Bronn finally gets some payment, but not the castle he was promised. The Lannisters always pay their debts… do they? Would Bronn want Highgarden, argue Jaime? A castle without walls can be taken any moment by anyone, besides the more you heavier you are, the likelier you are to go down, which is ominous when it comes to the show. D&D have become too predictable, and that is a game in itself between them and viewers: catch their leads.
We can see a little more of Randyll Tarly´s despicable character, and also learn that they are sending the gold ahead of the provisions, and leaving the Reach bare. Tarly is an asshole, even when an ally to the Iron Throne, the Tyrells were not so forthcoming, cause they saw to the welfare of their people first, which is a trademark of good rulers or stewards, which is how the Tyrells got Highgarden.
Cersei´s dealings with the Iron Bank are getting warm, and she plans not just to pay her debts, but also to get aid in expanding her military forces and take back what belongs to her. It does not matter that Casterly Rock has run dry of gold, it is still the seat of her House and holds a symbolic value that is not lost on her, and she might not be too happy with Jaime for sacrificing it. She also hinted at the Golden Company, and that links to another leak from the last episode of this season, and possibilities for Season 8, that the the Golden Company would come to Westeros.
The show does not have the weight of the books, so the unsullied show viewers do not know anything about this company of sellswords and how they are rooted in the Blackfyre rebellion. Books and show are completely different, but would D&D use the adage Red or Black, a dragon is always a dragon? Season 8 will tell.
At Winterfell things don´t look good for Littlefinger. It is amazing how a character who has been a brilliant manipulator, seems to loose his shine once he is north of the Neck. Petyr tries to make overtures on Bran Three Eyed Raven, by telling him how much he loved his mother and how he mourned her death, and making a gift of the cutthroat knife to him, for in a sense, that event triggered all the events that made Brandon Stark what he presently is, and he wonders how it feels to come home and find such chaos, to which Bran answers “chaos is a ladder”, echoing Littlefinger’s most famous speech and philosophy. Baelish understands the hint and tries to seize this new player when they are interrupted by Meera Reed, who has come to say goodbye, for she is leaving for home. Bran´s detachment and coldness leads her to the realization that Bran died in the cave in season 6, making the statement “it is time for you to become me” a sad truth. Bran remembers what it feels like to be Brandon Stark, but he remembers so much more, that he is not really Bran anymore.
We are defined by our history, our connections, our experiences. If you are suddenly wired to different lives, times, places, you cease to be one person and become something different. Bran did not have the training to deal with the emotional weight of it. In D&D´s writing, he is an entity.
Arya´s homecoming is first a comedic exchange with two incompetent guards. Sansa quickly figures that she´d be in the cryps and the two sisters meet for the first time since the events in Kingslanding. They´re older and agree that both of them had to go through unpleasant routes to get home. The younger Stark girl mentions that it is a pity that neither of them killed Joffrey, because he was always first in her list of people to kill, and Sansa laughs at it, for she still sees Arya as a kid. Arya points that their stories are not over yet and finally moved to hug her sister. Sansa says the Bran is home, which makes Arya happy, but something in Sansa´s face makes her look of glee disappear.
They meet Bran by the heart tree, and Bran greets her with his new Three Eyed Raven detachment. He says that he saw Arya at the crossroads inn and that he thought that might head south to kill Cersei, to cross one more name off her list. The sisters exchange a look of amazement and fear. Bran tells them about the knife Littlefinger gave him and Sansa expresses concern, which Bran dismisses and gives the knife to Arya.
Brienne is emotional at the sight of the Stark sibblings together and even accepts Podrik calling her my lady. She feels she has a purpose.
The sweetest scene at Winterfell in my opinion, is Arya sparring with Brienne. The Lady Knight is taunted and challenged by the small thing that Arya is, and in the end takes a beating. The time as a blind beggar, living in the dark with only Needle as company, and the training at the house of black and white paid off, cause Arya became a skilled fighter, braavosi style, and she is not lying when she tells Brienne that no one taught her to fight like that. She learned things by herself, and other things she learned with Faceless Men who are No One.
Sansa and Littlefinger watch the sparring session from the walkway, and they are surprised to see Arya´s prowess. The staredown between LF and Arya is ominous.
On Dragonstone we see Danaerys and Missandei sharing a girly moment, while Dany is on her way to meet Jon at the dragon glass mines. She trusts him enough now to decline the presence of an armed escort and enters the mine on her own, followed by Missandei.
Inside the cave, Dany is amazed by the amount of dragon glass, but Jon leads her further into the caves where they see ancient carvings from the children of the forest, proving that they had once been there along with the first men, in alliance against the white walkers. All the time they seem smitten with each other, long staring into each other´s eyes, and it is undeniable that the two of them have chemistry. She swears to fight for the north if he bends the knee, and asks if his pride is more important than anything. Yet it is clear that he does want to bend the knee, he is just unsure whether he has enough leverage on the northern lords.
Upon leaving the caves they are met by Tyrion and Varys who break her the news of Casterly Rock and Highgarden, and she lashes out at Tyrion, who still insists on blockading Kingslanding, instead of burning it to the ground. She unexpectedly turns to Jon for counsel, which takes him aback, and he says that she must prove that she can make impossible things happen, but melting cities and burning castles would be just the same pointless carnage as the people ever knew from tyrants.
