Seven episodes down and three to go in this season of Game of Thrones, with Sunday night's episode proving to be "a well-paced, quieter" one in the Guardian's view. Quieter, yes, but studded with some big events all the same. Among the best (and spoiler-filled) post-episode analysis, observations, and conjectures:
- Writing for Rolling Stone, Sean T. Collins observes that after the pilot and Season Four premiere, last night's episode marks the third-ever use of the "cold open" in the show, slipping in a scene before the opening credits. He takes a look at why, and calls out the "thesis statement about war and violence" the episode succinctly provides.
- At the Atlantic, Lenika Cruz parses the meaning behind the episode's title, "The Broken Man," an episode that she writes, "did a lot of crucial set-up in economical fashion and via plenty of elegantly written scenes."
- As Matt Miller puts it, "It only took six seasons, but Game of Thrones finally just revealed its first lesbian major character." At Esquire, he takes a brief look at last night's reveal.
- Joanna Robinson calls the Arya-Waif encounter "a TV fake-out death" that strays from the norm, in that we know she isn't dead (courtesy of next week's preview). At Vanity Fair, Robinson examines what purpose the scene serves—and speculates about where Arya got that gold.
- In a separate piece, Robinson looks at where the women of Westeros stand, ending with Cersei and the "hint of what's to come" that we were given—Robinson lays out one line of speculation involving Cersei and wildfire.
- Speaking of what's to come, Mashable notes three big things that look set to happen in next week's seemingly "positively action packed" episode.
- Miscellaneous: It was a "really good week for grizzled British character actors," one writer's geography complaint, and long live Lyanna Mormont.
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