Game of Thrones: The Khaleesi strikes back
It is most definitely “No more Ms. Nice Mother of Dragons” this week, as Dany pours a heaping helping of hellfire mixed with Sweet Revenge on an unsuspecting Lannister army. (Meanwhile, somewhere in Heaven, Lady Olenna is performing the Best Endzone Dance ever to be completed by a 70-something year old Queen who has excellent taste in hats.)
Also this week, Davos calls out Jon for staring at Dany’s inflammable boobies. Arya returns to Winterfell to show off all the skills she learned at Burgerless White Castle that don’t involving wearing her castmates’ faces for funsies. While Bran (or, as I’ve decided to call him for the remainder of the series, BranBot3000) continues on his quest to creep out every character on this show who hasn’t been brutally murdered yet. (And they say Arya is the only Stark with a List!)
Whether you saw this episode earlier this week as a result of The Big Bad Leak and are watching again because you really wanted to see some Lannister soldiers get their faces burned off in HD, or you are unsullied like me, and are just watching for the first time, let’s review, shall we?
Somewhere between Highgarden and Kings Landing, Jaime and his army are amassing the Spoils of War (hey, that’s the title of this episode!), namely, some wheat plus a shitload of gold, and preparing to bring it back home to Cersei. Now, the Evil Queen can pay her debt to the Iron Bank, as Lannisters tend to do. (Apparently, Highgarden was super rich. How else could Lady Olenna afford all those cool hats?)
Bronn, being the wise and upwardly mobile employee that he is, sees this as the perfect opportunity to ask Jaime for a raise and a promotion. Bronn wants a castle, dammit, preferably Highgarden, because he’s been itching to start a hat collection of his own. Unfortunately for Bronn, Jamie is still a bit salty over the revelation that Lady Olenna killed Joffrey, and blamed Tyrion and Sansa for it. Thus, he is not in a particularly generous mood.
Hey, that reminds me: I think this would be a great time to relive Joffrey’s death. Don’t you?
Jamie and Bronn make some small talk with Sam Tarley’s douchey daddy and kind of hot brother, Dickon, whose name Jamie can’t seem to remember, which is weird because how does one forget a name as unfortunate as Dick-on? (My apologies to all you Dickons out there. But hey, it could be worse. You could have a name that sounds suspiciously like a homophone for Urine.)
Wow, it just occurred to me that I’ve effectively pissed off everyone in the world who bears these two names in a single paragraph. Moving on… (but not dick-on).
The Creepiest Creeper That Ever Did Creep
Meanwhile, back at Winterfell, Littlefinger and Branbot3000 are having a battle to see who can creep out the other person more. Littlefinger makes a valiant first attempt by giving Branbot3000 the dagger that was used in his attempted murder, and telling him that he wishes he could give him the one that succeeded in killing his mother too. (Ummm, thanks?)
Branbot3000 sees Littlefinger’s creepy gift and raises him a “Hey, remember that random monologue about Chaos being a Ladder you made back in season one, when I was halfway across the country with absolutely no logical way of hearing it? Well, I downloaded it into my mind and will repeat it back to you, just because I can.”
Game, set, match, Branbot3000! For the second week in a row, you are officially creepier than Littlefinger.
You see, the thing about BranBot3000 is that he’s kind of become like a search engine. He has all this really helpful information stored inside him, but he’s not going to share it with you, unless you ask nicely. And when I say BranBot3000 is like a search engine, I don’t mean he’s a “cool”, sleek, image-filled, user-friendly search engine, like Google or even Bing. I’m talking about an annoying, stodgy, “provides you with a lot of meaningless information while still making you feel dumb” search engine. In short, BranBot3000 is basically Ask Jeeves.
In other BranBot3000 news, Meera has stopped by to congratulate him on his new wheelchair, and tell him that she’s heading home to be with her family. And how does BranBot3000 respond to the woman who literally dragged his ass across five seasons of storylines, while risking her life for him countless times? “Girl bye,” he says (basically).
