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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 7.4 “The Spoils of War”
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 Game Of Thrones 7.4

Game of Thrones
Episode 7.4 “The Spoils of War”
Directed by Mark Mylod
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Starring Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen
HBO
Air date: August 6, 2017

WARNING: Spoilers for HBO’s Game Of Thrones….

Last week’s episode of Game Of Thrones saw the long-awaited meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, and while there might not have been the chemistry we were hoping for from the start, it was still an exciting moment. Daenerys agreed to provide Jon with the dragonglass he needs to fight the White Walkers. Meanwhile, Daenerys’ allies were bested by Cersei: The Unsullied army found a sparse Casterly Rock, where Euron Greyjoy’s fleet burned their ships; Euron also captured his niece Yara to bring to Cersei, along with Ellaria Sand and her daughter Tyene, who Cersei got her ultimate cruel revenge on. Jaime and the Lannister army slaughtered the Tyrell forces at Highgarden, where Olenna Tyrell met her end, but she got the last word: She tells Jaime to tell Cersei that it was she who killed Joffrey.

This week’s episode, Episode 7.4 “The Spoils of War,” opens up with Jaime Lannister and his forces (including the Tarlys) in the Reach coming from their attack on Highgarden, where they slaughtered the Tyrells and their army, riding off with their gold and provisions. Bronn is there by Jaime’s side, bitching about how he never got the prize he was promised – a castle of his own. Jaime is giving Jon Snow a run for his money in the brooding department, which Bronn points out. Jaime is on his way to deliver all that Tyrell gold to Cersei at King’s Landing, so she can repay their debt to the Iron Bank.

Back in King’s Landing, Cersei now has the support of the Iron Bank — who are awaiting their gold. Cersei has a lot of plans to build up her military, regain her kingdom, and reclaim what she feels is rightfully hers.

In Winterfell, Littlefinger tells Bran that he is there to protect Caitlyn’s children. Hmm… really? The Lord gifts to Bran the Valyrian steel dagger that was wielded by his would-be assassin all those years ago. Bran asks if he knows who the dagger belongs to, but wouldn’t Bran know this now, since he’s now the Three-Eyed Raven? Littlefinger is not speaking to the child he remembers, nor to the Lord of Winterfell — “I’m not Lord Stark,” he tells Littlefinger. He also tells Littlefinger, “chaos is a ladder,” throwing the man’s words back at him. (Littlefinger had told Varys that chaos isn’t a pit, it’s a ladder.) Afterwards, Meera comes to say good-bye to Bran, who merely says “thank you” for all her help. When she calls him “Bran,” he says “Not really, not anymore.” He remembers what it was like to be Brandon Stark, but also so much more. She tearfully says that he — Bran — died in that cave — and it’s clear that that’s true. This was such a sad ending to Meera’s story; her brother died to save Bran and she risked her life numerous times and got him to safety, and this is the thanks she gets.

Outside, Arya Stark finally arrives to back home to Winterfell, but the douchebag guards mock her and try to send her away. This is reminiscent of Season 1 when young Arya accidentally got locked out of the Red Keep at King’s Landing, and the guards didn’t believe that she really lived there. Back then she needed her father to save her; this time, she slips passed the guards and makes her way to the catacombs, which is where her sister Sansa finds her. They have a joyous reunion; they both have gone through hell since they last saw each other. They look upon their father’s crypt, which has a statue they don’t think is much to his likeness. Sansa takes Arya to see their brother Bran, who, as we know, isn’t really Bran anymore, but the Three-Eyed Raven, and he knows about Arya’s “list of names” of people she plans to kill, which includes Cersei. Bran has the Valaryian steel dagger that Littlefinger gave him, but he doesn’t need it, so he gives it to Arya. Sansa says Littlefinger wouldn’t have given it to him if he didn’t want something in return; what is Littlefinger up to? It’s definitely something.

After her visit with Bran, Arya sees Brienne in the yard training Podrick, who’s still terrible at swordplay after all this time (c’mon already Pod! Be good for something than your sexual prowess). She wants Brienne, who bested the Hound, to train her. When she pulls out her thin sword Needle, Brienne says she can’t use such a small sword. “Don’t worry, I won’t cut you,” Arya assures the warrior. Here we see what Arya is capable of when she spars with Brienne, as Sansa and Littlefinger watch from above. When Brienne asks Arya who taught her how to fight like that, the girl replies, “No one” (a nice nod to the Faceless Men who trained her). Sansa seems surprised, then disturbed, possibly jealous, by what she sees, so she leaves. Littlefinger stays till the end and gives a nod of approval.

