SPOILERS FOR STORMBORN, SEASON 7 EPISODE 2 OF GAME OF THRONES AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Stormborn. Oh dear Stormborn.
This episode begins with an eerie atmosphere as Dany looks out to the stormy seas in the midst of Varys and Tyrion. She states it doesn’t feel like home, despite the fact it is her birthplace.
There is an unsettling feeling surrounding this scene. Dany confronts Varys about his wavering support of the people he has pledged his allegiance to over the years. She does not hesitate to bring up his wrongdoings and grills him with questions that have very much irked her for some time.
She asks why he has jumped from ruler to ruler (her father, King Robert Baratheon, the Lannisters, and now her) and where exactly his loyalty lies. After the death of her father, she brings up that Varys went to serve Robert Baratheon (the very person who took her father down and wanted to eliminate the Targaryens’). In fact, the very person who was out for her head and sought out to assassinate her. With the exception of Ned Stark, no one tried to stop this from happening, including Varys.
She isn’t sure if he is someone she can give her trust to as she demands to know who gave the order to kill her.
Throughout the course of the series, you very seldom get to see Varys in an emotional and vulnerable state as he was in this scene with Dany. When being confronted and questioned by her, he responds to her questions head on and with as much honesty as he can provide. Varys tells her, he pledges his allegiance to no queen or king, his loyalty lies with the people of Westeros. He assures her that he chooses her and that the people have no better chance than her to bring peace. Rest assured, he lets her know that he will not support a ruler that is not good for the people.
I loved Dany’s response to Varys’ declaration of allegiance, it came in such typical Mother of Dragons fashion. The gist of her response is, “Swear to me, if I am failing that you will be honest and tell me, and if you betray me, I will burn you alive.” Varys swears to her and says he expects nothing less. Let’s hope he behaves. Or else.
Dany is aware she needs Varys in order to get Cersei off the Iron Throne. Despite his shortcomings, he comes with many talents and is key in helping her achieve her goal. This doesn’t mean, however, that she can’t rattle him up a bit along the way.
One thing I find interesting is to see that she is looking at the bigger picture, rather than a singular problem of trust. Currently, in her arsenal, she already has the dragons and a growing army. However, she is cleverly building her political game too, even if it means entrusting someone she isn’t very fond of. If it gets her to the Iron Throne, she’s game. Clever girl.
Dragonstone seems to have a surprise visitor to see Dany. The one, the only, Melisandre. She seems to come bearing some VERY important information surrounding a prophecy, one that has been at the very center of her being.
Now, I haven’t read the books, but I have to come understand this prophecy has something to do with “the Prince who was promised.” According to the books (and many fan theories), there seems to be a messiah known as Azor Ahai who will save all men.
As we know, in the past, Melisandre believed Stannis Baratheon to be the Prince, but eventually gave Jon Snow this title (saying he is a reincarnation of Azor Ahai). Her visit to Dany serves the purpose of telling her she has a role to play…”as does another.” Does this mean she is saying there is more than one messiah? Oh snaps.
During this discussion, Missandei (the best translator ever!) corrects Melisandre when she was stating the prophecy. She interrupts to tell her that her translation has been incorrect this whole time. She has been stating “the promised Prince”, when in the original language (High Valyrian) there was no gender association. The prophecy could mean a Prince OR Princess.
Fans everywhere at this point had to be freaking out because fan theories have stated that Jon was the Prince that was promised. We never knew the prophecy could involve a woman as well (based on translation). So this revelation by Missandei was HUGE, because now it has us speculating… could Dany actually be the one that was promised, or will it be both her and Jon?
Now, I had a total freakout moment when Melisandre advises Dany to summon Jon Snow. This is the moment, not only I, but many fans have been waiting for. I have theorized in previous posts about Jon and Dany. And it seems every episode keeps bringing us closer and closer to them meeting. Agreeing to summon him, she has Tyrion send a raven to Winterfell. YASSS!
In Stormborn, we finally get to see some more of Jorah and the ailment known as Greyscale that has taken over his body. The Archmaester pretty much gives him a grave prognosis and tells him he is to live the rest of his days with the stone men.
Our hero, Samwell, refuses to believe there is no way to help Jorah and discovers a procedure that could save him. He has an emotional connection with Jorah, as he knew his father. He feels an obligation to help him and sets out to do just that. Despite the Archmaester’s strong advice against it, Sam enters Jorah’s room with all the supplies he believe will help save his life. “You’re not dying today, Ser Jorah” says Sam. As he hilariously hands Jorah some rum (and chugs some himself) to help lessen the pain of what he is about to do.
I absolutely love how brave and relentless Sam’s character has been just in the two episodes of this season so far. Last week we saw him dealing with the worst job one could have and now here he is literally peeling away infected skin as pus oozes out of Ser Jorah’s body.
Samwell Tarly FTW!
Dragonglass isn’t the only solution to problems this season of GOT.
It seems Cersei has been presented with a possible means to dealing with Dany’s dragons. Maester Qyburn reveals a crossbow that may help wound and possibly kill the very dragons that stand in their way. He recalls Drogon sustaining multiple wounds via spears at the end of season five. If spears can hurt him he says, imagine the damage this crossbow can bring to all the dragons.
He has Cersei prove this point by engaging the crossbow into the skull of Balerion the Dread (which sits in this creepy basement of trophies). We see the dragon skull crack down the middle leaving us to wonder if Cersei suddenly has the upper hand.
