Game of Thrones: The Spoils of War   Show Only 
August 6, 2017 6:49 PM - Season 7, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Meera speaks to Bran. Jon gives soulful looks. Arya arrives in the North. Missandei explains herself. A reunion occurs on Dragonstone. Daenerys fights back. Jaime faces an unexpected situation. A shipment of gold moves around. Bronn does the thing. Dragons do their thing

Director: Matt Shakman
Writers: David Benioff (creator), David Benioff (written for television by)
Full cast and crew credits.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (526 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
The spinoff series had BETTER be called Fancy Lad School
posted by oulipian at 6:51 PM on August 6 [41 favorites]


Holy shit, that an amazing battle sequence, heightened by the personality and stories we seen for the past six years! I need moment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


It was pretty smart for Jon to draw all that stuff in that cave.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:52 PM on August 6 [112 favorites]


Well that was an episode.
posted by octothorpe at 6:52 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Arya and Brienne is EVERYTHING.
posted by gatorae at 6:53 PM on August 6 [38 favorites]


That's a lot of messed up Stark kids all in one place. Well done.

Now the real question is who will finally decide to shank Littlefinger once and for all.
posted by lydhre at 6:54 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


i'm still reeling
posted by Ragini at 6:54 PM on August 6


Loved that it turned into a John Ford western for the battle.
posted by octothorpe at 6:54 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Kudos to the stunt people and horse trainers and planners, because that was simply spectacular, better than most movies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 PM on August 6 [21 favorites]


This one goes out on behalf of Lady Olenna to all the Lannisters in the loot train!
posted by rewil at 6:55 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Guys, I think I know where the budget went.

The dragon close air support scenes were appropriately very reminiscent of WWII movies, like for example the beach strafing scenes in THE LONGEST DAY (though the dragon was far more destructive) and Bronn's arbalest filled in for the ack-ack.

Odds Jaime drowns = 0.0%
posted by Justinian at 6:56 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


I really had no idea who I was even rooting for in that battle, but wow. To everyone who complained about the Greyjoy and Casterly Rock battles being meh, I hope this made up for it. That was incredible.
posted by gatorae at 6:57 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


How has Bron not taken over Westeros already? The guy is a phenomenon.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:57 PM on August 6 [23 favorites]


OMG I love Ser Davos, what with his pedantic "Fewer." correction to Jon's "10,000 men, less?" comment.

And of course I adore Bronn and my heart was in my throat during the battle, which was grim and gruesome and quite well done (even if the lead-up with Rickon--"Dickon" (Bronn giggles) about not really having fought the Tyrells was a bit anvilly).

I really loved Sansa's comment about how Jon's heart would explode when he saw Arya, and I thought that Arya and Sansa's reunion scene was well done, particularly how Arya didn't really return the first hug from Sansa but then initated the second. That said, I know she doesn't want to go in full face-stealing detail and all, but I'm betting Sansa would have loved to know that all the Freys were dead!

Really liked the Arya-Brienne sparring as well. Poor Podrick, always getting shown up.

And Bran continues to be an annoyingly blank asshole, but I kind of giggled when Littlefinger found his advances unreturned.

(And finally, Jon: "come see my cave paintings" went out as a pickup line MILLENNIA ago).
posted by TwoStride at 6:57 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]


Oh, were those wagons being burnt all the grain? I was busy watching the pretty/horrific pictures.
posted by Justinian at 6:57 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


And kind of on a random tangent: someone remind me what happened to Shaggydog? (I loved that Meera reminded Bran that he owed Summer and Hodor).
posted by TwoStride at 6:57 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


i'm a LITTLE perplexed that they burned all the food instead of using it to like, feed the North
posted by Ragini at 6:58 PM on August 6 [18 favorites]


That was fantastic. I loved Arya/Sansa, Arya/Sansa/Bran, Arya/Brienne, The Targaryans communing in the cave. That battle and the sound of incoming horses. Effing BRONN getting things DONE! That last little hesitation at the gold then going and doing the right thing was pure Bronn. SO GREAT!
posted by gemmy at 6:58 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Now the real question is who will finally decide to shank Littlefinger once and for all.

Seems like the answer should be either :

a) No-one. Not all assholes get their comeuppance.
or
b) Sansa. Because sometimes assholes get their comeuppance.
posted by Justinian at 6:59 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


i thought most of the wagons were full of gold, not just grain? so now the iron bank deal is off, as it was contingent upon delivery.
posted by zeee at 6:59 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


I guess they weren't sure about getting the grain north? I mean, somehow the Magical Westerosi Teleportation Powers doesn't seem to extend to food stores, I guess.
posted by TwoStride at 6:59 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Shaggydog was killed by wights just before Hodor held the door.
posted by gatorae at 6:59 PM on August 6


And kind of on a random tangent: someone remind me what happened to Shaggydog?

The Karstark/Umber assholes killed him and cut his head off.
posted by Justinian at 6:59 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Shaggydog was killed by wights just before Hodor held the door. Wasn't that Summer?
posted by TwoStride at 7:00 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


So fucking good. Sansa laughing at Arya's murder list. Then Bran dropping a three-eyed raven dime on Arya. Then Sansa watching her fight Brienne and the realization starting to sink in. (Do Sansa and Jon know about the Frey's yet?) So fucking good. Bronn back on the screen. Woo hoo!
posted by kimdog at 7:00 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Shaggydog was Rickon's wolf. Summer was the one killed by wights.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on August 6


Shaggydog's head was presented to Ramsay. No wonder no one wants to remember that. Summer was the one killed by wights.

Also, Stannis would be proud.
posted by rewil at 7:00 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


I could watch a ninety minute movie of Sansa and Arya having dinner and recounting everything they've been through. I love hearing people who've been separated catch up/reminisce/recap the plot to each other. These scenes in fantasy novels are always too short for me.
posted by Hume at 7:00 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


I could watch a ninety minute movie of Sansa and Arya having dinner and recounting everything they've been through. I love hearing people who've been separated catch up/reminisce/recap the plot to each other. These scenes in fantasy novels are always too short for me.

I'd like maybe half that, half Arya training with Brienne and opening up a Dancing School for Lady Mormont and other girls who want to kick ass.
posted by TwoStride at 7:02 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]


i'm a LITTLE perplexed that they burned all the food instead of using it to like, feed the North

Daenerys was in control and has made clear Jon needs to bend the knee, and she clearly feels as though she needs make herself know. Just like a Mad Queen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Ugh Rickon was so forgettable I forgot he even had a dog or was a sibling.
posted by gatorae at 7:02 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


God I hope all that gold melted into a huge ingot
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Also, where were the magic ships?! Quarth?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 PM on August 6


God I hope all that gold melted into a huge ingot

MINT THE COIN
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:03 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


i thought most of the wagons were full of gold, not just grain? so now the iron bank deal is off, as it was contingent upon delivery. Lord Tarley mentions that they got all the gold "safely through the gates at King's Landing". So they used Varys' teleportation device?
posted by kimdog at 7:03 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]


Oh! Also also, I really liked how Tyrion portrayed conflict while watching the battle; not just urging Jaime to flee, but also earlier the shame/resignation when the Dothraki was all, "your people suck at fighting."
posted by TwoStride at 7:03 PM on August 6 [19 favorites]


i thought most of the wagons were full of gold, not just grain? so now the iron bank deal is off, as it was contingent upon delivery.

God I hope all that gold melted into a huge ingot


What kimdog said. All the gold made it inside. That was all the grain set alight.
posted by gemmy at 7:04 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Epic burninating there. Also, Ser Davos with the grammar scold (fewer vs less) ftw.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:05 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Tyrion's mixed emotions mirrored my own there. I realized I don't want anyone to die! Except Cersei, Euron, and Littlefinger. But not Jaime and for the love of god not Bronn.
posted by something something at 7:06 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


It was nice to see Dany's crew actually take advantage of their, uh, advantages instead of sitting around getting their asses kicked. They have the largest, and probably only, army of light cavalry on the continent! With AIR CAV. Mobility is your biggest advantage! Fuckin' read about the Violence of Action! Or some Clausewitz or something.
posted by Justinian at 7:06 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


Wow, that was some serious thrwnage. I was *not* expecting things to get so intense at this point in the series (I mean, I know we're in the home stretch, but...damn).
posted by uosuaq at 7:07 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Dothraki make good Cheyenne.

It was like Romans vs Indians. Though I didn't realize Westeros had a Badlands.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:07 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


What a great battle! The part where Bronn was running around on foot trying to get to the Dragon shooter thing (Scorpion, I think Jaime called it?) really reminded me of Battle of the Bastards, just after the cavalry charge, when Jon was running around dodging and fighting. They did a great job of showing the chaos and confusion and also that Bronn is a badass.

Although I spent the whole battle being convinced that Bronn was a goner. I'm glad he wasn't! I love Bronn, especially the way he cracked up at Dickon and also "fancy lad school." His bromance with Jaime is great too.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:07 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Also Arya got a pretty sweet quest reward for making it back up to Winterfell. Weapon upgrade, just in time for the boss fight!
posted by lydhre at 7:07 PM on August 6 [55 favorites]


oh, well, fuck
posted by zeee at 7:08 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Daenerys was in control and has made clear Jon needs to bend the knee, and she clearly feels as though she needs make herself know. Just like a Mad Queen.

yeah, i suppose i'm not entirely sure what jon's speech about being more of the same accomplished. he managed to stop dany from destroying the red keep, but her new plan (supposedly influenced by jon) was to destroy the lannister army (mostly good, though i'd argue that she's not exactly endearing herself to the smallfolk) and all of highgarden's grain (bad)?
posted by Ragini at 7:08 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Bronn The Bowman, more like
posted by leotrotsky at 7:09 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


The only silver lining for the Lannisters here is that the survivors will be able to report that one hit with the giant arbalest (scorpion I guess) almost knocked the big dragon out of the sky. So they really should get to mass producing those things. 20 or 30 will rip up the dragons.
posted by Justinian at 7:10 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Mad Queen Dany showing up ahead of schedule it seems. There was no chance she would die this week, but maybe Jaime's monarch-slaying skills will find another use outside the family yet?

And Arya. Simultaneously awesome and tragic in her badass bloodthirst. Hard to imagine that she'll ever find peace.
posted by Zonker at 7:10 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


yeah, i suppose i'm not entirely sure what jon's speech about being more of the same accomplished.

It's better to kill enemy armies than townsfolk.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:10 PM on August 6 [18 favorites]


So the gold made it inside, not the grain. Cersei can pay off her debts to take on new ones to feed the people. But the North is busy amassing grain at Winterfell. Wonder it they'll be a political fight over that?

Arya was interesting. She's a cocky little shit, but in a disturbing way (no doubt intended). Hence Sansa's "WTF" look. It's nice to have family back, but when they're killers who enjoy killing (Remember Sandor talking the sweet joy of killing in Season 2?).

Bran is...different, Arya is different. Baelish may seem more appealing indeed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


I have less complaints about this episode. Make that fewer complaints.
posted by srboisvert at 7:12 PM on August 6 [27 favorites]


The only silver lining for the Lannisters here is that the survivors will be able to report that one hit with the giant arbalest (scorpion I guess) almost knocked the big dragon out of the sky. So they really should get to mass producing those things. 20 or 30 will rip up the dragons.

But now Danny and Drogon know they exist and to watch for them. The element of surprise was the best thing the arbalest had going for it. It's not small enough to disguise easily, and it's not very mobile either. You take it out with dragon fire and the field is yours. If they were smart they'd have poisoned it.

In fact, given Qyburn, they might have already.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:12 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


Speaking of Jaime, this was a great episode for him! You know, we didn't ever really get to see him in battle before he lost his hand, even though he was known to be such a legendary fighter. (As I recall, we only saw him fight Ned Stark in season 1 and then Brienne.)

Anyway, I loved watching him in those scenes. I mean, Bronn was totally right that the smart thing would have been for Jaime to run at the start, but there's no way Jaime would do that, because for all of his talk about not believing in honor, when it comes to fighting, he does very much have a code. (Like how he wouldn't kill Ned Stark because it wouldn't have been "clean" after one of the Lannister soldiers speared him in the leg.)

And also watching Jaime's face. Clearly he was having some "Mad King" flashbacks. Even though it was a total suicide mission, I still got a thrill seeing him grab that spear and try to finish off Daenerys.

I also loved watching Tyrion watch all of this going down. He's clearly conflicted, although not because he wants his family to actually win (that was kind of a low blow from Dany), because he probably hates Cersei as much as anyone, but seeing all those soldiers burning was disturbing, not to mention his obvious affection for Jaime. And I loved how he clearly knew exactly what Jaime was going to do, as much as he didn't want it to happen.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:12 PM on August 6 [18 favorites]


I dislike that they're trying to sell us on the idea that Jon and Dany have chemistry.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:17 PM on August 6 [21 favorites]


So they really should get to mass producing those things. 20 or 30 will rip up the dragons.

Should get Euron's shipwrights on that.
posted by drezdn at 7:19 PM on August 6 [36 favorites]


I know it's werid you guys but I have proof Dickon survived ands now Pod's boyfriend I know iit sounds insane but that's what this Raven says
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on August 6 [26 favorites]


F yes this episode!
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:19 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


And I loved how he clearly knew exactly what Jaime was going to do, as much as he didn't want it to happen.

And how it would go done, with the dragon protecting Daenerys.

Did Bronn really leave his gold to protect Jamie? REALLY?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Euron's shipwrights could whip out half a million of those scorpions no problemo.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on August 6 [11 favorites]


I expected to see a knob as one of the cave drawings. Did I miss it? With such a UK dominated production I can't imagine they would manage to erase all the knobs that must have been put into that scene.
posted by srboisvert at 7:20 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Seriously, though. Have the dragon make one firing pass, along the Lannister line, not across it. Then pull the dragon back, while your cavalry charges the routed, shocked survivors. And even if your dragon can only burn a narrow gap in the line, there's no need to have your horse charge the shield wall--just exploit the breach in the line, attack the rest of the formation from the rear, and watch the rest of the Lannister line melt away. Sloppy.
posted by Zonker at 7:20 PM on August 6 [29 favorites]


Well, Bronn's still trying to earn a good castle!

Also I loved Jaime giving his horse some encouragement right before attempting his charge against Dany.

And I totally cringed at all the poor horses getting killed--especially Bronn's! :(
posted by TwoStride at 7:21 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


So what was up with Sansa's sad look at the fight scene? All I can figure is "why are they besties, why can't I have a bestie" or something.
posted by curious nu at 7:23 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the Dothraki DID charge through the breach in the line, which was the right move! But then a bunch of those dudes decided to charge the spearwall anyway. I suppose Dothraki Hordes don't have a lot of formation discipline.

Those spears need to be longer to stop a determined charge! I guess they don't carry the pikes around on long marches through (apparently) South Dakota.
posted by Justinian at 7:23 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Hey, Dany still needs to work out her close-air support tactics. Next battle they'll be a fine tuned killing concerto.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Going back to the rest of the episode, I am seriously so sick of Daenerys. I did like the call back to how Dany's convo with Jon was so similar to Jon's conversation with Mance, trying to convince him to bend the knee so Stannis wouldn't kill him. You could almost feel Jon being haunted by the ghost of Mance after Dany used that, "Aren't your people's lives more important than your pride?" just like Jon said to Mance.

But neither Mance nor Jon are motivated by pride, and I think it's really tone deaf for Dany to think that this is what Jon is motivated by.

Also, it's one thing to be like, "I don't believe in white walkers" or even, "I don't believe they can get past the wall," but to be like, "Okay, I believe you, and sure, your people are screwed without my help, but I'll only help if you bend the knee."

I think Dany is completely wrong to say that the Northerners will follow if Jon bends the knee, and I assume Jon knows that too. I wish he had said something like, "If you come help us fight the white walkers, then you might be able to convince the Northerners to follow you, but otherwise, why would they?"

In fact, one thing I don't even get is, why does she even care? Why does she want any of this, really? She says it's not just because of her birthright, but if she really is trying to break the wheel, why not let the Northerners keep their autonomy? She can see that they have a King who cares about doing what's best for his people and understands his people. Heck, he was as close to democratically elected as a ruler in Westeros can be.

Honestly, even Missandei is starting to irritate me, and I usually love Missandei. I think it was the Dany propaganda in this episode that got to me. Sure, it's great that Dany freed the slaves, but if her sole goal was humanitarianism, she wouldn't have just left Mereen.

Not to mention, her experiences in Mereen weren't exactly a great advertisement for her ability to rule, and I really have a hard time seeing her being a good ruler in Westeros, because, even if her heart is in the right place, she just doesn't get the people or the place at all. How could she? She may have been born there, but she never really lived there. In time, I'm sure she could get the hang of things, but why would anyone want to follow a ruler whose only real link to their home is her father, who was basically the worst ruler ever?

And although burning soldiers is more justified than burning castles and civilians, I don't think it's going to make any of the Westerosi people more inclined to want her as their queen.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:24 PM on August 6 [25 favorites]


This is the first episode I've really liked in a long time.
posted by codacorolla at 7:25 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


These Targaryens, never respecting the operational art. Tsk.
posted by Zonker at 7:25 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


It was nice to see Dany's crew actually take advantage of their, uh, advantages instead of sitting around getting their asses kicked. They have the largest, and probably only, army of light cavalry on the continent! With AIR CAV. Mobility is your biggest advantage! Fuckin' read about the Violence of Action! Or some Clausewitz or something.

That will no doubt be one of the scrolls that Sammy will have to transcribe.
posted by srboisvert at 7:27 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Also, I can understand Littlefinger looking at ninja-Arya and thinking "now here Is a weapon I can get some use from." But Petey, you have to realize that play won't end well for you at all.
posted by Zonker at 7:29 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


And then everyone in Westeros starved to death.
posted by miyabo at 7:30 PM on August 6 [26 favorites]


Yeah, I'm still totally unconvinced that Dany a)isn't mad like the rest of her Targaryan ancestors; b)has any good reason to rule Westeros beyond "because it's apparently my birthright!"

As for Sansa's sad look, I interpreted it more as a "holy shit, my little sister really must have also gone through some terrible shit and she might seriously be a killer now" and because Sansa isn't 100% bloodthirsty yet she just misses her little sister rather than thinking about how she can suggest more names for the Kill List.
posted by TwoStride at 7:30 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


I know Arya's too far down the pecking order to get the throne but I'm Team Arya all the same. I loved that she could have killed the guards but chose to reason with them instead. The little laugh she gives when Sansa doesn't believe her about the list. Priceless. Arya is deadly and all grown up. Did Sansa look worried or jealous for a second there? Probably.

Kudos to Bran for the chaos is a ladder comment. They see you Littlefinger, they see you.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 7:32 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


Kind of shocked so many Lannisters passed their morale checks.
posted by drezdn at 7:32 PM on August 6 [18 favorites]


I mean the diplomatically smart thing would be to remind Danny that Jon was elected to leadership by his people, like her and the best, obvious thing are equal, interdependent but separate nations (the Westerosi Union).

But that's the sane, sensible thing and Danny Wants To Win Everything and is operating st all or nothing and her court is TERRIFIED of her.
posted by The Whelk at 7:32 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Also I loved Jaime giving his horse some encouragement right before attempting his charge against Dany.

And I totally cringed at all the poor horses getting killed--especially Bronn's! :(


Yes! Me too! (On both counts.) The horses running away attached to the wagons on fire was super upsetting.

At the same time, as much as I've complained about Dany recently, I did get chills in the opening on the battle when we saw her flying in on Drogon.

But this battle also convinced me that dragons are just a bad idea in Westeros. Wildfire is bad enough, but wildfire:dragons as land mines/hand grenades:air bombing. I mean, it's not a perfect analogy, but it is similar. I mean, the sept of baelor obviously was horrific, but seeing the dragon used in combat is just on a whole other level.

And the dragons have been pretty much my favorite thing about Dany since season 1. (I really loved season 1 Dany.) But the dragons have the capacity for so much destruction. Not to mention, Dany's solution to things going badly is still, essentially, "burn them all."

After they got news about Casterley Rock, when Dany was getting into one of her "blood and fire" Targ rants, I could see Tyrion having flashbacks to when he had to talk her down from massacring Astapor and Yunkai.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:33 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


I think Baelish was looking at her as a problem. Sansa owes him something, Brienne is honorable and bound to Sansa, but Arya?

She clearly enjoy killing and is capable of doing so. That's a bit of chaos he's going to need a ladder for.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Well, Jon and Dany getting married would also solve the issue too.
posted by drezdn at 7:34 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


But neither Mance nor Jon are motivated by pride, and I think it's really tone deaf for Dany to think that this is what Jon is motivated by.

I think Jon's being a bit stubborn here: Dany is motivated primarily by the symbolism of him 'bending the knee', so he would be in a good position to negotiate what that would actually entail. The north being nominally part of the kingdom but effectively autonomous would not be the worst outcome.

Also: there is no way one person could fully wind up a scorpion in the fifteen seconds Bronn had.
posted by Pyry at 7:35 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Bran to Littlefinger: I saw what you did in Baltimore. You were so beautiful.
posted by drezdn at 7:35 PM on August 6 [59 favorites]


So what was up with Sansa's sad look at the fight scene? All I can figure is "why are they besties, why can't I have a bestie" or something.

I think it was purposely vague, but I also wonder if she wasn't thinking about how once Jon gets back, she might be "replaced" by Arya. Not that this would actually happen or could happen, but seeing Brienne and Arya spar may have reminded her of the special connection that Jon and Arya always had. I mean, she even pointed that out, and I don't think she would begrudge either of them that connection, but it might have made her feel a bit lonely or wistful.

Also, I doubt this is where her mind was going, but Arya did say how much she wanted Sansa dead once or twice, so I imagine the showrunners might want to sow more seeds of dissent in the Stark ranks, because drama, or whatever.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:36 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


I think some of Sansa's insecurity and jealous nature are still intact, and some mistakes will be made until hopefully she's a mature leader in the end (and not, er, dead).
posted by soakimbo at 7:38 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I was so gratified to see them show how terrifyingly powerful the dragonfire of an adult dragon was. They did an excellent job over the course of the show's seasons, showing how the strength of a dragon's fire grows over time from something sort of wondrous and surprising to something dangerous and useful to something like a cross between a flame thrower and an atomic bomb. After this scene, you totally understand how terrifying and decisive Aegon's conquest really must have been, or the wars that ruined and then drove the Rhoynar west.

But I was very annoyed that Bronn and Jamie didn't get flash-incinerated at the end. Bronn is just an annoying social climber now and Jamie is already basically a ghost so I don't think the show would lose a lot if they died in a probable fashion.
posted by clockzero at 7:38 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


I just saw Brienne and Sansa gazing wistfully at each other THEIR LOVE WILL FOREVER BURN TRUE
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:40 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


*puts clockzero on the list*
posted by Justinian at 7:40 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


The north being nominally part of the kingdom but effectively autonomous would not be the worst outcome.

I mean this is the actual situation as it exists now but I think the north citizenry is feeling thier independence oats and Jon is a little scared of them and also hyper focused on white walkers ..for good reason.


I totally took that Sansa look to mean "holy shit my little sister is grown uo and ...a professional murderer ."
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 PM on August 6 [12 favorites]


Well, Jon and Dany getting married would also solve the issue too.

i expected davos to be like, welp you could just rule as king and queen, and this whole problem would go away. he was already like I SAW YOU STARING AT HER BOOBS, not a giant leap to marriage

imo sansa's look was about another one of her baby siblings growing up into someone she didn't recognize. excitement and joy giving way to sadness and concern.
posted by Ragini at 7:40 PM on August 6 [16 favorites]


I think Jon's being a bit stubborn here: Dany is motivated primarily by the symbolism of him 'bending the knee', so he would be in a good position to negotiate what that would actually entail. The north being nominally part of the kingdom but effectively autonomous would not be the worst outcome.

It might not be the worst outcome, but there are a lot of potential risks for the northerners in that route. Dany may not be her father, but she has done enough things to make a reasonable person nervous about her having some of her father in her. After all the horror the Northerners have been through because of southern kings, of course they want nothing to do with all that.

Also, why not give Jon the same deal she gave Yara? I'll help you fight the white walkers if you help me fight Cersei, and when the war is over, I'll let the North be its own kingdom.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:40 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Seriously, though. Have the dragon make one firing pass, along the Lannister line, not across it. Then pull the dragon back, while your cavalry charges the routed, shocked survivors. And even if your dragon can only burn a narrow gap in the line, there's no need to have your horse charge the shield wall--just exploit the breach in the line, attack the rest of the formation from the rear, and watch the rest of the Lannister line melt away. Sloppy.

I would have flown in the dragon in from the flank after the shield wall had formed. Lannister/Tarly forces are all concentrated one way at the onrushing Dothraki, then a good dragon roar from the opposite direction and the shield bearers would have been scared shitless and confused.
posted by zakur at 7:41 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Who hurled Jamie off his horse right in the nick of time?? And will he drown, because that was not lightweight armor from REI. But he can't drown, he's such a wonderfully conflicted character.
posted by soakimbo at 7:42 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I forgot to mention one of my favorite moments of this episode! Bran turning the tables on Littlefinger with his "Chaos is a ladder" line. That was really epic.

Although it was followed shortly by my heart breaking for poor Meera. I was glad that someone finally called out the fact that all these people died to protect Bran, and he doesn't seem to care. I mean, Hodor was the worst, given that Bran's warging into Hodor basically broke his brain and then got him killed.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:43 PM on August 6 [32 favorites]


yeah, it's pretty clear that Daenerys has no sense for military tactics, just enjoys the wielding of raw dragon power. Whether she learns from this experience will be interesting to see.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


I just saw Brienne and Sansa gazing wistfully at each other THEIR LOVE WILL FOREVER BURN TRUE

Arya Tormundsbane
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:44 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Who hurled Jamie off his horse right in the nick of time?? And will he drown, because that was not lightweight armor from REI. But he can't drown, he's such a wonderfully conflicted character.

I'm like 99% sure that was Bronn. And yeah, Jaime should sink like a rock, but I think they'll fish him out somehow. That was also a nice callback to Tyrion falling into water followed by a fade to black back when he and Jorah rowed through Old Valyria.

(Wow, there were a ton of call backs in this episode, weren't there?)
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:44 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


From twitter

"Sansa: my family sure is going to be surprised by how much I've changed
Bran: I'm a psychic bird
Arya: I'm a murderer
Jon: I died but got better"

Which is interesting cause Sansa is the only Stark kid whose character and personality has changed but her relative position hasn't. She's still a political game player, just risen from pawn.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on August 6 [52 favorites]


I liked the dragon's angry tail-flick, destroying the damaged Scorpion. I'm pretty sure it's dragon body language for "and fuck YOU, too!"

Also IDK if you've ever been near, like, a bonfire or furnace even? But being just missed by a gout of dragon fire should probably still involve horrific full-body third degree burns.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on August 6 [16 favorites]


This is the first episode of this show I've legitimately enjoyed in a very, very long time. I kept just yelling "YES!" at the screen during the Arya/Brienne fight.

