Game of Thrones: “The Spoils of War” (S7, E4 review)

“Burn Baby Burn” No one knew where the Dothraki got the stereo from but their playing of the Ash rock classic was as fitting a musical accompaniment as you could hope for (image courtesy HBO)



My what fun they had in Westeros this episode!

Well Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) did … and then, did not.

Fresh from killing his son’s assassin in the now-cleared out remains of Highgardens – go Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), ballsy and acidically defiant to the very end – Jaime, Ser Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and the full cohort of Lannister soldiers made out like eager shoppers at crazy end-of-year sales.

Why they found gold at ridiculous prices! (Read free). Grain just begging to be stolen (the farmers were a great deal quieter on the matter; you might even say; deeply reluctant)! And all manner of bejewelled fabulousness with which Cersei could pay back the debts administered by the grating-unctuousness of the Iron Bank’s chief representative Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gatiss).

If this has been an online shopping network, then things would have sold out before they were even advertised as available.

It looked like everyone was having an utterly find old time – with the exception of House Tyrell which has seen far better days and may have a castle spare to, oh, say, Ser Bronn who appears to be in the market – until, and isn’t this always the way when you’re just about to find safety in King’s Landing, a dragon arrived and set fire to everything.

Yup, everything.

In no time at all, the rather off-their-guard Lannister troops were on fire en masse, yelling, screaming and wondering why the hell there weren’t mandatory OH&S laws in Westeros, particularly when it comes to fire extinguishers.

As Drogon the dragon swooped in again and again, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) clinging fiercely to his back – no more Miss Nice Guy for her as she dispense with the sage advice of both Tyrion (Ben Dinklage), who has a credibility gap right now, and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) – troops were barbecued, grain and sundry other luxuries went up in flame, and Jaime and Ser Bronn barely escaped with their lives.


Though they were yet to have any major hits Queens Daenerys and the King of the North certainly looked the rock superstar part (image courtesy HBO)


This is not how pleasant shopping expeditions are supposed to end thank you!

But end that way it did, and apart from Drogon getting a dragon-killing giant arrow in his side – will he live? hard to say right now, everything went the way of Daenerys, Drogon and the Dothraki horde who swept down upon the military might of House Lannister with a one-eyed passionate ferocity.

It was a potent win for the aspirant queen sure but at what cost? As Jon Snow counselled her, if she resorted to brutish force and apocalyptic violence, she would be seen by the beleaguered people of Westeros as no better than the authoritarian rulers who’d gone before.

That was good advice, but after losing the combined Dornish, Iron Islands and Unsullied forced as effective allies – the Unsullied remain alive but stuck travelling overland back to Dragonhome, with Grey Worm’s (Jacob Anderson) new love Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) – Daenerys have entirely lost that loving feeling.

So it was time for the dragons some brutish, hellish revengeful nastiness and a lesson to Cersei to not get too cocky.

That doesn’t mean of course that the original Queen of Mean will care one jot, and certainly won’t be cowed in any way, but it was a big setback, and timely lesson in letting hubris get away with you.

In fact, Cersei had barely finished telling Tycho that what she wanted, what she really, really wanted, was more armies, more ships and a kingdom ruled by fear and supreme acquiescence – it was like sitting on Santa’s knee but without any of the red-tinged pageantry or fun; OK Cersei was having fun of a sort – than she very quickly has less of an army.

If nothing else, it showed how much of a force Daenerys is to be reckoned with and how much of a fight Cersei will have on her hands.

Of course, that’s assuming, and it’s a big ass assumption, that the White Walkers stay away long enough for the party to decide the latest incumbent on the Iron Throne to get into full swing.

With Daenerys now on board the Undead Fighting Bandwagon – it’s made of Dragonheart aka obsidian and has tassles and everything; no, it doesn’t but wouldn’t that be attractive? – particularly after Jon Snow showed her drawings in the caves under Dragonhome which depicted the First Men and the Children of the Forest fighting back against the Night King’s undead hordes.

(Keep in mind the Children of the Forest started the whole sorry mess in the first place so they damn well should’ve been fighting back thank you very much.)


Theon attempts to rejoin the band were met with either indifference – let’s face it he had no rhythm to speak of – or outright hostility (image courtesy HBO)


Meanwhile back at Winterfell aka Ground Zero now that winter and the White Walkers are scarily close, Arya (Maisie Williams) found her way home, had a little bit of trouble getting in the front door since none of the soldiers knew her – turning her aside, which they almost did, would’ve been a big career ender, BIG, as she pointed out – was reunited with Sansa (Sophie Turner), current stand-in ruler of the North while Jon’s falling for Daenerys (maybe; oh, of course he is, pay attention) and got the usual Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) is a spaced-out seer routine from her brother.

When Bran wasn’t acting like a drugged out hippie escape from Woodstock – as his longtime companion Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) pointed out, the real Bran died in the cave where he became the Three-Eyed Raven – he was quietly but not obviously challenging Petyr beish aka Littlefinger who was up to his old divide-and-conquer tricks again.

Handing Bran the dagger that was used in the attempt on his life – once again Petyr lied and said the dagger was Tyrion’s not in fact Baelish’s; this is implement, you might remember, that launched, thank to Littlefinger’s skullduggery, the War of the Five Kings – was probably seen as a clever move, but the too-many-drugs-maaaan seer saw right through that.

Littlefinger may think he’s ahead of the pack but really, he’s rapidly falling behind with none of the newly-reunited Stark children all that enamoured of him, and all too aware that his only true allegiance is to his own grubby interests.

I think we can confidently predict that, rather than inheriting the earth as he expects to do, that the charmingly slimy parasite on all the houses of Westeros, will meet his end soon and very soon.

Hopefully as a White Walker which would be a fitting end to his treachery and would free House Stark, god all of Westeros to be fair, to fight their real, very undead enemy who is drawing unnervingly ever closer.

  • So bring on the zombies! OK don’t. But really you have no choice since the White Walkers are on their way and getting waaaaay too close to the Wall …



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