Previously, on Game of Thrones: ‘Chernobyl’ promos. Chernobyl promos everywhere. It looks both interesting and like the kind of thing that will make me wake up screaming at 2.00am.
Let’s try again. Previously, on Game of Thrones: Jon and Dany were stupid. Arya was awesome. Theon, Jorah, Melisandre, every Dothraki that ever lived and Lord Commander Dolorous Edd died…but the Long Night was won by the living.
My spidey sense goes off. I turn to my husband.
Me: ‘Something bad is going happen in this episode.’
He agrees and predicts Tyrion’s going to die. I don’t know what’s coming, but it’s just struck me that the preview for this weeks episode was boring…yet there are 80 minutes to fill. Conclusion: those fuckers are about to spring something.
We open on Dany, weeping over Jorah’s body. Sansa’s weeping over Theon’s body. It’s a cry-off, y’all! Everyone looks sad, including Ghost – who we pause on for about 30 seconds, because a)the producers want you to know he’s still alive and b) you’ll probably never see him again after this episode. Soz.
Jon gives a rousing speech. It’s not Winston never-was-so-much-owed-by-so-many-to-so-few Churchill, but it’s not Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1999 Oscars, either.
Warning: This is the only non-stupid thing he does in the entire episode.
The important people light the funeral pyres. Everyone watches those who sacrificed their lives turn to smoke and drift up into the sky…
Dany’s not eating. Gendry’s looking for Arya. The Hound calls him a twat. Dany calls him Gendry Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End. Everyone drinks to this except the Hound, who is sick of this shit and wishes everyone had died.
Tyrion marvels at how clever Dany is this week, as opposed to last week when she circled the sky like a drunk hamster. Sansa wonders how to kill someone with a butter knife. Brienne and I wonder if Jaime is trying to get her drunk. Davos has guilt over wanting to kill the Red Woman…or he’s having an existential crisis. I’m not sure which.
Bran doesn’t ‘want’ anymore. Tyrion tells Bran he envies him. Bran rolls away to peel the wings off some butterflies or dissect some baby mice or whatever the fuck incapacitated psychopaths do for kicks in the North.
Tormund wants Jon to drink until he vomits. Sansa believes he can do it. I believe he could choke on his own tongue if they let him sleep on his back for too long.
Dany is every sober girlfriend ever, wishing she was home in bed. Tormund proposes a toast to the Dragon Queen. Dany proposes a toast to Arya Stark, the hero of Winterfell. I’m glad someone fucking noticed who got shit done last week. Normally a woman saving the day results in Jon getting a new title, so this is progress.
Jon sexes Dany with his eyes. Sansa stomps off. Pod, Brienne, Jaime and Tyrion play Tyrion’s drinking game. Tormund makes a flap about having seen Jon fly a dragon. A dragon! My God, has anyone EVER flown on a dragon like that before and saved people from ice zombies?
Dany: *raises her hand*
Tormund: Anyone??! No! JON IS THE KING OF OUR HEARTS!
Dany, sipping on her Starbucks, looks like every woman who has smiled quietly at a team celebration whilst her male colleague is given all the credit for a huge project. She glances over and sees Tyrion, all chummy with the guy who murdered her father. Look, I’m not saying Dany isn’t making mistakes – but this is a bit shit. I feel like her arc has changed trajectory simply to serve the plot’s need for conflict, which makes me think the writers aren’t sure what the fuck they’re doing anymore. Yes, her character is ruthless. Yes, her character is entitled and self-righteous. But those are attributes she’s exhibited from the beginning – along with redemptive qualities they’ve recently wiped because it’s convenient.
I will stop ranting now.
Back to the drinking game. Brienne guesses that Tyrion was married before Sansa. Tyrion guesses that Brienne is a virgin. Looking vaguely offended, Brienne announces her need to piss. Tormund appears. Jaime blocks him and follows Brienne. This is every teen movie featuring a frat party ever.
Sansa tracks down the Hound for a catch-up. Gendry tracks down Arya, who is celebrating her victory over the Night King by shooting arrows into a barrel.
