Hi guys. As everyone anticipates the third episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season tonight, I’m here to look at last week’s episode and the trailer and try to predict in some small way where the story is going. Last week I successfully called that there would be a naval battle in Stormborn. Will I be as successful this week? Probably not.
• Starting with the end, because it’s the biggest event on everyone’s mind, I didn’t interpret Theon’s fleeing as the return of Reek. Theon made a calculated decision for Yara’s survival. If he rushed Euron both he and Yara would likely have been killed. At least this way, Yara is alive and Theon can get word to Daenarys quickly.
• On the point of keeping Yara alive though, it seems unnecessary. Euron already controls the Iron Isles so in fact killing Yara would solidify his rule. And kinslaying doesn’t seem like a moral distinction that would bother Euron. The only reason I can think to keep Yara and Ellaria Sand alive is that part of Euron’s gift is to let Cersei decide what to do with them.
• Arya meeting with Nymeria has been anticipated for a few seasons and it was a nice scene. What I took from the scene was the confirmation that Arya hasn’t lost that inherent Stark relationship with the North. For so long Arya’s story has been a battle of identity that there was a question of just how much of herself she gave up to become the assassin she wanted to be.
• Jon continues to make the best decisions for Westeros despite arguments from almost everyone around him. There is a definite risk here that the meeting could be a trap or that Daenarys could react violently, but Jon understands that they can afford to be cautious and isolationist as they prepare for the coming of the Night’s King. I can’t wait for the interaction between Jon and Dany and Davos reaction when he sees Melisande again.
• I was a little surprised at how viciously Daenarys went after Varys in that opening scene. It cleared the air and set up the scene with Melisande but damn I actually feared for Vary’s life at least two or three times during that scene. Given Olenna’s advice and Euron’s first strike, Dany’s reaction may be a full-on dragon assault on King’s Landing.
• Qyburn’s giant bow and arrow was a hilarious reveal. In execution, I can’t imagine that they’ll be easy to aim and living dragons aren’t going to sit still like the bones do. No doubt they’ll deal some damage, but historically armaments weren’t terribly effective in fending off dragon invasions.
From The Queen’s Justice trailer it looks like Daenarys has a major decision to make. There are multiple shots of her looking out towards King’s Landing and her statement that she was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms seems like a clear statement of intent against those who feel like last week’s naval battle was a severe blow to her invasion.
We also see scenes of Jon arriving at Dragonstone and in the throne room with Daenarys. It’s all just hype though. The trailer gives away nothing for what we might expect from the meeting but following on from Cersei’s first strike, I don’t imagine Daenarys will be in the best of moods. I don’t think anyone believes that Jon will actually be burnt alive at this stage of the season but I do anticipate another intense scene such as the Daenarys/Varys scene from last week.
Most of the other scenes are of the Unsullied’s assault on Casterly Rock. I think the Unsullied will be victorious here, balancing the wins in the war so far. One interesting question is where Jaime is. There’s a shot of him walking underneath an arch and I believe Vary’s line ‘They know we’re coming’ may be about Casterly Rock. Jaime’s shot looks like there could be a battle going on in the background, possibly placing him at his family home during the Unsullied attack. For an interesting parallel to the War of the Five Kings, I can envision Jaime being captured again.
The only other scene worth talking about is a shot of Sansa in the Godswood, looking somewhat worried or shocked. It could just be some event in Winterfell that demands her attention, or some shocking news from Littlefinger, but I expect the true reason may be Arya’s return. Or a letter about Bran at the wall. Goodness knows we haven’t heard from him since the first episode.
There we have it, what has been and what will be in terms of Game of Thrones this week. Thanks for reading and join me again next week for Episode 3 notes and trailer analysis. To keep up to date with these reviews you can click the follow button to the left or follow me on social media. As ever if you want to read less reviewy and more narrative, you can read my second fiction novel, Carrion Youth, over at Swoonreads.