The episode opens where the last left off, at Dragonstone where Tyrion and Varys are advising Daenerys about the upcoming attempt to conquer Westeros. Daenerys questions Varys’ loyalty because he turned against the Mad King and Robert, which would make it hard for her to trust him. He defends his decisions because he isn’t someone who serves a monarch. Instead he serves the people. Daenerys pardons his past betrayals as long as he will always tell her directly if she is failing the people. Right then Melisandre arrives believing that both Daenerys and Jon Snow have a large part to play in the return of the Prince Who Was Promised. She wants Daenerys to summon Jon, and Tyrion vouches for him after the time they spent together on the journey from Winterfell to the wall. Daenerys agrees to invite Jon to Dragonstone, but she expects him to bend the knee and serve her.
After Daenerys gathers all her allies at Dragonstone there is a fierce debate about their next move. Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell want to aggressively attack King’s Landing with their full force, with Olenna saying that Daenerys needs the people to fear her. Instead she plans to follow Tyrion’s advice. This is for them to lay siege to King’s Landing whilst Grey Worm leads the Unsullied and Dothraki to attack Casterly Rock to avoid driving people to Cersei’s side. Privately Olenna advises Daenerys that she should ignore the advice of men less, and not just follow Tyrion’s advice.
Before he leaves Missandei visits Grey Worm. They manage to confess their feelings towards one another and sleep together despite Grey Worm’s mutilation.
At Winterfell Sansa and Jon debate Tyrion’s raven inviting Jon to Dragonstone. Davos argues that dragons would make their fight against the White Walkers easier. When Jon receives the raven from Sam about the obsidian at Dragonstone he announces to the Northern Lords that he intends to meet Daenerys. Sansa and the Lords are against this, mainly due to Daenery’s connection to the Mad King. But Jon insists, leaving the North under Sansa’s control. Before he leaves with Davos he fights with Littlefinger, threatening him after he confesses his love for Sansa.
Cersei appeals to the Tyrell bannermen for support again Daenerys, and uses her connection to the Mad King, her allience with the Dothraki, and her crucifixion of the Masters in Slaver’s Bay to portray her as a threat to them. After the meeting Jaime offers Lord Randyll Tarly a position as one of his generals and better position if he will join the Lannisters against Olenna Tyrell, saying that they would need a new Warden of the South. Later Qyburn demonstrates to Cersei a weapon they are working on to kill Daenerys’ dragons.
At the Citadel the Archmaester tells Ser Jorah that he has just 6 months before the greyscale kills him. Jorah is told that he will be exiled to live with the Stone Men in Valyria, but gives him an extra day due to his position as an anointed knight. Sam uses this to try and find a way to cure Jorah. He tells Jorah that he was with his father, Jeor Mormont when he died, so attempts an incredibly risky procedure to remove the infected skin and cure him.
Continuing her journey to King’s Landing Arya stops at the inn where Hot Pie has worked since they parted way. From him Arya learns about Jon’s victory at the Battle of the Bastards and winning back Winterfell. This motivates Arya to change her mind and head north to Winterfell. Whilst she camps Arya finds herself surrounded by wolves, led by Nymeria. Arya asks Nymeria to return to Winterfell with her, but the wolf slinks off, leaving her in peace.
THE NARROW SEA
On the Narrow Sea Ellaria and Yara are travelling with Theon and the Sand Snakes to King’s Landing when they are suddenly attacked by Euron and his fleet. This results in a bloody battle on board the ships where Euron kills Obara and Nymeria Sand whilst Ellaria and Tyene Sand are captured. Euron then engages Yara in combat and after coming out victorious takes her hostage. He eggs Theon into fighting for her, but instead Theon escapes in the water.
Stormborn was a big step up from the opener. Even before the incredible finale this was such an engaging episode. It was a political and strategy driven episode and that’s what Game of Thrones was built upon. It basically featured the three different camps; Daenerys, Jon, and Cersei, debating their next moves, and creating shifting alliances and potentially fracturing them. For much of the episode Tyrion really appeared to have Daenerys’ ear, and his strategy, which featured considerably less dragon fire, is currently what Daenerys is going with. But Olenna is clearly trying to push her to go all out, which could easily trigger her move towards the Targaryen madness that people talk about. Similarly the meeting between Jon and Daenerys is clearly coming soon, but with her request that he serve her this probably won’t be friendliest of meetings. The story with Arya gave us some nice bits of nostalgia with the Nymeria and Hot Pie reunions (But still Gendry is stuck in his rowing boat). Both were nice, but the Nymeria moment was one of the coolest parts of the episode. It was a great episode to this point, but that ending just took it to another level. The final fight was brutal, and killed off some of the worst character’s on the show, the Sand Snakes. Euron is quickly becoming one of my favourite characters, he just revels in the chaos of war, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. Theon once again proved why himself as a spineless coward and just abandons Yara. Stormborn was a great episode of Game of Thrones, but having seen just how brilliant some of the episodes can be I can’t quite give it full marks, but you won’t get much better than this in an early season episode.