Monday, August 7, 2017

Game of Thrones: The Spoils of War

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Fire and blood has come to the Seven Kingdoms. After years of hearing Winter is Coming, we have the words of House Stark and House Targaryen coming to pass. After years of watching the dragons grow and develop, they are now old enough- and fearsome enough- to live up to their reputation. Aegon the Conqueror came to Westeros three hundred years ago and made the land his- and now his descendant Daenerys comes to do the same. And for the first time in many years the Seven Kingdoms know dragonfire again.

Spoilers for this episode of Game of Thrones, and for the books as well.

So yeah... dragons. That was a definite gamechanger. We're in uncharted territory here, as again in the books Dany isn't even in Westeros yet. Book readers are maybe years away from experiencing that visceral thrill, when the great leathern crack of dragon wings splits the air, and friend and foe alike look up to see their  salvation or doom. The show has done a phenomenal job with the dragons, but here- for the first time- we see what they can actually do.

Where to begin? This may be one of the greatest Game of Thrones episodes ever, and certainly the most impressive visualization of a dragon in combat that I've seen. We get an extended sequence of dragonfire and Lannisters clashing with Dothraki, and as if the horselords weren't enough, Drogon sweeps the battlefield with flame. As far back as the first book we've had speculation about a horde of Dothraki screamers coming into conflict with armored knights and soldiers, and tonight we actually saw it. I think it went about a most people would expect.

I can't say enough how visceral and well-done that battle scene was. As someone who was very disappointed in the Battle of the Bastards from last season, this was a marked improvement. And again- the dragon was amazing. Although I'm wondering where the other two were? Maybe having all three would have been overkill- the Lannisters had it bad enough- but why would she only bring one? Still, a minor complaint. Several times during that sequence I thought I was finally seeing an awesome dragon battle on screen. They're rarer than you think!

A couple of things marred the night for me though. First of all, the scorpion being manned by Bronn more or less expertly, even though presumably he was never trained on it? I mean, why would he be? And he's accurate enough to hit a dragon on his second try. That was bad, but even worse was when Drogon breathed at Jaime and Bronn rescued him at the last moment? I'm assuming that was Bronn. Sorry, but judging from the flame gouts we saw consuming the loot train, I don't think that's getting it. Jaime should be a goner.

And honestly, I think it would have been amazing to see Jaime go down like that, with Tyrion watching and thinking "flee, you fucking idiot"- with Daenerys right there at his mercy save for Drogon. I know they're probably saving Jaime's demise for a heroic one against the walkers, but I was so caught up in that scene I was like are they really going to do it? Drogon kills Jaime right now? I wanted it!

The other disappointing thing for me was Dany ruining an awesome scene in the sea cave by telling Jon to kneel again. She will fight for him, she says- if he bends the knee. Way to ruin a scene. Otherwise I loved it- the awesome sea cave, the cache of dragonglass, and the etchings by the Children of the Forest. "Isn't their survival more important than your pride?" she asks him. One could perhaps ask her the same question, since her fighting the walkers would benefit the kingdom she wants!

Let's get back to what I loved. Arya is home- and Sansa hugging her in the crypts was awesome. That scene was handled well. Nice to see them back together. Jon gave Dany good advice on the beach, reaffirming that the best solution is not necessarily to go destroy Kings Landing. Davos joking about switching sides after Missandei's impassioned defense of Dany. Davos and Jon are killing it as a two-man act. Jon visibly holding back as Theon arrives. I thought this episode was almost all a winner, and the shorter run time helped it- things seemed tighter. 

Random Thoughts

"No one," Arya replies when Brienne asks her how she learned her skills. Best line of the night.  

Can I just say how much I'm loving Dragonstone? I've seen many depictions from various fantasy artists, but the version on the show- I just love it. Cool cave too. And the dragons out over the ocean, flying and wheeling about, was such an amazing visual. 

Bronn saying "my lord" to Jaime after the Tarly's do was humorous.

Golden Company mention! Ironic though, as Cersei mentions hiring them, and in the books the Golden Company are coming for her, led by Aegon Targaryen (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).

I also thought it interesting that Cersei seems so intent on paying the Iron bank, as in the books she blows them off and subsequently they negotiate with Stannis (and later Jon) to finance his bid.

"You died in that cave," Meera tells Bran. Hard to blame her.

Brienne grates on my nerves on the show, but the sequence with her and Arya was great! And Littlefinger was like damn, where'd Arya go to school?

It feels like we're just marking time until Littlefinger's demise. I mean at this point he's not fooling anyone, and I think his days are numbered. 

