Now this was finally the episode I feel like we have all been waiting for ever since this season started. We got some character reunions of people who had not seen each other since Season 1, Arya http://bit.ly/2vGywqCshowing off had truly bad-ass she has become, advancement of the Dany and Jon plot that really pushed her toward believing him about the White Walkers, and of course, finally we got to see a massive battle scene that seemed much bigger in scope than anything else displayed this season, and felt like the kind of cinematic action that the executive producers had hinted about this past year.
Let’s start with some of the slower scenes because even those contributed to the greater whole. Cersei’s only real scene in the episode had her gloating to the banker from Braavos that she already had the gold to pay him back, though the man was quick to point out that while he was impressed to have been paid back so quickly, and would help her out with further funds, it would only happen IF that gold got to King’s Landing and into his hands. At Winterfell, we got a quiet conversation between Bran and Littlefinger, where the elder statesmen tries to weave his schemes with the new Three-eyed Raven, only to be told “Chaos is a ladder,” which could be interpreted that Bran has warned Mr. Baelish that he knows Littlefinger caused much of the destruction of the past few years to orchestrate his rise to power, and will not be so easily taken in. Littlefinger gives Bran the Valyrian steel dagger that the Lannisters supposedly gave an assassin to kill Bran way back in Season 1, right before Meera enters to say goodbye to Bran, as she wants to be with her family if the White Walkers come. She is miffed that he is not sad at her leaving, and accuses him of having “died” in the cave when he became the Three-eyed Raven (and being reborn into Emo-Bran?) Though she is impressed by his new wooden wheelchair, and props to the new Winterfell Maester for pulling that together so quickly.
Meanwhile at the Winterfell gates, Arya finally returns home, and after having to dupe some guards to get past the front doors, she heads down to the crypts to see her father’s remains, where Sansa finds her and they are reunited. It is not the warmest of reunions, but it is clearly better than Sansa’s reunion with Bran, especially since Arya compliments her on how well the “Lady Sansa” title fits her, though Sansa is a little unnerved when Arya mentions her kill list. Things don’t get better when Arya asks Brienne later for a sparring match, and all of Winterfell watches as little Arya Stark holds her own (and then some!) against Brienne herself, in an AMAZING duel that truly showcases how much Arya has learned on her journey. Sansa looks somewhat jealous of her sister’s talents and wants to know who else is on her kill list, and it is clear Littlefinger is now very worried about the returning Starks and the skills they have, and may not be sure he can handle them should they turn on him.
Over at Dragonstone, after a humorous conversation between Dany and Missande about the latter’s sexual adventures with Greyworm before he left for battle, Dany joins Jon Snow in the dragon glass caves, where he shows her ancient cave drawings supposedly made by the Children of the Forest, showing off the odd circular designs we have seen throughout the series, as well as stark depictions (no pun intended) of the White Walkers, all of which Jon uses to try to convince Dany of the reality of the situation in the North. He points out one final drawing of the Children of the Forest standing alongside men to fight the White Walkers to hammer home his point of allies standing together against the darkness, but Dany will not help Jon unless he bends the knee, and she is very insistent. Before we get his answer though, they cut away. Outside the cave, Dany learns of the loss of High Garden and Lady Olenna and wants to swarm King’s Landing on her dragons. Though Tyrion cautions her against it, she throws it in his face that it was HIS plans that have failed and questions his loyalties. She turns to Jon, nd asks his advice. Jon honestly answers that if she attacks King’s Landing and brutally destroys everything there, she is no better than those people she is trying to overthrow when instead she should be a symbol of hope for her people to rally behind.
Later, Theon arrives at Dragonstone and is greeted by Jon Snow and Missande, and while I really wanted Jon Snow to kick his @$%, Jon held back because he knew Theon saved Sansa from Ramsey. Instead, he warns Theon that he only gets mercy for Sansa’s sake, while Theon explains that his fleet is lost and Euron has taken his sister, and he wants Dany to help him save Yara. Sadly for Theon, at this moment we learn that Dany is no longer on Dragonstone.
