2 things I'd like to start with.
1: I apologize about beginning the recaps in the middle of the season. I have just learned about and given the opportunity to write for sueboohscorner.
2: Lets get to it.
So the episode begins with Meera becoming visibly exhausted of carrying Bran through the snow. Bran has a rush of Visions showing the ToJ where Eddard and, who we assume is, Lyanna holding hands which are covered in blood. This is probably where we will get any confirmation weather R+L=J is true. We also see Hardhome, the Red Wedding, Wildfire, Dragons, Aerys yelling "Burn them all!", Jaime Stabbing him in the back, and Jaime sitting on the Iron Throne.Bran wakes up from said Visions and says "They've found us". Meera is all but giving up and just when the Whights come into sight, a mysterious, hooded rider appears and attacks the incoming whights. This guy is just kicking ass and taking names. Reminds me a little of Strider aka Aragorn. Once he takes care of all the whights, the hooded rider tells Bran and Meera to follow him as "The dead don't rest". Later, they settle down and the rider begins to prepare a meal. Meera asks him why he is helping them. The riders informs them that he was sent by the Three-Eyed Raven who "Lives again". The rider reveals himself to be...wait for it...wait for it... Benjen Stark! Yes, that Benjen Stark. Jon Snows and Brans uncle, former 1st Ranger of the Nights Watch, and the guy we haven't seen since season 1. Benjen looks like regular old Benjen with a serious case of frostbite and history of acne which he popped and scarred. It seems like D&D are gonna mix Coldhands and Benjen Starks character into one. I'm looking at you Jon Connington and Jorah Mormont. Anyways, Benjen explains how he was stabbed by a White Walker and left for dead only to be saved by the Children of the Forest whom stopped the process of him becoming a Whight. He then basically tells Bran that he must be ready for the war to come.
In the Reach, Sam is taking Gilly and Little Sam to his parents castle where he is to leave them safe while he goes off to the Citadel to become a Maester. We finally get to meet Randyll Fooking Tarly! He is every bit I pictured him to be...personality wise. Physically, he looks old and balding with a face of someone that's suffering from 2 weeks of constipation. Over an awkward dinner, where Randyll insults Sam at every chance he gets: calling him soft and questioning his manhood, Gilly inadvertently reveals herself to be a wildling. Randyll Tarly hate wildlings. After a heated discussion, Randyll states that Gilly will be kept safe, but she will have to work in the kitchens. Little Sam is to be raised as a bastard. That night, Sam gives up on his idea of leaving them behind and decides to take Gilly and Little Sam with him. On their way out, Sam decides to steal the Tarly Family Valyrian Steel Sword Heartbane. I gotta say its refreshing seeing Sam finally stand by something besides Jon Snow.
In Kings Landing, well in Kings Landing I'm not entirely sure what the heck is going on. The scene starts with Tommen speaking to the High Sparrow about Margery and her impending walk of atonement. The HS offers to let Tommen see Margery. Tommen enters Margery's cell and is surprised (as was I) to find her speaking positively about the High Sparrow. Tommen ends up agreeing with her on her feelings toward the HS. Later, Mace Tyrell leads an army through the streets of Kings Landing meeting up with Jaime Lannister. Mace gives the most uninspiring speech. I mean even Jaime cringed. Together they proceed to the Great Sept where everything is set up for Margery to have her walk of atonement. Jaime climbs up the stairs on his horse and tells the High Sparrow to release Loras and Margery and they'll "be on their way". The High Sparrow refutes Jaime's threats and states that all sparrows yearn to die in the service of the Gods. After a tense moment, the HS proclaims there would be no walk of atonement. Yes, you heard right, no naked walk. Sorry pervs lol. To everyone's astonishment, Tommen emerges, escorted by Lannister soldiers, and walks down the steps with Margery in arm. Baffled, Mace asks what is happening. To which Olena replies that the High Sparrow has beaten them. This is what I don't understand. Is Margery playing Tommen and the High Sparrow? Is Tommen playing the High Sparrow? Or is the High Sparrow playing them all? In the throne room, Tommen tells Jaime that "an attack on the faith is an attack on the crown". That Jaime will not be punished and can continue serving the crown. Just not in Kings Landing. Jaime is then show speaking to Cercei complaining that he has been ordered to help the Freys capture Riverrun. Jaime reveals his intentions of finding Bronn and other killers, march into the great sept, and kill the High Sparrow. Cercei tells Jaime that he should go to Riverrun and show everyone how easily a Lannister can take a castle. That if Jaime goes on with his plans hell probably end up dead and destroying everything they've worked so hard for. She continues that she will not need Jaime in KL for her trial by combat as she has The Mountain and hes unbeatable. Jaime and Cercei then kiss passionately and I get up to get another beer.
In Braavos, Arya is still tasked in killing the actress that plays Cercei Lannister. Not Lena Headey, but the actress in the play lol. In a nutshell, Arya sees feels sympathy for both the actress and Cercei because of the reenactment of Joffreys death. She goes backstage and knocks a glass of rum the actress was about to consume. Rum which Arya has secretly poisoned moments before. Arya tells the actress to watch out for the girl that plays Sansa Stark because she wants her dead. And runs out. Unknown to Arya, that one blonde apprentice chick of Jaqen was watching her the whole time and goes to snitch to Jaqen. The blonde chick asks permission from Jaqen to kills Arya to which Jaqen reluctantly agrees. With the condition that Arya doesn't suffer. We last see Arya retrieving Needle, hiding in the catacombs, awaiting the consequences she knows are coming.
In the Riverlands, we learn that the Riverrun has been taken back by Brynden Tully aka the Blackfish. Best known for taking the luckiest piss of all time. Despite having superior numbers the Freys are unable to take back Riverrun. Lothar Frey and Walder Rivers inform Walder Frey that Houses Mallister and Blackwood have risen against them and that the Brotherhood Without Banners are rallying the small folk and raiding their supply lines. Makes me wonder why the Brotherhood is only now fighting and why they are rallying a force of small folk. Lady Stoneheart anyone? Walder Fray, refusing to be humiliated, reveals he has Edmure Tully captive. The same guy who got married at the Red Wedding and was carted off to sleep with his new wife. Walder tells Edmure he is going home soon.
In the Dothraki Sea, we see Dany, Daario, and her newly acquired 100,000 soldiers. Dany asks how long will it take to get her army to across the Narrow Sea. Daario comments that it would take 1000 ships. I smell a connection between Euron Greyjoys request for 100 ships here. Anyway, Dany tells everyone to stop and she rides ahead. After awhile, Daario decides to follow her, but stops after seeing a dragons shadow. Drogon slowly circles the army and lands with Dany on his back. For $6 million an episode you'd assume D&D would have better CGI. Dany gives asking if the Khalasar would cross the Narrow Sea and defeat the army of the seven kingdoms. The Khalasar shout their affirmation, Dany names them all Bloodriders.
Overall, I give this episode an 8/10. It didn't do much to make any storyline significantly move forward, but it did slightly advance almost all of the storylines.