We open on Jon Snow and Ser Davos arriving at Dragonstone. Clearly they bypassed the King’s Road and jumped on Westeros’ new Shinkansen. One thing you’ve gotta say for Queen Cersei; she doesn’t skimp on transport infrastructure.
Jon and Tyrion greet each other with man-affection. Their bond as mutual outcasts was believable and endearing back in season one, and they’re even cuter together now (I suppose it helps that Jon’s not an emo little Pollyanna anymore).
Ser Davos makes a weird pass at Missandei before commenting to Jon that ‘Dragonstone’ has changed. Which is seems unreasonably nostalgic to me; last time he was here people were being burnt alive every second day and Stannis was going to have him executed.
Tyrion and Jon compare notes; Tyrion didn’t consummate his sham marriage to Sansa. Jon didn’t ask. Tyrion believes she’s smarter than she lets on; Jon’s catching on to this himself (but clearly not fast enough). Jon’s men think he’s crazy for coming here, and Tyrion agrees – Stark men don’t fare well when they go South. Jon points out (as he does…often) that he’s not a Stark. Drogon (at least I think it was Drogon) chooses this moment for a fly-by and takes a large foreshadowing dump on Jon’s head. Next episode: Rhaegal humps Jon’s leg until he gets the picture: You’re a WIZARD, Harry Targaryen, Jon!
Melisandre’s scoping out Jon’s arrival from atop a cliff when Vary’s rocks up for one of his passive aggressive I-want-you-to-fuck-off-now chats. Melisandre makes the book diehards lose their minds by referring to Jon and Daenerys as ice and fire respectively, then checkmates Varys with her knowledge of his impending death. Boo-ya, Spider!
Now for the main event; the much-anticipated meeting of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. Presumably thousands of Jon/Dany shippers are about to die of a nerdal-lobe embolism.
The scene had a shit-ton of dialogue, so for the sake of brevity I’ve paraphrased:
Dany: Good trip, MY LORD?
Jon: We tore a hole in the fabric of space and time to get here between episodes.
Davos: His name is YOUR GRACE.
Dany: Nope. Solemn-vow-made-in-perpetuity, etc.
Jon: Your Dad burnt my family alive.
Dany: Sorry. BEND THE KNEE.
Jon: No…because Night King.
Jon: Army of the Dead.
Dany (to Tyrion): Man-bun’s lost it.
Jon: NIGHT KIIIIIIIINNNNG!
I wish I could include Dany’s whole self-belief speech, because Emilia Clarke fucking rocked it. I got goosebumps and briefly considered a silver rinse. But alas, the abbreviated version:
Dany: I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms AND I WILL, motherfucker!
Jon: Still no.
Dany: Fine. You’re screwed. Now how about a bath and some supper?
Jon: Am I your sex-slave?
Dany: Not yet.
We cut to see Theon being fished out of the ocean, while in King’s Landing Euron presents Cersei with her gift: Ellaria Sand and the third-least-annoying sand snake.
Cersei promises to reward Euron with her hand in marriage once the war is won, then initiates her revenge on Ellaria. I have to say, I found her methods…dare I say it…somewhat reasonable? Ellaria did kill her daughter in cold blood. Or maybe I’m now desensitized to murderous revenge if it doesn’t involve someone’s head’s popping like a balloon or an entire building being flattened. Either way, revenge fills Cersei with the desire to give her brother a blow-job.
So she does.
Mycroft from Sherlock shows up the next morning; the Iron Bank of Bravos is calling in its debts. Cersei promises to repay the Crown’s debts in full within a fortnight. Why couldn’t Benedict Cumberbatch play Euron? Is it too late? Can we petition?
Back on Dragonstone, Jon and Tyrion find themselves brooding on the same cliff top. Disappointingly, Tyrion doesn’t piss off the edge. Jon whines. Tyrion offers his help. Cut to…
Tyrion telling Daenerys Jon wants to mine dragonglass, and encouraging her to take a small step towards making a new ally by agreeing. It’s all very Much Ado About Nothing, especially when Beatrice and Benedick Daenerys and Jon hash it out at sunset while the dragons frolic in sky above. I can almost hear ‘Tale as Old as Time’ tinkling in the background.
To Winterfell, where food’s running out. Oh, and Sansa’s an expert in battle armor now. How did these seasoned commanders survive and succeed in countless military operations without her?
Littlefinger makes a confusing speech about fighting every battle in your mind before it happens and imagining every possibility so that no matter what happens you aren’t surprised. Or something. I’m not sure if he’s misquoting The Art of War or it’s just his most elaborate pickup ploy yet.
Then Bran’s home…and creepy as fuck. Naturally he and Sansa catch up while sitting out in the freezing snow, where he tells Sansa he’s the Three-Eyed-Raven now. Like the rest of us, Sansa doesn’t have any fucking idea what that means.
Bran ups the creep-factor by impassively describing her horrendous wedding night, as if he’d been there watching the whole thing. Sansa: Yeah….I’ve got…a thing…I have to go do. Now. KTHXBYE.
To Oldtown, and there’s no sign of fecal matter, pus or greyscale; Archmaester Slughorn examines Jorah’s recently de-scaled torso before giving him a clean bill of health. Jorah tells Sam he’s heading off to find his beloved Khaleesi. Yikes…you have a traumatic return to the friend zone in store, dude: Khaleesi has a new love interest, and he’s wearing your family’s heirloom sword.
Back on Dragonstone, Daenerys and her remaining advisors discuss their next move. Dany wants to jump on Drogon, track down Euron’s fleet and fry them. I vote yes! But no – Tyrion says she’s too important. Despite the loss of Yara’s fleet and the Dornish, they decide to plough ahead with their plans for the Unsullied to take the ‘impregnable’ Casterly Rock.
Tyrion narrates the attack in real time. The Unsullied enter the Rock via Tyrion’s secret sewer entrance, and quickly overcome the soldiers to take the castle. It’s all a bit breezy – I kinda thought the battle of Casterly Rock would be a bigger deal…and it turns out that’s the point. As Euron’s fleet arrives to destroy the Unsullied’s ships, Grey Worm realises it was a setup – where are the rest of the Lannister forces?
They’re prancing around to The Rains of Castamere, which I’ve had stuck in my head ever since watching this episode. Have you ever sat in a work meeting with The Rains of Castamere running on a mental loop? It makes everything much more sinister.
Jaime leads the Lannister army to Highgarden, where they make short work of the Tyrell army and take the castle.
Jaime arrives for a pre-execution debrief with the Queen of Thorns. They discuss Joffrey’s sword and the ludicrous name he gave it, ‘Widow’s Wail’. Possibly my favourite line in Game of Thrones history, delivered with glorious timing and elegance by Diana Rigg: ‘He really was a cunt, wasn’t he?’
Olenna points out that Cersei’s a monster and will be the death of him. Jaime: Probably…but BLOW JOBS! He’s too far gone to care. Well, for now. I’m still predicting some Valonqar action later this season.
Jaime’s forgone Cersei’s gruesome execution preferences in favour of poison. Olenna makes sure she gulps it all down before claiming the ultimate last word by finally confessing to Joffrey’s murder. The kicker:
‘Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me’
Oh, Olenna. Forget Dany and Cersei; you’re the damn queen of our hearts.
Next week: Dany’s losing, the Lannisters haul the spoils from Highgarden, Arya contemplates Winterfell, and DROGON!!!