Episode 6 of Game of Thrones "Blood of My Blood", does not begin with Hodor miraculously alive. The gentle giant is dead, but did indeed hold the door long enough for Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to escape into the woods. Bran is still in the trance. He sees a montage of the events that led up to this point. The White Walkers are front and center, but we do get a glimpse of The Mad King and his stockpile of Wildfire in the vision. This has to be an important set up for the eventual showdown with The Night King. He wakes up as they are surrounded by the undead. Meera valiantly covers him; a masked rider swinging a mace of fire comes to their rescue. He pulls them unto his horse and they escape into the forest.
Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) arrive at his family's home of Horn Hill. Gilly is dumbfounded by the palatial estate of the Tarly's. Sam reminds her that his parents can never discover that baby Sam is not his child; or that Gilly is a Wildling. They are met by Sam's mother and sister, his father and brother have gone hunting instead.
At King's Landing, Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) and The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) discuss Margaery's (Natalie Dormer) walk of atonement. The High Sparrow allows Tommen to see her for the first time since her incarceration. They fall into each other's arms. Tommen is surprised by Margaery's contriteness. She seems to have embraced the spiritual guidance of her jailers.
Gilly gets a princess makeover before dinner with the Tarly's. Sam is stunned by her beauty, but his good mood turns quickly. At dinner, Lord Tarly (James Faulkner) humiliates his son. He chastises him for being fat. He calls him weak, a coward for becoming a maester instead of a warrior. The Night's Watch has failed to make him a man. He could never wield the Valyrian steel sword of House Tarly, Heartsbane. As poor Sam weather's the abuse, Gilly comes to his defense. She calls his father and brother cowards. That they could never do what he's done in battle. Killing a White Walker and a Thenn. This statement reveals Gilly as a Wildling from the North. Lord Tarly calls her a whore as Sam's mother takes her away from his insults.
That night in Gilly's bed chamber, Sam says his goodbye. She and the baby will be taken care of by his family, even with his father's scorn. They share a fleeting kiss before he leaves. Just as Gilly is left forlorn, Sam barrels back into the room. He will not leave them. They are staying together. They take the baby and sneak out of the castle. But not before Sam takes Heartsbane. The sword belongs to him now.
Arya (Maisie Williams) is still on her mission of assassination. She watches as Lady Crane (Essie Davis) plays Cersei in the campy retelling of Joffrey's death. She smirks, having missed watching him die horribly. Arya sneaks backstage and poisons Lady Crane's wine. Her escape is thwarted when she accidentally runs into her intended target. Lady Crane has observed Arya several times in the audience. She is kind, telling Arya she could be an actress as well. Arya squirrels away, but comes back in time to knock the wine glass out of Lady Crane's hand. Then points to Crane's understudy, this one wants to kill you.
Arya's has betrayed the Many-Faced God with her conscience. She retrieves Needle, her precious sword, from its hiding place. Back at the House of Black and White, Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) is cutting the face off a carcass. The cruel waif (Faye Marsay) responsible for Arya's training woes is unleashed to find her.
Margaery's walk of atonement is about to commence. She is on the temple steps before all of King's Landing. As The High Sparrow finishes his religious babble, Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) and her father, Lord Tyrell (Roger Ashton-Griffiths), confront them with their army. Even the Queen of Thorns, Lady Tyrell (Diana Rigg), has made an appearance at the big confrontation. But The High Sparrow has out maneuvered them. The temple doors open and Tommen emerges with the Kings Guard. He takes Margaery's hand and swears loyalty to the faith. On the Iron Throne, Tommen strips Jaime of his King's Guard leadership. He has served his family and the crown well, but cannot remain in King's Landing.
Walder Frey (David Bradley) rears his backstabbing head from season three. His sons warn him that the Blackfish, Brynden Tully (Clive Russell), has taken Riverrun and is entrenched. Frey venomously recounts the Red Wedding. Telling them to use the knives that killed Robb Stark's pregnant wife and slit his throat. His men pull Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) from the dungeon. Frey will use the Blackfish's imprisoned nephew against him.
Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime seethe over the day's twisted turn. The High Sparrow has control of their son. Tommen has ordered Jaime to assist Walder Frey in retaking Riverrun. His first inkling is to stay and protect Cersei at her upcoming trial. She tells him he needs to be in charge of their family's army. Show them he is their leader and take the fight to another day. The Mountain will fight for her at the trial. Then they get their perverse love on, can't ever leave incest out of the story.
In the far north, Meera and Bran learn the identity of their savior. It's Coldhands, Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), the First Ranger of the Night's Watch and Bran's lost uncle. He returns having disappeared in season one. He was saved by the Children of the Forest. They used Dragonglass to prevent his change into a White Walker. Coldhands calls Bran the Three-Eyed Raven. He is aware of his destiny. He tells Bran they will face The Night King in battle soon.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Daario (Michael Huisman) lead the Dothraki towards Mereen. He tells her that she is a conqueror. Daenerys replies she wants what is hers. They stop at a narrow pass, where she breaks away and rides ahead. Her long absence begins to worry Daario, when Daenerys suddenly swoops from above riding Drogon. The red dragon has become a juggernaut. The Dothraki stare at their queen in awe. She whips them into a frenzy with a rallying cry for war. She hearkens back to the future predicted by Khal Drogo. They will take wooden horses across the great sea, kill the men in iron, and destroy their stone castles.
"Blood of My Blood" brought back a dangerous enemy and needed ally. The return of Walder Frey hopefully means that he will soon pay for his betrayal. Bran has a new protector in his uncle. Coldhands isn't as lovable as Hodor, but has the knowledge Bran needs to fight The Night King.
Tommen and Margaery becoming pawns of The High Sparrow was a bit of a letdown. It does allow Jaime to leave King's Landing and consolidate the Lannister's power. Sam is proving to be the best lover and father in Game of Thrones. He has skillfully protected Gilly and baby Sam. The fact that he took Heartsbane, a sword that can kill White Walkers, has to be a critical point.
Daenerys and Drogon together again. The Mother of Dragons is coming with the thunder back to Mereen. Her conversation with Daario about how many ships they need is a major clue. The Greyjoy's are embroiled in conflict over the Iron Islands, but their fleet is exactly what Daenerys needs to get her army to King's Landing. Drogon and his brothers are the perfect weapons against The White Walkers. Damned exciting stuff from HBO. This season is charging towards some epic battles.