Last week saw major setbacks for the good guys. Will the losses continue? Will reversals come? Will things slow down this week after the big events from last week?
Spoilers are Coming.
No nudity! This bodes well for my recap—all the people turning the show off as they see that will need to find out what happens.
The previously on goes waaaaay back, to the attempt on Bran’s life in season 1.
Highgarden was indeed Cersei’s plan to pay the Iron Bank. The Lannisters are returning with a wagon full of gold. One big bag goes to Bronn, but he really wants a castle. Bronn points out that the Lannisters aren’t really all that good at paying their debts.
The Lannisters aren’t just taking the gold, they’re taking the food too.
It should be enough to pay off the entirety of the crown’s debt to the Iron Bank, but Cersei has plans to borrow more. Interestingly to book readers, she wants to hire the Golden Company.
Back at Winterfell, we get an explanation of why the previously on started the way it did. Littlefinger gives Bran the dagger used in the attempt on his life. Bran continues to act inscrutable. But he better watch out, because Meera is leaving.
“I’m not Brandon Stark. Not anymore. I remember what it’s like to be Brandon Stark. But I remember so much else now.”
We even get to stay awhile. Arya reaches the gates of Winterfell in the next scene. Arya ducks the gate guards, but Sansa doesn’t need to be told where she is. The crypts. Arya starts casually talking about her list, but, after Ramsey, that doesn’t sound that weird to Sansa. It’s a touching moment. Sansa and Arya have been through enough to leave behind their old enmity.
Sansa update: not the worst, for once.
Sansa reunited Arya with Bran, who remains creepy. But he gives the Valyrian steel dagger to Arya! I can’t think of anyone better to have the dagger that Joffrey used to try to have Bran killed.
Down at Dragonstone, they have not heard from the Unsullied. Did they not leave any ravens in Casterly Rock? Dany and Missandei are about to have some girl talk, but Jon interrupts. They found a whole lot of dragonglass. There are also cave paintings made by the Children of the Forest. I didn’t know that there were any Children of the Forest on Dragonstone. The cave paints shows the Children of the Forest and the First Men fighting together against the White Walkers. Jon makes Dany a much better pitch. Dany says she will fight for the North…when Jon bends the knee.
Tyrion has the news. We learn that, despite the attack on the ships at Casterly Rock, they still have enough ships to get the Unsullied back. But Dany points out that Tyrion lost her Dorne, the Reach, and the Iron Islands. Dany wants to fly her dragons to Kings Landing, but first she asks Jon’s counsel. He gives his second good damn speech of the episode against the notion.
Arya asks Brienne to train her and shows off.
Oh shit, Jon just saw Theon.
He’s not happy, but he won’t kill the man who saved Sansa. Theon wants Dany’s help to get Yara back, but the queen is gone.
The next scene shows the Lannister and Tarly lines stretched out, returning to Kings Landing, so we can guess where she was headed. Their first clue is the pounding of hooves on the ground.
A Dothraki army has finally reached Westeros. Bronn, knowing rather more of war than Jaime, points out that a line three deep of infantry with short spears isn’t going to stop any sort of cavalry charge. We get a surprisingly extended battle scene after last week’s truncated action.
Bronn gets Dany’s dragon with the ballista. The dragon is hurt, but manages to recover its dive and destroy the ballista. With her dragon grounded, Jaime sets his eyes on Dany.
I finally get to see a next on! It looks like we may see the White Walkers hit the Wall next episode.
I wonder if the Golden Company will bring a Mummer’s Dragon with them? Although I don’t see how Cersei would go for that unless she has marriage plans.
I hate every scene in which Littlefinger speaks. But they’re doing a great job building suspense by letting him hang around giving creepy, meaningful looks.
After some turbulence upon arrival last week, Jon and Dany start to hit it off. After Jon and Dany picking up the idiot ball last episode, we get to see the Jon and Dany we know and love.
Bending the knee remains a sticking point, but I would point out that the kings of England “bent the knee” to the kings of France for a long time while retaining essentially full autonomy.
I feel a lot better about things with Brienne and Arya holding Valyrian steel in the North.
I’ve been cutting Game of Thrones slack on the passage of time. We don’t want to watch a bunch of episodes filled with people traveling. Obviously, a lot of time has been passing over the last several episodes (including the last episode of season 6). But how did it take Theon longer to sail back to Dragonstone than it took Euron to sail to Kings Landing and then to Casterly Rock?
Game of Thrones rarely deigns to show us battles. They cheated us out of two last episode. But this episode gave us a battle every bit as good as the Battle of the Blackwater and the Battle of the Bastards. My hearted started pounding as soon as the ground did, and it didn’t stop until someone (Bronn?!) saved Jaime’s ass. The show managed to do so despite (1) the battle being an obviously lopsided affair and (2) having no real fear that Dany would die. I was convinced that Jaime or Dany’s dragon (Drogon?) might die. I really think we will see a dragon die this season, and the dragon riders will wind up being Dany and Jon.
I loved that scene of Tyrion watching Jaime ride for Dany.
Do Jaime and Bronn join Dany and Tyrion now that it looks like they’ve been captured? Bronn made his displeasure with the Lannisters vocal in this episode. Someone doesn’t buy their bullshit. And of course both have a long history with Tyrion, and they’ve been foreshadowing a split between Cersei and Jaime since at least the end of season 6.