I’ve waited seven seasons to see Dany and her dragons unleash hell on Earth, and it was certainly worth the wait.
The majestic visuals, the haunting musical score (as always), the sheer power and impact of Drogon burning through the Lannister forces – everything about that final sequence was just masterful. It’s the rare TV show that can affect me with such a wide spectrum of emotions, but this scene managed to make me both giddy and anxious, often in the same instant. Moreover, I found myself genuinely fearing for the lives of several beloved characters; I worried for Bronn, I worried for Jaime, I worried for Dany, and I most certainly worried for Drogon. In fact, I pretty much had a panic attack when Bronn aimed the Scorpion at Drogon, and gasped when the beast got hit. I so hope the humongous reptile survives because I’ve formed quite the unhealthy attachment to Dany’s destructive pets. Props to director Matt Shakman who managed to put together the kind of thrilling set-piece that most Hollywood blockbusters can only dream of.
The Spoils of War notably features Arya’s much-awaited reunion with Sansa. While that moment was admittedly underwhelming, it makes senses in the grand scheme of things as the two sisters were never really that close to begin with. Still, it’s always great to see the Starks come together, and we can always look forward to Arya and Jon’s tearjerking reunion. This was a particularly terrific episode for Maisie Williams who continued to showcase Arya’s journey without much dialogue. Look no further than her immensely memorable sparring scene with Brienne as the two warrior women matched each other in skill to bloodpumping effect. I absolutely can’t wait to see the dynamic between these two continue to develop as the show comes to a close.
Finally, the Game of Thrones mythology took a big step forward this week with Jon showing Dany the carvings made by the Children of the Forest. Not only do they reveal that the Children once banded with humans to fight the White Walkers (which they initially created), but we once again see the mysterious patterns that the Walkers leave in their wake. I’ve been waiting since the pilot to find out why those blue-eyed monsters arrange bodies in that particular shape, so I do hope the answer is coming soon!
Bits & Beheadings
– Littlefinger gives Bran the Valyrian Steel dagger used by the assassin in the show’s second episode (remember when Mama Catelyn came to the rescue?). It’s now Arya’s and I can’t wait to see her stab some White Walkers.
– Bran tells Littlefinger that “Chaos is a ladder”. This is a reference to Baelish uttering the same line to Varys many seasons ago. It not only proves to the sleazeball that Bran has powers, but that he’s on to him. Finally!
– Bye bye Meera. Can’t say I’ll miss you.
– Arya’s scene at the gates as the guards don’t let her enter is a direct parallel to her outside The Red Keep in season one.
– Arya’s right: the statue does not look like Ned!
– I love that Sansa doesn’t believe Arya’s list until Bran confirms it.
– The sisters bond over not killing Joffrey. Ha!
– Did anyone else just want Arya and Sansa to share with each other everything that’s happened over the last seven seasons?
– Cute bit: Missandei telling Dany about her kinky night with Greyworm.
– The landscapes outside the caves are insanely gorgeous aren’t they?
– Dany insisting on Jon to “bend the knee” is getting quite old isn’t it? Her line about pride and survival however is a direct reference to Jon telling Mance Rayder the exact same thing in the season five premiere.
– Was anyone else rooting for Dany to just make good on her promise of burning down the Red Keep?
– Another reference: Dany says enough with the “clever plans.” Remember Olenna’s advice?
– Arya says she learned from “no one”. Yup, I laughed out loud.
– Davos says Jon was checking out Dany. I honestly didn’t see it!
– Davos correcting Jon’s “less” with “fewer” is exactly what Stannis did in season five. How witty is this show?- Can’t say I felt much with Jon reuniting with Theon. He spared him because he saved Sansa which makes sense though.
– Can’t say I felt much with Jon reuniting with Theon. He spared him because he saved Sansa which makes sense though.
– Spine-tingling moment: the screams of the Dothraki as we finally see the first hints of the army on the edge of the screen. And then… of course… Drogon overhead. Speechless.
– Remember when Dany used to use the word “Dracarys” to get Drogon to barbecue a piece of meat? Talk about evolution!
– Rickon saves Jaime. I fail to see this character’s importance.
– Notice the jawdropping one-take of Bronn rushing through the battlefield with flaming bodies everywhere, Drogon flying overhead, and that nifty moment with Bronn pulling a sword out of a dead body.
– Bronn’s horse get his leg chopped made me cringe… a lot.
– Stunning shot: Drogon flying over the lake and approaching in a most ominous fashion.
– The soldiers’ ashes everywhere was a horrifying little touch.
– Dragon CGI has never looked this good. Talk about a budget!
– I felt the utmost relief as Dany and Drogon stopped just before crashing at the very last second.
– I think my favorite visual this show’s ever done is that spectacular shot of Jaime riding his horse across fire and water towards Dany as she turns at the last second and Drogon’s head takes over the screen and unleashes his fury. Goosebumps!
– Peter Dinklage doesn’t require much dialogue to emote. Tyrion’s face as he watches the carnage unfold and sees Jaime attack Dany speaks volumes.
– In case you missed it, the gold did end up making its way to King’s Landing. The food on the other hand, was set on fire by Dany.
– The first time I watched this episode, I wasn’t sure if it was Dickon or Bronn who saved Jaime. Upon second viewing the answer is obvious: after Drogon smashes the Scorpion, we see Bronn eyeing a white horse (the same one that gets torched in the hour’s final seconds).
– Notice that the shot of Jaime sinking underwater looks strangely similar to Bran falling off the tower in the pilot. Karma?
Kings & Quips
Bronn: (to Jaime) What could you possibly have to be upset about? Come on, you can tell me. Queen of Thorns give you one last prick in the balls before saying goodbye?
Sansa: You shouldn’t have run from the guards.
Arya: I didn’t run. You need better guards.
Podrick: Catelyn Stark would be proud. You kept your vow.
Brienne: I did next to nothing.
Podrick: You’re too hard on yourself, my lady.
Brienne: I’m not a…. thank you, Podrick.
Brienne: You can’t use that, my lady. It’s too small.
Arya: I won’t cut you. Don’t worry.
Brienne: Who taught you how to do that?
Arya: No one.
Thanks to those final 15 minutes, The Spoils of War is one of those all-time great episodes. Mindblowing television ladies and gents!