Back for week two, against our better judgement, and boy do we maybe sort of regret it after this episode.
This Sunday’s showing, “Stormborn” takes us all over Westeros and gives us just one more reason to start looking up that mindfulness thing that everyone keeps talking about on Instagram because therapy is too expensive.
Let’s begin in Dragonstone. Home and ready for the grand conquest, Dany turns to those surrounding her for council. While the impulsive and vicious Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand would both prefer to burn the Red Keep to the ground, Tyrion suggests a more calculated entry in King’s Landing that involves the capturing of Casterly Rock and the less violent invasion of Cersei’s trash fire (pun intended) of a kingdom. Olenna Tyrell suggests that Dany should rely on her own wit and wisdom instead of her male advisors, to which we want to say “Hear, hear!” but we have a hard time doing because let’s be honest, Daenerys may be the queen of dragons and fire, but she is not always the queen of making good decisions. Tyrion’s plan it is! Greyworm will head to Casterly Rock with the Unsullied, but not before a little action with his girl, Missandei.
Tyrion, with the help of Melisandre, also convinces Dany that Jon Snow should be granted audience with her. Melisandre has now done two things that don’t suck, but that’s probably because anything that has to do with Jon Snow is usually the only part of the show that contains any morality or common sense.
Insert a sentence about fan theories here.
At Winterfell, Jon receives Daenerys and Tyrion’s call to Dragonstone, but has a hard time convincing his people that it’s the correct move. Sansa and Ser Davos believe that abandoning his loyal followers at Winterfell will cause dissarray, but after learning of the dragon glass from Sam, he feels he himself must go. He names Sansa his regent and leaves with Ser Davos, but not before threatening Littlefinger with death if he continues his close watch over Sansa. It’s about time somebody put that deceitful weasel in a chokehold.
We move next to Oldtown, where Sam is working tirelessly to disobey Archmaester Ebrose, it seems. Between stealing from the library to find information on white walkers and attempting to cure Jorah of greyscale, he’s become our unsung hero. It turns out that doing intern work and reading books really does work!
At King’s Landing, Cersei prepares for war. Randyll Tarly, Sam’s dad and utmost portrayer of fragile masculinity, is offered Lordship of the South in exchange for being Jaime’s second-in-command. Meanwhile, Qyburn, who is like if Dr. Frankenstein and Igor had a child and that child turned out to be a casual serial killer, has made what is essentially a crossbow for a giant that Cersei’s armies will be able to use to “slay dragons.”
Now, we’re not sure about the future here in Westeros, but unless that crossbow is doused in poison and there’s 40 of them, Qyburn isn’t killing anything. You would think that this might be something he’d think up. He does a lot of weird shit. But let’s not give him the benefit of the doubt on this one because although he looks like he’s been alive for 13 centuries, something tells me he’s never seen or fought a real dragon (or fought anyone/anything at all.)
And speaking of King’s Landing, the town’s future queen slayer, Arya, is on her way when she stops into a small inn for a meal. She finds her old companion Hot Pie there, who tells her that the North has been won back by Jon. As she struggles to decide which way to head now, she is brought face to face with her direwolf, Nymeria, now the alpha of a large pack, who does not at all wish to be reunited with her old master. Hearts are hurting, but it’s doubtful that this is the last we will see of these wolves (motions dramatically to the books that contain very important information about Stark children and their warg abilities).
We end now with a scene so wild that the world needed days, full DAYS, to recover. As Yara Greyjoy and her fleet of iron born prepare instruction for Daenerys, they are attacked and surrounded by Euron Greyjoy. Amidst wreckless fire and gruesome battle, Yara, Ellaria and Tyene Sand are taken captive. Euron himself has Yara confined, knife to her throat. Theon looks on from across the ship, and in the moment he has to save her or sacrifice himself, he jumps overboard. End scene.
Let’s take a minute to heavily sigh here. The very moment Theon Greyjoy threw himself over the side of that ship, every person tuned into HBO gasped dramatically only to follow that with what one imagines are words that aren’t allowed on this website. Theon is not the most likable character. In most lists, he probably doesn’t even crack the top 20, but …
He deserves a little bit of a break here. Theon endured what no person could imagine as a captive of Ramsey Bolton. Being tortured, castrated, etc., is not something that leaves a person mentally untouched. Theon’s betrayal of the Stark’s, people who were his second family, was worthy of some punishment, but you could argue that Martin maybe overdid it a bit. Being thrown into the midst of that violence surely awakened a number of fears for Theon and though you might find his abandonment of his family slightly cowardly, you’ve got to give him some slack.
There are arguments for both sides of the Theon scene, but one thing is clear. Euron has his gift, and it’s ready to be given.