This week’s episode of Game of Thrones has been brought to you by revenge, brewing romance, and one woman’s lifelong dedication to fucking up Cersei Lannister. Let’s dive in.
Jon and Davos’ arrival at Dragonstone is, uh, rocky to say the least. They’re met by Tyrion and Missandei the Dothraki, who confiscate their weapons and shut down any notion of small talk during the 100-mile staircase hike to the castle. Tyrion and Jon briefly bond over my favorite topic, how underestimated Sansa is by everyone in this stupid show, before Drogon shows up to flex on his new guests and make things as tense as humanly possible.
Tyrion: Btw I didn’t fuck your sister.
Jon: Did not ask but tight.
Melisandre watches their arrival from the cliffs above, stealing a few longing glances at Jon before Varys catches her. It’s clear that he’s never going to trust her, and idk if it’s because she’s made a lot of shitty decisions over the past seven seasons or if there’s some other beef brewing that we don’t even know about.
She tells Varys to calm the fuck down because she will be leaving for Volantis now that she’s fulfilled her duty of bringing fire and ice together. Sounds ominous but also kind of like the setup for a straight-to-Netflix romantic comedy that I would absolutely watch.
While Varys is more than happy to see her go, Melisandre lets him know that this won’t be the last they see of each other in that special cryptic way that she prefers.
Melisandre: I will return to this land one more time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you.
Varys: “Bye” would have been fine too but okay.
Jon’s arrival to the throne room is less than welcoming. Political tension? Sexual tension? “We might be cousins” tension? All of the above.
Missandei: You stand in the presence Daenerys of the House Targaryen, rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.
Davos: Uh, this is Jon. He’s a bastard.
What follows is a pissing contest between two people who need to get over their differences really quick. Dany sets the record straight right off the bat, letting Jon and Davos know that they are either there to bend the knee or they are there to die. Jon reminds her that any oath of featly sworn by their ancestors was likely negated when her Dad started lighting members of his family on fire.
In a move that no one expected, and likely wouldn’t have even happened in a pre-Tyrion era, Dany apologizes for the mad king and asks Jon not to judge her for the sins of her father. Honestly, once all this shit is done, everyone in this show should just get that tattooed across their chests.
Dany: I am the last Targaryen.
Jon guesses that Dany hasn’t attacked King’s Landing yet because she doesn’t want to kill thousands of innocents, which earns him some points in her book. Points which he immediately loses when he goes on to say that all of them fighting in the Game of Thrones are sniveling children who need to come together and recognize their one true enemy: the goddamn frozen zombies that are inching ever closer. She’s just about as receptive to this news as you’d imagine.
Dany: A lot of shitty men have tried to stop me from ruling the Seven Kingdoms. You know what they all have in common?
Dany: They’re dead.
Jon: Should have seen that one coming.
Davos finally hops into the ring, going to bat for Jon and listing off his accomplishments like a proud pageant mom. His point is fair: that, much like Daenerys, Jon earned his position not because of his birthright, but because he inspired the people. Also coming back to life that one time probably didn’t hurt, but it looks like Jon is trying to keep that little detail a secret for now. Saving resurrection for a last-ditch bargaining chip, I guess.
Davos: You have dragons but have you been stabbed in the heart by a traitorous child.
Jon: Minor point, moving on.
The conversation ends there, with neither side agreeing to recognize the other’s rule, when Varys arrives with some bad news. Jon and Davos are sent away before they can hear that almost Dany’s entire ally fleet was taken over by Euron, leaving most of them dead. Looks like she might be in the market for some new friends after all.
Dany: Are they all dead?
Theon, hundreds of miles away: When will someone just let me die.
Hundreds of miles away, Theon gets plucked up out of the ocean by one of the few surviving Greyjoy fleets and, shocker, no one is happy to see him. It’s obvious that his still being alive means he had to have abandoned his sister and their men and it would appear that the only thing people from the Iron Islands like less than cowardice is bathing.
In the streets of King’s Landing, Euron is receiving a hero’s welcome as he marches through the city with Ellaria, Yara, and the last living Sand Snake tied to the back of his horse.
Euron: Can you believe what a twat Theon is?
Yara: I hate you but also it’s kind of hard to disagree with you in this moment.