I'm sure I will pay for this in the next episode, which I assume will just be Euron doing boring Euron shit & continuing to wear his "worst person in the show" plot armor.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:48 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


I really want the beginning of the next episode to be Jaime and Bronn standing up and realizing that they're in about four feet of water.
posted by teraflop at 7:49 PM on August 6 [25 favorites]


A quibble about the practice duel, no way could Arya directly blocked a direct swing from Brienne. Needed a bit more dancing, deflecting and just not being where the blade swung. But pretty fun as sword play goes. Plotwise tho' Littlefinger pretty much must be the second to last death of the series.
posted by sammyo at 7:50 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


(Also Arya + Brienne BFFs PLS)
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:50 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


When Sansa says Arya has to call her Lady Stark, was that also a callback? It feels very familiar. (Even if she was joking, which she totally wasn't, that's such an awful thing to say after what everyone has been through.)
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 7:51 PM on August 6


But I was very annoyed that Bronn and Jamie didn't get flash-incinerated at the end. Bronn is just an annoying social climber now and Jamie is already basically a ghost so I don't think the show would lose a lot if they died in a probable fashion.

Even in "Anyone can die" Game of Thrones, Jamie is too important to get impersonally crisped by Dany. If (when) he dies it'll be in a big important scene, either a noble sacrifice or an ignoble demise at the hands of another main character. I could see Bronn getting crisped in exchange for revealing the dragons' weakness*/or outright killing a dragon.

* Arrows, but bigger.

posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:52 PM on August 6


Sir Davos, the onion knight , also the COMEDY knight!!!
He can make you cry but he can also make cry from too much laughter!!
I would pay money to see that knight perform any night in Westeros!!!
He can bring peace with laughter
posted by metafus at 7:55 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Bran: "Chaos is a ladder."
Littlefinger: *Sudden and uncomfortable boner*
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 8:01 PM on August 6 [31 favorites]


if they don't want us to notice people teleporting all over the map they probably shouldn't put the map in the opening credits
posted by speicus at 8:14 PM on August 6 [28 favorites]


"Fewer." Stannis' grammar lessons took hold.

I really thought that battle season was a loser edit for Jaime. It had that feel.
posted by yonega at 8:17 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Well, maybe he won't be fished out in time and his ultimate fate will be to be killed by the Mad King's daughter then resurrected by Qyburn to be an incestuous one-handed zombie-thing for Cersei for the rest of his days. Won't that be a pisser.
posted by rewil at 8:20 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Jamie didn't know what he dealing in this new threat, so he behaved in the only way he knew how. A way Tyrion correctly knee would get him killed, if not for bronn the convient plot device.

All this occurs after he managed to learn from a previous mistake, so the dragon feels like another learning lesson. Pity Daenerys won't learn anything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 PM on August 6


Dickon pushed Jaime into the water. So that was at least twice he saved Jaime's life tonight.

Davos got all the best lines.

Sansa's sibling rivalry with Arya is going to be an issue. The look in her eyes was "Damnit, I did everything I was supposed to and here's Arya RUINING EVERYTHING ALL OVER AGAIN!" Also "I wish I hadn't spent all that time sitting with Septa Mordane learning how to bloody sew."
posted by elsietheeel at 8:30 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


I really wanted the Dothraki to stop just out of archer range and then have Drogon just go along the line and burn the bannermen. But saving the food would have been the sensible thing to do.

And I suspect dragon glass is fossilized dragon poop. Like a combination of bat guano and badass amber.
posted by tilde at 8:32 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


My vibe from Sansa watching Arya and Brienne was horror/sadness/empathy for what path made Arya into a killing machine, but the most significant facial expression was her multiple glances over at Littlefinger. I got the impression that she did not want him to be seeing Arya's abilities, and was as disturbed by that as the abilities themselves.
posted by gatorae at 8:32 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


You know, I just realized Jon's huge mistake...

He didn't bring Tormund to Dragonstone! I mean, first of all, Tormund was there at Hardhome. Secondly, Tormund is great at talking up how awesome Jon Snow is to anyone who will listen. Remember his whole, "He died for us!" monologue? (Okay, I also just love and miss Tormund.)

And more seriously, he should have brought Lyanna Mormont. I mean, I know he couldn't risk her life being as she is only ten, but I would have loved to see her verbal take down of Dany. Lyanna did single handedly get Jon elected King in the North after all.

I got the impression that she did not want him to be seeing Arya's abilities, and was as disturbed by that as the abilities themselves.

To be fair, I think Littlefinger was pretty disturbed too. I mean, Jon did nearly choke him to death before he left, but now he has to deal with psychic robot Bran and tiny killing machine Arya. And Sansa is still giving him the cold shoulder. If he had any brains left, he would leave Winterfell like right this second.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:36 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


I was wondering why they brought back that dagger of all things, since the person who's likely to blame for the assassination attempt, Joffrey, is extremely dead and barely mourned. Figuring it was just to get a Valyrian steel blade in Arya's hands, I started counting Valyrian blades that we know about, which I believe are currently held by Jamie (Widow's Wail), Brienne (Oathkeeper), Jon (Longclaw), Sam (Heartsbane), and Arya (nameless dagger). If this season's arc for Jaime is about him turning on Cersei, as seems fairly likely, it's starting to feel like we have the makings of an elite White Walker killing squadron, all armed with Valyrian steel weapons. If that's the case, I think Dany would probably also be involved with her dragons. There's one other character who has been able to wield fire magic effectively, and conveniently Melisandre is both alive despite incredible odds against it and has vowed to return to Westeros.

Then it occurred to me that it's a wild coincidence that we have a Mother (of Dragons) and a Maid (of Tarth), plus a warrior, a crone, and a nameless, formless death-worshipper all brought together here. By that time I'll admit my imagination was running wild, but long story short, I think the ending of this story will be that they retroactively recreate the gods of the Faith of the Seven.

Dany is the Mother (this one feels obvious)
Jon is the Father (marries Dany, cares about justice)
Jaime is the Warrior (relatively self-explanatory)
Brienne is the Maid (she would also work for some others, but she's literally the Maid of Tarth and also there's the whole bit about the Bear and the Maiden Fair which she lived out)
Melisandre is the Crone (this would at least explain why they needed that scene where it turns out she's really old)
Arya is the Stranger (again, this one feels obvious)
Sam is the Smith (uh, he's forging a chain? I'll admit this one's kind of a reach)
posted by Copronymus at 8:37 PM on August 6 [113 favorites]


But being just missed by a gout of dragon fire should probably still involve horrific full-body third degree burns.

Yeah, this is my biggest gripe with the battle scene, even though it was done so well. Not only should Bronn have been dragon toast like twenty times, but someone like Jaime and Dickon probably should have been cooked to death in that armor, considering how close to those flames they got. Also, apparently the Dothraki got Dany's unburnt powers, because they just galloped through that giant line of fire, which just seems completely implausible. At the very least, wouldn't those loose, flapping saddle pads have caught fire? Not to mention, like the horses tails and mane and pretty much everything else? I know they rode through it quickly, but still.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:40 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Sam is the Smith

What about Gendry? That was his trade, after all. Speaking of Gendry, are we ever going to see him again? I hope so.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:41 PM on August 6 [28 favorites]


wasn't the motivating factor for jaime's king-slaying that the mad king planned to burn the city down? maybe he'll turn on cersei to avoid another fiery slaughter like the one at highgarden, he was clearly incredibly disturbed by what he saw.

also i am just so delighted by dany and missandei gossiping about grey worm.
posted by Ragini at 8:43 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I got the impression that she did not want him to be seeing Arya's abilities

Quoting myself because I forgot to add, this "reading" from Sansa is also a neat callback to Ned, who told Jaime in S1 that he doesn't like tournaments because he doesn't want his enemy in battle to know what he can do.
posted by gatorae at 8:44 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Don't worry about Jaime, Euron's ships are totally going to appear any second
posted by oulipian at 8:49 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Pity Daenerys won't learn anything

She really won't. I thought Hizdhar zo Loraq was pretty obnoxious with all the fighting pits nonsense, but Dany did crucify his father, who apparently was against the crucifying of slaves. Not that it makes him less culpable in the whole slave trade, but it goes back to a major one of her problems. She's all about vengeance, not justice, which doesn't inspire confidence in terms of her ruling abilities.

Also, it reminds me of last week's episode, when she said, "People like what they're good at," and Jon said, "I don't." I'm assuming Jon was referencing being so good at killing people, and although he did seem to enjoy beating the crap out of Ramsay (but who wouldn't), he doesn't seem to take joy in it. Much like Ned, carrying out executions is a duty. Even when executing the people who murdered him, it still seemed more like something he had to do than what he wanted to do.

But Dany does seem to enjoy it. A lot. And it's concerning that she so often needs other people to reign her in. I fear the show is going in the direction of, "It's okay, because Jon can talk her down," but that's just really problematic, on a lot of levels.

Even Arya, who certainly has enjoyed killing a lot of people, isn't as indiscriminate as Dany is.

If Dany does become queen, what happens if say, the Dornish, decide they want their independence?

She's not Cersei or even Aerys (yet), but those two also didn't have three grown dragons.

*Incidentally, this is a nice parallel to Rhaegar. I believe Barristan Selmy (RIP) was the one who said to Dany that Rhaegar was good at killing but never enjoyed it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:50 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Euron's ships are totally going to appear any second

Or Gendry's boat!
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:51 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


The end boss music that kicked in when Arya started fighting Brienne was pretty great.
posted by oulipian at 8:52 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


clockzero: Bronn is just an annoying social climber now and Jamie is already basically a ghost so I don't think the show would lose a lot if they died in a probable fashion.

NAME YOUR WEAPON AND YOU TAKE THAT BACK ABOUT BRONN AND JAIME
posted by culfinglin at 8:56 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Arya (nameless dagger).


I see what you did there
posted by tilde at 8:59 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


NAME YOUR WEAPON AND YOU TAKE THAT BACK ABOUT BRONN AND JAIME

Épée. Anytime, anywhere. It would be my pleasure.
posted by clockzero at 9:01 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


I apologize for the constant Dany rants, but one other thing that just occurred to me:

So Jaime brought up to Cersei that the whole dynasty thing wasn't going to happen, seeing as all their kids are dead.

But Dany has the same problem, doesn't she? I know she wants to break the wheel, but she also is convinced that she can't have any more children. (We don't know for sure if this is true, but she thinks it is.) So if she does get the Iron Throne, what happens when she's dead? As far as she knows, she's the last Targaryan. She's basically just setting up Westeros for another major crisis as soon as her rule is over. I know there are a lot of reasons why this won't happen in the show (I mean, we know she is in fact not the last Targ), but it seems like something that should have occurred to her, or at least to Varys and/or Tyrion, but no one really seems to be talking about that.

And even if she could have children, that's not exactly a good thing. There's the saying that I believe Cersei says to Tyrion (I think), that every time a Targaryan is born, the gods flip a coin. I mean, the same line produced Master Aemon and Rhaegar but also Aerys and Viserys. So if Dany has a child, whose to say that kid wouldn't be another Aerys?

Also, I know that Missandei and Grey Worm and the rest of the Unsullied are so loyal to Dany because she freed the slaves. Aside from the fact that Dany then abandoned all those freed slaves to come to Westeros (and even with the Second Sons staying behind, do we really think Mereen and the rest of Slaver's bay won't fall back into chaos?), more to the point, what does this mean to the Westerosi? They don't have slavery. I'm not sure if they ever did, but they don't now. In fact, it's very clearly outlawed, hence why Jorah was exiled. So why should that matter to them?

I mean, the common people aren't in great shape, but it's not really clear that Dany has any idea how to help them. And for all the poison she spewed, Cersei did have a point in that Dany is not favorably inclined towards the ruling class, at least based on her interactions in Mereen, so while we may see that as a positive, the Lords and Ladies of Westeros don't.

tl;dr: Vote Sansa Stark for Queen of Westeros!
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:04 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


What do we think of Jon's growing facial hair? I'm torn.
posted by TwoStride at 9:05 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I never thought I'd say this, but I'm starting to see that Mereen was not pointless narratively. Dany conquered all those cities and everyone but the slaves fucking hated her. There are no slaves to free in Westeros. Dany thinks of herself as a conqueror and breaker of chains, but the people in Westeros are not slaves, and are not bad enough off to see her as their only option. Missandei says she chose to follow Dany, and she did, but there was no other realistic option in Essos. Dany is not offering the people of Westeros anything but threats and death. Her only hope of gaining actual allegiance from anyone in Westeros is defeating the White Walkers, because that is the only threat existential enough to make the Westerosi somewhat analogous to slaves.
posted by gatorae at 9:07 PM on August 6 [23 favorites]


I've been spoiled for the whole season now, but this episode was well worth watching, even spoiled. Damn. Just epic fantasy fun. It more than made up for the lackluster feel of this season so far. Even ignoring the battle, it was gratifying to see Littlefinger look gravely concerned on two occasions. "Chaos is a ladder" indeed.
posted by xyzzy at 9:10 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


And another thing that no one seems to be talking about (on the show at least):

What is Dany's plan to keep the Dothraki from just completely wreaking havoc on the rest of Westeros? She made the Iron Islanders promise not to do any more raping and reaving, but that seems unlikely to work for the Dothraki. After fighting a war for her, are they expected to just hop on the boats and go back to Essos?

Also, have we resolved the rogue dragons thing yet? Viserion and Rhaegal got locked up after Drogon torched a little kid, and before that, there was the goat incident. Are we supposed to assume that they've outgrown that or something? Because they also seem like a huge liability for Westeros.

And one other thing that occurred to me, going back to Dany's talk with Jon Snow. I'm not sure she's 100% on board with believing in how much of a threat the White Walkers are, but she seems more open to acknowledging them as a threat. And if she does believe Jon Snow, doesn't she understand that this isn't just a fight for the North? Jon really should spell out to her more explicitly that once the White Walkers massacre the North, they'll just keep moving South, and by then, they'll have an even larger army, and nothing to stop them.

Although this would really piss Dany off, I wish Jon would point out to her what Stannis's approach was. For all his flaws, at least he did come to understand that he should set aside his fight for the Iron Throne, and instead focus on doing what a King is meant to do: defend his people. If Dany really cared about the people in the kingdom, then she wouldn't be waiting for Jon to bend the knee before trying to help.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:12 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


You know, Cersei as queen is obviously pretty terrifying for a lot of reasons, but if she were not as blood thirsty and sort of unhinged, she actually might have made a good queen. (I know that's a big if.) Unlike Dany, at least she understands how to play the game and get things done.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:18 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


This episode was so DARK again, especially at Winterfell. I had to keep adjusting my screen to try to improve it, but it did not improve.

I feel terrible for Meera. Also, brooding Bran is so second place for brooding in the Stark family. Jon has him beat all hollow. Also don't you think that Bran having seen All The Things would be more Buddha, less robot? I also don't understand why omnipotence makes you suddenly unable to fucking explain yourself, but it's a common fantasy trope. Aside, people spend SO MUCH TIME in Winterfell lurking. I too think Sansa's sad when watching Arya with Brienne was about "oh shit she wasn't kidding about a kill list, what the hell happened to that poor girl?" And the whole time I was like DON'T DO THINGS WHERE LITTLEFINGER CAN SEE YOU ARYA!!!!!

Arya + Brienne was just glorious, though.

There WAS some Podrick but not ENOUGH Podrick because there is never enough Podrick.

The cave -- for starters, the musical score definitely thinks the dragon glass is super important. And those cave-carving white walkers are legit scary. (Didn't the children of the forest accidentally make the white walkers by stabbing humans with dragonglass, though? And then they're teaming up with humans to get the dragon glass to kill the white walkers? I guess only Bran knows the first bit?) Meeting the dead has made Jon Snow even more humorless than he was before, he needs a little levity back. I miss Ygritte. Briefly thought the cave interlude might end in smooching. But then I was shouting at Dany, "Don't take strategy advice from Jon Snow!" (Also, when did Jon start believing the world was shit? That was a Tyrion or Varys speech, it sounded weird coming from Jon.)

Small props to Theon for meeting Jon with such sang froid.

One theme I noticed this episode is that the people who were children at the beginning of the series -- Sansa, Dany, Jon, Arya -- are now pretty definitively the adults in charge, making decisions and alliances. The adults are all passing on, which doesn't bode well for Jamie and Cersei.

The battle was SO pretty (maybe not Battle of the Bastards pretty, but awfully pretty) and I guess we know where all the CGI money went! Really well-done.

There was a ton of long-awaited meetings in this episode, which was very satisfying.

Complaints:
These ships have no historical coherence! #shiptruther
What is up with the Dothraki swords? Those are like miniature farming scythes, not functional scimitar-like curved swords. Maybe I just didn't notice them in prior seasons but those are HELLA STUPID.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Épée. Anytime, anywhere. It would be my pleasure.

When GRRM's finished with the books. So that ought to give me plenty of time to brush up on my épée (alas I learned sabre). Hell, I'll probably need to learn how to fence from a wheelchair, as our bout might take place in my nursing home at this rate…
posted by culfinglin at 9:24 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Dany's motivations for being queen of Westeros has been the weak point of the series for me (both book and show). Westeros is a shitty place where everyone's trying to kill each other all the time, why do you want to be the boss of it? Aside from her birthright thing, I guess because you win or you die? She won't be allowed to live NOT on the throne, and she can't go join the Night's Watch, so ...

But still. Her drive to rule a shitty country she's never been to is a little puzzling.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:26 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


I think the Dothraki blades are supposed to be exaggerated Khopeshes. Too exaggerated, though.
posted by Justinian at 9:26 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Dany is not offering the people of Westeros anything but threats and death.

That's all she needs to, or should, offer them. Blood and Fire, not Asking Politely. Aegon didn't conquer Westeros by being such a nice guy.

Danny was completely right back in Slaver's Bay: she should have slaughtered every man, woman, and child from the Master class because they were behind the "Sons of the Harpy".

This isn't a democracy, whatever nonsense about "freedom" she espouses to the slaves. She doesn't need the people to choose her, she needs them to obey. If there is a living thing in Westeros that doesn't obey her, it needs to die. Just as with Aegon, the ruling class will either accept that and join her or burn.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:27 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


EM: I think it made a lot of sense at series start when she knew basically nothing about the world save what Viserys had told her, and thus had grown up hearing about how wonderful it would be back in the Seven Kingdoms when she reclaimed her birthright etc. The years since series start should have knocked that out of her.

I guess at some point you do stuff because it's the stuff you've always done.
posted by Justinian at 9:28 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Is it weird that--while I was obviously excited by the dragon action, finally--I was also happy to see the Dothraki get to fight again? I think my internal monologue was "oh yay, they finally get to have some good fighting again. They must be having fun. They've been just traveling around for too long."
posted by sprezzy at 9:29 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


But still. Her drive to rule a shitty country she's never been to is a little puzzling.

I mean, I buy it as her insane birthright fixation and also she had a literal miracle happen to her and that's just a ten ton sack of coal for her sense of righteousness and purpose.

But there's just nothing under that, not really. She talks a good game but-It's all still the wheel.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 PM on August 6


My favorite throwaway line was Davos and Missandei trying to determine if Jon is King Jon or King Snow, and Jon just waved it off with "it doesn't matter." Such a difference from Dany's grotesque, pompous list of titles.
posted by gatorae at 9:32 PM on August 6 [19 favorites]


Dany earned the right to everyone of those damn titles. Did you forget her speech? Raped, being sold, countless assasins after her, etc.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 9:45 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Tyrion can barely speak Valyrian...so how'd he learn to understand Dothraki so quickly?
posted by elsietheeel at 9:45 PM on August 6


Also y'all were right that it was Bronn, not Dickon, that knocked Jaime into the water. A friend informed me otherwise due to something she saw in the aftershow. I'll never trust her info again!
posted by elsietheeel at 9:48 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


dang it's funny how much daenerys hate is going on here. that whole battle sequence was basically a series of trolley problems for me, and my reflexive answer to each of those trolley problems really clarified for me what side I'm a fan of.

like, my response to "jaime lannister might hurt or kill a dragon or Daenerys what do you want to happen?" is automatically "KILL JAIME LANNISTER."

Q: A bunch of Lannister soldiers might hurt or kill a dragon or Daenerys
A: DRACARYS DRACARYS DRACARYS

Q: Bronn might hurt or kill a dragon or Daenerys what do you want to happen?
A: KILL BRONN.

Q: Why are dragons so important to you?
A: WE NEED THEM FOR THE REVOLUTION and also they're dragons.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:48 PM on August 6 [45 favorites]


I know that in both the historical moment the story draws from, and the show itself, marriage is rarely made for love and compatibility, but I simply cannot imagine two people more poorly suited to be married than Daeny and Jon. After a few months the novelty wears off. She can't stand the fact that he's a humorless (edited: he is humorous, but not intentionally) turnip. He can't stand the fact that she's a power mad demigod. I guess the show has no other choice than to suddenly to pivot towards a relationship, but those two absolutely should have side-consorts, separate castles, and basically only ever be in the same room for some formal purpose.
posted by codacorolla at 9:49 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


I also find it interesting how rapidly everyone's become anti-Dany this season! But I also find myself feeling kinda anti-Dany, compared to how pro-Dany I was before.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:50 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


"I spent my life in foreign lands. So many men have tried to kill me, I don't remember all of their names. I've been sold like a brood mare. I've been shamed and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself. In Daenerys Targaryen. The world hadn't seen a dragon in centuries until my children were born. The Dothraki hadn't crossed the sea, any sea, until me. "
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 9:51 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


how was dany feeding two armies at dragonstone, one of which was MOUNTED, and therefore also had horses to feed? also, how are the unsullied currently surviving? we know there's no food at casterly rock, they talked about it again in this episode. boy, all that grain at highgarden sure would've come in handy...

i think i'm turning into a food truther.
posted by Ragini at 9:51 PM on August 6 [24 favorites]



i think i'm turning into a food truther.


gendry actually went to work for westeros logistics
posted by lalochezia at 9:57 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


I also find it interesting how rapidly everyone's become anti-Dany this season!
I've always been anti-Dany. All of this hero worship, the 22 titles, the careless handling of cities and dragons and armies, has made me dislike her from the beginning. Her own instinct never seems to be the right one. She stomps her foot and cries out, "TELL ME WHAT TO DO, ADVISOR OF THE IMMEDIATE MOMENT." That's not to say that she isn't intelligent and incredibly driven; she's both of those things. But the description of her as a conqueror rather than a ruler seems apt, and she has yet to do anything to prove otherwise. For me, at least.
posted by xyzzy at 9:58 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


So, Euron's fleet is essentially meaningless now that Daeny has unveiled the fighter je- dragons, right? A bunch of boats bobbing in the water are an extremely easy target for even a single dragon. Unless...

Oh my God... Euron is going to be the one who actually kills a dragon, isn't he?
posted by codacorolla at 9:59 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


the conversation with Missandei in this episode was useful in highlighting where the real source of Daenerys's power is. Whereas she primarily thinks of herself as an exiled Westerosi queen, her real power — aside from the power associated with being magical and having dragons — is derived from her status as the leader of an Essosi slave revolution.

Like hopefully the arc she's on leads toward realizing that Westeros is a backwater, that Vaes Dothrak is a better place to rule from than either King's Landing or Meereen, and that she is a Khaleesi, not a queen, etc. etc. etc.

(actually I do hope that GRRM's long-term plan for the story is/was to eventually really drive home the point that Essos is more important than Westeros — doing so would be a trope reversal in keeping with the other trope reversals that mark the series.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:10 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


> Oh my God... Euron is going to be the one who actually kills a dragon, isn't he?

Yeah, that seems like a thing that's going to happen. Killing a dragon is the worst, Euron Greyjoy is the worst, therefore by the transitive property of worstness Euron Greyjoy is going to kill a dragon.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:11 PM on August 6 [34 favorites]


I might've been on Dany's side longer if D&D hadn't done the gross visual optics with the freeing of the slaves in "Mhysa" or whatever. Benevolent white lady and her privilege dragons indeed, gah.
posted by TwoStride at 10:16 PM on August 6 [11 favorites]



I also find it interesting how rapidly everyone's become anti-Dany this season! But I also find myself feeling kinda anti-Dany, compared to how pro-Dany I was before.


I think it;s cause her character has flattened out, she;s on mission 24/7 now, my way or the highway, etc. Like it makes sense she would be but still. It's total shark-mode.

Whereas she primarily thinks of herself as an exiled Westerosi queen, her real power — aside from the power associated with being magical and having dragons — is derived from her status as the head of an Essosi slave revolution.


I think they're setting her up for this, Tryion says to her face you can;t just burn King's Landing to the ground cause then literally everyone will hate you - without the support of the small people she's just got 3 WMDs and a huge chip on her shoulder and she's starting to forget that.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


those two absolutely should have side-consorts, separate castles, and basically only ever be in the same room for some formal purpose.

This is going into my prenuptials if I ever marry again.
posted by culfinglin at 10:20 PM on August 6 [12 favorites]


> I might've been on Dany's side longer if D&D hadn't done the gross visual optics with the freeing of the slaves in "Mhysa" or whatever. Benevolent white lady and her privilege dragons indeed, gah.

I'm weirdly willing to overlook a lot of that, which is probably itself a manifestation of white privilege. but yeah I've tricked myself into seeing Daenerys as primarily an outsider, as someone not properly from either Westeros or Essos, raised in Essos as a foreigner and only now realizing how foreign Westeros is to her. Her small council reflects that outsider-ness status: people from like five nations, all of whom had at some point been enslaved, most of whom had been exposed to some variety of sexual violence / radical violation of bodily autonomy, most of whom could be understood as disabled in some way.

I think I've managed to see the character's identity in the fantasy world as bracketed off from the actor's identity in the real world, which isn't exactly an entirely useful hermeneutic strategy. D&D are unfortunately pretty clumsy, and GRRM isn't exactly non-clumsy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:24 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


xyzzy: She stomps her foot and cries out, "TELL ME WHAT TO DO, ADVISOR OF THE IMMEDIATE MOMENT." That's not to say that she isn't intelligent and incredibly driven; she's both of those things. But the description of her as a conqueror rather than a ruler seems apt, and she has yet to do anything to prove otherwise. For me, at least.

Remember that online other noble children, she doesn't have the benefit of being raised by family who are grooming her to rule, or at least to be a well-informed member of the nobility. It was just her and her brother, who was supposed to be the golden child of the family, and she was just the bonus bartering chip for him.

But here she is, the one who is not only still alive, but also with armies at her command, yet still without the formal training on the histories of kings and queens, including the successes and failures of their reigns. And now that she's in power, she doesn't have a ton of time to study history, so she relies on her advisors, until she finds her advisors don't align with her goals (or worse, have actively plotted against her).

