Game of Thrones “The Spoils of War” Review: Daenerys Brings the Dragon

The Reaping of Highgarden

jaime and the highgarden gold the spoils of war

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As expected the reaping of Highgarden is well underway and by the look on Jamie Lannister’s face I don’t think this is his favorite part of warmongering. Every penny of the Highgarden gold is going to the Iron Bank. And maybe Lady Olenna’s final words about Cersei are getting to Jaime? As for Bronn it comes down to getting paid. Seems war is more simple for a sell sword. And he doesn’t believe that the Lannisters have paid their debt to him. Seeing the Iron Bank getting paid in full is definitely irking Bronn despite his jovial tone. So it begs the question, why does he stay? The short answer would be for the bromance, of course.

A Lannister Always Pays Her Debts

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cersei and the iron bank the spoils of war

Cersei looks like the cat that ate the mouse and drank a glass of wine to wash it down as she relays the info that the gold she promised to pay off her huge debt with the Iron Bank is on its way. All her plans are coming to fruition. I’d be pleased too. All the rep from the Iron Bank sees are dollar signs when he thinks about allying himself with Cersei Lannister. Placing his money on Cersei winning the Great War looks like a sure thing to him. She’s proven herself.

And what can 10, 000 sell swords from the Golden Company do? Well, they could win the war. But I wouldn’t count those golden chickens before they hatch, Cersei. #TeamDaenerys might be down but they’re not out.

Chaos Is A Ladder

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It’s killing me how deceitful and false Petyr Baelish is. He’s trying to throw Bran off kilter by offering him the dagger that was meant to kill him with one hand and offering vows of protection with the other. Whatever he was expecting out of the exchange I’m sure he was disappointed. How amazing was it when Bran throws a curve ball that I know Littlefinger didn’t see coming?

In that monotone voice and distant gaze that we’ve come to know if not love, Bran says, “Chaos is a ladder.”

Those four little words were all it took to shut Littlefinger up. Think back to all of Littlefinger’s monologues of the great game and his visions of his future and you will know why he had his ‘WTF how did he know that?’ face on. I would have given anything to see Baelish’s uninterrupted response to Bran’s words. Meera has the worst timing.

petyr baelish littlefinger the spoils of war

Littlefinger is justifiably weirded out but he recovered well. He didn’t even flinch when Bran denied the title of Lord Stark. The un-Lord Stark is more powerful than he appears and Petyr Baelish can sense it. I wonder if Littlefinger will save his tricks and steer clear of Bran?

Bran seems to be another Stark that has powers of life after death , but can Bran see through Littlefinger’s plots and schemes and web of lies? Somehow I have a sinking feeling that even if he can he’s not overly concerned about it. As the Greenseer does it matter to him which house rises and which house falls? Maybe the only thing that matters to him is the real war, the war between living man and the undead White Walkers.

Poor Meera. She is so hurt and astonished by Bran’s lack of emotion, but what did she expect? A long embrace and a touching goodbye? As a viewer I was stung by the emotionless farewell Bran gave her, too. But we know for sure now that he’s ‘not really Bran anymore’. He’s totally unmoved by human feeling. He did die in that cave.

petyr baelish littlefinger the spoils of war 2

With every episode I get more and more convinced that Petyr Baelish will die in a web of his own making. Maybe he’ll die looking up into the smiling face of Arya Stark? Will he die by the same dagger he gave to Bran that Bran gave to Arya? What did Littlefinger see when he took Arya’s measure, watching her spar with Brienne? Arya obviously doesn’t like or trust him and Baelish would be wise to steer clear of her, too.

The Prodigal Daughter Returns Home

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Arya Stark finally returns to Winterfell. How frustrating to be at the gates of your home after a long journey and deal with shenanigans. But Arya isn’t that helpless little girl anymore. She’s a cold blooded killer and an accomplished swordswoman. All these remaining Stark children have something of the supernatural about them so it’s no surprise when she gives the guards the slip easily.

lady sansa stark the spoils of war

Sansa knows her sister and knows where she’ll be and their reunion down in the crypts is at last the heartwarming reunion we’ve been waiting for. They mourned their father and talked like grown sisters who have put the squabbles of childhood behind them. Arya reveals her list and they share a laugh before they meet with Bran and his Greensight is revealed to Arya. He knows about her list of names. Arya and Sansa both take it in stride. Guess that’s what happens when you’ve seen the things they’ve all seen.

