An epic meeting years in the waiting, a tussle of wills befitting everyone involved, and Cersei gets her revenge. There’s a lot of taunting in this episode. Jaime gets slapped in the face for his kindness once again.
I don’t know why, but only after seeing the recap before the episode began then I remembered that Ellaria Sand killed Myrcella, so Euron Greyjoy capturing her would give Cersei her chance for revenge! I was thinking last week that Euron simply wanted to show Cersei that he could help her vanquish her enemies.
We open at Dragonstone. Jon and Ser Davos are met by some Dothraki, Tyrion and Missandei. Jon and Tyrion meet years after they parted at the Wall! How long ago that was!
The long pathway they’re walking on up to Dragonstone is gorgeous! Apparently it is a real location. Jon and Ser Davos are shocked to see the dragons.
Melisandre hides on top of a cliff pining after watching Jon and Ser Davos arrive. Lord Varys asks why she isn’t receiving them after pushing for Dany to summon Jon. She says that they did not part on good terms, and she has to go, but she has done her job in bringing fire and ice together. (The books are called A Song of Fire and Ice! Is that a hint that Dany and Jon are the two final victors of this fight to rule the Seven Kingdoms? Not that that would surprise me, because I never thought the Lannisters would win anyway, though they put up a good fight.)
Lord Varys delivers a subtle threat that Melisandre should not return to Westeros because it isn’t safe for her here. Melisandre then smiles and says she’ll return, because she has to die in this strange country — just like Lord Varys. Varys looks spooked, as would anyone who gets their death foretold.
The Meeting of Fire and Ice at last!
Missandei introduces Dany by her numerous titles. Ser Davos introduces Jon as Jon Snow, short and sweet. And adds in “He is King of the North” almost as an afterthought.
And there begins a tussle of wills, where Dany tries to intimidate Jon into kneeling before her, and Jon is having none of it. He sees it as an equal partnership — he needs her help and she needs his, even though she doesn’t believe his story of the White Walkers and the Night King — and besides, he barely knows her, why should he? Just as Dany is getting fed up with arguing and probably within moments of executing him for being in “open rebellion”, as she has done to everyone else who has refused to acknowledge her as Queen, Varys arrives with grave news, saving Jon and Ser Davos from meeting an untimely fate. Dany dismisses them but they are kinda-sorta like prisoners.
Varys tells her of the Dornish and Ironborn fleet being sunk or captured.
Theon gets hauled up from the wreckage we last saw him floating in. But whoever it was that rescues him (who was it?) knows that he did not try to save his sister, because he wouldn’t have survived if he did. They leave him lying on the deck alone and shamefaced.
Euron leads Yara and Ellaria and Tyene Sand through the streets of King’s Landing, welcomed like a conquering hero by the people. He rides his horse into the throne room and walks right up to the Iron Throne, delivering Cersei his gift to her — revenge against Ellaria Sand, who killed Myrcella. He wants to collect his reward — her — but Cersei tells him he will only get it when the war is won. (So probably never? Though even if she wins, I believe she’ll find a way to kill him anyway.) Euron taunts Jaime by basically saying he’s useless and out-of-fashion with the people, and he’ll be replacing him in Cersei’s bed soon too. Poor Jaime has to stand there and take his insults.
Cersei taunts Ellaria Sand in the dungeon, dredging up Oberyn’s gruesome death, and ruminating on ways she could take revenge on her, before kissing her daughter, delivering her the same poison death blow Ellaria did to Myrcella. She then condemns Ellaria Sand to a lifetime in the dungeons watching her daughter die and rot, and leaves them chained up in the cell reaching for each other without being able to touch. Harsh!
Cersei goes back to her room and feels so amorous after killing her enemy she has to give Jaime a blowjob, though Jaime wasn’t in the mood initially. He looked so down when she came in, probably from Euron’s insults that he can’t refute, but is cheered up quickly by the sex. In the morning, he stares at her lovingly in the afterglow, before a knock comes. He wants to hide, but Cersei doesn’t care who sees them together anymore.
