Tonight’s episode was fantastic on just about every level. The acting was phenomenal, the plot development was rapid, the revelations were extraordinary — Game of Thrones is back to playing chess after several episodes of checkers.
Let’s dive in.
As always, I hope you watched my live reaction show on Periscope or Facebook Live immediately after the show ended. Here’s tonight’s show:
Game of Thrones reaction show — Wow! https://t.co/NMrRY59SX7
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 31, 2017
1. After six seasons and two full episodes of television in season seven, we finally get Daenerys and Jon Snow in the same location.
I wrote last week that I can’t remember any show ever doing something like this, keeping the top two characters separated for this long.
It took sixty three episodes, roughly 62 hours of television, before Jon and Daenerys were finally together in a scene.
And the interaction did not disappoint.
But before that could happen Jon Snow and Tyrion reunited for the first time since Tyrion peed off Castle Black as both men stared off into the great white north.
Upon Jon’s boat touching land in Dragonstone Tyrion said: “The bastard of Winterfell.”
And Jon Snow responded, “The dwarf of Casterly Rock.”
Jon’s sword and boat are immediately taken by Daenerys’s army and the group walks toward their meeting. Tyrion’s lines are impeccable, including his asking, “Does she (Sansa) miss me terribly?” And then when Jon asks how he ended up the hand of Daenerys Tyrion responds, “To be honest, I was drunk for most of it.”
Shortly thereafter Jon and Davos dive to the ground as the dragons swoop over them. “Come. Their mother is waiting for you,” Tyrion says.
2. Melisandre and Varys stand on the hillside watching the arrival of Jon Snow.
Melisandre tells Varys she doesn’t want to talk with Jon because, “I’ve done my part; I’ve brought fire and ice together.”
Then she says, “I have to die in this strange country just like you.”
For once, Varys is speechless.
Which brings us to a big question: Is Varys leaking information to Cersei? Why have his usual sparrows been so unable to predict bad tidings befalling Daenerys? How did Euron find Yara’s fleet and how did the Lannisters know to attack High Garden when the army was mostly absent? Was this simply good luck, or is there someone leaking information from Daenery’s inner circle?
My guess is Varys is disloyal.
3. We enter the Dragonstone throne room for the first meeting between Daenerys and Jon Snow.
Daenerys is introduced via a long, stem-winding endorsement from Missandei, Davos then feels compelled to provide his own introduction and says, “This is Jon Snow. He’s King of the North.”
Daenerys says, “I assume, my lord, you’re here to bend the knee.”
Jon says he is not, and Daenerys asks for forgiveness on behalf of her father, the mad King. “Don’t judge a daughter by a father.”
Then she asks him to kneel anew.
Jon refuses, attempting to explain the danger coming from the army of the dead.
This entire scene is electric, with Jon Snow, Daenerys and Tyrion all firing off lines in perfect concert. Daenerys leaves the throne and gives a long talk about all she has overcome. Asked how she managed to stay alive through all her tribulations she sums up everything by saying, “Faith in myself.”
“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms,” she says.
Jon fires back, “You’ll be ruling over a graveyard if we don’t defeat the Night King.”
Davos steps in and runs through all of Jon’s accomplishments, including surviving a knife to the heart, but Jon stops his recitation. Ultimately Davos says, “And it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”
As the tension builds, word arrives of the naval defeat and Daenerys sends Jon and Davos to their chambers.
“Am I your prisoner?” Jon Snow asks.
“Not yet,” Daenerys says.
4. Theon is rescued from the sea.
And called a total pussy in front of all the people on the ship.
So much for Gendry rescuing him in a rowing boat.
5. Euron returns to King’s Landing, dragging Yara on a chain and carrying the Queen of Dorne, Ellaria Sand, and her daughter, Tyene, with him.
Euron rides his horse into the throne room and presents the Queen of Dorne and her daughter to Cersei as the gift he promised in episode one.
He requests Cersei’s hand in marriage, but she tells him they have to win the war first.
As applause rains down upon him, Euron turns to Jaime and says, “Does she like it gentle or rough? The finger in the bum?”
My only complaint here is this — why does Euron still have Yara alive? What could he possibly stand to gain from this? The Queen of Dorne and her daughter being alive makes complete sense, keeping Yara alive makes no sense at all.
6. Cersei taunts the Queen of Dorne with her recollections of Oberyn’s death at the hand of the Mountain.
Then she asks why the Queen of Dorne killed Myrcella, “She was mine and you took her from me. Why did you do that?”
Cersei then turns to the surviving daughter of Ellaria Sand and says, “I imagine she’s your favorite.” She then kisses the daughter on the lips and says she’s elected to kill Ellaria’s daughter the same way Ellaria killed her own daughter.
