This week’s episode titled “The Broken Man” brought back a controversial character.

by Rachel Wilford

(Spoiler Warning) We’ve witnessed the return of two missing characters in the last two episodes of “Game of Thrones”: Benjen Stark and The Hound. Last week, Benjen rescued Bran and Meera from the White Walkers, but this week’s episode titled “The Broken Man” brought back a controversial character who most had grown quite fond by the time we thought we lost him.

Last time we saw The Hound, he was getting quite a beating from Brienne. After a nasty fall that rendered him immobile, The Hound tried to rile Arya up so that she would kill him and put him out of his misery, but she did not give in. She instead took his money and then left him to die alone.

In “The Broken Man,” it is revealed that The Hound has survived his fight with Brienne and is living with a group of villagers in the Riverlands. He was saved by Brother Ray, a septon, who is now the leader of the villagers. We see The Hound struggling with the demons of his past and questioning whether or not justice exists as he receives counsel and even friendship from Brother Ray. Soon a group from the Brotherhood Without Banners, an outlaw group that actively works against the Lannisters, shows up at the village while The Hound is away and murders all of the villagers, including Brother Ray. The Hound picks up an ax and storms off.

Game of Thrones
Created by
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release Date
6 June 2016
Rachel’s Grade: A

The unveiling of both The Hound and Benjen Stark calls into question something very intriguing to me. Benjen Stark has been believed to be dead since season one when he went beyond the Wall and never returned and we basically wrote The Hound off in season four after his extremely damaging fight with Brienne. We never explicitly saw these two characters die but we figured they had to be dead. Now that they have both returned, it makes me think of one other character whom we never actually saw die: Stannis. Did Brienne actually kill Stannis at the end of season five or did she spare him? Brienne is definitely all about justice and fulfilling her duties, so it makes more sense that she would have followed through in killing Stannis in order to avenge the murder of Renly. But the return of Benjen and The Hound does make me a little suspicious about Stannis’ status…

This episode also shed some light on Queen Margaery’s plans. We have seen her being awfully compliant with the High Sparrow lately, which has been a touch discouraging. However, in this episode we saw her secretly give her grandmother a drawing of a rose, a message Lady Olenna seemed to understand. She seemed to be letting her grandmother know that her alliance with the High Sparrow is all an act. So despite Margaery’s religious, zombie-like behavior lately, it seems that she has a plan up her sleeve.

Meanwhile in Riverrun, Jaime has teamed up with fan favorite Bronn to try to take the castle from Blackfish (Catelyn Stark’s uncle, Brynden Tully). In the North, Jon, Sansa, and Ser Davos are trying to rally troops so they can take back Winterfell. In Volantis, Yara and Theon reveal their plan to take the Iron Fleet to Meereen to create an alliance with Daenerys (who conveniently really needs some ships right now). In Braavos, Arya plans to leave by ship the next morning, but she is attacked and stabbed multiple times in the stomach by the Waif (the ninja girl who is a member of the Faceless Men). Arya falls into a river and emerges very wounded. She wanders the streets of Braavos bleeding and afraid.