REVIEW: Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 2 – Stormborn

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 2 – Stormborn

The second episode of Game of Thrones continued to move the pieces into place, but gained a little more forward momentum as the first battle was waged and the first casualties fell.

Since her arrival at Dragonstone, Dany wasted no time in gathering her allies to plan their conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. It was interesting to note how Dany is surrounded by female rulers (Yara Greyjoy, Olenna Tyrell, Ellaria Sand), and with Sansa being given charge of the North by the end of this episode, there is a continuous trend of ladies in power on the show. Dany also had a tense but fascinating confrontation with Varys, trying to test his loyalties. I’m with Varys on this one, since he made very valid points about not being blindly loyal to cruel and incompetent rulers. It’s good to see Dany still listening to reason and showing how different she is from her fool of a brother Viserys. She also meets with Lady Melisandre, who convinces her to send for Jon Snow in the North, an idea Tyrion supports and fans everywhere are surely freaking out about (myself included). The meeting between ice (Jon) and fire (Dany) has been anticipated for years and though it does not take place in this episode, it will surely happen in this season of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 2 – StormbornTyrion sends a raven to Jon, reminding him of when they first met, and Jon wisely consults Sansa on the matter. She provides a fair assessment of her former husband, but also warns her brother about walking into a trap. Jon is still so focused on the war against the Walkers that he is willing to take any risk, even when the lords and ladies of the North remind him of the history of treachery of the Targaryens and Lannisters against the Starks.

For a moment I was worried that the brother and sister would clash over leadership styles once more, but Jon very wisely left the North under Sansa’s protection while he and Davos ride to Dragonstone. (We only hope that slimy old Littlefinger will stay away from her. It was so satisfying to see Jon strangle the creep, much like Ned did back in the first season. But while Littlefinger lives, he can wreak havoc, so hopefully Sansa gets rid of him soon).

Back in King’s Landing, Cersei met with her remaining allies, including Lord Randyll Tarly and his (re-cast) son Dickon (Tom Hopper from Black Sails). Jaime also tried to convince Lord Randyll to fight against Lady Olenna, but the latter did not seem wholly convinced. In a visit to the crypts where various dragon skulls were stored, Qyburn shows Cersei a giant crossbow that may injure a full-grown dragon. I can’t help but be reminded of a similar weapon used to launch the black arrows in The Hobbit, but that’s just the fantasy fan in me getting excited about shared dragon lore.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 2 – StormbornMeanwhile, another Tarly was busy in the Citadel, making an unexpected alliance. Samwell meets greyscale-ridden Jorah Mormont and though the Archmaester says there is no more hope for the Bear Knight, Sam is reminded of the old Lord Commander and decides to try a risky procedure to try and save Jorah’s life. The latter has little to lose at this point so he agrees to endure the excruciating pain. Hopefully, Sam brought some extra wood for the knight to bite on since there’s a lot of infected tissue to be removed.

There were some quiet, touching moments as Missandei and Grey Worm confessed their feelings and finally spent the night together before the latter leaves for battle. It’s a relief to see that Game of Thrones is no longer relying on gratuitous sex scenes, and it seems to be reserving some of these scenes to characters whose relationships actually matter on the show and not just for shock value.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 2 – StormbornOn a more exciting note, Arya crossed paths with Hot Pie once more. And as much as I enjoyed seeing Hot Pie survive the war (and hearing Arya admit that she’s been baking pies recently), I was thrilled when he updated her on the situation in the North. She had believed it still in the hands of the Boltons but at the mention of her brother, Arya abandons her vendetta at King’s Landing (which is probably for the best since Dany’s forces are heading there anyway) and rides North. And on the way, she is surrounded by a pack of wolves led by her dire-wolf, Nymeria! (Now confirmed alive and well). What a time to be alive.

But it seems that only one Nymeria can live on Game of Thrones, so during the last ten minutes or so of the episode, Euron Greyjoy attacks Yara’s fleet. Greyjoys fight against Greyjoy and even the Martells are drawn into battle. Sadly, two of the Sand Snakes are the first to fall this season, slaughtered by the mad Euron. So we must bid farewell to Obara and Nymeria (who’s off to join The Defenders anyway). Ellaria and Yara are captured and poor, traumatized Theon is unable to save his sister. Just like that, Daenerys Targaryen suffers her first defeat. But the war has only just begun.