Previously on recapping Game of Thrones… Daenerys continues to get outplayed, but hey, at least she has a lot of fun nicknames! This week…
Season 7, Episode 4- The Spoils of War
At last, all the living Stark children have returned to Winterfell, and everything is just as it was! Aside from Bran being a cripple devoid of any social skills! And Arya turning into a trained killer with an insatiable bloodlust. Huh, you know, Sansa has had a real rough go of it too. Also, Winterfell ain’t exactly in the best shape. Oh wow, and at least half of the family has been murdered in various brutal ways… Man, this was actually a pretty bittersweet moment! In the future, when you look up examples of “bittersweet” in the dictionary, it should read, “Well, the Stark children finally reunited, but not before having to endure (among many other things) sexual assault, temporary blindness, learning that your time-traveling antics turned Hodor into Hodor, and the cruel deaths of many family members, so naturally their reunion was a little bittersweet.” Regardless, they’re back, and that’s what really counts, right?…
There’s one non-Stark that’s also lingering around Winterfell though, because lingering is what he does best: Littlefinger. This week in Littlefinger trying to push some sort of angle on someone, Littlefinger is trying to push some sort of angle on Bran. Presenting Bran with the dagger that was to be used to assassinate him wayyyyyyy back in Season One, Littlefinger goes on and on about how brave Bran is, and how he must have seen so much chaos. And then, apropos of nothing other than that he was seemingly triggered by the word “chaos,” Bran says, “Chaos is a ladder.” Whoa dudes! Just like Littlefinger said in Season Three during his speech about how life is, and I quote, “…all just one big climb up an imaginary ladder of chaos, or something.” So presumably, Bran knows everything, but is choosing to act on nothing at the moment, for reasons of who knows, nothing this kid says makes a lick of sense anymore.
Eventually, after reuniting at their father’s grave that tragically looks nothing like him, Arya and Sansa join Bran as he enjoys his daily sit in the snow. (At least he has that chair now so he doesn’t have to literally lie down in the snow anymore. Freak.) As he had previously done with Sansa, Bran lets Arya know that he sees quite a lot now. Why, he saw her at one point, and thought she’d be heading to King’s Landing, because you know, Cersei is there, and she’s on that list Arya keeps hemming and hawing about. Sansa is a little freaked out, because she thought Arya was only joking earlier when she mentioned her “Intergalactic hit-list of people to murder, those god damned sons of bitches.” The three of them then inspect Bran’s new Valyrian steel dagger, and Sansa is again, a little freaked out, because Littlefinger is not a generous man, and wouldn’t just give Bran something without some ulterior motive. Seeing however, that he will have no use for it as a self-described “cripple,” Bran re-gfits the dagger to Arya, who then uses it to defeat Brienne in a duel. Sansa, you know, she’s just a little freaked out by all of this, because how is it even possible that her little sister could defeat Brienne in anything (aside from a “being the shortest” contest) let alone a sword fight?! Meanwhile, Brienne is impressed, Littlefinger is amused, and Podrick is Podrick. It’s strange days at Winterfell, but at least the Stark kids are home, and seemingly prepared to take on something (provided that something be a problem that can be solved with time-traveling visions, hand-to-hand combat, or whatever it is that Sansa’s superpower is. Tact?)
At Dragonstone, Daenerys desperately wants to know how sex with Greyworm works, but Missandei doesn’t kiss and tell. WOMEN. Then Jon shows up because he totally only wants to show Dany all the dragonglass he’s going to mine, and definitely not for any other reason. The following scene is a little hard for me to describe, so a special thanks to HBO for providing me with the following excerpt, directly from the episode’s script. This is all totally real:
“There sure is a whole lot of dragonglass under Dragonstone… oh my, look, cave drawings! It’s the Children of the Forest! Hey, the First Men are here too! What’s this? These two groups came together despite their differences and suspicions, and worked together to fight a common enemy?? And that enemy was also the White Walkers, because they’re totally real and have always been real??? Why, what a wonderful story! Wow, and here’s a drawing of two people that look exactly like us! What does it say underneath? ‘Daenerys and Jon should work together despite their differences and suspicions, that would be totally bodacious!’ Haha, I meannnnnn, if the cave here says we should do it, I guess we should right??? Who are we to go against these ancient cave drawings that were obviously drawn ages ago in a very precise manner, and not literal minutes ago with some chalk me and Davos randomly found on a cliff?”
Daenerys is taken in by Jon’s little art exhibition, and agrees to fight for the North. IF Jon bends the knee. She understands Jon’s skepticism to do so, the North are a prideful bunch that only like people that are also from the North. But, she appeals, isn’t Northern survival more important than Northern pride? Clearly she hasn’t met many people from the North; I’m pretty sure Lord Brandon (they’re always named Brandon) of House Beardhammer (Sigil: Justin Turner, Words: “Well, the thing you have to understand about Winter is…”) would cut off his own head and feed it to his family before he bowed down to some Southern “carpetbagger.”
Then Tyrion shows up with the latest bit of bad news that we all already know about: all of Daenerys’ allies are dead, and the Unsullied are stuck at Casterly Rock. Rightfully pissed off at all of Tyrion’s terrible plans going terribly, Daenerys really wants to take flight for the Red Keep, and burn that mother down to the ground. She appeals to Jon for advice, though if you’ll remember his strategy of “there is no strategy” in his last battle, he too is no brilliant tactician. Still, his advice does make sense: Don’t kill everyone with dragons, they won’t like you if you do that.
