(Anyone else think this is ironic that an episode with this title was spoiled for a lot of people? Either way, if you have somehow managed to avoid hearing about/watching this episode and don’t want it spoilt… look away now!)
This episode was the definition of EPIC! I don’t even know how to coherently express myself anymore. I was tempted just to write !!!!!!!!! this week and leave it at that- cos that pretty much sums up my emotions right now. In fact a lot of my notes were just “arghhh!!” and “ahh” so it took a while to decipher.
So let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start 😉 ). That opening scene between Bran and Littlefinger (or as I like to call him “fuck off Littlefinger”) was quite excellent, because it really showed the huge development of Bran as a character. He is a million miles away from that cripple in the bed being defended by his mother- now he’s one creepy bugger. I just loved how Bran said back Littlefinger’s infamous line: “chaos is a ladder”. It gave me the shivers! But seriously, my takeaway from this scene was still someone needs to kill Littlefinger already *ahem* Arya *ahem*. (Speaking of which- was Bran giving her indirect permission by giving her the knife? Theories anyone?)
And now we come to the ahh-my-emotions part of the episode. Because although this episode packed punch after punch of *feels*- including Meera leaving- the real hiccupy tears started to rise from the moment Arya set eyes on Winterfell again. I think the reunion, as good as it was, was nothing compared to that moment. Although Sansa’s line made me laugh:
LOL! So yes, this episode definitely succeeded in making me as emotional as the last one. I do have to say that as nice as it is to see them all back at Winterfell, none of them are anything like the children that left it. That point when they talked about how everyone that knew their father is dead and Arya replies “we’re not” hit home even more in a way, because it made me wonder have any of them really survived?
So we’ve revisited some old relationships, let’s talk about the new ones building. I adored the scenes on Dragonstone- not just Dany and Jon admiring some wall paintings together, but also the Onion Knight paying lip service to that ship. I just love how they’re slowly softening towards each other coming together. It was especially inspiring to see Jon managing to talk a fiery Dany down from just turning King’s Landing to ash- talk about a dream team! And you gotta love Davos’ priceless line:
I also did like Brienne’s initial reaction to seeing them all together, however, as good as all this was, I did find the training scene between Arya and Brienne a bit strange, unnecessary and fanfic-y. I could be wrong, but I just can’t picture something like that happening in the books and it’s the more jarring scenes like this which make me wonder how it will go there- I guess now would be a good time to take bets 😉
We certainly got reunions all round in this episode. I honestly didn’t know how Jon would react to Theon and it looked like Jon didn’t know either. I have to say that was one of Kit Harrington’s best moments, because he packaged so much into that one moment- shock, uncertainty anger- it all made the scene feel utterly authentic. In the end, I was glad they didn’t just hug it out, cos (and I have to remind myself of this too since it was so long ago) Theon’s the reason Rob is dead.
Okay- now what we’re all really here for is that battle sequence 😉 And what a battle it was!!
First of all, the build-up was so so good!! I loved how they didn’t rush into it, starting with a rumble and whinny of horses. The tension snuck up steadily, with everyone waiting for pandemonium to hit. Jaime’s line just before they hit was perfect:
No you really, really can’t. Because my, my, my- the dothraki brought the chaos. All due credit to the showrunners- they know how to shoot a battle. This is by far the best I’ve seen on television- in fact it would be more than worthy of a summer blockbuster. It was so brilliantly done, from the way it was shot to the CGI fluttering of Drogon’s wings as he crashed to the ground… but more on that in a bit.
Because this wasn’t just about the visuals. Someway, somehow, the writers managed to build characters in the thick of it. You got all the emotion on fear on their faces as they feared for themselves and others. You had little moments, like the Dothraki saying to Tyrion “your people can’t fight” or Tyrion saying “you fucking idiot” as he watched Jaime charge towards the dragon. There was even that perfect moment between Dany helping Drogon on the middle of the battlefield, where suddenly it was just a girl and her dragon.
Seriously, I was so scared for people on every side- and even as my heart was pumping for Dany to finally get on the scoreboard of this war, I was absolutely terrified about what that would mean for Jaime (who by the way, did amazingly for a guy with one hand). But I couldn’t even think this would be a breeze for Dany, what with them trying to shoot POOR DROGON out of the sky. Of course you don’t mess with a mother-effin dragon if you want to live…
And that crazy cliffhanger with Jaime nearly dying is where I will leave you. I am absolutely on tenterhooks for the next episode. But I am delighted to say this was one of the most hard hitting, emotional episodes I have ever seen… and that’s saying something! The showrunners are really delivering on everything now, from long awaited reunions, meetings, characterisation, wars, and even the occasional, lingering notes of Rains of Castamere in the middle of a battle. And once again they have proven WHY THIS IS THE BEST DARN SHOW EVER!!!
I can also say, from me to you, this is definitely worth rewatching 😉
So what did you think of this EPIC episode? Did it make you happy? Scared? Something in between? Let me know in the comments!