Last weeks episode was good, but I had no inclination to recap what had happened. I didn’t feel it necessary, as it was a pretty clinical and straightforward episode. Jon and Dany met, and Olenna Tyrell was killed, only after telling Jaime that she was the one who killed Joffrey. I guess in hindsight, a lot happened, but I just didn’t feel it necessitated a recap.
This week, however, was very great. In an epic conclusion, (which ended on a cliffhanger no less) Dany’s Dothraki forces brutalized Jaime’s Lannister men. It was so fascinating to watch because you root for both Jaime and Dany. They are main characters, finally meeting in battle. You don’t want to lose either character, yet the conclusion of a battle typically means one side triumphs over the other. I hate Jaime’s side for being inherently evil (at least, for fighting a war for Cersei), yet I love Jaime because his character is so rich and complex.
It was one of the most conflicting battles I’ve seen on the show. While never being known for it’s depiction of strictly black and white/good and evil characterization, each battle before it has had a pretty clear good guy/bad guy. This battle had one developed character vs. another developed character, and it made for a riveting sequence (which landed both parties in hot water).
The earlier parts of the episode were great as well, dealing with Arya’s return to Winterfell (I never thought I would see the day) and Dany finding out about her Unsullied army being stranded at Casterly Rock.
Arya’s homecoming was what it needed to be: not very sentimental, and very matter of fact. She made the guards look like idiots, visited her father’s memorial, and reconnected with her siblings. And, ever the badass, Arya picked a fight with Brienne. In my opinion, she won easily.
My last note about the episode has to do with Jon taking Dany into the dragonglass mine. Within the mine, he explains that there is plenty of of glass for him to fight the army with, but he also finds cave paintings from the Children of the Forest, and the First Men. He deducts that they were fighting their common enemy, the White Walkers, and used this as a way to get Dany to fight with him.
Initially, I viewed this as somewhat lucky, for him to have found these cave paintings. But, it really does make sense. Dragonglass is used to kill the Walkers, and the Children would have needed to mine it from somewhere. So, in the end, it acted as a nice piece of expositional history, as well as an inciting incident to get Dany on Jon’s side completely. But, she still required him to bend the knee.
Great episode overall, with some great developments. It’s safe to say this is my favorite episode of the season so far.