In short: she's a conqueror because that's easy (when you have awesome armies at your command + dragons), and she hasn't been taught to be a self-sufficient ruler.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


THAT WAS NOT AN HOUR LONG I AM OUTRAGED I AM CALLING THE POLICE HBO IS GOING TO JAIL
posted by poffin boffin at 10:31 PM on August 6 [31 favorites]


We;ve seen before, she can conquer but not rule. Jon can rule pretty well even if he doesn't *want* to (and thus, should) but you know, end goal is the overthrowing of the monarchist system and noblity and installing Sansa as the First Among Many of the Westeroi General Council.

oh and stopping the ice zombies and giants and spiders and surviving a Forever Winter. That's also important.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


I know it's werid you guys but I have proof Dickon survived ands now Pod's boyfriend I know iit sounds insane but that's what this Raven says

dickon/podrick, wc: 10k, rated E, hurt/comfort
posted by poffin boffin at 10:41 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


What do we think of Jon's growing facial hair? I'm torn.

it looks like he picked out all the hairs from the shower drain in castle black's locker room and stuck them to his face with a bit of soap

dislike
posted by poffin boffin at 10:42 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Jon's facial hair looks worse, standing next to Ser Motherfucking Davos, who has a seriously fine beard.
posted by culfinglin at 10:48 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


How many times will Arya be stopped at a gate where the guards don't believe her identity? It's probably just twice but I liked the throwback to her time at King's Landing.

I couldn't decide if Arya was fighting Brienne in a bff way or a "you killed the Hound who I realized was my bff during my soul searching/training" way.

I got the feeling that Theon's "I didn't know you were here" should have been read as "I wouldn't have come back if I knew you were here."

During the battle, I was surprised just how awestruck Jamie looked because it was more than just a shock and awe face. His reactions made me think of how the Hound would react then I realized he watched the Mad King burn people alive as a younger person and probably found it quite traumatic. I was hoping for a Jamie/Tyrion reunion, especially now he knows Tyrion didn't kill Joffrey.
posted by toomanycurls at 10:50 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Re: all the hate on Dany--yeah, she's a pretty much a baddy now, it was a slow burn but seems like that was the point of everything she's been through, start off with a blameless heroine, put her in difficult situation after difficult situation, then realize the only reason she's been able to make it was because she had something deadly inside of her the whole time that just needed sharpening. It would be a really terrible story if we got to season 7 and Dany was in a position where it really made sense for the viewer to be totally on her side. I don't think it makes sense to blame the show for making us doubt that a Targaryan restoration is really a good idea.
posted by skewed at 10:55 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


they seemed to be setting Bronn up to fuck off back to Tyrion pretty hardcore in this episode. I was very surprised when he went to the ballista instead.
posted by KathrynT at 10:55 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


We never saw Lord Tarly once the battle was joined -- he's there telling the troops to hold the line before the Dothraki strike and then nothing. I suppose it's too much to hope he'd die off-screen, booo. He's the most expendable of the named characters there (Dickon's not No. 1 on the list because of name jokes), give us something.
posted by rewil at 10:57 PM on August 6


I couldn't decide if Arya was fighting Brienne in a bff way or a "you killed the Hound who I realized was my bff during my soul searching/training" way.

I was watching the scene with heart-eyes the whole time but I'm pretty sure there were smiles on both sides at different times. Mutual respect.
posted by rewil at 11:00 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Mutual respect.

Especially after Brienne kicked Arya in the chest. Until that moment, Arya hadn't felt like she could be beaten, and she seemed grateful to Brienne for the lesson.
posted by fatbird at 11:02 PM on August 6 [26 favorites]


Let me preface this by saying I am generally bad at reading faces, but the vibe I got from Sansa's consternation watching Arya fight was that the writers are going to try to make this a wedge -- "I don't know if I want to be sisters with a well-oiled killing machine" -- that pushes Sansa further into trusting Littlefinger's counsel. I'd prefer the interpretations upthread to my own; they'd be more in keeping with the characters than the narrative expediency the show has been guilty of this season, especially vis-a-vis Sansa. (My partner's interpretation of Sansa's look is that she's realizing that she both has and has not been reunited with her siblings, because they've all been through too much to be the same people they were the last time they were together, and that Sansa, with her more nuanced understanding of what you give up or get taken from you to become who you are, worries that Arya is too focused on what she can do now at the expense of considering the terms of the bargain she made.)

Also -- I can believe Dany and Drogon covered the terrain from Dragonstone to Highgarden in that time frame, but isn't that distance at least a day's ride on horseback? The Lannisters didn't seem that far from the castle when they got intercepted. Did I miss a time lapse or did the Targ army get access to Euron's magical teleportation device?
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:30 PM on August 6


I understood the commentary about the vanguard and the gold being inside Kings Landing to mean that they were nearly back to KL when attacked. So they wouldn't need Euron's Magic Teleporter. Just this once.
posted by janell at 11:39 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


"So who kills Prince Humperdinck Littlefinger? At the end, somebody's got to do it! Is it Inigo Arya? Who?"
"Nobody. Nobody kills him. He lives."
"You mean he wins? Jesus, grandpa, why did you read me this thing for?"
posted by Marky at 11:39 PM on August 6 [37 favorites]


I also loved watching Tyrion watch all of this going down.

But how did Tyrion even get there? Did Dany give him a ride over, on the dragon? What was he DOING there, watching the battle like it was a football game?

And also, what is Tyrion good for these days if his strategizing turned out to be such shit? I don't like the (literal) sidelining of his character.

Apart from that, best battle sequence ever. I hate violence and war scenes of all kinds, but the Battle of the Loot Train made me laugh out loud. I fell for every bit of it, the joy of seeing the dragons in action, not wanting to see a single Dothraki die, and fear for Jaime and Bronn at the same time (and even Dickon, by virtue of being Sam's brother).

D&D are fucking idiots though. I have no idea how they've gotten the show to where it is; their commentary is just the worst. Arya and Sansa are the same as they used to be, only more so, because now they are so different! The inane, LOST-esque cave scene is meaningful because the children of the forest loved spirals, and Jon & Dany have such heat just being in close quarters together!

Ugh, dudes.
posted by torticat at 11:40 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


The Lannisters didn't seem that far from the castle when they got intercepted. Did I miss a time lapse or did the Targ army get access to Euron's magical teleportation device?

Every faction gets access to fast travel in Game of Thrones 64.
posted by Pyry at 11:41 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]


So if Jamie dies, Cersei won't learn that Tyrian (and Sansa) aren't responsible for Joffrey's death...
posted by Schmucko at 11:48 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Jamie doesn't die. (yet?)
posted by Justinian at 11:53 PM on August 6


Also I don't understand anyone not rooting for Dany & the Dothraki in that rout, or faulting her for enjoying it. If you think Dany is mad, you think the dragons are as well. And I would like to think they are not as mindless as all that (Tyrion would, too!).
posted by torticat at 11:57 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Hell of an episode.

I was wondering why they brought back that dagger of all things, since the person who's likely to blame for the assassination attempt, Joffrey, is extremely dead and barely mourned.

I thought they leant very hard on re-introducing the assassin's dagger; harder than was needed simply to get Valyrian steel into Arya's hands.

Nobody actually knows who sent the assassin yet, right? It's the mystery that started the War of the Five Kings. Except now Bran does know because Bran knows everything. And Bran just let slip to Littlefinger that he knows things he shouldn't by creepily quoting his "chaos is a ladder" speech back to him.

I think Bran just put himself into a lot of danger; and Littlefinger just became very dangerous because he's now feeling at serious risk of all his schemes being exposed. I wonder if we're heading towards a second assassination attempt.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:09 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


By R'hllor's fiery testicles, that was one hell of a great episode! The battle was amazing. Watching characters I've known for so long trying to kill each other was intense.

I loved all the dialogue (and sparring) between newly introduced and finally reunited characters. My only complaint is that we didn't get a scene with Sansa (or Sansa and Arya together) asking Meera about what happened to her and Bran beyond the Wall before Meera left. I hope Bran makes an ongoing habit of fucking with Littlefinger.
posted by homunculus at 12:10 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


To everyone who complained about the Greyjoy and Casterly Rock battles being meh, I hope this made up for it. That was incredible.

Those battles were so meh I didn't even bother to come here and whine about them.

This battle though was amazing! There were lots of great moments and good shots that used distance and space in ways that make me tingly. Bronn's little run to get to the scorpion was the kind of chaos battle scenes should have, a mini-story in itself, not just herky jerky blurry bullshit. And I wanted to cry at the shot where Dracarys is flying down the stream towards the camera (though his wing goes through a tree maybe a little too easily).

Of course.. way more soldiers would have run away.. and it's dumb that Bronn and Jaime both survive and extra dumb that it was both from just dodging some fire breath. Dracarys' tail should have smacked Jaime and his horse, knocking him into the credits looking deader and more fucked up than that.

Poor Bronn though, doesn't get to one-shot a dragon like he one-shotted a fleet.
posted by fleacircus at 12:15 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


also is that beach and cave the same beach and cave that riley goes into in sense8 bc it sure looks like it
posted by poffin boffin at 12:26 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Dracarys

that's her command to breathe fire. i think that dragon was drogon?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:28 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Oh nerp you're right
posted by fleacircus at 12:39 AM on August 7


The little laugh she gives when Sansa doesn't believe her about the list. Priceless. Arya is deadly and all grown up. Did Sansa look worried or jealous for a second there? Probably.

It looked like jealousy to me. I hope I read it wrong, because that would be silly.

the vibe I got from Sansa's consternation watching Arya fight was that the writers are going to try to make this a wedge -- "I don't know if I want to be sisters with a well-oiled killing machine"

That's what I thought was happening, too.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping Bronn would get to kill that stupid dragon, and really worried that he might die because he was the least plot armored character in that battle. When he gets his castle, I think it should be the Red Keep.
posted by surlyben at 12:49 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Loved the episode, but have some questions...

What will be the solution for the Dothraki problem? Dany has unleashed a plague on Westeros. They aren't exactly well disciplined troops.

Who taught Arya to fence? I know Syrio Forel did in the first season, but he's long gone. No training on the way to the Wall, just some katas and advice when she was with the Hound, she hid Needle while she was with the Faceless Men, then rode to Winterfell.
posted by Marky at 12:49 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Also don't you think that Bran having seen All The Things would be more Buddha, less robot? I also don't understand why omnipotence makes you suddenly unable to fucking explain yourself, but it's a common fantasy trope.

I like to think it's because when you're omnipotent and you say stuff, it's like the worst case of speakerphone/Skype/conference call echo ever, cause you're remembering that you said what you said at the same time as you're actually saying it for the first time, and then you're remembering yourself remembering it ahead of time, and so on, and it's really weird and disconcerting and so you kind of get out of the habit of talking because really who needs all that hassle anyway. [See also: God.]

dickon/podrick, wc: 10k, rated E, hurt/comfort

TEAM DICKRICK 4eva
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:11 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


I also find it interesting how rapidly everyone's become anti-Dany this season! But I also find myself feeling kinda anti-Dany, compared to how pro-Dany I was before.

Obviously, bc I think this episode is the first time I've ever liked Dany.

Kraken? Lackin'. Dothraki? How about Don'thraki. Unsullied? Prepare to get bullied.

Fuck all that shit, at long last be the goofy ass AD&D 2E MelniBo'Urdgaryen murderqueen you were born to be. APPLY FLAMES TO PROBLEM AREA.
posted by fleacircus at 1:24 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Wow, that was so unexpectedly good. It made all the crap episodes that came before worth the misery. Just the stuff with Arya back in Winterfell was exciting and satisfying -- and then they managed that amazing, thrilling battle sequence! I almost wish that was the end of the sow, because I expect further disappointment.

I'm most invested in Arya and what I find interesting is that I really don't know what is going to happen with her. Most of the other characters I can see the general shape of their trajectories, but not her. I see lots of possibilities, but none among them seems more likely relative to the others. It really needs to involve Sandor Clegane, though.

Dany needs another dragon-rider, stat. And Tyrion needs to be awesome again soon.

Well, if Bran would bother explaining his abilities, he'd be pretty useful in, you know, war intelligence. From now until the end of the series, people should be all "Why the fuck didn't you tell me about this last week, Bran?? You have one job, Bran. One job."
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:37 AM on August 7 [18 favorites]


Ok, that battle was pretty spectacular. However: is it wrong for me to have been rooting for Jaime when he was charging towards Dany? On the other hand, we did get to see real vulnerability on Dany's face for the first time in a while, which might help bring her down to earth a bit.

I hope Bran's paralysis spreads to his fucking neck and head. No wonder he's only appeared in the show for about five minutes before now, his character is boring and useless and his alleged powers aren't even consistent.

Highlights: the battle (obv., though the horses made me sad, and it's a shame the dragon got hurt), Arya vs. Brienne.

Lowlights: Bronn, who I have never liked, and the Hatch.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:52 AM on August 7


Also: I'm presently halfway through Daniel James Brown's (excellent) Under A Flaming Sky, so am well-versed in fire. AMA but tl;dr is that nobody survived anything anywhere in this particular scenario.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:58 AM on August 7


Who taught Arya to fence? I know Syrio Forel did in the first season, but he's long gone. No training on the way to the Wall, just some katas and advice when she was with the Hound, she hid Needle while she was with the Faceless Men, then rode to Winterfell.

Aray answered that question for you in the episode. "No one" as in the Faceless man.
posted by rdr at 3:26 AM on August 7 [23 favorites]


Remember, Arya spent a lot of time dueling with the Waif.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:47 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


It's not like Jamie was knocked off a bridge - he was galloping along the shoreline when he got jumped.
posted by cardboard at 4:10 AM on August 7


Also a spear from a device named The Scorpion has poison on it, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:12 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]


So, Jaime is now potentially being reborn in fire and salt. Fuel for the Jaime as Azor Ahai/ The Prince That Was Promised theory or the writers fucking with us?
posted by arha at 4:13 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Jamie just faced near death by doing everything he was told to do (i.e. classic battle training). The Dragons put that way of life to ashes, literally and figuratively. Since he's learning from previous mistakes, he's probably going to emerge from the water with a different take on things.

He'll point out to Cersei how pointless fighting the Dragons is. She won't listen, because they managed to wound one and once the Dragons are good, there's just those foreign invaders, right? But Jamie saw how they smashed through the Lannister troops, how they're master horse riders, which beat infantry. He understands how different things are, but Cersei won't see or care.

Then there's the matter of what Oleana revealed and that wedge between them grows.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:29 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


If Jaime is Cersei's heir does that make him technically a prince?

I can't really imagine a grand plot for Jaime. He's kind of worthless. He had every advantage of birth and wealth but wasted his life sniffing after his sister who has accomplished more than he ever will. I mean, he doesn't even deserve to kill her. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy, but his end is clearly something like Cersei sacrificing him and he dies in a ditch somewhere and only Tyrion cares.
posted by yonega at 4:34 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Or Jamie lives but witnesses Cersei's complete indifference to his fate which ends up turning him (and is the kind of lazy writing we should expect to be honest).
posted by arha at 4:35 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


That wouldn't be redemption though. If anything, in a twisted way, that'd be giving up what little honor he has. His life is Cersei's to spend. Him backing out now after all of this would just make him even more worthless.
posted by yonega at 4:37 AM on August 7


The Hidden Meaning Behind Arya’s Big Fight. Nice call backs there, from Arya's various lessons and travels.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:43 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Dany is Jon's aunt, right? Just wanted to be sure cause I see folks bringing up the possibility of a Job and Dany marital union.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 5:03 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


An aunt-nephew marriage is pretty close to normal compared to standard Targaryen practice of marrying your siblings.
posted by LionIndex at 5:07 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Yes Dany is Jon's aunt, but the Targaryen's married brother to sister for centuries so that doesn't rule it out.

I'd hope the lack of chemistry did kill it. I miss Ygritte.
posted by arha at 5:10 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


They both good looking, that's all the chemistry tv and movies need usually, lol.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


The Dothraki hadn't crossed the sea, any sea, until me.

Is burning their entire opposition leadership of assholes to death election tampering? I'm not sure she can claim any kind of high ground on Dothraki leadership.
posted by srboisvert at 5:20 AM on August 7


Jon Snow is shampoo model cute, but he's a bit short. As is the Khaleesi.

She needs to go for some less vertically challenged to even things out. I nominate Brienne.
posted by arha at 5:24 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Ah, yeah I forgot how into incest the Targaryens are/were.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 5:26 AM on August 7


I was really really hoping that Bronn would kill the dragon, not just wound it. I like Dany less and less and every deranged speech she makes makes me hope that the writers are actually INTENTIONALLY making her into a proto-tyrant and not just writing her character poorly and expecting us to agree with her point of view.

Recognizing the threat of the white walkers and still demanding that Jon bend the knee? That's stupid, arrogant, and short sighted. She still cares more about conquering than saving, which goes against everything she claims to want.

I just hope it's done on purpose and that the audience won't be expected to just accept that she's a good queen and savior just because everyone in her entourage says so.
posted by lydhre at 5:28 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Question: Has it ever been made clear in the show what the Three-Eyed Raven did or does to help the people win against the White Walkers?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 AM on August 7


No, not even in the books. He's a being of great mystical insight but it's unclear exactly what his role is. He's somehow tied to the old ways of the First Men and the Children of the Forest, but beyond that we don't yet know.

Well, if Bran would bother explaining his abilities, he'd be pretty useful in, you know, war intelligence. From now until the end of the series, people should be all "Why the fuck didn't you tell me about this last week, Bran?? You have one job, Bran. One job."

Bran really isn't of this world anymore. He doesn't care about the petty squabbling of the mortal factions. The show made this pretty explicitly clear when Bran said he remembers being Bran but isn't anymore. He's now a mortal shell for a being that exists beyond time and space.
posted by Sangermaine at 5:39 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Question: Has it ever been made clear in the show what the Three-Eyed Raven did or does to help the people win against the White Walkers?

No, but it is something I wonder about, especially whenever Meera or Jojen or someone else is like would say, "We have to protect Bran because he's the only one who can save us." And I'm like, can think of some ways it might be helpful, but I'm assuming there's something we don't know about.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:46 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


By the way, Dickon shall henceforth be known as Ser Fancy Lad, no matter how much I enjoyed Bronn's laugh at his given name.
posted by Zonker at 5:49 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


I know that in both the historical moment the story draws from, and the show itself, marriage is rarely made for love and compatibility, but I simply cannot imagine two people more poorly suited to be married than Daeny and Jon.

But who's really well suited for each other? Jon and Sansa. Jon's not too bright, but he's totally loyal ...and he's kind and warm. There's nobody who needs kindness in a mate more than Sansa, given her past experiences. Sansa, unlike Jon, knows how to play the game, but at the cost of some of her empathy. They're complements, similar to Ned and Cat ...and they're less related than Jon and Dany are! Sansa's his first cousin, not his aunt.

Lastly, Jon clearly digs redheads who know more than he does.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:54 AM on August 7 [31 favorites]


how was dany feeding two armies at dragonstone, one of which was MOUNTED, and therefore also had horses to feed? also, how are the unsullied currently surviving? we know there's no food at casterly rock, they talked about it again in this episode. boy, all that grain at highgarden sure would've come in handy...

i think i'm turning into a food truther.


I really don't want to be a food truther. I wish these sorts of logistic questions didn't pop up when I'm watching shows like this. It's annoying.
The food truther part of my brain is so easily placated. Just give me a scene or even a brief couple sentences about 'How we is doing the food thing' and it relaxes. The scene with Sansa talking about how much food they had was enough to calm any Northern food truthiness. All I needed to see was that someone was thinking about it.
posted by Jalliah at 6:01 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]



Lastly, Jon clearly digs redheads who know more than he does.


"Oh hi stepsister will you marry me? You remind me of this hot wildling chick who made me break my vows. You know what else is hot? Incest!"
posted by lalochezia at 6:01 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


You know what else is hot? Incest!"

Are you new to this show?
posted by leotrotsky at 6:09 AM on August 7 [22 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised more people weren't put off by teleporting dothraki. I mean I can easily see the dragon showing up suddenly, but how the hell did all the dothraki suddenly get there?
posted by miss-lapin at 6:13 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Sansa can't marry Jon. She's still married to Tyrion.
posted by tilde at 6:16 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Bran really isn't of this world anymore. He doesn't care about the petty squabbling of the mortal factions. The show made this pretty explicitly clear when Bran said he remembers being Bran but isn't anymore. He's now a mortal shell for a being that exists beyond time and space.

My current theory is that Bran committed suicide or is in the process of doing so, by letting the three eyed Raven reign supreme in his conscience. The previous Raven at least came across as somewhat human and aware of how people feel and have emotions. Bran seems to be shutting down and burying himself in being the Raven.

Which makessense, because his innocent climbing of walls started events that got his parents killed, brothers killed, and sisters sent on traumatic travels. Then later, once he meets the Raven, Bran's childish curiosity managed to get Holder and so many others killed, while drawing the Night King and the army of the dead south.

That's a lot of responsibility to bear and it explains why he dwells in the Raven persona, especially now that he's seeing and learning so much. His last question to the previous Raven was "Am I ready?!" and that mournful look and sad "No" spoke volumes. Bran has no time for family or friends anymore, for being close to anyone. The human side of him inadvertently started so much bad stuff, he doesn't want to be human anymore. He can't be.

Oh and that knife? I'm betting Bran knows that Arya is going to be using it and on who. He couldn't wait to get rid of it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 AM on August 7 [19 favorites]


By that time I'll admit my imagination was running wild, but long story short, I think the ending of this story will be that they retroactively recreate the gods of the Faith of the Seven.

I was burned by your "the Cylons will correspond to Olympian Gods" theory in 2008 and I'll be damned if I'm falling for it again, but like halfway through your list I was 100% falling for it again.

I'll also register that I'm a little miffed that the Dothraki crashed into the spear wall, even after the opening was there. It's also not the choice that the historic tribes that their based off of used. Where was the use of bows? Where are the feigned retreats? They're expert horsemen, they can do more than charge. Charging headlong into a wall of spears is the worst possible light cavalry tactic, especially when you've got air support.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:25 AM on August 7 [18 favorites]




I'm kind of surprised more people weren't put off by teleporting dothraki. I mean I can easily see the dragon showing up suddenly, but how the hell did all the dothraki suddenly get there?

They actually do try to justify this in the episode. Tyrion says on the beach that they have enough ships left to move the Dothraki, and Tarly tells Jaime that they've got the Tyrell gold through the gates of King's Landing. So it seems that the Lannister army is fairly close to King's Landing, which isn't too far from Dragonstone. It's possible that Danny had the Dothraki sent over to the nearby shore by boat and then charge hard for the Lannister position.

I think a better question is how did the Lannister army let an entire screaming Dothraki horde and a dragon in the sky sneak up on them such that they only noticed the enemy when they were literally on the horizon? Are scouts or guards a technology Westeros hasn't developed yet?
posted by Sangermaine at 6:33 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Sansa can't marry Jon. She's still married to Tyrion.

Said marriage was never consummated, as Tyrion was happy to admit. Just about everyone knows it was a sham, and it wouldn't be hard to get an annulment, or whatever the equivalent is in Westeros.
posted by explosion at 6:36 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


But how did Dany know where the Lannisters are at this point? I mean who would communicate that information to her?
posted by miss-lapin at 6:38 AM on August 7


"Sansa can't marry Jon. She's still married to Tyrion.

Said marriage was never consummated, as Tyrion was happy to admit. "


I have a strange theory that Sansa and Tyrion will end up beign married for real. Tyrion once said to her he would never touch until she wanted him to I think after all she's been through, she can now appreciate who tyrion is and I can see her falling for him. that's my hope, at least. It would be kind of fitting and considering they are now both shrew in terms of ruling, they would make an AWESOME couple.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:40 AM on August 7 [20 favorites]


It must be the same sort of magic that helped Euron find Yara's fleet in the middle of the ocean somewhere.
posted by Zonker at 6:40 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I choose to believe the Dothraki were camped out waiting for the Lannisters to make it back from High Garden. The Blackwater Rush crossing being the ideal ambush spot.
posted by zinon at 6:41 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Which makes the Lannister's lack of scouts even more glaring.
posted by zinon at 6:42 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


What I don't understand is the Iron Bank. They have been very clear they don't like to back losers. They're anti-slavery (book-wise, at least). You'd think after getting their gold they'd be backing the girl who:
1. freed the slaves,
2. with the legitimate claim to the throne,
3. the bigger army,
4. with Dothraki,
5. AND Unsullied,
6. the support of Dorne, the Reach, the North, & the best ships of Pyke,
7. whose Hand is also a Lannister who always pays his debts,
8. who didn't blow up the Sept of Baelor,
9. and who has the motherf#cking dragons that conquered the Seven Kingdoms last time around.

I mean, they loan any more money and they're never getting paid back.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:45 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Which makes the Lannister's lack of scouts even more glaring.

You're thinking like the Westoros generals and that way of fighting just got turned to ash.

Most likely the scouts noticed a Dothraki horde and noped right the fuck off. Because it's not like the scouts giving notice would have mattered much. Westoros armies are used to fighting one way and that just doesn't matter a horder of Dothraki believers. Throw in a single dragon, let alone three and yeah, scouts just don't matter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


THOUGHTS OMG:

- I'm surprised at how strongly people feel Dany doubled-down on being a conqueror -- I walked away from the episode with a strong feeling that the show was not only signalling she wasn't going to go full Targaryen, but that Jon was going to be the one guiding her out of it. The scene on the beach is the inflection point, right? Visually, it's a mirror to the scene where she rolls up onto Dragonstone as the conqueror. The difference is now that she's been inside the cave, and further, that Jon is there.

The beach is, I think, where you can see two different branches for her narrative. One branch has her rejecting Tyrion's advice, not asking for Jon's advice (or not following it). When she shows up on a dragon, it's over King's Landing.

The other branch is the one we've been set on. Dany rejects Tyrion's advice, but because Jon has talked to Missandei and removed his head from his ass, he reminds Danerys of her vow to break the wheel. And the next shot is of her with a dragon, bearing the fuck down on armed men, who the episode has just pointed out (i) per the exchange with Dickon/Rickon, brutally murdered castle-folk and nobles that they'd known and been friendly with, in a pretty shocking violation of guest/host relations on top of being a breach of liege/sworn soldier relations, and (ii) not just looted the shit out of the Reach, but have apparently spent at least the past few days systematically squeezing an entire harvest out of a defenseless countryside that is trying to prepare for winter. Like, the show isn't super-heavy on this, but Jaime didn't say shit about leaving people with enough to eat. In fact, Jaime then sets an outsider over the Tarlys, at least partially to make sure they don't let any people they have ties to keep back some of the harvest so they don't STARVE TO DEATH IN THE WINTER.

So yeah, Dany on a dragon roasting an army is scary, but think how much more horrifying it would have been if she'd unleashed it in Fleabottom. Think about all the children, playing in the narrow, twisting streets. Think about the wounded, recuperating in the makeshift hospitals. Think about the tradespeople, working in their stone buildings. Think about how extra-crowded it is because people have fled to Kings' Landing in anticipation of the bad shit that's going down.

Could Danerys still go Targaryen murder? Sure, because this is Game of Thrones, and shit is ~~~ surprising ~~~~ But I think this episode lays out a convincing case for Jon and Tyrion, together, acting as the check on Dany's worse impulses. Tyrion provides the analysis and book-learning. Jon provides the heart.

