Welp, holy shit was that intense. Sorry, let me rewind.
Hello! And welcome again to my Game of Thrones recap series. Starting up front, I want to address something I’m noticing. The shorter season (while I always want more and more Thrones) is having a serious impact in this season so far. Not only did it end in a battle that in any other season, would have been a mid season treat, but the plot lines seem incredibly sped up. Weiss and Benioff are not wasting any time this go around.
As always, full spoilers below.
This episode opens with my new favorite scene of this season. Sorry The Hound, your emotions are no match for Varys laying down some mad truth. I’ve long thought that Varys was one of the best players in the titular Game of Thrones, and Dany got a taste of what I believe makes him such a key player: his cunning. Varys is telling Dany the best way to get the hearts and minds of the people, but this doesn’t come without consequence. It’s smart of Dany to call the Lord of Whispers out on his two-facedness, because it’s not like he has the best track record with following monarchs. Varys states that his true loyalty lies with the people, and they come too an agreement that he will come to Dany if he ever disagrees with her, or else Drogon will have a nice afternoon eunuch flavored snack.
Next, enter Melisandre, aka the Worst Woman in Westeros. She fills Dany in on the prochey of the Prince (or Princess) who was Promised. Turns out Melisandre doesn’t think Jon Snow is Azor Ahai reborn anymore, but now believes that Dany may have a role to play in the prophecy. At this point, i’m convinced The Red Priestess, doesn’t know nearly as much as she says she does, but if this is a step in getting Dany and Jon killing White Walkers together, I’m all for it. She even name drops the King of the north, prompting Tyrion to send a raven noth, requesting Jon come to Drangonstone. Tyrion also recalls his time journeying to the wall with him and Ned. This really made me think about how far this series has come, and the amazing leaps we’ve taken on this journey. Not really a recap, I just loved being brought way back to season one.
Fast forward a bit, and we get Dany and Tyrion laying out there battle plans. Have I mentioned how amazing Peter Dinklage is? Probably not, since he didn’t get to say anything last week, but holy hell Peter Dinklage is amazing. This scene was absolutely incredible, and I could have spent an hour in that room. Their plan seems sound, and even though it took a little doing, House’s Martell and Tyrell finally came around, agreeing to send their troops to quarantine Kings Landing. First, the Greyjoy fleet will ferry them there, I’m sure nothing could go horribly wrong with that. (*Ron Howard voice*: Something would go Horribly wrong with that.)
Side note: I love the fact that Tyrions plan is to take Casterly Rock. That was his birthright denied by Tywinn, and you’re damn right the Half-Man is going to claim it by force.
Cut to the night before they ship out. Missandei visits Grey Worm and wonders why he isn’t saying goodbye. Grey Worm explains how she is his one true weakness, and as an Unsullied, ha can’t show any weakness. Missandei apparently really liked that answer, because they go straight to a steamy, castration filled love scene. So that finally happened.
Jon receives Tyrion’s raven, and decides he won’t go and bend the knee to Khaleesi. However, things change when another raven from the Citatel informs Jon that a mountain of dragon glass is buried beneath the castle of one certain silver haired queen. He informs his war council that he intends to ride south and cut a deal with Dany in order for some of that sweet, sweet obsidian. Lyanna Mormont speaks up again, and because Jon Snow initially disagreed with her, he’s now my least favorite character in the season and I hope he dies at a wedding. But actually, Jon lays down some solid logic, and does a good job at convincing everyone just why they declared him King of the North.
At this point, I’m getting really tired of Sansa disagreeing with Jon infant of the other houses. I understand that she has problems with Jon’s decisions, but she has to know that the best way to change his mind can’t be to appear divided before the people. Anyways, Jon declares Sansa the Lord of Winterfell in his absence, which sounds like a great idea, until they cut to Littlefinger, clearly up to some devious scheming.
Next, Littlefinger and Jon have a discussion in the crypt next to ned Starks bones. I’m really not loving the comparisons this show keeps making between Jon and Rob and Ned. I hope it’s going to be a big misdirect, but so far everyone whose ruled Winterfell has died pretty awful deaths (Theon didn’t die exactly, but I wouldn’t enjoy his fate either). Basically, Littlefinger says he loves Sansa like he loved Catelyn before her. Jon, rightfully, knocks his block off. Seriously, why would Baelish think its a good idea to tell the king that Winterfell is safe because he wants to bang the teenage Warden of the North? Nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that this is going to be the turning point, where Littlefinger goes all out to drive a wedge between Jon and Sansa.
