Is it too late to change my bet to Lannister?
Season 7 of Game of Thrones seems to be following a specific pattern. Each episode slowly moves the plot along, before a 10 minute explosive final scene. Last week, we saw Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) utterly annihilate Yara’s (Gemma Whelan) fleet. This week, we saw the Greyjoys utterly annihilate the Unsullied’s fleet, whilst Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) looked on powerlessly. And saw Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) take Highgarden, only to receive the last bitter admission of Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg). All this in the last 5 minutes.
But I’m getting ahead of myself a little. There was plenty more to appreciate here than the final scene of chaos. So we might as well start at the top.
In a moment that fans have wanted since the story began, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) finally meet. And it’s glorious. It would have been so easy for Jon to bend the knee to Daenerys, but he’s not toddled over to Dragonstone to offer his support in her fight against the Lannisters. He’s made the remarkably short, 1,000 mile trip for dragonglass. And maybe some fire breathing dragons to throw against the White Walkers. In short, Jon’s not having any of Dany’s proclamations, and Dany, for her part, has no time for talk of White Walkers.
Thank the Old Gods and New for Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who thankfully spent some time with Jon and the Night’s Watch way back in Season 1. Tyrion knows that Jon is no fool, and would not have made such a risky trip if he didn’t truly think what he was asking for was necessary. Despite the Greyjoy setback, Daenerys is still listening to Tyrion, and agrees to let Jon mine for dragonglass. She may not believe him right now, but its looking more and more likely she’ll need him.
It seems that Jon’s absence really has worked wonders for Sansa (Sophie Turner) who is doing a pretty decent job running things in Winterfell. Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) yet again gives her a little bit more of his wisdom, telling her to anticipate every possible scenario, then nothing is a surprise. This is why Littlefinger is still alive to this day, and why he always seems to be on the winning side. Even so, Sansa probably didn’t expect to see Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) turn up at the front door. And just when you thought Littlefinger was creepy as hell…
Bran, it seems, has gone full on weirdo. His ability, which has still not been fully explained, is to see things. Basically, he’s going to be an exposition sprouter that will probably end up possessing a dragon at some point. Sansa tries to remind him that he’s the last surviving Stark boy, and that his presence in Winterfell could actually cause Jon some issues, but Bran really couldn’t care less. He has some internet bursting, R + L = J news to deliver. Which, given the current speed of Season 7, is probably going to happen next week.
And not a moment too soon. Because Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is currently having an absolute blast down in King’s Landing, getting sweet revenge on both the Greyjoys and the Dornish Sandsnakes. To be fair to Cersei, I actually can’t blame her for the way she treats Ellaria (Indira Virma) here. Ellaria murdered Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) in cold blood, for no reason at all. Cersei may have done some truly awful things in her time, but the actions of those Dornish ladies were pretty damn vulgar. Ellaria now gets to watch her daughter (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) die in the same horrible way. And if I’m honest… good riddance.
Cersei continues to enjoy victory after victory, which is more to do with the poor battle plans of Daenerys and her advisers rather than her own genius. I think it’s time to unleash those dragons.
Speaking of success, how about Samwell Tarley (John Bradley)? He’s come a long way since being too scared to lift a sword up at Castle Black. His little procedure has not only saved Jorah’s (Iain Glen) life, but also finally impressed Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent). Even though, if I’m honest, it does seem to be a bit of a cop-out to suggest it’s that easy to cure Greyscale. Jorah is now free to return to Daenerys and Sam is now free to… pretty much do what he was doing before. But a big kudos to him. I’m glad that Jorah gets to hang around for a bit longer.
But it seems only fitting to conclude this review as a tribute to Lady Olenna Tyrell. One of my favourite characters since she first appeared, the Queen of Thorns has been as entertaining as she is ruthless from day one. Taunting Jaime with the knowledge that she was the one who killed Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), knowing full well that there was absolutely nothing he could do about it – it was an exit worthy of only Olenna Tyrell.
It’s a shame it probably won’t do much in the way of exonerating Tyrion.
It seems almost pointless to say this was another cracking episode. Daenerys met Jon, Olenna Tyrell met her end, and we even got a glimpse of Bronn (Jerome Flynn). Roll on episode 4. The episode when it airs, that is. Not the leaked script version. Have some patience guys!