As always, we’re recapping Game of Thrones, don’t miss reading about last week’s episode: “Stormborn”.
Oh. My. God.
This episode, man.
How could I possibly cover it all in one single post? We’re going to try, anyway. To be honest, I’m still in recovery. I’m going to probably need therapy. It was awesome from start to finish – absolutely mental. We won’t necessarily be going chronologically this time. Instead, we’ll be covering different character threads under their own section, since this episode jumped around quite a bit. Let’s do this.
As usual, beware, for this post is long and full of spoilers.
Jon, Danaerys, and Tyrion
“I’ve done my part. I’ve brought ice and fire together. . . . My time whispering in the ears of kings has come to an end. . . . Neither of us is common folk anymore. . . . Oh, I will return dear Spider. One last time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you.” – Melisandre of Asshai, ‘the Red Woman’.
This was the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Jon and Danaerys are finally together. Naturally, they spent the first twenty minutes of the episode bickering, but that was to be expected.
Jon got to see the dragons firsthand. He exchanged a witty greeting with Tyrion, and strode into Danaerys’ throne room with Davos by his side. Missandei introduces Danaerys with all her ensuing titles, and Davos, comically, introduces Jon simply as “Jon Snow…uh…the King in the North.”
Danaerys, unimpressed, assumes that Jon has come to Dragonstone to swear allegiance to House Targaeryen, when Jon informs her that he has not, Danaerys responds with the saltiest “oh” to ever be spoken in Westeros and Essos combined. Danaerys tries to draw on past, historical alliances between House Stark and House Targaryen – to no effect. She even tries to garner sympathy from Jon because she’s “the last Targaryen”.
“I am the last Targaryen, Jon Snow.” – Danaerys, unironically.
Which, of course, is amusing to the audience…considering R+L=J, and, you know, the whole Tyrion theory.
Not sure what we mean when we say, R+L=J? We explain some of the theory here. Basically, if you haven’t figured it out by now, Jon is a Targaryen. He’s the (probably legitimate) son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, so, R+L=J. As Melisandre says, Jon is Ice, and Danaerys is Fire. Theirs is the Song of Ice and Fire. Westeros is going to need both of them to work together to defeat the Night’s King and his army of the dead and end the coming Winter.
Jon, of course, is frustrated with all the bickering. There’s an army of magical ice zombies coming! How can they bicker over a chair?
Thankfully, these two have Tyrion as the voice of reason. Tyrion manages to bring the two to some sort of understanding, reminding Jon that Danaerys has never seen the Night’s King, and that it’s really understandable that she doesn’t want to believe him about an army of the dead. He tells Danaerys to be diplomatic, and allow Jon to mine the dragonglass on Dragonstone. This move will hopefully lead to an alliance between the North and Dragonstone in the future.
Dany agrees. She and Jon meet on a balcony overlooking the Narrow Sea, and the two of them come to a tenuous truce. It seems things are finally moving at last.
The Stark Sibling Reunion
Back at Winterfell, Sansa is doing pretty well for herself – even with Littlefinger following her every move. We get a glimpse of just how capable she is as a leader. She tells her maester to order shipments of grain from every castle in the North so they can prepare for the coming Winter. She also ensures that the blacksmiths are covering the armor they’re forging in leather, to keep the soldiers warm. Oh, and she delivers at least two verbal bitchslaps to Littlefinger when he tries to be clever with her. It’s awesome. Go Sansa. We’re so proud of you, honey.
In the middle of all of this, a messenger arrives, telling Sansa she’s needed at the gate. When Sansa rushes over, she finds Bran and Meera there. This is the first time the two siblings have seen each other since Season One.
After a tearful reunion, the two retreat to the Godswood to talk. Sansa asks Bran what has happened to him, and Bran tells her he’s the Three-Eyed-Raven, and that he can see “everything”. Everything that ever was, and is, and will be.
Bran then feels the need to explain in detail what he means by “seeing everything”. He chooses to do this by telling Sansa how pretty she looked in her wedding dress when she married Ramsey Bolton, and how the snow fell “just like it is now”. The memories are ones that Sansa is trying desperately to bury. It’s a testament to Sophie Turner’s acting that we can see, with very little dialogue, just how much pain Sansa’s in at the end of this scene when she asks Bran to stop talking and gets up and leaves him there under the Heart Tree.
While that scene under the Weirwood seems to unnecessarily bring up horrific memories for Sansa, it does have a purpose. Hear me out, here. This scene tells us just how much Bran really knows about the lives of his siblings – and really, the lives of everyone in Westeros. I believe that it’s setting us up for Bran to tell Jon the truth behind his parentage – the truth that Ned promised to give Jon before he went south, and Jon went to the Wall. This could be leading up to a final confirmation of R+L=J.
