Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf” Recap

Game of Thrones is about war, death, betrayal, love, loss, dragons, and undead. But mostly it’s about family.

No where was family more pronounced than in season seven’s finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.” Some families split apart, some hashed out old wounds, some came together (JOKES!).

Most of these family squabbles feel petty in comparison to the army of death that officially crosses over beyond the wall during the finale’s thrilling, yet predictable final moments. In the wise words of Bronn of the Blackwater, “We’re fucked.” Continue reading “Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf” Recap”

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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall” Recap

Last week left us with the promise of a Squad of Ultimate Badasses adventuring within the zombie-infested lands north of The Wall. Our squad quickly ran into trouble in “Beyond the Wall,” prompting one of the most exciting yet weirdest, plot-hole-ridden episodes this season.

We had only three POV’s this week, with much of the focus on Snow’s Seven (plus redshirts). Wide, zoomed-out shots of men marching in the mountains evoked some fond memories of Lord of the Rings.

We were treated to more fun dialogue between these fun combinations of characters, such as Jon and Jorah discussing Jon’s sword Longclaw, which was given to him by Jorah’s father.

Tormund was this week’s Davos – the jolly, witty character that made every scene he was in a delight. I was seriously worried Tormund would bite the big one given how many great lines he delivered (his unfamiliarity with the word ‘dick,’ his adorable infatuation with Brienne, etc).

The episode toyed with us further by later putting Tormund in mortal danger. NOT MY BIG BEAUTIFUL MAN HE WAS KISSED BY FIRE AND HE IS DESTINED TO MAKE GIANT BABIES WITH BRIENNE!

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But first our heroes had a mission: secure an undead soldier to bring back to the meeting with Cersei. Continue reading “Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall” Recap”

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 “Eastwatch” Recap

We had a far quieter episode this week on Game of Thrones with no dragons burning armies. Well, maybe a little dragon-burning. Despite no real action scenes “Eastwatch” managed to be one of the fastest-paced episodes of the entire series as pieces rapidly moved around, leaders concocted plans, and Jon formed a superhero mash-up team of beyond-the-wall badasses.

At the end of last week I assumed that Jaime and Bronn would become Daenerys’ prisoners. Apparently Bronn’s heroic move not only saved Jaime’s life, but also eluded them from capture. I was incredulous and kept thinking at any moment one of Dany’s forces will simply notice them. How big is that river anyway?

Jaime and Bronn already make it back to King’s Landing to report the loss to Cersei. She actually takes everything in stride, remarking that they can use the gold to hire a mercenary army. He tells her what he learned from Olenna about Joffery’s true murderer, which she also seemingly takes in stride. She’s more than willing to go down fighting, but Jaime is not so sure.

A calm Cersei should worry everyone. A calm Daenerys fucking kills people.

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In a firm but brutal display, Daenerys calls for all the captured soldiers from last week’s battle to bend the knee or die. Most comply after a not-so-stirring speech from the Mother of Dragons – it’s hard to call for peace and prosperity when you just burned their friends alive.

Randyll Tarly, whom I’ve been misspelling this whole time, is too proud to kneel. He’s a complete asshole with zero sympathies, but his son has proven to be the opposite.

It’s an interesting twist when son Dickon refuses as well, joining his father as Dany stands them up before Drogon. The Mother of Dragons doesn’t hang people.

Tyrion is horrified at this display of power. “Eastwatch” touches upon the moral gray area that rests in being a leader. He and Varys have a discussion that reminds us of the cruelty of the Mad King that prompted the civil war before the series started. Later Arya and Sansa have a discussion about ruling, as do Jon and Dany, both admitting to doing what’s necessary – and what’s necessary often isn’t very nice.

The Jon and Dany exchange also teases a scene we all saw coming – the dragons responding positively to Jon Snow. Jon lovingly pets Drogon and Dany becomes even more enamored, though whether it’s love or respect is difficult to say.

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We know that Jon has been confirmed a Targaryen, thanks to Bran’s time-travel abilities. But this episode goes a step further with a seemingly innocuous scene between Samwell and Gilly.

Sam (who’s father and brother were just killed by Dany) remains frustrated with the Maesters, and even more frustrated with his inability to find real information on the Night King. Maybe he’s looking at the wrong information, as Gilly manages to drop a brief but possibly explosive info bomb before Sam waves her away – that Prince Rhaeger Targaryen’s initial marriage to Ellia Martell of Dorne was annulled.

We have to dig a bit into Game of Thrones‘ history to know why this is important. We know that long-time theory R+L=J was confirmed last season, with the L being Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister. It’s said that Rhaeger abducted her, leading to Robert and Ned to start the civil war against the Targaryens, though it’s possible (and increasingly likely) that the two simply ran away together.

