‘Game of Thrones’ Recap - Season 6, Episode 7: “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Alternate titles I considered: “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog,” “Bark at the Moon” and “Blackfish’s Back – ALL RIGHT!”

Not just one, but three big returns this episode. The first scene gave us Sandor Clegane (The Hound), Bron just kind of showed up with Jamie Lannister in the middle of the episode, and The Blackfish (Something Tully) did his best Monty Python impression as part of his reintroduction.

Ready to break it down?

Habitat for Humanity Building Site (The Hound, Ian McShane)

 Now do you get the Habitat for Humanity joke? | HBO

Now do you get the Habitat for Humanity joke? | HBO

So, The Hound — the guy who killed an eight-year-old fat kid back in season one — is trying to leave his murdering ways behind him by living and working with what I can only describe as a Westeros Hippie Group. And for some reason, the peace-loving people are led by Ian McShane, whose work is best exemplified in this touching scene from another HBO original series, Deadwood.

Alas, HBO must have spent too much money on CGI dragons this season, so McShane’s character — along with the rest of his commune — are murdered by members of the Brotherhood Without Banners.

Speaking of them, rape, murder, and general pillaging don’t strike me as the type of activities this group would have taken part in just a few seasons ago. Are we building up to another big character returning later this season?

Maybe the matriarch of a certain Northern family who’s already had two of their members come back from the dead?

King’s Landing (Margery, Grandma Tyrell, High Sparrow, Cersei)

 I’m ready for either/both of these women to die, so they’ll probably be around for the next six seasons. | HBO

I’m ready for either/both of these women to die, so they’ll probably be around for the next six seasons. | HBO

Guys, I don’t care about this plot line anymore. I actually found myself wanting the Sand Snakes to attack King’s Landing to add a little bit of intrigue to this story.

I’m hoping the payoff for all of this Faith vs. Crown buildup is actually worthwhile. So far, it’s felt really slow compared to everything else going on. This is a season one-style plot that’s now trying to compete with zombie armies, dragons, #BASTARDBOWL, and beloved characters coming back from the dead/obscurity.

We need forward momentum, and we need it now.

Various Northern Locations (Jon, Sansa, Davos, Various Leaders of Armies)

 How many Starks does it take to build an army? Definitely more than two. | HBO

How many Starks does it take to build an army? Definitely more than two. | HBO

Jon recruited the rest of the Wildlings to retake Winterfell.

Davos convinced that ice-cold 10-year-old girl to commit 62 of her troops to the cause.

Sansa…uh…sent a letter…to somebody…

Assuming that letter is going to Littlefinger, I guess we’ll see if he genuinely cares about Sansa or not depending on whether he sends troops. My guess is he’ll send the troops, but he’ll want something from her in return.

Per usual.

Riverrun (Jamie, Bron, Blackfish)

 Tell me you wouldn’t watch a spin-off show that’s just these two bro-ing out for 45 minutes every week. | HBO

Tell me you wouldn’t watch a spin-off show that’s just these two bro-ing out for 45 minutes every week. | HBO

Jamie’s been stonewalled by the Blackfish. Judging by next week’s preview, he’ll be meeting with Brienne, who has orders to recruit Blackfish and his troops for the upcoming battle at Winterfell.

Talk about a tricky situation. Let’s break this one down:

  • Brienne was given her sword, Oathkeeper, by Jamie.
  • Oathkeeper was one of two swords made from Ned Stark’s sword after he was killed in season one.
  • Sansa Stark is Ned Stark’s daughter. (Duh)
  • Brienne’s current orders were given to her by Sansa Stark, who she’s sworn to protect.

In layman’s terms: Brienne is going to have to choose between her duty to the Starks or her respect of Jamie Lannister. Whatever her choice, you have to think she jumps up a few spots on the “Next to Die” list.

Braavos (Arya)

 Yep. That pretty much sums it up. | HBO

Yep. That pretty much sums it up. | HBO

These damn shape-shifter plots are always so confusing. Was it really Arya who got stabbed? Until next episode, you can make a case either way.

Today, I’m of the opinion that it really was Arya who was stabbed, which begs the question: what good was all your training? You couldn’t beat the dutch-haired girl in a fight when she was posing as an old woman? Damn. What hope do you have of crossing any more names off your Steve-Buscemi-In-Billy-Madison-styled kill list?

Not many. And that’s why I’ve always been of the firm belief that it was not really Arya that was stabbed.

Hey, wait a minute… |ES|