Monday, July 24, 2017

Game of Thrones: Stormborn

Dany is in Westeros! It's been long in coming but last week we saw her and her entourage set foot on Dragonstone- the first step toward her conquering Westeros, and restoring a Targaryen to the throne. It was interesting seeing her in the chamber of the Painted Table, where Stannis used to hatch his intrigues. With Tyrion by her side who knows what will transpire next? Where will she strike first? Who will she ally with? Let's find out. This will have spoilers for the latest episode (and the books). 

We start off on Dragonstone, during a storm, as Dany is in war council with Tyrion and Varys. Things get heated right away when Dany confronts Varys about his service to King Robert, and about him sending assassins at Robert's behest. Things look a little dicey for the whisperer, and even Tyrion looks a bit concerned, but they work something out. I look forward to a similar exchange in the books, if they ever meet, as Martin writing that scene= priceless. This scene was very well done, and in fact I thought the whole first part of this episode was great.

From there we go right into a meeting between Dany and Melisandre, who has just arrived. This was another great scene, without useless antagonism but instead getting right to the matters at hand. There's not a lot of depth to the red priests on the show, due to time limits, but the fact that Dany acknowledged the red priests for helping in Meereen, and the fact that Mel acknowledged Dany as the freer of slaves, was a nice touch for book fans. And I thought Dany and Mel played off each other well. Mel makes Dany aware of Jon Snow and his kingship of the North, and suggests a meeting.

They also discuss the prophecy. First of all there's lots of debate as to whether Jon or Dany are the Prince that was Promised - here they are keeping that ambiguous with the gender neutral nature of the prophecy. The other thing is the mention of dawn. Now this could just be referring to the dawn that comes after the Long Night, after the Others are defeated. But what if there's more? There is a Valyrian steel sword called Dawn that is the ancestral weapon of House Dayne- we haven't heard much about this on the show, but how cool would it be if not only was the prophecy referring to the prince or princess, but also the sword of House Dayne being used against the Others?

We check in with Cersei trying to peel Lord Tarly off from the Tyrells, and this was a disappointing sequence for me because Jaime seems to be all in with Cersei. After blowing up the sept and everything she's done, I thought he was about done with her, but apparently not. The portrayal of Jaime is one of the most disappointing aspects of the show. In the books Jaime is independent by now, trying to do the right thing, but here there is none of that. We also see that slimy Qyburn is working on a huge ballista apparently to combat the dragons. Whatever.

I could have done without the Jorah sequences frankly, not only because I'm not a big fan of Jorah but also because I didn't need to see his greyscale being peeled off. And- Nymeria is back! Arya is heading to King's Landing but when she runs into Hot Pie (!) and finds out Jon is king in the north, you can hear the squealing of tires as she does a U-turn. I can't wait to see Arya and the reunion, although he'll be gone- so she'll get to see Sansa first? And yes Nym turned away, but I would bet she will rejoin her at some point.

The conclusion of course was the sea battle, as Euron sneaks up on Yara's fleet and lays waste to it. From what I could see there was only one ship- Euron's- although maybe we're supposed to assume there were others? Yara's fleet is wiped out. I actually thought this whole thing was lame- the scene where Euron boards by swinging down on some dragon plank or something- that was bad. They tried hard, obviously, to make this visceral, and it was very violent, but it was obviously a CGI fest and I didn't feel pulled in. If they want to show a realistic sea battle they should take a page from Black Sails' playbook. I know the budget isn't there though to go to those lengths for one battle. But this was clearly a move to get certain players off the board- the Sand Snakes and Ellaria are not necessary for the endgame, so sweep em off.

One last thought on the sea battle. There's a theory out there called "eldritch apocalypse" that posits that Euron is going to smash the Redwyne fleet and take Oldtown in the Winds of Winter. The theory is the brainchild of a blogger named PoorQuentyn and the theory is an awesome read, if perhaps farfetched. Or is it? The theory says that Euron's bloodbath on the seas is going to serve as a sacrifice of sorts which will cause the Drowned God of the ironborn to rise. Problem is the Drowned God is not a humanoid deity but a creature of cosmic horror, a true monster of the deep. Not really germane to the show, but that imagery... you can see the theory here

Random Thoughts

Incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty, Varys tells Dany during their talk. Seems like it has modern relevance?  

I love it when Melisandre tells Dany to send for Jon. Even though he exiled her, she still wants to fight the good fight, and I've always thought Jon had a good ally in Mel.  

"Prophecies are dangerous things." Another great line from Melisandre. 

 Who do you think is the Prince or Princess that was promised? 

Dawn is probably the most famous Valyrian steel sword in Westeros, given that it was wielded by Ser Arthur Dayne, said to be the greatest of the Kingsguard. I think this lends more credence to the above theory about dawn being significant, although it's still probably a long shot. 

