OH MY GOD WE TOTALLY CALLED IT.
Last week on Game(Skinny) of Thrones, our sophisticated computer simulation correctly predicted that Arya would be killed, or at least gravely injured, by The Waif. However, fan theories are swirling that not everything is as it seems. Was the girl that The Waif stabbed truly Arya? Was this all part of some greater plan that Arya hatched long ago? Will we ever see that badass sword teacher from season 1 again? It’s clear that the rivalry between Arya and The Waif is not over yet, and all signs point to tonight’s episode settling it once and for all.
But before we get into that, let’s pay a visit to our favorite one-handed sister-lover, Jaime Lannister.
ROUND 1: BLACKFISH vs. JAIME LANNISTER
Tensions are high at Riverrun, and it seems as though Jaime is primed to launch an all-out assault on Brynden Tully, the Blackfish in order to take it back. The Blackfish, however, is not going to give up his house’s ancestral castle without a fight.
Blackfish opens up with a strategic attack on Jaime’s good hand, attempting to cripple not just his fighting ability, but also his ability to give firm, sincere handshakes.
Jaime, obviously, is not a fan of that. Enraged not only by Blackfish’s strategy, but also by his stupid, dirty neckbeard, Jaime launches a full-on assault focused on Blackfish’s throat.
Springing off of the mat of House Tully’s ancestral wrestling ring where all sieges are settled (read the books) Jaime quickly gains complete control of the match.
Unsurprisingly, Jaime tries to end things early, but in a portent of things to come, Blackfish refuses to stay down.
Launching a barrage of strikes, Brynden Tully recovers, and regains his composure.
It doesn’t last long, however. After blocking a punch, Jaime is able to hoist Blackfish over his shoulders and interrupt his momentum with a crushing slam.
He follows up with a flying kick to the back of Blackfish’s neck. I guess he really, really doesn’t like that neckbeard.
Once again, Jaime goes for the pin, but the hero of House Tully refuses to submit. Recovering, Blackfish flings Jaime across the mat, attempting to regain his composure and come up with a strategy.
Blackfish is out of time, however. Jaime is able to land his finisher, the Falling Bran, on Blackfish.
Blackfish, however, refuses to give in. Jaime is getting frustrated.
While by this point, Jaime’s victory is all but assured, it will now be a Pyrrhic one at best. His energy is sapped, and his forces have weakened considerably due to Blackfish’s surprising tenacity. After hitting one final Falling Bran, Jaime is finally able to get the pin and retake Riverrun, but the victory came at a price– especially since it really seemed like Blackfish kicked out right before the 3 count. Jaime might have taken the castle, but his grasp on it is tenuous at best.
ROUND 2: ARYA STARK vs. THE WAIF (EXTREME RULES)
This is the main event, folks. Across this entire series, Arya Stark and The Waif have been pitted against each other countless times, but now it seems as though this rivalry will finally be decided once and for all. Will Arya come out on top, or will The Waif finish the job she started last week?
Arya starts the match off quickly, hoisting The Waif over her shoulders and throwing into the hard, unforgiving mat.
After having sprung her trap, Arya sees no reason to let The Waif suffer further, and she attempts to end things within the first minute of the fight.
The Waif, however, is not stunned enough to let Arya overcome her this quickly. She regains her composure and reverses Arya’s attack, locking her in a hold that actually seems like a pretty great hamstring stretch. I’m not sure about The Waif’s strategy here. She might be a little confused.
Escaping, Arya finds her sword Needle and attempts to run The Waif through. The Waif, expecting this, wrestles the sword away from her and attempts to stab Arya with her own sword.
Arya is now on the defensive. She has avoided mortal damage from the razor-sharp dagger, but she must change her strategy to best The Waif. Luring her back into Braavos’s storied wrestling ring, Arya lands a devastating dragon screw and the deadly sword falls to the ground with a tinny clang.
The Waif, recovering, catches Arya off guard with a belly-to-belly slam. They both land within grasping distance of the dagger, but they are both too focused on the other to notice.
The sword rolls out of the arena, and Arya hits her stride. She lands what is, frankly, a very impressive suplex on the older and larger Waif to kick things off.
Arya, filled with Stark determination, is able to hit her finishing move, The Knee Of The North, and the battle is all but over.
Arya’s cunning plan, whatever it may have been, has paid off immensely. The Waif was never able to gain the upper hand in their final meeting, and Arya easily overcomes her, becoming the author of her own destiny in the process.
And as the crowd of Braavosi around her cheer her on, Arya knows what she must do. She sets sail, leaving Braavos in an effort to find her siblings.
The question now becomes: what will happen next week? Traditionally, episode 9 is the one where, for lack of a better phrase, shit hits the fan. Will Jon Snow finally ride south to Winterfell? Will Littlefinger betray Sansa? Will Daenerys ever do anything interesting or important? Stay tuned to GameSkinny to find out.