On Dragonstone, Jon leads Daenerys underneath the keep to show her the dragonglass before he starts mining it to fight against the Night King and the White Walkers. He also shows her cave drawings made by the Children of the Forest of them together with the First Men. Daenerys wonders if they were fighting each other, but Jon then reveals more drawings – this time, they’re of the White Walkers. This shows that the Children and First Men fought together against their common enemy. Daenerys says she will fight with Jon against the Night King… as soon as he bends the knee to her. (Please give it a rest with that, Dany!). But he says his people will no longer follow a Southern leader. It’s clear there’s a mutual admiration between the two, but is there some real chemistry? Perhaps, but is there really time for love right now?

Nope, according to Jon. Outside, Jon tells Ser Davos that Daenerys has a good heart. “I noticed you starring at her good heart,” Davos accuses Jon. Hmm… Davos sees something there!!! (It’s not like Jon lusts after every women he sees, either.) But, “there’s no time for that,” Jon says. There it is, people, the ship everyone’s been waiting for! But, Jon is more focussed on his mission to defeat the Night King, as he should be. The men then come upon Missandei, who tells them that Daenerys bought her from slavers and then freed her; and that she follows her Queen because she believes in her — ALL of her followers are with her because they believe in her, not because she’s the daughter of a king they never knew. They CHOSE her. This impresses the men.

Word then comes to Dragonstone that the Unsullied army took Casterly Rock, but they are now stuck there with no provisions. Daenerys is sick of losing her allies. She basically accuses Tyrion of purposely steering her wrong, leading to situations that are aiding his family, but you can tell she regrets the accusation right away. Tyrion is her Hand and he has been there for her. Daenerys wants to take her dragons and attack Cersei and the Red Keep. She asks Jon for his advice on what to do — this is HUGE!!! He tells her that she is a person who has made the impossible happen and that people believe in her that she will make the world better than before. So, if she rides her dragons into the city and burns it down, she’ll be no different than the other rulers.

Later, a Greyjoy ship carrying Theon arrives on Dragonstone. Jon and company are there at the shore to meet them. Jon grabs Theon and says what he did for Sansa (he helped her escape Ramsay at Winterfell) is the only reason he’s letting him live. Theon says that Euron has his sister Yara captive, so he wants Daenerys’s help in getting her back. But Daenerys isn’t there! Where could she be?

Flash to Jaime’s forces on the road. The Tyrell gold they stole has just been securely been delivered to Cersei inside the gates of King’s Landing, but now they are trying to get the last of the wagons over the Blackwater Rush in case there’s an ambush. (And guess what? There will be one!!!!!!!) Jaime gives Bronn some of the gold, but the mercenary isn’t happy with it. He wants a castle, as promised, and would love to get Highgarden. But Jaime says he has to wait until Cersei takes control of the Seven Kingdoms; otherwise, when Daenerys attacks, she will just take the castle from him. And guess what happens next?

Here come the Dothraki horde ready to take down the Lannisters, with Daenerys riding the dragon Drogon. “Dracarys,” she tells Drogon, getting the dragon to breath fire at their enemies. This dragon is fucking some shit up right here!!!! Bronn tells Jaime to get to safety, but the commander won’t leave his army; unfortunately, with one hand, he’s unable to work the arrow launcher that Qyborn made, so Bronn is off to do it. Bronn manages to get off a few shots, nailing Drogon in the shoulder, downing the dragon but not killing him. Now grounded, Daenerys tries to get the arrow out of Drogon’s shoulder, as Jaime charges them. From afar, Tyrion watches the fiery battle, spotting his brother in the fray on horseback charging towards Daenerys and Drogon. “Flee, you idiot,” Tyrion mutters, not wanting his brother to die in this battle. But, nope, Jaime actually charges them, and just as Drogon is about to torch him, someone on horseback — looks like Bronn — grabs Jaime and propels them both into the water. We see Jaime in full armor and golden prosthetic hand sinking down in the water. He might be safe from dragon fire, but how will he escape drowning?

HOLY SHIT! Have I ended every recap this season with that? I think I have. That’s because Season 7 is the season of satisfaction. We’re getting our reveals, our reunions, our epic battles, our long-awaited confrontations. No more suffering through torturous near-unitings, rapings, and senseless violence; the moments we’ve been waiting for all these years are happening now, and they are happening in a spectacular fashion.

A prediction: I’m guessing Jon and Daenerys will fall for each other, but never consummate their love; if we’re lucky, there will only be a kiss. But Cersei will probably kill Daenerys, leaving Jon to once again lose the woman he loves and watch her die. Jon will then defeat Cersei, likely with Jaime’s help after he realizes that his sister is the Mad Queen, and become ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

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