- Jon Snow is cavesexual, guys. I don't know how we didn't see this ebfore, but apparently, he just gets super randy in caves. So does Dany. For a moment, I seriously thought that they were going to just have sex on the ground. Mr. Machine may have yelled out, "JON, YOU DO SOME OF YOUR BEST WORK IN CAVES!!"

- The obvious solution, btw, is Jon and Danerys getting married. Not only are they sexually attracted to each other, but it cuts the Gordian knot -- Jon's patriarchal vassals will always assume that Jon is ACTUALLY in charge because he's the husband, but Danerys will have the formal satisfaction of having Jon be her vassa. And then, in private, Jon can bend the knee by going down on Dany or wtfever.

- Man, that Arya/Sansa scene was SO SATISFYING. When you had the ridiculous guards refusing to let her in, and things just dragging on and on, I got this clench-y feeling around my chest, because this narrative LOVES missed chances. What if Sansa gets knifed? What if Arya changes her mind and decides to go murder machine again? But when Sansa says that she knows where Arya is, I may have screamed and thrown up my hands in glee.

- I loved the way it was played out with them, by the way -- the sort of distance because they remember how things used to be, but also the warmth that springs up between them over how they have both survived, and how they are both here. Arya hugging Sansa at the end might have been one of my favorite moments ever. Also, I might have laughed out loud at the cut, when Sansa is like UM LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT OUR BRO AND HOW WEIRD HE IS NOW.

- Also: I love the way that Sansa says that Jon's heart might stop. I know, it could be foreshadowing, but it's such a quaint, old-fashioned, and almost cliche'd way of putting something. It's the kind of phrase that a strict Septae wouldn't mind a well-brought up genteel noble lady using, and it's also straight out of the ballads -- I loved that little glimpse, that little reminder of the girl that Sansa used to be. Underneath all that fur and that hard, remote face, that girl still lives, and I love that the show gives us this moment where we see a flash of it.

- I also love the ambiguity of Sansa looking down at Brienne and Arya. Like, I love it. I love that she could be coming to grips with how hardcore Arya is now. I love that she could be feeling jealous. I love that she could be realizing that Arya has gotten exactly what she wanted, in a way, but Sansa isn't closer to her goal from the beginning of the movie. I adore how we don't know exactly what she's thinking, and that the only hint is when she glances over to Littlefinger to see how he is taking it -- contrast that to the bit in S2, when she's on the parapet with Joffrey and thinks vividly about shoving him off, or throwing themselves off together, and is telegraphing it enough so that she stopped by the Hound, who admittedly know a thing or two about wanting to kill people that you're supposed to love.

High places, men who have done cruel things to her, and Sansa as she is now, with all those hard lessons about how to hold yourself so that people can project whatever they want on you until the moment you're ready and safe.

- Did we see Sansa on-screen telling Jon about Theon helping her? If not, it would suggest they've had chats. But really, how S A T I S F Y I N G was it to see Theon running the boat in, and then all of a sudden you see Jon on the beach? The way I shrieked when Sansa said she knew where Arya was, Mr. Machine may have yelled in excitement when he realized that Jon was going to meet up with Theon.

- SORRY ARYA STARING UP AT LITTLEFINGER TO CLOSE OUT THAT SCENE HOMFG I HATE DOING PREDICTIONS, BUT MAN, HOW SATIFSYING WOULD IT BE FOR ARYA TO MURDER LITTLEFINGER
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:57 AM on August 7 [32 favorites]


Also, not to step on The Nutmeg of Consolation's thing, but -- after the lights were out and we were lying in bed, Mr. Machine may have burst out with, "My God, can you imagine the backstab damage Arya will have with that dagger?"
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:01 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


And then, in private, Jon can bend the knee by going down on Dany or wtfever.

Or, you know, by proposing.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:06 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Sansa + Jon: Ew. They were raised together. Even if he is her cousin instead of her bastard half-brother, they will always feel like siblings.
Daenerys is a stranger, it doesn't matter if her entire genealogy is a subset of Jon's.. even if they find out they're related they won't feel related to each other.
posted by yonega at 7:09 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


I have a strange theory that Sansa and Tyrion will end up beign married for real. Tyrion once said to her he would never touch until she wanted him to I think after all she's been through, she can now appreciate who tyrion is and I can see her falling for him. that's my hope, at least. It would be kind of fitting and considering they are now both shrew in terms of ruling, they would make an AWESOME couple.

Tyrion's also kind.

You know, unless he chokes up.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:16 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


But really, how S A T I S F Y I N G was it to see Theon running the boat in, and then all of a sudden you see Jon on the beach?

Yeah that was a literal "Holy Shit" moment for me, 'cause pretty much anything could have gone down at that point, but both actors played it off well. Was also curious about the Ironborn captain who seemed to gain a little measure of respect for Theon on the beach, don't know why though.

But yeah, Jon and Sansa have clearly chatted a bit and I'm really sad and mad that we're not getting those scenes. Imagine Sansa and Arya setting down to a meal and how that would go! Or having Brienne there, especially after her and Arya fought. SO MANY little character scenes are being left by the roadside at this point, it's maddening.

At least Jon and Sansa had one, back on the Wall, and it was so good!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


It would be kind of fitting and considering they are now both shrew in terms of ruling, they would make an AWESOME couple.

Wel, there's an age difference to modern audiences. But yeah, it's a coupling that would make strategic and character sense. Especially since neither is looking for a relationship. But Tyrion always treated her like a Queen, which is something Sansa would really like.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:22 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Theon was pretty ballsy just walking up to Jon and being all "Hey bro, long time no see. How's Sansa?"
posted by Sangermaine at 7:22 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Theon? Ballsy? Aspirational ballsy, anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:27 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


More like, "Hey Jon, let me reference the only thing that might get you to spare me life."
posted by leotrotsky at 7:28 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


In case you're still wondering about what got burnt by dragon fire (besides Lannister and co. soldiers):

Lord Tarley: All the gold's safely through the gates of King's Landing.
Jaime: Good.
Lord Tarley: We need to get the last of these wagons over the Blackwater Rush before nightfall. The head of the line is ambushed, the tail will never be able to reinforce in time.
Jaime: Well, we are stretched a bit thin.

(Episode transcript)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Also a spear from a device named The Scorpion has poison on it, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher


I wouldn't attach any significance to the name - a scorpion is just a classic Greek/Roman siege weapon, an arbalest scaled up beyond easy portability. Pretty standard field kit; Jaime was just calling it what it was, same as he would if it were a catapult. I *would* attach significance to the fact that Qyburn was the guy suggesting its use in the first place, because Qyburn, and also because (in the books) the Maesters of the Citadel were the ones responsible for poisoning the previous generations of dragons as part of their long-term goal of driving magic out of the world.

I seriously doubt show-Drogon is poisoned, though.

re: Dothraki teleportation - any possible site for this battle is just across the bay from Dragonstone. Here's a map. That said, there is no way Euron made it through the first three episodes of this season without multiple acts of teleporting, at least one of which was an entire fleet.
posted by Ryvar at 7:45 AM on August 7


Thanks for that link, filthy light thief!

As a side note -- the Iron Bank is now in an interesting position. Their massive loan has been repaid, which might make you think they're inclined to help the Lannisters, but from another perspective, as long as the Lannisters owed the Iron Bank an absolute SHITLOAD of money, the Iron Bank had a significant interest in making sure the Lannisters paid up, meaning a real interest in making sure they stayed in power, particularly if they think that Dany is unlikely to honor the debt, what with her general disinterest in helping people who make money off slavery.

From that perspective, Cersei paying it all off in a single installment is a stupid thing, because it means she can't play the line, "Lend me this additional $$$$ or support me in this additional way that costs $$$$, or the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ you already lent goes up in dragon flame."

It's the old thing about how you're the bank's problem, right, if you owe them a sufficiently large amount of money? And now that they're fully repaid, the Iron Bank could make the assessment that 1) Cersei is unlikely to win against three full-ass grown dragons, especially if the Iron Bank doesn't intervene, and 2) if Dany wins Westeros, she has to rule it, and can't go back to Essos to make sure the slave trade stays stamped out, and 3) staying around in Westeros to help Cersei just makes it more likely Dany might fly back over the sea to pursue vengeance against them. Consequently, the Iron Bank could conclude it's more profitable for them to let things play out as they will, and they can do a """credit re-assessment""" following """"stabilization of market conditions""""".

I'm guessing that with the references to the Golden Company, the show isn't going to take this route, but it's interesting to think about.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:59 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


[Folks, it's just mild stuff so not a big deal so far, but reminder that this is the Show Only thread and if you're moved to comment about the books you're sort of failing to adhere to that indicator. Show only.]
posted by cortex at 8:07 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Regarding the iron bank's "new position" (same as the old position). Did I miss something or were the rep of TIB and Cersei discussing her capital needs for her new wars. . . but only after they are paid what they are owed? Is the gold not going to get shipped back to Braavos? Like, the banker is only going to need to visually inspect it, mark the dept as repaid, and open a new line of credit equal to the amount of the "repaid" Tyrell gold?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:12 AM on August 7


"I'll settle this right now, lemme just ride directly at this woman and her terrifying fire-breathing dragon."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:16 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I really enjoyed that Drogon's throat seemed to contain the dragon equivalent of a pilot light.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:17 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Yeah, the gold won't be shipped back, it'll be held in the equivalent of a brokerage vault and the Iron Bank rep will lend it back to hire the Golden Company and other mercs.

I don't think Dany has even contemplated using the Iron Bank, so the bank's choices about who to back are constrained, and they know two things: they have a long history of making winners, and the dragons were defeated before. If anything, they're more eager than ever to lend to Cersei.

Also, there's the fact that the debts of the Iron Throne are really on whomever sits there. When Cersei took the throne, she didn't dare repudiate the debts Robert Baratheon incurred, which were substantial, because that would cut off the line of credit. If the Iron Bank continues lending to whomever is on the throne, it doesn't matter if they back the loser, because the winner still needs the credit.
posted by fatbird at 8:18 AM on August 7


Exceptional_Hubris,

From filthy light thief's transcript link:

Bank Rep: "Rest assured, Your Grace, you can count on the Iron Bank's support."
Cersei: "Hmm."
Bank Rep: "As soon as the gold arrives."

It's unclear what exactly he means, but I don't think they would make a specific point of saying this if it weren't going to be important to the plot. They also make a point of saying the Tyrell gold made it into King's Landing. I think it's going to turn out that the gold doesn't actually make it to Braavos, either by theft or destruction.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:23 AM on August 7


There's no sense in the Iron Bank returning the gold to Braavos because there's no one there to lend it to. From their perspective, the best thing that could happen would be to immediately lend it back to Cersei and take the letter of credit back Braavos. If Dany turns the gold to slag under 100 feet of rock, the Iron Bank representative still has the debt to collect on, and a lendee more desperate than ever for cash.
posted by fatbird at 8:27 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I remembered that exact line, which is why I am confused about TIB's plans . . . if they are genuinely about to turn the money back around and be happy with a note from Cersei then why do they need the gold to arrive at all.

If I got to pay my mortgage, but also have a home equity loan, I cant pay my mortage out of my HELOC, no?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:33 AM on August 7


My current theory is that Bran committed suicide or is in the process of doing so, by letting the three eyed Raven reign supreme in his conscience. The previous Raven at least came across as somewhat human and aware of how people feel and have emotions. Bran seems to be shutting down and burying himself in being the Raven.

Meera: "You died in that cave."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:38 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


I think TIB needed the gold to show up because the Iron Throne had long been running on credit and TIB was ready to foreclose. They needed to see that, despite the perilous situation of all Westeros, the gold is still around and there's still someone able to actually make good on a loan.

You can keep rotating debt through various vehicles, but if the bank senses you're just trying to keep ahead of the axe, they'll stop believing you could actually repay the debt if you chose, and your options (and terms) start getting a lot worse. I think Cersei was in that position: TIB wasn't going to lend more without a significant gesture, and Cersei delivered in true Lannister form. The Iron Throne wasn't yet in a position of "you own the bank".
posted by fatbird at 8:39 AM on August 7


Am I the only one bothered that dany doesn't have armor or at least a helmet at this point? or even like an unsullied shield tied to each shoulder.

Seems just to be inviting a lucky Euron-ish arrow. Don't be Rickon dany.
posted by French Fry at 8:50 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


He's now a mortal shell for a being that exists beyond time and space.

Pretty much my day job
posted by rocketman at 8:51 AM on August 7 [13 favorites]


I miss Ygritte.

Me too.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 8:53 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Am I the only one bothered that dany doesn't have armor or at least a helmet at this point? or even like an unsullied shield tied to each shoulder

She has zero training in combat fighting, so it's not surprising. The three dragons make her very arrogant and foolhardy, there's a dozen things she should have done differently in that battle.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


So, if the North decides to go its own way from Dany if she goes mad king, would that constitute a Drexit?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:56 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


there's a dozen things she should have done differently in that battle.

Like at least make an attempt to capture the supplies before burninating everything?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:59 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


I'm also bothered that her means of riding Drogon seems to be "hold on tight to the pointy bits" she has a whole dothraki horde, and someone making all her dope outfits and sweet dragon jewelry, surely someone could get some kind of basic dragon saddle, or a rope.

A rope would be nice.

yes I realize, in a scene involving a magic dragon I'm the nerd worried about bridle and barding... but I am who I am.
posted by French Fry at 9:04 AM on August 7 [19 favorites]


Like at least make an attempt to capture the supplies before burninating everything?

No one knows what's coming, so no one has a clue to think about the basics, like feeding the populace. Everyone except the North is still doing a ton of petty stuff the audience knows doesn't matter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:09 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


yes I realize, in a scene involving a magic dragon I'm the nerd worried about bridle and barding... but I am who I am.

No, this totally bothered me too. When you ride a horse, even without a saddle and bridle, at least you have the advantage of being able to wrap your legs around something. I know she's holding on to the spikes or whatever on his back, but it basically all just comes down to balance, which doesn't seem like nearly enough when the dragon is diving and turning and you know, falling. I was really hoping Tyrion, who came up with a saddle for himself and Bran, would have invented some kind of harness.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:11 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


GUYS ITS MAGIC
posted by something something at 9:13 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I'm a little disappointed there isn't already a fake commercial on YouTube for the Iron Bank.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:17 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


I can suspend belief all day regarding dragons and teleporting armies, but was exasperated by Jamie getting pushed off into ankle deep water and then sinking twenty feet into the depths.
posted by exogenous at 9:18 AM on August 7 [15 favorites]


No one knows what's coming, so no one has a clue to think about the basics, like feeding the populace. Everyone except the North is still doing a ton of petty stuff the audience knows doesn't matter.

Except now Dany knows damned well what's happening and she does it anyway.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:21 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Re: the Iron Bank repayment. I could see Cersei getting short-sighted and telling the banker "You know that gold I promised you? Sorry, I need it to buy grain now." (Or, given the reality of the immediate threat "I need it to hire mercenaries now.") As little as she cares about the citizens of King's Landing, she is also very aware of how quickly they can be turned, especially with empty bellies. As pointed out above, it would take weeks for Braavos to actually take possession of the gold; they would be reluctant to extend credit until it is actually safe in the Iron Bank's vaults.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:24 AM on August 7


Also, there's the fact that the debts of the Iron Throne are really on whomever sits there. When Cersei took the throne, she didn't dare repudiate the debts Robert Baratheon incurred, which were substantial, because that would cut off the line of credit. If the Iron Bank continues lending to whomever is on the throne, it doesn't matter if they back the loser, because the winner still needs the credit.

It's all handwaving, but I'd guess it wouldn't work quite that way. Cersei's legitimacy follows from Robert's, in theory -- the throne went from him, to what people thought were his kids, to his widow. It's all bullshit but it's noble-sounding bullshit so there it is. The line of succession is unbroken, so therefore so is the line of credit.

Taking the throne by right of conquest (in a more straightforward way then Cersei's method) would break that -- the new ruler needn't feel beholden to fulfill the debts of a failed House.
posted by rewil at 9:26 AM on August 7


But who would she buy grain/mercenaries from in westeros?

She pretty much needs the iron bank to take the gold and immediately extend a new loan in the form of food and armies.
posted by French Fry at 9:28 AM on August 7


Except now Dany knows damned well what's happening and she does it anyway.

Nah, she's just getting to the point of believing that the Walkers exist. But like Tyrion said, people can't wrap their minds around the large idea of "army of the dead." So practical considerations don't even occur to her, she just wants what she thinks is hers.

For the Walkers, Daenerys is all like "Oh you delicious brooding piece of white chocolate, sure they exist. But your fine ass still needs to bend that knee and I'm not talking loyalty oath." Seriously at this point, I think she's liking that Jon isn't bending the knee and for reasons she admires. Daenerys definitely wants to add "Rider of Snow" to her list of names. And Jon badly wants to it too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


okay even if they don't believe the white walkers are coming, they all know WINTER is coming, right, and all these idiots definitely know they need to squirrel away provisions for that before it's too late. ffs, even CERSEI understands the necessity of feeding her people, if only to prevent another uprising.
posted by Ragini at 9:44 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


>Except now Dany knows damned well what's happening and she does it anyway.

>Nah, she's just getting to the point of believing that the Walkers exist.


But in this context, "what's coming" isn't the white walkers but winter. You don't have to believe in the threat of the white walkers to recognize the necessity of stockpiling as much food as possible now that winter has started and could last for years. And since winter has finally come, it's not like they have time to just re-grow a brand new harvest.

the new ruler needn't feel beholden to fulfill the debts of a failed House.

I agree. It's hard to imagine Dany feeling remotely obligated to fulfill the debts accrued by Robert Baratheon and those who came after him. In that respect, Stannis really was a good investment for the Iron Bank (even though it turned out badly in the end), because he could be relied on to take responsibility for the debt once he got the Iron Throne.

In fact, I have a hard time seeing Dany doing business with the Iron Bank at all. She seems much more inclined to just take what she wants. Not so interested in loans and interest rates and repayment plans.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:45 AM on August 7


That banker looked so familiar, I couldn't place it. Finally, I realized it's Mycroft from Sherlock Holmes.
posted by about_time at 9:46 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I don't think she even really buys that the White Walkers exist. She's just agreeing to not immediately dismiss Jon on Tyrion's word. I mean, why would she believe it? Dragons are magic but everyone in this world knows they're real, they just died out. You could still find proof of their existence like their bones and eggs, and in attestations like the history of Valyria or Aegon's conquest. No one has ever seen a White Walker or a wight, or anything related to them, because that stuff happened thousands of years ago and are fairy tales at this point.

She really has no reason to believe this stranger raving about ice monsters and the undead and asking her to abandon the quest she's spent her whole life on to go fight them. The only reason she'll even consider thinking about it is because she trusts Tyrion so much.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:47 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Seems like the answer should be either :
a) No-one. Not all assholes get their comeuppance.
or
b) Sansa. Because sometimes assholes get their comeuppance.


Or c) "No one" will do it. Some assholes do get their comeuppance.
posted by about_time at 9:48 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Oops, should have previewed. Ragini already covered what I said about the threat of winter.

Finally, I realized it's Mycroft from Sherlock Holmes.

Yeah, and this was the episode where Mark Gatiss most clearly channeled his Mycroft Holmes persona. "It's well being is a matter of arithmetic, not sentiment." (From the episode transcipt linked above.) You could just hear his disdain when he said "sentiment".
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:50 AM on August 7


On a completely different note, one other thing I'm wondering about:

After destroying the Unsullied ships at Casterley Rock and Yara's fleet, why didn't Euron's magical armada go straight over to Dragonstone and set up a naval blockade? Sure, some ships would have been burned by Dragon fire, but just load up a couple scorpions on each ship. The one thing this episode showed is that you don't even necessarily have to kill the dragon if you just incapacitate them. And if you have only three dragons, and say, 2 scorpions per ship and 300 ships (because why the hell not, we have endless ships!), those odds look pretty good for Euron's side.

If you did set up a blockade around Dragonstone, then that should put a halt to things real quickly. Dany might be able to fly away on a dragon in the night, but everyone else would starve pretty quickly, and with so many ships destroyed along with their best naval commanders, Dany's side would have a hard time breaking the blockade.

This is obviously a moot point now that the Dothraki are on the mainland, but it seemed like the obvious next move for Euron after bringing Yara to King's Landing. It wouldn't have even taken teleporting, considering how close Dragonstone is to King's Landing.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:53 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


But in this context, "what's coming" isn't the white walkers but winter. You don't have to believe in the threat of the white walkers to recognize the necessity of stockpiling as much food as possible now that winter has started and could last for years. And since winter has finally come, it's not like they have time to just re-grow a brand new harvest.

How familiar is Daenerys with the concept of Winter and what it means in Westoros? Seriously? She's still very ignorant in a number of ways about where she is and what that means.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:54 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


And if you have only three dragons, and say, 2 scorpions per ship and 300 ships (because why the hell not, we have endless ships!), those odds look pretty good for Euron's side.

Dany could dump burning oil or wildfire or just big rocks from high in the sky onto the ships. Is Drogon's flame a liquid, like napalm? Maybe he could actually set ships on fire from quite high. There's a whole world of dragon tactics available beyond 'fly directly at them like ten feet off the ground'.
posted by Pyry at 10:04 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


No one has ever seen a White Walker or a wight, or anything related to them, because that stuff happened thousands of years ago and are fairy tales at this point.


So that big white wall of snow and ice is decorative?
posted by tilde at 10:06 AM on August 7


So that big white wall of snow and ice is decorative?

How many people have actually seen the Wall?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on August 7


At this point in Westeros' history, I think people tend to assume the Wall exists to protect against the wildlings.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:08 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Yup.

In early seasons, people joke that the wall can't even be that tall, people don't respect the nights watch. Just a bunch of criminals and bastards to keep the wild-lings out.
posted by French Fry at 10:09 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


exogenous: I can suspend belief all day regarding dragons and teleporting armies, but was exasperated by Jamie getting pushed off into ankle deep water and then sinking twenty feet into the depths.

Maybe it was a dream-type sequence, and he actually has a concussion? That was some pretty, dreamy water.

Still, that could be a decent lake (or large pond, depending on what part of this world you live in), where the edges are shallow but the center is maybe 15 feet deep.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:10 AM on August 7


So that big white wall of snow and ice is decorative?

People exaggerate all the time, the people assigned to the Wall rarely come back, and the Night's Watch is made up largely of criminals. "A huge wall, 200 feet high" could easily be dismissed as an exaggeration of a more realistic 50 foot high wall meant to keep out Wildlings, which is what its commonly accepted purpose is, anyway.
posted by explosion at 10:10 AM on August 7


The one thing this episode showed is that you don't even necessarily have to kill the dragon if you just incapacitate them. And if you have only three dragons, and say, 2 scorpions per ship and 300 ships (because why the hell not, we have endless ships!), those odds look pretty good for Euron's side.

Id imagine that a non-trivial number of the bolts fired by the scorpios would miss and if even some of those ended up impaling your other ships . . . it seems like you would run a decent risk of sinking your own fleet.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:11 AM on August 7


If you did set up a blockade around Dragonstone, then that should put a halt to things real quickly. Dany might be able to fly away on a dragon in the night, but everyone else would starve pretty quickly, and with so many ships destroyed along with their best naval commanders, Dany's side would have a hard time breaking the blockade.

Uh, remember the last time some ships tried to blockade Dany and her dragons?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:17 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


seems 80-90% likely Euron will kills a dragon at some point. Perhaps gruesomely, in fun "harm to animals" kinda way. because Sea Ramsay.
posted by French Fry at 10:19 AM on August 7


Figuring it was just to get a Valyrian steel blade in Arya's hands, I started counting Valyrian blades that we know about, which I believe are currently held by Jamie (Widow's Wail), Brienne (Oathkeeper), Jon (Longclaw), Sam (Heartsbane), and Arya (nameless dagger).

They also name dropped Dark Sister back in Season 2 when Arya and Tywin were at Harrenhal talking about Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters. I assumed that it would show up eventually, but I doubt it now for reasons I can't give in the show thread. Still, you never know, it may show up yet.
posted by homunculus at 10:30 AM on August 7


I did like the scene with Bran and Littlefinger. But the scene with Meera was awful, depending on exactly what happened in the Littlefinger scene.

When Bran repeated "Chaos is a ladder" back to Littlefinger:

1. Was he just doing it out of spite, to unsettle/upset LF because he hates LF? If so, then he's still got enough Bran-ego to get personally involved - but not enough to say one kind thing to Meera? Fuck him.

2. Was he doing it as 17-dimension TER-chess, to shake LF off his game? It seems like it would be better for him to drop some 'innocent' breadcrumb of knowledge (that would send LF down some rabbit hole)?

3. And why should LF be that shaken anyway? Maybe Sansa just told Bran "Oh, one time he said that Chaos is a ladder." I mean, LF knows that Sansa distrusts him; why would he be surprised at all that Sansa had confided in Bran?

PS - Jon is not going back to the wall without a dragon to ride. One of the dragons is going to bond with him, he's going to stay in the South for a bit. Davos & Theon will be entrusted with getting the dragonglass back North.
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:34 AM on August 7


3. And why should LF be that shaken anyway? Maybe Sansa just told Bran "Oh, one time he said that Chaos is a ladder." I mean, LF knows that Sansa distrusts him; why would he be surprised at all that Sansa had confided in Bran?

Littlefinger was alone in the throne room with Varys. There's no way Bran could know what Littlefinger said unless Varys told him, which is highly implausible.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:37 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Bran-Littlefinger: "I know what you did last Summer."

Bran-Meera: Heartbreaking.

Arya-Brienne: I could watch them sparing for an entire seasons'-length (although the blocks with Needle are ridiculous).

Anti-Dany: The character has calcified. In the past, she adapts like water, now she's frozen and thus brittle.

Battle of Highgarden (?): I denigrate the heck out of the battle sequences of GoT, but I'll just shut up now. I still have quibbles, but I won't bore anyone with them.

Eyebrows: I'm pretty sure I've seen historic Egyptian khopeshes with that much curvature. The sharp edge is the outer edge, unlike a scythe. The idea is that those are more like (bearded) axes (hack/slash) than straight bladed swords (cut/thrust).
posted by porpoise at 10:42 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've seen historic Egyptian khopeshes with that much curvature.

