Season 7, Episode 2 Discussion Thread

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48 thoughts on “Season 7, Episode 2 Discussion Thread

  1. apolotresse says:

    Missandei & Grey Worm: unnecessary. I{m glad that they brought some details of The Forsaken to the final scene.

    • Keith B says:

      Agree. The sex scenes have become a boring distraction. That includes Yara’s polymorphous pansexuality.

      • Luna says:

        Oh lord, that “foreign invasion” line made me cringe. Though I have to admit I laughed at Yara’s *shrug* before all hell broke loose.

      • Gonzalo says:

        The porn screenplay writer that added that “foreign invasion coming” line should be fed to a dragon. I could almost hear the cheesy porn synth music.

    • Brett says:

      It was odd that they finally did it, but chickened out on showing the whole “eunuch” part of him being a eunuch (have the actor wear a merkin or whatever).

  2. Luna says:

    Can I say how grateful I am that D&D realized that you don’t just “get over” what Theon went through? If Alfie Allen’s (always brilliant – seriously get this guy an Emmy) acting didn’t convince you, then D&D saying it outright was a breath of fresh air. Trauma takes time to recover from and to expect someone who endured what Theon endured to just be able to come out into battle axes a-hacking would be unrealistic and cruel.

    • apolotresse says:

      I agree. And I think it will have serious consequences in terms of character development from Theon: I can foresee a final confrontation between him and Euron to finally overcome his post-Reek trauma. My question is: will Theon go back alone to Daenerys?

    • Haplo-6 says:

      I kind of don’t agree. When the battle started, Theon was a beast, cutting down foes all during the melee. He sure didn’t seem traumatized until it was thematically important.

      But I also saw his leaping into the water as the most likely way to keep his sister alive. Wouldn’t Invincible Euron just cut her throat if he charged? Not sure what he was really supposed to do in that situation.

  3. Winnief says:

    One thing I really liked was seeing all these new character interactions and dynamics come into play. Tyrion Vs. Ellaria. Varys vs. Dany. Olenna advising Dany. Sam feeling obligated to Jorah because he’s the son of Jeor. Jon throttling Baelish. And next week we get Dany/Jon!

    Also felt really happy to see Hot Pie again if only for a moment, and learn the secrets of browning butter.

    • JG says:

      Totally agree on the character dynamics, though I find Varys’ character to be kind of baffling without having the fAegon plot.

      • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

        I posted some thoughts downthread. My basic take is that B&W aren’t that complex, so normally the characters are who they appear to be – pending evidence to the contrary, Baelish really is gambling everything to win Sansa and rewrite his youth, Varys really is juggling all those balls in order to try to find the ruler who will be kindest to the smallfolk, and Sansa really is struggling with her feeling that Ned and Robb’s style of idealism loses to what she sees as Cersei and Littlefinger’s realpolitik.

    • apolotresse says:

      The interactions are great since we haven’t seen them on page, but some of them don’t feel natural enough. For example, I had imagined that Jon vs Petyr more about LF’s political intentions and schemes rather than just a “don’t mess with my little sister”, especially after Jon told Sansa he would stop trying to protect her as a little girl.

      • Valerie says:

        Yeah, Littlefinger telling Jon he loves Sansa (gag) was very shoehorned-in, didn’t make sense, but I think, even after saying he would stop protecting Sansa like a little girl, Jon would still try to keep obviously creepy people away from her. He’s her big brother. Cliché maybe, but realistic imo (although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good writing… that scene could have been done much better).

  4. David Hunt says:

    Well, I was right that we’d see Nymeria, but I was wrong the they’d go north together. I guess the CGI budget covers dragons but not dire wolves.

    p.s. Where the hell is Ghost?

    • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

      The wiki says that Ghost went to Winterfell with Jon after the battle – it would be kind of cool if Jon brings him to his audience with Dany.

  5. artihcus022 says:

    From a book point of view…Tyrion taking Casterly Rock in ADOS is as they say…f–king confirmed. As is Randyll Tarly supporting Faegon and the GC as one of the “friends of the reach” and going against the Tyrells.

