Where to start? Eeny, meeny, miny, Dragonstone. Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen is planning her invasion of Westeros along with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Theon (Alfie Allen), Yara (Gemma Whelan), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), Greyworm (Jacob Anderson), Varys (Conleth Hill), Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) and Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma). Seeing so many characters from various story lines interacting for the first time feels a bit like introducing your work friends to your “normal” friends: both surreal and amusing.
Dany’s decided to send both the Tyrell and Dornish armies to lay siege to the cities surrounding King’s Landing, cutting the capital off from food and supplies.
The Unsullied and Dothraki soldiers will conquer the Lannister’s Casterly Rock. This leads to Greyworm and Missandei admitting their true feelings to each other before Greyworm is deployed to lead the Unsullied into battle. Greyworm isn’t a man of many words, but he explains to Missandei that she is his weakness. He tells her he has always been brave in battle because he fears nothing, but the fear of never seeing Missandei again makes him weak. Greyworm got game!
This sweet talk leads to an unexpected love scene between the castrated Greyworm and the fully-functional, full-frontal Missandei. If Romeo and Juliet has taught us anything, one or both of these two will die.
Arya and Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) were finally reunited in this episode. Hey Arya, why didn’t you ask Hot Pie about Gendry’s (Joe Dempsie) whereabouts?! Oh well, a man can dream… What Hot Pie did disclose was the fact that Jon Snow, Arya’s older brother, is now King in the North. Arya races home to Winterfell, but not before meeting what she believes to be her old direwolf Nymeria. Arya had to send Nymeria into the wilderness after the direwolf bit then-prince Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). Had Arya not sent Nymeria away, the direwolf would have been put down.
Arya calls for Nymeria to go home with her, but the direwolf is unresponsive. Arya then questions whether the direwolf was in fact Nymeria. Some fans have speculated that Arya’s decision to become No One is the reason Nymeria didn’t recognize her. Arya must press on through the blistering winter winds alone.
Speaking of the North, a raven has come for King Snow. It seems Melisandre (Carice van Houten) has paid Daenerys a visit. Melisandre tells Daenerys about the prophecy of a chosen prince, or princess, who will liberate the world from the Long Night. Melisandre and Tyrion, both of whom have worked with Jon Snow, can’t say enough good things about him. This prompts Dany to send a raven to Winterfell asking King Snow to come to Dragonstone and bend the knee.
Snow understands this could very well be a trap, but Dragonstone’s supply of Dragonglass (as well as the fire from Dany’s dragons), could be Westero’s only hope to stop the Night King. Snow leaves Winterfell with Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham), leaving Sansa (Sophie Turner) in charge, but not before warning Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) to leave Sansa alone (raise your hand if you think that’ll happen).
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) has done well at the Citadel. He’s alerted his friend Jon Snow via raven about Dragonstone’s supply of Dragonglass. Now it’s up to Sam to use experimental methods to save Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) from his deadly greyscale. The scenes are graphic to say the least. Whether or not Sam’s methods are successful will be known next week.
What is known is that Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) can make an entrance. Euron’s fleet intercepts Yara’s fleet, and he and his men board Yara’s ship (it looks so bad ass). Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Nymeria Sand (Jessica Henwick) (no relation to the direwolf, Nymeria is a common name in Westeros) are killed in the battle. Ellaria and Tyene Sand (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) are taken prisoner by Euron. He is taking them to King’s Landing to prove his loyalty to Queen Cersei (Lena Headey).
Euron also takes Yara as a prisoner. In a moment of weakness, Theon reverts back to Reek and chokes under pressure. Rather than rushing to defend his sister from Euron, he jumps into the water and watches as Euron’s ship sails away.
Speaking of King’s Landing, Queen Cersei has good news from Qyburn (Anton Lesser). He introduces the Queen to a crossbow he believes can kill dragons. Qyburn demonstrates his weapon by shooting an arrow at the skull of the long-deceased Balerion the Dread, the most feared dragon in history. The arrow pierces the skull, and both Cersei and Qyburn can’t help but grin.
After seven years of segmented stories, our heroes’ (and villains) paths are slowly beginning to converge. Can you believe there are only 11 episodes left until the series finale?! Say it isn’t so!
Will Jon Snow bend the knee? Will we EVER find out what happened to Gendry? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to check out Game of Thrones Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. ~Yanis Khamsi