Simmer down, simmer down, nobody’s soiled their pants … yet! This episode really puts the pedal to the metal though and has significantly ramped up the pace of this season’s Game of Thrones.
Spoils of War is GoT at its best, delivering menace, intrigue action and revelation all in the space of 60 minutes.
A good deal of character repositioning was done with the dynamic between some of the shows central characters moving like shifting sands: Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) welcomes sister Arya (Maisie Williams) back to Winterfell but sees nothing of her younger sibling in the vengeance-driven, merciless killbot that regales her with tales of the people she has killed and those she is going to kill. If Petyr Baelish is not on her list, there is something seriously wrong with the writers in GoT towers.
Long gone is the innocent young girl who was mocked for her efforts learning archery at Winterfell – what has returned is like a dead-eyed, dagger-wielding, ninja-cum-Terminator who quickly impresses lady-giant Brienne of Tarth with her proficiency with sword and knife.
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), ‘hand of the queen’ and flavour the month – last month, has begun to realise the quandary he is in. Chief adviser to Queen Daenerys and on a collision course with his brother and sister and ancestral home, his efforts to bring the Lannister forces to heel have failed miserably and he is given a royal dressing down by the young monarch. As witnessed before during the Mad King’s reign – Targaryen + power is a recipe for very troubling times – add three dragons into the mix and things are sure to heat up quickly.
Jon Snow, though, concedes she is pleasing to the eye. Is he to be Daenerys’s next conquest?
Before any bedroom power games can take place Daenerys – Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Queen of Meereen merrily adds ‘Scorcher of 1000s of Lannister Soldiers’ to her illustrious list of titles (please let Ed Sheeran be among them) as she rains death from the skies astride Drogon’s back.
It’s all too much for poor Jaime Lannister who, after sacking High Garden and applying the coup de grace on the Tyrell dynasty, had been planning a reunion of everyone’s favourite incestuous siblings and the comfy side of Queen Cersei’s bed. He has plunder aplenty – enough, indeed, to settle the family’s considerable debts with the Iron Bank. Unfortunately, for him and the Lannister forces the cries of a Dothraki horde bearing down on them and Daenerys Stormborn astride a fire-breathing dragon overhead, mean that the young Targaryen has arrived to collect a blood debt the King Slayer incurred when he did in her father – and she’s not accepting credit!
I’m all for full on combat scenes a la Battle of the Bastards – I’m not quite as enthusiastic with Dungeons and Dragons hokemry. After all, there’s only ever going to be one winner when you match up one-armed Jaime Lannister against and pissed off dragon. So as the credits rolled the King Slayer was sinking to a watery grave. But we don’t really believe he’s dead, do we?