If you watched tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones you are probably struggling to breathe right now. Holy hell that was a crazy hour of television. What kind of budget did HBO give this team?! Wow.
Okay, let’s get some foundation stuff out of the way. Even though really huge things happened later in the episode, it’s still a pretty big deal that Arya has made her way home to Winterfell. After an awkward reunion with big sister, Sansa, and an even more awkward reunion with their brother, Brandon, it seemed like such a good thing to have three Starks back in the North. That is, of course, until Arya revealed what a badass she is by going toe-to-toe in a sparring session with Brienne of Toth. It was clear that Sansa seemed a bit threatened by her sister’s strength and, well, she should be.
At Dragonstone, Jon Snow took Daenerys down to where the dragonglass was found and showed her ancient cave drawings that demonstrated their ancestors’ willingness to work together to defeat the White Walkers. She still insisted that he bend his knee to her and he, again, refused.
As she faced the fact that her allies were killed along with the arrival of Theon Greyjoy, she shirked off Tyrion’s advice (as well as Jon’s opinion even though she solicited it) and, while I disagree with her actions, this resulted in one of the most epic second halves to any television show I’ve ever seen. Whooooo boy!
Not only did she march her Unsullied army into the camp where Jamie Lannister and his men were resting after a battle, but Daenerys herself flew in on a dragon. She didn’t just circle the base and watch the action, though – she burnt people to a crisp. Some people were reduced to ashes and dust in the wind and it was a site to behold.
For anyone who wanted to see her take a less diplomatic approach, this was a lesson in how bad it looks. Yes, it’s thrilling. Yes, she smoked the competition (literally) but she also seems ravenous, vengeful, and petty. It’s just not the Queen we’ve come to admire. This is not the high road.
Of course, there was a bit of a cliffhanger. As Tyrion watched from atop a hill, he saw his brother, Jamie, weighing the risk of attacking Daenerys after she attempted to remove a spear from her dragon’s wing. Sensing his movements, she turned in time and her baby unleashed a wave of fire and, for a moment, it seemed like this was going to be how the Kingslayer died. Someone, possibly Dickon Tarly, jumped in just in time and the pair went right into the water. The screen faded to black just as Jamie sank lifelessly to the bottom.
People are asking if that means he’s dead but, really, if the production team wanted him to die, he would have been roasted like a marshmallow in a dramatic departure. Clearly, he’s going to live to see another day.