A representative from the Iron Bank of Braavos (Mark Gatiss, aka Mycroft from Sherlock again!) has come to collect back the money the Lannisters owe them. Cersei talks her way into getting a loan extension of two weeks.
Tyrion meets Jon brooding on a cliff. Then comes my favourite lines in the episode:
“I came here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You’re making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel like I’m failing at brooding over failing.”
Tyrion and Jon snark back and forth. Tyrion explains that Dany can’t be expected to go to the North to fight a fantastical army based on the word of a man she doesn’t know. Tyrion then asks Jon if there’s anything reasonable he can ask of Dany that he can help him with.
Jon tells him he needs the dragonglass underneath Dragonstone, and Tyrion tells Dany to give it to him to gain a potential ally, since two of their three allies have been decimated, and the dragonglass is worth nothing to her anyway.
Then comes my second favourite exchange in the episode:
Tyrion: I’d very much like to believe that Jon Snow is wrong. But a wise man once said you should never believe a thing simply because you want to believe it.
Dany: Which wise man said this?
Tyrion: I don’t remember.
Dany: Are you trying to present your own statements as ancient wisdom?
Tyrion: I would never do that. To you.
Dany noticed Ser Davos saying Jon took a knife to his heart for his people, but Tyrion dismisses it as flights of fancy. Will Dany see Jon differently when she finds out he’s a Targaryen, *and* he has come back from the dead before?
Dany and Jon meet on the path leading down from Dragonstone and talk alone. Even though both still believe they have the right to their own kingdoms and Jon still hasn’t bowed to her, Dany decides to help Jon anyway and give him the dragonglass and aid him with her troops.
We turn the camera to Winterfell. Sansa is commanding Winterfell remarkably well, while Littlefinger lurks around her. (Where is Brienne??) He tells her to envision all battles in her mind, so she won’t be surprised no matter what.
And then SANSA FINALLY REUNITES WITH BRAN!!! She’s emotional while he is emotionally detached. But it takes a turn for the creepy because now he is all vague and mysterious, and brings up her horrible wedding night! Sansa is shaken and leaves quickly.
Ew, Ser Jorah’s skin is full of pockmarks. But at least he is better now, instead of dying! All thanks to Sam! Ser Jorah pretends that it’s the rest and the climate that cured him, but the Archmaester obviously doesn’t buy it and asks Sam to see him afterwards. Nevertheless, Ser Jorah can finally touch Sam and shake his hand! I hope they meet again!
After the Archmaester dresses down Sam for going against orders, he praises him for accomplishing the impossible task of saving Ser Jorah’s life. And then puts him to work copying rotting scrolls and manuscripts, because his reward is “not being immediately expelled from the Citadel”. Hah, poor Sam! I hope those scrolls have useful things for him to learn!
Back to Dragonstone, where Tyrion is strategising. We see Casterly Rock at last! They manage to take Casterly Rock because Tywin Lannister couldn’t be bothered to build the sewers himself. But Cersei has expected it, and dispatched most of the Lannister army to Highgarden! (Where we see Bronn again for the first time this season!)
Lady Olenna Tyrell thus comes to an end, thankfully by Jaime’s far more merciful hand. But this sharp-witted and barb-tongued old lady has one last blow to deliver, and reminds him cruelly of how Joffrey died, before revealing that she was the one who killed him! :-O (Something I completely forgot! And this reviewer reminded me that it was the belief that Tyrion killed Joffrey that finally drove the Lannister siblings apart! Poor Jaime! Cersei has always hated Tyrion, so knowing that she blamed him wrongly for killing Joffrey wouldn’t have changed her mind much.)
Honestly, if there’s any lesson that Jaime keeps getting hammered into him, it’s that it doesn’t pay to be good or kind. He killed the Mad King to prevent more deaths, and people call him Kingslayer and look at him as a traitor. He helps Tyrion escape King’s Landing, and Tyrion kills their father. He gives Lady Olenna a merciful death, she stabs him in the back. And I’m sure that there are more instances that I’m not remembering now. Why does the world have to treat Jaime so. :'( He has already done enough bad things; stop discouraging him when he wants to be good!