I will start every one of these posts off with this warning about spoilers. There will be plenty of spoilers. Seriously, if you have not watched the episode, do not read this post. I will also be mentioning stuff from the books. These are not straight up recaps of episodes, nor are they reviews. I will just mention the stuff I liked/disliked and probably give some opinions about what could happen next.
The final 14 minutes of the episode were some of the most intense in this shows seven season history. The way it starts with Bronn and Jaime talking to Lord Tarly and then with his son, Dickon (Bronn’s laugh was priceless). Two minutes is all it took though for the sound of hooves to be heard. Bronn listens and then you can hear it. The sound of a horde of Dothraki. Bronn wants Jaime to head for King’s Landing, but the Kingslayer thinks they can repel the attack. And then they see Drogon. It is such an awesome sight, but also such a feeling of dread. You can feel it.
The first wave of fire takes out a bunch of soldiers, but give those Lannister men some credit. They hold! They even manage to put up a fight against the Dothraki. I would have thought that seeing your compatriots burned to ash would cause most soldiers to turn and run (look, not calling people cowards or anything, but a majority of ancient fighting was based on getting the other side to turn and run–once that happened, the real slaughter could begin). However, that bravery is really for naught when Drogon continues to lay siege to everything and the Dothraki Screamers continue to massacre everyone in sight.
Here is why I say it was intense: who do you root for? I did not want to see Jaime and Bronn die. When Bronn is making his mad dash to the scorpion, I was excited for him to make it, but then I remembered that if he succeeds that would mean killing a dragon and probably Daenerys. When the missile strikes the dragon and he starts to go down, I was upset and yet at the same time elated that Bronn was the one to take it down. Talk about excellent writing. Wanting both sides in a battle to win because you have grown to like those characters. I knew that someone had to lose, and to be honest, I could see it going any way. I mean, I could see Drogon dying and Daenerys being captured. Then the next few episodes would be about Jorah Mormont rescuing her.
However, that is not what happened. The bolt hurt Drogon, but he regained his flight enough to land and do some more damage. Jaime decided to take out the Targaryen queen with a spear, but Drogon was a little too quick. Before Jaime dies though, Bronn knocks him into the water (I think it was Bronn, or maybe it was Dickon). I am guessing that Jaime and Bronn will end up captives. Perhaps that is what has Tyrion so upset in the next episode (will Daenerys execute his brother, who helped set him free? Do not fear, Bronn will gladly switch teams).
I also loved the reactions from Jaime and Tyrion, as they watched people burning alive and seeing the destruction caused by one dragon. Which brings me to something I thought about during the battle: why did she only bring one dragon? If someone says “well she does not have anyone to ride the other two”, then my response would be “did not stop her the other times she unleashed them on enemies.” My guess is that she wanted to show the power of her dragons. If she can destroy a large portion of the Lannister forces with one dragon, imagine what three will do. I should probably remind people that this was not the entire army. Remember, Lord Tarly said the gold was safely through the gates of King’s Landing, but that the rest of the convoy was moving slowly. So this is just the rear guard. Also makes sense that they were close to King’s Landing, since Bronn wants Jaime to ride to safety.
Again, fourteen minutes of just absolute awesomeness. And that is not all that happened.
-So I was wrong. Arya did not return to King’s Landing. She went home to Winterfell. The reunion was fantastic. “Do I have to call you Lady Stark now?” Also, the sparring match with Brienne was great (although I am sure people will complain about it, like “how did Arya become that skilled so quickly?” Who knows, who cares? She is an incredible fighter who will probably take out the entire White Walker army herself). So what do you think Sansa’s reaction was about? Is she a little frightened that her little sister is such a badass? Maybe a little resentful that Arya seems quite capable of taking care of herself? Or maybe she was considering how to best use her sisters newfound skills.
-I loved the meeting of Bran & Littlefinger. Especially when Bran says “chaos is a ladder.” Meaning that he sees Littlefinger’s machinations and schemes. His little speeches to Sansa. Also, I enjoyed when Bran told Arya that he saw her at the cross-roads and he thought she would go to King’s Landing (so he does not know everything).
-Did Daenerys speech to Jon Snow about bending the knee for the survival of his people sound a bit familiar? I believe we heard Jon Snow give a speech like that to Mance once. I am guessing Jon will have plenty to think about if he ever decides to leave Dragonstone. Also, I am loving Davos the Matchmaker. “I noticed you starin’ at her heart.” And I hope everyone caught that Davos has learned the difference between less & fewer…Stannis would be proud.
-Ugh…I was hoping that Jon Snow would execute Theon right then & there. I guess I could not be that lucky. And I really hope that Daenerys does not authorize a mission to rescue Yara. I would prefer if the Greyjoy story just wither and die already.
-Cersei is going to try and hire the Golden Company. Time for a little book diversion. The Golden Company supports Daenerys (actually they support Young Griff, who it is claimed is Aegon–you know, Rhaegar’s kid that was killed by the Mountain). In the last book, the Golden Company lands in Westeros, and they take the former lands of Lord Jon Connington, who has raised and trained Young Griff. They are planning to march on Storm’s End. So it is interesting that the Golden Company would be mentioned in the show as an ally of Cersei. I suspect that the show will drop that story. And the Golden Company will just be an elite mercenary force. However, if you go deeper back in the Golden Company’s history, you learn that they were founded by a Targaryen bastard after the Blackfyre Rebellion (very long story). In the books, they are reminded that deep down, they are still Targaryens and should rejoin Daenerys and Young Griff. Now, it is also believed that Young Griff is not actually Aegon, but instead a Blackfyre descendant posing as Rhaegar’s kid. I know, very complicated. Probably good that they dropped it.