The pieces are moving together in Game of Thrones. Daenerys has had her long awaited homecoming, she has landed in her ancestral castle of Dragonstone, she has her armies and her dragons and yet why isn’t she moving?
In a stormy night like on the day she was born as Tyrion notes she holds a meeting with her most cunning advisors, Tyrion and Varys.
It is there we learn what gives her pause. It seems that the Hand of the Queen cautions her against turning the seven kingdoms into a slaughterhouse. He proposes that she court the houses to join her.
Daenerys though notes something we all have seen through the series, which is that Varys has been the mover behind the shadows, the ones who have played both Kings and Queens like pieces in a chessboard. That when he thinks one monarch is inadequate he conspires to replace another one.
She questions his loyalty but he rebuts in a way that endears him to my heart. He says he was born a slave from nothing, yet he rose and if he serves anyone it is the common people, and he will follow and support any monarch who rules wisely for the people.
A Game of Thrones’ character who does not seek power for his own purposes or because it is his or her birth right? Someone who actually looks out for the common folk. I have underestimated the Spider.
Daenerys absorbs all this and tells him to swear, if she should falter, if she should fail the people as he see it, then he must tell her and admonish her for it. But never betray her or he will be burned.
Varys smiles and swears his oath.
Their meeting though is interrupted by Greyworm who says that a Red Priestess is in the castle. They go to see her and it is Melisandre.
Daenerys has high regard for the Red Priests who helped her in Mereen, so she asks her what she wants. Melisandre speaks about the Long Night and the Prince that was promised. The Queen notes that she is no prince, but Missandei corrects her saying that in High Valyrian the word for prince is gender neutral.
So Daenerys asks if Melisandre means that the prophecy is about her. The Red Priestess is non-committal, but urges her to make alliance with the man who is preparing for the long night, Jon Snow the King in the North.
Tyrion vouches for Jon and Daenerys heeds both their counsel. She says that a raven be sent North inviting Jon to Dragonstone to “bend the knee,” just like his ancestor did to Daenerys forebear Aegon the conqueror.
In the North, Jon receives the message from Tyrion. It is authenticated by words that the dwarf told him the night they first met. Sansa thinks that it may be a trap but she muses that Tyrion is not like the other Lannisters, he was always kind to her.
At King’s Landing, Cersei tries to rally the lords of the Reach to her side. While privately Jaimie tries to get Randall Tarly to be his general, he uses xenophobia and racism to convince the formidable Lord who is honor bound to serve House Tyrell. He says that Daenerys has a Dothraki horde and Unsullied fighting by her side, foreigners and savages he says.
In the Citadel, Lord Tarly’s son, Samwell is helping the Archmaester to treat Ser Jorah of his greyscale. Sam says that there might be a way to heal him. The Archmaester also knows of this way but wishes not to proceed with methods that haven’t been properly scrutinised or studied over the years
Sam is crestfallen but accepts this, but when Ser Jorah tells him he is a Mormont, he seems willing to defy the rules of the maesters.
Back in King’s Landing, at the catacombs underneath the Red Keep where the Dragon skulls are kept. Qyburn shows her a weapon capable of killing dragons, a Scorpio! Which is a giant crossbow, Cersei pulls the trigger on it and it pierces the skull of Balerion the dread, the largest Dragon, the Targaryens ever had. I guess this evens the fight.
Back in Dragonstone, Daenerys conducts a war council with her top advisors and strongest supporters. The high nobles wants to attack King’s Landing, but the Targaryen stays their hand saying that she has no intention to be Queen of the ashes as Tyrion has said.
Tyrion then proposes a plan that since Cersei as he correctly inferred will use the fear of foreigners as her rallying cry, they should lay siege to the capital with a Westerosi army, that is the Tyrells and the Dornish, but not to attack only to starve them out.
Lady Olenna then asks why they brought their own army in the first place. Tyrion says that they will be used to strike at the center of Lannister power, his ancestral home, Casterly rock will be attacked by the unsullied.
