Episode 64 “The Spoils of War”
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed by Mark Mylod
Holy, moly, crap-oly. Did anyone else spoil their pants this episode too?
Before I start, I would like to say did not give into the internet beast and watch the leaked episode before Sunday night. I was good and patiently waited. And the patience paid off.
So last week ended with the loss of Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) and don’t get me wrong, I’m still mourning her but this weeks show gives me some hope something might bite the back end of these Lannisters. Maybe a dragon or two. Or three. We pick up with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) leading the Lannister army away from Highgarden with all their riches, so the Crown can repay the Iron Bank. Joining him is a very unhappy Bronn (Jerome Flynn) wanting to receive more than just an extremely large bag of gold for his work. However, Jaime won’t have any of it.
Back at the Red Keep, Cersi (Lena Headey) is proudly smug with the head of the Iron Bank now that her brother is escorting their payment back from Highgarden. Of course the banker would love to see the Queen need a loan to rebuild their army and so forth since, as he put it, there are others a part of the bank that will mourn the loss of their high interest from the loans…. So touching. Now if I have learned anything from this show, it’s not to get too comfortable with that arrogant attitude when you think you are riding high. Something always comes to knock you down. What will bring her down? So many options to choose from.
Another brash character to wants to keep their paw, or should I say their Little Fingers in everything is Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen). Presenting my not so favorite character, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), with the Valyrian steel dagger that was used to try to kill him in season one. The same one his mother, Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), used to kill the would be assassin and took to Kings Landing, handing it over to Petyr, who said he lost it to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), and reclaimed it after Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) death.[by the by, we ran across this interesting article on how Valyrian steel could actually be made]
So what is behind Little Finger’s motives? Usually this man does not give without expecting something in return, whether now or later. Why butter up the crippled brother? Bran made it clear last episode that he could not be Lord of Winterfell. I am not sure how much Petyr knows about Bran’s Three-Eye Raven abilities, but maybe that has something to do with it. (Note to ponder: Valyrian steel is the other material that can be used to kill White Walkers. Is this a foretelling of something great in Bran’s future? And no, this is not me rooting for him either. Just observing.)
Now the real moment we have all been waiting for. Well, for now at least. Arya (Maisie Williams) is home. And not so warmly greeted by the gate’s guards. They don’t believe that she is a Stark. Yet when she explains to them, she will get into the castle and will tell Lady Stark of their treatment of her, they allow her in. While arguing over who would tell Sansa, Arya disappears. Sansa finds her in the crypt staring at their father’s statue. Now, remember they were not on the best of terms when everything down in season one (the death and splitting of the family members) yet they are genuinely happy to see each other. They know that the road the other took to get here was long and hard, and as Arya points out, “But our stories are not over yet.”
Sansa tells Arya that Bran is home but has that look to say more to her sister: he’s only Bran in appearance, not in…well….everything. Arya gets her own “I know everything” Bran experience when he states he knew she would be here, that she didn’t go to King’s Landing when he saw her at the crossroads and that Cersi was on her death list. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that. Sansa thought Arya was joking about her list until now. And the look on Sansa’s face when Arya states most of her list is dead? Priceless.
Bran then gives Arya the dagger from Baelish. So nothing great in Bran’s future with the dagger. Oh, well.
So I admit, I was extremely happy to have the extra Podrick (Daniel Portman) time. I have missed him. I think he and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) are a great team. And watching as she trains him is fun. Of course, Arya wants to join in.
Brienne is a bit nervous about fighting her, Arya promises not to cut her. Brienne promises the same.
This scene is great. Brienne underestimates Arya’s skills and finally goes full force on her. The two dance around each other in the courtyard, watched by Sansa and Little Finger. He shows that he is impressed with Arya, however Sansa keeps a straight face. She never did approve of Arya’s love of training and fighting. I wonder, as the war moves closer and closer, will something happen with Sansa to better appreciate Arya’s skills?
Farther south, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) takes Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) on a nice romantic walk through the caves where he and his men will start mining the dragonglass. According to the cave drawings, the children and the first men fought together against the common enemy, the White Walkers.
OK, stop here folks. Was anyone else wanting to see Jon and Dany…..well…..you know……join forces together? cough cough I know i’m not the only one who was seeing something, before Dany said she would help Jon in the North…when he bends the knee. So close, Jon. So close. And I am not the only one to notice the chemistry because the Onion Knight (Liam Cunningham) even teases the King.
Outside of the cave, they are intercepted by Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill) and learn that they had taken Casterly Rock; however, their men were stranded. Dany is NOT happy with Tyrion. They belong to HIS family, so how well does he know them? Or is he really loyal to them? Her first instinct is to burn down the Red Keep even though her advisers are advising against it. So what does she do? Turns to Jon for advice. His response? “If you use dragons to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different; you’re just more of the same.”
Ouch. Cersi junior?
Not to leave out our brief Theon (Alfie Allen) sighting, but the last of the Greyjoy ships returns to Dragonstone while Jon and Davos are on the beach. Jon is not to pleased to see Theon, but allows him to live because of what he did for Sansa.
NOW I can get to the good part. Ya, ya, Jaime and Bron chitchat up a Highgarden soldier when Bron notices a disturbance in the Force. They realize they are under attack. The Lannister army and what is left of the Highgarden army get into formation to prepare for….what?
Over the hill, the Dothraki charge, no fear in their eyes, their screams.
Dany seated atop Drogon and we FINALLY see what we have wanted to see over the last 7 seasons. A fully grown dragon in full attack mode.
The destruction! The fire! The smallness of the mere mortal humans scrambling in panic while trying to survive the ruthless Dothraki soldiers without becoming crispy corpses.
It’s beautiful. The fighting, the smoke, the intensity.
It brings down our Drogon.
Tyrion stands on a hill watching over the battlefield, spotting his brother as he (stupidly) charges the grounded dragon and Queen. And is attacked with a full blown fireball from the creature.
Luckily, someone (Bronn? The Highgarden virgin soldier? Some stranger?) jumps on him just in time to save him.
My skin crawled with that first scene of Drogon flying over the Dothraki and I continuously had goose pimples through the entire scene. If this is what only one dragon can do…three?
So where from here? Jaime lives? Tyrions reaction? Dany and her Drogon? What does the show hold for us next week.
This is just the beginning of the end and with as wound up as I am now on a late Sunday night, I am becoming fearful for my Monday mornings.