[For Game of Thrones “No One” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
No One. Jaime weighs his options; Cersei answers a request; Tyrion’s plans bear fruit; Arya faces a new test.
This has been an uneven season for Game of Thrones with the writers plunging into uncharted narrative territory that all fans of the books were nervous we would never get to see. “The Door” was as memorable an episode as any in the entire run. At the same time, as they work without the guidance of the the source material, they have struggled — in my opinion — with tone this season. Scenes have been punctuated with one-liners that sometimes deliver and sometimes land like a fart.
“No One” is the eighth episode in the current season and instead of a traditional recap I am going to break down the episode line by line.
“Trust me, if my soup didn’t kill you nothing will.” — Lady Crane
When last we saw Arya she had been stabbed repeatedly in the belly and was fleeing from the Waif who was looking to finish the job. She ends up in the care of Lady Crane, the actress she refused to kill leading to her current predicament. Lady Crane reveals that she has gotten good at tending to wounds by putting holes in the bad men she is so attracted to. She asks Arya to join the troupe but Arya does not want to put her at risk. When Arya attempts to refuse the milk of the poppy, Lady Crane assures her that it can’t be more dangerous than her cooking.
“You’re shit at dying, you know that?” — The Hound
The Hound tracks down some stray grab-ass members of the Brotherhood Without Banners who slaughtered Brother Rey’s flock last week. He dispatches the first three and has the fourth on his knees with his insides falling out. Clegane demands the whereabouts of the leader of the party, the one with the yellow cloak, that killed his friends. “Fuck you!” replies the man. When asked if those are what he really wants to be his last words the man reconsiders and utters “Cunt!” before being finished off by both axe and barb.
“The most famous dwarf in the world.” — Tyrion Lannister
Varys and Tyrion walk through Mereen and marvel as the legend of Daenerys spreads like…well, you know… as the followers of the Lord of Light preach throughout the city. Both would feel better if the actual Mother of Dragons would return. Varys has faith that she will while Tyrion is more skeptical. In the meantime Varys is leaving on a secret mission to Westeros and has to part ways with Tyrion before he boards the ship. It would hardly be wise for him to be seen in the company of the most famous dwarf in all the city. Tyrion corrects him on his phrasing.
“I choose violence.” — Cersei Lannister
Cersei is summoned to appear before the High Septon at the great Sept of Baelor by the sparrows who have come to the Red Keep to fetch her. When she refuses to leave the keep the sparrows move to take her by force. The Mountain steps in their way and Lancel orders him to step aside or face violence. Cersei makes it clear what she prefers and the sparrows flee after The Mountain rips the head off of one of them.
Cersei is counting on The Mountain to defend her against the High Septon’s charges in trial by combat but she learns she has been outmaneuvered again. She may choose violence but it will not be an option as Thommen decrees that the barbaric practice will be no longer be allowed in the Seven Kingdoms while also announcing trial dates for his mother and Loras Tryrell.
“I don’t think you know many girls like her.” — Brienne of Tarth
Brienne and Podrick comes to see Jamie Lannister at his warcamp outside of Riverrun. She wants to offer him an alternative to laying siege. She will approach the Blackfish and offer him a chance to join Sansa’s side in Winterfell and allow Jamie take the castle. Jamie is skeptical of the deal but it willing to let her try. He does not take the sword Oathkeeper back from her despite her completing the task of finding and rescuing Sansa. Jamie is surprised to discover that Sansa is still alive. In his experience girls like her don’t live very long.
Brienne convinces the Blackfish that she does indeed carry word from Sansa but is unable to convince him to join her side. She has failed.
“I make joke.” — Grey Worm
The scene sounds almost like the set up to one of Tyrion’s jokes. The Imp, Grey Worm and Missandei are sitting in the Great Pyramid of Meereen drinking wine. Tyrion is trying to loosen them both up by making them drink wine and tell jokes. Grey Worm professes to not understand jokes — which Missandei has described as “a story…not necessarily a true story” — but when he criticizes her attempt as the worst joke he has ever heard it is revealed that he lied about his experience with humor. He explains that he wasn’t actually lying…
His metajoke is much more successful than either effort by other two and they actually share a laugh. Tyrion is about to launch into what is undoubtedly a much bawdier joke when the call goes out that the city is under siege by a fleet of slavers. The advisors try to figure out the best way to defend the city only to have Daenarys wordlessly appear on the balcony with a dragon of mass destruction flapping its wings in the background.
“I. Love. Cersei.” — Jamie Lannister
Jamie lays things out very simply for Edmure. He is going to take over as the king of his castle and open the gates and let Jamie’s army in without a fight. If he does not do this Jamie is going to bring Edmure’s baby — Catelyn Stark’s nephew — to the frontlines and launch it into the river with a catapult. Jamie makes it abundantly clear there is only one thing he cares about and the sooner he can lay siege to this castle, the sooner he can get back to her.
“I haven’t had a proper swordfight in years. I expect I will make a damn fool of myself.” — The Blackfish
Edmure folds to Jamie’s will and surrenders the castle. The Blackfish helps Brienne and Podrick find their way to a rowboat beneath the castle that will let them return to fight by Sansa’s side. He is going to buy them some time and go down fighting.
“A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I’m going home.” — Duh!
Lady Crane is killed brutally by The Waif who has come to finish off Arya as well. Arya escapes through the streets and stumbles her way to where she has needle stashed. The Waif laughs a the sight of her with the sword but that is the last thing he sees as Arya extinguishes the candle illuminating the room.
Jaqen walks in on Arya mounting The Waif’s face in the House of Black and White and seems pleased with Arya’s triumph; “Finally a girl is no one.”