    And speaking of which, if there’s one thing the show has proved is how dense and wonderfully intricate GRRM’s plotting is and how it’s not easily replaced. I mean Varys’ motivations officially make no sense in the show for him to be the same character. He served Aerys II and then supported Robert, and then wanted to put Viserys on his throne, despite the fact that Aerys II was a cruel and mad king, that Robert whatever his flaws was an improvement, and that his alternative to Robert, Viserys, is worse. He has no logical reason for putting Viserys Targaryen on the throne, and the fact that Dany hatched three dragons was something he didn’t expect and couldn’t predict. That’s why Faegon matters because without him, there’s no real role for Varys in the story, and his character motivation makes zero sense. I mean in the show, they’re kind of papering it over, by bringing it up and then passing it and making this a Dany character power moment but it makes zero logical sense.

    I think some eunuch rights activists might be pleased with the sex scene between Grey Worm and Missandei. I mean I think it makes more sense than the gratuitous nudity elsewhere even if that subplot doesn’t really go anywhere or do anything.

    I like that the Sand Snakes despite being bad characters on the show were at least dealt with respectfully in their deaths, and that Euron killing them had nothing gendered about it. They were treated no worse than Robb Stark or Arya’s victims and given that the show had a good opportunity to submit them to a really misogynistic comeuppance given how poorly written and hated they are, I am glad they pulled their guns, but then I wonder what’s going to happen to Ellaria and Tyene…methinks that Cersei will treat them the way she did Unella, and given Gregor’s history with the Martells, well it doesn’t bode too well.

    • jasonbmallister says:

      Excellent points. Regarding Ellaria and Tyene, I’d like to point out that Tyrion casually reminded the audience of the fact that Ellaria murdered Myrcella Lannister (which Jaime witnessed) and that next episode is titled ‘Queen’s Justice’, so I would expect a couple of Mad Queen moments next week.

  6. J.Walter Weatherman says:

    It has just occurred to me that three out of the four men serving Daenerys have been castrated.

    Otherwise I think things have been kind of hit-and-miss with the different plot lines. Daenerys falls somewhat flat as usual, and the politicking scenes in the North with Sansa constantly undercutting Jon were pretty weak, just like last episode.

    Other areas were good, though. Sam’s scenes were decent enough, Jaime had some good dialogue with Randyll, and the ending fight with the Greyjoys and Martells was pretty nice.

    Nitpicks:

    – Is firing a ballista into a priceless dragon skull really the best way to test its firepower?

    – I’m pretty sure that everybody in the Reach would love to kick out the Tyrells and take over

    – If Sam was able to steal so many medical supplies, was he not able to grab some milk of the poppy too?

    – Riding a corvus while it’s being dropped seems like a perfect way to break your knees and be thrown overboard

    – The way Euron wielded his battleaxe illustrates perfectly why you don’t swing a battleaxe like that

    • apolotresse says:

      – On Sam and milk of the poppy: my thoughts exactly.

      – Honestly, I would find it very dumb if after building up the reputation of Dany’s dragons, they are defeated by just using a trick from The Hobbit. I would love it if they try and fail and then Qyburn gets eaten alive by the same dragons he was trying to kill.

    • Keith B says:

      Using your weapon against a dragon skull, priceless or not, is the only way to test it. How else can you be sure it works if you don’t have a realistic target?

      And good for Qyburn for trying to invent a way to take out the dragons. I hope he succeeds, or at least kills one of them. He’s been an underutilized villain in the books, considering his capabilities, and it’s nice that the show is giving him more to do. And apart from that, dragons are weapons of mass destruction that nobody ought to have. Government of the people, by the dragons, for the Targaryens, must perish from the earth!

      • Russ says:

        I would like to point out… that skull didn’t have thick dragonscales around it, It was just bone. It also was sitting still, instead of flying, and at point-ish blank range, instead of hundreds of feet in the air. I appreciate that it was an effective visual way of proving how dangerous that weapon was, but in reality, a terrible weapon’s test that in no way made me fear for the safety of the dragons.