Now, if they actually got married that means that their child, Jon Targaryen, is not a bastard but a true-born son and heir to the Iron Throne. Jon would have just as much claim as Daenerys. I think he may actually have a stronger claim being the son of the prince (whereas Dany is Rhaegar’s younger sister). I’m not up on my succession rules.

I think it likely that we’ll never know the whole truth, and this was just a tease for the audience to help confirm yet another theory. Just having Targaryen blood would make Jon respected by the dragons (as we saw) – how the hell would they care if his parents were married?

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It’s a fun reveal made even more enjoyable given the way neither character realized what they were looking at. Sam’s frustration reaches its peak during an epic rant, and he and Gilly pack up their things and leave. Poor Sam. I enjoyed his surprisingly compelling antics at Oldtown and hopefully now he can get back to the action.

The bulk of the action surrounds Team Targaryen’s new plan. Jon receives a raven from Bran. Oh hey, Bran and Arya are alive. So much for an emotional reunion. The dead are coming – which I thought we already knew. They decide on a plan: convince Cersei (and everyone else) that the undead army is real. To do that they’ll need to capture one “alive” and bring it to her.

Now who the hell thinks Cersei gives two shits about an army of the dead? Every character in that room is being extremely naive to think she would rally around this common cause, Tyrion especially.

Regardless they decide that going north of the wall, running into the giant army of the dead, capturing an undead zombie, and bringing it back to the very hostile territory of King’s Landing is their best plan for generating an armistice so everyone can fight the dead.

Ser Jorah reunites with Daenerys just in time to volunteer, but Jon insists it has to be him. Jon may be an admirable leader but his insistence on being the first one at the head of every plan and battle usually makes for a short-lived career.

Tyrion knows that actually trying to talk with Cersei isn’t going to work. Instead, they worth through Jaime. Davos and Tyrion travel to King’s Landing to set up a meeting through Bronn, and the Lannister brothers are briefly reuinted.

This was a fantastic scene that I wish had lasted much longer. Tyrion balking at Jaime for being mad at him for killing their father was heartbreaking. Peter Dinklage got to flex his superior acting muscles more than he’s had to all season.

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But alas we’re moving at lighting speed. Jaime agrees to a proposed armistice. Cersei again takes it in stride, putting the bulk of this “betrayal” on Bronn. She decides that a meeting puts her in the best position to deal with Daenerys. If Jaime was starting to get cold feet they’re immediately snuffed by Cersei’s admission of a pregnancy – and he’s the father.

Now, is she really pregnant or just saying that to keep Jaime on board for a bit longer? I would not at all put it past Cersei. One interesting note: Cersei’s fateful childhood prophecy has so far rang true (all her kids have died), but the prophecy also said she’d only have three. Her time will be coming to an end, and I still think it’ll be at the end of Jaime’s sword.

Meanwhile Davos surprises everyone by going to the blacksmith and finding Gendry, last bastard son of Robert Baratheon. Gendry! We last saw the poor bastard rowing away from Dragonstone after Davos freed him from Melisandre, in season three. Davos delightfully jokes that he expected to find him still rowing, a snarky comment frequently made by Game of Thrones fans.

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A special shout-out to Ser Davos Seaworth needs to be made. I make notes to myself to help write these recaps, and a solid 25% of them this week were just quotes of everything Davos said. Nothing fucks you harder than time.

Gendry grabs a warhammer – Robert’s signature weapon, and immediately signs up to join Davos, and later Jon. The group runs into a brief encounter when leaving King’s Landing, and once again Davos gets to flex his wit in a rare humorous scene involving fermented crab Viagra.

In true Game of Thrones fashion, it ends in violence.

Jon leaves Dragonstone to embark on their crazy mission, taking Jorah and Gendry. Dany could have forced him to stay but her opinions have definitely softened – not every man can pet a dragon and Jon ain’t bad to look at either.

In another egregious example of fast-travel, Jon and company make it all the way up to Eastwatch-by-the-sea, one of the few manned castles of the Night’s Watch. It’s currently manned by Tormund, who’s disappointed that Jon didn’t bring Brienne (me too).

The Brotherhood Without Banners is also there, rotting in a jail cell. Seems their vision in the flames didn’t go over well with the wildlings.

A tense but funny meeting occurs when these characters meet. Gendry has good reason to hate Thoros and Beric based on his experience with Melisandre, while Tormund is none too please at having a Mormont (Jorah) in the party.

As Jon eloquently says, they’re all on the same side because they’re still breathing. He tells them the plan and lets them out of jail. Snow’s Seven is officially born! It’ll be our first look beyond the wall since Bran fled during the epic Hold the Door sequence, and looks like the primary focus of next week’s adventure.