Euron marches them all the way to Cersei’s throne room, where the Mountain Zombie and a room full of noblemen are waiting. It looks like Euron will actually deliver on his promise of an engagementworthy gift.
Cersei is so moved by Euron’s feat that she promises him what his heart desires…but not until the war is won. She also declares him leader of their navy and a friend of the Lannisters. In this moment, Yara and Jaime are on the same side, glaring daggers at Dark Captain Pacey Witter as he struts around to the applause of all the Lords in King’s Landing. Does Euron suck? For sure. But is it fun to watch him taunt Jaime about fucking his sister? You bet.
Euron: Brother to brother, how much of a freak is Cersei in the bedroom.
Jaime: I will stick my entire gold hand up your ass before this war is over, I promise you that.
Things aren’t looking good for Ellaria, who is now locked in a dungeon with Sir Gregor the Zombie while Cersei fondly remembers the time he crushed Oberyn’s skull with his bare hands. In a rare moment of vulnerability, Cersei drops her guard and asks Ellaria why she took her only daughter. It would have been a touching moment if she hadn’t followed it up by listing all the horrifying ways she thought about murdering Ellaria’s last child.
Cersei: I lie in bed and dream about ways of murdering my enemies
The whole world: * not surprised *
Instead of going for something dramatic and gruesome, Cersei settles for a super poetic poisoned kiss for the last Sand Snake, the same way Myrcella was murdered. Then she leaves Ellaria chained up opposite her daughter so that she can watch her die and then inevitably rot. The woman has not lost her touch.
Clearly this kind of ruthless act of violence puts Cersei in the mood, because she immediately leaves the cell to go fuck her brother. Did anyone else kind of forget that they did that? Just me? Cool. In case it wasn’t clear that she had completely stopped giving a single fuck about what anyone thought, Cersei answers the door to their room in a robe, with her brother lounging naked in bed behind her. Jaime has the decency to be embarrassed. Cersei, however, is glowing.
Servant: Your visitor from Braavos is here.
Cersei: Cool but I need new sheets. These ones are freshly covered in twin sex.
Cersei’s visitor is a representative of the Iron Bank, who is here to talk about Lannister debt and funding the winning side of the war.
Cersei: I have a bunch of wooden ships.
Banker: Yeah but the other side has got fucking dragons. DRAGONS.
Cersei promises the bank that their debt, as well as this war, will be solved in two weeks’ time. I love the confidence, but that’s a wild statement considering it takes a raven two weeks to get a letter anywhere in this country.
CLIFFSIDE BROODING, CONTINUED
Back at Dragonstone, Jon has sought solace in the one thing that brings him joy: dramatic pouting. Actual footage of him after his first interaction with Dany:
Tyrion: I came down here to brood but it appears you’re doing enough of that for the both of us
Jon: It’s my passion
Tyrion seeks Jon out to tell him that he believes the whole White Walker but, but that doesn’t necessarily matter because humans are really bad at dealing with issues that big when they could be petty instead.
Jon: I’m starting to think Sansa was right about coming down here. I’m just a Northern fool.
Sansa, a thousand miles away: I knew it.
Tyrion insists that Jon and Daenerys have more in common than he thinks and that staying and getting to know her would behoove all of them. Convincing people who know and trust him about the White Walkers was a battle, so why would someone who’s met him once be quicker to believe? It looks like Jon agrees, and in return asks Tyrion to help out his Dragonglass situation.
Tyrion: Jon wants to mine glass on our island to fight his zombies.
Dany: Honestly, what the fuck is up with this guy.
Tyrion urges Dany to let Jon mine the dragonglass as a show of trust and to keep Jon busy while they sort out their ally problem. She’s more occupied with that whole part where he took a dagger to the heart, but no one seems to have an answer for her on that front.
At last we’re gifted with the scene that we’ve all been waiting for: a one-on-one between Jon and Danaerys. The two come to what appears to be an uneasy truce. Dany admits that, considering she owns three pets that everyone thought were extinct, it’s likely that other unbelievable things could happen. Neither swears fealty to the other, but they also don’t declare war.
I get that this is a super important moment that thousands of internet theories and fan fiction pieces have hinged on, but all I can see is the classic “from enemies to lover” trope unfolding before our very eyes. Had a Temper Trap song been playing in the background, it could have been a romcomworthy montage of quick banter and lingering stares. The gist: everyone can bitch about incest all they want, but I see sparks.
