FULL SPOILER REVIEW AHEAD
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This episode begins with who we ended the previous one, Daenerys.
It doesn’t take too long for Dany to, well, complain, as she seemingly always does, and so I am reminded of my dislike of her. She complains that Dragonstone doesn’t feel like home, and basically that shit isn’t what she expected, but then again most of what she was told of Westeros were either from books or her sneaky, creepy, asshole, rapey brother Viserys, so, I’m not sure where this weird leftover of naivety is coming from, and I’m over it, to be honest. For someone who finally landed where she has worked to be all her life, Dany’s arrival seems incredibly underwhelming to her, like she’s suddenly uninterested, or suddenly disappointed that the seven kingdoms haven’t fallen into her hands as soon as she landed. She, I know I am repeating myself, suddenly calls out Varys from his previous service to King Robert Baratheon, that he went from her father, the Mad King, to him, rather than dying, she calls it disloyalty, he calls it survival. This scene made me angry, it made me see Dany as an inexperienced, cold person who, in the end, doesn’t understand politics nor what it truly requires to survive. Her name has been her shield all her life, she has never had to climb the ladder of life, to hide behind others and build yourself up so survive, she has always had the option of putting herself first, the fact that she doesn’t understand why Varys would give his service to a king that cares about people, even mildly, rather than literally being burned to death, shows her incompetence, but also her utter lack of empathy for people who could stop supporting her if someone else can help them survive better. She demands blind allegiance, Varys wants a leader who cares, the scene remains one that makes me dislike Dany even more than I thought was possible.
As a totally unsurprising move, Daenerys has a visitor that turns out to be Melisandre who, and that ended up really feeling like a lot of convenient bullshit, tells her of the tale of The Prince that was Promised, and it turns out that, TA-DA, the word for “prince” is a genderless term and could mean princess and Melisandre suddenly believes that it could be Dany. It’s silly but whatever keeps you in the game I guess, girl. She then tells Dany of John, of his success up there in the north which Tyrion backs up, and that she should invite him over because he’s cool and all. Daenerys is fine with the idea, but plans on asking Jon to Bend the Knee, I rolled my eyes. Tyrion knows that isn’t going to go very well, too.
Right there we jump to Winterfell right as Jon & Sansa read the raven from Dragonstone with Daenerys’s invitation in it, written by Tyrion, proving it to be legitimate. Sansa talks fondly of Tyrion’s kindness and his non-rapey ways, which is nice I guess, but still thinks it’s a terrible and risky idea for Jon to accept the invitation considering the not so subtle threats in the raven, but Jon is considering it, and I’m on his side once again considering fucking ice zombies are on their goddamn way.
In King’s Landing, Cersei is giving a totally not threatening or desperate speech to the nobles of The Reach about how dangerous and cruel Danaerys and the Mad Kind are, everyone thinks is bullshit and are quick to remind her of Dany’s three full grown dragons. In a scene that I found more or less boring because Jaime bores me, Jaime tries to convince Lord Tarly to be his general, which he refuses considering his sworn oath to House Tyrell (why are you here, then, bro?) Jaime is unconvincing though, and although he promises that when the war is won he’d appoint Lord Tarly as Warden of the South, he really doesn’t seem to give a shit.
Back with my boy Sam back in Oldtown, Archmaester Edrose is basically saying Jorah is a dead man and it’s a done deal. The Archmaester gives Jorah one more day until he is sent to live with The Stone Men, and although Sam proposes he writes to his family to say goodbye, Jorah explains that he doesn’t have anyone to write to. Mehhh.
Back in King’s Landing, Qyburn and Cersei are walking through the Red Keep so that he can show her his idea on how to deal with Daenerys’s dragons, a ballista. I saw it coming, but ok.
In The Chamber of the Painted Table, Yara, Olenna and Ellaria show the conversation to decide what their next move should be. They both advocate an attack on King’s Landing asap, but Tyrion disagrees, explaining that such a move would entail killing thousands of innocent people.They don’t give a shit, remind him that that is what war is, and Tyrion reminds Ellaria that murdering kids is fucked up but apparently she doesn’t mind. I’m actually incredibly surprised at how unbothered Dany seems to be at this revelation, considering she always seemed to be such an advocate for women and children, anti-slavery, compassion etc, but I guess kids being murdered is ok if the person that does it gets you closer to your throne. Mkay.
Olenna jumps in and reminds us all how crappy we all are with her awesomeness. She tells Daenerys that all of the nobles in Westeros are pieces of shit and that none will follow her because of the kindness of their hearts. There are a few comebacks that are delicious and it’s a shame that Dany has a council but decides to…not listen to the vast majority of the advice from people who actually live there, so she decides on some other plan we all know will probably fail because she’s a damn brat.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. Missandei goes to visit Grey Worm to say goodbye before he leaves for Casterly Rock for whatever Dany came up as an excuse for a plan. This scene was incredibly desired, and I know I can speak for a lot of people when I felt relief that this wasn’t yet another tease, that these two ridiculously underestimated character finally get to have a scene together again. Grey Worm explains how the Unsullied were not allowed to have fears, how they were abused to remove whatever weakness they may have, and that she is his. They kiss, and Missandei undresses, expressing her desire to lay with him. Although the fact that he was mutilated as part of becoming a slave/unsullied, causes him to pause her, he eventually allows her in, and their love scene, albeit short, is sweet, awkward, respectful, and shows that nothing stops Grey Worm from being a lover.
