This Review is Dark and full of Spoilers.
We are now at the halfway point through Season 7 of Game of Thrones.
The pace of the show so far has been very quick, with characters arriving at various locations by the next episode. Speeding up the travel element allows for more action and more focus on the high calibre of the story they have presented so far this season.
There was a fair bit of time spent in Winterfell this week. As well as another Stark reunion, we got an amazing fight scene and some ‘Northern’ story seeds planted. The largest of these seeds being a certain weapon that has been cropping up throughout the different seasons.
The Cats Paw dagger is well and truly in play. And the foreshadowing in the scene were Baelish gifts the blade to Bran was very noticeable. This notion of impending death was then cemented when Bran passed the blade onto Arya. So you can pretty much assume that Arya is going to end up using the Catspaw on Baelish, finally removing him from the great game. “But she needs his army!” – That she does. She can also take his face, so even if you are a diehard Littlefinger fan, like me, you need to get used to the notion that he will be killed this season. *sad face*
As for the Stark reunion, the perfectly composed shot of Arya on horseback looking at Winterfell in the distance was sublime. Added to that scene was the ‘Winter Has Come’ theme, used in all the big Stark moments. This scene gave me goosebumps.
Which is a good thing really, as the Arya/Sansa reunion was rather flat and lacking from an emotive aspect. No score, just a quick hug then back on with it. A little disappointing, but then again they never really got on. So it would make sense to downplay it, but hopefully, that is rectified with an Arya and Jon reunion. I’m yet to fully have that Stark reunion moment. The show owes us all that.
Arya was the highlight of most of the Winterfell scenes, and she capped it all off with her sparring session with Brienne. While I thought Arya was a little OP in the fight, I can understand why they wanted her to match Brienne’s ability and the draw at the end made sense. The scene was about showcasing all that she has learned since Season One. The choreography was on point throughout and it was a nicely filmed fight.
Down at Dragonstone, we got a nice little scene with Dany and Jon in the dragon glass cave. The Children of the Forest have etched some images into the cave depicting their allegiance with man in their fight against the white walkers. Jon uses this perfectly to further his cause of trying to get Dany on board. It works, as she declares that she will fight for him, so long as he bends the knee. With Jon’s continued reluctance to do so, the two are once again at a stalemate. (Just bang and get on with it.)
Later on, Daenerys is informed of the situation at Highgarden. She seems to ‘become the dragon’ as she lashes out at Tyrion. Despite Jon backing Tyrion when asked for his council, it’s clear that there is a fiery impatience burning inside of her. And she really wanted to release it. And later on in the episode, she did a fair bit of releasing.
On the way back from Highgarden, the Lannister army is attacked by Daenerys, riding Drogon, and her Dothraki warriors. While in no way as epic as ‘The Battle of the Bastards’, it was a little similar in terms of the story telling inside the battle.
First of all, it was great to finally get Bronn back. He is one of my favourite characters and he was on top form throughout. He also managed to go through an amazing transition in terms of his character. He stole this entire final act, and as ‘cool’ it was to see Daenerys riding Drogon into battle, seeing Bronn using Qyburn’s ‘Anti-dragon’ Ballista was even more iconic.
The action was unrelenting, and the fight was brutal. Seeing how much damage one dragon can do to a small platoon just shows how OP it makes Daenerys. A constant bugbear of mine. While it was amazing to see Drogon unleash fiery hell, one or two of the dragons need taking out of the picture. And from the evidence in this episode, it’s going to take more than one well-placed Ballista arrow to take them out.
While Bronn and Drogon were the scenes highlights. A special mention has to go out to Tyrion and Jaime. While they never spoke, and with Jaime being unaware of his presence, they managed to put across their relationship perfectly. They also set the scene up perfectly at the end with Jaime charging at Daenerys. For split second I genuinely believed Jaime was going to die. Luckily Bronn was on hand to save the day. As for what happens to them next? Who knows? If they are captured, it might put Tyrion in a very awkward place. But I’m not sure I want another ‘Jaime captured by the enemy’ storyline.
While it may seem Daenerys ended the episode as the victor. It’s worth remembering that this was only a small portion of the Lannister army and that the gold has already made it to King’s Landing. The battle may be won, but the war has yet to begin.
Theon arrived in a surviving Greyjoy ship at Dragonstone. He was met by Jon on the beach, in what was a rather icy reception, to say the least. It’s clear if he had his way Theon would not be alive. But as it states, out of respect for how he helped Sansa, he will allow him to live. For now.
In King’s Landing, Mark Gatiss is back once again, which is always a good thing. I love watching him act, and while most will see this scene as pretty forgettable, there was a little something for fans of the books. The Golden Company were name dropped, they have previously been named dropped back in Season 4. This could just be a throwaway thing for book fans, or, hopefully, it comes into play at the end of Season 7 or they appear in Season 8.
Probably the weakest episode of the season so far, but still a solid and largely enjoyable episode. There were plenty of stories throughout, but the pacing was just a little off this week. Given the high quality of the episodes so far this season, the slightest drop was always going to be noticeable.
While there were some slow points, the episode ended on a real high, and ultimately that is what the episode will be remembered for. So any of the other faults in the episode will always be overlooked. Because at the end of the day, we had a dragon battle right? I’m hoping for a better-balanced episode next week as the show draws into the final act.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments or on our social media channels.