Dickon Tyrell is introduced, and it's none other than... Tom Hopper, who played Billy Bones on Black Sails. Woot! 

Loved the council with Dany and the other women- Yara, Ellaria, and Olenna Tyrell. Ellaria's a piece of work. Well, she was.  

I loved the storm scene at the beginning- Dragonstone looked as forbidding as it should. 

Will anyone miss the Sand Snakes with that awful dialogue they got? 

"A boy. A girl. Depends on the port." Yara to Ellaria as they begin to get down. She's loving that role. 


  1. OH MY GOD. The transition between the greyscale being peeled of and the thick soup made my fiancee and I both cringe and groan. lol!

    1. Oh that was awful. Why do they do that? I think at this point I'm tired of that little gimmick!!

  2. oh I can't read this one yet because I'm behind one episode!!! I started this one this morning. I'll be back to comment soon! :)

    1. Get watching! Ha ha and come back and let me know what you think when u watch. :)

    2. ok I watched so I'm back to comment :)

      Soooo when I watched this episode I realized it's almost all queens now fighting. Cersei, Olena, Dany, Ellaria, Yara [omg Yara! wiat I need to second to grief!]
      So all these queens ruling and fighting of course is making my inner feminist SO HAPPY :)

      But then I realized Dany is getting a little bitchier than usual in this new season [omg what she said to Varys!!) So I said to my sister in law who fangirls over GoT with me... "this story better not be making Dany all bitchy so they can glorify John Snow at the end as the king!!! He and his bedroom horse voice and dreamy eyes.. he can go to hell!


      I WANT DANY to in the whole thing HUMPH! there are ENOUGH kings in the world already! real world and books/shows! HUMPH!

      LOL! hahahaha sorry Greg I guess my inner feminist is getting all worked up!

  3. What an EPISODE! We loved the first portion, as well -- and definitely agree that Varys's line about blind loyalty has modern relevance. We are so excited for Jon and Dany to finally meet next week! That scene with Dany and Melisandre was awesome. And Hot Pie! And Nymeria! We were beyond happy to see them again; and we agree that Nymeria will probably make another appearance with Arya later, and we will all cry. We're not sure about that prophecy -- we feel like it really could be either one of them; it's difficult to decide. And yes -- Dragonstone looked amazing. It was just such a great episode, and next week is going to be even better. Wonderful post, Greg! Keep these coming! :-)

    ~Michele & Mckenzie

    1. I know the beginning was awesome, can't wait to see Jon and Day together. And Melisandre! I think that's a oretty good alliance. It was so nice to see Hot Pie again! Glad he survived...

      they surprised me with Nymeria, but I guess it makes sense. Gonna take some time for them to reconcile. And I agree- it could be Jon or Dany!

      All in all a pretty amazing episode. I absolutely loved the beginning with the storm raging. :)

  4. So I totally fast forwarded through the Grey Scale section!! I am totally not into Euron and his storyline. I would love to see Jamie be more independent and speak up. I feel like he will get there this season though (I hope!) I loved Olenna Tyrell's little talk with Dany. She is kind of badass.

    1. The greyscale sections were SO out of hand. ugh. And Euron- yeah the book storyline is SO different, here he's just... annoying. Jaime needs to get his shit together! lol

  5. I just do not like Dany, she is a petulant child at times.

    I just want Jon to get there, like now, I am sure he comes at the end of next

    Oh and Euron on that ship was wicked cool. Damn him for being evil cos else he would be my new fav

  6. I'm not much liking this Queen Bitch side to Dany and the way she is behaving at the moment. I'm also sick to the back teeth of whiny Sansa who is such a spoiled brat this season, undermining Jon in front of his bannermen. The Prince who was promised? My money is on either Sam or Tyrion! Sam because he took that sword of his father, and Tyrion because I'm forming theories about him...that I'll save for a new post! I'm afraid I can never forgive Melisandre for Shireen...and I am pleased to see the back of the dreadful Sand Snakes!

  7. I'm with you on the Greyscale... gross! But I guess it's cool to see what Sam is learning/accomplishing. I'm sad about how this episode ended, as I really liked the alliance that basically just died :(

    So I haven't read any of the books and read next to nothing about the show - I watch it and that's about it - so my theories tend to be WAY off. That being said, since the translated word for prince is gender neutral, I wonder... could it also be singular or plural? I think of that, because Latin has a shit ton of words in the nominative and accusative that look exactly the same in the m/f, plural or singular. And I would just LOVE for John and Dany to form an alliance where they rule together. They've been my favorites for a long time and I don't want to have to pick one. Plus, beautiful babies. Just sayin' :) Looking forward to next week! Great post Greg!

