Written by: Artur Galvao
A good indication of the quality of an episode of television is how fast you perceive its runtime. There have been plenty of moments in the last few seasons of Game of Thrones where time has dragged on, burdened by stagnant plotlines. But I genuinely couldn’t believe it when the credits to “Stormborn” rolled. The pacing of this episode was spot on. Never did episode feel long, honestly speaking I wish the episode could be 20 minutes longer. This episode defiantly delivers on the build-up of the previous episode. This next reason of why this episode was so good might be basis, but it’s my review, so suck it. This episode we spent a considerable amount of time with Daenerys and Tyrion. All that aside let’s get to the review of the episode.
Beyond this point are spoilers for the episode [SPOLIER ALERT] don’t read this following unless you watched the episode, don’t I’m not your mother. Do what you want, you’re an individual.
This week’s story begins with an almighty thunderstorm for Daenerys. Daenerys’s mood appears to match the weather found outside her castle; she questions the loyalty of Lord Varys, and promises him a painful death if he ever dares to betray her. In turn, she askes him to promise her promises to simply tell her when she’s being a bad ruler, instead of betraying like he has done in the past with previous king. What I like about this is that we get more Varys. He hasn’t been around much these days, but in this scene, I was reminded of how much I like him. Once again we see where Varys’ loyalty lies by proudly stating that he will not allow incompetent or vindictive leadership. Despite his treacherous habits, it seems as his intentions are purer than the majority of players in this game.
Daenerys’s meeting with her allies is another reminder of how much things have changed since the first season; the formerly repressed women of Westeros are firmly in charge now. Olenna Tyrell gives Daenerys a bit of advice that she doesn’t need to hear – don’t listen to strategic genius Tyrion, and let that fire in your belly burn. In the last season Daenerys was pretty straight forward on her morals but this talk with Olenna could present an interesting dimension to her moral compass.
Next, we see Queen Cersei turn to the oldest and most reliable trick in the book to turn her reluctant allies to her cause – fear of the foreigner. Stating that the Dothraki hordes are not your average rapey savages, they’re rapey savages from across the sea. Relying on Daenery’s father’ reputation would a worthy cause to not let the Mother of Dragons rule the Iron Throne.
However, this episode is not without fault. Qyburn’s seems to have a secret weapon to go up against Daenery’s three dragons? Knowing him, it’s probably something crazy creative. A new chemical weapon perhaps? A bioengineered disease? Or is he going reconfigure those ancient bones beneath the throne room into some heavy-metal dragon zombie? Nope, it’s just a really big crossbow. That’s kind of disappointing. From character like that you would expect more.
Good old Samwell Tarly brings us back to civilian reality with his internship under the Archmaester. Sam and Jorah Mormont are an unlikely pairing, but one which I welcome; Jorah’s world-weariness contrasts wonderfully with Sam’s wide-eyed enthusiasm, and brings a touch of humor to a gruesome scene. Sam attempts to cure Jorah’s greyscale, this require removing all diseased flesh. This making for brutal scene that a disgusting to watch.
Next, we turn our attention to Jon Snow. For the following scene, it shows that his heart is in the right place, but he again proves he knows nothing, by leaving Winterfell in the hands of Sansa. Not say she is capable but Jon already had to make tough decision that Sansa was wrong about despite her good intentions. Jon determines to go to Dragonstone and meet the Mother of Dragons. For her home is build on a mountain of dragonglass, which the north desperately needs.
However, another Stark appears to be heading North to join the family. Arya Stark learns of her brother’s victory over Ramsay from Hot Pie. The thing I really like about this scene was the confounding of Arya’s expectations, which have sunk to impossible lows. After everything she’s seen and done, she can’t quite believe that anything good could ever happen to her family ever again; one gets the impression she never bothered to ask what happened to Winterfell, assuming her sibling’s heads were decorating the walls. Thus, she decides to go to Winterfell before going to King’s Landing. On the way she meets her old direwolf Nymeria. The direwolf now is a leader which presents a helpful metaphor for what happening with Arya. She whispered, “that’s not you,” which I believe applies to her not the direwolf. I’m not convinced that Arya really will end up in Winterfell. After all, when she abandoned her name to become “nobody,” the Stark family technically lost another member of the clan.
Lastly turn to scene containing Yara and Theon where they are surprised by an attack from Uncle Euron, who decimates her fleet easily with those ships he managed to materialize out of nowhere. Yara is defeated, held at knifepoint, which proves to be a test of character for Theon. But Theon turns back into “Reek,” proving that the scars Ramsay left are deeper than family loyalty. Theon leaps into the sea, and lives to fight another day, disappointing everybody once again. The thing I like about this decision is that it felt real. Not everybody is a hero, and Theon has certainly never acted like one, so why should he now. This was an exciting action piece and we got to see just how crazy her uncle really is. I believe Euron character is played differently then the way he was portrayed in the sixth season. This version seems more sadistic and chaotic.
Overall this was a strong episode and one that I didn’t want to end. I can’t wait to see the fall out from this episode this Sunday. Make sure you come back for weekly reviews of Game of Thrones, Every Monday!
Artur’s Rating: 8.5
What did you guys think about the episode? What are the implications this episode could have?