The missing-persons bureau of Westeros can close at least one major case after the Sunday, May 29, episode of Game of Thrones.
A long-lost member of the Stark family turned up alive after five seasons' absence, and he's not the only character to make a surprise reappearance. Here's what went down on the episode titled "Blood of My Blood."
After last week's big Hodor-related reveal, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was still on the run from the undead hordes in the first moments of this week's episode. And like hapless Vonnegut hero Billy Pilgrim, he seemed to be unstuck in time, traveling through the entire history of Westeros at the expense of paying IRL attention to the actual threat right behind him. But just when it looked like Bran and Meera (Eleanor Kendrick) were about to become zombie chow, they were rescued by a mystery man on horseback.
"When I last saw you, you were a boy," said Mystery Man, taking off his cloak to reveal the face of Bran's long-lost uncle, Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle). Thus, for the second time this season, we got to enjoy a Stark family reunion — and Bran got some important info vis–à–vis the importance of his psychic gifts to the impending White Walker War.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
After a long journey, Samwell (John Bradley West) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) arrived at House Tarley, where Sam's dad proved to be an even bigger douchebag than advertised, which is really saying something. Gilly, defending Sam against a hateful tirade, accidentally revealed herself as a quote-unquote wildling whore, prompting Daddy Tarley to disown Sam for good — and leading Sam to decide that Chez Douchefather was perhaps not the best place to leave his lady love and adopted son, after all. Good call, Sam.
The Sparrow and the Crown
Meanwhile, back in King's Landing, the Tyrell Army marched in to save lovely Margaery (Natalie Dormer) from her naked walk of shame, only to find their services not needed, as teen King Tommen (Dean Charles Chapman) forged his own truce by making Sparrowism the official religion of Westeros.
The alliance of church and state left Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) off the Kingsguard roster, with Cersei (Lena Headey) urging him to be patient: They'll defeather the pious High Sparrow in good time. For now, Jaime's mission is to ride for Riverrun, which Walder Frey (the marvelous, lemon-faced David Bradley) is desperate to retake after losing it to the Tully clan. And speaking of Tullys, remember Edmure (Tobias Menzies)? Turns out he's been chilling in Frey's dungeons ever since the disastrous Red Wedding! And apart from a downright terrible haircut, he actually doesn't look too bad.
A Girl Has a Name … and a Needle
And there you have it: Despite her murderous inclinations, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) will not be joining the ranks of the many-faced god's assassins after all. After being dispatched to kill the lead actress in a play based loosely on Game of Thrones seasons 1 through 5, the girl formerly known as Arya had second thoughts and gave up on both her mission and her facelessness, retrieving her old identity in the form of her sword, Needle. The bad news: That mean girl from the House of Black and White is now officially out to kill Arya. The good news: We've all seen what Arya can do with that blade.
Daenerys Picks Up the Mic, Only to Drop It Again
And finally, the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains and Grand High Empress of Epic Speeches did what she does best: command loyalty and respect for her royal ambitions. After pausing en route to Mereen, Dany (Emilia Clarke) took the opportunity to deliver a speech while perched on the broad back of Drogon the dragon (who has clearly not been missing any meals while off screen). For the rest of us, watching Daenerys drop the mic on dragonback is nothing new, but the Dothraki hadn't seen it before, and it drove them wild. Dany still has to cross the sea to King's Landing, but when she does, it'll be with quite the army.
Tell Us: What did you think of this week's episode?
Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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