Cercei is fully committed to her quest of uniting the rebelling houses under her banner. I don’t know why she needs to work so hard, the last time people stood against her, they died from causes related to being blown the hell up. You’d think they would all be running to support her (but really not die by her hand). One of the rebels in question is everyones favorite disapproving father: Randall Tarley. He tells Jaime that he is loyal to Olena Tyrell, and won’t turn his back on her. But that may change when Jaime offers to make him the new Warden of the South. I hope he accepts, because that would make him the first in line to get murdered by Dany’s marching army. One can only dream it’s Gilly who deals the final blow.
The most important part of our time in Kings Landing is what Qyburn is hiding down in the most badass rooms ever. They dialogue for a bit about why the dragon skulls were moved down to the basement (because Robert would feel small, shots fired), but then Qyburn reveals his master plan. He throws the curtain off the largest crossbow in Westeros, and Cercei fires a bolt straight into a massive dragon skull. The dragons have now been put on blast, and I can already taste the scotch I’m going to need to drink when someone fells either Rhaegal or Viserion, because it damn well better not be Drogon. Shit, its gonna be Drogon isn’t it.
So Jorah looks awful, and the Maester’s have no qualm telling him about how screwed he really is. Luckily, Samwell Tarley is there to take care of him. I love this version of Sam, and I think that it shows an immense growth in his character that he’s disobeying orders to try and heal Jorah. We don’t get a ton from the Citadel this week, but I have a feeling Sam is going to become an incredibly important player as we approach the endgame. After all, he and Jon are still the only people to kill a White Walker. We also get another absolutely disgusting smash cut. I don’t know that the show thinks I want to puke every time we go to the Citadel, but its becoming a theme I find equal parts repulsive and hilarious.
The Woods (aka wherever Arya is)
Is it puss filled greyscale, or is it a pie? Who knows, but what we do know, Hot Pie is back! He and Arya have a nice conversation, she mentions some baking she’s done (RIP Freys), and Arya peaks up when she learns that Winterfell is back under the Stark banner. It now looks like The Punisher of Westerns is taking a break, because in a character defining decision, Arya chooses to put the names on her list on hold, while she goes to reunite with her family.
Will we get another Stark reunion this season? I sure hope so. But the reunion I never knew I needed was between Arya and her faithful direwolf, Nymeria. This was such a sweet moment, I loved the look on Arya’s face when she recognized the Alpha of this pack of wolves. And the heartbreak when Nymeria chose the woods over returning to Arya’s side, crushing. I hope this was something more than just a nod to the book readers, and Nymeria comes back into play. Then again, that could lead to another direwolf death, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that.
The Sea (aka wherever the Greyjoy’s are)
Hey, the Sand Snakes are back! I remember them, they kill people sometimes, and one of them did a striptease in a jail cell for… some reason I’m sure. And hey! Yara’s bisexual and Ellaria is, well, she’s definitely ready for some nautical naughtiness. Right before they get it going, and Then has to watch yet another one of his sisters have sex, disaster strikes!
We have now the first battle sequence of this season, and it does not disappoint. This may well be the most beautiful battle we’ve gotten so far on the show, seriously, I was standing in awe watching the flaming ships and the lush cinematography. But it wasn’t just the setting that was great, the action was fantastic. Euron really showed his chops, and it seems we now know what he plans on giving Cercei as her engagement gift. I was skeptical on Euron as the seasons big bad, but after watching him in battle, the psychotic intensity, and moves fierce enough to put down two Sand Snakes, I’m sold.
And how heartbreaking was that final moment? I thought that Theon had really come a long way, but this attack showed just how damaged Ramsey has left him. Alfie Allen deserves some serious props here, by watching only his face, you could see the slow regression from Theon Greyjoy back into Reek. Seriously, my heart broke watching this guy relive the horrors of the last few years. Speaking of, I can’t think of another character that I’ve gone on a more emotional journey with than Theon. He’s gone from a misfit, to a villain, to a slave, to now, a battered man just trying to do whats right.
This episode was great. And with this shorter season, I’m really loving how fast each of the plots are moving. We’re finishing the marathon that was season one through six with an all out sprint to the finish line. Five episodes left, and the stage is being set for some downright epic showdowns. Next Sunday night, here we come.
Quote of the Episode: It’s a tie this week, both dragon related.
“He sounds like a charmer. A Dalthraki horde, an army of Unsullied, and three dragons, less charming.” — Ser Davos
“The Lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No, you’re a dragon. Be a dragon.” — Lady Olena