Instant reaction post: “Game of Thrones” S7, Ep4 ‘The Spoils of War’

Jaime and Bronn in 'The Spoils of War'
Jaime and Bronn in ‘The Spoils of War’

I didn’t know if I could get this instant reaction post out on time as I’ll be away from tonight for the next few days, but luckily I managed to do it. What an exciting episode!

We open with the Lannister army marching away from Highgarden with wagons of Tyrell gold. Jaime looks glum while talking with Bronn, which Bronn guesses is due to Lady Olenna delivering one last zinger before dying. Jaime pays Bronn with a bag of gold, but he wants the castle he was promised, and is annoyed that he isn’t getting it. Jaime tells him having a castle isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, especially now in times of war, and promises he’ll give it to him when it has ended. He then tasks Bronn to go with the Tarlys to get the harvest from reluctant farmers.

Iron Bank rep Tycho Nestoris meets with Cersei. They’re impressed with how soon Cersei can repay their debt, and offers to invest more money in her endeavour to take over Westeros — once they get back their gold. (Was it mentioned before that Qyburn is Cersei’s Hand? Because I only just found out!)

Tycho Nestoris and Cersei in 'The Spoils of War'
Tycho Nestoris and Cersei in ‘The Spoils of War’

Littlefinger gives Bran the dagger used by the cutthroat hired to kill him in Season 1, and says that because of Catelyn Stark, he’ll protect her children. He then means to say soothing words about how Bran has travelled so far and come back home to chaos, but Bran quotes what he said before about chaos being a ladder, and he doesn’t know how to react to it. He takes his leave and calls him Lord Stark, but Bran says he’s not Lord Stark, which leaves him on the wrong foot too.

Meera comes in and tells him she’s leaving, because when the White Walkers come, she wants to be with her family. (She still has family? Didn’t they all die?) She’s very upset that Bran has nothing else to say to her except an inadequate “Thank you”, after all she’s done for him, and Jojen, Hodor and Summer died for him. He says he remembers what it felt like to be Bran Stark, but he isn’t really him anymore. She realises sadly that he died in that cave too.

Arya is home! She tries to enter Winterfell but two bumbling guards stop her and laugh at her, because they all think she is dead. Arya finally reasons her way in. The guards are quarrelling over who will go tell Sansa that someone claiming to be Arya is here, but when they turn around, Arya is gone.

The guards tell Sansa that Arya has disappeared, and Sansa finds her in the crypt. Arya asks if she has to call Sansa Lady Stark now, and she says yes. (How formal!) They hope Jon comes back soon. Arya looks at Robb’s statue (at least, I think it’s Robb’s statue, since Catelyn was around when they were carving Ned’s statue), and says it doesn’t look like him. It should be carved by someone who knew his face. Sansa says everybody who knew his face is dead. Arya says they’re not.

They discuss Joffrey’s death, and what a pity it was that neither of them killed him. Arya talks about the list of people she’s going to kill, but Sansa thinks she’s joking. (They had the same reaction as Ed Sheeren and the Lannister soldiers in episode 1!) They both acknowledge that it was a difficult and unpleasant journey to come home, but Arya says their stories aren’t over. Sansa then tells Arya that Bran’s home too, but she doesn’t look very happy about it and Arya’s face falls.

Sansa in 'The Spoils of War'
Sansa in ‘The Spoils of War’

They find Bran by the weirwood tree. Bran starts talking about his visions, including Arya’s list of names. Sansa realises that Arya wasn’t joking, and asks who else is on the list, but Arya says most of them are dead. Bran takes out the dagger Littlefinger gave him, which we find out is made of Valyrian steel, and while Sansa suspects Littlefinger’s motives, Bran doesn’t want it and gives it to Arya. Back at Winterfell, Brienne and Podrick see Arya returned home safely. Podrick reassures her that Catelyn Stark would be proud, though Brienne says she did next to nothing. Littlefinger watches the Stark siblings and schemes.

Podrick and Brienne in 'The Spoils of War'
Podrick and Brienne in ‘The Spoils of War’

At Dragonstone, Missandei is worried about there being no word from the Unsullied, and hints at the night of pleasure she had with Grey Worm. Speaking of nights of pleasure, Jon appears at the foot of the stairs, and Missandei smiles mischievously at Dany, causing Dany to give her a Look. Jon brings her to see the glittering cave of dragonglass, and also shows her markings on the wall done by the Children of the Forest. These aren’t mere cavemen drawings: these are cavemen drawings that show the Children of the Forest worked with the First Men to fight the White Walkers, and prove the White Walkers are real. Jon then reiterates that they have to fight the threat together. Dany says she’ll fight for him… when he bends the knee. Jon is reluctant because he says the North won’t accept a Southern ruler after all they’ve suffered. Dany says they will if their King does. Aren’t his people more important than his pride? (And I do think it’s a matter of pride now.)

