The past few episodes of Game of Thrones have not been kind to Daenerys Targaryen. Will the tides turn for in her in "The Spoils of War?" She lost three of her allies and her navy is almost gone. Yes, she may have taken Casterly Rock, but in return she lost the wealth and abundant food supply of the Reach.
Jaime Lannister still fresh from his victory in Highgarden is making sure that the spoils of war, are quickly heading to to his sister in King’s Landing.
The representative from the Iron Bank is impressed by how swiftly Cersei is able to pay back her family’s debt. The Tyrell’s gold was more than adequate to make the payment in full. And just like any bank, they see a good investment in someone who pays back their debts. He makes it known to Cersei that they are willing to lend her more money for her ‘war,' if needed.
At Winterfell, Baelish is up to his tricks again and seems to be trying to make inroads with Bran. He presents him with a gift, the same Valyrian dagger that was used in his attempted assassination, back when he was laying comatose because Jaime pushed him from the tower. As usual, Bran is robotic and is even indifferent to the gift. Of course, being magically all-seeing probably means he could see right through Littlefinger, and there is a good chance he may already have seen the future and the past deeds of the political manipulator.
Their conversation is interrupted by Meera, who wishes to bid Bran goodbye. Lord Baelish takes his leave to give the two former companions their privacy. Meera tells Bran that she is going back to her family because when the long night comes she wants to be with them.
The young Lord Stark is still indifferent, which totally infuriates Meera who had lost her brother, good friends Hodor and the direwolf Summer in service to Bran. He says a simply robotic “thank you." At that point, I really wanted to strangle him. I know it’s not his fault. He is not human anymore and his knowledge is essential to what is ahead. But I could really see Meera’s heart breaking, there could be something there, the only problem is Bran can’t feel anymore.
And the only thing Meera could do is say “you died on that cave” before leaving.
On a lighter note, Arya finally arrives at the gates of Winterfell. But she is blocked by two guards who doubts she is says who she is. She asks for Stark high servants who are no longer there or perhaps for her favorite sibling who is now King of the North. But the guards rebuke her by saying that Jon is far away. She then asks who is in charge, and they say Lady Stark is. “Which Lady Stark?” she asks, which is a bit strange apart from Sansa she is the only Lady Stark, she knows her mother died, she was at the Red Wedding after all.
The guards admonishes her, but she talks her way in saying what if Sansa finds out and she is right. The guards debate among themselves on who should call Sansa. During their argument, Arya being the magical assassin she is, slips away.
And so the guards tell Sansa what happened. When she heard that the supposed Arya asked for Stark servant Maester Luwyn and Master at arms, Ser Rodrick, Sansa knows that her sister had come home and she knows exactly where she is.
They meet at the catacombs in front of Ned Stark's statue. The two embrace and talk a little about how hard their stories have been and Arya says “but our stories aren’t over yet” and they embrace again and Sansa tells her that Bran is home to.
The sisters go to their brother who is now at the godswood. Arya embraces her brother and Bran reveals his strange ability to see visions. She is unfazed by it, she is after all a face changing assassin, and finding out her brother is now the last of the Greenseers would not be so weird for her.
Bran asks her about her kill list, he then shows her the Valyrian steel dagger Baelish gave her. Sansa is shocked and she warns Bran of the danger of Littlefinger giving gifts. But he says it does not matter and he gives the dagger to Arya.
The three then go back to the castle and Brienne and Pod see the three siblings from a distance. Pod congratulates the Lady Knight at seeing the vow she made to Catelyn come to fruition. She argues that she did nothing, but thanks Pod for the praise anyway.
At Dragonstone, Jon and Daenerys finally have a moment at the dragonglass cave underneath the island. He shows her pictographs that he discovered. The drawings were made by the children of the forest during the Long Night. He shows her that the first men and the children of the forest were there together, and that they fought against white walkers together.
The doubts Daenerys had seems to fade and she seems to soften to Jon. She says to him knowing that he needs her armies and dragons for the fight, “I will fight for you, I will fight for the North." Seriously what is it with Jon Snow and caves?
But then Daenerys adds, “When you bend the knee." But Jon says that his people will not accepts a southern ruler. She says that they will if their king does.
