Game of Thrones: Stormborn Review

There’s a storm a-brewin’ on Game of Thrones, with Ms Stormborn plotting her quest for world domination… but has her ship sunk already?

We begin at Dragonstone, beset by a gale, which Tyrion remarks is not dissimilar from the storm on the night Daenerys was born. She and her advisers are plotting the best way to take over Westeros with the smallest number of lives lost. Daenerys is weary of Varys, due to his repeated changes of loyalty throughout his life. He delivers an impassioned speech in his defence, saying he lives to serve poor people like he once was and that he has only ever worked for the good of the realm. Daenerys accepts his answer, but promises that if he betrays her she will burn him alive.

Then Daenerys receives a surprise visitor: It’s Melisandre! The Red Woman doesn’t want to make any more prophecies, and who can blame her with her track record, however she does tell the Mother of Dragons “I believe you have a role to play… as does another.” Yep, she means Jon Snow, who Melisandre says has united the houses in the North. She advises Daenerys to take a meeting with him, and Tyrion agrees, thinking he’ll make a “valuable ally”: “Jon Snow has more reason to hate Cersei than you do.” Daenerys agrees to invite Jon to Dragonstone, but as his “Queen” to “bend the knee.” (He’s getting a lot of those bent-knee commands lately, isn’t he?)

Over at Winterfell, Jon discusses the summons with Sansa and Davos. Sansa is uneasy, which seems to be a recurring theme with her this season, saying travelling that far south at this point is dangerous. Davos points out that fire kills White Walkers, and Daenerys’ dragons could  prove very useful. Which is quite sensible really.

In King’s Landing, Cersei summons a number of lords to the throne room and tells them Daenerys is coming to conquer Westeros and burn their castles to the ground. Randyll Tarly, Sam’s father, is among them. Jaime approaches Randyll after the meeting and asks him to be his general in the war to come. Randyll is hesitant, but Jaime promises to make him Warden of the South if he agrees.

At the Citadel, Jorah is being examined by Sam and Archmaester Ebrose. Jorah asks how long before his mind is destroyed by the greyscale disease, to which Ebrose tells him six months. Sam asks about Shireen Baratheon and how she was cured of the disease while living at Dragonstone, but Ebrose shuts him down. Jorah is told he will get one more day in Westeros before he is shipped to Valyria to live with the stone men.

In the halls below the Red Keep, Qyburn and Cersei discuss how they will kill Daenerys’ dragons. Qyburn shows her a giant crossbow that his men have been working on, capable of piercing a dragon’s hide.

Back at Dragonstone, Tyrion plots to use the Dornish and Tyrell armies to lay siege to King’s Landing, while the Unsullied will capture the Lannister city of Casterly Rock. Daenerys pulls Olenna aside afterwards, with Olenna telling Daenerys to ignore Tyrion’s advice and instead forge her own path.

Later that night, Missandei visits Greyworm before he leaves for Casterly Rock. They undress each other, with Greyworm allowing Missandei to see him naked eventually, and they get it on (?).

Sam tells Ebrose that there are two recorded cases of greyscale being cured in an advanced case like Jorah’s, but Ebrose says the procedure is too dangerous and is now forbidden. Sam visits Jorah that night regardless and offers to treat him. The treatment involves removing all the infected tissue on Jorah’s body. It takes all of Jorah’s strength to keep from screaming in what is a pretty gruesome scene.

In a roadside pub, Arya runs into her old pal Hot Pie, who’s a little stunned by how, um, mature she seems. (She doesn’t look like a boy anymore!) She swigs some ale and announces her plans to go to King’s Landing to pay Cersei a visit… until Hot Pie tells her Jon Snow took Winterfell back from the Boltons. A change of plans (and a family reunion), perhaps?.

Jon then gets the raven Sam sent in last weeks episode, telling him that Dragonstone has a mountain worth of dragon glass underneath it. The ravens are really racking up the frequent-flyer miles this week! He summons the northern lords and tells them he plans to travel their to speak with Dany. Sansa reminds Jon that her father killed their grandfather after a similar invitation years before. Other lords voice their displeasure at partnering with a Targaryen and a Lannister. Jon reminds them that the White Walkers are coming and they will need strong allies if they plan to survive. Before he leaves, he gives control of the North to Sansa, much to Lord Baelish’s delight.

In the crypts beneath Winterfell, Jon stands at the grave of his father. Littlefinger approaches and says he was sorry that Ned had to die. Jon says he has nothing to say to him, but he kindly reminds Jon that he would be dead without him. He then professes his love for Sansa and Catelyn, prompting Jon to drive him into a wall, telling him that if he touches Sansa, Jon will kill him. As Jon walks away, Littlefinger seems pleased, what is he plotting this time?

Alone in the woods with her horse, Arya hears a noise and grabs her sword. Suddenly, she’s surrounded by a fierce pack of wolves, all baring their teeth… including one supersized direwolf. Arya is stunned: “Nymeria?” She lays down her sword and asks the wolf to come with her to Winterfell for the Stark reunion. But the direwolf just walks away, along with the other wolves. Hmmm… has this wolf been too wild, for too long, to ever be tamed?

 

We almost see some more action between Yara and Ellaria, with the latter promising a “foreign invasion” (!), but they’re interrupted when their boats comes under fire. It’s Euron’s fleet, with his ship ramming right into Yara’s, setting off a gory hand-to-hand battle. Amidst the fighting, Yara sees her fleet in flames, Euron kills two of the Sand Snakes and captures Ellaria before fighting with Yara on deck. He captures her and puts a knife to her throat, goading Theon into attacking. Reek Theon shows his cowardice once again, jumping overboard instead of saving his sister.

 

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