Oh, did you think last week’s Battle of Winterfell was going to be the end of heartbreak and tragedy on Game of Thrones? While some fans bemoaned the lack of marquee names that got the axe, after two huge deaths in last night’s episode, no one could be blamed for wanting to return to a simpler, less deadlier time.
Yes, Game of Thrones dispatched two big characters last night in bloody, dramatic fashion, but that wasn’t the only source of heartache.
Let’s review how the winners of the war with the Night King (briefly) celebrated their victory before agonizing in defeats.
Meanwhile, at Winterfell …
Time for one last goodbye to the fallen from last week’s great Battle of Winterfell. Daenerys weeps over Jorah’s body, Jon looks over little Lyanna Mormont and even Sansa slips a Stark pin onto Theon’s corpse before the many, many, many funeral pyres are set ablaze.
The mood shifts from solemn to celebratory inside as everyone lets loose with food and drink. Gendry is on the lookout for his Night Kingslaying crush, but before he can find her, Daenerys calls him out in front of everyone.
“Hey! Aren’t you one of those Baratheons that systematically hunted down my whole family?” Dany questions, menacingly.
Gendry explains that he’s a bastard who barely even knew his father. Instead of having the hunky blacksmith Dracarys’d into a sexy BBQ skewer, she instead legitimizes him as a Baratheon and names him Lord of the Stormlands. Neat!
He’s so excited he runs to Arya and proposes on the spot. She can be the Lady of the Stormlands! Wouldn’t that be neat?!
Oh, you sweet summer child. Of course Arya doesn’t want to be a Lady. That’s not who she is, and it never will be.
Back inside the hall, the party is getting lit. It’s basically one, big medieval fantasy “Turn Down For What.” Tormund proceeds to boot and rally like he’s a cast member on Vanderpump Rules, and he sings the praises of Jon Snow so loudly, it makes Dany’s head split. Seeing how the Northerners revere her lover-nephew (yikes), makes her wary.
She finds him privately and wonders on a scale of one to make out with your aunt, exactly how drunk is he? They kiss (mercifully) briefly, before Dany tries to convince Jon to keep the whole thing about them being related just between them (and Sam and Bran). Jon tries to assure her he has no intention of challenging her claim to the throne, but she’s seen the way the people look up to him. Jon, of course, is virtuous to a fault (it’s what got him stabbed to the death in the first place), so he asks to at least share the secret with Sansa and Arya. With Sansa already breathing down her neck, Dany’s not on board with arming her with information that could be used to undermine her claim to the throne. If he just keeps this secret, they can be together like before.
Not everyone is so unlucky in love on this night. Brienne, Pod, Tyrion and Jaime find themselves playing something of a Westerosi version of “Never Have I Ever,” but when the talk turns to Brienne’s virginity, the newly knighted Ser Tarth abruptly excuses herself from the table. Jaime follows, leaving a poor, dejected Tormund looking on.
(He’s not down for long, since a friendlier female hits on him soon after. Another woman picks up Podrick, but a third strikes out with the Hound. Don’t worry about him, he has a great little chat with Sansa where she tells him if it weren’t for the horrors she suffered at the hands of Littlefinger and Ramsay, she would’ve been a Little Bird forever.)
A drunken Jaime follows Brienne to her room, and it’s not long before they’re stripping down by the fire. “I’ve never slept with a knight before,” he says dryly. “I’ve never slept with anyone before,” she replies. Get it, gurl!
Sansa and Dany clash over strategy, as the former advocates for giving the troops some rest before engaging Cersei. Daenerys, frankly, ain’t got time for that, and they both look to Jon for backing. True to his word (like always), Jon supports his queen, running afoul of his sisters.
The Stark siblings ask him for a word by the Weirwood tree, and it takes all of moments before Jon spills the beans. Well, actually, he has Bran do the honors (and worse yet, we don’t even get to see it happen, so who knows their immediate reactions).
Just as quickly as Jon blabbed to Sansa, she turns around and tells Tyrion. Is this Game of Thrones or Mean Girls? Can anyone keep a secret? Who has eyes on Varys’ Burn Book?
Meanwhile, en route to Dragonstone …
On ships en route to Dragonstone, Tyrion and Varys discuss how they deal with the news of Jon Snows true lineage. (Oh, also, Varys know now, too.) Missandei and Grey Worm are being cute up on the deck, and Dany is flying Drogon beside an injured (but still alive!) Rhaegal.
Oops, spoke too soon! Rhaegal is blasted out of the sky by one of Qyburn’s giant crossbow bolts courtesy a sneak attack from Euron’s ships. They’ve all been outfitted with Qyburn’s devices, which, turns out, can destroy ships just as well as they decimate dragons.
Most of our crew washes up ashore, but no sign of Missandei.
Meanwhile, at King’s Landing …
Cersei is quite pleased with Euron’s work sinking Dany’s ships, so she rewards him with some good news! She’s pregnant! And it’s his!
(No, it’s not.)
At Tyrion’s behest, Daenerys shows up at King’s Landing with Grey Worm, Drogon, Tyrion and a smattering of Unsullied to give Cers an official shot at surrender. We all know she’s not gonna go for it, but if they put the onus on her, it’s her fault if thousands get flambéed by Drogon in the process.
Cersei awaits them on a high wall with the Mountain, Euron, a bunch more of Qyburn’s dragon-busting scorpions and a captive Missandei. Tyrion appeals to her love of her unborn child, but Cersei is unmoved. Instead, she has the Mountain behead Missandei and shove her off the wall.
At least she had the courtesy to give her the opportunity to say some last words, which Missandei uses to defiantly shout “DRACARYS!”
Meanwhile, back at Dragonstone …
Varys and Tyrion begin to confront the reality that they may have bet on the wrong horse here. Not necessarily in the Dany/Cers clash, but banking on Dany over Jon Sno-, I’m sorry, Aegon Targaryen. His Stark and Targaryen heritage is an impressive pedigree, plus he’s got the temperament that Dany seems to struggle to maintain. Now that she’s lost another dragon and one of her most beloved advisors, who knows how long before we’ve got TWO Mad Queens on our hands … and have you seen two mad queens fight before? Gurl, it’ll be a bloodbath.
Meanwhile, back in Winterfell …
Tormund and the Wildlings are going back to Castle Black, and Jon is sending his direwolf, Ghost, with them. Sam and Gilly are peacing out too, and, by the way, Gilly is pregs with Sam’s baby, which they will name Jon if it’s a boy. (I think Aegon Tarley has a better ring to it, personally.) Arya and the Hound took off riding to King’s Landing on horseback together, but not like “together” together, you know?
It looks like Jaime and Brienne won’t be traveling any which way together. Word of recent developments motivates Jaime to head back. Brienne begs him to stay with her. She tries to convince him he’s not the man Cersei thinks he is. But, it’s too late. He rides off and leaves her heartbroken.
What did you think of the episode? Who will get to kill Cersei? Will Daenerys go beserk? Has anyone checked in with the Knights of the Vale? Sound off in the comments!