Gendry, clearly back on the junk: ‘I’m Lord of Storm’s End! I love you! Marry me!’
Arya (thank fuck): ‘That’s not me.’
Brienne’s boudoir. Jaime knocks on the door with wine. Holy fuck, this is actually happening. Are you blushing? Cos I’m blushing. Or maybe it’s eczema; the Colorado altitude is doing some weird shit to my skin.
They argue, because of course they do. Jaime pulls the old ‘now my pants are chafing me’ routine. Brienne takes their shirts off.
Jaime: ‘I’ve never slept with someone I didn’t share a womb with before.’
They kiss. It’s kind of raunchy, but also kind of weird, and I’m stuck between shipping them and the X-Files camp of their-friendship-was-stronger-when-it-was-platonic.
Anyhow, this is literally the last sort-of-pleasant thing to happen in this episode. It’s tears and my husband pouring me more wine from here on in.
Jon’s sitting on his bed, waiting for someone to come and untie his shoes for him. Dany arrives and wants to know if he’s is drunk. He is…but not drunk enough to sleep with his aunt again.
Dany: ‘I forgot you were even my nephew until everyone gathered around you and I saw how much they love you and I’m totally going to burn you alive in a couple of episodes but no hard feelings, ‘kay?’
Jon doesn’t even want the Iron Throne, but honour – and any ongoing plot conflict – demands that he tell Arya and Sansa he’s the rightful heir. Oh, Jon. You’re gonna die. Or Dany’s gonna die. Or Varys is gonna die. No – Varys is definitely gonna die. Probably as a human candle.
Dany begs Jon not to do what he normally does, which is fuck everything up by being both dumb and stubborn at the same time. Jon looks at her while his mind floats off, trying to remember the name of that big white dog he once owned…Grant? Gerald? Gordon? Who the fuck knows.
To the Winterfell war room, where Dany’s counting her losses; Dothraki gone, Rhaegal injured, her remaining forces exhausted.
Dany: ‘Let’s hit King’s Landing hard!’
Sansa suggests letting everyone recuperate. Dany wants to know why she has to be so fucking unreasonable. Jon intervenes to make Dany happy, and they all agree to split their remaining forces, diminish their advantage, and get Rhaegal and Missandei killed.
The last of the Starks fight it out in the Godswood. Arya says she respects Jon’s decision to bend the knee, but also it was shit and she’ll never trust Dany cos she’s not Stark.
Jon: I have to tell you something, but you have to pinkie-swear not to tell!
Arya says yes. Sansa crosses her fingers. In an explosive and compelling exchange of dialogue, Jon tells them about his true heritage, and we witness Arya and Sansa’s shocked reactions.
Kidding. We cut away before anything interesting happens. To Jaime and Tyrion, drinking in some bar. Tyrion wants to know what Brienne is like ‘down there’. She has a super-sized vagina with piranha teeth, Tyrion. It could eat you up in one bite. What the fuck is happening with the script in this episode?
Bronn comes in with his Cersei-gifted crossbow and talks about how he’s sick of cock-sucking Lannister bullshit and he wants a cock-sucking castle. Or something. He punches Tyrion and tells them he’ll collect payment for not killing them after the war is over. I have no idea what purpose this scene served.
Concerned about the script, the Hound and Arya run away from Winterfell forever. Dany admires Rhaegal and how beautiful he is and oh my, I hope nothing ever happens to him. Sansa watches from the battlements while Tyrion tries to bring her over to Team Targaryen.
Sansa: You’re afraid of her.
I love Sansa. Bitch can’t keep a secret, but I love her.
Sansa spills the goss about Jon Aegon, but we don’t get to see that either. We cut to Jon Aegon, getting ready to leave.
Tormund: ‘Why aren’t you flying the dragon?!’
Jon: ‘Gut feeling.’
Tormund’s taking the free folk back to the ‘real’ North. Jon, having recently upgraded and knowing an opportunity to re-home when he sees one, casually suggests Tormund take Ghost with him.
