TL;DR – We have reunions and goodbyes, a whole ton of mistakes. and wonder is Samwell’s only job this season is to make us gag
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
So Season Seven powers on and tonight is no exception, so who is the Stormborn and what will that mean for Westeros? Let’s find out. Now to catch us up to where we were at the end of last week’s Dragonstone (Review), The Hound (Rory McCann) is making his way through the Riverlands being reminded by his past, while Arya (Maisie Williams) is making her way to Kings Landing after de-Freying The Twins to … wait was that Ed Sheeran? In Kings Landing Cersei (Lena Headey) is posturing, though Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) puts her in her place only to be then out-flirted by Euron (Pilou Asbæk) who has reached peak-leather. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) after six seasons of gallivanting around Essos has finally landed in Westeros, taking over her old home Dragonstone and getting rid of the Stannis smell that was still there. In the North, Sansa (Sophie Turner) showed we learned all the wrong lessons from Cersei, and could someone just kill Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and get it over and done with. Finally, we were told several times, don’t worry about the White Walkers, they can’t get past The Wall, you know that wall that has always been there, and has never fallen … gee I wonder, oh and Samwell (John Bradley) grossed himself and everyone else out at Oldtown. So that is where we have come from, now let’s jump into Stormborn, and a warning there will be [SPOILERS] present.
There are two real themes permeating this episode, the first is characters making big mistakes that will come back to haunt them, and the second is reunions and goodbyes. So with our review today we’ll start with a general overview, and then we will look at these two themes, oh and you better believe we will discuss what happens at the end. So this week once again we kind of got an overview of just about every major character and where they are, bar Bron (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and The Hound. In the south Samwell is continuing his quest to gross us out this season, this time with puss and Jorah (Iain Glen). Sam is basically being this seasons ‘go to fix it guy’ as he works in the library with all the books. In Kings Landing Cersei is trying to rally the banner men of The Reach including Samwell’s father Randyll (James Faulkner). She continues to be terrible as the Queen, but it looks like Jamie may have been more convincing, but only time will tell. We also find out that the only competent member of Cersei’s entourage Qyburn (Anton Lesser) has been preparing for the oncoming Dragons, thus making him the only person in Westeros and Essos to bother. In the north Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is trying to work out how best to deal with the White Walkers to the north, the Lannisters to the south, and now Daenerys to the east, and has to work out if going to Dragonstone will end up the same way as his grandfather. Finally, on Dragonstone, we get the grand meeting of all of those allied to Daenerys, we have Varys (Conleth Hill), Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg), Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), and Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma). Here the plans to take Westeros are put into motion and then almost immediately they fall apart, but at least we get more Diana Rigg who is amazing with every piece of dialogue they give her.
So first let’s talk about big mistakes, because this episode is full of characters making decisions that made me go ‘oh Sam that was a mistake’. So let’s start with Sam, Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) gave a very clear warning about the risks involved in curing adult greyscale, yet he still tries to cure Jorah (Iain Glen), he’s been ignoring all the Citadel’s warning signs, and sooner or later that is going to bite him back. Also, another mistake might have been eating just before I saw the episode, thanks Mark Mylod, for that cross cut to a pie, I don’t think I will be able to eat one for quite a while. The next mistake was John’s, he attacked Littlefinger in the crypts under Winterfell, but he did not kill him. Littlefinger is not a man you threaten and then walk away from, he is a man you kill in the crypt and hope that no one cares that he’s not around anymore. Also, another mistake was Sansa, because part of her still trusts Littlefinger, this will be one or both of their downfalls. The final mistake was underestimating Euron (Pilou Asbæk) but we’ll talk about that a bit later on.
The next big theme of Stormborn was reunions and goodbyes, because we saw quite a few of them throughout the episode. Let’s start with Arya (Maisie Williams) who actually gets one of both, first up is the reunion and hello Hotpie (Ben Hawkey). It’s one of those things that I know won’t happen, and they kind of foreshadow it a bit here, but I kind of want to see Hotpie survive until the end, though the powers of making really great pies. More importantly, Hotpie sends Arya to the north and this is where she meets up with Nymeria her old direwolf. In this scene, I was expecting Arya to become part of the pack, or a surprise death, but I wasn’t expecting Nymeria to look Arya in the eye, wish her well, and then walk away, which was the more emotional brutal response. We also see Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) say goodbye as he goes off to take Casterly Rock. I’ve been mostly meh with their love story in the show, as it has kind of felt like filler in a show that does not have time for filler, but here I think they both played this goodbye really well. As well as this, we got a different kind of sex scene than what we have seen so far in the show, there is no sexposition, just a tender embrace. Finally we get sort of a reunion with Varys and Daenerys, but more of sorting out what kind of relationship they would have going forward, and here I think we see finally see that Daenerys might be a good queen, after a couple of seasons of them hinting that she might have inherited some of her father’s charm. Also, I just liked this scene because we got to see Varys soliloquize for a while, and damn is Conleth Hill so good at that.
Ok now let’s look at that ending sequence that had mistakes, reunions, and goodbyes, and if you have ignored my [SPOILERS] warning before, here is your last chance because Euron just found his present for Cersei, and it’s a big one. Back at the start at Daenerys’ council meeting when they suggested Yara take Ellaria to Sunspear to get the Dornish army to take King’s Landing, in the back of my head I thought ‘but what about Euron’, and then promptly forgot about it. Well, Game of Thrones didn’t forget, because half way through Yara and Ellaria flirting to make Theon (Alfie Allen) uncomfortable, bang uncle is here. Of course, at this moment I had a Cutthroat Island flash back, but also I knew that people were not going to make it out of this alive, and sure enough down go the Sand Snakes. There are a couple of things I want to mention about this scene, first, this was a really good action scene, with some great swordplay and some brutal deaths. Also, I like the interplay of the dark night and the flames from the trebuchets/catapults/ballista (whatever they were firing) to create a vivid battle scape. Also Theon, oh Theon, you had your moment, your moment to show who you were and you did, oh did you ever. Part of me wonders if that was the only way he thought he could save Yara, but no, I doubt that was it.
So here we are, Daenerys has lost the Greyjoys and the Dornish part of her forces, and maybe even The Reach as well. Sansa is in charge in the North, and I can’t help but think that’s a bad idea, oh and the White Walkers are still on the march and only John seems to care about it. Well, let’s see where next week takes us.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Game of Thrones
Directed by – Mark Mylod
Written by – Bryan Cogman
Based off – A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin
Created for TV by – David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring in Season 7 – Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Liam Cunningham, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Iain Glen, Nathalie Emmanuel, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Conleth Hill, Jerome Flynn, Kristofer Hivju, Carice van Houten, Pilou Asbæk, Rory McCann, Diana Rigg, Hannah Murray, Indira Varma, Richard Dormer, Joe Dempsie, Gemma Whelan with Anton Lesser, Jacob Anderson, Tobias Menzies, Daniel Portman, Ben Crompton, Ellie Kendrick, Paul Kayne, David Bradley, James Faulkner, Rupert Vansittart, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jessica Henwick, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Joseph Mawle, Tim McInnerny, Bella Ramsey, Jim Broadbent, Ben Hawkey, Mark Gatiss, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and Vladimir Furdik