In Review: Game of Thrones, “The Spoils of War”

Pacing is officially accelerated this season. I am just trying to roll with it now, even though Game of Thrones worked SO hard to emphasize space and time in the past. Maybe all that work led us to subconsciously pass the time in our minds now… but still. They most likely have more money than ever before and at this rate, HBO should give them whatever they want. Why accelerate and cut down the amount of episodes??

I know, I know – I whine about this each week, because I am getting no resolution for this conundrum and I will inform all of you of how frustrated I still am with this situation.

Alright – overall issues covered, let’s dive in to the nitty-gritty.

Starks: The Comeback Kids

Three Starks are in Winterfell!! I repeat, tres amigos!!! (My house is making a comeback, y’all – thought we were down and out for the count post-Red Wedding, but oh no no no!)

Alas, it was a bittersweet reunion at that. The last time Arya and Sansa were in the same location on camera at the same time was here (S1E5: “The Wolf and the Lion”):

Babies, am I right??

Obviously in simple maturity their dispositions are more likely to get along now, but consider all of the hardship that they are wearing beneath their hearts. Maybe they will get to have a nice chit-chat and let some of that pain out into the air. In a way, they aren’t so different. They have both had to refine their skills and weaponry. Only, Sansa’s weapon is her mind, while Arya’s is a sword. Together, they could be the dream team.

Bran is still being a butt. True, he revealed a better look into his psyche that he is not “Bran” as we knew him. He is the Three-Eyed Raven. Who was also really not pumped to see Arya (as expected) and just handed over a Valyrian steel blade like eh nbd (which to be honest, seems like a smart thing to carry around if you are a semi-omnipresent being who can’t walk that everyone is going to want to use to their own ends, but whatever. Bran probably wouldn’t want my help anyway, the ungrateful 3ER).

And I do believe this calls into question the nature of the 3ER – its it a diety that posseses powerful wargs? Who else in Bran’s family (if anyone else) has been the 3ER? If Bran is dead and replaced by 3ER – can we start calling him Three-Eyes or Raven-boy or something, because Bran is still Bran enough to not seem like he is possessed by an anient entity.

In any case, this Marvel Team Up of Political Superstar Ginger (Sansa), No One’s There Assassin (Arya), and I Don’t Need You I Have Three Eyes (Bran) is going to be an interesting one for sure. Will they end up being led by team leader I Don’t Know Who My Parents Are (Jon Snow)? Exciting times for House Stark!

Brienne is Bested

Speaking of exciting times, let’s talk about duel-shark Arya Stark, walking up to Brienne like “I need practice” and completely pulling a 180 on her. Important to note: Arya has mad respect for Brienne, knowing she bested the Hound. And if Arya bested Brienne, could she now best the Hound?

In any case, I don’t believe Brienne is going to give up entirely to getting her answer about Arya’s teacher. Maybe Arya will teach her a lesson or two. I sense a common bond developing between them, though, both bad-ass women choosing to fight rather than stand off to the sides.

Sansa’s reaction to the duel was the most interesting part of the scene. After seeing what her sister could do, was she lamenting her inability to do the same? I don’t think so. Sansa has never been a physical fighting type. Maybe she wishes they had joined together sooner, since she would have had a defender strong enough to keep the evils at bay. And maybe she is jealous that Arya has been able to accomplish the one thing she always wanted, whereas Sansa has had to float in-between survival and necessity, not really getting to stray out of those confines. I hope Arya empowers her into realizing she doesn’t need Littlefinger to be a BAB.

Cave Drawings and Familial Love (eekk)

So we found the warehouse for 1-800-Dragonglass and it came with some nifty instructions, which Jon (romantically?) led Dany to in order to see the tales from history for herself. I half expected her to look at him and tell him he was a good artist, her disbelief has been so strong before now. However, she agreed to help fight the White Walkers, if Jon bends the knee. Jon won’t do it.

So now we are stuck between two stubborn leaders, both with valid cases for their points of view. Dany wants allies and to rule the kingdom of Westeros. Jon wants to beat the White Walkers and keep humanity from extinction. So why the stubbornness? I think that an interesting plot point is about to arise.

With no bent knee and no allegiance, how much more interesting is the interaction between the two of them going to be when Jon finds out he has more valid claim to the throne than Dany? How will the northerners react when they find out Jon may be more southern in blood than they thought?

Either way, there is some serious chemistry developing between this aunt and her nephew and I hate that I kind of want it to happen. I mean, let’s be real, take aside the potential familial conflict, and they would be the perfect pair.