This scene was intimate and rife with sexual tension by the way. I kept expecting Dany to kiss Jon or something! This isn’t a pairing that I thought much about, but now that the show is leading up to it, I don’t mind it so much. Though technically, Dany is Jon’s aunt; but incest has never been an issue for this show.

Dany, Missandei and Jon in 'The Spoils of War'
Dany, Missandei and Jon in ‘The Spoils of War’

Tyrion and Lord Varys are waiting somberly outside the caves with bad news. Dany strides back to Dragonstone furiously. She has lost all her allies, and accuses Tyrion of not wanting to hurt his family. Dany wants to fly her dragons to the Red Keep, but Tyrion protests that it isn’t wise. Dany asks Jon for his opinion, which he is reluctant to give at first, but on her insistence, he tells her that if she uses her dragons to melt castles and burn cities, she will be no different from other rulers who have come before her, which gives Dany pause.

Dany contemplating the loss of all her allies and her next steps in 'The Spoils of War'
Dany contemplating the loss of all her allies and her next steps in ‘The Spoils of War’

At Winterfell, Brienne and Podrick are practising. Arya approaches them and wants to spar with Brienne. Unbeknownst to them, Sansa is walking past with Littlefinger and sees them. Brienne underestimates Arya at first, and they’re all shocked at Arya’s prowress. Sansa looks disturbed and walks away, while Littlefinger smirks at Arya.

Ser Davos asks Jon what he thinks of Dany. Jon says she has a good heart. Ser Davos says he saw him staring at her good heart. Jon brushes it off and says there’s no time for that (romance? Sex?). They see Missandei, who is curious about Jon being called Snow instead of Stark, and says there’s no marriage in Naath where she came from, so the concept of bastards doesn’t exist. (Cool.) Missandei also tells Jon and Ser Davos that Dany is the Queen they chose, and they serve her because they want to, which helps them understand more of the kind of person Dany is. They then see a Greyjoy ship in the distance.

Theon and Jon see each other for the first time since Season 1. Jon is furious at Theon for the whole rebellion at Winterfell thing back in Season 2, and tells Theon that what he did for Sansa is the only reason he’s not killing him. Theon came to ask Dany to get Yara back, but Dany is away.

Theon in 'The Spoils of War'
Theon in ‘The Spoils of War’

Back to Jaime and the Lannister army. Jaime, Bronn and Dickon chat, and Dickon admits that he felt uncomfortable fighting the Tyrell soldiers because he knew some of them. Bronn suddenly hears something, which we can’t hear, and they ready the soldiers for battle. Suddenly, we see and hear a horde of Dothraki soldiers on horseback charging towards the Lannister army! Bronn asks Jaime to go back to King’s Landing and save himself because he’s the commander, but Jaime doesn’t want to abandon his soldiers, and thinks they can hold them off. And then they see Drogon! Who unleashes fire on the soldiers and catches them off guard! Seems Dany has taken Jon’s advice and instead of burning the Red Keep, she’ll attack the army in the midst of a plain without civilians nearby.

The Dothraki horde overwhelm the army and a fierce battle takes place, while Drogon flies around with Dany on his back and unleashes fire on all the wagons of gold. (Edit: Namz pointed out to me in the comments that Randyll Tarly told Jaime that all the gold has reached King’s Landing safely, so I guess Drogon burnt all the food instead!) Archers shoot at Drogon but it doesn’t stop him. Jaime then asks Bronn to get Qyburn’s Scorpion. Bronn wants him to do it himself but Jaime says he can’t shoot with one hand. Bronn then rides off to do it, but is knocked off his horse, and enters the burning melee to find the scorpion. He nocks the arrow and looks for Drogon.

Dany and Drogon on the battlefield in 'The Spoils of War'
Dany and Drogon on the battlefield in ‘The Spoils of War’

Tyrion and some Dothraki are standing on a hilltop looking at the carnage. He looks sorrowful seeing his family’s soldiers dying. So does Jaime, who realises they’re losing.

Bronn takes aim at Drogon and misses. He loads another arrow and this time it hits him! Oh no! But Drogon is still able to fly despite being injured, and angrily burns Qyburn’s weapon to bits. Bronn is able to get out of the way in time, thankfully. Dany gets off Drogon and tries to pull out the arrow in his side. Tyrion see Jaime looking at Dany, and hisses under his breath for him to flee, but Jaime rides towards her with a spear, determined not to let their losses be a complete waste, and is about to kill her when Drogon notices him and opens his mouth. Jaime sees Drogon about to unleash fire on him and can’t stop his trajectory in time when suddenly, an unknown person (Dickon? Bronn?) shoves him aside and they fall into the lake and sink! And the episode ends on this cliffhanger!

I don’t think Jaime is dying. It is such an anticlimatic way for him to die that it would have been better for him to be charred to bits by Drogon, if the showrunners wanted to end his life. More importantly, now that Cersei has lost all the gold that she was going to pay the Iron Bank food from the Reach, do they have backup stores? And does Dany have enough soldiers to lay siege on King’s Landing?