“You will live to watch your daughter rot,” Cersei says, before instructing her men to ensure the torches remain lit.
One thought, could Bronn return in time to save this sand snake daughter? Recall that Tyene, this particular sand snake daughter, previously saved Bronn’s life with an antidote.
Sure, it could take too long for him to return from High Garden, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
7. Cersei leaves the dungeon, gives Jaime a blow job — hopefully he didn’t get that death serum on his dick — and then the next morning when a servant knocks on the door she climbs out of bed and informs him that since she’s the queen she doesn’t care whether anyone knows about their relationship now.
In a meeting with the bankers, Cersei explains why they should be on her side instead of Daenerys’s side — do you trust a revolutionary who is freeing slaves? — and then asks for two weeks to repay the bankers pointing out, as we already knew, that the Lannisters always pay their debts.
8. Tyrion and Jon Snow have a conversation which leads Tyrion to endorse Jon’s need for dragon glass to Daenerys.
As part of this conversation Tyrion tells Jon that he should trust Daenerys because, “She protects people from monsters just as you do.”
Tyrion then convinces Daenerys to allow Jon to mine Dragonstone despite the fact that she catches him quoting himself. “Are you trying to present your own statements as ancient wisdom?”
Tyrion convinces her to give him the dragon glass, but not before Daenerys asks about Davos’s knife to the heart line.
A part of me still believes we’ll find out Jon Snow is half Targaryen when someone tries to burn him at the stake and he doesn’t burn.
Could that person be Daenerys — after she mistakenly blames Jon for being a mole — or could it be Queen Cersei after she manages to capture Jon?
Can you imagine if season seven ended with Jon surviving being burned on a funeral pyre? (Some of you pointed out that Jon’s hand is burned in season one. So we’ll see what happens. I just wish we’d get some form of resolution on what Bran saw when he got to the top of the Tower of Joy.)
9. Sansa and Lord Baelish converse in Winterfell.
Sansa instructs that more grain be brought to the castle and that leather be added to the armor for warmth. As Baelish talks with Sansa about preparing for every possible eventuality — what’s his end game here? – – Bran arrives at Winterfell.
Overcome with emotion Sansa joins him by the magic tree and says that as the only non-bastard surviving son of Ned Stark that he’s now the Lord of the North. But Bran says he can’t be that because, “I’m the three-eyed raven.”
Sansa doesn’t know what this means, but she’s made uncomfortable when Bran reveals that he’s seen her wedding night rape at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
Here’s one area that I believe Game of Thrones is being particularly unfair to the viewer — we know that Bran has seen the full revelation of what happened in the Tower of Joy, but the show creator’s are withholding that revelation from us. Even though most of us have by now realized that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
So why is this revelation being withheld? Shouldn’t we, the viewer, know it if Bran knows it? Why do we need to wait to have Bran tell Jon this? It’s an artificial withholding that feels forced to me.
10. Jorah is healed!
Samwell made a play and defeated the greyscale. His reward? Transcribing some old books and pamphlets. It seems likely he’ll uncover some new truth here from these documents, right?
11. Tyrion narrates the attack on Casterly Rock.
“As a good friend of mine said, give me ten good men and I’ll impregnate the bitch.”
Who was that good friend?
The Unsullied sneak in through the sewers in Casterly Rock — the sewers Tyrion designed and used to sneak in his whores — and kill all the Lannister army left in defense of Casterly Rock. But Grey Worm realizes something is wrong, there aren’t enough troops there.
We then pivot to another castle and see the Lannister army, with Bronn riding alongside Jaime, advancing on a different castle — High Garden, the Tyrell’s stronghold.
The Lannister army takes High Garden, which leaves us with an incredible final scene between Jaime Lannister and Lady Tyrell.
This conversation focuses on Cersei and Joffrey, “He was a cunt, wasn’t he?” Lady Tyrell says of Joffrey.
She also says of Cersei, “She’s a monster…She’ll (Cersei) be the end of you.”
“Possibly,” Jaime says.
“She’s a disease, I regret my role in spreading it. You will too,” Lady Tyrell says.
Asked how she’ll die, Jaime says he’s asked for lenience from Cersei and gives Lady Tyrell poison to drink in her wine. “Will there be pain?” Lady Tyrell asks.
“No, I made sure of that,” Jaime says.
“I hate to die like your son,” Lady Tyrell says. Then she utters an ultimate mic drop line at her death, “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it came from me.”
We’ve long suspected it, but now at long last we have the answer — Lady Tyrell was behind the murder of Joffrey. (Probably with Lord Baelish’s help.)
Just an absolutely incredible episode.
If you’re just catching up on my reviews of the Game of Thrones episodes you can read reviews of every episode in seasons four, five, six and now seven here.