Wednesday, 9 August 2017

GAME OF THRONES - Season 7 Episode 4 review


The Spoils of War

The shortest episode of the season packs a punch, and steps it up to include what we've all been waiting for: motherfucking dragons on the battlefield. More of that in a bit though. First off, lets talk about Cersei and the Iron Bank's Tycho, who appeared in a short scene. Tycho is more than happy with the progression of the loan being paid off, and feeds Cersei's ego when it comes to her being smarter than her father. Crucially, the Iron Bank are more than willing to fund any future expansions to the Lannister army, but only when the debt is paid... I don't think Tycho is going to go back to Braavos a happy man.

Everyone's favourite little murderer Arya finally makes it back to Winterfell, and you can see just how melancholic that makes her feel. This feeling is quickly dissapated when she realises that her home is guarded by morons. Sansa finds her in the tombs, and its the second time we see the statue of Ned. If only he could see his children now; Sansa and Arya have both become what they always wanted to be, a Lady and a fighter, but not through paths they would of wished for. Although Sansa laughs off Arya's notorious list of people she intends to murder, she is rightly perturbed by Bran's confirmation of that list. Crikey, everyone seems to be levelling up to be almost superhuman except for Sansa. That's gotta make you feel a bit put out.

Earlier, Bran received a morbid gift from Littlefinger when he was given the very Valyrian steel blade used to try and murder him right at the beginning of the story. Littlefinger comments that Bran has "seen things men wouldn't believe". Is Baelish familiar with the Three Eyed Raven? Or is he going to try and use Bran's visions against him? Either way, Bran calmly quotes the infamous "chaos is a ladder" line back at him. I really am just waiting for that massive exposition dump from Bran now that's really going to blow all the characters minds. Or they'll burn him as a witch. And what about poor Meera? All that she has done for Bran and he doesn't seem to care that she's leaving, although he does comment that he doesn't think he's Bran any more. Let's just hope that Meera doesn't whimper off though before the show is done.

Bran gave Arya the Valyrian steel blade, 'cos who needs weapons when you can literally change the past. We then get a wonderful scene that perfectly displays all of Arya's teachings, from the Hound to the Faceless Men to Syrio's beautiful Braavosi water dance philosophy. Disrupting Brienne's lesson to Podrick, Arya and Brienne spar in the yard to the audience of Sansa and Littlefinger. Brienne is left in awe, and Sansa a little troubled at just how good her sister is. Littlefinger looks smug. What's that bastard planning? I just wonder, is Arya's going to get a bit bored just hanging around Winterfell and not murdering anyone?

Back at Dragonstone, Jon continues trying to persuade Daenerys that the White Walkers are real, and he seems to succeed. He shows off the vast deposit of Dragonglass, and then we get a great little scene involving cave art created by the the Children of the Forest. Ohh, those circles and spirals! Its been said about in some theories that the use of phi and the golden spiral hints at the need for greater harmony in the seven kingdoms, and this cave suggests that this is something the Children of the Forest was well aware of. Also, we see a pretty sophisticated drawing of the the Andel's and Children of the Forest, seemingly enemies, joining together to fight the White Walkers, and it's just the kind of evidence Jon needs to persuade Dany to help him. She believes it all, but still finds time to be a bitch. She pretty much blackmails Jon, saying she'll help him, only if he bends the knee. "There survival is more important than your pride." Hey, what about your pride?

Daenerys soon becomes angry again when she learns that three of her major allies have been wiped out and the Unsullied are stuck at Casterly Rock. She's growing tired of Tyrion's failed plans, commeting that he's maybe more concerned for his family than he lets on. Dany has had enough. She has the dragons, she has the Dothraki, she's going to use them.

Jaime and Bronn are riding down the Roseroad, a caravan of gold in tow, but Jaime is still not happy. He heard disturbing news from Olenna in the last episode, and he's really not going to feel safe until he's back at King's Landing. Bronn is being a bit smarmy, still wanting more after receiving two big bags of gold coin. Dickon Tarly confesses that he didn't think war would be so smelly. Well, its about to get a lot more pungent. Bronn hears the distant thunder of an army approaching, and I'll confess that my arms came out in goosebumps at that sound of cheering Dothraki. The Lannister army start the prepare, "spears and shields!", but you can see them visibly quake at the sight of their enemy. And then the sound of Drogon's gutteral roar comes out over the horizon.

I really thought Jaime did his best in this scene, but I wouldn't of blamed him if he just ran away like Theon. This is a man tortured by the memory of the Mad King Aerys wanting to "burn them all", and the subsequent slur of "Kingslayer" he's had to endure for years afterwards, despite the fact he was the real hero. Here he sees the Mad King's daughter, blazing in on a dragon, shouting "dracarys", and setting his army on fire. Men are turned to ash and literally blown away in the wind. A fantastically shot scene, but truly terrifying. No wonder Tyrion was so against her using her dragons, and it seems like he's going to struggle to reign her in from her "Mad Queen" mode now.

Bronn, in a choice between saving his money and saving the army, betrays his sell-sword ways and opens up The Scorpion. He hits Drogon's shoulder, meaning he's going to have to land. Daenerys leaves herself vulnerable as she tries to pull out this arrow, and Jaime seizes his chance to become a Queenslayer. Of course, Drogon loves his mother, and he shoots a blast of fire straight towards him, only for Bronn to jump in the way and dive him and Jaime into nearby river, just making out with their lives. In the trailer for episode 5 we see Daenerys persuading members of the Lannister army to bend the knee or die, and I wonder if she's in a position to do that because she's got Jaime and Bronn hostage.

With the common folk apparent apathy towards Cersei's destruction of the Sept, I'm not quite sure what people will think of Daenerys and her field of fire. Everyone has been telling her that she will not fare well because of it, but it is possible that she will use that fear to her advantage, maybe seeing more eye-to-eye with Cersei than we expected. And of course, what is Jaime to do next? He's stuck in the middle between two crazy Queen's. I worry also that Dany will not care to help Theon any more when it comes to saving Yara. Will these siblings become useless to everyone now? Or will Theon receive one last chance to prove his worth?

An exciting episode for sure. And lets not forget that it seems Davos himself is shipping Jon and Daenerys now. Imagine the look on their faces when they learn that Dany is Jon's aunt, ha! Also, Davos continues his questioning of Missandei some more. I'm not sure if he suspects she'll betray Dany, or just planting the seed that she doesn't need her. With only three episodes left, things are only going to escalate even faster, and I can honestly say I'm not prepared for it. One of the things I love about the books is just how luxuriously they are written, and the show feels like the abridged version. I cannot wait to read the book version of this season.

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