Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 ‘The Broken Man’: Review

Directed by Mark Mylod. Starring Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jonathan Pryce, Ian McShane, John Bradley & many more.

As any musician will tell you, the secret to a good show isn’t to assault your audience with high energy and your hits all the way through. A great show must have moments of relative quiet or calm to lend contextual heights when things get LOUD. The clue is in the name, as ‘The Broken Man’ slowly deals with how the characters respond to consequence, whether born of their actions or those of others. Arya tries to escape from her mentors, Jon, Sansa, and Davos make difficult progress in canvassing houses to join them against the Boltons, and Yara tries to piece Theon back together (in a quite touching way… for an Ironborn). All these plotlines and more had their characters try to maintain a strong footing as the world is whipped from under them, in many cases with a strange tired solemnity.

Due to its structure and returning characters once thought to be dead, some have commented that the show is becoming just like any other prime-time drama or even coming vaguely close to a daytime soap. While such arguments could be valid if this exact trajectory is replicated for the rest of the season, I think such critics are forgetting that the show AND books can refute such complaints just by referencing themselves. The expansive GoT fandom has already taken the show to task for not including plotlines from the books that include previously dead characters returning to Westeros, beside the fact that the main antagonists are undead spell-casting monsters.

Despite being a sequence of very sour events, there were brilliant moments of levity. The infectious natural manner of actor Ian McShane is impossible not to be swept along with, and Olenna brings Cersei down with enough aplomb that I reeled back during the exchange, expecting the once queen to devour the old woman in a single bite (deserved though the comments may be). Arya got a shockingly slim amount of screen time, the show perhaps treating one of its major pulls like a B-List character in the desire to keep momentum. Arya’s story had arguably a more tense arc than some, even if the choppy presentation works against it a bit. All in all, it would be remiss of any viewer to take the long view of events based on evidence solely from this point in the season.

I give ‘The Broken Man’ Three and a half axes out of Five.

Facebook Comments