Welcome back to my Why Did I Think This Was A Good Idea Game of Thrones recap! Now with moar links! This one took so long because of scheduling and also a summarizing fail – clocking in at 2,000 words, I don’t think this is really a recap (plus I fell down so many GoT link holes) – so maybe next week the entire recap will be written in Buzzfeed headlines. Spoilers ahead but more importantly, links on links on links. Go!
We open in the lair of my dreams during a storm at Dragonstone. The guys are like “You were born during a storm like this” and Daenerys Stormborn (HEY, GET IT) is all “Sorry, this place sucks.” She gets into a truthiness bitch-off with Lord Varys that would make Mama Tits proud, which ends with both of them bemused by her idle threat to burn him alive. Har har! FRIENDSHIP IS SO FUN.
Bzzzt, there’s someone at the front door and that someone is Melisandre, everyone’s favorite 300-year old sexy red witch and noted child killer. She’s all “Jon Snow!” and they’re all *gasp, who* and Missandei adds her linguistic two-snaps and they decide to make contact. I am beyond excited for Jon and Dany to meet even though I wanted them to hook up way before I knew they were related.
Cersei does some doom-and-gloom Fox News fearmongering from the Iron Throne to her confused lords and nobles. Dark horse lords from afar threaten the safety of your virginal white daughters! Lord Tarly asks – and rightfully so – what the plan is to address that whole dragons thing Daenerys has going for her. Qyburn rubs what I assume are his extremely clammy hands together and implies that he’s cooking up something. Last time he was cooking up human experiments, so hopefully this is better.
Next up at The Citadel: Jorah faces a grim greyscale diagnosis but Samwell has that twinkle in his eye. Oh god, this can’t be good. (Surprise: it’s not.)
Now we’re in Cersei’s museum-like dungeon somewhere underneath King’s Landing. If this is what her storage space looks like, I get why she wanted to be Queen. Qyburn the Qreepy leads Cersei to a massive weiner of a weapon: a truck-sized ballista that could probably take out a dragon. Shit. He tells Cersei to try it out and she’s like “Did you think I wore this armored gown with epaulets for you?” I half-hoped she would turn it on him and shout “Towandaaaa!” but I guess she didn’t see the classic movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes.’ Her loss.
Back to the lair, where not one but four women are present in the war room, discussing strategy for taking out the Lannisters like some kind of male ladywomen playing a giant game of Risk. I felt like in a different timeline, the female warriors on Themyscira were training for this battle, too. (Wait, did I just brainstorm my first fan-fic idea?!) Lady Olenna – the fantastic Diana Rigg – lays her characteristic snark and wisdom about peace on Dany after everyone cedes their support. “Be a dragon,” she says, and I have to say I agree. I didn’t sit through six seasons of brutal shit and uphill battles to watch these kingdoms hire a mediator and work things out.
Let me just say right here, in the emotional moment right before Missandei and Grey Worm get it on, that I am a nine-year old who giggles mercilessy through most sex scenes – even heartfelt, bittersweet ones such as this – and I end up looking at my phone or peeking through my fingers or putting it on ‘mute.’ I’m not a monster, I’m just a child. But three cheers for them, really – I like those two together. “You’re my weakness.” Stop.
Of course, this vulnerable, heart-bursting moment was brought to you by George R. R. Martin, Slayer of Dreams and Purveyor of Disappointments. I assume one or both of them will die this season, possibly soon.
And now, the most horrifying two minutes and forty-one seconds I’ve ever sat through, and perhaps the most hilarious/disgusting transition in the history of the show. Back in Old Town at The Citadel, Jorah’s greyscale looks like burnt tomato lava all over his body — so what a joy to know that when you painfully scrape it off with your weak medieval scalpel, a whole new layer of chowder-like pus lies beneath for the next round of pain. Delicious transition to chicken pot pie in 3…2…1….
I can only imagine John Bradley, the beloved actor who portrays Samwell Tarly, going through his script every week and being like why do the showrunners hate me? Last week was a cacophony of turds, this week was a dermatologist’s nightmare — perhaps next week he’ll get to wade through a lake of rotting horse parts. If he’s not covered from head-to-toe in dragon semen by the end of this season, I’ll be writing a strongly-worded letter to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
I was so happy to see Arya reunited with Hot Pie, one of her only real friends on the road, back when she was disguised as a boy. It was sweet to see them – both still children, really – catching up like old friends in the pub; Arya weary from just existing this long and Hot Pie positive as ever. For season after season, we’ve seen Arya deal with so much trauma, and lose the light within her that came from being loved and feeling safe. She’s both a killer and a survivor now, with only one real purpose: avenging her family. Beyond that, she is alone and relies mostly on herself.
