Daenerys Stormborn (Emilia Clarke) in Game of Thrones The Spoils of War. Image from hbogo.com.

Dany Fights Back In The Spoils of War – Game of Thrones Review

Damn! The ending in The Spoils of War illustrates precisely why Game of Thrones is so thrilling to watch! The Queen’s Justice left off with another Cersei win to check off on her grand new floor map. Granted, we got some good moments out of the episode, but those were dim lights in comparison to Cersei’s wins. I can’t wait to see her utterly destroyed in the worst way possible. Preferably by the hands of her younger brother, Jaime. Thanks to The Spoils of War, however, Cersei’s winning streak has come to a close. At least, temporarily. No doubt she’ll have a killer retaliation in mind, especially with the Iron Bank backing her (damn it). But as of right now, Dany is back in the game (not that she was ever out).

The Loot Train Battle

I never thought that dragons would exist again. No one did. The people that follow you know that you made something impossible happen. Maybe that helps them believe that you can make other impossible things happen. Build a world that’s different from the shit one they’ve always known. But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different. You’re just more of the same. ~ Jon Snow

After losing nearly every ally she previously held in Westeros, Dany wanted to attack the Red Keep and destroy Cersei. Tyrion’s plans, while good, clearly haven’t been good enough to win. Not to mention, if he’s underestimated Cersei this much, how can he hope to catch up to her now? Perhaps, in the long-term, his plan could work, but Dany needed some short-term wins and Tyrion’s plans weren’t helping.

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Photo from HBO.com

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Photo from HBO.com

Dany, however, doesn’t get angry, storm off, and do her own thing. She gets angry, but she listens to the advice of the people around her. This time, that advice came from none other than Jon Snow. He may not make the best first impression, but he knows how to say the right thing. He’s slowly winning her over as time goes on, because of that (it helps that he’s pretty, too). Following his advice, she heads to the battle-weary, happy Lannisters, and traitorous Tyrells instead of going to the Red Keep. The forces are heading home with their loot and are the perfect target. Too bad the loot for the Iron Bank had a head start, though.

While in the battle, Dany showed that she’s not merely a queen who sits in the safety of her thrown room sending her men off to die for her (like another queen we know). She’s a leader. She’s someone who will lead her men into battle, and she will risk death for them. Sure, that’s a lot easier to do when you’re flying a giant, fire-breathing dragon, but it’s still a risk she’s willing to take for her people. If she’s beginning to find respect for Jon based on his actions and advice, he’s beginning to see she’s not simply a power-hungry bitch with an eye for the Seven Kingdoms.

The Loot Train Battle in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Photo from HBO.com

The Loot Train Battle in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Photo from HBO.com

Unfortunately, Bronn shot Drogon in the battle, but I’m glad he did. Don’t get me wrong. I hate seeing Drogon or any other dragon injured, but he’s still alive. On top of that, Dany is now aware of the defenses Cersei’s been working on and will not attack the Red Keep with a false sense of security for the invulnerability of her dragons. Dany and Tyrion will know to plan for those defenses when they eventually head to King’s Landing. Not to mention, should Jaime survive his bath, he may be more prepared to fight the dragons and warn Cersei of what’s to come. With any luck, his encounter with Drogon will lead to his departure from Cersei’s side or perhaps, Jaime will become the Targaryen’s spoils of war.

Jon Finds Proof He’s Not Just A Crazy Northerner

Before the battle, Jon found some of the proof he needs to convince Dany that he’s not just some crazy guy from the north. The Children of the Forest left behind a few pictographs on the dragonglass cave walls depicting a bit of their story. Not only that, they left behind pictures of a common enemy they shared with man, the white walkers. Faced with this proof, Dany had no choice but to admit he just may be telling the truth about the enemy to the north. Sticking to her guns, however, she still refuses to help him as long as he refuses to bend the knee.

She even goes so far as to point out that his people’s survival is more important than his pride, which he may be able to say about her as well. He’s not the only one refusing to bend, after all. The more interaction these two have with one another and with the people who support them, the more respect they seem to garner for each other. And in the preview for next week, we see Jon coming face-to-face with one of the dragons. Are we edging closer to a joint leadership between these two?

Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Photo from hbo.com.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Photo from hbo.com.

While Dany went into battle, Theon made his less-than-triumphant return, as well. Unfortunately for him, one of the last people he wanted to see was there to greet him. This was a moment of joy for me. Jon, while acknowledging what he did for Sansa, hasn’t forgotten all of the shit that happened before that. Everything he did well before he could use Ramsay as an excuse. I, for one, have never liked Theon for that alone. I don’t care what he’s gone through, his character before Ramsay sucked, so I have a hard time liking the guy, now. Maybe Jon, a far more forgiving person by nature, will come around, though. I can only hope Jon’s next reunion is far better than this one. When will he get back to Winterfell already?!?!

Arya’s Back in Winterfell and Bran’s Still Not Really Bran

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Screen Shot of The Spoils of War.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in The Spoils of War on Game of Thrones. Screen Shot of The Spoils of War.

While all of the fun is happening in the south, back up in the north, we finally got the reunion we’ve been waiting seven seasons to see. Okay, I lied. That reunion is probably the one between Jon and Arya. Sansa said it best, “When he sees you, his heart will probably stop.” I think all of our hearts will stop when that happens. Until then, we have to be satisfied with the reunion that took place in Winterfell. And it was satisfying at that. Sansa and Arya were never close, so it was very much what it would be with them. Perhaps you would expect a little more emotion from Sansa, but the last few seasons have hardened her. “Lady Stark” does suit her very well. Despite that, the scene was still everything you could hope for it!

Naturally, Arya couldn’t possibly return to Winterfell without meeting Bran. Arya has had some training with the crazy world that exists in Game of Thrones, so isn’t quite as disturbed as Sansa was upon Bran’s all-knowing statement. Of course, he revealed far creepier things to Sansa to prove his third eye than he did to Arya. But he wasted no time showing her that he is not really the Bran they knew. Either way, the three remaining, legitimate Stark children are together again. Finally.

What is up with that Dagger?

The dagger is making its triumphant return this season. Appearing in a book Sam was reading, now Littlefinger gives it to Bran who, in return, gives it to Arya. I’m curious how this dagger will come into play. It feels like Bran gave Arya the dagger for a reason. She is the perfect person to wield it. She showed her prowess with that in her mini-battle with Brienne, which kicked ass. I love seeing the skills Arya has picked up over the years. The look Bran gave her, however, when he handed the dagger over seemed more significant than a, “I have no use for this, you take it” schpeel. What does he know? And what is Littlefinger planning?

Bran obviously knows more about the knife than Littlefinger expects. He pointed that out when he quoted Littlefinger on “Chaos is a ladder.” But what does Littlefinger have in mind by giving it to him? He also seemed a bit unnerved when he saw Arya use it, or fight in that particular style, or just show up in general. And Arya seemed very unhappy with his presence, as well. Will Arya eventually use it on him? And is Littlefinger familiar with no one?

Obviously, a lot more happened, but I can’t delve into it all without boring you to death with five pages of speculation and recapping. Tell me your thoughts about tonight’s episode in the comments below!

Game of Thrones airs Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.

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Carrie Hildebrand