Every week for the sixth season of Game of Thrones, Christopher Orr, Spencer Kornhaber, and Lenika Cruz will be discussing new episodes of the HBO drama. Because no screeners are being made available to critics in advance this year, we’ll be posting our thoughts in installments.
Christopher Orr: The title of tonight’s episode was “Blood of My Blood,” and rarely has a title been more apt. The phrase is Dothraki—Quoy quoyi—and it’s a term of address between a khal and his (or, as of tonight, her) bloodriders. So it most literally related to Daenerys’s announcement that she wanted not the customary three bloodriders, but an entire khalasar’s worth, to help her pry Westeros from those men in iron suits hiding in their stone houses.
But blood ties—and, in particular, family reunions—drove almost every element of the episode. Moments before giving her speech, for instance, Daenerys was rejoined by her erstwhile stray puppy Drogon, who, judging from his growth, spent the first half of the season eating half of Essos.
Rewinding to the start of the episode, we opened with Meera and Bran on the run in the icy woods north of the Wall. Almost as soon as one could say, “Umm, what happened to that zombie army that was hot on their tails?” said army in fact showed up. (Before it did, though, Bran had some interesting historical flashbacks, including a nice vision of the wildfire-obsessed Mad King, Aerys Targaryen, who reportedly continued to yell “burn them all” even after he was impaled by his own kingsguard, one Jaime Lannister.) In any case, as the ghouls converged on Meera and Bran, who should appear but a man on a horse with a flaming morningstar who whomped himself some undead before rescuing them.