GoT 7.2 Stormborn: A Review

Pre-episode Predictions

  • Arya will reunite with Nymeria and it will be sooo sweet! Will her vengeance drive her south or will Nymeria remind her of family and Starks and turn her north?
  • Jon learns of his parentage from Littlefinger and then for some reason chokes him a la Ned in the crypts.
  • Bronze Yohn goes on about Filthy Targs but is reigned in by some means by the end of the episode and plans to ally with Dany begin
  • There will be wonderful banter at Daenerys’ war table. There is a lot of ground for tension. Tyrion could call out Ellaria. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see a lot of this. With so few episodes left I think the action will increase and the private arguing, backroom politicking will decrease.
  • It’s about time for an epic naval battle. Looks to be between Greyjoys. Hopefully Theon stabs Euron. A boy can dream.

Stormborn Discussion

Wow. My predictions were surprisingly accurate. Granted, my view of Theon’s mental state just a tad too idyllic and I was way off on Littlefinger’s intentions. Still, I’m going to revel in my glory and relish my Seer status until next week. I’m certain I’ll never be so close again.

Episode 2 of Game of Thrones was mediocre, and I say that with a torn heart. Initially, I was sour on Stormborn but two days of space has restored calm and my hype-meter is at full steam once more. To begin, let’s get my one qualm out of the way. If you’ve already had your daily dose of cynicism scroll down to the divide and dive straight into the exciting things.

Euron Greyjoy is atrocious. I do not understand the fascination with his character. Have we been so conditioned by the show’s poor handling of the Greyjoys, from season four on, that anything not a dog turd is amazing? Please tell me people remember “twenty good men”? And the Kingsmoot, or lack thereof?

Show-Euron is a caricature, an over-the-top villain, that sprang from nowhere to advance the plot in a cheap, unearned way. Last season he arrived on cue, after murdering Balon, at the Kingsmoot. As a mash-up of book-Victarion and book-Euron there was plenty of material to draw on (we could have had Dragonbinder!). Instead we got dick jokes and man not fit to rule over a pebble, let alone the Iron Islands. Case in point: Yara and Theon steal his entire fleet. Really? We’re supposed to believe the most feared pirate in the world employs crews so easily overrun? Even more absurd, he orders the construction of a brand new fleet, in record time, which somehow is now the greatest armada in the world.

In a show lauded for its writing and portrayal of intricate political maneuverings does this hold up to scrutiny? No. As a result Euron’s victory Sunday night was hollow. That said Euron is fun, and the farther we get into Season 7 I’m finding it hard to hate him. Especially since he successfully destroyed the Sand Snakes and leaping onto a boat in chainmail (as Victarion would) while wielding an axe was thrilling. If he continues to be straight evil and take be more straight evil as book Euron I’m all in.

On to the good stuff! Despite what you just read, or skipped, I enjoyed the episode. There was a lot more for it than against it. For starters, Nymeria! Just look, look at her gloriousness! She’s massive.

Curse the writer who chose to make her leave. But rest assured, she will most certainly be back. As GRRM put it himself “you don’t hang a giant wolf pack on the wall unless you intend to use it.”

Arya got to spend this episode on memory lane. Thanks to another reunion with fan favorite and lovable Hot Pie, Arya learned that Winterfell is no longer under the control of the Dastardly Bolton’s. It seems that human interaction, courtesy of Ed Sheeran and Hot Pie, has warmed her heart. News of her family, a hot pie from Hot Pie, and some ale has turned her from her mission of vengeance and instead heads north.

Meanwhile, Bran is presumably going to head south from the Wall. That two Starks are converging on the rest of their family and their ancestral home should give us pause. In the past, Stark family get-togethers haven’t gone so well. The last time Arya was this close to family and happiness she arrived at the Twins on the night of the Red Wedding. Not the best track record. Still, discounting Jon, who’s on his way to pick up a wife (only half joking) we have the potential for a three-Stark meetup, converging on Queen Sansa in Winterfell.

Queen Sansa… Folks, I’m downright thrilled that she is the effective Queen in the North during Jon’s absence. It’s been a pet theory of mine for a long time and I’m glad to be vindicated if only slightly. I’ve been right too often these first two episodes. That means the story is predictable, and that means the tables are about to turn. Something big, something terrible will likely happen in the next several weeks.

Another Queen, Daenerys, namesake of the episode, holds the strangest war council in Westeros, replete with a eunuch, a wanted patricidal dwarf, the illegitimate rulers of Dorne, and the sassiest Grandma around. There’s a lot of tension and thankfully some dirt is aired rather than being swept under the rug. Tyrion confronts Ellaria about murdering his niece, Dany questions Varys’ loyalty, and when Mel arrives her loyalty and motives are finally questioned. This plotline ended with a lot of questions. Especially after Euron destroyed a good chunk of Dany’s fleet. We’ll have to wait til Sunday to find out the full ramifications of this but I think its safe to say that Jon will find himself on more even footing now that her position is a slightly more precarious.

Watching Cersei, in her best Trump impression, incite the few lords loyal to her into action against foreigners, was almost as bad as having to look at sniveling, ‘Bringin Shit Back from the Dead’ Qyburn. I will not stand for ‘Once-Maester’ Qyburn’s hijinx (just cause you’ve been studying your history doesn’t mean you have the right to bring down one of Dany’s dragons the way Meraxes was during the First Dornish War). Thanks to him the Lannister’s, for the first time this season, don’t look like they’ll be so easily raked over the coals and suddenly Field of Fire 2.0 just got that much more intense.

Finally, let’s discuss Samwell, the king of montages and transitions. While many find it disgusting I find his shit-capades kind of hilarious and hope this trend continues. This week on How to be a Maester he got to play surgeon, attempting to cure Ser Jorah of greyscale. I like that for a man who at times considers himself to be without bravery (even after being the first to slay a White Walker in thousands of years) Sam never ceases to help the weak and do what he thinks is right. Jorah is lucky to be in his hands. Will Jorah have the fire hand that the show omitted by replacing Victarion? Probably not. Will he defend Sam and Gilly as they attempt to flee Oldtown? Maybe. Will Archmaester Ebrose tag along with Sam and head to Dany as his book equivalent Archmaester Marwyn did? A summer-child can dream.

Week-Long Daydream Material

Here’s the trailer for episode 3, entitled The Queen’s Justice.

  • Game of Thrones has a penchant for titles with more than one meaning. At the moment there are three queens in power. Cersei, Daenerys, and Sansa. How will each of them dispense justice.
  • Sansa is in the Godswood in Winterfell. What shenanigans with Littlefinger will we get to witness?
  • Jon Snowgaryen and and Daenerys meet. Will there be a betrothal? We all know Game of Thrones needs more incest.
  • Something crazy will happen. Probably in the form of Cersei and Qyburn inventing horrible ways for Tyene and possibly Ellaria to die.

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