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As a resident of New York City, I often stand on subway platforms and marvel at the resiliency of rats and roaches. (Well, maybe “try to av...

Game of Thrones Recap: Survival Stories

By 17:03:00

As a resident of New York City, I often stand on subway platforms and marvel at the resiliency of rats and roaches. (Well, maybe “try to avoid at all costs” rather than “marvel,” but you get the point: I stare from afar.)

These vile creatures always survive, no matter what nastiness comes their way. Train derailment? Flooded tunnel? Complete lack of sunlight and/or natural food source? No worries — they’re cool.

I thought similar things upon seeing Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish show up in Westeros for the first time this season in Sunday’s episode. Not only does that slippery man survive circumstances that have ended so many others, he thrives. And this week’s episode is full of other characters that should — under normal circumstances — have been dead and gone long ago, but they follow the Matthew McConaughey school of life and Just. Keep. Livin’.

THE MEN OF THE WALL | Dolorous Edd is with Jon as he prepares to leave. He’s going south, he says. “What are you going to do?” Edd asks. “Get warm,” Jon jokes weakly. They’re just about to argue when the horn sounds: Someone’s at the gate.

And glory be to the old gods and the new, Sansa rides into Castle Black, flanked by Brienne and Pod. Lady Stark sees her half brother from across the courtyard, and there’s a moment where they just stare at each other, but then they leap into each other’s arms. No, YOUR direwolf is crying!

“We never should’ve left Winterfell,” he says later as they sit by the fire. She agrees, then apologizes for being “awful” when they were younger. They’re laughing and smiling and goodness, this is the most levity we’ve had all season so far. “Where will you go?” she asks. “Where will we go?” he responds. Guys! She asserts that they have to go back to Winterfell and fight the Boltons for it. “I’ve fought, and I lost,” he says, sounding tired. “I want you to help me, but I’ll do it myself if I have to,” Sansa counters, and I have never been so proud of her.

In the courtyard, Melisandre tells Davos that she serves Jon now. What about Stannis, he asks? Oh right, about that… She starts to mention the great battle, but as Davos asks worriedly about Shireen, Brienne pops up and reintroduces herself to Seaworth as the knight who executed his boss. Meanwhile, Melisandre slinks away.

Later, Torumund is ogling Brienne across the table at a meal (I loved that little moment) when Jon gets a lette from Ramsay: “Your brother, Rickon, is in my dungeon… I want my bride back.” Guess who it’s from? “Northern families will fight for you,” Sansa reminds Jon, who is — as she notes — the son of the last true Warden of the North. Looks like we’re heading for Winterfell, kids!

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