Jorah and Sam
Moving south to Oldtown, following that totally cringe-worthy scene last episode where Sam attempted to operate on Jorah (that jump-cut to the guy eating pie was an exceptionally gross piece of editing. Good work, Game of Thrones), it seems that the procedure worked. Jorah is scarred and looking worse for wear, but he’s healed nonetheless. The Archmaester confirms it. Sam saved Jorah’s life.
Though the Archmaester is happy that the procedure was successful, and is mildly impressed that Sam managed to do it, he’s angry that Sam went against the rules of the Citadel. Sam gets a slap on the wrist. His only reward for his bravery is that he gets to stay in the Citadel and continue his studies.
Jorah, on the other hand, packs up his things and heads out to find Danaerys. After all, she’s the one that commanded him to find a cure for his disease – and find a cure he did.
The Queen’s Justice
And now we come to the final and most compelling part of this episode: Cersei, Jaime, and their fight against Danaerys. This is the main plot of the episode, interspersed throughout the other scenes. We’ve chosen to compile it all into one spot to make it easier to explain.
The End of House Martell
At the beginning of the episode, Euron Greyjoy rides into Kings Landing with Yara, Ellaria, and Ellaria’s daughter literally in tow. He’s cheered on by the masses as a conqueror – and he’s seriously loving all the attention. He presents Ellaria and her daughter to Cersei in the throne room, and takes Yara back with him. Cersei is incredibly pleased with this gift. At last she can have revenge on the woman who murdered her daughter.
She chains Ellaria and her daughter up in the dungeons beneath the Red Keep, and has her maester procure the exact poison Ellaria used to kill Myrcella with. He mixes it into a lipstick for her. Cersei kisses Ellaria’s daughter on the mouth, just like Ellaria had done to Myrcella, and then wipes the poison off of her own lips.
Then, she leaves Ellaria there to watch her daughter die and rot. Cersei wants her to see every minute of it, to suffer as she did. The scene is painful in some ways, disturbing in others, and even, in a way, oddly satisfying for those of us who weren’t huge Ellaria Sand fans in the first place.
It seems House Martell is having a hard time living up to its Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken motto – but if we’re honest, that’s Ellaria’s fault. She started a war and plunged Dorne into political chaos because she wanted to avenge Oberyn and House Martell.
In the end, though, it was revenge that destroyed her.
We may see more of Ellaria before the season is over. Cersei did promise to keep her alive. Ellaria’s daughter, however, is definitely dead. So who knows what mental state Ellaria will be in when we find her next?
The Queen of Thorns
As Tyrion and Danaerys promised, Gray Worm and the Unsullied army are sent south to take Casterly Rock, using a secret tunnel that Tyrion used to smuggle prostitutes into his home when his father put him in charge of the castle’s sewers. In a seriously awesome montage, the Unsullied storm the keep, take Casterly Rock for Danaerys, and kill all the Lannisters defending the citadel.
Gray Worm is smart, though, and he realizes that taking Casterly Rock was far too easy. It’s a hollow victory. Where are all the Lannisters?
Well, Jaime has led them south to take out their biggest enemy: the Tyrells. With the Tyrells out of the picture and the Lannisters holding Highgarden, Cersei will have solidified her hold on the South for good.
What follows is a devastating scene: the Lannisters swoop into Highgarden and massacre the Tyrell army: Danaerys’ most powerful ally. When Jaime finds Olenna sitting alone in a little tower, all she has to say is: “I hope we fought well.”
She knows it’s over.
She and Jaime exchange words in true “Queen of Thorns” fashion. Jaime pours them both wine and informs Olenna that she’s going to die. “How are you going to do it?” Olenna asks, “With your sword?”
Jaime shakes his head. Poison, he tells her.
“Will it hurt?”
Jaime tells her that he made sure it won’t.
Satisfied, Olenna downs the entire glass of wine, sets it down, and delivers her final word:
She’s the one that killed Joffrey, and she’s not sorry at all, and she wants Cersei to know it was her.
Before Jaime can even truly react, the poison has done its work, and Olenna is dead.
RIP, Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns and Matriarch of the Golden Roses. You were salty to your last breath, a true inspiration. You will be truly, bitterly missed. At least you and Margaery are together again at last.
What did you think of last night’s episode? Let us know in the comments! Wonder what’s coming next? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s HBO’s preview for next week’s episode:
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See you next week!