REVIEW: Game of Thrones, S7 Ep4 – The Spoils of War

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep4 - The Spoils of War

Game of Thrones was incredible this week, giving us more momentous material in one episode than in some of the previous seasons. There was a highly-anticipated Stark reunion, a game-changing conversation between Jon and Dany, and one of the most epic battles the show has ever staged, and all in one of the shortest episodes of the show. Season seven is truly proving to be the most eventful and exciting outings of Game of Thrones.

Along the way there were a few small but intriguing scenes with Davos and Jon learning more about Dany from Missandei, to Cersei discussing her plans with Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank (Mark Gatiss bringing all his suave and sinister Mycroft ways to Westeros).

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep4 - The Spoils of WarFirst, Arya is back in Winterfell! The last wandering Stark sibling finally made her way home and had a much more emotional reunion with Sansa than Bran did a week ago. Bran is proving that he is really in Three-Eyed Raven mode (poor Meera Reed) and has other powers. I got really emotional seeing Sansa and Arya hug in the crypt of Winterfell as they remembered Ned Stark. Despite their differences they still love each other, and after all they had been through they were just happy to be together again. I love how both immediately acknowledged that they had long and unpleasant journeys back home over the years on Game of Thrones, but that their stories were not yet over.

Then, there was that amazing training session with Brienne! (Who kept her oath to Catelyn Stark, after all!). Arya showed off her Faceless Man, Braavosi fighting skills, to a very impressed Brienne and a skeptical Sansa.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep4 - The Spoils of WarLady Stark has a lot to contend with these days: running the North in her brother’s absence (and doing it well), dealing with a distant brother with unnerving powers, and now, despite their initial joyful reunion, she is beginning to understand that her sister may also not be the person she once was. And with Littlefinger still around for some reason, sowing doubt and discord in their ranks (I love the icy glare Arya throws at him after the fight), the Starks are not completely safe. Sansa was suspicious enough of Littlefinger’s “gift” to Bran and I do wonder what his play is there. Hopefully, though, Sansa finds a way to accept her sister’s new, bloody calling, and they can work together to save the North.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep4 - The Spoils of WarNext, let me talk about the big conversation between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. He showed her the huge supply of obsidian (dragon-glass) beneath Dragonstone, as well as carvings by the Children of the Forest depicting their joining forces with the First Men to defeat the White Walkers. He emphasized the need for them to do the same and for the first time, Dany actually takes him seriously. But she still wants him to bend the knee and she asks him if his hope for the survival of his people is greater than his pride (the same thing he said to the leader of the Wildlings two seasons ago). They’re learning to respect and trust each other, and Dany goes so far as to ask for his advice when she realizes that all of Tyrion’s clever strategies have failed her thus far. Jon tells her that she shouldn’t use her dragons to terrorize her enemies, but she does exactly that so I wonder what the repercussions will be.

(She makes an interesting accusation to her Hand at this point, saying his plans may prove that he does not really want to hurt his family – Jaime, at least. And this might actually turn out to be true, even if Tyrion does not admit it, even to himself. His conflicted expression as he watched Lannister men being burned to a crisp shows how hard this decision is for him).

Then we have the epic battle at the end, one of the biggest on Game of Thrones, not just because of the dragon, but because it featured major characters on both sides, complex characters that we were rooting for. The Jaime and Bronn dynamic continues to be the best on the show, and Bronn proved as badass as ever as he managed to wound Drogon with the giant crossbow called The Scorpion. And Jaime found himself completely outmatched by Dany’s forces.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep4 - The Spoils of WarThe Lannister troops would never have stood a chance against a horde of bloodthirsty Dothraki, but throw in a dragon and they were definitely a lost cause. The fight was pulled off expertly, rivaling the mastery of Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards, showing the chaos of the battlefield, the gruesome scenes of men being burned alive or mowed down by the Dothraki blades. The music was also on point, as usual, bringing more majesty and excitement to already breathtaking scenes.

Jaime held his own as best as he could. Poor Billy Bones, I mean, Dickon Tarly, had to contend with a lot on only his second major fight, but at least he saved Jaime. At the end of this all, the Tarly’s may not have made it out alive but at least they went down with a bang. Jaime and Bronn’s fates are likewise uncertain, especially because stubborn, brave, but idiotic (as Tyrion cursed) Jaime decided to try and kill Daenerys on his own when her dragon was injured. Brave but stupid. Thank goodness for Bronn pushing him out of the way before he got burned to a crisp. What a wild ride.

So much has happened and we’re only halfway through season seven of Game of Thrones. And I can’t wait to see what comes next!