When thinking about the impending war between Daenerys and Cersei for the Iron Throne, I couldn’t help but think there would a bit of plotting and scheming as the two sized each other up. It was clear, on paper, that Daenerys has a bit of an advantage, with three dragons and a larger army at her back we would be foolish to think that she didn’t have the advantage. But with that army and those dragons also comes sage council through Tyrion and Varys so I didn’t expect Dany to be rash. Perhaps we would be in a situation where she would let her shadow stretch out from Dragonstone and loom over Westeros thus goading Cersei into making a move out of panic, and then everything would fall into place. And last night that’s what we had. Tyrion devised a meticulous plan to start the attack on Westeros that involved using the Dornish and the Tyrell army while keeping the Unsullied and Dothraki away from the major fighting, and showing the people that Daenerys Stormborn had an army that represented Westeros something Cersei was disputing to her subjects. On the big map of Dragonstone this plan sounded/looked pretty fantastic. I was all for it. Cersei didn’t stand a chance…
Enter Euron Greyjoy and his promise of gifts to eff everything up.
The last ten minutes of “Stormborn” was not only epic but perhaps maybe highlighted the fact that Olenna Tyrell had a good point when she said she outlived all the clever men she’s ever met by not listening to them. Perhaps we’re primed for a Daenerys who will not take council and act within her own accord. Don’t get me wrong, Tyrion is the best-suited Hand on the board, and if you’re going to listen to anyone it should probably be him. He drinks and he knows things. A dangerous combo, but on the flipside of that it seemed that his plan was so good that it made Yara and Ellaria a little lax as the two drank and flirted below deck while the Iron Fleet not only surrounded but quickly dispatched an armada of ships that were caught completely unprepared. How does that happen? Were there no look outs? This war time people.
The battle was swift and fiery, and Euron boarded Yara’s ship and quickly waged war as he dispatched of two-thirds of the Sand Snakes (all talk apparently) and in the episodes most devasting moment, re-broke Theon. Honestly, I’m still really bummed out by this turn of events. I’ve been pulling hard for Theon and his redemption tour and to see him given a moment to come full circle, with Yara being held captive by Euron and his thunder axe, it was heartbreaking to see him literally jump ship. I mean, just five minutes before that he was in full soldier mode battling Euron’s army only for things to slow down and those Reek feelings to return. Ugh. Theon… why?!?! As the episode ended with him floating in the sea as Euron made away with a victory, Yara, Ellaria, and the surviving Sand Snake. Should make one hell of a gift to Queen Cersei.
Quick side note about Euron, why do we hate him? Besides the fact that he’s built to be a classic villain, think about it. This guy is charismatic, can back up his talk with action, wields a pretty sick ax, and hasn’t pushed one child out of a window. Hell, the majority of us like the Hound and he’s done far worse at this point. So what is it about Euron Greyjoy that we hate? Is that he wants to marry Cersei? Or could it be he dresses like a dirty hipster? I’m curious. I give you the floor on this.
Daenerys first loss wasn’t the only thing to happen to her this episode. In fact, with the help of Melisandre, she orchestrated a meeting that most Game of Thrones fans have been begging for since the start of the show. Jon Snow is on his way to Dragonstone to meet with the Mother of Dragons and I have so much fanboy excitement I could giggle with delight. I won’t because it won’t translate well but you can imagine it. Yet, Jon leaving Winterfell doesn’t come without some complications (*cough* Sansa/Littlefinger *cough*).
After receiving a letter from Tyrion urging him to meet with Daenerys followed by a letter from Sam telling him that Dragonstone is filled with dragonglass, Jon has little choice but to leave. The Great War is still coming, the Night King is on his way, and while Cersei and Daenerys focus on the Iron Throne, Jon knows there is a bigger game to be played. As does Davos who did the quick math on dragons vs White Walkers. Make that man Hand of the King please. Jon’s leaving did not come without some argument from his followers. The irony of “you can’t trust a Targaryen” was not missed on me, and I was happy to see that Lyanna Mormont didn’t back his play this time, but Jon sticks to his guns and decided what’s best for Winterfell is his departure leaving Sansa in charge. Crap.
