If you would like to read my review of the last week’s episode, click here.
Synopsis: Daenerys fights back. Jaime faces an unexpected situation. Arya comes home. (IMDB)
Writers: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Director: Matt Shakman
Running Time: 50mins
I know the episode got leaked and so some people have already seen it but I’d much rather wait to see it when it was meant to be seen and it was definitely worth the wait. The above synopsis was quite the understatement as it satisfies on all points. Now this episode is the series’ shortest episode, however, this was absolutely not a slight as it is one of the series’ best, focusing on a few key plot points.
Now that the Lannisters have conquered Highgarden, they can use their gold to pay their debt to the Iron Bank but seeing as they are currently in a war, the bank still tries to find a way to weasel themselves back in. Littlefinger gives Bran the Valyrian Steel dagger that was used to try to kill him a long time ago. He surely had a motive in doing so although it wasn’t immediately clear (but it probably will be soon). Meera wants to go back home and Bran doesn’t appear appreciative of all that she and her deceased brother have done for him because he is no longer Bran and has taken on the Three-Eyed Raven.
Arya is back in Winterfell and things have changed since she’s been there. The bumbling guards didn’t even recognize her so she of course found a way to sneak around them. Once Sansa heard of her arrival, she knew where Arya was hiding which was the crypts. They reminisced about their past experiences of which they have many, as we all know, including Arya’s kill list, and Arya saw Ned’s statue for the first time. It looked nothing like him. They joined Bran and he already knew about Arya’s list. Bran gave her the dagger. Brienne was happy that Arya and Sansa were together again. Arya wants to train with Brienne and she is better than Podrick. Everyone is watching them until Sansa walks away at the end.
Daenerys hasn’t gotten news about Casterly Rock. Jon showed her the dragonglass on Dragonstone along with some carvings of the Children of the Forest and the First Men fighting together against the White Walkers so Jon uses it to try and convince her that they should fight together. She agrees along as he bends the knee. Jon seems willing but he doesn’t think his people would approve. She believed that he should care about his people’s safety more than his ego.
Daenerys gets news about Casterly Rock and is pissed. She no longer believed in Tyrion’s plan and wants to take her dragons and attack them. Jon disagrees and thinks that attacking them with the dragons would make her just like the others. Missandei tells Jon and Davos all of what Daenerys had done for her. Theon shows up on Dragonstone and Jon wasn’t exactly happy to see him. Theon told them all what happened.
The trend this season has been to end with huge battle sequences and this episode’s was the best so far. Earlier, Daenerys wanted to take her dragons and attack and that is what she did. Actually, she only took one of the dragons but it was still very effective along with an army of Dothraki. As the Lannister army was just outside of King’s Landing, they attacked with the dragon simply burning everything in sight and the Dothraki almost tearing them all to shreds. It was sheer chaos. The look on their faces when they saw the dragon for the first time was priceless and the fiery battlefield similar to that of a Saving Private Ryan.
The sequence was beautifully shot from the actual battle to the shots of Daenerys riding the dragon. The action was fast and furious, the epic score was excellent, and it was simply fun to watch Bronn navigate through the wreckage. He also took the opportunity to test out Qyburn’s weapon and managed to hit the dragon after a few shots, sending it and Daenerys down. Tyrion was watching from a distance and saw Jamie with a chance to kill Daenerys as she tried to remove the bolt from the dragon. Tyrion thought he was stupid to try and he was right as the dragon saw him coming and shot out fire but Bronn saved him from getting burned.
Overall, this was another excellent episode which didn’t offer much but it still had plenty of satisfying moments including the Stark reunion and also the epic battle outside King’s Landing. The only real questions here are what will be the importance of the dagger, how will Bran’s new abilities impact the remainder of the season, and will Daenerys survive? Also, how long will they wait until Jon hears the truth?
If you’re into previews, here’s a preview of next week’s episode entitled “Eastwatch”.