We are ripped from this beautiful scene to go back to Sam in Oldtown who is being scolded by the Archaester because he wants to make sure if there truly isn’t any way to save or help Jorah. He’s told of how dangerous it is, of his inexperience, and that the only person who ever really tried to come up with something ended up dying. Apparently, that doesn’t stop Sam at all who decides that very night to attempt to save Jorah from dying from Greyscale by, well, cutting off all of the affected/infected skin. Which, seems really simple when you think about it. Jorah, obviously wanting to return to Dany, accepts, and we end up watching something oddly squeamish and hot. Maybe that’s just me.
We transition to Arya who made a stop and is getting some pie from Hot Pie. There, he tells her how surprised he is to see her there considering that things are all fine in Winterfell and her brother and sister are back home and running things. At first, she doesn’t believe him and I just have a hard time believing that she’s so behind on the news. Shouldn’t it be a big deal? I feel like she would know. Arya right here and there makes the decision, a decision we’ve all waited a number of seasons I forgot to keep track of, to finally go back home. I got heart palpitations.
In the meantime in Winterfell, Jon receives Sam’s raven about the Dragonglass at Dragonstone and it strengthens his decision to accept Daenerys’s invitation, especially considering that they need her help, dragons and all. Sansa reminds Jon of their grandfather and uncle’s murder at the hand of The Mad King, everyone backs Sansa’s words, telling Jon that they need him in the north. Jon continues to climb the ladder to my heart, explaining that the north will be fuck all if they lose the war to the others. Sansa accuses him of abandoning the north, their people, her, but he announces that he will be leaving the north in good hands, her hands, and Sansa stops, finally, it seems, feeling recognised as a Stark, as his equal.
Oh yeah, and Littlefinger basically tells Jon that he’s into Sansa and Jon chokes him, which was the best.
Nearby, Arya is making a pit stop and hears something approaching her. We finally get something I personally have been wanting since season 1 ended, a face to face with Nymeria, Arya’s now fully grown Direwolf, and her pack, which is something that we never got in the show while we book readers heard about the myth of a she-wolf multiple times in the books. Arya recognises Nymeria and Nymeria recognises Arya. She asks her to come back with her to Winterfell, but Nymeria merely walks away. There we get a little reminder of something said in season 1,”that’s not you” from a conversation Arya and Eddard, where Eddard tells Arya of the husband and children she would one day have, to which Arya said, “that’s not me”. I got some feels.
We move to Yara and Ellaria where we get some unimportant and ridiculous scenes with the wannabe sand snakes, and then some lovely queerbaiting, right because they are attacked by Euron and his ex-machina fleet. I’m going to skip through most of this battle because, to be honest, it made me upset how much I knew this would happen the moment they attempted to show us what a matriarchy would be through the eyes of male writers, this weird girl power thing with absolutely nothing in it or to it. The Sand Snakes, supposedly badass female fighters, are murdered like little children by motherfucking Euron Greyjoy of all people with little to no effort. Just, nothing. It’s honestly embarrassing. Ellaria and Tyene are kidnapped, so is Yara who fights better than the Sand Snakes (??) but still loses terribly too, arg, motherfucking Euron Greyjoy. As usual, we’re told how badass their female characters are, but when the time arrives, they can’t fight for shit. Euron takes Yara in hostage, and Theon, knowing there is no way he can save anyone, decides to live and jumps ship. A lot of people online strongly criticized Theon for this, calling him a traitor, completely ignoring multiple elements such as the fact that leaving what the smartest decision Theon could have made as taking any step would have meant Yara’s death and his, or the fact that Theon still has severe PTSD from his months long torture, physical and mental, and his physical mutilation at the hand of Ramsay Bolton in the previous season. In that moment, Theon thought clearly and made the right choice. But, the whole battle was trash.
7/10 – This episode was okay, but the way The Sand Snakes have been completely changed, ruined and then killed off really ruined this episode for me. The Sand Snakes, in the books, are the eight bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, and incredibly feared female fighters in Dorne. Considering the very few characters of color we get in the show, it was a shame to see these characters be turned into naive, silly little girls who sometimes sort of fight ok, and then as usually turn their sexuality into weapons which isn’t canon and quite frankly just isn’t original at all, especially if you’re going to kill them off so quickly and easily. Bah, that’s the note I’m ending on, hopefully, next episode makes me forget about this nonsense. Hopefully, Yara doesn’t die, I stopped caring about Ellaria.
<–A GAME OF THRONES, SEASON 7, EPISODE 1: DRAGONSTONE