After the previous weeks incredible dragon fueled ass kicking, we get a much quieter table setting episode here. SO much happens. Probably too much for the allotted runtime but I’ll get into that later. There is a lot to go over so lets just get into it.
We open on Bronn pulling Jamie out of the river thus putting to rest the thought that any moron could have actually had that Jamie was going to die. Such a dumb ‘cliff hanger’ to even include but whatever, it happened, move on.
Dany is in full Mother of Dragons mode as she stands in front of the defeated Lannister and Tarly forces. She gives her usual bend the knee or die speech and some of the men oblige. Randyll and Dickon Tarly are not among them. She calls them forward and Randyll is all stoic and bald and county as ever and says he will not kneel because he’s a giant gaping asshole who has no more narrative use. Dickon throws his big Dickon balls out and says he won’t either and joins his father to be roasted by way of dragon. Dumb but again, what else could they do with them at this point. Tyrion takes issue with his queens methods but to no avail and Dany rattles off some titles and passes the sentence, giving one solemn dracarys that she seems to take no pleasure in to signal her boy Drogon to do his thing. Upon seeing these two turned crispy, the remaining standing soldiers immediately kneel and we move on. I understand Tyrion’s thoughts here but he seems really bothered by what transpires. I’m sure watching people burned alive by mythical fire breathing flying dinosaur creatures would be upsetting but really what other choice did Daenerys have? She gave them a choice, they chose, she did what she said she would. Don’t really care about an old cock sucker and his comically named son.
Jamie makes his way back to his sister wife and tells her what the audience has known for years, they cannot win a war against dragons and the Dothraki. Cersei is not pleased and throws some shade at her little brother which is kind of her move at this point when things don’t go her way but her lack of acceptance of her position would be troubling if she wasn’t such a vengeful psychopath who seems to be on her way to a gigantic L.
Cut back to Dragonstone where Jon is doing Jon things on the edge of a cliff as Dany flies up on Dragon, landing right in front of him in what can only be perceived as an intimidation tactic. Instead of shitting himself as I would, Jon decides to take his glove off and pet the massive beast because secret Targaryen. The most interesting part of this scene to me was Dany’s face while she watches this unfold. Its not clear that she completely understands the ramifications of her dragon child cozying up to this northern king but she does seem to realize there is something about this faux bastard. They have a chat and right before they get into anything of actual substance they are interrupted by the former patient zero Jorah the Andal. They have a touching friend zone reunion and I honestly couldn’t really care less. I guess its nice to have him back but his sad puppy dog love for the way out of his league khaleesi is a little been there done that. Music plays telling me I’m supposed to care, I don’t, we continue on.
Then we make our way back to the raucous antics of our friendly Maesters at that frat house they call the Citadel. Sam happens to be filling papers while the elders are reading a scroll from Bran about the army of the dead and they do that old man trope or not believing the coming doom and laughing and laughing. Sam does his best to convince them but to no real avail. He leaves in a huff like a pissy teenager who isn’t getting that car for their sweet sixteen. All this scene does is let us know that this group of old assholes could actually do something that could save the world but they, despite supposedly being the smartest humans in the realm, chuckle and decide on inaction.
We get a drunken pity party with Varys and Tyrion about the perils of burning humans alive which feels unnecessary but I’m sure is there to set up someones eventual betrayal. Sure, ok.
Jon then reads the same message that was sent to the Maesters and then the real nonsense begins. The braintrust concoct an incredibly complicated and foolish set of plans that all are so stupid that I almost had to stop and make sure I was still watching the same show. The first part of this idiotic plan involves Davos smuggling Tyrion into Kings Landing on the off chance he can find Jamie and the even offer chance he can then convince him to go along with said idiotic plan. Then, doubling down on their stupidity, they decide Jon and a handful of others will go north of the wall to capture one of the dead men to bring back to Cersei in an effort to convince her of the real danger. Jesus Christ. I know its hypocritical to complain about stupid, unbelievable things in a show that contains dragons and other unexplainable magic but what the fuck. This is beyond stupid and I cannot say that enough. This is the most ridiculous, convoluted plan possible. The only thing keeping me from throwing my computer out the window is the hope that this is just the writers being lazy and knowing they have something awesome planned for next week but needing to get certain people to certain places at certain times and this is the best they could come up with. I hope that when we look back on this we only remember the awesome that came in episode six and not the foolishness that allowed us to get there. This is uncommonly shit storytelling for a show known for the opposite so I will remain trusting in the people that made it for now but this really better be going somewhere great.
Back to Winterfell where things somehow get dumber. Royce and that Pussy Glover are bitching about their mans being gone to Sansa and she halfheartedly shuts them down to the great displeasure of a watching Arya. She’s pissed because Sansa didn’t defend Jon enough, or something, and gives her sister an earful. She pulls her human lie detecter shit and tells us what we already know, that Sansa does want Jon to come back but also sort of wants to be in charge for real. Sowing seeds of discontent within the family is all we are doing here, setting up some manufactured drama between the remaining Stark women. Not a huge fan of this direction either, especially when Arya gives her solution of just cutting their heads off making her look even more inept than her sister.
