It’s the second to last episode of Game of Thrones ever, despite everything we have such a significant number of inquiries! What’s going to happen to Cersei? What number of our top choices are going to bite the dust ghastly, ridiculous passings? And who will get to finally sit on the throne they’ve been gaming over for eight seasons?
How about we not deceive ourselves. A week ago’s episode left a little to be wanted. Daenerys has a flying winged serpent however some way or another it didn’t ship with “arrow detection” mode? Queen Cersei is certainly evil however she doesn’t utilize her preference to kill her foes? What’s more, Jon uncovering to Sansa and Arya his genuine family heredity – a standout amongst the most fundamental plot purposes of the show – in a discussion that occurs off screen? Are you kidding me?
Don’t even start me on the fact that Jon didn’t pat Ghost.
However, Game of Thrones has strong form on dropping genuine dramatization in the second episode of the season (think about the Red Wedding and the Battle of the Bastards). And it certainly delivered!
Prepare for spoilers – we have your full recap prepared to go.
Show, dramatization, show
The group has deserted to Dragonstone and the state of mind is dismal. Ruler Varys has well and genuinely picked sides and is composing a bunch of crow notes uncovering that Jon Snow is the legitimate beneficiary to the Iron Throne. Turns out the Master of Whisperers is real good at whispering.
Varys still needs Jon to take the royal position since he’s persuaded Dany is starting to get a bit iffy.
“They say every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin and the world holds its breath … we both know what she’s going to do,” he says to Jon, referencing the increasingly mad Dany. “I still don’t know how her coin has landed, but I’m quite certain about yours.”
But Jon’s not having a bar of it. “She’s my queen,” he says, clearly not having been briefed on how this episode will end.
In the interim, Dany is having a harsh time. Any individual who has seen The Bachelor could tell the makers have well and genuinely picked a villain arc for her this episode – she’s not eating, she’s declining to join the gathering and her hair is resembling a preceding picture in a Garnier commercial. In the diary room, sorry WAR room, Tyrion is endeavoring to talk some sense into her, however it’s no utilization -the writers have settled on their “mad woman” archetype so Dany won’t see sense. She’s convinced that Jon has betrayed her by revealing their family bond, and just like a contestant in the Bachelor house, she’s seeing enemies everywhere.
Someone is going to have to die for this. What’s more, who else yet the Master of Whisperers, Lord Varys. Realizing a plot turn when he hears one (it sounds like Unsullied boots walking towards your entryway), Varys burns his final secret letter, takes off his rings and quietly congratulates himself on making it to the second last ep.
As Dany sentences him to death, Tyrion unobtrusively uncovers that he was the one to sell out Varys and we get our first farewell of the episode.
Dracarys becomes Drac-Varys.
Conflagulations! You just burned your ally!
Slice to soon after the burnination, and Dany is particularly adhering to her guns. She faults Sansa for sharing Jon’s mystery (“she killed Varys as much as I did”) and bemoans the fact that no one seems to be picking up what she’s putting down (“I don’t have love here, only fear.”)
The cynic in me would argue that burning people from your inner circle is a great way to inspire fear, but that’s probably not helpful. Instead, Jon says he still loves her, but his puckered-mouth squint kiss says otherwise.
“All right then,” Dany replies. “Let it be fear.”
How about we cross now to the Dragonstone throne room to explore that theme! Tyrion is helping Dany that the people to remember King’s Landing are guiltless and ought to be saved her approaching assault. In an incredible bit of mental gymnastics, Daenerys reminds everyone that she IS being merciful, by killing a tyrant, and if on her way she swings her arms and knocks out thousands of civilians with dragonflame, then it’s their own fault.
Um, no, that is not exactly what he implied. Tyrion asks Daenerys to call off her armies if the chimes of King’s Landing ring in surrender. We get what might be compared to a “murmur, mutter, we’ll see” however frankly that’s probably the best this rapidly disintegrating queen can give us right now.
Brothers in arms
Outside King’s Landing, the troops are planning for another fight and rationally ascertaining the extra time they’ve been doing since the last time they took up arms against the dead in Winterfell. You’d better believe these guys are looking forward to their days in lieu.
Amidst the preparation, Arya and The Hound ride through the camp – obviously the password to get through the guards is “I’m Arya Stark. I’m here to kill Cersei.” The guard, who was weighing up the benefits of skipping a battle with the overtime he could get for fighting on a Sunday, lets them through.
In the interim Tyrion has wheedled his way into the tent where Jaime, who was captured en route to King’s Landing, is being kept prisoner (C’mon guards, you’re just phoning it in at this point). He just wants Cersei to see sense and to save the lives of the townsfolk of King’s Landing — effectively a “won’t somebody please think of the children?” — but Jaime says she won’t give up.
“The child is the reason she will never give an inch,” he says.
FINE. So Tyrion unshackles him and asks him to escape with Cersei so the kingdom can surrender, telling Jaime to use the secret passage Tyrion used back in season 7 episode 5 to sneak into the castle. Tyrion has either just saved countless innocent lives, or he’s just given his evil tyrant sister an escape route. Potayto, Potahto. Jaime rightly points out he could be executed for this.
“Tens of thousands of innocent lives. One not particularly innocent dwarf. Seems like a fair trade,” Tyrion replies.
What’s more, with that, Tyrion makes another sad farewell. The two siblings have what can best be portrayed as a “one of us is going to die” hug, so it’s time to mentally add one of these two to your body count list. (Sorry, Ser Bron, you snooze you lose.)
Enter Drogon, organize left
Remember when the night before battle could last an entire episode? We don’t have time for that! It’s morning and we’ve got soldiers to kill!
The Lannister armed forces are stacking up their winged serpent murdering Scorpion crossbows, the Iron Fleet is out singing shanties on the water and the townsfolk, who have quite recently been educated about task Human Shield, are endeavoring to escape before the approaching bloodletting. Cersei is watching over all this in a snappy new red velvet number she’s whipped up for the occasion. Below, Jaime is sneaking into the city like it’s Assassin’s Creed cosplay day at Comic-Con.
That is the prompt to get things rolling, and here’s the beginning gun: Dany flying in on Drogon, almost certainly siphoning some sweet Led Zeppelin tunes through her mythical serpent mounted Bluetooth speaker to help her psych up. After Rhaegal flopped so fabulously a week ago, his brother dragon is out to settle the score and that means burning everything in sight.
Goodbye, Iron Fleet! Goodbye, Scorpion crossbows! Goodbye, massive wall keeping out Dany’s armies! The Unsullied and Dothraki armies charge through, and just like that, it’s on like Drogon Kong.
I’d love to take a pause here to mourn the death of Gavin S. Charming — the head of the Golden Company and the guy I definitely thought was good looking enough to get a little backstory before he died. But with the flick of Grey Worm’s spear, the poor man’s Jaime Lannister is dispatched with very little to-do. In the moment he was running away, you could see his entire Hollywood career flash before his eyes.
In the Red Keep, Cersei is convinced this isn’t how it ends, but in the streets below everyone is doing a great job of proving her wrong. With Cersei’s forces dwindling, Jon, Ser Davos and Grey Worm have come face to face with the Lannister Army. There’s a stand off (I briefly hope they will click and sashay their way out of it, Jets versus Sharks style) and the Lannister Army drops their swords.