OnScreen Recap: Game of Thrones The Spoils of War
The following contains spoilers for Season 7 Episode 4 of Game of Thrones.
At Dragonstone Jon takes Daenerys into the caves. This scene reminds viewers of a little about the ancient lore from the books. The first people who came to Westeros and at first fought with the Children of the Forest. They finally joined together to fight the Others and push them back beyond the Wall. Jon has found Chauvet style drawings of the Night King and White Walkers left by the Children of the Forest that tell this story. The circles and spirals within the cave spring up often throughout the series. It appears that Dany is starting to soften and she agrees to fight with Jon, only if he bends the knee. They exit the cave and Dany receives word that Casterly Rock has been taken. Olenna is lost, along with Highgarden. Yara Greyjoy is also still held by Euron.
Theon washes up on Dragonstone at Jon Snow’s feet. Theon has regained some of his senses. When he asks about Sansa, Jon grabs him and says the only reason he is alive is because he helped Sansa escape Ramsay Bolton’s hand. If viewers are confused by Jon’s outrage, it might be because Jon believes that Theon had killed Bran and Rickon. (Theon would have killed them, at the first opportunity.) Theon is there to ask for help from Daenerys.
Littlefinger gives Bran Catspaw, the dagger that was meant to kill him in season one. It my seems sincere, but many viewers who are privy to Littlefinger’s character might think that Littlefinger is trying to get on Bran’s good side. Possibly because Littlefinger played a role in Ned Stark’s death. Bran echoes Littlefinger’s words “Chaos is a ladder” back at him. Meera enters and Baelish exits. Meera tells Bran that she is leaving. Bran is emotionless at her departure, reminding the audience why he is many viewers least favorite Stark child. Meera has tears in her eyes when she reminds him that her brother, Hodor, his direwolf Summer all died to protect him and deliver him home. Not to mention a lifetime of trauma his paradoxical time traveling caused Hodor.
Arya finally returns home to Winterfell. She is rebuked by the guards In a scene that parallels one in the first season. This scene shows how strong Arya has truly grown throughout the run if the show. Arya and Sansa are reunited in the crypts of Winterfell. The actresses are friends in real life and their kinship shows in this scene. The sisters grew up at odds with each other. Bran and Arya are reunited at last. Bran gifts Arya the Valyrian steel dagger that Littlefinger gave him. Viewers might be reminded that Valyrian steel is very rare and is coveted by the people of Westeros. It is considered priceless. It also is one of the few things that can kill the Others and White Walkers. Perhaps Arya will get a few kills in the battles with the others. Whatever happens, it is amazing to see the Stark children together once again.
Brienne and Arya spar together in the courtyard. In the books, Arya is a combination of all of her training and experience. That really showed in the choreography and performance. This fight was fun, and it was eerily parallel of the trial by combat between the Mountain and the Viper that sealed Tyrion’s fate.
An incredible war scene acts as the finale of the episode. A wild hoard of Dothraki blood-riders attack the Lannister army. The army braces for impact with shields and spears. The horse lords appear over a ridge, screaming and brandishing their arakh blades. Jaime assures Bronn that there is hope for survival, when we hear the cry of Drogon. The dragon sets the army aflame. Bron shoots Drogon with Qyburn’s projectile and injures the animal. Drogon plummets, but recovers and annihilates the scorpion. Jaime watches his army is burned alive and slaughtered. Viewers can almost hear the echo of the Mad King’s rants in his head.
Tyrion looks on the scene in horror to see his beloved brother and his queen in battle. Tyrion commentary echoes the feelings of the viewer, whispering “Flee, you idiot!” Drogon is on the ground and Dany is trying to tend to his wound. The Kingslayer gallantly attacks Daenerys joust -style. Drogon whips his head around and attempts to blowtorch the knight. Jaime is shoved out of the way by Bronn.
This episode was an incredible chapter in the story. It really pulled parallels from earlier seasons and brought lore in from the books. The lore was enough to excite book fans, and inform the more causal show fan. The Dothraki unleashed was incredibly exciting. In earlier seasons the Dothraki are obviously feared. Robert Baratheon is quoted in saying “Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field.” he standout scene was obviously the end battle. The practical effects and stunts were phenomenal. It will be a long week to see what happens next.