With another episode forging ahead at breakneck speed, this penultimate series shows no signs of slowing down on the way to the finish line.
In this episode, Ice and Fire met for the first time, more reunions took place and the end of the episode left us in a very different place than we were at the start of the series.
Warning: Spoilers are coming.
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen
Against the wishes of pretty much everyone in the North, Jon Snow set off with Davos Seaworth to meet with Dany at Dragonstone. Although the reunion between Jon and Tyrion went well, the reunion we were really hoping for — Davos and Melisandre — was delayed.
The first meeting between the proverbial Ice and Fire was a bit tense since Jon refused to bend the knee and pledge loyalty to Daenerys. He asked for her help to defeat the White Walkers with her dragons or by mining Dragonstone for dragonglass, and she refused due to his perceived lack of loyalty.
Before things can get too awkward, Varys interrupts the meeting to give Dany the bad news that Euron attacked her fleet and she’s lost the Dornish army. After getting this news — and after Tyrion tries to warm the two up to each other — Dany seems to acknowledge that she needs to prove why Jon should fight for her, and she agrees to let him mine dragonglass.
It’s good that she’s working toward gaining a new ally since Dany’s allies are dwindling fast due to…
Cersei and Jaime Lannister
The two Lannister siblings in King’s Landing are rapidly taking out Daenerys’s allies. Euron’s fleet wiped out the Dornish army, and he took Ellaria Sand and Tyene, one of her Sand Snakes, captive to present to Cersei.
Cersei is delighted with the gift and assures Euron she’ll accept his proposal because of it — but she’ll only do so after the war. In the meantime, Cersei takes her revenge for Ellaria killing her daughter Myrcella: She poisons Tyene in the same way, then leaves both Tyene and Ellaria chained up in the dungeons so Ellaria is forced to not only watch her daughter die, but for her body to decompose as well.
Although Dany’s army of Unsullied succeed in taking the Lannisters’ ancestral home of Casterly Rock, Euron destroys their ships, ensuring they’re stuck there for the time being. And the reason why they were able to take Casterly Rock so easily was because Jaime took most of the Lannister army with him to Highgarden to take out the Tyrell army.
Jaime couldn’t let the ruler of House Tyrell live, so he gave Olenna Tyrell a painless poison so she could die with dignity, despite Cersei's wishes. For this mercy, however, Olenna dealt perhaps the cruellest revenge of the entire episode: She tells Jaime that she poisoned Joffrey, therefore proving Tyrion’s innocence. Jaime’s knowledge of this may serve to further drive a wedge between himself and Cersei, even as the two were seen reigniting their romance earlier in the episode. (Although there’s still the fact that Tyrion killed their father, so he’s not entirely absolved of all of his crimes.)
For those counting who has the most followers, this means the only army Team Daenerys still has immediately available are the Dothraki “screamers” — and they’re all stuck on Dragonstone without a fleet to take them to the mainland of Westeros. To be fair, Dany still has her three dragons and her trusted advisors, which may be rising in number since Jorah’s greyscale has been cured and he’s heading to Dany.
Sansa and Bran Stark
Back in the North, Sansa’s in charge of Winterfell, and she’s getting her men to batten down the hatches and brace for winter. Even though Winterfell already looks quite chilly, it’s going to get worse, and Sansa’s making sure she’s stockpiling enough food and putting leather on armour to keep her own armies warm.
Her preparations are interrupted by Littlefinger, who’s trying to take her back under his influence, and a visitor to Winterfell: Bran.
If you were expecting another joyous Stark reunion, you were likely disappointed by Bran’s chilly arrival. He doesn’t return Sansa’s hug, and he seems very aloof in general. Bran’s powers have allowed him to access a wealth of knowledge, but the way he proves this to Sansa is by reminding her of the cruelty she faced at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
Still, even if Bran’s not exactly himself, his return south of the Wall is just as much of a game changer as any of the battles and deaths we’ve seen so far this season. He seems very keen to talk to Jon.
Will he tell him he’s actually a Targaryen and he has the best claim to the Iron Throne? Or will he tell him about how the White Walkers were created or update him on the Night King’s movements?
We’ll have to find out in the upcoming episodes.