The Spoils of War paid off with another amazing episode for Game of Thrones. Each episode this season has been high quality and this one played out more like the fourth installment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings than an HBO series. Every year it seems the production team outdoes itself with the big battle. This one was epic beyond a TV scope, rivaling some feature films.
We’ll get to that big fight in a bit. First let’s break down the important elements that might have been forgotten after flaming dragon battle.
Arya did return to Winterfell. Of all the Stark kids, she’s happily embraced her new status quo and found it a perfect fit. Initially, hesitant to return Sansa’s hug, Arya warmed up. No jealousy on Arya’s end. She’d much rather continue becoming the greatest fighter in the realm. Her training standoff with Brienne was telling of how far she’s come since water dancing with Syrio Forel.
Too bad the reunion of the three surviving Stark kids didn’t prove to be as joyous as it would have around Season 3. Sansa seems a little annoyed with Arya getting the dagger Littlefinger gave Bran and Bran’s brooding shtick has grown super tiring. On that front, I agree with Sansa.
Sure Bran’s in his teen emo phase of struggling to find his identity, but he’s upping the brooding to 11. This Three Eyed Raven is so not you Bran, but at least he’s committed to it dismissing poor Meera without so much as a goodbye hug. Kinda puts losing your brother for this ingrate in perspective, huh?
Jaime and Bronn divvied up the spoils of war — in this case, the gold hard earned from taking down the Tyrells. Bronn had a good laugh learning Randyll Tarly’s son was named Dickon. This is a friendly reminder, pretty much every GOT fan is completely on board with a Jaime and Bronn spin-off…assuming they survive of course.
At the amazing looking Dragonstone (this is a breathtaking location), Jon shows Daenerys the cave of dragon glass. It’s sorta weird reading all these Jon/Danerys shippers who turn around and are repulsed about Jaime and Cersei. Jon shows Daenerys drawings of the Children of the Forest and the White Walkers. Daenerys won’t budge until Jon bends (the knee).
This posturing will have to wait for later as Daenerys learns of the fall of House Tyrell and wants payback. For once, I was kind of on Daenerys’ side when she went in on Tyrion. His schemes have so far failed spectacularly. Besides, who needs to plan when you’ve got dragons. That’s like having Beyonce as part of your high school talent show routine. Complete overkill.
Every scene with Jon, Daenerys and Tyrion has delivered big time and this might have been the strongest. Side note: how cool is Ser Davos for making sure folks give Jon ‘King of the North’ their full respect? Jon reunited with his ‘brother’ when Theon returned only to learn the queen is out.
Daenerys partially took Tyrion and Jon’s advice and didn’t siege King’s Landing. Instead, she led the Dothraki and one of her dragons on Jaime’s forces. This predictably did not go well for Jaime’s forces. Since Daenerys has the dominant two armies in the Unsullied and Dothraki why has she waited at all to take the Iron Throne? The Dothraki was on full murder death kill mode wiping out the Lannister army in a number of creative ways from sword slinging, spear tossing and horseback boosting archery. They were impressive.
The Lannister army proved no competition. This was easily the most one-sided battles since the Red Wedding. Director Matt Shakman made his GOT debut a memorable one with some epic shots of roasted Lannister soldiers, flames littering the battlefield and Bronn and Jaime desperately searching for answers.
When Bronn managed to land a Bard the Bowman-like shot on Daenerys’ dragon, the tide seemingly turned. Ready to take down another monarch, Jaime was ready to be renamed The Queenslayer. Tyrion saw this play out and didn’t want to see his dear brother roasted. Fortunately someone came and pushed Jamie out of the way of the inferno at the last minute. The Jaime/Bronn spin-off still has legs people!
We’ve only got three more episodes this season, but they’re going to have to be pretty much perfect to top The Spoils of War, another landmark episode in the series.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10
Photo Credit: HBO