  8. The meeting was amazing ! Grandma Tyrell + Dany ? YES ! I don't know why everyone doesn't like Dany she just wants to know she can trust them. It's a little funny to see how history repeats itself, a Targaryen ruler with a Lannister hand and Varys by their side.

    I was disappointed about Jaime too. I looked forward to seeing him take his distance from Cersei but I think it's going to happen this season. With the wildfire trick she pulled off last season (am I the only one who immediately thought of Dany's father ?) I think she's going to be more and more ruthless which will lead Jaime to leave (I hope so anyway, I miss Jaime from the books).

    And yay Nymeria's back ! That scene happened in the third book if I remember correctly, Arya was looking for riverrun and she saw her but Nym turned away (my memory's a bit fuzzy). I wish they would develop Jon and Arya's warg abilities. I think she will be with Nym when she chooses to fight for a noble cause (she's a Stark after all) and not for revenge.
    I can't wait to see Arya and Sansa reunited they are so different from what they used to be !

    I won't miss the Sand Snakes, I didn't like them in the books but in the show I couldn't watch them without rolling my eyes.

    Now about Jon... He's supposed to be Rhaegar's son so the question is : How will the dragons react to him ? I think they will recognize him somehow and I think Tyrion will put the pieces back together.

    1. Grandma Tyrell and dany- pretty good stuff. :) And good point about history repeating- I never thought of that, but you're right! Eerie... and yes Jaime, come on dude! Jaime from the books is awesome.

      I would love to see more of Jon and Arya warging. I think we might, a little? Hopefully. I know in the books it's definitely happening, with Arya warging that cat and Jon.

      That's a VERY good question. I'm really curious how the dragons will take to Jon. Dany might freak if they're all friendly!!

  9. Greg, I love your discussions for GoT! I thought the second episode was better than the first. I hope that we get to see a reunion with Sansa and Arya soon! I also could have done without the scene with Jorah's scales being removed. I don't mind HIM is a character though, and I do like the character development with Samwell, like that he took matters into his own hands and is taking a risk. He's really coming into his own! <3

    I didn't like the ending battle with Euron and the Sand Snakes fleet being wiped out. I agree that it was just another way to wipe out the competition, not that they were ever THAT big roles in the whole scheme of things. I did like Yara, though the Sand Snakes were so annoying. And Theon/Reek! My bf kept telling me at the beginning that my thoughts of him would change throughout the course of the TV show, and he was right. It'll be so interesting to see what he does after this! Will he shrivel into himself and cower in fear, or will he fight? (Probably the former, but who knows!)

    I have not read the books so my knowledge of everything is quite shallow. I'm looking forward to your future posts!

    1. Thanks, I appreciate your coming by! I thought the second one was better too. And I hope for that Arya/ Sansa reunion- with them both changed imagine what it will be like. Arya is no longer an annoying little sister ha ha but an accomplished killer, and I think she'll find that Sansa is no longer a wilting flower!

      I like Yara too. I think Theon will fight at some point, I was really disappointed he ran, but honestly- he couldn't take Euron probably so it would have been suicidal? Although he was fighting just fine, apparently, until that moment. :)

  10. Mother of Dragons & King of the North in one episode...that'll be epic. I think it's a prince

  11. I have never watched a single episode of game of thrones, although my husband is obsessed, perhaps I should read the book instead

  12. Dany in the war room??? I loved that, and I love that she confronted Varys like that. It's what she should have done and I loved seeing it.

    Dany and Melisandre I also enjoyed and you're right - there's a lot in there for the book fans too. I did like the little nod to a previous conversation there too - 'He sounds like quite a man' back to Maester Aemon saying 'She sounds like quite a woman'. I think what's lovely is that Jon and Dany actually have similar styles of ruling and I hope they can play off each other in the future.

    The Prince/Princess thing I thought was also a nod back to Aemon saying that dragons are neither male/female, and it was also good to clear up that the chosen one could actually be a Prince OR Princess.

    Qyburn... Yes. I am scared for the dragons. They mustn't hurt them!

    Oh GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!! The greyscale removal. That went on for a while didn't it. YUCK!

    The "That's Not You" line was sad for me. I think they took the easy way out with that and I want to see how GRRM writes that scene or similar in the books. Why are Jon and Arya the only two left with wolves?

    I was pretty shocked about the Euron/Yara thing. Wow. Ellaria is still around though - and I'm interested to see what happens to her, she's obviously the gift for Cersei.. But I hope she outlasts a bit since it seems to be 'women power' at the moment with GOT.

    Oh! The Prophecies are Danger Things line reminded me of Tyrion "Prophecy is like a half-trained mule. It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head"

    I can't decide between Jon and Dany at this point being the Chosen one. Although did you see that theory that it could be Davos??

    Dickon is a Tarly ;)

    Great episode run down and I'll be back to read more as I watch more!!!