Man oh man, what a jaw-dropper. First we get a true Stark family reunion with Arya joining the fold. We get Arya, Bran, and Sansa all together in one scene for the first time since “The Kingsroad,” the second episode of the first season. And Arya and Sansa haven’t been in the same episode since “Baelor,” the first season’s ninth episode. So, to say we have been waiting a while is quite the understatement.
As if that wasn’t enough, which it certainly was, we got more great stuff from Dragonstone, where Jon and Dany are getting to know each other more and are building a trust and understanding. And not only that, an attraction amongst the show’s two stars is certainly building. There is already a brother/sister sexual relationship, but what about an aunt/uncle? We shall see.
And as if that wasn’t enough, they throw in the loot crate battle scene, which my words cannot do the scene justice. In season one, Robert Baratheon warned against fighting the Dothraki in an open field and now we see why. They shredded through the Lannister army. And then there is the matter of the dragons, burning up all the food (and gold?) and people. A breathtaking and suspenseful set piece. Some of the imagery from that scene is truly gorgeous. Fields aflame and the ashes of men flying around. Just an unbelievable episode.
Winner of the Week: Daenerys Targaryen
Finally, the Mother of Dragons gets a win! It was a long couple episodes and she was taking those L’s, but said enough was enough and pulled out her dragons as the ultimate trump card. It was a dream come true to finally see her dragons in action. Fields of flame, ashes of human remains floating around (I know, I already said that, but c’mon, it was so awesome it can’t be said enough). A huge blow to the Lannister side, who lost a lot of food. Questionable to burn the food though. Maybe, I don’t know, save it? For the winter? Perhaps a lot more is left over from what we saw, but she burned a lot of food. Anywho, Drogon was the icing on top of the cake in the battle, which saw scores of Lannister troops dead, and Jaime sinking to the bottom of a river.
Using Drogon turned out to be a smashing success, but caution should be used when employing dragons again. The Scorpion proved to be an effective weapon and Tyrion saw that. So, even when Dany gets a win, there is a tiny “l” next to it, since dragons are not longer an immortal beast. They can be wounded.
Loser of the Week: Cersei Lannister
Another “finally,” as Cersei’s momentum was stopped by Dany. She lost a ton of incoming food and possibly a bunch of gold, which would have been used to pay off the Iron Bank of Braavos. Adversity for Cersei has been few and far between for her recently, so we will see how she handles this loss. I will say not well. She tends to act rashly in situations that call for reserved measure. And the loss also begs the question: will she care about Jaime? Or will this be the time when she cuts him loose due to her lust for power? The notion of her not loving Jaime as much as Jaime loves her has already been thrown around. Leaving him to rot at Dragonstone would be the time to show you don’t care.
Biggest Takeaway: The Starks may be together, but they are not together, yet
I spoke in my first post about the divide between Jon and Sansa, which has been evident throughout the season, as they both have different views on how to handle the war(s). Last week, we saw Bran introduced back into Winterfell and he is clearly a changed man. Seeing through all of time can do that. And here, in this episode, Arya and Sansa finally reunite and we see some awkwardness between them as well. They have all undergone major transformations in the course of this show and are starkly different people, or, simply put: they are who they wanted to be, especially Sansa and Arya. Sansa wanted to have power (and be a queen) and Arya wanted to be a fighter. Both are where they wanted to be, but both are still not relating to one another. But they have a future together, so that’s important.
Arya quips, “do I have to call you Lady Stark?” And Sansa sees Arya fighting Brienne and beating her and is almost displeased. Arya doesn’t want to look at Sansa and see authority and Sansa doesn’t want to look at Arya and see a killer, but yet, that’s where we are right now and it’s going to take some getting used to.
Most Underrated Moment: Bran’s Talk With Baelish
“Chaos is a ladder,” Baelish says to Varys in “The Climb,” the sixth episode of the show’s third season (A lot of call backs to specific episodes, but that is what makes this show great, is that these call backs can happen). It is essentially four words that sum up this show. “Chaos” is something Baelish orchestrated from the very beginning of this show, as he had Jon Arryn poisoned, which spiraled the rest of the events. And it is chilling to hear Bran say those exact words back to Baelish. Bran’s ability to see everything is obviously going to play a crucial role as the story moves on. We think dragons are unfair? What about a character that might know the future? Or knows many past events to learn to predict the future? Bran can almost be weaponized by the Starks to get information of their enemies. And who knows, he might even be able to warg into Rhaegal or Viserion!