This episode. This one. This is why I hate Netflix. Because binge watching on Netflix has ruined me when episodes that good leave me with that big a cliff hanger. I can’t be dealing with this “one episode at a time” bullshit. Fuck!
Part of me just wants to stop writing and say, “Just go watch the thing again.” But, alas, I do my duty.
Okay, so let’s start with the enormous dragon in the room; that “battle” at the end. That was not so much a battle as a complete slaughter. Even without Drogon, that would have been a slaughter. The Westerosi army had nothing to stand up to the screaming Dothraki horde in full charge, firing arrows while standing on the backs of galloping horses. The only difference on this battlefield the dragon made was the number of dead (a lot more Lannisters, a lot fewer Dothraki). Bronn’s semi-successful scorpion attack continues to have me believing that one of the dragons will not survive the series.
However, Jaime’s idiot charge at the end proves a few things:
- While this series (and the books) set itself apart by killing off major good guys every once in a while, they also often fall into the rules of the genre. Jaime should really be dead. But, somehow, Bronn survives, sees Jaime, and has the speed and agility to knock him off his horse at just the right moment before they both get burned. That was kind of groan-inducing.
- Tyrion is still super conflicted about his brother. It’s actually much like the conversation Jaime was having with Samwell’s older brother. They are on opposing sides, but only because their queens oppose each other. Otherwise, they would be friends as they used to be. Tyrion doesn’t think Jaime deserves to die. Then again, as Clint Eastwood said in Unforgiven, “Deserves got nothin’ to do with it.”
- My personal prediction still holds. Jaime has to survive his swim in the river so that he can tell Cersei what the Queen of Thorns said. That will help push her over the edge, and then he will have to kill her to save Westeros, though it will probably make him want to kill himself as well. The Kingslayer will become the Queenslayer.
Back on Dragonstone, we see that Jon has been staring at Daenerys’s “good heart.” I know, Jon. Many of us have since season 1. That could portend a more complete union of the North and South than has been discussed out loud, though many of my friends seem to think this should happen. But, more importantly, Jon says something to her that she has really needed to hear. Tyrion has said it in other ways, but she doesn’t seem to hear him as well as we should want. Jon tells her that, if she uses her dragons to melt castles and destroy cities, she won’t be any different than the terrible rulers who came before her. And he’s right (obviously). He then has that conversation with Missandei, where she says that Daenerys would simply let her go if she wanted to. Is that conversation included to show Jon that Daenerys really is a different kind of ruler, or to foreshadow that Missandei will leave? I think it’s a third reason. See, I don’t believe Missandei. I think that her statement, and the incredulity of Jon and Davos, is meant to foreshadow a situation where Missandei wants to leave, and Daenerys forces her to stay. I’m thinking it will involve Greyworm as well, but I think Daenerys will have to turn toward the dark side in this battle. Power tends to have a corrupting influence after all.
I was kind of disappointed at the whole cave painting scene, to be honest. It was pretty cheesy. In an episode that had so many wonderful conversations – and a battle – jammed into it, this one fell terribly short. It was a ham-fisted attempt to connect this battle to the millennia preceding it, to reenforce the through-line from the Children of the Forest to this timeline of Westerns in their fight against the White Walkers. But Bran’s visions already did that last season. It seemed unnecessary. Much more important in that cave was the sexual tension that started to build between them. Put two people that hot in a room together, there’s bound to be some sexual tension.
Now, let’s talk about Arya’s homecoming. They went to the Gross Pointe Blank joke again. Arya: “I have a list of people I’m going to kill.” Sansa: “You’re really funny. That was a great joke.” But the rest of the scenes show Sansa exactly what Arya has become. Bran knows about Arya’s list. He also gives her a Valyrian steel dagger. This is MASSIVELY IMPORTANT, because Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers. So, ARYA CAN KILL WHITE WALKERS NOW! (and there was much rejoicing) Arya also pretty much kicks Brienne’s ass with her little sword. I think I’ve always thought that Arya and Brienne are kind of similar, but seeing them together really drove that home. They should really hit it off. In fact, that could be a neat little buddy comedy, minus the comedy, and plus a whole lot of bloodshed.
Can Arya kill Littlefinger now? Please? That’s what I want to see. Cause that guy is – as I keep saying – a gigantic asshole. Yuge. I don’t believe he’s on Arya’s list, but he damn well should be. Maybe he’ll make it on there after Sansa tells her what he’s done. Or not. It’s complicated. But he will do something to be a giant asshole soon, and I hope she’s around to put a knife in his throat.
So, right now, here’s what we have. The Unsullied hold Casterly Rock, but have no food. Cersei holds King’s Landing, but, since all of that grain got burned in fiery, napalm-like dragon vomit, she no longer has enough food to support the population for long, and a significant portion of her army is lost. Daenerys essentially controls Highgarden and the reach, because she’s killed all the soldiers, but lacks the food to support her army, having burned it all up in fiery, napalm-like dragon vomit. And, her favorite dragon is injured. Jon is preparing to fight the White Walkers, but he’s still on Dragonstone, refusing to bend the knee (which I don’t blame him for), so the North is preparing for a fight they cannot win, training with useless weapons and hoping that Jon returns with weapons they can use. And now, Cersei has basically gotten the Iron Bank to support her idea to bring in a foreign mercenary army to support her cause.
My God, are a lot of people going to die before the end of this show.