Our latest episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins with the unsinkable Bronn & Jaime emerging downriver, having apparently walked along the river bottom in a few hundred pounds of armor. Well, that’s a cliffhanger resolved, let’s move on.
Back at the battleground, we get a somber edition of Striding with Tyrion. And Dany and Drogon are delivering a motivational speech slash ultimatum. Drogon looks well recovered, if a bit crabby. And the tiny mob of survivors bend their knees, with the notable exceptions of Randyll & Dickon Tarly, who are simple men. Tyrion plays a few cards to stay the inevitable, and it works about as well as you’d expect. It’s over in seconds, at least.
Still covered in river mud, Jaime shows up for a debrief with Cersei. Dany’s shock and awe tactics definitely made an impression, but Cersei’s not hearing it. She does sort of casually accept that Lady O’s confession last week was legit, but otherwise Jaime is pissing in the wind here.
Back at Dragonstone, Dany’s home, and Drogon seems to have taken a shine to King Jon. Does he smell Targeryen on him? Dany looks impressed. And Jorah’s back! He’s looking good, and by the look on his face, that hug was worth being Sam’s first patient.
Up at Winterfell, Bran is so stoned his eyes have smoked over. No, he’s just flying raven drones over Eastwatch, where his pal the Night King is waiting to give him the stink eye.
Sam, meanwhile, is turning in his homework and listening to his elders bloviating. Bran’s raven has arrived, to the amusement of the grandmaesters, and Sam has something to say about it, god damn it. He’s wasting his breath, though Grandmaester Quincy promises to follow up. Right after he tells Sam his family was incinerated, I suppose.
Back to Dragonstone, where Tyrion is pounding wine and rehearsing his rationalizations for Dany’s actions and his failure to influence them. Varys isn’t letting him off that easy.
Jon takes the news from Winterfell pretty badly, and things degenerate into the worst plan I have ever heard on this show, which is saying something. Capture a walker, drag it down to King’s Landing to show Cersei. That’s the plan. Scooby and the gang would laugh that off.
Meanwhile in Winterfell, Sansa’s got another all-staff meeting to deal with, and her shit-talking sister as well. Both Sansa and Arya have realistic viewpoints here, but they still clash.
And by god, Tyrion and Davos are going through with this. Tyrion & Jaime have their unpleasant reunion, and Davos goes looking for Gendry for reasons not apparent to me. (Gendry is a Baratheon to the bone, with his warhammer and his terrible decisions.)
Of course there’s trouble getting out of town, and Davos’ fast talking goes to waste as the single most recognizable fugitive in Westeros blithely wanders onto the beach. Gendry’s solution lacks subtlety, but that’s not really a fair criticism.
And blah blah blah Cersei’s pregnant. Holy Shit, has Jaime had a weird fucking week.
King Jon and Gendry meet up, again for reasons not apparent to me. Or Davos, but who listens to him. And we get a sad goodbye with Jorah, and a rather wistful goodbye with Dany & Jon.
Blink and you’ll miss it, but Gilly just uncovered evidence of King Jon’s legitimacy, although as a Targareyan, not a Stark. So that’s just as well. Sam missed it too, but he’s at the end of his rope anyway. So we are treated to Sam Tarly, Man of Action once again, as he flees the Citadel with a load of stolen reference materials.
Back at Winterfell, Arya’s creeping on Scratchy the Pimp, who is plotting something because what else would he do. She’s messing with a master creeper, sadly, so whatever she has on him, he’s got the advantage.
And we finally get to Eastwatch, where a fellowship is being formed. There’s much contention, since nearly everyone involved hates each other (the Hound hates everybody involved, just in case someone got missed). But everyone’s still breathing, so they can all claim to be on the right side of this terrible, stupid plan. As far as I’m concerned, watching them all set off north is a bigger cliffhanger than Jaime going in that river last week.