So we’ll get onto that climatic battle scene later on. Firstly we’ll look at the Starks at Winterfell who all seem to be coming out of the woodwork now. Bran is settling back in at home and Littlefinger gives Bran the Valyrian steel dagger that was used in the assassination attempt in season one (gee thanks Littlefinger, how about a gift basket or something next time you want to present a gift). I have no idea what Littlefinger is playing at here but it seems whatever game is being played may backfire on him as Bran repeats back to Littlefinger his remark to Varys that “chaos is a ladder”. Given how unnerved he looked maybe Littlefinger is worried his duplicitous ways will come back to bite his on the ass? Meanwhile Bran’s lack of empathy comes back into play as Meera said her goodbyes and get’s barely little in return. I was glad when she called Bran out on his callousness considering many people including her brother and Hordor (Hordor!) gave up their lives for him. But Bran’s response implies that Bran is no longer Bran and just a vessel for the 3 eyed raven. Poor Meera, nothing to do for several seasons but drag Bran around and that’s all she gets.
On a happier note Arya makes her entrance to Winterfell and is turned away by the guards who promptly lose her. However Sansa figures out where she is and reunites with Arya in the Stark family crypts (which is typical of the Starks to meet in the most depressing of places for a family reunion). Considering the two didn’t get along in Season One it’s a lovely moment to have them hugging and getting to know each other again. I also enjoyed the moment where they both mention that they wished they had killed Joffrey! Sansa, then takes Arya to meet Bran who again ignores polite conversation and brings up Arya’s kill list. He also hands Arya back the dagger. What will she use it for, to kill Cersai or as it’s Valyrian steel will it be used to kill the white walkers? Knowing Arya it’s both and she gets to show off her fancy footwork that’s she learned over the last seven seasons as she spars with Brienne. It’s a cool moment and it’s nice that Brienne is given something to do.
The Lannisters are feeling pretty good about themselves-well at the start of the episode anyway, as Cersei has paid back her debt in full (well Lannisters always pay their debts…) to the Iron Bank. The Bank also say they will help fund her more soldiers, although considering how the episode ends they may not get that many new allies willing to join Team Cersei.
At Dragonstone Jon and Daenerys look at the mine of dragonglass and they find carvings from the Children of the Forest which seems to warn of White Walkers which makes it seem like Daenerys is starting to believe Jon’s claims. Still it’s not enough to stop her saying her new favourite catchphrase “Bend the knee”. Jon is not submitting yet, but surely it’s just a matter of time? Time for discussions of White Walker and bending of knees is interrupted as Daenerys hears of the fall of her allies. Daenerys’ first instinct is to burn King’s Landing to the ground, but Tyrion warns her against this. Frustrated with Tyrion, Daenerys asks Jon for advise who tells her if she uses her dragons to attack King’s Landing then she’ll be no different to the other tyrants who have ruled before her.
As Daenerys departs we see Jon reunite with another character, unfortunately this one isn’t a great one for anyone involved as he lays eyes on a washed up Theon. The look on Theon’s face is priceless as Jon approaches him and is remarkably restraint in his behaviour although makes it clear to Theon that he’s only acting this way because of Sansa. Theon then looks for help from Daenerys army to rescue his sister but is informed she has already left. Which leads us to the climax of the whole episode.
The attack on the Lannister army is so brilliantly done you could almost forget the fun stuff that happens before. For once thing Bronn is back and gets to speak this time. It’s great to have him around, whether it’s whining at Jamie about wanting a castle or his immature laugh after being introduced to a man named Dickon (I admit I did chuckle too) Bronn is good at bringing the humour to the proceedings. It also turns out he’s quite astute as he’s the first to realise something is amiss before everyone else. Not that it helps because soon they are attacked by the Dothraki and Daenerys riding Drogon. The circling of the Lannister army and the brutal attack was reminiscent of a western (with added dragon! cause everything is better with dragons) with Indians circling the cowboys. The battle is epic in scale with men on fire and the Dothraki slaying all those around them, even the horses in one particularly gory moment. We also get one spectacular set piece as Drogon burns a long line of the Lannister food wagons and a whole lot of soldiers too. One of the brilliant aspects of the show is that there are so many characters you care for, so while I want Cersei to lose I don’t want characters like Bronn and Jamie to get killed. Many times during the battle I feared for Bronn safety and again felt torn when he hit Drogon using Qyburn’s invention. Luckily Drogon is just wounded but is forced to land and Daenerys is left vulnerable as she removes the spear from Drogon. As Jamie rides to kill her my emotions was going back and forth as he aims to kill Daenerys and is then nearly burnt to a crisps by Drogon and then gets saved by Bronn. As Jamie sinks to the bottom of the river (yeah heavy armour not so good in water) the episode cuts to black.
Now I don’t think for a moment Jamie is dead in the river, but I’m dying to know if he’s been captured by Daenerys or somehow managed to escape. And now that Bronn has lost his gold will he try to jump ship to Team Daenerys? After all Bronn doesn’t have much loyalty and it would be great to see him and Tyrion on the same side again. Other than that I wonder what the hell Cersei is going to do now. She has the gold but no food, her army slain and Jamie has possibly been captured. After a few episodes of Cersei winning Daenerys has now almost completely annihilated her. It’s a good thing Cersei has paid back her debts to the bank as she’s going to need a hell of a lot of favours now.
What did you think of the episode? Was that one of the series best battle scenes? Will Cersei recover from the loss? Will we ever find out if Jon is really a Targaryen so people can stop trying to ship Jon and Daenerys together (even Davvos has got in on the act)? Let me know what you think in the comments below.