The path to a Dany and Jon alliance becomes much clearer. Meanwhile, Euron’s gift to get Cersei on his good side becomes evident. Full recap of Game of Thrones episode “Stormborn”, plus preview episode 3 “The Queen’s Justice”.
“Stormborn”, as the episode title connotes, begins on a dark and stormy evening with Team Dany at Dragonstone, beginning their plans fot taking King’s Landing. Dany is pretty impatient to get things started, but Tyrion advises caution. Dany doesn’t want to be “queen of the ashes”, so they must conquer Westeros without destroying it. Interestingly, Dany and Varys get into a heated discussion, whereby she questions his loyalty. Afterall, for years, Varys is the spymaster who keeps tabs on Dany for Robert Baratheon, as she is moved from place to place, finally to Essos, and then even the order to kill her. Why should Dany trust Varys now? Tyrion tries to speak on behalf of his friend, defending Varys as the person who tells him about Dany in the first place. Yet, Varys is pretty adamant on his own behalf. He serves no king or queen, only the people, but recognizes that Dany is the best chance for just rule. This seems to mollify Dany, and she extracts a promise from Varys: if Dany ever becomes a queen who is failing the people, Varys will tell her to her face, not conspire behind her back. Dany also issues a promise, that if Varys does betray her, she’ll burn him alive. WELPS.
Their conversation is interrupted when Melisandre arrives to speak to Dany. Varys makes sure to let Dany know that Melisandre used to serve Stannis, but since the Red Priests were integral to bringing peace to Mereen, Dany seems willing to give Melisandre the benefit of the doubt. And she’s there, speaking on behalf of Jon Snow, to encourage Dany to enter into an alliance with the King in the North who is leading the charge against the army of the dead. “Only the prince who was promised can bring the dawn.” And brilliant Missandei is quick to point out that in High Valyrian, the word for prince has no gender attached. So YES, Dany could be that prince/princess! Tyrion agrees that Jon would make a trustworthy ally, and Dany agrees to talk to Jon Snow… that is, he can come to Dragonstone and bend the knee to his new sovereign. YIKES.
While Dany’s allies, especially Yara and Ellaria, are eager to go straight to King’s Landing and unleash the dragons, Dany sides with Tyrion. There is a more strategic way to take Westeros. Yara and the Ironborn will travel to Sunspear to bring the Dornish army. Together with the Tyrell army, they will lay seige to King’s Landing. Meanwhile, the Unsullied will attack Casterly Rock. Team Dany seems to be in agreement, though Lady Olenna issues her own advice and warning: “They won’t obey you unless they fear you.” Dany is a dragon and she must be a dragon.
Now that the plan is set, Greyworm must prepare to leave for Casterly Rock the next day. Missandei comes to him that evening to say goodbye and wish him luck. The two of them share their feelings for one another and a passionate kiss; Missandei eases Greyworm’s shame about his castration, and they go to bed together. It’s so sweet and lovely! And it seems that Greyworm knows that thing that Jon Snow also knows that the ladies love 😉
In the North, the training and preparations continue. And when Jon gets the message from Winterfell inviting him to Dragonstone, he really wants to go. Dany and her dragons and dragonglass are exactly what they need to fight the White Walkers. However, the Northern Houses push back on this, with Sansa being the most vocal. The Targaryens and Lannisters have done terrible things to the Starks: Dany and Tyrion can’t be trusted. Besides, the King in the North belongs IN THE NORTH. Ned and Robb met their ends when they left Winterfell for the South. Jon says that he never asked to be king, but now that he is, he will do whatever it takes to defend his home. So he will take the risk and go to Dragonstone and leave the North in Sansa’s hands.
