“Stormborn” is as close as Game of Thrones will ever come to a full-on clip show. A clip show, for those who didn’t take Intro to Film, is an episode of a television series that consists primarily of flashbacks from previous episodes, and it’s a staple of most long-running sitcoms.
I bring all of this up because everywhere you looked, “Stormborn” reminded us of the past. There was the storm at Dragonstone that harkened back to the night Daenerys was born. We saw Jon Snow choke-slam Littlefinger in the exact same fashion as Ned did in Season 1. Arya, clearly feeling the reverberations of said choke-slam, was reminded of how Ned wore his hair and styled accordingly. Hot Pie returned. Nymeria returned. Randyl Tarly returned. Reek returned. And the Sand Snakes returned – cringy dialogue and all. There was talk of Robert Baratheon. Of Jeor Mormont. No one remembered Gendry. We dedicated a frustrating amount of time to a sex scene between a eunuch (insert Grey Worm can’t be the Riser of the Week joke here) and a girl who is eight years old in the books. Then, we ended all of this with an epic battle where the bad guy came out on top. Goddammit if it didn’t feel like home.
Riser of the Week: Euron Greyjoy
Now that’s an entrance! I wasn’t expecting to ever root for Euron, but once I realized he’d be fighting the Sand Snakes, I joined his team harder than Joffrey would have been at the sight of Qyburn’s giant crossbow. Sure, Ellaria and one of the Sand Snakes lived, but I’m willing to bet there will be some torture in their future from both Euron and Cersei. If anyone in this show deserves to be tortured, it's them.
We’ve had our fair share of evil characters on this show. Joffrey, Ramsay Bolton, and Walder Frey instantly come to mind. But while they’ve all come and gone, Euron still stands. He is the storm, and he’s just getting started. Let's hope Cersei likes his gifts.
Honorable Mention: Hot Pie, for not skipping any steps and browning the damn butter.
Faller of the Week: The Other Greyjoys
In one fell swoop, Yara went from being on the receiving end of some Dornish delight to the receiving end of Euron’s battle axe. Similarly, Theon continued to enjoy his favorite pastime: jumping off of things. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out for the two less-shitty Greyjoys. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before we start losing some major characters, and I’m not exactly sure I’d cry if we started with these two. Yara’s fine – badass for sure, but too over-confident for her own good. Theon, though? As the scope of the story expands and the White Walkers continue south, we are continually reminded how little everything else matters. I don’t see how Theon can play an important role in the events to come. I’m losing my patience for small storylines. Thus, I’m losing my patience for Theon.
Honorable Mention: Jaime Lannister, for continuing to serve as Cersei’s lapdog.
Backstory of the Week: The Prince (or Princess) Who Was Promised
In a bit of on-the-nose exposition, we learned that – like the flames – Melisandre had been interpreting her prophecy incorrectly the entire time and humankind’s savior might very well be a princess instead of a prince. This pleased Daenerys, who was already trying to figure out where in her long list of titles she should put The Princess Who Was Promised. (I vote that it should go at the end. Anywhere else and it will make whatever follows sound lame.)
This was not the first time Melisandre mentioned this promised prince, so let’s flesh out exactly what the prophecy states and who it could be. The prophecy itself is old – nearly 5,000 years old according to Melisandre in the books. She interchangeably refers to the prince that was promised as Azor Ahai, stating “When the red star bleeds and darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst salt and smoke.”
In looking at those requirements, it’s easy to peg Daenerys as the one who was prophesized, but there are others who have a claim to the title as well, including the very man who’s en route to Dragonstone as we speak.
Item of Power: Qyburn’s Dragon Killing Crossbow
Qyburn’s weapon sure packs a powerful punch … if its target isn’t moving. But unless Rickon “Mr. Straight Line” Stark is steering one of Daenerys’s dragons, I fear that the crossbow might not be as big of a game-changer as Cersei requires.
- In taking stock of Daenerys’s war council, I couldn’t help think that Tyrion was in the middle of constructing a new joke. “A paramour, three eunuchs, and a dwarf walk into a war council meeting…”
- Seriously, though. It’s pretty cool seeing a war council overseen by something other than a group of old men.
- Why did it take Daenerys so long to have that conversation with Varys?
- Olenna Tyrell doesn’t give a shit who sits on the throne. She only cares about one thing: killing Cersei. Be careful, Daenerys. I don’t know if you can trust her.
- With all the letters arriving at Winterfell, why didn’t anyone from Castle Black think to send word to Jon that Bran is alive and headed his way?
- If Jon was smart, he’d try and capture a wight and bring it south with him. One look at that and you’d have Daenerys’s support in full.
- I hope Jon gets to meet the dragons next week. I’m guessing they might react a little differently to him.
- I absolutely love how much Sam has grown up the past two seasons. The scene between him and Jorah was fantastic, and I seriously hope the procedure worked.
- The match cut from Jorah’s greyscale to the pot pie was masterful. Stanley Kubrick would be proud.
- #GendryWatch2017 continues. Perhaps he’ll bump into Theon floating in the water.
Joe Brosnan works in marketing at St. Martin's Press and manages Criminal Element. He’s a New York Giants fan, a Petyr Baelish supporter, and is only now realizing how weird it is to write in the third person. You can follow him on Twitter @joebrosnan_.
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