The Broken Man.”

The Lost Causes

“You’ve lost, Cersei.” Words from the Queen of Thorns never stung harder. Cersei’s in between a rock and a hard place. Tommen has been lost - whether that’s to Margaery or the High Sparrow. Jaime was a casualty of that as well. There’s no army coming to save her, only a mountain. Can The Mountain save Cersei in this case?

It’s not an easy job rebuilding an ancient house, so I can’t blame Sansa and Jon for failing as much as they did to rebuild a Stark army. Sansa’s letter is going to Littlefinger, since he is the only person with a large enough army to help the Stark cause, but is it enough?

Why do these three, plus The Blackfish, keep fighting? Pride. What else can they do? They’re the boxer on their last round fighting from behind in the card. All they can do is continue to be risky and throw haymakers, but how long until one, if not all, of them catch a right hook on the chin?

A big waste of time

While it’s great to say that Ian McShane was a part of “Game of Thrones” this season, what makes his appearance so spectacular? McShane’s performances should be treated like sipping a fine wine, not slugging a cheap shot of whiskey. Killing him off in this one-off episode was a waste of his talent.

The Hound is back, and while that’s a great sign for fans of the “Cleganebowl” theory (potential future spoilers for those who Google this), did we need 30 minutes of an episode to tell that story? We get it, The Hound tried to do what was right and leave violence behind, but simply couldn’t after all those religious folk were murdered. It’s a simple story, tell it in less time.

Quick Hits

  • Margaery has played her hand beautifully this season. If it wasn’t evident last week, Margaery made it known she’s playing the long con in the battle against the High Sparrow. I love how “Game of Thrones” showed this with true emotion - Margaery’s tears when sending her grandmother away. 
  • I’m convinced Arya is going to be saved by Jaqen. The Waif has made two big errors in watching Arya - holding a personal grudge (she’s the first one to rat out Arya like a fifth-grader to a teacher) and disobeying Jaqen’s order not to make her suffer (lacerations to the stomach-area are more painful than the heart or brain). The question is, if Arya does escape Braavos, what does she do next? 
  • Bella Ramsey played a fantastic Lyanna Mormont. She isn’t the first child ruler on the show, but I love how she managed to be strong without coming off like a whiny kid like Robin or Joffrey did. This girl has a big future ahead of her, and I hope she gets more time later this season. 
  • Daenerys wasn’t even in this episode, but the prevailing theme of her season has been, as Drake once said, “Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” She went from a naked girl with three dragons and a few followers, to leading an army and having two major fleets soon to be fighting for her. It’s good to be the queen!

Anthony J. Machcinski writes reactions for “Game of Thrones” every week for Follow him on Twitter @ChinskiTweets.