They all support the idea, and as they leave Daenerys asks to speak with Lady Olenna alone. She gives the Mother of Dragons a simple advice to not be led by advisors “Don’t be a sheep” she says “You’re a dragon be a dragon”.
Later Missandei visits Greyworm in his chamber to bid her farewell before he leaves for Casterly rock. At that point let us just say that despite lacking all his man parts, the warrior-eunuch has no trouble in giving pleasure to the Handmaiden of the Queen.
Back at the citadel, Sam proceeds with his plan. During the night he decides to conduct the very painful healing treatment for the Knight. I will not dwell too long in it, Game of Thrones has shown a lot of gruesome things but this one really takes the cake.
In the Riverlands, the scene transitions to two men eating at a tavern where Arya is sitting, seriously the editor of this episode has a wry sense of humor.
As it turns out Arya is at the tavern where Hot Pie works. It is a nice little reunion as the fat boy feeds her plenty of delicious pie and ale. He asks her where she is going, she says King’s Landing because Cersei is there.
He asks why she is not going home to Winterfell. She answers why, the Boltons hold it. But Hot Pie tells her that is not true, he tells her that Jon Snow has defeated the Boltons and is now the King in the North.
Arya’s eyes says it all. Let us not forget Jon was the sibling closest to Arya, and he is the one person in the world that she loves the most. She hastens to leave and tries to pay Hot Pie. But he tells her friends don’t pay. She smiles and tell him to take care of herself. Outside she hastens to her horse, she looks at the road to the capital and then looks to the North to home and it is the direction she goes to.
At Winterfell Jon receives the message from Sam that there is a mountain of dragon glass in Dragonstone. He assembles the Lords of the North, tells them of Sam’s message and also of Tyrion’s. He tells them that he plans to accept Daenerys’ invitation. But the Northeners and Sansa do not trust the Lannisters or the Targaryens especially since the Mad King burned both their uncle and grandfather.
But Jon is adamant, he tells them that none of them has seen the army of the dead, and that they will need powerful allies. Sansa urges him to send an emissary but Jon says that only a King can meet with a Queen to seek terms, he then tells her that he will leave the North in her capable hands.
Later at the crypt in Winterfell, Jon stands in his father’s tomb where Lord Baelish speaks to him. He tells the cunning politician that you don’t belong here. Littlefinger says he is not his enemy and he confesses his love for Sansa. But Jon grabs him by the throat and warns him about talking to his sister, he then goes out to the courtyard where Ser Davis and his men are waiting, he waves goodbye to Sansa who watches from balcony and rides out.
Somewhere in the North, Arya has made camp, tying to warm herself up with a fire. She senses something amiss, and all of a sudden she is surrounded by a pack of wolves. They are led by a large familiar direwolf. Arya stares at the creature and says “Nymeria?”
She asks her old pet to come with her home. The direwolf recognizes her, but it chooses to leave with her pack. And although it is nice to know that Nymeria is safe and that she will be safe from all the chaos. It would have been really cool to see the magical assassin Arya leading her own army of wolves.
At sea, the Greyjoy fleet is sailing towards Dorne with the Sands on board the flagship. As part of Tyrion’s plan they are to fetch the Dornish army and then sail to King’s landing.
Things get are getting a little bit frisky with Ellaria Sand and Yara when the ship is suddenly rocked. Yara and Theon go to the deck to see fireballs raining on the fleet. They spot a familiar ship heading towards them. It is Euron, their uncle.
They fight, two of the Sands are killed except for Ellaria’s daughter who defends her. Yara is captured by her uncle, as he taunts Theon to rescue her sister.
Theon is afraid and he jumps off the ship as his sister’s eyes tear up. Euron laughs triumphantly, the Greyjoy fleet is destroyed and he now has two of Daenerys’ major supporters, Yara and Ellaria.
This greatly reduces the sea power of the Dragon Queen. Let us hope that Lady Olenna’s own formidable ships will be up to the task.
Also enough of the disgusting moments Game of Thrones, seriously, like a lot of people. I watch this show with a plethora of snacks. We like to enjoy our food with the show, you know?