Tales from Westeros: Season 7 Episode 2: “Stormborn”
Hello there fans, friends and true believers! It’s your archmaester of awesomeness, your King in the Northeast, the guy who picks up the phone when you call 9-Wun-Wun (RIP), Grand Master Zed! We’ve got another episode into season 7 and things are already going South in lovely Westeros, so lets dive in, shall we?
This week, we open on a big storm on the already dismal Dragonstone. The sounds of thunder, rain and waves are cut by the dulcet tones of Tyrion Lannister as he explains how his current queen, Daenerys, was born during a storm. Dany however, spoiled brat she is, complains that her “homecoming” doesn’t feel like home and Tyrion reveals that they wont stay on Dragonstone for long. Which begs the question, where are they going?
The war map looks pretty darn in their favor, as Cersei controls less than half of the seven kingdoms, so Dany isn’t too far off when she says that there’s “not so many lions”. Dany gets mad at Varys, calling him out on his bullshit, especially his propping up of Viserys. Dany seems to have it in her head that if her brother had an army and three dragons, he would have taken King’s Landing already. Viserys was kind of a douche anyway, so who really cares what he would have done. Tyrion claims Dany isn’t here to be “queen of the ashes”, wants her to take Westeros either peacefully or at least with as little bloodshed as possible. How will she do this you ask? The Imp answers, by rallying the noble houses around her cause. Most notably, the Martells and the Tyrells. Dany thanks Varys for setting up Dorne and Tyrells, but then shits on him again for serving Mad King, then Robert, then finding a new king, etc. It seems Dany really has our bald eunuch friend’s number this episode. Tyrion tries to come to his aid, but Dany cuts him off. They argue until she asks who hired assassins and sent word to Essos to kill her, which, in fairness, was Varys’s job. However, Varys has led a hard life, and does what he can or has to survive. He drops some real hard truths on Dany such as his belief that “incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty” and his re-affirmation that “As long as I have my eyes I will use them.” You gotta admire the character here. Varys would rather die than be blindly loyal to her like some are, and claims his loyalty lies with the people. Dany makes him swear that he will tell her how she fails the people instead of conspiring to overthrow her, however in true Dany fashion, claims if he betrays her she’ll burn him alive. Varys jokes it off.
Grey Worm interrupts and says that there’s a Red Preistess from Asshai here. Now personally I was hoping for the cutie pie from last season, but instead Melisandre shows up and starts talking to Dany in Valyrian. Varys lets her know she used to serve Stannis “the Mannis” Baratheon, but Dany shuts him down. She claims that the “prince/princess that was promised” prophecy told to her by her big bad deity the “Lord of Light” could relate to both her and Jon Snow. This prophecy has to do with a mythical hero named Azor Ahai who apparently beat back the Long Night the first time it came with a magic sword named Lightbringer. There’s a whole host of other pieces of the prophecy that can relate to both Dany and Jon, but I won’t explain them here. Instead, go check out AltShiftX on YouTube, his video explaining the matter is very in depth. Tyrion vouches for Jon, being as the two know each other from way back in Season 1 and Mel suggests the two chat. Dany agrees and has Tyrion send a raven to Jon to ask him to come through and bend the knee. Now, this is interesting. Jon is starting to dig his heels in as King in the North, but Dany has just arrived and now she’s already asking for oaths of fealty? I’m really not a huge fan of how she does pretty much anything but you can also tell that this was an unpopular wording with her staff by their reactions. What will happen when fire meets ice? When Snow meets Storm? We’ll have to see.
At Winterfell, we see boys training with archery in the courtyard as Sansa, Jon and Davos debate over the letter from Dragonstone. Jon explains the quote from Tyrion at the end of the letter as something he said from the night they met, so he can tell the letter is genuine. Jon asks Sansa what she thinks and she goes to bat for Tyrion (remember the two were married for a short time), while Davos mentions, after reading the letter like a big boy, that she felt it pertinent to mention the Dothraki, the Unsullied and the dragons which makes it feel like more of a threat or a trap than an invitation for tea and biscuits to chat about war. Davos however, makes the excellent point that Dany’s dragons will be hella useful against the army of the dead what with their whole “breathing the one thing that kills them” thing. Sansa is surprised at Davos for suggesting Jon meet with her, but Davos fires back, claiming there’s not enough men to fight the dead if they make it past the wall. We can see Jon’s face is pretty troubled, and that he’s weighing his options.
