Home Featured Game of Thrones S6 Ep8 ‘No One’ – Review
Game of Thrones S6 Ep8 ‘No One’ – Review

Game of Thrones S6 Ep8 ‘No One’ – Review


I come away from this week’s episode of Thrones feeling hollow. Not from a great sadness such as the death of a beloved character but from the heavy fog of being underwhelmed. The conclusions to several of the strands laced through this episode were disappointing, rushed towards airy endings that can be tied short in episode 10 as seemingly the entirety of episode 9 will be concerned with the Battle of the Bastards. But as is the norm there was plenty of good to come with the bad so let’s take a look at No One.


We open in Braavos with Lady Crane preforming to an adoring crowd. We follow her backstage in a lovely tracking shot, which forecasts the skillful cinematography that will be on display this episode, sharing a director and cinematographer with the episode prior, The Broken Man. Backstage she finds Arya bleeding out and takes her home and patches her up. As Arya is doped up the Waif breaks in and kills Crane. Stabby Stark awakens, which begins a cat and mouse chase throughout the city. Lady Crane’s death continues the trend of likeable secondary characters getting axe, and I’m just so weary of it I can’t be shocked or angry (anyway there’s another death in this episode that really draws my ire so I’ll save it for that).

This entire Assassin’s Creed parkour chase is ludicrous. Arya, who was punctured like a voodoo doll in the last episode, is suddenly sprinting around the city at full tilt, ducking under wagons and barging through residents. The Waif pursues her like the T-1000,  I half expected Arnold to blaze into the streets on a Harley to help Arya. The scene is well choreographed but lacks tension because there’s no outcome where the Waif is going to kill Arya. It’s the same dilemma from the last episode where Arya was stabbed (which was ridiculous, she was just strolling around Braavos fully aware that the Faceless Men were pursuing her, despite an episode prior she was shown in hiding and being extremely cautious. I didn’t say anything about it in last weeks recap since I had read an exciting fan theory on it, but no it was just lazy writing) but we the audience shrugged it off because there was no consequence, clearly evident here as she leaps and barrels around Braavos.

Eventually the writers remember that she was actually stabbed and her wounds re-open. There’s a cool little segment where Arya leads the Waif into a trap using her blood so she can follow her (or at least I assume that was the idea). There’s a cool cut were Arya snuffs the light from a candle with her sword and we move to the House of Black and White where we discover that Arya was slain the Waif and made her face an addition to the gallery. It’s a great reveal, and unlike some viewers I’m not upset that the Waif was killed off-screen because of course Arya was going to prevail and it made for a satisfying gruesome reveal.

As for Jaqen, a man seems pleased with the outcome of events. The Waif clearly had it in for Arya from the beginning, and in when confronting her spoke in the personal first person as opposed the detached third person in which The Faceless Men communicate. Her grudge was clearly getting in the way of her efficiency and I’m not surprised that Jaqen was unsympathetic to her death. Also turns out that by killing her she has become No One and he was expecting Arya to return home, which was a cool finale but I’m going to need context on that that I probably won’t get. He was fine with training Arya to be a vengeful little face-changing angel of death but then he just lets her go? Why? Perhaps because Arya has such an extensive shit list that he’s confident she’ll give many names to the Many Faced God? Pure speculation but I like the sound it. She can come back once her list has been exhausted. On a final note it’s nice that Arya can return to Westeros and start affecting the actual plot again. Essos is the purgatory that George R.R. Martin sends his characters until he’s ready for them to be important again.


And when Arya does return to Westeros I hope her and The Hound can go on another murder tour. Easily the highlight of the episode, Sandor Clegane runs into the Brotherhood without Banners, led by Beric Dondarion and Thoros of Myr. I’m overjoyed to see these two return, a pair of really interesting characters who are played wonderfully by Richard Dormer and Paul Kaye respectively.  I particular adore Kaye’s portrayal of the drunken priests who is a great contrast to all the other ascetics who worship the Lord of Light. They have some hilarious banter, and in an exciting development, they offer Sandor the opportunity the join their ranks. This is a fantastic development as it feels as like pay-off to The Hound’s meeting with them from season 3 and their interactions so far are fantastic.

Elsewhere in the Riverlands the siege of Riverrun continues. Brienne and Pod arrive and enter the Lannister siege camp. Bronn reunites with Pod and they get an enjoyable scene together but the focus is squarely on the convergence of Jaime and Brienne. It’s clear that Jaime still feels for Brienne despite his endless monologuing about Cersei and if we’re lucky their interactions will rev up his character arc. Later his conversation with Edmure is a great dialogue between the two characters, but it would have been a lot more powerful when Jaime brought up that only Cersei mattered to him if I hadn’t heard it about 20 times already this season. It’s also the most potent scene that Edmure has been provided and perfectly sets up his betrayal of his uncle.

Now it’s here I get annoyed. Blackfish is betrayed by his men who allow Edmure into the castle, all well and good. Edmure bypasses his uncle entirely and orders the men to lower the drawbridge and to hand over Blackfish to the Freys. Shitty thing to do but understandable considering his position, fair enough. In the books he stalls so the Blackfish could escape. The Blackfish goes to escape with Brienne and Pod and instead of going with them he decides to stay and fight and is killed off-screen. WHAT?! Let alone for a second how stupid that decision is, but a soldier just walks up to Jaime and says “Oh yeah Blackfish is dead” and that’s all we get? Fuck that.

Blackfish scenes earlier is lamenting the death of his family at the Red Wedding, in particular the niece he loved so much, and now that her daughter, who according to himself is “exactly like her mother”, needs his assistance and he’d rather just die in this castle for no reason. It’s not like he’s dying trying to defend his family home, it’s already taken, it’s pointless. He’s one of the best and most experienced commanders in Westeros and he just says that Brienne can serve Sansa better than he can, disregarding that she’s never led an army in her life. This stinks of the same way the show offed Barristan Selmy, a character with so much potential killed with little weight or reason.


Now that I’ve calmed down happenings in King’s Landing were fairly cool. The other Clegane brother finally got unleashed on one of the Faith Militant and pulled a fucking Mortal Kombat fatality on him. In response the High Sparrow gets Tommen to ban trials by combat, which shatters the hype of many. Lastly of note is Qyburn mentioning results of some kind of rumour he was following up on. Important developments and a grizzly murder so all good here.

Less so over in Mereen. Varys leaves the city and with him goes the only interesting person for Tyrion to converse with. Once again I lament all the interest chats Tyrion could have had with Barristan Selmy. Instead we get another extended sequence of the Imp drinking with two of the least interesting character in the vast web of persona. The scene drags a bit but does drain a laugh eventually in Grey Worm’s brutal honesty. The slavers then turn up, apparently unsatisfied with Tyrion’s awful deal from episodes ago. Extremely underwhelming since they just appear without any foreshadowing and make Tyrion look like a complete idiot for thinking that stupid bargain would somehow satisfy them. And then Dany just shows up in a scene with no weight to it. No epic entrance on the back of Drogon returning to save her city, she just walks on screen.

Maybe the entire Dragon budget was allocated to the next episode, because from the look of the teaser Bastardbowl is going to be massive. I cannot wait as it should provide the same incredible action which Hardhome did before it. I cannot wait, especially after this episode being one of the weakest of this season thus far. Not bad mind you, just a lot of problems and something that made me really frustrated. RIP Blackfish. I’ll see you in the next book…. whenever it comes out.