Tyrion and Davos make it to Kings Landing. Bronn helps facilitate a meeting between the imp and his beloved brother and the two trade barbs and chat. Tyrion eventually seems to get through to his brother but the reunion doesn’t carry the kind of weight that it should have. A lot of the problems with this episode come from pacing. I understand that this heightened pace is necessary to get us where we are going in the time allotted but sometimes it comes at the expense of properly telling a story.
While the siblings talk, Davos finds an old friend. He quickly reunites with his old pal Gendry and with little to no convincing, gets him to join his crusade. Its a bit more pleasing than the dragon bone adjacent Lannister chat and gives us a nice moment where Gendry shows us his weapon of choice, a great war hammer just like his pops which he uses to kill two red shirt gold cloaks before all three men set off for Dragonstone.
Jamie tells Cersei of his discussion with their brother but she already knows all about it. They rehash the meeting and Cersei makes a bit of a threat pertaining to Bronn which I can’t say I love and after some jabbering tells Jamie that she’s pregnant with their child. Its unclear if this is simply a plow to keep Jamie loyal because she feels his allegiance wavering or if it is indeed true. I lean towards true because its not a ruse that will last very long if it is not. She ends with an embrace and a ‘never betray me again’. Still crazy as ever.
We return to Dragonstone and Gendry meets Jon. The two bond over their pseudo bastard status and the true bastard tells the King in the North that he is coming with him north of the wall.
The crew prepares to depart and we get some farewells. Particularly notable is the one between Jorah and his queen. He steals one too many looks back at her before he shoves off and I think he may not be coming back. I do like Jorah but at this point in the story I really don’t know how impactful his death will feel but I suppose we will find out next week. I did like Jon’s farewell with Dany though, especially dropping the ‘I wish you good fortunes in the wars to come’ line. I don’t know how it would come up but I hope to be able to say that in all seriousness at some point in my life.
Returning to that nonstop party that is Old Town, Gily accidentally uncovers one of the biggest pieces of information of the series and Sam is so busy feeling sorry for himself that he can’t be bothered to notice. The whole annulment thing pertaining to Jon’s actual father is potentially huge. We can assume it was to marry Lyanna and that would make Jon a legitimate Targaryen and even have a better claim to the throne than Dany. I’m sure that won’t cause problems for them going forward. Sam throws a fit and steals a bunch of seemingly random books and gives up his Maester training dreams and leaves the Citadel for good. Not sure where he is going but my guess is Winterfell where he thinks Jon is. I guess he could find out the fate of his father and brother and head to his family home instead but storewide I’m not sure what that adds at this point.
Back to Winterfell and Little Finger is scheming again with Arya doing the most obvious tail job in the history of stalking. He is seen speaking with some mystery women and then with Royce and Glover. The part about scheming with Royce is seemingly ridiculous because he not too long ago threatened his life so why would he ever trust Little Finger but ok sure, drama! Arya finds the message Sansa was forced to write by Cersei calling her father a traitor way back when and seems bothered. After she leaves its showing that Lord Baelish wanted her to find the note to again sow more discontent or whatever. This is a continuation of the stupidity that came before. First of all, this can be explained in one simple conversation between the sisters and with Arya being able to tell who is lying it should be over quickly. If she decides that being forced to write that letter to survive is still an issue well she worked for Tywain to survive so whats the fucking difference. I really hope that it will be revealed that she knows what Little Finger is trying to do and it will end with him finally getting his but I am not confident that is where they are going with this. I guess we will see.
Jon and his crew make it to Eastwatch and find that our friends in the brotherhood, Baric, Thoros and the hound, are already there. Some quick exposition on how no one trust anyone else and they all decide who cares lets work together anyways. I did like how Baric started to give his zealot lord of light speech and the Hound just told him to knock it the fuck off. All of these named characters, and a handful of unnamed willings, make their way north of the wall and thats where they leave us.
I won’t harp on this too much because I’ve done a great deal of shitting on this episode above but this really was a frustrating hour. Again, I do realize that they are trying to do a lot in a small amount of time and they need certain people together to get to whatever it is they want to show us but I’m not convinced that what they want to show us will be worth it. Beautiful battle sequences can make up for a lot and that seems like what we are about to get so I may not give a shit next weekend if it completely blows me away like they are very capable of doing.
I also think we will be losing a handful of people next week. I think Baric and Thoros are easily gone and probably Jorah as well. They may even throw in Thormund but they might need him to keep the remaining wildlings in line. I think Jorahs death would be sufficient for one episode anyways especially with the other two going down as well. No chance Jon or the Hound die and bringing Gendry back just to kill him immediately would not make much sense but I guess anything is possible. Anyways, we got a ton of information in a fairly clumsy package this week but maybe it will all be worth it. Regardless, I know I will still be waiting anxiously for next Sunday to find out what comes next.
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