        • Keith B says:

          I think Qyburn is clever enough to have considered such questions. The show is going for effect, not examinations of the capabilities of military hardware. It’s hard to believe they would have spent screen time on a marginal character like Qyburn if nothing’s going to come of it.

          • In the books at least, Qyburn is responsible for Franken-Gregor, who hasn’t exactly done anything yet, but it seems highly likely that he’ll have a part to play in whatever the real story of the battle between the two queens in King’s Landing is in the next book.

            Assuming George lives that long…

        • fjallstrom says:

          Yes, the demonstration wasn’t perfect, but we fix that in development. Now for the contract of a hundred of these for ten thousand gold dragons a piece.

          Realism in medieval weapons procurement.

  7. Brett says:

    That was about the best justification for the Houses Minor following Cersei as I can think of. They don’t like her (she’s pretty much holding King’s Landing hostage, or would be if this made sense), but they might fear the Dothraki and the daughter of Aerys II more than her.

    Otherwise, it was alright. Some good build-up for stuff to come, including with Arya and Daenerys assembling her coalition. There might have been some foreshadowing there with the ballista and Balerion’s skull – maybe one of her dragons will go down in the taking of King’s Landing, and the show won’t do the whole “multiple dragon-riders” thing.

    It ended with a bang, of course. I’m always happy to see more sea battles, although I’m not thrilled that after all that character development in Season 5, Theon turns out to just be a coward after all. What’s the point, either of having him do that or end up adrift in the sea alone?

    I was at least wrong about Sam. He’s not just there to find dragonglass for them to use. He’s there to help Ser Jorah as well!

    • Byz says:

      It’s called PTSD.

    • JG says:

      Yeah but someone needs to say to Cersei “what are you talking about with the burning stuff? You blew up half the city!”

    • Hedrigal says:

      I honestly don’t think that work, Cersei’s committed direct and open murder of major vassals and the gods annointed representative on this earth, and has surpassed the crimes of Aerys II by a mile. And beyond that, yes the dothraki are a threat, but frankly that still doesn’t really outway the whole “I won’t literally go to hell for supporting the Targaryen” bit.

    • Steven Xue says:

      I have to say that the ballista reminds me a lot of the Wind Lance from the Hobbit which was invented to slay Smaug.

  8. James Powell says:

    I pretty much didn’t get the Arya/Nymeria reunion/non-reunion.

    • jasonbmallister says:

      Yeah that was confusing. My fellow GoT-watcher thought that when Arya asked Nymeria to come home and she turned away, followed by ‘That’s not you’, she was talking to herself. Going home isn’t Nymeria’s fate, and it isn’t Arya’s either, because of the all the time and hardships and trauma since the last time they were a family, so Arya is going to King’s Landing after all to finish of her list. I personally thought the scene was meant to tie up a loose end and showed that Nymeria isn’t going to be Arya’s pet or weapon in the battles to come.

      *in a callback to season 1 Ned and Arya conversation)

  9. JG says:

    I mostly enjoyed that episode.

    -Dany and Tyrion’s strategy seemed reasonable but it makes the decision to start in Dragonstone even more baffling. Why not start in Dorne or the Reach?
    -Euron was cool and they really should have introduced him earlier than last season. Screw the Sandsnakes! I’m not quite sure if Euron is using magic.
    -The throne room scene with Tarly was solid even though I don’t buy for a second that anyone outside House Lannister would follow her. I would like a scene where someone points out to Cersei that she blew up half the damn city, however.
    -Good call back to the dragon skulls. I’ll defer to Steven or BryndenBFish to determine if the medieval anti-aircraft is realistic but it seemed reasonable enough.
    -Jorah and Sam bonding was good and feel dumb I didn’t make the obvious link of Jeor Mormont between them till Sam mentioned it. I’m not buying Sam being able to cure Jorah’s greyscale but I guess we’ll see.
    -Liked seeing Jon having a reasonable back and forth with the vassals about meeting Dany (though Lyanna is getting progressively more cringey every week). Seems dumb that Sansa would publicly undermine him again after their talk last week, however.
    -Arya and Hot Pie was fun and it is great to see Arya go North. I’m a bit confused by the Nymeria encounter.