It’s not that I think Sansa couldn’t be a good leader… maybe it’s partly because I don’t think Sansa will make a good leader, but my main concern comes with Littlefinger smirking in the shadows. Seriously you can play a drinking game centered around Littlefinger’s smirks and be drunk before the half way mark. I was happy to see Jon punk him out in the Winterfell tombs but couldn’t help but feel like that was exactly what Littlefinger wanted. He kept pushing all those hot topic buttons like Cat not loving him, his father being dead, until he finally hit his mark with wanting Sansa. I think that the game is playing out exactly how Littlefinger wants it to and now that he’s alone with Sansa… I suspect trouble.
The only aspect of Jon’s departure I find disappointing is the fact that Arya is on her way home for the first time since her and the Hound were searching for surviving family members. The scene with Hot Pie was surprisingly super nostalgic and helped humanize Arya again, turning her from super badass assassin to a child who misses her brother. I don’t think this negates the list but it certainly put things in perspective, much like her encounter with Nymeria. Yes, it would have been great to see Arya reunited with her direwolf but Nymeria has grown up since we last saw her. She’s established a family and a pack. She’s her own wolf now and doesn’t need to be the “pet” of anyone. The likeness to Arya can’t be missed here. So when Nymeria walks away, Arya isn’t mad. In fact, she understands better than anyone. “That’s not you” is supposed to mean, conforming to who you were isn’t who you are, and it’s a very Arya way of living.
Some quick notes before I leave you-
- If Lord of the Rings has taught me anything it’s everyone needs a Sam in their life. While Sam is on the fast track to being kicked out of maester school, his bravery is something that can no longer be ignored. Sneaking into Jorah’s room to help rid the man of greyscale was the episodes funniest scene while also advancing the character of Sam who is becoming more and more confident as time goes on. That first sip of rum was classic! When Sam eventually gets thrown out I suspect Jorah will take him to Dany who will make him her maester.
- Davos and Jon are on their way to Dragonstone and we now know that Melisandre is in Dragonstone. Will Davos kill her as promised? Could this be what prevents an alliance between Jon and Dany?
- Dany giving Varys the business was something but the fact that he turned it around on her and justified his every action (ever) was pretty awesome in turn. This was hands down one of my favorite scenes of the episode as both Emilia Clarke and Conleth Hill were damn near perfect here.
- Sam’s father being promised a lot by Jamie if he stays loyal… I’m sure that means nothing.
- Tyrion’s planned attack on Casterly Rock oozed with disdain for the location. The promised heirloom to the Lannister son has mocked Tyrion his entire life. I suspect he wishes to be present when it falls.
- God damn it Theon! Why?! I bought in dude. I was with you. A part of it has to do with A Dance of Dragons and a part of it has to do with you fighting for your freedom from Ramsey in the show but… god damn it! Whyyyyyyyyyyy?! And what are you going to do floating in the water right now? Where are you going to go? You better start looking for Gendry and his rowboat now. I’m calling it now, the only way that Theon can possibly be redeemed is if he has a heroic death. He can’t survive this story. Or maybe he does and stays a broken coward. Ugh.
- Oh, those dragon spears? Not cool. Not cool at all. But all those dragon skulls were crazy awesome to behold.
There you have it Geeklings, only five episodes left now (typing that made me feel sick) as the war for the Iron Throne has officially started. What did you think of “Stormborn”? Were you surprised at how easily Euron handed out the business? Are you excited that Jon and Dany are finally going to come face to face? What about Arya heading back home? Sound off in the comments below. As always if you’d like to talk Game of Thrones with me, you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. See everyone next week!
Remember the night is dark and full of terrors so believe in the buddy system!
Images from HBO