After last week’s “Dragonstone,” which featured Dany’s homecoming but didn’t completely focus on her, we get an episode where she is (almost) everywhere, even when she’s not on the screen.
The most surprising thing this week was that it has taken Jon Snow (Jaeherys Targaryen?) and Daenerys Targaryen six seasons (plus one episode) to actually know about each other. But now that they have, we’ll be seeing the two meet as soon as next week. Smooth!
Four women discussing battle plans and quest for power would have been shocking even for a 21st century-set drama. For a medieval world? Well, credit to GRRM and Messrs. Benioff and Weiss that you could be forgiven if you failed to notice how momentous that was. Medieval Feminism, anyone?
It is a measure of Tyrion’s influence on Dany, and her acknowledgement of his sharp brain, that Dany is prepared to suppress her Targrayen instincts of burning everything that stands in her way and go for the strategic option. And who better to recognize this influence than smart old Olenna Tyrrell. Next time Dany is in a fix, she will know what to do. “Be a Dragon!”
There are also two separate instances of Lannister men getting into a verbal fight for their family name with others. First it’s Jaime and Lord Tarly, then we have Tyrion and Ellaria Sand. By the way, RIP Myrcella!
When Euron met Cersei last week, I had half-expected him to bring the magic horn (from the books) that can control dragons. That didn’t happen, of course. The showrunners have already said that they want to keep the show as magic-free as possible. So when Pycelle took her into the dungeons, I was certainly intrigued. Turns out we have the show version of a weapon that could kill/slow down the dragons. I’d call it the DragonCross.
Sam learnt of Jorah’s condition last week. This week he learns of the latter’s family name. How can he not push with all his heart — even trying the forbidden — to find a cure for Jorah now? After all, had it not been for Norah’s father, Lord Commander Mormont, Sam would have been left for dead (or killed) right after that doomed expedition to the Fist of the First Men. Imagine if it had been Ser Alliser Thorne leading the pack!
Before that, though, we get some more brilliance from Archmaester Ebrose. We learn the boring name of his (hopefully good) book on the War Of The Five Kings. He also provides some golden advice to writers everywhere, lines that I can’t stop myself from quoting here :
“If you want to write histories, you have to do the research. If you want people to read your histories, you need a bit of style.”
Wiser words have never been spoken.
That scene-morphing though, was gross even by GOT’s standards, or maybe just fun, like last week’s crap-and-food fast cuts.
Jon Snow again does the honourable thing, despite the mortal danger, and the risk of losing his crown. He never wanted the power, yes. But power has a way of blinding people to realities. Not Jon though. He WILL meet Dany and Tyrion. In the process, he also placates Sansa (which I felt was very smart, after his blunder in not consulting with her before calling another meet of the northern houses). By the way, are the northern lords permanently stationed at Winterfell these days? This is the third consecutive episode where we’ve had a meeting of the Northern Council.
Most characters do the predictable thing this week, even Dany, who pardons both Varys and Melisandre. Jon’s grabbing of Littlefinger’s throat was especially satisfying though. Somebody get a Thrones-worthy death for Baelish fast, please. We also see Arya head towards Winterfell after learning of the Starks’ win against the Boltons. Did Hot Pie know earlier that she(he) was a Stark? Maybe I need to rewatch the episodes.
Speaking of meetings, this week we got a lot of long-awaited meet-ups :
- Sam and Jorah Mormont.
- Grey Worm and Missandei (proper meet, I meant!)
- Yara-Ellaria, and, my favourite of the lot,
- Arya-Hot Pie.
Arya saying that Nymeria has changed is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. She has herself changed so much from what she was when she drove Nymeria away, albeit to save the poor beast’s life. I must say I was sad by the way this meet ended. Imagine Arya having Nymeria by her side, fighting against Euron!
Two couples try having some intimacy this week, before The Wars To Come. While Grey Worm and Missandei succeed in doing what they set out to (making a point for LGBTQ rights in the Renaissance Age), lead advocates in that fight, Yara and Ellaria, are sadly forced to cut short their program.
That gorgeous, gruesome and swift battle sequence — the first of at least three this season — which ostensibly took weeks to shoot, took toll of the Greyjoy Siblings’ (and, by extension, a part of Dany’s navy) fleet. Also lost were 2 of the 3 Sand Snakes, whom no one really cared about. I can’t even recall any one of their names. I found it confusing that Ellaria herself didn’t fight any of Euron’s henchmen. Her daughter against so many Iron Islanders was always going to be an uphill task. And that finale to the battle? Man, that was so, so heartbreaking. It is all visuals at that point, and credit to all concerned there.
Special mention to that look on Yara’s face, for which actress Gemma Whelan deserves a lot of accolades. Theon’s freezing was sad but made complete sense. Anyone suffering from PTSD, like Theon, can’t shake it off just like that. This battle proved that Euron wouldn’t be an easy foe for Dany and Co., especially on the high seas. It also set up next week’s triumphant return to King’s Landing for him. The psycho is fast climbing the ladder that is chaos.
Time for some warging :
- Meet-ups coming thick and fast now. All the wait and buildup of the previous six seasons is bearing fruit now.
- Will we see Euron’s magic horn? Probably not, if I’m honest.
- Where does the story go from here for Hot Pie? Apart from making yummy pies, that is.
- I have a theory. You might have read it somewhere else too. I guess GRRM wrote the character of Sam with himself in mind. They do have some physical similarities. Plus they’re both avid readers, and the latter will be a great author one day, like the former. Maybe we’ll see Sam end the series, telling his grandkids the story of A Song Of Ice And Fire. God, that would be lovely!
- Where is Kinvara? And the masked mystery woman from As’shai-by-Qarth, Quaithe? When Grey Worm said that a red priestess from As’shai had come to meet Dany, I thought of Kinvara. I know everything pointed to Melisandre but….well, maybe I need to focus more.
- We’re probably going to see Dickon Tarly next when he’ll be killed by Dany’s Dothraki army. What names though! Rickard, Dickon. Sound very northern, both of them.
- Can anyone not named Tywin Lannister (God bless his dear departed soul!) beat Olenna Tyrell in a debate?
- Grey Worm prefers oral exams to physicals.
- Will Theon ever redeem himself now? I bet so. There has to be redemption, unless he’s killed first.
- Sam, Jorah and Jon are the Gold Standards in loyalty.
- What’s the big thing for Arya this season? I mean, where does she fit in, except for a reunion? After all, she is one of the few people who have the power of magic with them.
- Jon meets Dany next week. ‘Nuff said.
Do share your thoughts about Stormborn and this review in the comments. I love to hear from you.
“The Queen’s Justice” teaser :
Thanks for reading.