    • David Hunt says:

      According to the Inside the Episode stuff on HBO’s site, the bit with Arya and Nymeria was a callback to the Season 1 conversation between Ned and Arya when he tells her that she’ll marry and be a lady of great house and Arya say, “No, THAT’S NOT ME, that’s Sansa.”

      Arya was telling Nymeria to come North and live with her, and Nymeria, now fully a wild animal, has moved away from her, mirroring Arya’s conversation with Ned. Arya fills in the line for her: “That’s not you” because Nymeria obviously can’t speak it herself. I’d have never understood that if I hadn’t watched the bit with D&D talking about that scene so I don’t think they did a good job of communicating that in the scene. Plus I wonder if the whole decision to have Nymeria stay in the wild had to do the practicality of filming with a CGI dire wolf.

      • Trevor says:

        The Arya stuff has been interesting this season. Last week we had a scene of her in full on assassin mode and then one that reaffirmed that she still has humanity left. This week we had a great reunion/reconnection and then a scene where she affirms that she is a Stark and belongs in the North rather than wandering about killing. I’m still confused as to where that leaves her – she’ll go north and join up with Sansa et al. Then with Bran coming into the fold the Starks will have someone who dropped out of Three-Eyed Raven training and someone who dropped out of House of Black and White training. Whereas it’s pretty clear that Bran’s skills will be useful against the Others, I’m not sure what Arya will do once back in the fold.

    • Murc says:

      I’ll defer to Steven or BryndenBFish to determine if the medieval anti-aircraft is realistic but it seemed reasonable enough.

      I am neither of these people, but I’ll note that in the books, at least, this method of dragonslaying has historical precedent; it’s how the Dornish took down Meraxes. Iron bolt from a scorpion right through the eye.

      They got absurdly lucky, of course, but Rhaenys also got sloppy.

      • Keith B says:

        Qyburn’s ballista is more powerful. It doesn’t require a direct hit through the eye, so you don’t need to be as lucky. There’s one other thing he needs, though: barrage balloons. That way, either the dragon needs to land, making it a less mobile and easier target, or if it flies through the cables, it could foul the wings, again forcing it to the ground. And once on the ground, of course, you can target the rider as well.

      • Ioseff says:

        It’s not necessary to have luck, Rhaenys was doing war on Dorne by herself, for Aegon (and I think Visenya too) was in King’s Landing ruling in her absence (yes, Rhaenys, like Visenya, used to rule by themselves, Aegon a mere figurehead unless necessary) and there is some chance that Rhaenys went there to amend for her failure earlier in the Conquest of Westeros and prompted by jealousy or sister-rivalry since Visenya got the Vale single-handedly. What I mean is, it’s not unrealistic that Rhaenys getting sloppy was luck. The war was long, you are on dragonback, so it’s already heated environment, in a desert, in the Castle named because it became HELL itself (the Hellholt), and surely it’s not only one scorpion throwing-machine, many throwing simultaneously, and Rhaenys most likely was trying to get the Yellow Toad once and for all (that was how the Vale fell after all, Visenya getting the young son of the Last Falcon Queen) in order to force the submission of Dorne (or was the Yellow Toad already dead?) it’s no wonder that Rhaenys and Meraxes were too close, too tired, too vulnerable, and knew that more burning would not be of any use.

        • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

          Presumably, Qyburn’s ballista would work best if they can unleash a massive barrage from total surprise. (Ideally, by giving Dany’s dragons a target they can’t resist, so you can guide them into the death zone).

          If (a) Varys still has a functioning intelligence network in King’s Landing and (b) there is a historical precedent for ballista use against dragons in the show world, then Dany shouldn’t fall for it, but we’ll see.

          A secondary use for the ballista would be as a deterrent to keep the dragons away from various points. That’s much less exciting TV, but would have a plot point in preventing Dany from just sweeping the Lannisters once they grow sufficiently tiresome.

  10. JG says:

    Also I would like the show to fill us in on the situation in the Stormlands.