Meanwhile, in Dragonstone we see girl power come to life with Dany’s war council discussing strategy on what’s to come next. This female heavy council brings together houses of Tyrell, Martell, Greyjoy, and Targaryen along with her entourage. I loved to see this gathering of badass women come together because its a a sight we rarely get to witness in the realms of Game of Thrones!
Dany proclaims that the goal is not to attack King’s Landing but to besiege it. She wants the armies approaching King’s Landing to be Westerosi while Greyworm and the Unsullied will take over Casterly Rock. Much to everyone’s dismay, Dany stands very firm on this point and receives their support.
The scene closes with Olenna Tyrell giving Dany advice to ignore all this. Be a dragon, she says, because peace never lasts.
Dang, Tyrell dropping some wisdom on the Mother of Dragons. I wonder how this will affect Dany and if she will choose to deviate from the plan she has just declared. Guess we will see!
We see Arya this episode too, continuing on her quest to reach Cersei. She stops at the pub where her old friend, Hot Pie is still working. In discussion with him, she learns that Winterfell is no longer under the control of the Boltons. In fact she learns, her dear brother, Jon, has been named King of the North!
I love the scene immediately following this discussion, as Arya struggles with which direction to go. Will it be Winterfell to reunite with family? Or will she continue on the revenge path towards Cersei?
OF COURSE, SHE PICKED WINTERFELL! ARYA IS GOING HOME!
In Stormborn, we also see Arya briefly reunite with her direwolf, Nymeria. We are fooled for a second thinking Arya is now dinner to this pack of direwolves. She quickly realizes its Nymeria and even asks for her to come home with her.
As we witness, Nymeria walks away with her wolves, leaving Arya behind. A changed direwolf indeed, 6 years later.
Instead of choosing to stay with Arya, Nymeria decided (just as Arya once did) to be free and roam. As D.B. Weiss points out in the post episode discussion, Arya says to Nymeria, “That’s not you.” This is in reference to a point she made to Ned Stark back in season one. Ned says she would grow up to be a lady and she replies, “That’s not me.” A scene coming full circle to the Arya we see today.
Back in Winterfell, Sansa and Jon discuss the summons by Tyrion to come to Dragonstone. Unsure of whether or not he should go, he looks to Sansa for advice as she knows Tyrion the best. She vouches for him and says he is not like the other Lannisters but it is a risk she is not sure Jon should take. Hmmm.
As we see later in the episode, Jon is also sent a summons by his dear friend, Samwell Tarly. We saw in the premiere episode that Samwell confirms the key to fighting the White Walkers (dragonglass!) can be found at Dragonstone. He informs Jon of this pivotal discovery and the previous discussion with Sansa goes out the door.
Jon decides that going to Dragonstone is the best thing he can do for his people and to prepare for the impending doom that is the Army of the Dead. He informs his people of the summons and that his decision is to go.
This decision, however, affects Arya’s reunion with Jon as we learned earlier she is on her way to Winterfell. Sigh. I guess we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for that family reunion.
Jon meets resistance from pretty much everyone and Sansa does not hold back her strong disapproval for his decision. She strongly believes it is a trap, however, Jon doesn’t believe Tyrion would entrap him.
I loved what Jon had to say next in this scene. “I never wanted or asked to be king, but I’ve accepted it because the North is home. I will never stop fighting for it. The odds are against us. None of you have seen the Army of the Dead and we need allies because we can’t fight alone. I know its a risk but I have to take it.” Despite this responsibility being thrust upon him, he has stepped up to the plate. Like a true leader, he is doing what is best for the people even when they can’t see it. Bravo Jon!
Sansa, still not convinced, pleads for him to send a mercenary in his place. Jon knows that Dany being a Queen, will only respond to a King, which is why he must be the one to go. In his absence, he asks Sansa to rule over Winterfell. At this comment, as usual, you see Littlefinger looking smug and suspicious in the corner. Dare I say, he is going to take full advantage during Jon’s absence.
A point that is further confirmed when he approaches Jon right after to taunt and irritate him. Littlefinger asks for some recognition for his part in the Battle of the Bastards. He even goes on to say he loves Sansa and loved her mother. Jon doesn’t take this very well, as he socks Littlefinger right in the face and chokes him.”Touch my sister, and I’ll kill you myself.” Tread carefully, Littlefinger. Jon Snow ain’t messing around.
We see Jon take off with Ser Davos towards…DRAGONSTONE! I cannot wait to see what happens once he’s there!
The episode closes out with an epic invasion on Dany’s army by Euron Greyjoy. Just like any GOT battle, there is blood, gore, guts, and murder all around. We see Yara come face to face with Euron as they brutally attack one another. With Yara finally in his grasp, we see Euron yell out for and taunt Theon. Instead of coming to his sister’s rescue, Theon jumps into the water, leaving her behind with scary ass Euron and his maniacal laughter.
The look of betrayal in Yara’s eyes as she sees Theon make this decision is devastating. Something I believe she will never forgive him for. Ouch.
So, it seems that Cersei’s side has drawn the first blood and succeeded at it. Will they continue to do so? Personally, I think this is just the beginning. With a Jon Snow and Daenerys Targareyen meeting just around the corner, Cersei best watch out. War ain’t over yet girl.
Game of Thrones airs every Sunday on HBO at 9 PM E.T.
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