Spoilers Ahead on Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 2
If you thought Daenerys would swoop into King’s Landing on a fire-breathing dragon with her armies following close behind, “Stormborn” tells us the path to the Iron Throne is going to be a bumpy ride.
The mother of dragons has to consider the way in which she conquers Westeros is going to affect how she will rule it. Will she be the Queen of the people as Varys hopes or will she rule by force and fear?
As much as you may want to wield fear as a weapon, it can be used against you. Cersei attempts to invoke the fear of Targaryens into House Tyrell’s bannerman. She’s using Daenerys’ formidable reputation, all of which is based on true accounts, against Daenerys herself.
Fear keeps you from danger as much as it can be an obstacle. The north is afraid of repeating past mistakes made by the Starks.
The key to overcoming fear is not to be less fearful but to be a bit braver. Jon Snow is courageous to stand alone against his followers and to do what needs to be done. He’s also motivated knowing that the very real threat of the undead army on the other side of the wall outweighs the potential risk to meeting Daenerys.
Like the Unsullied boys that Greyworm talks about, he has his own moment to face his fear. A choice to sink or to swim so to speak. Greyworm desires the loving acceptance of Missandei, that makes him afraid that Missandei has the power to reject and emotionally hurt him. There’s a certain irony in how the bravest Unsullied fears being vulnerable and intimate. It’s a sexy, provocative scene which suggestively starts off with Greyworm sharpening his *ahem* dagger.
Down: Theon Greyjoy “Stormborn” features a few characters who appear to have reverted back to their true colors. As much as characters evolve, some might just be covering up their true self with a facade. Has Theon reverted back to being the sniveling coward? Or is he surviving in order to wait for a better opportunity to save his sister? Let’s hope the latter.
Down: The Sand Snakes You say you want to take on The Mountain yet you can’t even defeat Euron Greyjoy? There’s a sentiment that Game of Thrones is veering a little too much into being a crowd-pleaser. When it’s as satisfying to see two sisters killed off, it’s really hard to protest much in this situation.
Down: Littlefinger Who in their right mind tells a guy that he’s into your sister and her mother? Someone who wants to get smacked around. And that sly smile Petyr Baelish gives when Sansa is handed the North, you can picture him scheming and licking his lips at the same time. At least that’s what’s going on in his creepy mind.
Up: Arya and Nymeria Maise Williams delivers “That’s not you” with a technical precision. She conveys the emotion and a moment of realization. Arya is a lone wolf. Her path isn’t to be reunited with her family, at least not yet. It takes crossing paths with Nymeria to remind her of who she is. She still has a bunch of names on her list to cross off.
Up: Jorah Mormont “Dear Khaleesi, you may have written me off and I’m kind of surprised I’m still on this show. But I’m writing to let you know that I will gladly suffer a thousand cuts if it means seeing you again … in the hopes I can one day touch you with my de-greyscaled hand. Yours and forever, Mr. Friendzone. XO XO”
As a huge fan of Game of Thrones I’m not going to pretend that I’m in any way objective with these episode reviews. My continuing goal is to capture my thoughts and reactions as honest as possible.
“Stormborn” is an enjoyable follow up episode. The writers did a good job of balancing entertaining scenes with setting events in motion. The most important event set up is that Jon Snow is headed towards Dragonstone. Since the book series is titled “A Song of Ice and Fire”, Jon and Daenerys finally meeting should be significant to the end game.
Melissandre also reminded us of the prophecy of the prince (or princess) that was promised. One noticeable difference is that being a queen is an important part to Daenerys’ identity. On the other hand, Jon doesn’t care to be a leader or the King of the North. The people put that responsibility upon Jon.
The amount of plotting in “Stormborn” is really self-evident. On one hand, I like the fast pace. It’s also reminds me that we are in the final stretch. So there is a mix of excitement but also not wanting the ride to be over just yet. What I miss are the many conversations which explored the complexity of the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Of course that are still great dialogue and character moments. However, there is a difference from when the show was lifting from G.R.R.M’s ingenuity.
Cersei and Jamie’s scenes were all about the set up, which is absolutely needed. She learns how to stop a dragon which perhaps gives her a fighting chance, especially now that Yara’s ships are burned and Dorne is out of the mix. But the odds are still heavily stacked against Cersei and her days are numbered.
I don’t know if the current brand of humour fits the show like when Ellaria runs her hand up Yara’s thigh saying “a foreign invasion is under way”. I did laugh out loud. Some things just happen to be funny like the way Theon jumps overboard after some furtive looks.
The fiery ship battle shows how Euron is a loose cannon, a psycho pirate. When that gigantic boarding ramp came down, crushing that guy it signalled exactly the kind of tone the scene is aiming for. We won’t be getting a nuanced portrayal of Euron which also means he’ll unlikely make it to the end of the season alive. He’ll be fun to watch. I suspect we’ll be getting more crowd-pleasing action in the upcoming episodes.
What do you think about Tyrion’s plan of attack? Do you think Dany should take Olenna’s advice to “be a dragon”?