What a confusing moment of relief and disbelief and holy shit what the fuck did you just say when she learns the Boltons are dead (YUSSSS) and Jon Snow, her actual brother (but really cousin!) is alive and King of The North. When Hot Pie says that Winterfell is back in her family’s hands – that she still has family out there, and just within reach – her reaction is so sad to me. That tiny flash of light in her eyes, one heartbeat of a moment where she feels hope and not just the cold burning fire of vengeance. And how old is Arya — 14ish? My greatest problem at that age was math and self-esteem. Anyway, she makes the right choice and rides north: to family. I just want someone at Winterfell to give this girl a hug.
Jon Snow convenes with his Northmen and tells everyone DAENERYS HAS THREE DRAGONS and everyone reacts like it’s a courtroom drama. “Ooooh mumble mumble mumble” from the gallery and I’m like, if someone said THREE DRAGONS HAVE YOUR ADDRESS, GURL I would be screaming from the mountaintops for Jesus. Jon Snow says he’s going to see Dany (MUCH SHRIEKING) and passes the lord torch to Sansa. Finally.
Two sexy queens on a ship make out in front of one queen’s unstable brother — it’s a tale as old as time. People were trying to make a big deal about this being an illicit sexual relationship between Yara, Queen of The Iron Islands and Ellaria, de facto ruler of Dorne but oh my god, it was like a 20-second tease (not to mention totally improvised). That’s when everything goes sideways – literally – and from the most sinister ocean fog of all time, the Black Pearl emerges.
Sorry, the Black Pearl is Captain Jack Sparrow’s boat, depending on what Pirates movie you’re watching, but you basically get the gist. Through smoke and fog and a blackened sky dotted with explosions and lightning emerges the demonic, inky vessel of Euron Greyjoy’s called The Silence — so named because every member of the ship has their tongue cut out (not a lot of sea shanties sung on that boat). Yara and Reek, oops I mean Theon, watch as The Silence lays waste to their ship, which suddenly seems quite small in comparison. The terror on their faces is real — Uncle Euron is the hands-down craziest member of their family, and not a big fan of theirs.
From The Silence comes a massive metaphorical battle cock in the form of a bridge that Euron uses to make a screaming entrance any drama queen would be proud of — the next time I’m invited to a party, that’s how I’m going to arrive. I recognized the battle axe in Euron’s hand from the books, an homage to the brother who didn’t make it to the TV show. And that’s when it turned into a Vikings episode.
Seriously, you could have taken any battle scene from Vikings – an excellent show, by the way – and dropped it into the five minute and 11 second fight scene and it would have looked fine. Euron’s unhinged pathology is maximized in battle, and his wild-eyed, manic style of fighting – slash and burn, covered in blood, clearly having a blast – would not feel out of place on Vikings. I compared Euron Greyjoy to the grown-up version of Ivar the Boneless but with…bones… and my husband agreed.
Everyone dies. Okay, not everyone, but at least a couple of Sand Snakes and definitely Yara’s whole operation. The Sand Snakes were laid out in a matter of minutes – too bad that whole powerful women storyline led to this, but they can’t all live. Finally, how sad to see Reek return and do what Reek does well – hide to protect Theon, out of fear and understandable PTSD – and to witness Yara seeing that, too. Also weirded out by how attracted I was to Euron in that moment. He was covered in blood, clutching his battle axe and I was like, “But he has a really nice smile….” Not sure how I ended up married to such a nice guy when I’m attracted to murderous assholes.
Thoughts: Pilou Asbaek (Euron) is the most exciting thing to watch on this show right now, since everyone else is politely moving around on a strategic war board. I’ve never been the biggest Sansa fan, though I’ve learned to grudgingly respect her as she’s grown up and faced much adversity. Now that’s she’s Queen of The North – at least until Jon comes back – I had one tiny picture of her somehow making it to the Iron Throne. It could be anyone’s throne, and I know people are rooting for Daenerys, but it would be interesting to me if Sansa made a play for it because that would be somewhat unexpected. It would be cool if she and Arya killed Cersei, too, but the prophecy. I’m also very curious about the big tree and the Night King.
Last note: I keep forgetting that this season is shortened, so the pace is throwing me off a bit – I have to remember that lots of shit will go down every episode because that’s the only way we’ll ever see battle and possibly a resolution. Which I’m hoping has something to do with Samwell and the astrolabe and the title sequence, but I know so little (despite having written so much).