S7 Ep. 4 “Spoils of War”: A Game of Thrones Recap and Recollection
*WARNING* Spoilers for “Spoils of War”
Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones fulfilled expectations that were set since season one while also delivering scenes that fans didn’t know they needed to see. GoT continues to use its unbelievable character development and intricate tapestry of stories lines to surprise views who think they have the show figured out to a tee. With action on multiple fronts and every character beloved and despised at risk, only the expression be ready for anything and everything comes to mind. Though GoT’s calling card is killing off the most adored protagonists (and antagonists, but those hurt considerably less. If Ramsay or Joffrey’s death ruined your night you might need therapy), this season has so many main characters in harms way that its not who may die anymore but when and how that has the little birds talking. Though never having a long absence of heartbreak GoT has always passed itself when ripping the rug out from under its fan with a good old-fashion beheading or a knife to the heart. But now with all our favorite character in close quarters it seems the training wheels are off and we are headed for a norm of lords and ladies of Westeros being thinned down to inevitably be the army that will be around to fight the true enemy to the north
WHAT HAPPENED HIGHLIGHTS
The Last Wolf Returns Home
This episode marks the return home of many fans favorite and professional Frey slayer, Arya “No One” Stark. With all the remaining Starks back in Winterfell (minus Jon, who is on Dragon Stone “persuading” Dany to join the cause) one would think the Starks as a family would be as strong as ever and ready to face any foe. Unfortunately, though being the most enlightened and aware out of all the people around them or even in their world, the gap between the siblings only seems to grow and may leave them unable to handle the enemies that reside in their own house (never trust Little Finger for a million reason). Brandon Stark as a person and a young boy seems to have left entirely and only the criptic Three-Eyed Raven remains to send ominous messages his families way. Meanwhile, the surviving Stark sisters reunite only to see that their journeys have taken them in very different directions and their childhood differences may have evolved into something more adult and potentially troublesome. Sansa going from being a prisoner of war and forced marriage to being in control of the north and Arya going from a girl alone to someone whose fighting skills and cunning allow her to go toe to toe with Breanne showcase the contrast between the way they have both approached playing this game they were forced into since their father was killed.
Dragon Glass and a Common Enemy
Still on Dragon Stone, our favorite zombie king in the north Jon Snow(we gotta remember he died people, he’s at least a frankentein) is about to mine the dragon glass that fills the island stronghold that may be the salvation of everyone we hold so dear in the seven kingdoms. Before “Hacking it to bits”, as King Snow put it so poetically, Jon takes Dany on a tour of the caverns and she is given a crash course Westeros mythology lesson. Cave paintings or carving line the cave showing depictions of not only the Children but also the First Men. The most outstanding part of this whole expedition into the dragon glass caves was the depiction of what the Children and First Men joined together to defeat which is clearly the Night King himself along with his fellow Whites with him. This stirs Dany to reach out even further to the king in the north though still she insists he bends the knee to her as queen. Now if Dany can convince Jon to kneel or if she will help him without reciprocation remains to be seen.
Death by Horse and Fire
This episode marks the first for many things on the show that strives to exceed conventional expectations. First and foremost this episode was handled with gusto by guest director by guest director Matt Shakman, who has lent his talents to wildly popular FX shows like Fargo and It’s Always Sunny in Philidalphia and other television classics like Boston Legal and Mad Men. Though what seems to be his first swing at a fantasy series of this magnitude Shakman handles it with a confidence that makes this episode stand up with the likes of the series most praised installments like Watchers on the Wall(S4 EP.9) and The Battle of the Bastards(S6 EP9). The other firsts of this episode showcased the descent of a full-grown dragon on an unprepared army, ambushing Dothroki Screamers, and two popular characters fighting to what very well could be the death if we are being honest with ourselves. This encounter laid the cards down on Dany’s end and from what it seems it may be more then enough to handle the armies of Westeros, at least in open combat.
My Top Pick
*My absolute favorite thing about what ever I’m writing about at the time*
My Top Pick this time around may seem a bit weak but I thought it snuck up on me more then anthing this episode. My Top Pick has to be the reunion between the newly crowned king in the north and his fathers ward who took the castle he grew up in. Jon and Theon crossing paths, though short and possibly there only to Segway into the amazing battle that takes place after, still surprised. Just with the mention, “Is that a Greyjoy ship?”, I was shot with a jolt of eagerness I had no idea I had waiting for me. These characters have been through so much, so far way for one another, but the hate Jon has for Theon that may seem old to us is still very fresh. As I said at the beginning this was a moment I didn’t know I needed to see but I’m so happy I did.