The two then go out of the cave to hear some bad news from Varys and Tyrion who are waiting outside.
They say that Casterly Rock was taken, but Highgarden has fallen. Daenerys is infuriated. She has lost all her major allies, but Tyrion tells her that she still has the largest army. She shoots back that she won’t be able to feed her troops without the food supply from the Reach, which shows how important Lady Olenna’s support was.
She looks to her dragon in the distance, and says she will fly to King’s Landing and burn the Red Keep. Tyrion tells her not to be too hasty. But she is livid and turns to Jon and asks him for his advice.
Which seems pretty wise to ask for his opinion. Plus, there's the added bonus that her turning to Jon will make viewer's hearts flutter. All her advisors are political players, none of them are battle commanders the same way Jon is, not even Tyrion who led the defense of King’s Landing during the battle of Blackwater bay.
Let us not forget that he was trained in strategy and warfare, at the same time as his brother Robb Stark who actually never lost a battle and even captured Jaime who is now leading the Lannister troops.
He tells her that if she uses dragons to melt castles and cities she will be no different than the others that came before her.
Back at Winterfell, Arya walks in on a training session between Pod and Brienne. She wishes to spar with the bigger knight, the same one that defeated the Hound. Arya is finally able to display her training while Sansa and Littlefinger watch curiously from a balcony above.
It is a stunning duel ending in a draw. Brienne asks her who “taught her how to do that?” She answers, “no one." Sansa seems unnerved, she probably senses that her siblings have acquired unnatural skills.
Back at Dragonstone, Jon and Ser Davos finds an insight to how Daenerys is viewed by her people when Missandei speaks highly of her and that she is the Queen they chose not because of her birthright.
They then spots a Greyjoy ship from a distance. They greet the new arrivals at the beach, led by Theon. His reunion with Jon is tense, and Davos asks him about Euron’s attack. Theon says his uncle has his sister, and he wants Daenerys' help to get his sister back. Jon says that Daenerys left Dragonstone.
Somewhere in the Reach, Jaime, Bronn, and the Tarlys are escorting the last of the food wagons to King’s Landing. The gold was delivered earlier.
Bronn then goes quiet as he hears the sound of approaching horses. Jaime orders the men to defensive formation and they create the shield wall to protect the food from the farms of the Reach.
They hold steady as the Dothraki horsemen suddenly emerge from the horizon. Bronn tells Jaime to flee to King’s Landing, but he says he won’t abandon his army. Bronn warns him that the Dothraki horde is about to swamp them, but Jaime argues that they could still hold them off. Their faces though change into shock and fear as a dragon flies in joining the approaching horsemen. Daenerys is riding her largest dragon, Drogon. As she flies near, she says her command, “Dracarys."
Drogon breathes fire and reduces a large portion of the Lannister and Tarly army into ashes. Needless to say it is a full display of fire and blood. Jaime’s army is slaughtered, and not even archers are able to wound the dragon. The great beast then proceeds to burn all the wagons filled with food.
I have to give it to Game of Thrones, this battle scene is way better what most movies could deliver.
As a counter move, Jaime tells Bronn to go to Qyburn’s Scorpion, the giant crossbow-like device that the Maester showed Cersei.
Tyrion watches from a nearby hill as he sees his family’s army killed and burned before his eyes. Makes one wonder if Ed Sheeran’s character was among those? Did he see fire?
Bronn makes it to the Scorpion and is able to fire a couple of shots at Drogon. His second shot wounds the beast, but not enough to kill it. The Dragon drops though, but is able to hover near the ground and burns the Scorpion, as Bronn barely escapes by jumping off.
Drogon then lands as Daenerys jumps down and tries to loosen the giant arrow. Jaime looks on astride his horse and sees a spear embedded on a man. Tyrion sees him from a distance and under his breath whispers “flee you idiot."
Jaime though charges and grabs the spear to run down the Queen. Tyrion curses, and Daenerys sees the incoming attack, and so does Drogon, who proceeds to protect his mother. He breathes fire, and Jaime barely escapes as a man pulls him off his horse into the nearby lake. His fate is left uncertain, as he plunges down the water.
Your move, Cersei.