Huh. The more you know.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:47 AM on August 7


Thank you leotrotsky, I obviously misremembered LF's audience for that speech. So, point 3 is invalidated - but I still say, (a) Bran was a dick to Meera and (b) quoting LF back to himself does nothing useful - all it does is telegraph that you know LF is up to something, and now LF knows he's got to deal with you. Bran's smart move would have been to play dumb.
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:49 AM on August 7


(although the blocks with Needle are ridiculous)

If Breinne is not putting here weight behind it, which she wouldn't be because, she even noted "it's too thin to train with" also it's sharp, so pushing back into Arya would kill her. We only see her really exert herself when she gets a little miffed and kicks Arya in the chest. I think the fight is to show that Arya is way more adapt than Brienne expeted, not that Arya coudl take her in a stand up fight.
posted by French Fry at 10:50 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Still, that could be a decent lake (or large pond, depending on what part of this world you live in), where the edges are shallow but the center is maybe 15 feet deep.

karst landscape, maybe a cenote, or maybe a kettle lake or tarn left behind by the last long winter
posted by poffin boffin at 10:52 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Also yes the Dothraki sword is essentially a Kopesh which is a great sword if you:

1 don't have access to good steal (this was the peak weapon of the bronze age)

2 do a lot of slashing and hacking instead of thrusting, like if you were on horseback or in the case of historical Egyptians in a chariot.
posted by French Fry at 10:54 AM on August 7


Bran's smart move would have been to play dumb.

I think we're meant to understand that there's no plan, no moves and, at this point, almost no agency to what Bran does or doesn't do. He's a vessel, and a broken one at that. He's lost the concept of tact and of strategy.

He told LF about chaos being a ladder because he saw (just saw? right then?) LF talking about chaos being a ladder. I'm not sure he MEANT anything in particular by it, much like he didn't mean to hurt Sansa by bringing up her traumatizing wedding night.
posted by lydhre at 10:58 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


(a) Bran was a dick to Meera

I took it as human Bran pushing her away, because he has the larger picture on his mind. If human Bran lets her get to close at this point, he'll probably fall about emotionally and he can't afford that with what's coming

and (b) quoting LF back to himself does nothing useful - all it does is telegraph that you know LF is up to something, and now LF knows he's got to deal with you. Bran's smart move would have been to play dumb.

Bran can see the future. He knows if Baelish will try anything, what it'll be, how many times and how try will go. He has absolutely fuck all to lose with Baelish and can play things anyway he wants. I'm betting that was human Bran letting Baelish know what Bran can do, because he knows exactly how Baelish is going to die and how. He's literally an afterthought at this point and human Bran is enjoying some some measure of revenge at how small Baelish wound up being in the end.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:59 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


yes I realize, in a scene involving a magic dragon I'm the nerd worried about bridle and barding... but I am who I am.

Yes! Because I find it very hard to imagine me riding the dragon (YES I DO THIS) when I'm all 'but how would I hold on? And it looks kinda uncomfortable? And the g-forces, gotta deal with those'. And oh yes 'they fly fast, what about wind and dust in the eyes? Like you could get hit by a bug or your eyes would water and I wouldn't be able to see.' Dragon riders need goggles, gods dammit.
posted by Jalliah at 10:59 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Hey, cosplayers: GOT uses IKEA rugs for Night Watch capes.
posted by rewil at 11:04 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


How familiar is Daenerys with the concept of Winter and what it means in Westoros? Seriously? She's still very ignorant in a number of ways about where she is and what that means.

Yeah, I'm sure Dany isn't familiar with what winter is like, but isn't that the whole point of having advisors like Tyrion and Varys around? To be like, by the way, not only do we need food for our army now, we need a way to feed everyone for the next 10 years, so maybe focus on stockpiling food and not burning it to nothing?

Uh, remember the last time some ships tried to blockade Dany and her dragons?

Yeah, I do remember that. I'm not saying it's a fool proof plan, but the Slavers armada had no idea what they were contending with.

Also, I'm coming at this from the perspective that Euron has unlimited ships and men to sail them and also the ability to invisibly sneak up on anyone, apparently. And I don't get the sense that Euron really cares if he gets a bunch of his men killed or sacrifices half his navy or whatever. There's always more where that came from!

Anyway, it doesn't really matter now that so many of her forces have gotten on the mainland.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:09 AM on August 7


After destroying the Unsullied ships at Casterley Rock and Yara's fleet, why didn't Euron's magical armada go straight over to Dragonstone and set up a naval blockade?

I believe Euron's job involves keeping the Unsullied busy and boxed up so they don't, say, decide to force-march on King's Landing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:09 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm sure Dany isn't familiar with what winter is like, but isn't that the whole point of having advisors like Tyrion and Varys around? To be like, by the way, not only do we need food for our army now, we need a way to feed everyone for the next 10 years, so maybe focus on stockpiling food and not burning it to nothing?

Does Daenerys, or any of her advisers, know that the wagons contain grain?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:14 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know if the people with the ability to make wildfire are anywhere other than King's Landing?

Because with or without Dany's help, a whole bunch of wildfire might be convenient in the fight against the white walkers. Obviously you wouldn't want to detonate wild fire too close to the wall, but if you can make enough wild fire and set up wildfire bombs just far enough away not to blow up the wall, then that seems like a pretty good way to slow down the army of the dead.

It's risky, but then again, a dragon breathing fire and flying around near the wall is also kind of risky. Of course, the difficulty of procuring and transporting wildfire may make this plan a nonstarter.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:17 AM on August 7


Does Daenerys, or any of her advisers, know that the wagons contain grain?

I think they talked about how the Lannister army cleared all the food out of the Reach, so I'm assuming yes. But maybe they figured it contained gold, in which case, I could understand why maybe they wouldn't care as much about torching that.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:18 AM on August 7


Bran can see the future.

I dunno about that: I'm not convinced that he has encyclopedic access to the future, the way he does to the past and present. We've been told explicitly that he knows everything that has gone before; but I think so far we've only seen him having occasional visions of the future? For example, he sees the Night King advancing in the season opener.

I mean: if he knows everything that's going to happen, what's the point in anything?

(Although, hmm, his initial info-dump vision did include flashes of what looked like future events: dragon shadows over King's Landing, the throne room destroyed and snowy. So I dunno.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:26 AM on August 7




re: Kopesh/Dothraki swords (in-book/show, aren't they called 'arak' or something)

Waaay back in Season 1: Dothraki wedding - Jorah duels a Dothraki and demonstrates that the Dothraki swords are not very effective against armour?

Granted, background scenes this season show Dothraki emigre wielding other weapons (mostly polearms) which would be effective against armour and Westerosi cavalry - and have shiny metal instead of the darker coloured metal on the kopeshes.

Straight longswords are more nimble and can target weaker points of articulation in armour and could conceivably penetrate armour with a good thrust - Needle was ineffective against the Hound's brigantine but that was mostly due to Arya's lack of strength, Needle could conceivably penetrate single-layer brigantine with enough strength (between the plates) and would definitely be effective against chain.

Also, hero_show_helmet=0, apparently

posted by porpoise at 11:42 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


That lake/pond that Bronn tackles Jamie into sure gets deep fast. Jamie was riding about 5 feet in and it was puddle depth. Bronn tackles him and maybe that carries them another a couple yards at most but suddenly the depth goes from inches to Davy Jones' Locker depth.
posted by srboisvert at 12:00 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


They were on the banks of a major river, I believe, so that didn't seem too unbelievable. Having a sandy shallow part that suddenly drops ~30 feet has been my experience in some rivers IRL.
posted by codacorolla at 12:02 PM on August 7




I've come to realise that I'm the only person staunchly in team Littlefinger. He's my conniving opportunistic agent of chaos who does not give a fuuuuck.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:09 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


The career of Mark Gatiss (head of the Iron Bank) seems super duper fun. As an actor, he's on GoT, he's played multiple characters on Doctor Who, he's Mycroft on Sherlock, he was in Sense & Sensibility, the sketch comedy show The League of Gentlemen, and a million others. He hosted A History of Horror, Horror Europa, A Real History of Science Fiction, and others, as a writer an/or producer, he's worked on Who, Sherlock, Poirot, and many others. He's written novels, he's starred in major British theater productions... I think UK folks (and an increasing number of Americans) likely know him, but wow... that looks like a fun life.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:12 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


I'm not pro or anti Littlefinger particularly but I do feel like he's going to survive til the end of the series.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:22 PM on August 7


as in, be one of the very few people left standing, not that he'll die as the very last moment of the show, although that would be hilarious too
posted by poffin boffin at 12:23 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


he'll die as the very last moment of the show

Cut to black, cue Journey's Don't Stop Believin'.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:48 PM on August 7 [12 favorites]


Littlefinger shouldn't be killed by another named character, Littlefinger should die as a result of acting like Littlefinger. I'm thinking of Paul Reiser's character in Aliens. Littlefinger should throw everyone under the bus trying to escape the whitewalkers, only to put himself into harm's way trying to weasel his way to safety.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:50 PM on August 7 [16 favorites]


[...] human Bran is enjoying [...]

Exactly my point. If they want me to believe that a piece of human Bran remains to get a little kick out of that, then it's suddenly discordant when he doesn't even try with Meera.

But maybe I was reading too much smirk into Bran's delivery of that line.


Littlefinger should die as a result of acting like Littlefinger

Right, LF's death is only satisfying for the viewer if we get to see him realize what his mistake was. OTOH, GRRM gonna GRRM, all dispensing with the standard conventional tropes.
posted by Rat Spatula at 12:54 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


He'll kill some guards on the inside of a keep trying to sneak out before the whitewalkers get there, but then the Night King is already outside the gate. So he runs back in and tries to lock the gate. Only to discover that the guards he killed have already been raised up as zombies.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:57 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


One of three things should have happened in this episode, in descending order of 'rightness' -

1. Jamie should have been roasted. - This would increase tension between Tyrion and Dany, especially considering he appears to be questioning her motivation and dedication to the whole 'not being a crazy targaryen murderous despot' thing. Which, frankly, should be questioned, as she is starting to sound more like her brother who demanded people respect him as was his birthright that anyone else. This would be my favorite option, as he SHOULD have been roasted, and more importantly, I am looking for reasons not to dislike Daenarys these days.

2. The scorpion/balista bolt should have killed Drogon - This would have removed some of Dany's invulnerability, and made the conflict feel as if it weren't a foregone conclusion. Perhaps even causing her to reflect on her choices .

3. Jamie should have killed Dany - This last one was never really likely, but it would have rescued the show from the increasing feeling that it is all fan service and old fantasy tropes, and less a new, dynamic world where 'all men must die'.

Everyone character sticking around because "They can't kill them! They are too important!" is the trope that this series originally appeared to be rejecting. A good main character death is needed to reset expectations, and the freshness of the series!
posted by das_2099 at 12:58 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


A Dany-Jon marriage would not be out of line with actual historical marriages. Wikipedia mentions about 50 examples, most historical. It's usually uncle-niece because patriarchy, but with Dany the Targaryen heir it makes sense, even without the notion that the Targs are particularly incestuous.

The likely location of the battle was on the south banks of the Blackwater Rush, assuming both armies avoided the Kingswood. That river is navigable by ship well past the likely point of the battle, and at places would probably be more like a lake. So it makes sense that Jaime could fall into deep water and risk drowning.

As for Bran's future-sight, if you assume that free will exists and people can change the future, his visions are only the future as it exists when he conceives of a particular future time. His own actions and actions of others could change what happens, and it's possible that some part of him is trying to help his family in choosing his words. But as he knows from his vision of Hodor, the consequences of acting are unpredictable and can have effects across time. So he may be cautious about doing or saying anything that will make things worse and hurt people he (or the Bran part of him) loves. Also, it seems like he can see the past, present, and future but might only be able to focus on part of it at a time, so he's not omniscient except for the event he's currently focusing on.

Final thought: I don't think the dragons would accept saddles or barding. They are wild creatures who barely tolerate most humans. Daenerys should be wearing armor, though.
posted by llachglin at 1:04 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


You know what would be perfect? If they killed Bran off. Like, right now. So that none of his storyline really meant shit. Except that then Meera does something crucial while she's on the road back home. So really, it was always about getting her where she needed to be. So that the only thing the 3-eyed raven was ever good for was knowing how unimportant he really was except as a minor course correction for another character.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:07 PM on August 7 [28 favorites]


My guess is they are already setting up how Littlefinger will die, as Arya, one of the show's deadliest, most vengeful characters has ended up with his Valyrian steel dagger. You've got a show that likes foreshadowing and irony, a person who abides no strikes against her family, a guy who tried to kill her brother and chronically backstabs, and the woman is holding the backstabber's dagger. I don't think you have to be a fortune teller to see what's coming.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:09 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Also, also, also: What if, after all this, Dany just falls off her dragon? Ooh, ooh! I know! I know! What if she flies a dragon to torch Euron, he shoots a scorpion, but misses, but Dany falls off the dragon when it swerves? And Dany then falls directly on Euron, killing them both!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:13 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]




He's a vessel, and a broken one at that. He's lost the concept of tact and of strategy.

He told LF about chaos being a ladder because he saw (just saw? right then?) LF talking about chaos being a ladder. I'm not sure he MEANT anything in particular by it, much like he didn't mean to hurt Sansa by bringing up her traumatizing wedding night.


I don't know. I'm not sure the mention of Sansa's wedding night was meant to traumatize her as opposed to reminding her of what she has risen above, a cold-blooded way of motivating her. I think Bran's moves are very intentional, although toward what exact end I'm not sure. He asserts his power over Littlefinger by showing he can see inside his mind (or history). He accepts the dagger but then turns it over immediately to his assassin sister (and he surely knows that is exactly what Arya is). He is cold to Meera, but possibly with the end of driving her away for her own safety rather than involving her in the battle he is engaged in (much like Arya's throwing rocks at Nymeria). I think all of Sansa's feeling of alienation from Bran right now, and Meera's, are misdirection. Bran is still in the fight, and it's still personal for him. At least that's what I like to tell myself. I've never been a fan of the Bran/three-eyed raven storyline; but he is such a powerful asset at this point that I think it has to pay off eventually in the Starks' favor.

(I do wonder, however, when the fuck he's going to mention to Sansa and Arya what he knows about Jon's parentage. I mean come on, three Starks in Winterfell and this crucial piece of information is being withheld? We better see it next week.)

Is Littlefinger on Arya's list? ...is that a dumb question?
posted by torticat at 1:29 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


BTW, are we generally agreed that it was Bronn who saved Jaime? And also that Jaime's sinking to the (implausible) depths was NOT a death scene? I mean Tyrion was watching the whole thing. It's hard for me to imagine him running into the melee to rescue Jaime from drowning; but he also wouldn't stand by and watch his brother die. At the very least, a reunion with Jaime might justify in a dramatic sense Tyrion's being there in the first place, although it wouldn't explain the logistics of how he got there, nor why he's on standby instead of helping to direct tactical decisions. I mean the guy knows Lannisters, and he knows dragons: once again I ask, why is he being sidelined??
posted by torticat at 1:34 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


He accepts the dagger but then turns it over immediately to his assassin sister

And when doing so, makes a self-deprecating joke out of it, which implies that he's fully capable of letting his human/Bran side out. This implies pretty strongly to me that he's doing everything deliberately.
posted by fatbird at 1:36 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


(I do wonder, however, when the fuck he's going to mention to Sansa and Arya what he knows about Jon's parentage. I mean come on, three Starks in Winterfell and this crucial piece of information is being withheld? We better see it next week.)

That fact that he hasn't means, to me, that Three-Eyed Bran is very aware of what he's doing.

He has to talk to Jon directly, to let him know. He can't send a Raven, 'cause someone may read it. And if it's true that Jon is a Targ, that throws a lot of things up in the air, at time when it's the last thing that's needed. Is he still King of the North, head of Winterfell, etc, etc, if his father is a Targ? Maybe, maybe not, but it's not thing you just casually throw out there and Jon should know before anyone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:37 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


The incest question about Jon and Dany is a non-starter. We should assume the showrunners are over it, given that they apparently believed (mistakenly) that the cave scene generated enormous sexual heat between the two of them.
posted by torticat at 1:39 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


You have to figure both Jamie and Bronn will be POW's in the next episode, Bronn pulls Jamie out and are surrounded by Dothraki, and Dany stops them from killing both. It'd be a shame to lose Dickon, but I doubt the Dothraki will leave any survivors.
posted by Marky at 1:42 PM on August 7


There was a Bronn POV shot right after Bronn dives off the scorpion wherein he sees a white horse. It was kinda the same way Jamie saw that lance (or pole or whatevs). Saw it on second viewing of that scene and it did well enough to convince me that that was Bronn diving off a white horse and saving Jamie.
posted by lauranesson at 1:43 PM on August 7


In the Chrys Reviews recap, it's obvious from one still that it's Bronn.
posted by rocketman at 1:47 PM on August 7


Another self-aware Bran statement: "I see quite a lot these days", which is almost comedic understatement and strongly implies that he has no problem thinking in personal terms.
posted by fatbird at 1:48 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


There was a Bronn POV shot right after Bronn dives off the scorpion wherein he sees a white horse.

Yup, that was what persuaded me.

Also that it was kinda Bronn's show, and I love (whether he ultimately lives or dies) that they gave him that kind of sendoff. In which he decides between the gold and the scorpion, and chooses to fight (and manages singlehandedly to maneuver the scorpion and land a hit on a dragon); and then looks at the insane risk of riding in front of dragon fire, and chooses to save Jaime.

Who is now, the earlier scenes nothwithstanding, waaaaaay in Bronn's debt and probably owes him several castles at least. Once someone figures out how to haul him (them) and all their armor out of the water.

Oh my god--Bronn's not going to make it out of the water, is he? I just realized, this truly was his sendoff episode, and he died saving Jaime.
posted by torticat at 1:53 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


dragon shadows over King's Landing, the throne room destroyed and snowy.


Ash, as we saw this episode, can blow around and seem quite snowy.
posted by tilde at 1:56 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Ash would be really helpful. He could give Jaime his chainsaw hand.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:00 PM on August 7 [16 favorites]


They both good looking, that's all the chemistry tv and movies need usually, lol.

BTW this--yes, seems to be what they were counting on. Pretty amazing that they were able to kill it dead. Brandon Blatcher, your little recap above is like 100x hotter than the actual scene, LOL.

For the Walkers, Daenerys is all like "Oh you delicious brooding piece of white chocolate, sure they exist. But your fine ass still needs to bend that knee and I'm not talking loyalty oath." Seriously at this point, I think she's liking that Jon isn't bending the knee and for reasons she admires. Daenerys definitely wants to add "Rider of Snow" to her list of names. And Jon badly wants to it too!
posted by torticat at 2:00 PM on August 7


Yeah there is ZERO chemistry there. This only makes since if it's leading up to a weird not-right-kiss like in Back to the Future.

If those are supposed to be bedroom eyes; add those two a list of people I never wish to be in a bedroom with.
posted by French Fry at 2:05 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


they apparently believed (mistakenly) that the cave scene generated enormous sexual heat between the two of them.

I'm hoping that when they cut from Dany asking Jon to bend the knee and the two of them walking out together, all that happened was Jon saying, "I'm putting my pride before my people? Pot, kettle, black, you pompous arse."
posted by vanar sena at 2:07 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that fire + ice = lukewarm water, rather than steam.
posted by Zonker at 2:13 PM on August 7 [10 favorites]


"Remember, Arya spent a lot of time dueling with the Waif."

There was a training montage and everything!

I do suddenly find myself wondering what they know about winter in Essos and how it's dealt with there, it's a little odd that the Essos folks are worried about winter? (Westerosi ... Essosi?)

"Everyone character sticking around because "They can't kill them! They are too important!" is the trope that this series originally appeared to be rejecting. A good main character death is needed to reset expectations, and the freshness of the series!"

Jamie can't die now because he has to kill Cersei to complete his redemption arc and echo his killing of the first Mad King.

I found myself wondering if Drogon will fish Jamie out. I do suspect he's Dany's prisoner next week, one way or another, and gets to chat with Tyrion.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:14 PM on August 7


Oh good, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who is feeling zero sexual chemistry between Jon and Dany. I've seen a lot of other people freaking out about how off the charts their chemistry is, so I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who is feeling a noted lack of chemistry between the two of them.
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:17 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Don't need chemistry for a dynastic marriage! Particularly if you're keeping it in the family.
posted by Justinian at 2:21 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I can suspend belief all day regarding dragons and teleporting armies, but was exasperated by Jamie getting pushed off into ankle deep water and then sinking twenty feet into the depths.

This, except with the sudden existence of a wheelchair (seemingly designed to be self-propelled but likely too heavy) instead of an intellectually-disabled indentured servant (although really, Winterfell isn't made for wheelchair user accessibility).
posted by elsietheeel at 2:30 PM on August 7


Going from Ygritte to Dany is one hell of a step down, anyway.
posted by lydhre at 2:30 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]




TW this--yes, seems to be what they were counting on. Pretty amazing that they were able to kill it dead. Brandon Blatcher, your little recap above is like 100x hotter than the actual scene, LOL.

FYI, I do think they have chemistry and there was some legit sexual tension in the save scene. More from Daenerys than Jon, but both characters very definitely want to bang the hell out of other, no question in my mind. A relationship could happen, but first they're getting horizontal.

Personality wise, I see them blending well, with Jon cooling her rage, and her fire him a portal for the passion that's always been in him, but just comes out as brooding. Yes, I'm aware that's a cheesy sentence, but I think that's how it's gonna go down. So to speak.

They're both strong personalities and they admire strength in others.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:32 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Ygritte and Dany 4ever.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:33 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


When did they establish that Bronn knew how to use the scorpion? Did I miss a training montage?
posted by asperity at 2:42 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


When did they establish that Bronn knew how to use the scorpion?

He's a sell-sword, it's a weapon of war. It's not much of a leap to assume he'd intuitively understand how to work a giant crossbow.
posted by rocketman at 2:45 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


> And when doing so, makes a self-deprecating joke out of it

Smacks forhead. I only just got the joke.

As in it was once meant to kill him, the cripple, and was wasted for that purpose but still served to kick start the War of the Five Kings. Then also to suggest to Arya that it just might be a fine thing for the dagger to be used now on someone who is not a cripple.

Also caught that Arya is familiar with Littlefinger (and is surprised that he's in Winterfell). Later, when she follows Brienne's gaze and sees LF, there are definitely gears turning in her head especially after LF gives her a little smirk and a half nod.

Watching that scene again, my read is that Sansa now finally starts to believe Arya's stories (and potentially other people's stories about Arya) and has some small concern that LF now has a read on Arya's capabilities. Sansa continues to still vastly underestimating her sister.

However, I suspect LF knows at least a little about Arya already and his seeing it in person is no big deal - he thinks he has a read on Arya and will be over-confident given that Arya's true/total capabilities far exceed being able to spar prettily/"dance."
posted by porpoise at 2:47 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


However, I suspect LF knows at least a little about Arya already and his seeing it in person is no big deal - he thinks he has a read on Arya and will be over-confident given that Arya's true/total capabilities far exceed being able to spar prettily/"dance."

That wasn't my read on that scene - that is, I think LF started that way, but when Arya started eyeballing him, that he picked up on her perceptiveness and transitioned to thinking of her more as a threat than an asset.

Baelish is very slowly picking up on the hilarious Stark danger he's cultivating. He just needs Jon and Benjen to roll back in to get a full set of Norfern peril.
posted by The Gaffer at 2:53 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


FYI, I do think they have chemistry and there was some legit sexual tension in the save scene. More from Daenerys than Jon, but both characters very definitely want to bang the hell out of other, no question in my mind. A relationship could happen, but first they're getting horizontal.

Personality wise, I see them blending well, with Jon cooling her rage, and her fire him a portal for the passion that's always been in him, but just comes out as brooding. Yes, I'm aware that's a cheesy sentence, but I think that's how it's gonna go down. So to speak.

They're both strong personalities and they admire strength in others.


Once again, BB, you are saying what I wish I were seeing. I mean I've always been for Dany + Jon, tbh; the Song of Ice and Fire makes the potential obvious, and I do believe both of them have good hearts (all the Dany-hate, although I get it, notwithstanding. I chalk all that up to D&D being idiots and don't hold it against Dany personally).

My perspective is, how can you help but root for two people from obscure/disgraced/abusive backgrounds but with noble lineage (sorry, I know it's problematic), who WANT to rule with justice however flawed they are, how can you help but hope they can do it together, and with some real romance/sexual tension thrown in? I WANT the heat to be there; I'm just not feeling it.
posted by torticat at 2:55 PM on August 7 [9 favorites]


He's a sell-sword, it's a weapon of war. It's not much of a leap to assume he'd intuitively understand how to work a giant crossbow.

But it's not intuitive even if you do know how to use it. I mean, range finding alone would have to take more than one shot given the conditions (wind, fire causing updrafts, giant dragon flying right at you) so we were clearly cheated out of a montage.

Besides, Qyburn's demonstration implied that these are the first of their kind. It's possible the devices already existed and Qyburn's innovation is dragon-piercing ammunition. Was that made clear?

I'm just not sold on Bronn's skill with giant ranged weapons. By contrast with, say, Sam's skill at performing disgusting chores. The show definitely made that believable.
posted by asperity at 3:13 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


He's a sell-sword, it's a weapon of war. It's not much of a leap to assume he'd intuitively understand how to work a giant crossbow.

LOOK EVERYBODY WAS SUPPOSED TO SIGN UP FOR THE GIANT CROSSBOW WEBINAR, WE SENT LIKE FIVE EMAILS ABOUT IT
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:14 PM on August 7 [61 favorites]


But it's not intuitive even if you do know how to use it. I mean, range finding alone would have to take more than one shot given the conditions (wind, fire causing updrafts, giant dragon flying right at you) so we were clearly cheated out of a montage.

Bronn is incredibly capable and someone Jamie trusts to get shit done. It's completely unsurprising, in retrospect, that Bronn was obviously taught how to use the thing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:16 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Yeah, that's how I feel too. We're told there's chemistry. Jon very obviously touches Dany's arm in a way that's meant to be a nod to that. But it's not there.

You know who had a ton of chemistry this episode? Arya and Brienne.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:17 PM on August 7 [14 favorites]


What irritates me most is that D&D want to have it both ways. They showed us countless bloated scenes of Joffrey and Ramsay's endless hateful cruelty, for filler episode after filler episode to the extent it felt like we were actually in the sort of relationship they were so exhaustively representing. Whole banal seasons of spite and evil, meticulously documented. Lingering nipple closeups. A guy with no tackle and zero personality going down on a woman for fifteen minutes.

But epic, pivotal, game-changing battles? The first time a dragon has been seen in Westeros for thousands of years? "A thousand ships"? Another thousand Dothraki horsemen, plus their horses, materialising just outside King's Landing? People we can root for and get behind at the tail-end of this exhausting slog, like the Hound, like Brienne? The direwolves? Bit pieces. Incidental. Glossed over. Zero consideration, zero thought, zero writing chops on display. Just: it happens.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:25 PM on August 7 [15 favorites]


As far as I can see the only work they've shown on attraction between Jon and Daenerys is that in the cave he touched her without asking her permission and she didn't immediately put him to death.
posted by yonega at 3:29 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Oh god, turbid dahlia, YES.

My exposure to D&D has been pretty much limited to their commentary after the Jaime/Cersei rape scene, which was off the charts misguided; and watching the "inside the show" commentary this season for the first time--in which they are off the charts inane, clueless, and self-satisfied.