In King’s Landing, Cers holds court with a load of Tyrell Bannermen. She starts telling (mostly true) tales of Dany’s craziness to scare them into joining up with her. She seems to at the very least put the fear into them before big homie Randyll Tarly steps up. You guys remember Randy right? He’s Samwell’s douchey hyper masculine dad who got his sword stolen last season. However, he’s kinda the big guns when it comes to the Tyrell bannermen, and when he steps up and asks what they plan to do about Dany’s dragons; he gets a rather noncommittal and vague answer from Cersei’s Hand of the Queen, Qyburn. After the meeting, Jaime meets up with Randy and after hilariously forgetting his son’s name, asks to speak with him. Jaime starts to question what side Tarly is going to pick, brings up how he was the only man to defeat Robby B on the battlefield and how Jaime wants him to be his general in the war to come. Randy however, isn’t impressed and starts to tear into Jaime and his family’s checkered history. However, Jaime dangles a carrot at the end of this betrayal stick by claiming Cersei will make him Warden of the South. Now this is interesting, as Randy always thought he should have been made Warden but it instead went to Mace Tyrell after taking credit for the W at the Battle of Ashford. So maybe this will be enough for Randy to take Cersei’s side? Or, like Jaime says, does Tarly think that the crown is the “losing side”?
In the Citadel, Sam helps Archmaester Ebrose treat Jorah Mormont’s greyscale. Ebrose thinks that the greyscale is too advanced to be cured and that Jorah may have 10, even 20 years before the disease kills him, but his mind has only six months before it becomes feral. Sam seems to think that there’s something they can do, but is outranked. Sam asks his patient’s name, as well as if he should write to Jorah’s family. Obviously Sam recognizes the surname, as not only are the Mormonts a noble house, but Sam served under Jorah’s father, Jeor (very creative names on Bear Island) Mormont in the Night’s Watch. Jorah claims there’s no need to write to his fam, as he’s “been dead to them for years.” Jorah the Explorer here got into a bit of hot water with his family some time ago after he got married to a gold digger named Lynesse Hightower who didn’t like Bear Island so Jorah got her all sorts of fancy stuff and ended up flat broke. So what’s a guy to do? Trade slaves! And that’s exactly what Jorah did. This didn’t exactly get our honorable old friend Ned Stark happy, so he arrived at Bear Island to give Jorah’s neck the kiss of the ol’ Ice; but Jorah was already long gone. Sam gets called and leaves the dying Jorah alone. Poor Jorah can’t catch a break.
Back in King’s Landing, Qyburn takes Cersei on a stroll through the underground cellar where the skulls of all the Targaryen dragons are kept. Big Robby B had them removed from their previous home in the throne room, according to Cersei, because they would have made him “look small.” This is no better shown than when they round the corner and see the skull of Balerion, the Black Dread. The largest of the Targaryen dragons, Balerion was the mount of Aegon the Conqueror when he took Westeros all those years ago. Balerion was said to be so large that entire towns would be shadowed in his wingspan. “Powerful, but not invincible.” snarks the creepy maester turned Hand. Qyburn relates some intel that one of Dany’s dragons was wounded during the big battle at the fighting pit and reveals the secret weapon. A….ballista? Ooookay. Qyburn has Cersei fire it, and it pierces the skull of Balerion. Now, I don’t know what they’re tipping these spears with, but dragonbone is allegedly pretty damn tough in the GOT/ASOIAF universe, so depleted uranium maybe? Either way, this is a huge leg up over one of Dany’s more threatening weapons in her arsenal. Also, Balerion is black, Drogon is black, I think you can see the symbolism here.
Back on Dragonstone, the Revengers assemble around the war table, with Yara Greyjoy claiming they gotta play this fast and hard and strike King’s Landing now. Tyrion claims that that’s no good, that if the dragons get loose, a lot of innocents are going to become very innocent barbeque. Ellaria Sand, reppin Dorne, get all up in Tyrion’s grill and the two begin to argue back and forth before Dany tells Ellaria to put some respect on Tyrion’s name when she speaks it, as he is Hand of the Queen. Dany echoes Tyrion earlier, claiming she doesn’t wish to be “Queen of the Ashes”. Little T actually looks up at her in astonishment. Yes, I too am surprised that she’s actually listening for a change. Olenna starts to prattle on about how loved Margery was and how now dead she is. She claims the people of Westeros will not obey Dany unless they fear her. Thanking everyone for their input, Dany does what she normally does and ignores them. She claims the plan is that they surround and starve out the Capital. Tyrion however adds the addendum that they won’t be using Dothraki or Unsullied to do this. The Queen of Thorns, Olenna Tyrell, quips that if they planned on using the Dornish and Tyrell army why the dragon queen and her council “bothered to bring” their own army. Obviously ahead of the game, Tyrion claims that the Unsullied with sail to Casterly Rock and take it, thus unseating the ancestral homeland of the current queen. Everyone seems to take a moment and just silently nod, “that’s a damn fine plan you tiny alcoholic genius.” After that, everyone falls in line and is on board. Meeting adjourned, but Dany still wants to talk to Olenna, alone. Dany realizes Olenna isn’t exactly down to clown with Dany ruling, but is more so doing this to get back at Cersei. Dany claims that Cersei is going to pay and that she will restore peace to Westeros. Olenna makes a good point when she relates that the Targaryens have never really ruled through peace and that if she is to herd the crowd of “sheep” that is the Westerosi lords, she has to be a dragon, not a sheep. Olenna also counsels that Dany stop listening to Tyrion, because, you know, why not.