You heartless, man-bunned shit-knob.
Sam and Gilly show up. Gilly’s pregnant. I don’t care because GHOST, you arseholes. I don’t care if he’s smaller than before and only has one-and-a-half ears. WTF.
Sam, realising Jon’s probably going to die soon, hugs him and says he’s the best friend a Samwise Gamgee could ever have. Jon gives Ghost a big hug before he goes. Except he doesn’t, because he’s dead inside and I hope Cersei shreds him alive.
To the Targaryen fleet, approaching Dragonstone. Grey Worm and Missandei hold hands and feel hope for the future. Tyrion and Varys discuss Targaryen A versus Targaryen B. Dany flies overhead on Drogon. My husband goes to the bathroom and comes back to find me curled up on the couch, biting my fist.
Rhaegal plunges to his death. Dany flies directly at the ships loaded with dragon-slaying equipment. My husband wonders why she doesn’t approach the ships from behind so they can’t shoot at her. I wonder why the dragons aren’t as invulnerable as George R.R. Martin states them to be in the books; at this rate killing one seems as easy as killing a cockroach with one of my husband’s shoes.
In King’s Landing, Cersei’s super smug and celebratory in red. She rewards Euron’s dragon-slaying efforts by announcing she’s pregnant with his child. Euron laps up this old trick, even though everyone knows she used it on Robert.
Cersei’s opened the city gates to let the people in, which means Dany will have to kill thousands of innocent people to take the castle. Given the complete lack of character consistency at this point, I don’t think that will be a problem. Cersei has also managed to capture Missandei, which must have happened during that brutal naval battle we barely saw.
Back on Dragonstone, Dany’s ready to unleash fire and blood. Varys tells her this course of action is wrong. Despite a similar approach having backfired just weeks ago, Tyrion pushes for offering Cersei her life in exchange for her surrender. Dany reluctantly agrees, but I think she’s actually trying to decide whether to roast Varys whole or flambé him in chunks.
Varys and Tyrion hold a super-private meeting in the vast, echoey Dragonstone throne room to discuss treason. Varys is now firmly in Team Not-Dany. Tyrion’s still spinning that old I-believe-in-her tune. Varys hints that he may have to have Dany…ahem…removed. Tyrion wishes he’d stayed in Pentos and drunk himself to death.
Winterfell. Sansa tells Jaime his sister managed to kill a dragon and destroy Dany’s fleet, which apparently means it’s only a matter of time before Cersei’s on the chopping block. Jaime spirals into a fucking Freudian mental event and takes off to save his sister, leaving Brienne in tears. Don’t cry, Brienne – he’s going to single-handedly kill her instead!
(Probably-won’t-happen speculation: What if Arya catches sight of Jaime on the road to King’s Landing, kills him and takes his face, goes to King’s Landing and kills Cersei, then peels his face off? EPIC. But no…she’s going to die.)
King’s Landing, where Dany and her Unsullied wait outside the city gates for Cersei’s surrender. Something tells me that’s not going to happen. Namely Missandei, handcuffed at the top of the platform with the Mountain behind her. I like Missandei and everything, but I’m still all knotted up about a CGI dog and a dragon, and I have nothing left for actual people, God.
Qyburn appears. He and Tyrion talk, but Qyburn’s not willing to entertain the idea of surrender. Tyrion bypasses him to talk to Cersei directly. For some unfathomable, out-of-character reason, Cersei allows this. Come on – if this was season three, she would have made him a human pin-cushion.
Tyrion – again – appeals to her humanity. I think it’s a good thing to believe the best of your siblings, but this is getting out of hand.
He tells Cersei that she can save her life and the life of her child by surrendering.
Cersei answers by lopping Missandei’s head off.
A devastated Tyrion watches Dany descend into full Dark Phoenix. Cersei smiles and pops a bottle of Rosé.
Next week: Scary Dany, smug Cersei, worried Jon, and one remaining dragon. I won’t be recapping it as I’m road-tripping to New Mexico, so here’s my guess: FIGHTING ENSUES.