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Before we end this recap let’s predict the fate of Snow’s Seven:

game of thronesJon Snow – Come on, he’s fine. Besides, he already died once. At least one person will sacrifice themselves for him.

game of thronesGendry – It would be pretty lame to kill him off after we only just met him again after being MIA for years. He’s strong but the most untested of the lot. I could see him getting injured, and/or turning into a loyal sidekick for Jon.

game of thronesSer Jorah Mormont – Jorah only just now got back to fighting strength. Like Gendry it would be lame for him to die after all that. But he was given a plot coin by Tyrion and told to come back, so his death would be heart-breaking. He’s either going to live, or die saving Jon (and put in a final good word for Dany).

game of thronesTormund Giantsbane – Tormund has turned into a fun character, despite not having a whole lot to do this season. He’s been a loyal friend and ally to Jon, and is the most experienced member of the party for this mission. His death would be very emotional for both Jon and us. I think he’s a gonner.

game of thronesSandor Clegane – The sardonic Hound has gone through a rollercoaster of events since his appearance in the very first episode. It’s a very strange journey that’s lead him here. He’s probably the best fighter of any of them, but also the least reliable and loyal. His hatred of his brother still needs a conclusion with zombie-Mountain still by Cersei’s side, so he’s going to make it to King’s Landing.

game of thronesSer Beric Dondarrion – His flaming sword will come in very handy against the zombies, but otherwise Baric doesn’t have much going on, and we don’t really care one way or the other.

game of thronesThoros of Myr – As one of the least effective fighters the red priest may be able to call upon his god to smite the undead armies. Or more likely he’ll just die ignominiously.

And how’s this for a bold final prediction: One of these men will die and become the zombie warrior they’ll bring to King’s Landing, and in the final episode the Night King will cross (or destroy) the wall.

Winners

Jon Snow – It’s not every day you get to pet a dragon and assemble a superhero squad of ultimate badasses. We likely learned he’s a full-blooded Targaryen as well, but Jon doesn’t exactly have his eyes set on the Iron Throne.

Davos – Davos, like Bronn, is always a delightfully snarky presence in every scene. His dry wit and candor were on full display this episode, whether it was recruiting Gendry, bribing guards, or admitting he’s not much of a fighter. Davos has easily become one of my favorite characters in the entire series.

Gendry – When we first saw him I thought this was going to be a quick one-off scene to remind us that he was there (like Arya and Nymeria). I was pleased that not only does Gendry join up with Davos, but then pledges himself to Jon based on the friendship of their fathers (ironically Robert Baratheon killed Jon’s actual father Rhaegar Targaryen). PROTECT GENDRY!

Losers

The Spies of Winterfell – Despite holding a large number of prominent cast members Winterfell continues to be boring. Now it appears that we’re manufacturing drama for the sake of drama. According to Polygon the note that Arya finds (which Baelish planted) is the one Sansa wrote under duress years ago, urging Robb to bend the knee to Joffery. This could create further division between Arya and Sansa, or make Arya finally get rid of Baelish. Either way it’s hard to care compared to what’s going on everywhere else.

Ghost – Um, has anyone seen Jon’s direwolf? He didn’t go to Dragonstone, he didn’t accompany Snow’s Seven. Have we seen him all season? Is Ghost the new Gendry?

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 “The Spoils of War” Recap

Daenerys has suffered several losses since arriving in Westeros, and the Mother of Dragons isn’t exactly a gracious loser. This week Team Targaryen fights back in one of the most spectacular battle sequences ever put on television.
Continue reading “Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 “The Spoils of War” Recap”

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 “The Queen’s Justice” Recap

Daenerys suffered a major blow last week and the hits just keep on coming in “The Queen’s Justice.” Euron makes good on a present for Cersei, Ice and Fire finally meet in Dragonstone, and we get another Stark reunion in Winterfell.

Cersei’s lack of allies isn’t slowing her down much. As the first reigning Queen of the Seven Kingdoms she’s beginning to prove that when backed into a corner she remains incredibly dangerous. Continue reading “Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 “The Queen’s Justice” Recap”

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 “Stormborn” Recap

This week on Game of Thrones we saw the return of the enigmatic Red Woman and Arya’s long-lost direwolf Nymeria. We witnessed some awful medieval surgery (with hilariously disgusting jump cut), enjoyed some sexy moments, and learned to respect and fear our new barbaric pirate villain.

Last episode ended with Daenerys in her war room on Dragonstone. This time we get to listen in on her plans. She’s already called together the leaders of Dorne and Highgarden, Ellaria and Olenna respectively, as well as the Greyjoy defectors Yara and Theon, to join her own group of advisers of Tyrion, Missendei, Grey Worm, and Varys.