I´ve mixed the order of the scenes here, but we see Davos and Jon walking the stairways of Dragonstone and Davos teases Jon about Daenarys. Jon answers that she has a good heart and Davos goes “I noticed the starings at the good heart”. Jon brushes it with a “there is not time for that”, and the end of the world is coming with the Night King stuff, until they meet Missandei. She is curious about Jon´s status as a bastard, for there is no such concept in Naath, and they question her about her origins, how she became the Queen´s trusted advisor, and whether she is free to go. Missandei is adamant on her trust on Danaerys, stating that she is Queen of those who chose her – and the show viewers learned that she earned the moniker Breaker of Chains for a reason, her distaste for slavery or servitude, and praise of allegiance and loyalty. Davos jokes that he might just switch sides. It is when they spot a Greyjoy ship approaching the beach, and Theon is on it.
This is the scene we´ve seen on early spoilers from set pictures, where Jon and Theon meet. Jon says the only reason why he does not kill Theon is what he did for Sansa. Theon wants Dany´s help to rescue Yara, but Dany´s gone. Where?
Cut to the road between the reach and Kingslanding, fairly close to the city we assume, cause Randyll report to Jaime that the gold made safely to town, probably with a lighter escort. The bulk of the army is escorting a long line of cars full of supplies, and they are stretched thin, with too many stragglers, which can be a liability, and old man Tarly, always the mellow one, suggest flogging is a good option. Jaime asks him to give them fair warning first.
The scene makes it clear that although Jaime has lots of personal issues with Cersei, he does warm up to his role as a commander, he feels responsible for the soldiers and enjoys watching the camp camaraderie. While they are talking Bronn hears a constant drumming and that´s when they realize there is a large cavalry charge upon them. It is the Dothraki horde heading towards them full speed.
They don´t know it is the largest Khaalazar the world ever known. Dickon pales, the soldiers show the fear that precedes battle, and Jaime refuses to leave the field cause he is their commander and believes they can hold the horde. The only one who seems unfazed, running business as always is old man Tarly.
As Bronn and Jaime talks they hear the flaps of wings and a scream and look up and their expression is that of wonder and fear, for Dany comes riding Drogon the Black, leading the horde, and he breaches the Lannister/Tarly line with a breath of fire.
The scene is shot in a prairie, which is reminiscent of the Field of Fire, from Aegon´s conquest, and it is the first time in 300 years that Westeros witness a targaryen dragon in full fighting mode. Drogon is Balerion the Dread reborn, ridden by Aegon with tits, only this Aegon-ess has a massive army of her own right, who would follow her to the pits of hell if she asked, and Dany is right: she must be on the frontline, as a Khal would do.
What follows is mayhem and chaos. She burns the supply line, which will certainly be questioned on later episodes, and culls the herd, not that the Dothraki are asking for that favor, cause they fling themselves in epic style on the Lannister lines, without any concern for their own lives, and cut through them like a hot knife through butter.
Jaime makes a charge of arrows on Drogon, but those ricochet on his scales, and the Dragon proceeds to burn more Lannister/Tarly troops. Jaime then tells Bronn to use the scorpion on the dragon, cause he can´t manage it with only one hand.
On a side note, Dickon saves Jaime. His only act of bravery besides saving himself, that we can see.
Bronn´s run for the scorpion is reminiscent of the battle of the bastards, I daresay, for it conveys the chaos of battle and sheer survival instinct driving men on such circumstances, even an ambitious one, like Bronn.
Tyrion watches from a hill, along an escort of Dothraki, who derisively remark that his people can´t fight. Dinklage seems to have taken some lessons on brooding with Kit Harrington, cause he is getting good at it. It strikes Tyrion that he is waging war on his own people perhaps, or that his failed plans forced his Queen´s hand to such lengths.
He seems divided between his sorrow for the people on the battlefield, and concern for the safety of Dany. I think that Tyrion is somewhat in love with the Dragon Queen and none of his love affairs went well.
Bronn shoots one spear that flies by Dany and Drogon, and she spots him, flying straight towards him, dracarys mode, and Tyrion´s eyes widen with anxiety, cause his Queen is facing direct danger. Bronn has time to shoot a second spear and it hits Drogon on the shoulder, not enough to kill him, or make him fall, so he faces the scorpion and Bronn only has time to jump before Drogon blows it up, and with a whip of his tail destroy another carriage nearby. Dany climbs down her baby boy and tries to dislodge the spear.
From the distance Tyrion sees Jaime. “Flee, you idiot!”, he whispers. But Jaime can´t do it, he has to do something to save his soldiers and end the war, he has to be a hero, so he grabs a spear and charges against the fallen dragon and the small woman who´s tending to it. Tyrion is desperate and mutters to himself “Don´t do it, you fucking idiot!”, cause he knows those dragons, he has learned that dragons are intelligent and protective over those they love, and that even when he was smaller and hit by a spear, Drogon caused a great damage on the pits of Mereen.
He is afraid it is the last time he sees his beloved brother.
As Jaime approaches Dany, she turns and see the knight on full charge, and Drogon puts his head between them. Bronn, who was on the ground nearby, senses the dragon is about to blow fire and jumps on Jaime in the nick of time, and they both fall on the lake while their horses are burned to ashes.
We last see Jaime sinking under the weight of his armour to the bottom of the lake. But don´t worry, he is not going to die, Jaime has the strongest army of all, Plot Armour, so Bronn is probably gonna save him, and sneak the both of them out of the killing field towards Kingslanding.