Wednesday, 26 July 2017

GAME OF THRONES - Season 7 Episode 2 review



A step-up from last weeks recap episode, this weeks outing accelerates the story with lots of expositional characters divulging important information to the key players. This itself accelerates the pace of the episode, as we now have a lot of information to get through in a short amount of time. Everything feels kind of on the nose now, and I kind of miss the subtle dialogue of the earlier series, but we're in too deep now - everything is potentially important, and we can't just lackadaisically enjoy things unfold. There's too much at stake!

First up we have the sun and sand raised Daenerys being somewhat disappointed by her namesake, as it is heaving with rain outside. She's lamenting the lack of homecoming. We get to see her council in full, including Yara and Theon Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand, Varys, Tyrion and Olenna Tyrell. Unwilling to be be "queen of the ashes" (unlike a certain Littlefinger, who wouldn't mind that), they plan to besiege King's Landing and use the Dothraki and Unsullied to take the real power of Westeros, the Lannister ancestral home of Casterly Rock (so desperately wanted by Tyrion).

Expositional dump number one: Varys is for no one king, only the realm (but we already knew that), and promises Daenerys that he'll tell her if she betrays the people, and she promises him that if he betrays her she'll kill him. "As long as I have my eyes I'll use them" he states. Foreshadowing, maybe?

Expositional dump number two: Melisandre turns up at Dragonstone and talks of azor ahai - "the prince that was promised" - prophecy. While she doesn't want to big it up too much, as she's misinterpreted prophecy's before, she brings up the King in the North Jon Snow to them - yeah, this is a guy you definitely want to meet. Luckily, Tyrion is a fan of Jon's, so he trusts him, but Daenerys still wants him to bend the knee.

Winterfell continues to see Sansa undermine Jon, and Jon continues to not really want to be King. Receiving the letter from Tyrion summoning him to Dragonstone, and also Sam's letter from last week saying about a cache of dragonglass there, Jon sees no other option but to go. Sansa rants at him, only for Jon to reveal that he's leaving her in charge. That changed her tune. Before he goes, we finally get to see the return of Ned... well, a commemorative statue of him in the tombs at least, and Littlefinger decides its time to let Jon know that he's got the hots for Sansa. Jon of course strangles him.

Warning of foreign rapists invading Westeros, Cersei calls in her dwindling bannermen. Asked about how she'll defeat the dragons, we find a way when Qyburn and her head down to the dungeons. We are treated to seeing the wonderful dragon skulls that we haven't seen since season one, including the massive head of Balerion, only for them to shoot it with a ballista. Travesty!

I'm always disappointed by the lack of illustrated art in Game of Thrones, as I do really love the medieval art of our own history. Luckily, Sam's being in the Citadel provides us with some illustrations, even if they are only of dragonglass and greyscale. Where's the illuminated manuscripts? Maybe I'm asking too much. Still, Sam potentially saves Jorah from suicide when he learns of a way to cure greyscale. This is a highly infectious disease though, so has he condemned himself?

Providing a hilarious cut between pus-oozing skin and a chicken pie, we are introduced to Arya and exposistional dump number three: Hot Pie is excelling in his line of work as a chef, but he always makes time for friends. He lets a surprised Arya know that Jon is now King of the North, so she abandons plans to kill Cersei and go home instead. On the way, we have a touching scene with her and her long lost direwolf Nymeria. Trying to persuade her to go north too, Nymeria leaves with her pack. Initially disappointed, Arya realises that following another is not in her wolf's character, hinting heavily at her own fate. Arya is a lone wolf herself, and probably won't spend long in Winterfell.

After deciding earlier that they are to besiege King's Landing, Yara transports Elleria and the Sand Snakes back down to Dorne before attacking. Yara mentions how Theon will be her protector and adviser when she is Queen on the Iron Islands. You spoke to soon, Yara. Before you know it, Euron attacks Yara's navy with fire and sets about cutting everyone's tongues out. I theorised wrong last week, as it doesn't look like Tyrion will be Euron's "priceless gift", but the kidnapped Ellaria, Tyene Sand and Yara. Maybe he presumes Cersei is much more hungry for revenge then power.

Poor Theon. Much has been said about his decision to jump ship, rather then attempt to save Yara. Mainly that he's a coward. I'll admit, it took me by surprise, but thinking about it, I'm not shocked. This is a man suffering severe PTSD, and amongst all that fire and blood, its no wonder why he wanted to escape the situation. But this way at least he has the potential to maybe save Yara and not become a hostage for Euron.

Episode two delivered more entertaining and touching scenes this week, with the Nymeria/Arya scene and Theon's escape being highlights. Missandei and Grey Worms scene was okay, but lingered on a little too long. A cut away from a kiss would of been enough, right? A big battle as well this early in the series only indicates the scale of future ones to witness.


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