How bittersweet it must be for Arya. To be in the home you love with most of the people you love dead and gone. But still, to see these Stark children together again I’m sure brought the shimmer of a tear to most fans of the show.

podrick and lady brienne the spoils of war

The Revelations of Dragonstone

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Jon invites Dany to check out the epic ton of dragonglass under Dragonstone, and is it just wishful thinking or is that a certain kind of smile we see pass between Dany and Missandei? Ser Davos must have seen something, too. But Jon’s right, there’s no time for hearts and roses. There’s something else under Dragonstone besides dragonglass. The cave carvings made by the Children of the Forest are as remarkable as they are moving and ancient.

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dragonglass cave spoils of war

Standing on such hallowed ground, how can Dany not be moved to fight together for their survival? Jon and Daenerys’ heart to heart in the cave was truly a meeting of titans. The power and belief each had for their cause is so tangible you can hold it in your hand. The carvings must be proof enough for Daenerys, who promises to fight with Jon — if he bends the knee. She breaks out all her persuasiveness and a weaker man might have knelt at that moment but Jon Snow is not a weak man.

If only one of them would bend. Who will it be? Somebody has to.

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The beauty of the moment is broken by the realities of war and Tyrion catches heat from Daenerys, who I’m sure regrets reprimanding Tyrion the moment she does it. If there is one Lannister in Westeros who won’t betray her, it’s Tyrion. I think we all feel so bad for him. Fighting his brother can’t be easy. He needs a serious comeback. But when Daenerys is hell bent on going to war with her dragons instead of listening to him, we’re all left screaming, “Don’t kill your dragons with reckless anger! Think!”

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daenerys targaryen the spoils of war

Surprisingly, Daenerys turns to Jon Snow for advice. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. Jon, of course, who knows fire and blood is no way to the peoples’ hearts counsels restraint in his usual Stark and honest way. Aren’t they great together? As allies? Let’s hope we see more of the same.

It’s clear that Jon takes Tyrion’s advice to figure out what makes Daenerys tick. I’m sure he likes what Missandei has to say. Will it be the deciding factor if Jon decides to find a way to bend the knee and honor the faith his Northerners have in him?

Our relief is short lived when Jon reveals to Theon that the queen isn’t around to help rescue Yara since she’s not here. The reunion between Jon and Theon is tense. Can you blame Jon? Why can’t Theon see that being brave pays off? Why can’t he do that on the regular?

Daenerys Brings the Dragon

daenerys dothraki drogon the spoils of war

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No one does battle scenes like GoT. Did the Dothraki charge bring a smile to your face? The Dothraki definitely can do some serious damage, cutting through the tired Lannister army like butter with their fancy patented Dothraki moves. But the coup de grace was watching Daenerys Stormborn appear in the sky like some white haired warrior goddess riding her fire breathing dragon. It must have felt like Christmas for true fans everywhere watching her command, “Dracarys.”

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Once upon a time the people of Westeros only read legends of the dragon riding Targaryens. Now they’re all watching a dragon in battle decimating the Lannister army and turning all to ash. Jaime can’t believe his eyes. No one can.

jaime charges daenerys the spoils of war

But it wasn’t an easy victory. There was a moment when we thought Drogon would die with a balista bolt through the heart and Bronn would save the day for the Lannisters and Cersei would win yet again. And when Jaime didn’t flee the field but took up a lance in a desperate attempt to kill Daenerys we thought for sure someone would be dead of fire by dragon.

But no one did that time. And Bronn did save the day. Sort of.

So is Jaime lost? Don’t fear, GoT fans. I doubt that this will be the end of Jaime Lannister. I believe there is a big role for him to play as yet. What a moment for Bronn to chose his honor over gold. Seems Jaime is rubbing off on him a wee bit. I just wish Bronn had worse aim. Luckily all he did was injure Drogon but is the great dragon grounded for the rest of the war? I kinda hope so. I don’t want him to die, do you?

In the End…

If Cersei had thought to wake the dragon and maneuver Daenerys into attacking King’s Landing directly she failed. Now Daenerys is truly on the warpath. She won’t leave the sacking of her allies’ estates and the attempt to starve her army of Unsullied to stand. She had to answer the ransacking of the Reach’s wealth with a show of force. I just don’t think Cersei or Jaime realized just how forceful Daenerys Targaryen can be. It seems that Daenerys has found her footing and took both Jon’s advice and Olenna’s and brought the dragon.

drogon dracarys the spoils of war

And now #TeamDaenerys knows that Cersei and company have weapons capable of killing dragons. This will force Daenerys to stop thinking of her dragons as invincible. It’s about time. And there’s still another battle where those dragons will be instrumental.

So what was the best scene of the night? The Dothraki charge and Daenerys making her grand entrance on the firebreathing Drogon was definitely the best scene of the night and a defining moment in the entire Game of Thrones series. It’s so on and Daenerys definitely wins this round. Olenna would have been proud.

Check out this preview for next week’s episode of Game of Thrones “Eastwatch” Sunday, August 13th on HBO.