The Queen of Ashes Emerges (But I kind of loved it??)

Dany chose to be the Queen of Ashes. Here, she may think she is avoiding burning the civilians alive, but really, she just chose to burn their food alive. I feel like Drogon could have picked up a cart or two in his talons to carry with them, but that’s just me.

The food and supplies aside, I was totally here for Dany’s conquest. The Lannister’s needed to wake up real fast to the fact that Dany has an amazing army and a flying, fire-breathing dragon. They thought they could outwit her, and maybe they did (although it is not clear whether or not the gold did in fact make it to King’s Landing safely). It could be that I was just craving some GoT level of violence, but I didn’t think that this was totally “Mad King” level. It definitely shows she is at a crossroads between being a Targaryen or Mhysa/Breaker of Chains. The balance between the two has always been her greatest struggle, so of course it is being juxtaposed even further now.

Dany is also now aware that they are developing weapons to hunt her dragons. Everyone who things Drogon is down and out for the count I think is being dumb. He got hit in the shoulder and was in some pain, but was still able to hover-fly and roast that weapon alive. He is going to be fine. Rest, elevation, and he’ll be back out there with his bros.

Destruction aside, Dany unleashed and I’m whole because of it. I’m not going to be one of the starving residents of Westeros, so I say #getitgirl. Show Cersei what you’re made of.

The Kingslayer is Dumb

At this point, how blinded by love can you be? Your sister/lover is a FREAKING MANIAC who is responsible for the death of your last child, not to mention the abhorrently spoiled upbringing of her other children. He has to see her madness and know that her conquest is in vein. She has no line.

So my theory here is this — Jamie, confronted by all of the burning flesh and his own obvious insecurities, basically attempted suicide by dragon, thinking if he succeeds, Dany is dead, if he fails, no more of the crazy he has been wrapped up in. (Because there is nothing else that could have been but suicide. Drogon was awake. He wasn’t, like, passed out. He was just like “mom, get this thing out of my arm so I can go eat whoever is left” and she’s like “hold on, kiddo, I got you” and he’s all “no one spears my momma RAGEFIRE” — I mean, what else did he expect??)

So now he is floating in the water, which is probably giving him some nice, quiet time to reflect on his mistakes. Will he be yet again a prisoner of war? Will he continue to float down never to be seen again? Will he arise and escape, only to run back to Cersei in order to tell them how f**ked they are??? We shall see next week!!!

Other Musings

  • Who makes all of Dany’s clothes? Like, she is always dressed up so nice, but out of everyone, should have the least access to materials. Cersei just makes the people pay for all of her death-garb, but Dany still looks just as good. (Leave it to me to start thinking practically about this stuff.)
  • Something very important is developing between Littlefinger and Bran. Whatever long game Littlefinger is trying to play, Bran can be three steps ahead of him. Will Littlefinger try to capture this power, or snuff out the one source that could truly out think him? I don’t know yet. But I’ve got my eye on those two.
  • In the promo for next week, Jon stood a the Westeros table map and stated “Bran said the Night King…” something or other — meaning, a) Jon will/now knows Bran is alive b) they have chatted and c) DOES BRAN TELL HIM WHO HE REALLY IS?
  • Poor Tyrion – we’ve all had those times where we just aren’t doing well in work/school no matter how hard we try… And he really is trying. But… Is he? The thing is, I know he believes in Dany – but he still loves his brother, despite his many, MANY faults. Was there a subconscious inkling that was keeping him from an all-out assault on the Lannisters? Is he doubting now? Tyrion looked like he was in pain seeing what Dany unleashed.
  • Theon-shemeon… Yeah I knew Jon wasn’t going to kill him, he’s too good, but I was really hoping for a good punch.
  • I get that money matters in war, but this newfound emphasis on banking and administration is so dry compared to everything else. As much as I enjoy seeing Mycroft show up in GoT, what is the bank going to do? Do they kill people who don’t pay? Everyone kills everyone on this show, so I’d assume so.
  • Where is Ghost? I understand making direwolves is expensive stuff, but GoT is surely making enough money to have one scene with Ghost. I mean, come on, how cool would it have been if Dany tried to threaten Jon but Ghost growled at her etc etc. Jon could have been all – “I do’n go’t no dragons but I do go’t ah wolf” (I try SO hard to replicate that wonderful accent…) I WANT MY WOLVES BACK!

 

by the old gods and the new,

raina

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