Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 4: Spoils of War – Review

So… yeah… so the shortest episode of the season is the best episode of the season thus far. As oppose to episodes 2 and 3 there isn’t a whole lot wrong with this one, everything felt on point, no scene stretched reality too far. There were a few odd things here and there but nothing major wrong in the plot. I won’t talk about King’s Landing as nothing really changed from last episode.

Starting in Winterfell we get the first interaction between Bran and Littlefinger. Now, for those who haven’t read the books, the matter of who sent the Catspaw to kill Bran has been answered, but many question the credibility of the answer. George RR Martin did say that the mystery would be solved in the third book A Storm of Swords, the answer we were given just felt a bit odd, that’s all. The answer of course being Joffrey. Piecing it together from Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei, they all think it was Joffrey, and that he did it because one night after Bran’s fall, King Robert got drunk and suggested that they shouldn’t let the boy suffer and would be better off mercy killed. Now, if you find that explanation a bit unbelievable, you’re not the only one. Many people maintain that the answer is still to be revealed, the most likely candidate being Littlefinger. In the show at least, we’re being lead to believe it was Baelish, and it makes sense. Though, considering Bran’s abilities, Littlefinger should probably not lie to him. So this dagger, the show couldn’t be less subtle if they tried, call it a mcguffen, call it a Checkov’s Gun, it seems pretty obvious to me this dagger will be plot device in the near future. Considering how incompetent Baelish has been in the last two seasons, I think his story may be wrapping up. I don’t see him leaving this season alive.

We also get the long awaited return of Arya Stark to Winterfell. Right up, what’s the deal with Arya’s question to the guards? “Which Lady Stark?” What other Lady Stark could there be aside from Sansa and herself. Was this script looked over? We know that Arya knows Catelyn is dead, so what’s the deal here? All in all this doesn’t matter all that much, but it did take me out of the episode for a second. The reunion with Sansa has seen a bit of criticism as far as chemistry goes, as the two actresses are close friends, but I don’t really accept this argument. Both in the show and the books Sansa and Arya’s relationship is not one of mutual admiration to say the least. I found the reunion a little underwhelming, I admit, but not for the reasons others had. I was expecting more of a surprise from Sansa and a little less joking about the kill list. All in all, Winterfell was fairly good. I found the training scene between Brienne and Arya to be a little unbelievable, but I didn’t mind it that much. I suppose she was going easy on her. And kudos to Maisie Williams for fighting with her left hand all these years, that’s called commitment to the character folks.

gallery-1501973986-got.jpgNow to Dragonstone, and while I didn’t dislike these scenes, they were for me the least good of the episode. The show runners are not being subtle in their foreshadowing of a romance between Dany and Jon, and I must say, I find it a little weird. I’m not opposed to the idea, as long as neither of them end up on the Iron Throne at the end of the story, I’ll be happy. As far as this romance goes, it feels rushed, and the chemistry is not believable.  They’ve known each other for two episodes, and I know there are time jumps between episodes, but we, as the audience, can’t buy their romance if we don’t see their characters grow close on screen. As I said, this feels rushed. And who else half expected for there to be dragon eggs in the cave?

704_Battle_of_Tumbleton_4

And now we come to the final scene on the opposite side of the Blackwater. What begins with a sincere scene with Dickon Tarly, ends in a massacre. This ending sequence to the episode was quite simply, shocking. Honestly, I’m both surprised and a little disappointed  characters didn’t die in this battle. Bronn was certainly the MVP in this battle, but upon reflection, if he died in dragon fire, that would have sealed the deal on this episode being the best of the last two seasons. There needs to be a cost, and I can’t imagine a more memorable way to go than dragon fire. So many actors on the show have begged to go out this way and been refused. What could be more shocking to the viewers than a last second bait and switch, Jaime going in the water but having Bronn turned to ash, and blown away in the wind? Can you imagine the horrified faces and the people tweeting “I’m done with this show,” only to return next week to watch episode 5?

Best episode of the season thus far.

In one word: “Brutal”

Current placings

  1. 704: Spoils of War
  2. 701: Dragonstone
  3. 703: The Queen’s Justice
  4. 702: Stormborn
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