This is not a spoiler free zone. You have been thoroughly warned.
This episode not only delivered our dear Arya (Maisie Williams) back to Winterfell, but it was also action packed and boasting the dialogue that makes this series stand out from the rest. Now there are three Stark’s in Winterfell, each of them have had a long and perilous journey to get back to where they started. It is interesting to see how much they have all grown. Together they are unstoppable.
It’s hard to say which of the children has grown up the most. They have all come into their own and are able to excel at their own strengths. Sansa (Sophie Turner) is intelligent and tactful, making her comfortable in a seat of power. Arya has become lightening quick with her thinking and any weapon she wields, this is shown in a sparring match with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), it was a powerful moment and we are able to get a good look at just how deadly she has become. While Bran (Isaac Wright) has evolved in mind and spirit, he always has a far off look in his eyes, which seems to unsettle Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen). It seems as though he lost himself in the cave, and as Meera (Ellie Kendrick) leaves to go back home, it’s clear that he is not one, but all.
Cersei (Lena Headey) is confident in her endeavors, which seem to get bigger by the moment. High hopes and the promise of the copious amounts of gold from the victory at High Garden, the Iron Bank seems pleased. Once they have the gold in their hands, they will support her in this war and beyond. She seems to have the upper hand, and that is bothersome. This is the world of Westeros, no one is on top for long.
The North can rejoice, the Dragonglass has been found, and it’s more than they will ever need. Perhaps they will finally have an edge over the approaching darkness. The caves below are old and full of secrets. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Jon (Kit Harington) get an amazing history lesson courtesy of The Children of the Forest. They had stood there, right where their feet are, and drew their story. It seems that the first men and the children united their forces to beat a common enemy, the white walkers. We get a moment of clarity from Daenerys, pledging herself to fight for the north but only if Jon will bend the knee. Will pride get in the way? I am sure we will soon find out.
Too many voices have been whispering in Daenerys’s ear, and she needs to trust the voice within. All of her allies have been taken from her, and the counsel she has received from Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) have gotten her nowhere. It’s time to do things her way, but before she goes off into the night with her dragon, she turns to Jon for advice. It’s a great moment between the two of them, there is undeniable chemistry and the actors seem to work well together. She will not become one of them, she will rise above.
The taking of High Garden has left Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and the Lannister troops in good spirits. There is some great dialogue between Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and Jaime, it has been missed, the banter was lacking in earlier episodes. All seems to be going to well for them, but not for long. As the thousands of Dothraki catch them by surprise, they hold the line and brace for impact. They can surely handle men that have no armor, right? That is until Drogon in all his glory comes swooping from the sky. And when Daenerys utters that one word “Dracarys” the fiery inferno engulfs those poor, unsuspecting souls. At last we get dragons and one hell of a battle. There is no competition.
The caravan was equipped with the dragon killing crossbow, and with Bronn at the helm of it he was able to hit Drogon, but not without pissing him off in the process. The weapon has been destroyed, but they also have the knowledge of their existence now. It may give them an edge in the battles to come. As the massive dragon comes crashing down to earth, Daenerys is unseated as she helps her child. She is exposed and Jaime tries to take advantage of the situation, which completely backfires. Drogon is protective and won’t let anything happen to her, as the spark of fire ignites into the air we are left with the image of Jaimie being pushed out-of-the-way and into the water.
In my opinion this is one of the top episodes in the season so far. It’s interesting to see where things will go from here. The gold has been destroyed, and Cersei is left with nothing. The playing field has been leveled and it will be one hell of a battle from here on out. The dead have been quiet, too quiet. The biggest battle has yet to come.
The remorse and confliction on Tyrion’s face when the Dothraki and Drogon cut into the crowd of his former people is heart wrenching. It adds another depth to a chaotic scene, and it was worth mentioning.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO, Sunday’s at 7/9c