Game of Thrones

HBO

Season 7 Episode 4

The Spoils of War

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Jaime Lannister and Bron are transporting the spoils of the sacking of Highgarden and lamenting the laziness of the troops under their command as Bron complains about his lack of a castle. That, fortunately, will be the only lull in the episode.

I tend to view television through the prism of someone who is pleasantly surprised when something I have neither predicted or seen before happens on the screen. This fourth episode of the seventh season surprised me on more than one occassion. Pretty much everything about the episode worked for me and I was happy to see the characters where they are now, for the most part. So let’s take another trip around Westeros.

King’s Landing

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Cersei is continuing to solidify her power and influence with help from the Iron Bank. Unfortunately, she seems too quick to grab the wine these days and way too dismissive of the influence of Tycho (Mark Gatiss). Both of these could bite her on the ass in the future.

Winterfell

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Arya is back!! After an entertaining moment between the hapless guards of Winterfell, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) has returned to Winterfell and been reintroduced to her sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) and brother Bran. All under the watchful eye of Littlefinger, who is already working on another scheme, more than likely involving Bran. Arya has some great moments in the episode, especially in her interactions with the people that she knows. There is something different and deadly in Arya and everyone is starting to notice it, especially Sansa, Littlefinger and Brienne, who gets into a pretty intense training battle with the young warrior. It will be interesting to see whether her journey home affects her or is merely a stopping point in the course of her mission.

Dragonstone

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The only hiccup moment for me came in the interaction between Daenerys and John Snow. John shows Dany the veins of Dragon Glass that he wants to start mining and as they travel deeper into the mountain together, he shows her something that causes them both to lament their perspective places in the world and actually draws them closer together. While there is a level of mutual respect between the two of them, the writers and director seemed to try and play up an attraction as well with the glances between them and the gentle bro-nudges from Sir Davos. Thankfully, that’s broken by the return of both Tyrion and Theon and neither one is delivering good news.

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It’s intriguing in those moments that she rejects Tyrion’s council and seeks John’s. In essence, he tells her the same thing that Tyrion has, but his experience as a warrior and her budding attraction to him might be what prompts her to take action.

Parts unknown (but looks like an unused section of Westworld)

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In the beginning of this review, I wrote about Jaime and Bron leading the Lannister army back and how lazy they were. There’s a reason. After having Samwell’s father Lord Tarley be a douche, Jaime and Bron sense something is coming. That something is a Dothraki horde barreling down on them. As they scramble to form a defensive line and prepare for battle, Dany flies in on Drogon and the real battle begins. I can’t say anymore about this battle without spoiling it, but it is glorious. After having Dany hold back for the first three episodes of this season, it is gratifying to see her finally cut loose as we see the fury of the Dothraki and the power of her dragon.

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Even with that, something takes place during the battle that shows Dany a vulnerability that might make her re-strategize her next engagement. The end of the episode also leaves the fate of two characters from the series in doubt.

This was a great episode that showcased both the acting on the series as well as the action that fans have come to enjoy. The war is heating up, both literally and figuratively for both sides and the threat from the North is still looming.

 

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