But my son sent me this clip for the "chaos is a ladder" relevance and I was shocked all over again by the disgusting gratuitous sexualized violence back in the early days. And the showrunners weren't even thinking twice about it at that time--not until they got pushback from viewers/reviewers and needed to start acting like they were remotely clued in. Which--things have been better on the sexualized violence front, yes; but D&D still don't show any indication at all that they actually understand what they are dealing with.
posted by torticat at 3:38 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Yara and Dany had like ten thousand times as much chemistry in their first scene together than Jon and Dany do. (I totally ship it, no pun intended.)

Sansa and Jon also had sort of a confusing amount of chemistry when they first reunited back in season 6. Even Jon and Tormund have way more chemistry than Jon and Dany.

Oh, I just figured it out! Dany needs to dye her hair red! We all know Jon has a thing for gingers.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:02 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


I'm shipping Davos and everyone. The Onion knight is the real hound of this series.
posted by srboisvert at 4:16 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Ser Davos Seaworth? He ships himself.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:20 PM on August 7 [23 favorites]


1. I am going to justify Dany's burning of all of the food as her lack of control of Drogon. She tells him to spit fire, he aims for the biggest targets, which in this case is the wagons.

2. "Chaos is a ladder" and the scene that it's from is IMO the Primary Theme of This Show. It started w/ Ned's death which nobody expected because that's not how these stories work. Since then, there have been a ton of deaths, team-ups, twists, double-crossings, etc. that have served to teach us, the audience, one thing: we cannot depend upon is Campbell's hero's journey for this show. No one is safe.

This is why I kind of hope that this show pulls a Hamlet: let everybody squabble over the throne. Let someone come out on top: Dany, Jon, Littlefinger, Cersei, whomever. Let them climb the throne atop their burned, crumbled empire. Then, like Fortinbras in the wings, let the white walkers show up at the last minute and kill whomever is left. Cut to black. The end.
posted by nushustu at 5:02 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


1. I loved the over-the shoulder shot of Arya as the entered the courtyard to train with Brienne. It had a Wild West gunslinger feel for me.

2. Likewise, having Bran look right into the camera as he delivered the "Chaos is a ladder" line was a great choice.

3. "Chaos is a ladder" is the new "Time is a flat circle"
posted by donatella at 6:12 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


That would be cool, but could only really work at this point if all of the Northern leaders die first, since none of them give a shit about the iron throne. They are totally locked in on the white walkers now. But if they lose their battle with the white walkers, I think that's exactly what will happen to whoever sits on the iron throne at that point. They wouldn't have the resources left to survive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:13 PM on August 7


What did Cersei mean when she told Tycho of Braavos (while standing on her giant map) that she had things she needed to retrieve?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:55 PM on August 7


I assumed she meant Sansa and Tyrian.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:04 PM on August 7


To Jon Snow
we know your game, you like to look at good hearts in a cave.
That is what Bran said. He saw you!

Bran seems to be binge watching life and reruns at the same time.
losing track of the characters like the tv show game of thrones and also unable to
understand the timeline. People teleport all over the map
posted by metafus at 7:05 PM on August 7


Tyrion.
posted by torticat at 7:05 PM on August 7


Re: Jon and Dany's chemistry, I find Emilia Clarke a very uneven actress, especially with romantic co-stars. I don't mean to rag on her -- she's very charming in interviews, I like a lot of her work, and she's very very young and still honing her craft and carrying a shitton of an iconic series on her shoulders -- but she's had a hard time selling me on romantic roles or romantic bits of roles, and this strikes me as part of that.

(I can't tell if Kit Harrington is good at romantic acting or not because he's so pretty I get distracted.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:09 PM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Don't be Rickon dany.

It's Drogon who needs to learn this lesson and zig-zag when people are shooting giant crossbow bolts at him!

One other thing I loved about the battle, that I'm not sure has been mentioned here, was the clip of the Dothraki archers standing--angled--on their horses. That was some fantastic stuntriding there.
posted by TwoStride at 7:18 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


I thought Kit carried whatever UST there was in that scene. Which wasn't much, but what there was was down to him. He did a bit of droopy-eyelid thing when talking about the Northerners not accepting a ruler from the South, which may have been the tiniest bit effective.

I agree that Emilia is very young; her acting mostly strikes me not as bad, but young, yes.

But come on, it's all set up for them. How is is possible to make "bend the knee" in this context NOT hot?

Yet they managed.
posted by torticat at 7:19 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Oh it was hawt alright. I'll be in my bunk.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 PM on August 7


Team Dany all the way. Come on... She's complicated, conflicted, has a messiah complex. It's like looking in a mirror. :)
posted by soakimbo at 7:26 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I mean Danaerys also didn't generate a ton of heat with Cal/Daario, and how is THAT even possible??
posted by torticat at 7:27 PM on August 7


Jesus, BB, what are you seeing that I'm not??
posted by torticat at 7:28 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Bran really isn't of this world anymore. He doesn't care about the petty squabbling of the mortal factions. The show made this pretty explicitly clear when Bran said he remembers being Bran but isn't anymore. He's now a mortal shell for a being that exists beyond time and space.

I kind of like that being quasi-omniscient is overwhelming his personality and leaving him out of touch with humanity. His minimalist farewell to Meera and his bluntness with Arya seem perfectly played.

Surely I cannot be the first to think of him as Dr. Branhattan.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:29 PM on August 7 [10 favorites]


Quibble - Maisie Williams really should work on her fore-arm strength; Needle's tip wavers all the time.

Or maybe she was just excited, but from a style/cool perspective, sword tip management is 'a thing' - and Needle is deliberately light and not-so-long.
posted by porpoise at 7:31 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Jesus, BB, what are you seeing that I'm not??

We're clearly watching different shows, yeah, lol.

Daenerys soften in the cave, wasn't as harsh and they were shared a moment about the wonder of the history, Children of the forest etc, etc. Jon discovered a secret and shared it with her, privately. Daenerys could have brought her guards, but she trusts Jon. He's had a impact on her, she trusts him when in most situations she wouldn't. 'Cause with Jon, what you see is what you get.

Jon would clearly like to at least consider bending the knee and pledging loyalty to her, but he's been down that road and going against the wishes of his people for the greater good got him killed. So, no bending. But he clearly likes what he sees in her as a leader, it's in Kit's eyes and doeful looks.

I think Daenerys is picking up on that and Jon's strength of will, it's appealing and she respects what he's trying to do here, in terms of being loyal to his people and resisting her. The Red Woman had a similar reaction to Jon, when he resisted her advances. Jon has inner fortitude that can appeal to some. Which only makes Daenerys want him to bend the knee even more, while also being a bit of a turn on.

Finally, he helped her to be a dragon, but not a vengeful one, by suggesting she not attack the Red Keep and cities. "Sure, sure, BE YOU GIRL, but just be smart 'bout, knowwhatImean, hit them fools RIGHT, don't just start swingin' and hittin' citizens". He appealed to her intelligence and heart, while encouraging her to use her strength, implying he's not afraid of it.

Yeah, they're gonna bang the hell outta of each other.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 PM on August 7


Actually BB, maybe I know what you're seeing... and this isn't meant to be condescending AT ALL because I love your commentary on this show.

But my son, who is 21 and has not read the books, has been enamored of Danaerys from the very start. Are you guys buying into Emilia Clarke because she is undeniably super beautiful, but without regard for her actual acting chops?

Or am I missing something in her acting because I attribute Dany's success in large part to her beauty? I'm genuinely not sure. I do not want to sell EC short!! I love every one of her kickass scenes, even when they are (seriously) problematic! Yet I have never once been able to buy her being sexually attracted to anyone. Why is this?
posted by torticat at 7:46 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


on non-preview... now reading your further comments, Brandon Blatcher
posted by torticat at 7:47 PM on August 7


Yeah, they're gonna bang the hell outta of each other.

Oh they are, I have no doubt about this.

But this is the THIRD time in this thread, BB, that you have effectively described a heat between them that ought to exist but just doesn't, on the show! Seriously, I wish you could get in there somehow and tell Emilia and Kit what the fuck is going on between them.

Daenerys soften in the cave, wasn't as harsh and they were shared a moment about the wonder of the history, Children of the forest etc, etc. Jon discovered a secret and shared it with her, privately.

Yeah, I guess this is the start of where they lost me (or LOST me, haha). The pictographs showed a) children of the forest! b) children of the forest PLUS MEN!! c) children of the forest plus men VS WHITE WALKERS!!!

It was like, Jon is somehow incapable of just fucking telling Danaerys his own history with the white walkers (I mean, would she actually disbelieve him if he did? I don't think so) but finds these convenient ridiculous pictures that spell it out for her. Is either one of them really this much of an idiot? Are we as viewers such idiots that we need to see the communication of this information spelled out in such an infantile way... and we are supposed to be gasping at the awesomeness of this ancient discovery, expressed in kindergarten language? (And I'm talking about the script here, between Jon and Dany, not even the unsubtle nature of the pictographs themselves.)

So yeah, I guess I was kinda LOL already before they even got to the part that was supposed to be hot. But I do lay all of these particular complaints at the door of the writers, and don't fault for them Jon Snow, Danaerys, Kit Harrington, or Emilia Clarke.
posted by torticat at 8:14 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I keep wondering about the logistics of Jon Snow + Daenerys Targaryen.

If his parentage comes out is it in anyway verifiable? Some secret congenital birthmark?
Does he take her last name if they get married?
If they married and she won would she end up Queen Of The Seven Kings with the breakdown being Queen regnant of 6 of them and Queen consort of 1 of them? Their heir becoming monarch of the whole thing?

What exactly is Jon's specific status with regard to Winterfell, even though he's King In The North? And what does it mean if they're all they know no king in the north whose name is Stark when Jon isn't a Stark. Are they overlooking that as a technicality or does the North just consider him a Stark? Can he be the king in the north and not be the Lord of Winterfell? Or does it not matter because he's overlord now? What happens when he marries into someone else's family though? I mean, no one can marry into his family because he's a bastard and therefore has none. He can't officially produce more Starks, but I suppose that's a technicality.

Also thinking about Jon's position in relationship to Sansa and this whole bend the knee business...
By right Sansa is Lady of Winterfell, by appointment she's the regent of the north--if Bran wasn't a talking psychic winter cabbage, since they have patriarchy he'd be Lord of Winterfell.
It would seem as though Sansa rules Winterfell and Jon is her overlord, brother, and housemate (guest?), since she's the head of House Stark and he's a member of her household and family but not officially a Stark. Winterfell itself doesn't belong to the northern lords to give.
So, when Daenerys and her people are all 'my lording' Jon is it doubly wrong because he's not a lord of anything? If he did marry Daenerys he'd be her King In The North.

Why don't these people take 5 or 10 minutes and discuss their confusing damn feudalism where we can hear it?
posted by yonega at 8:23 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


This is kind of a YMMV moment, isn't it, Torticat? Neither of you guys are wrong, it's just perception, isn't it?

Here's my two cents. I can kind of buy the attraction between Jon and Daenerys. It's not as good as the chemistry between Jon and Ygritte (or even Jon and Sansa), but it's there, I think. Sort of. I felt it percolating a little in the cave scene, but it's more than nugatory at least (as compared to a couple like Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss). I liked Dany's chemistry with Khal Drogo or even Yara. Emilia Clarke is really beautiful and she can really sell the scary conqueror role speaking Valyrian and commanding dragons, which I find to be very cool, and really not the sort of thing anybody could pull off. I can't imagine any other actor in the part (Tamzin Merchant was originally in the role, which would have been a disaster, IMO). I'm not sure why Clarke doesn't have this chemistry with every actor she's paired with, but eh. Is it a purposeful acting choice, or can it be attributed to bad direction or lack of experience, or just crossed wires and actors who don't really hit it off? Who knows?
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 8:23 PM on August 7


This is kind of a YMMV moment, isn't it, Torticat? Neither of you guys are wrong, it's just perception, isn't it?

Yep, it either works for a person or it doesn't.

Like, toricat finds the cave scene ridiculous, but I find the idea talking about his experiences in the same way. Just not his character.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:29 PM on August 7


"Emilia Clarke is really beautiful and she can really sell the scary conqueror role speaking Valyrian and commanding dragons, which I find to be very cool, and really not the sort of thing anybody could pull off. I can't imagine any other actor in the part (Tamzin Merchant was originally in the role, which would have been a disaster, IMO)."

100% agree -- she is excellent as the conquering queen, which is a tough sell especially with such a young actress -- and Tamzin Merchant (who is spectacular!) would not have done nearly so well in the role. But I do suspect the trade-off is that Clarke (who is, again, very young!) is not a particularly good romantic actress and those scenes just play awkward. Indeed, she does better where she has to have chemistry with other women, maybe because she can relax a bit? She's very stiff playing romantic opposite men.

I also think GoT's casting department has done an astonishingly good job of locating unknown young actors to carry very demanding roles, and we've had the privilege of watching a lot of those young actors grow into those roles over 7 seasons and improve as they do so, and I have quite a bit of faith that Emilia Clarke will continue to improve as an actress and has interesting work in her future (if she picks good roles, which, okay, not all actors do).

(And PS on this topic, the actress who plays Lyanna Mormont, Bella Ramsey, also plays Mildred Hubble in the Netflix version of The Worst Witch, and she's pretty good! She takes a couple episodes to get into a comedy groove, but once she settles in she's a pretty charming child actor!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:32 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


This is kind of a YMMV moment, isn't it, Torticat?

Yup, absolutely! I'm just trying to put my finger on where we diverge.

I'm not sure why Clarke doesn't have this chemistry with every actor she's paired with, but eh. Is it a purposeful acting choice, or can it be attributed to bad direction or lack of experience, or just crossed wires and actors who don't really hit it off? Who knows?


Exactly. Who knows? It ought to be a given. And for some people, apparently, it is. I am not saying I am RIGHT; you can't be right or wrong about this. Whether you experience chemistry on the screen or not is just a very individualized thing. I'm kind of trying to tease out the differences, but that might not even be possible.
posted by torticat at 8:41 PM on August 7


It's funny, I bought their chemistry more in the slap slap fight throne room scene in the season premiere. I think EC is more compelling when she's angry than when she's soft. There are also so many good, young actresses in this show so I don't think it's really a matter of youth so much as this one actress' limited range. I didn't quite buy her giggling with Missandei about Grey Worm, either.

It's not helped that Kit Harington also doesn't have an enormous range, but we've seen him have enormous chemistry with Rose Leslie in a previous [NSFW] cave scene. And sure, it's unfair, because, like, the actors actually wanted to boing but there are these complex little microexpressions going on in that scene beyond just being in close proximity. When I rewatch Jon and Dany's cave scene I actually see EC trying to sell it harder, but it's not quite there for either of them. Jon seems especially flat. And the timeline is so compressed and they have so much ground to cover to get us where I suspect we're going that they really can't afford him to be such a turnip.

But turnip he is.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:42 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Quibble - Maisie Williams really should work on her fore-arm strength; Needle's tip wavers all the time.

For what it's worth, Maisie Williams is right-handed but Arya is left-handed. Williams is doing all that sword work with her off hand.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:44 PM on August 7 [26 favorites]


but we've seen him have enormous chemistry with Rose Leslie in a previous [NSFW] cave scene.

Oh Ygritte! Miss you so much!

But PhoBWanKenobi, what do you mean by "the actors actually wanted to boing"? Was there something between Harrington and Leslie? (Sorry, I KNOW NOTHING about this stuff.)
posted by torticat at 9:06 PM on August 7


Yeah they are engaged IRL.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:11 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Oh! Huh! Very interesting.
posted by torticat at 9:16 PM on August 7


They fell in love on set! It's the cuuuuuutest.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:38 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Interview with the director about how the battle came together, and good on you Smarties who talked about the suddenly changed nature of war: "I thought through it and figured out how I wanted to weigh the different points of view.
I wanted to focus on Jaime and Bronn and what it was like to be on the ground in battle when you see warfare change forever — when you see this giant weapon from sky, [like] when napalm or the atom bomb was introduced into traditional warfare, and what it was like on the ground. "
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:50 PM on August 7 [8 favorites]


I'm usually, at best, extremely 'meh' on the direction for the show, but they really nailed the idea that this was a world defining event. Jaime's hopeless look as he watched his tactics (literally) melt before his eyes. Nothing he has trained for as a soldier means anything any more. Tyrion comes to a similar realization, although on the other side. It was a surprisingly human moment amid a set-piece with a giant flying fire lizard.
posted by codacorolla at 10:03 PM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Yes, I have to (grudgingly) give them all of that regarding the battle. Also I think they did very well manipulating our ambivalence as viewers about who should win, ultimately, vs which individuals we might like to see survive.
posted by torticat at 10:10 PM on August 7


That said, there is no way Euron made it through the first three episodes of this season without multiple acts of teleporting, at least one of which was an entire fleet.

They have to do it every 33 minutes or the Cylons will catch them.

Meanwhile, I kinda like the whole Dany and Jon show vibe. They are both so busy trying to set their respective worlds to rights that they are simultaneously crap at forging a kissy-relationship that doesn't begin with some larger-than-life personality coming on to them big-time as per both their previouses, iirc.
posted by Sparx at 10:13 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


What exactly is Jon's specific status with regard to Winterfell, even though he's King In The North? And what does it mean if they're all they know no king in the north whose name is Stark when Jon isn't a Stark. Are they overlooking that as a technicality or does the North just consider him a Stark? Can he be the king in the north and not be the Lord of Winterfell? Or does it not matter because he's overlord now? What happens when he marries into someone else's family though? I mean, no one can marry into his family because he's a bastard and therefore has none. He can't officially produce more Starks, but I suppose that's a technicality.

He was chosen KingindaNorf by popular acclaim, in something halfway between a kingsmoot and patriarchal succession (only-surviving-son-of-Ned-and-therefore-next-best-dude). Also I think he reminds the older Northmen of Ned and Robb, which also inclines them to overlook his technical bastardy. As far as legal/actual Stark-ness, the monarch on the Iron Throne can legitimize highborn bastards; assuming Dany takes the Iron Throne and Jon eventually agrees to bend the knee she can issue a writ rendering him a Stark.

Legally, Sansa does supersede Jon in the line of succession, but she's too canny to push this claim right now. However much the Northmen love the Starks, she's still a woman. Jon would probably step aside if she asked, but she'll build her cred as a leader first. I like to imagine one reason Jon left her in charge was to give her the opportunity to do that. For the time being I'd dig a partnership in which Sansa strategizes and Jon gladhands as long as it's clear to everyone that Jon actively seeks, values, and generally admits to needing her input.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:15 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


My dream ending for this show: Arya gets her revenge. Sansa is Queen of the North. Jamie takes out Cersie in a murder-suicide. John and Dany are engaged and take over King's Landing. The beautiful, just, noble rulers win.

And then the war against the Long Night is absolutely lost.

The final shot is of the burned throne, sitting in swirling snow in a broken castle. The camera pans up and up. A wide shot of Westeros. The white walkers slowly shamble in a land of the dead and cold. The only dragon swoops by, emptying its fire of belly in one of its last futile strikes. The scene goes black.

Valar Morghulis.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 10:47 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


The one thing this episode showed is that you don't even necessarily have to kill the dragon if you just incapacitate them. And if you have only three dragons, and say, 2 scorpions per ship and 300 ships (because why the hell not, we have endless ships!), those odds look pretty good for Euron's side.

Realism is not the highest priority on a show with ice zombies and dragons and resurrections, but historically the reason there was very little artillery onboard ships in Ye Aulden Times is that it is hella difficult to make the same shot twice. This is because you are doing it from a ship being constantly moved by wind and waves. Your chances of hitting a stationary target on unmoving land are negligible; I reckon the likelihood of hitting a swiftly moving, highly evasive airborne target is functionally zero.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:53 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Yeah I get up and go to the fridge faster than that big arrow flew through the sky, the dragon would have dodged it easily. Plus the impact of the "changed nature of war" was deadened significantly by the fact that the Lannister army had the solution RIGHT THERE, and that it has a 50% success rate.
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:51 PM on August 7


(And finally, Jon: "come see my cave paintings" went out as a pickup line MILLENNIA ago).

I love it. "Would you like to come up and see my etchings?"

You take it out with dragon fire and the field is yours. If they were smart they'd have poisoned it.

I hope so!

And also watching Jaime's face. Clearly he was having some "Mad King" flashbacks. Even though it was a total suicide mission, I still got a thrill seeing him grab that spear and try to finish off Daenerys.

Very interesting, to think of Jaime's reaction as him feeling the duty to keep the Targ line out of power -- not out of loyalty to the Lannisters, but out of fear of the Targs. Which I can absolutely believe that he has and that it is justified.

Did Bronn really leave his gold to protect Jamie? REALLY?

I saw it as Bronn realizing that it was the gold or his life.

He protected Jaime later because Jaime is his ticket to getting that gold back (and more. Maybe a castle. Maybe a good one!). I mean, he is Jaime's comrade in arms and all, but there's a practical component for why he would want Jaime *in particular* to survive. And, if possible, to feel even more indebted to him than before.

I think Dany is completely wrong to say that the Northerners will follow if Jon bends the knee, and I assume Jon knows that too.

Yes, I think that Jon knows very well that, in the end, he rules at the mercy of his people. His past experiences have taught him that.

Also, the North is in major disarray -- a lot of formerly respectable families allied with the Boltons against the Starks, and it's not for nothing that a major house is being led by a little girl, another major house by a bastard son, etc. The North is precarious, and that makes Jon's position there precarious, too.

Also, why not give Jon the same deal she gave Yara? I'll help you fight the white walkers if you help me fight Cersei, and when the war is over, I'll let the North be its own kingdom.

The Iron Islands are more or less worthless, and they're tiny, and their people have never been especially obedient. I think the Iron Islands are an entirely different kettle of fish from the North.

Also, I think that Dany being so insistent about Jon bending the knee is her being on a power trip. She wants him to bend the knee even more because he's not willing to. And poor Jon is the worst negotiator possible, so this bullshit could go on indefinitely.

Dany is not offering the people of Westeros anything but threats and death. Her only hope of gaining actual allegiance from anyone in Westeros is defeating the White Walkers, because that is the only threat existential enough to make the Westerosi somewhat analogous to slaves.

What worries me about Dany is that she is not thinking politically or even practically like this. She seems disconcertingly disinterested in the broader picture.

my reflexive answer to each of those trolley problems really clarified for me what side I'm a fan of.

That's funny -- me, too. Except I was rooting for the Lannister forces at pretty much every step. The Lannisters are horrible people, but I just can't get behind Dany tearing shit up and setting the grain stores alight out of impatience to be queen.

I get why SHE wants to be queen, but I don't see why anyone else should want her to be, and I think she's being impractical by insisting that she become queen NOW.

I basically was feeling like, "jeez, Dany, not everything has to be all about YOU."

I might've been on Dany's side longer if D&D hadn't done the gross visual optics with the freeing of the slaves in "Mhysa" or whatever. Benevolent white lady and her privilege dragons indeed, gah.

Yes, I just couldn't with her after that. It's not really the character's "fault," but the optics just turned my stomach. I was wavering on her before that, and after, I was done.

During the battle, I was surprised just how awestruck Jamie looked because it was more than just a shock and awe face. His reactions made me think of how the Hound would react then I realized he watched the Mad King burn people alive as a younger person and probably found it quite traumatic.

Yes, I think that as a soldier and as part of the Mad King's inner circle, Jaime had a lot of context for what he was seeing. I think that Jaime was so overwhelmed both by seeing the dragons acting as weapons of war and also by the return of the Mad King's heir.

He'll point out to Cersei how pointless fighting the Dragons is.

They're hard to fight, but maybe not that hard to kill? Poisoning their food or poisoning their lair or something might work. You'd need an inside man for that job, though. Perhaps Tyrion...

It would be very interesting to me if after all the speculation that Tyrion may one day ride a dragon, he actually turned out to kill a dragon (or a few) instead.

In any case, I can't see how the dragons can survive once the war is over. Even if Dany wins, the dragons will have to be killed. Peace and dragons don't mix.

But who's really well suited for each other? Jon and Sansa.

I actually think that they could work in terms of their personalities, but I don't think that Sansa could accept a husband with such a strong claim to Winterfell (which she clearly wants to be in charge of), and I think that she would have trouble agreeing to any sort of conventional/romantic marriage at all.

She's been through a lot, and I think that if/when she does get married, it will be in service of her ambitions or at least ability to rule well (as in, to help her people), and will be a largely practical decision, rather than anything even closely resembling a love match.

I have a strange theory that Sansa and Tyrion will end up being married for real.

I am hopeful about this. But it will very much depend on how the political landscape ends up looking, I think.

Was also curious about the Ironborn captain who seemed to gain a little measure of respect for Theon on the beach, don't know why though.

I think it was because Jon and Theon met face-to-face, Jon praised Theon's actions toward Sansa (which the captain might not have even known about), and Jon gave him mercy out of respect rather than pity. And Theon reacted with dignity.

I think that the crux of the issue between Theon and the Ironborn is actually not about what Ramsey did to him (although that exacerbated things), it's about him being captured and raised by the Starks to be a gentleman. I think the Ironborn figure he can make good speeches, etc, but he's effete and soft -- as a result of his upbringing. Which isn't necessarily THAT far off the mark, to be honest. And what Ramsey did to destroy him certainly didn't help, either in terms of the Ironborn's perception or in terms of Theon's actual abilities/strength. But I think that seeing him interact with a gentleman (a real one) in the Stark mode -- Jon -- was basically them seeing Theon in his element. And Theon was able to pull it off. He and Jon were able to communicate, and Jon gave him a pass, based on some grudging respect.

I don't think that *Theon* would think that he's in his element in a tete-a-tete with a gentleman of the old school (ie, Jon), because he always felt like an outsider, etc, with the Starks, and because he knew how Jon felt about Theon betraying Robb, and because he's so shaky in general. But I think that that's how the Ironborn captain was probably seeing it. I think Yara would also have been reasonably impressed. Knowledge of and relative comfort within mainland/Northern culture is like, the ONE thing that Theon has that Yara or any other Ironborn doesn't.

Jamie should have been roasted. - This would increase tension between Tyrion and Dany

I don't want to see Jaime roasted, but it would have been pretty interesting to see Tyrion's reaction to his death, and Dany's reaction to Tyrion's reaction!

What if, after all this, Dany just falls off her dragon?

What would be really awful about that is that then there would just be these wild dragons flying around shooting fire everywhere, with nobody to control or lead them.

Tyrion was watching the whole thing. It's hard for me to imagine him running into the melee to rescue Jaime from drowning; but he also wouldn't stand by and watch his brother die.

There must have been the remains of the Ironborn fleet somewhere around there, because didn't Tyrion and the Dothraki arrive by boat?

I'm hoping that Theon is watching what's going down from aboard that single solitary Ironborn boat, and rushes in to fish out Jaime and take him prisoner. He'd want to do a prisoner exchange with Cersei -- Jaime for Yara -- I would think. He did say he'd come back to get help negotiating Yara's release, and Jaime would be a big help.

I don't know that Dany would actually be willing to part with Jaime in return for Yara, considering the naval fleet is more or less gone and Yara isn't an especially helpful ally anymore, but...it's still Theon and Yara's best shot, so.

