I can’t believe I missed one important thing from last week! The scene between Grey Worm and Missandei was very sweet and I really hope it isn’t their final farewell.
Speaking of farewells, let’s get right into the action of this episode:
1: Okay, I loved Missandei’s formal announcement of all of Daenerys’ titles and then Ser Davos introducing Jon as “This is Jon Snow…Um, the King in the North.” That had me quite literally laughing out loud because that is just so Ser Davos.
2: With that said, I think it’s interesting that Jon did not bend the knee to Daenerys. Possibly because his protestations that he didn’t want to be king are slightly untrue but I think the likelier possibility is that he’s both a bit proud and sizing her up. He seemed quite surprised when she admitted her father was a terrible man and I think he’s warming up to her, especially after she granted him the right to mine dragonglass and volunteered her own men and resources for the endeavour. She may not believe that the Night King and the army of the dead are real at this point, but I liked how Tyrion convinced her helping Jon in the mining would not hurt her one bit and could only help her in the long run.
3: I think it’s fascinating that Melisandre is going to Volantis. Why Volantis? Is she going to get more red priests and priestesses to preach that Daenerys is Azor Ahai, the prince that will save them from the darkness? Or is it something else (which is the likelier option)? I also think it’s interesting that she knows that when she comes back to Westeros it will mean her death is near. And even more interesting, that Varys will also die in Westeros according to her prediction. How will Varys die? He’s one of the few born survivors in the series (along with Bronn and Littlefinger) so I can’t see him dying in a battle or anything like that. And so far he has no reason to betray Daenerys so Daenerys has no reason to make good on her threat from the first episode. As usual, my mum and I talked over the episode and she both doesn’t see a use for Varys at this point but also doesn’t see how his death would be useful. I agree but perhaps we’ll get some more information in the coming episode(s).
4: So Euron is the hero of King’s Landing. I stand by my assessment of his character that I made in my recap of the first episode: he’s both slightly insane but slightly smart alec-y and it’s hard to tell which is which. His asking Jaime for advice with Cersei was both to needle Jaime (of course) but also slightly sincere? I really can’t tell but I do think it’s both. Either way, it’s really a credit to his actor.
5: I never particularly liked Ellaria or any of the Sand Snakes but even I was a little disturbed by the way Cersei chose to have her revenge. It’s poetic and the absolute cruellest thing she could have done to Ellaria. I mean, I understand why she did it (she’s tormenting the woman who killed her daughter by killing said woman’s daughter) but there’s a cruelty to it that seems slightly disturbing. I don’t think she’ll go the path of the Mad King but I do think her conscience is going to make things very difficult for her in this (and the next) season. Especially when Lady Olenna’s prediction comes true and Cersei becomes Jaime’s downfall.
6: Sansa is ruling nicely at Winterfell. I loved the scene when Bran and Meera came to Winterfell and Sansa hugged him. Bran was than of course being weird in the godswood, insensitively bringing up what was probably the worst night of Sansa’s life so far in order to prove that he’s the Three Eyed Raven. I mean, really Bran? Did you have to go there? There were so many other scenes from her life that he could have used and he had to pick the one that would bring up the trauma she’s now buried deeply. Ugh.
7: And Ser Jorah’s alive! And going back to Daenerys!!! I am inordinately excited about this.
8: Sam’s a hero too for performing surgery straight out of a book with no practical experience. But even heroes have to copy a bunch of dusty scrolls and empty bedpans. Joking aside, I think the fact he’s copying old scrolls may be significant. After all, old scrolls could contain information about the White Walkers or the Long Night.
9: Theon’s miserable carcass was saved by some Ironborn. I honestly thought they were going to toss him back overboard when he said he tried and the other man said that if he had really tried to save Yara, he wouldn’t still be alive. But I guess Theon still has some use for the plot or he wouldn’t still be alive. Nothing happens without a reason in Game of Thrones.
10: Speaking of which, I loved the callback to the first and second seasons. The callback to the second season was of course when Tyrion used his knowledge of the sewers of Casterly Rock to help the Unsullied take the castle with minimal casualties. I love that Tyrion of course built a secret passage so he could continue his whoring under his father’s very nose. That is so very Tyrion. The callback to the first season was when Bronn said of the Eyrie: “Give me ten good men with climbing spikes and I’ll impregnate the bitch.” Well, the Unsullied were a bit more than ten good men and they used sewers instead of climbing spikes but you get the idea.
11: Speaking of Bronn, I hope that after Jaime dies (which I’m still predicting will happen this season) that Bronn goes back to Tyrion. They’re a perfect team. And I’d love to see what Daenerys makes of Bronn at her court. Of course he would also offer very practical strategies for winning the war. That’s something Daenerys can’t afford to turn down right now.
12: As much as I hate to admit it, Cersei’s strategy was brilliant. She knew Tyrion was going to try to take Casterly Rock both because of revenge and its strategic value so she made it into a trap. Meanwhile, Jaime of course took the bulk of the troops to Highgarden to take out another woman Cersei hopes to have vengeance on: Lady Olenna Tyrell.
13: Lady Olenna’s final scene with Jaime was so brilliant and so quintessentially her. When Jaime found her I thought for sure she had already taken poison and was just waiting for it to kick in, stalling by taunting Jaime. But I do love that after Jaime went through all of the trouble of finding a poison that wouldn’t hurt (because he’s very much not his sister), she told him she’s the one who killed Joffrey at his wedding a few years back. You could see Jaime really regretting taking the kind route with her. But she said something else I think will become significant in this season: that Cersei will be the death of him. And at this point, Jaime both seems to know that and doesn’t seem to care. Thus, my continuing prediction that Jaime is not long for this world and will likely die sometime in this season.
14: Finally, given the reappearance of the Iron Bank of Braavos and its mention in the promo for episode 4, I think they’re going to play a bigger role in the coming season. Sure, Cersei’s riding high right now: the bulk of Daenerys’ fleet is gone, her Unsullied are trapped at Casterly Rock and most of her Westerosi allies are dead or captured. But it would be far too easy if in the fortnight she promised that she’s going to be able to pay off her debt to the bank in full. The promo for the next episode seems to hint that things aren’t going to go entirely smoothly for Jaime while he’s bringing the gold back to King’s Landing and I think that makes perfect sense. Nothing is ever that easy in Game of Thrones! But I guess we’ll have to wait until next week.
So thank you all for wading through my absolute wall of text this week. Things are heating up and so these recap posts will only become longer as the season goes on. I can’t wait for next week!