Game of Thrones

HBO

Season 7 Episode 2

“Stormborn”

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For anyone thinking that Dany, her Unsullied, her Dothraki and her Dragons meant the end of the game, they were all sorely mistaken tonight.

This second episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones proved that the writers and producers still have the ability to both thrill and surprise the audience. The episode starts with Daenerys holding a meeting of her allies at her new base on Dragonstone. She has gotten advice from Tyrion, Varys and others, culminating in an exchange with Varys that was both tense and brutally honest. An exchange that gave new insight into Varys and his motives as well as a lesson to Dany about the measure of loyalty.

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As Dany meets with representatives from Dorne, the Iron Isles and Highgarden, Cersei meets with the lords of Westeros at King’s Landing. She tells them of the army amassed against her and is looking for loyalty from the assembled lords. Jaime takes one of the lords aside and tests him on his seemingly divided loyalties, promising him power if he remains loyal. This lord happens to be Lord Tarley, father to Samwell.

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Sam, meanwhile, is continuing his training to be a Maester while treating a familiar face who is suffering from Dragonscale. Sam decides to use a radical treatment to cure the man for reasons that are actually endearing.

Dany gets her first information about Jon Snow and because of Tyrion’s vouching for the newly crowned King of the North, she sends a raven to Winterfell to give him the opportunity to “bend the knee”. At the same time, Sam has sent another raven to Jon telling him about the mountain of Dragon Glass that Dragonstone is built on. As Jon tries to convince the lords that it is a good idea to try and meet with Daenerys, Sansa interjects with her own fears, causing tension between the king and his subjects. The same tension that cost Jon his life two seasons ago.

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On her way to King’s Landing, Arya runs into an old friend and is given information that leads her back to Winterfell, but not before running into another ghost from her past on the way there.

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Tyrion, Dany and Varys have come up with a plan to begin the war for the throne without causes scores of death. A plan that includes taking something precious to Cersei and Jaime: Casterly Rock. As Yara, Theon and Ellaria Sand are traveling on the sea, they are set upon by the forces of Euron Greyjoy in a battle that is both brutal and beautiful to look at.

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For those who were thinking that the first episode was too exposition heavy, many of their fears would be alleviated with the action of this episode. There were some great performances in this episode and the confrontation between Daenerys and Varys was chilling. The interplay and confrontations between Sansa and Jon were becoming an issue that might have been resolved in this episode, but for the spectre of Littlefinger still lurking about. There are some great moments that seem to be set up with this episode and the dramatic tension for the rest of this season has been established here. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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