I missed last week due to various reasons that are not worth mentioning here so I apologize to my tens of readers for the absence. I won’t waste anymore time with pleasantries and will just get on with the recapping because holy shit, this one was fun.
We open with Jamie and Bronn chatting on the outskirts of the recently conquered Highgarden. They have taken all of the Tyrells considerable wealth in order to repay the massive debts the crown owes to the Iron Bank. Bronn is complaining about not getting what he is promised and, yeah, fair enough. Jamie gives him a pretty hefty bag of gold, but Bronn persists about the whole castle and wife thing he was promised. He’s then made more seemingly empty promises about when the war is won and blah blah blah, and he does not really seem to be buying this familiar line of Lannister bullshit. This seems important at first because Bronn is a mercenary first and foremost. His loyalty is purchased until it can no longer be afforded or a better offer comes around. How much longer until he procures one? Our boy Randall and his son Dickon (I know every hack has made the same joke about his name but still, lol Dickon, its funny and just like a fart I’ll always laugh and I don’t care) roll up talking about grain and other riveting tasks and we move on from this scene setter.
Then we move to Cersei and the aforementioned Iron Bank. The two shmooze over her successes and it seems a bit of an alliance has been formed as the Bravosi banker tells the Westerosi Queen that once they actually have the gold they are owed that they will back her financially. There is talk of acquiring sell swords to build her armies and navies, the Golden Company in particular are mentioned, along with other bits of foreshadowing and eventually the accounting portion of this episode, mercifully, comes to an end.
We then make our way to Winterfell with that presumably not long for this world Littlefinger having a chat with the cripple would be lord of Winterfell. I guess with his options quickly shrinking of people that are not keen to his particular brand of political maneuvering, he is taking a shot to feel out the not so tiny little Lord. He presents Bran with the Valyrian steel dagger that was used in the assassination attempt on him way back in season one, and the Three Eyed Raven could not give less of a fuck. Littlefinger even basically tells him he wanted to bang his mom, which it’s unclear how that is supposed to help but he’s the master of manipulation not me. Bran is barely present in the conversation but drops back in when the former Master of Coin mentions the chaos he must have witnessed by hitting him with his own motto of “chaos is a ladder.” This leaves Lord Baelish visibility shaken and he leaves when Meera drops in, seemingly accomplishing nothing of any value to his cause. Meera then lets him know that she is heading home to be with her family for when the dead finally come. Bran is indifferent to this, which understandably causes her a bit of distress. She has sacrificed so much for this dead eyed wheelchair jockey and he continues to not give any fucks. She calls him on his bullshit and it seems like he knows he’s a dick but, again, doesn’t care. Bran tells her he’s not really Bran anymore and offers the kind of thank you your mom makes you deliver to that aunt who always sends you cat toys for your birthday even though you hate cats. I hope this is not the last we see of her because she’s kind of a badass. I would think she has more to play in this story. Her father presumably knows Jon’s true parentage and has been conspicuously absent throughout this all for someone who was one of House Starks staunchest allies. Also, I love the theory that when Ned found his sister dying, that Jon was not the only child she had birthed. It could make a lot of sense that he took Jon and his boy Howland took the other to raise as his own. This would be a great reason to trust him with such a secret as it would give him some skin in the game. I doubt that they will introduce something like that at this point in the story but also, THEY HAVE THE SAME HAIR and, if Ned taught us anything back in season one, that’s all you need in this world to tell who is the true father of a child.
Staying at Winterfell, we finally get Arya returning home. It’s muddled a bit by an annoying little scene with two idiot guards not believing who she is, which I guess was meant to set up the Stark girls reunion in the crypts, but kind of a tired bit regardless. It’s sort of an odd scene. They embrace, but there is no music which makes it feel a bit empty and anticlimactic. This was probably the point, as both have seen and been through so much since they last saw one another, but it didn’t feel like it carried the kind of weight one would have imagined their reuniting would. They chat for a bit about the hardships they have both endured but speak in vagaries so as not to reveal too much. Arya then does that thing where she casually mentions her Murder List to which Sansa laughs because apparently premeditated murder is a raucous joke in Westeros. Then the Lady of Winterfell informs her little sister that she is not the only Stark that has come home.
They go to see their emo brother creepily sitting alone by the Godswood tree and the two hug it out. He seems slightly more excited to see her than Sansa, but who can really tell with that weirdo. They talk and Sansa informs her that Bran now has ‘visions’ in an attempt to explain the things he says. Bran then gives Arya the dagger saying it’s wasted on a cripple which, even though I know it wasn’t meant to, made me laugh. This seems significant. The obvious answer is she will use it to kill Littlefinger, the one who gave it to him and probably the one who armed and paid for the original assassin in the first place. It could also be because Bran knows how powerful Arya is now and she may be his best option to protect him from the coming threat as well. These are the things I think.