18 comments:

  1. My thoughts about the fire was not on the fire but how damn deep is that lake that he just puddled through

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  2. I loved the Pod-Brienne-Arya fight...so much fun! Well not for poor Pod! Felt bad for Tyrion watching Jaime's struggles on the battlefield. I hate the creepy guy from the Iron Bank and not greatly keen of the new lacking-in-personality Bran. I'm hoping for Littlefinger to die soon as I'm fed up with him slithering around. Lets hope Arya uses that dagger on him...

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    1. That was awesome. I liked that arya showed high n mighty Brienne a thing or two lol. And I really like Tycho Nestoris f/ the Iron Bank in the books, but yeah the show version is bland. In the books he's kinda cool when he works w/ Stannis/ Jon.

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  3. I loved the dragon battle. That was intense. I always feel sorry for the horses, even though I know that they’re not really getting stabbed/chopped/BBQed.

    I laughed when Dany told Jon to kneel. I wasn’t expecting it to happen right at that moment. Way to ruin the moment, Dany!

    I kinda wanted Jon to punch Theon in the face. I would’ve done it. The reunion scenes were very sweet, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. It was VERY intense, I was like wow lol. And yeah the poor horses... is it bad I almost felt more sorry for thm?

      Yes that was a ruin the moment moment! There's definitely some sparks there?

      Ugh Theon. I so agree.

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  4. I was getting definite vibes from Dany and John. I mean she ruined the mood with her kneel business. I mean I know they are related but they don't so that should be interesting.

    I think Littlefinger better be careful because Bran is smart to him.

    LOVED the battle. I mean I was on the edge of my seat. At one point I wasn't sure who I was rooting for. Because I like Jamie and Bronn just not the rest of the Lannister army. But Dany and Tyrion are two I like as well!

    Oh and last was Arya and Brienne. Loved the sparring and when Sansa walked away I wondered what it meant.

    Great episode all around for me!

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    1. Yes Dany and Jon have a certain... spark? I like it!

      I think LF is history. And yes the battle was intense! I was kinda rooting for Dany's side just because I hate show Jaime and LAnnisters in general lol.

      Arya and Brienne was awesome. And Sansa walking away- yeah that was interesting, Almost like she's uneasy about how badass Arya apparently is...

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  5. Ha ha! My husband said exactly the same thing when Dany accused Jon of being prideful. I loved when Arya said "No One" too. So awesome!

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    1. Yes! A little hypocritical perhaps?

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  6. Everyone seems to have loved this episode. At least according to my twitter feed :-)

    For What It's Worth

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    1. Twitter was definitely very positive. :)

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  7. The battle scene was epic! Bringing the dragon in was just amazing!

    I was also a big fan of the Arya/Brienne scene. I agree with you about LittleFinger as well.

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  8. I feel I am the only one that was not blown away by this episode. I kind of blame all the hype with the leak. Everyone was like "BEST EPISODE YET" (which they've said about many episodes in the past) and I felt really cheated. I mean, I guess it was awesome that the dragons finally did something, but I really hate Dany and just want her to be killed off already. I'm sick of Bran, the reunion between Sansa and Arya was so disappointing that if Arya and Jon ever see each other it better make me cry. I could go on but I won't rant. Either way, I was so disappointed >.<

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    1. You know I'm not a big fan of Dany either. I did think the Arya/ Sansa reunion was pretty good but could have been better?

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  9. The dragon scenes in this episode absolutely blew me away! I'm also not a Daenerys fan (and thought I was the only one, LOL), but wow, did she looks like a badass flying Drogon into battle!

    Since arriving in Westeros, I feel like Daenerys's character is all business, where the previous seasons built her up to be this beatific queen who crusaded for the people who had no voice. That portrayal of her has always been a bit over the top for me, but this season it's like she's Daenerys the Conqueror, LOL. I get that she's waited a long time to claim what she feels is rightfully hers, but I don't know- how she's acting right now seems a little inconsistent for the character that's been established over 6 seasons. And because I love Jon, I can't stand the way she barkins at him to bend the knee, LOL.

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  10. *barks at him. Clearly I know nothing about proofreading before hitting "Publish." XD

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  11. I couldn't agree more - this was probably the best episode of the show. First one I've watched two times. The dragon scene was amazing and while I would have liked to see Jamie end it like that, I do think they need to keep him alive so he can deliver the message of how Geoffery really died.

    I'm with you about Danny ruining an otherwise perfect scene by demanding John "bow the knee." Why don't you ally yourself with the north, rather than demanding to lord it over them? Prove to them why they should bow the damn knee by saving their asses and THEN they will be loyal subjects, rather than forced ones! Her pride is grating on me. Very much looking forward to the next episode :)

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