Our new episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins on the road north from Highgarden, where the Tyrell fortunes and chattels are being transported. Bronn is getting his payout, and apparently so is the Iron Bank. Bronn being Bronn, he’s bitching about not getting a castle. Jaime counsels patience, sounding much like a man whose childhood home is currently in enemy hands.
Meanwhile at King’s Landing, Cersei is dealing with a very happy bank manager, having arranged to pay off her ex-husband’s massive overdraft in one fell swoop. Mycroft is of course eager to drum up fresh business, and since Cersei needs mercenaries and ships and other expensive items, she’s happy to talk terms.
Further north at Winterfell, Littlefinger has some odd ideas about welcome home gifts. Bran comes out of his fugue for a moment to quote from a conversation with Varys from years back, and Meera stops by on her way out of the story.
And Arya’s back, talking her way past comedy guards and sneaking into the catacombs. There’s an awkward but touching reunion as the Stark sisters bond over their ugly journeys home. (Arya’s going to get tired of people giggling about her kill list at some point.)
And there’s another awkward but touching reunion out by the weirwood tree with Bran. Arya the magical assassin is pretty accepting of her brother’s new superpowers, and she clearly digs that dagger.
Noted: It’s making me genuinely nervous having this many Starks in one basket, even if it’s Winterfell.
Littlefinger is doing a lot of silent reaction shots these days. The raven call sounds significant tho.
Meanwhile underneath Dragonstone, Jon & Dany do some spelunking. Along with the expected dragonglass caverns, Jon has found a load of petroglyphs to use as visual aids for his latest pitch. He just about closes the deal, but Dany’s holding out for a bent knee, which Jon still has good reason to resist. (All these exchanges of meaningful looks by firelight, by the way, make this all look a bit like a seduction.)
Out in the cold light of day, Tyrion’s here with good news and bad news. OK, just bad news. Dany is justifiably pissed and looking for fresh ideas. Jon turns out to be a voice of reason, reminding Dany of her higher ideals, and King’s Landing narrowly escapes incineration yet again.
Back at Winterfell, Pod’s absorbing yet another ass-whupping. And we get a fun scene with Arya showing off her water-dancing skills, and another silent reaction shot with Littlefinger.
And back at Dragonstone, we get a bit of pedantry and cultural studies, followed by an extremely awkward reunion with Jon and the mortal remains of Theon. Jon generously does not waste Theon, and we get a quick debrief, and wait, where’s Dany?
On the road north from Highgarden, apparently, providing air support and a bit of shock and awe as a couple shiploads of Dothraki screamers descend upon the Lannister wagon train. It’s a flaming bloody rout, and Tyrion looks a bit green around the gills watching it all go down. The only hope of salvation is Qyburn’s scorpion (giant bloody crossbow), which Bronn manages to man and fire under heroic circumstances. With Drogon grounded, Jaime decides to play St. George. Tyrion speaks for all of us when he says You Fucking Idiot…
His doomed charge is cut short by a flying tackle from Bronn (I think), which unfortunately sends him into deep water with full armor for ballast. Let’s see our boy get out of this mess.