Which of course is the perfect set-up for the end. All episode we have been watching Jamie, Bronn and papa Tarley (as well as an unfortunate soldier named “Dickon”) caravan their forces from High Garden back to King’s Landing, a process that seemed very slow indeed, but was highly important because they were carting food and grain provisions for the people, as well as all the gold Cersei needed to pay back the Bank of Braavos. As they speak about how slow the going is, they hear what sounds like thunder, and we realize it is thousands of horse hooves approaching. Jamie and Bronn shore up the lines and prepare for battle, and as expected, the Dothraki horde appears on the horizon, very ‘Lord of the Rings’-esque, and charges into the Lannister army. And right before they get there, Daenerys Targaryen swoops out of the clouds atop Drogon and spits fire at the terrified Lannister army, while Bronn tells Jamie to flee back to King’s Landing (to Jamie’s credit, he stays and fights). The battle is immense and epic, and we finally get to see a dragon in all of its glory, and you really have to watch the episode to get the full sense of how great the whole thing is. Suffice it to say, Drogon destroyed the provisions and the gold, incinerated many Lannister soldiers, and made the battlefield a smoldering, terrifying wasteland for the Lannisters. Jamie however keeps his wits, and sends Bronn to use the “scorpion,” which we find out is the Qyburn dragon killer weapon, which Bronn has to battle many Dothraki to get to. He does though, and even manages to launch an arrow into Drogon but it only pierces the dragon’s shoulder. Drogon destroys the weapon and knocks Bronn away, before landing so Danny can remove the arrow.
Tyrion meanwhile has been watching the battle from a safe distance, and his face reveals he is somewhat torn to see his new allies massacring his old people. And he grows even more concerned when he spots Jamie grab a spear and charge at Dany and Drogon, now grounded. As Tyrion whispers for his brother to flee, Jamie rides his horse full on toward Dany, spear ready, but both Dany and Drogon see him coming. Drogon rears his head, and just when the attack is about to land and we think Jamie is dead, Bronn (we went back and checked, it is indeed Bronn) leaps out of nowhere and knocks Jamie off his horse and into the nearby river, with both men sinking to the bottom as dragon fire erupts above the surface. The final shot of the episode is Jamie sinking into the depths, but I highly doubt he is dead.
GAME OF THEORIES:
- Will the Bank of Braavos approach and support Dany now that Cersei has failed to pay her debts? Could they provide her with more ships since her navy has been cut down so much?
- Is Littlefinger on Arya’s list? I honestly cannot remember. I think Tyrion is, which could cause some drama later, unless Sansa speaks up for him.
- Personally, I think Jon bent the knee, because he is a man who will do anything to stop the White Walkers, and he is learning that Danny is an honorable woman, and is not just out for power.
- Could this battle, and being yelled at by Dany, sway Tyrion to rejoin his family? Would Cersei ever even accept him considering that she knows the prophecy that claims her little brother is going to kill her? (I know I know, it could mean Jamie, and most likely does, but not in her mind).
- When does Bran plan on telling his siblings more about his visions and the useful information he knows? He’s being way too secretive unless he cannot tell them certain things for fear of messing up time, or something like that.
- Personally, I think the Starks at Winterfell are getting on far too well. And since Littlefinger is still there, I’m guessing he is going to orchestrate some bad things to bring them down, because he knows together they are too powerful.
- Did Cersei’s forces ruin their hand by revealing the Scorpion to Dany too soon? Now that Dany and her forces know Cersei has weapons designed to hurt Dragons, will they compensate for them? Will we see DRAGON ARMOR? That would be awesome.
My favorite episode of the season by far, and I don’t even care if it was 6 or 7 minutes shorter than usual. As long as the content is there, it can be any length it wants to be. I definitely want to see more Arya fighting, and more dragons in battle, that’s for sure. It was a lot of fun seeing the dragon tear up the Lannister army. And next week, I cannot wait to see Cersei’s reaction to the loss of her gold and a huge piece of her army and see what the Banker does. See you back here for the next review!