Grey Worm and Missandei meet up to allegedly say goodbye, as GW and the rest of the Unsullied leave in the morning. When the two do their whole awkward respectful thing, Grey Worm calls out for her as she leaves. Missandei stands hard and doesn’t take any of GW’s vague bs, but then he calls her his “weakness”. Missandei is almost offended at first, before GW launches into a story about the cruel stuff the masters who raised him would do to some of his Unsullied bros. Basically they tried some Batman Begins type immersion therapy on each of their worst fears. Grey however, was apparently always the bravest. Until, he says, he met Missandei. “Now I have fear.” Its a really sweet moment. The music swells, they kiss. This is a guy deprived of all emotions, bred to be a highly efficient killing machine, and his worst fear is losing the woman he loves. Adorable. Vomit. Moving on.
Back in the Citadel, Sam is checking out some books with Archmaester Ebrose. One of those books appears to be a history of the Lannister family, so that could be important later. Ebrose and Sam talk about books and when the older says he plans to write a book about the wars following the death of King Robert, Sam critiques the maester’s boring title, claiming it should be something more poetic. YOU GUYS. I’M CALLIN THIS ONE. Once this whole gravy train comes grinding to a halt, Sam is gonna write a book about it and its gonna be called “The Song of Ice and Fire.” Quote me. Cut. Print. Sam says he found a book about rare diseases that showcases two cases of advanced greyscale being cured. Ebrose kinda puts a hole in Sam’s argument by telling him the maester who performed the operations died of greyscale, and thus, the practice is now forbidden. In Jorah’s cell, he writes a letter to “Kahleesi”. This is presumably his “I fucked up and now I’m dead” letter, but not if Samwell Tarly has anything to say about it! Sam comes in and relates to J how he knew his dad and says “You are not dying today, Ser Jorah.” Sam gives Jorah a bit of rum to dull his pain and a strap to bite on as he begins to try to cure his greyscale.
On the road, Arya stops at an Inn and overhears some men talking about how they leave for King’s Landing soon and Dany’s inevitable attack. Soon, our old buddy Hot Pie stops in for a chat and tells Arya all sorts of things, asking about the “big lady” (aka Brienne) and how he figures she would be headed back to Winterfell. When Arya asks why she would, as it’s under the control of the Boltons in her head, Hot Pie tells her all that transpired after the Battle of the Bastards and how her favorite sibling, Jon, is now King in the North. Stunned, Arya tries to pay Hot Pie for the meal she jacked but he claims, “Friends don’t pay” and even calls Arya pretty. HOT PIE DESERVES THE WORLD, OKAY? Arya leaves the tavern and the two gentlemen who were talking about going to King’s Landing leave in one direction. Arya looks to them, and then looks to the other direction. To Winterfell. To home. But her eyes return to the wagon slowly disappearing towards King’s Landing. Arya quite literally has to choose her path. In the end, she wheels her horse around and heads in the direction of Winterfell. Bran may be headed home as well. The Starks are all headed back to Winterfell!
Speaking of which, we’re there! Jon gets a raven from the Citadel and immediately holds a meeting. He says it’s from his good buddy Sam and how there’s a mountain of dragonglass under Dragonstone. I mean, I can’t believe no one thought of this earlier. It’s in the name…. Anyway, he also shares with his court the letter from Dany written by Tyrion. The names Targaryen and Lannister whip the Northmen into a tizzy, which only reaches a fever pitch when Jon says he’s going to accept the dragon queen’s offer for an audience. Sansa is pretty opposed to the idea until Jon tells her that until he comes back, she’s in charge. Now, I wanna talk about the two cuts directly after that. The first one is Littlefinger, the next: Brienne. Now this is purposeful, and more importantly, its symbolic. Baelish and Brienne are the angel and devil on Sansa’s shoulders and with this new power, their influence on her could change the course of the North. Down in the Winterfell crypts, Jon is by the sculpture of Eddard “Ned” Stark when Littlefinger comes swaggering in talking about Ned and Catelyn. Jon tells him he doesn’t belong down in the crypts and when Littlefinger says he just wants to talk; Jon has nothing to say to him. “Not even thank you?” Littlefinger calls out, halting the King in the North in his place. This is a power move, because as much as Jon or pretty much anyone doesn’t like Littlefinger, the Battle of the Bastards was only won by the intervention of the knights of the Vale. Littlefinger claims to love Sansa as she loved her mother. Jon has had enough and begins to choke him. This isn’t the first time he’s had a meaty Stark paw wrapped around his scheming throat. Ned choked him out back in season one, outside his own brothel. “Touch my sister, and I’ll kill you myself.” Jon growls. Honestly, folks, I hope he tries it. Jon and Sansa wave an awkwardly sweet goodbye to each other as he and Davos ride off for White Harbor. From there, they sail to Dragonstone. I’m very excited about them going to White Harbor, as it’s the seat of another favorite house of mine, the Manderlys. Hoping to get some of that next episode or the one after before my favorite and least favorite characters meet.
