Welcome back everyone to another week of me discussing the Game of Thrones episode from last week and looking ahead to what we might be able to expect from tonight’s episode. We’re currently past the half way mark now and are rapidly moving towards the season finale. This would usually mean a gear change in terms of action and drama but this season has been moving so quickly already. I can’t believe the end of the series as a whole is only nine episodes away… let’s not think about it, ok? For now, we can just focus on The Spoils of War.
- Damn, that battle man…
- That Battle
- Daenarys finally taking to the field with Drogon was the heart-stopping affair that it needed to be. From one moment to the next, I was holding my breath and sitting on the edge of my seat worried that Jaime was going to get burnt, or Bronn would get eaten, or Drogon would take a spear to the face or Daenarys would get thrown off. There was so much tension and suspense in one battle and it was wonderful.
- Maybe one can remove armour underwater but can it be done one-handed? On the other hand, I doubt that Jaime is just going to sink to the bottom and disappear. Unless they fish him out and the audience see a body everyone will be expecting him to show up at pivotal moments for the rest of the series.
- The battle also marked a nice compromise between not burning the innocent and still utilising the dragons and the Dothraki in combat. The only people who got burnt were enemy soldiers (and their supply chains).
- I also enoyed the sparring match between Brienne and Arya. Some people are decrying the fact that Arya was able to match a seasoned fighter blow for blow but I’m also not sure that Brienne was actually going all out anyway. And she did manage to knock Arya down so it’s not like Arya was completely untouchable.
- Bran’s ‘Chaos is a ladder’ comment to Littlefinger was perfect. Littlefinger is always trying to find an in where he can make himself indispensable. Bran immediately shut that down. And his giving the dagger to Arya also seems important. Most likely Bran has seen the body she stabs with it. I doubt that she’ll be on the front line against the army of the dead.
- The cave scene and some of Davos comments confirm that they’re moving towards a Daenarys/Jon romance. Neither of them have time for that just yet but I expect there to be a lot of these little moments of drawing the two closer and closer over the next season and a half.
Looking ahead to episode five tonight, one of the bigger points to mention is what the trailer doesn’t show than what it does. There are no shots of Bronn or Jaime. While Bronn likely swam out of the lake and just didn’t make it into the trailer, the absence of Jaime suggests he won’t be fished out in this episode. Maybe they didn’t want to give away that he survived, but if he did I feel that the trailer would have wanted to show Daenarys in the process of deciding his fate. Instead we simply see images of the dragon Queen addressing the surviving soldiers and images of Tyrion looking disturbed by her ‘bend the knee or die’ stance.
Following on from that, Varys is challenging Tyrion to make Daenarys listen to reason. There’s a tactic in film and television to insert lines into trailers implying a conflict when the line in the final release is actually said about something else. I think this is one of those cases. I believe Benioff and Weiss are trying to paint Tyrion and Varys as being wary of Daenarys following her use of Drogon in battle but that line could just as easily be in relation to Daenarys’ refusal to help with the attack at Eastwatch or a possible planned assault on King’s Landing.
The reason I mention King’s Landing is because the trailer does show us Cersei and Qyburn, with the former declaring that they will stand against any attack. It seems that she may have heard about the Lannister defeat but not about Jaime. This only further strengthens the theory that he is still in the water because I have no doubt that any after action reports would have mentioned that Jaime was eaten by a dragon. And I’d have to believe that if Cersei thought that she’d lose Jaime that she’d be a bit more emotional here. Losing her children is one thing but Jaime and Cersei have been inseparable since they were children. Jaime went so far as to join the kingsguard just to be close to Cersei. Their bond is so deep that I imagine Cersei would be inconsolable were Jaime to be killed. Instead she is shown as cold and stoic as she has been in these past few episodes, and her words suggest that they’re preparing to defend the capital.
The main issue, however, is undoubtedly the pending attack on Eastwatch by the sea, the east most castle of the Wall. This is where Jon sent Tormund Giantsbane and where the Hound and the Brotherhood without Banners were last seen on route to. So at least it’s likely to be defended. But the trailer reveals that Jon is petitioning Dany’s support to defend the castle. And it’s nice to see Jon being open minded about Bran’s visions, given everything he himself has seen beyond the wall. I could see Dany again pressing the need for Jon to bend the knee, causing Tyrion and Varys to feel that they must convince her to help regardless. There’s also a theory floating about that Jon already bent the knee in that cave, in which case perhaps Daenarys is willing to help and Tyrion and Varys are worried about taking their eye off Cersei? Either way, I fully expect to see another dragon in action soon, this time burning wights and taking names. Whether the White Walkers will be as defenceless as the Lannister army remains to be seen though.
Major battles in Game of Thrones have been traditionally saved for the penultimate episode of the season. This can be seen in season 6 with the Battle of the Bastards or in season 2’s battle at the Blackwater. But this season we’ve already gotten a major battle in the 4th episode and another one looks to be coming in the 5th episode. Either tonight’s battle will continue next week or they’re building to something even more substantial in episode 6. Personally, I think it’ll be the former. The battle at Eastwatch will begin with those already there battling to keep the White Walkers back and end with Dany and her dragon, possibly with the Lannister soldiers that she recruits, arriving. Next week will see a long, drawn out battle accumulating in the fall of the wall and possibly the death of a dragon, leaving episode 7 to show our protagonists regrouping and possibly Cersei taking the opportunity to strike back in some way. On the other hand, that sequence might be kind of obvious but from my perspective that’s where the season looks to be heading.
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