Apparently, when uploading the world’s knowledge into BranBot3000’s brain, someone forgot to install things like “emotions” and a “personality”. The good news is that after two years, you can upgrade to BranBot4000 for the super affordable price of $27.99 a month, and the newer model will maybe/possibly have one of those two things!
Arya Stark: Better Than You
In warmer/friendlier Stark news, Arya has finally reached the gates of Winterfell. There, for the second time in this series, the Girl Formerly Referred to as No One is having a wee bit of trouble getting some guards to respond to her claims of, “Do you know who I am? I am one of the stars of the Game of Mother Fucking Thrones! I literally own this place! Let me in!” (In the guards’ defense, they seem more like the kind of dudes who watch Candy Crush on Sunday nights at 9.)
Arya quickly gives these guards a slip, and reunites with her sister Sansa in the crypt beneath their home. Together the sisters reminisce about their father, and worry that no one alive remembers him anymore. This sort of talk bums the girls out, so they change to a lighter topic: Joffrey’s death!
It’s a quiet and somewhat emotionally muted but still authentic feeling, and genuinely sweet scene between two sisters who didn’t always see eye to eye, and largely grew up apart from one another, but still obviously love each other dearly. Sansa then reluctantly brings Arya out to the Scary Face Tree to reunite with BranBot3000, because it’s her turn to be creeped out by him.
BranBot3000’s reunion with Arya goes a bit better than the one with Sansa, mainly because the former doesn’t tell Arya how hot she looked just moments before she was raped. Instead, BranBot3000 muses about Arya’s List of People to Kill, and about her decision to come to Winterfell instead of heading straight to Kings Landing to kill Cersei.
BranBot3000 then gives Arya the creepy dagger Littlefinger gave him earlier in the episode. And it’s a surprisingly thoughtful gift on BranBot3000’s part, because really, who better to give a dagger than a pint-sized serial killer? In fact, I think I may have BranBot3000 help me with my holiday shopping this year.
Arya then reunites with Brienne, who’s humbly grateful that she was indirectly able to keep her promise to Catelyn by ensuring that both Stark sisters be returned to Winterfell safe and sound. They are clearly kindred spirits, these two warrior women. So of course, they have to reconnect by beating the crap out of one another in a duel.
The pair are fairly evenly matched, in this sense, with Arya having a slight competitive edge, due to her time spent training with Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid in the Burgerless White Castle.
“Who taught you to fight like that?” Brienne asks Arya after the battle ends in a draw. She is clearly impressed.
“No One,” Arya responds coolly.
No One, indeed…
What Happens in Caves Stays in Caves
Speaking of dark places where unspeakable things happen, Jon has taken Dany into the cave in Dragonstone, where he’s about to mine the dragon glass to use for weapons against the White Walkers. And we all know what kind of trouble Jon likes to get into in caves!
In the caves, Jon is super smooth, finding subtle ways to hold and gently touch Dany, as he leads her through the darkened corridors. (You can almost forget that these two are secretly related to one another… almost.)
Jon shows Dany cave paintings made by the Children of the Forest, which indicate that the Children fought side by side with Man back in the day in order to defeat the White Walkers. Jon’s illustration is two fold: first, it’s more proof to Dany of the White Walkers’ existence; second, it shows how two opposing parties can join forces to support a common goal. It’s a pretty persuasive tactic on Jon’s part. And, man, Davos must have stayed up all night etching those cave drawings in preparation for it. (I kid! I kid!)
Dany does seem a bit swayed by Jon’s presentation, and finally agrees to help Jon fight the White Walkers… if he bends the knee. Like Mance Rayder and the Wildings before him, Jon finds himself in a position of potentially letting down those who have put their trust in him, in exchange for ensuring their safety. Will he do it?