Back to Arya, for one of the most mysterious scenes of the episode. Arya is making herself a campfire when her horse starts to get spooked by something. Soon, her camp is surrounded by wolves. Drawing Needle, Arya prepares to defend herself when one wolf, larger than all the others by several heads comes loping up. No regular wolf. A Direwolf. The sigil of House Stark. Arya is stunned to see that this direwolf is none other than /her/ direwolf, Nymeria. Each of the Stark kids got a direwolf and most of them have died in their own specific ways: Lady was killed by Ned at the behest of Cersei, Grey Wind got ganked at the Red Wedding, Summer got torn apart by wights, and Shaggydog got his head cut off by Smalljon Umber. That leaves Jon’s direwolf, Ghost and Nymeria, who Arya had run away so that the Lannisters couldn’t get to her. Nymeria regards Arya after she says she’s going home, but soon turns her back and her wolf pack leaves with her. Arya says, “That’s not you” and the scene ends. I was scratching my head on this one until a friend came up with a theory, “What if it was Bran?” Sure, the crippled Stark is a warg and now that he’s the Three Eyed Raven, perhaps he’s got like the psychic tree boy equivalent of a wi-fi range extender on his warg powers? Is it probable? No. Is it possible? In this great game, ladies and gents, anything is.
On the seas, the Greyjoy fleet is escorting the Dornish back home. Yara and Ellaria flirt with Theon close by, who gets treated like a servant by Ellaria. Theon seems to have taken a backseat, allowing his sister to do most of the talking. Suddenly their ship shakes violently, and Yara tells Ellaria to stay put as she and Theon try to see what’s going on. Their fleet seems to be under attack, and as black sails come looming out of the darkness, Yara says the name of the man responsible: “Euron…” Euron’s iron fleet makes mince meat of the Greyjoy fleet while Euron’s main ship (in the books, it’s called the Silence and is crewed by mutes because snitches get stitches) boards the one Yara, Theon and their Dornish passengers are in. Euron himself rides the boarding choke down like the absolute madman he is and starts hacking people down with his axe. This is the first big battle scene of Season 7 and it didn’t disappoint. During the melee, two of the Sand Snakes are killed, Obara and Nymeria Sand, both bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell. Even worse, Euron manages to kill them with their own weapons. Ellaria and Tyene Sand are taken captive by Euron’s men, but not before Tyene stabs one of them right in the dangle bag. Yikes. Yara and Euron eventually face off but Euron is apparently on some berserker rage type stuff because he sustained quite a few stabs and slashes between his niece and the Sand Snakes. When Euron gains the upper hand, it’s up to Theon to save the day. Euron taunts Theon, calling him a “cockless coward”. Theon looks steeled to fight, but as he sees Euron’s pirates torturing and maiming some Greyjoy men, he begins to whimper. His eyes widen. His body shakes. Reek returns. Now, this is important, because it shows that Theon very understandably has some kind of post traumatic stress from his captivity and subsequent castration by Ramsay Bolton, which caused him to revert into this persona of Reek, a cowardly, submissive part of him. We saw him go from Theon to Reek back to Theon after Yara’s pep talk, but faced with the possibility of more pain and captivity, Theon drops his sword and throws himself overboard. Euron laughs as Yara’s eyes tell the story of her horror. Theon finds something to hold onto in the water and watches Euron sail away. Was Theon’s decision popular? You can bet not, but just like Varys, the name of the game is self-preservation. Theon could now report back to Dany, and now that Jon Snow is on his way to Dragonstone, perhaps we could get a Theon/Jon reunion. Thejon?
Anywho, big moves, big changes this episode. Only six more episodes to go for this season fans, friends and true believers! What do YOU think is gonna go down? Leave a comment with your predictions and thoughts. I will take my favorite and give my thoughts on it next week. I’ve been Grand Master Zed and this has been another Tales from Westeros. Valar Morghulis.
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Posted on July 25, 2017, in Tales from Westeros, Uncategorized and tagged a song of ice and fire, Baratheon, Episode 2, Game of Thrones, Greyjoy, HBO, Lannister, martell, season 7, Stark, Stormborn, targaryen, tyrell. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.