Also, if Theon manages to get Jaime on the boat, but can't get Dany's OK -- he could just take Jaime straight to Cersei covertly, and try to barter the exchange himself.

I'm hoping that Jaime is taken prisoner also because he and Tyrion will then get to talk. It would be interesting if Bronn and Jaime were taken -- I would like seeing Tyrion interact with them both, to be honest.

I'm not sure that Tyrion is really a true believer for Dany, either, and I think that Jaime (and maybe even Bronn) might be able to convince him to...well, maybe not outright defect, but at least act somewhat in the Westrosi's favor against Dany.
posted by rue72 at 12:26 AM on August 8 [4 favorites]


The show hasn't been reticent in showing Jon being stubbord, so the cut from inside the cave to them walking outside I rather interpreted that some knee-bending might have happened, conditioned on "don't tell my peeps until we've won".
posted by monocultured at 1:11 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


I'm still disappointed that the Scorpion is what Qyburn came up with. He's a necromancer in a castle with dragon bones in it!
posted by heatvision at 4:36 AM on August 8 [20 favorites]


I think Euron still holds Yara prisoner--he left the Iron Throne room with her still in chains--so Cersei would have to engage with him to trade for Jaime. Euron's price would be pretty high, given that Jaime's a barrier to bedding/wedding Cersei.
posted by carmicha at 4:59 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, Maisie Williams is right-handed but Arya is left-handed. Williams is doing all that sword work with her off hand.

MAISIE WILLIAMS: "I admit it, you are better than I am."
DREAD PIRATE ROBERTS: "Then why are you smiling?"
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:31 AM on August 8 [27 favorites]


I'm still disappointed that the Scorpion is what Qyburn came up with. He's a necromancer in a castle with dragon bones in it!

Hooray, another layer for his Armountoffrey!
posted by vanar sena at 8:34 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of hoping that Cersei's "solution" is actually something still a secret and far more fatal to dragons than a silly old ballista.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:58 AM on August 8


Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke are both 30 now, for what it's worth.
posted by cardboard at 9:46 AM on August 8 [4 favorites]


Since Tyrion was watching that charge, I guess Bronn and Jaime will get grabbed up by Daenarys' forces now. And I think either Daenarys will turn Jaime, or he will pretend to show fealty, or a bit of both. Everybody with Valyrian steel is gonna end up in the north, and Jaime surely has room in his heart for another complicated relationship with a powerful blonde.
posted by heatvision at 9:48 AM on August 8


I'm thinking Tyrion will be the first face Jaime will see after he gets fished out.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 AM on August 8


A guy with no tackle and zero personality going down on a woman for fifteen minutes.

I sort of share your quibbles about some of the decisions made about time allotment this season.

But this is one I'll defend. As a black dude who's been into sci-fi/fantasy/action-adventure/whatever since he could walk (and I'm reaching a point where I'll need binoculars when I want to look back along my timeline to spot that moment), I feel like I can still count the respectful, loving depictions of sex between black characters in American narrative fiction on one hand.

Far too often, black women's sexuality is either non-existent or played for laughs (dude, she's like totally as aggressive as a dude!) or they're simply objects for male characters of all races to acquire and do with as they please. In those last two forms, they're usually depicted as only pursuing or being with dudes who are well-equipped.

As for black men in American narrative fiction, we're pretty much always hypersexual and "It's twue! It's twue!" shows up not only in comedy.

So to see a respectful and loving depiction of sex between two black characters in a show that doesn't even have a good track record with PoC overall is amazing. To see a black woman knowing what she wants without being over-the-top aggressive about it is astounding. To see a black male character of whom it cannot be said or implied that "the stories are true!" presented as fully capable of satisfying a woman is damn near unprecedented.

Moreso than dragons or white walkers or semi-faithful renditions of large scale battles with "medieval" arms, I think I'll recall that scene fondly long after the closing credits of the final episode roll.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:09 AM on August 8 [70 favorites]


Maybe they'll get Jamie to take the black? Too much shit has gone down, he's hardly going to go back to a normal life after this anyway. And as much as we love Edd, the Watch needs someone with Jamie's strategic sense.
posted by vanar sena at 10:12 AM on August 8


I'm still disappointed that the Scorpion is what Qyburn came up with. He's a necromancer in a castle with dragon bones in it!

That Qyburn hasn't reanimated the dragon bones and made them fly is a grievous oversight and needs to be rectified immediately.

Also, about the dragon-riding… okay, so you're a woman, contemplating sitting on a surface covered in spikes. Some small spikes, some big spikes, but there is no part of Drogon's neck or back I've seen that is not festooned in spikes. HOW THE HELL DO YOU SIT WITHOUT IMPALING YOURSELF IN… PLACES‽ And if, heaven forfend, that IS ACTUALLY how you sit? *wince*… How is your pubic bone not shattered from having to take that stress?

Seriously, EVERY time I've watched Daenerys on dragon back, I curl up into a little ball and am wincing, much to my partner's amusement.
posted by culfinglin at 10:14 AM on August 8 [5 favorites]


Why would Jaime turncoat now, though? Now that he's seen the dragons, I think he's going to want to kill them and stop/kill Dany more than ever -- he's going to have to nip this disaster-in-the-making in the bud. Before, I think that he was just fighting out of loyalty to Cersei, but now he's got his own reasons to fight.

Judging by the expressions on his and Tyrion's faces when they were watching the Lannister forces get burned alive, I think that they are more likely to ally together against Dany than with her.

I'm honestly also just distracted by the possible prisoner exhange of Jaime and Yara. I don't think that Yara is worth enough to Dany for her to bite, and it's to Euron's benefit not to make the trade, either. But successfully making that trade is probably top priority for Cersei and Theon.

I almost wonder if Tyrion tries to sweeten the deal so much for Cersei that she overrules Euron by offering to go back to King's Landing along with Jaime (as Jaime's prisoner). Jaime will probably argue that he'll be able to reason with Cersei on Tyrion's behalf, now that he's convinced of Tyrion's innocence in Joffrey's death, and Tyrion also has inside knowledge on Dany that might protect him for a while. They'd have to do that without Danny's knowledge or by tricking her, of course, but she's going to be distracted by her dragons and battles anyway.

And honestly, I'm not sure how solid Dany and Varys's alliance is at this point, either, so Varys might want to take some action that's in the interest of the realm rather than in Dany's interest, too. It's one thing to tell yourself that Dany is the better option and it's another to keep on believing it as you watch her burn an army alive, along with the winter food stores. Dany isn't a modern, enlightened despot, she's a throwback. Might makes right and divine right rules in her world. I don't know of Varys is still going to believe that her interests and the realm's are aligned.

Also, it will be interesting to see how Jon plays this -- he NEEDS Dany's dragons and he NEEDS an alliance with her, because he needs her specifically to help him fight the White Walkers. But politically...I really doubt he even gives a shit about the Iron Throne, frankly. That puts him in a pretty weird position. I think that if Dany were smart, she would just agree to fight the White Walkers with Jon in exchange for him fighting Cersei now, instead of getting caught up in who is bending the knee to whom, but.
posted by rue72 at 10:17 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


One of the most vexing things about Jon and Dany's lack of chemistry for me is that I've seen interviews with Emilia, and she is incredibly warm, charming, and funny. I know that Dany isn't supposed to be like that, but I think if, in her scenes with Jon, she could bring just a tiny little bit of her IRL charisma into it, then those scenes would come off a lot better.

But also in retrospect, I feel kind of bad about all of my anti-Dany stuff. Not that I've changed my mind on any of it, but stepping back a bit, I know female characters (like all women) are always given such a hard time about everything, so I feel a little bit like I'm betraying my gender by being so hard on Dany specifically. Although most of my frustrations are things that I think D&D could have resolved if they could just be a little bit more thoughtful in the way they went about this stuff, but I don't really see that happening, especially with as few episodes as we have left.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:53 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Judging by the expressions on his and Tyrion's faces when they were watching the Lannister forces get burned alive, I think that they are more likely to ally together against Dany than with her.

I'm not sure how solid Dany and Varys's alliance is at this point, either, so Varys might want to take some action that's in the interest of the realm rather than in Dany's interest, too

I think the problem for both Varys and Tyrion is if not Dany, then who? (I think even Jaime is in this boat a little bit, except that obviously his largest issue is his codependent relationship with Cersei.) But, if and when Jon Snow's Targ heritage is revealed, I could see him being a very attractive alternative for both Tyrion and Varys.

And if you could convince Jon and Sansa to do a marriage of political convenience (and it would have to very much be political, because even once it's revealed that they are only cousins, which is biologically not very incest-y by Westeros standards, I'm sure it would still feel really weird for the two of them), then their marriage could really help consolidate a lot of Westeros.

With Jon revealed as Rhaegar's son, he has the best claim to the throne through the Targ line, even better than Dany. And if he marries Sansa, then you've basically consolidated the North (obv), the Vale (who seem to have thrown in their lot with Sansa and Jon, and also there's Sansa being Robin Arryn's cousin) and the Riverlands (Tully loyalty). Also probably the Iron Islands if Yara and Theon can get rid of Euron. And at this point, Highgarden and Casterley Rock probably aren't in much position to do anything one way or the other; same with the Stormlands. Dorne might be tricky because of the fact that Rhaegar essentially abandoned Ellia Martell to get with Lyanna, but whatever.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:08 AM on August 8


Oh, and going back to Tyrion and Varys, obviously Tyrion seems to think very highly of and trust Sansa and Jon Snow, especially Sansa. And Varys at least knows Sansa from her time in King's Landing, and Jon would probably seem like a safer bet than Dany at this point.

Of course, I doubt this is where the show is going, but it's an interesting possibility to consider.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:10 AM on August 8


That Qyburn hasn't reanimated the dragon bones and made them fly is a grievous oversight and needs to be rectified immediately.

Oooohhhh... What if the whitewalkers reanimate a dead dragon?
posted by carmicha at 11:10 AM on August 8 [8 favorites]


I don't want to see Jaime roasted, but it would have been pretty interesting to see Tyrion's reaction to his death, and Dany's reaction to Tyrion's reaction!

Tyrion would have been devastated by Jaime's death personally. However, his presence at that battle is a refutation of Danaerys's accusation that maybe he didn't want to see his family hurt, after all. I think he has something to prove by okaying a direct dragon attack on the Lannister army which included his brother and Bronn. He knew going in what he might see, and he is loyal to Danaerys anyway.

I guess Bronn and Jaime will get grabbed up by Daenarys' forces now.

Just want to reiterate my earlier conviction that Bronn is dead, dead. They gave him a whole episode showcasing his talents, and he went out in spectacular fashion. More people on the show have to die; Bronn's a good candidate as he is kinda a fan favorite (? I think? Maybe he's just one of my faves) and yet can't possibly have anything essential to contribute to the endgame. And his ultimate act of loyalty to Jaime is a great sendoff.
posted by torticat at 11:28 AM on August 8


Not sure why Jaime would survive and Bronn not. Bronn isn't weighed down by all that armor. I'm betting on Bronn being the one to fish Jaime out of the river.... (and after all this I'd say Jaime really owes him that castle!)
posted by kira at 11:53 AM on August 8


What if the whitewalkers reanimate a dead dragon?

White flappers
posted by jprind at 11:53 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


I think Bronn has a role to play in the eventual reconciliation of Tyrion and Jaime, because he has served and respects them both, and he's probably got just as much to gain personally if they find common ground than if they don't. He probably doesn't care who sits on the Iron Throne as long as he gets his gold and his castle. I'm hoping he survives for this reason and just because the scenes with all three of them will be great television.

It's too bad Dany and Cersei are both hell-bent on ruling at all costs, because I think everyone else could hammer out a political arrangement with various marriages and so forth and then go fight some White Walkers.

Hmm, maybe Jaime could decide to try to convince Cersei to sue for peace, she refuses his terms as peace emissary and tries to kill him, and in the ensuing struggle he ends up killing her. Then haunted by what he's done, he throws himself into the battle against the White Walkers. He could even have growing doubts about Dany's fitness to rule and then turn against her, making him a King/Queenslayer three times over. Then Jon gets the Iron Throne and Sansa and Tyrion get the North.
posted by llachglin at 11:55 AM on August 8


So Cersei's army is toast (heehee), and the Dothraki are essentially at the gates. What's to stop Dany from simply perching the Dragons on the parapets of the Red Keep until the city capitulates?
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:14 PM on August 8


Not sure why Jaime would survive and Bronn not.

I have no idea what will happen but this would be pretty easy to handwave. Jaime went into the water first so you could have Bronn get roasted in the second before he is submerged.
posted by Justinian at 12:18 PM on August 8


Jon Snow doesn't really have chemistry with anyone, I feel. Kit Harington is a handsome man and a decent actor but his Jon Snow is so fucking boring. I mean, it's fine for this series, but he can't convey emotional complexity or internality or anything like that. He can do love-moping, but that's not the same!

Despite all of that, I feel like Jon's chemistry with Daenerys is just starting. On the show, they don't have chemistry right away. As they're getting to know and understand and appreciate each other, they're starting to feel closer, but Daenerys is showing that more.
posted by clockzero at 12:18 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Do reanimated dragons breath ice?
posted by mzurer at 12:32 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


According to me they do.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:34 PM on August 8 [3 favorites]


> How is your pubic bone not shattered from having to take that stress?
Jade egg workouts, obv.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 12:37 PM on August 8 [11 favorites]


I have no idea what will happen but this would be pretty easy to handwave. Jaime went into the water first so you could have Bronn get roasted in the second before he is submerged.

Yeah, I was imagining they pull Bronn out and find him boiled. He was definitely in more danger than Jaime when they hit the water.

Mostly though I don't think Bronn is a major enough character for them have devoted that much screen time to him unless it was a sendoff.
posted by torticat at 1:35 PM on August 8


> Judging by the expressions on his and Tyrion's faces when they were watching the Lannister forces get burned alive, I think that they are more likely to ally together against Dany than with her.

Between Dany snapping at Tyrion about his family and the look on his face during the battle, I think there's a good chance Tyrion is going to betray Dany by the end of the season.

A lot may depend on what she does with the survivors of the battle (assuming there even are any) in the next episode. The smart play, imo, is to simply let them all go home. It would show Dany's capacity for mercy, something which Cersei is not exactly known for, but perhaps more importantly it would allow the survivors to tell everyone they know how horrible and how futile it is to fight a dragon. It would terrify and demoralize everyone who hears the story.
posted by homunculus at 1:46 PM on August 8 [4 favorites]


Ooooh. What if Tyrion sets Jamie free, just as Jamie did for Tyrion???
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:58 PM on August 8 [6 favorites]


But what if it wasn't Bronn that knocked Jaime into the water? What if it was... Jorah Mormont! Nobody expects Jorah Mormont!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:04 PM on August 8 [5 favorites]


Jorah Mormont. Jorah MORMONT.

He's got conflicts of interest too. He's grateful to Sam for saving him--and hence owes Jon Snow a debt-- but loves and credits Dany. And, of course, he hated his father who chose Jon as his successor.
Meanwhile, House Mormont has pledged loyalty to Jon thanks to the wonderful Lady Lyanna Mormont.

I wonder if it's possible Jorah has heard of the White Walkers via Jeor Mormont (or his circle) and can be part of the group that convinces Dany. He might believe Jon just because Jeor chose him; Jorah could still respect his father as a professional, even if he despises him personally, and he tolerated Sam's effusiveness about Jeor well.
posted by carmicha at 2:14 PM on August 8


Of course that wouldn't make any sense, but it would be the best possible way to bring him back into the action. "Hi Dany, it's me. Jorah Mormont. I'm back. I caught a ride on one of Euron's teleportation ships. Jaime's really worth a lot more to you alive than dead. By the way, I found a cure for that little skin disease problem I had, so we can totally be together now... what? Seriously? After everything I did for you? Jon Snow? Really?"

Jorah Mormont kills Jaime, then Dany, then Tyrion. Then he jetsails up to The Wall, where he lets in the Night King.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:15 PM on August 8 [5 favorites]


Between Dany snapping at Tyrion about his family and the look on his face during the battle, I think there's a good chance Tyrion is going to betray Dany by the end of the season.

I'm keeping in mind that Tyrion freed the other two dragons that Daenerys imprisoned and took an interest in reading up on how dragon training was done.

Not sure that he would betray her, but there's a chance for other riders.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on August 8


Jon is a Targ. Kind of surprised at least one of the dragons hasn't sniffed him out, yet. That would be an awesome scene, they could play it very low key. Jon is on site when Dany lands or takes off. One of the dragons cocks its head, turns its neck to look at Jon, sniffs the air, sniffs the air a second time, gives Jon a long look. Nobody else notices. The dragon starts to move toward Jon, then a second dragon shakes its head, turns to the first dragon and snaps at it, distracting the dragon from its inspection. They fly off, rough housing. Cut to Bran de-warging.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:17 PM on August 8 [6 favorites]


Tyrion really does deserve his own dragon by now.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:28 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Maybe he can adopt Arya's Direwolf.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:35 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Seriously, can you imagine how badass it would be to ride around everywhere on a Direwolf? I'm thinking as a present after Jon and Dany get married.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:36 PM on August 8


Also, they need to not kill Bronn, because he's one of the few characters I'd actually like to see in a spin-off. Kind of like the Westerosi version of The Rockford Files.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:42 PM on August 8 [6 favorites]


Jon is not going back to the wall without a dragon to ride. One of the dragons is going to bond with him


Kind of surprised at least one of the dragons hasn't sniffed him out, yet. That would be an awesome scene, they could play it very low key. Jon is on site when Dany lands or takes off. One of the dragons cocks its head,

"One of the dragons." Rhaegal, you guys. You know, the one named after Jon's father?
posted by mama casserole at 3:42 PM on August 8 [16 favorites]


I didn't even realize there was supposed to be chemistry between jon and dany in the cave
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:46 PM on August 8 [7 favorites]


Seriously, can you imagine how badass it would be to ride around everywhere on a Direwolf?

Better yet: Mabari Direwolf chariots.
posted by homunculus at 3:47 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Also, they need to not kill Bronn, because he's one of the few characters I'd actually like to see in a spin-off.

Better Call Bronn!
posted by kira at 3:51 PM on August 8 [20 favorites]


HOW THE HELL DO YOU SIT WITHOUT IMPALING YOURSELF IN… PLACES


Well padded fronts piece on her skirts.
posted by tilde at 3:51 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


I didn't even realize there was supposed to be chemistry between jon and dany in the cave

Dany: Is that a stalagmite, or are you just-
Jon: Yes, it's a stalagmite.
Dany: Thought so. Care to "Bend a knee?"
Jon: I could never betray the trust of the-
Dany: "Bend a knee," "bend a knee." You've never heard of that in the North? It's a euphemism.
Jon: I have no idea what you're talking about. I seek the Grail! I have seen it, here in this cave!
Dany: Oh, wicked, bad, naughty Zoot! She has been setting alight to our beacon, which, I just remembered, is grail-shaped. It's not the first time we've had this problem.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:56 PM on August 8 [25 favorites]


Well padded fronts piece on her skirts.

Not just well padded. I would want something that's more like the female version of wearing a cup.

Or you could just make a dragon saddle!
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:17 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]




So they really should get to mass producing those things. 20 or 30 will rip up the dragons.

If they can makes so many ships so fast, they should be able to make a few hundred of those by next week.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:42 PM on August 8


Better Call Bronn!

Season 1, episode 1: Bronn runs into trouble as he tries to recoup money lost in a recent business transaction. Jamie feels the heat and narrowly escapes trouble. Hot Pie delivers pizza to an unconventional castle location.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:52 PM on August 8 [8 favorites]


A couple quick notes. If a river is meandering, its depth can be misleading. Maybe not to the extent of the scene in this episode, but it's not so farfetched. Also, they do in fact make female versions of cups. Protection is important for everyone. Though in pseudo-medieval times it would probably be a custom order.
posted by traveler_ at 9:04 PM on August 8


Though in pseudo-medieval times it would probably be a custom order.

I dunno, I think this might be the one possible reasonable use case for a chastity belt.
posted by culfinglin at 10:48 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Jorah Mormont kills Jaime, then Dany, then Tyrion. Then he jetsails up to The Wall, where he lets in the Night King.

This made me think - is there anyone of note who might just say 'fuck it, let it all burn (or freeze, in this case)' and actively help the White Walkers win? I suppose my main man Littlefinger, if pushed into a corner, could feasibly decide to extend his chaos ladder.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:07 AM on August 9


Cersei is the obvious "If I can't have the Iron Throne, then let the Walkers come, whatever it takes to thwart that silver-haired bitch" candidate.

Euron would do similar, if only for the thrill.

Daenerys has "I'll burn it all myself" potential.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:20 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


Caught the battle scene again last night, and while it's a great piece of TV, there's just no way that even one of those Lannister redshirts red cloaks makes it past the dragon's initial attack without dropping his weapons, soiling his armor, and running like hell.
posted by Zonker at 5:25 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


I'd agree, it's one of the biggest unbelievable parts of the battle. It's one thing to face an invading army, it's another to see a myth made real. MAYBE a few stay for Drogo's first attack, but once you see 50 other soldiers turned to ash, you're outta there.

On a better written show, the soldiers staying would have proven a thematic subtext about the old world falling away in the face of the rise of magic, but this is GoT, so instead we just got awesome scenes of a dragon breathing fire.

Oh yeah, a friend noted that Jamie's descent into the lake was somewhat similar to Bran falling out of the window. Ha, talk about a wished for reunion, it would interesting to see Bran and Jamie meet again!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


With Arya-Brienne sparring and the bit between Danaerys and Missandei as they're walking down to meet Jon, there was some fine female bonding (among unrelated women) going on there. The sparring, though, was just wonderful.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:34 AM on August 9


is there anyone of note who might just say 'fuck it, let it all burn (or freeze, in this case)'

Maybe Arya, if she ends up the last Stark alive. She always wanted to find out what's west of Westeros.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:56 AM on August 9


OHenryPacey: So Cersei's army is toast (heehee), and the Dothraki are essentially at the gates. What's to stop Dany from simply perching the Dragons on the parapets of the Red Keep until the city capitulates?

Cersei has her own scorpion, unless the one tested on the old dragon skull was the only one that Qyburn made, which he then sent into battle, and was destroyed.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 AM on August 9


More Arya and Brienne scenes please. seriously, like at least another 20 minutes, spread out over the next three episodes.

To me, the big thing about wanting to see how various characters reunite and interact is to see how they've changed from early in the series.

Arya was most noticeable, in how hard she is mentally and emotionally, but still with bits of that younger girl peeking out. She and Sansa never liked each other as kids, but they're family and are meeting each other on adult terms. How does that work, will they find a reason to actually like each other as people and sisters? Or will it dissolve into something else?

Will Sansa tell Arya about Jon dying? If so, how does Arya react to that when she meets Jon? I'd imagine she'd want to see the scars as professional curiosity and as proof. How would Jon react to the request? I think if anyone could get him to open up about it would be Arya, but it's her.

So Cersei's army is toast (heehee), and the Dothraki are essentially at the gates. What's to stop Dany from simply perching the Dragons on the parapets of the Red Keep until the city capitulates?

I would not be surprised if Dany did some version of this. One of Bran's visions had a dragon flying over Kings Landing, so it's almost certain Daenerys will attempt peaceful means of winning over the populace, which she's really good at. It was also how one of the Targyeans won some other castle, the Vale I think? They simply landed a dragon in the castle's courtyard, with the implication of what was possible.

What does Daenerys does after Cersei thwarts that, probably be killing a dragon with a scorpion, will be where things get really interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 AM on August 9


very very young and still honing her craft

She's 30 years old.
posted by French Fry at 8:44 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


J.snow is also 30 years old. Neither actor gets the "they're still so young" excuse anymore

Sansa and Arya are played by a 21 and a 20 yro actors and they're both charismatic and nuanced. They were tweens when the show started and they've been great the whole time.

Kit Harrington and Emilia Clark are both good looking, strong physical actors, but both really pretty limited. They are almost like silent film starts forced into their first talking picture.
posted by French Fry at 8:55 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


Cersei has her own scorpion, unless the one tested on the old dragon skull was the only one that Qyburn made, which he then sent into battle, and was destroyed.

Unless the Dragons are stupid, i don't see them falling for that again unless there is an entire battery of them. Drogon must have just thought the bolt was more of the same arrows nonsense (but even with that barrage he swept upward to show his armored underside) that he had dodged before. it was a lucky shot that caught him near his clavicle or some such place that one would expect a dragon to have scales. those beasties seem stout enough to handle a few tons of plate armor now too.
i don't even mean attack KL, just circle about and land on the Keep. the first scorpion that gets cindered will serve as quite a deterrent to future deployment.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:48 AM on August 9


Good, Evil, Ugly, Beautiful: Help Us Make a ‘Game of Thrones’ Chart. The NYTimes Upshot is croud-sourcing a diagram of where fans place 50 characters on beauty and evil axes. So far the results are garbage, by which I mean Brienne isn't rated the most beautiful. But there's lots more to argue: vote away.
posted by Nelson at 10:26 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


The only way that the scorpions could be a plausible threat is if the bolt that Bronn shot was poisoned, it incapacitates or kills Drogon, and Daeny becomes gun-shy about using the other two in combat (since they're her children and whatnot). Otherwise there are just too many easy ways to get around them. Like strafing a mile to the outside of where they're lined up, and then razing them before they can turn. Or flying over them using cloud cover. Or having ground troops set them on fire with arrows / create a smoke screen by lobbing burning pitch onto them.

The problem with all of the above (even my idea about poison) is that's supremely dumb. There is no good reason why Daeny has not won the war with her dragons, other than the plot needs another few episodes of conflict. However, I simply don't see a way that is interesting over the three episodes we have left.
posted by codacorolla at 10:54 AM on August 9


Nah, it makes sense that Dany doesn't want to turn cities to ash and that she and her advisers underestimated the enemy. That's totally plausible, totally fine.

But she's learned from that and is now laying waste to armies, not cities. It still won't be smooth sailing, because Cersei is fine with burning the city to the ground, while Daenerys the conqueror would prefer not to, but Daenerys coming out on top really isn't in question, unless major plot shenanigans happen. Which is frustratingly possible.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:03 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


If you introduce a concept like "this ballista is effective against dragons" then you have to use it. Using it once, having it fail, and then never mentioning it again is idiotic. Think less of your own fantasy of how things work in Westeros, and think about the structure of the story using ideas from the text instead of concepts you've invented from nothing. Why does the scorpion exist, unless it's to make the dragons less of an instant win situation?
posted by codacorolla at 11:07 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


yeah, not sure what you're saying 'cause no one said "never mention it again" and narrative doesn't exactly ride on the back of "only plausible things can happen," i.e. Euron's ships.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:16 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Yes, I think the issue is not power to take the throne but politics. Laying waste to a land that will not follow you willingly is not something that Daenerys wants. In her proudest moments, she's won the affection of people to get her following. I think she still wants that.