That’s five women, three eunuchs, and a Tyrion. Not exactly your typical war room for Game of Thrones (or anything) and that’s part of the reason we love and root for Team Targaryen. Continue reading “Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 “Stormborn” Recap”

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 “Dragonstone” Recap

I’ve decided to recap Game of Thrones this season here on my blog.

Warning: Spoilers abound!

It’s been a long, long time since we last saw the Sept of Baelor blow up along with several major characters in the season six finale of Game of Thrones. Season seven starts the end-game that book fans have been waiting since the 90s for – and we only get seven episodes this year!

The first episode, “Dragonstone” mostly played it safe. We checked in with all our remaining characters, remembered what they’re doing, and looked forward to some more exciting things to happen later on.

Jon Snow had quite the adventure last season, culminating in the marquee “Battle of the Bastards” episode. For now he’s content with actually accepting his leadership position as King of the North, and helping rally everyone to the unifying cause of Oh Shit Zombies.

Interestingly he and Sansa don’t actually get along very well, at least politically. There’s love and respect but the two argue like a married couple, and Jon admonishes her for questioning his leadership in front of everyone. Lyanna Mormont also continues to be amazing, which at this point feels like nodding fan service but we’ll take it.

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Poor Samwell is now the only character left overseas (well, greyscale’d Jorah I guess), and he’s had a pretty shitty time in Oldtown. He’s definitely maester material but getting there involves a lot of chamber pot cleaning. Interspersed with that is Samwell eating gruel and trying not to get sick, creating one of the more disgusting montages I’ve ever seen.

And yet he’s still trying to get work done and scouring for information on the white walkers. He’ll definitely be a key ingredient, even if his story is a bit less exciting.

We checked in with a lot of smaller stories amidst our bigger arcs. Bran and Meera made it to the Wall, yay! The Night King’s army includes zombie giants, crap! Sandor Clegane looks into the flames for plot-relevant inspiration, huh! Tormund continues to make gaga eyes at Brienne, yes!

Arya’s finally left her hellish subplot in which she sort-of learned to be a Faceless Man (Faceless Person?) and master assassin last season. It was weird in the books (although we only got about halfway as of the latest book) and weird in the show. I’m thankful she’s back in Westeros and continuing to kick Frey ass.

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Her opening scene also addresses the Lady Stoneheart issue. The show has effectively eliminated a lot of excess characters while giving others expanded roles (Bronn anyone?). In this case getting rid of a very creepy semi-zombified Caitlin Stark and replacing it with an equally vengeful Arya is fantastic. It gives her more cool shit to do though she desperately needs an update to current events – do not go to King’s Landing!

At King’s Landing Cersei is Queen of the Ashes. Her last child, Tommen, committed suicide after witnessing his mother destroy his wife and the clergy by dragonfire. She’s technically in mourning but both her and Jamie seem more mildly concerned than emotional wrecks.

While Daenerys and Jon Snow have been enjoying victories her hold as weakened, to the point where the Lannisters have no one left, and many of the Lords of Westeros only barely support her claim to the throne.

Both Jamie and Cersei seek out allies. Jamie’s is a bit more practical, one of the bigger lords still loyal to them, Samwell’s assshole father Randyll Tarly. Jamie does a pretty effective job convincing Tarly to stay the course, and basically promising him Dorne after the war with Daenerys is finished.

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Cersei’s choice of ally is suitably reckless and risky – Euron Greyjoy. We only just met him last season. He’s the long-lost uncle of Theon and Yara, who came home to murder his father and wrest control of the Iron Islands. He’s the new Ramsay Bolton of mustache-twirling villainy, and he aims to marry Cersei.

Cersei is amused but holds all the cards, for now. Euron promises to bring her a gift and sets off his with fleet.

Another fleet arrives in Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen sets foot on her homeland for the first time in the show’s entire run, and it’s at her birthplace on Dragonstone. It’s a poignant moment with no dialogue as Dany and her crew makes their way through the empty halls formerly occupied by Stannis.

Her first words sent a delightful chill down every viewer who has been patiently yearning for the Mother of Dragons to finally get down to business in Westeros. We shall definitely begin.

Winners 

Lyanna Mormont: She’s a fan-favorite and can do no wrong.

“Torienne” or “Briemund”: I don’t know what the official ship name is for Tormund and Brienne but I’m super in favor of every scene they’re in together.

Zombie Giants: Oh, crap.

Losers

Euron Greyjoy: The show had done a really great job making nuanced characters in shades of grey, instead of simply good guys and bad guys. But between Ramsay and now Euron we’re being subjected to some really groofy, cartoonish villains that are just too easy to hate.

Petyr Baelish: What is this character still doing?

Samwell: Medieval medical school just sucks.