Davos certainly thinks so! The Onion Knight wastes no time calling out Jon for staring way to long at Dany’s “good heart”—you know, the one conveniently positioned behind one of her inflammable boobies. But Jon insists he doesn’t have time for such incestual romantic nonsense, not when the White Walkers are literally beating down his doorstep. Oh, Jon, you can lie to yourself all you want. But the Cave knows all your secrets!
Upon emerging from their cave tryst, Dany is met by Tyrion and Varys, who are there to break the bad news to Dany about what happened at Highgarden last week. Dany is furious. She chastises herself for playing it safe up to this point, and not attacking the Red Keep in the first place, like she initially wanted to. She even lashes out at Tyrion, accusing him of manipulating her, in order to keep his family out of harms way.
Jon warns Dany not to act too hastily, out of fear she may end up being viewed as a despot by her people, like her father, the Mad King. But Dany can’t help but remember the parting words of her old friend Lady Olenna: “Be a Dragon.”
She knows what she has to do…
In Which Theon Tries To Ring Dany and is Sent Directly to Voicemail
Toward the end of the episode, Wimpy Theon returns to Dragonstone, in the hope that he can get Dany to help him retrieve his sister from the clutches of Evil Queen Cersei. Jon meets him there, and almost kicks his ass, but refrains from doing so, due to Theon’s having saved Sansa not long ago.
“So, you’ll let me see Dany, then?” Theon asks hopefully.
And maybe Jon would let Theon see Dany… if she was still there.
Back in that grassy knoll between High Garden and Kings Landing, a strange rumbling can be heard in the distance. Unfortunately for Jamie’s army, it’s not Bronn’s stomach.
Seemingly out of nowhere appears a hoard of Dothraki Screamers. And these guys are no joke! They are as wild as Jamie’s army are regimented, as impulsive as the Lannisters are calculating. And they literally pierce through Jamie’s army like it’s their job (because it is). Somewhere up in Heaven, Khal Drogo has just joined Lady Olenna in her end zone dance, because his men are definitely making him proud.
Unfortunately, the Dothraki Screamers are about to become the least of Jamie’s problems when from out of the sky flies Dany on Drogon’s back. “Dracarys,” the Mother of Dragons commands her largest and most loyal child. Instantly, fire shoots from Drogon’s mouth, burning about three-fourths of Jaime’s army to ash in a single burp. Faces melt. Flesh turns to bone, and then to ash. Samwell Tarley’s dad meets a particularly gruesome end. It’s disgusting and awesome at the same time.
Those men who manage to survive the flames continue to get systematically killed by the Dothraki Screamers, who themselves seem as oddly impervious to flame as Dany’s boobs. Jamie almost gets murdered by one of these wild naked men, only to be rescued by Dickon Tarly. Maybe now Jamie will finally remember the poor guy’s name.
After he’s nearly gored, Jamie finally remembers that Dragon Killing Machine that we saw Cersei playing with a couple of episodes back. He tells Bran to go fetch it. We then get to see the Dragon Killing Machine used for the first time on Drogon. And it seems to work! After a false start, Bronn finally manages to put a massive wound into Drogon’s belly.
This causes the dragon to flip over and nearly fall from the sky, but not before he burns the Dragon Killing Machine to smithereens with his hot breath. (Cersei probably should have made that weapon flame retardant. Just saying.) The end of the episode sees Drogon down, and Dany grounded, as she quickly tries to tend to her favorite child’s wound. Jamie sees this as an opportunity to play hero, and charges at the pair on his horses, sword aloft.
“Flee, you idiot,” Tyrion shouts from on a nearby hill, his loyalties now clearly torn (Where the heck did he come from? How did he get here?).
But Jaime doesn’t flee, and Drogon turns to “Dracarys” all over that beautiful Lannister face.
But then, just when it seems like Drogon will have Charred Jaime Steak for dinner, someone (Bronn? Dickon? Ed Sheeran?) shields Jamie’s body with his own, and the two tumble together into the nearby water. Safe and alive, for now… but for how long?
And that was “The Spoils of War” in a nutshell, folks. Pretty cool, huh?