Before leaving, Jon visits Ned in the crypts and Littlefinger joins him. Baelish is too happy to have Sansa to himself… perhaps he’s overcome by the excitement when he expresses his love of Sansa. And Jon flips out. He threatens Littlefinger, that is he lays a hand on his sister, Jon will kill Baelish himself. Is my Jonsa ship sailing??? 😉 😉 😉
Cersei is also trying to rally allies among the minor houses, warning of Olenna Tyrell’s alliance with the daughter of the Mad King. She weaves a pretty evocative (and slightly misleading) story about the Dothraki hoards and bloodthirsty dragons. House Tarly (led by Samwell’s dad) is also there, despite being bannerman with House Tyrell. Lord Tarly is hesitant, he’s known Olenna Tyrell since childhood and swore an oath to House Tyrell. But Jaime singles him out to be ranking general and offers Lord Tarly the position of Warden of the South when the war has been won. But what about the dragons? Well… Qyburn has been working on a weapon capable of killing a dragon (which he and Cersei try out on a dragon skeleton, with success). #ProtectTheDragons
Speaking of Sam, he’s still at the Citadel, this time assisting the archmaester in his evaluation of Jorah’s greyscale. The archmaester isn’t confident at all. The greyscale has spread too far. Jorah may have several years until it kills him, but not long before the disease takes his mind. Archmaester won’t send Jorah to Valyria to live with the stonemen, but out of respect for his position, gives him a repreieve to take his own life. Sam tries to intervene. He knows that Shireen Baratheon survived grescale (plus we know that he’s been reading!). When Sam realizes that Jorah is a Mormont, he becomes even more adamant about saving Jorah’s life (for the sake of his father, Jeor Mormont, former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch), even if the treatement is forbidden. That night, Sam comes to Jorah and offers to try the procedure. It will be risky, painful as hell, and Jorah must be quiet. Here’s hoping that Jorah just passes out from the pain… and that it works… and that Sam doesn’t get greyscale too!
Arya constinues her journey to King’s Landing, but makes a stop at the inn where Hot Pie works (the orphan she and Gendry were travelling with in Seasons 2 and 3). It’s Hot Pie who tells Arya that Jon is now King in the North. And when she learns this, Arya leaves immediately to ride for Winterfell, for home! On the way, she comes across Nymeria, her direwolf that we haven’t seen since Season1! Nymeria is now massive and a leader of her own pack. When Arya tries to get Nymeria to come to Winterfell with her, it’s clear that the direwolf refuses. And Arya understands… living that domesticated life wouldn’t be her.
In the final scene of the episode, as Yara and Ellaria are making their way to Sunspear, they are intercepted by Euron. The fighting is vicious, as Euron takes out Obara and Nymeria himself. We finally realize what he intends his present to Cersei to be: Ellaria (the woman who killed Myrcella) and her daughter, Tyene. And once Cersei gets her hands on these two…the torture that she inflicts on the “shame, shame, shame” lady is bad, but has nothing on what she’ll want to do to Ellaria. Euron also captures Yara, and taunts Theon. Isn’t he is sister’s protector? Theon slips right back into the Reek mindset and jumps overboard.
Incidentally Team WSN has lots of feelings about Theon’s actions. We watched “Stormborn” live together at Comic-Con and shared our thoughts. I (Funmbi) am less forgiving of Theon. He’s proven himself time and time again to be a coward, an untrustworthy, grasping pretender who takes advantage of those weaker than him. And when the chance comes to defend his sister, the only person who still loves him, Theon LITERALLY abandons ship. What’s he going to say to Dany? How can he show his face at Dragonstone? This is a level of bitchassness that I can’t forgive and I hope he drowns. On the other hand, Katie is more reasonable and measured in her assessment. Clearly Theon is still experiencing PTSD from the torture he suffers from Ramsay Bolton. He loves his sister and is deeply loyal to her. But when he’s on the ship and sees Euron’s soldiers dismembering their victims, he’s triggered and overcome with the instinct to flee. But when Theon comes back to himself, Katie believes, he’ll go to save Yara, even if it means sacrificing himself in the process. As for T.J., she’s most concerned about how Euron plans to “punish” Yara. If it includes rape, T.J. is 100% flouncing.
In tonight’s episode “The Queen’s Justice” (written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Mark Mylod):
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) holds court. Cersei (Lena Headey) returns a gift. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) learns from his mistakes. (via HBO)
As expected, the episode summary is short, but the images and episode trailer tell us so much more! I’m 97% sure that the meeting between Dany and Jon *is* happening! Will she recognize him as a Targaryen? Will they become allies? Will Jon get to meet the dragons?
Also, I’m curious to see how Dany responds to Euron’s attack on Yara and Ellaria. TheUnsullied will attempt to take Casterly Rock, and I can imagine that Jaime will be there to defend it… also, is it possible that we might get a Sansa/Arya reunion in Winterfell too?
“The Queen’s Justice” airs Sunday, July 30 at 9p/8c on HBO and we’ll be live tweeting, so join us!