After some time, during which Davos continues to crush hard on Missandei, Theon shows up. I didn’t mention it last week, but Theon was rescued from the cruel seas by “good” Ironborn in Episode Three. Theon tells them he tried to save Yara, but they know he totally didn’t by virtue of him being alive at all. Oh, Theon… But yeah, Theon is back at Dragonstone to ask his Queen for help in getting Yara back. Only, his Queen isn’t there…
Somewhere on the road to King’s Landing, Randyll Tarly is being the asshole that he is, recommending that any stragglers be flogged, as the Lannister army continues to advance. For his part, Jaime is like, whoa chill man that won’t be necessary. Jaime is feeling especially chill, on account of all the gold he nabbed from Highgarden, which he is now escorting to King’s Landing. At last, the Lannisters can repay their debts! What could possibly go wrong?
Suddenly, a Dothraki horde! Okay, no big deal, all they have to do is fortify positions, launch volleys of arrows, and hold the line. Easy peasy lemo…Hey! There’s Theon’s Queen! Daenerys rides in upon Drogon’s back as the Lannister army is screwed, and Game of Thrones really throws its CGI budget around. A Dracarys here, a Dracarys there, and we have one of the most genuinely thrilling sequences this show has put together. Men are roasted alive, horses run free without their master, it’s madness I tells ya! Arrows are fired at Drogon, and they literally bounce off of him. Jaime is horrified as we see men on fire, all third-degree burned, failing to save themselves by running into the water (not to mention all the guys who were killed and reduced to nothing but ash!) Tyrion strolls up to a nearby hill to observe the battlefield, and he too is horrified.
And then Bronn (yeah, he’s there too,) having fought through a literal hellscape, losing his horse and hard-earned gold along the way, gets to Qyburn’s scorpion AKA that weapon that shoots really big arrows. It takes him approximately 30 minutes to get it set up and waste an arrow on a Dothraki that was chasing him. Luckily, it only takes him about 10 seconds to load up more arrows, as he sends two right at Dany’s head. One whizzes by, but the other connects with Drogon’s (all experts on dragon anatomy please stand up) shoulder area. Drogon has to make an emergency landing, as Dany tries to wrestle the comically large arrow out of his flesh. Jaime notices this, Dany having absolutely zero awareness of the situation despite the fact that it is a large-scale battle that she’s been heavily involved in, and decides to END HER. He picks up a spear and rides her way, in a potential clash of protagonists unlike this show has ever seen! “You fucking idiot,” says Tyrion, watching his brother ride to certain doom. “Oh shit,” says Danerys, finally realizing what she’s landed herself in. “Fuck you,” says Drogon, gearing up to launch a huge blast of fire at Jaime. “AW HELL NAW,” says Bronn, leaping from a new horse to knock Jaime out of the way in the nick of time, sending them both crashing into the water. “Yep, that’s the end, PEACE,” says the show as we watch Jaime sink to the bottom of the sea, probably weighed down by that stupid gold hand of his. All this trouble for some gold…
Spare thoughts to launch at a dragon like a really big arrow:
-Also happening this episode: Cersei is solely focused on conquering. Have you seen her floor that’s also a map? She’s very serious about conquering!
-Okay, when Bran tells Meera that he’s “not Brandon Stark,” is that a metaphor for how he’s “become” Three-Eyed Raven, or did him and Max von Sydow actually do a Freaky Friday? Because Meera also comments that Bran, “died in that cave.” IS IT A METAPHOR OR IS IT LITERAL, STOP CONFUSING ME. (It’s probably a metaphor.)
-I was kind of hoping that Abbott and Costello would get more of a reprimand for first not allowing Arya in to Winterfell, and then losing her, but alas, Sansa is a kind Lady.
-Brienne succeeds in fulfilling her oath of protecting Catelyn Stark’s children, despite doing pretty much nothing to actually help them. She’s a regular Mark Madsen out there, collecting an NBA championship ring in 2002 despite averaging zero points, zero assists, and less than one rebound per game, in 10 total minutes played during the entire playoffs. (He won a ring the year before too! Madsen, you dog!)
-I couldn’t remember if Brienne was on Arya’s list and was genuinely terrified for her life during their impromptu duel.
-Congratulations to Maester Wolkan for inventing the wheelchair!
-“Sounds liberating.” -Davos on the concept of “No Marriage.” He also remarks that he saw Jon “staring at Daenerys’ good heart.” Ew, she’s his aunt, dude. Davos, I love you, but you need to chill.
-Half-assed prediction for shipping Jon and Dany because the show seems to be hinting at it for some reason?: It’s going to be a marriage… of ICE and FIRE. And then Bran will show up and be all “Jon, no!” and explain his true heritage, but everyone will be all “eh, what’s a little incest?” and things will work out just fine.
-The non-Sam Tarly is named DICKON! DICK. ON. Like a dick on something! HAHAHAHAHA! I’m glad Bronn thought this was funny too. Bronn gets me, man.
-The production photos that HBO provides have been butt this year, so I’m back to taking screenshots that I think look cool, in order to get my pix fix.
-I’d highly recommend this video from HBO documenting how exactly they pulled off the seriously incredible, terribly named “Loot Train Attack.” (Loot? Is it 1996?)
-Overall I really enjoyed “The Spoils of War,” or as HBO GO called it on Sunday night, “Game of Thrones 64.”
Oh man, when “Game of Thrones 64” got to the part where it was the latest episode of the hit series… A-mah-zing!
(To find every single edition of Sansa Snark, click right here.)