Wow, if you’re not a bundle of nerves right now, I salute you, cos this episode ratcheted up the tension.
It started out fairly gently, where the last one left off, with Jaime coughing up half a river. While it was a great opening scene, I do have to say my first thought was HOW?! I was amazed Jaime wasn’t capture- it seemed like too close a call. That said, I didn’t concentrate on that too long, because five seconds later we find out what Dany would have done had she caught poor Jaime in her talons (I can’t tell you how grateful I am that didn’t happen!)
As for Dany’s treatment of POWs… well I was in the middle of writing “wow what a rousing speech from Dany…” and then it all went downhill. Because she had a nice little “burn them all!” moment. I have to admit, I’ve been struggling to root for Dany “bend the knee” Targaryen for a couple of seasons now. It’s bad enough that she’s getting increasingly dictatorial, but I don’t see how I can make allowances for all her brutal decisions- she got a pass for executing traitors however she wanted, I couldn’t bring myself to care for the slavers she killed, but C’MON you can’t just roast honourable soldiers who won’t break their vows!! It’s not good enough in my book that she keeps claiming to do this to “break the wheel”. If she’s a better person, she has to act like it *every single second* and has to be awake to her own potential for malevolence. Right now she is doing the most evil in her pursuit to rid the world of a greater evil- and she can’t even see it. I found it a tad ironic that she said “Sometimes strength is terrible” in her weakest moment. Maybe, just maybe her advisors can make her aware of this, as they seem alert to this moral conundrum in a way that she isn’t right now. Here’s hoping Dany can redeem herself.
While Dany loses it, Jon Snow is becoming more awesome. I’m pretty much hanging on his every word and my favourite moment of the week was when he stroked Drogon. That scene was just… WOW!! And of course the showrunners are delivering time and again with the easter eggs for him being a Targaryen (I have to admit to screaming at the screen for Sam not picking up on Gilly saying that Rhaegar got an annulment and married someone else- but at least we have official confirmation that Jon is *in no way* a bastard).
And the other part of this episode that made me massively happy was the reintroduction of Gendry.
Yes, we all thought that! I have to admit I didn’t expect to see him again- but I’m so glad he’s back- and with a Robert Baratheon style Warhammer! I was super excited for him to meet Jon and to have some actual onscreen action- with any luck he’ll get a reunion with Arya. Although speaking of which, I have a ton of hopes (and dreads) for Arya’s storyline.
With Arya, we did have a glorious scene with her stalking her prey… and her prey stalking back. Quite clearly, Littlefinger was never going to be a straightforward target. What I would love to see is the Stark children working together to bring him down and I have even heard some people saying theories that her rivalry with Sansa is all for show. HOWEVER this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about. It’s not big on wish fulfilment. So as much as I’d like to see Jon and Arya hug it out, Littlefinger get stabbed with the dagger that started it all, and the Starks remain undivided- I just don’t think the writers are gonna be that kind to us poor long-abused viewers.
Because as creepy and skilled as Arya gets, their foes are still formidable. And speaking of the horrible things we’ve witnessed on the show in the past, Cersei’s hint that she has another Red Wedding style betrayal in mind has me stressing out. She doesn’t seem especially moved by the fact she got it wrong with Tyrion (as predicted) and is only using the information that Olenna killed her son to be mad at Jaime… go figure. But really- let’s take a vote: who really thinks Cersei’s gonna go quietly?
And speaking of fear- as we move towards this series finale (*sob*- I don’t want it to be over!) we get more and more hints that terrible things are coming. That scene with Bran and the ravens, in particular, was chilling. And I swear every time they say “the wall has stood through it all” I get a shudder of fear running through me- because that’s writer code for “pahahaha we’re gonna bring that shit down”. And of course, no one will believe any of the doom mongers, so they’re all screwed.
Naturally, in case you weren’t terrified enough, they have come up with a really really bad plan in response. By now, I should be used to Game of Thrones setting up an intense conclusion, but this was a very strong episode in its own right. The pieces are on the board – we have only to wait and see how this turns out. All I can say is WATCH OUT EASTWATCH!!
So what did you think of this episode? Any predictions? Let me know in the comments!