Back at Dragonstone, Missy and Dany are in the middle of having a little girl talk when they are interrupted by Jon, who needs to show the would-be queen something. He takes her into a cave where the dragon glass he plans to mine resides and no I’m not going to make a cave joke, it’s been done. Some Jurassic Park like music plays in the background as he brings her inside to see the glass. Then he does his best Steve Jobs impression and leads her further into the cave where the children and the first men apparently had arts and crafts time way back when. These comical chalk drawings that look like they were done by the boom mic operators adolescent offspring somehow seem to convince Dany that, indeed, the threat of the dead is real. She promises to fight for Jon, but only if he bends the knee, which is becoming kind of odd because everyone of her devoted servants can’t shut up about how they fight for her because they want to but she is insisting on forcing this northman to join her against his will. The scene cuts away before he can answer and I found myself wondering if his answer off screen was instead some sort of marriage proposal to ally the two forces in a way that might be more palatable to his people. Jon makes it clear that his people would not stand for him kneeling but maybe an arrangement like this they could stomach. They both leave the cave without a resolution being clear to the audience and are met with all of her advisors. They inform her that they have taken Casterly Rock but that this is not the victory they had envisioned. A quick cut yada yadas the defeats of the previous episode and we get right to the Mother of Dragons getting loud. She lays into Tyrion for his ‘clever plans’ and even implies he may not have her best interest at heart. She basically says fuck this I’m going to take my dragons and torch them all, but then takes a moment to ask the King in the North what he thinks she should do. Jon gives a nice little monologue and basically echos what Tyrion has been telling here all along that if she just starts burning everyone then she’s no better than the people she wishes to overthrow.
Returning to Winterfell, Brienne is again kicking the shit out of poor Pod under the guise of training when Arya comes along and demands she train with her. She reluctantly agrees, which leads to what would have been the best scene in the episode by far if not for the ridiculousness that follows. This was something I did not know how much I wanted to see until it was happening. The whole thing is just delightful, and by the time Brienne stops going easy on her, they pretty much fight to a draw which seems to please them both greatly. All of this is happening while Sansa And Littlefinger look on. Sansa seems almost horrified by what her little sister is now capable of, while Lord Petyr mostly just looks like he wants to poop. The secret is out at Winterfell, Arya is not to be fucked with.
Again we go back to Dragonstone where Jon, Davos, and Missy have a quick heart to heart with Missandei blowing more smoke up Daenerys’s skirt when they are interrupted by a Greyjoy ship. Seriously, does anyone give a fuck about Theon at this point? He wants to rescue his sister and who gives a shit. All this means is that we are going to have to waste a handful of other future scenes on this plot point even Alfie Allen probably doesn’t care about. Oh well, it leads us into what comes next in a lovely way when he asks where his Queen has gone.
We cut back to the Lannister led army not too far outside Kings Landing. Big Dick Tarly informs Jamie that all of the gold has safely made it inside the walls. The men all appear to be taking their time getting on with it and that is becoming a problem. We get a nice moment with Dickon where Bronn literally laughs in his face about his name which, as I said before, will never not be funny. The young Tarly boy seems to have some regret about what they did at Highgarden which means maybe he is not as much of a cock as his father. Not sure how that will play going forward but it’s worth nothing. Then, Bronn starts doing Bronn things where he can tell something is up. They order the men to fall in line and they wait as the sound gets louder. In the distance you see the Dothraki crest the hill and know that they have finally been unleashed. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Dany appears riding Drogon and does that thing she does better than anyone, where she yells something in a made up language causing something awesome to happen. Drogon shoots fire right into the Lannister line, opening a flaming path for the Dothraki riders to break through. They quickly overrun the non mounted foe as Dany rains fire down on them from above. I debated whether or not to try and explain the scene in detail, but I have decided I could not possibly do it justice. It is really an incredible thing to watch. From the cavalry charge to the ground view from Bronn’s level, which looks more like the rivers of hell than the peaceful field we were viewing only moments ago. It really is an impressive bit of television they have put together. The ‘secret weapon’ is eventually unveiled and by that I mean the big crossbow. Bronn manages to hit Drogon with one of the bolts which sends him tumbling to the ground, but not out of the fight. Drogon still has the wherewithal to destroy the Scorpion and send Bronn fleeing. Dany dismounts and attempts to remove the oversized novelty bolt from her dragon. Jamie sees his opportunity and grabs a spear and charges. All of this is happening while Tyrion looks on as the voice of the audience and he says to no one, “You fucking idiot, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!” Before Jamie can reach his target, Drogon sees him and turns to unleash the fire, when at the very last moment Bronn dives in to knock Jamie out of the way and into the adjacent river. The final scene shows Jamie sinking under the weight of his armor as the screen fades to black.
This was a really stupid way to end an otherwise incredible episode. If you think for one moment that there is greater than a 0.000000% chance that Jamie is dead then you are the biggest idiot on the planet. It would make absolutely no sense to save him from the dragon fire only to drown 10 seconds later so, no, he is not dead and kind of fuck off for making dumb people think he is. The real question is when he is inevitably saved, will he be captured or somehow have instead floated down the river far enough to escape? The river does empty out into Blackwater Bay, so I guess that’s a way out of it, but I think it would be much more interesting to be his brothers prisoner and to see that dynamic unfold next week. Same goes for Bronn. I would assume he will be the one to save him and will suffer whatever fate Jamie does, which could also offer a nice reunion with Tyrion in a way. Especially because he is a sellsword and it would open up the possibility of him changing sides, which I think we would all like to see even if it doesn’t make the most narrative sense.
I believe next week’s episode is titled Eastwatch, so that would lead me to believe we might get some fighting at the wall with the wildlings and the Night King. The scenes from next week imply that Jon receives a raven from Bran, so it’s also possible he has been informed of his actual parentage, but we will see. That’s already way too much for one week and yet it still seems so far away until we get more. This fucking show.
@BastardHans on Twitter