It seems to me that the ballista barely worked. Bronn was somewhat lucky, as he had to be looking into the face of flying napalm to get the shot in at the last second. I'm not sure it felt like much of a threat at the end of the day that can't be compensated for. Also, it worked in large part because it was a secret. That won't happen again, so perhaps the only solution is to make a whole bunch of those that aren't in a position to be destroyed by ground troops, and set up a defensive position that keeps the dragons from coming near. If this ends up happening, Daenerys can keep forces trapped behind this kind of artillery.

Or, follow me for a second: dragon armor.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:24 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


I'm envisioning a scorpion atop the tallest 25-50 buildings in King's Landing, creating a Black Hawk Down situation for any incoming dragons. Maybe throw in ablative armor (you know, wood) that is cheap, but won't survive more than one dragon blast. With overlapping fields of fire, you might be able to do a dragon in.
posted by aureliobuendia at 12:29 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


With overlapping fields of fire, you might be able to do a dragon in.

Land the dragon wherever Cersei is residing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:30 PM on August 9


Dragons fly high above Red Keep, well outside the reach of the scorpions. Dragons drop boulders covered in pitch and tar, flaming them alight on the way down. Red Hot Flaming BouldersTM reach terminal velocity, destroy scorpions, towers, walls, gates.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:41 PM on August 9 [7 favorites]


I love the smell of Red Hot Flaming BouldersTM in the morning. It smells like... Valar morghulis.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:43 PM on August 9 [10 favorites]


(The same joint that still sits atop a reserve of wildfire...)
posted by Burhanistan at 12:43 PM on August 9 [5 favorites]


It smells like VALAR POPCORNIS
posted by culfinglin at 12:44 PM on August 9 [8 favorites]


but Daenerys coming out on top really isn't in question, unless major plot shenanigans happen.

I mean, unless Dany herself is killed. She doesn't have a #2 who can raise the banner in her place. To end the war, the Lannisters don't necessarily need to kill the dragons (yet), they just need to kill Dany. The dragons themselves would still be an issue, but at least the dragons can't/won't literally sit the throne.

Jon is really the one who can't let that happen, because he needs Dany to use her dragons against the White Walkers. Without Dany, the dragons will likely be useless, and without the dragons, that war is likely lost. I don't believe that's really been acknowledged within the show, though? Or maybe it has -- Jon and Dany's inability to cut a deal just kills me and I zone out.

Thinking about it now, I actually can see the show maybe going down the path of Dany dying and Jon needing to hijack the dragons in order to take them to fight in an ice zombie battle. Probably not, though. I think that Dany will probably triumphantly lead the dragons in a White Walker battle, because the show seems like it doesn't like her to lose.

Anyway, I also think that Dany's desire to have the buy-in of her populace is not just idealism. She wants/needs a functional kingdom, not one in constant revolt. I think the scenario of her using her dragons to seize the throne without laying political groundwork for that is very similar to what we saw with Theon when he seized Winterfell with his Ironborn skeleton crew. He was able to take hold of the seat, but it was impossible for him to keep it. He couldn't get buy-in from the people, communication problems and (cultural) naivete due to being an "outsider" created *major* obstacles for him even within his own camp, and he only made things worse when he tried to use fear to pressure compliance. I can see an attempt to hold the Iron Throne with her dragons spinning out for Dany similarly to how Theon's attempt to hold Winterfell with a skeleton crew of Ironborn spun out for him.

Interesting to think how Ramsey managed to take control of that situation, and whether that could be applicable strategy, too. What if the Lannisters were to "let" Dany into the Red Keep fairly easily, and then just essentially turn the Red Keep into her prison?

I don't really think that's where the show is going. Just interesting to think about. Ramsey was disgusting, but his strategies tended to be pretty smart. And he always had a thing for slowly encircling people to trap them, then putting immense pressure on them (literally, in the case of the Battle of the Bastards) until the people were desperate to escape, and then he'd let them destroy themselves in their own efforts to free/save themselves. I wonder how well that kind of tactic would work on Dany? Probably not that well, because she is good under even immense pressure. But I guess there's a way to break pretty much anybody.
posted by rue72 at 2:54 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Dragons drop boulders covered in pitch and tar

He could grip it by the husk!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 3:03 PM on August 9 [13 favorites]


This made me think - is there anyone of note who might just say 'fuck it, let it all burn (or freeze, in this case)' and actively help the White Walkers win? I suppose my main man Littlefinger, if pushed into a corner, could feasibly decide to extend his chaos ladder.

The entire Citadel.
posted by srboisvert at 3:58 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Oooohhhh... What if the whitewalkers reanimate a dead dragon?

Well then you'd have a veritable Blizzard of dragons.
posted by curious nu at 7:59 PM on August 9


Without Dany, the dragons will likely be useless
Bran was promised by the old 3-eyed raven that he would never walk again, but he would fly. I've been assuming since then that Bran would eventually have need to warg a dragon. Also, Jon is as much Targ as Dany is, so unless they marry or he winds up on the iron throne, the only reason to make him Targ is to put him on a dragon at some point. Which doesn't have to mean Dany dies, but... Remember all those dead leading characters who everyone was so sure were destined for greatness? I fear that the main reason they've been at such pains to show that she's barely under control is so they can lay the groundwork for her end run. I could be wrong, but with so little time left, I don't feel like they have time to explore new character arks at this point without a payoff.

I hope I'm wrong. I think the end will be more interesting if she lives, and has to come to terms with how to rule.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:05 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


Is anyone else perplexed as to how Arya's name is pronounced? In the first season it was definitely sounded as 'Aria' by all and sundry but it's evolved into some kind of swallowed 'Aryah' since Braavos. Then in this ep we had both, when she introduced herself to the guards as Aryah and but Sansa calling her Aria in the crypt. I know - dragons and battles and awesome etc but this one issue continues to get my very goat!
posted by freya_lamb at 3:04 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Why would Jaime turncoat now, though?

He began as a proud Lannister, a man who thought there were no other men in the world like him, but now a great deal of that Lannister prestige is lost. Almost all his family has been killed... even his children have all died. It's basically just him and Cersei now, and does Jaime know that Cersei killed everyone in the sept with wildfire? Because that's what Aerys ordered him to do the city, and it was the turning point that led him to turn on Aerys. And there's not much left between these twins. The show has taken precious time to illustrate that he is now basically floating along in his relationship with her; he isn't reveling in it like he did in the beginning.

Exactly how much honor Jaime has is one of the central questions about his character from the beginning--if he was explicitly made to consider the Lannister vs. Targaryen viewpoints right now, that would make sense for his character arc. His father's hardline stances never completely sat well with Jaime, and he compromised from the beginning, by being more accepting of Tyrion, through his relationship with Cersei, and with Starks and Stark allies.

There was also that long conversation Jaime and Tyrion had about Orson, who loved smashing beetles for no reason. I feel like these two are fated to confront their feelings about each other and about killing very shortly. Because that battle was brutal. And it could be good for Dany's character, too, if she and Jaime had a conversation about Aerys.

We've seen what kind of hostage Jaime is, and we know that he looks down on pointless brutality. He has reasons to turn, and not to--it all depends on what Dany does next, I think. But this is such a juicy character opportunity, they'd be silly not to exploit it.

Then again, for at least a season, characters have been converging and I keep expecting conversations to happen that don't. I guess if I'm wrong, I'll eat cake.
posted by heatvision at 4:47 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


I think it's just accent differences. Some actors (estuary english?) will drop the r, so you get Ahya. Others pronounce it, usually giving Ar-ee-ah. Westeros has a lot of accents, distributed at random, sometimes in single actors...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:51 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Why would Jaime turncoat now, though? Now that he's seen the dragons, I think he's going to want to kill them and stop/kill Dany more than ever -- he's going to have to nip this disaster-in-the-making in the bud. Before, I think that he was just fighting out of loyalty to Cersei, but now he's got his own reasons to fight.

His children are dead. Hand chopped off, preventing him from using his gifts. His lover is willing to burn cities to the ground. His brother is innocent of murdering his boy. Everything he's been taught about waging war has turned to ash. And he's seen for sometime how ridiculous and petty these constant wars have been.

Once he's seen proof of the Walkers and Cersei continuing to fight for the Iron Throne, he'll probably go against her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:24 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Basically he's fighting for what Cersei wants, but he's been slowly figuring out what he wants (aka be like Brienne).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:25 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else perplexed as to how Arya's name is pronounced?

Speaking as someone from the southern part of the United States who suffers the pen/pin affliction (or more accurately is almost unable to understand that there could even be a distinction) I would have to say ... no. It all sounds like Arya to me.

[to be serious for a moment: if I ask my French friend, my Colombian friend, one of my yankee friends, and one of my neighbors all to pronounce my name you're gonna hear four radically different versions of 'Kevin'. Hearing her name pronounced differently by different characters seems 100% natural to me. To address the Sansa/Arya in-family pronunciation thing: I used to work with a lady from out in da bayou whose last name was Bourgeois and it was a regular point of contention within her family as to how that was properly pronounced. Brothers against brothers, mothers against children kind of warfare.]
posted by komara at 7:38 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Game of Jones - I would pay a significant amount to watch GoT with Leslie Jones. (And, I'm totally with her on the Varys suspicion.)
posted by gladly at 8:24 AM on August 10 [12 favorites]


There's not need to be suspicions of Varys, he's been totally clear about what he wants, which side he's on.

Any problem on that front is going to come from Daenerys saying she's on the people's side, but then doing things that repeatedly causes them harm. Varys won't stand for that, especially if Daenerys becomes pigheaded about thinking she's right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm not sure Varys is gonna be down with burning all the grain as winter approaches.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:53 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Game of Jones - I would pay a significant amount to watch GoT with Leslie Jones. (And, I'm totally with her on the Varys suspicion.)

Me too! I wish they did this for every episode of GoT. I also wish Seth Myers would do more of those [GOT character] at a [normal event] skits, like the ones with Jon Snow at a dinner party and Melisandre at a baby shower.

In particular, I'd love to see Cersei at, like, a children's birthday party. Or a bridal shower. Or giving a toast at a wedding and just eviscerating everyone there. This new creepy robotic Bran would also be funny to see in a skit like this.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:06 AM on August 10 [8 favorites]


Also, I love that not only is Leslie Jones hilarious, but she also like really knows shit when it comes to GoT.

Meanwhile, Seth Myers seems like one of those fans who would be like, wait, so who are Jon Snow's parents?
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:18 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Also, Jon is as much Targ as Dany is,

While this might be true in birth names terms, it is not at all true in genetic terms. Both Dany's parents were Targs, only one of Jon's were. So, Jon is as much a Targ as Sansa is Stark, but Dany is as Targ as Myrcella was Lannister (all 4 grandparents were)

I still think he's got enough for dragon-handling, though.

Is anyone else perplexed as to how Arya's name is pronounced?

I seem to recall that Sophie Turner had trouble with it from the get-go, and they had a scene in season 1 where the director was trying to help her get it right "It's like 'are ya going to the store?'" or somesuch.
posted by DebetEsse at 10:20 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


So I've realized something about about Dany: she's really only as good as the company she keeps. This is true of a lot of rulers. I'm still rooting for her, partly because she's better than Cersei (not saying much), but mainly because Tyrion and Varys are on her side. So right now, she's keeping pretty good company.

The thing with her is that I think she legitimately wants to be a wise and just ruler, but she doesn't really know how. And when "being wise and just" and "ruling" come into conflict, her instinct is to resolve the conflict by erring the side of "ruling." But good, strong, advisors can talk her off the proverbial ledge (though not always). Dany without Tyrion and Varys would be a disaster - a sometimes well-intentioned disaster, but still. She'd be blinded by her massive ego.

Judging by the expressions on his and Tyrion's faces when they were watching the Lannister forces get burned alive, I think that they are more likely to ally together against Dany than with her.

The only way this happens if if Cersei is out of the picture, or some non-Dany, non-Cersei, option emerges. Tyrion has some lingering respect and affection for Jamie, sure, but he hates Cersei and - with good reason - views her as an existential threat to the realm. Even more important: if Tyrion tried to change sides, Cersei would kill him. Full stop. Jamie could try to talk her out of it, but he'd fail, and Tyrion has to know that.

I could see Tyrion turning against Dany if her mad-queen side shows itself more and some other option emerges (and if the former happens and not the latter, I'd like to think he'd wander off to Dorne and spend his days drinking wine and engaging in witty banter but somehow I doubt it would work out that way). But as long as Cersei is running the show, Tyrion isn't going back to the Lannister side.

Now, I could see Jamie changing sides. But I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it would be a logical step in his character arc and I'd LOVE to see some scenes with Jamie, Tyrion and Bronn (RIP?) in the same room. On the other hand, if Jamie switches sides, then basically all the good/likeable characters are on Team Dany. And I just think that's cheap. Jamie's continued presence on the Lannister side humanizes them a bit; it serves to remind the audience that this isn't purely a battle of good and evil.*
posted by breakin' the law at 12:05 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


On another note....

I don't think Dany is totally sold on the White Walkers, even after viewing the cave drawings (though those made her more inclined to believe it). She's just hedging her bets - an idea devised by Tyrion, which goes back to my point about her being as good as the company she keeps.
posted by breakin' the law at 12:07 PM on August 10


Ohhh...I forgot about the asterisk....

*The Coming Battle With The White Walkers sure looks like a battle between good and evil, or at least a battle between evil and not-evil (less-evil?). Which is why I would really like to see something from the White Walkers' POV. Obviously they're not going to be fully humanized, they're ice...somethings...leading an army of the undead. But why do they do what they do? There's got to be some reason. Completely flipping the script and making them the "good" guys would be way, way too jarring to be believable, but providing some good explanation for them that goes beyond "ice zombies that want to kill everything" would be super-interesting.
posted by breakin' the law at 12:16 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


I just remembered Ed Sheeran was in the Lannister army wasn't he? Think he got char-broiled?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:21 PM on August 10


Which doesn't have to mean Dany dies, but... Remember all those dead leading characters who everyone was so sure were destined for greatness?

On the one hand, I do think there has been some foreshadowing that Dany will die. It seems to me that Jon is being set up to ride a dragon into battle against the White Walkers, and I think that's more likely to happen if Dany is dead than if she's alive (because she seems pretty jealous of her dragons). Also, the show has taken some pains to show that Dany can be pretty brave/reckless and naive, and that combination doesn't usually turn out well for characters. There's also the intriguing question of what would happen to the dragons without their "mother."

On the other hand, Dany is magic. So maybe "destiny" means something in her case that it didn't for other characters. Even other quasi-magical characters like the Starks.

Personally, the "destined for greatness" thing tends to rub me the wrong way, anyway, so I'm a little biased against the characters that have to carry that burden. I pretty much always prefer to see destiny subverted than fulfilled. That's a reason why I've had trouble warming up to most of the Starks (and Targaryens). And the opposite is true, as well -- I'm always a little biased toward characters that are apparently not destined for shit, especially when they know that about themselves and try to take things into their own hands anyway.

He began as a proud Lannister, a man who thought there were no other men in the world like him, but now a great deal of that Lannister prestige is lost.

Was he "a proud Lannister," though? I thought he was always very cynical about the Lannister family pride bullshit. He didn't want to be his father's heir, he didn't want Casterly Rock, and his relationships with Tywin, Cersei, and Tyrion always seemed to me to be pretty much based on how he felt about them each personally, not based on an obsession with the family name. I think that it always drove Cersei nuts how cynical and dismissive Jaime was about family pride, actually, because I think she actually did get a lot of strength and sense of identity from being a Lannister -- so giving up her name (in marriage) and not being a possible heir was actually an issue for her, and she clung to her relationship with the Lannister name/family/identity any way she could. I think Tyrion was more similar to Cersei than to Jaime in that sense, too, but his problems with his father were so immense that the bloom eventually came off the rose for him (more than it did for her).

I think that losing his sword hand was a huge blow for Jaime in terms of his *personal* identity -- I think he got a lot of pride out of being a strong swordsman, and felt very comfortable in his own skin -- but I don't think that that related much at all to his family identity.

Once he's seen proof of the Walkers and Cersei continuing to fight for the Iron Throne, he'll probably go against her.

I think that it would be very difficult for Jaime to justify fighting for or under the Targaryen heir. Especially after he saw her turn a dragon on thousands of soldiers and the winter's grain stores.

He is more cynical now about his father's motives for instigating the rebellion way back when than he was when he was young -- but he ultimately did not have selfish motives for his part in dethroning the Targaryens, and I have never gotten the sense that he regretted it for the kingdom's or the Targaryens' sakes. He was even willing to put up with the disgrace of breaking his vows and killing his own king in order to fulfill what he saw as his duty to protect the kingdom from Aerys. I think that, if anything, seeing Dany at war is going to convince him to double down *against* her.

And even though Dany holds the dragons and the dragonglass and should therefore be a greater ally in fighting the White Walkers than anyone else could be, she has so far been unwilling to take on that fight. If Jaime becomes convinced that the White Walkers are the real threat and this fight for the Iron Throne is frivolous (in my opinion, a very big "if"), then I think he may ally with Jon -- but not necessarily with Dany.

Given that Dany and Jon don't have an agreed-upon alliance yet, it is possible that if things get desperate or chaotic enough, Jon (and/or Jaime or Tyrion or whoever) may conclude that they need to just take what they need from her rather than keep trying to negotiate. Not that they would want to do that, but ultimately, no one can in good conscious let one person stand in the way of protecting the whole kingdom from such a huge threat.

Which is yet another reason why I think this protracted failure of a negotiation/alliance between Jon and Dany is aggravating and self-sabotaging on Dany's part, but eh.
posted by rue72 at 1:03 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


I think that it would be very difficult for Jaime to justify fighting for or under the Targaryen heir. Especially after he saw her turn a dragon on thousands of soldiers and the winter's grain stores.

Jamie will fight to the save the Kingdom, once the real threat becomes known. Cersei won't, because it would mean allying with the "demon" from her prophesy and having achieved power finally, she's not going to give it up at all. If one of her children could be raised from the dead, sure. But that ain't happening, so Cersei will do whatever it takes to make sure no one else sits on that throne, especially not anyone younger and more beautiful than her.

Jamie will fight with Daenerys if she's willing to fight to save the kingdom, which she will be, in the end. There will be some back and forth about who should bend the knee and who will rule after the Walkers are defeated, but they'll work it out.

Except for Cersei. She'll pull something to betray the others and she'll want to pull Jamie into that and that's probably when he'll break away.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


If one of her children could be raised from the dead, sure. But that ain't happening

What if it can? Maybe that's her future bargain with night king. She gets Marcella or Tommen back.

Dumb? or awesome dumb?
posted by French Fry at 1:57 PM on August 10


Jamie will fight with Daenerys if she's willing to fight to save the kingdom, which she will be, in the end.

Once she has the Iron Throne, sure, she'll fight to save the kingdom. But right now, she's not fighting for the kingdom, she's fighting for herself. She proved that when she took her dragon out and burnt up the grain. I'm not even saying that was a "bad" decision on her part, just that that was for *her* benefit, not the kingdom's as a whole.

Dany came up very hard, as she reminded Jon, and she's not going to allow herself to be shunted aside, denied resources or fealty, denied what's *hers.* Not by Cersei, not by Jon, not by the White Walkers. So I think that until Dany is convinced that fighting the White Walkers will directly help *her* cause, she's not going to agree to do it.

Of course, there's a good argument that defeating the White Walkers would be to Dany's personal benefit -- if nothing else, saving the people/kingdom would give her rule legitimacy that would aide her in getting and keeping power. And Dany said herself that she doesn't want to rule over a kingdom of ashes.

My question is *when* she will be convinced that fighting the White Walkers is worth her while, though. It's possible that she doesn't decide until too late, and then she'll have screwed herself.

In terms of Jaime's possible involvement...he killed Dany's brother (and while part of his king's guard!), so I doubt that she will be open to working with him even if he's open to working with her. And while I can believe that he'd be open to a detente while fighting the White Walkers, I find it hard to believe that he'd ever back a Targaryen bid for the Iron Throne. Well, posssssibly a Targaryen like Jon, whose Targaryen heritage is diffused and hidden even from himself -- but one that flies around on a dragon, smiting her enemies with fire? I doubt it.

Honestly, I still think that the best case scenario for everybody is if the Ironborn manage to fish out Jaime from that river and trade him to Euron for Yara.
posted by rue72 at 2:38 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Nerdwriter on the cinematic influences on the dragon battle.
posted by octothorpe at 6:21 PM on August 10


What if it can? Maybe that's her future bargain with night king. She gets Marcella or Tommen back.

Dumb? or awesome dumb?


GENIUS. Because it puts a human spin on her. The best villains are the ones where we can sympathize with or at least understand why they do those bad things. A parent going to obscene lengths to bring back a dead child, that's hella relatable, even if we can't condone all the actions.

Can you get us a treatment by Monday morning?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


My question is *when* she will be convinced that fighting the White Walkers is worth her while, though. It's possible that she doesn't decide until too late, and then she'll have screwed herself.

She'll probably take a dragon North to survey the scene. Said dragon may not return south. Or least not in the same way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:20 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Given that Dany and Jon don't have an agreed-upon alliance yet,

Oh I think they do. The terms of it were set offscreen to create suspense for us (DID he bend the knew?
WHEN will she help him with the WW?), but there's no way they walked out of the cave without an agreement. For one thing, Dany is suddenly treating Jon like an adviser, not a prisoner or hostile force; and for another, there's not going to be another Now do you believe me? scene. The drawings in the cave were it.
posted by torticat at 8:11 PM on August 10


litera scripta manet: Game of Jones - I would pay a significant amount to watch GoT with Leslie Jones.

litera scripta manet: Also, I love that not only is Leslie Jones hilarious, but she also like really knows shit when it comes to GoT.

I know! I loved when she picked out Arya from the first shot while Seth didn't get the hint and needed to see her face. And I loved her enthusiasm! And impromptu songs! OK, I loved it all.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 PM on August 10 [5 favorites]


does Jaime know that Cersei killed everyone in the sept with wildfire? Because that's what Aerys ordered him to do the city, and it was the turning point that led him to turn on Aerys.

I don't think they've made it clear if Jamie knows. At first I assumed he did, but then I'd like to think Jamie would be more upset with Cersei if he did know, since the destruction of the Sept and Margaery's death are what prompted Tommen to kill himself. Jamie's character development has been stalled for so long it's hard to tell.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on August 10




I would very much like it if Leslie Jones recorded herself watching every episode and bestowed that gift on us every week. Now that I know what I was missing out on I'm not sure I can go on without it.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 12:04 AM on August 11 [5 favorites]


Oh I think they do. The terms of it were set offscreen to create suspense for us (DID he bend the knew?

Yeah, I totally don't get there was some off screen agreement. I seriously doubt the creators would have that be off-screen.

There's no way those cave drawings totally convinced Daenerys. Even if they did, there's no way those drawings could prefer her for actually seeing the WW army.

I still think she'll take a dragon North, to see for herself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:41 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


I think of Jamie as a bad but highly enabled addict. In season 4 he got near rock bottom, and was away from his enablers and his supply. But his resolve didn't hold once back in Kings landing and he was driven back deeper by the trauma of Marcella's death.

It is frustrating to watch this happen but I don't know if I'd say his character development has stalled. It's just going through the classic recovery/fail circles that are painful to watch because they are all too common; outside heroic narratives.
posted by French Fry at 5:54 AM on August 11 [6 favorites]


I kind of like that Jaime is just a fucked up mess who yo-yos between being good and evil. Maybe it is crappy writing (rape scene, obviously..) but I find it more believably human than a clear arc where he goes from pushing Bran off the tower for Cercei to killing Cercei for the good of the realm, or whatever. He is a messy character with messy motivations and he isn't going to behave like he's marching neatly towards self-actualization.
posted by gatorae at 10:23 AM on August 11 [5 favorites]


Jerome "Bronn" Flynn's mailman has stopped talking to him because he shot Drogon.
posted by zarq at 11:41 AM on August 11 [8 favorites]


There might be another obstacle between Dany and Jon getting together: BO. Jon has spent his whole life in the North, with most of the last few years at the Wall, which is said to be so cold that the Brothers of the Night's Watch forget what warmth ever felt like. Dragonstone must be hot as hell by comparison, and yet he's still walking around in thick leather armor all the time. He must be sweaty as hell and probably stinks something awful. As soon as that armor comes off, phew! But Dragonstone is a volcanic island and the castle was built back when the Targaryens were part of the Valyrian Freehold, so hopefully the magic Romans would have designed some decent bathing facilities.
posted by homunculus at 1:54 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


I'm sure Jon and Davos took baths if they could be confident that their doors locked and the tubs weren't booby trapped. But they don't feel quite safe -- they're kinda sorta prisoners right now -- and Jon's armor doubles as the trappings of his office. If he changes into a tunic, he's just some dude, not one monarch on a diplomatic visit to another. Anyway, he's probably used to wearing his armor in warm conditions; anybody with arms training now learned during the long summer, and volcano or no, Dragonstone looks very windy.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 2:49 PM on August 11


Perhaps the strong and manly Northern musk that Jon emits could by the aphrodisiac that Daenerys never realized she needs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:31 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


I just re-watched The Children (S4E10), and there were a couple of neat things relevant to this episode:

- Tormund tells Jon that he spent too much time with the wildlings and will never be a kneeler again.
- When Arya and Brienne talk to each other briefly before the Hound comes out and fights Brienne, Arya asks Brienne who taught her to fight.
posted by gatorae at 7:34 PM on August 11 [6 favorites]


Late to the chatter. Only a couple points to add:

One, the dragons spotted Jon as a Targ from day one, that is, from the moment he set foot on that absurd causeway at Dragonstone. One buzzed him so closely his entire party ducked. A particular kind of person might consult the footage to specifically identify *which* dragon it was.

Two, just before the Arya-Brienne tussle, Arya reminds Brienne that she swore to Cat to protect Cat's daughters. As this moment is passing, we cut to a mid-long shot of over Arya's shoulder, Brienne facing the camera, showing Littlefinger and Sansa on the upper walkway, the courtyard, and the open gateway in the wall behind Brienne.

As Cat's name is mentioned, an extra with deep auburn hair and a green full-length cloak strides across the opening of the gate, in the middle distance, on the other side of the wall. Whether or not the person in the shot in-universe carries this particular weight, I can't say. But I can assert with reasonable assurance that the figure seen momentarily as Cat's name is mentioned is her ghost in at least a literary sense, an in-camera (or CGI) expression of her impact and reality for the characters on the show.
posted by mwhybark at 2:57 AM on August 12 [4 favorites]




I'm not sure why Clarke doesn't have this chemistry with every actor she's paired with, but eh. Is it a purposeful acting choice ...

I've always attributed it to her still trying to figure out what "love" is, as sex has always been merely a component of negotiation for her.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:30 PM on August 14


Jerome "Bronn" Flynn's mailman has stopped talking to him because he shot Drogon.

Knowing that Flynn had a previous career as a pop singer, I would pay much gold to hear him belt out "I Shot the Dragon (But I Did Not Shoot the Khaleesi)".
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:55 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


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