Game of Thrones – S7 E4 – The Spoils of War

Spoilers Ahead.

KING’S LANDING
Cersei is repaying her debt to the Iron Bank in one swoop, something that greatly impresses Tycho Nestoris the banker. Tycho wants to make further deals so that they will begin receiving intrest payments again.

THE NORTH
At Winterfell, Littlefinger gives Bran the dagger that an assassin had tried to kill him with when he was young. Bran quotes Littlefinger’s chaos is a ladder line to him, throwing him as it suggests Bran knows Littlefinger’s involvement in his father’s death. Meera arrives to tell Bran that she is leaving, something he seems not to care about, prompting Meera to say that he “died in that cave”.

Arya arrives back at Winterfell, but disappears on the guards who inform Sansa. Sansa realised where Arya will be, and they have a reunion in the crypt by Eddard’s statue. Arya and Sansa meet with Bran in the godswood. They discuss the dagger that Littlefinger gave him, which Bran offers to Arya as it is wasted on him. Podrick tells Brienne that Catelyn would be proud as she kept her vow, despite Brienne’s modesty.

Brienne continues to train Podrick, and Arya asks to train with he instead as she bested The Hound. After they fight to a draw Brienne asks her who trained her she merely replies “no one”.

DRAGONSTONE
Jon brings them to where the obsidian has been found. There they also discover cave paintings made by the Children of the Forest, who were there with the First Men, and fought together alongside the White Walkers. Jon tells her that they need to do the same, as he doesn’t believe he can defeat them without her. Daenerys tells him that she will fight for the North when he bends the knee.

Tyrion and Varys arrive with news of events at Casterly Rock and Highgarden. Daenerys snaps at Tyrion, and tells him that she will fly her dragons to the Red Keep. Jon advises her not to use the dragons as it will show her to be more of the same and people won’t follow her.

Later Davos asks Jon what he makes of Daenerys, he replies that “she has a good heart”, but Davos suggests that there is a romantic attraction. After talking with Missandei the surviving Greyjoy ship returns. Jon tells Theon that him saving Sansa is the only reason Jon is leaving him alive. Theon tells them that Euron captured Yara and she came to ask Daenerys to help reclaim her, only to be informed that she isn’t there.

THE ROSEROAD
The Lannister army leaves Highgarden with all the Tyrell gold to take it back to King’s Landing via the Roseroad. After Jaime pays Bronn, the latter asks for a castle, specifically Highgarden, as a reward.

As they get close to King’s Landing Randyll Tarly reports the gold has made it back to King’s Landing. Jaime and Bronn talk to Dickon Tarly who admits to them that battle wasn’t what he expected. Suddenly hey are suddenly attacked the Dothraki hoard and Daenerys on Drogon. Bronn tells Jaime to return to King’s Landing, but he stays and fights. Whilst Daenery’s attacks the grain supplies, Bronn goes for the Scorpion (Qyburn’s large crossbow), and attempts to kill Drogon. He hits with the second bolt wounding it, but Drogon destroys the weapon. Jaime sees her trying to remove the bolt, and charges her, with Bronn saving him from Drogon at the last second. The episode ends with him sinking into the Blackwater Rush.

Review
Every week I find myself wonder how Game of Thrones is going to top the previous episode, and somehow The Spoils Of War has done exactly that once again. That climactic battle between The Lannisters and the Dothraki with Drogon may just be the best battle set piece on the show to date, arguably even topping Hardhome and The Battle of the Bastards. The contrast between the combat styles of the Lannister army and the Dothraki hoard was awesome. Then when Drogon showed up it goes to another level. The episode actually set a record for the amount of stuntmen who were set on fire, showing just how outstanding it is what they’re achieving on a TV show. The scenes of chaos when Bronn tries to reach the Scorpion are incredible, and the desolation that Jaime and Tyrion are witnessing is brutal. The scenes at Winterfell were brilliant as well. The return of Arya to Winterfell along with Bran has thrown more big players there alongside Sansa and Littlefinger. At the minute the Starks are all getting along, but there are definite hints of unease between all of them. On top of that Bran has clearly demonstrated that he knows Littlefinger betrayed Eddard and if he reveals that, especially to Arya (who sparring with Brienne was a lot of fun, although could easily be forgotten after the epic conclusion), then it could go very wrong for Littlefinger very quickly. Sansa’s allegiances are easily the hardest to pin down; particularly to what extent she is actually siding with Littlefinger. Jon and Daenerys are also moving closer to an alliance, as predicted last week. Her strike back against the Lannisters hasn’t stopped them paying off the Iron Bank, but it has prevented them from stocking up on food in the event of a siege, and desolated a huge part of their army. The Spoils of War has moved the confrontation back toward a more level playing field, as both sides will now be finding themselves short on men. Overall this is yet another triumph from Season 7, and one of my favourite episodes from the entire series.

10/10

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