Well, they’re certainly not wasting time on exposition before the action gets going this season. Yay! No more travel scenes! So here are my thoughts about the episode:
1: Daenerys’ council at Dragonstone was an important scene. On one side, we have the women advocating for an aggressive strategy. On the other side, we have Tyrion with his much more sensible advice. I think Daenerys was smart to take the middle route offered later on in the episode: Take Casterly Rock with the foreign army but beseige King’s Landing with a Westerosi army. It avoids the bad PR that Cersei could use to whip up support for her cause.
2: Randyll Tarly is going to be an interesting dark horse for at least another episode. I think he may be leaning toward Daenerys at this point but if he hears of the destruction of the Greyjoy and Dornish fleet, he may play things safe and go for Cersei. However, it’s really hard to tell. He’s the only one who ever beat Robert Baratheon in battle, which shows he has a real head for strategy and tactics (not so much for parenting!). Even with the Greyjoy fleet destroyed by Euron Greyjoy, I think Tarly may end up with Daenerys as she still has three dragons, an army of Dothraki and her Unsullied.
3: Now I’m really justified in my most repeated saying in Game of Thrones: Poor Ser Jorah! I was so glad that Sam decided to help him despite Archmaester Marwyn’s objections. I really, really hope that all of that pain was worth it and he’s cured like Shireen. (And that Sam also doesn’t get greyscale in the process.) For the sake of adding some hope to the penultimate season, please let this work.
4: I told you so! I knew Arya wasn’t going to end up going to King’s Landing and I’m so glad she’s heading back north. She needs to be with Jon, Sansa and Bran (who will be arriving shortly I assume). The few remaining Starks and the secret Targaryen-Stark need to be with family, now more than ever.
5: I’m not sure how I feel about Melisandre’s reappearance. I knew that after Jon banished her she would of course go to Daenerys but I really do wonder what role she’s going to play in the season. Will she act as an advisor to Daenerys? Or is she going to do something else? My money would be on something else because her character has never really been that simple.
6: Also: yay Nymeria! Now that we’ve found Nymeria again, all we need is for Arya to run into Gendry, who is presumably somewhere in Westeros. Unless he rowed all the way to Essos, seeing as he has apparently been rowing for years. /s
7: Shit is going to go down at Winterfell with Jon gone, Sansa in charge and Littlefinger still skulking about. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Littlefinger’s storyline, but going off past experience he’s going to counsel Jon to side with Daenerys. Littlefinger is a survivor most of all. If Jon doesn’t side with Daenerys, he’ll try to pack up the army of the Vale along with Sansa and side with the Mother of Dragons himself.
8: Speaking of dragons, I knew Qyburn was up to something as soon as Cersei knew that Daenerys was sailing for Westeros. A weapon that can wound dragons was pretty obviously going to come up sooner or later. I just hope that for Daenerys’ sake, it doesn’t work quite as efficiently as Qyburn hopes. Although I do suspect she may lose at least one dragon this season. Having three dragons and a massive intact army would be way too easy for Daenerys. Characters in Game of Thrones never just get things handed to them, as we’ve seen over the previous six seasons.
9: Hey, Hot Pie is still around. Now there’s a survivor!
10: Okay, so we know Ellaria, one of the daughters and Yara have been all captured by Euron. Lovely. The other two Dornish women are dead and frankly I can’t bring myself to care. I wasn’t all that invested in their characters in the books anyway but I really didn’t like them in the show (too much bland acting and B-movie fight scenes). So on that front, my reaction is kind of ‘meh’.
11: So now we know that Ellaria and Yara are Euron’s wedding present to Cersei. I think we can all agree that these two women are in for horrific deaths at best.
12: And…brave Sir Theon ran away. When the fighting was pretty much over and he saw Yara captured, I think it brought out the Reek in him again and he fled. I really can’t blame him from a psychological standpoint but it still feels like a betrayal of his sister yet again. But, I suppose he still has a role in the show or he wouldn’t have gotten away alive. Maybe to tell Daenerys her plan to beseige King’s Landing with a Westerosi army has failed? And then what? I’m really not sure where his character is realistically heading. Maybe for death, like Jaime is.
Well, that’s all for this week. I can’t wait for next week’s meeting between Daenerys and Jon, Euron’s presentation to Cersei and some Winterfell intrigue.