Back in the war room, Dany tries to volunteer to fly her dragons directly to Euron’s fleet and reign literal fiery hell down upon them. No one is into that plan, which is probably good because none of them knew that his fleet was headed straight to Casterly Rock to help the Lannisters.
While Tyrion narrates the endless advantages of Casterly Rock, the siege begins. Tywin may have built his home to be impenetrable, he didn’t build the sewer system. Tyrion did. With this news, Greyworm sneaks inside Casterly Rock and lets the Unsullied army in.
While they are outnumbered and out-gunned, the Unsullied are unmatched in their dedication to their Queen. Greyworm and his forces did what all thought impossible: They took Casterly Rock. It could have been a victorious moment, if not for the fact they were only able to do so because Jaime took the majority of his army to Highgarden.
The Tyrell forces were no match for the Lannisters, which we all kind of expected. The Tyrell’s are made up of whip smart women and worthless men, which should honestly be their house motto at this point.
Olenna: Did we fight well?
Jaime: I mean, as well as you could.
Olenna: We’ve always been a bunch of pansies.
Jaime and Olenna’s cute little parley is one of my favorite parts about both of these characters: their ability to show civility in the face of war. Well, as civil as you can possibly be while using your remaining living minutes to talk shit on your captor’s sister/lover.
Olenna: You know she’s batshit crazy right?
Jaime: Yeah I’m acutely aware.
In the end, despite his questionable loyalties, Jaime shows Olenna mercy in her time of death. Rather than letting Cersei flay her and hang her from the walls of King’s Landing, he offers her some painless poison. She downs it and uses her last words to let Jaime know that she was the one who killed Joffrey. That sound you hear is the whole fucking world screaming.
Olenna: I murdered Joffrey. Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.
While Jon is living out his best life in Dragonstone, Sansa is spending the beginning of her rule in a shockingly responsible way: stocking up on food for the winter and ensuring the safety of her people. Groundbreaking stuff. Naturally, Petyr is following her every step and sniffing her hair whenever he gets the chance.
Baelish: I know Cersei better than anyone here.
Sansa: You know nothing better than anyone here.
He offers Sansa some creepy guidance about not trusting anyone, as if this is fucking news. No shit. This girl hasn’t been able to trust anything in about six years, but thanks for the advice. Luckily, their chat is cut short by yet another Stark reunion. I mean, not the one we wanted, but it’ll do.
Bran rides into the gates of Winterfell and he couldn’t possibly look less impressed. I get that the kid has seen some shit, but idk, maybe smile at your long-lost sister for half a second before you dive into the horrors of your life?
Sansa: You’re the Lord of Winterfell, Bran.
Bran: Nah, I’m the three-eyed raven.
Sansa: Cool so you’re weird now, too.
Sansa, much like the rest of us, is having a hard time grasping what exactly Bran is supposed to be doing here. His explanation of his role as the Three-Eyed Raven isn’t the most conclusive and she seems skeptical about this ability to see everything. Instead of, I don’t know, using more than two cryptic sentences to explain what’s happened to him, he starts talking about how beautiful she looked on her wedding day. The one that he wasn’t present for.
Sufficiently creeped out, Sansa leaves Bran to brood by the Weirwood. To be fair, someone has to do it while Jon is gone.
After what had to be the longest, most painful exfoliation process of all time, it looks like Sam might have actually saved Jorah. While neither of them tell the Archmaester what they did, he catches on anyway. Probably because people don’t just up and heal themselves from Grayscale.
Instead of getting expelled for disobeying a direct order, the Archmaester is actually proud of Sam. I’m sure it was a weird sensation for him, as it’s likely the first time in his life a paternal figure has ever shown him anything but disgust. Sam’s heroic act is then rewarded by being forced to transcribe a bunch of old scrolls. Even when he wins, he can’t really win.
Now a free man, we can all expect Jorah to be back at Dany’s side by sundown. If one man’s devotion could power an army, the White Walkers wouldn’t even stand a chance.
MVB: Olenna Tyrell
After ruling for God knows how many years as the Shade Queen of Winterfell, Olenna retires her throne and uses her last words to deliver news that will emotionally destroy her greatest enemy. May we all one day find the power to be able to topple men in two sentences or less.