I call this episode, “Well, that went to shit pretty fast.” Danyrs got up without her makeup and a bit of an attitude. You had Varys running out to meet Jon Snow on the beach: “Hi, welcome to Dragonstone. Have you considered betraying the woman you love for the job you don’t want? I know I look like a creepy pedophile, but give me a chance…” There were some brilliant moments in this episode, surrounded by countless WTFs? Here’s my summary:
- “If you have a secret way into the Red Keep, why don’t you use it to send in a group to secure Cersei and end this without any significant bloodshed whatsoever?” Tyrion had a map of all of the ways into Kings Landing, why not use those to get the Unsullied in to take out the scorpions? The show’s writers needed to play this out as if it were a Dungeons and Dragons session and it would have been a lot more entertaining.
- Jamie is the dumbest Lannister. I enjoyed this reversal scene from when Tyrion was in chains.
- “So the scorpions which were so accurate and deadly become worthless?” Yeah, no one even winged the dragon (pun intended).
- “Watch for the Hun in the sun!” This is a WWI aviation reference when the Germans would dive with the sun behind them to strike a blinded enemy. This was the first and only time in this episode where we saw actual battle tactics, diving in on the Iron Fleet.
- My “Holy Shitballs!” moment was when the Golden Company deployed, looked formidable and ready for combat, then the gate exploded behind them and they were all fried in a matter of 22 seconds. Well, I’m glad they didn’t bring the elephants because the PETA people would be outraged. It was pretty awesome but hit on one flaw I felt with the entire episode. There was no credible threat. This was the BIG battle we have been waiting for, and it was a lopsided affair, with Dany flying a weapon of mass destruction that was impossible to stop. Even against the dead, there was a threat of a loss of a dragon. No one even fired an arrow or spear in her direction. I’m sure this was deliberate by the show runners, but it took away from the eventual victories.
- A total waste of Ser Davos in this episode. Not even a quippy one-liner.
- The Dothraki riding through the streets of King’s Landing – we have waited long to see it. Unfortunately with the Dragon Queen’s slaughter, they didn’t matter. Likewise, the attack by Grey Worm on the surrendering troops was made non sequitur by Daenerys laying waste to the civilian population. Dany just plain ruined the battle for the rest of us.
- The explosions of the wildfire caches – Dany has become the mad queen. Incredibly good tie back to the mad king. Even he didn’t go that far. He’d be so proud of his little girl… “Look pumpkin, some fleeing civilians. Burn them all!”
- The big map was a nice touch. The images of debris falling on the map of Westros was brilliant symbolism.
- Euron just happens to show up where Jamie is, and decides to kill him. Mortally wounding Jamie didn’t add anything to the story at all. Euron deserved a much more painful death than what he got. They blew a chance for Jamie to say, “She’s pregnant with my child!” So many squandered opportunities.
- “When you kill the big bad guy/gal, you need to do it right.” After all we have been through, Cersei’s death was boring. Crying and in Jamie’s arms? She got what she wanted, to die with him. After all of the build-up over the years, we got her weeping in a collapsing tomb? Boo…hiss! She needed to be bit in half by a dragon – or at least get in that last verbal taunt with Dany before being roasted alive.
- “Thank you Sandor.” I don’t get Arya changing her mind about revenge at the last minute, but the line was perfect. So you live your whole live for vengence but at the last minute, you flip?
- CleganeBowl! The zombie-Mountain vs the Hound! Here the episode delivers. I actually cheered, “Dilly Dilly!” when it started. This was one part of the episode that was exactly what we all expected. Consider this though. If you delete this scene from the episode, there is little really enjoyable that is left.
- White horse arrives unscathed and calm…really? Yes, I get it, “Death rides a pale horse.” At this point we all expect Arya to go after Daenerys …but the horse showing up was just poor writing.
- Everyone whines about Dany being alone, but so is Tyrion at this point.
So where does this leave us? It is clear that Jon and Daenerys are going to have to face off. He told the secret, and that cost Varys his life – and Jon is a serious threat. I want her to have the dragon breath on Jon and nothing happen to him because his is a Targaryn, but the writers haven’t showed a lot of creativity this season. We still have a number of characters at Winterfell, and I think we need to see everywhere together one more time. Maybe Jon will march home and Dany will go after him because he’s a threat. I’m split between Tyrion being killed by Daenerys or being the last one alive to take the throne. “You either win or die,” and Tyrion didn’t live. Emotionally, I think we all want Jon to get it at this point. I just don’t see a way for Dany to recover at this point as a character with the whole “fire and blood” thing.
One thing is for sure – it is Game of Thrones – so it is not going to end the way we thought it should.