S07E03 opens with an unmistakable hint at continuity and duration: the time Jon Snow’s voyage takes to arrive at Dragonstone is the time Bran Stark takes to reach the gate of Winterfell from The Wall. Jaimie reaches Olenna Tyrell too soon though, which means Jon has been staying a considerable time in Dragonstone.
Good closure from Tyrrell in the twilight seconds of her life. She did give us the hint to causing the death of Joffrey before. She did tell her daughter on one occasion that she wouldn’t let Margery marry Joffrey and be subjected to the thoughtless savagery of Joffrey. Olenna is still a winner. She did choose the right time to unfold her act of utmost defiance towards the Lannister throne, orchestrating the poisoning of Joffrey in the fateful Purple Wedding. She still remains Wisdom Personified. She had the last triumphal sip of the poison with her winning glory and her royal panache intact.
We see Bronn after a long time. If Tyrion appears on the scene, we have to see what happens to Bronn’s marching with the Lannister army (though Bronn is known for his mercenary attitude to life).
Jorah is saved by Sam Tarly. Jorah goes back to his Danny, tells her about Sam. Sam is linked with Jon. Both Jon and Sam fought the Wights. Sam also bears the information that Jon Snow is back from the dead. The elements will further help the bond between the Snow and the Fire.
Again, Sam’s father is seen marching against Olenna. It is to be seen what happens to his father when Sam Tarly appears as the Maester par excellence sooner or later.
The three Targaryen siblings are in Dragonstone. Tyrion is a possible Targaryen, given enough hints from the books: in Tywin’s hatred for him, in his hair colour in the books, in his one green eye, in the dragons’ warming up to him in the dungeons of Meereen.
Tyrion Lannister: General rule of Thumb: Stark men do not fare well when they travel south.
Jon Snow: True but I am not a Stark.
Notice how the Dragon flies past the two as soon as the above words are spoken. Maybe it is a symbolical hint from the showrunners at the fact that the Dragon are trying to communicate: “You both are wrong. You are half-Targaryen bloodlines.”
Cersei wasn’t sitting on her behind when Tyrion was brainstorming his hypothetical siege of the King’s Landing. She secured a couple of weeks from The Bank of Braavos (good to see another glimpse of the mythical BBC Sherlock-creator). She sent her army to Olenna. She has Highgarden’s economy to back her up now. Sands and Tyrells and Greyjoys are done. No more Danny-allies other than Sansa’s Winterfell. Sansa is more occupied with the foraging for the Long Night of Winter right now though.
Tyrion narrating and the takeover of Casterly Rock (Tywin’s Castle is shown for the first time in the series) are done with minimum money spent by HBO. Both sieges in the episode were brief, succinct and adeptly crafted. A bigger war is waiting in this season for sure.
The future of the plot rests on Bran. Arya will reach soon enough. Bran has to prove himself to be the rightful protagonist in the coming plotline. He knows too much and he has the capability to know/bend a lot more. We haven’t heard the White Walkers’ side of the story yet. No one, other than Bran, can unfold what the White Walkers actually want.
It remains to be seen whether he was Bran, the Builder, from centuries ago. Was he the reason for the Mad King’s voices in his head? Can Bran put a stop to Daenerys’s descent into the alleged Targaryen-madness? Although, Tyrion-Danny-Jon make it vocal: the children are not their fathers. That the showrunners did make clear in this episode.
We heard the score of “The Rains of Castamere” once again. It was the long tracking shot of Jaime’s back as he reaches Olenna Tyrrell passing the fallen Highgarden city-watch on his way.
Melisandre knows Varys will breathe his last soon? She calls him The Spider. This episode did give Varys a little life, it was a nod to him being the Spider, the Master of Whisperers on the King’s Small Council once.
Euron Greyjoy is the second one to walk a horse into the Hall of Iron Throne. We remember Tywin walking his horse to Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne after winning the Battle of the Blackwater. Euron presents himself as the loyal subject in this episode. In the first episode “Dragonstone” he said that he is “one of the rightful monarchs” though (“And since it appears that all our treasonous family members are fighting for the same side, I thought we rightful monarchs could murder them together.”) Cersei did not take time to show him where his place is till the War for the Iron Throne is won. He also burns the ships of the Unsullied. Now how will the Unsullied return? It is to be seen what Daneryris asks of Jon (in exchange for letting him mine Dragonglass), and when would she unleash her Dothraki hordes of warriors.
In the whirligig of civil war, one must take a moment to appreciate Tyrion’s scathing dry humour that cuts the ingenious screenplay like knife cuts butter. Again, in the throbbing carousel of Imperialism, economy and plotting, one should not forget to appreciate the dexterous camera framing and the windswept soothing locations in this episode.
It remains to be seen where the White Walkers are (in all this turmoil in the South). One shouldn’t miss how the White Balance of King’s Landing is getting colder. It is not so sunny, so warm anymore. Winter is almost upon King’s Landing.
Jaimie Lannister says to an ecstatic Euron Greyjoy that the love of the people means almost nothing, “The same mob spat at my sister not long ago.” Greyjoy adds, the people under imperialism are but skittish, gullible subjects with lowness of taste and intellect, “They just like severed heads, really.” This happens once again in the episode: how the monarchs have understood that their subjects are marked by forgetfulness and with dearth of tenacity.
(He may not be a Gordon R. Dickson, a Poul Anderson, or a Robert Jordan in SF/F yet but) George R. R. Martin knows how to keep his medieval fantasy-smitten fans “feel invested in his work”, and so do Benioff and Weiss. HBO’s Game of Thrones has already garnered more fan-following that Star Wars and Star Trek franchise, and following the heart-warming tale of morality and friendship in Harry Potter, undoubtedly GRRM is your best bet at 21st century pop gravitas. Now, on to the next episode…