  11. Ser Biffy Clegane says:

    I’m not sure I bought Varys’s explanation. He supported VISERYS because Robert was lazy? On that explanation, he sure is quick to discard and draw. And if he didn’t know much about Danerys, it’s because his agent and/or partner, Illyrio, wasn’t doing his job.

    On top of that, Illyrio certainly knew enough to know that Viserys (1) would be a disaster as king and (2) had 0% chance of claiming the throne successfully.

    I don’t think they’ve laid the groundwork, but here’s a story for show Varys that fits with what we’ve seen of his actions and characterization.

    1) He’s basically who he now says he is – someone who is dedicated to the commoners’s welfare. (With the way the show characterized the High Sparrow, he’s pretty much the only one, with the possible additions of Margaery and Davos).

    2) He did his best to help Robert, but he wasn’t able to stop Cersei and Littlefinger from corrupting the regime, especially without strong leadership from Robert. He honestly did what he could to help Jon Arryn, Ned, and Tyrion up to the limits of his own safety.

    3) To that end, he’s not really a Tagaryn loyalist or an opportunist. Viserys was always a desperate back-up plan, and his conversation with Illyrio was either him manipulating Illyrio to keep that plan on ice as long as possible or was basically him checking on that plan, which he thought he would need sooner rather than later. He would have been as happy or happier with Renly or Ned or someone else on the throne, as long as they were sane and basically benevolent (and ideally subject to his advice).

    I don’t think that quite works, but almost – you have to assume there was another part of the basement conversation that Arya missed, where they basically said “Viserys is a disaster and a long shot, but when this all crashes down, he’s the best shot we’ve got.”

  12. Andy says:

    Look, I think the Grey Worm/Missandei romance is nice, and I like that their relationship gets the odd bit of screen time, and that it seems to be a normal and healthy one, but I thought it was a little ridiculous to have it in this episode. Grey Worm is a total eunuch. Not that he can’t have feelings, but I felt that the entire scene was so we could get a shot of Nathalie Emmanuel naked, in the same kind of scene that Emilia Clarke so publicly pushed back on a few seasons ago. And from a plot perspective, we have like 15 hours of screen time before the end of the show, and we’re not even close to the Wall coming down or the political drama resolving itself – do we really need to have 5 minutes of tertiary characters explaining their emotions, despite us already knowing all about said emotions? Grey Worm’s monologue about bravery was totally useless in illuminating more about his character, and about as saccharine-sweet and by-the-books trope-y that I was cringing by the end. I like seeing these two, both their budding relationship and their position as the living reminder of the fire behind Daenery’s anti-slavery crusade, but that scene should have been cut drastically.

    • apolotresse says:

      I think I would felt more wounded by that unnecessary scene when they release the deleted scenes: they always cut more important scenes (like Tywin interacting with Pycelle out of his old man act back in Season 3).

    • Captain Splendid says:

      It pays to remember that GoT is, among many other things, also a delivery mechanism for tits and dragons.

  13. Keith B says:

    Regarding the Greyjoys, I think they’re building up to having Theon attempt to rescue Yara. (Whether he succeeds I can’t say.) It’s because she attempted to rescue him, because Euron is the new Ramsey, and because they left him alive for a reason.

    When Euron said he’d bring a gift to Cersei, I thought the gifts she’d want most would be Tyrion or Daenerys (or maybe even Sansa, but she’s inaccessible). However, Ellaria is a reasonable substitute, since she did murder Myrcella. Yara may get out of this alive, but the show runners seem to want to restore some kind of moral balance, so Ellaria probably won’t.

  14. Benjamin says:

    They did a nice job soft pedaling Euron’s attack. I was totally lulled into a ‘goddamnit do we seriously need another look how sexually adventurous these women are!’ scene? Was suspenseful but felt pretty sure that Euron would win.

    They should’ve had Littlefinger twirling his moustache while listening to Jon’s speech.

    Anyone dying to see how Bran is going to influence the whole Northern dynamic? I’m hoping he’s seen next week.

    Liked the crossbow/scorpion reveal by Qyburn. Helps build up some actual tension for the coming battle/showdown. Was looking like a total slaughter before that.

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