Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2: “Stormborn” Recap
Tonight’s heavily anticipated follow up to last week’s season introduction kicked the story into full gear, with a number of interesting developments. We saw a ton of familiar faces, a peek at an intimate liaison seasons in the making, and our first taste of the brutality this season that Game of Thrones is known for.
The show opens up at Dragonstone where Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm are discussing future plans amidst a torrential downpour. It’s heavy stuff, symbolizing (my guess) the dark state of the times that the group is in. Daenerys does her usual crazy queen thing and starts to verbally attack Varys for his questionable loyalty. She begins to insinuate that Varys will receive bodily harm for his involvement in her troubled upbringing.
Afterwards, we’re treated to a surprise guest. We’re told that she’s a servant of the Lord of Light. Guess who enters? None other than Melisandre. How she found the location of Dragonstone, made it their without trouble, and found out that the Queen was there, the show glosses over without so much as a heads up. I’ve noticed that this show has recently utilized the “showing up in a nick of time” cliche to dramatic extent. Everyone everywhere always ends up in exactly the right spot at the exact right time. It removes the viewer from the immersion, reminding them that this is indeed a television show set in a fictional world.
Jon Snow receives a Raven inviting him to come meet with Daenerys at Dragonstone which he is shown to be apprehensive about. We’re treated to more evidence of the growing rift between Snow and his sister, Sansa Stark.
Cersei Cersei, on the wall
Randyll Tarly, the dickhead that gave his son a hard time when he came to visit his parents, is shown to be given the ole Lannister rub to persuade him to go against another ally, Oleynn in an upcoming war. Randyll shows that he’s just as much an asshole to people he supports. He talks specifics about betraying Olenna to serve with Jaime in the Lannister army. Here’s to hoping he gets what is coming to him at Casterly Rock.
Has anyone else noticed how King’s Landing kind of drags this season? Don’t get me wrong - we are only in the second episode - but it feels like since all of the interesting players have left (either voluntarily or forcefully) all we’ve been exposed to are scenes of Cersei and Jaime discussing power in various facets. Gone is their sexually charged relationship and witty dialogue exchanges. I get a sinking feeling whenever the location of the Iron Throne comes up on the screen.
We see a weapon that the best blacksmiths of King’s Landing have been working night and day on in hopes of slaying Daenerys’ dragons. We’re shown what is essentially a giant crossbow. It looks lethal enough, but doesn’t quite have the impact of a nicely crafted sword. It’ll be interesting to see the giant crossbow in play once the inevitable war between the two sides starts.
Ser Jorah and Samwell Tarly have some buddy time this week as the latter looks for ways to cure the former of his Greyscale affliction. He ends up taking some rather primitive looking tools to Jorah’s skin - prying off scales as green fluid rushes out of the wounds as if we were watching Goosebumps instead of Game of Thrones. It’s hard to watch, yet exciting as well. We’re treated to a close up of the extremely nasty looking process that transitions to another scene....
Daenerys and the Women’s Council
The Mother of Dragons trades in her collection of powerful men in her circle to talk to the strongest women in the Seven Kingdoms. With the exception of Tyrion Lannister, all of the participants of Daenerys’ conversation are women. They make excellent use of the material, with Queen Olenna absolutely stealing each scene she’s featured in. Her nonchalant delivery of her material matches up well with her character’s current mental state and goals. I loved how Daenerys called Olenna out, saying that she was there meeting with her (Daenerys) not out of respect, but because she hated Cersei more.
After the talk is over, Daenerys and Olenna have a brief discussion about Tyrion Lannister’s impact and whether he’s necessary. I hope that this doesn’t plant unnecessary seeds of discontent between her and Tyrion. We’ve seen how that shows up on this show plenty of time.
Grey Worm and Missandei sitting in a tree
Finally! The oft hinted at but never acted on romance between Missandei and Grey Worm finally cranked up to eleven. Apparently, having no penis doesn’t prevent him from engaging in a sexual act with Missandei. When she dropped her robe, we were treated to one beautiful body. Boy, it must suck to be Grey Worm right about now.
The dialogue leading up to the scene was somewhat cringeworthy coming from Grey Worm. It may not have been necessarily what he said - more so, how he said it. His delivery made me cringe as he described how he doesn’t fear Missandei. I’m glad she gave him some play because we could all see the actor struggling with portraying the proper emotion.
Finally, Lord Baelish!
Oh, Littlefinger’s had it coming for seasons now. Finally, echoing the actions of his late father (sort of), Jon Snow pressed Littlefinger to the wall of his father’s tomb. If Littlefinger touches Sansa, he’ll kill him. This was my favorite moment of the whole episode because Littlefinger’s become more and more unlikable as the story progresses. Maybe he’ll hang back and relax now. Maybe he’ll have Jon Snow killed. Let's hope that the second isn’t the case.
The scene of Sam peeling Greyscale off of Ser Jorah continues, from picking scales off of someone’s back to someone eating a similar bowl of whatever it was. Boy, did it look disgusting. Arya Stark is revealed to be hanging around there while she’s in transit to kill Cersei. She happens to speak to Hot Pie, a server at the restaurant that she happens to be old friends with, who tells her that Jon Snow is the King of the North now. Arya, shocked at this development, decides to forget about her pursuit of the Queen and head towards Winterfell to reconnect with her brother. I just knew that Arya would die by trying to kill Cersei so seeing her head off this way was a great development.
On her way to Winterfell, at a clearing in the woods, a pack of wolves led by Nymeria, Arya’s Direwolf that she released to the wild in Season 1, surrounded Arya and her horse. When Arya recognizes the Direwolf, she attempts to persuade it to come with her to Winterfell. Nymeria declines, made evident in it turning around and walking away. Arya smiles and remarks, “It's not you.” It sounds like Arya may believe herself to not really want to go to Winterfell either and that she shouldn’t be domesticated. For her sake, I really hope that she does go.
Oh, Theon and Yara. The latter, during a sexually charged conversation with Ellaria Sand, makes a great point to name Theon her protector when she becomes Queen. We’re then shown the beginnings of Yara and Ellaria’s sexual encounter. Elsewhere, the three Sand Snakes have a casual conversation about who’d they like to kill.
Euron Greyjoy has found his brother’s children and relentlessly attacks their fleet. He hops into battle, swinging his Steppenwolfe-like battle ax, killing dozens while taking a couple of arrows. It culminates with him holding Yara hostage, telling Theon to come save her. Theon - suffering from PTSD from his experiences with Ramsay Bolton - jumps overboard to save himself. The episode ends with a final look at the burning fleet before fading to black.
This season is ramping up the excitement at a thrilling pace. I only have one observation for this week.
Why does everyone seem to be in the right place at the right time? It seems that each set of characters happens to come across the other. If they were all in one location, fine. But when Melisandre travels by herself across the treacherous terrain of Westeros, surviving without any defenses, and meets yet another set of main characters, it begins to stretch belief. It just reminds me more and more that this is television, not the stuff that George R.R. wrote.
Overall, another amazing installment. Next week will be amazing now that Jon Snow and Daenerys are finally meeting! Also, Yara can’t be dead! She’s too important to die off screen. Will Arya really go to Winterfell? Will we see more of Missandei? Hopefully! List your predictions for next week below!