George R. R. Martin is very much an intuitive writer. He let’s the story develop while writing and he is also a perfectionist. This has famously caused him to write himself in a corner and he has been struggling ever since to untie that Mereenese knot. When David and Dan said they were ready to depict Dorne and give us the Sand Snakes like everyone I knew that was going to be extremely difficult. Logically they chose to reduce the number of Sand Snakes to 3, as having 8 would be impossible in an already extremely large cast of a show of unheard magnitude. Reducing the number did not make things easy for the showrunners. On the contrary. While the casting of Pedro Pascal worked out perfectly, and with Alexander Siddig a fan favourite was cast in the role of Doran, everything else of the Dornish storyline basically sucked.
Horrid dialogue, terribly choreography and more horrid dialogue. Oh, and the acting wasn’t great either. I don’t think there was a single fan out there liking the Dorne depiction and it seemed like the showrunners tried to cut their losses and cut most of that storyline as fast as they could. But the story wasn’t finished. After being ignored for a long time the Dornish came back to the storyline late last season. I felt that David and Dan brought them back only to get rid of them for good early this season. Stormborn took a large step in doing just that. And I can’t say that I’m sad about that.
Dany has her first war council in Westeros. After grilling Varys and meeting Melisandre, who advises her to summon Jon Snow, she decides to have the Ironborn, the Tyrells and the Dornish to lay siege to Kings Landing while the Unsullied take Casterly Rock. Arya hangs out with Hot Pie at the Inn at the Crossroads. He tells her that Jon is King in the North now, after which she decides to turn North.
Cersei tries to convince Tyrell bannermen to join her side. Lord Tarly is reluctant but in private Jaime tries harder and seems successful. Jon receives Dany’s summons and Sam’s letter and decides to head for Dragonstone to the chagrin of the Northern Lords and Sansa. He goes anyway and puts Sansa in charge. Sam finds an extremely dangerous way to potentially cure Jorah. Archmaester Ebrose won’t allow him to try but at night Sam goes to Jorah to do it anyway. Yara’s fleet gets intercepted by Euron’s. Nymeria and Obara get killed while Yara, Tyene and Ellaria get captured. Confronted by his uncle Theon jumps overboard.
What I liked
The battle looked great. Even though it was at night, which is cheaper because you needs less CGI, it didn’t look cheap. It looked gorgeous actually. I loved how Theon was his old self again while fighting until he crumbled. Great acting by Alfie Allen. The scenes at Dragonstone were good too. It was good that certains were finally addressed. From Varys’ past to the bad blood that must exist between Tyrion and Ellaria. And Olenna is always a treat.
Seeing Hot Pie again was a pleasant surprise. I’m very happy that Arya is finally headed north.
What I didn’t like
I am a tiny bit disappointed. With the cast so much reduced and the showrunners knowing exactly when Game of Thrones is going to end and the fact that the final 2 scenes will consist of only 13 episodes in total promised the final act to be more focussed. I expected all the remaining episodes to be 5 star outings. Maybe that was my mistake. The two opening episode were definitely solid. But not awesome and amazing.
What I’m looking forward to
Jon arriving in Dragonstone. A cured Jorah arriving in Dragonstone. The news that Dany and Jon are related arriving in Dragonstone. Anything Dragonstone basically. I also can’t wait to see Casterly Rock.
I was a little confused when Arya said “That’s not you” to Nymeria but the Internet told me that she was reflecting to what she said to her father when he told her that she would totally become a girlie girl.
Euron is crazy, but that shot of him boarding Yara’s ship was amazing!
Cersei has the upper hand now. That hurts. I hate Cersei!
Speaking of hurt. Poor Jorah. I do hope that he will actually be cured. Let’s see what he will do next.
I’m pretty sure that Jon will find out about his true parentage. I hope he does quickly do. Before he leaves Dragonstone. Maybe Melisandre will tell him.