Game of Thrones Review: The Spoils of War

Book readers have had to wait 21 years for Dany to finally arrive back in Westeros. As George R.R. Martin takes long and longer to finish the books, everyone has had to settle for the on screen version of the young Targaryen to finally put her armies, her many titles and her dragons where her mouth is. It’s been a long time coming and I practically jumped for joy when I saw Dany and her crew sailing for Westeros. But just like I said last time, expectation often brings his unwanted brother disappointment with him. Some have been disappointed in the fact that Dany’s homecoming was bereft of dialogue save 3 words at the very end of the premiere. Some are disappointed that she hasn’t taken her children straight to the Red Keep while listening to Disco Inferno on Spotify. I am not one of them. While this season hasn’t been perfect so far, I do like how they are handling the war for the most part.

It made sense for Team Dany to want to take Casterly Rock and it made sense for them to want to lag siege to Kings Landing. The overall conflict is a lot more complicated than simply just storming a castle and be done with it. After waiting for 21 years I can wait a little longer for the Lannisters to be kicked out of KL, if that does the story good. But as the self-proclaimed rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms said, enough with the clever plans. I jumped for joy again when Dany finally decided to be a dragon.

What happened

Arya arrives at Winterfell reuniting with Sansa and an unemotional Bran. Bran gets the valyrian steel dagger from Littlefinger that was meant to used to kill him. Bran later gives the dagger to Arya. Arya surprises everyone with her fighting skills when sparring with Brienne. Dany learns of what happened in Highgarden. She wants to burn the Red Keep to the ground but is advised against it. Jon shows her markings in the cave lined with dragonglass that show the Children of the Forest and the First Men worked together to fight the Night King. Dany promises she will protect the North when Jon bends the knee.

Theon arrives at Dragonstone to ask Dany to help him get Yara back only to be met by Jon. Jon only spares him because he saved Sansa previously. Jaime and his army manage to get the gold they looted from Highgarden back to Kings Landing, but the grain is still underway. Dany attacks with her Dothraki and riding Drogon. They decimate the Lannister army, but Bronn manages to hit Drogon with a bolt from Qyburn’s scorpion. As Dany is trying to remove the bolt from Drogon’s body, Jaime charges her but Drogon turns his head and blasts fire at him. Jaime is saved by Bronn but both end up in the river weighed down by their armor.

What I liked

The absolute highlight of this strong episode was the appearance of Dany and her army. Fist you just hear the horses. Then come the screams. Then you see them coming down the hill. They are fierce and fast. And just before the Lannister soldiers start bracing for impact, Dany and Drogon arrive. Glorious! Just glorious! That was just perfect. The rest of the battle worked well too and for all the complaints of the severe lack of direwolves on this show, they make up for it with insanely good looking CGI. There are big budget films with lesser graphics. One show to rule them all. Game of Thrones is King!

The scene at Winterfell was mostly good too. Meera’s goodbye broke my heart and Arya sparring with Brienne was cool. I can’t imagine someone so tiny being that effective against someone so tall and skilled as Brienne, but it was cool nonetheless. I had expected a meeting between Jon and Theon to be a little bit more explosive, but it was fine otherwise.

What I didn’t like

Littlefinger is getting real boring and the sudden sexual tension between Jon and Dany, though not unexpected, didn’t do it for me either.

What I’m looking forward to

In the preview for the next episode we see that Jon will have some kind of contact with Bran. Did Bran tell him about his parentage? I sure hope so. I also can’t wait to see what happened with Jaime and as the episode is titled Eastwatch, I can’t wait to see what the Night King is going to do when he arrives there.

 

Observations

I’m sure Littlefinger will become relevant again at some stage but, and I am probably repeating myself here, it better be soon!

I understand that Bran isn’t Bran anymore, but if he is still human somehow, he could have given Meera a little more.

Drogon should rule the Seven Kingdoms!

Game of Thrones will turn into the incest show if Dany and Jon are going to hook up. I wasn’t sure if the showrunners were going to go there, but it now seems like they will.

When Arya said that her and Sansa’s story isn’t over yet it reminded me of something I am thinking about every single episode now. Is someone’s story over? Have they served their purpose? Bronn has for example. I wouldn’t be surprised if he dies soon.

 

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